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Old 04-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #15
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Look at the bright side,

The barter system has been around a lot longer then Banks and IOU's (I mean Federal Reserve Notes)
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:02 PM   #16
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It seems to me that most of the comments are kind of fatalistic and complacent. Devaluation of the US dollar is (almost) the only way to get us a big discount on a huge debt.

Just about everything I read and hear is predicting the same thing: Inflation will be the major problem in the near future. Just look at interest rates.

Most moderate investment counselors are suggesting adopting a position against that scenario. You can dodge this bullet many ways. One example is precious metals, including mutuals within a tax deferred account. Another is US companies with a global market. Yahoo looks good right now as does Apple.

We all use surge protectors or wheel chocks or water pressure monitors and check our mirrors frequently, so realigning funds to hedge a looming currency crisis isn't that big of a stretch. "Be prepared." Remember that motto?
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:12 PM   #17
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I'd suggest you spend some time on this site. They're a pretty smart group that mostly manage their own retirement funds.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dranoel View Post
I'd suggest you spend some time on this site. They're a pretty smart group that mostly manage their own retirement funds.
Thanks!!!
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:58 AM   #19
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Well, I don't care to be broke with everyone, nor do I want my kids and their kids to suffer unnecessarily so what we should all do is actually become informed and learn what can happen to us if we continue down the same path of excessive spending and kicking the can down the road. IMO, serious inflation is coming unless we quickly apply the brakes.

Become informed, vote, support candidates that understand what is happening and recognize that there is a serious problem and ignoring it will not help our kids.

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Old 04-14-2012, 11:37 AM   #20
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I think Nick and I will disagree on most everything political, but on this point, I agree. We need to be informed, vote for those candidates that seem to doing the things you think are right, and do what you can for your future. I also agree that if you spend too much time on whether the sky is going to fall or not, you forget to see the beauty in the blue sky or the storm clouds or the birds flying (usually not chickens) in the sky. Prepare, educate yourself, vote, don't worry about those things you can't control.

Enjoy life as it comes.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:14 PM   #21
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Unstoppable growth in debt and government dependence is the road to Greece, Italy, and riots. Its been true for all of human history. Make sure you out-earn & out-save your retirement needs, especially if you want to RV for retirement as its not exactly a cheap hobby. Way fun tho.
Then try to attract & support those rare candidates who can do math. Its that simple. Phony baloney pie in the sky formulas built on borrowing & subsidizing our way to prosperity = somebody who can't do math, so vote for the other guy. And if we get it right at election time (again & again, this ain't a one time thing), maybe our grandkids will have a shot at raising their kids out of the shadow of massive unstoppable debt. And maybe they can retire to RV'ing, and posting their problems here on iRV2.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #22
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Amen Engineer Mike. Let's hope 51% of the electorate figures it out or none of us will be on the road.

Nick
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:38 PM   #23
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More to the point for the OP, after an MBA in finance, and 30 years of studying economic projection, I can solidly state that economists projections are as effective as a fart in a whirlwind, and only slightly longer lived between revisions. Study history instead as all lessons, economic and otherwise are there. The Great Depression was exactly the same over-borrowing mess we're in today, read The Great Crash of 1929 for a solidly researched discussion that should embarrass anybody ever caught overleveraged. And borrowing more to buy our way out is bad math (no bank will lend to an overleveraged person now, tho they did in 05-06, right? But folks are still lending to overleveraed governments????). Learn by other peoples mistakes. Government debt is no different, just that the consequences are nation wide instead of just isolated to some bone heads.

For that reason, simple safety factor in planning retirement is paramount. You can find no better foundation to build on, and no more intelligent advice. Fancy dance financial wizardry is just some economist's projection reduced to a fancy spreadsheet, and doomed to the whirlwind. Instead, over-earn, and over-save for retirement, so if you think you can get by on X, save 2X minimum, more if you've got energy & time. Figure out how to pay some bills in retirement through ongoing earnings (I consult & sell stuff, so I'm currently not drawing down any savings; that'll end some day but I have fun at both so it'll be a ways off). I also find that being responsible to others keeps me sharper (heaven knows this tool needs sharpening ). Warren Buffett's fortune is built on safety factor (he calls it Margin of Safety, and he calls those three words the three most important words in investing (google "Buffett three most important words" and you'll find he's been saying if for decades since he learned it from his mentor, Graham), and all retirement savings is investing). Microsoft's fortune has been built in interesting part on MoS, likewise Cisco and others who keep a large warchest to swallow up newcomers w/great potential. Google ditto. Apple ditto. Read the Millionaire Next Door, and you'll see that frugality & limiting leverage play important parts in retiring well.

Once caveat about bonds, currently a special case IMHO and only IMHO. I believe are way deep into a many years long series of record low bond yields. Our national debt cost has reflected that in years long record low costs, same for corporate borrowing costs. The way that long data series get their long term average is by periodic "reversion to the mean," meaning long series of abnormally low numbers are balanced out by long series of abnormally high numbers. Right now federal debt costs us maybe 2.5%, corporate debt 3-6% depending on corp; if we revert only to the mean those figures double; if we revert to abnormally high numbers that would balance the long string of lowball costs, it could well more than double. Long term average mortgage interest rate is 7%ish, we've been at 4% for so long I've forgotten when we hit bottom. Without dwelling on obvious consequences to federal budgets, if you are caught in low yielding bonds when we revert to the mean, your principal will shrink dramatically (discuss this w/your financial advisor about the potential for bonds to appreciate vs depreciate, then for fun ask him where he is w/his money in bonds). I recommend not much in bonds at this time, wait till yields are really exciting to wade into this pool. A good conservative alternative if you must is a bond ladder of good quality but higher yielding corporate bonds (locking into low yield is not smart IMHO), again consult your advisor about what that means and how to do it.
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