Saturday, November 09, 2019

Government Retirement Theft in Progress

Let’s see, If I retire tomorrow, I can live off of the interest on my savings. What is wrong with that assumption? 40 years ago, the interest rates were 7 to 10 percent. And if you wanted to take some risk, you could get 18% on triple D bonds.

Remember the rule of 72 for interest rates? Divide the interest rate into 72 and that gives you the number of years it takes for your principle to double.

Take a retiree with one million in the bank right now. At 2% interest they are getting 20,000 a year in interest to live on. At 6% interest they would have 60,000 to live on. I can remember when I was starting my 401K, 8% or 80k was enough to do almost anything.

One could ask the question of why interest rates haven’t gone up; the government has been printing dollars like crazy. And there should be inflation. The only inflation I see is in health care costs, government services and property taxes.

Examine retirement plans like CalPERS that are claiming 6.7% returns on investments. They haven’t been getting that sort of return since the year 2000. The return for the last 15 years has been less than 4% if you average it out. The factor here is the rule of 72. Retirement plans pay through the nose if their rate assumptions are wrong long term. In this case, the state of California has to make up the shortfall. The trouble is, politicians can overlook the problem and pass it on to the next elected administration. Even 4%, doubles your principle every 18 years. A declared interest rate of 6.7 implies a doubling every 10 years. There is a problem here, that no one is pointing out. Of course if you are running for office in California, the problem is more than 4 years out, so there is nothing to worry about. keep quite and enjoy your term in office.

So, with 22 Trillion in national debt, what is the interest on that? At 4% it is 880,000,000,000. At 8% it is 1.7 trillion. Do you get the feeling that we as a country, can't do much more than pay the interest on the national debt? It kind of suggests that we will never pay the debt off. Which is a very interesting concept. Borrow until you can no longer afford to pay the interest demanded.

The problem here is that there is a mental separation between debt of government and obligations of citizens toward that debt. The government owes the debt, let the government pay it. Sounds logical for all the wrong reasons.

In a gold-based economy, most people hold very little gold. It is all spent paycheck to paycheck, no different than it is today. But savings are a different issue. In a gold economy, there is accountability for savings in the system. The irritating thing is that gold earns no interest. Investments currently make returns, but the returns are extremely low. The 1.5 percent interest return from the bank, won’t cover inflation, whereas a precious metals investment, probably will long term.

Many people may decide to put more of their savings into a non-productive investment like gold, as an insurance policy. Our current valid inflation rate is somewhere between 7 and 12 percent. This reflects the inflation created by our government spending. The reduced interest rate payed by the banks of 1.5 percent minus the inflation factor of say 10 percent reflects the taxes paid surreptitiously of those retired people with savings. A retiree with one million in the bank at 1.5 percent interest, is being taxed at (10-1.5) 8.5 percent, about 85 thousand dollars a year.

The tax is invisible. The interest rates are artificially low. The retirees do not understand the concept of interest manipulation by the Treasury Department. They are being robbed blind by government financial policy. Basically, there is so many printed dollars in circulation and very little demand for loans in relation to the size of dollars available. The Key thing, everyone is saving like mad to have a great retirement. This keeps inflation low, because it is not being spent.

At some point there will be a problem. Why save if there is no incentive? I think we are at that point and don’t realize it. Credit cards offer money back on purchases, and it is more than current bank interest rates. Something is upside down here. The logic is backwards. The real losers in all of this are the retirees. That is where most of the saved money is.

So the next time you hear that the price of gas went up or prescription drugs cost more. Think about it for one minute. The same gasoline sold for 25 cents a gallon 50 years ago. People will claim "That's just inflation." But as you move into retirement, the real world of government financing eats at your savings with lousy interest rate returns on your savings. And then there are the general yearly inflation price increases.

So what can we glean from all of this? If you are at retirement age, it might not be the retirement you expected. Growing old is not something that happens to government, it happens to people. The unfortunate thing is that health care problems are what pop up at retirement age.

The real problem is the government. The retiree is confused, trying to comprehend why the money he saved for retirement was not enough to satisfy his retirement dreams. And sadly it wasn't even his fault.


dearieme said...

I see headlines in the British papers: the wealthy will move their capital abroad to avoid a Corbyn government. No doubt they will, and very wise too. But the papers never explain how non-wealthy people like us can move our money to Switzerland or Singapore, Canada or Australia. Our house and pensions we can't protect but it would be comforting to move at least some of our investments and emergency cash.

Mind you, interest rates in Switzerland are 0% or worse, but that's better than 100% confiscation.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

You have a house, that is a real asset not paper money. Gold and silver aren't bad stores of wealth right now. Paper money pays no interest and is subject to inflation. Put about 10 percent of your saving into gold and silver. I consider the Canadian maple leafs, the way to go. They are considered a currency and not quite in the reach of government if they were to try to confiscate gold and silver bullion. 100 gold coins takes up one third of a safety deposit box. Silver is a little bulky, 1000 ounces weight about 63 pounds. So gold and platinum are easier to handle at my age and the bank is convenient.