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Old 09-15-2023, 11:13 AM   #2601
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More than affordable. We just broke out the 20 lb bag that DW stashed/hoarded during the early day of the pandemic. I'm doing lots of stir fry in the next month or so.
Rice does go stale within a few years.
Won't hurt you but does taste different to me.
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Old 09-15-2023, 11:29 AM   #2602
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I've heard this comment many times regarding inflation/standard of living discussions. I wonder, though, how legitimate it is. I fully agree that we don't have to pay for long distance calling anymore, but you could make a lot of long distance calls for the price of a new smart phone. I agree computers are smaller, faster, and flashier than they used to be, with immense amounts of storage. But they have to be. An old computer wouldn't function well, if at all, with the new internet. TV's. Well, you definitely win that one. I could still be watching my old 13" box TV, so the 65" flatscreen is a definite step up.



I think it would be better if the economists just picked an average device for the current situation and didn't try to accomodate the "improvements" in technology. It would make an impossible task slightly less impossible.


My landline almost 10 years ago was $60 month plus long distance. I pay $25 for a cell phone plan with the same company. That makes up for a new iPhone every 2 years or an android ever 3 months.
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:21 PM   #2603
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My landline almost 10 years ago was $60 month plus long distance. I pay $25 for a cell phone plan with the same company. That makes up for a new iPhone every 2 years or an android ever 3 months.
I'm using Tello with unlimited minutes and texts for $9/mo. I can't remember how much I paid for a landline back in the day, but I'm pretty certain it was something like $20 to $30/mo.

I'm not sure why you would buy an Android phone every 3 months. I usually get low cost ones and still use them at least 2 years.
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Old 09-15-2023, 01:36 PM   #2604
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What bothers me are the numbers regarding how working people's wages are falling behind as inflation eats a chunk out of them. While the rate of inflation is decreasing it household income has not yet returned in real terms to what they were a few years ago.

From an editorial in the 9/14 WSJ:

Quote:
the Census Bureau says median household income adjusted for inflation fell last year by $1,750 to $74,580. It is down $3,670 from 2019. Households in the fourth income quintile—those making $94,000 to $153,000—lost $4,600 in 2022 and $6,700 since 2019. Middle-class Americans who think they’re losing ground are right.
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The reason is that inflation has outpaced the earnings growth from work. Real median earnings for full-time workers last year fell $3,620 for men and $2,880 for women despite a tight labor market that had companies paying more to attract and keep workers. The female-to-male earnings gap declined to 16% from 18% in 2019, but mainly because inflation has eroded men’s wages more than women’s.
This will give people that feeling that they are falling behind, because they are.
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Old 09-15-2023, 04:56 PM   #2605
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What bothers me are the numbers regarding how working people's wages are falling behind as inflation eats a chunk out of them. While the rate of inflation is decreasing it household income has not yet returned in real terms to what they were a few years ago.

From an editorial in the 9/14 WSJ:

This will give people that feeling that they are falling behind, because they are.
Jason Furman (former CEA chair) said the decline is the result of composition effect. Actual real wages have increased for much (most?) of the labor force but the averages reflect the loss of higher paying jobs and increase of lower paying jobs.
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Old 09-16-2023, 06:00 AM   #2606
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Jason Furman (former CEA chair) said the decline is the result of composition effect. Actual real wages have increased for much (most?) of the labor force but the averages reflect the loss of higher paying jobs and increase of lower paying jobs.
That's really interesting!

Statistics are never as simple as they seem. (I won't repeat the cliche.)

There's also another good reason that "median" can be more important than "average" when it comes to many things economic.
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Old 09-16-2023, 06:39 AM   #2607
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Jason Furman (former CEA chair) said the decline is the result of composition effect. Actual real wages have increased for much (most?) of the labor force but the averages reflect the loss of higher paying jobs and increase of lower paying jobs.
But has the buying power increased for much of the labor force that saw real wage increases?
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Old 09-16-2023, 10:06 AM   #2608
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CEA? California Earthquake Authority? That can't be right. Can't be Connecticut Education Association either.

OK, may be this one. Council of Economic Advisers.

I guess I have to mull on the significance of their findings.

"Loss of higher paying jobs and increase of lower paying jobs"... Does that mean the economic scale is broadening out? Fewer people making a lot of money, in exchange for more people having jobs? Of course, the few people at the top make more than ever.

We need to see the distribution curves, before and after to really tell.

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But has the buying power increased for much of the labor force that saw real wage increases?
I would venture that the people who are in the top 5% make more money than they consume, so put a lot of their savings into stocks to help push them up.
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Old 09-16-2023, 10:45 AM   #2609
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That's really interesting!

Statistics are never as simple as they seem. (I won't repeat the cliche.)

There's also another good reason that "median" can be more important than "average" when it comes to many things economic.
Yes. And in addition, when discussing complex matters like income, breaking down the work force into segments and looking at each one separately is more useful. I don’t have the numbers handy but my recollection is the bottom 3 quintiles saw substantial increases in relative wages and also in real after inflation terms. The 2nd quintile was flat-ish and the top quintile lost.
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But has the buying power increased for much of the labor force that saw real wage increases?
That’s difficult to say. Much more data is needed, as is some time. These numbers will be revised more than once.

Standard of living is something to measure over long periods of time, one or two years isn’t enough. Too many factors affect in the short term and then disappear. What really matters is sustained improvements.

What is clear, once again, is high inflation always causes a redistribution of wealth. The loss is to holders of long term fixed income and retired people on fixed income. Employed population will see their incomes adjust, even if that takes a few years.
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Old 09-17-2023, 05:47 PM   #2610
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My iPhone XR is about 5 years old and still chugging away. But, I'm thinking it's about time to upgrade.

I gotta grudgingly admit it is used a lot. It's my newspaper, map, weather guy, flashlight, boombox / walkman, camera, encyclopedia, telegraph, etc. etc. And a cordless phone to boot!

Given all it does, it seems worth it (to me) to blow-the-dough on a nice new one every so often.
Sounds reasonable for you.

Of course, mine is mostly just a phone.
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Old 09-17-2023, 05:53 PM   #2611
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There is a BTD thread.

There's also a thread about the 4% SWR and how ER members are probably being too conservative in their withdrawal rate and many will probably die as multimillionaires.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:20 PM   #2612
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Well, the market may crash hard, and these conservative ER members may not have to worry about leaving too much money behind.

I dunno how much I will leave unspent. But I can say this. I used to worry about not having enough. Now, that worry has pretty much subsided, and I can now worry about other things like my health. I have never worried about not being able to spend it all before I croak.
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Old 09-18-2023, 06:40 AM   #2613
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Well, the market may crash hard, and these conservative ER members may not have to worry about leaving too much money behind.

I dunno how much I will leave unspent. But I can say this. I used to worry about not having enough. Now, that worry has pretty much subsided, and I can now worry about other things like my health. I have never worried about not being able to spend it all before I croak.
+1000!
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:11 PM   #2614
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New acronym alert - Kitces.com just published an article by Justin Fitzpatrick discussing Sequence-of-Inflation Risk (SOIR I guess). It speaks to Monte Carlo type sims where the user/analyst inputs variables like expected long-term inflation. Yet inflation is variable, recently at 9% while previously at ~1.5%.

The point of the article is that sequence of inflation is a thing and it impacts success rates, just like SORR. We're coming out of a bad example and I think it shows based on OMY comments and the like.

https://www.kitces.com/blog/sequence...lo-technology/
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:15 PM   #2615
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New acronym alert - Kitces.com just published an article by Justin Fitzpatrick discussing Sequence-of-Inflation Risk (SOIR I guess). It speaks to Monte Carlo type sims where the user/analyst inputs variables like expected long-term inflation. Yet inflation is variable, recently at 9% while previously at ~1.5%.

The point of the article is that sequence of inflation is a thing and it impacts success rates, just like SORR. We're coming out of a bad example and I think it shows based on OMY comments and the like.

https://www.kitces.com/blog/sequence...lo-technology/

Great, one more thing to confuse people and create worry.
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:34 PM   #2616
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Yes, DH and I have been very blessed that we’ve been through 2 decades of lower than average inflation and a very long bull market with low inflation at the end of it. We’ve given a lot of our gains back in the last 2 years, but at least we entered it way ahead of inflation. Knock on wood!
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:42 PM   #2617
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I believe that the Fed will knock down inflation. They talk tough enough. Enough to knock down the S&P by 1% today.

Following is an excerpt from a Web report after the Fed meeting today.

Quote:
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at a 22-year high on Wednesday while signaling another rate hike will be needed later this year to bring inflation back to its 2% target.

The central bank maintained the range for its benchmark interest rate at 5.25%-5.5%, but held projections for interest rates to finish the year in a range of 5.5%-5.75%, implying one more rate hike this year.

Twelve members of the FOMC saw one more rate hike needed this year while seven members wanted to keep rates at current levels through year-end.
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Old 09-20-2023, 10:58 PM   #2618
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I'm not sure why you would buy an Android phone every 3 months. I usually get low cost ones and still use them at least 2 years.
+1. Also, I'm not sure what the cheapest plan is but I'm paying $25/mo - seems like a pretty good deal compared to most plans I've heard about.
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Old 09-20-2023, 11:00 PM   #2619
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I dunno how much I will leave unspent. But I can say this. I used to worry about not having enough. Now, that worry has pretty much subsided, and I can now worry about other things like my health. I have never worried about not being able to spend it all before I croak.
Right!
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:51 AM   #2620
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+1. Also, I'm not sure what the cheapest plan is but I'm paying $25/mo - seems like a pretty good deal compared to most plans I've heard about.

Yeah, DW and I have a phone for each of us and I think our combined plan is $50. Compared to our last land line - that's the same price per phone - and we get "free" (Included, really) long distance. YMMV
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