weekly blog--one for the ages
A study released by the European Society of Cardiology concludes that you can lower your risk of suffering a heart attack or dying due to heart disease by 15% if you make coffee using a filter. The filter removes the harmful lipid-raising substances found in coffee. On average, a cup of unfiltered coffee contains 30 times more harmful substances than a filtered cup.
How much money do you need to save for retirement? Instead of calculating a lump sum, consider evaluating how much monthly income you will need. That approach reduces the number of unpredictable variables in your planning, according Kiplinger.
To start, estimate your monthly expenses in retirement, which some say that you will need about 60% to 80% of your preretirement income. Next, estimate your monthly retirement income from Social Security, pensions, savings and other sources. If your monthly expenses exceed your expected income, you will need to figure out ways to bring them into balance.
Finally, how can it be that stocks are soaring when the economy is crashing? The answer may be relatively simple: because of moves by the Federal Reserve, financial markets are awash in money, vast, water-hose supplies of money. Since March, the Fed has committed to lend or buy trillions of dollars of financial assets, which by some estimates might end up exceeding $8 trillion dollars by the time all is said and done.
However, investors who see either sharp spikes of inflation or dire reckoning ahead for stocks and bonds, warn that markets will soon head south fast and people should be more “wary of panaceas.” Analysts at Bank America posit that the recent market strength is simply a dead-cat bounce like what happened in 2008 before a more intense crash later that year.
On the flip side, clear beneficiaries of the current upheaval are doing well. Five mega-tech companies – Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google – alone make up $5 trillion of market cap, and Amazon has seen its stock go up more than 30% since mid-March. Costco and Clorox have seen booming business along with Walmart, as has the video conference company Zoom.
Something to think about. The Spanish Flu pandemic lasted from January 1918 to December 1920. After that, we entered the decade that would become known as the Roaring 20s. The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of novelty associated with "modernity” and a break with tradition.
Everything seemed to be feasible through modern technology, especially automobiles, air travel, electrical appliances, moving pictures and radio. Formal decorative frills were shed in favor of practicality in both daily life. Jazz and dancing rose in popularity. The flapper redefined the modern look for women.
In architecture, Art Deco peaked, while nations saw rapid industrial and economic growth which accelerated consumer demand that brought significant changes in lifestyle and culture. The media, funded by the new industry of mass-market advertising, focused on celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie stars, and cities rooted for their home teams and filled the new palatial cinemas and gigantic sports stadiums. In many countries, women won the right to vote.
Yet not everything roared during this decade. In the wake of the patriotism of World War I, President Harding brought back normalcy to the politics of the United States. And the era ended with the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
Today, we are engaged in another pandemic. Where we go from here will test whether our nation can long endure.
Things were so bad during the Great Recession, according to Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, that it induced more than 5 percent of the eligible population to claim their benefits at age 62. This meant that these early claimers wound up with lower checks each month than if they waited until full retirement age.
Fast forward to today…the Social Security Trust Fund was projected to run out by the year 2035. It could be two years earlier now, and since Social Security is financed by payroll taxes, the Social Security Trustees estimated last year that benefits would have to be cut about 25%. And that was before the current crisis.
The Social Security trustees (Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and the head trustee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) have yet to release their own updated estimate on just how faster the trust fund will run out of cash.
Viktor Frankl was an Austrian-born Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist who witnessed the atrocities at Auschwitz first hand. He wrote about his experience in a book called Man’s Search for Meaning. With the CoVid pandemic taking hold, his recommendations for leading a fulfilling life are all the more relevant. The bottom line: each person is responsible for answering for his own life and must actualize its meaning.
There are three ways to do so:
Love…No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being without love, which empowers us to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, we see their potential, even if it is not actualized yet.
Suffering…Finding meaning in life when confronted with a hopeless situation; when facing a fate which cannot be changed; transforming a personal tragedy into a triumph, turning a predicament into human achievement. What matters is to make the best of any situation.
Happiness…Happiness can’t be pursued; it must ensue. We must have a reason to be happy. Once the reason is found, we become happy automatically. For example, if you want someone to laugh, you need to provide a reason, e.g. tell a joke. Learn more about the Science of Happiness.
Choice…We constantly make choices. At any moment, we must decide, for better or worse, what will be the monument of our existence. Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.
Change…Every one has the freedom to change at any instant. The freedom to change requires being responsible.
Conscience…Indicates the direction in which we have to move in a given life situation. In order to carry out a task, conscience must apply a measuring stick to the situation we are confronted with, and this situation has to be evaluated in the light of a set of criteria based on a hierarchy of values. These values cannot be exposed and adopted by us on a conscious level—they are something that we are; something that has become clearer in the course of the evolution of humankind. They are founded on our biological past and are rooted in our biological depth.
News about CoVid-19 is coming fast and heavy. As such, we have added a news section to our front page that focuses on the virus’ effect on older people.
Consider how our lives are changing. Many older people are trying technology-enabled services for the first time, including grocery delivery, in-home subscription entertainment, Skype, FaceTime and Zoom.
Consider the warnings delivered to the elderly since the outbreak. How many 60-year-old's ever thought of themselves as being old? Indeed, while CoVid-19 reveals how much we need and depend on each other, it also reinforces the goal of defying aging for as long as possible and not becoming socially superfluous.