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3 Things 6-14

Although MAS is a financial services company, not everything published herein will be about numbers or investing. But no matter the topic, we hope for three things: 1) That you find the time you spend engaged worthwhile. 2) That you’ll reach out to us for help in any of our areas of expertise if something we discuss creates an urging in you to do so. 3) That you’ll share this with somebody new each time you read it. Thing One What's In Your Retirement Plan According to Fidelity Investments, the nation's largest retirement-plan provider, the following are the average retirement balances by age cohort. Age 20 to 29: $11,500 Age 30 to 39: $42,700 Age 40 to 49: $103,500 Age 50 to 59: $174,200 Age 60 to 69: $192,800 Where should you be? That depends on how old you are. Fidelity Investments recommends the following:​ By age 30: Have the equivalent of your starting salary saved By age 35: Have two times your salary saved By age 40: Have three times your salary saved By age 45: Have four times your salary saved By age 50: Have six times your salary saved By age 55: Have seven times your salary saved By age 60: Have eight times your salary saved By age 67: Have 10 times your salary saved What's the problem? Well, according to actuarial tables developed by the social security administration, if you live to be 67 and you're a male, you'll likely live to be at least 83. If you're a female, you're likely to live to at least 85. So, planning to live another 20 years or so on less than $200,000, or roughly $10,000/year could be problematic. But social security will still be there, right? Yes, in all likelihood social security will be there. But so will all the public debt and unfunded liabilities that our local, state and federal government(s) have piled up. So what you get in social security benefits may have to pay for more than you may be considering right now. Let us know if you need help thinking it through and acting.

Thing Two What's Wrong With The Picture Below Well, there’s definitely not much right with it. This child, who attends an “inner city” elementary school in Augusta, Georgia, has been promoted to the ninth grade despite only passing elective courses (PE, Chorus, and a college prep course, ironically, called AVID). What a shame that is. There’s a lot of talk of crises in our country. There isn’t much talk, in the mainstream anyway, of the public education crisis but it exists and I’m betting that variations of this example are more common than any of us should be comfortable with. The problem is the public school system has almost a monopoly on taxpayer money (note that not only do prices rise in the absence of competition but also quality falls). That doesn’t mean that all public schools are bad, or that all public school teachers and administrators are bad. Some are very good. But the system itself is designed to protect the good and bad teachers and schools even after they have shown themselves to be unworthy of protection There is a continuous public rage and outcry for “change” as a result of some black kids and men dying at the hands of police officers. But there’s comparative silence for the much larger problem of the substandard, dumbed-down, low-expectation education that those untouched by police violence are receiving. Granted, their bodies aren't being killed, but their futures are and that makes them walking dead, in a sense, as the statistics tell us the poorly educated will either drop out, or remain stuck on the lower economic rungs of society, or end up in jail, or end up dead (prematurely) at the hands of police or members of their own communities. So, in four more years, this kid, ill-prepared to compete, is going to be shoved out into a world where he will have to. He’s going to learn some hard lessons when that time comes. Shouldn’t our public schools have to learn those same lessons? And wouldn’t the kids be better off if they did?

Thing Three Just A Thought "A system cannot fail those it was never designed to protect." - W.E.B Dubois


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