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Local governments want state’s sales tax admin fee cut in half

Local governments want state’s sales tax admin fee cut in half

LOCAL GOV picture
Part of the state’s new budget is a 2% fee to manage local sales taxes, which could cost local governments hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Teemu008 | Flickr

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Cities across Illinois are banding together in an effort to block the state from keeping so much of their sales tax revenue.

Part of the new budget imposed by lawmakers over the governor’s veto is a two percent fee to manage local sales taxes.

The city of Springfield faces mounting pension debt that’s eating up most, if not all, of its share of property taxes. Springfield has seen little growth in sales taxes and now the state is eating up a chunk of that with a 2 percent fee it charges cities to administer sales taxes.

Springfield City Budget Director Bill McCarty said the fee means the city loses out on $800,000 in sales taxes.

“Let’s call it what it is, it’s a surcharge,” McCarty said. “And we’re balancing the state’s budget on the backs of local governments.”

McCarty joins the Illinois Municipal League in pushing for House Bill 4101 that would cut the fee in half.

The Illinois Municipal League lists the bill as key for its members, saying in a policy paper there was no real opportunity for discussion or debate of the fee before it was implemented over a gubernatorial veto. IML also said state law doesn’t allow municipalities to collect their locally imposed sales taxes themselves.

McCarty said the bill wouldn’t go into effect until next year.

“We’re simply trying to look forward going into the next fiscal year and get that reduced and provide a little relief in that administrative fee,” McCarty said, adding he’d like to see the fee eliminated altogether, but cutting it in half is a compromise. He said the state’s costs to administer the money for all cities doesn’t add up.

“They’re already collecting their own state sales taxes,” McCarty said. “How much incremental work and effort and resources could it possibly take to collect the city portion since they come in together and distribute those?”

The Illinois Department of Revenue said it’s reviewing the bill.

The department “has not provided cost figures associated with the two percent service fee rate increase,” a statement said. “It should be noted that the General Assembly imposed the two percent administrative fee for collecting sales taxes on behalf of local governments as a part of the FY 18 budget that Gov. [Bruce] Rauner vetoed.”

The measure remains in the Revenue and Finance Committee but could be voted on sometime next year.

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Source: Will County News

America needs Roy Moore

America needs Roy Moore

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In recent weeks, new campaign ads for Democrat Senate hopeful Doug Jones began hitting the airwaves in Alabama. Capitalizing on sexual assault allegations against Republican candidate Roy Moore, the advertisement urges conservatives to vote for a Democrat just this once because, it alleges, Moore is “unfit” for office based on accusations against which he maintains innocence.

The ads seek to create the sense that there’s an official movement within Alabama’s Republican Party to seat the Democrat in an effort to avoid tarnishing the state’s GOP brand by sending Moore to Washington. They even tout a catchy tagline: GOP for Jones.

The only problem is that the effort has nothing at all to do with the state’s GOP. Rather the effort was created by Alabama Democrats along with national never Trump voters before being massaged into a movement in Alabama by the Democratic political machine.

As noted by AL.com:

AL.com has not seen evidence of any Alabama elected officials or prominent GOP members using the #GOP4Jones hashtag or tweeting support of Jones over Moore. Some conservative pundits, including Bill Kristol of the conservative Weekly Standard, have tweeted their support of Jones and some elected officials, like retiring Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, have been openly critical of Moore.

In other words, this is just more doubling down on national pressure to make certain that a political outsider like Moore doesn’t end up in the Senate where he will have the opportunity to play a part in thwarting the political establishment while further illuminating all the ways RINO Republicans on Capitol Hill are lying to voters each time an election rolls around.

The Washington D.C. Republican establishment made clear that it wasn’t going to back Moore even before The Washington Post began compiling opposition research on the candidate for the Jones campaign. But the Alabama Republican Party and the various county party organizations which make it up have stood behind Moore from the beginning.

Today, Alabama’s Republican grassroots remains behind Moore. On Monday, Alabama GOP chair Terry Latham advised the state’s conservative voters that “America needs us” to vote for Moore.

“No left wing liberal for sanctuary cities, full term abortion and huddling with Schumer and Pelosi. America needs us, Alabamians,” she said via Twitter.

Her remarks come a day after President Donald Trump similarly warned that a Jones victory would cripple his swamp-draining agenda.

“The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY,” Trump tweeted.

“Jones would be a disaster!”

But that’s the point for the Washington establishment and the Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who control it. If Moore wins, despite the allegations against him, it’s going to open the door for all kinds of challenges to the GOP establishment in coming elections. On the other hand, if the political establishment can convince Alabama conservatives to cast nose-holding ballots for Jones and secure a Democrat victory in the deeply conservative sate, they’ll successfully frighten GOP leaders in other states against allowing outsider candidates to gain ground.

Make no mistake, the Moore/Jones election boils down to swamp draining or a lame ducking Trump for the next three years.

Source: Will County News

As hundreds of thousands die from drugs it approved, the FDA attacks an herbal supplement

As hundreds of thousands die from drugs it approved, the FDA attacks an herbal supplement

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The Food and Drug Administration released a statement Tuesday warning about the dangers of kratom, plant matter from the coffee family which thousands of Americans report using to wean themselves off opioid drugs and to fight the pain the narcotics are prescribed to treat.

The FDA cited a whopping 36 deaths it associated with kratom use  in a statement declaring the plant which is popular among Americans looking for alternative pain and addiction therapies unfit for human consumption.

From FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s statement:

It’s very troubling to the FDA that patients believe they can use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. The FDA is devoted to expanding the development and use of medical therapy to assist in the treatment of opioid use disorder. However, an important part of our commitment to this effort means making sure patients have access to treatments that are proven to be safe and effective. There is no reliable evidence to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use disorder. Patients addicted to opioids are using kratom without dependable instructions for use and more importantly, without consultation with a licensed health care provider about the product’s dangers, potential side effects or interactions with other drugs.

In other words, kratom doesn’t have the medical establishment’s seal of approval– so if you use it for alternative health treatment, you will die.

More importantly, kratom will kill you because it doesn’t make any money for the pharmaceutical industry or the government regulators in its pocket.

Gottlieb admitted this outright, saying: “To date, no marketer has sought to properly develop a drug that includes kratom.”

Because “no marketer” in the pharmaceutical industry is trying sell you kratom, the FDA says it can’t properly determine whether the herbal substance is safe.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of kratom users who will not only tell you that the plant is safe but also how it saved their lives after they were overcome by addiction, pain or both.

There was a pretty excellent article published by Stat last year profiling some such users.  And if you still have doubts that kratom is helping people, check out #IAmKratom on Twitter.  There, you can read story after story from people helped by the herb.

So why is the FDA really issuing a warning about kratom?

Earlier this year, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced that it wanted to schedule kratom in the same way the federal government classifies drugs like heroin and LSD. But swift public backlash stalled the effort because the uproar would likely have led to legislative input down the road. Congressional involvement could have meant an investigation including very public testimony regarding benefits kratom users report.

With the DEA route shut down for now, the FDA’s advisory is the perfect bureaucratic fix.

As Gottlieb noted:

The FDA has exercised jurisdiction over kratom as an unapproved drug, and has also taken action against kratom-containing dietary supplements. To fulfill our public health obligations, we have identified kratom products on two import alerts and we are working to actively prevent shipments of kratom from entering the U.S. At international mail facilities, the FDA has detained hundreds of shipments of kratom. We’ve used our authority to conduct seizures and to oversee the voluntary destruction of kratom products. We’re also working with our federal partners to address the risks posed by these imports.

In short, the FDA is now involved because it has an industry to protect.

As the nation’s opioid crisis rages on, pharmaceutical companies stand to lose money as doctors become increasingly concerned about the amount of narcotic painkillers they are prescribing. Already, pharma is working to pad profits by making “scientific” claims that antidepressant drugs are just as effective at controlling pain in some of the cases which previously merited narcotic treatment.

The kratom “industry” never paid anyone making decisions at the FDA.  The same can’t be said for big pharma.

In fact, GlaxoSmithKline and other pharma giants have paid Gottlieb around $610,000 in consulting fees since 2010. 

Readily available kratom creates an alternative for thousands of patients who’d rather not test the theory that drugs designed to fundamentally alter brain chemistry can control localized pain.

Consider this report that came out from Scientific American at around the same time the DEA was attempting to equate kratom to heroin:

Your body would never get used to the perfect painkiller, says Susruta Majumdar, a chemist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. So unlike the case with common opioids such as morphine or Oxycontin, you would not need to take ever-increasing doses to relieve the same amount of pain. The ideal analgesic would not have the high risk of addiction, withdrawal or fatal respiratory slowdowns that have turned opioid abuse into a massive epidemic. The holy grail of painkillers would not induce the seductive euphoria of common opioids or their less-pleasant side effects like itching or constipation.

A painkiller with just one of these properties would be great, but Majumdar thinks he has stumbled onto a class of chemicals that might have them all. They are found in kratom, a plant that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intends to effectively ban from the U.S. in an emergency move as early as September 30. Without legal access to it, research on some of the most promising leads for a better painkiller may grind to a crawl.

Kratom comes from the Mitragyna speciosa tree native to parts of Southeast Asia, where people chew the leaves for a light, caffeine-like jolt of energy or as a traditional medicine for ailments ranging from diarrhea to pain. Kratom has been illegal since 1943 in Thailand, where it is believed to be addictive. Case studies have suggested that suddenly stopping regular kratom use may lead to withdrawal symptoms—but they are widely considered milder than those associated with opioids.

Stopping kratom use is also much easier than going cold turkey off of many antidepressant drugs. That can be downright dangerous and can cause withdrawal symptoms ranging from a flu-like feeling to hallucinations and psychotic breaks.

But, yeah, kratom will kill you. Pharmaceutical drugs are totally safe. And the government is here to help.

Source: Will County News

Don’t let your smartphone leave you blind

Don’t let your smartphone leave you blind

How many hours each day do you spend on your computer, smartphone, tablet or watching your TV?

For that matter, how many hours a day are you surrounded by the light from LED bulbs?

Did you know that all of those things emit what’s called blue light?

And that the wavelengths of that blue light could cause you to lose your vision?

That’s because blue light has a very short wavelength, and so it produces a higher amount of energy, reaching deep into your eyes and damaging your retinas and even contributing to age-related macular degeneration.

That’s right… not only can blue light damage your eyesight leaving you unable to read the small print on a label, drive at night or maybe even legally blind, but it’s also almost impossible to escape from.

Yet, studies show that 60 percent of people spend more than six hours a day in front of a digital device. In fact, I’m one of them, and I’m betting you are too.

Let’s face it… blue light is everywhere, and one way or another you are probably exposed to it at all hours of the day.

That’s why you’ve got to protect your eyes.

And, I’m not talking about wearing sunglasses… I’m talking about using a natural compound, one that’s already found in your eyes, that’s been shown to actually protect against blue light exposure…

Lutein.

Patented blue light protection

Lutein is a type of carotenoid, a yellow pigment found in plants that gives them their color. In nature, lutein absorbs excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from too much sunlight, especially from the high-energy light rays of blue light.

In addition to being found in many green leafy plants and colorful fruits and vegetables, lutein is also found in high concentrations in the macula of your eye, giving the macula its yellowish color. In fact, the macula is also called the “macula lutea” (from the Latin macula, meaning “spot” and lutea meaning “yellow”).

The lutein in your macula blocks blue light from reaching the underlying structures in your retina, reducing your risk of light-induced oxidative damage that could lead to macular degeneration (AMD), so it stands to reason that increasing your daily lutein intake could help protect your eyes and preserve your vision.

In fact, researchers at Harvard University have found that supplementing with as little as 6 milligrams daily of lutein can lower the risk for macular degeneration by an average of 43 percent.

The best sources of lutein

There are two ways to get more lutein in your diet: food and a high quality lutein supplement.

The best natural food sources of lutein are green leafy vegetables and other green or yellow vegetables. These include kale and spinach, along with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, turnip and collard greens and green beans. For a non-vegetarian source of lutein, you could also eat more egg yolks.

My favorite lutein supplement is Peak Vision Support because each serving offers 20 mg of FloraGlo lutein — the “gold standard” when it comes to lutein that’s been proven effective in over 80 human clinical trials.

You’re not going to give up your computer, smart phone or flat screen television or live your life in the dark. And you shouldn’t have to…

Instead, protect your eyes from the damage caused by blue light and preserve your vision with the power of lutein.


Sources:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/

reviewofoptometry.com/ce/the-lowdown-on-blue-light-good-vs-bad-and-its-connection-to-amd-109744

preventblindness.org/blue-light-and-your-eyes

bluelightexposed.com/#bluelightexposed

Source: Will County News

Explaning TOP 10 LEFTIST GROUPS WREAKING HAVOC ACROSS U.S., SABOTAGING TRUMP

WND EXCLUSIVE

TOP 10 LEFTIST GROUPS WREAKING HAVOC ACROSS U.S., SABOTAGING TRUMP

See who’s behind hysteria, ‘hate’ campaigns, fierce ‘resistance’ sweeping America

Source: Will County News

The government is lying to about cybersecurity

The government is lying to about cybersecurity

Hands holding smartphone

This piece, written by David L. Veksler, was originally published by the Foundation for Economic Education. 

On a press conference, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stated that the “absolutist position” that strong encryption should be, by definition, unbreakable is “unreasonable.”

The DOJ is lying about three things:

First

The U.S. government works against the security of businesses. Just this week, I had to tell Apple that my iPhone app did not have certain kinds of encryption that the U.S. government has export control on. Encryption export controls cripple the security and innovation of software products made by American businesses.

Furthermore, the U.S. government hoards software exploits so it can hack into your computer rather than publish them that so companies can patch their products. The NSA intentionally sneaks weaknesses into protocols and bribes businesses to add holes to security products so it can steal the data of their customers.

When businesses want to improve the security of their products, they offer rewards for exploits – Microsoft pays up to $250,000 per exploit, Facebook has paid $40,000, and so on. The NSA purchases millions of dollars of exploits from hackers and uses them to spy on the entire world, including U.S. citizens. Unfortunately, the NSA is incompetent at keeping secrets, so it lost their exploit database and caused millions of computers to be infected and hijacked with the exploits they hoarded.

The hardware and software pieces of both the Internet and individual user’s computers are made by private companies. There is nothing the U.S. government can do to improve “cybersecurity” other than prosecuting criminal behavior.  However, the U.S. government prosecutes a minuscule proportion of cybercrime.  Whether it is unable or unwilling to punish criminals, the reality is that the only “cybersecurity” that the government cares about is its ability to conduct surveillance and attacks on foreign and domestic political targets.

Second

The idea that “strong security” is compatible with a government backdoor is a lie. Any security expert can tell you that a backdoor leaves your product vulnerable, even if you trust the government agency with the key. Previous backdoors advocated by the US government have been blown wide open by security experts. There is near-universal agreement among security experts that government backdoors and security are not compatible – a reality that the DOJ continues to ignore.

Third

It is not true that the government wants to weaken American’s security to protect against crime or terrorism. Their real motivation has always been power and money: they want to monitor the flow of information in order to prevent people from hiding their wealth and use their secret keys and vulnerability stash to intimidate and blackmail other countries into compliance with U.S. policies. This is why the U.S. intelligence budget of over $75 billion did not prevent most American’s personal details from being leaked, but U.S. citizens who do not report foreign bank accounts (under FACTA) can be fined $250,000 or 5 years in jail even if they have never stepped foot in the USA.

Source: Will County News

Report claims $135 billion in taxpayer funds spent on illegal immigrants each year

Report claims $135 billion in taxpayer funds spent on illegal immigrants each year

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A recent report out from the Federation for American Immigration Reform reveals the growing fiscal consequences of U.S. failures to decrease the number of illegal immigrants burdening the nation’s stretched education, healthcare and social welfare coffers.

Though illegal immigrants pay about $19 billion in combined federal, state and local taxes, the amount of money the government brings in is far outpaced by what it spends on the illegal population.

From the report:

At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens. That amounts to a tax burden of approximately $8,075 per illegal alien family member and a total of $115,894,597,664. The total cost of illegal immigration to U.S. taxpayers is both staggering and crippling. In 2013, FAIR estimated the total cost to be approximately $113 billion. So, in under four years, the cost has risen nearly $3 billion.

State governments are hardest hit by the illegal immigration problem because most of the taxes payed by illegal immigrants end up in federal coffers even as states bear most of the burden of caring for the immigrants.

From FAIR:

The combined total of state and local government general expenditures on illegal aliens is $18,571,428,571 billion. The services referenced in this section are supported directly by the payment of city and state taxes and related fees. At the state level, examples of general expenditures would be the costs of general governance, fire departments, garbage collection, street cleaning and maintenance, etc. The state, county or municipality — or even a special taxing district in some situations — may provide some of these services. In most cases, localities offer more services than the state. By FAIR’s estimate, there is approximately a 65 percent to 35 percent cost share between local and state governments.

Here’s a helpful breakdown of government spending and receipts on illegal aliens provided in the report: 

 

FAIR’s Full Report: 

Source: Will County News

Dem Lawmaker Arrested in Black Friday Protest

Dem Lawmaker Arrested in Black Friday Protest

Missouri Democratic state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. was arrested with several others while protesting at a mall on Black Friday in St. Louis, Mo.

Franks was a part of a large protest, which some were calling an “economic boycott.” The group’s message was reportedly announced in early November by a group of African Americans in the area to fight against police brutality and to speak out against the lack of bank loans for infrastructure in communities in the St. Louis area.

The protest started around 2 p.m. at the St. Louis Galleria in Richmond Heights, according to The St. Louis Dispatch. Protesters marched through the mall, chanting “shut it down” before police quickly announced that they would be making arrests around 2:25 p.m.

image: https://structurecms-staging-psyclone.netdna-ssl.com/client_assets/trumptrain/media/picture/5a1a/fa7d/6970/2d53/6745/0200/content_Screen_Shot_2017-11-26_at_12.26.28_PM.png?1511717500

Source: Daily Caller

Read more at http://trumptrainnews.com/articles/video-dem-lawmaker-arrested-in-black-friday-protest#1hEK4EfbmtZh5vRq.99

Source: Will County News

Not many options to fix Illinois’ worst in the nation pension problem

Experts: Not many options to fix Illinois’ worst in the nation pension problem

FILE - Dan Hankiewicz, Kent Redfield, Dick Ingram 11-17-17
Left to right: Dan Hankiewicz, COGFA pension manager; Kent Redfield, UIS politics professor; and Dick Ingram, executive director of the Teachers’ Retirement System, at a presentation in Springfield on November 17, 2017.

Greg Bishop | Illinois News Network

ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Illinois has the worst-funded public sector pensions in the country and those who know the numbers well say there’s not much that can be done to fix it.

During a panel discussion with the Citizens Club of Springfield Friday, Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability Pension Manager Dan Hankiewicz, longtime political observer and University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Kent Redfield, and Teacher Retirement System Executive Director Dick Ingram talked about the state’s massive pension problem.

Hankiewicz said the state’s problem is “staggering” with a $130 billion unfunded pension liability and just 40 percent funded.

Among the problems is Tier I employees hired before 2010 get 3 percent compounded increases every year of retirement. A Tier II system that lawmakers passed several years ago gives employees lesser benefits in retirement, but that’s not enough to solve the woefully underfunded systems.

Teacher Retirement System Executive Director Richard Ingram said proposed Tier III with lesser benefits won’t help much.

“It’s a little extra money going into the pot for the Tier I unfunded from the school districts, but it’s totally insignificant in the context to the larger problem,” Ingram said.

Tier III passed the legislature this year, but the pension systems are still waiting on follow-up legislation to be able to implement the deal moving forward, Ingram said.

Hankiewicz expects to see another pension plan resurface at the statehouse.

“The [Senate President John] Cullerton plan is a way to sort of put salary increases on the table and use that as a bargaining chip for future [Cost of Living Adjustments] under the premise that salary increases are not constitutionally protected,” Hankiewicz said.

That measure passed the Senate this year, but wasn’t brought up in the House. Gov. Bruce Rauner has indicated he’d sign the so-called consideration model if it were to ever reach his desk. Under Cullerton’s consideration model, state workers would have to choose between freezing their salaries that count toward their pensions and receiving a smaller cost-of-living adjustment in retirement.

Redfield and many others expect that idea to be challenged in the courts.

“It’s going to get an injunction,” Redfield said. “You’re going to get a couple of years where you can’t enforce it. So it’s going to do nothing for next year’s budget and the following year because you can’t count savings in balancing the budget that aren’t real.”

Another option would be to change the state constitution’s pension protection clause to lower expensive pension benefits, but Redfield said that would also be challenged in the courts.

“The federal constitution says states cannot impair contracts,” Redfield said, “so that gets you into a federal lawsuit.”

Hankiewicz said the system won’t ever go bankrupt on paper because of a 1995 state law that requires annual payments to get to 90 percent funded ratio by 2045.

“So long as the state makes those contributions and so long as the systems meet their investment returns and other actuarial assumptions, we get there on paper,” Hankiewicz said. “The question is whether or not the legislature wishes to contribute that amount because that’s about 20 cents of every General Revenue Fund dollar. It’s crowding out resources that could be used for education, for human services, for other things.”

Making those payments, however, will be much easier said than done for lawmakers. Due to the Edgar Ramp passed in 1994, which was backed by then-Gov. Jim Edgar, payments into the pension funds are required to grow exponentially until 2044. The plan has been derided by some as a way for state lawmakers in the 1990s to push the pension problem off  toward then-future lawmakers.

Illinois’ pension contribution for the current fiscal year is $7 billion. That eats up the entirety of the $5 billion income tax increase lawmakers imposed on taxpayers over the governor’s veto this summer.

Source: Will County News

The Age Crisis: A Personal and National Catastrophe 

The Age Crisis: A Personal and National Catastrophe  Wealth Daily
Alex Koyfman Photo By Alex Koyfman
Written Nov. 16, 2017
Aging is a very personal thing.

Despite the fact that it always ends in the same outcome, the paths we take to get there are unique to the individual.

Unfortunately, the hazards we encounter on that path are numerous, and usually deadly.

Heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, a slew of different cancers, and, if all that fails, just a slow, gradual decline that robs us first of our physical abilities and, eventually, decays the cognitive as well.

Anybody who has watched their parents or grandparents decline knows what I’m talking about. The uncertainty of what the next day will bring, the terrifying moments of awaiting the results of lab work or the opinions of doctors.

These are all things you already know, on a personal level, about the process of getting older.

But as we’re wrapped up in the individual experience of watching our loved ones go through it and contemplating our own future, we tend to forget that on a national level, aging has turned into a silent crisis.

Americans, as a population, are getting older.

I know this may sound like a foregone conclusion to you, but it’s not the case in all countries and is generally isolated to the wealthier first-world nations of Western Europe and North America, as well as Japan and, with its birthing limitations, China.

averageamericanage

Which means the prospect of dealing with all the issues relating to age grows closer and closer for a larger segment of the population.

This will contribute enormously to an already overburdened health care system, as longer life expectancies bring with them almost exponentially rising costs.

US health care costs by age

And if you’re younger than about 45 today, you can forget Social Security.

That is expected to run dry by the mid 2030s at the latest, so whatever meager benefits that could have brought, most Americans living today will never get to see a dime.

It’s a perfect storm as far as personal crises go because the rising costs arrive alongside progressively diminished physical capabilities, creating a financial vacuum that usually gets shouldered, at least in part, by the next generation.

On a national level, however, this social crisis has the potential to derail the entire economy.

An Aging Nation

It makes the concept of retirement — once a given for most working Americans — a more and more distant fantasy as we move forward in time.

I’ve found myself quite fortunate in this regard.

I don’t have to worry about my parents, who are now both in their 70s.

They did a great job planning, saving, and investing, and now, even with mounting medical bills, they are more than covered even if they both live past 100.

The problem — and it’s a major one — is that very, very few people can say the same thing.

In a country where almost half the population couldn’t raise a mere $2,000 in 30 days’ time, it’s hard to imagine what elderly citizens hope to do to finance years, perhaps decades, of zero-income living with dramatically rising overhead.

According to Business Insider, the average total asset value for Americans aged 75 is about $155,700.

Modern Horror: Life After Your Retirement Savings Are Gone

While this may seem like a lot, remember, it’s not liquid assets; it’s everything.

It’s the savings accounts, the equity in the home, and everything else with long-term value.

Liquidating such an estate in an emergency would most likely not yield market value, but even if it did, by the time the average American reaches that age, it would only cover about five years of uninsured medical expenses.

That’s not counting other regular expenses like food, utilities, dwelling… if there is even one left at that point.

Even with insurance, the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses is already high and always on the rise, making the dream of a comfortable, carefree retirement simply unrealistic for a substantial segment of the population.

If this sounds bad, I hate to add fuel to the fire, but it gets a lot worse.

Right now, most people’s individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are very heavily if not entirely dependent on the state of the stock market.

We’re currently in the ninth year of a bull market, a bull market that has seen the DOW more than triple over the course of that cycle.

Remember back in 1996 when then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned us of “irrational exuberance” pertaining to the dot-com boom?

It’s 1996… All Over Again

Well, if you said yes, you’re apparently in the minority, because investors today seem to have either forgotten that downturns exist or never knew about them in the first place.

The market hits new highs almost daily, and instead of getting weary, investors — all the way up to the institutions — think it’s a sign that there is only more growth to come.

There isn’t. It’s impossible. The bull run is long overdue for a correction, and to go on without one would only condemn us to an even worse correction down the line.

When it comes, and it will, the hit to existing retirement accounts will wipe out hundreds of billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars in value.

And because nothing of that magnitude happens in a vacuum, a massive correction will come with secondary “splash-over” effects like the housing market, the retail market, and everything else involving discretionary consumer spending.

So just when you thought retirement was going to be tough, it just got tougher… and more dangerous.

These are waters you cannot tread by playing the lottery. Hoping and waiting is not a viable option.

It’s a problem that has the potential to wreak economic havoc across all segments of the population, old and young alike, so even if you’re just a student, you’d better believe that it matters to you.

We’ve been aware of this looming “silent crisis” for years now, and it’s been our goal to figure out the best solutions possible.

The following is a podcast, recorded by one of our wealth experts, Brit Ryle, on the topic of retirement investing dangers.

It’s the very tip of the information iceberg, but it should get you off to a good start in understanding the pitfalls.

Click here for access.

A full-length informational video, along with a detailed report on how to avoid those pitfalls, will be published next week, so stay tuned.

Fortune favors the bold,

alex koyfman Signature

Alex Koyfman

Source: Will County News