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Old 09-05-2014, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,058 times
Reputation: 6866

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYBob View Post
First of all, this thread isn't about the poor and the elderly, its about the large portion of people, 31% who have no retirement savings.

Let me shine a little light on one of those that makes up the 31%.

I live in a retirement community and one of my neighbors who lives down the street has a son who will be forty by the end of the year. He is a profesional in the performing arts and performs at venues around the world. His work is sporatic and when he is not working he stays with his father rent free. He likes to play golf and does that on an almost daily basis. He also leases a 4 series BMW (monthly payments $700-$800). The other day we were sitting around talking and he just happened to mention that he had nothing saved for retirement and that he probably should start thinking about it.

I know this is just one person and that there are some people who are not in a position to put aside savings, but I would be willing to bet there are three people who could for every person who couldn't.
LOL. I could provide anecdotal evidence of at least three people who could not save for every person who could. But I don't live in a retirement community, I live in the real world.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:10 AM
 
71,520 posts, read 71,694,121 times
Reputation: 49105
on the other hand i can provide 3 who did for every one who didn't. it all depends who is surveyed. considering 1/2 the country always earns so little they don't even pay income tax after deductions,exemptions and credits the rest of the population has a far greater success rate.

that 1/2 never had savings so to throw them in to a survey about retirement savings is like discussing the odds of a pygmy playing pro basketball. they just dilute the efforts statistically of all the others who are saving.

how about fidelity and vanguard who manage over 20 million retirement accounts say the median balance for those over 55 who contribute from 1/2 to max to their 401k's over at least 10 years have a median balance of around 300k
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:08 AM
 
188 posts, read 170,586 times
Reputation: 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
LOL. I could provide anecdotal evidence of at least three people who could not save for every person who could. But I don't live in a retirement community, I live in the real world.
Just curious, could you please explain to me how your world is any more real than mine?
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Objection, your honor!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
LOL. I could provide anecdotal evidence of at least three people who could not save for every person who could. But I don't live in a retirement community, I live in the real world.
Although I do not live in a retirement community either and have no desire to do so, I abhor the dehumanization and attempted marginalization of any group of people by designation them as "unreal". I find it objectionable in the extreme. People who are not part of some presumed statistical majority situation do not "live in the real world"???

Even the implication that people in retirement communities are somehow a small enough group to be considered "unreal" is questionable. There must be a lot of people living in them because there seem to be thousands upon thousands of them all over the country.

The world is wide and varied; there are all kinds of groups, both small and large, distinguished by all sorts of categories: religious, educational, occupational, political (by way of example, not exclusion). They ALL live in the "real world" except for the mentally ill who are delusional and think aliens from outer space are hiding behind every bush or that they are Napoleon or Jesus Christ. Perhaps we might even include the 40-year-old who still lives with mommy and daddy and who is provided with every need and feels no pressure to make his or her own way in the world because that person is isolated from the essential reality that there is no free lunch, that lunch comes from our own achievements. (In that case, lunch is coming from mommy and daddy's own achievements.)

The world of an actor or actress who travels with an itinerate theatre troupe is very different from my personal world, but their world is no less "real". It would be pretty easy to multiply that theatre troupe example by 100. "Different" is not the same as "not real". And the unstated implication of "not real" is to marginalize and dehumanize.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,058 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
<snip>
Petulant self-centeredness represents a major risk to the poor elderly. As more and more Americans care more and more just for themselves, the reasonable measures toward supporting a sufficient social safety neat are endangered.
There comes a time when you need to accept that you're beating a dead horse. I agree with everything you have written on this thread, but, until now, have refrained from commenting. There is no need to respond to every childish remark. Try to rise above it. Provide facts as needed and/or state your opinion then move on. I learned a long time ago that you don't "win" an argument by having the last word.

If you want to advocate for the less fortunate than you need to take your argument to a different audience, one that you can find both online and offline. The younger generations tend to harness social media to spread the word, for example, here's an issue that is being raised via twitter, facebook and youtube. https://twitter.com/NatlDebt_WeCare As a member of the Boomer generation who has spent years advocating on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised I continue to reach out to others using the "boots on the ground" strategy. I sit down with an "audience" of one or two younger colleagues (or friends, family members) and state the facts along with my concerns. They, in turn, will hopefully spread the same message to THEIR family and friends.

I guess what I'm trying to say is you have chosen the wrong audience to spread your message. In the grand scheme of things, the opinions of the retirement forum participants are irrelevant in determining how national policy will eventually play out.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,058 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
on the other hand i can provide 3 who did for every one who didn't. it all depends who is surveyed. considering 1/2 the country always earns so little they don't even pay income tax after deductions,exemptions and credits the rest of the population has a far greater success rate.

that 1/2 never had savings so to throw them in to a survey about retirement savings is like discussing the odds of a pygmy playing pro basketball. they just dilute the efforts statistically of all the others who are saving.

how about fidelity and vanguard who manage over 20 million retirement accounts say the median balance for those over 55 who contribute from 1/2 to max to their 401k's over at least 10 years have a median balance of around 300k
Believe it or not, I agree with your observation.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:39 AM
 
71,520 posts, read 71,694,121 times
Reputation: 49105
you should, it is a fact
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:08 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,751 posts, read 7,030,085 times
Reputation: 14250
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYBob View Post
First of all, this thread isn't about the poor and the elderly, its about the large portion of people, 31% who have no retirement savings.

Let me shine a little light on one of those that makes up the 31%.

I live in a retirement community and one of my neighbors who lives down the street has a son who will be forty by the end of the year. He is a profesional in the performing arts and performs at venues around the world. His work is sporatic and when he is not working he stays with his father rent free. He likes to play golf and does that on an almost daily basis. He also leases a 4 series BMW (monthly payments $700-$800). The other day we were sitting around talking and he just happened to mention that he had nothing saved for retirement and that he probably should start thinking about it.

I know this is just one person and that there are some people who are not in a position to put aside savings, but I would be willing to bet there are three people who could for every person who couldn't.
And I don't suppose it might be too much to expect this "free spirit" to put a little of that money he makes away for his own future? Considering that he lets his father subsidize his life style, you think he really figures that John Q will take care of him in his old age when he's too old to perform any more?

Seems to me he's made his own choices with his lifestyle, and should destitution come knocking at his door, it'd be the consequences of his own decisions. So I hope he does start thinking about retirement, and more than that, does something about it.

Oh, and most of the folks I know who perform professionally in the arts ( ie, dance, music) subsidize their own expenses by taking other part-time jobs, and teach in their arts as well. They do this, they say, "to pay the bills, obtain health insurance, save for retirement, and so on.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:35 AM
 
9,191 posts, read 9,269,502 times
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This is hardly a typical example. But it is an example of people who are/were close friends of ours. A and B were a typical young married couple. They had both been to college and A was making a good living for a man in his thirties working for a local hospital. B was able to stay at home and raise their two children---or so she thought.

Than, A turned 40 years old and out of the blue was struck by Multiple Schlerosis or MS. Within a year, he couldn't work. His case of MS was particularly aggressive. He suffered from the disease for 19 years before dying just before his 60th birthday. B literally had to dress him, provide his personal care, and move him around in a wheelchair for most of the 19 years.

Save money??

This couple had to obtain SSDI and than move in with his parents. B took a succession of jobs and worked nights to finish a college degree. She also operated a business on the side which she struggled with for a variety of reasons. The business did generate some income, but it wasn't much. Between the SSDI, the income from her business, a part time job, and living with his folks, they generated just enough income to get by.

At age 60, B finds herself a widow who is in debt up to her ears. Her own health isn't good. She is overweight and before anyone jumps on her for that, try to imagine the difficulty of exercising and eating right when you were under the strain she was under for 19 years.

People fit into all kinds of circumstances. This situation is not remotely comparable with one where someone has opportunities and chooses to squander them over a long period of time. However, people like this are very real and do exist. I find the libertarian notion that such people should be left to sink or swim downright hateful and offensive. I cannot respect someone on either an intellectual or personal level who believes that.

This woman had no opportunity to save for retirement. Its just that simple.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:57 AM
 
8,843 posts, read 5,126,299 times
Reputation: 10101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
on the other hand i can provide 3 who did for every one who didn't. it all depends who is surveyed. considering 1/2 the country always earns so little they don't even pay income tax after deductions,exemptions and credits the rest of the population has a far greater success rate.

that 1/2 never had savings so to throw them in to a survey about retirement savings is like discussing the odds of a pygmy playing pro basketball. they just dilute the efforts statistically of all the others who are saving.

how about fidelity and vanguard who manage over 20 million retirement accounts say the median balance for those over 55 who contribute from 1/2 to max to their 401k's over at least 10 years have a median balance of around 300k
You keep mentioning this, and it seems that you are assuming the 50% are the same people year after year. I don't think that is true.

For example, a young professional who earns 50k, has a SAH spouse, a 150k mortgage, and 2 small children will not pay any federal income tax. But over the years, the professional will advance and earn more. The children will grow up, the spouse may return to work. The mortgage is (hopefully) being paid down. This person will not go through their entire life being one of the 50% who do not pay any federal income tax.

This describes a whole lot of people. Why shouldn't we include them in retirement savings statistics?
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