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December 26, 2016 | Boom

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

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He posted here 285 times, between October of 2013 and May of this year. At first he was ‘Retired Boomer WI,’ presumably because he was a wrinklie in Wisconsin. Later it was just ‘Boom.’ Over that time, his fan base grew.

Typical was this response to a know-it-all moister who took to this blog to dump on the previous generation:

You DO realize anyone of us Boomers could have written (or did write) essentially the same sentiments? Garth’s comment “So cute. Hey, that’s me in 1969. The times-are-a-changing’ again.” SO fitting, AND so true!!!

Many of us so hated the Vietnam War, the racism, the lies, the ‘unfair’ laws. Yeah, some of it got changed, some did not. We took to the streets to change things, not to kill. In another 40-50 years you will probably note similar results, and have your kids, and grandkids generations thinking you guys were the dumbest asses yet created.

Here is the baton of leadership – Don’t blow it, kid.

He was a Bernie Sanders supporter, and Trump sympathizer. During the interminably long US election process, he posted here daily. Actually, several times a day. Never without insight.

I like Bernie -he will get my vote not Hillary. School costs today are astronomical! Even in my day, sorry, I could not justify the “added cost” of a college education. 2 years was enough. You could find that entry level job and show the employer what you possessed. Today, not likely possible.

Things do change…not always for the better.

Yes, there is a difference between countries, sad to say. You have all the available land, sources up the ying yang, and timber. House prices that do NOT reflect reality. Why should that be?… I can’t answer that one.

We certainly have our problems. Look at the average wages in the US. With a minimum wage of $7.35 an hour tough to pay rent, forget owning anything. Yes, minimum wages should be closer to $9-10 per hour. That said, I hear of young who can’t show up on time, have no initiative, etc. Might that imply at $7.35 they’re ‘overpaid’ for what they’re worth? Contemplate that…

I have no easy answers. No a lot of my fellow Boomers have not saved diddly for retirement. Not that they could NOT, but that they did NOT. They will be seeing a crappy retirement, and turn to their kids and gov for support.

Seen this a bit with my parents generation, but not like what I fear in the next 20-30 years! Like I said, here’s the Baton…. Funny Bernie (age 74) not a Boomer, sees things better than anybody else running here. By the way, we pay LESS overall tax burden here now than 60 years ago. See have LESS union labor than 60 years ago as well.

Have we seen social progress since?…. I vote NO. Others might argue, let them…

The Internet is largely anonymous. This blog, save for me, is anon. People come and go, post comments, usually off-the-cuff, often abrasive or ad hominem, shallow and spontaneous. It’s what you’d expect. So Boom’s commentaries – folksy, clad in the patina of experience, unvarnished, revealing – were awaited by many. Lately some regulars here have wondered why Boom went silent.

On Christmas Day I dug a little, found an email address and a name. Roy Stacey.

roy

Roy:

I hope and trust all is well with you.

Just a note to let you know many kind words have been dropped on my blog in recent months, lamenting your departure and hoping you are well.

It would be appreciated if I could pass on some comments from you, and provide an update for your fans.

Regards,
Garth

Today, this reply came to my inbox:

This is not Roy, but his son Paul.  I am sorry to have to tell you that Roy passed away on Sept. 5, 2016.  It has been a rather difficult adjustment for myself and my mother to make.  He really loved your blog and was on it daily, or sometimes several times a day (and has done so for years) and has all of your books also.  We included the last few posts from him that we could find (it took quite a bit of digging) in our annual Christmas letter this year, as he would always have a political rant (or two) in each one.  We appreciate that he has been missed not only by yourself, but by other people on the blog as well.  We will all miss his sarcasm, his mischievous ways, his wit, his wealth of knowledge, but most of all his genuine concern for others.  Thank you.

Roy Stacey was 64. I miss him.

As a much younger guy, I used my employer’s offering for the RRSP (known in the US as a 401-K) as my first saving for retirement vehicle. I was making a whopping $14,582 at the time (1987). The more you made the more you could stuff away – Tax Deferred.

The “hook” in these plans, when you finally do take the money out, it is taxable at your then current tax bracket rate. If I decided to take ALL my money out in one year, that would place me in the HIGHEST tax bracket there is presently. If I take out much less, my taxes due become much less.

Over the years, it is not the money I put in there that is important, it is the growth of it over time.

The TFSA (US version is the ROTH) is a very different animal. You get no deduction on what you put in. The growth over time is identical to the same investment in an RRSP. The key difference is no taxes on that growth over time.

ALL can put the same amounts in, not dependent on how ‘much’ one earns. Therefore, ALL have the identical opportunity to achieve the same ends. Ultimately FAIR & EQUAL. (The contribution limits are limited). If you want to be financially secure when you get to geezerdom, this is a fine way to go.

I personally started with the tax deferred plan because it was the only one available then. The TFSA (ROTH) came later, and has a lower limit. I used both, and over time did ok using both. Now, I can move some money from the taxable, to the ROTH every year, pay my taxes due, and never have to pay taxes on the growth going forward.

It also helps my heirs who will inherit whatever I don’t use, when I hit room temperature.

(I’m married each ‘I’ should be read as ‘we’). YOU have to start somewhere, sometime, with some saving commitment! If you do not, you will have achieved what about a quarter of all people achieve – poverty!

Money (wealth) is not a respecter of generations, or generational envy. This is merely the effect of effort, and time. TIME is your friend in investing, don’t piss it away.

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December 26th, 2016

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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