‘Not Everybody Hates High Interest Rates’ - InvestingChannel

‘Not Everybody Hates High Interest Rates’

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‘Not Everybody Hates High Interest Rates’

In Monday’s Juice, we asked subscribers to provide their thoughts on what feels like a degradation in quality of life throughout the United States, thanks largely to the present housing and cost of living crisis. We can link both crises directly to persistently high inflation and interest rates. 

On Monday, we illustrated the problem in Quality Of Life: How Low Can It Go? Then, on Tuesday, The Juice detailed the cost of food — at and away from home — noting how things don’t look to be getting any less expensive out there despite official data that shows inflation subsiding. 

Today, we look at two of the best responses we received and provide our thoughts and context. Because we like to focus on solutions as much as the problem, we use a reader response to quickly detail one potential money management strategy. 

On Thursday, we extend today’s discussion about interest rates into how people lucky enough to be in the position to invest can use dividends. So refer to today’s Trackstar top five for the dividend-paying stocks investors have been searching for most across our 100+ financial media partners. 

Because, as the response we received helps illustrate, we are living in a haves and have nots economy. Increasingly, as you talk to people, it’s as if they’re either all set or struggling. As much as love solutions, it’s difficult, if not impossible to implement if you find yourself in the latter group. 

Consider the contrasts

A Juice reader said: “Not everybody hates high interest rates. Retired folks like myself need a high proportion of our investments in liquid investments like CD’s. For some time now, rates on CD’s for most periods have been above 5%. Many seniors have no mortgage or debt so the high interest rates have little adverse implications. So, us seniors enjoy collecting more than 5% interest on CD’s that are fully insured (assuming you spread your investments with different banks).”

Solid point. 

Let’s say you managed to save $500,000, you have a decent Social Security check coming in, $20,000 on hand in a checking account, no mortgage payment and no debt. You need to mind your money, but you can live a comfortable life and — absolutely — enjoy high interest rates. 

Part of your money management strategy could be to spread that $500,000 evenly across five certificates of deposit (CDs) with three-month, six-month, nine-month, one-year and 13-month maturities. If each CD earns 5%, at the end of the cycle you will have earned about $27,798 in interest, while preserving your $500,000 original investment. 

That’s called a CD ladder. If you don’t know what a CD ladder — or a CD is — no worries. We have installments planned for June on these and other personal finance and investing basics. 

Anyhow, you’ll get to access chunks of that $27,798 every few months or so. It can work to maintain your checking account cash cushion and help pay for regular expenses or discretionary spending. Not a bad situation at all. Especially if you combine it with no debt and realizing some cost savings at the grocery store. The Juice regularly saves multiple percentage points when we shop, which helps beat inflation. 

On the other hand, another Juice reader writes:

That article about the US and Canada was right on time. I get lots of stock info but it is mostly just loud voices trying to move the market. Rarely do I get any type of analysis that has actual meaning. 

First, thank you. We appreciate it. 

I am a late (baby) boomer (62) who has no money. I am also a black gay woman. I am and have been economically disadvantaged. I came of age during the Reagan years and all I have ever seen is layoffs and an economy that destroyed middle management which had been my hope. 

I am endlessly educated to no avail and will doubtless die with insane amounts of student loans. When I needed disability I could not get it, hence I have a useless and expensive master’s degree. 

Anyway, my personal woes notwithstanding, thank you for being a voice of sanity and reality in a maddening world. Here’s wishing us well!

Completely different story. Completely different experience. Completely different way of going about life, particularly as it pertains to money. Specifically, a completely different way of viewing interest rates because (a) you have debt and (b) an increase in the cost of necessities tends to sting more if you have less personal financial wiggle room. 

As always, we would love for you to use the feedback link at the bottom of the page to share your thoughts. 


The Bottom Line: As indicated, in tomorrow’s Juice we go deeper in the investing direction with another way to consider income generation. Via dividend stocks. Even if you’re not retired or close to it, it pays to consider the best ways to use — or not use — dividend-paying stocks. So we’ll do that. 

Moving forward, we’ll continue to be “a voice of sanity and reality” navigating the delicate balance all set and struggling, writing about different ways to deal with each extreme and everything in between.

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