fighting the lack of good ideas

one-time universal basic income

A lot of talk has been made in the past couple years (and even currently by one of the fellas running for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination to be their candidate for President) of governments (which really means taxpayers) funding a universal basic income.

Alaska’s been doing something like this for close to 40 years.

So have several other places – including Finland.

In the vein of Scott Adams (sidebar – if you’re not listening to his podcast (or watching it on YouTube (or participating in the Periscopes)), you should), here’s an idea.

At birth, every citizen born in the United States will be granted $100,000 in a safe financial vehicle (T-Bills? Savings bonds? CDs redeemable at a Federal Reserve Bank?) – as a prorated benefit over 18 years (if, God forbid, they die before adulthood – accumulated funds will be designated to their parents or legal guardians in the event they pass before reaching their 18th birthday.).

That’s an accumulating ~$5555 per year for 18 years.

There are about 4 million babies born in the US every year.

Additional cost to taxpayers (ie the Federal budget)? About $22.2 billion per year2 (for ~20-25 years, then it would be flat (at ~$550B/year), presuming no major increase in birth rate).

But when you turn 18, BAM!

$100,000 to do with whatsoever your heart desires.

Down payment on a house? Check.

New car? Check.

Tuition to college or trade school? Check.

Invest in stocks, bonds, starting a business? Check.

Roll-over into an IRA? Check.

It’s yours.


To keep.

To do with whatever and however you like.

What would you do with it?

the ultimate measure of financial success

How many times have you heard someone suggest that all their financial problems would magically disappear if they only made more money? But high incomes can’t guarantee financial freedom; there are countless examples of people who earned millions yet still ended up bankrupt. The common thread among folks who get into financial trouble — no matter how much money they make — is their inability to consistently spend less than they earn.

The bottom line: The ultimate measure of financial success is not the size of your paycheck. Rather, it’s the money left in your pocket after paying for all your obligations.

source: Len Penzo

check your home, auto, and plp insurance policies

Every few months to year I take a look around to see if anyone can give me a better rate on my auto & renters’ (home) insurance. This month, after 3 years, I found a carrier who could knock about $60 a month off my payment *and* give me more coverage.

Interesting things I learned in this process:

  • you want a Personal Liability Protection – “umbrella” – policy
    • provides coverage over-and-above the limits on other policies you hold
    • follows you world-wide (at least with my carrier)
  • individually-scheduled items on a renters’ (or home) policy are covered even if something happens away from home
    • say you have your wife’s engagement ring individually-scheduled
      • if she loses it at the beach, it’s still covered
      • if it’s stolen from home, it’s still covered
    • the cost of adding individually-scheduled items is a fraction of their cost to you if something goes awry
  • max-out your auto policy’s limits – you’ll get better rates
    • if you carry state minimums (25k/50k in KY), you will have a higher rate than if you increase your coverage levels (it was a $300/year difference for me (not that I’d ever take minimums, but it was still interesting)
    • the insurance companies factor-in your “insurance intelligence” when giving a quote
      • if you pay for more coverage, you’re “smarter” about insurance, and less likely to have a claim
  • the company you’ve been using for years takes all the factors in your driving, credit, and other relevant histories and calculates your risk to them differently
    • so shop around!

I was with my last carrier since moving to KY in 2010. I don’t know how long I’ll have my new one, but for now, increasing my coverage, expanding its scope, and reducing my payments are all great.

I went from 2 to 3 policies (including the new PLP), and am pretty excited (though, of course, I also hope to never need them).

the richest man in babylon by george s clason

The Richest Man In Babylon by George S Clason is one of the few audio books I have enjoyed – and one that I think everyone should read/listen to frequently: it’s the early 20th century version of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (another great book).

The advice/suggestions in this book are things I didn’t listen to soon enough – and I’d hasten to help anyone do earlier what I didn’t 🙂

If you take nothing else from this book, follow the first “law”:

The first 10% is mine to keep

From a Christian perspective, that should be reworded to “the second 10% is mine to steward” (if you presume the first tenth belongs to God).

This sounds difficult – but if you incorporate that single principle into your financial thinking early, you will be very well served later in life.