Skip to main content

Retirement on Main Street

The Rolling Stones had an Exile on Main Street while dodging out on the high-tax environment of their home country (the UK) in the early 1970s.

Their time in the South of France was (sometimes) well spent; the group's musical work at Keith Richards' villa in Nice resulted in a good deal of material for the aforementioned Exile, one of the best records the Stones ever made.

Unfortunately, for many middle-class Americans, that type of creative holiday in the sun may never come. High taxes, inflation eroding away the value of retirement benefit payments, and a negative "wealth effect" from falling house and stock prices may combine to level this facet of the American Dream.

If we can shift gears from the Côte d'Azur and back to middle America, we'll let Gary North explain why Elkhart, Indiana, the RV capital of the world, is a metaphor for the "lost lifestyle" of American retirees:

"Over the last 18 months, Americans over age 55 have suffered a reversal in their capital that has not fully registered psychologically. They will not be able to afford a comfortable retirement...

...throughout Greenspan's bubble economy, the savings rate of American households fell, going negative in 2005. The boom fooled Americans who owned stocks that they were getting richer. They weren't. They were merely benefitting from the greater fool theory of investing. That theory has brought down the real estate bubble. There will be further declines. It has ended the stock market mania. And it has just about shut down Elkhart, Indiana."

Read on to find out why Retirement on Main Street may be a difficult (or fading) proposition for many of us here in the good ole' USA.

Do you agree or disagree with North's assessment? Tell us all about it.

Related articles and posts:

1. Singing the Middle Class Blues - Finance Trends Matter.

2. All We Have to Fear is Fear Itself - Financial Philosopher.

Popular posts from this blog

Seth Klarman: Margin of Safety (pdf)

Welcome, readers! Signup for free email updates at the Finance Trends Newsletter . Update: PDF links removed due to DMCA notice. Please see our extensive Klarman book notes below. New visitors, please check the Finance Trends home page for all new posts. Here's something for anyone who has been trying to get a look at Seth Klarman's now famous, and out of print, 1991 investment book, Margin of Safety .  My knowledge of value investing is pretty much limited to what I've read in Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor (the book which originally popularized the investment concept of a "Margin of Safety"), so check out the wisdom from Seth Klarman and other investing greats in our related posts below. You can also go straight to Ronald Redfield's Margin of Safety book notes .    Related posts: 1. Seth Klarman interviews and Margin of Safety notes     2. Seth Klarman: Lessons from 2008 3. Investing Lessons from Sir John Templeton 4.

Slate profiles Victor Niederhoffer

Slate's recent profile of writer/speculator, Vic Niederhoffer has been getting some attention from traders and finance types in recent days. I thought we'd take a look at it here too, to offer up some possible educational value from Vic's experiences with trading and loss. Here's an excerpt from Slate's profile of Victor Niederhoffer : " I've enjoyed getting your e-mails. It sounds like you've thought a lot about being wrong. Well, the reason you contacted me, to call a spade a spade, is that I'm sort of infamous for having made a big, notorious, terrible error not once but twice in my market career. Let's talk about those errors. The first was your investment in the Thai baht, which pretty much wiped you out when the Thai stock market crashed in 1997. I made so many errors there it's pathetic. I made one of my favorite errors: "The mouse with one hole is quickly cornered." That is key. There are certain decisions you make in li

Clean Money - John Rubino: Book review

Clean Money by John Rubino 274 pages. Hoboken, New Jersey John Wiley & Sons. 2009. 1st Edition. The bouyant stock market environment of the past several years is gone, and the financial wreckage of 2008 is still sharp in our minds as a new year starts to unfold. Given the recent across-the-board-declines in global stock markets (and most asset classes) that have left many investors shell-shocked, you might wonder if there is any good reason to consider the merits of a hot new investment theme, such as clean energy. However, we shouldn't be too hasty to write off all future stock investments. After all, the market declines of 2008 may continue into 2009, but they may also leave interesting investment opportunities in their wake. Which brings us to the subject of this review. John Rubino, author and editor of GreenStockInvesting.com , recently released a new book on renewable energy and clean-tech investing entitled, Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green Tech Boom . In Clean