I will be getting my Social Security in December. I remember the youngsters trying to transfer my Social Security into the stock market about four years ago. Is that still an option because the market is coming back from the bottom? Who do I talk to about getting this law changed? I play the craps table at Sky Ute Casino. – Old and Have SS ComingThat brings up a really important question. When did Sky Ute put in a craps table?
Shows you how often Action Line frequents tribal casinos.
Anyway, your query is a tad bit alarming.
Far be it for Action Line to tell you how to spend your golden years, but since you asked. …
What in the Sam Hill are you doing?
As a retiree, you really ought to conserve your money, not blow it on dubious games of chance or expose it to Wall Street risks.
And if you have money to burn, why not help one of the many great nonprofits in our community?
If you want to play the market with your monthly Social Security check, that’s your business.
However, consider talking with a local financial adviser, of which there are many good ones in town. Or, for the investing do-it-yourselfer, the Motley Fool’s "Rule Your Retirement" program (fool.com) is top-notch.
It’s great seniors have both time and money to burn, but you need to see your gambit from the perspective of us young whippersnappers.
Back in 1994, a national poll asked "kids" ages 18 to 34 about their beliefs. About 46 percent believed in UFOs; only 28 percent believed Social Security would exist at the time they retired.
Five years later, the same pollsters asked a different group of "youngsters" which was more likely: if they would collect the Social Security that is owed them at retirement or if a professional wrestler would be elected president.
More than half opted for the wrestler and only 39 percent had faith in Social Security.
Let’s just say your Social Security decisions don’t endear you to the non-baby boomer crowd.
This is harsh and judgmental: Anyone in their mid- to late 60s who plays craps and wants pensions linked to volatile Wall Street has an unhealthful compulsion for risk.
Taking Social Security "private" has about as much chance of passing as taking health care "public," so don’t pin your hopes on the market.
But because you like playing craps and want to invest, you could be really foolhardy and buy common shares of gaming companies.
Earlier this year, you could have invested in Donald Trump’s operation. However, the company went Chapter 11 and was delisted by the stock exchange.
See, you can roll craps by gambling on gambling.
As they say, "You pays you money and you takes you’s chances."
A loyal reader has an interesting idea for "that beautifully molded and artistically designed lane divider through Bodo Park."
"Here’s a suggestion to pass on ‘free of charge’ to your close friend Nancy Shanks of CDOT," writes Eric Greene.
"In California, near where we used to live, a concrete-brick wall was constructed around a subdivision along a major highway," Eric recalls.
"It looked like a prison. Some genius decided to spruce it up."
The answer was simple: "On the drab grey surface, Caltrans had someone paint a continuous mural of bushes, small trees and shrubs. Everything was in green so they only needed one kind of paint," he writes.
"Perhaps a penance for graffiti taggers? An Eagle Scout project? Who knows. The logistics might be difficult with traffic control and safety concerns. But it’s worth a thought."
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you diversify your retirement portfolio with a blend of stocks and bonds that matches your risk tolerance, age and income expectations.