Bartering as a Second Income

Bartering as a Second Income

Topics Espoused in Bartering as a 2nd Income:

Bartering as a Second Income
  1. Bartering – as Defined by the IRS
  2. More On Exchanging Money
  3. A Second Income Is Possible
  4. Bartering Creates The Income
  5. The Internet and Barter Clubs
  6. Barter Could Enhance Your Life

Bartering as a 2nd Income

Bartering as a second income is a neat concept as far as I’m concerned. You and I can both agree once upon a time people bartered way more than they made purchases.

Bartering is defined in the dictionary as, “trading goods or services without the exchange of money”.

The important part of the definition is, “without the exchange of money”.

Just so you are aware there are some hucksters in the world who claim bartering is income tax free. They propound information making you think the IRS doesn’t recognize bartering as a taxable event. Not true. Not true.

You can believe if an event like your death is taxable to the IRS, there ain’t much that’s tax free.

In fact, the IRS has an opinion on every act of commerce. You can read their opinion in the Publications they publish. I will get into that in a moment. You can earn a second income from bartering just please don’t fall for the totally incorrect and misleading narrative saying barter is a tax free event.

Note: Before we go any further please be advised everything in this article is for information only. Nothing is intended to be tax or legal advice. Always, and I mean always, consult with knowledgeable, competent professionals.

Bartering – At least as the IRS Defines It

This definition was copied from IRS Publication 525 (2019) page 20. You can download your very own personal copy simply by going to irs.gov. It’s that easy. By the way, this publication is 37 pages long and covers everything from barter to life insurance.

Here’s their definition:

“Bartering is an exchange of property or serv-ices.”

What They Say About Barter Income:

“You must include in your income, at the time received, the FMV of property or services you receive in bartering. If you exchange serv-ices with another person and you both have agreed ahead of time on the value of the serv-ices, that value will be accepted as FMV unless the value can be shown to be otherwise.”

FMV stands for Fair Market Value. I did not copy any of the examples they listed. My thought theology was anyone interested enough in bartering would download a copy of this publication and read the pertinent section. It happens to be the first topic covered under the Section Heading: Miscellaneous Income.

Enough of the IRS. I thought it was important enough to tell you what they say. So you don’t get caught up in one of the many “barter” scams floating around the web. Now onto the meat of the topic.  

We’re Not Done With Exchanging Money

Without exchanging money means you did not receive nor did you pay money. This kind of exchange can be very profitable if you work it right. One more time. Working it right DOES NOT mean tax avoidance. Enough said.

Bartering is what the old horse trading was about. One guy trades another guy his horse for something he wants. It is an even exchange meaning both recognize they receive value for their traded item(s).

It could work out just fine in other scenarios too. For example, party 1 trades a horse and party 2 trades mechanical work on the first party’s tractor. As long as the parties involved feel like they got something of equal or better value.

On the other hand, there may be trouble if one of the parties involved thinks he received an item of lesser value. But that’s not what this article was intended to examine. So we’re going to move on and forget about the guy who might think he got “barter burned”.

Moving along, bartering is as old as man. Or at least some men, namely, the guy writing this article. Hehehehehe, I do enjoy poking fun at myself.

I can’t fathom what Neanderthals traded but you know it was something. Maybe a dinosaur leg for an elephant tusk. Or maybe it was clubs, and not of the golf kind. Who knows, right?

A Second Income Is Always Possible

Given this is true, it is possible to create a second income from bartering. The reason is simple. Not everybody wants, or knows how, to barter. They would rather pay cash for the desired item.

You can see proof of that every day. Simply walk into any retail outlet and what do you see but shelves stocked with goods. People put those goods into carts and go to something called a cash register. The clerk scans the items and the person pays. Unless there’s more items behind the milk. Then obviously the clerk finishes scanning the rest of the items first. And then the person pays with either cash or card, or possibly writes a check.

That’s not very likely this day and age but I’m getting sidetracked again. My point is no one stands there and tries to barter a figurine they created for that gallon of milk. Because that won’t work and we know it.

I’m sure you’ll recognize another scenario I call “Unintended Bartering”. Unintended bartering occurs when party a has to give items to party b to pay off a debt. And that’s kind of like creating a second income. Okay, no it’s not. But we had fun, right?

I’ll bet you are wondering, “Where does the second income enter the picture?”. After all, you too take your cart to the checkout line and pay.

So before you have to say, “Show me the money!”, I’ll just go ahead and do that very thing.

The Art of Bartering Creates The Income

You can massage your bartering skills in any number of ways but this article will consider only two of them. First, you barter for an item and a customer or friend wants the item but doesn’t want to barter.

You now are faced with a choice. Keep it or sell it. Being the astute business person you are, you sell it for its fair market value. Its fair market value, as you know, is above its barter value.

You have just created a win-win situation for you and your customer. The customer received the product and you received cash. And cash is still a good commodity to have in your possession no matter what the circumstances.

If you are a business owner, bartering lets you stretch your cash. Instead of paying for advertising, for example, you barter one or more of your products in return for the advertising.

These may seem like simple everyday activities that anyone can do. Not true. We’ve been groomed since we were children to put the items in the cart and queue at the checkout stand.

You have to be willing to step out of the mold and experiment. If you don’t try you won’t know if you can, or even want, to do it. What can it hurt? How much can it cost? The answer is nothing if you find it unpleasant or not worth your time.

Subsequently, you just move on and forget about it if you didn’t like it.

Barter Clubs are Even on The Internet

In this day and age, the Internet seems to be a great source for barter activity. There are online barter clubs just as there are offline barter clubs. While the nitty gritty details may be different, the principle is the same.

Bartering, by definition, does not change because the medium changes. It remains the trading of goods and/or services without the exchange of money. More often than not that is a good point for all barterers.

In my humble opinion, the without the exchange of money part deserves a bit more clarification.

Allow me to elucidate, it means money isn’t the main item exchanged in the transaction. Money could still very well be a part, albeit a small part, of the transaction.

On the other side of the coin money can also be a bigger part of the transaction too. As long as it isn’t the only item, offered up by one of the parties involved. Or even the majority of the value on one of the barterer’s part.

Because then it becomes a purchase. And that is something I am sure everyone who reads this article is quite familiar with.

Bartering Could Enhance Your or Someone Else’s Life

The beauty of being known as a person who will barter is it opens doors that otherwise may have remained closed. You see, a person who might prefer barter but is too timid to say so, will now open up to you.

This increases your opportunities to further develop your bartering skills into a healthy second income. Above all that is a good thing. No one I know would walk away from making extra money.

Moreover making money is certainly important as it buys us food, shelter and goodies. Barter may be the key that takes the shy person out of their shell and lets them blossom.

And I don’t actually know that for sure. But I’d bet my wife’s vacuum cleaner that it has the possibility to be the fuel they need to be more socially adept.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

**DISCLAIMER**

Senior Outreach Ministries makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding the information contained herein or the suitability of any products and/or services for any particular purpose. Any performance specifications are believed to be reliable but are not verified. Buyer must conduct and complete all performance and other testing of the products and/or services, alone and together with, or installed in, any end-products and/or services. Buyer shall not rely on any data and performance specifications or parameters provided by Senior Outreach Ministries. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to independently determine suitability of any products and/or services and to test and verify the same. Senior Outreach Ministries does not assume any liability whatsoever arising out of the application or use of any product or service. And in the name of full disclosure one should assume any ad they click on or purchase they make will provide us with a small fee. This is not added to the purchase price of any item or service you purchase. It is however one of the ways we fund the help we provide to seniors and their caregivers. Any recipients of our help as well as our staff thank you and appreciate you greatly.

Senior Outreach Ministries makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding the information contained herein or the suitability of any products and/or services for any particular purpose. Any performance specifications are believed to be reliable but are not verified. Buyer must conduct and complete all performance and other testing of the products and/or services, alone and together with, or installed in, any end-products and/or services. Buyer shall not rely on any data and performance specifications or parameters provided by Senior Outreach Ministries. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to independently determine suitability of any products and/or services and to test and verify the same. Senior Outreach Ministries does not assume any liability whatsoever arising out of the application or use of any product or service. And in the name of full disclosure one should assume any ad they click on or purchase they make will provide us with a small fee. This is not added to the purchase price of any item or service you purchase. It is however one of the ways we fund the help we provide to seniors and their caregivers. Any recipients of our help as well as our staff thank you and appreciate you greatly.

Explain Investing And Finance

Explain Investing and Finance, Follow 5 Simple Rules For Both Investing and Finance

Topics on Tap Inside Explain Investing and Finance:

  1. Investing and Finance Rule Number 1
  2. Finance and Investing Rule Number 2
  3. Investing and Finance Rule Number 3
  4. Finance and Investing Rule Number 4
  5. Investing and Finance Rule Number 5
  6. FINAL THOUGHTS ON INV and FIN

Explain Investing And Finance

The two words investing and finance may send some people into a tail spin. But, for a relentless and determined mind, investing and finance can be mastered with relative ease. I firmly believe if you follow these 5 rules, or “general principles” if you will, you can become an instant expert.

Let me toss my experience into the ring so you know where I am coming from. I have actively practiced as a stock broker, real estate broker and mortgage banker. And, I also had an active seminar program in which I taught investing and finance.

I only tell you about my experience to let you know learning these fields can be done if it’s a genuine desire to learn. Never will I share my experience just for bragging purpose. I mentioned 5 general principles because in my opinion these principles should be applied to all investing and finance arenas. 

In order to make them work for you, all you need to do is add discipline to the mix. And that’s the discipline to put them in place and the discipline to follow them by exercising them at the correct times.

Subsequently, if you ask me, the first rule is blatantly obvious. So let’s get right into the thick of it.

Investing and Finance Rule Number 1

Pick a Strategy and Follow It

No one strategy will always be inherently better than any other. The reason no one strategy will always be better is because of the changing market dynamics. There are many ways to be successful in your investment arena. Different people will obviously use different methods to pick stocks.

For example, and all of these people will believe their method will successfully fulfill their investing goals.

Pick any other investing media and the same will hold true. Real estate, collectibles, automobiles, whatever, all require you to pick a strategy. Generally speaking, once you find your style, you probably want to stick with it for awhile. 

The second rule only sounds complicated. It actually becomes easier to do as you gain more confidence and experience in your investing method and style. And, the sooner you can master it, the sooner you will always have a profitable portfolio.

Finance and Investing Rule Number 2

You Should Always Sell the Losers and Let Winners Ride Out Their Course

And now it’s time for a quick explanation. However, I’m willing to bet you caught on to this one right away. Even though it comes across self explanatory I’ll give it a quick run down.

You’re going to sell the losers to preserve capital. You don’t want the asset to depreciate to zero. On the other side of the coin, you let the winners ride to as high a price as you believe it will go. Should you sell before it reaches the top NEVER, and I mean NEVER, bemoan the few dollars you let get away.
The road named the “Guaranteed Profit” road is paved by selling appreciated investments. Appreciated means they are worth more than you paid.

Which makes it obvious for once some appreciation isn’t a setup!

This just might be a real good thing after all!Your investment choice really doesn’t make any difference. For example, they could be stocks, homes, baseball cards or even collectibles. All of which have a value that goes up and down. Every investment has an up and down cycle. Your money is made when you sell high and buy low. And I’m willing to bet that’s another one you’ve heard before. 

Good thing I didn’t put it on this list, ey?

Investing and Finance Rule Number 3

Never, Never Ever Chase a Hot Tip

Number 3 is what I obviously decided to call the “hot tip” rule. The rule says to never, never ever chase a hot tip. Hot tips are another name for hot air in my personal opinion. Which in all fairness does come from a fair number of years experience. I believe a person should have more respect for their money. 

Another name for hot tip is insider secret. When stripped to the bone, both are shadows. Nobody ever caught a shadow.

Like other areas of your life, you have reasons, objectives and goals. Investing is no different, and should be treated no differently. It is important you know the reasons for doing so. As much as you possibly can, do your own research and analysis. This way you will feel more comfortable before you even consider making the investment. 

You probably have heard someone say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  And, as it turns out, not only were they right, it’s also my next rule.

Finance and Investing Rule Number 4

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

When it comes to investing or your finance, don’t sweat the small stuff. And when I say don’t I mean Never. Stick to Rule Number 4 like glue. It will never do you wrong. And, just so you know, by “small stuff’ I mean regular and expected types of activity.

Stuff like; the ups and downs every market experiences from time to time, the short term side way swings or even a large block of stock hitting the market, etc. 

Even government treasuries have their ups and downs. In other words, don’t step over dollars to pick up dimes. You’ll be at least .90 cents poorer every time and it’ll be lucky if that’s all you lose replacing dollars with dimes. The next rule, rule number 5 is a little trickier than the first our. But just hang in there, I’ll make some sense out of this one. And if you’re real lucky after I make sense out of it, you’ll turn it into more than cents. 

Rule Number 5 

Focus on The Future and Adopt a Long-Term Perspective

Rule 5 could almost be coupled with rule number 4. This rule says to keep your focus on the future and adopt a long-term perspective. If you keep in mind that investing is really about trying to make informed decisions based on things that have yet to happen, you will maintain not only a sharp focus but a properly framed perspective.

Investing and finance have tendency to use past data as an indication of things to come. This isn’t always what happens but if you remember that what happens in the future is what matters most.

Successful investors base their decisions on future potential rather than on what has already happened in the past. The past serves merely as a guide post of the possibilities of the future, if these possibilities materialize.

I initially mentioned 5 general principles or rules as I like to call them. But after zipping right through the first 5 rules I’m feeling a little generous. I’m feeling like an extra rule is in order for you fine readers!

However, it’s not an actual rule per se, It’s more of what I like to call a “general principle”. And as a quick side note, Number 6 is pretty darn easy to say, but pretty darn hard to do. At least I always see the ladies and gentlemen new to investing have the hardest time with it. I have a theory why that is, but I’ll bore you with that another day. 

So Get Ready, Set, and Away We Go! 

Here comes the next rule which we’ll know as “General Principle 6”, and since I like to truncate things GP, 6!!

General Principle 6

A Person Should Always Keep an Open-Mind and a Short Memory

At least for the actual success of any given call, put or trade. Whether the last trade was a winner or a loser it doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about the next one. 

Remember, all markets, like I said above, have ups and downs. All markets have cycles. Keep an open mind and you will be able to maintain your focus and perspective.

Apply the 6 principles and you should be successful at avoiding becoming narrow minded and focused solely in one arena. There is potential in every market and every cycle. Maximize profits, minimize losses and investing and finance become extremely easy.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

**DISCLAIMER**

Senior Outreach Ministries makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding the information contained herein or the suitability of any products and/or services for any particular purpose. Any performance specifications are believed to be reliable but are not verified. Buyer must conduct and complete all performance and other testing of the products and/or services, alone and together with, or installed in, any end-products and/or services. Buyer shall not rely on any data and performance specifications or parameters provided by Senior Outreach Ministries. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to independently determine suitability of any products and/or services and to test and verify the same. Senior Outreach Ministries does not assume any liability whatsoever arising out of the application or use of any product or service. And in the name of full disclosure one should assume any ad they click on or purchase they make will provide us with a small fee. This is not added to the purchase price of any item or service you purchase. It is however one of the ways we fund the help we provide to seniors and their caregivers. Any recipients of our help as well as our staff thank you and appreciate you greatly.

Senior Outreach Ministries makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding the information contained herein or the suitability of any products and/or services for any particular purpose. Any performance specifications are believed to be reliable but are not verified. Buyer must conduct and complete all performance and other testing of the products and/or services, alone and together with, or installed in, any end-products and/or services. Buyer shall not rely on any data and performance specifications or parameters provided by Senior Outreach Ministries. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to independently determine suitability of any products and/or services and to test and verify the same. Senior Outreach Ministries does not assume any liability whatsoever arising out of the application or use of any product or service. And in the name of full disclosure one should assume any ad they click on or purchase they make will provide us with a small fee. This is not added to the purchase price of any item or service you purchase. It is however one of the ways we fund the help we provide to seniors and their caregivers. Any recipients of our help as well as our staff thank you and appreciate you greatly.

Deadly Retirement Planning

Deadly Retirement Planning

Deadly Retirement Acts Analyzed in This Article:

Deadly Retirement Planning, Saving for Retirement, Retirement Savings
  1. Number One Deadly Planning for Retirement Act
  2. The Number Two Deadly Retirement Faux Pas
  3. Deadly Retirement Planning Act Number Three
  4. Deteriorating Health is Very Deadly By Itself
  5. Yet Another Deadly Act We Might Face
  6. Deadly Retirement Subjects in Summation

The Act of Deadly Retirement Planning

Deadly retirement planning is not an actual oxymoron. It almost seems like it has something to do with morons. But we don’t like to, or need to, be mean.

Believe it or not, it is an actual, real-life possibility. And, it is happening, as you read this, to far too many people. A quick side note, deadly retirement planning doesn’t refer to funeral services either. However, by not planning for your retirement years, you will certainly set your retirement in funeral mode.

And, if surveys by AARP and the federal government are correct, there are plenty of folks in this country called America not taking the upcoming retirement years into consideration. Some of them are at retirement age. Others are closing in on retirement age. 

Sadly, at that stage of the game, it is a bit too late to have the light come on. They need a better idea and they need it now.

Number One Deadly Retirement Planning Act

The number one deadly retirement planning act on the list is: Not saving enough. So, if all the surveys I have seen are correct, retirement won’t be the golden years for these people.

Those surveys, by the way, also tell us there are people who have nothing saved for retirement. Can you imagine having absolutely nothing saved for a day you know is coming? I mean it is YOUR life we are talking about.

The only income source they will be relying on every month is Social Security. Imagine dooming yourself to a monthly pittance of 1200 or so dollars per month as your nest egg.

Incomprehensible to say the least. But sadly enough, it’s very true.

Now, you ready for the double whammy? What if all the Doom and Gloom prophecies are correct? And Social Security actually runs out. Hopefully this coronavirus pandemic has opened more people’s eyes to living life in the danger zone.

Ugh. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m certainly not jealous of that potential train wreck. Unfortunately it could be you riding that train. Get off at the next station and start remedying your situation.

Number Two Deadly Retirement Planning Act

Coupled with not saving enough or anything at all is the act of draining your retirement savings. You’ve set up a plan and contributed regularly. That is the good part. You started off on the correct foot.

Then one day you decide to drain the account. Your intention is to replace the money next month, next year or in the future. You may even believe what you are telling yourself is true. 

Whether you really believe it or not, your retirement savings pool remains drained. You have entered the danger zone and can’t find a way out. You dug yourself a hole and forgot to stop digging.

How Did I Get Here?

You may be wondering how in the world a person can end up in this particular situation. Consequently, the answer, more than likely, lies in the fact those folks never calculated a retirement savings goal.

We could call this:

Deadly Retirement Planning Act Number Three

They probably never created or set a goal. Because they found it too daunting to calculate how much they will require in retirement. They simply were overcome by the number of variables with which they had to deal.

After all, nobody knows if they will get ill and incur huge medical bills. Nobody knows if they will require long term care. The one thing they knew for sure, i.e. they will get old, they ignored.

In other words, nobody knows the future. But for those who gave these variables serious consideration they created a retirement program that can adjust to them. It is a retirement program that says what if. It is a retirement program that is partially if not totally flexible to handle almost any situation presenting itself.

This doesn’t mean the worst will happen. It means it is addressed and hopefully remedied via the calculated retirement savings goal.

Deteriorating Health – A Deadly Act All By Itself

One thing we can count on when we age is deteriorating health. Our health usually doesn’t simply denigrate in one fell swoop. It happens over time. And when it does it brings along something called health costs.

Given today’s health costs deadly retirement planning could mean bankruptcy or worse for some folks. That is not a preferred position to be in especially when programs exist to mitigate these costs.

Certainly, it is no secret health costs have gone up substantially over the last 50 years. Google health costs and read the data for yourself. It’s staggering.

Nobody knows if this coronavirus pandemic will leave lingering health problems. What we do know, is that we can financially prepare today. Just in case they smack us in the wallet tomorrow.

This means with the trend being in the rise direction people retiring today will face rising health costs. Prepare. Act. Adjust your savings account and mentality.

Long Term Care – Another Deadly Act We Might Face

I mentioned long term care costs above. The costs vary by where you live. Big cities on both coasts have extremely high long term care costs. That doesn’t mean those of us who live in between the coasts have next to nothing costs.

The current monthly costs range from $5,000 per month to over $8,000 per month. That is in America’s heartland for those wondering where the costs are so low.

Notice I said per month and not per year. By the way, Medicare doesn’t pay for long term care. So if you thought they do, your thinking is wrong. Reread your Medicare pamphlets and you’ll get a rude awakening.

What does that mean? It means you need to become familiar and knowledgeable in this arena. For example, the surveys of long term care costs says the average per year cost is close to $90,000.

A Conclusion Worth Considering

Hence these deadly acts lead us to a conclusion that shouldn’t be ignored. At least for those folks who are thinking ahead. Therefore anyone not factoring in the woes and wows of growing old will always be looking in the window. Subsequently, watching all the people who did prepare like a hungry stranger.

So go get your affairs in order. Take steps to protect yourself should you suffer any type of diminished capacity. Moreover don’t fool yourself into thinking it can’t happen to me.

So who do you think represents those numbers in the surveys? Yep, me and thee as they say.

I am not a lawyer or even play one on TV. Consult with a competent legal professional about the legal instruments you probably should have already in place. At least some time before old age sets in place. Above all the earlier the better I’m told though.

These instruments include wills, powers of attorney, trusts, durable powers of attorney for health care, etc. Don’t fall victim to the deadly retirement planning traps. So get off your duff and smell the old age winds heading your way.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

**DISCLAIMER**

Senior Outreach Ministries makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding the information contained herein or the suitability of any products and/or services for any particular purpose. Any performance specifications are believed to be reliable but are not verified. Buyer must conduct and complete all performance and other testing of the products and/or services, alone and together with, or installed in, any end-products and/or services. Buyer shall not rely on any data and performance specifications or parameters provided by Senior Outreach Ministries. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to independently determine suitability of any products and/or services and to test and verify the same. Senior Outreach Ministries does not assume any liability whatsoever arising out of the application or use of any product or service. And in the name of full disclosure one should assume any ad they click on or purchase they make will provide us with a small fee. This is not added to the purchase price of any item or service you purchase. It is however one of the ways we fund the help we provide to seniors and their caregivers. Any recipients of our help as well as our staff thank you and appreciate you greatly.

Real Inflation and Government Inflation

Real Inflation and Government Inflation

Real Inflation and Government Inflation, Financial Definitions, Information Resources for Seniors

Most people are not aware real inflation and government inflation rate percentages differ. They feel it in their gut but fall short when articulating what they instinctively know.

A thinking person would read the headline and ask themselves what is the difference between real inflation and government inflation. Smart thing to do by the way.

A smart question not only deserves an honest answer, it will get one too. There is a difference and the gap is huge in almost every measurable category.

By the way, this isn’t an article on zeroing in on how the government computes inflation. You can research that for yourself in any number of expose type articles offered up by Google.

This article tells you what your real inflation probably was, is and will be.

Why was, is and will be” you ask?

Because you’ve been lied to ever since the government began publishing the so called inflation rate. Subsequently, you’ll be lied to as long as they continue to publish an inflation rate.

“Why would they lie?”, I hear you ask.

Simple. They have certain obligations tied to the rate of inflation. Social security checks for example. And, no, this article is not anti Social Security.

You know that pot of gold (yes, I’m being facetious) that lands in your bank account on the first, second or third Wednesday of the month. The raises, if any, are tied to the inflation rate.

The raises have been between zero and two percent over the last 10 years. Imagine if the government had to pay the real rate.

Say the real inflation and not government inflation rate was eight percent. Your check would have gone up by eight percent and not the one percent you received.

This of course means that pot of gold called the social security fund would be in danger of going absolutely bottoms up. Oops, no more money would mean no more checks.

No more checks would mean our Washington politicians would be in grave, physical danger. They don’t like being in harm’s way. Of course they could cook the books.

Never mind. They already do.

A guy can’t blame them but then again a guy should only elect honest politicians. Oops, again, since that is an oxymoron.

So how do you know your real inflation rate? There are two rates. Pre-tax and post-tax. Most of us pay taxes so it is the post-tax rate we watch.

Consider these facts. Most of us use gasoline or diesel in our automobiles. The majority of us also buy groceries. Most of us use electricity or some other utility to keep warm or cool. And so forth, and so forth.

These facts all cost money. The gas station, like all merchants, has to charge for their products or they won’t be in business. We don’t want them out of business. Just stands to reason, right?

The real inflation rate happens to us every day. It is what we pay for our everyday items. Gasoline is a great example. We’ve all seen monthly prices escalate ten to fifteen percent. Sometimes it happens in a week.

Given that is true that means you and I pay whatever the pump reads. Unfortunately the pump doesn’t always read the same low number.

Let’s Fuel Up On a Quick Example

For example, last month I filled up the household car two times. The price of gas on the first visit was six percent lower than the second time. If buying gas was my only event of the year my inflation rate would have been six percent.

I was thankful I filled up at the low end of the price increase. Gas is probably the easiest, besides food, to use as an example. because all of us, in one way or another, are impacted by gas price fluctuations.

Unfortunately it wasn’t my only buying event for the year. I too like to eat so the grocery store was on the agenda. I use electricity so the power company was in the monthly mix as well.

Here is just one of my experiences at the grocery store. An item as simple as a can of beans will illustrate the point. At the beginning of the year the price was 88¢. Yesterday it was $1.08.

Every event was in my sphere of inflation but the government has a different idea about those events. They simply ignore them in their computations.

Yep, you read that correctly. The real inflation and government inflation computations differ because the government has the luxury of ignoring them. They happen to you and me but the government don’t acknowledge their happening.

Another “Not-So Shocking” Inflation Scenario

I mentioned using power. The power company is granted rate increases through a government agency. It was created to monitor how much we are being soaked. Over the years the power companies gradually slid the agency members from consumer advocates to consumer gougers. Rate increases don’t count in the inflation equation.

Hence, they can declare an inflation rate of any number they so elect. They do so by simply accusing them of being less important than their made up list and don’t include them in the algorithms. Hence computing a low inflation rate is easy-peasy, lemon squeezey according to the Washington D.C. number crunchers.

Since I don’t have children in college and my medical bills are almost non-existent I did not have to account for the rise in their respective costs. You, on the other hand, may not be so lucky.

If you aren’t, you need to factor those too into your real inflation rate and not the government inflation rate. If you don’t, you could go broke.

Some Final Thoughts That Hopefully Aren’t Deflating

Simply understanding the real inflation and not government inflation rate does little good unless we, as a collective body, take steps to right the ship. It won’t be easy. Nothing of this magnitude ever is easy.

Oh, for them it is. They make the rules, regulations, policies and laws. Moreover, if anyone is paying attention, they are people. You know, like you and me.

As such, we can replace them. Truth is we should be replacing them every election cycle. Then we might have a controlled real inflation and not government inflation.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

**DISCLAIMER**

Senior Outreach Ministries makes no warranty, representation, or guarantee regarding the information contained herein or the suitability of any products and/or services for any particular purpose. Any performance specifications are believed to be reliable but are not verified. Buyer must conduct and complete all performance and other testing of the products and/or services, alone and together with, or installed in, any end-products and/or services. Buyer shall not rely on any data and performance specifications or parameters provided by Senior Outreach Ministries. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to independently determine suitability of any products and/or services and to test and verify the same. Senior Outreach Ministries does not assume any liability whatsoever arising out of the application or use of any product or service. And in the name of full disclosure one should assume any ad they click on or purchase they make will provide us with a small fee. This is not added to the purchase price of any item or service you purchase. It is however one of the ways we fund the help we provide to seniors and their caregivers. Any recipients of our help as well as our staff thank you and appreciate you greatly.

UDAAP – Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices

UDAAP – Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices

Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices, UDAAP

What You’ll Find in This Article:

  1. An Overwhelming Case
  2. Debt Collection Shows Itself For What It Is
  3. The Two Suggestions
  4. An Ally You May Not Know Exists
  5. Final Thoughts

Saying unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices is quite a mouthful. That’s why you hear the acronym, UDAAP (or UDAP) instead. I believe we both can agree that’s a lot more pleasant to the hearing.

UDAAP came into existence as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010. That is to say the financial crisis of 2007 – 2008 was the impetus for the legislation. It was enacted in part to promote US financial stability. And to protect American Consumers from abusive financial services practices.

It is no secret many Seniors and Pre-Senes have trouble paying or cannot pay their medical bills. Studies have shown these groups try to pay what they owe but the sheer volume owed is too overwhelming.

Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts and Practices

An Overwhelming Case of UDAAP

One example oft cited is the case of the lady making about $36,000 a year with an outstanding medical bill of approximately $62,000 and growing. Growing because collections adds interest to the unpaid balance. Realistically she will never get out from under that bill.

So, you might be asking, what does unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices have to do with her and others in the same boat. Plenty.

Numerous studies have shown that especially uninsured and under-insured consumers are raw meat for hospitals and some doctors. I won’t go into details in this article.

Debt Collection Shows Itself For What It Is

It is the collections part of the medical landscape that brings the UDAAP statutes into the forefront. As you will read in a moment, UDAAP laws prohibit “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” Contrary to what the medical field says and/or attempts to portray in those television doctor shows they are a business. And, in this country, business is commerce.

When you don’t pay your medical bills within a specified time frame the entity owed the money initiates collection. This could be anything from calling you or sending you a past due notice. They might even try asking you for payment when you come back to the facility.

If you do not pay within the specified time frame almost all medical providers resort to a collection agency. This is where the majority of unfair practices enter the picture. Mind you, many hospitals have been caught with their pants down using extremely unfair collection methods too. So, a history exists from inside the medical purveying system as well.

This article won’t go into depth on UDAP on purpose as the virtual real estate it would take up is enormous. However, this article will make two suggestions as to where to begin your journey into UDAP education.

Two Friendly Suggestions I Make

The first is the American Bankers Association. Here’s a quote from their UDAAP page:

Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), 15 USC 45(a)(1) (UDAP), prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” The Dodd-Frank Act makes it unlawful to engage in any unfair, deceptive or abusive act or practice (UDAAP with two As). The responsibility for enforcing the prohibition against “abusive” acts or practices was given to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under Dodd-Frank, but the prudential regulators retain their authority to enforce UDAP under Section 5 of the FTC Act. 

That page currently resides at:

https://www.aba.com/Compliance/Pages/compliance_UDAP.aspx

The second suggestion is to become familiar with your state UDAAP statute(s). And why use the state first and not the agencies mentioned by the ABA?

Because your state statutes almost always give you the most powerful remedies. Subsequently, these statutes are sometimes referred to as consumer protection acts of broad applicability.

They earned that description because they can be used to challenge a wide range of abusive behavior. As well as unfair or deceptive debt collection tactics. Many UDAAP statutes allow private actions for violations of other state or federal laws. Believe me, this is a big plus.

Moreover, if you are facing a medical bill calamity, hit the keyboard. And get as much heads up info on your state laws as you can. No telling what will happen in your favor when you are armed and ready to do battle.

An Ally You May Not Know Exists

The Dodd-Frank Act created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also known as CFPB. And they are responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. Collection agencies come under the enforcement authority of the CFPB.

Collection agencies attempt to collect medical debts. Medical debts no longer crush your credit score thank goodness. But, and this is a big but, medical debt collectors still can crush your pocket book.

So that’s why you need to make the CFPB your friend. And, I don’t know your individual situation. But, you do. Maybe you can’t pay on time all the time. Maybe your job is only part time. The maybes can mount up. Above all else you need help and the CFPB can help.

Some Final Thoughts on UDAAP

Numerous studies have shown that especially uninsured and under-insured consumers are raw meat for hospitals and some doctors. Consequently, you can read about hospital bills and their collection protocol in our article titled: Hospital Billing and Senior Citizens.

Above all else visit the CFPB site and get familiar with their mission, pages and forms. And, make sure you research your state’s laws. Moreover, unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices won’t go away by just wishing them away. You have to take the proper legal action so educate yourself.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy

Given the amount of information available from numerous sources you might believe financial literacy is through the moon. Unfortunately
it is not the norm. For example, a large number of people did not know what bankruptcy was.

Recent surveys conducted by two of today’s largest financial product based organizations paint a bleak picture. Financial literacy is regressing
rather than progressing.

Financial Literacy

The surveyors were shocked to learn the groups needing the information the most are the groups who don’t search for it. It seems those who are financially ignorant like it that way. And they did not say that by the way.

Surveyors learned the folks who are already financially literate belong to the group that keeps searching to learn more. It would be ironic if it wasn’t so sad.

The Financial Literacy surveys were conducted around eight main areas:

  1. Earning
  2. Consuming
  3. Saving
  4. Investing
  5. Debt
  6. Risk
  7. Insurance
  8. Information Sources

It would be hard to disagree that these aren’t important areas. After all, they stare us in the face every day of our existence.

Earning

I cannot imagine someone not knowing how to read their paycheck. Some folks had no idea what determines their take home pay. Incomprehensible to say the least.

If this important financial document isn’t important to a person I can’t believe any other financial document would be important.

Consuming

All of us consume everyday or we wouldn’t be alive. But, not being able to articulate where you spend your money, and on what, seems out of place. Especially in today’s society. But the surveys say otherwise.

Saving

An easy concept to be sure. Yet some respondents had no idea how to get the biggest bang for their buck. In other words, they couldn’t tell how they
would maximize their savings dollars.

Investing

This is an area requiring more study than a subject like saving. So, may be it is understandable that respondents did not know how to evaluate particular investments. Or, understand the risk associated with each type of investment. However, those are not poor excuses for foregoing a cursory attempt at financial literacy.

Debt

An extremely easy concept to understand. Or so you would think. Above all respondents couldn’t express the relationship between loan features and repayments.

Duh!

By the way budgeting was out of the question when it came to debt for these respondents.

Risk

I realize risk begins most people’s days. It is called waking up to an uncertain world no matter how many times we wake up.

When it comes to financial literacy people couldn’t explain the degree of risk associated with an action. Or the degree of risk they were willing to accept with regard to a particular investment.

Insurance

Types of coverage is all a person really needs to know about insurance. Subsequently, no one has to dive into the inner bowels of how the insurance industry works.

However, it would be extremely beneficial to understand how your policy works regarding your particular coverage. So, what you are paying for and why
would be a good start.

Financial Literacy Information Sources

We live in the age of information. For example even the homeless have access to information. They simply use the library and government agencies.

Finding appropriate sources and asking for advice isn’t a giant pain in the posterior any more. To clarify it is open source to borrow Internet language.

And, in most cases, it is absolutely and completely without cost. Therefore, a person does not have to take one dime out of their pocket.

Financial literacy, like understanding financial definitions, equates to financial well being. So if you have it, your life is better all around. Subsequently, if you don’t have it, seek it out. You’ll make a better life for yourself.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

Pay Off Your Debts in 5 Simple Steps

5 simple steps to pay off your debts is merely the starting point. The actual, real-life ending point is step 6. Don’t repeat what put you in debt in the first place.

Pay Off Your Debts

We all realize debt is always there. We can live in a cave and by golly we will buy something on credit and be in debt. Darn it, right?

In fact, I once said credit is merely debt spelled a different way. Think about it. The minute you swipe your credit card you have entered into the nether world called debt. And you stay there until the amount charged is paid in full.

Pay attention to the last part of the previous sentence. Your debts have to be paid in full or you will wreck your credit. And that’s a whole different world of hurt.

So, let’s start getting into Pay Off Your Debts in 5 Simple Steps. And the first step in the 5 simple steps is actually a pretty easy one. In fact, you can do it several different ways.

Pay Off Your Debts STEP 1 – Stop Adding to Your Current Debt

For starter’s, when you receive your credit card bill, you pay the balance owed. This way you avoid interest charges, service fees and any other fees credit card companies charge. This is one important way you won’t be adding to your debt. Interest is bad enough, but fees can kill you.

Have the discipline to not add to your existing debt by buying more stuff. Especially since chances are most of, or at least a good chunk of, your debt is for stuff you can live without.

Pay Off Your Debts STEP 2 – Review All The Statements From Your Debts

Make sure you review your loan and credit card statements. And any other statements you receive in regard to one of your debts. You want to know your balances, interest rates and payments. These items tell you how much you owe.

It’s very important information to know if you are serious about paying off your debt. You’ll be able to figure out which ones need immediate attention and which ones can get smaller payments.

Pay Off Your Debts STEP 3 – Reduce and Eliminate Expenses

Start looking for ways you can reduce or eliminate expenses. Most of us find extra money via birthdays, holidays, part time jobs, etc. If you are one of
those money finders, use those dollars to help pay off debt faster.

You’ll be ahead an exponential dollar amount if you do.

Pay Off Your Debts STEP 4 – Pay Off the Highest Interest Rates First

This one should be obvious but sometimes people simply don’t think in the obvious. Pay off debts with the highest interest rates first.

Why?

Do the math and you’ll discover that a high interest rate equals more dollars out of your bank account.

You’ll save money by getting rid of the interest rates that are sucking your money up. Debts with lower interest rates can receive smaller payments while you get the larger interest rates paid off. Simply put, the smaller interest rates aren’t costing you as much. Yet.

Pay Off Your Debts STEP 5 – Discover Ways to Save

This is the simplest step to pay off your debts. You want to discover ways to save money. Many have used the debt consolidation principle. They start by using the tip in step 2.

They determine how much they owe and then get a loan through their bank or credit union for the full amount. Then they pay all their outstanding
bills and don’t incur those charges again.

Now You Have a Different Problem

Now you have a different dilemma. What do you do with the excess money from the consolidation loan? Well most people put it away in savings.

Here’s the math: let’s say the loan you took out to consolidate your debt was $7,500. Now instead of a $1,000 a month going out to all the different debts you only $500 to the single loan. That means you would have an extra $500.

DO NOT spend the newly freed up $500. Put it away in a savings account. Or an investment vehicle that bears interest like an annuity. Now that money can start working for you instead of against you.

Some people have an emergency fund they keep hidden. Start putting the extra money in there every month. The important part is just DON’T TOUCH IT!! Your not touching it will be what makes the difference. Using our example, after a year, you’d have $6,000 saved. After 5 years you’d have $30,000. Not too shabby, ey?

An Important Note:

If you have built an emergency fund, never, ever, spend these dollars to pay your debt. It is an emergency fund for a reason. You never know when
the car will need new brakes or some other unexpected surprise will visit you. Save those dollars so you won’t be forced to add to your debt.

Final Thoughts

These 5 simple steps will pay off your debts. They can all be fleshed out into better detail. You know you’re situation better than I do. There are other ways to improve your savings or where you can find money.

However, I believe you get the idea. Know what you owe, don’t add to it and pay it off. These simple concepts are really what paying off your debt boils down to.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

We’re All Going to Die

We’re all going to die seems to be the main stream media’s drum beat. Tons of articles are pounding the death knell of not thousands but millions of Americans. Heck some have even said the CoronaVirus will be the largest death virus this planet has ever seen.

We're All Going to Die, reincarnation, all we have to fear is fear itself
HHHmmmmm….Have We Heard all This Before?

I’m no doctor. I don’t even play one on television. But, and it is a big but, I can tell you for a natural fact we have heard this story before. Hang with me for a minute and I will give you the list.

The same death knell started long before the first year listed on the chart. However, because I liked this chart, I decided to go with the first year it lists – 2001. I thought staying in the modern era versus rushing all the way back to 1918 and the Spanish flu was too much to perpetrate on Senior Outreach Ministries readers and followers.

–We’re All Going To Die

Let’s first take that phrase apart. The we obviously means both you and I. Given that is true there will be no more you and no more me. Do you believe that will actually come to being? If I can be honest for a minute, I sure don’t.

I am in no way saying I won’t be effected (catch the virus). I try to stay safe as the saying goes. But that doesn’t mean other people are practicing safe hygiene protocol.

All you have to do is read. There are stories everyday about people coughing in the face of other people. People licking vegetables and other items in stores. Other folks intentionally violating the safe distance mandate. The list goes on.

The Die Part Is The Most Scariest Part

Now we step into the die word. When you die you commit a pretty final act. As far as I know, there is no returning, anyway. Yes, I have heard of reincarnation. To a degree I even believe in it.

What I can’t reconcile is if it happens to or for all of us. In another words, a few scientists have said they have proven reincarnation is for real. What they don’t say is if it is for real for each and every human being on the earth.

If it is for real for each and every human being that means we will all return. If that is true what difference does it make if we die from the coronavirus? We will return at some date in the future.

Let’s say reincarnation is not for real. These scientists are wrong. That translates to we don’t return when we die. We are gone forever.

If we are gone forever and don’t return what difference does it make how we die? We all know we are going to make that final march. The cause becomes irrelevant.

None Of This Is To Say Don’t Take Precautions

Regardless of reincarnation, no reincarnation, how we die, the point is we are still alive. As such we should be taking all the precautions available to us. Why play with fire? Protect yourself as much as you can.

As promised here is the list I mentioned in the opening of this article. I did not create it. I took it off the Internet where it wasn’t ascribed to anyone in particular. However, the author is correct with the year and the “gonna die sickness” presented.

–Please Pay Attention, Closely Please–

Please pay attention to the very last line. To quote President Roosevelt, all we have to fear is fear itself. That’s what we are really facing. Fear is a powerful force that makes us do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do.

My next to last thought will probably come as no surprise. Make sure your life insurance premiums are paid! After all, if we’ve learned nothing else from surviving yet another epidemic, it would be, BE PREPARED. You never know what is coming. The CoronaVirus wreckage suffered had you caught it could have been alleviated by CoronaVirus Life Insurance.

However, it should come as no surprise, we’re all going to die. If possible let’s choose our own way in which we’re all going to die.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

Disputing Credit Card Charges

Disputing Credit Card Charges

Disputing credit card charges isn’t as hard as it may come across. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to dispute credit card charges before. Maybe I was lucky. But I’ve only lost one dispute. The reason was I waited too long before disputing the charge.

Disputing Credit Card Charges, Disputing Fraudulent Charges on My Card

My bad.

A lecture seems to be in order at this point. However, lecturing is almost never taken too seriously. Because, we’ve grown immune to lectures and lecture oriented verbiage.

The very best way to keep from being involved in a credit card dispute is to be aware of each of your purchases. That is, you know not only the product. But the terms under which you are buying that item or items.

For example purposes only I’ll use a travel package from one of the multiple online travel sites. Most purchasers believe once they hit the pay link they own the airline tickets. Or the hotel reservations or whatever constitutes the purchased package.

These programs do not work this way. Take the airline tickets. You don’t actually own them until you show up for the flight. And then present the tickets to the counter agent.

Always Read The Fine Print

You didn’t bother to read the fine print on the website so you didn’t know that little detail. Your plans change and you can’t fly until one day later. You call the airline to make new arrangements and the agent lays out the details.

Details that put you in shock because they involve paying a huge amount of money. But, wait a minute you already paid for the tickets on your credit card.

Oops, you did but you don’t have control over the tickets. You really need to call the online site. And have them make the changes for you. Your credit card company won’t help even though you used their services.

They know who owns the ticket and will only agree with them if you dispute the charge. Not a good feeling and not a good spot to be in.

So you don’t find yourself in the same boat this short article will make a referral to a source with all the how to do it right information. That source is:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0219-disputing-card-charges

Yes, I could write a summary of the procedure. But then how much help would that be. In any event, disputing a charge can be easy or it can be difficult. So, according to me, visit the site and read what they have to say. You can turn difficult into easy if you pay attention.

To show you what I mean, here is the first paragraph on their website:

Have you ever been billed for merchandise you either returned or never received? Has your credit card company ever charged you twice for the same item or failed to credit a payment to your account? While frustrating, these errors can be corrected. It takes a little patience and knowledge of the dispute settlement procedures provided by the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA).

Notice the last 2 sentences. Don’t get frustrated. Get educated.

Good luck.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

Consumer Price Index and Inflation

Consumer Price Index and Inflation

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) and inflation are directly related. Although, the formula for calculating the inflation rate is relatively simple the truth is nobody gives a good gosh darn.

And maybe we shouldn’t given it is a government calculated number and the government actually tells us what it is for the year every year. In fact, watch any business show on television and you will hear the talking heads spew forth about inflation and the CPI.

Consumer Price Index and Inflation

It is helpful to know the agency responsible for computing the CPI and informing the general population of that number is the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS for short. They actually survey thousands of prices all over the country and formulaically compute the Consumer Price Index and the inflation rate.

For any index to be worth its salt it has to have a base rate to be used for comparison purposes. This means somebody or some agency sets that base. With the CPI it is the BLS and currently the base year for comparison purposes is 1984.

The truth is it wasn’t exactly 1984. What the government math wizards did was use the numbers from 1982 -1984 took an average and called 1984 the year the CPI was 100. Just like magic they had a year and a number.

What Does This Mean to Me?

What does all this have to do with me you might be asking. Well, maybe a lot and maybe nothing. I will say if you are a senior about to retire or are already retired this number is important.

You see, inflation eats away at your buying power. If something cost one dollar in the base year, 1984, but costs 1.98 today, inflation has eaten ninety eight cents more out of your nest egg.

It could get more complicated but why complicate a simple formula I’ll show you in a minute so you can break even with inflation. As seniors we face medical bills, taxeshospital bills. All the same bills pre-senes and younger people face too.

But what we don’t face is longevity to combat this bully called inflation. It simply eats away our money and we seemingly can’t shoo away the monster.
Year after year it nips at our heels.

Breaking Even With Inflation

Fortunately there is an easy to use formula to help us calculate the investment rate of return we need to “break even” with inflation. Expressed as a fraction it looks like:

Inflation Rate / 1 – Tax Rate

Obviously we need to know the inflation rate and our tax rate. I will assume the inflation rate is 5% and the tax rate (bracket) is 30%. Our equation looks like:

.05 / 1 – .3

Or

.05 / .70

Dividing we get this number: 7.14

7.14 expressed as a percent is 7.14 percent or .0714. This is the return we would need to receive to stay even with a 5% inflation rate in a 30% tax bracket.

We could have more fun with the Consumer Price Index and inflation but this appears to be enough fun for this article. Keep this formula in mind as you plan your retirement.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

The Granny Gift Tax

The Granny Gift Tax

The Granny Gift Tax, Capital Gains Tax, The Gift Tax, The IRS

The granny gift tax is a cute way of saying the IRS subjects gifts you give to qualified receivers to income tax. Imagine that….. The IRS taxes you for being kind.

Well, isn’t that special?

In truth this tax is simply called Gift Tax. The IRS devotes a lot of words about this tax here:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/frequently-asked-questions-on-gift-taxes

They cover every question known to mankind on gift taxes on that page.

I call it the granny gift tax because grandparents and parents have been giving money to their siblings for a little longer than giving itself has been around.

The IRS came along in 1913. And, it’s been business as usual since. So when they recognized a good thing, they did what they always do, they taxed it.

The IRS isn’t a total Scrooge however since their rules allow, in 2019, gifts up to $15,000 annually per donor without either the giver or receiver having to report it on their personal tax form. If you are married you can give $30,000 to each eligible receiver without either party in the transaction suffering through reporting worries.

The rules are the same for same sex married couples. The granny gift tax cares not about your sexual orientation. The granny gift tax is an equal opportunity tax mechanism.

Taxes Can Have a Silver Lining?

This could be quite an estate planning tool for people with a high net worth. For example, assume a married couple has three children and each one of them is married. So, that makes a family of six eligible receivers.

Six times $30,000 equals $180,000. A substantial reduction in the size of the estate meaning the gifts reduced the estate’s value for taxing purposes. But, of course there may be more eligible receivers in this family tree thereby reducing the estate’s value for tax purposes.

The IRS does permit a donor to give more than $15,000. The worm in the apple is the reporting requirement. The receiver must report any amount over $15,000 and pay tax on this amount.

Above All Else, Always Take Care of Your Gift Taxes

Gifts larger than $15,000 should be coordinated with your estate planning accountant and/or attorney. In fact you should always consult a licensed, knowledgeable, competent professional. Running afoul of the rules could turn the gift from wonderful intention into sour apples. The taxman is the no excuses, non-forgiving type.

And, this doesn’t only apply to cash. But, securities, real estate, coins and all other assets. Any value over the magic base amount of $15,000 is subject to tax.

The granny gift tax has exceptions and exemptions. They will be covered in a separate article. The purpose of this informational resource was to point out the gift amount. And alert you to the possible tax consequence, should you go above the maximum.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

Federal Insurance Contributions Act Primer

Federal Insurance Contributions Act

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act is also known as FICA. It is the federal law requiring employers to withhold three separate taxes from their employees wages:

https://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/research-topics/managing-your-taxes/payroll-taxes/what-compensation-is-taxable

https://www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/research-topics/office-hr/employee-or-independent-contractor-feds-and-states-join-forces-to-fight-worker-misclassification

A large number of employees are not aware of this triple whammy tax:

  1. The 1st tax is the Social Security tax. In short, it is at a rate of 6.2%. And this portion is matched by your employer. Subsequently at the exact same 6.2 percent rate.
  2. The 2nd tax is a 1.45% Medicare tax sometimes called the “regular” Medicare tax.
  3. The 3rd tax is a Medicare surtax. The 0.9% rate applies when the employee earns over $200,000

The third tax went into effect in 2013. The employer is also taxed at a 1.45% Medicare tax rate. In conclusion, neither can escape the Medicare surtax.

And don’t worry, the government did not forget the self-employed. Firstly, they pay 12.4% for Social Security. And then secondly 2.9% for Medicare. The total equals 15.3%.

The law always provided a maximum amount of earnings on which the Social Security tax will be collected. In 2019 https://www.moneytalksnews.com/3-ways-social-security-will-change-in-2019/

Certainly Not A Silver Lining

The Social Security tax will be collected on earnings up to $132,900. Any earnings above and beyond that amount are not taxed. As far as Social Security taxes go.

Any and all questions about these taxes are answered on https://ssa.gov. As a result The Social Security Administration was kind enough to provide a philosophical way to look at FICA taxes:

“The money you pay in taxes is not held in a personal account for you. It is not used when you get benefits. Today’s workers help pay for current retirees’. As well as the benefits of other beneficiaries’. Any unused money goes to the Social Security trust funds to help secure today. As well as tomorrow for you and your family.”

It is always a wonderful feeling to know you are doing your part to help current retirees. And other beneficiaries receiving benefits from social security as well. That is to say The Federal Insurance Contributions Act offers both a sunshine glow and a warm fuzzy feeling.

Your Lifetime Earnings Record

Paying into Social Security creates a lifetime earnings record. According to SSA your lifetime earnings record is:

“a chronological history of the amount of money you earned each year during your working lifetime.”

Keeping track of what is in your record is your responsibility. Because The SSA said so. It’s critical to check the accuracy of your earnings record. So make you check it. And make sure you do this at least annually. Because certain errors will result in a smaller monthly benefit.

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act has other moving parts. We will address the other moving parts in future articles.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

An Important Social Security Factoid

An Important Social Security Factoid

The important social security factoid is: Actuarially Neutral (AN).

I can hear you asking, “What in the world is actuarially neutral ?” Good question. Let me answer it.

All AN boils down to is the simple fact the program is indifferent to whether people tend to claim benefits before full retirement age or after full retirement age. So, you see, on average the increase people receive from claiming later should be roughly offset by the fact they’ll receive fewer monthly payments.

An Important Social Security Factoid, Claiming Social Security

Stated another way, if a senior citizen starts his SS monthly check when he is 62 he is 8 years ahead of the person who starts at age 70. He will get less in his monthly check than if he waits until he turns 70. Because, actuarially speaking, he starts drawing his checks earlier. I bet you can guess what that means. You guessed right, it means a lower amount.

No One Alive Knows That

Obviously the kicker in this scheme is nobody knows when they will die. The person taking his monthly check could outlive the person waiting till 70. So, the larger check at 70 won’t mean a thing in the overall picture.

The government bean counters wanted to be certain everyone would receive as close to the same amount as possible over their lifetime. Hence they created a sliding scale with the first eligible age to collect being 62.

If both parties live to be 80 years old, AN tells us both would have received the same amount over the number of years they collected their Social Security. Of course the numbers will be slightly different based on income factors. But, in theory they will be close.

This isn’t a tome on factors to consider in enrolling into the social security program. It’s merely a brief explanation on the underlying thought/principle that went into constructing the payout schedule. For more factors you may also want to read: Factors to Consider When Claiming Social Security.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

703 Retirement Plan

703 Retirement Plan

You may have received emails or seen ads talking about the 703 retirement plan. If you are like me, when you saw that weird looking retirement plan you wondered what the heck is it all about.

703 Retirement Plan, Saving for Retirement, Retirement Topics

As it turns out the author of the email or ad is using a clever twist of words to entice you to subscribe to a particular email newsletter. They can’t just say, hey, subscribe to my newsletter for $XXX a year because nobody would sign up. So, they use a bit of intrigue/curiosity.

The 703 plan is what the real investment world calls a Dividend Re-Investment Plan or DRIP. It has several moving parts.

The first is you must own a stock that allows you to reinvest the dividend into buying more shares instead of taking the dividend in cash. For example fictitious company JXN allows you to DRIP.

They pay a quarterly dividend of $1 per share. And you own 200 shares. Rather than taking the $200 in cash you use those dollars to buy more shares of JXN. As you might guess more shares means you have increased your holding. Plus your dividend will be larger next quarter because you have more shares.

And now for the second moving part. Most brokerage companies charge a fee to reinvest your dividend. Oops, you’ve just decreased the number of shares your $200 will buy. No worries. The 703 plan shows you how to bypass your broker and save the fee and/or commission charge.

Semi-Related Investment Info

All you have to do is subscribe to the newsletter being offered and you’ll learn the secret bypass method. Well, I say, simply click on this link or the title and download the information without subscribing to anything. I titled it, “The D.R.I.P.”.

And to bolster your investment library click this link, or the title, to get a second primer, “And Capital Appreciation Too”. Both are 100% free!

You are welcome to subscribe to our newsletter by >>CLICKING HERE<< but you don’t have to. Simply click the links in the above paragraphs and you’ll get the reports. It’s that easy. We think you should put that information to use whether you’re a member we email our newsletter twice a month or not.



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.