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Old 03-02-2015, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,004 posts, read 17,320,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
The reality is that you cannot make generalizations about retirement and money. Someone who owns their home outright with very low expenses vs someone who has great pensions but has a high mortgage and elderly to pay for, etc...you get the picture. You cannot compare apples and oranges and bananas. Everyone is in their own situation.

But as to "where they are," it appears that over the 5 or 6 years I've been here in the Retirement forum, I have seen as a stable core to the forum a class of fortunate people who had the opportunity to work hard and amass relative fortunes. The key word here is opportunity, and implicit in that word is the ability to grasp opportunity. Some found this at a very young age and stayed well employed and invested over the decades of their lives; others lost opportunities due to health and other issues, and others never had the opportunities to begin with (I will not get into the demographic factors in this, but they inarguably exist). Yes, some made major mistakes, and that is just plain human.

Those who generally post are comfortable, however they live. Those who are not comfortable at all don't post, or seldom do. What would be the point? Once you're retired, your situation is more or less set.
Great points.

And, sometimes you read about the trials and tribulations of retirement age CD posters on other forums, such as the caregivers forum. There are many posters there with enormous difficulties due to the immense expenses of caring for spouses, parents or children who are disabled. Some of the stories are truly heartbreaking.

But, I have to rush. Even though I needed to take early retirement due to my serious health problems I was forced to return to the work force because my husband became permanently disabled. I may be working literally until the day that I die. (Although, I really hope that is not the case).
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,723,738 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vision67 View Post
Perhaps their single wide has neither a computer nor internet access.

I bet many move in with their children and are perfectly happy helping to raise the next generation. In exchange for a free bedroom they provide help with the cooking, babysitting grandchildren, offering advice, and generally helping out.

My own widowed mother lived like that with no income other than her meager Social Security check for 30 years and was one of the happiest persons I've ever known.

Money is very much over rated. In the end, we all go out the same way we came in with our bare asses hang out.
Yes, some people with lots of money are miserable, and some with little money, like your mother, are happy. However, I don't think a certain minimum amount of money - enough to live in reasonable comfort - is over rated. Your mother was fortunate to have children with whom she could move in and be welcomed - not everyone has that (either the children or the welcome).

Beyond a certain level, more money does not equate to greater happiness, according to some fairly sophisticated psychological studies. And that level is fairly modest, although I don't remember what it is.

I do not speak as a fat cat, being a retired high school teacher, but knowing that if I need a new pair of glasses or hearing aids, there is money for them, reduces stress and worry. Not over rated, at that level.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,454 posts, read 5,917,794 times
Reputation: 16131
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.

mathjack you are the champion of the work until 70 plan. And financially it makes a ton of sense for the reasons you illustrated. The problem however is this may not be a viable option for many. A plumber or roofer may not be able to work that long physically, a man with a family history of heart disease may not be able to plan on a long life so why would he wait until 70 to retire when nobody in his family lived to see 75? And many of us simply want to get out of the daily stress that our jobs put on us. I know I'm certainly looking forward to the days when I don't wake up at 3 in the morning thinking about a work problem.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:54 AM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,453 posts, read 3,750,975 times
Reputation: 9592
Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
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?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Or perhaps you are right that the ones who cannot retire are embarrassed about it and so don't speak up? It will be interesting to see if the responses to your original post shed light on the matter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
There are plenty posters on CD who will lambast someone who admits getting any kind of government subsidy. I get a lot of "you're welcome" responses, as if someone here is personally paying my rent.

The ones who need some type of subsidy or know they will need it in the future, probably just don't want to get beaten up verbally here.

But, the reality is that most everyone will need some type of government help, even if they saved a lot of money. My mother, for instance, is in assisted living now. Her home is paid off and probably worth $700,000 or maybe even more. She had $9,000 in checking, and $400,000 in investments. This money might last 15 years. She's in a nice place she likes, and she's saved a million dollars. But, even she might outlive her investments.

Most of us will end up on the dole. But, people don't want to admit it. Especially on an internet forum where they will get beaten up for it.
This may be a harsh reply but it is truly how I see it here so honesty may not necessarily be the best policy in all things; take it 'for what it's worth' and with a 'grain of salt'.

Personally I can't say for sure if there are members here who are necessarily 'embarrassed' or 'afraid' to speak up here about their personal circumstances whether it be their finances, their health/healthcare coverage or their employment (or lack thereof) situation.

However, I will say, as others here have already mentioned, there are members here who take great joy in regaling others at how 'smart' they were/are at accumulating personal wealth and glowing financial security, through their superior employment, investment choices (various portfolios) and real estate. That is all fine and good but at the end of the day there are far more 'boomers' who will never be able to 'pull themselves up' by their 'bootstraps' for a huge variety of life circumstances to be as 'accomplished or successful'.

I, for one, would rather stick hot pins in my eyes than ask for advice or opinions on my finances, health, or living circumstances, in real life, but especially here (or any public forum). I have seen some very compassionate and helpful people here (and I know who they are) who address a poster and their circumstances with respect, kindness, decency and empathy...but like 'bad apples' there are some here (and I know who they are as well) who have demonstrated their lack of humanity to others who may be in not so enviable and dire circumstances, who are just looking for some insight.

I also applaud those who do or will speak up on how they have managed to make it in their 'golden years' because those members are the very ones that other posters are able to walk away with 'pearls of wisdom' and emulate, rather than be shamed by a complete stranger on an internet forum.

Last edited by HomeIsWhere...; 03-02-2015 at 07:33 AM..
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:58 AM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,164,956 times
Reputation: 5877
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I love your post. My theory is, as you suggested, that most people who are not rich are afraid to admit it because they don't want to be bashed. I've seen it happen too many times. Someone will come on and ask for help with subsidized housing or how to get Medicaid and people attack them instead of helping them. Some people just never learned good manners, it seems.

Then there are the people who come here merely to brag--about their homes (that are usually too huge for them and they will probably live to regret), or all their expensive cars or luxurious vacations or expensive possessions. It's one thing to mention it in passing as a necessary part of the conversation but to make it center stage can be hurtful to those who do not have as much and can make it daunting for the less fortunate to post about their own lives.

Back when I worked in a public library there was a book called, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." I never read it but this topic made me think of it. Most of the time when someone retires and is not wealthy, it is due to illness, divorce, job loss, or other instances beyond their control. Leave it to the bullies to beat them when they are down. Thanks for your honesty, NoMoreSnowForMe.
I love YOUR post. Very well said!!

I've read that book ("When Bad Things Happen to Good People" by Harold Kushner) and it saved my sanity. It's a powerful book and I've read it several times.

Point is, sometimes you're headed down the Highway to Happiness and it looks like it's all going well, but then everything can change in the blink of an eye. Kushner's book explains that sometimes, stuff just happens despite all your best work, and your best prayers, and your best hopes.

Having lived as a "working class type" for most of my life, I'm 100% fed up with the sanctimonious, self-righteous types here who think that they've achieved their rich, ebullient lifestyle because they did "all the right things."

There are a whole lot of people in the world who also did all the right things and yet are still struggling - for a whole host of reasons.

I think one of the reasons we're not hearing from the "less fortunate" is because this is a hard room. I step lightly at this retirement forum. The responses I've seen here can be quite harsh.

Last edited by RosemaryT; 03-02-2015 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:06 AM
 
71,460 posts, read 71,629,249 times
Reputation: 49021
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
mathjack you are the champion of the work until 70 plan. And financially it makes a ton of sense for the reasons you illustrated. The problem however is this may not be a viable option for many. A plumber or roofer may not be able to work that long physically, a man with a family history of heart disease may not be able to plan on a long life so why would he wait until 70 to retire when nobody in his family lived to see 75? And many of us simply want to get out of the daily stress that our jobs put on us. I know I'm certainly looking forward to the days when I don't wake up at 3 in the morning thinking about a work problem.
there will be exceptions to anything and everything in life and like every aspect of life some there is no answer for.

INFORMATION POSTED IS ALWAYS FOR THOSE IT APPLYS TO.

there is nothing that can be posted that applies to everyone across the board about anything. someone will always say but what about this one or that one.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:08 AM
 
1,780 posts, read 2,164,956 times
Reputation: 5877
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeIsWhere... View Post

I, for one, would rather stick hot pins in my eyes than ask for advice or opinions on my finances, health, or living circumstances, in real life, but especially here (or any public forum). I have seen some very compassionate and helpful people here (and I know who they are) who address a poster and their circumstances with respect, kindness, decency and empathy...but like 'bad apples' there are some here (and I know who they are as well) who have demonstrated their lack of humanity to others who may be in not so enviable and dire circumstances, who are just be looking for some insight.
Amen to that.

There are some threads I've started here at CD that answered so many questions in so many helpful ways, and I was grateful for every single response. They were a real God-send.

But here at the retirement forum, my days of asking questions and starting new threads are over. I started a thread several months ago and it got twisted around and turned into a hot mess. The replies were insulting and degrading and just downright ugly.

What's the point? When someone asks an honest question, why attack them?

Makes no sense.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:19 AM
 
3,552 posts, read 4,361,952 times
Reputation: 3746
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
You must just be missing them. I've posted that I'm on SSI and retired on a very limited income. I am in a subsidized senior apartment that is a very tiny studio. I have Medi-Cal, and have a great dog, and moved to the northern-most town on the coast of CA, where it is very affordable, and I can now walk to the ocean, and drive to the redwood forest just 7 miles away.

I can't afford to go out to eat, or travel. But, I don't need to. The trick is to get over not being able to have the retirement of your dreams. Once I accepted the limits of my budget, I'm actually quite happy with what I have. And I think it's important for seniors to know that there is a lot of subsidized senior housing out there, and my experience so far in two senior subsidized apartment buildings in two different lower COL towns in CA, is that they are very well-maintained and safe. They are inspected by the government agencies that fund them, and they make sure we're in a safe and well-maintained place.

If you get on the waiting lists, eventually you will get called. You might not be able to live in the city of your dreams, because of the COL or length of the waiting lists. But, if you can get over that, too (I originally hoped to live in the SF Bay Area, but couldn't make that work), and you're flexible, you can find somewhere nice. It turns out I love it here, where I finally ended up. And I'm already making friends.

I became disabled, so retired early. But, if people want to retire early, and they can change their idea of how much is enough, they can do it. It's hard to let go of a vision of retirement you've had for many years.

At any rate, poor retirees can be happy, too. You just need to accept what you can't change and change the things you can, and once you get the best situation you can, be happy with what you've got.

You see, I'm pretty broke, but I can choose every day whether to walk my dog by the ocean or in the redwood forest. Today we walked by the ocean. I also took some stuff to sell at the flea market and chatted with interesting people all day, and sold home-made muffins and some other junk I had. Came home and took the dog for a walk by the ocean and chatted with some cute kids who were collecting shells.

I consider myself to be lucky, now. But, I had to let go of being able to live near my daughter in the SF Bay Area. You don't get to have everything you want, but you can still have it pretty good.
This is an amazing post. So nice to see someone with such a great outlook on life
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,611 posts, read 9,672,539 times
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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?
I'm not "afraid to speak up" but I don't have enough to retire and never will have. I've posted quite a bit here about that. Stuff happens in our lives that we are 'stuck' working till we die. I've been made to feel like it's all my fault, that I've made "bad decisions" or didn't "plan well". Divorce turned my world upside down and wrecked my retirement plans. When you spend your life living it for your spouse you really don't look out for yourself the way you probably should. Sure, I can look back and say I should have done this, that or the other but life didn't work out that way.

Having said all that, I may have to work till I drop dead BUT I have a good life and I'm not unhappy, in the least. For the past six years I've lived in my mom's little 'guest house', paying minimum rent which allowed me to sock away a good amount of money and am in the process of buying a home. My mom passed away in Dec. so I have no reason to stay here. My payments will be easy to come up with (way better than rent!) and I don't expect the utilities to be out of sight. Not bad for a part time Walmart employee with a smallish SS check. In fact, I'm pretty proud of being able to do this. I could never live on that SS check but it sure is nice to have.

Sometimes the topics here ARE for the people who've actually been able to retire and I really can't post too much on those threads. So I don't. But I read just about everything on the forum. I think it's great that some of us have done so well in our lives. I have no envy toward them, but I do sometimes wish they would try to understand a little better why we can't ALL do what they've done.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,960 posts, read 3,451,255 times
Reputation: 10475
What powerful statements from all of you.I, too, had to go on disability at 61 due to a car accident (other person ran a red light). But, it took me 2 years to realize my body was not responding correctly & I couldn't walk well. After being laid off at 55,I did temp & part time work until I finally had back surgery & could not care for myself for a long time. I lived with family during that time. I still live in the downstairs of my brothers house.

I had no clue as to the enormity of the recession when I was laid off & went through my, yes, years worth of saved funds, then my pension until I had absolutely nothing left. Then came the car accident along with losing my house. When I decided to ask family for help, I was in a very bad way.

But, after living on next to nothing for 2 years, my SSI check looks big to me. I will be living in subsidized housing & I will take any assistance I can get. I worked from age 16, until the back surgery at age 61. Like no more snow, I think I will be quite content with what I have.
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