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Old 09-20-2011, 07:34 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,220,362 times
Reputation: 22380

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Quote:
Originally Posted by simetime View Post
How about the vast majority of the population now on Social Security were not:
1. Born with a silver spoon
2. Never had a chance to save, considering many of them lived through the depression
3. May not had a job that had any kind of investment plans such as 401k
4. Were only taught to save and not to invest
5. Were never giving the opportunity to an education as to how to invest

I really think that people who did have the opportunity to plan for their retirement should not thumb their noses at those who did not
My parents are in their 80s . . . they worked hard, never bought on credit except for their cars and a house . . . they are still "making do" with stuff they started out housekeeping with, although they have added items over the year (paid for with cash!) We surprised them for their 55th wedding anniversary w/ a flat screen TV - they were still using one from the 70s, lol.

They had things figured out where they could have a comfortable retirement, including having bought longterm care insurance in case that was ever needed . . .

B/c of the economy, my dad's pension, wh/ he paid into for his entire career, has been reduced by 27%, a significant hit for someone on a fixed income wh/ was only a matter of several hundred dollars a month added to his modest SS check. They are gonna be okay - b/c they live a simple life and have their real estate paid for but the car died last year . . . so there went a chunk from savings . . . and then there are the things that need replacing on the house . . . My dad worked til the age of 78.

They did everything the "right way." Yet, they have suffered a big financial shock . . . this country is suffering. These are real people's lives and my Dad paid into SS from the age of 16, when he started working in high school and before joining the Marine Corps and serving his country as a Korean era vet.

So even those who did get college educations (Dad has an MA), and knew how to invest in the products offered to them (a self-funded pension) and scraped and saved to stay out of debt - even those folks have taken a hit and they sure don't deserve to lose one penny of those modest SS checks they receive every month. And they deserve whatever benefits such as Medicare that they need at this stage of their lives.

 
Old 09-20-2011, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,133 posts, read 20,844,095 times
Reputation: 8293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas User View Post
Why do you chose to live this way?

Did you plan for your retirement at all in your early years?

Not enough education on investments and how money works?

Unfortunate life events? (Disability, Long-term unemployement in your career, very low-income earnings, etc)
And there you have it, the Republican Platform. It's your fault you are poor so you should pay more taxes than those with wealth and power

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6MFN8yiVc0
 
Old 09-20-2011, 08:15 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,519,632 times
Reputation: 29081
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Absolutely the truth.

Most folks who have worked for 40 plus years and are now retired or looking at retirement (or at NOT being able to retire!) never expected to "depend" on social security. However, they were fully aware that the money was being taken out of their checks and invested for them, as a safety net (gubment term, not mine!) should they need it.

Anyone who has weathered the ups and downs of the economy since the 60s, raised a family, put kids through college, bought a home - has very likely also faced some medical situations (hope they had insurance!), could have lost a spouse, may have been in an accident, likely served in Viet Nam, may have found themselves scraping by for a lot of those years without much $$ to put into ANY fund. Or they could have had money and lost a sizeable chunk of their assets with a divorce. LIFE HAPPENS, to paraphrase John Lennon.

I honestly don't know anyone who graduated w/ me from high school (and the guys were facing VN draft, may I add) . . . who said "Gosh, I hope the next 40 years, I work my arse off, be a good parent, employee and citizen, have a vacation now and then, see my kids off to college, do a little fishing (or gardening, or make some pottery) . . . and find myself at 65 (fill in blank: still in debt, in bad health, raising grandchildren and living on a string, as a widow w/ no assets, etc).

Ask the folks who had their pensions invested in funds that held WorldCom or Enron in them how they feel about scraping and saving and then seeing it go <poof>.

No one at 18 looks ahead and says - "I am gonna take a low-paying job, barely scrape by, end up w/ two divorces, disabled, and living in subsidized apartments eating cat food at 65 on a SS payment of $660./month."

Life happens.
Very realistic and compassionate view!

Without my Social Security check, for which account I paid into for 45 years, and given furloughs and take backs in my employment and resulting salary, and having "lost" a significant portion of my defined benefit pension account (life does happen, especially when you've make other plans), I would have had to work 12-14 additional years beyond when I retired to make up for it which would have put me in my mid-70s.

Having written that horribly run-on sentence, the OP's dismissive supposition regarding people like the unfortunate ones you describe rings patently false. Life DOES happen indeed. Let's face it, Robert Burns had it right when he penned, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray."
 
Old 09-20-2011, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Franklin Lakes, NJ
174 posts, read 393,846 times
Reputation: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Absolutely the truth.

Most folks who have worked for 40 plus years and are now retired or looking at retirement (or at NOT being able to retire!) never expected to "depend" on social security. However, they were fully aware that the money was being taken out of their checks and invested for them, as a safety net (gubment term, not mine!) should they need it.

Anyone who has weathered the ups and downs of the economy since the 60s, raised a family, put kids through college, bought a home - has very likely also faced some medical situations (hope they had insurance!), could have lost a spouse, may have been in an accident, likely served in Viet Nam, may have found themselves scraping by for a lot of those years without much $$ to put into ANY fund. Or they could have had money and lost a sizeable chunk of their assets with a divorce. LIFE HAPPENS, to paraphrase John Lennon.

I honestly don't know anyone who graduated w/ me from high school (and the guys were facing VN draft, may I add) . . . who said "Gosh, I hope the next 40 years, I work my arse off, be a good parent, employee and citizen, have a vacation now and then, see my kids off to college, do a little fishing (or gardening, or make some pottery) . . . and find myself at 65 (fill in blank: still in debt, in bad health, raising grandchildren and living on a string, as a widow w/ no assets, etc).

Ask the folks who had their pensions invested in funds that held WorldCom or Enron in them how they feel about scraping and saving and then seeing it go <poof>.

No one at 18 looks ahead and says - "I am gonna take a low-paying job, barely scrape by, end up w/ two divorces, disabled, and living in subsidized apartments eating cat food at 65 on a SS payment of $660./month."

Life happens.

Thank you- well said.

I don't want to stifle an attitude of self-sufficiency or even self interest- it's a driver of human achievement. I'll say though that we're all in this together and some charity towards the other guy is in order.

I was born poor by the standards of this country and have done sufficiently well to enter into a secure retirement. Good for me but others, some whom I love, are not where I am. I don't know what happens in every person's life. Sometimes people make emotional decisions that turn out badly. Some people are born with two strikes against them and then they strike out.

The person sleeping in the street didn't plan on being there. The mother in the homeless shelter feels her shame- believe me. Yesterday was my 55th birthday. I know now that life gives us some blows we weren't expecting. I didn't think my wife would die. I didn't think I had to support ailing family members. I didn't think I'd lose my house to a drinking problem and have to start over again. I didn't think I'd have to declare bankruptcy when a business went bad and have to start again. When I saw some light in my life I was old enough not to congratulate myself but knew that, by the grace of God, I was not brought down by depression or defeatism. Some people are but they are still human beings with diginity.

We have an obligation to each other. As long as my vote means something I'll hold the next guy accountable. That's where I stand.
 
Old 09-20-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: East Coast
2,903 posts, read 4,588,890 times
Reputation: 4291
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooting Stars View Post
They found out later that the stock portion could have been set up so that they couldn't lose their initial investment, but they were never told about that plan even though it was available. And of course the main investment could have been set up differently.
I'm so sorry for your relatives whose financial advisor appeared to have taken advantage of them. That being said, I'm curious...how could someone assure them they couldn't lose their initial investment if it was linked to stocks? The only way you could make such a claim would be if the investment was insured, but AFAIK stock-related products are not...or are they?
 
Old 09-20-2011, 09:01 AM
 
Location: East Coast
2,903 posts, read 4,588,890 times
Reputation: 4291
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
My parents are in their 80s . . . they worked hard, never bought on credit except for their cars and a house . . . they are still "making do" with stuff they started out housekeeping with, although they have added items over the year (paid for with cash!) We surprised them for their 55th wedding anniversary w/ a flat screen TV - they were still using one from the 70s, lol.

They had things figured out where they could have a comfortable retirement, including having bought longterm care insurance in case that was ever needed . . .

B/c of the economy, my dad's pension, wh/ he paid into for his entire career, has been reduced by 27%, a significant hit for someone on a fixed income wh/ was only a matter of several hundred dollars a month added to his modest SS check. They are gonna be okay - b/c they live a simple life and have their real estate paid for but the car died last year . . . so there went a chunk from savings . . . and then there are the things that need replacing on the house . . . My dad worked til the age of 78.
Your parents sound very much like mine. My parents are approaching their mid-80s and they've lived VERY VERY frugally all their lives. My Dad's pension fund also took a hit because of the economic downturn. It makes me feel bad that after all the years of pinching pennies, they still have to worry about their finances because of the country's economic climate.
 
Old 09-20-2011, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,767 posts, read 10,864,802 times
Reputation: 16651
Default Gallup Poll says reality exceeds expectations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas User View Post
Why do you chose to live this way?

Did you plan for your retirement at all in your early years?

Not enough education on investments and how money works?

Unfortunate life events? (Disability, Long-term unemployement in your career, very low-income earnings, etc)

A Gallup poll survey concluded that about 31% EXPECT Social Security to be a 'major' part of their retirement. Another question determined that 57% of retirees actually found that Social Security WAS a 'major' part of their retirement. ... In other words, almost half the people EXPECTED to be better-off financially in retirement, than actually WERE! http://www.gallup.com/poll/1693/Social-Security.aspx

With this in mind, most folks probably PLAN for a better retirement than their finances actually ALLOW ... but, instead of "Planning for the worst, while hoping for the best" --- they do the opposite.

This is much like folks that run-up exhorbitant credit card bills so they can have what they want today ... with only a vague, ill-defined notion of where they are going to get the money tomorrow, to pay for today. Our illustrious government does the same thing, but they are spending 'Other People's Money' and can can simply 'print more ... until we all go bankrupt.
 
Old 09-20-2011, 09:16 AM
 
Location: The Land of Reason
13,300 posts, read 10,509,378 times
Reputation: 3541
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
My parents are in their 80s . . . they worked hard, never bought on credit except for their cars and a house . . . they are still "making do" with stuff they started out housekeeping with, although they have added items over the year (paid for with cash!) We surprised them for their 55th wedding anniversary w/ a flat screen TV - they were still using one from the 70s, lol.

They had things figured out where they could have a comfortable retirement, including having bought longterm care insurance in case that was ever needed . . .

B/c of the economy, my dad's pension, wh/ he paid into for his entire career, has been reduced by 27%, a significant hit for someone on a fixed income wh/ was only a matter of several hundred dollars a month added to his modest SS check. They are gonna be okay - b/c they live a simple life and have their real estate paid for but the car died last year . . . so there went a chunk from savings . . . and then there are the things that need replacing on the house . . . My dad worked til the age of 78.

They did everything the "right way." Yet, they have suffered a big financial shock . . . this country is suffering. These are real people's lives and my Dad paid into SS from the age of 16, when he started working in high school and before joining the Marine Corps and serving his country as a Korean era vet.

So even those who did get college educations (Dad has an MA), and knew how to invest in the products offered to them (a self-funded pension) and scraped and saved to stay out of debt - even those folks have taken a hit and they sure don't deserve to lose one penny of those modest SS checks they receive every month. And they deserve whatever benefits such as Medicare that they need at this stage of their lives.

I totally agree with you, my parents planned as well for their retirement. My father did not have any degrees but he did serve 20 years in the AF and was very astute in certain financial matters (saving) but had limited knowledge in investing other than land.

I guess what burns my crawl is the people that were fortunate enough not to had to struggle but yet try to deny the ones that do
 
Old 09-20-2011, 09:26 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,220,362 times
Reputation: 22380
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERISAjunkie View Post
Thank you- well said.

I don't want to stifle an attitude of self-sufficiency or even self interest- it's a driver of human achievement. I'll say though that we're all in this together and some charity towards the other guy is in order.

I was born poor by the standards of this country and have done sufficiently well to enter into a secure retirement. Good for me but others, some whom I love, are not where I am. I don't know what happens in every person's life. Sometimes people make emotional decisions that turn out badly. Some people are born with two strikes against them and then they strike out.

The person sleeping in the street didn't plan on being there. The mother in the homeless shelter feels her shame- believe me. Yesterday was my 55th birthday. I know now that life gives us some blows we weren't expecting. I didn't think my wife would die. I didn't think I had to support ailing family members. I didn't think I'd lose my house to a drinking problem and have to start over again. I didn't think I'd have to declare bankruptcy when a business went bad and have to start again. When I saw some light in my life I was old enough not to congratulate myself but knew that, by the grace of God, I was not brought down by depression or defeatism. Some people are but they are still human beings with diginity.

We have an obligation to each other. As long as my vote means something I'll hold the next guy accountable. That's where I stand.
Beautifully put.

I don't appreciate seeing folks gaming the system (whether welfare or disability) . . . but a society without compassion for its frail, disenfranchised, elderly and children is soulless.
 
Old 09-20-2011, 09:36 AM
 
Location: The Land of Reason
13,300 posts, read 10,509,378 times
Reputation: 3541
Quote:
Originally Posted by LibraGirl123 View Post
Your parents sound very much like mine. My parents are approaching their mid-80s and they've lived VERY VERY frugally all their lives. My Dad's pension fund also took a hit because of the economic downturn. It makes me feel bad that after all the years of pinching pennies, they still have to worry about their finances because of the country's economic climate.
Just think, some of these so-called tea party er teabag candiates want to link social security into the stock market. All that will do is line up their wall st pals with more money to play with and more to lose to their cronies
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