You might not connect comfortable retirement with a financial crisis, but the truth is there are always opportunities if you know where to look.
Start by asking yourself “what causes a financial crisis?”
A financial crisis is often triggered by one or more of these problems:
- Out of control government spending and debt
- Investment bubbles caused by “easy money” (near zero interest rates)
- Inflation of the money supply
- Loss of confidence in financial or government systems
- Large scale natural disasters
Next, look at what all of these triggers have in common: They feed off of each other. And they all involve money. The first 4 triggers are almost always directly related to fiat currency – fake money that is printed by the government or central bank. Fiat currency, like the US dollar, always has the same fate: eventually it dies.
The last 2 triggers – war and natural disasters – often cause the first 4 because war and disaster damage are both very expensive. They usually cannot be paid for with regular tax revenue. So they print it instead.
This list should look familiar. We are in the middle of most of these triggers right now and have experienced large scale natural disasters recently (Hurricane Katrina, for example).
So what does all this have to do with retiring comfortably?
The answer is in the currency. When a nation’s money dies because of irresponsible practices, like paying debts with more debt, people will flock back to real money. Real money is limited in supply and cannot be inflated by greedy bankers and politicians. Real money is a store of value while fiat currency falls in value from inflation until people lose all confidence in it. Then it dies.
Recognizing real money isn’t difficult. Gold and silver have been used as money for thousands of years – far longer than any paper currency.The opportunity to retire comfortably with real money comes from 2 things:
- As the general population flocks back to real money (when the big crisis hits), demand will skyrocket and so will the “price.”
- Fraudulent practices by commodities brokers, central banks, governments and Wall Street have promised the same piece of gold and silver to several “owners.” When these owners figure out they all own the same piece of precious metals “real estate” and that they have been duped, the supply of gold and silver will plummet and the price will skyrocket.
Let’s dig into each of these 2 opportunities so you can understand why you can retire comfortably just by owning some gold and silver.
The Flight Back to Real Money
The first one is pretty easy to understand. All fiat currencies eventually fail and the US dollar will be no exception. When this process is complete most people will lose everything that is tied directly to the dollar. This includes bank accounts, Wall Street stocks, bonds and mutual funds along with other paper assets like insurance policies.
Barter will work for a time, but it has limitations and will always be replaced by some form of money. For example, it would be impractical for you to trade chicken eggs for a place to live. Barter generally works best with items of similar value.
Most people understand that gold and silver are the answer, so everyone will be trying to get physical gold and silver. The problem (or opportunity) is that the supply is limited, so the old economics law of supply and demand will take over and the value will shoot up until things level off.
At this time in the United States, it is estimated that less than 2% of the population owns any physical gold or silver:
So when the other 98% decide they need to catch up, those that already own physical gold and silver will see their investment climb into the stratosphere.
The Coming Fight Over Who Owns What
Ownership claims for gold and silver by Wall Street investors, banks, governments and customers of some storage facilities now exceeds the actual amount of physical gold and silver by over 100 times. Known as the leverage ratio, the chart below shows how many ounces of gold are claimed by someone on paper forevery ounce in the inventory of the COMEX gold exchange (think of COMEX as the New York Stock Exchange of gold and silver).
What this means is brokers of “paper gold” are selling the same ounce of physical gold over and over to 100+ different people and institutions. Eventually, this fraudulent practice will fall apart when investors demand their gold – and very few will actually get it.
There are two lessons to be learned from the COMEX leverage ratio being so high:
- Don’t own any “paper gold.” This includes Wall Street Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) like GLD or SLV. In other words, don’t be on the wrong side of the losing argument.
- Do own some physical gold and silver. When investor panic strikes the COMEX, you will be the one that can sit back and watch your real investment turn into a retirement nest egg.
So prepare for the biggest financial opportunity to come along in several generations by getting some physical gold and silver. Then you won’t just be prepared to survive the financial meltdown, you can actually come out of it wealthy and prosperous if you do it right.
Millionaires Sign Petition To Voluntarily Increase Their Own Taxes
A group of millionaires has signed a petition asking for the government to force them to pay higher taxes. They did so in an effort to help the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The group, which includes the likes of Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, Walt Disney Co. heiress Abigail Disney and former BlackRock managing director Morris Pearl, call themselves “Millionaires For Humanity.” Their sole objective is to encourage governments to increase taxes on the world’s wealthiest individuals to help pay for the billions of dollars needed to support health care, schools and security.
The letter states: “As Covid-19 strikes the world, millionaires like us have a critical role to play in healing our world. No, we are not the ones caring for the sick in intensive care wards. We are not driving the ambulances that will bring the ill to hospitals. We are not restocking grocery store shelves or delivering food door to door. But we do have money, lots of it. Money that is desperately needed now and will continue to be needed in the years ahead, as our world recovers from this crisis.”
Millionaires Call for Higher Taxes
The letter continues by asking governments to raise taxes on “people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.”
The group warned that the impact of the crisis will last for decades. They also mentioned that it could push 500 million people into poverty. Hundreds of millions of people are at risk of losing their jobs, many permanently, the group said. Nearly 1 billion children are out of school due to the pandemic. They also mentioned that many of these kids lack any resources to continue their education.
The petition adds, “Unlike tens of millions of people around the world, we do not have to worry about losing our jobs, our homes, or our ability to support our families. We are not fighting on the frontlines of this emergency and we are much less likely to be its victims.”
“So please. Tax us. Tax us. Tax us. It is the right choice. It is the only choice.”
This petition serves as Pearl’s second attempt to make millionaires – himself included – pay higher taxes.
A Similar Call
He wrote a letter last year supporting the “millionaire’s surtax” introduced in Congress. In it, he said any new tax plan has to be “relatively easy to enact and relatively hard to avoid.”
“Rich people like me are good at dodging taxes. We can lobby to stop new taxes from ever becoming law, or if they do get enacted, find loopholes to get around them.”
“Any plan to tax me and my fellow wealthy Americans needs to be relatively easy to enact and relatively hard to avoid,” Pearl also said.
The millionaire’s surtax, as Pearl points out, would only affect married couples making more than $2 million per year. Alternatively, it also affects a single tax filer making more than $1 million.
“This tax would simply add 10 percentage points to the existing tax rates paid by couples making over $2 million a year and singles making over a million. Though it would only apply to the wealthiest 0.2 percent of taxpayers like me (or about 330,000 taxpayers) the millionaires surtax would raise an estimated $635 billion over 10 years, according to the Tax Policy Center.”
Pearl, undoubtedly knowing that many will doubt his motives, says he’d rather pay higher taxes than see his country falter economically.
“You may well ask: Why would anyone push to pay higher taxes, like I’m doing by supporting the millionaires surtax? It’s because I know it’s not actually in my long-term economic interests for the United States to become more and more like a developing nation, with a tiny elite at the top of the mountain and everybody else struggling for a foothold.”
Thus far, 80 individuals have signed the Millionaires For Humanity petition.
Dems Can Only Blame Pelosi For Failure To Secure More Stimulus Money
The next round of stimulus money will unlikely include any major concessions for Democrats. With this, the party has nobody to blame but Nancy Pelosi.
Astonishingly, that opinion comes from David Dayen, the executive editor of The American Prospect. The said magazine stays “dedicated to liberalism and progressivism.”
In a recent article titled “A Leader Without Leading,” Dayen says during the passage of the last stimulus bill in late April, Pelosi – along with Sen. Chuck Shumer – chose to forego adding their wishlist to the bill, believing they would have another shot. That shot, thus far, has never materialized.
“Republicans wanted more money for forgivable loans for small businesses. Democrats had a host of liberal priorities left out of prior legislation that could have been paired with the extension. But Pelosi and her Senate colleague Chuck Schumer chose to go along with the Republican framework, leaving everything else for later.”
“Immediately afterward, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hit the pause button on future legislation. It felt like the Democrats were played.” said Dayen.
Credits for the Republicans
He also credits the Republicans for knowing exactly what they wanted out of each stimulus bill. The Republicans did so all while Pelosi fumbled away every opportunity.
“When the coronavirus spread and lockdowns buckled the economy, Republicans knew exactly what they wanted—protect large corporations and investors—and pursued it unerringly. Pelosi had no coherent agenda to fall back on. She’d spent the past year advancing complex, multifaceted bills and watching them wither in Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard.”
Dayen adds, “H.R. 1, the House’s signature legislation during this Congress, which attempted to nationalize voter registration, establish nonpartisan redistricting commissions, add ethics standards to the Supreme Court, add a voluntary public-financing option for campaigns, require presidents to release tax returns, disclose donors for super PACs, make Election Day a holiday, and about 20 other things in a single bill, is a perfect example of this syndrome. There’s no single narrative to grab onto, just a mélange of advocacy group–approved planks. This left House leadership unprepared as the pandemic began its march.”
Pelosi worked on the earlier stimulus bills. While doing so, she allowed the Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, to craft the CARES Act. Dayen says this meant that Democrats “just got to tweak McConnell’s work, without altering its tilt toward the powerful.”
Pelosi and the HEROES Act
Dayen’s takedown on Pelosi ends with her “pie-in-the-sky” HEROES Act. Somehow, she even managed to make a mess of her own bill.
“Incredibly in the midst of a crisis, was a Pelosi tendency that had grown over the years: obsessive concern with deficits. Pelosi rolled back student debt relief in the HEROES Act after learning that it would cost $100 billion more than expected. This was a $3.2 trillion messaging bill not designed to become law, yet an additional 3 percent cost was considered unacceptable. Pelosi also declined to add “automatic stabilizers” that would maintain expanded benefits until economic stress dissipated, blaming a Congressional Budget Office scoring quirk that made the cost appear artificially larger.”
“So with over 30 million out of work, the important thing to Pelosi was that her pie-in-the-sky, going-nowhere bill was ‘reasonable,’ based on some ineffable standard of reason…”
“Devotion to deficit hawkery in normal times is unwise policy. It’s downright fatal during an economic crisis, where relief could be yanked away from needy families prematurely simply because of an unwillingness to challenge CBO’s scoring model.”
Many expect lawmakers to vote on the next stimulus bill sometime after July 20. If you hear Democrats complaining about how “unfair” the bill is, just remember who is negotiating for their side.
Why You Should Consider Filing For Social Security At Age 62
Earlier this week we discussed four common regrets that retirees have when they look back at their golden years. One of the most common regrets was filing for Social Security benefits at 62, the earliest possible age. According to the Social Security Administration, about 1 out of 3 people apply for benefits at that age.
The regret is that if they had waited longer to file for their benefits, their monthly check would be much larger. For example, by delaying filing for Social Security until age 70, your monthly benefits can be as much as 75% larger than someone who filed at age 62. That’s because benefits grow by a guaranteed 5% to 8% each year that you delay your claim.
But there are always two sides to a coin. Today we wanted to discuss the benefits of filing for Social Security as soon as possible. With this, you can decide which approach you believe will benefit you the most.
The Case For Filing Social Security Early
The earliest you can file for Social Security benefits is age 62, but each month you file before reaching your full retirement age (FRA) cuts your monthly benefit amount. As an example, if your full retirement age is 67 and you start your claim at age 62, your monthly check will be reduced by approximately 30%.
Despite the reduced monthly benefit that comes with filing early, tens of millions of Americans make that decision every year. And it boils down to one line:
We have no idea what the future holds.
The financial benefits of waiting until age 70 to claim Social Security make complete sense. But we don’t know how long we will live, so we don’t know if the trade-off is worth it. If we knew we would live a long, healthy life until age 100, we would all delay filing until age 70 and reap the maximum reward.
But if you decided to wait until age 70 to claim, and unfortunately passed away before that, you would have foregone all the retirement income from age 62 on.
Waiting to file is a gamble, but so is giving up guaranteed monthly income starting at age 62.
Deciding when to claim your benefits requires serious thought and shouldn’t be a hastily made decision. And we aren’t saying that filing Social Security immediately at 62 or waiting until age 70 is the right choice. Every situation is different. If you are still healthy and working, waiting a few years passed 62 to claim but not all the way to 70 might be a good compromise. You’ll get a larger check than had you claimed right away, and your regular working income can make up for some of the reduced benefit amount since you didn’t wait until age 70.
The most important thing, whether you file at 62 or 70, is to find enjoyment in your golden years.
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