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Old 06-30-2014, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Someone retiring in 1950 spent the 20 years prior to retirement either in the Great Depression or WWII. It's not surprising a lot of them were poor.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:07 PM
 
29,764 posts, read 34,848,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
Someone retiring in 1950 spent the 20 years prior to retirement either in the Great Depression or WWII. It's not surprising a lot of them were poor.
Segregation and other social norms stacked the deck against millions
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,723,738 times
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Default Postage cost is a poor comparison:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy52 View Post
" that $29 translates to $280 in 2012 dollars "

I have a hard time believing that cost of living in 1950 went up less than 10X in 2012.

Even stamps rose a lot more than 10x in those 62 year time span.

Houses and property taxes, also.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
That is accurate as far as the value of a dollar... but you are talking about the cost of government which has been an out of control expansion for a whole generation. It can't last.
The cost of postage stamps versus inflation is a very poor comparison because in the 1950's postage was heavily subsidized. Then at some point, and I don't remember what year, Congress decided that the Postal Service was going to be a break-even operation, that is, the cost of a stamp was supposed to cover the actual cost of delivering a letter. So of course the cost of stamps went up substantially.

Now of course the problem is falling volume (after the Postal Service geared up to efficiently process huge volumes of mail) because of email and electronic bill pay services.

As for housing, there is only so much land on which to build houses. Therefore, a growing population came to be chasing a finite number of lots suitable for houses and the values went up at a greater rate than inflation.

As for taxes, well, once we as a society decided to feed other people's children for free at schools, subsidize other people's housing (Section 8), and many other such give-away programs, of course taxes too were destined to rise faster than inflation. I blame Lyndon Johnson for starting a lot of that nonsense. (But of course he couldn't have done it without support from the electorate). We cannot have our cake and eat it too!
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:13 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
The cost of postage stamps versus inflation is a very poor comparison because in the 1950's postage was heavily subsidized. Then at some point, and I don't remember what year, Congress decided that the Postal Service was going to be a break-even operation, that is, the cost of a stamp was supposed to cover the actual cost of delivering a letter. So of course the cost of stamps went up substantially.
Heavily subsidized? Probably not.

There are three things that have driven the postal service into its current position. First, there is a lot LESS volume of mail delivered compared to a generation ago. How many people get their billings, etc. through e-mail and their payments are made by computer Second, do to political factors, USPS management have NOT been able to cut down the size of their organization to respond to the lower usage. Finally the total compensation INCLUDING pensions, healthcare during and after retirement, etc, has increased substantially.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:18 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,126,238 times
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Yes, right now there are many Silent Gen (and a remaining sliver of GI Gen) and the beginning of Boomer retirees. The stats don't lie. These groups are generationally in the best financial shape of any living generations as well as several previous ones. I don't think the Lost retired anywhere near as comfortably (and we will see this scenario repeated again with both Gen X and possibly the Millies; trailing edge Boomers may or may not end up OK).
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:20 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,126,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
Someone retiring in 1950 spent the 20 years prior to retirement either in the Great Depression or WWII. It's not surprising a lot of them were poor.
Bingo. The Lost Generation were often in really bad shape when they hit retirement (assuming they didn't die prior).
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,964,817 times
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I found this most interesting:
"In 2007, of the 111 million total households, 23 million or 21% were households age 65+. Of these older households, about half were located in suburban areas. Older men were more likely to live with a spouse, while older women were more likely to live alone or with other relatives; 39% of older women lived alone compared with 19% of older men."

It goes along with what I'm projecting as a glut on housing as the tsunami of boomers and their remaining parents sell off their primary homes and seek condos, townhomes, rentals, and assisted living (and the eldest folks, nursing homes). Which is why, imo, any boomer not planning on aging in place may want to sell sooner than later, to avoid the coming glut—and relative scarcity of younger folks wanting to buy our kinds of homes (= less profit on our sale).
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:37 PM
 
29,764 posts, read 34,848,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I found this most interesting:
"In 2007, of the 111 million total households, 23 million or 21% were households age 65+. Of these older households, about half were located in suburban areas. Older men were more likely to live with a spouse, while older women were more likely to live alone or with other relatives; 39% of older women lived alone compared with 19% of older men."

It goes along with what I'm projecting as a glut on housing as the tsunami of boomers and their remaining parents sell off their primary homes and seek condos, townhomes, rentals, and assisted living (and the eldest folks, nursing homes). Which is why, imo, any boomer not planning on aging in place may want to sell sooner than later, to avoid the coming glut—and relative scarcity of younger folks wanting to buy our kinds of homes (= less profit on our sale).
Seniors need to be very selective where they live if they want to sell as you note. Growth areas with low business taxes that are attracting employers will fair better.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:28 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,223,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider
The cost of postage stamps versus inflation is a very poor comparison because in the 1950's postage was heavily subsidized. Then at some point, and I don't remember what year, Congress decided that the Postal Service was going to be a break-even operation, that is, the cost of a stamp was supposed to cover the actual cost of delivering a letter. So of course the cost of stamps went up substantially.
1970 Postal Reorganization Act?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Heavily subsidized? Probably not.
Before the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act, the USPS ran at a loss, often at 20%, for 131 of its 160 years of operation. Congress appropriated funds to make up for the shortfall.
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