October 15, 2013

Financial Markets

By Doug Sivco

Financial markets have now become a function of how investors are guessing the drama in Washington, DC will play out. Stock prices on Wall Street are moving up or down based on the latest debating points emanating from Republicans, Democrats and the President.  On the world stage, we are not looking very grown up as the world’s greatest democracy. There will be a resolution, of course. A compromise will be hammered out eventually to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States. But the public relations cost has been an expensive one.

When it is clear that our country has not fallen off a cliff economically, our will focus will turn back to our own financial situation. In our first update, I spoke of the great concentration of wealth 60 and 70 year olds possess. Many of us have worked hard and achieved much. There is, of course, a flip side to this coin.

According to a recent New York Times report, more Americans 65 and older are descending into poverty at a faster rate than ever before. 3.1% of women are now classified as extremely poor, and 2.3% of men. This is not good. The Census Bureau considers someone with a yearly income of $11,011 or less, living alone as extremely poor.  The increase in poverty requires our attention. For the most part, Social Security has protected older Americans from later-life destitution. But some older Americans are among the long-term unemployed, whose jobless benefits have been cut or run out. Or, they could be having trouble qualifying for benefits from the government in the face of administrative cutbacks at the state and federal levels.

My grandfather told me back when he was in college around the start of the first World War,  “we all learned to paddle our own canoe”.  In other words, he and his classmates were expected to take personal responsibility for their situation. Some 100 years later, it’s never been for difficult for less fortunate Americans to keep their heads above water, let alone keep the oars moving.  And the trend is still edging lower.





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About Doug Sivco

Hello all you sixes and sevens. My name is Doug Sivco. I am the Director of Client Relations for McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn Investment Advisers of Orleans, MA. For over 20 years I have advised individuals, families and corporations across the country on their investments and financial goals. My firm deals almost exclusively with a client base of 60 and above, simply because individual wealth is concentrated in America’s “baby boomer –plus” population! We sixes and sevens are the decision makers of our future more now than ever before in the history of this great nation. Pensions are on the way out, self-directed 401K’s and IRA retirement plans are here and the wave of the future. As a fellow “boomer”, my goal in this section of the website, is to help you make sense of the constant gyrations of the stock markets, the impact of legislation from Washington, D.C., and world events which can and will affect your financial future. There is no one single strategy to a successful retirement, since not one of us comes from the exact same work history or economic background. Our hopes and dreams are equally diverse. But I have found that as we age, smart and conservative planning with a keen eye on the future is the best way to enjoy what we have earned and acquired. The financial ball is in our court. We’ll talk again soon.