Last week I wrote a brief post explaining why guaranteed government old age pensions, like Social Security in the United States, the State Pension in the United Kingdom, or Old Age Security in Canada, are the only mechanism that has ever been invented for ensuring security and dignity in retirement, and need to be centered in any attempt to reduce elder poverty. This is not … [Read more...] about Why is it necessary to give the problem a name?
Archives for October 2018
The risks of specialized knowledge
The other day, I received an invitation to an event at the Brookings Institution called "The new American dream: Retirement security." This seemed right up my alley, so I clicked through to see the event details. The description starts off with some generic language: "The American dream has drawn millions to the 'land of opportunity' and long encapsulated the idea that every … [Read more...] about The risks of specialized knowledge
What’s the optimal amount of self-employment income?
Because of the antipathy of American politicians to low-income people, who mostly don't vote and mostly don't make large campaign contributions, we've been blessed with a fractured and dysfunctional welfare state, designed to make income support as cumbersome and difficult as possible to receive, even or perhaps especially for those people who are, in fact, entitled to … [Read more...] about What’s the optimal amount of self-employment income?
Something finally happened in the stock market. What did you do?
It's been a boring year in the stock market. If you bought Vanguard's S&P 500 ETF on October 16, 2017, and held it until this last Friday, you would have earned a mere 10% in price appreciation, and a mere 2-4% in dividends (I can't be bothered to look up the exact historical dividend yield at the moment). If you assume 2% inflation (and no, I don't know why people assume … [Read more...] about Something finally happened in the stock market. What did you do?
It’s October, time to shuffle around your high-interest accounts
As I wrote last month, my favorite high-interest checking account, the Free Rewards Checking account from Consumers Credit Union, has dropped the maximum balance eligible for their highest interest rate tier from $20,000 to $10,000 (while raising that rate up to 5.09%). While the account is still more than worthwhile (it also offers unlimited worldwide ATM fee reimbursement), … [Read more...] about It’s October, time to shuffle around your high-interest accounts