Living Longer: Health Care, Life Insurance and Retirement Costs for U.S. Citizens

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At first glance, one would tend to assume that living longer is a blessing. One gets to spend more time enjoying the company of loved ones, see grandchildren grow up, etc.. However, it’s also worth wondering how current standards of longevity for U.S. citizens tie in with the hefty costs of medical care, the issue of purchasing life insurance, and the cost of retiring. Let's take a look at how much we’re actually spending on health care compared to other countries, how longer lives impact our life insurance premiums, and whether or not we should all just find a different country to retire to. Health Care Costs in the U.S. Obamacare was definitely not the first time the issue of health care … [Read more...]

How States Stack Up

If you have ever considered moving to improve your income or lifestyle the following info-graphic might help clarify your choices. It covers median household income by state ( the yellow states have the highest median income and the orange states have the lowest). It also covers Housing costs, number of millionaires, poverty rate, well being index, employment rate, tax burden, minimum wage and GDP. By clicking on an individual state you can see all its results at once in the right hand column.   See also: Cost of Living, State Employment and Unemployment Rates and Minimum Wages vs Unemployment. … [Read more...]

Inflation: America’s #1 Export

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What’s America’s No. 1 Export? by Bill Bonner In 1950 the typical working man was able to support a family. Today he can barely support himself because the costs of his main expenses have gone way up. He has to work about twice as long to pay for a new car and a new house. Health care is worse. In 1950 the cost per person per year was about $100. According to the government’s numbers, prices today are about 10 times higher. So health care should cost about $1,000. Not even close. It’s $9,000. In 1950 the typical father earned about $60 a week. For a family of four, he had to work fewer than seven weeks to cover the year’s health care expenses. Today how much does he earn? We’ve … [Read more...]

Highest Grossing Movies Adjusted for Inflation

Inflation Adjusted Movie Film

Traditionally, war films, musicals and historical dramas have been the most popular genres and Gone With the Wind held the record of highest-grossing film for 25 years but doesn't even make it into the top fifty in the modern market. But purchasing power varies widely over the time period since Gone With the Wind was first released in 1939. But the true key to determining how revenues really compare is when you adjust them for inflation. Highest-grossing films (Nominal) First we will look at nominal gross box office revenues. That is the actual number of dollars (not adjusted for inflation) earned strictly in the box office. Modern films have an advantage because in addition to box office … [Read more...]

Regarding Gas Inflation

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Doug S. Says I'm full of It- Regarding Gas Inflation I just got the following comment from Doug S. I saw the chart on how gas prices haven't really risen when considered with inflation. I am 61 years old, and when I was working in the mid- to late-60s as a high school student, I made $1.60 an hour as minimum wage. Gas was only .25-.35 per gallon (with 'gas wars', much of the time cheaper) so with one hour of work I could purchase 5-6 gallons of gas. Now, with a minimum wage of $7.50 or so, you can only purchase a bit more than 2 gallons of gas, depending on the day of the week. Minimum wage has gone up, what, 4.6-5 times or so, but gas prices have gone up 10 times or more. Where am I … [Read more...]

What Does 8% Inflation Really Mean?

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By Dennis Miller Eight percent is not good news. In my latest article I shared some reader feedback from our inflation survey, and in case you missed it, the Money Forever Reader Poll Inflation Rate is 8%. But what does that number really mean for us – seniors and savers trying to protect our buying power? It's time to read the tea leaves and find out. Up to Your Ass in Alligators You may remember the old poster that read, "When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's tough to remember the goal was to drain the swamp." You may have felt overwhelmed during the last few years, as the investment options for your retirement portfolio changed. You might read about the benefits of gold … [Read more...]

Cost of Living – Fish and Chips

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Cost of Living Fish and Chips Fish and chips still remains the favorite take away meal in the UK despite fierce competition. The exact origins are unknown but it has been established that chips arrived from France during the 18th Century. There was also mention of fried fish and bread in ‘Oliver Twist’ by Dickens, published in the 1830s. The Oxford English Dictionary claims the earliest usage of "chips" in this sense was in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (published in 1859). Fish and chips became standard fare among the working classes in Great Britain due to the efficiency of trawl fishing in the North Sea, and the development of railways which allowed fresh fish to be rapidly … [Read more...]

Cost of Living

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The cost of living or (COL) varies from state to state and city to city and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some areas have seen housing costs decrease dramatically in the years since the housing bubble popped in 2008, while others have only fallen slightly. But the Cost of living is more than just housing costs it is the amount of money it will take to  maintain the same standard of living in various places. Changes in the cost of living over time are often calculated via a cost of living index. Cost of living calculations are also used to compare the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living in different geographic areas. Geographic differences in cost of living can be … [Read more...]

Australia- How to Beat the Health Cover Cut

Health fund members have discovered that the best way to avoid means-testing of the nation’s $5 billion private health insurance rebate is to prepay their premiums.  After the means test on private health fund subsidies was approved by the Senate, almost 2 and a half million health fund members will start paying up to $1300 more each year for health cover starting July 1.  Health insurers all across Australia braced for a huge increase of members choosing to prepay premiums after the Australian Taxation Office sent out letters warning consumers about the changes. (more…) … [Read more...]

The Effects of Inflation on Life Insurance

Life Insurance Inflation

How Life Insurance Works Premiums on term life insurance are usually paid (monthly, quarterly or annually) for between 10 and 30 years, depending on the particular policy you've chosen. One of the ways that life insurance works is that you pay a fixed rate for the length of the policy and the value of the insurance does not change. Whether you die tomorrow or 20 years from now, your beneficiaries would still receive the same dollar amount of insurance settlement. Therefore, if you have a $500,000 term life insurance policy, as long as the premiums are paid it provides  $500,000 worth of coverage from the day you buy it until the day the term ends or it is paid out. The Effects of Inflation … [Read more...]