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Old 05-16-2011, 02:32 PM   #21
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Here we go again. We (collectively) wring our hands all the time about the poor/distracted/stressed/overworked etc majority who aren't saving enough money.

Observation: We can't do anything about this issue.

Here are three potentially constructive way to channel the apparent energy we have concerning the future and our grasshopper neighbors:

1) Think of ways you might individually profit from the trend. What sectors, industries, or investments will benefit from a large cohort of old people who need to find a way to make ends meet during their twilight years? Will businesses that specialize in running group living arrangements do well? Dog food companies? Makers of furniture covers?

2) If the grasshoppers are going to demand that the ants support them, what steps can you take to protect what you have from forcible appropriation by the government, or even qualify for some of the spoils? E.g. I think we've mentioned often that reducing investment income by using a portion of your portfolio to pay off the mortgage might help in this regard.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:09 PM   #22
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2) If the grasshoppers are going to demand that the ants support them, what steps can you take to protect what you have from forcible appropriation by the government, or even qualify for some of the spoils?
Now you're talking. There's little sense beefing about these unfortunate large scale trends, because they're going to happen, anyway. No one is listening. But it does make sense to try to anticipate and fine tune your own personal tactics to better survive in a strange future world.

I don't think it is any more a matter of the grasshoppers demanding support from the ants than it is the ants insisting on supporting the grasshoppers, whether they like it or not.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #23
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With my current employer though, they only match, so I have to fiddle with my contribution rate from time to time, and make sure that I don't hit the limit until the final pay period.
You should check with your HR dept. If I max out before the end of the year, my company (mega corp) will 'true-up' their contribution at the end of the year to ensure that I get the full match.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:31 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Here we go again. We (collectively) wring our hands all the time about the poor/distracted/stressed/overworked etc majority who aren't saving enough money.

Observation: We can't do anything about this issue.

Here are three potentially constructive way to channel the apparent energy we have concerning the future and our grasshopper neighbors:

1) Think of ways you might individually profit from the trend. What sectors, industries, or investments will benefit from a large cohort of old people who need to find a way to make ends meet during their twilight years? Will businesses that specialize in running group living arrangements do well? Dog food companies? Makers of furniture covers?

2) If the grasshoppers are going to demand that the ants support them, what steps can you take to protect what you have from forcible appropriation by the government, or even qualify for some of the spoils? E.g. I think we've mentioned often that reducing investment income by using a portion of your portfolio to pay off the mortgage might help in this regard.
Good post.

I can't think of anything in (1). Regarding (2), I'm deferring SS and spending down 401k/IRA. Some people view that as doubling down on the SS political risk. I view it as reducing my assets for some future means-tested world.

I'm also getting more serious about trad IRA to Roth IRA conversions. Although I can see Roth being used for means testing, I can also see it getting some treatment that's more favorable than traditional. (For example, if they just add up your assets, the Roth dollar amount is lower because it's after tax.)
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:16 PM   #25
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2) If the grasshoppers are going to demand that the ants support them, what steps can you take to protect what you have from forcible appropriation by the government, or even qualify for some of the spoils?
Consider yourselves lucky you're invested in the US. Ireland is so broke it's placing a 0.6% levy on PRIVATE pension plans (public service employees have already agreed to contribute more to their pension plans).

Ireland to Impose Levy on Pension Funds to Finance Jobs Plan - Bloomberg
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