Think the Fed Financial Crisis Doesn’t Affect You?

It’s easy to get lost in all of the rhetoric coming out of Congress and the White House these days. For years, we’ve Wrong Way Signseen nothing but a series of lies, mistruths, selfish mindsets and ulterior motives. All the while, we’ve been forced to sit back and watch it unfold. Amidst all of this, there are the debt ceiling crises that have taken over mainstream media from time to time, only to fade into the darkness when a new and better “breaking news” story hits. Now, as yet another deadline looms, which really is just proof that the elected folks have drastically failed yet again, the repercussions are many. Don’t allow yourself to become indifferent because it seems so familiar. There’s a lot at stake.

Medicare and Social Security

This is a double whammy for seniors and the elderly. For around 70% of Medicare recipients, they’re protected from an increase in their Part B premiums. Part B is the portion of Medicare that oversees doctors and hospital payments. They’re protected because they are not receiving a cost of living adjustment – also known as COLA – from Social Security. Since there’s been no inflation, there are no increases for recipients. The law doesn’t allow Medicare premium increases if there are no COLA increases.

That still leaves 30% of Medicare beneficiaries who will shoulder 100% of the Part B premium increases. That equates to about 7 million seniors and elders. Now, we all know Congress can halt this, but we also know their track record. Couple this with everything else that’s going on: 2016 race to the White House, the absence of a speaker of the house and the general bickering they’re known for, and it becomes worrisome. Oh, and did I mention the deadline is November 2nd?

Remember: they could have prevented this – in fact, they PROMISED we’d not run up to another deadline the last time they run us up to a deadline. This could have been avoided. If you’re wondering what the Obama Administration is saying, you’ll appreciate this: “We share the goal of keeping Medicare’s premiums affordable, are exploring all options, and appreciate the interest and ideas of members of Congress,” said White House spokeswoman Katie Hill.

Shared goals and appreciated ideas. Great.

For those who are facing this 52% premium hike, it equates to around $60 each month. Currently the premiums are around $104.50. They will increase to 159.00 each month.

Who’s at risk?

  • New Medicare applicants in 2016
  • Medicare recipients with incomes over $85,000 or if they’re married, $170,000
  • Low-income income people whose Medicare premiums are paid by state Medicaid programs
  • Medicare recipients who don’t receive Social Security

Even if you’re still working – even if you’re in your 20s, these are the types of problems where Band Aids are applied and by the time you prepare for retirement, you’ll remember decades earlier when no one was willing to do the right thing. Odds are, all of us – no matter our age – have loved ones who will be affected today and tomorrow and next week. This matters to all of us.

Keep in mind a few more things that should provide a bit of perspective as well:

New numbers suggest a full 2/3 of Americans have absolutely no retirement savings. That’s huge…mostly because it’s a far bigger problem than anyone anticipated. Remember the MyRA retirement program Obama introduced last year? Not a single state has implemented it. Not one.

We’re working in the belief that employment is sound. The numbers have been so twisted for so long that it’s actually laughable. More companies are talking (and in fact are already in the process) of layoffs. These higher numbers aren’t all being reported as they should because they’re being referred to as furloughs and not layoffs, so the government isn’t taking them into consideration.

Our stock market is just as laughable. This has become nothing but a heavily modified “ideal” that has no degree of truth at all. Do you realize our financial sector is being determined by a Fed that can’t figure out how it backed itself into a corner, a global economy that’s worse than our own, but doesn’t realize it and backdoor deals and dynamics created to save taxes, keep more dividends and shift and change with very little regulation? Folks are getting rich. I’d say there are about 100 people benefitting from the shady practices built on non-existent foundations. When these strange business structures finally crash and burn – and they will, the taxpayer will be the one to cover those costs. And we will. But right now, we have a bigger crisis on our hands. Our senior citizens need to eat and have access to their medications.

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Maybe a Shift is Occurring Anyway

For two years, I’ve climbed my soap box and hollered from the rooftops that if the entire American financial sector wasn’t overhauled, it would crash hard. The massive hits our economy has taken simply cannot include a Band Aid and hope for a better day as the cure. It’s like getting flood damage in your home – just because your ceiling doesn’t get wet doesn’t mean it’s not ruined. It all has to be replaced, right?

Now, though, there’s an interesting new platform that just might shift the scales ever so slightly. This is one of those things that if it does well, it will soar to the heavens. If it fails, though, it’s going to crash hard.

Many people don’t know, but 80% of Americans don’t have access to the stock market for one reason or another. Usually, it’s just too intimidating. Most have no idea where to find the answers and there are those who feel the stock market is just too big a gamble. But – what if you could buy stock from a company via its Facebook Fan Page? That’s exactly what’s happening right now.

It’s really very interesting. Loyal3, the company that’s making this possible, is now allowing any business to sell its stocks to any of its Facebook fans under a new model, “Customer Stock Ownership Plan” or CSOP. And you don’t have to know all the frustrating ins and outs of stock trading. There are no fees to do this, either – which is good since broker fees can be as high as 60% of what’s being bought through a trader. All you have to do is find a company you want to invest in and with three clicks, you’re now a part owner of that company. You can invest as little as $10, too. Buy one share or a million shares. Actually, I wouldn’t suggest buying a million shares of anything off of Facebook, but I’m telling you, this could be the start of something quite impressive. Imagine the little entrepreneurs we could raise if we could get young folks to spend just five minutes of their time on Facebook looking for stocks to buy.

Loyal3’s CSOP is in its infancy and currently only has one company on board, but September promises to bring many new companies and all signs indicate this is a sure thing. Since I’m having to stay on top of this for a client, I’ll post anything new I come across, but in the meantime, go see for yourself – y’all know I’m all about due diligence when it comes to money. Visit the Loyal3 website here. And in the meantime, just because I’m not listed with the Dow doesn’t mean you can’t like my Facebook page. So go like it!