17/09/14‘What’s that bit in the middle?’

'What's that bit in the middle'


Apologies for the delay between blogs, but what with summer holidays and kids being off, I thought I’d start again in September. These last two weeks have seen me visit my family in New York & New Jersey, with a road trip to Washington DC.

I have to say, I have always had a fascination with the USA as a whole. As my dad’s Sister married a G.I in 1945, I have been fortunate enough to visit my family out there for as long as I can remember. Various holidays there, have seen us take many roadtrips and internal flights to see as much as this country as possible.

So how big is this country? well, anyone who has flown to east & west coast, will know that’s the same distance roughly, between the UK and New York and from New York to furthest west (Hawaii) there is a 5hr time difference. Flight time from say New york to Florida is around 4hrs.By comparison, the flight from Newquay to Southend Airport takes about an hour and the same could be said for a flight from Luton to Edinburgh.

So using flight times, the USA is approximately 4 times deeper and 7 times wider. We have a population of 63 million and they have a whopping 313million…but where are they????

The map at the top of this blog, is a personal favourite. A New Yorkers (or its that Yoikers?) view of the USA. Add in Florida and I’d say for the vast majority, that’s our view. But there’s more……

The USA’s best selling vehicle for the last few years is..what? a Dodge? Chrysler? Buick? Subaru?Honda? nope..not even close..Ford? yes! the F150 to be precise..a four door, 5lt flat bed pick up truck-they can’t make enough of them.

The USA has states devoted to growing Corn, Potatoes, wheat, grain, fruit and trees (New Jersey has huge swathes of land given over to corn and tree farms), as well as poultry, Cattle etc. Financial services is big, but commodities like Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice, Pork Bellies, wheat, Oil, Corn etc (ever seen the film Trading Places?) far outweigh the importance to the USA, with Fracking fast taking over as the biggest yet and the raw materials needed to make them happen, are spearheading investment growth.

When George Bush spoke after 9/11 he referred to ‘Alkaieda’ as ‘these folks’ Europe could not believe such a term could be used. He was ridiculed, branded an idiot..but he’s a mid western Texan from an oil refining family..that’s how they talk and the USA understood that. Jimmy Carter was the son of a Peanut Farmer, the founding fathers of the Declaration of Independence were Virginians.

But unless these things are learnt, taught etc..we will only ever see the USA, from the New Yorker perspective.

I also learnt that scientists believe a baby born in the USA today has a potential life expectancy of…110!!! now as a financial adviser, that just creates so many questions..can you imagine living till 110? how many years will you work for then? surely you cant stop at 65…you’ve potentially 50yrs left to live!!!

In the UK, using the State pension system, we’ve seen 40yrs funding for a pension and as a life expectancy, this was based on ‘3 score & 10’-70yrs of age-so retiring at 65, 40yrs of funding gave us 5yrs of living. Today we can look forward to late 70’s/early 80’s..we surely can’t expect 40yrs of funding, to now sustain us for 15 or 20yrs..let alone 50yrs!!

Them folks don’t know whats coming!!

Have a great week


Free retirement planning tool

Answer a few questions to get your personalised, no-strings-attached retirement report in 5 minutes.

Get my free report

I'm on a mission to de-mystify financial services

Get in touch