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Old 07-08-2007, 06:16 AM
 
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,320,059 times
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I have seen an increasing number of stories in the media about how many people who reach retirement age are continuing to work. I always wonder if this is a form of social engineering on the part of powerful forces within our government, media and the investment industry, to try to convince older Americans to keep working.

I do not believe people in good health between 55-70 should just quit their jobs and sit around all day doing nothing, but I wonder if America really needs people in their 60s and 70s working full time when there is so many younger workers looking for a job.

Who is promoting Americans working full time into their 70s, and why?
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:59 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
9,877 posts, read 20,163,126 times
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Is it actually being promoted or have the facts come out? Many people simply can't afford to retire!
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:34 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,403,295 times
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Given that the work I do is experiencing a severe shortage of people right now, just where are all the "young people" who I'm keeping from a good job by continuing to work past "retirement age'?

Even our competitors can't find workers. This week, I picked up new accounts simply because my competition hadn't been by in over three months to service their accounts.

I appreciate straight commission sales work isn't for everybody, and you won't reach the top of the earnings levels until you build up a repeat trade, but the freedom and satisfaction from the simple work is rewarding and well compensated.

This work doesn't require a college degree, just common sense and reasonable social/sales skills. 75% of the work is no more difficult than just showing up to be of service for the clients on a regular schedule.

My decision to keep on working has nothing to do with any media campaign to do so. And, yes ... I am long past the financial need to work, with a paid off farm/ranch, a 2nd resort home, vehicles, passive and active investments, and so forth. I enjoy my farm work ... just brought in 80 tons of alfalfa from my little patch for my livestock. Looking forward to a good second cut, too.

My prior career path ... automotive tech ... is also showing strong signs of a worker shortage, which was forecast to happen as far back as the 1980's. It's become a pretty technical field with all the computerized functions in the cars since 1990's ... and a decent tech can bring home $100K/year even in lower paying areas of the country. That wage was available to good techs as far back as the mid 1980's in high cost of living areas, such as big cities in the USA. The days of a "grease monkey" are long, long gone in this trade.

I think many of those people who can't afford to retire today put themselves into that position by not following the values/lessons of a number of generations before them ... which included living within one's means and saving for their own retirement. My grandparents, all immigrants to this country who came over with little more than the clothes on their backs and a trade ... all had enough money to retire in NYC or Miami from their modest earnings as bakers and tailors ... not high paid/high education jobs. All their children went to college and got degrees, some PhD's, and one MD ... paid for by their parents and taking advantage of school opportunities where possible; ie, MD training paid for by the Army in exchange for a service commitment.

I've seen a number of younger couples struggling to make ends meet today on incomes that dwarfed my best earnings years. But they do have a couple of new high dollar motorcycles in the garage, new cars/trucks in the driveway, a big house with all the conveniences, wonderful clothes for them and the kids (you know ... those $100+ sneakers), and a great familiarity with the best restaurants in town. Oh, a a nice ski boat down at the marina, too. Simply have to have all the toys now and they have no sense of saving or investing for their future, or paying for their kid's education. What a trap ... you know that they're not going to be able to sustain this lifestyle on social security. It's a shame, too ... because the opportunities are there for them and they don't have the sense to take advantage of them.

Even my own children struggle with getting by on $2-300K per year incomes, and that's before they've had any children of their own. It's kinda pathetic. Fortunately, their in-laws are affluent enough to assist with generous gifts to them each year for housing assistance and long term investments.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-08-2007 at 07:49 AM..
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,958,968 times
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[quote=Dingler;1025099] I do not believe people in good health between 55-70 should just quit their jobs and sit around all day doing nothing, but I wonder if America really needs people in their 60s and 70s working full time when there is so many younger workers looking for a job./QUOTE]


What an odd perception of retired people. Some of the busiest and happiest people I know are retired and have full schedules of volunteer work, travel, boating, jogging, golf, social groups, church service, family, hobbies, gardening, writing, painting, etc. My husband and I will not be working after we retire next year - for the rest of our productive lives we will choose a variety of enjoyable, enriching and diverse activities. Many people work their whole lives for other people doing what they are directed to do by others - retirement means freedom to choose the things you want to do when you want to do them - it should be the best and most interesting part of your life.

If all you have ever done is work and you think there is nothing in life more fulfilling than working, you have led a one-dimensional life.

Last edited by Cattknap; 07-08-2007 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,349,863 times
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Quote:
Given that the work I do is experiencing a severe shortage of people right now, just where are all the "young people" who I'm keeping from a good job by continuing to work past "retirement age'?
The husband's profession does require a professional degree...usually a master's. And at 47 he is one of the youngest able to do his job. MOST of the 300-400 in his field are already nearing or at retirement. The field is already experiencing a shortage of available, experienced people. He is in a specific field of engineering. He's been in the field for over 15 years. About 5 years from now, the 300 will be closer to 100 still working and there will be too few to fill the jobs available. And colleges are NOT putting out the grads to fill these slots.

I shudder to think what will happen in 20 years when the people my husband's age are getting ready to retire. Liz
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:57 AM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,866,740 times
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They work for money, health insurance and because they enjoy their jobs and the people they work with.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:58 AM
 
7,099 posts, read 24,497,923 times
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I think that the older generation is becoming more and more aware that the chances of dying before they have "enjoyed" their retirement is getting slimmer and slimmer. The life expectancy is getting longer and longer.

The man who retires a 65 is looking at the possibility of 20 or more years of NOT working. It used to be only a few years. No matter what the savings in the bank may be, that's 20 years. That's not a comfortable thing to contemplate.
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Old 07-08-2007, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,349,863 times
Reputation: 3185
Quote:
The life expectancy is getting longer and longer.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus06.pdf#027

That is true. Average life expectancy in 2004 was:

2004
All races 77.8
Males 75.2
Females 80.4
Whites 78.3
Males 75.7
Females 80.8
African Americans 73.1
Males 69.5
Females 76.3

In 1950, the average life expectancy was just 68.2 for all races, both sexes. So to retire at 65 meant you averaged only 3 years of full retirement back then. Now you average 13+ years of full retirement. That's a BIG difference. Liz
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Old 07-08-2007, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,888,784 times
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We live in the south, both dh and I are in our mid 40's. We have been working for ourselves for the past 10 years. We have come to the conclusion that social security simply will not be there when we get to retirement age, for us that means 68.

We don't have a lot of extras. Live in the first home we ever had, actually build most of it with our own hands, and drive vehicles that are 4 to 10 years old, including the one decent work truck he has. We have two children, one is college age the other is in 8th grade. We don't have a lot of money invested, it too it to actually survive and get our business up and running. We pay our own health insurance, which is very high, have one full time worker who gets a decent wage and we don't own a new boat, etc. We do have investment property that we are converting to rentals, own 10 acres of land in our town and are about to pay off our mortgage. Our immediate goal is to get rid of personal debt which will happen this year. We do not have credit card debt, have not carried this type debt in over ten years. Just our home, our son's car and one acre of land we purchased a couple months ago. That said, we do have business debt with high monthly payments, but this debt is necessary for our business, ie: a trencher and backhoe. I hope to have this debt paid off in the next couple years.

We are also about to add additional rental properties, small condo like homes which are nice and family friendly. These properties are our retirement. Our accountant suggested these since our area is growing and in need of additional homes and/or rentals.

We are by no means rich, but I do try to have at least 3 months income saved if there were to be an accident or some other type of hardship. Our home is a modest two bedroom, two bath with living room, kitchen, dining room and utility room. We enclosed our back porch to make an office for me to work in. We built this home in 1984, and although we could use an upgrade, we simply do not wish to go into that much debt. Job security is non existant now days, and when working for yourself, if one or both get sick or disabled, you are facing a disaster. Oh, I forgot to add, we do have a pool , an above ground 18 x 4 that we bought used for $50.00 this year, only needed a liner, so my youngest has water to play in.

We live at our means and it is still tough to make it and put back savings and yes, I do have college accounts for the kids.

The long post to get to this, I believe we will be working if we are physically able past our retirement age, simply because the cost of living increases at such a high rate each year. Hopefully, we can work pat time but I don't count on it. We just look at it as a fact of life.
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:25 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,403,295 times
Reputation: 14927
Wow, a-writer ... it sounds to me like you've got the basics and the principles (and principal) down right.

Living within your means and still investing in income property at the same time, while making equipment purchases for your business? And investing in raw land, too?

Looks rather good to me. I believe you'll hit a point in a few years where cash flow from rentals and paid for equipment will come together and you'll have more disposable/investable income than you can imagine now.

Good for you!
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