Equal, Yet Separate
5 September 2014, 8:12 pm
The U.S. Declaration of Independence declares that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights -- such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, new research from Stanford indicates the pursuit of happiness is increasingly aligned with affordability. The study asserts that America's cities are becoming more divided into two distinct groups, with college-educated workers clustered in more desirable locales that less-educated people cannot afford.
The paper reports that the economic divide between high-skill workers and those without a college education increased by 67 percent from 1980 to 2000. As a result, American cities that feature higher paying jobs also have higher housing expenses -- and a better quality of life. The study suggests that cities with a higher cost of living offer residents who can afford to live there more amenities for quality living, such as entertainment, educational opportunities, better air quality and lower crime rates.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Rebecca Diamond: What is Happening to America's Cities?" at Stanford Business, July 8, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Has Income Inequality Lessened Under Obama?" at msnbc.com, July 24, 2014.]
While the 14th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees protection under the law to all citizens, for more than 50 years a doctrine citing "separate but equal" policy allowed the government to permit services, facilities, public accommodations, housing, medical care, education, employment and transportation to be separated along racial lines as long as the quality of each group's public facilities was equal. That doctrine was overturned by a series of Supreme Court decisions starting in 1954.
[CLICK HERE to read an explanation of "Separate but Equal," at Boundless.com, accessed Aug. 15, 2014.]
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, whose ruling supposedly ended the "separate but equal" system of societal segregation. Debates still continue as to whether desegregation truly exists in all areas of the country, but that issue could merge with the recent attention to today's updated form of income inequality, economic mobility and even geographic segregation.
Research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) further concludes that, while inequality may be ethically undesirable, it may also cause low and unsustainable economic growth.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "K-12 Education: Still Separate, Still Unequal," at Education Week, May 13, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the report, "Redistribution, Inequality, and Growth," at IMF, Feb. 2014.]
A recent article in TIME magazine reported one top economic advisor's solution to "fix" income inequality as it relates to saving for retirement. Former White House economic adviser for the Clinton and Obama administrations, Gene Sperling, proposed reducing the 401(k) tax advantages that offer a greater benefit to high income earners while creating a government-funded universal 401(k) plan that would benefit lower-income workers by incorporating low fees, safety, a generous match and automatic enrollment.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "How to Fix the 401(k) and Income Inequality in One Fell Swoop," at Time, July 23, 2014.]
As we make decisions regarding our retirement income strategy, it's important to consider ways we can help forge a better path not just for ourselves but for our children, grandchildren and our legacy. Financial issues such as student loan debt, scarcity of jobs and lack of opportunities all have an impact on long-term success.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Inequality's Not All Equal," at U.S. News and World Report, July 24, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Why Voters Aren't Angrier About Economic Inequality," at The New York Times, July 24, 2014.]
If we can help you establish a retirement income plan that can help you feel more confident about your future, please give us a call.
Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies utilizing insurance products.
Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. Government or any governmental agency.
These articles are being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any financial decisions. While we believe this information to be correct, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included. All clients are encouraged to consult qualified tax and legal professionals before making any decisions about your personal situation.
If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.
Failure to Launch … a Materialistic Generation
27 August 2014, 10:36 pm
Young adults have had a relatively tough time over the past four or five years. Entry-level jobs have been scant for the onslaught of recent college graduates, many of whom have taken menial jobs to make ends meet until a "real job" comes their way.
According to Pew Research, in 2012 only one-third of engineering majors got work as engineers, and only 26 percent of physical sciences majors worked in any science, technology, engineering or math occupation.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Chart of the week: Where engineering and English majors end up working," from Pew Research, July 11, 2014.]
The scarcity of jobs has forced many young people to live at home, either while in college or after graduation. Approximately 56 percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 lived in their parents' home in 2012, while 16 percent of those ages 25 to 31 did so as well.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents' Home," from Pew Research, Aug. 1, 2013.]
However, a little bit of adversity doesn't usually hurt. In addition to building character, it can also create a heightened sense of accomplishment and appreciation when your proverbial ship does come in. According to Scott Hammond, a clinical professor of management at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University and author of "Lessons of the Lost: Finding Hope and Resilience in Work, Life, and the Wilderness," when bad things happen, one of the most important things you can do is cultivate hope for something better to come.
While working at something other than their dream jobs, the millennial generation appears to be doing just that. A new study from Transamerica Insurance reveals that millennials are actually beginning to save for retirement earlier than their baby boomer parents. While most baby boomers started saving for retirement at around age 35, 70 percent of people in their 20s and 30s have already started saving. Unfortunately, the rest of them appear to be at the opposite end of the financial spectrum, living paycheck to paycheck (if they're lucky) and otherwise drowning in student loans and consumer debt.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "How Resilient People Stand Back up When Life Knocks Them Down," from Fast Company, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Study: Millennials Saving Better than Baby Boomers," from NBC San Diego, July 8, 2014.]
In this post-recession world of tentative jobs, tight credit and oppressive student loan debt, young adults may be more risk averse and rightfully skeptical of the value of status and wealth. Perhaps this new generation now better appreciates the things handed to them by their parents just a decade ago -- like cars, laptops and cellphones. As each new generation becomes parents, it passes on values both learned and experienced. So in the future, their children and grandchildren may return to the values of saving for what they want instead of relying on credit. Perhaps.
In the meantime, we're here to help you and the young adults among your family and friends work toward developing sound financial habits for the future. If we can offer guidance, please give us a call.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "He's the Top U.S. Mortgage Salesman. His Daughter Isn't Buying It," from Bloomberg, July 1, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Dispersing Millennials," from New Geography, July 9, 2014.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Commentary: Millennials Think Government Is Inefficient, Abuses Its Power, and Supports Cronyism," from Public CEO, July 11, 2014.]
Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies that include the use of insurance products.
These articles are being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis for any financial decisions. While we believe this information to be correct, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included. All clients are encouraged to consult qualified tax and legal professionals before making any decisions about their personal situations.
If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.