Fixed Income Investing

Regardless of the trend of recent decades toward greater sophistication in retirement savings, the certificate of deposit, or CD, is still king. The obvious advantage of the CD over traditional savings accounts is that they typically yield significantly higher interest; with the primary drawback being the commitment that one incurs to maintain the deposit for a specified period, usually from six months to five years.

This blog article below was written back in 2018 when my bond ladder was working great. It still is. It was true that a CD or bond ladder purchased back then would have been an excellent investment because interest rates have gone down substantially raising the value of existing CDs and Bonds.

As a bond and CD ladder investor you are still benefiting from those previous purchases that are still in your inventory, but now what do you do with new funds from expiring bonds or CDs? That is the big question.

Do you buy a fixed income investment paying almost nothing but you feel is safe, or do you buy stocks which are at a all time high? No easy choices. They call in TINA, there is no other alternative for investors other than stocks. The problem is if stocks are going up because of that and not earnings, then will they collapse at some point in time. Stocks are more risky than bonds as far as return of capital.

Lately bond investors have been buying the perceived less risky type of stocks, like Utilities (XLU) and Real Estate (IYR), because they pay a good dividend and to a lessor degree some commodities (DBC) as a hedge against inflation.

At this point in time there is no easy safe answer of where to put your money. The markets are so distorted fundamental analysis no longer works. -Robert Fowler

The Certificate of Deposit (CD) is Still King (2018)

Retirement Savings – Safety

With interest rates now rising, it may be the time to invest in a certificate of deposit ladder or US Treasury Bills.

In saving money, safety has always had an opportunity cost; that is, lower rates of return than for instruments incurring greater risk. In retirement, we don’t want to loose our savings, that is for sure.  So, how can we offer ourselves the greatest opportunity while we are obsessed more with the return OF our money than the return ON it? Continue reading “Fixed Income Investing”

Originally posted 2020-09-06 10:05:37.

Boomers At Retirement Age

Working Boomers asks are you living or staying…at retirement age. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!

When I was young, just like some of you, I did not give much thought to retirement.  Being a divorcee and raising two children was my main priority at the time.  I was fortunate to always have a job.  Again, I did what my parents taught me which was: work hard and that is what matters.  Like them though the jobs only allowed for the basic needs of housing, food, clothing, transportation,medical needs and an and occasional vacation.  Saving for retirement did not fit into the plan.  I can remember thinking, just as they did, social security will be enough and that time is a long way off.

That time is now here.  My parents and most of my family have passed on.  The children are raising their families.  Friends have passed.  Social security and Medicare are not stable.  Twenty-five cent candy bars now cost $1.50 or more.  With that said, there is no need to say more because I know that boomers every where know about the economy and etc.  The point that I would like to make is the difference in living and staying.

Many years ago at a conference, I was listening to a speaker who explained the difference in living and staying.  At the time the speech was very humorous but made a lot of sense.   I will never forget what he said.  I still apply it to my life today.  He asked the audience this question.  Have you ever known a person, we will call him George that you see every few years only?  You ask the person when you meet, “where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Well, I had some rough times so I am staying with my Mom over on the East side.”  Then five or ten years pass and you meet George.  Again you ask, “where are you living now?’  George replies, ” I married Martha. I have a good job. I have money in the bank.  We are staying up town in the big house.  Times are good!”  Several years later George pops into your life and once again you ask, “Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Martha left me. I lost my job. My family is gone. I am staying with a guy I met yesterday over on Fifty Second Street.”  Years go by.  One day you meet George again and ask, “How are you?  Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Man, I finally learned after all this years about the word living.”  My family is gone, Mom passed away.  My health is good. I live in a small house on Maryland Avenue.  I have some great friends.  We play cards a few times a week and help the homeless.  My daughter, that I left years ago, lives in Virginia.  I am going to become a grandparent.  I have been invited to visit them next month.  I planted vegetables in my small garden.  My tomatoes are huge.  On Fridays, I volunteer at the Senior center.   Life is good!  Today I live, I don’t stay.  I finally learned how to live.  Life is not about what I have, who I am with or how much money is in the bank.  Life is not about staying with a friend or in the the big house.  Life is about living and accepting what is good just for today. I learned that life changes on the outside but it is up to me to change on the inside in order to live.  Thank you for asking and caring for all these years.  You know, I never asked you before but, where are you living?”

So I will ask you as  I have asked myself, “Where are you living at retirement age?”  We boomers are in the last stage of our lives.  Let’s live.  Are you living or staying?  No matter where we are, single, married, rich or poor, we still have the choice to live today.  George learned in time.  Have you?

A facebook friend just posted a quote/photo that I feel would sum this story up.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!/John Kelly

More posts about Boomers Retirement Affordable Retirement Communities

Originally posted 2012-04-08 20:49:14.

Life Insurance and Health Issues

Life Insurance and Health Issues

Typically, life insurance is most often associated with the protection it offers financially upon the event of death. However, most people don’t take into account that health complications can occur randomly and at a moment’s notice at that. Did you know though, that some life insurance policies are equipped with certain options that facilitate this?

What Happens if a Health Issue Arises?

With some policies there is the option that allows the policy holder to obtain part or all of the death benefit in the event of certain ailments. This enables not only you, but your loved ones as well, to divert the full brunt of the financial woes associated with treatment.

In fact, the expedited payments can be used for a number of financial implications including:

1.) The overall care of yourself. In other words, the advance payment can be used to cover the costs of paying a professional or even a family member to tend to your needs and care.

2.) Tending to life events. Money from your policy can be used towards paying somebody (usually a family member) to assist you in attending certain events, regardless of distance.

3.) Home modifications. Last but certainly not least, the money can also be used to help you remain where you are. In other words, modifications made to the home to make it more accessible.

As with any “perks” or policy changes, restrictions do exist in most cases. Aside from restrictions, policy holders must also meet specific qualifications in order to receive the death benefit prematurely. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you make sure your decision is the right one as it can have potentially-detrimental impact financially on your family, as well as yourself.

Can I Still Obtain Insurance After a Health Issue?

Encountering a health issue—minor or major—does not necessarily mean that you are uninsurable during or after the fact. Surprising yes, but most affordable health insurance companies, such as Health Net, are ready and willing to assist potential clients even if they suffer from major ailments such as cancer. However, because someone suffering from certain health issues presents more of a liability than say, a person with a clean bill of health, the insurance coverage will cost more.

While it may surprise some people, many insurance companies will provide life insurance to people who suffer from hypertension, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Naturally, coverage will cost more than it would for a person without such conditions. The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates has been underwriting life insurance policies for breast and prostate cancer survivors for more than 80 years so if this is a concern for you, they may be right for you.

Originally posted 2014-08-18 20:00:10.

My Nightmare Story

As a night shift worker, I sometimes have sleep problems so I get up and write. Writing can be done at any time. Writing clears my mind and brings a sense of accomplishment. One can write anything that their heart desires. So here I sit writing at midnight about something that happened which was rather alarming for a short time.

As a night shift worker, I sometimes have sleep problems so I get up and write.  Writing can be done at any time. Writing clears my mind and brings a sense of accomplishment.  One can write anything that their heart desires.  So here I sit writing at midnight about something that happened which was rather alarming for a short time.

The day was overcast with no sun in sight as I drove to the bank, post office, and grocery store.  After completing my chores, I returned home. I stuck a nice pot roast in the crock pot for dinner. I prepared myself some comfort food for a very late lunch. For desert I ate chocolate peanut butter ice cream.  As normal, I started to feel drowsy. I laid down on the cot by my computer to rest a bit.

Suddenly, odd things started to happen with the computer.  My face book screen was flipping.  Then something even more unusual took place.  Up popped different kinds of screens.  One had my favorite movie on it.  Another pop up stated I had just won a meat market.   A cartoon character appeared on the screen dancing around. The speakers came on very loud.  Heavy metal rock music started to blast through them.  My printer started printing.  Then it began banging.  After all this confusion, face book totally bit the dust.  None of the problems on the screen had any x out buttons.   I just used my mouse and started clicking.  The more I clicked, the more the computer went wild.  There were dogs playing on one side of my screen.  Then I received an email demanding that I publish a story.  Another pop up had a picture of a big hairy thing sticking its tongue out at me.  Having had enough of this nonsense, I tried to shut the computer down, but failed.  “Oh my, I must have been hit by Trojan horses and hacked.”I thought to myself.  I grabbed for the computer plug and disconnected it.  The printer continued to print. The heavy medal continued to play. All the nutty stuff continued to invade my computer screen.

Suddenly I awakened.  My dog was sitting on my stomach. My body was drenched in sweat.  The cover from the cot was on the floor.  The television had a crazy science fiction movie playing.  I glanced at the clock which said 12 midnight.  I looked over at my computer which was turned off.  My broken printer was silent.  What a drag!  I had fallen asleep and had a  NIGHTMARE!

According to wikipedia.org/wk./Nightmare, a nightmare can be caused by fear, stress or anxiety and  psychological problems.  Nightmares can also be caused by some foods that we eat before falling asleep.  “That is it!” I thought to myself as I began to remember what I had eaten earlier.

My suggestion for the prevention of a nightmare and peaceful rest is; Don’t eat a chicken salad sandwich, cheddar and bacon potato skins, dill pickles, and peanut chocolate ice cream before laying down after a comfy food feast. If you have a hairy dog, make sure it has its own sleeping spot.  Set your alarm clock in case you fall asleep since you may not want to mess up a good evening.  Above all, be more reasonable about your eating habits than I was.  Henry The Eighth I am NOT!  Even though I love to write stories, I would prefer to eliminate the Nightmares while I continue to write at odd hours of the night.

Originally posted 2011-03-10 21:24:07.

In Retirement Schedule Can Save Money

See how timing your meals, trips, trips, and activates to your own schedule does pay off in deals and savings and sometimes gives you a better experiences than when you were in the busy time crunched work years.

Since retiring a few years ago, I have found that having a freer more flexible schedule when I do things results in savings. There has always been a relationship between time and money, it just changes in retirement. Here are some specific examples:

1. My wife and I love to do our eating out at lunch, where you can enjoy pretty much the same dishes that you pay higher prices for at dinner. We save money and actually enjoy the meal better since it is less crowded when we go. Yes there are also the early bird specials.

2. I have been visiting our Active Adult Center aka Senior Activities Centers and participate in many activities that cost me no money at all. I am a member of the walking club and the book club both which are free. The center has fresh fruit, great free coffee, newspapers and wired computers. There are small fees for classes in dance, yoga and many other things. Compared to an expensive health club, this is a deal and I like the people better too.

3. Since retiring we like to take trips in the shoulder season especially right after school starts. The shoulder season has less crowds and better travel deals and rates. Sometimes we take short trips at lower rates during mid week, not during the higher priced and crowded weekends.

4. We have learned to enjoy the national and state parks and these offer senior discounts. Museums and other attractions locally are fun to visit and save you a lot of money on travel and accommodations. See my post: Retirement Activities in Your Own City

So timing your meals, trips, trips, and activates to your own schedule does pay off in savings and sometimes gives you a better experiences than when you were in the busy time crunched work years.

More Discounts and Deals for Boomers and Seniors

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:04:03.

Learning

In my last blog I mentioned the three L’s for living which are Live, Love and Laugh but I would like to add one more L.  that L would be Learning.  No matter how old we are life is a process of learning experiences.  Let us never forget what we have learned and the wisdom that we gain from our experiences!  For this we can be Grateful.

According to Wikipedia, Lifelong learning is the continuous building of skills and knowledge throughout the life of an individual. It occurs through experiences encountered in the course of a lifetime. These experiences could be formal (training, counseling, tutoring, mentorship, apprenticeship, higher education, etc.) or informal (experiences, situations, etc.

Learning in the 60+ age group

Learning in old age (over 60 years old) elderly people can learn a great deal from activities suitable to their age e.g. art, music, sports for the elderly, handicrafts and social work. They are highly respected in Thai society; capable of searching for knowledge and provide intellectual support to local communities. They can also carry out voluntary work in community organizations, clubs and associations. Such work makes their lives meaningful as well as bringing benefits to society.

Lifelong learning opens your mind and creates a curiosity that is natural when you are young, but can fade as you age. It increases your wisdom and helps you adapt to changing situations, which comes in handy as you age.  Lifelong learning can help you make new friends, enrich your life, and help make the world a better place.

Originally posted 2019-02-18 15:51:23.