18 June 2019 FT — Articles to Read

Question: According to MSN: Money, what are twenty (20) lies we tell ourselves about retirement?

Business travelers to US hit by crackdown – Pg. 2

  • Business travelers to the US are being haunted by decades-old drug and alcohol offences, and reckless social media posts, as the US toughens its approach to approving visas, …
  • While UK employees do not have to disclose spent convictions to employers, US visa rules state that any brush with the law is relevant, including arrests that do not lead to criminal charges or even cautions
  • One of the most significant changes is that US officials are scouring social media to uncover habits that have not been voluntarily disclosed

Wage growth in Eurozone records fastest pace in a decade – Pg. 2

  • Eurozone wage growth accelerated at its fastest pace in a decade in the first quarter, underpinning the region’s economic expansion even as the export-led manufacturing sector suffers amid weakening global trade
  • Wage growth in the single currency bloc rose 2.5% in the period, up from 2.4% at the end of last year and the fastest pace since 2009,…
  • …eurozone vacancy rates stood at 2.3% in the first quarter, stable compared with the last quarter of 2018 and the highest rate in a decade
  • Nearly all 19 eurozone countries registered an expansion in wage growth over the previous year of above 2%.  Growth was at double-digit levels in many eastern European countries, while both France and Germany registered wage expansion at 2.8 and 2.5%, respectively.  Only in Italy was wage growth consistently below 2% in the last three quarters

Africa to propel world’s population towards 10bn by 2050 – Pg. 3

  • Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is set to double over the next 30 years to some 2bn, putting it on track to overtake central and south Asia soon after as the world’s most populous region
  • The high fertility rates south of the Sahara mean that region will account for more than half of global population growth between now and 2050,…
  • The trend is exemplified by Nigeria, whose population has surged from 95m in 1990 to 201m this year
  • In Niger, where women have on average seven children, the highest birth rate in the world
  • India is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country around 2027
  • Twenty-seven countries have fewer inhabitants now than in 2010, and 55 are expected to experience a decline between today and 2050
  • Population is falling fastest in eastern Europe, where Lithuania stands out with a decline of 12% between 2010 and 2019 and a further fall of 27% projected between now and 2050
  • Syria is the most striking example, recording a 20% population decline since 2010 as a result of people fleeing the civil war
  • Puerto Rico has lost 17% of its inhabitants since 2010 through emigration and is expected to lose another 17% over the next 30 years.  The US has gained the most immigrants over the past 10 years – some 10m – and Germany has added 5m
  • People will also continue to live longer….Average life expectancy at birth increased from 64. Years in 1990 to 72.6 in 2019, and is expected to increase further to 77.1 in 2050

Puerto Rico agrees to deal to rejig $35bn debt burden – Pg. 19

  • Puerto Rico has struck a deal with its bondholders on how to restructure $35bn of debt, which could allow the island to emerge from bankruptcy in early 2020 after three painful years in financial limbo
  • Resolution of the US commonwealth’s debt pile has been complicated by its size, complexity, Puerto Rico’s knotty legal status and the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017
  • Puerto Rico first began defaulting on some of its debts in 2015, but had to declare a full moratorium on payments three years ago
  • The deal will turn about $35bn of Puerto Rican debt into $12bn of bonds that are payable over the next three decades.  Including principal repayment and interest, that will more than halve the island’s debt service to $21bn over the next 30 years,….
  • The deal entails a greater than 60% haircut on the overall $35bn debt burden, a 36% cut on “general obligation” bonds issued before 2012, and 27% being shaved off the value of public authority bonds that carry a constitutional guarantee on payment

Answer: (1) I will be able to retire when I reach retirement age (Prof Note: Retirement is NOT an age, it is an equation, e.g. Passive Income >= Active Expense.); (2) I will be able to work until retirement age (Prof Note: I have “Living Wills” for my businesses.  I have plans in place for the trains to run without my ability to manage.  Run yourself like a corporation!  Also, BB&T just changed corporate policy due to my advocacy, i.e. third-party Powers of Attorney are now accepted!); (3) I will not have to work at all once I end my career (Prof Note: Define “work”!  Pursue one’s passion(s) and when you are great at something, typically it can be turned into a business!  Also, and I have learned this in the past 10 years, one does not have to “Maximize Shareholder Wealth” when one owns the business!); (4) I will not need to save money until later in life (Prof Note: Savings should begin prior to birth!); (5) I cannot afford to save (Prof Note: If you have ever had a Starbucks coffee in your hand, you can afford to save!); (6) I do not need to invest (Prof Note: You need to understand how to invest, then invest!); (7) Marriage will help me save more money for retirement (Prof Note: The greatest destroyer of wealth is divorce….choice wisely!); (8) I will get by on my inheritance (Prof Note: There may not be an inheritance!  Also, what is “inheritance”?!  It could be an invoice.  For example, one “inherits” a family property without receiving a trust and/or cash.  The person refuses to sell the property.  The person just inherited an invoice!); (9) once I downsize, I will be able to live off the equity of my home (Prof Note: Build passive income streams that do NOT require asset sales); (10) I will be able to work when I am older (Prof Note: Focus on your health); (11) My kids will take care of me (Prof Note: Do you really want to live with an Millennial in the CBD in an 800sf flat?); (12) My company’s retirement plan will be sufficient for retirement (Prof Note: Count on yourself ONLY!  The rest is bonus!); (13) I will have enough money to retire early (Prof Note: Even this answer is incorrect!  It is not “money” that is needed but passive and perpetual income flow!); (14) I will sell my business for retirement money (Prof Note: And do what with your $$$?  Be careful!); (15) Investing is too risky (Prof Note: High risk, High reward.  Find your sweet spot!); (16) I will not need to worry about health care costs in old age (Prof Note: The average couple over 65 needs to budget $250,000 + in medical expenses); (17) My credit score is not important (Prof Note: That is just silly!); (18) I can start saving for retirement once I am out of debt (Prof Note: This needs to be carefully considered.); (19) I will not need long-term care (Prof Note: Invest in your health); (20) I will never be able to retire anyway (Prof Note: Not with that attitude!)