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Old 09-30-2011, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I can't remember if I read the AARP article, but I did read the census report itself (and saved it ).

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf

Of note, the report did not take into account expenses, health insurance, or any other factor unrelated to gross income.

The report did not break down the demographics of households within the over age 65 cohort. For example, in the general population, married households had a 6% poverty rate, while households headed by unmarried females had a 31% poverty rate. I'd like to know how many households in the over 65 group fall into each category. I'm guessing the current "over 65" group has a heckuva lot more married couples than will be found in the future "over 65" group. The question is what impact, if any, will that have on the boomer cohort?

As noted in the report, Social Security recipients received a significant COLA in both 2007 and 2008. As also noted, without Social Security, an additional 14 million seniors (over 65) would have fallen below the poverty level. As you may recall, the average Social Security retirement check is about $1000.00. That alone lifts the over 65 cohort above the poverty level (see below).

What is the poverty level? Interestingly, the poverty level for a one person householder under the age of 65 is $11,344 while a one person householder over the age of 65 is $10,458. Why is there a different standard for the over and under 65? Beats me. I'm guessing it has to do with Medicare.

The report also estimates that earners in the 48-54 age bracket saw their income drop by 9.2%. Those in the 55-64 bracket saw their income drop by 6.2%. That includes all income, i.e. unemployment, alimony, wages, etc. Obviously, a drop in wages will adversely impact the amount of the pre-retiree's social security benefit.

Anyway, my point is you need to look beyond the summaries provided by the media.
First, thanks for the link to the entire report. An original report almost always trumps any summary. I will read it when I have more time. Second, all the points you make are interesting, and they lead towards a more nuanced view, but I don't think any of them contradict the basic conclusions that I lifted from the AARP summary.

I would also guess that the difference in the dollar amount which defines the poverty level for over and under 65 is related to Medicare. What else could it be? One of the items I did not include in the OP was the percentage of people in various age cohorts not having health insurance. For the 65 and above, it was two percent. For various other age groups it was vastly higher than that.

Your posts are always thoughtful and worthwhile.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I don't think such a broad statement works too well. People of different ages are in different stages of their financial lives and responsibilities, and one size does not fit all for any group.
In the original post I explicitly acknowledged that one size does not fit all. A broad statement works well when we are attempting to get a broad view of something. And the broad view is what enables us to generalize. Put simply, the people who are lamenting how bad seniors have it (as a generalization) are wrong.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Themanwithnoname View Post
What other group has Healthcare, Gov't check, a Higher % of pensions AND the most time for compound interest to work?
I am 67, and if memory serves you are a lot younger than that, but I recognize the essential validity of your comment. Indeed, my original post and your comment are in general agreement.

While your post was expressed in rational, mild language, it did serve to remind me of the surprising virulence of the intergenerational resentment (and even hatred) which I found on City-Data, mostly in the Business Forum, not so much here in the Retirement Forum where younger people do not post very often. We are a fractured and divided society across so many fault lines, not just the generational one.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:01 PM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,847,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I am 67, and if memory serves you are a lot younger than that, but I recognize the essential validity of your comment. Indeed, my original post and your comment are in general agreement.

While your post was expressed in rational, mild language, it did serve to remind me of the surprising virulence of the intergenerational resentment (and even hatred) which I found on City-Data, mostly in the Business Forum, not so much here in the Retirement Forum where younger people do not post very often. We are a fractured and divided society across so many fault lines, not just the generational one.
I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, the current political strategy appears to focus on solidifying the fractures in our society. Extrapolate the "class warfare" strategy to pitting every demographic niche against one another to buy votes, and I don't see much hope of developing a NATIONAL financial plan to address financial problems.

Your point about seniors as a general group being better off, appears to be valid. However, the larger problem is that our national "leaders" seem to be using a strategy which gets any group that is less well off to diffuse their anger/disappointment by taking from another group.

The American "melting pot" has been left on the high burner of consumption for too long. Now, like the lumps in my mother-in-laws gravy, some groups are sinking to the bottom of the pot and getting burned.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:08 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,943,432 times
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I thnik what the poster says is right to a degree. But looking back I can easily say what group at young age has ever been so subsidized by government. None.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,218,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
I thnik what the poster says is right to a degree. But looking back I can easily say what group at young age has ever been so subsidized by government. None.
Perhaps. But let's not forget the taxpayers also covered (and in many cases, are still covering) the Greatest Generation's "legacy debt."
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:41 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 22,062,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I

What is the poverty level? Interestingly, the poverty level for a one person householder under the age of 65 is $11,344 while a one person householder over the age of 65 is $10,458. Why is there a different standard for the over and under 65? Beats me. I'm guessing it has to do with Medicare

The poverty level was a 1960s government creation. At the time, food represented one-third of the average American's budget (wow, huh?).

The poverty level was declared to be three times the cost of an "economy food budget". USDA had I think three different levels of food budgets.

Changes in price levels and consumer spending changed the numbers - food today represents perhaps one-sixth of the average American's budget, while housing and healthcare are taking up a far bigger share now than in the 1960s - but nobody got around to changing the definition of the poverty level.

I'm guessing that USDA calculated a lower food budget for people over 65, and that's why their poverty level is lower.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:45 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
The report also estimates that earners in the 48-54 age bracket saw their income drop by 9.2%. Those in the 55-64 bracket saw their income drop by 6.2%. That includes all income, i.e. unemployment, alimony, wages, etc. Obviously, a drop in wages will adversely impact the amount of the pre-retiree's social security benefit.

Anyway, my point is you need to look beyond the summaries provided by the media.
By all means, let's look beyond the obvious which is just raw data and consider which age group still has recovery time. My guess is that the youngsters do, not the seniors.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,218,356 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
By all means, let's look beyond the obvious which is just raw data and consider which age group still has recovery time. My guess is that the youngsters do, not the seniors.
I'm game. First, who are you calling youngsters? And when do you think the economy will fully recover? 10 years? 20 years? Ever?
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:33 AM
 
5,621 posts, read 8,553,620 times
Reputation: 7710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I am 67, and if memory serves you are a lot younger than that, but I recognize the essential validity of your comment. Indeed, my original post and your comment are in general agreement.

While your post was expressed in rational, mild language, it did serve to remind me of the surprising virulence of the intergenerational resentment (and even hatred) which I found on City-Data, mostly in the Business Forum, not so much here in the Retirement Forum where younger people do not post very often. We are a fractured and divided society across so many fault lines, not just the generational one.
First of all let me say that I understand that you were in no way critical or reproachful of me.

Secondly, yes, I am 29.

Third... I feel I can make the observation from an interesting and somewhat unique position. (Given my age)

I HAVE healthcare (Tricare and VA) and a (small) pension from the government.

On the downside, it took manual traction and 5 percocets to get me through the day. (And I'm not able to sleep due to pain)

However, I can appriciate what a comfort the security of that check hitting the bank every month is... So long as I breath and the Gov't prints money!

Many my age and younger will never have that.
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