Posted on Friday, 11th March 2022 by

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My previous article titled “Skyrocketing Inflation” had a broken link, the most clicked on link in the article. Here is the corrected link:

Inflation on fire
 

Typically, I focus on issues that impact those planning retirement and annuitants alike. The common thread reflects my personal experiences and commentary on various subjects that affects everyone, not just retirees. I include my personal experience knowing that others may be able to avoid some of the pitfalls that I traversed along the way. All newsletter articles are also published on our blog and we publish an alphabetized article index. When reading archived articles, consider the date they were written or revised, things change over time.

INFLATION CONCERNS (Continued)

The average cost for gas in the Pittsburgh area is now $4.45 a gallon! Typically, Sam’s Club and Costco offer gas at lower prices plus a Sam’s Club Master Card user receives a 5% rebate for all gas purchases on top of their lower everyday prices.

As I write this article, President Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports. Stopping Russian oil imports, without increasing domestic production, could cause additional pain at the pump. Time will tell.

Newsletter Subscriber Comments

John suggested shopping at an Aldi grocery in your area. They are considerably less expensive than major grocery chains.

Joel’s wood working machinery orders were delayed months last year and prices are up 20% this year. Wood prices for the Baltic birch plywood he purchases went from $36 a sheet to $105.00 and domestic plywood is up 30%!

Robert, along with many others, find it difficult to believe that supply chains are still broken when corporate quarterly reports show record profits.

Utility Competitive Pricing

Many states allow gas and electric utility users to switch to lower cost suppliers. Your local utility will remain your distributor when you change to another service. I’m checking local offers this week.  If you make this change, be careful when the contract period ends. They offer new customers a fair savings, however once the contract ends, they often increase the price per unit dramatically. Mark the end date on your calendar and contact other providers before the contract ends to obtain competitive prices for the next term.

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Food Costs

According to Agri Pulse, “…Farmers are faced with a fertilizer crisis. Prices for phosphorus-based and potassium-based (potash) fertilizers have more than doubled in Kansas while Nitrogen-based fertilizers have more than quadrupled… without it, American agricultural yields will quickly suffer as well as food prices in local grocery stores.”

Natural gas is one of the key ingredients in fertilizer production and its costs increased 35% this year. China, the largest exporter of fertilizer and phosphate, suspended exports in July to secure their supplies. Russia and China are two of the largest exporters of fertilizer worldwide.

This is compounded by the fact that Russia and Ukraine supply nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley. ABC reported, “Ukraine’s government has banned the export of wheat, oats and other staples that are crucial for global food supplies as authorities try to ensure they can feed people during Russia’s intensifying war.” The supply crunch is driving prices higher.

Emergency Preparations – Stock up for the year ahead

It may be time to stock up on stapples. Whenever coffee, canned goods, or other stapples go on sale, pick up extras for emergencies.

With conflicts escalating and costs rising, freeze dried food that lasts 25 to 30 years may be an option before prices explode. My Patriot Supply and Mountain House offer a broad selection of meal options. Mountain house is available direct from the manufacturer or from Amazon. Their offerings taste surprisingly good.

With the current state of affairs and the resurrected cold war with Russia, it is wise to have a sufficient supply of stapples, medications, and a well-stocked first aid kit available. A natural disaster, world conflict, or a terrorist attack on our infrastructure could wreak havoc for extended periods.

I’m not a survivalist, more of a realist. The attack on 9/11 was perpetrated by foreigners legally here on student visas. We knew who they were and their whereabouts; yet ignored many signs that they were here to do us harm. Those who wish to harm us today can send saboteurs through our porous southern border to set up terrorist cells nationwide!

Pandemonium at our Borders

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of “got-aways” crossed our southern border last year. The Border Patrol defines a “got-away” as an individual who is not turned back to Mexico or apprehended, and is no longer being actively pursued. Who are the got-aways and what are they up to? More importantly, who in government is paying attention to this today?

America is helping Ukraine protect their Sovereignty and borders and I support our humanitarian efforts. Shouldn’t America’s borders also be protected and secured? The drug cartels have greater control over our southern border than ICE does! Illegal border crossings should be a concern for everyone.

There is much to ponder and worry about today. Inflation is just one of many problems that we must find ways to mitigate the impact on our day to day lives. We must persevere, prepare as best we can, inform our representatives about our concerns, and hope and pray for the best.

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Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, medical procedures, and benefit information are subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact relevant parties for assistance including OPM’s retirement center. Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial, medical or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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