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Jeff Kikel: Good morning and welcome to the Cents  of things. It’s Jeff and Ron here once again for  

another episode of fun things, markets and the  economy. Ron, how are you doing this morning, sir?

Ron Lang: Good. Just a quick  public service note. Drink water.

Jeff Kikel: Yes,

Ron Lang: drink hydrated.

Jeff Kikel: You’re what did you say? The  weather in Arizona is gonna be this week.

Jeff Kikel: Hit 1 10

Ron Lang: today. But look, the afternoons  are brutal. But you know what? It is the  

mornings are terrific. But yeah, it’s  starting to get soupy in the afternoons.

Jeff Kikel: Yeah I will say Texas we  have the equivalent of one 10 and we  

still haven’t hit a hundred because we  have so much humidity right now that it  

felt like I was I was literally swimming  out to take trash out at the office.

Ron Lang: Yeah. Bring [00:01:00] a change  of clothes for when you go outside.

Jeff Kikel: Yeah, pretty much. Good thing is we  do that at the end of the day. So I only have to  

smell myself for about a half an hour before  I go home. All right let’s kick it off today.  

I felt that one thing we haven’t visited in a  while is our Favorite friends, the Florida men.

Jeff Kikel: And so I figured it was a good time  to kick us off with a little bit of Florida man  

action and talk a little bit about what’s going  on in the world. The Florida man. So starting

Ron Lang: off by the way, real  quick with Florida. It’s got to  

be crazy with the heat. So you  got to just equate it to that.

Jeff Kikel: Yeah, but they do this all year long.

Jeff Kikel: So I’m not sure why, whatever.  All so number one, Florida man story,  

Florida man breaks into a house, cleans  it, leaves behind origami. So in 2019,  

a man identified as Nate Roman from Marlborough,  Massachusetts. Reported a funny incident that left  

him shocked. He came home and found an intruder  had entered his home, cleaned everything in the  

house, including [00:02:00] spreading his bead and  scrubbing the toilet or bed spreading his bead.

Jeff Kikel: I think means, I  think they mean fixing his bed up,  

scrubbing the toilets. He even, what was  even more crazy was that he left behind  

origami roses on his toilet paper rolls.  He’s got a, he’s got a secret admirer. I’m  

actually impressed. I wish I would get a  Florida man here to to take care of that.

Jeff Kikel: So second one, a  Florida man blows a 0. 339.  

Had to be dead. How was he standing? That’s  alcohol level and gets a DUI on a golf cart.  

Alfred Constant Matthew went for a cruise on  his golf cart while driving on the highway.  

He was stopped by police that who noticed he was  drunk. Maybe the fact that he was driving a golf  

cart on the highway might have been the first  indication on testing his blood alcohol content.

Jeff Kikel: It turned out to be 0. 339,  which was way above the legal limit and  

almost to [00:03:00] the death  limit. He was arrested. If they

Ron Lang: bring his arm. Probably  that would be 1. 10 alcohol that  

would squeeze out and sweat. Absolutely.

Jeff Kikel: All right. So here’s another good  

one. Florida man flees cops so fast  that some of his clothes come off.

Jeff Kikel: So police identified him with DNA from  his socks. Cops could only find a pair of jeans,  

shorts, a sandal, and a sock. Now, this  guy is so fast that he can run his pants  

off. I’m thinking Miami Dolphins next  year, wide receiver. This is the other

Ron Lang: thing I’m thinking. Probably  they put out an APB of what he was wearing.

Ron Lang: So he just ripped  off his clothes because they  

weren’t expecting a naked guy. So  he’d rather probably get arrested  

for indecent exposure than whatever.  And for whatever he got in trouble

Jeff Kikel: for. Yeah. It doesn’t even  say what he got a criminal. I think,  

I don’t know. Maybe he had the forethought  at the [00:04:00] time to think about this.

Jeff Kikel: Florida man tries to  walk off out of a store with a  

chainsaw stepped down his pants. Anthony  Ballard took shoplifting a notch higher  

by shoplifting a chainsaw. He reportedly  entered Treasure Coast lawn equipment,  

engaged cashier in small talk while  hiding the Power tool in his pants.

Ron Lang: Jeff, there’s gotta be video of this.

Jeff Kikel: I’ve, there’s gotta be video  of it, of him shoving in his pants and the,  

the employee saying, is that a chainsaw  in your pants or are you just happy to  

see me? It depends whether or not it was on or  not. That’s true. That could be a problem. And  

we did have that one picture a few months  ago where I got the second circumcision.

Jeff Kikel: Yep, exactly. Interestingly  enough. All right. My favorite one of  

all florida man arrested for crashing  a car into a mall says he was trying  

to time travel a car and crashed into the  mall at north Davis highway in Pensacola  

florida. When cops questioned the [00:05:00]  unidentified man driving the dodge challenger,  

he said he was trying to time  travel When the incident occurred.

Jeff Kikel: Now, if he’d had a  DeLorean, he’d have been there,  

but unfortunately he chose the Dodge Challenger.

Ron Lang: Did he hit 88 miles  an hour? That’s the true

Jeff Kikel: question. I don’t know. My wife  owns a Dodge Challenger. The V six can get  

up. It’s pretty fast. It’s like a 6.3.  Zero to 60. You should be able to get  

to 88 miles per hour in it, but apparently  he did not have the flux capacitor filled  

or the the back to the future to where  it’s the Vegematic thing that’s in there.

Jeff Kikel: He just didn’t fill it up.

Ron Lang: Gotcha. All right.

Jeff Kikel: All right. Let’s let’s talk  about my stuff for the day. Are we heading  

for a soft landing or an iceberg? This is  one of my favorite terms that I hear from  

the stupidity of the government. And a lot  of the market puns about financial media.

Ron Lang: Mainly

Jeff Kikel: Media. Yeah. Soft landing. Soft  landing. Are we gonna have a soft on? Did you

Ron Lang: ever hear Jerome Powell ever  [00:06:00] say hard or soft landing?

Jeff Kikel: No. Nope. Not once ever. There  is no such thing as a soft landing. It is  

an iceberg in most cases. And if you  are looking for the Fed. Or anybody,  

the treasury or the fed to rescue the economy.

Jeff Kikel: If you look at their history, it has  been absolutely atrocious. When it comes to this,  

they usually wait way too long to come in and try  and slow things down, which they did this time by  

almost 18 months. And I would argue the point  it was probably since 2010 that soft money  

policy just inflated assets and caused, a  lot of issues that we’re now dealing with.

Jeff Kikel: But the other side of the coin is is  it an iceberg? And when do we hit it? We don’t  

know, nor did the Titanic know that there was  going to be an iceberg there. On our last show,

Ron Lang: they were just weren’t looking.

Jeff Kikel: Yeah, exactly. And I, on the last  show, we just touched at the end, [00:07:00] Ron  

talked a little bit about jolts the jolts  report, which is job openings report.

Jeff Kikel: This comes from the Bureau of  Labor Statistics. And if you can see after  

the peak in about 2022, which was about  12 million, part of that was that you  

had so many people that were laid off and  as the economy was starting to come back,  

there was a ton of job openings because  people were looking, literally there was.

Jeff Kikel: For hire signs everywhere.  And you had people during the pandemic  

that didn’t want to go back to work. And the  government was basically paying them not to go  

back to work. We’ve seen that get pulled back  down. So the open job openings are reducing,  

but there’s been an accelerated trend as of late,  

pretty much late 2023 going into  2024 and it’s accelerating even more.

Jeff Kikel: And I would, I would garner to  say that is also companies now starting to  

pull back. On jobs, they’re just not the open  jobs aren’t [00:08:00] there because companies  

are pulling back and, you’re starting to see  big layoffs in the tech space. That probably  

was because they went too far the other way,  but we’re starting to see those jobs pull back,  

which, if you look at the long term trend, it’s  getting back to where the long term trend was.

Jeff Kikel: But does it keep going beyond that and  

we start to drop into a situation like  we typically see before big we got a

Ron Lang: divergence because  unemployment has ticked up

Jeff Kikel: and

Ron Lang: job openings are coming down

Jeff Kikel: and non farm payrolls here once again,  

another sign of that if you look at  year over year, we were up around 275.

Jeff Kikel: We came in this  month, or last month around,  

I think it was 175. And if you look at the  ADP number that came out earlier this week,  

it was around 152. It had been expected to  be, in line with where it came in last month.  

So [00:09:00] it’ll be interesting because  tomorrow is that nonfarm payroll number for.

Jeff Kikel: The month of May, and does this  continue to decline? And is it, continued year  

over year decline? Why is that important? It is a  sign of a slowing economy, but the challenge that  

we have now is we have really high interest rates,  and we have massive amounts of of consumer credit.

Jeff Kikel: And if, this continues to  increase and unemployment continues to  

increase, that’s going to put a massive  strain. On, the consumer, basically,

Ron Lang: we didn’t even talk about  treasury debt and interest payments.

Jeff Kikel: That’s a whole nother animal. They  can just, they have the ability to print money.

Jeff Kikel: We don’t hourly earnings. This  was something I hadn’t looked at in a long  

time. And I just happened to catch it.  I think it was on the non farm payrolls  

section of briefing. com. It was an extra  chart and hourly earnings year over year  

have been declining just [00:10:00]  continually, which is. You look at  

inflation and inflation has gone this way  and hourly earnings are going that way.

Jeff Kikel: And once again, we’re seeing  that accelerate to the downside as well. They

Ron Lang: say wage growth is going up, but

Jeff Kikel: yeah, I don’t think so. Wage  growth is going up. Here’s a chart from  

Bureau of Labor Statistics and it ain’t going  up. I’m sorry. It’s going down significantly.  

And if you look at real wage growth  with inflation, it ain’t good, cause.

Jeff Kikel: We’re at 4 percent and inflation’s  basically at four or what? Five. Something at  

this point, I think it’s under, I think  it’s just under four. Okay. All so it’s  

your Bay you’re breaking even at this point  unemployment, like you were talking about,  

we had that spike up in, in the, during the  pandemic, it had been coming down pretty  

significantly throughout the, basically from the  peak of the 2008 period, the great recession.

Jeff Kikel: It had gone all the way down below  4 [00:11:00] percent and we’re starting to eke  

our way back up to 4 percent and above at  this point. So it tends not to move rapidly,  

but it’s starting to move in the  direction you don’t really want to  

see it go at that point. Inflation,  once again, yes, it’s gone down.

Jeff Kikel: Oh, it’s gotten better. Yeah, but it’s  just starting to level off. Here when we look at  

inflation and it’s leveling off at a much higher  level than where the Fed is, willing to accept  

and this is the PCE number. This is the  number that the Fed uses and that they  

trust the most. And it’s still very far away from  where their target is of 2 percent at that point.

Jeff Kikel: And, once

Ron Lang: again,

Jeff Kikel: yeah. And trying to lose  that last 10 pounds or whatever is  

always going to be the toughest as well.  And it’s going to take some major moves  

or the economy kind of coming unglued to  really get that number down. Home prices,  

this is something I was interested in as  I was looking through all [00:12:00] this.

Jeff Kikel: What is home? What are home prices  look like? Because we’ve got really high,  

In the sevens range on 30 year mortgages at this  point. House prices have slowed The average house  

price is about four hundred twenty five thousand  dollars, but it’s not declining rapidly It’s just  

leveling off and the challenge that we run into  with that is We don’t have enough inventory.

Jeff Kikel: And the bigger challenge  is the baby boom generation, which has  

traditionally been the generation  that’s driven everything economy  

wise in the world. What’s happened  with them while they had these big,  

huge houses where they had big, huge families.  And now they’re retiring and they’re downsizing.

Jeff Kikel: And unfortunately they’re  downsizing right into the inventory  

that normally would be the young people  coming in as a starter home. And I don’t

Ron Lang: understand and I haven’t heard a  cogent argument or any legitimacy [00:13:00]  

of why Post covid prices just went  parabolic. Oh, yeah With 10 000 people  

essentially hitting 65 every day or plus or  minus people are downsizing so that’s what,  

new home sales are spiking obviously, because  there’s no inventory existing home sales and  

a 7 percent plus 30 year fixed is slowing that  down. But I don’t understand if you take a look,  

what is that a 70 year history  almost? Yeah. 60 year history.

Ron Lang: Why post COVID it literally has  gone up. If you look at it, almost 35%. Yeah,  

four year period of time and I haven’t heard  any legitimacy behind why that’s happened

Jeff Kikel: I think from my  perspective it was cheap money,  

you know during that time period  you could basically Hold on to

Ron Lang: interrupt you, but it  was cheap following the financial  

crisis [00:14:00] through 2019.

Jeff Kikel: Yep cheap money, I think this  cheap money and the ability for people to  

relocate because they could work independently,  the ability to relocate and quite frankly,  

the people willing to just pay stupid money  for houses. I remember, while I had a client,  

perfect example had what I would  consider a very average house.

Jeff Kikel: It was probably 45, maybe  50 years old. Little bit of renovations,  

but not anything dramatic. And this  was right at the beginning of kind of  

2000 is rolling into 2021. She sold her  house here in Austin for 40 percent more  

than what she listed it for. So it was  like, it was maybe a 300, 000 house.

Jeff Kikel: She sold for 425, 450, 000. And the  people that bought the house came in and ripped  

it down and put [00:15:00] another built a whole  new house. From ground up, so they paid 475, 000  

for a lot and a house that they were going to  rip down and then probably built another 500, 000  

house on top of it. It was not a 1, 000,  000 neighborhood by any way, shape or form.

Jeff Kikel: And it still isn’t to this day. So it  was just people willing to pay stupid money for  

it. But it’s amazing to me how persistent  that price has been afterwards. Yes. The  

parabolic side of it, typically when you see a  parabolic upward, you’re going to typically see  

some kind of a pretty massive downward and  it’s not, it’s flat at best at this point.

Jeff Kikel: So it’s really shocking  to me. From a real estate perspective.

Ron Lang: Yeah, I don’t understand it either

Jeff Kikel: And I think my last point that  I want to make out of this is the trend of  

the newest trend of unretiring As many as 20 of  older workers are rejoining the labor market in  

their 60s and [00:16:00] 70s As of late 2023,  there was nearly twice the percentage of  

americans Over the age of 65 working compared  to the 1980s, and this is by Pew Research.

Jeff Kikel: And I think this is, 1, it’s an  interesting trend because. You have a workforce  

and I will just say now I had somebody work for me  for 3 weeks in another business. From the wealth  

management practice and quit via text. So I think  part of it is the new younger workforce is not  

necessarily willing to work as hard, but I think  a lot of these folks that retired and thought.

Jeff Kikel: Okay, i’m just done, you know a lot  of them retired even early during the Pandemic,  

you know just saying i’ll screw it  I’ll just go and retire early and  

then inflation’s come back to bite  them hard and I would venture to  

say That number is even higher  than 20. What’s your thoughts?

Ron Lang: I always when I talk to clients  that are pre [00:17:00] retirees I always  

say there’s a difference between when you reach  a certain age that you have to work Yeah, where  

you want to work. Yeah huge difference and  where i’m going with that is the following

Ron Lang: I think people are  working longer now because  

Better health. Yeah. Better living through  chemistry, better health. But I think the  

other reason is if you love what you do  and you enjoy getting up in the morning,  

why would you quit? , let’s say you’re  not a golfer, you’re not a traveler.

Ron Lang: Yep. What are you gonna do? Sit around,  gain weight, eat. Yeah. But my point is that. You  

can hit a certain age and be somewhat financially  stable. Not a hundred percent and go. I’m gonna  

throttle back I have lots of clients in their 70s  that are still working and they enjoy getting up  

every day And it’s not a grind and most of them  I would say not only do they enjoy working,  

but they don’t [00:18:00] have  to work, but they enjoy working.

Ron Lang: Plus, the additional income  allows them to take an extra vacation  

or do something else that they want to do.  Or here’s the other big thing. They enjoy  

working because that extra money. Helps  them provide for their kids or grandkids  

or extended family because they’re  struggling. So it’s a different age.

Ron Lang: Back in the day you hit 65, it was  like Logan’s run. You were done, right? The light

Jeff Kikel: was blinking in  your palm at that point. You’re

Ron Lang: out. But, today it’s a  very, it’s a very different story.

Jeff Kikel: I give

Ron Lang: the, we’re not 60  yet, but people ask me, Ron,  

we’re planning 10, 15 years out.  What are you looking to retire?

Ron Lang: What are you talking about? My  father’s 83, he’s still in the business.  

He’s not putting in 40 hours a week. But he  loves the business. He’s doing business. So  

if he did it and it was stressful, he  wouldn’t be doing it. Neither would I,  

neither would you know, it’s  a different, if you enjoy

Jeff Kikel: what you’re [00:19:00]  doing and you don’t have to do it,  

my dad’s a great example of this.

Jeff Kikel: He’s 84 years old and he works for  Lowe’s, and he works in the hardware section,  

which That’s what he loves. He was a  quality control engineer. So if you ask him,  

how do I fix this? He’s going to  show you how to take every screw,  

what tools you’re going to need,  everything else. And he loves it.

Jeff Kikel: And it’s that interaction. And,  basically he and my mom had almost 15 years of  

travel and all that. And he’s not a golfer  and he’s not, he’s done every project around  

the house. At this point. So he was really  getting to that point where it was like,  

okay, I can just sit here and read books for the  rest of my life and die, or get up and do this.

Jeff Kikel: And, he’s, he works  the schedule that they give him,  

but he’s also very, specific about, I do  not want to work more than 20 hours a week,  

it hurts my back if I’m on my feet  that much. He’s just, it keeps him  

healthy. He looks great. He’s, it’s keeps his  weight [00:20:00] down and everything else.

Jeff Kikel: And my mom does volunteer work  So I think it is a different generation

Ron Lang: the coattails of that jeff Creating a  lifestyle that makes sense to them and it involves  

working what’s the big deal? Yeah volunteer a lot  of people like volunteer. I tell people don’t do  

nothing, you know Do something volunteer,  work part time do something that you enjoy

Jeff Kikel: Yeah, and I’ve worked  with retirees for 30 years,  

and I tell people all the time I’ve met  some of the youngest 90 year olds in the  

world and some of the oldest 60 year olds,  and it’s how you adjust yourself to that.

Jeff Kikel: Yes, I’m retiring. I think part  of it is financial, but I think the other  

side of that is exactly where you and I are  coming from. It’s not a death sentence to go  

back to work. It’s the ability to go, you  know what? I’m gonna go back to work, but  

you know what? I’m also retired. I just do this  part time and I’m going to take some time off.

Jeff Kikel: So if you’ve got [00:21:00]  something that is a saleable skill,  

whether it’s your ability to work or it’s  the knowledge in your head that you spent  

40 years learning. I don’t intend to  retire. I can write books until I’m,  

a hundred years old. I can do what I do  for a living, managing people’s money.

Jeff Kikel: I don’t dig ditches for a living.  

So as long as my brain’s still  working I can keep doing this.

Ron Lang: I hear you. Everybody’s different, but  there’s no de facto line of demarcation at 65.

Jeff Kikel: You’re just not going to sit there on  

the front porch and whittle wood  until you die. The reality is we.

Jeff Kikel: We went from 1938, the average the  average life expectancy. I just looked this up  

the other day for a book I’m writing. The average  life expectancy was like 63 years old in 1938.

Ron Lang: I did the same thing for many seminars.  I’ve spoken at in the past, 1912 was 54.

Jeff Kikel: So when you think about social  security, it was a pretty good [00:22:00] bet.

Jeff Kikel: You started it at 65 and the average  age was like 63. So it was a great bet from the  

government that, okay we’ll just take care of  the people that actually live beyond that time  

period. What they didn’t realize was, Oh  crap. What happens when we get really good  

at keeping people alive until they’re in their  eighties that’s the challenge that we face today.

Jeff Kikel: We’re nineties or nineties. Yeah  it’s going up. It creeps up every year. Folks,  

thank you for joining us as always.  We we do the sense of things for.  

That very purpose for you and you only,  it’s not for Ron to get on Ron and I,  

to get on here and show you funny stuff every  week. It’s really for us to give you information.

Jeff Kikel: And I hope you enjoy this. And  I hope it gives you some ideas about what  

you’re doing in your own portfolios. So  make sure you subscribe to the channel,  

make sure that you hit that little  upvote button to let us know that  

you exist. And Because we’re seeing a huge  amount of new people joining us on the show.

Jeff Kikel: And if you’re new to the show,  thank you for being on and thank you for being  

a subscriber. So [00:23:00] thanks a lot. And  we’ll see you guys back here the very next time.