If you ran out of money at age 80 what would you do? Sobering but true, below are only 7 reasons you may never retire. These items should alarm you but it won’t. That’s because unless you study this stuff, and I do, you won’t see the problem or what it means to you.
I’m not a doomsday sayer. I’m just a guy watching this story unfold, and watch it get bigger. I do like the image of politicians, “kicking the can down the road.” But, really, aren’t we all kicking it down the road?
So, listen up, here’s the list of 7.
1) 10,000 Americans reach age 65 every day. 2) Companies offering Pensions has dropped from 112,000 to 23,000 3) 45% of workers cannot access employer-sponsored 401k or pensions. 4) Medicare and Social Security will run out of money by 2028 and 2034. 5) $300 Trillion dollars are owed for unfunded public pensions 6) Americans don’t save, in fact, Americans have a negative savings rate. 7) Politicians have too many competing interests, so they kick the can.
The earlier one starts to save, the easier it is to accumulate sufficient wealth at retirement. The corollary to this is that the longer a country (or an individual) waits to address these issues, the fewer options there will be for solutions, and the options that remain will become more and more difficult to successfully implement (source noted below).
The authors of the article I quote grade our current 401k system as a letter grade of “D+.” I’m not sure what the plus sign means, but I can tell you many individuals are not prepared to retire because so few have pensions (that’s what your Grandpa or Grandma had), and those with a 401k have put too little in it.
Work for a City or other governmental unit?
There is a combined $300 Trillion in unfunded liabilities for employees of these places of work. And, these employees are going to look for their retirement check and receive something like what Detroit retirees received, which was pennies on the dollar.
Your parents and grandparents retired with a pension. They received a check each month for as long as they lived, that, plus social security, made a very comfortable retirement for many people. With the list of 7, you can hopefully see you’re unlikely to retire the way you might be thinking.
You can save now, try closing your Amazon account. Or, find any other way to save. Whether you’re by yourself or at a company or government, the time to do something is now. Make saving and asking questions to protect retirement important to you. After all, I have a friend who says;
“What gets attention, gets done.”
I love these conversations, either to help you as an individual, or your employer. I am happy to help or steer you to better resources.
Building a Strong Retirement Program: One for the AGES, Benefits Quarterly, International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Brookfield, Wisconsin; www.iscebs.org.
So, I’m innocently reading the news and find myself researching a reporters comment.
Okay, so I’m conflicted. Either the reporter misquoted, misunderstood or is intentionally quoting incorrectly.
This is an unusually long post, but it has a number of good points. I didn’t wake up today planning on writing this post. But, it’s a good chance to write about things I’m passionate about that most people don’t spend their day thinking about.
healthcare rules and how Universities shape our physicians
how rules and word smithing is important
how abortion is learned
how insurance companies rely upon this training
how us as Americans pay for this
that rationing exists in our system today, this is an example
the inconsistency in thinking that is soooooo costly
For those doctors and healthcare professionals who follow me, please engage with me on this note.
The reporter writes about, “The decades-old relationship between MU and Planned Parenthood,” says of medical school education;
Nursing and medical students were never required to work at any Planned Parenthood clinic, work at the clinic was not part of the core curriculum in either the nursing or medical schools and the placement was an optional…
Columbia Missourian, Elise Schmelzer, Sep 15, 2015; “State investigation focuses on decades-old relationship between MU, Planned Parenthood”
But, in doing a small amount of digging, I found the association responsible for setting out the rules for residence in training for OB work are required to train on abortions. My brain is a word smith brain which means I can’t reconcile what the journalist wrote with what I found in a quick look at her own link on the topic. I didn’t perform any further analysis but I’m sure the topic has much more detail.
When I read a journalists article that might be misleading I have to look for the detail. I want to know why does this not sound correct to me. I have an advantage over a young journalist with 29 years in healthcare finance. In this case, I wondered if the reporter intentionally left out an important fact, or skewed a statement. You decide. I think if they asked a few more questions they may have blown open a different discussion. And, an important one at that. They may have discovered the school is training residence on abortion, just not at planned parenthood. Makes you wonder if they use the tissue like planned parenthood, but they use it for University research. It is universities that use the tissue. The article and title make it sound like the university isn’t using planned parenthood clinic and are innocent of any relationship with the abortion business. Innocent enough I suppose on the surface, but what is the rule for OB’s? Where do the residence at this University get their required training?
A very small misquote, or misstatement changes the flavor of the article completely, upon close inspection, the phrase, “at a student’s request” conflicts with the written rule for the Universities accreditation. Here is the authors quote, it’s there in bold.
The agreement with the medical school was required to meet Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requirements that mandated schools provide training on abortion procedures at a student’s request, MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said in a letter to Schaefer.
Columbia Missourian, Elise Schmelzer, Sep 15, 2015; “State investigation focuses on decades-old relationship between MU, Planned Parenthood”
It might seem silly but I live in a world of insurance where rules guide how our medical system works including how much it costs. Think about it this way, our educational institutions work because they have many rules to guide education. They are the one’s who write the rules, and these rules are used to train your favorite doctor. These rules make it possible for insurance companies to pay claims.
So, here’s my word smith problem. The quote below is a rule from a body that gives accreditation to medical education programs and this quote says it is mandatory for University programs, to be accredited, they must provide abortion training. It does not say, what the journalist wrote, “at a student’s request.” The rule as quoted says, they must train residence in abortion.
See, it says it right below in bold.
It’s on page 15 of the ACGME instructions, rules and guide (the journalist provided this link in their article). These rules are used by insurance companies to make sure doctors are properly accredited by properly accredited university training delivering the best care to the insurance company patience. These things, these rules, matter.
“IV.A.6.d) Family Planning and Contraception IV.A.6.d).(1) Programs must provide training or access to training in the provision of abortions, and this must be part of the planned curriculum. (Core) IV.A.6.d).(2) Residents who have a religious or moral objection may opt-out, and must not be required to participate in training in or performing induced abortions. (Core) IV.A.6.d).(3) Residents must have experience in managing complications of abortions and training in all forms of contraception, including reversible methods and sterilization.”
ACGME Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology, ACGME approved major revision: September 28, 2014; effective: July 1, 2015, Page 15.
This quote is current, the document doesn’t dictate any specific place for the training, it doesn’t even mention planned parenthood.
Rationing is a phrase I use and when I do most people do one of two things; their eyes glaze over in confusion, or they object out of ignorance because they incorrectly believe rationing will never happen in America. In fact, this article, this misquote or misstatement by the person quoted leads to rationing.
Let me try a different tact.
You’ve been to school and you know from the office of the registrar to commencement day policies, paperwork and rules are required before you get your diploma. It shouldn’t surprise anyone then, that there’s rules for medical school.
Ever wonder where the rules come from? Who writes them, why they write them a certain way? Ever wonder why these rules are important? Did you ever consider these rules influence the healthcare you pay for? Do you understand how this simple language has an evil twist for medical students? Ironically, what the author wrote would be the logical way most people would write the rule, “students have the choice if they want the training.” But, the fact is, the training is required and students at that University are getting it. I haven’t researched this, maybe, the University is outside the norm and their doing it as quoted. Then, the national standards for OB’s is not being followed and this is not a good thing….
It leaves me in this article examining the person in the article who the journalist quoted as not telling the truth, or answering the journalists question about planned parenthood with a strictly narrow answer. And, the unknowing journalist innocently took them at their word. Or, the journalist intentionally wrote an untruth.
The point? The point is OB residence are mandated to take abortion training, it’s not optional. They can opt out for religous beliefs. This is opposite what the journalist wrote. She wrote, students can opt in for that training. This would be how most Americans would assume it’s taught, as an option for medical students. It is a small, razor thin edge isn’t it.
Okay, shift for a minute with me to the actual topic of abortion
Consider that our country makes physicians learn how to perform induced abortions and kill babies. They are in fact babies because this same system pays million upon millions to keep alive babies at the exact age. The contrast to me, originally a claim payor is almost too much to bare. Why, how, as a country did our healthcare system get to a point where this contrast is so great.
It’s because the masses follow what they read from journalists, because they’re not word smiths, because they don’t have time, blah, blah, blah.
This is where the problem starts, it’s where the evil begins. It’s where medical students, in the hallowed halls of educational institutions are provided the means to promote abortion, to agree with them as a course of study and health for a women. You have promoted this behavior by paying for the medical school education, by paying insurers premium, by having policies that promote the idea this is healthcare, that new physicians are mandated to learn about and accept abortion as care. The societal endorsement for doing abortions is trained, it is a medical school endorsed practice.
For the baby, for the voice of the babies, for increased medical premiums, for rules that don’t provide health but death we need to change our methods in the US.
If you’ve slugged through my poor grammar today I hope the overall point was worth it. I’ll return to edit grammar and such but for now, this should suffice.
A Real Life Story of Accepting ACA Changes for a Small Business
The ACA landscape is “shifting sands,” a phrase we coined a couple years ago as we started designing the “BenStaff ACA Decoder“. I’d expect by now everyone understands ACA like we do. Sadly, this is a long way from true. We’re troubled that so few owners are taking advantage of options but then, there is so much “shifting sands” no one who does this part time should be expected to “get it” fast. There is a thread of continuous change, consider this example; the government just announced that open enrollment that ended 2/15 is open still through 4/15. You can still enroll so don’t miss out. See my post, or talk to one of the agents we like to make sure you don’t miss this NEW open enrollment.
Today begins a Story
Today, I wanted to begin telling a real life story about a family and small business. Of course, names have been changed to protect the innocent (a bit of a Dragnet reference). The reason for it to be a multi-part story, is to allow me to keep tackling the days work. If you follow the story you will learn what’s really happening in the employee benefit world and how it affects you, or could affect you.
It would take too long to write the entire story in one sitting and likely, you wouldn’t have time to read it. If I understand my audience, your interests are different than your neighbor (in viewing anyway). My interest in telling this story is the circumstances cover most every variation for you. Undoubtedly, in this story, there’s something in it for everyone. Owners will appreciate it and also will their HR and Finance staff plus any employee of any employer plus individuals looking for coverage. This story is about any typical business trying under the new law to provide coverage. It should help us collectively understand what ACA means in many different ways.
Part I – a Small Business Looking to Do Better
The story starts with a business who engaged us for our Decoder because they asked the simple question, “we know it’s different than it use to be, and we perceive we could do better but we don’t know how to make the right decision.” This is the question that we answer most of the time. So, here’s a brief background for the story. This is an employer with 18 employees many of whom are part time. We agreed to complete an ACA Decoder for them. We delivered the Decoder to the owners (2 of them) and started the conversation about which of the 3 options was best for them to pursue.
No two employers are the same and no two employers can solve the problems the same. No matter the employer size there are issues employers are facing. There are more than 20 options available to employers. And most employers are facing today’s rate increases with the same tools and intellect as they did last year, or the year before that and this is not serving them well. It’s why no matter your best efforts, you will find employers who use the Decoder do so with added confidence. As you will see with the story as it unfolds over the next few days.
This employer had an agent who was capable by any measure but not attentive to the employers needs. Of course, we established a connection with the current agent by encouraging them to participate with the completion of the Decoder. They objected to the idea and explained they would not be participating. This is so unfortunate, why would an agent not want to work with BenStaff or me to help a customer make a better decision and implement change? This kind of reception by the agent community really doesn’t make sense but we offered introductions to local agents who we knew who would work with us to develop the Decoder. The new agent worked with us to develop options, added a new customer and delivered the services I told the customer they should expect.
Too bad for the old agent but as you will see, the story ends happily every after in the end, you will see how we helped the employer navigate the ACA shifting sands by digging in and getting it done.
I’ll post Part II in the next day or so. Stay tuned.
This is an intense 4 month, executive MBA type program for small business entrepreneurs. BenStaff was selected to participate as a member of the next class.
This was an event celebrating 64 small business owners who graduated from the first 2 programs.
Don at the graduation day with many, many dignitaries. Amazing opportunity to kick it up a notch. Among those present for the festivities were Governor Snyder, Warren Buffet, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Morning Joe show from MSNBC.
Deb Habel, fraternity brother and WSU faculty attended the event with us.
What a priveledge to be in such company as 64 small business owners and dignitaries celebrating their hard work, grit and determination. Well done to the class of 64.
Warren Buffett gave the commencement address stating that he’s never given a university commencement but was honored to be present for this event.
The Big News today is our acceptance into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small business Detroit program. This is an opportunity that will propel BenStaff forward exponentially. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business campaign selected BenStaff and the team for the 4 month intensive training program beginning 10/10/14.
This is a 4 month intensive training program that prepares small business owners for achieving growth. They have said it is an intense amount of school work all directed at the business.
Congratulate my team for their hard work and dedication that has earned us this distinction.
Here are links to learn more about the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Business education program.