Saturday, June 17, 2006

First impressions.

At the Iowa GOP meeting today met a retired pastor in his mid-70s who opted out of Social Security. Instead of paying into the system he invested the money in mutual funds which generated a higher income in retirement.

Unfortunately, I neglected to ask him about his medical insurance coverage. I think his enhanced income over Social Security could be replicated by a young worker following his investment system. The problem would be access to affordable medical insurance with range of benefits Medicare offers.

Still possible in remote rural areas of Iowa to live the American middle class dream. Spoke with a very attractive 27 year old mother of two. She and her husband recently purchased a spacious family home on a large lot for $35,000. Very financially secure on her husband's modest income they are assiduous savers.

For most Iowans life's a lot tougher. Housing costs are very high in a low wage economy. $150-200K homes are common in built up areas. Many Iowa college students I met at the meeting were concerned about their economic prospects particularly because they're starting out with huge education debts.

The Iowa maufacturing economy is in trouble. Plant closing and company moveaways are common. Maytag's moving out after being taken over, and Rubbermaid is downsizing.

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