Master Financial Education
Financial Planning Daily Commentary 2016
The  most intensive and extensive on the Web
E. F. Moody Jr.

EFM@EFMoody.com

 PhD, MSFP, MBA, LLB, BSCE

 
I have asked EF Moody to provide a brief example of what he has actually found on behalf of a client who engaged his services to review the insurance contracts which funded the client's estate plan. You will be amazed. In my 30 years in the business, I have never seen an authoritative, objective, prudent expert speak so clearly on the use of insurance. What Errold can do is unique in the industry.

Steven Winks

Secretary of State John Kerry - In America,  "you have a right to be (as) stupid (as) you want to be."
(But too many Americans are abusing the privilege)

Why did our systems fail and why will they continue to do so?  From Paul Volcker

"our economics are based on “an unjustified faith in rational expectations, market efficiencies and the techniques of modern finance"

You must not believe everything you think

Stephan Thomas Vitas

You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

Kevin Kind


Words  are chosen in order to influence us as manipulable objects, not to inform us as autonomous subjects.

Stephen Colbert


language intentionally designed to influence rather than inform is now ubiquitous in the business of sports and politics and markets
 Why? Because it works.

Ben Hunt

Hatred is too strong an emotion to waste on someone you don't even like

Dr. Who


Be careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.
 Al Capone


Investing is not easy. Anyone thinking that it is, is stupid

Charlie Munger


There is no sense in being precise when you do not know what you are talking about

        John von Neumann


“ . . . there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”

 Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken


“As skill improves, performance becomes more consistent, and therefore luck becomes more important.”
Michael Mauboussin

“in preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”

Dwight Eisenhower

'The Federal Reserve is a giant weapon that has no ammunition left'

Former Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher


The reason the professors teach nonsense is that if they didn’t, what would they teach the rest of the semester?

Teaching people formulas that don’t really work in real life is a disaster for the world.”

Charlie Munger

“The expected rarely occurs and never in the expected manner.”

– Vernon A. Walters

Nations rise and fall with the quality of their leaders, and their leaders succeed and fail based upon who they are at their core – what they believe, how they think, and what they do. Nothing shapes a leader or a society like their education or lack thereof. Let me be clear: when I refer to an education, I’m not referencing earning a degree, I’m talking about developing a rich intellect – they are not always one and the same.

Mike Myatt


 "If you see fraud and don't shout fraud, you are a fraud"

Nassim Taleb

“We really can’t forecast all that well, and yet we pretend that we can, but we really can’t.”

Alan Greenspan


. I do not base my forecasts on mathematical models or some finely honed methodology, but on my sense of where the economic world stands today and where I think it might likely be in the near future.

Actually, I’m going to spend the first few pages demonstrating that the mathematical models used to forecast GDP and all sorts of interesting economic events are basically nonsense.

John Mauldin


The essence of investment management entails the management of risk, not the management of returns.

Benjamin Graham


“If you are not confused about the economy, you don’t understand it very well.”

Charlie Munger


The least competent are the most certain of their skills

Dunning-Kruger effect

"In equity markets, high-frequency traders (HFTs) ... account for a larger share of transactions. "Indeed, trading in the U.S. nowadays is concentrated at the beginning and the last hour of the trading day, when HFTs are most active; for the rest of the day, markets are illiquid, with few transactions."

Roubini


The key to success is the ability to fake sincerity.

Many humorists

“I think the reason why we got into such idiocy in investment management is best illustrated by a story that I tell about the guy who sold fishing tackle. I asked him, “My God, they’re purple and green. Do fish really take these lures?” And he said, “Mister, I don’t sell to fish.”

Charlie Munger

It’s difficult to put in the hard work of reading a great work of literature, when we spend our time writing in 140 characters. 

Mark Myatt

…the current culture of education has displaced parents as the primary instructors of children in favor of professionals who try their best to recreate the home environment at school; has the federal government rather than the community determining the structure of equal educational opportunity; has deserted the idea that memorization trains the brain; has fostered a loss of literacy by replacing the study of original writings with abridged textbooks; and has created a populace unable to engage in reasonable discourse. We have rejected the historically successful model of rigorous, classical education in favor of entertainment and job training.”
Leigh Bortins


“You cannot manage returns but you can manage risk 

Peter L. Bernstein

“What you think is much less important than how you think.”
Philip Tetlock

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

Voltaire


“We observe the world how it is today and make these very simple projections and turn them into a terrible scenario. “This approach fails to take into account that the world is changing.”

World Bank’s Social Protection and Labor Global Practice.


The most glaring problem with current risk tolerance questionnaires is its failure to add any perspective and context to what the risk score means.

Brian Leitner

Markets are supposed to be be based on informed consumers making rational choices. Instead, the point of marketing is to create uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices often against their best interests 

Noam Chomsky

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is getting its boots on.

Mark Twain

There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.

Lenin

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds 

Albert Einstein

   






World Clock by Poodwaddle.com












6/30:

"The Burden of Unanticipated Government Spending" Free Download
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5876

BURKHARD HEER, University of Augsburg, CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Email: Burkhard.Heer@wiwi.uni-augsburg.de
CHRISTIAN SCHARRER,
University of Augsburg
Email: christian.scharrer@wiwi.uni-augsburg.de

We study the impact of a government spending shock on the distribution of income and wealth between cohorts in a dynamic stochastic Overlapping Generations model with two types of households, Ricardian households and rule-of-thumb consumers. We demonstrate that an unexpected increase in government spending increases income inequality and decreases wealth inequality. In contrast to the conventional wisdom that the financing of additional expenditures by debt rather than taxes especially burdens young generations, we find that a debt-financed increase in government spending also harms Ricardian households during retirement, while workers close to retirement benefit. The crucial element in our analysis is a wealth effect that results from the decline in the price of capital due to higher government debt

6/30: Are you average

The time to eat is less but it means fatty fast food at McDonalds. We are still obese.


6/29:

"On Historical Household Budgets" Free Download
Institute for New Economic Thinking Working Paper Series No. 45

BRIAN A'HEARN, Pembroke College, Oxford
Email: brian.ahearn@pmb.ox.ac.uk
NICOLA AMENDOLA,
University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Law
Email: nicola.amendola@uniroma2.it
GIOVANNI VECCHI,
University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics
Email: vecchi@economia.uniroma2.it

The paper argues that household budgets are the best starting point for investigating a number of big questions related to the evolution of the living standards during the last two-three centuries. If one knows where to look, historical family budgets are more abundant than might be suspected. And statistical techniques have been developed to handle the associated problems of small, incomplete, and unrepresentative samples. We introduce the Historical Household Budgets (HHB) Project, aimed at gathering data and sources, but also at creating an informational infrastructure that provides i) reliable storage and easy access to historical family budget data, along with ii) tools to configure the data as it is entered so as to harmonise it with present-day surveys.




6/29:

Seniors and Medications
By Rebecca Salbu

Caregivers are often the first line of defense in protecting the elderly and infirm – especially when it comes to making sure medications are obtained and taken properly.

Senior citizens are a fast-growing sector of the population, and age often leads to the need for many medications to treat many conditions and chronic diseases. Each of these medications, if taken too often, too seldom, or in the wrong combination may have serious negative outcomes. The latest statistics show that about 100,000 individuals over the age of 65 are taken to emergency rooms across the country annually because of adverse events to the drugs they are taking.

The caregiver plays a major role in ensuring medications are taken properly by those they care for.  When patients are on multiple medications, which often look very similar in shape and size, it can become confusing to keep the medications separate and the medication schedule straight. The caregiver can help to keep the medication schedule straight, while also allowing the client to maintain an appropriate sense of independence in managing their medications.

One way to do that is to make sure the patient has a pill box that fits their needs. Specifically, if patients take medications multiple times a day, having a weekly pill box divided into different periods of the day – morning, noon and night—will help to benefit the patient. If the patient only takes medications twice a day, two pill boxes in different colors may help to distinguish the morning pills from the evening pills. The caregiver can help to arrange these pill boxes weekly by “pre-pouring” them with the medications, to lessen the chances of the patient taking the wrong pill or doubling up on a medication. This will also allow the caregiver to be sure whether or not the patient has taken their medications for the day.

Creating habits of when to take medications--either always with morning coffee or before a 7:00 pm program, for example—may help to improve adherence. If more than one caregiver is helping the patient to take their medications, creating a detailed schedule to be “checked off” when medications are given, similar to how a nurse would do in a hospital, may also help to avoid omission or duplication of a medication.

Keeping all current medications stored safely is important to avoid bottles being mixed up and more medications taken than necessary. All medications should be kept in a cool and dry place. If the medication must be refrigerated, it should be kept on a separate shelf or drawer away from food to avoid any accidents. Always check expiration dates of prescription and over-the-counter items, and dispose of any medications that are out of date. You can contact your local pharmacy to determine how to best dispose of expired prescription and over-the-counter items.

A caregiver should be aware of changes in behavior that could be caused by a reaction to a new medication, or signify a new medical condition or infection. Caregivers often know the patient best, and can determine when the patient isn’t quite acting “themselves.” Our elderly patients do not present with disease states the same as younger patients. A patient not wanting to eat breakfast as they always would may be indicative of an infection, side effect of a medication, or worsening of a medical condition. Any changes out of the ordinary for our elderly patients should be brought to their physician’s attention. Always carrying an updated medication list is helpful to identify any medications that may be causing an adverse reaction, and avoid any confusion if there is a transition of care.

The caregiver can also help to ensure the patient is able to obtain medications from the pharmacy. Many pharmacies deliver to those who are unable to leave their house, or will let the caregiver pick up the medications. If the patient is unable to pay for their medications, the caregiver should speak with the patient and, if appropriate, the patient’s doctor or pharmacist, who might be able to resolve any issues with insurance or Medicare. Often, there are less expensive alternatives that are covered under the patient’s drug coverage plan.

Another thing that could be of help to the caregiver and the client is legislation that permits pharmacists to analyze a patient’s medication therapy and recommend ways to optimize health outcomes. In New York, and many other states, we have a program called collaborative drug therapy management (CDTM).

The law, a three-year pilot program, permits a pharmacist affiliated with a teaching hospital and engaged in CTDM to write prescriptions, as long as the collaborating physician is identified on the prescription. The law allows these pharmacists time to spend an hour or more with a patient to adjust medications to avoid an emergency room visit.

Of course this law is good for pharmacists, but it also has strong implications for the elderly and the men and women who care for them. CDTM allows seniors to get special care from highly trained pharmacists who can assist in disease management and ensure appropriate and safe use of medications. The law sunsets in New York this year, and it is in the best interest of the caregiver and client or loved one for the State Legislature to renew and even expand it.

If you think all of this seems like it’s placing a lot of responsibility on the caregiver, you are right. As the population gets older, more and more people will need to rely on caregivers, and caregivers will have to take a greater role in the daily lives and well-being of their patients. It is equally as important for caregivers to be concerned about their own health and well-being. Making your own health a priority will allow you to be at your best to care for those that you love

6/29:"



6/29: Stocks versus bonds

Between 1969 and 2009, investing in 20-year Treasury bonds yielded better returns than investing in the S&P 500. So much for the idea that over the long term, greater risk means greater reward.

6/29:

Design Tips for Living at Home Longer
By Elaine Terner

Every senior wants to remain independent in his or her own home as long as possible. There are four basic elements needed to accomplish this goal: accessibility adaptations, furniture design, color scheme and sensory accessories. When people feel content in their home environment, they will perform at their highest level, be more receptive to any educational and therapeutic interventions necessary, and will be more manageable for caregivers. These tips come from 33 years experience raising a son with autism and 25 years experience with my husband who had Parkinson’s disease.

Accessibility adaptations will enable individuals to navigate their living space. An assessment of the home and an interview with the individual determine what modifications need to be made. The person needs to enter and exit the home easily, as well as access every area of the home. The most critical areas are the bathroom and kitchen. In the bathroom, something as simple as an ADA toilet may be needed with a couple of grab bars to provide assistance with sitting on and getting off the toilet. The bathing area may require a step-in tub or roll-in shower with grab bars and a shower seat. With the roll-in shower, a combination showerhead with a hand-held piece provides a complete bathing system. In the kitchen, the countertop height and cabinet arrangement may need to be adjusted.

If a person uses a wheelchair, there are appliances made that operate to accommodate the presence of a wheelchair. Further, there are many kitchen gadgets such as reachers to access higher shelves and specially designed utensils to aid in the handling of food and for eating. In the living area, there should be enough open space to manipulate without any furniture pieces obstructing mobility. Some elimination of some pieces may be necessary and creating a piece that serves a multifunctional use, like a cabinet as opposed to just a table or making a combination table/shelving unit. All accessibility issues can be accommodated depending upon the person’s abilities. Technology is available to provide something new for a specific impairment even if it has never been created before.

Furniture design is the second key element. All pieces should have no sharp corners, meaning that all corners should be rounded to avoid injury if a fall should take place. Traditional couches should give way to a more bench type seating. The seat and seat back can be padded and covered with vinyl for easy cleaning, but there should be a small open space in between the seat and the seat back in the event of a body function accident. The substance will then fall to the floor so that the seating can be cleaned as well as the floor with no consequences. With a traditional couch, the material soaks into the fabric and the padding inside where it remains as a permanent damage. More furniture concerns are in the bedroom. Can the person get in and out of bed? Is the person incontinent? The bed construction and materials used can allow for complete cleanup with no damage to the bed itself.

Next, color scheme using calming colors can make a huge difference for the better. A human being’s reaction to color is automatic and cannot be controlled. Earth tones such as greens, blues, and beiges/browns are the ideal. Colors that can counter or provoke a negative response are red (raises blood pressure and stimulates hyperactivity) and yellow (makes muscles feel heavier, thus impacting the ability to move typically).

Finally, sensory accessories, which are objects that promote a feel-good feeling, can be added to the space. Providing favorite music, family photos, a soft fabric throw blanket, a pretty live or silk plant, to mention a few, promote smiles. Any object that sparks a happy response can accomplish contentment. All these elements are necessary to create the ideal environment. Once contentment within the individual is achieved, life runs very smoothly.


Elaine Terner, is the founder of Exceptional Designs and a Residential Interior Designer and Certified Assistive Technology Professional. She brings a unique perspective on caregiving because of her experience caring for her adult son with autism and 25 years with her late husband’s Parkinson’s disease. Visit her website exceptionaldesigns.com to learn more about home design and customized environments that focus on accommodating individuals with disabilities.


6/28:The Uniform Prudent Investor Act – Annotated

6/27: Not looking good

millennials expect to retire at age 62. This is younger than their older counterparts expect to retire. Those aged 45-54 expect to retire at 66 years old, while those aged 55-64 years old expect to retire at age 65 and those older than 65 give age 73 as their expected age of retirement. 

Only 22 percent of millennials indicated they are actively saving for retirement, and only 9 percent have a financial plan for retirement. Other expenses are prioritized ahead of saving for retirement for millennials, including travel, pursuing higher education, and buying or renovating a home.




6/27: By 2007, Financial Institutions had 40% of corporate profits. In 1950, and manufacturing had 28% and Finance had just 11%.

By 1970, GE could make more profit by playing games with money than it could by producing in the U.S.

 
6/26:Rollovers to Individual Retirement Accounts

FINRA rules

6/26: Convexity: Convexity is a measure of the curvature or 2nd derivative of how the price of a bond varies with interest rate, i.e. how the duration of a bond changes as the interest rate changes. Specifically, one assumes that the interest rate is constant across the life of the bond and that changes in interest rates occur evenly.

6/26: This is one simple graph why MPT 'theory is great in theory but falls flat in the real world. You have to know correlation when you start and all along the way



test the anti-correlation between equity and fixed income, or positive correlation between yields and stock prices, based on over 132 years of price data. The truth about the historical relationship between stocks and bonds is scary.

Between 1883 and 2015 stocks and bonds spent more time moving in tandem (30% of the time) than they spent moving opposite one another (11% of the time). It is only during the last two decades of falling rates, accommodative monetary policy, and globalization that we have seen an extraordinary period of anti-correlation emerge between stocks and bonds unmatched by any other regime in history. Not only are stocks and bonds positively correlated most of the time but also there is a precedent for multi-year periods whereby both have declined.

In the event stocks and bonds simultaneously lose value, the classic 60/40 portfolio will become a 100% loser and volatility will be the only asset class that is capable of protecting your portfolio.








6/26: Median home prices




State Median selling price for
March 2016
AK 263,523
AL 118,000
AR 123,000
AZ 200,000
CA 416,500
CO 295,558
CT 210,000
DC 485,000
DE 228,000
FL 175,990
GA 152,500
HI 462,250
IA 130,000
ID 195,000
IL 158,000
IN 145,000
KS 168,581
KY 124,000
LA 155,000
MA 315,000
MD 238,000
ME 187,600
MI 115,000
MN 180,000
MO 148,658
MS 178,000
State Median selling price for
March 2016
MT 225,000
NC 163,300
ND 203,900
NE 119,500
NH 200,000
NJ 275,000
NM 182,261
NV 213,000
NY 225,000
OH 115,000
OK 117,000
OR 259,000
PA 147,500
RI 214,000
SC 160,000
SD 152,000
TN 136,000
TX 212,224
UT 253,877
VA 240,000
VT 173,350
WA 285,000
WI 135,000
WV 107,600
WY 215,210































6/25: Here is a simple chart why Britain voted to leave the EURO



This will help  Trump, It would help a lot more if he grew up.
6/26:

"Getting Older and Riskier: The Effect of Medicare on Household Portfolio Choices" Free Download
CEIS Working Paper No. 382

MARCO ANGRISANI, Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR), RAND Corporation
Email: angrisan@usc.edu
VINCENZO ATELLA,
University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS), Department of Economics and Finance, University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics
Email: atella@uniroma2.it
MARIANNA BRUNETTI,
University of Rome Tor Vergata, CEFIN
Email: marianna.brunetti@uniroma2.it

The rise of health-care costs has become an increasingly important contributor to financial risk for households. To the extent that these costs can be large, unpredictable, and not fully insured, they represent a source of background risk that could potentially deter households’ financial risk taking. Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study over the period 1992-2012, we adopt a fixed-effects estimation strategy to empirically test whether universal health insurance, such as the one provided by Medicare to over-65 Americans, acts as a shelter against this background risk and, in turn, promotes household stock holding. We find that households in poor health status, who face a higher risk of large medical expenses, are significantly less likely to hold stocks than their healthier counterparts. Yet, this gap is, for the most part, eliminated by Medicare eligibility. Notably, this offsetting effect is primarily experienced by households without private health insurance over the observation period. Our results are robust to several sample selections and model specifications.

6/26: Go to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200

The US has the highest incarceration rate out of any OECD country at about 700 inmates per 100,000 residents, according to data from the World Prison Population List - which is about as much as five times the OECD average. By comparison, the next closest state is Israel, whose incarceration rate is about 250 inmates per 100,000.


Data from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that the rate has grown from 564 per 100,000 in 1990 to 890 per 100,000 in 2014. Notably, this spike is correlated with the War on Drugs.

The big takeaway here is that these high incarceration rates are likely to have contributed to the US's decline in prime-age labor-force participation rates relative to other countries.

"Incarceration policies affect participation rates directly by removing workers from the labor force for a period of time but also long-term as the stigma of incarceration can reduce demand for the labor services of the formerly incarcerated even years after their reentry into society,"

6/26:

"Understanding the Improvement in Disability Free Life Expectancy in the U.S. Elderly Population" Free Download
NBER Working Paper No. w22306

MICHAEL CHERNEW, Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Email: chernew@hcp.med.harvard.edu
DAVID M. CUTLER,
Harvard University - Department of Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Email: DCUTLER@HARVARD.EDU
KAUSHIK GHOSH,
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Email: ghoshk@nber.org
MARY BETH LANDRUM,
Harvard Medical School
Email: landrum@hcp.med.harvard.edu

Understanding how healthy lifespans are changing is essential for public policy. This paper explores changes in healthy lifespan in the U.S. over time and considers reasons for the changes. We reach three fundamental conclusions. First, we show that healthy life increased measurably in the US between 1992 and 2008. Years of healthy life expectancy at age 65 increased by 1.8 years over that time period, while disabled life expectancy fell by 0.5 years. Second, we identify the medical conditions that contribute the most to changes in healthy life expectancy. The largest improvements in healthy life expectancy come from reduced incidence and improved functioning for those with cardiovascular disease and vision problems. Together, these conditions account for 63 percent of the improvement in disability-free life expectancy. Third and more speculatively, we explore the role of medical treatments in the improvements for these two conditions. We estimate that improved medical care is likely responsible for a significant part of the cardiovascular and vision-related extension of healthy life.



6/23: The FED on stock prices

“Forward price-to-earnings ratios for equities have increased to a level well above their median of the past three decades. Although equity valuations do not appear to be rich relative to Treasury yields, equity prices are vulnerable to rises in term premiums to more normal levels, especially if a reversion was not motivated by positive news about economic growth.

6/23:

"Knowing the Damages is Not Enough: The General Equilibrium Impacts of Climate Change" Free Download
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5862

MATTHIAS KALKUHL, University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF), Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK)
Email: mkalkuhl@uni-bonn.de
OTTMAR EDENHOFER,
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Email: edenhofer@pik-potsdam.de

We show that economies may exhibit a strong endogenous macroeconomic adaptation response to climate change. If climate change induces a structural change to the more productive sector, economies can benefit from climate change though productivities in both sectors are reduced. If climate change causes structural shifts towards the less productive sector, damages are exacerbated by the intersectoral reallocation of labor and intertemporal reallocation of capital. We further assess impacts on labor movement and income distribution. We apply our analytical findings to reasonable parameters for a large set of real-world economies and find that the multiplier effect of climate change due to general equilibrium effects is sizable as it ranges between 50 and 250 percent. Thus, existing assessments of climate change impacts can be severely biased.



6/23:  DOL RELEASES THE FINAL“FIDUCIARY” RULE

A law firms synopsis. Pretty good but mine is more real life

6/23:

"News Versus Sentiment: Predicting Stock Returns from News Stories" Free Download
FEDS Working Paper No. 2016-048

STEVEN L. HESTON, University of Maryland - Department of Finance
Email: sheston@rhsmith.umd.edu
NITISH RANJAN SINHA,
Board of Governers of the Federal Reserve System
Email: nitish.r.sinha@frb.gov

This paper uses a dataset of more than 900,000 news stories to test whether news can predict stock returns. We measure sentiment with a proprietary Thomson-Reuters neural network. We find that daily news predicts stock returns for only 1 to 2 days, confirming previous research. Weekly news, however, predicts stock returns for one quarter. Positive news stories increase stock returns quickly, but negative stories have a long delayed reaction. Much of the delayed response to news occurs around the subsequent earnings announcement

6/23: Post Polio Syndrome: Recognizing the Unrecognizable 

(This may be me) 


By  Henk Snyman, MD  

 

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, polio emerged as a devastating epidemic that affected thousands in the United States alone. Once the second leading cause of death behind stroke, polio stood as an incurable, viral disease that caused severe pain, breathing difficulties, paralysis, and in many cases, death. The virus crippled children and adults for years until a vaccine finally became widely available in 1955. Although polio has been eradicated in the developed nations of the world, the tides have turned over the past 25 years as polio survivors have begun to experience a range of lingering side effects that significantly affect overall quality of life.

Causes of Post-Polio Syndrome

The polio virus was originally characterized in three stages, including acute illness, recovery period, and stable disability. In the 1980s, when polio survivors who were diagnosed at a young age began to experience pain, progressive weakness, and fatigue, experts identified a fourth stage of the disease commonly known as post-polio syndrome (PPS). More than half of all polio survivors are now developing the deteriorating side effects of PPS. Considered a progressive neuromuscular decompensation, PPS is surfacing in thousands of Americans, negatively affecting their ability to partake in life’s simplest pleasures.

A Difficult Journey

Navigating through life with PPS is undoubtedly difficult, as mobility is quickly lost and it becomes challenging to live a normal, regular life. The extreme bouts of pain and weakness that accompany the condition can hinder work, familial obligations, and the ability to enjoy hobbies and activities. As a result, many PPS patients become depressed and dormant, ultimately affecting those around them.

Unfortunately, there is no specific cure for post-polio syndrome, and the lack of adequate treatment most certainly leads to feelings of frustration and hopelessness among the afflicted. The lack of a cure is a result of the lack of knowledge surrounding post-polio syndrome. Because PPS demonstrates similar symptoms to other incurable chronic conditions including chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia, physicians are often quick to misdiagnose or even dismiss PPS. Those diagnosed with PPS often remove themselves from their communities, their work, and even their families. As such, it’s particularly important for caregivers to educate themselves on both the physical and emotional side effects of the condition.

How to Help

A strong support base is critical for those living with post-polio syndrome as it is likely that among other positive effects, the chances the condition will be officially accepted by the medical community will vastly improve if caregivers acknowledge PPS and encourage their loved ones to speak out about it. Fortunately, there are an overwhelming number of PPS communities and support groups that have been established to address the growing concern of post-polio syndrome. These support groups convene regularly to discuss life’s challenges associated with PPS and ways in which individuals can move on and rebuild their lives.

The creation of these PPS support groups has garnered the attention of numerous physicians, who have taken a special interest in studying the transformation of the disease and utilizing unique treatments for individuals living with PPS. Over the last few years, specialty physicians, including doctors of osteopathy, acupuncturists, chiropractors and physical therapists, have treated PPS with alternative therapies that have served to create a pathway to a more active, fulfilling life for their patients.

Life is Possible

Through a recent increase in awareness and attention, post-polio syndrome has started gaining traction and validation within the medical community. And with recent advances in medicine and technology, breakthrough treatments that treat the debilitating side effects of the condition aren’t far away.

It takes a strong will to be a caregiver for an individual living with an illness. For caregivers of those with PPS, it is difficult to be the supportive backbone when all others have become skeptics and have dismissed PPS as a serious medical condition. As a result, these providers are encouraged to discuss the condition with their loved ones, and in turn, encourage them to have open communication lines with physicians, medical professionals, and fellow polio survivors.



6/23: IMF and Trump

"Protectionist measures (Trump) in our view are counterproductive from a growth perspective. If you have a growth agenda you should not be advocating trade protectionism."

6/23 So how are we doing???

IMF economists said the country was in “good shape”, citing 2.4m jobs created in the past year and declaring that slowing growth in recent quarters had been a temporary setback. It predicted US GDP would grow 2.2 per cent this year, down from 2.4 per cent in 2015.

But the IMF offered a much more sobering view of the economy the next president will inherit, warning that recent weak employment and other data may reflect the economy’s lower potential growth rate and daunting longer term trends. It also warned that the US dollar was now 10-20 per cent overvalued and that a decision on Thursday by voters in the UK to leave the European Union could lead to a further appreciation as investors poured into the currency as a haven.
;
6/22:

"Restoring Rational Choice: The Challenge of Consumer Financial  Regulation"

     ECB Working Paper No. 1897

 

  Contact:  JOHN Y. CAMPBELL

              Harvard University - Department of

              Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research

              (NBER)

    Email:  john_campbell@harvard.edu

Auth-Page:  http://ssrn.com/author=17060

 

Full Text:  http://ssrn.com/abstract=2770585

 

ABSTRACT: This lecture considers the case for consumer financial regulation in an environment where many households lack the knowledge to manage their financial affairs effectively. The lecture argues that financial ignorance is pervasive and unsurprising given the complexity of modern financial products, and that it contributes meaningfully to the evolution of wealth inequality. The lecture uses a stylized model to discuss the welfare economics of paternalistic intervention in financial markets, and discusses several specific examples including asset allocation in retirement savings, fees for unsecured short-term borrowing, and reverse mortgages.



6/22:

Participants Say DC Plans Fall Short in Key Areas:

Forty-five percent of participants believe their defined contribution (DC) plans will not help them meet their retirement goals, according to a Prudential Retirement survey. Their plans most often fall short, participants say, in protecting them from financial market volatility, in helping them choose the right investments, and in maximizing their investments’ growth potential. Many participants also give their plans less-than-stellar marks for their ability to help them secure an adequate income source once they retire, understand how much they need to save for a secure retirement, or monitor and understand their progress toward their retirement savings goals. Read more »



EFM- actually this can be done rather simply if one knows what entries are needed for calculator. I am 'surprised' that the industry has not offered same but perhaps keeping consumers in the dark allows more unsuitable products to be sold.

6/20 Brexit, Monte Carlo and a Ruined Retirement  This is my article


6/19 Monte Carlo Simulation: The Basics

6/19:
  1. Gender differences and stereotypes in strategic thinking

Date:

2016

By:

Maria Cubel (Universitat de Barcelona) ; Santiago Sanchez-Pages (Universitat de Barcelona)

Recent literature has emphasized that individuals display varying levels of strategic reasoning. This paper presents ten years worth of experimental data from two countries exploring the existence and endogeneity of gender differences in strategic sophistication. We report results from two experimental studies employing the beauty contest game, one from the classroom and one from the laboratory. We observe robust and signi?cant gender differences in strategic sophistication in favour of men in zero-stake situations. These differences disappear when a monetary prize is awarded. We also ?find that depth of strategic reasoning varies with gender priming. Females display signi?cantly higher levels of strategic sophistication than males when gender is made salient. This effect of gender priming is driven by females who believe women are superior in the game.

Keywords:

guessing game, strategic sophistication, gender, stereotype threat,beliefs.

JEL:

C72 C91 D81 J16

URL:

http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ewp:wpaper:338web&r=cbe



6/19: Tough subject but it applies to a great number of people........ myself included

Caregiving and Forgiveness: When a Parent Has Wronged You

During her childhood, Tiffany Day’s mother was physically and verbally abusive. So the only child was rattled when her adult friends would tell Day how nice she was.

Her single, divorced mother had changed over the years, Day admitted, but that did not erase what she had done. Then in January, her mom, 66, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Knowing that the disease would only progress, and Day would inevitably be getting more involved in her care — and more resentful — she decided to bring up the past. “I felt if I waited too long, I wouldn’t have that opportunity and would regret not having closure,” says the San Clemente, California, mother of two.

One day she just blurted it out. “My mother could have denied it again, but I was lucky,” says Day. “She apologized but didn’t really remember the harsher things she had done to me. It doesn’t matter. I am impressed she even said she was sorry. I got what I wanted. It’s not going to do me any good to pound in how mad I am. I can’t change the past, but talking to her about her behavior has made caregiving easier.”

Getting Rid of Anger While Caregiving

Forgiveness is complicated enough, but when you are taking care of a parent you feel has wronged you, it is even more difficult. You might think, Dad was miserable to me and now he wants me to lovingly care for him? It may seem inconceivable to you why Mom can’t see that her behavior was destructive. Or, do you feel guilty for your feelings, of wanting that closure, now that your parent is suffering?

These are important questions, but forgiveness is about you, not them. It is in your best interest. For one thing, caregiving and forgiveness gives your parent less power over you. It can also make you feel good for treating them well, or taking the high road — the way you wish to be treated and wish you had been. Of course, there may be situations where their treatment of you was, or is, so egregious that you cannot care for them.

In general, it is psychologically and physically healthier to get rid of anger. Stress contributes to heart disease and other serious illnesses, including strokes and depression. In one study at the University of Tennessee, those who forgave easily made fewer doctor visits and had lower blood pressure than those who held a grudge.

Caregiving and Forgiveness

Forgiving a parent does not mean you suddenly have amnesia and forget. That’s not realistic. But it does mean letting go — as much as you can — of the deep, festering pain. “Forgiveness is like a gift from the gods. It helps us release the past so we can be fully present in the moment,” says John Chupka, a social worker and founder of The Forgiveness Center in Troy, New York. “You don’t have to wholly forgive a parent to care for them. The act of caring for them is forgiveness in itself.”

When is it most important to forgive? “If anger in your heart is interfering with good care, then taking the time to forgive is important,” notes Robert Enright, author of “8 Keys to Forgiveness and a psychology professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Enright believes that we should forgive if we’re ready, but not be pressured into it. He suggests caregivers ask themselves:

“Are you so angry that this is getting in the way of your happiness? Do you want to leave a legacy of anger with your parent or would you like more from your relationship than that?”

Then decide your course of action — or inaction.

Keep these six forgiveness tips in mind:

1. Try looking at the situation differently.

While there is never an excuse for unkind acts, filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum began to see her mother differently during the course of making the documentary “Look At Us Now, Mother!” (with her mother Mildred).

Throughout her childhood, Mildred was an ultra-critical parent who was always disparaging her daughter — Gayle’s hair was “too curly,” she repeatedly told her she needed a nose job, and had wanted a son instead. To cope with the pain, Gayle changed her expectations of Mildred. “I forgave her by reframing how I looked at her. Instead, I saw her as a wounded child. I went digging into her past. When someone is being nasty to you, you better believe they are hurting,” he says.

2. Realize that they may not know they did anything wrong.

It may seem inconceivable to you, but they may be clueless that they showed blatant favoritism to your siblings or neglected you, or whatever else they did. Apologizing and making amends may be out of the question because they don’t realize their mistake.

3. Be kind to yourself.

Even if you forgive, you will probably still feel some hurt. Clearing the air does not erase history. You have every right to be upset by shabby treatment.

4. Be honest.

Did you play any part in the bad dynamic? Is it truly black and white? If you didn’t act your best, you may want to apologize and start the conversation. Would friends or other family members, or a professional, be more objective observers?

5. Focus on what’s good.

“I have a great life,” says Day. She has made positive personal choices as a result of her upbringing. “Everything I have is the opposite of what my mother had because I don’t want to be like her.”

6. Reframe your reaction.

Rather than focus on “How could Dad have done this to me?” reframe it with, “Why am I allowing him to torment me? How is this helpful to me?”



6/19: Cancer

Understanding Your Cancer Prognosis

Breast Cancer In-Depth Report

Understanding Leukemia

Supporting a Friend Who Has Cancer

How to Cope with High-Dose Chemo and Radiation Therapy Side Effects

Eating for Chemo and Radiation

Addiction Prevention for Cancer Patients: The Guide to Safe Pain Management

15 Gentle Pieces of Advice for When Your Loved One Receives a Terminal Diagnosis



6/19:

Hydration and Delirium


By Catherine D’Aniello, MSN, RN

 

Did you know that:

  • Delirium is different from dementia?

  • Dehydration is a cause of delirium?

  • Older adults can avoid delirium by staying hydrated?

Delirium is a mental disturbance characterized by new or worsening confusion, changes in level of consciousness or hallucinations. Delirium is different from the slow progression of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It has a sudden onset from hours to days and although delirium can be reversed, it is easier to prevent than cure.

All “elderly” adults (people over 65 years old) are at risk for delirium due to factors involving their own internal weakness and environmental insults. Some risk factors, such as advanced age or having dementia, are fixed. Other risk factors such as pain, malnutrition, dehydration, sensory loss, depression and fever are modifiable with intervention. With each factor present, delirium risk increases. Therefore, the key to preventing delirium is reducing the number of modifiable risk factors.

Infection and dehydration are common modifiable delirium risk factors. Older adults usually know when they have an infection, but do not recognize when they are dehydrated.

Mental status changes begin with mild dehydration and worsen with each stage, ending in delirium. In moderate dehydration, short-term memory loss occurs.

Once an older person is thirsty, they are already mildly dehydrated. Symptoms of severe dehydration include dry mouth and lips, sunken eyes, increased mental status changes and decreased urine output. This is a medical emergency which results in delirium and if not reversed, death ensues.

Failure to recognize signs of dehydration predisposes older adults to becoming increasingly and chronically dehydrated, which is a slippery slope towards delirium. Closing this knowledge gap will reduce delirium risk because inadequate fluid intake is relatively easy to remedy.

Why are older adults prone to dehydration?

Generationally, older adults are not focused on hydration. Many seniors purposely limit fluid intake because they fear bladder accidents. Others with compromised mobility may curb fluid intake to avoid extra bathroom trips. Poor access to fluids or needing help to drink may limit intake. Many drink water only when taking medication. Living in over-heated indoor spaces dehydrates even without sweating.

Older adults have decreased muscle mass and increased fat; because 75 percent of body water is stored in muscle, seniors have less capacity to store water.  Women have more body fat than men at any age, so older women are at even higher risk of dehydration. Due to decreased kidney function, older adults cannot conserve fluids as well as younger people. 

How do you know if you are drinking enough?

An older adult, their home caregiver or family member can take simple steps daily to check hydration status. First, thirst should not be experienced at any time. Second, urine should be colorless or straw colored, and odorless. Being familiar with a urine color chart is good practice for all ages and critical for older adults to avoid dehydration. First morning urine should not be dark, and urination should occur every two to four hours during waking hours. Some medications and foods such as asparagus give urine an odor, but normally urine should not smell.

Increase daily fluid intake, especially water!

At least half of your daily fluids should be water. Water significantly reduces older adults’ risk of becoming delirious. Milk, vegetable or fruit juice, and soup are also healthy fluid choices. Carbonated and caffeinated drinks should be limited due to their diuretic effect. The body needs water to filter alcoholic beverages from the body. Therefore, increased water consumption is needed overall as well as to balance the dehydrating effects of unhealthy drinks. Drinking healthy fluids is as important as eating healthy foods. 

Family members and home caregivers should:

  • Educate older adults on dehydration risks

  • Encourage/remind seniors to drink

  • Teach loved ones not to wait to feel thirsty to drink

  • Teach loved ones to drink regularly throughout the day

  • Make fluids easily accessible 

  • Serve fluids at a temperature the individual prefers

  • Encourage water with ALL meals

  • Boost the flavor of water by adding drops of lemon/ lime juice

  • Limit fluid intake one to three hours before bed

  • Offer popsicles, juice, gelatin, Italian ice, sherbet and pudding
    to those who dislike water. 

Increased awareness of dehydration as a cause of confusion and delirium should begin when older adults are “young-old” (65-74 years) in order to form healthy drinking habits carrying them into “middle-old” (75-84 years) and “old-old” (85 years and above). Family should report poor eating or drinking to the primary care provider so interventions can be initiated to prevent dehydration and its consequences. Educate your older family members and their caregivers on the importance of hydration and ways to facilitate good fluid intake.

Why not reduce your or an older loved one’s chance of developing delirium by eliminating the dehydration risk factor?

Catherine D’Aniello holds a BSN from University of Connecticut and MSN from University of Hartford. She has 30 years of geriatric experience and is currently a Resident Care Coordinator at a skilled nursing facility.



6/19:

Employers Unaware that Caregiver Employees Need Support

Posted On 14 Jun 2016

More than 15% of the American workforce are family caregivers, and these caregiver employees need extra support to balance their work and caregiving responsibilities. The MetLife Study of Caregiving reports that caregivers who leave work lose an average of $304,000 in benefits and wages over their lifetime.

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, caregivers who don’t receive support from employers experience a negative impact on their careers. In fact:

  • 66% of caregiver employees have gone into work late, left early or taken time off during the day to deal with caregiving issues
  • 20% of caregivers were forced to take a leave of absence from work
  • 10% of caregiver employees quit or take early retirement
  • 9% of caregivers reduce hours or take less demanding jobs
  • 5% of caregiver employees turn down a promotion

Lack of Employer Support Not Necessarily Due to Lack of Compassion

Nancy Rubin, head of human resources for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, found herself caring for her aging mother. She told Forbes that stepping into this new role opened her eyes to the plight that was befalling other employees.

“I listen to the problems and issues of our employees all day, spending most of my time searching for solutions, and then I come home at night and do it all over again with my mom… Because our CEO helps care for his mother-in-law, he really understands and is empathetic to the challenges caregivers face.”

Rubin is fortunate. Not all employees offer a supportive environment for caregivers. This lack of support is not always due to a lack of compassion, however. According to human resources expert Zachary T. Abraham, Principal of AlignHR, LLC, caregiving support services are not usually an add-on feature to Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) and in order to provide elder care support services many human resource departments must choose to eliminate another service.

Caregiver Employees Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Some employers would be willing to offer caregiving support services, if they were aware that there was a need. But many aren’t.

In fact, 50% of working caregivers are reluctant to tell their supervisor about their caregiving responsibilities.

This communication breakdown between employees and their employers is contributing to the lack of support in the workplace. Some employers report caregiving resources and services are available for staff, but are underutilized because workers are afraid to admit they are a family caregiver. When employees don’t take advantage of these caregiving services, human resource departments feel there is no need to keep them.

Take Advantage of Your Workplace’s Culture of Care

When Rubin opened up about her situation to her boss and colleagues she found the support she needed, telling Forbes that it was like a heavy boulder was lifted off her shoulders.

“The culture of care at work really makes me feel that I don’t have to hide anything from my employer and colleagues, which in turn makes me more loyal, dedicated and present in my job,” she said.

Caregiver employees need to learn to ask for help from family, friends and employers in order to avoid caregiver burnout and the other negative consequences associated with caring for an elderly family member. If your employer offers a supportive culture then don’t be afraid to open up to them about your situation and ask if they can offer support. Even if they don’t have a formal program in place for caregivers they may be understanding and able to help in other ways.


6/16:
  1. Information avoidance in decision making

By:

Anna Blajer-GoĀ‚Ä™biewska (University of Gdansk) ; Dagmara Wach (University of Gdansk) ; Maciej Kos (Northeastern University)

When making financial decisions, decision-makers should perceive having complete risk information as beneficial. Surprisingly, in some situations decision-makers prefer to know less than more, even when it may result in losing money. Some shareholders do not keep themselves informed about the company they have invested in, and some online customers prefer not to read the terms of service of the online stores they shop at. The aim of this study was to identify the impact of selected characteristics of financial threats on individualsČŘ™ decisions to avoid information about the probability that a given threat may occur. To reach this goal, we conducted an incentivized full-factorial 2x2x2 experiment in which subjects (n=395) made financial decisions to minimize the amount of money they could lose. We investigated their behaviour under such threat focusing mainly on their willingness to attain information that can protect them from losing money.We hypothesized t hat: (1) the more serious the financial threat, the fewer people avoid risk information; (2) the higher the perceived probability of the financial threat, the more people avoid risk information; (3) the lower the effectiveness of prevention of the threat, the more people avoid risk information. Additionally, we investigated the role of coping-styles (Miller, 1987) and locus of control (Rotter, 1966) on risk information avoidance in the financial domain. Specifically, we tested the conjectures that: (4) blunters are less likely to attain risk information than monitors; (5) external locus of control leads to more risk information avoidance than internal locus of control. Furthermore, we controlled for: anticipated emotional response, rational/emotional thinking, risk attitudes, and basic demographics.To analyse the data we ran a logistic regression model with Huber-White sandwich variance estimator and rejected hypotheses 1-3. However, we found an interesting interaction effect: the e ffect of threat severity on information avoidance depends on perceived probability of the threat. Specifically, people tend to avoid financial risk information more often when the financial threat is more serious and the perceived probability of the threat is high. In other words, they avoid financial risk information when knowing it would benefit them most. Finally, our data provides support for hypotheses 4 and 5, and suggests that anticipated emotional response and sex are statistically significant predictors of financial risk information avoidance.

Keywords:

Decision making, behavioural economics, behavioural finance, risk information avoidance

JEL:

D81 G02 D03

URL:

http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:sek:iacpro:3606236&r=cbe



6/16:
  1. Choice or information overload ?

Date:

2016-04

By:

Fabrice Le Lec (CES, Université de Paris 1, France) ; Marianne Lumeau (CEPN, Université de Paris 13, LABEX ICCA, France) ; BenoĒt Tarroux (CREM, UMR CNRS 6211, Faculté des Sciences Économiques, Université de Rennes 1, France)

This paper aims to test how the profusion of choice and information affects individuals' decisions. In particular, we investigate whether the possible choice overload effects are due to the mere presence of many alternatives or the difficulty in processing abundance of information that comes with the proliferation of options. To do so, we use the frequency with which familiar alternatives are preferred to unfamiliar ones as a behavioural measure of overload. We first propose an individual decision model, in which uncertainty about values of alternatives leads consumer to prefer familiar goods. We use this theoretical approach to devise an experiment where the level of information and the number of alternatives systematically vary. Our results show that individuals are prone to overload in the presence of larger choice sets, but that information has a small impact, if any.

Keywords:

Choice overload; Information overload; Bounded rationality; Familiarity; Experimental Economics

JEL:

C91 D03 D83

URL:

http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tut:cremwp:2016-07&r=cbe



6/16:
  1. Blue or Red? How Color Affects Consumer Information Processing in Food Choice

Date:

2016-05-25

By:

Shen, Meng ; Gao, Zhifeng

Colors can carry specific meaning and have an important influence on people’s feelings, thoughts and behaviors. This paper investigates the impact of blue versus red on how consumers process information in food choice. Results show color indeed influences consumer information processing and feature evaluation. Specifically, consumers spend more time and pay more attention to choice tasks in the red condition than in the blue condition. In addition, consumers are willing to pay more premium for certain feature on the red label than on the blue label.

Keywords:

Choice experiment, Color, Information Processing, Willingness-to-pay, Agribusiness, Consumer/Household Economics, Marketing,

URL:

http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ags:aaea16:235782&r=cbe



6/16:

"Has the Pricing of Stocks Become More Global?" Free Download
BIS Working Paper No. 560

IVAN PETZEV, University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance
Email: ivan.petzev@bf.uzh.ch
ANDREAS SCHRIMPF,
Bank for International Settlements (BIS) - Monetary and Economic Department
Email: andreas.schrimpf@bis.org
ALEXANDER F. WAGNER,
University of Zurich - Department of Banking and Finance, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - Swiss Finance Institute, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: alexander.wagner@bf.uzh.ch

We show that in recent years global factor models have been catching up significantly with their local counterparts in terms of explanatory power (R2) for international stock returns. This catch-up is driven by a rise in global factor betas, not a rise in factor volatilities, suggesting that the effect is likely to be permanent. Yet, there is no conclusive evidence for a global factor model catch-up in terms of pricing errors (alpha) or a convergence in country-specific factor premia. These findings suggest that global financial markets have progressed surprisingly little towards fully integrated pricing, different from what should be expected under financial market integration. We discuss alternative explanations for these patterns and assess implications for practice.

6/16:

6/16: This will only increase as the population gets older

Americans are dying from preventable causes more than ever. The latest calculations reveal that in 2014, a total of 136,000 Americans died from preventable causes. Why the sudden 4.2 percent jump from 2013?

It’s not that Americans are becoming clumsier or more accident-prone. According to the new report from the National Safety Council, fatal overdoses and falls deserve much of the blame. At this rate, an American dies by accident every four minutes. If you count those who would’ve died had medicine not saved them, the rate increases to one death every second.

in 2014 alone, slippery floors and rugs sent nearly 1.6 million people to the emergency room, while toilet accidents sent an additional 112,412 people. Bathrooms are a relatively dangerous place, especially with a growing elderly population. Elderly people are also the most prone to falls, which can lead to an accidental death — from a slippery bathroom to the corner of a carpet.

Meanwhile, motor vehicle accident-related deaths have dropped from 53,000 in 1980 to 35,398 in 2014. Despite the decrease, neglecting to use seat belts, speeding, and driving under the influence still lead to roughly 10,000 fatal car crashes in the United States every year. Distracted driving has added to the list of car accidents, such as cell phones and other portable electronic devices.


6/15: Active management  Read the article, view the charts and read it again









6/15:Interest rates:
since the Global Financial Crisis, the "War on Deflation" has been fought exclusively with monetary policy encompassing 654 rate cuts since the Lehman bankruptcy and $12.3 trillion in purchases of financial assets by global central banks:



 6/15: 2nd longest bull market




6/15: Age

the world will experience "peak youth" in 2020 for the first time in human history, with the number of persons aged 65+ expected to outnumber children under age 5. The report points out that the aging global population has thwarted the War on Deflation in recent years. The BAML analysts note that aging populations will increase the need to save for a longer retirement and lead to higher health care costs:



6/15:

Family Caregivers: Here’s What Medicaid Covers

By Ben Lamm

There are more than 70 million people currently providing unpaid care for a family member or friend who is no longer able to care for themselves. While the care is usually given as a labor of love, the time and energy burden required to provide that care are enormous. Not only that, many people find that they have to cut down on their hours at their paying job or give it up altogether in order to provide the care their loved one needs. For these individuals, there’s good news: there is coverage available through Medicaid for that caregiving work.

Medicaid and In-Home Care

In many cases, Medicaid will help pay for in-home care in an effort to keep elderly individuals from being shuttled straight to a nursing home simply because that’s the only care for which they qualify. In some states, that care is required to go through a qualified agency that is chosen by the Medicaid program. In other cases, however, Medicaid will pay the money directly to the individual in need of care. Once they have it, they can use it to pay for care however they like—including paying a friend or family member. This is in acknowledgement of the fact that friends and family members often make the best, most caring caregivers.

In-home care offered by Medicaid can include plenty of options, including:

  • Meal preparation

  • Daily care tasks

  • Cleaning and other basic tasks that the individual is no longer capable of accomplishing on their own

  • Modifications that make it easier for the elderly individual to remain in their home in spite of their decreasing health.

Medicaid Eligibility

Typically, Medicaid eligibility is based off of income. While the levels vary by state, in general, individuals who qualify for Medicaid must be low-income and in need of services that will help them maintain quality of life. There are restrictions on both the number of assets that an individual can have and on the amount of income they can have each month. In many cases, elderly individuals who need to qualify for Medicaid will “spend down” their existing assets in order to reach an asset limit that qualifies—but, proceed with caution or with the help of a Medicaid planning professional! This may include paying out of pocket for in-home care, making necessary modifications or repairs to their home, or making repairs to their primary vehicle.

Home and Community-Based Services Programs

Home and Community-Based Services programs (HCBS) are designed to make it possible for elderly individuals to remain in their homes longer. They offer the services necessary to maintain as much independence as possible and keep living life to its fullest extent in spite of increasing disabilities. The goals of these programs are to help elderly individuals avoid nursing homes and assisted living facilities for as long as possible.

Cash and Counseling Program

Cash and Counseling is a Medicaid-based program that pays seniors directly, then permits them to use the funds to pay for their care as they deem necessary. These payments include paying a friend or family member to provide care or making necessary modifications to their homes as well as taking care of other tasks: meal delivery, transportation expenses, and other modifications that help make their lives easier. The Cash and Counseling program, which helps elderly individuals remain in control of their own care, is currently active in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

Time Off Work

You don’t always need to leave your job completely to care for an ailing family member. In some cases, injury or illness can require short-term care. The Family Medical Leave Act, FMLA, requires your employer to give you up to 12 weeks off to care for a family member in the event of such an emergency situation. Your leave likely will not be paid, and there are restrictions: for example, your employer must employ more than 50 employees in order for it to be required to offer these benefits.

Respite Care

In spite of the fact that you are the best choice for caring for your loved one, you need to acknowledge that even the most dedicated caregiver occasionally needs a break. There are plenty of options available for respite care, including adult day care, in-home agencies who can help care for your loved one, and even from friends and family who volunteer to help. It’s important to contact these individuals and set this routine in place before your own health starts to decline: you can’t provide adequate care for your loved one if you aren’t able to care for yourself.

Family Counseling

You and your siblings didn’t agree on everything growing up, and you might not do much better now as you’re trying to decide how to care for an aging parent. Family counseling is available through social workers or geriatric care providers. Counseling can help you reach a happy medium and develop solutions together.

When you’re responsible for caring for an aging loved one, you need to take advantage of as many resources as possible. There’s no reason for you to try to bear it all alone! From Medicaid-based payments that can help ease the financial burden to respite care and counseling, taking advantage of the available resources will help you take better care of your loved one.

Ben Lamm is a communication specialist and blogger at Senior Planning Services. He enjoys playing the guitar, spending time with family and social networking.
6/15:" A million here, a million there.........................

A quarter of all U.S. investable assets now come from households with $5 million to $25 million in assets.1 And the number of U.S. millionaires is expected to jump 39% between 2014 and 2019


6/15: This has nothing to do with anything. I just found it to be amusing plus unique


Man finds 22-pound chunk of butter estimated to be more than 2,000 years old in Irish bog

6/15:

German ten-year bond yields turn negative Germany has set the pace in a historic rally in government bonds, with the yield on its ten-year bond falling into negative territory for the first time. An escalation of stimulus policies from the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank this year, low inflation and simmering anxiety over the outlook for the global economy is driving investors into the safest and most liquid sovereign bond markets despite the vanishing returns they offer. (FT)

EFM- the instability of Europe could deepen if Britain leaves the European union next week. Yet another reason the FED will leave rates alone

6/15: Not good





6/15: Mother Earth is NOT happy

Scientists who measure and forecast the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere said Monday that we may have passed a key turning point. Humans walking the Earth today will probably never live to see carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere once again fall below a level of 400 parts per million (ppm)

EFM_ Do you know where the bulk of methane gas comes from? More than cars, boats, trains, airplanes, people combined??



6/14: Did not know this

Gun Deaths Are Mostly Suicides

By MARGOT SANGER-KATZ
More than 60 percent of Americans who die from guns die by suicide, but that fact is often overlooked.