Most low-income individuals are willing to pay at most half the
cost of their health insurance
Using administrative data from Massachusetts’s health
insurance exchange, Amy
Finkelstein of MIT and Nathaniel Hendren and Mark Shepard from
Harvard find that most low-income people
will not purchase health
insurance without extremely large subsidies. For
example, they estimate that
low-income people are willing to pay at most half the cost of
insurance and that, even with a 90 percent subsidy, 20 percent
people would remain uninsured. The authors suggest that the
uncompensated (free) healthcare likely reduces the value of
being insured for
low-income people. They conclude that modest enrollee premiums
can be a major
deterrent to universal coverage among low-income individuals.
bias”, a tendency to focus on recent experience. We remember more
distant catastrophes but we do not feel them viscerally.
Here are the keys to putting together an effective family emergency
Know your risks. Depending on where you live,
certain disaster risks will be more prevalent than others. How you
should react will vary accordingly. Your preparedness plan should
include a process for evacuating your home in advance of
hurricanes, wildfires and other monitored risks, as well as what
you would do if you need to shelter in place, like when a tornado
is fast approaching.
Secure your home. It can be hard to remember
everything your house needs to stay protected during a storm. Make
a list of all the areas you should inspect and secure before
evacuating or sheltering in place, including your roof, windows,
power and plumbing.
Write it out. No matter what type of disasters
you need to prepare for, document your plan and provide a copy to
everyone in your household. Consider displaying your emergency
plan where everyone can easily see it so that preparedness is
always top of mind.
Have a meeting spot. If you need to escape home
quickly or find each other in the midst of a chaotic situation,
make sure everyone knows where to go. Whether it's a friend or
family member's house or a local storm shelter, everyone in your
family should know where to meet if you get separated.
Designate an outside contact. Have one person
or family member who lives outside of your immediate area
designated as the single point of contact in case you do get
separated from your own family. Following a disaster, it may be
easier to reach someone in an unaffected area. This person can
help coordinate contact among the members of your household.
Practice. Having a plan is only as good as your
ability to use it. Conduct safety drills seasonally, especially if
you have children, so that everyone can swing into action when it
Often, the most dangerous phase of a disaster isn't immediately
when it hits — it's during the aftermath. (Photo: Shutterstock
2. Keep an emergency disaster kit
Often, the most dangerous phase of a disaster isn't immediately when
it hits — it's during the aftermath. Losing access to essential
supplies is a serious concern, so it's important that you're able to
get by during the hours or days before things return to normal. Keep
an emergency disaster kit stocked with all the necessities you'll
need to ensure the health, safety and comfort of your family.
Important documents like passports and insurance information.
If you have animals, include pet food and supplies.
Take advantage of today's technology to improve your
preparedness. (Photo: Shutterstock)
3. Use technology to stay connected and aware
Technology makes it easier than ever to stay aware of weather risks,
coordinate with loved ones and stay safe in the event of an
emergency. Take advantage of today's tech to improve your
Sign up to receive emergency alerts on your smartphone. That
way, you're less likely to be caught off-guard by approaching
Stay connected to family members. Consider activating
location-sharing on family smartphones to help keep track of each
other during a disaster.
Purchase a weather radio to keep in your emergency kit that can
receive official warnings and notices if mobile networks get
jammed. Remember: Opt for a battery- or solar-powered model or one
that can be charged with a hand crank to ensure you have access
information in the event of a power outage.
While disasters aren't always predictable or preventable, there are
things you can do to minimize the potential harm to you, your family
and your home. Make sure your disaster preparedness checklist
includes how to plan for emergencies, which essentials to stock up
on, and how to use technology to stay plugged in throughout a
disaster. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be well positioned to
keep your household safe, even if the unexpected should occur.
Have you or a relative been to a doctor’s office and
been refused help in filling out paper work? Have you received
paperwork from a health care provider that you or your loved one could
Do you know your rights as a consumer with a visual disability?
Patient’s rights cover such topics as access to care, patient dignity,
confidentiality, and consent to treatment. The Americans with Disabilities Act and the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protect your rights and guarantee
you equal access to health care services.
It is your responsibility to assert your rights under these laws. If
you don’t ask for an accommodation no one will be aware that you need
large print, Braille, or an electronic version of information.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in
employment, state and local government, public accommodations,
commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.
ADA Title III: Public Accommodations
Title III covers businesses and nonprofit service providers that are
used by the public. These include hospitals, urgent care centers,
doctor’s offices, nursing homes and home health agencies.
Health care services must provide equal treatment in the way they
serve patients with disabilities. This means removing barriers in
Patients with visual disabilities have the right to have any written
materials either read to them or given to them in an alternate format
such as large print, Braille or on tape. This includes assistance with
filling out paper work, having hospital admission booklets, home
health agency information, doctor’s orders, and discharge plans
available in a format that is accessible to the patient.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
This law has similar protections for patients with disabilities. This
law applies to federal, state and local government and to any
non-profit organization or health care provider that receives federal
funds such as Medicare and Medicaid.
You should file your complaint as soon as possible. In some
instances, depending on the applicable law, you may have a limited
amount of time to file a complaint after the alleged incident of
file a complaint under these laws, make note of the date, time
and location of the discriminatory act, the name of the person
spoken to and his or her response upon requesting a reasonable
Department of Justice website for more information on a
person’s rights under these laws or call 1-800-514-0301.
percent of Americans said they are “terrified” or “very
concerned” that inflation will impede their ability to
pay for health care, Allianz Life Insurance Company of
North America found in a survey. The same concerns were
expressed about paying for long-term care (45%), living
the lifestyle they would like to have in retirement
(40%), being able to pay for housing (33%), paying for
groceries (29%) and being able to afford to travel
(27%). Read more »
the role of financial frictions in explaining the sharp and
persistent productivity growthslowdown in advanced economies after
the 2008 global financial crisis. Using a rich
cross-country,firm-level data set and exploiting
quasi-experimental variation in firm-level exposure to the
crisis,we find that the combination of pre-existing firm-level
financial fragilities and tightening creditconditions made an
important contribution to the post-crisis productivity slowdown.
Specifically:(i) firms that entered the crisis with weaker
balance sheets experienced decline in total factor productivity
growth relative to their less vulnerable counterparts after the
crisis; (ii) this declinewas larger for firms located in
countries where credit conditions tightened more; (iii)
financially fragile firms cut back on intangible capital
investment compared to more resilient firms, which isone
plausible way through which financial frictions undermined
productivity. All of these effectsare highly persistent and
quantitatively large-possibly accounting on average for about a
third of the post-crisis slowdown in within-firm total factor
productivity growth. Furthermore, our results are not driven by
more vulnerable firms being less productive or having experienced
slowerproductivity growth before the crisis, or differing from
less vulnerable firms along other dimensions.
the appropriate lump-sum compensation for loss of work income in
personal injury cases? Since generally future work income is not
known with certainty, compensation for its loss must be based on
statistical considerations. Typically, courts have based awards on
mean or median work income, but apparently without meaningful
grounding in economics. We use economic theory to address this
issue. We find that the relation between the appropriate
compensation and the mean and median work income depends on the
uncertainties of work income and of consumption facilitated by the
lump-sum compensation awarded, as well as the degree of risk
aversion. Since the consumption uncertainty associated with
compensation generally exceeds that associated with work income,
we conclude that the lump-sum compensation should exceed mean and
therefore median work income.
8/15: I gave up on them decades ago. Maybe it will get
investment, which is key to long-run economic growth, has also
been dismal during the now eight-year expansion.
"There is no precedent for the weakness of investment in the current
cycle. Nearly ten years later, real investment spending remains less
than 10% above its 2007 peak," Mason writes.
"This is slow even relative to the anemic pace of GDP growth, and
extremely low by historical standards. In the three previous
[economic] cycles lasting that long, real investment spending had
increased anywhere from 30% to 80%. Even shorter cycles saw
substantially greater investment growth."
The issue of no food will lead to a conflict 'like the world has never
seen' (If trump can use that, so can I)
I do not believe our civilization will make it to 2200
In 2016, a group of American and Japanese neuroscientists, led by
Hakwan Lau, reconditioned the brain
to remove traumatic fears. They used a so-called neurohacking
approach: They first identified threatening stimuli in the brain and
then offset their negative connotation by associating them with
pleasant stimuli, such as rewards. The promise of neurohacking is
that debilitating fears—such as arachnophobia or, more seriously,
post-traumatic stress disorder—could be reduced or even
eliminated. Neurohacking also offers a revolutionary path
forward for reducing cognitive biases, such as status quo bias or regret aversion,
which can be attributed to a natural fear of change.
a 2017 study
examined 38 natural field experiments that were designed to reduce
energy consumption. Once the treatment ended, energy savings
persisted in only 35 to 55 percent of nudge campaigns. The
researchers concluded that “there is still much that we do not
understand about habit formation and ways to induce changes in
Recent research in Neuron
provides the strongest evidence to date that habit formation is a matter
of controlling the level of activity in a specific brain region called
the orbitofrontal cortex.
Until a behavioral change is associated with a tangible brain change
in such keys cortical areas, it’s unlikely to become a habit and thus
unlikely to persist over time. Years of neuroscience studies have
shown that only persistent behavior change leaves traces of habit
formation in our brain
How can we distinguish neuroscience from neurobabble? A good first
step is to heed the advice of
neuroscientist Molly Crockett: “If someone tries to sell you something
with a brain on it, don’t just take them at their word. Ask the tough
questions, ask to see the evidence, ask for the part of the story
that’s not being told. The answers shouldn’t be simple, because the
brain is not simple.” And beyond the threat of neurobabble, we must
also realize that although neuroscientific techniques like sleep
conditioning can be used for good—to help people reduce their
biases—they have more malicious applications too.
In developed economies, for
example, the unemployment rate is close to cyclical lows reached in
2007, the money supply is rising nicely and so are asset prices (too
nicely for some!). In many respects, therefore, the global economy
is starting to look a bit more “normal.”
During the precrisis
period, global headline inflation was boosted by rapid increases in
oil and commodity prices driven by rapid industrialization in
emerging economies, especially China. But core inflation rarely
approached 2% during this period (Display). This suggests
that many of the forces holding inflation down might be structural
in nature, like demographics or technology.
problem is that many of the trials are uninteresting from a scientific
view, said Dr. Roy Herbst, the center’s chief of medical oncology. The
companies sponsoring these trials are not addressing new research
questions, he said; they are trying to get proprietary drugs approved.
the struggle to find patients for immunotherapy trials is challenging,
finding patients for another new type of cancer treatment can be next
The financial crisis that began
in the US housing market had turned, by August 2007, into a full-blown
global credit crunch that plunged countries around the world into
recession. In the US, the economic downturn was the deepest since 1945
and the longest since the Great Depression.The US economy had made
back that lost ground by 2011, but knock-on sovereign debt crises in
the eurozone would delay many European economies’ recovery — and for
some, the ground has still not been made up. Unemployment in Greece
remains at 23 per cent, some 15 percentage points higher than in 2007
study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that
while college-educated African Americans and Hispanics had more
assets than those without degrees, grads typically fared worse in
the face of financial turmoil.
College graduation and home ownership
rates among both of those minority groups have soared over the last
two decades, delivering more African American and Hispanic
families into the middle class. Yet a crippling economic
recession erased much of those gains for many families, who remain
mired in debt and struggling to reverse the devastation.
Having a degree in hand has opened up a
world of financial opportunities for African Americans and
Hispanics. The median income of African American and
Hispanic graduates in 2013 was at least twice as high, and the median
family wealth—retirement accounts and homes—was nearly four times
greater than people from those groups without degrees, according
to the report.
Despite the financial gains afforded by a
college degree, African American and Hispanic graduates suffer greater
losses of wealth than their less-educated counterparts.
Between 1992 and 2013, median wealth
declined by about 56 percent among college-educated African Americans
versus 3.8 percent among African-Americans without degrees, who may
have had less to lose. The findings are striking for Hispanics as
those with degrees during that time witnesses a 27 percent decline in
net worth, while those without degrees actually recorded a median 31
percent growth in wealth, according to the report.
After returning approximately 1.15% in July, high yield bonds are now
providing returns of approximately 5.41% in 2017, with CCC rated bonds
(7.89%) outperforming BB rated bonds (5.11%).1,2,3 Declining
to near a three-year low of 5.40% in late July, high yield bond yields
have since widened to 5.74% as commodity price volatility and an
increase in new-issue volume have taken some steam out of the recent
EFM- I have watched these for a long time and used them rarely. But it
may be worth more than a second chance since returns have been very good
8/13: Inflation and productivity
From a year earlier, core consumer prices rose 1.7%.9 The
report marked the latest sign of weakening inflation
pressures and rounded out a week of relatively lackluster U.S. economic
data. Earlier, the Labor Department said U.S. worker productivity
increased at an annual rate of 0.9% in the second quarter, up from a
0.1% growth rate in the first quarter of 2017.10 At
1.2%, year-over-year growth showed a modest pickup in worker
productivity.10 However, it remains subdued by historical
standards and shows few signs of breaking out of the slow
growth that has persisted over the past decade.11
EFM- I did not think that our economy would be strong enough for three
yield increases. It's a tossup- unless North Korea sullies the water.
If it is bad, look to a global destabilization and a potential
recession. Of course, maybe it might be Venezuela .that causes
8/13: Can you hear me now??
Communication for someone with a hearing impairment can be challenging,
but you can make a few simple adjustments to ensure the family
gathering is an inclusive and pleasant experience for everyone.
Position Yourself to Be Heard and Seen
It is important that you are in the best
position to be heard, as well as seen, by a person with hearing
loss. Face the person directly so that your face, especially your
mouth, is in plain sight. Do not obstruct your mouth with your
hands, or eat or drink, while trying to communicate.
If the person with hearing loss has a favorable ear, be sure to sit
on that side of them. When initiating conversation, be sure you
have their attention so that you are both focused on the conversation
and no words are lost or misunderstood. It is difficult for anyone to
jump into a conversation or respond to questions when they have not
heard what was spoken or asked of them.
Consider the lighting or other distractions as well, and avoid
interferences from obscuring the vision of the person with hearing
in a clear, concise manner without shouting and overemphasizing.
It is a common mistake for people to speak excessively slowly or
loudly to a person with hearing loss, which can lead to unnecessary
hurt feelings and embarrassment. In fact, exaggerated speech may even
make it more difficult for the person to hear what you are saying, as
words can sound distorted.
If the person is having trouble understanding what you are saying,
try rephrasing your words rather than repeating them. Sometimes saying
something in a different way can be less complicated and make it
easier for the him or her to understand you.
Consider the fact that we don’t just communicate with our words, we
also use facial expressions and gestures, so be sure to use these
visual cues when speaking with someone with hearing loss.
Reduce Background Noise
Background noise can be very distracting as well. The noise of the
television, radio or multiple conversations taking place around you
can obscure the words you are saying. Turn off background noise and
relocate to a quieter area to have the best possible conversation.
In addition to hearing loss, people with hearing impairments can also
to loud noises. Be mindful of this when considering background
Encourage Seniors to Wear Their Devices
Seniors have lots of legitimate reasons for not
wearing their hearing aids or other hearing devices. Often, the
cause comes down to simple discomfort. Help ensure that the senior is
wearing the hearing aid properly, the volume level is adequate and
that it fits properly. If they complain about any of these issues
you should get them in touch with their doctor or audiologist so that
modifications can be made, or their hearing can be checked to identify
any additional loss or problems.
Introduce the Concept of Perceptive Listening
What is perceptive listening? It’s using perception, context, visual
cues and pieces of the conversation the person has heard to
figure out what has been said. Encouraging the senior in your life to
use perceptive listening (which is a skill that, like any other,
should be practiced), will help them to regain some independence when
it comes to communicating with family, as well as with people outside
Show Patience and Understanding
Most importantly, when communicating with someone who is experiencing
hearing loss, be patient and understanding. Hearing loss can have a profound
effect on a person’s life and can cause frustration, social
withdrawal and depression. It is important to include people with
hearing loss in conversation, and make your best effort to accommodate
their needs. Doing this will ensure that family gatherings are a
fun-filled experience for everyone!
8/13 policy sample review
carriers are decreasing the conversion period and the number of
products to convert to.
passive and quantitative investors now account
for about 60 per cent of the US equity asset management industry, up
from under 30 per cent a decade ago. This is changing market
flows in potentially unpredictable ways that investors and regulators
do not entirely understand, and spawning some esoteric products. This
year, for example, investors have rushed into an obscure “Inverse Vix”
ETF that benefits from low volatility. This ETF is now the world’s
34th most actively traded equity security, exchanging hands more
often than the stock of Chevron or Pfizer, and has returned almost 100
per cent this year. It appears to have distorted measures of
volatility this year, creating an impression of calm
Economic growth in the UK appears to be losing a
little momentum, weighed down by a sluggish performance in the
services sector, according to estimates from the National Institute of
Economic and Social Research.The think-tank said on Thursday that
gross domestic product in the UK grew by 0.2 per cent in the three
months to July, after notching up 0.3 per cent of growth in the second
quarter. Niesr said the UK economy “continues to grow below its long
run trend of 0.6 per cent”. expects GDP to expand by 1.7 per cent
STEFANIA BORTOLOTTI, University
of Cologne - Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences,
University of Bologna - Department of Economics Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org IVAN SORAPERRA, Max Planck Society for the
Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Economics MATTHIAS SUTTER, Max Planck Society for the
Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on
Collective Goods, University of Cologne - Department of Economics CLAUDIA ZOLLER, University of Cologne
increase in inequality over the past decades has revived a lively
debate about what can be considered a fair distribution of income.
Public support for the extent of redistribution typically depends on
the perceived causes of income inequality, such as differences in
effort, luck, or opportunities. We study how fairness views and the
extent of redistribution are affected by a hitherto overlooked, but
relevant factor: immoral self-serving behavior that can lead to
increased inequality. We focus on situations in which the rich have
potentially acquired their fortunes by means of cheating. In an
experiment, we let third parties redistribute resources between two
stakeholders who could earn money either by choosing a safe amount
or by engaging in a risky, but potentially more profitable,
investment. In one treatment, the outcome of the risky investment is
determined by a random move, while in another treatment stakeholders
can cheat to obtain the more profitable outcome. Although third
parties cannot verify cheating, we find that the mere suspicion of
cheating changes fairness views of third parties considerably and
leads to a strong polarization. When cheating opportunities are
present, the share of subjects redistributing money from rich to
poor stakeholders triples and becomes as large as the fraction of
libertarians - i.e., participants who never redistribute. Without
cheating opportunities, libertarian fairness views dominate, while
egalitarian views are much less prevalent. These results indicate
that fairness views and attitudes towards redistribution change
significantly when people believe that income inequality is the
result of cheating by the rich.
I have been following your "Gripes" page for
several years. I think I came across it during an Internet search
about how fees impact investment results. During the time when you
still had a page with all sorts of links.
Let me just say that I have learned a lot,
and check your page regularly, notwithstanding your sometimes
off-color jokes (eyeroll). While I am far from being an expert, thanks
to your page and other sources, I believe that by now I have a decent
financial knowledge that helps me to actively plan ahead in accordance
with my risk tolerance.
Since I am currently in the throws of a
comprehensive pre-retirement financial review, including a rebalancing
of my investments, just today your link to the Vanguard index fund
comparison is very useful.
I have also referred several friends and
colleagues to your writings about how to care for loved ones with
Alzheimers, dementia etc.
So, thank you for compiling all this helpful
information and I hope you will continue to do so.
"It is easier to stay out than get
Vanguard has a “one stop” offering for investors wishing to simplify
their exposure to the U.S. equity market, namely the Vanguard Total
Stock Market Index fund (VTSMX).
VTSMX purportedly attempts to represent the performance of U.S.
large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks. But, it doesn’t. Rather, it
primarily replicates the performance of Vanguard 500 Index.
8/9. Employees dying earlier Bloomberg
In 2015, the American death rate—the age-adjusted share of Americans
dying—rose slightly for the first time since 1999. And over the
last two years, at least 12 large companies, from Verizon to General
Motors, have said recent slips in mortality improvement have led them to
reduce their estimates for how much they could owe retirees by upward of
a combined $9.7 billion, according to a Bloomberg analysis of company
filings. “Revised assumptions indicating a shortened longevity,” for
instance, led Lockheed Martin to adjust its estimated retirement
obligations downward by a total of about $1.6 billion for 2015 and 2016,
it said in its most recent annual report.
As regards social security- The most recent data available “show
continued mortality reductions that are generally smaller than those
projected,” according to a July report from the program’s chief actuary.
Longevity gains fell short of what was projected in last year’s report,
leading to a slight improvement in the program’s financial outlook
Death rates for Americans over the age of 50 have improved, on
average, by 1 percent each year since 1950, according to an by the
Society of Actuaries, though there’s a lot of variation in any given
year. From 2000 to 2009, that long-term trend seemed to be
accelerating, with annual improvements of 1.5 to 2 percent—but then
those gains stalled. From 2010 to 2014, death rates were only
improving by about half a percent per year.
In 1970, a 65-year-old American could to live another 15.2 years on
average, until just past their 80th birthday. By 2010, a 65-year-old
could expect to live to 84.
But the increases have slowed down since then. Life expectancy at 65
rose by just about four months between 2010 and 2015—half the
improvement recorded between 2005 and 2010.
The broader trend isn’t unique to the U.S. A July from the Institute
and Faculty of Actuaries in the United Kingdom found that the U.S.,
Canada, and Britain have all experienced similarly slowing gains since
2011. That report suggested the combination of the recession and cuts
to social safety-net programs may have played a role. “These signs
should be taken as warnings that worsened health care, behaviour and
environment can reverse decades of success in health and longevity,”
A small difference in global temperatures can make a big difference in
the climate: The difference between a rise in global temperatures of 1.5
degrees Celsius and one of 2 degrees Celsius, for example, could mean
longer heat waves, more intense rainstorms and the faster disintegration
of coral reefs
the draft report finds it “extremely likely” that more than half of the
global mean temperature increase since 1951 can be linked to human
The average annual temperature in the United States will continue to
rise, the authors write, making recent record-setting years “relatively
common” in the near future. It projects increases of 5.0 to 7.5 degrees
Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.8 degrees Celsius) by the late century, depending
on the level of future emissions.
It says the average annual rainfall across the
country has increased by about 4 percent since the beginning of the
20th century. Parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast are drying
up, while the Southern Plains and the Midwest are getting wetter.
“It is very likely that the accelerated rate of Arctic warming will have
a significant consequence for the United States due to accelerating land
and sea ice melting that is driving changes in the ocean including sea
level rise threatening our coastal communities,” the report says.
activity, the report goes on to say, is a primary culprit
At year-end 2015, 401(k) plan participants in their 20s held 80% of
their aggregate assets in equities, compared to 77% for their 1996
counterparts. In 1996, savers in their 20s allocated 55% of their
aggregate assets to equity funds, but the year-end 2015 data shows the
level dropping to 28% of assets invested in equity funds for that same
age group. In addition, the share of assets that 401(k) participants in
their 20s allocated to company stock fell from 17% in 1996 to 5% at
year-end 2015, the report shows.
Balanced Funds and TDFs
So what gives? “One factor influencing this trend is that today’s
younger investors are relying more on the automatic rebalancing
feature of target-date funds to keep their assets allocated in
an age-appropriate way as they progress through their careers,”
EFM- REbalancing in this market to bonds is a fool's game. Yields are
horrid and the FED is raising rates. So is all the education and
marketing of TDFs wrong??
YEP- not all obviously, but the risk scenario is way off base.
....these trends also are similar among all age groups in the
database. Overall for the period 1996 to 2015, allocations to company
stock decreased from 19% to 7%, allocations to equity funds decreased
from 53% to 43%, and balanced funds increased from 7% of assets to
Further noting the increasing popularity of TDFs, the EBRI/ICI 401(k)
database shows that investments in TDFs increased in 2015 to 20% of
assets, up from 5% at year-end 2006, and nearly half of the 401(k)
participants tracked in the database held these funds.
In addition, recently hired participants allocated a larger portion
of their balances to them. At year-end 2015, 60% of recently hired
participants held TDFs and accounted for more than one-third of their
(Look at all the statistics you want. Then check the bold print. If that
is true, there will be no retirement anywhere close to what they
The Blackstone Group conducted an internet-based survey in October of a
nationwide sample of 1,000 Americans age 52 to 70 with an annual
household income of between $30,000 and $100,000. The survey included
questions about middle-income boomers’ feelings at three points in time:
in 2006 (before the financial crisis), during the financial crisis and
Only 51% of respondents felt the economy had recovered somewhat from
the financial crisis, and 2% said it had fully recovered. The
remaining 47% did not believe the economy had recovered at all.
Two-thirds of boomers said they had not personally benefited from any
economic recovery since 2007. Of these, 52% reported that their savings
were lower today than before the financial crisis.
A Fraught Retirement
The CSR noted in a statement that before the crash, middle-income
boomers were already contending with a “new retirement” stemming
from changes to their retirement programs, as employers shifted
away from defined benefit plans such as pensions to defined
contribution plans, primarily 401(k) plans.
Today, middle-income boomers’ outlook for a secure retirement is
full of uncertainty, according to the survey.
Only 31% felt well prepared or very well prepared for retirement,
down from 41% before the financial crisis. Confidence that
retirement would be personally satisfying was also down, to 37%
from 44% before the crisis.
A recent report
showed that boomers had many goals still unmet for a comfortable
The CSR survey found that 57% of boomers felt confident in
meeting daily financial obligations, compared with 65% before the
Still, respondents’ confidence in their ability to make smart
investments decisions were near pre-crisis levels, 47% today
The survey found that middle-income boomers were adapting their
expectations to meet the realities of this new retirement.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were worried about
another financial crisis in their lifetime.
More than eight in 10 reported taking actions to manage their
spending behavior since the start of the 2007 crisis, such as
reducing their discretionary expenses and recurring monthly
expenses or creating and maintaining a household budget.
Twenty-eight percent said they had built up an emergency fund,
and 17% were saving a larger percentage of their paycheck than
before the crisis.
A recent report examined how
prepared Americans are for retirement.
Three-quarters of boomers in the CSR study reported that they had
changed their investment behavior as a result of the financial
crisis, most often taking defensive measures: 28% were making more
conservative investment choices and 18% were regularly reviewing
and adjusting investments.
One in four said they no longer invested at all.
Just about all of middle-income boomers said they still planned
to retire, but retirement will look different that before the
crisis in terms of income, work and debt.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they expected to rely on
Social Security for their primary source of retirement income,
compared with 30% before the crisis, while 19% both before the
crisis and today cited an employer pension.
Before the crisis, about a third of middle-income boomers
expected to work full time or part time in retirement. Today,
nearly half said they expected to work at least part time.
Only 34% of boomers said they would retire free of debt, down
from 45% before the crisis.
Ten years ago, 23% expected to have savings to pass along to
heirs, while today only 16% said they would leave an inheritance.
8/7: This is about Venezuela but it reflects a consist4ency of fraud,
corruption et al in most of South America. I had tried to give Mexico a
break years ago but that blew up too. South America has vast lands,
people who will work and we keep ending up with this type of crap.
Mounting crisis in Venezuela. This week, after an election that
was widely denounced as fraudulent, the United States labeled
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro a dictator and issued new
sanctions against him. In a new video primer, watch Dany Bahar,
Samantha Gross, and Ted Piccone discuss the current situation, what
Maduro is likely to do next, and how the international community can
EFM- I have given up for SA in terms of investing. I don't know if it
will EVER get its act together. Find some place else to invest
8/7:This guy is brilliant. You don't always have to accept his
position but you sure better know about it.
NEW YORK – Now
that US President Donald Trump has been in office for six months, we
can more confidently assess the prospects for the US economy and
economic policymaking under his administration. And, like Trump’s
presidency more generally, paradoxes abound.
The main puzzle
is the disconnect between the performance of financial markets and
the real. While stock markets continue to reach new highs, the US
economy grew at an average rate of just 2% in the first half of
2017 – slower growth than under President Barack Obama – and
is not expected to perform much better for the rest of the year.
investors continue to hold out hope that Trump can push through
policies to stimulate growth and increase corporate profits.
Moreover, sluggish wage growth implies that inflation is not
reaching the US Federal Reserve’s target rate, which means
that the Fed will have to normalize interest rates more slowly than
interest rates and a weaker dollar are good news for US stock
markets, and Trump’s pro-business agenda is still good for
individual stocks in principle, even if the air has been let out of
the so-called Trump reflation trade. And there is now less reason to
worry that a massive fiscal-stimulus program will push up the dollar
and force the Fed to raise rates. In view of the Trump
administration’s political ineffectiveness, it is safe to assume
that if there is any stimulus at all, it will be smaller than
characteristics shape human behaviour and influence a wide
range of life events and outcomes. They do so not only
through their direct effects on life outcomes, but also
through their indirect effects on other important personal
factors and intermediate life events, such as the
development of cognitive capacities, the attainment of
educational qualifications and the formation of a family. As
such, personality characteristics have a demonstrable
relevance for a wide range of policy issues and represent an
important, although often neglected, subject of policy
interest. This paper reviews the scientific literature
covering a wide range of personality characteristics,
discussing their conceptualisations and main features, their
relevance for important outcomes in life and work, and the
chief ways they are measured. It aims to provide a
comprehensive overview of various attributes of personality
from the perspective of their potential importance for the
Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), taking into account their
analytical potential and policy relevance. The paper also
outlines and evaluates the most important measurement
instruments for each personality characteristic, with a
focus on short self-report scales as the most appropriate
form for inclusion in large-scale international surveys.
Finally, it presents some considerations related to the
evaluation and promotion of personality characteristics and
introduces the substantive and measurement criteria that
could be used to select the personality attributes, and
related measurement scales, to include in large-scale
I have had a couple children who simply refused to recognize their
mother had dementia. Tough to work around denial. And since the mother
was incompetent, they really needed to try and get a release from her
when she might be competent (usually the morning, witnesses needed) or
try for a conservatorship.
8/7:Absolutely necessary.The return to a hospital is not only costly but
impacts the elderly's health severely
Under Trump, Hospitals Face Same Penalties Embraced by
"Amid all the turbulence over the future of the [ACA], one facet
continues unchanged: President Donald Trump's administration is penalizing
more than half the nation's hospitals for having too many patients
return within a month. Medicare is punishing 2,573 hospitals,
just two dozen short of what it did last year under former President
Barack Obama ... Starting in October, the federal government will cut
those hospitals' payments by as much as 3 percent for a year."
A behavior that commonly affects those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
disease and dementia, wandering can lead to death or serious injury.
Disorientation caused by the disease makes even familiar
surroundings seem unfamiliar to seniors, causing many people with
dementia to get into dangerous situations.
8/3: Iraq's weather service warned on Thursday that temperatures will
increase next week in most parts of the country, with the highs expected
to reach 51 degrees Celsius, or about 124 degrees Fahrenheit
EFM- a few more degrees and it makes life unsustainable for humans
According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 12.6% of U.S. adults age 20 and
older have diabetes, and about one-quarter of the members
of that group are unaware they have the condition. The numbers are
much worse for older Americans. The American Diabetes Association
(ADA) estimates that almost 26% of those age 65 and older are
there are some steps all people with diabetes can take to can improve
their offers of coverage, including:
Stop smoking. Being tobacco-free for at least a year
lets people with diabetes qualify for non-tobacco user ratings.
Use diabetes technology. Certain insurance companies
may offer a healthy lifestyle credit if applicants use technologies
like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems.
Diet and exercise. Applicants with good overall
health as a result of healthy diet and regular exercise receive more
favorable coverage offers.
Work on controlling your diabetes. If applicants
aren't seeing doctors at least annually, insurers might view that as
neglecting diabetes management. This could lead to a more expensive
coverage offer or postponement of an offer.
EFM- The bond debacle has been on my plate for a couple years as
interest rates were supposed to rise precipitously. Taking a lot
longer but another rise by the FED could make the market tumble.
We’ve made almost no progress reducing chronic absenteeism. In
the latest blog post from Evidence Speaks, Brian Jacob and Kelly
Lovett find that despite local and state efforts over the last 20
years, chronic school absenteeism remains an ever-present issue in
U.S. schools. Jacob and Lovett outline the causes, consequences, and
possible solutions to the problem.
EFM- Those that do not get a high school diploma are relegated to low
income tedious work. And they will lose those to simple robots. Then
you have a bunch of kids with nothing to do but join gangs and
Researches at Facebook shut down an artificial intelligence (AI)
program after it created its own language.
The researchers’ encounter with the mysterious AI behavior is
similar to a
number of cases documented elsewhere. In every case, the AI
diverged from its training in English to develop a new language.
The phrases in the new language make no sense to people, but contain
useful meaning when interpreted by AI bots.
Per Elon Musk- “AI is the rare case where I think we need to be
proactive in regulation instead of reactive,“Because I think by
the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’ll be too late.”
EFM- Is it already too late??? Think of those high frequency stock
programs. The AI's of competitors have probably been doing it
142 Americans dying every day,’ ‘America is enduring a death
toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.’ A commission, led by
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, states that the goals of such a
declaration would be to ‘force Congress to focus on funding’ and to
‘awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not
found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon
report also includes a number of recommendations to deal with the
ballooning opioid epidemic, such as expanding
capacity for drug treatment under Medicaid, increasing use of
medication-assisted treatments for opioid disorders, and mandating
that local law enforcement officers carry naloxone.
A World Health Organization (WHO)’s
study of 1,600 cities ranks the national capital Delhi as the most
polluted. Air pollution was 40 times more than
permissible safety limits prescribed by the WHO and 15 times greater
than Indian standards.
8/1: Americans’ Personal Financial Satisfaction Hits 10-Year High
EFM- I do not see this same optimism. Russia and particularly North
Korea have put us in a box. The Russia mess may calm down but an
aggressive North Korea won't really be interested in a
negotiated settlement to nuclear arms unless the U.S.gives away
the store. No matter the settlement, NK will dislodge itself
soon after and create another larger problem. They have broken all their
promises before and I see no reason why it will not continue.
main of this paper is to introduce a family of risk measures
which generalizes the Gini-type measures of risk and
variability, by taking into consideration the
psychological behavior. Our risk measures family is
coherent and catches variability with respect to the
decision-maker attitude towards risk.
It's what killed Sam Shepard. Roughly 35,000 Americans suffer from ALS.
That's just 1 or 2 people per 100,000,
If you are wondering about Stephen Hawking, he has the slow type ALS.
Shepard had the fast one
Brexit will push up costs for banks by as much as
4 per cent and their capital requirements will rise up to 30 per
cent, according to the most detailed assessment yet of what
Britain’s departure from the EU means for the sector.
findings by consultants Oliver Wyman will make grim reading for its
bank clients, many of which are struggling with low profitability.
They come a day after HSBC became the first lender to put a
price tag on Brexit, saying the immediate disruption would cost it
EFM I am still trying to figure out the ultimate impact of Brexit
but this is pretty bad
Then again we have Russia, North Korea as major danger points. At least
someone told Scaamucci to piss off. 10 days was too long.
Trump has some decent staff on hand. But Trump needs to be toned down.
If Kelly can calm him down- great. If not and Kelly resigns, kiss off
this presidency. .
EFM= I knew that it impacted a huge number of people but not that it was
the leading cause of disability. For those in the financial planning
arena, if you recognize an inconsistency with you client, be careful.
They do not necessarily understand what is really going on. The agent
has to be careful in explaining everything in detail and taking copious
notes. Do not expect such clients are acting rationality.
show that optimistic beliefs regarding the role of effort in
success, while leading to success, diminish the individual’s
sympathy toward the unsuccessful. We generate random
variation in the degree of optimism about the productivity
of effort via an effective educational intervention. We find
that treated children, holding significantly more optimistic
beliefs, are no less likely than control to give to unlucky
recipients, but significantly less likely to give to those
who failed at a real effort task despite an opportunity to
build skill. The results highlight possible unintended
social effects of effort-focused optimism and have
implications for political economy.
7/29: Fentanyl- 50 times more powerful than heroin.
Two to three milligrams of fentanyl—the equivalent of five to seven
grains of table salt—is enough to cause respiratory depression,
cardiac arrest or death
So what happens if a terrorist brings a sealed bottle on an airplane,
train. into the air vent at hotels etc. Doesn't seem that there is a
plan in place to stop this transfer. Easy way to kill everyone on an
airplane including the pilots.
Yemen is experiencing an outbreak of "unprecedented
scale," according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Since
April, more than 400,000 people have been infected, and close to 2,000
have died. More than 5,000 Yemenis are estimated to contract the
disease, or have symptoms of cholera, on a daily basis. Children under
age 15 account for more than 40% of all cases, and people over age 60
make up a third of all deaths from the disease.
"This outbreak is being driven by conflict, the
collapse of the basic public services and malnutrition,"
“No reasons, logic, rationalizations, or excuses make it
okay to publicly embarrass colleagues or subordinates.
“Leaders take heed, it is quite simple but against the grain:
Thou shalt not provoke public loss of face in employees.
The price to be paid is typically steep.
And the act of publicly demeaning employees is toxic, and it
ultimately seeps into organizational culture.
It is not fun to be a member of a workplace where disapproval
means a public flogging.”
Alan Goldman, a professor of management
Foot care: Pay attention. I am driving a neighbor to doctors
after having part of both feet amputated. But she is not paying
attention to what she knows she should do. Still smoking is the worst.
No exercise. Eats wrong foods
Never soak your feet.
Never apply heat of any kind to your feet.
Never cut your own toenails, refer to a podiatrist or medical doctor.
Never go barefoot.
Never assume that the circulation or sensation in your feet is
Never use strong medications on your feet (be careful of over-the-
Never allow corns or calluses to go untreated.
Never perform bathroom surgery on your feet.
Never wear shoes that do not fit properly.
Always wear white socks, as colored socks contain dyes.
Wear acrylic fiber socks, which are actually more absorbent than
cotton as it "wicks" moisture way from the skin.
Never keep your feet too moist or dry.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have any questions about or
problems with your feet.
This week has taken me on a journey I never wanted to
take. For the first time, my mother does not know me. She has lost all
connection to my face, my identity and my voice. For the past five
years, Mom has been living with Alzheimer’s and lives in a rest home
nearby. Every day, my husband and I have visited her and taken her out
for a ride or for tea. It has been a special ritual that helped her
quality of life and provided sensory stimulation Likewise, it has
given us the satisfaction of knowing she looked forward to our times
In December, she became 100 years old. Even then, she was able to
walk without a cane and chat about the simple joys of nature, trees,
sunshine, clouds and changing weather. I often joked that she is my
best teacher on focusing and coming into the present moment.
July 2009 will long live in my memory. It is the beginning of an
ending. It marks the beginning of an end of life as we knew it and an
ending of a life as her only child, her daughter.
After returning from a few days’ vacation, my husband and I were both
shocked to find that my mom has “lost” any memory of us or the fact
that we are married. She has forgotten entirely that we have been
coming to see her daily for the past five years. She continues to ask
me who I am, if I know where her daughter is and why her daughter
never comes to visit.
I am familiar with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. I knew that this
could happen one day, although one is never prepared for the emotional
impact of becoming a total stranger to your own mother.
These changes are further evidence that the disease in now
progressing full scale to take away even the smallest consolations we
had as caregivers and that she had lviing with Alzheimer’s.
Unless one has had an “up close and personal” encounter with a family
member who has dementia, it is difficult to imagine the heartbreak it
creates and the amount of emotional readjustment it demands from both
caregiver and loved one.
I have been told that the best way to approach our visits now is to
avoid making any reference to being her daughter. Unless she brings it
up, I do not mention that I have been there to see her. In spite of
the personal pain I am feeling, it is important to confront the
reality and not walk away from her at a time when she is most
Consequently, I must now try to focus on the calmness and comfort I
can bring to her. We have let go of titles and relationships. We are
now just two pilgrims on this journey and our focus is on how to
relate purely at the heart level. I am holding on to the moments of
comfort in the midst of pain and suffering over a lifetime of lost
IMF cuts growth forecasts for UK and US The IMF has cut its growth forecast for the UK economy
this year to 1.7 per cent, citing tepid economic performance and
uncertainty over Brexit. The 3 percentage point downgrade was the
biggest it made to any of the advanced economies, although it
also cut its forecast for the US to 2.1 per cent. The eurozone is
expected to outperform the UK economy with 1.9 per cent growth. (FT.
I do not believe the U.S. will see 3% growth for a long long time.
The U.S. budget is in taters. 4% growth is a fabrication at best.
is a group of disorders that affect
connective tissues, which are tissues that support the skin, bones,
blood vessels, and other organs. Defects in connective tissues cause
the signs and symptoms of Ehlers-Danlossyndrome, which vary from mildly loose joints to
CAPM provides an economic foundation for Graham and Dodd’s
(1934) Security Analysis. Expected returns vary
cross-sectionally, depending on firms’ investment,
profitability, and expected investment growth. Empirically, many
anomaly variables predict future changes in
investment-to-assets, in the same direction in which these
variables predict future returns. However, the expected
investment growth effect in sorts is weak. The investment CAPM
has different theoretical properties from Miller and
Modigliani’s (1961) valuation model and Penman, Reggiani,
Richardson, and Tuna’s (2017) characteristic model. In all, value
investing is consistent with efficient markets.
Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and
residents of developing countries may download this paper
without additional charge at www.nber.org.
“They are very common among dying
patients in hospice situations,”. “Those who are dying and seem to
be in and out of this world and the ‘next’ one often find their
deceased loved ones present, and they communicate with them. In many
cases, the predeceased loved ones seem [to the dying person] to be
aiding them in their ‘transition’ to the next world.”
EFM: Do NOT argue with them or tell them no one is really there.
Find some nice way of moving the conversation elsewhere but there is
no sense at all to try to get them to 'understand' reality. Most of
that is gone already,
and quantify a new channel through which the housing market
affects household spending: the home purchase channel. Using an
event-study design with data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey,
we show that households spend on average $3,700 more in the months
before and the first year following a home purchase. This spending
is concentrated in the home-related durables and home improvements
sectors, which are complementary to the purchase of the house.
Expenditures on nondurables and durables unrelated to the home
remain unchanged or decrease modestly. We estimate that the home
purchase channel played a substantial role in the Great Recession,
accounting for one-third of the decline in home-related durables
spending and a fifth of the decline in home maintenance and
investment spending from 2005 to 2010, together totaling $14.3
7/23: Can You Put Your Retirement Plan on Autopilot?
"Having quality service providers is a good idea but they
cannot relieve you, your company or your other in-house
fiduciaries from all responsibility for investment and
administrative decisions. Second, some financial advisory
firms charge extra to act as 'investment managers.' You may
find that the 'extra protection' afforded by this arrangement
is not really worth the additional expense. Finally, consider
other alternatives to mitigate fiduciary liability. This may
include steps like adopting a suitable investment policy
statement or obtaining fiduciary insurance."
EFM- actually you can. I just filed a patent showing how it can
and should be done.
There are only two ways to interpret these forecasts. Either
economists were ridiculously optimistic at the beginning of the
millennium or the US economy spent the first decade of the 2000s
operating far below its “potential”.
Standard theory* suggests the first interpretation is closer to the
truth: technocrats at the central bank and the budget office were
deluded into believing the anomaly of the late 1990s would continue
Their error seemed plausible at the time because both institutions
had spent the second half of the 1990s consistently under-estimating
the economy’s ability to grow.
Back in 1996, for example, the CBO
expected “potential output” would only grow at a yearly average
rate of “about 2.1 percent” from 1997-2006. That was about a
percentage point slower than what actually happened, and about two
percentage points slower than the average growth rate in 1997-2000.
Similarly, the Fed’s staff economists thought potential output had a
“2 percent trend” back
By the time they’d finally corrected their earlier errors the world
had changed again and they were left looking as foolish as people
buying the S&P at a Shiller earnings multiple in the 40s.
EFM- You have seen my comments about
long term trends. You may have to make some guesstimates when
looking at retirement over 30 years or so. But you can only do so
with a range of probabilities.
But looking past 5 years for being definitive is a losing bet. If I
come close with inflation, returns, budget et al after 5 years
I'd like to say I was good at projections. But it might be pure dumb
luck as well.
That said, my warnings for recessions in 2000 and 2006 were 'spot
7/23:Fewer children globally (Alana Semuels)
The explanation for the country’s low birth rate, one that has
implications for the U.S.: Japan’s birth rate may be falling because
there are fewer good opportunities for young people, and especially
men, in the country’s economy. In a country where men are still
widely expected to be breadwinners and support families, a lack
of good jobs may be creating a class of men who don’t marry and
have children because they—and their potential partners—know they
can’t afford to.
“The gender stuff is pretty consistent with trends around the
world—men are having a harder time,” “The birth rate is
down, even the coupling rate is down. And people will say the
number-one reason is economic insecurity.”
Since the postwar years, Japan had a tradition of “regular
employment,” as labor experts commonly call it, in which men started
their careers at jobs that gave them good benefits, dependable
raises, and the understanding that if they worked hard, they could
keep their jobs until retirement. Now, according to Jeff Kingston, a
professor at Temple University’s Japan campus and the author of
several books about Japan, around 40 percent of the Japanese
workforce is “irregular,” meaning they don’t work for companies
where they have stable jobs for their whole careers, and instead
piece together temporary and part-time jobs with low salaries and no
In a culture that places such an emphasis on men being breadwinners,
this has serious implications for marriage and childbearing. Men who
don’t have regular jobs are not considered desirable marriage
partners; even if a couple wants to get married, and both have
irregular jobs, their parents will likely oppose it, according to
Ryosuke Nishida, a professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology who
has written about unemployment among young workers. About 30 percent
of irregular workers in their early 30s are married, compared to 56
percent of full-time corporate employees, according to Kingston.
“Japan has this idea that the man is supposed to get a regular job,”
said Nishida. “If you graduate and you don't find a job as a regular
employee, people look at you as a failure.”
7/23: Very low volatility
1950s, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been
produced, about half of it since 2004.
7/23: Trump threw Sessions under a bus. Maybe Rex Tillerson???
ExxonMobil has sued the US Treasury in an
attempt to stop a fine for allegations it behaved with
“reckless disregard” for violating Russian sanctions while Rex
Tillerson, now US secretary of state, was chief executive in
The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control
fined Exxon the maximum penalty of $2m in what it called an
“egregious” case, saying it had failed to disclose breaches of
sanctions over deals with Igor Sechin, chief executive of
Russia’s state-controlled oil group Rosneft. (FT)
7/23: I had no idea of the average cost of a wedding was this high.
I could buy a whole mess of fishing gear with that amount of money.
(A number of fish are now laughing hysterically since my catch rate
ability recently is terrible.)
is 17 years since the crash of tech stocks after dotcom mania and
the long crawl back by the sector. “Earnings are a lot more solid
now,” one expert said. But money managers are still hesitant on
the sector. Banks have overtaken tech stocks as the most overweighted sector, according to
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s most recent fund manager survey
Grief is often a foreign feeling for most until they are
faced with it head on. When you lose a loved one, it can be hard to do
much of anything, but life must go on. From the heirloom furniture
passed through generations to old love notes, choices are thrust into
your lap whether you are ready or not. Decisions are immense or can be
something as simple as what to do about the food in your loved one’s
For some, settling an estate and sorting through the items left
behind brings closure. For others, it can make a difficult time even
worse. Here are five tips to honor your loved one and yourself during
this difficult time:
Take a moment
After the initial loss, grief is forefront to other emotions and life
feels chaotic. Advice comes from every direction whether you ask for
it or not. Many will tell you to hurry through the sorting and
delegating of items. Personally, I advise clients to take a moment,
and a deep breath before you make hasty decisions. This will prevent
future family arguments and possible regrets.
If finances and circumstances allow, give yourself a good 30 days
before jumping into any major decision-making in the dissolution of
your loved one’s legacy. Also, you need to use this time to move
through your grief and find healing. If you push it away or ignore it,
grief will manifest in disruptive and painful ways. This is your time
to process it in its freshest state.
Don’t do it alone
If your family works well together, use this time to revisit old
memories. Choose what physical talismans of those memories you wish to
If you find yourself explaining and justifying your choices to your
friends or family, they are not the right ones to assist you during
this time. Look for someone who is empathetic. Try to involve
individuals around you that allow you to make choices without
Ideal supporters at this time are organized and show up with an open
and clear mind.
Honor their memory.
Of the items you will keep or distribute to friends and family, there
is likely to be a surplus of belongings that can be useful to someone
not in the immediate family. Not every member of the family even wants
to take your loved one’s items. But who should get these items?
Focus on local organizations. Small non-profits and thrift
organizations can thrive from your donations. Make choices that feel
good and honor the wishes of your loved one. Think about organizations
that were important to them, and their beliefs. If they did not have a
connection with any organization, what charities are important to you?
Through selecting organizations that resonate with you or your loved
one, the entire process can be a healing one that benefits many.
Keep track of your decisions.
Six months to a year after you dissolve your loved one’s material
legacy, when the dust clears from the darkness, different individuals
might inquire about particular objects. How about dad’s golf clubs?
Mom’s crystal glasses? The family photos?
This is where your helpful, empathetic friend comes into play again.
Have them help you keep track of your decisions. You are then able to
look back and know what decisions you made. Knowing what went where
will be incredibly efficient in the long run. List each item and
assign it a number, then add the location the item came from and
who/where the item is going. This offers peace of mind, and prevents
Take care of yourself
This process is difficult, but you need to prioritize your needs,
too. Your basic needs such as hydration, nutrition, and rest are
essential during this period. You might not feel like doing much of
anything, but covering the basics will preserve your future well-being
and health. It is easy to be distracted by the emotions and the
intimidating amount of work that lies ahead.
Sickness is common in this period, as your body responds to the grief
and stress. Don’t neglect your health, job, friends, other family
members and the need to grieve. Taking care of yourself not only
honors you, but your loved one as well
assisted living. nursing home. continuing care,
7/16: Perhaps his election will really help the lower caste
political establishment is set to elect Ramnath Kovind, a
lawyer-turned-politician with the ruling Bharatiya Janata party,
to the presidency. Mr Kovind is from a family of Dalits — those
on the lowest rungs of Hinduism’s hierarchical caste ladder.
He has practised as a Supreme Court lawyer and served two terms in
parliament’s upper house, and is unopposed. The presidency is
primarily ceremonial but becomes important during any political or
constitutional crisis. The president is elected by members of
parliament and state-level legislators
7/16: Traveling with dementia
Airports Educating Staff on How to Be
London’s Heathrow Airport has committed to training
workforce to build their understanding of
dementia and other disabilities.
The goal is to create a more calm and comfortable
environment for any passengers living with the
Security, with its long lines and metal
detectors, can be one of the likeliest places to
trigger anxiety and frustration for passengers with
dementia. Heathrow is now examining how security
personnel can carry out their job without adding
The Lanyard System and Quiet Rooms
Not only has Gatwick Airport (south of London)
implemented a similar training campaign, they’ve
offered passengers the option of wearing hidden
disability lanyards. The voluntary program
allows passengers to indicate discretely that they
might require additional assistance.
The lanyards are recognizable to staff without any
logos or other information, so passengers
maintain a sense of privacy. It can also be removed,
and travelers can choose to only display it
when they feel a situation might become especially
If lanyards aren’t suitable, badges, bracelets and
pins are also available. These accessories
indicate that the wearer might:
Need more time to process information
Need to remain with family
Need staff to use clear verbal language as it
may be difficult to understand facial expressions
and/or body language
Need staff to be visual with instructions
Need a more comprehensive briefing on what to
expect as they travel through the airport
React to sensory overload
The bustle of airports can also cause passengers
living with dementia to become overstimulated.
Heathrow plans to create designated “quiet areas”
and rooms so passengers can recover from the
confusion and stress of the airport there.
Arrive early and avoid the
unnecessary stress of rushing
Go through security behind your
companion, so you will be on hand to
Have your companion carry a copy of your
name and phone number in case you get
Speak with airport staff – be
clear about the situation, and the capabilities of
your loved one
Seek out a quiet place – if the
airport does not have a designated quiet space, a
prayer room can also give you time and space to
Travel light – taking less
luggage allows you to easily keep within touching
not have to stop someone from traveling. Even
if an airport has not fully adopted
dementia-friendly practices, we can learn from the
ones that have and take steps to ensure the
well-being of our loved ones living with dementia.
What travel tips do you have for someone
traveling with a loved one who has dementia? What
changes would you like to see in airports to make
travel more accessible to those living with
dementia? Share your thoughts with us in the
Many loved ones will not tell their caregiver of an onset of hearing
loss, for fear of losing independence. Instead, they become isolated,
depressed, angry, lonely, frustrated and even physically ill. Some
telltale signs are when a loved one withdraws from their normal social
activities, refuses to attend family and friend gatherings, or doesn’t
answer the phone anymore, saying they were busy or unavailable. Any
avoidance of conversation is cause for concern.
have trouble distinguishing between words that sound alike
offer responses to questions that do not make sense, have a hard
time understanding women and children
turn head to one side, or cup an ear to hear better
respond often with a smile and nod, but no further comments
have difficulty with conversation while riding in a vehicle
withdraw from group discussions and gatherings
not hear the phone or doorbell, and
have the volume on a TV or radio set extremely loud.
Some physical symptoms that may occur with hearing loss include a
ringing, roaring, hissing or buzzing in the ear, also known as
tinnitus; ear pain, itching or irritation; fluid or pus leaking from
the ear; and vertigo. Caregivers can keep a watchful eye on their
loved one for these behaviors and physical symptoms.
If a caregiver suspects a hearing loss, it is important to have it
checked soon, in order to prevent problems down the road. A loved one
might resist, but this is where the “caregiver persistence” and tough
love come in.
Here is how to handle some common objections a loved one may raise to
having their hearing checked.The first common objection is that the
“other people simply aren’t talking loud enough.” In the ears of
a person with hearing loss, everyone is mumbling. A caregiver can tell
their loved one that it may be a simple medical problem such as wax
buildup and an exam can rule out certain medical concerns and treat
Second, many seniors are concerned with spending money. They may say,
“It would cost too much to get a hearing aid!” The commitment
associated with hearing aids or other devices is looked at as
permanent and thus, a large cost. A caregiver must realize that while
this is true, a quality of life has its own cost. Both caregiver and
loved one must weigh their options once a hearing loss is diagnosed.
And third, people of all ages are worried about appearing “old.” A
hearing aid only increases that perception in many minds. Caregivers
should remind their loved one that continually asking people to repeat
themselves and being left out of conversation can be a more visible
indicator of age than a hearing aid. Also, with today’s technology,
hearing aids are less imposing and noticeable than ever before.
If a caregiver is prepared to thwart excuses with a little
preparation before, a loved one will feel that their caregiver is
competent, educated and safe to care for them. It will instill a
confidence in a loved one when a caregiver is knowledgeable and
There are many ways to protect a loved one’s hearing and make living
with the condition as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
First, don’t shout! Many caregivers may think that talking louder and
slower is helpful, but in actuality, it distorts the conversation even
more for a person with hearing loss. Professionals suggest speaking at
a normal speed and tone, with small modifications, is best.
Background noise is a huge deterrent for loved ones with hearing
loss. Try to eliminate these distractions as much as possible. If at
home and having a conversation, turn off the TV or radio, fan or other
electric device. Shut windows if traffic noise is an issue.
After the noise is limited and a conversation can occur, talking
face-to-face is best. A group setting may be hard for a person with
hearing loss to catch multiple conversations.
In addition to these talking tips, there is some physical maintenance
which can help maintain a loved one’s hearing. Begin by scheduling a
yearly physical. Many times, caregivers are running a loved one to the
doctor for a variety of ailments. However, a yearly physical is one
appointment not to be overlooked. This is the best way to detect and
also prevent many medical problems.
Just as a person makes a yearly trip to the eye doctor and needs a
prescription to buy new glasses, every person in their senior years
should have their ears checked as well. A hearing test will reveal
what a loved one may have been “missing” and not even known.
Exercise and eating healthy are as important to ear health as to
heart health. A healthy lifestyle leads to increased focus and
response in all areas of life, including hearing. The body functions
as a whole, so nourishing it properly will reap benefits for a long
time. A caregiver should encourage a loved one to be healthy in all
A caregiver must be an advocate for their loved one with hearing
loss. The first step is always education. Know the signs of hearing
loss, and steps to take following a diagnosis. Learn about the many
technological advances that can help a loved one live a fulfilling
life despite the challenges.
Many public places including hotels, churches, museums, auditoriums,
theaters, etc. provide assistive technology for the hearing impaired.
When it’s available, make sure a loved one uses it. And if not
available, explain to the staff the importance of these devices. A
little planning ahead can make for a fun trip on the town and
eliminate a loved one’s feeling of being left out.
By learning the best ways to communicate, a caregiver can pass along
these tips to other family members and friends. Simple strategies can
increase communication, lessen stress and promote an enjoyable time
for all involved.Communication is always a two-way street. Whether the
loved one coping with the hearing loss or the caregiver learning how
to navigate new waters, it takes both parties working together to have
a successful outcome. It’s both persons’ responsibility to do their
best in every situation and always show respect for the other’s
Hearing Institute says that one of the most loving things a
caregiver can do is help their loved one come to terms with their
diagnosis. This may be even harder than the actual purchase of hearing
aids or assistive devices. Loss of hearing is a scary venture into
uncharted waters for anyone with a recent diagnosis. A caregiver
should be a constant support through the highs and lows of hearing
loss. Once it’s properly treated, both sides will be glad they
addressed the issue, together.
7/12: I knew we were exporting a lot of oil but I did not think it
would be this much. I wonder if the comment includes all the problems
with horizontal drilling, contamination of ground water and those
the demise of humans due to climate change. I figure there might be
ways for civilization to get to 2050. But then it's all
bad from there.
contains 1.8 trillion tons of carbon, more than twice as much as is
currently suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it thaws and is
released, that carbon may evaporate as methane, which is 34 times as
powerful a greenhouse-gas warming blanket as carbon dioxide when
judged on the timescale of a century; when judged on the timescale
of two decades, it is 86 times as powerful. In other words, we have,
trapped in Arctic permafrost, twice as much carbon as is currently
wrecking the atmosphere of the planet, all of it scheduled to be
released at a date that keeps getting moved up, partially in the
form of a gas that multiplies its warming power 86 times over.
At 11 or 12
degrees of warming, more than half the world’s population, as
distributed today, would die of direct heat
Since 1980, the
planet has experienced a 50-fold increase in the number of places
experiencing dangerous or extreme heat; a bigger increase is to
come. The five warmest summers in Europe since 1500 have all
occurred since 2002
and plants vary, but the basic rule for staple cereal crops grown at
optimal temperature is that for every degree of warming, yields
decline by 10 percent. Some estimates run as high as 15 or even 17
percent. Which means that if the planet is five degrees warmer at
the end of the century, we may have as many as 50 percent more
people to feed and 50 percent less grain to give them
There are now, trapped in Arctic ice, diseases that have not
circulated in the air for millions of years — in some cases, since
before humans were around to encounter them. Which means our immune
systems would have no idea how to fight back when those prehistoric
plagues emerge from the ice.
For every degree
increase in temperature, the Malaria parasite reproduces ten times
faster. Which is one reason that the World Bank estimates that
just crossed 400 parts per million, and high-end estimates
extrapolating from current trends suggest it will hit 1,000 ppm by
2100. At that concentration, compared to the air we breathe
now, human cognitive ability declines by 21 percent.
half-degree of warming, they say, societies will see between a 10
and 20 percent increase in the likelihood of armed conflict
Celsius of warming costs, on average, 1.2 percent of GDP (an
enormous number, considering we count growth in the low single
digits as “strong”). This is the sterling work in the field, and
their median projection is for a 23 percent loss in per capita
earning globally by the end of this century (resulting from changes
in agriculture, crime, storms, energy, mortality, and labor).
ticket on flights from New York to London costs the Arctic three
more square meters of ice.
can initiate a feedback loop in which underoxygenated waters
breed different kinds of microbes that turn the water still more
“anoxic,” first in deep ocean “dead zones,” then gradually up
toward the surface. There, the small fish die out, unable to
breathe, which means oxygen-eating bacteria thrive, and the feedback
loop doubles back. This process, in which dead zones grow like
cancers, choking off marine life and wiping out fisheries, is
already quite advanced in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and just off
Namibia, where hydrogen sulfide is bubbling out of the sea along a
thousand-mile stretch of land known as the “Skeleton Coast.”
The name originally referred to the detritus of the whaling
industry, but today it’s more apt than ever. Hydrogen sulfide is so
toxic that evolution has trained us to recognize the tiniest, safest
traces of it, which is why our noses are so exquisitely skilled at
registering flatulence. Hydrogen sulfide is also the thing that
finally did us in that time 97 percent of all life on Earth died,
once all the feedback loops had been triggered and the circulating
jet streams of a warmed ocean ground to a halt — it’s the
planet’s preferred gas for a natural holocaust.
six-degree-warmer world, the Earth’s ecosystem will boil with so
many natural disasters that we will just start calling them
“weather”: a constant swarm of out-of-control typhoons and tornadoes
and floods and droughts, the planet assaulted regularly with climate
events that not so long ago destroyed whole civilizations.
If the universe is
so big, then why haven’t we encountered any other intelligent life
in it? The answer, they suggested, is that the natural life span of
a civilization may be only several thousand years, and the life span
of an industrial civilization perhaps only several hundred. In a
universe that is many billions of years old, with star systems
separated as much by time as by space, civilizations might emerge
and develop and burn themselves up simply too fast to ever find one
EFM- Those born in
2020 will have a life expectancy of 60- 70. Maybe even shorter.
Their children's children will not live long unless they have a LOT
of money to insulate themselves from the dire lives of those
in the future will need to explore a dying world.