Denmark finally passes Law banning both Burqa and Niqab

Denmark finally passes Law banning both Burqa and Niqab

Denmark has joined several other European countries in banning garments that cover the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab and burqa, in a move condemned by human rights campaigners as “neither necessary nor proportionate”.  In a 75-30 vote with 74 absentees on Thursday, Danish lawmakers approved the law presented by the centre-right governing coalition. The government said it is not aimed at any religions and does not ban headscarves, turbans or the traditional Jewish skull cap.

But the law is popularly known as the “burqa ban” and is mostly seen as being directed at the dress worn by some Muslim women. Few Muslim women in Denmark wear full-face veils.The justice minister, Søren Pape Poulsen, said it would be up to police officers to use their common sense when they see people violating the law, which comes into force on 1 August.The legislation allows people to cover their face when there is a “recognisable purpose” such as cold weather or complying with other legal requirements, for example using motorcycle helmets under Danish traffic rules.

Those violating the law risk a fine of 1,000 kroner (£118). Repeat offenders could be fined up to 10,000 kroner or jailed for up to six months. Austria, France and Belgium have similar laws.

Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Europe director, said of the Danish decision: “All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs. This ban will have a particularly negative impact on Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab or burqa. “While some specific restrictions on the wearing of full-face veils for the purposes of public safety may be legitimate, this blanket ban is neither necessary nor proportionate and violates the rights to freedom of expression and religion. Full Story

Roughly two hours after commenting on the previous story, this news article surfaced.  If you have ever been to Denmark or had Danish friends, you will understand how easy going and nice these individuals (generally) are. http://studyindenmark.dk/why-denmark/quality-of-life-1/what-are-the-danes-like

 Hence, when you factor this into the equation what’s taking place now is occurring at a very fast rate.  The statement we boldfaced is very telling. On a scale of 1-10, we are between 3 and 4, so this trend has plenty of room to run before it tops out. In other words, what’s taking place will appear mild in the future?

Sweden Democrats the Anti-immigration party set to score big in Upcoming elections

Sweden Democrats the Anti-immigration party set to score big in Upcoming elections

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s top three parties are running almost level four months ahead of a general election, with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats polling a record 20 percent, according to poll in daily Dagens Nyheter. Support for the Sweden Democrats has surged since they first won seats in parliament in 2010, with the party on track to record its best ever election result after getting 13 percent in 2014. A surge in asylum numbers in 2015, when Sweden took in 160,000 refugees, has heightened worries about a creaking welfare state and that crime is increasing, boosting the party, which wants to close Sweden’s doors and crack down on gangs. The ISPOS poll put the Sweden Democrats hot on the heels of the governing Social Democrats, who got 24 percent, and the biggest opposition party, the center-right Moderates, who scored 22 percent.

At the last election the center-left Social Democrats got 31 percent and the Moderates 23.3 percent. The current government is a minority coalition of the Social Democrats and Greens. They are supported in parliament by the Left Party. Together, the parties polled 37 percent. The Moderates, Centre, Christian Democrats and Liberals cooperate and will fight the election as a group. They polled 39 percent Full Story

The Viking blood still runs strong in many of the Scandinavian nations and while time has cultured the fierce Vikings, the current state of affairs is starting to stir things up and as this trend gathers momentum we fear that these once quite people will reveal a side of them that the world has not seen for a long time. The Vikings were extremely ruthless and note that the Russians also have Viking blood.   We mention this because it takes a lot to provoke the Russian bear, but once provoked the bear will not rest until it has destroyed its enemy.  Vikings were twice as volatile; they were not afraid to fight; they actually relished a good and bloody fight.   Given the strength of this trend there is a fairly high probability that some leader will emerge in this area with strong Viking roots and start talking about days gone by; if this comes to pass, all hell could break loose.  The main target of this rage will be Muslim immigrants as they are being labelled as invaders with increasing frequency and the attacks are gradually  becoming more violent.

If someone comes to power and starts talking about how strong the Vikings were and how the Norwegians, Danes, etc. need to stand up to the invaders (this is the term that is often used today), it will be an indication that the above outlook is coming to fruition. The rhetoric at first will be rather mild, but don’t confuse this mild rhetoric for inaction.  Focus on whether the Viking factor is mentioned, if it is, then the odds of it turning violent are quite high. 

We are not rooting for the above outcome, nor do we favour such an outcome but we would be doing our subscribers a disservice if we did not talk about a potential trend that appears to be gaining momentum.

Deutsche Bank set to cut 10K Jobs to reduce costs’ about time those lazy bankers were fired

Deutsche Bank set to cut 10K Jobs to reduce costs’ about time those lazy bankers were fired

The Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that job cuts were likely to extend into 2019.Separately, Bloomberg News reported the bank was planning to withdraw from a number of equities markets across the globe.

The Bloomberg report, which also cited unidentified people, said that Deutsche would sharply scale back its presence in the United States, and had started cutting activities in Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.Deutsche Bank, which holds its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, declined to comment. The loss-making bank said last month that it was planning to scale back its global investment bank and that equities was one of the areas it was looking at for possible cuts.A person familiar with the matter told Reuters last month Deutsche Bank was expected to cut around 1,000 jobs or 10 percent of its workforce in the United States.

It has also said that it would cut back U.S. bonds trading and the business that services hedge funds.The bank has been expected to announce further details of its reorganisation plans ahead of its AGM on Thursday. hareholders, fed up with a languishing share price and dwindling revenue, will call on the bank’s management to speed up the recovery process at the AGM.

Hans-Christoph Hirt, head of shareholder adviser Hermes EOS at Hermes Investment Management, told Reuters on Wednesday he wanted to see a “credible strategy with achievable targets.” Full story

Now they are firing to balance the books, in the near future they will be firing to get rid of the “expensive human element”. Sadly most of today’s high paid individuals get way too much for doing way too little, and AI is going to dramatically alter the landscape. Remember the equation must always balance, and the more skewed things become the stronger the blowback as the market moves back to the point of equilibrium.

Donald Trump Blames Chuck Schumer

Donald Trump Blames Chuck Schumer

Donald Trump Blames Chuck Schumer, Plugs ‘Fox & Friends’ In Morning Tweets On NYC Terror Attack

President Donald Trump watched Fox & Friends Wednesday morning to get his early briefing on the latest about the previous night’s terror attack in lower Manhattan that left eight dead.

Then he tweeted.

Trump blamed the Senate’s top Democrat Chuck Schumer for the attack. Trump also pushed his immigration agenda. And he twice plugged his pals at Fox News Channel’s morning show.

Pointing his finger at Schumer, the president tweeted that the terrorist came into our country through what is called the  ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program’” which he called “a Chuck Schumer beauty,” adding, “I want merit based.”

“We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter),” Trump continued.

“‘Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems’ said Col. Tony Schaffer. We will stop this craziness!” Trump concluded. Two of those tweets plugged Fox News Channel’s morning show.  Full Story

Political correctness is over; we now enter the “rage stage” where people let emotion dictate the rules. Immigrants are going to be targeted in a ruthlessness manner; systematically programs that were designed to help them will be gutted or eliminated. 

 

Austrian Vote Paves Way for Nationalist Party to Enter Government

Austrian voters paved the way for the nationalist Freedom Party to enter government, heralding a shift to the political right that’s likely to make the country a more prickly ally for its European partners.

Projections after Sunday’s election put the populists within reach of second place behind the People’s Party of Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, 31, who claimed victory after a campaign built on outflanking the Freedom Party with a hard-line stance on migration. He now has a mandate to form a coalition, replace Social Democrat Christian Kern as chancellor and become the world’s youngest government leader. Full Story

Kurz is not only the youngest leader in Europe but one that is set to give new life to the Alt-right movement.   The fact that he is a millennial illustrates that his stance resonates with the young and that this trend has a lot of staying power.

 

 

The Great Saudi Cleanse (just another word for the great Culling)

Some senior figures detained in last Saturday’s purge in Saudi Arabia were beaten and tortured so badly during their arrest or subsequent interrogations that they required hospital treatment, Middle East Eye can reveal.  People inside the royal court also told MEE that the scale of the crackdown, which has brought new arrests each day, is much bigger than Saudi authorities have admitted, with more than 500 people detained and double that number questioned Full Story

One of the most famous is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and confidant of former US President George W Bush.  There is no word on his fate, but Saudi authorities said that one of the corruption cases they are looking at is the al-Yamamah arms deal, in which Bandar was involved. Full Story

We stated that we were in the midst of a culling period, we failed to mention that it would be a phenomenon that would be experienced worldwide and not localised just to the US.  Now we know why the Saudi’s went to Russia.  Prince Bandar Bin Sultan had the audacity to threaten Putin for supporting Syria. He stated he would open the floodgates for terrorists to flock into Russia. Then they supplied the rebels with weapons to fight Russia and Assad’ forces.  We stated that the Russian Bear would not rest till blood was drawn and it has drawn a lot of blood with this strike. The Saudi’s understand Russia is there to stay in the Middle East as do the Israeli’s. More and more nations will turn to Russia for help as they proved how effective they were at destroying ISIS in Syria.

Chinese convicts executed after stadium trial – McDonald’s has cold brew now

Chinese convicts executed after stadium trial - McDonald’s has cold brew now

Chinese convicts executed after stadium trial

Beijing (AFP) – Thousands of spectators filled a stadium in China to watch 10 suspects be sentenced to death for crimes ranging from drug-dealing to homicide before they were taken away to be executed at the weekend.  An online video of the rare public trial, held in southern Guangdong province on Saturday, showed the handcuffed suspects paraded around a track by uniformed police officers as onlookers watched from the sidelines.

The convicts also stood on a podium as their sentences were read over loudspeakers, while officials sat on a stage flanked by military guards. Rights groups say China executes more people than any other country, but Beijing does not give figures on the death penalty, regarding the statistics as state secrets.

A public announcement last week from Lufeng City People’s Court had invited citizens to sit in on the “open-air stadium trial”, as it was dubbed by the state-run Global Times. Beijing News, which circulated the trial video along. Full Story

Political correctness is going away, and this trend as we stated recently is set to last at least 15 years. Violence levels, for now, will continue to soar, but the response from governments especially in Asia and Eastern Europe is going to be just as brutal. The West will eventually join the pack.   A leader is set to emerge that is going to make Trump look like a very polite gentleman.

McDonald’s has cold brew now, and what is coffee anymore?

In fairness, it was only a matter of time before the cold brew craze found its way to the massive fast-food chain. McDonald’s debuted its own cold brew beverage in two varieties: frozen coffee and frappe. This is the part where you swear you’ll never try it, and then give in four dayslater because you’re “curious.” Full Story

 

A politician is warning her fellow Russians not to do sex with foreigners during the World Cup

Tamara Pletnyova, the head of the Russian Duma’s Family, Women, and Children Committee, says to be especially careful if a potential father is “of a different race.” Her comments come as Russia is desperately trying to convince the world that it’s ready to tackle the racism that many are predicting will come along with the World Cup. Incidentally: Happy World Cup day to you! Full Story

 

There’s going to be a Fortnite World Cup with $100 million in prize money

If you’re familiar with the fandom of the video game, you might say, “Of course, this was inevitable.” For the uninitiated, Fortnite is a multiplatform game where 100 players vie for resources and compete against one another to be the last person standing. It’s also the reason you haven’t seen some of your loved ones in weeks. The Fortnite tournament will be open to all players, with qualifying tournaments starting in fall 2018. Full Story

Mexico: 113 politicians have been killed – Senate GOP moves to repeal consumer rule – Trump defended Kim Jong Un’s human rights

Mexico: 113 politicians have been killed - Senate GOP moves to repeal consumer rule - Trump defended Kim Jong Un’s human rights

113 politicians have been killed ahead of Mexico’s election. There are still two weeks to go

“Violence is altering the profile of candidates,” one expert told us. “Who sticks around? The reckless and those who collude [with criminals].”

That’s because this electoral season has been a brutally violent one in Mexico.

More than 100 candidates, pre-candidates, and current and former politicians have been killed, according to an organization tracking this. The government’s tally — 34, which counts only candidates — still pushes the death toll to four per month.

It gets more dramatic: There are hundreds of candidates who have backed out of their races out of fear for their safety, and many others who have curbed campaign activities.

The attacks have been brazen: a politician killed on a public bus, a candidate murdered while taking a selfie. You need to read Karla Zabludovsky’s deep dive into the violence in Mexico’s election. Full Story

 

 

Senate GOP moves to repeal consumer rule

The Republican-led Senate narrowly voted Tuesday to repeal a banking rule that would let consumers band together to sue their bank or credit card company to resolve financial disputes. Vice President Mike Pence cast the final vote to break a 50-50 tie. The banking industry had been lobbying hard to roll back the regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau had moved to ban most types of mandatory arbitration clauses found in the fine print of agreements consumers often enter into when opening a checking account or getting a credit card.

The vote reflects the effort of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to undo regulations that the GOP argues harms the free market. The measure now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president applauded the vote. Full Story

As we stated when the Crowd is polarised it is easier to rob them, and this law is just one example of the many laws that will be passed stripping the average Joe of the last shreds of power he/she holds.  In the years to come it’s going to be easier for Companies to renege on their pension obligations and this will also apply to City, State and Federal workers.  Most pensions are extremely underfunded and are using aggressive calculations to give the impression all is well

 

 

Trump defended Kim Jong Un’s human rights abuses after the summit

Yesterday, while speaking to Fox News, President Trump praised Kim Jong Un as “tough,” “smart,” and a “great negotiator.”

When host Bret Baier asked the president if he brought up human rights with Kim at the summit, Trump said only “briefly.”

“You know, you call people, sometimes, killers. He is a killer,” responded Baier. Trump interjected that “well, he’s a tough guy,” adding that, “when you take over a country” at 27 years old, as Kim did, “that’s one in 10,000 that could do that.”

Still, Baier pressed, saying Kim has “still done some really bad things.” Trump responded, “Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things.” You should watch the whole exchange.

A further thought:

When politics gives way to theater, we lose a sense of the magnitude of what’s supposed to be surprising. Watching the exchange reminded me of Katherine Miller’s thoughtful piece on the news cycle during this presidency: “each day demands your judgment. Is this normal? Is this normal? Is this normal?” Full Story

 

BOJ can’t exit stimulus – Amazon is invading finance – NYC’s Empty Storefronts

BOJ can't exit stimulus - Amazon is invading finance - NYC's Empty Storefronts

BOJ can’t exit stimulus when inflation below 1 pct – BOJ Gov candidate Ito

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan likely won’t be able to exit its massive stimulus programme while inflation is hovering below 1 percent, Takatoshi Ito, an academic who is a potential candidate to become the next BOJ governor, said on Wednesday.  “What’s important is for inflation to accelerate, which would give (the BOJ) quite some flexibility in guiding monetary policy,” Ito, a Columbia University professor, told a seminar in Tokyo.

The BOJ has already laid the groundwork for normalising monetary policy by revamping its policy framework last September and gradually slowing its bond purchases, though raising its yield targets would be some time away, he said. “While inflation is hovering below 1 percent, it would be hard for the BOJ to exit (from ultra-loose monetary policy),” said Ito, who is considered a candidate to succeed BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda when his five-year term ends in April next year.    Full Story

As predicted the trend stated this would happen. More central bankers will join the inflation is not an issue club.

 

 

Amazon is invading finance without really trying

Many people believe that big technology companies will soon become major competitors to traditional banks. But Amazon has invaded their turf without offering many financial services—its mammoth cloud-computing business is instead reshaping how the financial industry works.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the biggest provider of cloud computing, which has “massively” lowered barriers to entry for financial startups, according to Antony Jenkins, the former Barclays CEO turned fintech entrepreneur. He says tech firms used to raise millions of dollars just to buy servers; now, people who want to take on banks can use the tech giant’s cloud to quickly set up systems. Full Story

Watch what will happen when they start to attack. And what nobody is talking about is China. Alibaba is going to rip this sector apart.  They are already huge in Asia with Ant financial. Banks are going to face massive competition.  And after that, the next sector to get ripped will be the medical sector. Many businesses that exist today will not be around ten years from today.

 

 

New York City’s Empty Storefronts And The $15 Minimum Wage

“Why Is New York Full Of Empty Stores?”

That’s the question posed by the New York Times editorial board in today’s paper, as it worries about a “scourge of store closings that afflicts one section of the city after another, notably in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.”

The editorial offers few answers to its question and at least one bad solution in the form of a new “vacancy tax” for building owners with unoccupied storefronts. But perhaps the most notable omission from the Times’ editorial is the board’s own role in exacerbating the city’s troubles through its advocacy for a $15 minimum wage.

The concerns about retail employment aren’t anecdotal: According to Labor Department data, 2016 was the first year since 2009 where New York City’s retail trade. Full Story

 A trend in motion is unstoppable. Trying to control a trend is like trying to fight an anaconda with a toothpick.  Wage Deflation is here to stay, and it’s going to gather incredible momentum in the months and years to come.

Is Europe Swinging to the Right?

Is Europe Swinging to the Right?

Is Europe Swinging to the Right?

Austria went to polls on Oct 15 to choose its next leader. After a decisive victory for Sebastian Kurz, nationalist politics seems to be coming into the picture again. With the counting almost completed, excluding those who voted out of their home districts, People’s Party took away 31.6% of the votes. Social Democrats secured the second place with 26.9% votes, while far-right Freedom managed 26%.

Far right politics seems to be gaining steam in Europe. Despite Geert Wilders of Netherlands and Marine Le Pen of France failing to emerge victorious in their respective elections, the support they received shows that Europeans are divided when it comes to political orientation in their respective countries.

Moreover, last month in Germany, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) secured 12.6% votes as Germans opposed Merkel’s friendly refugee policy and her handling of the 2015 migrant crisis.  Full Story

The Alt right is adjusting and adapting very fast; they will move towards the centre to gain control, once in they will implement their agenda with frightening speed, but what will be even more shocking is that the majority of the people will support this stance. The trend of polarisation continues to gather momentum.. A new powerful and very charismatic person will suddenly appear in Europe.

 

 

Polish president sharply condemns weekend nationalist march

The Polish president has sharply condemned expressions of xenophobia and racism at a weekend march by nationalists, saying there is no place in the country for anti-Semitism and “sick nationalism.”

It was the strongest and first unequivocal condemnation by a representative of the country’s conservative leadership of the white supremacist and racist views expressed by some of the 60,000 people who took part in a march on the Independence Day holiday Saturday in Warsaw.

Government members over the past two days had mostly described participants as patriots and played down the nature of the xenophobic messages. Though many families took part in the march, the event was organized by far-right groups and some carried banners with slogans like “White Europe of brotherly nations” or had flags with Celtic crosses, a white supremacist symbol.

There were also anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim slogans and chants. One large banner read “Deus Vult” in Gothic lettering. Latin for “God wills it,” it was a cry used during the First Crusade in the 11th century, when a Christian army from Europe slaughtered Jews and Muslims in the Holy Land. In recent years, it has been used by the radical right to show hostility to Islam. Full Story

 The outlook will worsen before things get better; we are at stage 3, and this cycle has 7-10 levels.

 

 

Sweden will ‘never go back’ to the days of mass immigration

The Prime Minister of Sweden has vowed his country will ‘never go back’ to recent levels of mass immigration after it emerged the terrorist who killed four people in a truck attack was a failed asylum seeker.

Stefan Löfven pledged to change his country’s liberal attitude, insisting the massive influx allowed during the 2015 migrant crisis would never happen again.

Rakhmat Akilov, from Uzbekistan, hijacked the lorry and deliberately drove into pedestrians on central Stockholm’s main shopping street on Friday afternoon.  Full Story

This story and the one below confirm the trend that we first spoke of in 2015.

 

 

Norway deported record number in 2016

Through the end of November, Norwegian police deported a total of 7,312 people who were living illegally in Norway, according to figures released on Friday by the National Police Immigration Service Norway (Politiets Utlendingsenhet).

That’s the highest number ever, at around five percent more than last year.

“This is a figure that shows that there have been many who do not have a legitimate claim to asylum who have stayed here and failed to leave the country, and that’s why it is necessary for the police to do the work they have done throughout the year,” State Secretary Fabian Stang told broadcaster NRK.

“It’s always brutal when one is forced to use the police to get people to do what they are required to,” added Stang, who is secretary for Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug.

More than a fourth of those who were forced to leave the country were also slapped with criminal charges. Most of those were from Romania, Poland and Lithuania. Nationals from those three countries accounted for 43 percent of the 2,041 convicted criminals who were deported. Full Story

It’s not only Muslims that are being targeted; all immigrants are paying the price now.

 

 

EU migrant crisis: Austria can deport asylum seekers, court says

The case, brought by Austria and Slovenia, could affect the future of several hundred people who arrived during the migrant crisis of 2015-16. The ruling concerns two Afghan families and a Syrian who applied for asylum after leaving Croatia.

The court says it is Croatia’s responsibility to decide their cases. The crisis unfolded during the summer of 2015, as one million migrants and refugees travelled through the Western Balkans. Under the so-called Dublin regulation, refugees typically have to seek asylum in the first EU state they reach. But Germany suspended the Dublin regulation for Syrian refugees, halting deportations to the countries they arrived in.

From August 2015, hundreds – and sometimes thousands – arrived in Austria every day, initially via Hungary and later through Slovenia.

Many wanted to travel on to Germany, but around 90,000 applied for asylum in Austria, equivalent to about 1% of its population. Full Story

We stated that this would come to pass; in fact, we stated that the open hand would turn into a massive raise fist.  The law of balancing states that the equation must balance; no matter how long it takes, the equation will always balance.  We expect the outlook to darken a lot more before it stabilises.

 

USA: migrants, army and retirement plans

USA: migrants, army and retirement plans

For African migrants, ‘extreme vetting’ from U.S. to Europe slams the door shut

The Trump administration’s immigration crackdown was only the beginning for Africans struggling to flee war and famine. New restrictions within Africa and opaque deals between European countries and African regimes could have a much more dramatic effect soon, Geoffrey York explains

On the dangerous journey to Europe this year, hundreds of African migrants have died a horrific death at sea. They die from hypothermia or fuel inhalation, thirst or hunger in drifting boats, or suffocation in overcrowded cargo holds. Hundreds have drowned when their flimsy dinghies capsize.

More than 1,000 migrants, the majority of them Africans, have perished in the Mediterranean in the first four months of this year alone – far more than during the same period of last year. Among the dead: more than 150 children, according to Unicef.

Despite the terrible risks, more than 37,000 asylum-seekers, mainly from Africa, have survived the ordeal and reached Europe from the Libyan coast this year, including about 9,000 during the Easter weekend alone.

With the Balkan migration route through Greece now largely shut down, the flow of people on the Libyan route to Europe has expanded by about 35 percent from last year. It’s an exodus that continues to alarm many European governments, triggering a series of aggressive new measures to clamp down on migration. Full Story

The stance in the West is going to toughen continuously when it comes to dealing with immigrants.

 

 

U.S. Army Now Taking Applicants With Histories Of Mental Illness, Drug Abuse And Self-Mutilation

During America’s 16-year War On Terror, the military has often struggled to handle mental health problems among fighters after rises in suicides and violence against innocent civilians. More than 200 active-duty servicemembers have died by suicide every year since 2008, according to Pentagon data. A study published this year by JAMA Psychiatry found that suicide attempts in the military are often infectious and help push even more recruits to try taking their own lives.

The latest mental health controversy began last week after Devin Kelley, a dishonorably discharged former Air Force member, shot and killed 26 people during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Kelley died after the rampage from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Full Story

A great way to ensure that violence levels will continue to soar in the U.S.  Imagine individuals with these behavioural patterns being trained to use lethal weapons and then eventually being released into society.

 

 

Why retiring in America has become less attractive?

In a worldwide study, the U.S. fell to No. 17 (down three spots from last year) in the Natixis Global Asset Management Global Retirement Index. The index ranks 43 mainly developed countries on their ability to offer its citizens a secure retirement. Norway, Switzerland and Sweden top the list.

Why did the U.S. have such a dismal showing?

The U.S. took hits in income equality, health care spending and life expectancy. While America may have the fifth-highest income per capita, we have the sixth lowest score for income equality, suggesting that retirement saving is difficult for average workers. Our life expectancy fell, yet we spend the most on health care compared to the other countries analyzed in the index.  A big part of the problem is demographics. Overall, we are living longer — and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

The global elder population is expected to more than triple to 2.1 billion by 2050, Natixis said, citing World Bank data, making retirement security “one of the most pressing social issues facing the world in the next 30 years.” Full Story

In 2013 we stated that the US had hit the point of no return regarding being one of the top places to retire. Since then it has continued to drop in rankings. In the near future, we expect several Asian Countries to appear on the top 20 suddenly. The US will continue its descent, the position of 30 could be hit quite fast.

 

Health Care: Total Costs

Middle-Class Families Confront Soaring Health Insurance Costs

Middle-Class Families Confront Soaring Health Insurance Costs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Consumers here at first did not believe the health insurance premiums they saw when they went shopping for coverage this month on HealthCare.gov. Only five plans were available, and for a family of four with parents in their mid-30s, the cheapest plan went typically for more than $2,400 a month, nearly $30,000 a year.

With the deadline for a decision less than a month away, consumers are desperately weighing their options, dismayed at the choices they have under the Affordable Care Act and convinced that political forces in Washington are toying with their health and well-being.

“I believe in the Affordable Care Act; it worked for me under the Obama administration,” said Sara Stovall, 40, who does customer-support work for a small software company. “But it’s not working as it was supposed to. It’s being sabotaged, and I feel like a pawn.”

Ms. Stovall said she might try to reduce her hours and income, so her family could qualify for subsidies on offer to poorer families to help pay for premiums.

Heather Griffith, a 42-year-old real estate broker, said she would put aside much less money for her retirement and the education of her two young children so she could pay the premiums.

Full Story

 

 

Why health care costs are making consumers more afraid of medical bills than an actual illness?

  • Health care costs are spiraling higher, but patient visits to a doctor have been on the decline.
  • A growing number of consumers are staying away out of fear of big bills.
  • However, “untimely visits or delay of visits to the physician ultimately leads to the increased cost of care,” the Cleveland Clinic’s CEO told CNBC.

As health care costs keep rising, more people seem to be skipping physician visits.

It’s not fear of doctors, however, but more of a phobia about the bills that could follow. Higher deductibles and out-of-network fees are just some of the out-of-pocket costs that can hit a consumer’s pockets.

U.S. health care costs keep rising, and hit more than $10,000 a year per person in 2016. According to a recent national poll, over the past 12 months, 44 percent of Americans said they didn’t go to the doctor when they were sick or injured because of financial concerns. Meanwhile, 40 percent said they skipped a recommended medical test or treatment.

Full Story

 

 

Your total costs for health care: Premium, deductible & out-of-pocket costs

Your total costs for health care

When choosing a plan, it’s a good idea to think about your total health care costs, not just the bill (the “premium”) you pay to your insurance company every month.

Other amounts, sometimes called “out-of-pocket” costs, have a big impact on your total spending on health care – sometimes more than the premium itself.

Beyond your monthly premium: Deductible and out-of-pocket costs

  • Deductible: How much you have to spend for covered health services before your insurance company pays anything (except free preventive services)
  • Copayments and coinsurance: Payments you make each time you get a medical service after reaching your deductible
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: The most you have to spend for covered services in a year. After you reach this amount, the insurance company pays 100% for covered services.

Full Story