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Old 03-06-2015, 08:01 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
If you read the OP again the question remains why don't we hear from those not is great financial shape as often as those that are in great shape. So I'm not so sure the thread got derailed as badly as it may appear.

As for mathjak I kind of agree that at times he does come off as a bit preachy. brokensky's post did kind of hit the mark. But I'm also a big fan of mathjak's contributions to this board. He has helped me offline, although his short answers when compared to his lengthy posts gave me the impression that he was doing so reluctantly. He is simply pointing out facts, backed by documentation, that shows his position. I find most of his comments to be very helpful.
My point is that there is a reason why folks might be a tad unwilling to post and this thread has probably lost any protection they might have felt to post. Folks are drawn to this forum for multiple reasons. They are also participants in other CD forums. I would love to see a Venn diagram of the different forums posted to by participants in this retirement forums. There are those of us who frequent the investment forums and those who suspect might not even lurk. I have a sense there is a difference in participation between the investment and personal finance forums. The topic of teaching financial literacy often comes up and that isn't as easy as it sounds. A lot of the impact that would have is related to the world of the students being taught. Some it would come very quickly and easy and others it would be like pulling teeth. I would imagine in todays world just a topic like financial record keeping would be one thing for affluent kids with parents who use online banking and if older they probably have their own accounts and track online. Compared to others less fortunate who have a family without a banking account and a reliance on prepaid debit cards. There are a lot of adults in the latter situation and trying to reach them at the same time you are talking to another economic demographic can be a challenge.

Last edited by TuborgP; 03-06-2015 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:05 AM
 
143 posts, read 132,737 times
Reputation: 802
Have you ever found yourself somewhere and felt like you "do not belong here?" I can remember a friend taking me along to an upscale dinner at his country club; a generous gesture, but all evening I was uncomfortable--feeling out of place. No one did anything or said anything to make me feel that way. I just looked around and knew that I did not "fit" in that setting. I am a "corner diner" kind of guy.

I think it possible that some who are distressed about their retirement status might feel the same way about the forum. They read about people downsizing from their large, paid-off home and struggling with the decision between a condo and buying in to an over 55 community or often posters will lay out their financial status (often with assets exceeding a million dollars) and ask "Do I have enough to retire?" I suspect it is a bit intimidating for some who are trying to come up with enough money to meet their basic needs, so they remain silent. Again, no one makes them feel unwelcome, per se. They just feel that way.

Then again, things do get nasty sometimes. If you have not done so, read some of the posts in the recent "Means Testing" thread and imagine contemplating making a post on the forum if you were on any type of public assistance (SSDI or food stamps, etc.)

Thankfully, there is the "retiring on a shoestring support" thread. I have referred several people I know to that discussion which often provides practical, helpful advice for those with low or marginal incomes. I think most would feel "safe" sharing their circumstance there. (thanks newenglandgirl).

There is a lot of collective wisdom on this forum. A little compassion, understanding and a willingness to help someone "where they are" in their retirement circumstance is all that is needed to make everyone feel welcome.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,464 posts, read 5,933,005 times
Reputation: 16165
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
My point is that there is a reason why folks might be a tad unwilling to post and this thread has probably lost any protection they might have felt to post.
Yeah good point.

For those reluctant to share your story I hope you reconsider.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:19 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by northwesty View Post
Have you ever found yourself somewhere and felt like you "do not belong here?" I can remember a friend taking me along to an upscale dinner at his country club; a generous gesture, but all evening I was uncomfortable--feeling out of place. No one did anything or said anything to make me feel that way. I just looked around and knew that I did not "fit" in that setting. I am a "corner diner" kind of guy.

I think it possible that some who are distressed about their retirement status might feel the same way about the forum. They read about people downsizing from their large, paid-off home and struggling with the decision between a condo and buying in to an over 55 community or often posters will lay out their financial status (often with assets exceeding a million dollars) and ask "Do I have enough to retire?" I suspect it is a bit intimidating for some who are trying to come up with enough money to meet their basic needs, so they remain silent. Again, no one makes them feel unwelcome, per se. They just feel that way.

Then again, things do get nasty sometimes. If you have not done so, read some of the posts in the recent "Means Testing" thread and imagine contemplating making a post on the forum if you were on any type of public assistance (SSDI or food stamps, etc.)

Thankfully, there is the "retiring on a shoestring support" thread. I have referred several people I know to that discussion which often provides practical, helpful advice for those with low or marginal incomes. I think most would feel "safe" sharing their circumstance there. (thanks newenglandgirl).

There is a lot of collective wisdom on this forum. A little compassion, understanding and a willingness to help someone "where they are" in their retirement circumstance is all that is needed to make everyone feel welcome.
Very good post and I know I stay out of the frugal thread and let folks have their space. I have wondered if a comparable thread in the other direction might be a good idea and have been told it would be horrible and I now concur. I can think back to a previous era before technology soared and the internet was king. We now have more ways to differentiate class and wealth and let folks know what they can't or should not be able to afford if being financially prudent. The reminders of how finances can differentiate us can be found in something as simple as a hamburger. Consider a 99 cent McDonalds Cheeseburger and a designer burger from Shake Shack or even a more expensive specialty designer burger. Try looking for the best burger in your travels and you can appreciate that some can't make that search. There is a Wall Street club that meets about once a month searching out the best burger in NYC.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,744,100 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by northwesty View Post
Have you ever found yourself somewhere and felt like you "do not belong here?" I can remember a friend taking me along to an upscale dinner at his country club; a generous gesture, but all evening I was uncomfortable--feeling out of place. No one did anything or said anything to make me feel that way. I just looked around and knew that I did not "fit" in that setting. I am a "corner diner" kind of guy.

I think it possible that some who are distressed about their retirement status might feel the same way about the forum. They read about people downsizing from their large, paid-off home and struggling with the decision between a condo and buying in to an over 55 community or often posters will lay out their financial status (often with assets exceeding a million dollars) and ask "Do I have enough to retire?" I suspect it is a bit intimidating for some who are trying to come up with enough money to meet their basic needs, so they remain silent. Again, no one makes them feel unwelcome, per se. They just feel that way.

Then again, things do get nasty sometimes. If you have not done so, read some of the posts in the recent "Means Testing" thread and imagine contemplating making a post on the forum if you were on any type of public assistance (SSDI or food stamps, etc.)

Thankfully, there is the "retiring on a shoestring support" thread. I have referred several people I know to that discussion which often provides practical, helpful advice for those with low or marginal incomes. I think most would feel "safe" sharing their circumstance there. (thanks newenglandgirl).

There is a lot of collective wisdom on this forum. A little compassion, understanding and a willingness to help someone "where they are" in their retirement circumstance is all that is needed to make everyone feel welcome.
An astute analysis, Northwesty. The people who are a bit timid by nature are not going to post if they think they are going to get flamed for it. And that goes beyond retirement financial questions. A couple of months ago in the Chat Thread, a newcomer was told, "Start your own thread". The newcomer answered something like "I can see I don't belong here - I'll go back to lurking". I defended and encouraged the newcomer, whose user name I've forgotten. But my encouragement was of no avail - I didn't see that person back.

Even people like me who enjoy vigorous debate and have fairly tough hides can become temporarily discouraged when things get gratuitously mean, nasty, hostile, and insulting. So often those who sling mud are saying more about themselves than about the targets of their mud. But you're right - many posters are not willing to take the chance of being dumped on.

At your suggestion I went back and re-read the "Means Testing" thread, not every word in every post, but looking at every post. And yes, there were some over-the-top comments as well as people rebutting those comments. I was happy to note that I had staked out a middle ground in that particular debate.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,687 posts, read 49,462,974 times
Reputation: 19134
My Dw and I have discussed it a few times, when we consider our siblings, our high school class mates, the people we socialize with in church, etc; and focus specifically on those who are in our age-group [55yo +/- 5 years]. We see a lot of people who are disabled.

Debt-free home ownership is not the norm.

Pensions are a rarity.

Investment vehicles focused on 'retirement' is not the norm.

These people have multiple disabilities and are no longer working. I recently spoke with an old friend whose husband has terminal cancer [< 6 months to go]. As we consider these others' disabilities many of them are degenerative, they will progressively get worse with time, and eventually cause them to be: wheel chair bound, bed-ridden, or die.



Where do they go? Without government support, few of them have enough to last a month.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,982,141 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
An astute analysis, Northwesty. The people who are a bit timid by nature are not going to post if they think they are going to get flamed for it. And that goes beyond retirement financial questions. A couple of months ago in the Chat Thread, a newcomer was told, "Start your own thread". The newcomer answered something like "I can see I don't belong here - I'll go back to lurking". I defended and encouraged the newcomer, whose user name I've forgotten. But my encouragement was of no avail - I didn't see that person back.

Even people like me who enjoy vigorous debate and have fairly tough hides can become temporarily discouraged when things get gratuitously mean, nasty, hostile, and insulting. So often those who sling mud are saying more about themselves than about the targets of their mud. But you're right - many posters are not willing to take the chance of being dumped on.
In over 5 years of being on CD, imo a huge problem is that posters DO NOT ANSWER THE OP. That is most certainly true of this thread, and almost all others, with tangents in every direction way off the topic. An improvement in City-Data would be a note that pops up when we go to post anything in a thread: "Please respond specifically to the question or issue raised by the OP."
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:53 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,883 posts, read 8,665,350 times
Reputation: 8406
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
An improvement in City-Data would be a note that pops up when we go to post anything in a thread: "Please respond specifically to the question or issue raised by the OP."
The problem with such a thing is that it plays into cynical attempts to leverage Loaded Question Fallacies.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:08 AM
 
1,095 posts, read 1,343,066 times
Reputation: 1037
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
In over 5 years of being on CD, imo a huge problem is that posters DO NOT ANSWER THE OP. That is most certainly true of this thread, and almost all others, with tangents in every direction way off the topic. An improvement in City-Data would be a note that pops up when we go to post anything in a thread: "Please respond specifically to the question or issue raised by the OP."
Funny, I just read the original post for the first time - - and then jumped to these most recent posts - - already thinking in my mind that it most likely had gone on some tangent where a few folks were battling about some inane point.... That did not specifically happen here, but you almost expect it.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:15 AM
 
8,133 posts, read 8,631,834 times
Reputation: 9116
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.
Everything is relative. To me this would be a dream retirement.

1. You can afford to own and maintain a car

2. You can afford a pet

3. You have subsidized senior housing and you were eligible despite being a car owner.

4. You got into the senior housing before you died and you had some place to stay while being on a waiting list, which can sometimes be over 10 years.

5. Your senior housing does not sound like it is in a high crime area.

Yes, you should be very grateful because you do have a higher quality of life than many non-retirees.
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