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Old 03-05-2015, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Washington state
5,440 posts, read 2,764,764 times
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I keep reading that the reason people who can't afford to retire is because they made poor life choices. What, exactly, is a poor life choice?

My brother says I'm where I am today because I made a poor life decision to get a dog - in 1978. Huh? Oook, I guess he's entitled to an opinion, but still......

And something else I've noticed. It seems like no one who makes a life decision when they have money is making a poor one. It's only when they don't have money that everyone points out all their poor life choices.



There is no way for anyone to prepare for every single eventuality. Ever. Sometimes you just have to take your chances. How many people were able to afford kids and then whammo - jobs get lost, careers fail, the economy takes a hit, and suddenly the family is on welfare and food stamps and lose all the money they saved for retirement. Now we have people picking their lives apart and saying they made some poor life choices having more then __ (fill in the blank) number of children. Do you want to ban everyone from having kids until and unless they have a million bucks in the bank?
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Old 03-05-2015, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,684 posts, read 49,455,573 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
I pay a lot in taxes. I pay MORE in health insurance.... but that's not the point. those taxes pay for OUR roads, OUR police, OUR fire department, OUR library and OUR other assistance programs.

Because, let's face it, all sorts of these things are assistance, whether it's asking a librarian for help, or asking for an ambulance or asking for the police, or applying for SNAP.... it's all assistance.

Pretty much EVERYBODY uses these things. No man is an island people....
You are in Oakland, Ca.

I am from California.

You pay a lot more in your taxes for those services, than other people living in other places who have the same amount of services provided to them.

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Old 03-05-2015, 07:33 PM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,225,043 times
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Quote:
Do you want to ban everyone from having kids until and unless they have a million bucks in the bank?
Uh no. BUT,my brother has 10 kids (same wife). And he has NEVER been able to save any money. He (and his then girlfriend now wife) had 1 kid, then two, then more....and didn't have any money when they had ONE kid. Yet they kept having kids, got married and now have a total of TEN!

She has always been very jealous and destroyed one of his cars, and slashed tires on another BEFORE they even got married. They have been behind in their mortgage over the years and threatened with foreclosure proceedings a couple of times (mom bailed them out) and they're six month behind again....

Over the year he's borrowed from his 401K, co-signed for student loans for my nephew, and while ie was behind in his mortgage one time years ago -- spent money going back to school for himself (for something NOT related to his job, but something else he wanted to get into, and never has made the switch, because he couldn't AFFORD TO). He's financed furniture through Rent-a-Center, AND taken out a pay-day loan.....

....I'd say he's made some poor decisions. (A year ago, I had to talk him OUT OF taking an early retirement deal, that would have paid him LESS than his salary...because of course if he "retired: he'd have TIME to devote to his other business projects. ARRGGH!)

To me, bad DECISIONS -- are always bad decisions....it may just workout for the person, because they lucked out and while they were financially vulnerable.....nothing bad or unexpected happen to saw the financial limb off.

For example, some people would argue that it's always bad to run up your credit cards...but if you don't lose your job WHILE your paying off the debt, and until you get debt free again....it worked out. It doesn't meant the DECISION wasn't bad.....it means you were lucky!

Last edited by rdflk; 03-05-2015 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:13 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,842 posts, read 18,861,423 times
Reputation: 33748
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdflk View Post
Uh no. BUT,my brother has 10 kids (same wife). And he has NEVER been able to save any money. He (and his then girlfriend now wife) had 1 kid, then two, then more....and didn't have any money when they had ONE kid. Yet they kept having kids, got married and now have a total of TEN!

She has always been very jealous and destroyed one of his cars, and slashed tires on another BEFORE they even got married. They have been behind in their mortgage over the years and threatened with foreclosure proceedings a couple of times (mom bailed them out) and they're six month behind again....

Over the year he's borrowed from his 401K, co-signed for student loans for my nephew, and while ie was behind in his mortgage one time years ago -- spent money going back to school for himself (for something NOT related to his job, but something else he wanted to get into, and never has made the switch, because he couldn't AFFORD TO). He's financed furniture through Rent-a-Center, AND taken out a pay-day loan.....

....I'd say he's made some poor decisions. (A year ago, I had to talk him OUT OF taking an early retirement deal, that would have paid him LESS than his salary...because of course if he "retired: he'd have TIME to devote to his other business projects. ARRGGH!)

To me, bad DECISIONS -- are always bad decisions....it may just workout for the person, because they lucked out and while they were financially vulnerable.....nothing bad or unexpected happen to saw the financial limb off.

For example, some people would argue that it's always bad to run up your credit cards...but if you don't lose your job WHILE your paying off the debt, and until you get debt free again....it worked out. It doesn't meant the DECISION wasn't bad.....it means you were lucky!
Now THERE are some "poor choices" and "bad decisions" that actually were poor choices and bad decisions.
I have to say I have never heard of anything quite that bad before--wow.

Those two expressions are ubiquitous these days. I never heard them before until I started reading the bashing threads, not especially in the retirement forum but on those financial forums. It's as if they stereotype people and use those words on them as soon as they hear they they person has financial problems.

But I don't think most people are as irresponsible as your brother. He'll need a lot of good luck to get out of that rut but he doesn't seem to be very conscious of how to live a normal lifestyle. If we were discussing bad decisions and poor choices he would deserve to get some bashing. Bash away!!

To return to a theme that some were discussing, about basic finance being taught in school, we were taught back in 6th grade, in the days of the dinosaurs. We learned about compound interest, loans, banking--in fact in those days we all had our own bank accounts and a certain day of the week was banking day. On that day everybody brought their bank book to school and a little bit of money from their parents. The teacher did the banking for us while we stood in line at her desk.

For some reason that's not done anymore. But we sure learned to save and we took pride in seeing our little bank accounts grow. I know I've always been highly aware of interest rates and credit cards ripping you off--maybe it's because of what we learned in school. But also I came from a frugal family with parents who had made it through the Great Depression so I am just naturally frugal. Still that doesn't guarantee that you'll be wealthy--there can still be cruel surprises that no one can possibly prepare for.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:32 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,435 posts, read 1,669,408 times
Reputation: 8693
Poor choices and bad decisions vary for everyone and may be lucky or unlucky depending on how you look at it.

We had credit card debt when younger, nothing earth shattering, but we could not get in front of it. I was looking at a surgery and possible time off of work for an extended time. We took out a loan from DH's 401k, which is always frowned upon sternly from financial gurus as a big no-no. It was a preemptive move for a just in case scenario; I was scared and panicking. As it turned out, we didn't need the money, I returned to work quicker than expected and paid off our credit debt with that 401k money and put the rest into savings for our six month emergency fund. Doing that allowed us to get out from under the credit cycle. We paid the 401k loan off later and that money wasn't invested during that time period. I'm sure there are better ways to get that same result, but it worked for us and put us on the path to better financial stability.

I have made other poor choices and bad decisions that turned into their opposite in the end, and what I thought were good choices and decisions that ended up going wrong. The stats and odds may point in one direction, but there are too many variables for a one-size-fits-all answer. No one has a crystal ball, but everyone has perfect 20/20 hindsight.

Last edited by jean_ji; 03-05-2015 at 08:55 PM..
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:52 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,842 posts, read 18,861,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean_ji View Post
Poor choices and bad decisions vary for everyone and may be lucky or unlucky depending on how you look at it. We had credit card debt when younger, nothing earth shattering, but we could not get in front of it. I was looking at a surgery and possible time off of work for an extended time. We took out a loan from DH's 401k, which is always frowned upon sternly from financial gurus as a big no-no. It was a preemptive move as a just in case scenario; I was scared and panicking. As it turned out, we didn't need the money, I returned to work quicker than expected and paid off our credit debt with that 401k money and put the rest into savings for our six month emergency fund. Doing that allowed us to get out from under the credit cycle. We paid the 401k loan off later and that money want invested during that time period. I'm sure there are better ways to get that same result, but it worked for us and put us on the path to better financial stability.

I have made other poor choices and bad decisions that turned into their opposite in the end and what I thought were good choices and decisions that went wrong. The stats and odds may point in one direction, but there are too many variables for a one-size-fits-all answer.
jean_ji, I meant to say it before but your posts about Florida and your grandchildren are a joy to read. I've never seen you bashing anyone for being less well off either. I just wanted to say that.
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my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:11 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,435 posts, read 1,669,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
jean_ji, I meant to say it before but your posts about Florida and your grandchildren are a joy to read. I've never seen you bashing anyone for being less well off either. I just wanted to say that.
Thanks! If I was still in the North I would be loving the snow and here I'm loving the heat. The other choice, hating it all, takes too much energy. As my grandaughter had to keep reminding me, when I moved here: "Mamma, we don't hate!!" I was surprised and disappointed in myself to realize how many times I was using the word hate. Now I just strongly dislike some things and life seems even better.

I have a brother and sister who both were married/divorced a few times and will have tougher retirements because of that, so I have sympathy for others in similar retirement shape. Bad choices or good is very subjective here. I stayed married all these years but changed jobs many times while my siblings stayed with their original employers. If you took our work history at face value, you might think they would be better off with a more stable wo rk history without knowing our marital status. This is one example of when people think they know all the answers and can't resist judging others without all the information. There really are too many variables to pigeon-hole everyone, but that doesn't stop people from trying. I don't hate these people, I just strongly dislike them.

Last edited by jean_ji; 03-05-2015 at 09:49 PM..
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:17 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,194,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
asking where are those that don't have enough to retire is a very vague statement . retire when and where is the question ?

retiring at 62 takes alot more money than at 70. few americans are really prepared to retire at 62 although many think they are, reality says nay nay. they usually end up with a very financially stressed life sweating every unexpected bill and never living their wants and dreams for retirement.

working longer is the great fixer:

not only is the social security check almost 2x larger but:

you do not spend down for 8 years from savings

you may be adding to savings

your savings and investments are still compounding

you have 8 years of life less to support .

much less is needed from savings at 70 with almost 2x the ss check

there is a huge difference between having enough at 62 and having enough at 70.

most folks will have to work longer if they can and they will be just fine.

perhaps we should change the name and call 70 full retirement age and everything else is just called early retirement.

waiting to retire is the biggest boost anyone can give to their retirement plan.

retirement is a priveledge not a right and there is nothing that says at a certain age you just do not work anymore.

retirement is letting your money work for you as opposed to you working for your money anymore. so you need a way to let that happen and waiting to retire may be the answer where health is not a factor.
Overflowing with financial advice for others, but can not personally afford capital letters or punctuation.
Don't mean to be the grammar Nazi, but unable to read such poorly constructed posts. YMMV
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:20 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
all ? You can't find any time i ever said that. All is never the case. EVEN I AM NOT WAITING UNTIL 70.
Yes, I know!
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:31 PM
 
2,038 posts, read 1,948,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia 100 View Post
I think we aren't doing enough to educate the young about the need to set aside a small amount monthly, into a tax-advantaged account, with a diversified, low-cost portfolio. You don't let a commissioned advisor take his cut off the top. You don't raid it when you change jobs, get laid off, run up your credit cards, or want a vacation. You don't stop contributing because you want to spend that money on X instead. You need that money, so just do it.

If you invest $100 per month starting at age 25 and enjoy a 7% return, you will have $239,562.13 at age 65. Not a fortune, but good for an extra $800 per month of income. Along with your SS benefits, you can cover your basic living costs. Not glamorous, but so much better than not being able to cover them.
I completely agree that financial education in terms of investments and staying out of debt should be a mandatory class as important as physical education or math and it is just amazing why it's not an important part of the curriculum.
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