The Prudent Retiree - September 2016

“In the long run, we’re all dead.

-John Maynard Keynes

So called Keynesian economic theory is a major driver of government policy. The basic premise is that a stagnant economy can be stimulated by increased spending and debt. Our politicians love that part of the equation. According to Keynes, this explosion of spending will stimulate the “animal spirits” of business, grow the economy and reduce the spending. As we know, our politicians seem to always forget that part. They never reduce the spending. The debate rages on about the deficit and debt. Will our fiscal edifice all come tumbling down?

Now for the long run. Keynes stated the obvious- we’ll all be dead. We know that, but it’s tough to swallow. Our generation’s contributions matter. What are we leaving our children? Do you remember the long range consequences of the policies of Presidents Grover Cleveland and William McKinley? No. Do you recall how they impacted your grandparent’s lives? No.

Indulge me the cynicism to let Keynes make a point. Most of us can truly only make sure that all will be well for us and our immediate loved ones. The vagaries of economic cycles and politics will always be there. Have you made sure that you and your spouse will have the income you need for your lifetimes? Have you established your plan to leave some legacy to your children and loved ones? In the long run, that’s all we can do. That is success. In the long run, we’re all dead. From that perspective, it doesn’t matter if Donald or Hillary wins.

Enjoy the wonderful fall weather and colors. The holidays will be here soon.

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