Study: Many Americans die with 'virtually no financial assets'

Study: Many Americans die with 'virtually no financial assets'
A new study co-authored by MIT economist James Poterba shows that many Americans have little financial cushion in retirement. Graphic: Christine Daniloff

It is a central worry of many Americans: not having enough money to live comfortably in old age. Now an innovative paper co-authored by an MIT economist shows that a large portion of America’s older population has very little savings in bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and dies “with virtually no financial assets” to their names.

Indeed, about 46 percent of senior citizens in the United States have less than $10,000 in when they die. Most of these people rely almost totally on Social Security payments as their only formal means of support, according to the newly published study, co-authored by James Poterba of MIT, Steven Venti of Dartmouth College, and David A. Wise of Harvard University.

That means many seniors have almost no independent ability to withstand financial shocks, such as expensive medical treatments that may not be covered by Medicare or Medicaid, or other unexpected, costly events.

“There are substantial groups that have basically no financial cushion as they are reaching their latest years,” says Poterba, the Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT.

However, the study — one of the first to examine Americans’ end-of-life finances — also reveals a diversity of outcomes among senior citizens. Between 1993 and 2008, it found, unmarried older individuals had median wealth of about $165,000 roughly a year before they died — a figure that includes current and future Social Security income, job-related pension benefits, home equity and financial assets. In the same period, the median wealth for continuously married senior citizens, roughly a year before they died, was more than $600,000.

“There is a lot of divergence in how people are doing,” Poterba says. Those disparities also complicate the public-policy issues relating to the new findings.

“One of the clear messages is that it is very hard to do a one-size-fits-all policy,” Poterba says. “We need to recognize that, for example, if we were to substantially reduce Social Security benefits for those later in life, that there is a share of the elderly households for whom that would translate very directly into reduced income, because they seem to have accumulated little in the way of financial resources.”

The paper appears as a chapter in a book edited by Wise — “Investigations in the Economics of Aging” — newly published by the University of Chicago Press.

The three pathways of retirement …

While much attention has been paid to how much wealth people should aim to accumulate at the time of retirement, this study focuses on the evolution of that wealth during retirement, right up until death. The idea, as Poterba puts it, was “instead of looking at these people going into retirement, why don’t we try looking late in the game, and see how it all came out.”

The research in question draws from data collected in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), an ongoing survey that follows people throughout their retirement years, thus providing data on their wealth over time; it is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and based at the University of Michigan.

Poterba, Venti and Wise focused their study on people who were 70 and older in 1993, when the HRS began, and examined data running through 2008. This enabled them to track levels of wealth, prior to the participants’ deaths, over an extended period. People were surveyed every two years, which means that on average, those who passed away between 1993 and 2008 were last studied roughly one year before their deaths. The researchers identified three main “pathways,” running between the early years of retirement and death, for the households in the survey: those consisting of one person who remained single until death; married individuals who outlive their spouses and die single; and married individuals who die before their spouses.

The three pathways tend to produce very different financial outcomes for the elderly. Married couples, for one thing, are better able to mitigate the financial burdens of old age. Among retirees in the study, 52 percent who were single had annual incomes of less than $20,000 and less than $10,000 in other financial assets; by contrast, just 36 percent of single people who started out in two-person households at retirement fell below those levels, and only 26 percent of people in two-person households fit that description. 

“There really is a key distinction between what it looks like for the married [couples] and the singles,” says Poterba, who is also the current president of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

The study also revealed a “strong correspondence” between wealth in 1993 and the length of time that people lived. That relationship held true across a variety of asset classes: People whose homes were worth more, who had larger retirement incomes, and who had more financial savings all tended to live longer than those who had fewer assets.

While there is, Poterba observes, a “very active debate” among social scientists about the precise causal relationship between wealth and health, the study helps confirm, he notes, that “the patterns of health status in these years are quite persistent.”

… And at least two pathways for future research

The paper, which Poterba presented at an NBER conference last week, has earned praise from other researchers. David Laibson, an at Harvard, calls it “a terrific paper, which should have a significant impact on our national conversation about savings adequacy.” Moreover, Laibson suggests that the replacement of defined-benefit retirement plans with 401(k) plans for many workers — investments that are subject to market fluctuations — means that the financial situation for some seniors “is likely to get even worse in the years ahead. … For many reasons, especially preretirement leakage and poor stock market returns, households are accumulating far too little wealth in their 401(k) plans.”

For his part, Poterba agrees that this is an issue for further discussion, although he also notes that in the current study, many people “who end up in the bottom [tier] in terms of income when they are very old are folks who were probably not covered by defined-benefit plans during their working lives in any event.”

Poterba also suggests that future research is needed to identify the mechanisms that financially struggling seniors use to pay for their needs late in life. “There may be other sources of support that are hard to track,” he says, citing informal help from family members as a way in which seniors likely supplement their incomes.

Broadly, Poterba hopes that tracking the wealth of seniors as they move through retirement will add nuance to the policy dialogue. “It’s a complicated problem,” he says. “Households that reach retirement differ widely in their financial circumstances, and that heterogeneity not only persists, but is accentuated as people go further into their retirement years.”

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Aging. Poterba serves as a trustee of the College Retirement Equity Fund and the TIAA-CREF mutual funds, which offer retirement savings products to consumers.


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Aug 03, 2012
You can force people to go to school but you can't make them listen. You can't force people to save for retirement except through social security or other similar methods of taxation. You can't force people to continue to learn and get better jobs. You certainly can't force people to be responsible. If someone dies with no financial assets, it's because they didn't prepare throughout their lives. They made their beds. You can study this issue all that you like but this will always be the case for many, many people.

Aug 03, 2012
This is what the socialists want is it not?
They support death taxes and oppose the inheritance of wealth so why shouldn't people die with nothing. They can't take it with them.

Aug 03, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Aug 03, 2012
americans: blame everything on something they dont understand.

Aug 03, 2012
Considering we've been hearing "you can't take it with you when you die" all our lives, I don't see how this outcome is anything but ideal.

Aug 03, 2012
To some people, financial 'assets' are not something to be acquired and hoarded, but something to be held ready for use when needed. Not all of us are money-grubbing materialists.
As long as the government (and those who think of themselves as 'rulers') believes the money is really theirs, they will confiscate as much as they think they can get away with at every opportunity.

Aug 03, 2012
When I die I would like to die poor, I won't need anything anyway. I'll give any money to my kids before I die so it doesn't have to be about death and about life.

Aug 03, 2012
Considering we've been hearing "you can't take it with you when you die" all our lives, I don't see how this outcome is anything but ideal.

That is why capital is to be inherited by family.

Aug 03, 2012
The reason this is happening is because people are planning for this to happen. Listen to financial planners, the best way to get government money is not to have any of your own, the best way to give your money to your children is to do it before you die. So you need to work the system, and that is what people are doing.

Progressives have made this system, Progressives WANT people to be reliant on the government from birth to death. Progressives WANT people to die poor.

Aug 03, 2012


Absolutely correct. The money does no good to the economy if it is stagnant. By diversifying prior to death all of ones accumulated wealth goes back into the system to keep the wheels turning. This is what all governments want, moving money makes the world go around, stagnant money does nothing.


If the government wanted to keep money from being stagnant, it wouldn't collect income taxes. If people could keep their property instead of having it taken away from them, the economy would prosper and people wouldn't be impoverished when they grow old.

Aug 03, 2012
Claudius, rubberman is right. In the US, you have a situation where people either (a) hoard money just in case, instead of injecting it back in the economy, or (b) don't do it and eventually die due to lack of healthcare. In this case, it's better for the risk to be distributed across individuals by the government and keep the money in continuous use.

There are many situations where people can't organize and don't make the best decisions for themselves. Case in point: we need police, firefighters, military, courts.

The best analogy for the lack of social and health services in the US is the firefighting mercenaries in ancient Rome. They would bargain their services with you while you watched your house burn. Read about it: http://en.wikiped...ing#Rome

Aug 03, 2012
"He who dies with the most debt... Wins!"

Anon. (R)

Aug 03, 2012
I began working 65 years ago. In that time, the criminals that run this country have stolen 95% of the value a dollar had then, so no matter how much you save,if you live long enough, you will end up broke.

Aug 03, 2012
As I once heard a joke: A lawyer is reading a last will to a family "Being of a sound mind and body all of my money... I spent before the death".

Do I get the study right? That married couples were "surprisingly" richer because... wealth gathered by two people was summed up? Was the difference age adjusted?

I would get that there is a problem when let's say people had not their basic necessities covered. But the idea that they die without much wealth comparing to inflated American standards? What's the problem with that? Except of course a case when you were the person about to inherit what's left.

Aug 03, 2012
In this case, it's better for the risk to be distributed across individuals by the government and keep the money in continuous use.


Spoken like a true collectivist. The group is more important than the individual. It is OK for other people to confiscate your property (wages) for the "collective good." I couldn't disagree more. Theft by an individual or by a group is still theft. The founding fathers knew this, and banned non-apportioned (income) taxes in the Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that the Sixteenth Amendment did not change this. If our property was not being continuously confiscated against our will, we could use it and enrich the economy, and afford to plan for retirement.

And if it comes to choosing between being robbed and having to negotiate a contract with firefighters, I would rather deal with the firefighters. At least they perform a service, unlike the government, which takes our money to use in wars of aggression that we don't want or need.

Aug 03, 2012
"Many Americans die with 'virtually no financial assets'"

-Don't worry. Paradigms are changing. Automation is now replacing humans at such an accelerating rate that in order to be able to consume the goods industry provides, the govt will have to give out money wholesale. Thank goodness they own the means to do this, or millions would starve and industry would collapse.

Aug 03, 2012
I began working 65 years ago. In that time, the criminals that run this country have stolen 95% of the value a dollar had then, so no matter how much you save,if you live long enough, you will end up broke.
You forgot the most important thing - compound interest.

Aug 03, 2012
What compound interest?
Save 100 USD at 2% interest for 30 years and you will have a whopping 180 USD.

Aug 03, 2012
"Unregulated Americans rampage and pillage following regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein's resignation"

http://thepeoples...404.html

Aug 03, 2012
What compound interest?
Save 100 USD at 2% interest for 30 years and you will have a whopping 180 USD.
No, it's $180.14. The $.14 is what you have to retire on.

"The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest." -Albert Einstein

Aug 03, 2012
What compound interest?
Save 100 USD at 2% interest for 30 years and you will have a whopping 180 USD.


Which is why bankers are richer than you are. D~

Aug 03, 2012
"One other important fact about compounding is that a small increase in the rate of return can produce a huge impact over time. In the case of the gift to your newborn daughter, if her portfolio returns 10% annually, then $10,000 grows to $4.5 million by the time she is 65."
http://www.freemo..._co.html

Aug 04, 2012
Spoken like a true collectivist. The group is more important than the individual.
Congratulations. You just define a conservative, you nitwit. Liberals care more about violations done to individuals by the mobs. That's the basis of a republic: Individual rights. That's why the US founding fathers were liberal democrats.

Aug 04, 2012
This picture summarizes it well - and without expensive study. The sponsoring of sociological studies proving the obvious like this one is one of reasons of this situation: many people are living from parasitic jobs without value added.

Aug 04, 2012
US founding fathers were liberal democrats.

No, they were what we must now call 'classical liberals'. In their day, they were called liberal.
What are called 'liberal' democrats today are socialists who are opposed to individual liberty and limited state power.

Aug 04, 2012
I began working 65 years ago. In that time, the criminals that run this country have stolen 95% of the value a dollar had then, so no matter how much you save,if you live long enough, you will end up broke.

And this causes many suffering for young people.

Aug 04, 2012
You can force people to go to school but you can't make them listen. You can't force people to save for retirement except through social security or other similar methods of taxation. [...] They made their beds. You can study this issue all that you like but this will always be the case for many, many people.


So much deliberate oversimplification is representative of the "I got mine --so fuck you!" thinking of the neoCON/Randite/libertarian freimarketeers.

Do you also claim that a person must be a watchmaker in order to rely upon a clock? What if it's electric?
Do you have to be an MD to be able to expect that your medical treatment was correctly conducted?

Even where the tools of upward mobility exist, the exigencies of survival often make it impossible to make use of them.

And all the good people who WERE ABLE TO had a very valuable lesson forced upon them in September of 2008 -- at the expense of their life savings and retirement.

Cat food agin.

cont'd

Aug 04, 2012
"The world will change when you are ready to pronounce this oath:
I swear by my Life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man,
nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine."
http://www.workin...mini.htm
It's interesting how those who assert they are rational attack Rand when she promoted reason, promoted the mind of man, and an atheist to boot, based upon reason.
So why do those who assert they are reasonable attack someone who uses reason to justify limited govt and individual responsibility?

Aug 04, 2012
cont'd

And all this because they believed the lies and fraud endemic to your "freimarket". It exists solely for the purpose of making a few spectacularly wealthy at the expense of all the rest --pure and simple.

Many individual retirement investors did their due diligence, as did many larger, professional, investors, and wound up bankrupted.

You insist that everyone be a part of the freimarket "system", but you don't insist on any guarantees in that market(hence it is no surprise that the only guaranteed issues are offered by the gubdment -- and, oh-so-counterintuitively, heavily invested in by the "professionals"). I can only suppose that this very purposeful refusal is because you hope to be one of the predators that reap a huge benefit at the expense of perfectly good, honest, hardworking people who try to play by the rules.

Run along with your arrogant pronouncements.

Just don't come crying home when it's your turn, and your superior ass get burned to charcoal.


Aug 04, 2012
US founding fathers were liberal democrats.
@ryggesogn2 No, they were what we must now call 'classical liberals'. In their day, they were called liberal.
'Classical liberals' aka oligarch bootlicking libertarians weren't around in 1776. Rand lived in the last century, not in the 18th century. Fuck you are dumb.

Aug 04, 2012
"The world will change when you are ready to pronounce this oath:
I swear by my Life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man,
nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine."

It's interesting how those who assert they are rational attack Rand when she promoted reason, promoted the mind of man, and an atheist to boot, based upon reason.
So why do those who assert they are reasonable attack someone who uses reason to justify limited govt and individual responsibility?


riggsuckin'.

Ayn Rand was very fond of making such odious, fraudulent, self-congratulatory, arrogant, justificatory pronouncements in "service" to naked, self-interested greed.

How ironically ironical, then, that she ended her days as a Social Security dependant.

You must be gagging at the stench of your own hypocrisy after quoting such pure claptrap here.

Oh, wait --I forgot that you already mutated into a freimarket snake, just as soon as you became "self-made".


Aug 04, 2012
What greed?

"....nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine."

It's those socialists who demand, who force others, who plunder other to live for them. That sounds quite greedy.

Aug 04, 2012
The following video explains why even with small rates, perpetual proportional (Economic) growth is impossible, and will be a disaster unless people educate themselves to the implications.

http://www.youtub...e=relmfu
In other words, Jewish banking is at odds with mathematics. Math is obviously anti-Semitic and must be stopped at all costs!
@ryggesogn2 It's those socialists who demand, who force others, who plunder other to live for them. That sounds quite greedy.
Did you ever stop to think that most of these original "socialists" are Jews? Code word anybody???

Aug 04, 2012
I won't worry about over population until the Dyson sphere is completed and full.
And even then there is still quite a bit of space and energy to grow into.
For someone who claims to support science, you don't have much 'faith' it will make your life any better .

But you really don't have any faith is science, only power. You want to use science to control the lives of others.

Aug 04, 2012
I've already determined that unless I win the lottery, I should just learn to accept the fact that I'll probably never own my own property or be able to retire, or leave a legacy to any children that I might have. I used to get depressed about it but as I get older I've been realizing more and more that experiences and wisdom are more important than things and stuff. With the added benefit being that I really can take those things with me (where to? Not sure as I am not religious)

Aug 04, 2012
@ryggesogn2 And even then there is still quite a bit of space and energy to grow into.
You taking hormones for that?

Aug 04, 2012
@ryggesogn2 And even then there is still quite a bit of space and energy to grow into.
You taking hormones for that?

So you don't have any faith that science and technology will improve your life has it as done for the world in the past few centuries?

Here are a few ideas:

Sea steading: [url]http://www.seasteading.org/

Solar power satellites, nuclear batteries, vertical farming, ....


Aug 04, 2012
If govts didn't tax income maybe more people would save THEIR money.

Aug 04, 2012
So America's founding father slave owners were "classic liberals' - a code phrase that Libertarians use to refer to themselves.
They were time-traveling founding fathers. It explains SO MUCH!

Aug 04, 2012
Science Fiction:

Earth to the Moon,First Men in the Moon, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Star Trek,

Science fact:
Apollo missions to the moon, satellites to various planets, nuclear submarines, cell phones, video teleconferecing, sono-prep (hypospray), optical cloaking, directed energy weapons, "ALON is a ceramic compound with a high compressive strength and durability. When polished, it is the premier transparent armor for use in armored vehicles."
http://www.networ...#slide12
"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve"
Unless you are a 'progressive'. Then man can only achieve what the govt says he can achieve.

Aug 04, 2012
One more science fiction weapon:

"A laser induced plasma channel guides the lightning bolt until it reaches the target"
http://www.dailyt...id=25055

Aug 04, 2012
"You can't force people to save for retirement except through social security or other similar methods of taxation.
"

When have people ever had the option? The pyramid scheme that is social security has essentially always been in place, people have always had a reduced budget due to it, so who's to say they wouldn't have invested that money if the government didn't steal it. Making decisions for people due to cynicism, without ever giving them the tools to succeed will never solve these problems. The internet, at least, is providing relatively ubiquitous access to research investments and financial management, but given how many people are put into poverty due to entitlement taxes, and how many peoples' incentives to invest are muted because the government will take care of them when they're old, people don't really have the responsible options put before them and illuminated.

Aug 04, 2012
"The Iron Dome system has intercepted 90 percent of missile attacks on urban centers during the latest rocket bombardment from Gaza."
http://www.israel...Gx6Mn3No

Right, can't hit a bullet with a bullet.

"The land based C-RAM has been recently deployed in a short range ballistic missile defense role to shoot down incoming rockets and artillery fire."
http://www.livele...13635468

THAAD test:

http://www.youtub...hBL41V6c

"The SM-3 Block IB successfully intercepted a separating ballistic missile target that had been launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, B"
http://www.mda.mi...gis.html


Aug 04, 2012
americans: blame everything on something they dont understand.


bigot much?

Aug 05, 2012
"You can't force people to save for retirement except through social security or other similar methods of taxation.
"

When have people ever had the option? The pyramid scheme that is social security has essentially always been in place, [...] they wouldn't have invested that money if the government didn't steal it. Making decisions for people due to cynicism, without ever giving them the tools to succeed will never solve these problems. The internet, at least, is providing relatively ubiquitous access to research investments and financial management, but given how many people are put into poverty due to entitlement taxes, and how many peoples' incentives to invest are muted because the government will take care of them when they're old, people don't really have the responsible options put before them and illuminated.


Pacmanpth --what are you, some kinda child prodigy?

Those are very advanced writing skills for someone who was, apparently, born after 2008.


Aug 05, 2012
financial mindsets would also include something on par with cannibalism. generally to accumulate more money would mean to entice someone to give it you or plain out take it from someone. socialism? yeah, there are so many ways to describe a consciously considerate social structure that would help human existence but people have resorted to using "socialism" and all the negative manipulations that "socialism" has enabled to be the generalization of an ideal that would better the existence of humans.
considering that money is the standard please excuse me if i use the all the standard methods of accumulating cash. dont get me wrong, i am willing to live according to a socially equitable structure but until society figures out that religion and money are tools of those that would be masters over other humans, i will need to make my decisions based on these societal components.
"it is too expensive to care for the elderly, it is too expensive to better human existence"=plain religion.

Aug 05, 2012
generally to accumulate more money would mean to entice someone to give it you or plain out take it from someone.


How would you 'entice' someone to give you money? Fraud?

What would you call it if someone traded his money for a product or service he valued and that you provide? Is this 'enticement' or voluntary exchange?

Aug 05, 2012
addiction to money and religion. why addicted? its like heroin but worse, the stuff makes you sick beyond anything when first tried, but you get used to it and then it makes you sick beyond anything when you dont get your daily dose. well.. better start stockpiling? what do addicts do in the name of their addiction? ever remember the time when you werent addicted? what actually got you started? something that was appealing was said and then you started your subscription to the prescription. now there are very few that can picture an existence without money and religion. is everyone ready to perpetuate this through the next generations?

Aug 05, 2012
now there are very few that can picture an existence without money

How would you exist without money?

Aug 05, 2012


How would you 'entice' someone to give you money? Fraud?

What would you call it if someone traded his money for a product or service he valued and that you provide? Is this 'enticement' or voluntary exchange?

its happening everyday and yet to no better end. you also seem to advocate the existence of money but why? because you will say it is the easiest way to trade? how was anything done before money came into play? or is it that money was created when "god" decided to put people here as a prime sustenance?
the church entices people to give money. are you saying there is nothing a person can offer in trade other than money? not a service or product in exchange? "well, being that i have money trees, i will trade you for your apple trees". i guess you posted your reply before my "addiction" post. dont remember a time before money ruled your existence eh? blame your parents? or is it that you do not believe you can come up with a better way than your ancestors?

Aug 05, 2012
its happening everyday and yet to no better end.

Based upon what evidence?
are you saying there is nothing a person can offer in trade other than money?

How many chickens are you going to give to the Chinese factory that makes your Ipad? How do you plan to send those chickens to China and ensure their survival?
If I created something like, say, money, I could sell my chickens for money and I can send that money to China for the Ipad and the Chinese can use that money to buy the parts they need to make the Ipad...... and cycle continues.


Aug 05, 2012
now there are very few that can picture an existence without money

How would you exist without money?


i have answers, do you? may i ask what area you reside in? i am in nyc. i was a stock broker, equities trader, broker dealer in raw materials, real estate licensed, many things that fall into independent contracting. even in this concrete jungle, growing and cultivation is something i definitely am a student of. i can ride horses. i can purify water.
i almost feel sorry for you or even worse, believe that you are part of the problem.

Aug 05, 2012
its happening everyday and yet to no better end.

Based upon what evidence?
are you saying there is nothing a person can offer in trade other than money?

How many chickens are you going to give to the Chinese factory that makes your Ipad? How do you plan to send those chickens to China and ensure their survival?
If I created something like, say, money, I could sell my chickens for money and I can send that money to China for the Ipad and the Chinese can use that money to buy the parts they need to make the Ipad...... and cycle continues.


please excuse me when my chinese cousins fully dominate your existence and future. IPAD... you are nearly a laugh but really a cry.

Aug 05, 2012
am in nyc.

How do you pay taxes? How do you pay for cabs, buses, trains, food, ...?
Do you know how to write in the English language?

Aug 05, 2012
btw, the stench of religion precedes you. very typical to pick certain things to argue about when the whole is the reality. you are only talking about enticement when my statement also includes aggressive acquisition. its very low brow to bring up this chicken trade for ipad example you have given.

Aug 05, 2012
its very low brow to bring up this chicken trade for ipad example you have given.

Low brow?
The question still stands, what can you trade with someone on the other side of the world, or in California, for a product or service you want?

Aug 05, 2012
am in nyc.

How do you pay taxes? How do you pay for cabs, buses, trains, food, ...?
Do you know how to write in the English language?

as per my posts, it is the standard that dominates so please excuse me again if i play according to the standards, but not for one minute will i lie about the reality of it. i dont mean lie to others as much as lie to myself.
maybe it is that you dont know a better way more than being a cannibal. i dont know. i have my own network of people here to worry about for now. cant save everyone on an over populated planet. population drives most everything and policy makers who own most of the industries want population increase. the world and our ideals would not be what they are without money and religion. many situations have arisen that people call problems but are really symptoms of a societal structure based on religion and money. religion and money are artificial elements in our existence, we came into existence without money/religion.

Aug 05, 2012
its very low brow to bring up this chicken trade for ipad example you have given.

Low brow?
The question still stands, what can you trade with someone on the other side of the world, or in California, for a product or service you want?

want, what a word. what is it you want again that you cannot get within your own area? i am good with satisfying my needs and i am able to do that locally. as for my wants, yeah, with my aggressive accumulations i can want anything from anywhere and get it... somehow now that i am in my 40s wanting is not important. i dont know, there has to be stupid people for people to be called smart.
oh yeah, i forget that there are those that lie to themselves so are they stupid? or just plain addicted?
i can feel sorry for you even though you are part of the problem.

Aug 05, 2012
just to low brow it enough for you, everything can be done without money. its money that prevents things from being accomplished, especially when it comes to betterment of human existence. if inflation is real and everything costs money, when do you think people will start getting priced out of knowledge and information? when do you think people will get priced out of existence?
the question still stands...

Aug 05, 2012
There was a time when Banks paid 4 to 5 percent interest on account balances.

All that stopped when Ronald Reagan was elected and he started deregulating the banking industry.


Do you mean times when inflation rate in the US was reaching (or close to) to double digit value? Technically speaking you might be right, though...

Another aspect - even when I try to look through your mindset I don't see what's wrong when gains from capital (ex. interests in bank account) are slowly diminishing with time. I consider it as normal outcome of saturation of markets with capital and supply and demand applied as usual. Fans of Austrian school would blame central banks. However, I'd think that you should celebrate the fact that all those evil capitalists are getting lower return. Do I get wrongly your mood?

Aug 05, 2012
How would you exist without money?
We did it very well when the rouble collapsed in 1990s, you idiot. Society is more than worthless Rothschilds debt notes.

Aug 05, 2012
everything can be done without money.

Not a space program, according to Wehrner von Braun.

Aug 05, 2012
"The simple statement, that money is a commodity whose economic function is to facilitate the interchange of goods and services, does not satisfy those writers who are interested rather in the accumulation of material than in the increase of knowledge."
"This applies in the first place to the function fulfilled by money in facilitating credit transactions. "
"The functions of money as a transmitter of value through time and space may also be directly traced back to its function as medium of exchange."
http://mises.org/...Ch1.aspx


Aug 05, 2012
"Money, the common medium of exchange, which can be exchanged for every commodity and with which every commodity can be procured, is preeminently suitable for this. It would be absolutely impossible for the individual, even if he were a complete expert in commercial matters, to follow every change of market conditions and make the corresponding alterations in his scale of use-values and exchange values, unless he chose some common denominator to which he could reduce each exchange ratio. Because the market enables any commodity to be turned into money and money into any commodity, objective exchange value is expressed in terms of money."
"The whole structure of the calculations of the entrepreneur and the consumer rests on the process of valuing commodities in money. Money has thus become an aid that the human mind is no longer able to dispense with in making economic calculations. "
http://mises.org/...Ch2.aspx

Aug 05, 2012
So you say seniors "accumulated little"? How about seniors lost a lot? Many of our elders did work very hard and saved. Many lost businesses, farms, homes and savings to financial predators and shyster lawyers, not to mention their own children. To top it off Congress manages Social Security as a ponzi scheme where the fund
has been looted repeatedly. Social Security is not failing. It is being robbed! Seniors paid it forward, only to find the money is gone when they need it most in their twilight years. It makes me sick to see some critics accuse us of expecting young people to pay for our benefits. Congress is to blame, not seniors!

Aug 06, 2012
as Eddie implied I'm blown away that a person able to profit $7977 in four weeks on the internet. did you look at this site http://ao.co.za/H9K205

Aug 06, 2012
From the point of view of Koch et al, the current system is perfect...
And electing a Gordon Gekko clone with a past as pension fund looter and corporate raider will be the logical endpoint.
In the long run, China and India will regain their previous domination of world economy, but this will speed up the process of American decline.

Aug 06, 2012
entitlement, reward, compensation, etc are psychological barriers that keep us locked in with the money system. if humans were not trained to be selfishly separatist things would be done as a community and money would not be needed. money is more of a device for control than it is for facilitation.

Aug 06, 2012
VD:
I agree with you, but also include a growing population and an increase in the velocity of money as a cause, in addition to the printing of money as authorized by the federal government.

Are you sure about that velocity increase? I've seen stats for euro and when the currency was created there was planned mild velocity decrease (round 2% annually) and actual outcome was even higher money velocity decrease that mostly forced ECB to abandon aims in money aggregates and concentrate on inflation aim with disregard to money aggregates.

Aug 06, 2012
What compound interest?
Save 100 USD at 2% interest for 30 years and you will have a whopping 180 USD.


Yeah, and by then $180 will actually be worth less than the $100 you started with...

Aug 06, 2012
I'll bet they left their wallets and wealth at the hospital...on the way out.
The health industry seems bent on separating wealth from heirs.

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