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Old 08-14-2014, 08:09 PM
 
12,577 posts, read 13,321,868 times
Reputation: 8901

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
In the quoted portion of someone's post in another thread, I recently read a proposal for the guarantee of financial well-being of seniors by having the government grant every person over 65 $40,000 per year, no questions asked. And yes, married couples would get $80,000. I thought that was so completely insane that I elected to make the discussion of it a separate thread. I have objections on both the practical and the philosophical level.

On the philosophical level, how would young people (who are also voters and tax payers) feel about such a grant of a very comfortable life for every senior when many of the young people are struggling? Such a gross favoritism based on age alone ought to be objectionable to every fair-minded person. There is already quite enough inter-generational resentment without adding fuel to the fire so blatantly.

A more minor but still philosophical issue is how to justify favoring married couples over single people in such a blatant fashion. It does not cost twice as much for two people to live, not nearly so.

Moving to the practical level, how would such a massive give-away be funded? The argument that it would be funded by re-directing existing wasteful spending ignores two facts: First, how would we as a nation agree on the wasteful spending to be eliminated? People have different ideas about what constitutes the most blatant waste. Second, how would we as a nation agree on how the re-directed wasteful spending should be spent? Everyone would have a pet project, such as the massive give-away to seniors, but not everyone would agree because people would have different pet projects.

The level of proposed senior welfare funding is so high as to belong in a fantasy land. Depending on where one lives, the proposed amounts would represent an extremely comfortable way of life - New York City and a few other places excepted, of course.

If it were really possible to mandate a cushy life for all people by legislative fiat (or even for a large subset of people such as those 65 and older), someone would have found a way. But that is not possible, since there is no such thing as a free lunch when it all boils down. All experiments along those lines have ended in failure for excellent reasons, especially as draconian force would have to be involved in the ultimately hopeless task.

We don't live in a Garden of Eden where adequate fruit and other nourishment is ripe for the easy picking. And we seniors do not merit such extraordinary favoritism just by virtue of having survived to a given age.
I would like to see your math for that one. A married couple will most likely have two cars, twice the laundry, dining out is twice as much, you pay for two for entertainment, use twice as much water, and etc.
I once heard 40 million boomers are nearing retirement age. If they really wanted to lower the unemployment rate the government should give each boomer 1 million to take early retirement.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,759,876 times
Reputation: 32309
Default The answer lies in housing costs:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFW&P View Post
I would like to see your math for that one. A married couple will most likely have two cars, twice the laundry, dining out is twice as much, you pay for two for entertainment, use twice as much water, and etc.
I once heard 40 million boomers are nearing retirement age. If they really wanted to lower the unemployment rate the government should give each boomer 1 million to take early retirement.
I was married for nine years; I am now divorced and live alone. One major cost of living for almost everyone is the cost of housing. It's funny you didn't mention housing, because housing is the main reason two people can live cheaper than two times the cost for one person. A married couple, who can be assumed to be sharing a bedroom and a bed, do not need a house or apartment twice as big as either of them would require separately. Quite often, in fact, the same size house or apartment will do just fine. If I got married and a wife moved in, my present townhouse (two bedrooms plus loft, two and a half baths, two car garage) would do just fine. Lots of the identical town houses in our complex are indeed inhabited by married couples, a few of which even have children.

With cars I tend to agree with you; in many if not most cases a married couple will prefer two cars. However as people age and are on the go less, they often come to the conclusion that one car is enough. This is, after all, the Retirement Forum; if both husband and wife no longer work, then one car is more doable than if both need to commute to a job.

The other things you mention do, in fact double: laundry, water, dining out, entertainment. But all those taken together normally come to less than housing costs.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:51 AM
 
29,812 posts, read 34,900,894 times
Reputation: 11730
My personal experiences might suggest that above a certain income range a married couple could not only spend as much as two singles but in some cases more. Married couples with means are apt to have multiple houses even larger houses for guests and children. More space needs to give each other personal space etc. Retirement lifestyle and spending are very personal. Married couples have three lifestyles to support. Hers, His and theirs. Yes there is a threshold that could be lower than twice a single person but if they have the money maybe not so. Try being married to a compulsive reader with a kindle. It us what we are use to and that is probably why planners recommend a retirement income as a percentage of working income. Also in the context of this discussion a married couple retired who both worked on average probably paid twice the taxes as a comparable single over the years if not more since higher incomes result in higher tax rates. So once again we would be telling people to pay for someone else who didn't do what they did.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:28 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,212,814 times
Reputation: 22375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I was married for nine years; I am now divorced and live alone. One major cost of living for almost everyone is the cost of housing. It's funny you didn't mention housing, because housing is the main reason two people can live cheaper than two times the cost for one person. A married couple, who can be assumed to be sharing a bedroom and a bed, do not need a house or apartment twice as big as either of them would require separately. Quite often, in fact, the same size house or apartment will do just fine. If I got married and a wife moved in, my present townhouse (two bedrooms plus loft, two and a half baths, two car garage) would do just fine. Lots of the identical town houses in our complex are indeed inhabited by married couples, a few of which even have children.

With cars I tend to agree with you; in many if not most cases a married couple will prefer two cars. However as people age and are on the go less, they often come to the conclusion that one car is enough. This is, after all, the Retirement Forum; if both husband and wife no longer work, then one car is more doable than if both need to commute to a job.

The other things you mention do, in fact double: laundry, water, dining out, entertainment. But all those taken together normally come to less than housing costs.
It is true that two people can live more economically PER PERSON than a single by him/herself.

There are studies to demonstrate this, of course, but economies of scale on buying food which is prepared at home as well as with other shared household commodities, would logically be improved.

And since we are talking about retired folks, yes, many do choose to have one car rather than two.

How frugal any given couple is . . . what their preferred lifestyle is . . . those are all choices, as are expensive hobbies and interests.

We choose how to spend what money we have coming into our households. One person may be much less of a consumer than the other, but again . . . those are choices.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:08 AM
 
28,276 posts, read 39,940,610 times
Reputation: 36792
Amazing.

44 posts about a complete non-issue.

How boring are the lives of posters on the Internet.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:28 AM
 
29,812 posts, read 34,900,894 times
Reputation: 11730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Amazing.

44 posts about a complete non-issue.

How boring are the lives of posters on the Internet.
And you were number 45!
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:39 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,212,814 times
Reputation: 22375
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuborgp View Post
and you were number 45!
lololololol
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:43 PM
 
28,276 posts, read 39,940,610 times
Reputation: 36792
And you were 46 and 47!!

On the plus side our posts have more bearing on the non-issue than all the others.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:46 PM
 
29,812 posts, read 34,900,894 times
Reputation: 11730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
And you were 46 and 47!!

On the plus side our posts have more bearing on the non-issue than all the others.
Unfortunately there are really people advocating for in the real world. It starts with a 40k minimum working income and extends into old age
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,068 posts, read 83,735,637 times
Reputation: 41839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
In the quoted portion of someone's post in another thread, I recently read a proposal for the guarantee of financial well-being of seniors by having the government grant every person over 65 $40,000 per year, no questions asked. And yes, married couples would get $80,000. I thought that was so completely insane that I elected to make the discussion of it a separate thread. I have objections on both the practical and the philosophical level.

On the philosophical level, how would young people (who are also voters and tax payers) feel about such a grant of a very comfortable life for every senior when many of the young people are struggling? Such a gross favoritism based on age alone ought to be objectionable to every fair-minded person. There is already quite enough inter-generational resentment without adding fuel to the fire so blatantly.

A more minor but still philosophical issue is how to justify favoring married couples over single people in such a blatant fashion. It does not cost twice as much for two people to live, not nearly so.

Moving to the practical level, how would such a massive give-away be funded? The argument that it would be funded by re-directing existing wasteful spending ignores two facts: First, how would we as a nation agree on the wasteful spending to be eliminated? People have different ideas about what constitutes the most blatant waste. Second, how would we as a nation agree on how the re-directed wasteful spending should be spent? Everyone would have a pet project, such as the massive give-away to seniors, but not everyone would agree because people would have different pet projects.

The level of proposed senior welfare funding is so high as to belong in a fantasy land. Depending on where one lives, the proposed amounts would represent an extremely comfortable way of life - New York City and a few other places excepted, of course.

If it were really possible to mandate a cushy life for all people by legislative fiat (or even for a large subset of people such as those 65 and older), someone would have found a way. But that is not possible, since there is no such thing as a free lunch when it all boils down. All experiments along those lines have ended in failure for excellent reasons, especially as draconian force would have to be involved in the ultimately hopeless task.

We don't live in a Garden of Eden where adequate fruit and other nourishment is ripe for the easy picking. And we seniors do not merit such extraordinary favoritism just by virtue of having survived to a given ay .
by the time anything like that happens we will all be pushing up daisies.
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