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Impact of the 2nd Presidential debate:
Bottom Line: Historically the 1st Presidential debate means more than all of the other debates combined. In the polling age 75% of people who said they decided who they were voting for based on the debates, decided based on the first debate. That’s not to say the other debates don’t matter.
In the polling age the biggest impact we’ve seen from any 2nd debate has been 2 points. That was what Bill Clinton gained and President Bush lost in the infamous (are we there yet?) debate when George H.W. Bush checked his watch twice during the debate. Most 2nd debates haven’t even moved the needle that much and most races have had larger margins in favor of one candidate at this stage anyway. This time is different.
Tonight’s second debate may be the most important in modern political history. As of this posting, Romney leads Obama by less than one point. Clearly it wouldn’t take much for a change in the projected outcome based upon a 2 or even one point move. A solid performance by Romney and he could cement his front runner status. A solid performance by Obama and he could be back in position to win the election. Keep in mind that these debates are also more important in today’s world of early voting, as its Election Day somewhere (for many).
Amazon's impact in retail fully felt as they will increase their workforce by 150% (50,000) in fulfillment centers for the holidays:
Bottom Line: Amazon has met its previous goal of having 40 shipping centers open around the country before the holiday shopping season. They’ve added a dozen of those just since the Spring. The goal is to make same day and next day shipping the norm. Amazon is also determined to dominate the online holiday shopping season. That will require people. Many people…
Amazon will add 50,000 people to man these shipping facilities. That’s an increase of 150% over the 20,000 people that currently work in them. While most will be seasonal, Amazon is throwing out a carrot for the temps… They will retain some of the seasonal staff for full-time employment beyond the holidays.
What type of mortgage is currently at record default levels?:
Bottom Line: You might think of adjustable rate mortgages as being the most likely to result in defaults. Not the case though… The answer: Reverse mortgages which currently carry a record 9.4% default rate.
I’ve been an outspoken critic of reverse mortgages for years because of the presentation of the marketing associated with them. You’ll frequently see Fred Thompson or Henry Winkler pitching the terrific benefits of reverse mortgages seemingly making them seem like a no-brainer for retirees. To be clear most reverse mortgages have worked out the way the borrower. The problem is the downside if it doesn’t.
Life is a serious of decisions all of which contain a certain level of risk. Clearly it’s easier to take bigger risks early in life because of the ability to recover if life doesn’t work out quite as planned. As an entrepreneur I’m a huge proponent of taking big risks that can be justified with well thought-out planning. With regard to those who are retired and living on fixed income – I’m not into any risk.
My first rule of retirement for most is… A mortgage isn’t a retirement plan. In my retirement risk adverse nature, I want to ensure that a negative life event won’t result in losing ones home. With that in mind Reverse mortgages aren’t an acceptable risk. First and foremost it’s a loan. A mortgage guaranteed by the property if defaulted upon. Yes, it’s nice for those for whom it works as planned for. But what if life doesn’t work out as planned? Unlike risks early in life where you have time to recover if you fail, it’s simply not worth the risk of failure at a time in which you don’t have time to recover in my view.
Important information about how Social Security is issued:
Bottom Line: Credit Market Watch for highlighting Social Security mistakes that we’re making (and how to fix them).
In the link below Market Watch has five different common mistakes we make when prepping for Social Security. I want to focus on the biggest misconception of them all. How your payout is determined.
Social Security payouts are determined based on the outcome of 35 years work of time in the workforce. There are three potential outcomes:
So what do those mean? Under the first circumstance in which you work for less than 35 years, a 0 for income will be averaged in for as many years as is required to reach 35. Your payout will then be factored on that number.
Under the second outcome of working exactly 35 years, your 35 year history will be averaged together for an average annual income and your payout will be based on that number.
Under the third scenario your 35 highest earning years will be averaged together to determine the average annual income for your payout level.
With that information in mind you can plan accordingly. Clearly it makes sense to try to hit at least 35 years of income so you don’t have zero averaged in. As for the end of career scenarios… Most people are making far more money at the end of their careers then when they were working their way up. If that’s the case you can see what the impact of dropping your 35th lowest year of income and replacing it with one more year of work later in life would mean to you. Happy planning!
Starbucks single serve coffee machine hits today:
Bottom Line: Starbucks has been engaged in the K-Cup wars throughout 2012. Now they are taking the next big step. Starting today you’ll be able to buy the single serve machines from Starbucks. They are available online today and in stores tomorrow. The price range is $199 to $299 depending on what the machine.
25 apps Doctors are now prescribing (recommending) for patients:
Bottom Line: It was maybe a year or so ago that I recall sharing some of the first doctor recommended apps. Not surprisingly the app industry has grown substantially and many doctors are now suggesting apps for everyday health concerns. In the link below you’ll find apps that doctors have recommended for diabetics, people with food allergies, pregnant women, among many others.