Fly the Ugly Skies

I have nothing against children and older folks, but they are all that appear to be flying these days. While sitting on the runway for three hours in Kansas City, I did a survey of 10 passengers near my coach seat. Ticket prices to the same destination varied by $750. The poor businessperson is taking the brunt of the cost.

Wow!

In my seminars I am observing more elderly people who own farms and ranches sliding deeper in debt.

According to USA Today, 18% of people between age 65 and 74 have debts greater than 40% of their income. This percentage has doubled since 1989! If you or your loved ones are above 75 years of age, the statistic is 23%, up from 13% in 1989.

Reasons

Many are becoming tapped out because of medical bills, prescription drugs, lifestyle choices, and, yes, gambling!

It is amazing when I do seminars in the Midwest, near Vegas and Reno, that at least 50% of people at casinos are over 65!

Historically, this group had a high MPS, a big term in economics for marginal propensity to save. Now they have a high MPC, or marginal propensity to consume. Much is being put on plastic – credit cards.

Bankruptcy is up 244% since 1991 for Americans over age 65!

Average debt per household has increased 264% since 1992. The largest increases are in credit card debt, mortgages on houses, and vehicle loans.

Just think; many in this age group own the ground you are farming!

Advice on college loans

Wait until after July 1 to consolidate. Rates could be about 4%!

This column slammed the airlines as well as the older and younger generations. I guess next will be the boomers!

Be careful in Spring’s work!

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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