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Old 08-12-2014, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,534,315 times
Reputation: 27566

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post

I guess I have a different take on all of this. Bottom line is there are way too many variables and different situations to point at people and tell them they are dumb for not having a ton of money in the bank.
I don't think anyone did that. And that story was one I posted about what a coworker said to me when I announced my early retirement. Something about it must have hit hard with him. He was 64 and didn't have retirement even on the radar because he said he had no money saved. He did have a pension but his wife wanted to move back up north where it was pretty expensive and his pension alone couldn't afford. I felt sorry for him because I sensed that he regretted where he was at 64.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:27 AM
 
4,539 posts, read 4,838,757 times
Reputation: 3481
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
I don't think anyone did that. And that story was one I posted about what a coworker said to me when I announced my early retirement. Something about it must have hit hard with him. He was 64 and didn't have retirement even on the radar because he said he had no money saved. He did have a pension but his wife wanted to move back up north where it was pretty expensive and his pension alone couldn't afford. I felt sorry for him because I sensed that he regretted where he was at 64.

I dont get early retirement. I love my job, why would I quit just to walk around the house in pajamas unshaven and waiting for the early bird special.

Up North is not expensive. If you are retired you dont have to live in trendy Manhattan or Brooklyn, you can just pick a surburb nearby and with no kids and schools not a worry pick one with lower property taxes and pay cash. Or just buy a coop or condo that is age restricted 55+ where you usually get a break on school taxes.

Sure the middle of nowhere is cheaper, but if the carry costs of lets say $1,000 a month in NY for a small property is too much you most likely cant retire much down South.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Seattle Area
1,716 posts, read 1,589,579 times
Reputation: 4125
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevek64 View Post
The only thing I strongly believe in is for people who haven't planned for retirement financially, they shouldn't come looking for others to support their poor decision if they feel they didn't save enough for it. Though the tide appears to certainly have turned against my viewpoint.
Assuming you mean beyond SS/Medicare etc? If so, that's fair. There are lots of private programs to help people who didn't save enough through food banks etc. But in the end, if they wind up on the street, they do become your problem and expense in one way or another, even if they don't ask for assistance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dysgenic View Post
I think those that have stolen this countries economic vitality should be the one's that pay the freight. The banks, large corporations, insurance companies, and the Federal Reserve.
Not the people.
Great point and they could do so much if they wanted to. Maybe the tide will turn and they will feel more responsible in the ***...lol I almost got thorugh it without laughing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
That is no reason for sending the kids to a private college that he couldn't afford instead of a public one or pay for his kids to have weddings that none of them could afford.

Send the kids to public school and refuse to pay for the wedding. If the kids want a more expensive wedding they should work for it. What ever happened to working hard to earn what you want?

I'm not against parents giving gifts when they can do so without endangering themselves, but in that case it was unwise at the least, and an expensive wedding is neither a necessity nor something you need to have a good marriage nor something anyone is entitled to have.
But those were the decisions he made, based on his values. He was not concerned with the retirement that may or may not happen. If being able to do those things made him happy and brought joy to his life, I think he did the right thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Oh, someone always posts such nonsense...as if there's no happy medium between "living life to the fullest" and "scrimping and saving for an early death".

Hey, I'm cool with people doing whatever they want. But don't whine and complain at 64 that you only have a skimpy Social Security check to live on and that life/America isn't fair and/or vote for other people to subsidize you in old age....and that's usually what happens. Almost no one who's old with no money says..."I lived life to the fullest and now I'm broke in old age as a result and I am good with that and don't expect any more than the measly SS check I live on.". Just. Doesn't. Happen.
Nonsense because it is a different view than yours? Or maybe nonsense because it doesn't fit your definition of how to handle ones affairs? I can't speak for others that "whine" as you claim. But for me, I'll remove myself from this earth if I ever get to that point and see nothing wrong with it. I haven't suffered or done without a single day of my life and i won't start when I'm old. Retirement is the reward for a life of hard work to many, but to me it is a failure. the beginning of the end. What a miserable time when your health is not what it once was and now you can travel because you sacrificed all your life. Great, woo hoo winner winner chicken dinner. the great irony is that i have to listen to people like you whine about how well you have prepared for retirement and how you sure hope you don't have to help anyone else. Brilliant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Most people can save 10% of their income off the top without really changing their basic lifestyle (and it's really not even 10% if it's going into a tax advantaged 401K because of the tax savings). Shop a little smarter at the grocery store. Spend time researching the stuff you buy (instead of just going out and randomly buying it). Less impulse buying. Most people who spend everything they make blow money on stuff that isn't even making them happy. They have closets full of clothes they almost never wear, etc. (Heck, even I have clothes I almost never wear and everyone considers me frugal!)

Your basic assumption that people who spend everything they make to "live life to it's fullest" is fundamentally incorrect. It just proves that you are like most humans. You are bad at predicting what will make you happy (as psychologists who study happiness have learned). Our brains aren't wired for happiness....they're wired for short term survival (which is nothing like happiness).

.....Most of the research on consumer finance shows the same thing: people can usually save a lot more if they make saving a priority. Most people don't. Savings is an afterthought--it's the residual of whatever hasn't been spent on clothes, groceries, cars, dinners out, school trips, travel soccer team, college tuition, vacation, etc. Unsurprisingly, there's frequently no residual. However, if people decide how much to save, and then budget their consumption out of what is left, they suddenly realize that they could drive an uglier car, take the kids out of dance class, live with the kitchen the way it is, stay home for a week in August instead of going to Disneyworld, and so forth. And those people are not, as you might think prospectively, made desperately unhappy by these sacrifices. Savers are actually happier than the general population--in part, one assumes, because they're less worried.
You missed the point. its not that i can save or not save 10% or 30%. Its that some people choose to not save for retirement. They don't want to drive an ugly car, they want a new kitchen, a trip etc. in other words, they wanted to live today, not worry about a retirement that may or may not happen. People like you think you have the great balance and have lived a great life and still saved. Was there never anything you wanted , but didn't buy because you wanted to save? How about a trip you always wanted, but it was too expensive? Did you ever want a newer and nicer car, but the price was too much? I'm betting the answer is yes, and if so then you sacrificed. This issue comes down to some people not wanting to sacrifice today, for something that might happen tomorrow. Its a bet, some will win, some will lose. But if you spend a lot and indulge every wish now, and then die two weeks before your retirement, you win. Same with if your health is not what it was 30 years ago and countless other scenarios. Some people choose to take that risk. You make a ton of assumptions to support your point and that's great for your point. But to be so bold as to assert that my decision is flawed and incorrect is asinine. You bet on retirement, i hop its great for you. I bet on enjoying everyday without a thought about retirement. If I die early or get sick, i win. if you live long and have a long retirement, you still lose IMO because you are old and life just isn't the same for 70 year olds as for those in their 30's.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Exactly.

Iím really surprised at some of the things people are saying here and all the assumptions being thrown around. Most people I know that have all their retirement figured out, live some of the most boring and empty lives. I mean, why do people sacrifice so much during the healthy and young parts of their lives for when they are 70 years old or older (if they even live that long).

Personally, I know people that live check to check and will never have anything saved up. They have tried to improve their situation, but life can be rough and most just give in and live day to day and worry about tomorrow when it gets there. You donít think that bothers them? You donít think these people know they have nothing saved for their future or that they have no cushion in case of a layoff or other financial emergency?

I myself grew up in a VERY poor family and put myself through college. I had children at a young age and even though my spouse and myself have college degrees, things have not always been easy. I was laid off and my savings wiped out during the recession. Our credit card debt at one time was close to 90k!! Most of which was for renovating a house and taking a chance at starting a business, and yea, we still traveled, went to lots of sporting events, bought new cars.

But you know what? No regrets.

We still lived life, took vacations etc.

Why? Even in our 40ís, we are seeing health issues creep up on us and just donít feel like doing what we used to do. I am still as active as ever, but I know that in another 10-20 years, that will change. Iím glad we enjoyed life as much as we could while we could. No matter what, I tried to balance saving with enjoying life.

Today we are fully recovered, have no credit card debt, own a home that has plenty of equity etc, have some money in savings etc. I only save what my employer matches on 401k. We have pensions (not like the old ones of course), will have SS and that business I started will probably generate some sort of income till I die. But thatís just it. Life IS short. I am just not one of these people that looks forward to retiring. Why do people count down the days till they retire? I have seen people in their 20ís that just canít wait till they retire. Really? People actually want their lives to just pass them by like that?

Even though we make good money now, my kids are on their own for college. I will help them some, but I find no reason to just pay for it for them. I don't want to go into debt to help and I'm teaching them that they don't have to. My oldest is planning to do community college the first two years. He is super smart and will probably come out of college making six figures and very little debt because not just blowing 100k on a four year school even though we have nothing saved for college.

I guess I have a different take on all of this. Bottom line is there are way too many variables and different situations to point at people and tell them they are dumb for not having a ton of money in the bank.
Perfectly stated.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,614 posts, read 17,589,896 times
Reputation: 27682
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Exactly. And more people are waking up to the reality that consumerism is a ball and chain and that "retirement" and old age are not necessarily synonymous.

The math has already been worked out. Someone with a 50% after tax savings rate can be financially independent in 17 years. A good chunk of the top 20% earners could be financially independent in their 40s or earlier if they really wanted to be. But very few are.

The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement
A number of "$50,000 take home" was used. Here in Indiana, that would equate to a gross salary between $68k-$70k, with about $2100/month to live on after savings at a 50% savings rate. That's a decent, but no-frills lifestyle, and only one county in the whole state has a median HHI above that.

My hometown in TN has a median HHI of only $30k. How are people making this low of an income (and half are below this $30k) supposed to save anywhere close to 50% of net income? Truth is, they can't, and that bottom 25% is probably really struggling just to have enough to eat, keep the lights on, and other basics.

There are vast, vast portions of society who make too little for the 50% advice to be of any use. Most people simply don't make enough, even with very responsible spending, to save 50% of their take home.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,763 posts, read 7,043,834 times
Reputation: 14300
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
And there you have it.My parents, for example, qualify for all sorts of senior services, including home assessment that allows for additional insulation, possibly new windows (now that program may not be in place, but 10 years ago, they qualified for it when it was in place and refused to take advantage of it). Same for Meals on Wheels, senior transport services, etc.

Why do they refuse? Because they feel it is morally wrong to accept subsidized services when they can figure out a way to pay for those services out of pocket. And most of all, they believe you make your own way and if that means "doing without" - then you do without. They will "do without" while still tithing to their church, b/c to them, that is what it means to be a responsible human being.

You "give back" to your community and you don't ever "take away" anything that you can either scrape up the money to pay for yourself or forego. And their peers are very much of the same mindset.

I grew up hearing my father recite "Esse Quam Videri" - our state motto. "To be rather than to seem (to be)."

You have what you have worked to have . . . and you make do with what you have. You don't live over your means and you don't take more than you give, and you give your fair share, for as long as you are able to give.

Not many folks think that way these days, but that IS what NC used to be like, anyway.
That about sums it up, Ani, and very well stated. It's our philosophy too, even though we don't live in NC . With regard to this perspective, we worked and saved, lived within our means and did without when we needed to, all our lives. We planned for our retirement and the way we wanted to spend it. We never had any assumptions that could always fall back on free government programs if we failed to provide for ourselves, the assumption is that we'll find a way, one way or the other, and go without if the need arises. I admit I never say never in regards to anything, and if we literally faced starvation with no resources available I doubt I'd turn down any help I could get, but that route is not part of any alternative plans we have.

Part of that philosophy, at least IMO is that you take care of your own if they are truly in need. We provide some financial, and other assistance to my mother ( almost 88 yrs) to try and help her stretch the SS she gets- she's about outlived her retirement savings, and we've also supported our daughter to help her get through a life-threatening illness and back on her feet. We've had to do without at times to provide this assistance, but we do it out of love and I'm glad to be able to do it. We contribute to charities of our choice when we can, those that we believe really do help those in need.

It's a lousy commentary on our society, IMO, when you point out the sad reality that not many people embrace and live the concept of self-reliance these days. I can understand that when any concepts or ideologies are drilled into an individual or group from the time they are children, and reinforced by society, that's what they'll embrace and they'll look at any other concepts suspiciously, because they don't understand them. Seems the liberal ideology that one must depend on the state/government all his/her needs, and the concept that the individual is helpless on his own, must rely on others to get anywhere, and any failures on his part can be blamed on "others' has become entrenched in our society. So all too many people assume that the government, or "others" will take care of them so they need make no efforts on their own to take care of themselves. And that others will provide them with anything they want in addition to their needs.

It's human nature, I guess, but it still frosts me when I hear or read disparaging remarks about self-reliance or self-sufficiency by those who've embraced the liberal "the government will provide" mentality, and their handlers who perpetuate these ideas. Especially as those remarks come along with their hands in our pockets, demanding that we "share" what we've worked for, believing they're entitled to it. And even when we do so, it's never enough, and we're STILL inherently the bad guys.

Ok, off my soapbox now.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:32 PM
 
2,000 posts, read 1,190,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Most people can save 10% of their income off the top without really changing their basic lifestyle (and it's really not even 10% if it's going into a tax advantaged 401K because of the tax savings). Shop a little smarter at the grocery store. Spend time researching the stuff you buy (instead of just going out and randomly buying it). Less impulse buying. Most people who spend everything they make blow money on stuff that isn't even making them happy. They have closets full of clothes they almost never wear, etc. (Heck, even I have clothes I almost never wear and everyone considers me frugal!)
(to the bolded) NO WAY.
Most people cannot put away 10% of their incomes. Many people have a hard time even paying for basic living expenses (transportation, food, insurance, healthcare).
Most people who 'spend everything' are 'spending everything' on basic living necessesities.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Bretagne, FRANCE
194 posts, read 219,263 times
Reputation: 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Here, allow me to assist you with that:

Let me google that for you
Clearly he was a well-regarded singer.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:39 PM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,624,165 times
Reputation: 4358
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysgenic View Post
(to the bolded) no way.
Most people cannot put away 10% of their incomes. Many people have a hard time even paying for basic living expenses (transportation, food, insurance, healthcare).
Most people who 'spend everything' are 'spending everything' on basic living necessities.
^^^this
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,534,315 times
Reputation: 27566
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysgenic View Post
(to the bolded) NO WAY.
Most people cannot put away 10% of their incomes. Many people have a hard time even paying for basic living expenses (transportation, food, insurance, healthcare).
Most people who 'spend everything' are 'spending everything' on basic living necessesities.
Not quite true. They are sinking their money into housing and retirement accounts leaving them little to no discretionary money.


The Wealthy-Hand-to-Mouth
About one-third of American households Ė around 38 million Ė live hand-to-mouth, although a majority of them are not technically poor because they have assets, albeit illiquid ones, and they respond to stimulus policies in much the same way as those with no assets.
..
The research shows that around one-third of all US households live hand-to-mouth (around 38 million households in 2010, based on 117 million households in 2010, Census Bureau), and of that group, over two-thirds are indeed wealthy-hand-to-mouth.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:53 PM
 
26,129 posts, read 28,521,132 times
Reputation: 24844
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Calling people Amoral only serves to continue the ideological gulf tearing the country apart. It certainly doesn't help people to forge a common bond and thus provide something moving the social net forward. You get in your dig and they come right back with legislation cutting services and taxes. Enjoy but if you think you are advancing the cause of the poor in many states check their legislative agendas. So when the NY Times slams North Carolina and all of my Liberal friends ask me how can I live there, I see the NC legislative respond with something else to tick the Liberals elsewhere off. Water shutoffs in Detroit and this poisoned climate of class warfare only makes some on the other side chuckle and laugh with glee. Doubt it check out right wing talk radio and then call in left wing talk radio and complain. Have a good time and go at it. Millions of others are on both sides of the divided aisle do. How ever those in the middle trying to see the reason and reality of our situation only shake their heads and wonder if our collective future can survive.
Couldn't rep you for this one, so here it is
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