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Old 03-05-2015, 11:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fumbling View Post
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.
I would agree. Though, I suspect that most kid's would still just model what they see their parents doing.
i think this sort of financial judgment needs to originate from parental figures.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:27 AM
 
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I think I may be one of those people....... I have been alone now for 12 years since my husband left me after 37 years together (started in HS at age 15). He was and still is a very intelligent guy and has a Master's in Financial Services. He handled all of our taxes and retirement issues..... seemed reasonable since he was well qualified. I didn't worry about retirement because he had it all planned out. I worked during our marriage, sometimes full time and often part time. I was home with our kids and also helped him build his business. When he did our taxes, he always took everything off of my income he could---often times my income then figured out to nearly zero, which is what he said was best. I don't know how social security bases income reported----is it from what you report on income tax forms? I look at my accounting now and am so confused---I could have sworn I earned a lot more than what they list, but have no records to prove it.

Anyway, I am considering applying for social security now even though I am 64 and fra for me is 66, as I still receive a small alimony check and the extra would help so much. I have not been able to work for almost 15 years due to injuries and illness, but never qualified for SSDI because of poor earnings. I have been able to make a little money when buying/selling 2 homes and I live very frugally. I have put everything I could into savings, but know there is next to nothing to be earned from that or my CD's/IRA's now, yet am very afraid to try investing. I have an old car and a small house, both paid for. I will have about $1,000 a month to live on. I am scared.

I have tried to investigate cheaper places to live. I had huge health insurance costs for much of my single years (paid over $800 a mo. for last year until ACA) so haven't been able to save as much as I'd like. It all depends on health for me. If I don't have a big illness, or huge expense, I think I can make it ok until in my 80's as far as money goes, if I am very, very careful. That's a BIG "if". I don't know what else to do. I figure if all else fails, I can try to find a roommate (scary thought for a single old lady) or take a reverse mortgage. But again, even with reverse mortgage, if I were to get ill and have to go into care for longer than 90 days, I think I could lose my home.

Sometimes I just want to hide away. I am sick most of the time so don't have the social life I'd love to have---no energy. Thank goodness for my 2 dogs!!! And I am far more fortunate than many people I know about my age (single women dumped in midlife and with health problems). I try to remember to be grateful every day for what I DO have----but it's really hard not to worry. I've tried to sell things but haven't had much luck. I do have a basically good life in a safe place with enough to eat etc. Wish it weren't so lonely. So that's my story. At one point I was young, vivacious, very smart, talented etc. Now it seems I'm a "useless" old lady----never, ever imagined it would turn out like this. But I keep going from day to day, try to enjoy as much as I can, take what opportunities I can for friendship etc. What else can I do? I have 2 kids I seldom hear from and grandkids---and please believe me when I say that I am NOT negative around them and try to be fun and happy and accommodating----but they are busy with their lives. (Not an uncommon complaint, from what I understand.) I was happy in my marriage and never dreamed I'd wind up alone and in slim financial circumstances, but that's what happens. As so many others have noted, you can make good plans but life happens---illness, divorce, job loss, etc. It can happen to anyone. Sorry for such a long post. And I really don't mean to complain---as I said, I do realize I have it better than so many do....... I enjoy reading and sometimes posting on CD---it's a lifeline I would hate to lose.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:44 AM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fumbling View Post
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.

when it comes to our diets there are all kinds of official guidelines out there. every labal tells us all about the product and what we should be getting a day as max amounts.

but when it comes to finances there are no real official guidlines , not for saving or spending.

most folks do not know how to spend. they have no idea how much to allocate for housing , a car , food etc.

when it comes to investing and planning most do even worse as few wnat to know , do know or will even pay for advice.

the average american has more interest in sports than their own financial lives.

so what they do is run on myth , mis-information from other ill informed people and fly by the seat of their pants.

you see it right here in these forums daily.

but getting back to this thread , the thread started out out asking how do people retire who really can't afford to retire.


the fact is i see lots of dancing around the subject but little flow of actual information about how to , other than the fact someone retired early for some reason whether by choice or not and they afforded to retire .

the only message i see conveyed is if you cheapen your lifestyle enough and move to some remote place you may not want to live you can survive.

but i think the op had something alot different in their mind when they asked this question. obviously you can pitch a tent in the woods and make do on near nothing but i think the op was looking for ideas about the mechanics of improving their situation and not how others retired early because they didn't want to work longer or couldn't work longer.


the op is working , not disabled and not already retired and alive so the what if folks are really not offering much help with what if i die at 71 , what if i get disabled , what if i can't find a job, what if i hate my job . better yet what if a giant astroid hits us and games over anyway.

you can't plan or come up with ideas based on what if's, .

you can only take the info that is given and work with that . if at some point that info changes , well than the plan changes but you deal with that at some point.

my answer to the op's question is read charlie ellis's book i mentioned. it has lots of great facts , information and ideas just for those folks who think retirement is a pipe dream.

in fact i like charlie's idea very much that 70 should be called full retirement age and everything else early retirement.

that way all the millions of working folks who have no options in view for an earlier retirement at least feel better about the fact they may have to work longer like it or not as long as that is an option.

on so many levels working longer can be that light at the end of the tunnel for millions . most folks are not even aware how great the benefits are to them if they do have to work longer and that in itself makes the impossible very possible.


so noooooooooooo i am not telling everyone to work until 70 but i am saying in response to the op's question working longer can be one of the most powerful things you can do to improve that situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
When anyone typically posts anything about having enough to retire on, it appears everyone on this board has enough, whether through pensions, double social security checks or larger portfolios. Yet statistically, many more people do not have enough to retire.

So how is it we never hear from them? Does the subject matter of this forum "Retirement" only attract people who are in a position to retire? Are there not people on here who would like to retire, but feel they can't? Are they afraid to speak up, or are they just not interested in the subject matter so they never come on this forum?

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-06-2015 at 02:32 AM..
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:57 AM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,874 posts, read 18,888,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
when it comes to our diets there are all kinds of official guidelines out there. every labal tells us all about the product and what we should be getting a day as max amounts.

but when it comes to finances there are no real official guidlines , not for saving or spending.

most folks do not know how to spend. they have no idea how much to allocate for housing , a car , food etc.

when it comes to investing and planning most do even worse as few wnat to know , do know or will even pay for advice.

the average american has more interest in sports than their own financial lives.

so what they do is run on myth , mis-information from other ill informed people and fly by the seat of their pants.

you see it right here in these forums daily.

but getting back to this thread , the thread started out out asking how do people retire who really feel they can't afford to retire.


the fact is i see lots of dancing around the subject but little flow of actual information about how to , other than the fact someone retired early for some reason whether by choice or not and they afforded to retire .

the only message i see conveyed is if you cheapen your lifestyle enough and move to some remote place you may not want to live you can survive.

but i think the op had something alot different in their mind when they asked this question. obviously you can pitch a tent in the woods and make do on near nothing but i think the op was looking for ideas about the mechanics of improving their situation and not how others retired early because they didn't want to work longer or couldn't work longer.


the op is obviusly working , not disabled and not already retired and alive so the what if folks are really not offering much help with what if i die at 71 , what if i get disabled , what if i can't find a job, what if i hate my job . better yet what if a giant astroid hits us and games over anyway.

you can't plan or come up with ideas based on what if's, .

you can only take the info that is given and work with that . if at some point that info changes , well than the plan changes but you deal with that at some point.

my answer to the op's question is read charlie ellis's book i mentioned. it has lots of great facts , information and ideas just for those folks who think retirement is a pipe dream.

in fact i like charlie's idea very much that 70 should be called full retirement age and everything else early retirement.

that way all the millions of working folks who have no options in view for an earlier retirement at least feel better about the fact they may have to work longer like it or not as long as that is an option.

on so many levels working longer can be that light at the end of the tunnel for millions . most folks are not even aware how great the benefits are to them if they do have to work longer and that in itself makes the impossible very possible.

most folks do not know how to spend. they have no idea how much to allocate for housing , a car , food etc.

when it comes to investing and planning most do even worse as few wnat to know , do know or will even pay for advice.

the average american has more interest in sports than their own financial lives.

so what they do is run on myth , mis-information from other ill informed people and fly by the seat of their pants.

you see it right here in these forums daily.


Is this what you really think? "Most folks" (meaning most of us but not you?) We are just so stupid and ignorant that we can't even handle money? We are like little kids? Or worse, little kids in a candy shop?
We have no idea? We can't plan or invest either, in fact you say we're even worse at that! And to make matters worse for us stupid dummies, we don't even WANT to know. Do you assume we're too stupid to read and study and listen or pay for advice?

I won't even discuss the investments I used to have before an ex-husband unexpectedly walked out on me eight years ago, after having spent everything we had. No, he was not one of your "poor planners" he was a CPA who suffered from PTSD from Viet Nam. He had the financial knowledge that you say we all should have. The perfect example of how we are all supposed to be?

I was the one with the IRA and I enjoyed investing and studying about it. But when he left me high and dry I had no choice (that's right, it was NOT a poor choice, there was NO choice) except to withdraw my IRA money so that I could survive. Ex exists somewhere now, living on his VA disability pension.

I think the original intent of this thread was to find out where the ordinary retirees are. That's because mostly all we hear about are the ones who have it all and think the reason they have it all is that they are superior human beings. Superior beings who love to preach to the rest of us about what we supposedly did wrong in our lives. As you can tell if you have been paying attention, there are lots of people who did everything right and yet ended up in not so great financial shape.

This thread has given them the opportunity to come out of hiding and tell their stories. There are a lot of people we're never even heard from before who have now dared to speak. It would be great if they could continue to feel welcome here and to talk and share and participate in discussions. It's not all about money. I have had a few posters message me in the past and tell me that I should invest!

No. I should not invest unless I am a crazy person. I should pay the rent, buy food, pay the utilities, pay the medical bills. I am not a little child who does not understand money and I don't think too many of the other posters who have spoken up are clueless either. Just lighten up and try to realize that we are all different. A few are obsessed with money but most people are not. That doesn't mean we don't think about it and plan and do our best to be frugal but we don't worship money. A lot of people have experienced setbacks in life and with the illness or the divorce or job loss late in life, very few people would have been able to recover. People are doing their best and it would be great if everyone could feel free to come here and enter into discussions about a variety of things. This forum would be richer for it. Yes, richer.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:00 AM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I think that part of what drives these financial magazine articles to suggest that one needs a large %-age of last working income to retire is that these articles are written by financial types, not engineers or crafts people (duh). These financial people majored in, and worked in, business and finance, and typically can't do much with their hands but type. So, for them, what they write is their own reality. And of course these people spend more when they make more. After all, their life is about money. What else would you expect?

But. People who can think and work with their hands can substantially reduce their need for brute income. My friend Submariner is an excellent example of how one might do this.

I expect when I retire that my expenses will go down quite a bit. And they are already quite modest.

Possibly the most important point to be made in personal finance, is to not spend all you make.
the magazines and calculators are ball parked at best for a wide assortment of folks who won't spring for the money to see a real pro who knows how to project the 2nd half of the game.

they are conservatively high and may be as much as 30% to high being they are geared for one size fits all.

simple example.

as we age , when we have descretionary spending in our budget that tends to fall off greatly as we no longer spend money on many things.

that money we do not spend anymore tends to more than offset the inflation in the things we still spend money on requiring very little inflation adjusting . certainly not the raise every year the magazines and calcultors build in.

but the less descretionary income you have the less there is to cut back. if your whole budget is needs and few wants you will be effected greatly by inflation requiring far more adjustments.

own a home or have a fixed rate mortgage ? your biggest costs in life are much more immune to inflation than renting .


calcultors and magazine rules of thumb do not take any human invention into account. they can't since each one of us reacts differently to events and has a different life situation when it comes to inflation adjusting. without considering the amount of descretionry income in the budget no amount can be accurate.

also the more a budget is all needs and not wants the less equities you should have since there is no place to cut back in an extended downturn . that throws a huge difference in to the equation since with little or no equities you need much more money to maintain the same draw ans success rate.


that is why some of us may need to save 30% less and still meet goal in real life .

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-06-2015 at 03:21 AM..
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:01 AM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
Reputation: 49307
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
most folks do not know how to spend. they have no idea how much to allocate for housing , a car , food etc.

when it comes to investing and planning most do even worse as few wnat to know , do know or will even pay for advice.

the average american has more interest in sports than their own financial lives.

so what they do is run on myth , mis-information from other ill informed people and fly by the seat of their pants.

you see it right here in these forums daily.


Is this what you really think? "Most folks" (meaning most of us but not you?) We are just so stupid and ignorant that we can't even handle money? We are like little kids? Or worse, little kids in a candy shop?
We have no idea? We can't plan or invest either, in fact you say we're even worse at that! And to make matters worse for us stupid dummies, we don't even WANT to know. Do you assume we're too stupid to read and study and listen or pay for advice?

I won't even discuss the investments I used to have before an ex-husband unexpectedly walked out on me eight years ago, after having spent everything we had. No, he was not one of your "poor planners" he was a CPA who suffered from PTSD from Viet Nam. He had the financial knowledge that you say we all should have. The perfect example of how we are all supposed to be?

I was the one with the IRA and I enjoyed investing and studying about it. But when he left me high and dry I had no choice (that's right, it was NOT a poor choice, there was NO choice) except to withdraw my IRA money so that I could survive. Ex exists somewhere now, living on his VA disability pension.

I think the original intent of this thread was to find out where the ordinary retirees are. That's because mostly all we hear about are the ones who have it all and think the reason they have it all is that they are superior human beings. Superior beings who love to preach to the rest of us about what we supposedly did wrong in our lives. As you can tell if you have been paying attention, there are lots of people who did everything right and yet ended up in not so great financial shape.

This thread has given them the opportunity to come out of hiding and tell their stories. There are a lot of people we're never even heard from before who have now dared to speak. It would be great if they could continue to feel welcome here and to talk and share and participate in discussions. It's not all about money. I have had a few posters message me in the past and tell me that I should invest!

No. I should not invest unless I am a crazy person. I should pay the rent, buy food, pay the utilities, pay the medical bills. I am not a little child who does not understand money and I don't think too many of the other posters who have spoken up are clueless either. Just lighten up and try to realize that we are all different. A few are obsessed with money but most people are not. That doesn't mean we don't think about it and plan and do our best to be frugal but we don't worship money. A lot of people have experienced setbacks in life and with the illness or the divorce or job loss late in life, very few people would have been able to recover. People are doing their best and it would be great if everyone could feel free to come here and enter into discussions about a variety of things. This forum would be richer for it. Yes, richer.



judging by the american consumer -yes most folks do not know how to spend. "us" = american public at large. between debt , savings rate and investment returns the public as a group are doing pretty poor.

yes -most americans suck at handling their money and investing . want proof ? look at morningstars small investor returns on funds as they track inflow and outflow of money compared to the actual returns the funds get.

most small investors get way less then what the investments they were in got. this is just because they do the wrong thing at the wrong time .


according to vanguard the average investor shoots themselves in the foot just because they do not want to pay for advice and knocks about 1/3 of the gains they could have had off the top . this is coming froim the grand pappy of do it yourself investing too.


the fact is most americans know far more about their car ,refrigerator or sports than anything pertaining to their financial lives.


i agree it is a wonderful discussion , and has some nice stories , but if the goal was answering the op's question most responses missed the mark.

answers like don't work longer you may die or no one should work longer just are not answers or options the op has so that is why they are asking.


Last edited by mathjak107; 03-06-2015 at 03:23 AM..
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:13 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,887 posts, read 8,670,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
As you can tell if you have been paying attention, there are lots of people who did everything right and yet ended up in not so great financial shape. This thread has given them the opportunity to come out of hiding and tell their stories. There are a lot of people we're never even heard from before who have now dared to speak. It would be great if they could continue to feel welcome here and to talk and share and participate in discussions.
I agree. I've noted repeatedly in this forum a distinct callous regard toward those who's luck didn't pan out - demonization of the lack of success, and lack of helpfulness toward those so affected. I think that's not unique to this forum, though. I think there is a pervasive neglect toward the hard situations, and often including blaming the victim. It is easier to ignore or deny the legitimacy of the hard situations than it is to care about them and try to find solutions for them. It is much easier to turn one's attentions solely to the easy situations or those just a bit off target needing only minor adjustment.

To be fair, a lot of the hard situations are actually closer to impossible in the context of individual assistance - they are beyond the scope of any micro-adjustment to remedy. It is human nature to want to avoid admitting the limitations of our own helpfulness, so perhaps that drives some to demonize those who put the helper in a situation where they cannot see how to help. Part of what is needed is a better understanding among those who would want to be helpful what is helpful in such situations. As you alluded to, sometimes it isn't all about money, and so helpfulness for the "impossible" situations would be different than for someone who perhaps needs to change their asset allocation by 5% - that helpfulness being not necessarily investing advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
A lot of people have experienced setbacks in life and with the illness or the divorce or job loss late in life, very few people would have been able to recover.
Yes, true, but it really doesn't matter why people find themselves in the situations they're in. They're there. I'm sure you agree that that's all that really matters in this context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
People are doing their best and it would be great if everyone could feel free to come here and enter into discussions about a variety of things. This forum would be richer for it. Yes, richer.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:42 AM
 
4,173 posts, read 2,940,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
most folks do not know how to spend. they have no idea how much to allocate for housing , a car , food etc.

when it comes to investing and planning most do even worse as few wnat to know , do know or will even pay for advice.

the average american has more interest in sports than their own financial lives.

so what they do is run on myth , mis-information from other ill informed people and fly by the seat of their pants.

you see it right here in these forums daily.


Is this what you really think? "Most folks" (meaning most of us but not you?) We are just so stupid and ignorant that we can't even handle money? We are like little kids? Or worse, little kids in a candy shop?
We have no idea? We can't plan or invest either, in fact you say we're even worse at that! And to make matters worse for us stupid dummies, we don't even WANT to know. Do you assume we're too stupid to read and study and listen or pay for advice?

...
I've seen a lot of mathjaks posts and I do not think he is condescending to people, merely reporting the facts as demonstrated by a vast amount of research and studies.

You sound like the exception to the rule, who was "victimized", if that is the right word. I think you are misreading his intent though.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:55 AM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
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for sure , i never speak in terms of one person or give one on one advice. i throw out the facts ,figures and studies .

the facts are the facts. hether they apply to anyone in particular only each person can decide for themselves.

i can write a book based on the myths and mis-information that is posted daily in any of the forums i frequent and not just here. any financial forum seems to have more seat of the pants information that is wrong than actual facts bear out..

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-06-2015 at 04:09 AM..
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:03 AM
 
71,759 posts, read 71,853,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodentraiser View Post
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?
poor choices and decisions can be many things.

having i-phones , driving new cars and every sports channel on cable without having a private disability insurance policy may be the most popular.

i talked a co-worker into getting one years ago when i took mine . it was pretty cheap and very important in my mind..

well when parkinsons did him in he now gets 80%of his salary tax free. he thanks me every time i see him.

other folks take no control of their lives to make positive things happen. they drift though life like a cork in water.

no financial goals and no effort to meet those goals since they do not exist. i know i was working 3 jobs in the course of a week for quite a while when my savings goals were not being met. i was working for an hvac company as a tech , a drummer doing gigs on weekends and had my own hvac side business at night.

i ended up switching careers from pro drummer to going to school for hvac when disco and dj's were killing my career path.


big screen tv's and new cars over an emergency fund.

being to comfortable in low end jobs and never progressing.

life can be filled with so many different things that really could have had different outcomes down the rode with just more attention paid to the basics of good financial health and better career paths.

you can take almost any 2 people in the same life and the outcomes will be different.


again , not everyone but enough lives would have had different outcomes with different choices and better decisions made .

you see it all the time watching these shows like dateline where they zoom in on the lives of people struggling and you say to yourself what were they thinking when they made that decision to buy the big house or the expensive cars with little savings to back up job loss-illness or divorce.

you know one of those three will get almost all of us at some point of our lives. i had two out of three myself , at 50 i had divorce , at 58 i had job loss. it happens

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-06-2015 at 04:26 AM..
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