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"Social Security Is a Joke" And Other Feedback From Our Readers

Posted November 05, 2021

Zach Scheidt

By Zach Scheidt

"Social Security Is a Joke" And Other Feedback From Our Readers

"Social security is and has always been a joke!!"

That's what your fellow Rich Retirement Letter member Frank B. wrote to me this week.

Frank's comment came in response to a Twitter conversation I told you about last week. 

A Twitter user named Eric tried to convince me that inflation is not a big deal for seniors because retirees don't have to pay for a lot of food or gas. So higher prices just don't really matter.

That comment got me fired up. And it takes a lot to get me upset!

Judging from your emails this week, our Rich Retirement Letter community is upset too.

Let's rip open the mailbag and get your thoughts on inflation, Bitcoin, trading, the stock market and more!

Eric's Inflation Denial Debunked

The response to Eric's inflation denial was overwhelming. 

Rather than share my thoughts on this important subject, I'll let you take a look at what some of your fellow Rich Retirement Letter members had to say.

Of course, I'd love to hear how you’re dealing with this inflationary environment. Make sure you drop me an email to let me know how you're faring.

Here's a little bit more of what Frank B. had to say:

“Zach, I’m retired and some-what, financially literate. Inflation is very real for seniors. Many have saved/invested for their life change in old age. However, those of us who are financially literate enjoy life and live it to the fullest in spite of our government. Most oldsters are on a fixed income And SS “IS AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN A JOKE!” The worst investment conceivable. Many oldsters are going to find that out soon. Eric is in la, la land, but he is going to experience it like never before. I trust that he is prepared – it’s ugly and going to get a lot uglier. Frank”

Well said, Frank. And I do think that people who are prepared will be alright. We just need to do our part to help other people understand how inflation is changing the world we live in.

Jean Z. has an opinion as well:

"Au contraire, Eric... I lost my job in HR and was never able to find one again. Unfortunately, in Michigan, it is very much a roller coaster economy. Because of this, I've been shocked by the price of goods that are moving at a significant rate. Do you think seniors such as your parents, grandparents etc. should suffer?”

That's the worst part, Jean — the human suffering that in a lot of ways is unnecessary. I hope we're able to help you grow your income to offset some of these higher costs.

Here's one more response from RJS:

“I don't know about Eric, but here's my input as a 69-year-old who has been retired for just under three years: we didn't buy or use much gasoline in 2020 and early 2021 because everyone was hunkering down, hiding from the COVID. We didn't travel as we had planned because of restrictions here and abroad.

Now that folks are coming out from under their rocks we're getting around in our SUV-travel trailer rig, and Boy! has our gasoline bill skyrocketed - and not just because of price increases.”

RJS makes an important point. Retirement is supposed to be an enjoyable season in life. One where you can enjoy your "golden years" and spend time doing the things that matter and make you happy. 

Inflation is making it more difficult to do these things, to see the people you want to visit, and to have the experiences you have waited to enjoy.

That's a tragedy and it makes me sad.

Thankfully, there are ways to fight against rising inflation. And I promise to do my best to help you thrive even with higher prices.

Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and Digital Profits

We've been talking more about cryptocurrencies and ways that you tap into this growing area of the financial market. 

And while you remain skeptical (there's nothing wrong with being skeptical as an investor), many readers really enjoy the topic! Tim B. says: 

“I've been waiting for you to get into Blockchain. I’m looking forward to your thoughts.”

And Joao L. wrote in: 

“What can I pick?! MARA, RIOT. BUBT. HIVI, MIGI and many more?”

Joao, it sounds like you've got a good start! 

Also, keep in mind that many of the payment processing companies like Paypal (PYPL) and Square (SQ) are getting into cryptocurrency transactions as well.

Coinbase (COIN) and Robinhood (HOOD) both stand to benefit as more traders and speculators use these platforms to trade currencies.

Not all make for great investments right now. But I would keep these stocks on your watchlist and look for seasons to buy — and spots to unload profits when your positions trade higher.

In many ways, companies tied to cryptocurrencies make for better trading plays (instead of long-term investing). 

If you pay attention to which plays are coming into favor, and which plays are losing the interest of other investors, you can do quite well.

Investing vs. Trading: A Personal Decision

The debate between investing versus trading is another topic that triggered a lot of discussion over the past few weeks.

Here's a brief email on the subject from L. Williams...

“Trading v. Investing... After wading through countless promotional emails I conclude investing is better for me. So finally ready to create a portfolio.”

Reading between the lines, there's a very important point here. The key words I see above are "for me."

In other words, the decision of whether to focus on short-term trading or long-term investing is very personal. And there are a lot of different factors that can influence your decision.

Personality is one thing. You may be an aggressive "do something" person or you may be more comfortable researching a long-term play and then watching your investment play out over time.

Time constraints are another issue. Not everyone has time to look through charts each week (or each day) and figure out what to buy and sell on a short-term basis.

The most important thing to remember is that regardless of what approach you take, you should be sure to have a plan — and follow it.

Most traders and investors get into trouble when they let emotions pull them away from their original plan with a specific position.

The Personal Side of Investing

If you've been part of our Rich Retirement Letter community for a while, you know that I love having "real person" conversations. 

I've shared stories about my kids, my endurance training and conversations with friends and family members.

And so many of you make me smile by sharing your lives with me too!

Over the past few weeks, I've heard from readers in California dealing with torrential rain…

From other pilots who have great training stories... 

And from readers enjoying weddings, family vacations and getting together with loved ones after the coronavirus crisis.

Please know that I love hearing from each of you. And I hope we can keep the conversations going!

So if you get a moment this weekend, drop me a line and let me know what you are doing and how you're handling our current season. (The financial season, the market season, or just the fall / winter season wherever you are.)

I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great weekend!

Here's to living a Rich Retirement,

Zach Scheidt

Zach Scheidt
Editor, Rich Retirement Letter

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