The College Degree [Mortality] Advantage

By the NBER

Working Paper 29328), Anne Case and Angus Deaton

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The Persistent Mortality Advantage of a College Degree
In 2019, Americans with a four-year college degree had six years greater life expectancy at age 25 than those without a degree. These educational differences in mortality have been growing in recent decades and are apparent across demographic groups. In Mortality Rates by College Degree before and during COVID-19 (NBER Working Paper 29328), Anne Case and Angus Deaton explore the evolution of these differences during the pandemic.

If every American faced an equal threat of infection and death from COVID-19, then the mortality gap between more and less educated individuals would have narrowed during the pandemic. However, the risks from COVID-19 were plausibly greater for those without a college degree for a variety of reasons. For example, people without college degrees disproportionately work in occupations where working from home to avoid infection is not feasible. They are more likely to use public transportation and to live in crowded housing arrangements, heightening their risk of exposure. Conditional on infection, less educated individuals may experience worse outcomes due to higher average rates of pre-existing conditions and poorer access to health care.

Using provisional mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the researchers determine that a college degree was protective against mortality during the calendar year 2020, which encompassed the first nine months of the pandemic. They express the mortality advantage of a college degree using the ratio of the mortality rate for those without a four-year college degree to the rate for those with a degree. The researchers calculate these ratios for 60 different demographic groups, identified by two genders, five age groups, and six racial/ethnic categories (Hispanic, non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and those who report two or more races).

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  Across all demographic groups, the ratios were all above one in 2020, reflecting higher mortality rates for those without college degrees. The ratios were highest for younger age groups: in the 25 to 39 age group, mortality rates for those without college degrees were as much as seven times the rates for those with college degrees. The researchers argue that the association between education and mortality is concentrated among preventable deaths, which are more prevalent causes of death among younger adults. In addition, older Americans are more likely to be retired, so additional risks that less educated workers faced due to occupational differences were less relevant for older age groups.

The overall finding that those without college degrees were at greater risk of death during the pandemic may not seem surprising, given their differential risks of infection, higher rates of pre-existing conditions, and worse access to care. A more unexpected finding is that these differences in mortality risk, as reflected in the mortality ratio, were very similar to the differences in mortality risk in the year prior to the pandemic. The figure, which plots the ratios for each demographic group in 2019 and in 2020, shows that the mortality advantage of a college degree was little changed during the pandemic relative to the prior year.

The figure highlights a few exceptions to this pattern. For Hispanic women aged 25 to 64 and for non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native women aged 25 to 39, the mortality advantage of a college degree was substantially higher in 2020 than in 2019. But for most demographic groups, the mortality ratios during the pandemic were strikingly similar to those before the pandemic. In fact, for over half of the demographic groups, the ratio was slightly lower in 2020 than in 2019.

The results suggest that the mortality advantage of a college degree during the pandemic was a continuation of pre-existing health differentials between those with and without college degrees. “The mystery,” the researchers conclude, “is not why the [college degree] was protective during the pandemic, but why the effect was proportionately as large before the pandemic.”

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PENSION PLANS: Defined Benefit V. Defined Contribution Types

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

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Defined Benefit Pension Plan

A defined benefit (DB) pension plan is a type of pension plan in which an employer/sponsor promises a specified pension payment, lump-sum or combination thereof on retirement that is predetermined by a formula based on the employee’s earnings history, tenure of service and age, rather than depending directly on individual investment returns. Traditionally, many governmental and public entities, as well as a large number of corporations, provide defined benefit plans, sometimes as a means of compensating workers in lieu of increased pay.

Defined Contribution Pension Plan

A defined contribution (DC) plan is a type of retirement plan in which the employer, employee or both make contributions on a regular basis. Individual accounts are set up for participants and benefits are based on the amounts credited to these accounts (through employee contributions and, if applicable, employer contributions) plus any investment earnings on the money in the account. In defined contribution plans, future benefits fluctuate on the basis of investment earnings. The most common type of defined contribution plan is a savings and thrift plan. Under this type of plan, the employee contributes a predetermined portion of his or her earnings (usually pretax) to an individual account, all or part of which is matched by the employer.

CITE: Wilipedia

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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UPDATE: Bitcoin, Retail Sales, ONS and Consumer Confidence

By Staff Reporters

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Bitcoin: Rallied 2% after Russia said it would begin accepting it as payment for oil and natural gas.

Retail Sales: Fell and consumer confidence is at its lowest level in 16 months amid the recent surge in living costs.

Office for National Statistics: Reported an unexpected 0.3% decline in retail sales volumes for February, although some of this weakness reflected a drop in food sales as more people went out to pubs and restaurants.

Consumer Confidence: Continues to deteriorate after GfK reported the worst reading since November 2020 as households face up to 30-year-high levels of inflation, record fuel and food prices and a recent interest rate hike.

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What is an “Inverse” ETF?

WHAT IT IS – HOW IT WORKS

Traditional ETFs: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2008/01/07/exchange-traded-funds-etfs/

Tax and ETFs: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2008/01/11/etfs-and-tax-efficiency/

INVERSE DEFINITION:

An inverse exchange-traded fund is an exchange-traded fund, traded on a public stock market, which is designed to perform as the inverse of whatever index or benchmark it is designed to track. These funds work by using short selling, trading derivatives such as futures contracts, and other leveraged investment techniques.

Citation: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/0826102549

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How Inverse ETFs Can Help And Hurt You

READ: https://smartasset.com/investing/inverse-etf

RELATED: https://smartasset.com/investing/what-is-a-leveraged-etf

ASSESSMENT: Your comments and thoughts are appreciated.

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PODCAST: The Successful Quest Diagnostics Employee Health Plan Cost Reduction Case-Report

By Eric Bricker MD

Their 8 Point Strategy Included: 1) CDHP, 2) Centers-of-Excellence, 3) Narrow Network, 4) Rx Formulary Changes, 5) Spousal Surcharge, 6) COBRA Members to the Exchange, 7) 2nd Opinion Program … AND 8) Moved Health Plan Control from HR to a Chief Medical Officer AND Kept a Short Leash on their ASO Carrier.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

Special Thanks to Dr. Steven Goldberg for Publishing His Company’s Experience in an Academic Journal.

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The Hemline Stock Market Index

What’s Up?

[By staff reporters]

According to Wikipedia, the hemline index is a theory presented by economist George Taylor in 1926. The theory suggests that hemlines on women’s dresses rise along with stock prices.

In good economies, we get such results as miniskirts (as seen in the 1920s and the 1960s), or in poor economic times, as shown by the 1929 Wall Street Crash, hems can drop almost overnight.

Non-peer-reviewed research in 2010 supported the correlation, suggesting that “the economic cycle leads the hemline with about three years”.

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Conclusion

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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