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Thu Mar 7, 2013, 06:53 PM

Have Americans Given Up On Saving for Retirement?

Have Americans Given Up On Saving for Retirement?

In the wake of the Great Recession, retirement-minded Americans are feeling an unprecedented amount of futility. They are under-saved and ó worse ó see little reason to do anything about it.

Thatís the alarming conclusion in a new report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, which found that 60% of pre-retirees believe health care costs will consume their savings no matter how much they save. Similarly, 39% believe investment returns wonít be high enough to provide decent retirement income regardless of how much they manage to put away.

Deloitte found exasperation at every turn: 58% donít have a retirement plan; nearly 40% donít know what an annuity or mutual fund is; and 20% expect to rely purely on Social Security for their retirement needs. More than half donít trust anyoneís advice.

Collectively, we seem to be throwing the towel. Itís not difficult to understand why, to be sure. After a sharp pullback in 2008-09, stocks are only now touching levels they first reached in the late 1990s. So the market has been dead money for nearly 15 years if you bought then and simply held on. A lot of folks who were on track with savings at, say 45, have fallen way behind and now they are 60. This helps explain why so many boomers now plan to work past their normal retirement age of 66 or 67.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2013/03/07/have-americans-given-up-on-saving-for-retirement/#ixzz2Mtw6mmiu

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Reply Have Americans Given Up On Saving for Retirement? (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Mar 2013 OP
upaloopa Mar 2013 #1
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2013 #2
Grateful for Hope Mar 2013 #11
WCGreen Mar 2013 #44
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2013 #86
ananda Mar 2013 #3
VenusRising Mar 2013 #4
cheapdate Mar 2013 #5
Victor_c3 Mar 2013 #60
PasadenaTrudy Mar 2013 #73
oldhippie Mar 2013 #75
Honeycombe8 Mar 2013 #103
Egalitarian Thug Mar 2013 #104
ChisolmTrailDem Mar 2013 #134
Egalitarian Thug Mar 2013 #136
cheapdate Mar 2013 #113
Honeycombe8 Mar 2013 #122
cheapdate Mar 2013 #125
Honeycombe8 Mar 2013 #128
cheapdate Mar 2013 #129
CTyankee Mar 2013 #138
Zax2me Mar 2013 #6
KoKo Mar 2013 #7
Johonny Mar 2013 #8
ananda Mar 2013 #58
longship Mar 2013 #9
smirkymonkey Mar 2013 #10
teenagebambam Mar 2013 #30
daleanime Mar 2013 #55
smirkymonkey Mar 2013 #89
bluedigger Mar 2013 #12
Matariki Mar 2013 #13
Matariki Mar 2013 #14
hobbit709 Mar 2013 #15
high density Mar 2013 #16
tokenlib Mar 2013 #17
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #18
tokenlib Mar 2013 #19
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #20
duffyduff Mar 2013 #22
Orrex Mar 2013 #26
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #32
Orrex Mar 2013 #34
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #39
Orrex Mar 2013 #42
Notafraidtoo Mar 2013 #45
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #47
Orrex Mar 2013 #63
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #67
enlightenment Mar 2013 #80
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #93
oldhippie Mar 2013 #109
Evoman Mar 2013 #96
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #97
Arugula Latte Mar 2013 #28
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #35
CreekDog Mar 2013 #37
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #41
oldhippie Mar 2013 #110
HangOnKids Mar 2013 #118
bike man Mar 2013 #130
Le Taz Hot Mar 2013 #57
OldDem2012 Mar 2013 #62
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #78
OldDem2012 Mar 2013 #84
HangOnKids Mar 2013 #119
gollygee Mar 2013 #65
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #69
llmart Mar 2013 #72
RobinA Mar 2013 #85
Brigid Mar 2013 #105
devilgrrl Mar 2013 #91
Skittles Mar 2013 #106
Doremus Mar 2013 #132
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #133
Doremus Mar 2013 #135
duffyduff Mar 2013 #23
Orrex Mar 2013 #27
dkf Mar 2013 #24
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #38
dkf Mar 2013 #40
Lordquinton Mar 2013 #52
Skittles Mar 2013 #107
Lordquinton Mar 2013 #114
Skittles Mar 2013 #115
OutNow Mar 2013 #48
Orrex Mar 2013 #71
Capt. Obvious Mar 2013 #79
devilgrrl Mar 2013 #90
Peter cotton Mar 2013 #94
devilgrrl Mar 2013 #95
Skittles Mar 2013 #108
oldhippie Mar 2013 #111
HangOnKids Mar 2013 #120
duffyduff Mar 2013 #21
HoneychildMooseMoss Mar 2013 #25
Arugula Latte Mar 2013 #29
madville Mar 2013 #31
HiPointDem Mar 2013 #33
killbotfactory Mar 2013 #36
olddots Mar 2013 #43
Go Vols Mar 2013 #46
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #70
Eleanors38 Mar 2013 #127
OutNow Mar 2013 #49
Go Vols Mar 2013 #50
mythology Mar 2013 #98
Go Vols Mar 2013 #100
Live and Learn Mar 2013 #56
oldhippie Mar 2013 #112
just1voice Mar 2013 #51
Live and Learn Mar 2013 #59
Live and Learn Mar 2013 #53
Live and Learn Mar 2013 #54
sendero Mar 2013 #61
LWolf Mar 2013 #64
HughBeaumont Mar 2013 #66
sendero Mar 2013 #68
PasadenaTrudy Mar 2013 #74
liberal N proud Mar 2013 #76
slackmaster Mar 2013 #92
liberal N proud Mar 2013 #99
slackmaster Mar 2013 #131
hfojvt Mar 2013 #116
liberal N proud Mar 2013 #117
oldhippie Mar 2013 #123
JPZenger Mar 2013 #77
duffyduff Mar 2013 #81
OutNow Mar 2013 #87
JPZenger Mar 2013 #137
RobinA Mar 2013 #82
FarCenter Mar 2013 #83
RebelOne Mar 2013 #88
southernyankeebelle Mar 2013 #101
DJ13 Mar 2013 #102
supernova Mar 2013 #121
Octafish Mar 2013 #124
peace13 Mar 2013 #126

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 06:57 PM

1. They never mention that people don't have money to put away

with the low wage enviornment we live in

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:04 PM

2. Hard to save...

when pay increases don't keep up with the actual (not the reported) rate of inflation.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:21 PM

11. Exactly.

I think this is the most important factor.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:45 AM

44. You mean "chained" inflation....

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #44)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:59 PM

86. Yep. nt

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:13 PM

3. They're just trying to get by today.

Forget about later.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:19 PM

4. When food is a luxury it's impossible to think about saving.

I would love to start saving, but I worry about choosing between paying my bills this month and eating.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:19 PM

5. It takes an income of $150,000 per year, on average

for a family to begin to have enough money to save in any meaningful way. That was the finding of a major university economic study -- I forget which one. But in my experience that sounds accurate.

I'm fortunate to have a decent job as an engineer with a salary of about $90K. Even with a decent job, I'm behind on my bills. I need auto work and dental work that I can't afford, etc., etc.

It's no mystery to most people why the expensive advertisements for financial planning and investment services from companies like Deloitte are nothing but background noise.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:07 AM

60. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you

I bring home about 90-100k when my VA disability is included and I'm finally starting to be able to not live pay check to pay check.

I have a lot of debt from a couple of years ago when I lost my job and went 4 months without working. I had to move and take a substantial pay cut at the time. In 2009 I was on track to hit the $100k mark then I lost my job. I used to work for Amazon.com, but I had a ton of PTSD issues and wasn't able to do it anymore and I was canned.

I did a complete career change and took a huge paycut and had to move. In 2010, I made about $50k. It is VERY hard to downsize your life by 50%. Things like haircuts, new pants, and turning your heat up above 65 degrees in the winter are luxuries. Retirement savings isn't going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future. At best, I might be able to start socking some money away in about another 7-10 years when I'm in my early 40s.

My plan right now is to hope to have a house paid off by the time I retire so I'm not dishing out $1,000+ in rent each month, to collect SS, and to still be messed up enough with PTSD to collect my $1,500 a month in VA disability.

---edit to add---

I fell very lucky to messed up enough to draw some extra money from the VA for my service connected disability. That gives me a huge leg up that I often feel guilty for having over everyone else. It's sad that being "broken" is something that I feel lucky to have.

Honestly, I don't know how families get by without making $75k+ a year. It isn't like I live the high life. We never go out to eat, we drive two cars that are 10 years old, I live in a tiny 1,300 sqft house, I have one TV and two cheap pay-as-you-go cell phones and a bare bones cable/internet package.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #60)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:46 AM

73. 1,300 sq. ft

sounds huge to me! I'd love to have that much space I live in a small one bdrm apt, no kids, and somehow get by on $40K a yr. In L.A.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #60)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:04 AM

75. If you don't live in a cardboard box ...

 

.... you will always be considered "rich" by some here.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:34 PM

103. Do you live in an expensive place? Or don't have insurance?

I made a bit less than you at one time (I've changed jobs since, and make a lot less now)....and while I made that salary was able to save over $20,000 a year most years, and paid off all debt to become debt free! (I didn't make that salary that many years, though...and ultimately couldn't work those hours, any more and had to leave.)

Even now that I make a LOT less....I'm still saving for my retirement over $10k a year. This means I can't do some things that others do, but they aren't important things. My lifestyle, on the face of things, is no different than anyone else's...and I'm saving, too...and my dogs are healthy, well cared for, and happy with their toys and treats. What else matters?

But I live in Dallas, which has a good cost of living.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #103)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:51 PM

104. You call being alive in Dallas living?

 

More like surviving in a hellish dimension populated by the painfully stupid.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #104)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:13 PM

134. Actually, Dallas is a blue oasis compared to most of the state. eom

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Response to ChisolmTrailDem (Reply #134)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 06:06 PM

136. Referring more to the actual city and its inhabitants than the political environment.

 

It's not nearly as bad as Houston, but it's way down the list of interesting American cities to live in.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #103)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:59 PM

113. No, I don't live in an expensive place.

I have two kids and a wife, and a bunch of cats and two dogs. It just takes every penny I bring home to pay for everything. Saving anything has proven to be practically impossible for us. My truck needs work, I need $500 above what my insurance pays for a crown, I'm behind on bills, etc., etc.

On the plus side, my son got a full, four-year scholarship to the Honors College at the University of Alabama. He starts in the fall. My daughter (a high school freshman) is so smart there's no telling what she'll do.

My wife has stayed home to raise the kids, which has been invaluable. We're very fortunate to have been able to do that.

I don't know what else we could do to cut expenses. I don't know how we could possibly save money like you have.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #113)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:24 AM

122. Ahhhh....your wife doesn't work, and your vehicle is a truck.

Two very pricey things.

I used to be poor, so learned to live frugally. So your income is really half of what the paycheck stub says, since it's divided between two adults. You say you could afford for her not to work for a paycheck, but in your post you are basically explaining how you couldn't really afford it...it has cost you your future retirement and paying for health care when you get sick (and you will...we all do).

I'm not overly special, to save like I have. It's just that I used to be poor, I think. I've known co-workers that were in my situation, but didn't save like I did. I wasn't always a saver. But necessity makes you do things. I have no kids or fall back for my senior years, so it was up to me, myself, and I to provide for my future.

I do a number of things to save. It has been a sacrifice, to be sure. I've never gone anywhere for a vacation in my entire adult life. Whatever $ I would've spent on that went into my savings.

If you contribute to a 401k, you get about 25% free money, since it's pre-tax. That is, when you contribute $100 real dollars, $125 gets deposited into your account. Also, my employer contributed.

I don't have a smartphone or contract phone. I don't need it, and they're too expensive. OTOH, I just paid almost $1,000 for a new vacuum cleaner that I hope will last 20 years and do a better job than the Kenmore I had. I prioritize. I kept my last car for 14 years. Other people would've bought one or 2 more cars in that period of time, costing them about $25k to $50k that I didn't spend (you have to subtract repair cost out of that, but that wasn't much, since I bought a reliable Subaru).

It's a matter of making your future a priority. And being willing to sacrifice. And planning. People think they're doing their kids a favor by spending all current $ on them, when in fact, it's making their kids have a future worry or burden by not providing for one's senior years. I read an article that said saving for senior years should come before current needs, even kids' needs. It's that important. I don't know about that, though.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #122)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:57 AM

125. My truck is not pricey.

It's a 1985 Toyota. The mileage on it was past 250,000 miles when the odometer stopped working years ago. It was already 10 years old when I bought it.

I wasn't explaining how I "couldn't really afford" for my wife to stay home and raise our children -- although that may be your take away from it. Our kids are intelligent, independent, well mannered, thoughtful, and compassionate. I have no doubt that having a parent stay at home to be present in our children's lives has been worth any price we've paid. And again, it's been a luxury for which I am extremely grateful.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #125)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 12:12 PM

128. Kids can be intelligent, well adjusted, and happy when Mom works.

I've known plenty of dysfunctional families where Mom stays at home. That's not a deciding factor in how kids turn out.

Well, your post was saying that even at almont a six figure salary, you are having trouble financially and can't save for your senior years. I was pointing out that...you and your wife made the decision NOT to be financially secure, in favor of more time at home with the kids. Which is fine. But if you say you can't afford to save, that's not really true. More accurately, you traded your saving ability for the ability for your wife not to work for a paycheck.

It's like saying you can't save because you are buying a new car every year. When the fact is you are choosing to spend your savings on something else.

It's a choice for each of us. Neither way is right or wrong. But to give people the impression that they can't save for their senior years even when making $90,000 a year is just not right because it's not true.

I take back my statement about a 1985 Toyota. Toyotas are known to be reliable, and the mpg is probably not bad, either. Kudos! Most Americans buy American trucks, and the mpg on those is pretty bad, plus they're pricey vehicles, and most guys don't need trucks. My brother drives a Ford 150 and has for decades. Not sure if he really needs a truck as a main vehicle, but he thinks he does, plus he just likes that truck. I must admit it's a beauty and very comfortable. He also keeps them a long time. I think they're reliable. But guzzles gas in the city.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #128)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:20 PM

129. Yes, two-income, working families can raise well-adjusted kids.

It's practically a necessity for most American families that both parents work outside the home to earn enough money to live a semblance of a normal life in modern America. If you think that's the ideal way for society to work, fine. I don't.

Yes, kids can be "intelligent, well adjusted, and happy when Mom works". They can also be alienated, neglected, and left behind.

It's possible to take the "it's a choice" argument too far.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:35 PM

138. I see those ads, with serene, smiling early retirees on adventure trips to New Zealand

and other safely exotic places. Or just walking calmly in the country hand in hand. No dysfunctional pieces to their lives and I wonder just what they did or had in their lives that they can just up and retire while they are young enough to enjoy it. Pretty nice, right?

What a bullshit fairly tale that is! Even if they have enough to retire on, what happens when their grown daughter is out of work and they have to jump in to help pay for the grandkid's clothes or dental bill or college tuition? Or they have a catastrophic illness?

Reality bites hard...

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:25 PM

6. Times are tough.

 

Hard to save.
Hard for many to find work making a livable wage let alone save.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:26 PM

7. I've cut back to "bare bones" on everything..so..yes..but

not retired yet...still hanging on but I'm not a "CONSUMER" any longer in this economy.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 07:30 PM

8. It makes you think social security and medicare are going to be needed more not less

due to the current economic climate the Republicans have created. Yet somehow they think magically the future will be better off without either program. It is delusional. The center can't hold.

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Response to Johonny (Reply #8)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:04 AM

58. No indeed. The center cannot hold.

I keep wondering what the idiotic rightwing scrooges think will happen when people lose their safety nets.

So what? Will all the rich people move to their own personal shangri-la somewhere in another country while the rest of us languish in poverty and dystopian misery?

As far as I can tell, though, this is true just about everywhere. I guess they'll have to build themselves an underground pleasure palace with its own biosphere or else colonize a new planet.

Righteo.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:06 PM

9. First, one has to have excess to save.

I hope this is a sufficient argument.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:16 PM

10. I am so f***ed

I took out a student loan for $55k. Due to compounded interest (and a job loss after 9/11) and not being able to pay the minimum amount, I now owe about $130k. I can barely pay it. I may have to default.

Which means they will probably have to seize what little I have saved for retirement and garnish my wages and my social security if I make it that long. I so f***ing hate Sallie Mae. My life is ruined so that they can make a f***ing profit off of my misfortune. There is no way out for me. I had no idea the interest would snowball like this and get me into this much debt. I am willing to pay off what I borrowed, but I am not willing to pay off the ridiculous amount of interest so that SallieMae can make an insane amount of profit.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #10)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:16 AM

30. Where do you work?

If you work for virtuly ANY not-for-profit enterprise, (education, health care, etc) the Dept of Education will buy your loans and put you on an income based repayment plan. After you make 120 payments (10 years), the rest is discharged. The program started in 2007 so you may have retroactive payments that will be applied. Google "Dept of Ed Public Service Loan Forgiveness"

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Response to teenagebambam (Reply #30)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:26 AM

55. Its a start.

Nt

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Response to teenagebambam (Reply #30)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:46 PM

89. Unfortunately I work for a large Fortune 500 corporation, so that's not an option for me

but thank you for the information. I will take that into consideration if I have to look for another job again.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:34 PM

12. This one has.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:37 PM

13. "undersaved" according to "experts" means not having a million dollars or more by retirement.

And that's not an exaggeration. We have so thoroughly allowed ourselves to be screwed.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:39 PM

14. My parents' generation had pensions

And that was from ONE person working.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:41 PM

15. Given up or inability to have have anything to save?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:42 PM

16. It's my #1 line item in the budget

Though I still have no idea how I am going to cover the cost of healthcare.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 08:43 PM

17. The giant sucking sound of student loans taking all excess income...

Honestlt, you can work your ass off to pay off the loans in 10-15 years. Then you lose your job, with no new opportunities in the same field... and find out you need more or different schooling to seek a new job that requires more student loans...even though you're middle aged. Then you realize that YOU ARE FUCKED!!

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:00 PM

18. Not me.

 

I have about $200K in assets and no debt. Looking at retirement in 5 years; Social Security plus my pension plus my assets should give me a comfortable retirement.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 09:46 PM

19. Well good for you..and I'm glad everything worked out for you...

But not everyone makes the right choices in life..or has the opportunity to become as secure as the investment company commercials envision..

People deserve a minimum level of dignity in their lives..and Social Security is about the only leg left standing for too many of us...

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Response to tokenlib (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 10:51 PM

20. It has been due to in large part to the choices I made, granted.

 

I chose to take a government job because of the security & benefits. Never married, no kids...I spend my money strictly on myself, and this affords me the opportunity to save a fair amount of my income while still enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.

As you said, not everyone makes the right choices in life. Actions have consequences.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:22 PM

22. Let's blame people for circumstances beyond their control. Lovely.

Got news for you: Those cushy government jobs are about to become a thing of the past. The neolibs are coming for those jobs now.

BTW, your pension can be cancelled by your state or local government, and there is not one thing you can do about it because those pensions are not insured by PBGC.

Blaming workers for the actions of D.C. politicians who have sold the American economy down the river makes me sick.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:02 AM

26. So you're extraordinarily lucky *and* you're selfish

With a mix of the standard bootstrap delusion.


A lovely recipe for success.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #26)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:54 AM

32. "Extraordinarily" lucky? Please...I'm hardly exceptional in this regard.

 

How was luck involved in any of the choices I just described?

*and* you're selfish

How so? I have self-interest, granted...when it comes to my personal economic situation, I have to look out for myself. That's just common sense.

A lovely recipe for success.

It seems to have worked just fine so far, has it not?

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:59 AM

34. Lots of people have made the same choices that you have made

Yet without the good fortune of circumstance that you've enjoyed. The shame is that you've convinced yourself that your success is entirely of your own making.

You're selfish not because you look after your own interest but because you think that you've succeeded on your own.


It will be a sad day for your when you stumble upon the real world.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #34)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:09 AM

39. What "good fortune of circumstance" have I enjoyed?

 

Please, be specific.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #39)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:17 AM

42. You haven't run into misfortune

You probably think that you have, and you probably congratulate yourself for planning your way out of it, thanks to all of the Good Choices That You've Made.

Your demand that I "be specific" is idiotic; I don't know you, but I know your type. Self-congratulatory third-basers who get off on telling everyone else how they've screwed up.


However, since you know your own history, why don't you tell us all how your good fortune is entirely due to your own effort and not the result of fortunate circumstances?

Please, be specific.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #42)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:49 AM

45. Right on

All good fortune comes with a certain amount of luck.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #42)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:12 AM

47. Really? I survived stage 3 cancer last year.

 

You probably think that you have, and you probably congratulate yourself for planning your way out of it, thanks to all of the Good Choices That You've Made.

I had over $300,000 in medical bills, and missed 7 months of work. Because I chose a career which provided excellent benefits, my insurance (BC/BS) paid for everything except for $5,000 out of pocket. I also had to fly back and forth to the Cleveland Clinic (where I eventually had the surgery) 5 times. After being home for a month, I contracted MRSA and was hospitalized locally for almost 2 weeks. I had to spend the next 2 months at home with 5 tubes sticking out of various parts of my body (including a catheter), giving myself intravenous antibiotics twice a day.

When my sick leave ran out, I went 4 months without a paycheck, and then went back to work only part-time in September, and didn't get a full paycheck until I went full-time in November. This was not a financial hardship, because I had already made the choice to have a great deal of savings, just in case of an emergency.

So yeah...good for me.

However, since you know your own history, why don't you tell us all how your good fortune is entirely due to your own effort and not the result of fortunate circumstances?

Please, be specific.


See above.

How did I do?

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #47)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:39 AM

63. Put simply, I don't believe you.

Welcome to DU, by the way.

However, even if your tale is true, then you have had the incredible and astonishingly rare good fortune to enjoy extraordinarily good health insurance through your employer. Or do you claim credit for this piece of luck, too?

I'm sure that lots of people would love to have the luxury of "choosing" to enjoy such benefits as well as "choosing" to work for four or five times the annual mexian income.

You'll likely spend the rest of your long, well-funded life congratulating yourself for your bootstrappiness while you piss on everyone who wasn't as lucky.

I don't know you, but I know your type.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #63)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:38 AM

67. Simply put, I don't give a shit.

 

Welcome to DU, by the way.

Thanks, that really means a lot from someone who, after hearing about an illness that almost killed me last year, says "Liar!"

However, even if your tale is true, then you have had the incredible and astonishingly rare good fortune to enjoy extraordinarily good health insurance through your employer. Or do you claim credit for this piece of luck, too?

Working for the Postal Service, one of the largest employers in the US, is "incredible, astonishingly rare, extraordinary" good fortune?

I'm sure that lots of people would love to have the luxury of "choosing" to enjoy such benefits as well as "choosing" to work for four or five times the annual mexian income.

I was hired by the Postal Service because I scored in the 98th percentile on the hiring test in 1980s. Since I didn't guess the answers, luck was not involved.

I'm sure that lots of people would love to have the luxury of "choosing" to enjoy such benefits as well as "choosing" to work for four or five times the annual mexian income.

"Mexian"? I presume that's just a typo and you meant to type "Mexican". Assuming this to be the case...so what? You also happened to be born in the late 20th Century, rather than the 8th, allowing you to type your nonsense on the internet rather than toil in the fields as a peasent all the days of your life.

You'll likely spend the rest of your long, well-funded life congratulating yourself for your bootstrappiness while you piss on everyone who wasn't as lucky.

Long? I certainly hope so. I'm doing what I can to make it so. I have to take the day off today to (among other things) get a C/T scan. My last one was clear, but I'm getting one every 3 months for at least the next year or two.

Well-funded? I'm not rich and never will be, but the choices I've made in my life have resulted in my being financially secure. My career was a choice. Not being married or having children was a choice. Saving a sensible portion of my income is a choice. As for pissing on the unlucky, I have not done that anywhere in this thread.

I don't know you, but I know your type.

Sure you do, sparky.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #67)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:05 PM

80. The word that was mistyped

was undoubtedly "median", not Mexican, so save the outrage.

You brought this on yourself, you know. Jumping in with the "I made good choices" line implies that everyone who is not similarly situated made "bad" choices. Progressive thinkers do not automatically assume that the choices people make are the only factors that contribute to success or failure.

Your statement does "piss on on the unlucky" - not in bald-face, but in the assumption that choice is all that matters and that you - being the oh, so smart maker of choices with the high test scores - made the right choices while those that are not as fortunate as you made the wrong ones - because they are obviously not as smart as you.

Congratulations for making those choices, but please don't pretend that it couldn't be otherwise and that fortuitous timing and a personality that allowed you to live as you do couldn't have been otherwise. It makes you sound like a complete prat.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #80)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:17 PM

93. If that's the case, it was asserted that I make 4 to 5 times the median income in the US,

 

which is absurd. I make at most twice the median income.

I do, on the other hand, make at least 4 to 5 times the median Mexican income....which certainly fits the typo better.

I never asserted that choice is all that matters. I stated that my situation was in "large part" due to my choices, and I'll stand by that. To say that 98% of one's economic situation is beyond one's control (as stated by another poster) is ridiculous.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #67)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:12 PM

109. You should probably know by now ...

 

.... that anyone on DU that admits to being more than one paycheck away from being homeless is deemed to be part of the "evil rich." If you have become successful enough to have some savings, a retirement plan, and a comfortable living, then you must have done so on the backs of the working man. If you are not one illness away from destitution you will be pilloried on DU as having just been "fortunate."

Your stay here will be short.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #47)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:52 PM

96. Well....you could have Stage 4 cancer like me.

I'm completely unable to work. And, unfortunately, I was unemployed at the time I was diagnosed, so I don't even have disability or unemployment checks. If it wasn't for my friends and family (which I count myself lucky to have), I'd be completely destitute.

I thought I made the right choices. I have a bachelors and Masters in Biology and Biochemistry. Unfortunately, though I was told that the field of genetics and microbiology were growing and I would get a good job, I couldn't find anything except short term year contracts with almost no benefits.

At least I don't have to save for retirement. I doubt I'll live that long.

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Response to Evoman (Reply #96)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:57 PM

97. My deepest sympathies.

 

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:08 AM

28. Oh, darn. Having kids was the "wrong" choice, I guess.

Still, if you offered me $100 million for each of my kids I wouldn't sell.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #28)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:00 AM

35. I never asserted that having children is a "wrong" choice.

 

I do assert that having children will, more often than not, cost one a great deal of money in the long term. But then, lots of things in life can cost one a great deal of money in the long term. Whether or not you choose to make such things a part of your life is simply a personal decision. In the case of children, I haven't the slightest desire to procreate. The fact that this has given me much more disposable income is only one of the many benefits that I've received by making this decision.

You, on the other hand, obviously did wish to procreate. Good for you! You obviously have different priorities in your life, and I hope that they've made you happy.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:01 AM

37. what wrong choices?

you spent your money on yourself?

said people who had families and children made the wrong choices?

wait, who are we talking about that came out of this having learned or done the wrong thing?

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #37)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:16 AM

41. I never asserted that anyone made a "wrong" choice.

 

you spent your money on yourself?

I did. Yay me!

said people who had families and children made the wrong choices?

I do not believe that anyone, myself included, has said that.

wait, who are we talking about that came out of this having learned or done the wrong thing?

I seem to be the only one in this thread catching flak for answering the OP with anything besides, "Life stinks!"

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #41)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:14 PM

110. I think you've caught on ......

 

"I seem to be the only one in this thread catching flak for answering the OP with anything besides, "Life stinks!"

That's the way folks feel around here.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #110)


Response to Peter cotton (Reply #41)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:04 PM

130. You are absolutely right, you did not assert anyone made a wrong choice.

 

I am content with my life. My wife and I enjoy good health, we can afford to eat out when we so choose, our dogs like me (especially the invalid who needs my help to go in/out of the house), three generations of us (I'm the oldest)are going to run in a 5K next weekend wearing matching tee shirts with "Team Bike Man" emblazoned thereon.

So I say, good on you.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:45 AM

57. Lots of people made the right choices

and then got fucked over royally. Your situation may indeed be a part of "right choices" but it's also a matter of luck. Luck that you didn't enter an industry that collapsed. Luck that you weren't one of the MILLIONS who lost their job during the Great Recession. Luck that you didn't enter a profession at a time when training for that profession was at an all-time high and the only way you could achieve a degree was with massive amounts of debt.

LOTS of us made the "right choices" as you put it. My husband and I made "right choices" for 30 years and saved a bundle. And LOTS of us lost everything or almost everything during the economic downturn through no fault of our own.

Blaming the victim and then crowing about it? No amount of money can buy you class, there, Sparky.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:33 AM

62. Your actions will also have "consequences"...

...based on where you are now, you'll die lonely and alone.

Based on your "me-first" attitude, maybe it's all for the best you didn't have any children.

"Actions have consequences", indeed.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #62)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:17 AM

78. You appear to think that anyone who doesn't marry or have cihildren

 

dies lonely and alone?

Ever hear of friends...extended family...?

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #78)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:35 PM

84. I've heard of both, but based on your description of yourself....

....I doubt seriously you have any real friends or extended family.

Good luck to you....you'll need it.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #84)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 07:37 AM

119. For The Win!

 

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:43 AM

65. Getting married and having kids is a wrong choice in life?

Most people deserve to suffer because they had kids? If everybody made the right choice to never marry or have kids, there'd be no one to pay taxes while you're retired.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #65)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:46 AM

69. I didn't say that. It's *a* choice, not (necessarily) the wrong choice.

 

Most people deserve to suffer because they had kids?

I didn't sat that either. I simply said that having children usually results in a large financial liability rather than a financial asset. Do you disagree?

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:37 AM

72. You're delusional.

Maybe you can contact some of those people in Ohio who worked for the government whose pensions disappeared.

If you think that just because you "chose" to work for the government, you'll be protected I have some swampland in Florida to sell you.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:39 PM

85. While I Agree

that choices have a lot to do with it, without being a clairvoyant, making the right choices is often a matter of luck. You can make all the right choices and still be screwed. Plus, as you go through life you can't make EVERY choice the result of strict cost benefit analysis. For instance, my interest is in a field that doesn't pay. I'm single, no kids, but I cannot save a fair amount of income without doing absolutely nothing with my life except sit around and count my loot. Choices are only part of the puzzle, and they are becoming increasingly difficult to make smartly. Hell, anymore, I don't even know what a smart choice is.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #85)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:51 PM

105. "Hell, anymore, I don't even know what a smart choice is."

A lot of people feel that way nowadays.
.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)


Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:57 PM

106. you sound very republican

pompous and selfish

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #20)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 12:25 PM

132. The solution is clear, then. Let's all work for the government!

Peter cotton has shown us the way to financial security. He's given us the secret ability to pull ourselves up by our trusty bootstraps when most people have chosen to go bootless. The solution is as easy as this:

Work for the government! Kick, claw and/or force yourself into the local, state or federal civil service position of your choice today! Your problems will disappear like magic, and you too will be able to tsk-tsk at the next poor sap who loses his job because he stupidly took a job in the private sector.



(What's that you say? Local, state and federal governments aren't hiring? They're actively downsizing and outsourcing previously-plum jobs to private contractors who pay like crap and offer no benefits? La-la-la-la-la-la, I can't hear you! Now get out there and claim your good government job today!)

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Response to Doremus (Reply #132)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:01 PM

133. How odd; I don't recall asserting that government jobs were easy to acquire today...

 

But then, it is easier to knock down men made of straw, is it not?

Well, that's it for me on this thread. I'm flying to Iceland today for a well-deserved vacation. The Northern Lights, geysers, and whale steaks await!

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #133)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 03:35 PM

135. Peter cotton loves him some whale steaks, yee hah!

Beefing up on the blubber makes his straw men harder to knock down, or something.

Enjoy your vacay and savor the sweet smell of superiority over the chumps back home, Peter cotton.... la la la la la.

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Response to tokenlib (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:25 PM

23. It isn't a matter of "making the right choices." The truth is you have VERY little control

over your financial life--it can be taken away from you at the drop of a hat.

Your health can give out. You can be fired from a "cushy" government job or those pensions can be cancelled theoretically. You can be forced out of work at 50 or older and NEVER find another job again.

This has NOTHING to do with "planning." That's just propaganda from the financial services industry peddling the Bush II notion of the "ownership society." It's pure bunk.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:08 AM

27. Testify!

100% true from start to finish.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:35 PM

24. More important than your $200k is your double coverage for health care.

 

I just saw a study on the cost of Medicare premiums plus out of pocket costs and it blew my mind.

I will have the assets but I won't retire because I will need to cover health costs. I hope you have a plan for long term care. That is another big expense.

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Response to dkf (Reply #24)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:03 AM

38. My health benefits will continue to be subsidized by my employer after I retire.

 

I hope you have a plan for long term care. That is another big expense.

No worries, I'm taking the maximum benefits available.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #38)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:09 AM

40. It's $11,000 a month here.

 

That will drain anyone.

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #38)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:27 AM

52. "subsidized by my employer after I retire."

This could end in tragedy or comedy.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #52)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:58 PM

107. that guy does not get it

not at ALL

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Response to Skittles (Reply #107)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 01:36 AM

114. No, he doesn't

As much as it pains me, this is what Privilege is. When someone just doesn't get it. Can't pull up by our boot straps if you don't have boots to begin with.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #114)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:05 AM

115. you can also have many pairs of boots

and lose them all very quickly when the game is completely rigged

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #18)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:48 AM

48. Wow - people are beating you up

because you have $200K in assets? Run the numbers on any retirement planning software and you'll see that you will have a very modest retirement at best with that amount plus a government pension and Social Security. You certainly don't need to apologize for your thrift.

I have always lived on less than I earned; a cheaper neighbor hood than my coworkers, fewer vacations, etc. etc. My primary motivation for saving money was fear. I saw what happened to my father. After working hard all his life he had a massive heart attack at age 60. Unfortunately, that was just after Reagan was elected and the policy was to deny all disability claims and see who lived long enough to appeal the denial. He was penniless when he died a few years later. I've worked to avoid that fate and hope I've saved enough to have a good retirement playing with my grandson.

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Response to OutNow (Reply #48)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:30 AM

71. No,

People are "beating him up" because he's proclaiming the standard bullshit about how everyone's misfortune is the result of their own bad choices, as if their financial lives aren't 98% out of their control.

Good for him for scoring a secure job.

Bad for him for refusing to admit how lucky he's been, and how much his luck has played into his security.

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Response to OutNow (Reply #48)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:30 AM

79. Most members here don't like John Galt

Why would we treat him otherwise?

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #18)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #90)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:22 PM

94. Virtually every poster responds to the OP with, "My situation stinks. Here's why."

 

I (metaphorically) raise my hand and say, "My situation is pretty good. Here's why."

How does this rub anything in anyone's nose?

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #94)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #95)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:59 PM

108. CORRECT

sounds very conservative

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Response to Peter cotton (Reply #94)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:21 PM

111. We don't like your kind .....

 

... around these parts. You have been successful. You don't think it's due purely to luck. You sound like a Republican.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #111)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 07:48 AM

120. LOL

 

You are a hoot!

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:19 PM

21. No money, no savings. No job, no money, no savings. Low-paid job, little money, no savings.

Ask our politicians in D.C. why they won't do jack shit about job creation and trade agreements.

401(k)s were always crap.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:59 PM

25. Retirement?

I'm afraid it's going to be "work 'til I drop".

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:10 AM

29. It used to be that you could "save" for college if you had modest means.

No longer. Save away -- your savings are still a drop in the bucket to pay for four years at most colleges.

"Retirement" is similar. My "plan" is to defer it for as long as possible.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:48 AM

31. I'm trying to go through the motions

I'm on my second government career and as it stands right now should be vested in the second pension in three more years. I would start drawing one at age 57 and the other at age 58 as it's going now. Have a matched retirement account that my employer matches 5% of my annual salary into, it's mainly in low-risk bonds. I will have to see what I'm doing and how my health is around age 62 and decide if I want the early Social Security benefit or not.

Personally I try to live simple, my one luxury is a modest 2012 vehicle because I don't really care to maintain older high mileage stuff like I have in the past. I have a home mortgage on a house that I currently have a tenant in so that's kind of neutral but it should be paid off by the time I retire so it may produce some income as well or I may move back there. Currently rent a room from a coworker in the city I had to move to for this current job but may buy another house here and maybe turn it into a rental down the road for another income property.

Of course one accident or medical condition could flush a bunch of that down the drain and bankrupt me anyway, still going to plan like it won't though, been lucky so far.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:55 AM

33. what a stupid article. yeah, for some reason people just 'threw in the towel'. idiotic propaganda.

 

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:00 AM

36. I plan to work until I die.

I have no faith in our government to allow me to retire, and don't make enough money to save for retirement. It's been made crystal clear to me over the last decade that corporate has an inalienable right to confiscate any and all of the "excess" wages I earn regardless of how I behave financially.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:35 AM

43. ......Muffy and I.......

Will spend our golden years in Aspen and Maui.
We made mahhhhvelous decisions and invested in oil.

nope Lisa and I will be in a tent city with about 47 million other Americans that gave a shit about justice and peace .

oh sorry never mind.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:05 AM

46. I lived like I was poor

Last edited Fri Mar 8, 2013, 03:36 AM - Edit history (1)

throughout my working career when I made over 100k a year.

When Ronnie Raygun was elected I knew where shit was headed.


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Response to Go Vols (Reply #46)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:54 AM

70. Pretty much every problem America has or is facing, including this one . . .

. . . can be traced back to either Ronald Reagan or the Reagan Administration.

Funny how that works, and funny how the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" that Reagan's cronies screwed beyond repair canonized him.

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Response to Go Vols (Reply #46)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:25 AM

127. I lived like I was poor... and succeeded!

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:59 AM

49. OK, now what?

OK, so we're all democrats here. We all know that companies have stolen our pensions, our wages are stagnant or worse, our kids can't get a decent job after graduating from college with the associated college loan debt, our homes are worth less than our mortgage balance and the Republicans will continue to try to ruin Social Security and Medicare.

OK, now what? I can't actually believe that people have given up and decided not to save any money for retirement. Really? We have to save money, nobody is going to be there to help us when we're too old or ill to work. You can be pissed off about this, you should be pissed off about this. But after you are done being pissed off, you're going to need to save any / all money that you can. You don't have any real choice.

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Response to OutNow (Reply #49)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 03:17 AM

50. College isn't a guaranteed money maker

like what it was thought of years ago.
I got some breaks and made most on my own with common sense.Made money pushing Union Ironworkers and was good at it.


I do agree on saving money

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Response to Go Vols (Reply #50)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:19 PM

98. College is still the single best statistical investment one can make economically

The unemployment rate is far lower for those with a college degree, they have higher median incomes, they are more likely to be married and less likely to get divorced, they have greater savings, they didn't lose as much in the recent recession and are likely to be healthier.



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Response to mythology (Reply #98)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:00 PM

100. I am sure that is true for some

I know quite a few people whose kids with degrees have to live with their parents due to no employment or low paying jobs.

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Response to OutNow (Reply #49)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 05:34 AM

56. Not sure what money you are talking about.

We still have our jobs but neither of our salaries has kept up with gas, food increases and expenses for adult children unable to find jobs. There are no savings to be had. We are some of the lucky ones since we still have our jobs but we were doing pretty well until the last 10 years and even though we still have the same jobs we can't even fix our leaky roof let alone save any money. Thank God, we can still afford a tarp.

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Response to OutNow (Reply #49)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:24 PM

112. Somebody will take care of us ......

 

... and society won't just let us die. That's mostly what I hear.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 03:40 AM

51. "More than half don't trust anyone's advice", sounds about right as they shouldn't

 

Most people don't have a clue what's going on in the markets anyway as the MSMedia in the U.S. has been pure propaganda for years now. A big part of the financial propaganda has been the lingo and the smarter-than-thou attitude that so-called financial professionals all adopt along with a penchant for corruption and lies.

The U.S. markets are all corrupt now, completely manipulated by a few large worldwide banks that are "too big to fail" and are in business for themselves and their own profits. They all collapsed in 2008 and have only been propped up and made even bigger since. Most people don't even believe that and choose to believe government and corporate propaganda instead.

The U.S. markets will completely collapse again soon but they'll just shut down while they pretend to figure out some invented propaganda cover for what's really going on. The outcome will be austerity measures for Americans as we're all being set up for now.

This all could have been avoided if the current administration had held a few banking and war criminals accountable but instead they chose civility over corruption.

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Response to just1voice (Reply #51)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:18 AM

59. +1 nt

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:31 AM

53. I have.

I thought these would be the years we would be able (after raising kids) to save enough to add to enough our pension plan and Social Security to retire but the economy blew that dream away. I am now wondering if I will ever be able to retire and open up a job for the younger generation. Savings depleted, pension plan and Social Security promises now under attack and employment opportunities for kids at a minimum mean I might just have to work until I die. Not a pleasant prospect.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:38 AM

54. Retirement was a nice dream and even reality for the last 2 generations.

Now, it is just a dream. It was nice while it lasted. I am grateful that my parents had great retirement with pensions that allowed them to travel. I am also grateful for the camping I managed to accomplish while younger because even that escape looks like it will be dead in the future.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:25 AM

61. Yet more proof to anyone who..

... can read between the lines that our "health care" system is crippling the country.

And sorry, Obamacare is like a 10% fix.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:40 AM

64. There has to be something to save

to save.

When your pay has been cut until you are scraping by from paycheck to paycheck to keep a roof over your head and food on the table, and there's not only nothing left over, but you are getting creative about what you eat and how often you need to eat, what, exactly, are you going to save?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:04 AM

66. Nobody's giving up, but let's face it . . .

. . . the Personal Finance Industry and the corporations they work for and fluff are both largely to blame for this situation. That bunch is mostly made of "Brightsider" salespeople who over-inflate ROI numbers and assume no landmines of any kind when proselytizing to folks about what they'll need when they retire.

Even further galling is that they use the typical "Brightsider" ruse of ignoring societal and economic problems, ignoring destructive corporate practices and insist that our lack of savings is strictly an individual problem . . . 'nother words, victim blaming.

I can save until the cows come home, max out on IRA, 401k or a future money market portfolio, and it's not likely I'm going to be a millionaire when I retire. Like it was said above, saving requires money. This whole mantra of "it's not what you make, it's what you keep" is rendered a high pile of bunk when not one penny of "what you keep" can realistically be allocated to savings. "Paying yourself first" for 75 to 80% of Americans usually means "OK, so, do I pay bills OR eat?"

Too much pressure, too little reality and too much labor suppression is what's keeping us working until our 70s. It's not US.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022466135



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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #66)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:46 AM

68. The takeaway...

.... IMHO is this simple fact revealed by the study and hardly surprising: "which found that 60% of pre-retirees believe health care costs will consume their savings no matter how much they save."

SIXTY PERCENT have GIVEN UP even the idea of saving because they know how the end of life money game works. That is the real problem, that and the mistaken idea that some seem to have that you can live ok on just SS.

And you can hardly blame people for the all too true idea that you can bust your ass all your life and scrimp and save and then one illness will take every dime of it. And yet most Americans still think this is better than a universal health care system. Optimism bias (it won't happen to me) run amok.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 10:57 AM

74. A few of

my relatives are planning to move to Thailand. They work for school districts in Orange Co. and will retire in their early or middle 60s.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:07 AM

76. Given UP? - NO it is just that it is nearly impossible to save for retirement

With companies forcing people to 401K vs pensions, you can be assured that your retirement savings will be wiped out with the next big recession.

And if you lose your job as so many have, you can kiss retirement goodbye.

The ruling class has done a fine job of taking the country back! Back to the 30's where you worked until you died or your kids took care of you.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #76)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 06:04 PM

92. Most kinds of investments don't get "wiped out" in a recession unless they get sold low.

 

They lose book value, and gain it back when the recession ends and the economy recovers.

The keys are to be patient and be invested for the long haul, and to reallocate to less volatile instruments when retirement age approaches so you don't get caught having to take mandatory distributions when book value is down.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #92)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 08:55 PM

99. And if you are forced to retire during a recession?

My 401K is just now returning to where it was 8 years ago.

Thank God, bu$h did not get his grubby greedy hand on Social Security.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #99)

Sun Mar 10, 2013, 11:07 AM

131. My IRAs are in the same boat as your 401k. I am reallocating to less volatile investments now.

 

That's how you handle the possibility that a recession will coincide with your mandatory distribution age.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #76)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 02:15 AM

116. anybody can put money into an IRA

if they have money to save. I put $6,000 into my IRA last year and already have $4,000 for this year.

Because of line 32 on Form 1040, that $6,000 IRA contribution saves me $900 on my Federal taxes and $210 on my state taxes. Plus, because I am fairly low income, I get another credit from line 50 and Form 8880 giving me a credit of $200. So $900 + $210 + $200 = $1,310, which at 21.83% is already a very good return on investment.

Of course, many years from now, when I take that money out, that $6,000 will then become taxable income - BUT that does not mean I will pay the $900 that I would pay today. I figure it approximately like this - my pension is, say, about $400 a month, call it $5,000 a year. And let's say I take the whole $6,000 out of my IRA account. That adds to my income, making it $11,000. However, I have the standard deduction of $5,800 and the personal exemption of $3,700. So I am only paying tax on $1,500 and that at the 10% rate. So $900 in tax savings today, plus a $200 credit and a $150 tax bill some ten years into the future. Still a pretty good return.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #116)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 07:13 AM

117. If they have money!

That is one key component. If you don't have it or if your employer is putting it in a 401K automatically, it leaves you with little extra cash to put away.

The squeeze on the middle class is preventing people from saving.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #116)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:30 AM

123. That was a very good explanation of the benefits ....

 

... of a traditional IRA. One of the best I have heard, with numbers. I have not seen many around here able to articulate the benefits so well, and I fear many still do not understand.

Bravo, sir.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 11:13 AM

77. To many people sold low, and now are buying high

The best retirement approach is to put your money into a broad-based mutual fund with low fees, through an IRA. And then don't panic, and keep it there over the long-run.

Other "actively managed" mutual funds often have high fees that eat up much of the returns over time. Studies have shown they often don't do much better in the end than the funds that are more broad based.

The worst approach is to put your savings into one mutual fund that did extremely well in the previous year. Typically, the funds that have the highest growth one year have the biggest drop the next year.

Too many people panicked when the stock market went down the toilet and sold their stocks and mutual funds. They were then getting 0.005 percent in a bank. Now that the stock market is at record highs, they will be tempted to buy into the stock market right now. Actually, they should be ready, but wait, and then put their money into mutual funds after the next cyclical downturn in the market. They always happen.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #77)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:17 PM

81. Oh, for Pete's sake. There isn't any money to "invest" for the vast majority.

Do-it-yourself "savings plans" are GARBAGE because they require vast amounts of money for one to even be able to save enough to retire securely.

I can't believe the level of denial by people on this board.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #77)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:45 PM

87. Yup - sell low, buy high

I've seen the same thing - sell low, buy high. During the tech bubble 15 years ago I had co-workers trading every day during their lunch break. Several were thinking of quitting their job to become a day trader. "I earn more in the market than I can working", was the refrain. Trading the latest hot stock tip was almost mandatory social etiquette. People actually chuckled at me when I gave my invest for the long run, buy low sell high, etc. strategy. I was completely out of touch, probably senile.

Then there was the day that one of my coworkers got a call, a margin call. You probably know the rest.

These same sort of people led the panic selling in 2008. I don't know for sure, but they're likely buying in even as I type this note.

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Response to OutNow (Reply #87)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 11:57 AM

137. Story during the Depression

There was a story about an event that occurred right before the big crash of 1929. A large investor was having his shoes shined on the street. The shoe shine guy tried to offer the rich guy a stock tip. The rich guy immediately called his broker and said to sell all of his stocks. He said that if shoe shine guys are giving stock tips, it is time to get out. It was.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:21 PM

82. For a Long Time

now I have believed that unless you make damn big money, or dedicate your entire life to saving, you cannot "save for retirement." I save, but is it going to come close to financing my retirement? Nope. When I was in my 30's I was told that I had to save 30,000 dollars a year in order to retire comfortably. I didn't make $30,000 a year. I have mutual funds, a 401k from a company I was laid off from, a small pension from that same company. I decided that the only hope was a real pension, so I went public sector 5 years ago. It probably won't be much, since I started that job when I was 50, but it will add to the pot. I hope all this will add up to enough to not have to eat cat food on a steam grate. As far as living off of savings for 20 years? Not at twice my salary.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 12:34 PM

83. Chapter 7: Retirement and Education Savings

2012 Investment Company Factbook http://www.icifactbook.org/fb_ch7.html

By the end of 2011, retirement plan assets had surpassed their previous peak in 2007, and both IRA and 401K-type plans had higher assets.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 02:56 PM

88. I am already retired, but it was not my choice.

I was laid off my job in 2010, and since I was already 71, I decided it was time to retire. I wanted to work for a couple more years to get more money into my 401K because it took a beating during the 2008-09 Wall Street fiasco. I was collecting Social Security plus my salary, but now I am existing on SS. What money I had left in my 401K I pulled out and put it into my savings account because every time I received a statement the balance shrunk.

That money is shrinking now because I cannot stretch my SS to cover all my bills.

I am not going to look for a job as I am now 74 years old and no one will hire me at this age. And I am not about to be a WalMart greeter.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:20 PM

101. Many boomers don't have a choice. We are also having to help our children and grandchildren.

 

I pray I can make it til my granddaughter is grown and I know she will get a good education and find a good job. I pray she will help take care of grandpa if I don't make it.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 09:26 PM

102. Wages stagnate, prices rise..... so I have devised a new plan for retirement

Its "the French have had enough cake, and were looking for some heads" plan.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 08:06 AM

121. The meaning of "retirement" will change

is changing.

"Retirement" used to mean that after 30 years of loyal service the company gave you a gold watch, your pension that they set aside for you all that time and set you off to enjoy your remaining sunsets in the retirement community. Some people fared well with it, some did not.

Not anymore. The pensions are looted, and in their place are poorly run and poorly understood 401ks. People aren't saving because they are a poor tool for the job and because salaries are not enough to save and live on too.

How do you handle that? Do you just take it lying down? The Baby Boomers have been accused of changing social institutions as they arrive at them to suit their own ends. With regard to retirement, it's absolutely necessary.

Retirement will not mean the same thing anymore. Granted I think if your working life is one of physical labor, you deserve to retire. The body just gives out after a time. But people who sat behind a desk for most of their working lives can still do many things. I think retirement will mean people starting businesses, as I am, working part time, or any number of arrangements like that. Or maybe situations that have as yet to be created. Who knows. It's the Kobiyashi Maru scenario.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 10:33 AM

124. Save what?

Today's minimum wage job economy leave everyone with more than enough extra cash for making that quarterly 401(k) contribution.


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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:05 AM

126. Retirement plans are raided by Wall Street, the banksters and the politicians.

In addition to the thefts, the middle class has been successfully squeezed to the breaking point ...right on schedule!

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