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Old 03-06-2015, 01:17 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,227,457 times
Reputation: 22380

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As others have said . . . you make do. You figure it out. Few folks are going to find themselves living under a bridge or in a tent city.

It may not be the way we had hoped or the way we had planned . . . but everyone will either figure out a way to take care of themselves as they age or the state will step in and offer whatever subsistence assistance is available.

That doesn't mean it will be the type of existence that was preferred.

To me, it would seem helpful to list any resources or "tips" that others have found for dealing with subsistence income during retirement.

It is NOT helpful to lecture folks about "what they should have done" in earlier years.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
For the life of me, in no way can I understand the perspective that believes when someone says they worked long and hard, lived within their means, saved money, and so on, and as a result have a comfortable (not necessarily rich) retirement, he/she is casting aspersion on others who haven't done so, for whatever reason. The person is stating their own experience, their own decisions and actions that have worked for them. Period. Those that take offense at such comments are reading into those comments an offense that was not intended by the person who made the comments.
There has been quite a bit, over the years, of "I saved from age 20, what's wrong with you"; "I and the wife have LTC at thousands of dollars per year, why don't you"; "you must have spent all your money on ipads, iphones, flatscreen TVs, brand new cars, and vacations, you idiot." There has been so much assumption around this I don't see how you could have missed it, and not from just one poster.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,485 posts, read 5,947,197 times
Reputation: 16194
Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
Since I was the original poster, I guess I should state my intent and thinking when I posted my original question. I was struck by the fact that statistically most Americans nearing retirement are not financially secure, however after perusing some threads all with the same thrust "Do I have enough to retire", and it quickly became apparent that it seems that most all have enough, and some have more than enough. I also noticed when someone newer ventured on about being concerned with not having enough, they were lectured to.

Now I am not talking about a 30 or 40 year old's who still have time to change their ways, I am talking about people who are close to retirement age or at retirement age. (a little late in the game) I also noted that sometimes when people stated they were ill and on SSDI, that it sometimes came with some rather unpleasant judgmental and perhaps some incorrect assumptions hurled at them, which would send anyone running for the hills. So, I did come away with feeling that sometimes these people were talked to in a manner that I think would discourage them from further participation (unless they had really thick skin like Escort Rider mentioned) So this was worthy enough to be considered Reason #1 in my mind.

Reason #2 in my mind, was the "feeling of inferiority" that many may feel when reading these posts, that they did not measure up to the rest of the crowd, and therefore only remain lurkers.

Reason #3, As a few have mentioned, those that are still able to maintain a job, are probably too busy working and don't have the free time to post. That argument has some merit, but when I thought about it more I, realized that I started on this board and another similar one while I was still working, and on other boards way before I stopped working. My reading and participation just replaced my TV watching time at night. So in giving this one more thought, I would say, it has some merit (especially for the daily posters) but not as much as might be thought.

Reason #4. This one is really a crap shoot to me. If you are approaching retirement with inadequate funds and you are still working, you may not want to be reminded of the fact that you may not be adequately prepared and so you have no interest. That one when I give it more thought, doesn't set as well with me, as I think it could have just the opposite result. I think the closer these people come to their inevitable retirement the more they want to know how others are managing, especially if they feel they don't have enough.

After reading many of the responses from the thread, I could not help observe an apparent restrained anger imploding here from newer posters (or I should say from those not heard from so much) I realized that my Reason #1 was more on target than perhaps anyone realized. I do not feel that I am biased in my feelings on this matter, as I am fortunate and have been able to save enough money even with one income and no pension, perhaps not as much Mathjack, but certainly a good enough contender.

So when I look at the subject at hand, I feel I can look at it without any resentment towards negative remarks directed at me personally, or feelings of insecurity. But that does not render me insensitive to how others are sometimes responded to. My own personal financial needs extend beyond my own needs, and does not apply to most people, so not worth discussion.

At any rate these are my observations and thoughts on the subject. I think it should be a wake up call to some people to keep in mind when responding to others. The Retirement Board should be welcoming to all those interested in discussing financial matters no matter where they fall on the charts.
All I can say is thank you.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,252 posts, read 54,695,623 times
Reputation: 66772
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
There has been quite a bit, over the years, of "I saved from age 20, what's wrong with you"; "I and the wife have LTC at thousands of dollars per year, why don't you"; "you must have spent all your money on ipads, iphones, flatscreen TVs, brand new cars, and vacations, you idiot." There has been so much assumption around this I don't see how you could have missed it, and not from just one poster.
It's not only here, it's on the "Personal Finance" board.

I got sick of reading those "You must be an idiot because you don't have as much as I do" posts once and simply gave my own reality:

I married a drunk/drug user/gambler who was fun when I met him but got seriously worse in time. YES, my bad choice--just what so many want to HEAR so they can say "I TOLD you so!", but it was my reality. It cost me a lot of money to be married. I didn't get child support when I was divorced because he didn't work. I paid a high rent to live in a good town where my family was present for after-school care for my daughter and where she would be safe and have good schooling. There was no savings opportunity for college or anything else. I lived to the penny and when I needed more than that, I went into debt. My kid wasn't spoiled, but I made sure that she had the same school trips and activities that other kids did, and I have absolutely NO regrets about that.

She was a smart kid, and I wanted to make sure she got to go to college and study something that she wanted to study, not just go to get a general piece of paper that proclaimed she had a degree. She took out loans, I took out loans, her father, who rallied himself a bit later in life, took out a couple of loans, too. There is NOT all this mystical scholarship money lying around waiting to be scoffed up. You have to pay, especially if you make a decent income, and by the time she went to school, her father was employed and I had gotten a few promotions. We were eligible for nothing.

As I said, I have a pension. I've worked in the public sector for more than 35 years. I will have that income when I retire, and I probably could retire RIGHT NOW and survive, but that would mean I can make my mortgage payment and other bills but live very frugally to pay off my debt over the next ten years.

OR, I can retire, collect the pension, and find another job to accelerate the debt-paying process. That's what I'd like to do. However, in mid-fifties with no college degree, jobs don't come easily. I will find a way, but it's been tough looking so far.

My point is that for many of us, whether because of poor choices earlier in life like me or plain bad luck as some others have had, this is where we are. It's great if you have chunky bank accounts and investments in all the right things and saved every spare dime since you were five years old. Happy for you. Enjoy it. But don't sneer at the rest of us who didn't live your life. It's not helpful.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:13 PM
 
685 posts, read 565,703 times
Reputation: 1004
Folks,
This has been a fabulous thread for me as well as the other on retirement where I didn't sense anyone being out of line or mean as many of you have said. We're in different stages in life with different mindsets. We seem to be raising an awareness and that's also very important to me.

After reading the various threads, I feel lighter and more at ease about whatever is put in front of my partner and me. I know whatever happens, we'll go with the flow. We've about wrapped up our trust/will package to the extent that we know who's doing what and it's now just a matter of going to the lawyer and paying a minor amount of money to get that in place in this fairly new State and yep, acts of god will happen and we'll adjust to it all.

My own shift came when after five years of sleeping on a lousy bed that we bought (for me) when we first moved here. I was focused on spending less and going cheap and my knees and back and partner were opposed to it. This week, I went to a local bed store and ordered a new made-to-order bed. In other words, even with limited income, my health is more important, so spending about $1k for something is the right thing to do and it should last me my lifetime. Sounds funny but it's a start. It's all about setting priorities and not worrying so much.

Truly, in peace, I thank you all for your valuable input and level-setting.

Last edited by PeaceOut001; 03-06-2015 at 02:15 PM.. Reason: edification
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:20 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,773 posts, read 7,057,711 times
Reputation: 14337
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
There has been quite a bit, over the years, of "I saved from age 20, what's wrong with you"; "I and the wife have LTC at thousands of dollars per year, why don't you"; "you must have spent all your money on ipads, iphones, flatscreen TVs, brand new cars, and vacations, you idiot." There has been so much assumption around this I don't see how you could have missed it, and not from just one poster.
I'd agree, if someone specifically addresses others with remarks like that, ie "I did, why don't you", or "you must have spent your money on...(plug in items), those remarks are uncalled for as they are critical of others and are based on assumptions they don't know are true about those others. I'd never say that others don't make those remarks ( because I know there are some who do), but I haven't seen them in this thread. Maybe I have missed them, but I have seen a number of posts accusing *some* of looking down on and bashing those who say they can't afford to retire. And it seems this accusation is based more on those folks reading what they want to into other posts, than on what the poster actually intended.

What I'm talking about are reactions to comments where posters, in response to questions asked about how they were able to retire, state they saved money from the time they were young, lived simply and within their means, that type of thing. Maybe the poster even believes that others ought to do the same things he said he did, but IMO that's not finger pointing or judgement against others not in his situation. The reaction to Mathjak's posts where he lists measures that can be undertaken to enable one to be a little more financially set to retire, IMO that's information, not accusations. He's been accused of being "preachy" at best, and I can't see where he aimed those posts at anyone in particular. I certainly haven't done everything he included in his posts, but I'm not about to think he's criticizing me for not doing so.

It's really matter of choice whether or not to be offended at anything someone says, and IMO it's rather immature to take offense where it's not meant.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:23 PM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 885,438 times
Reputation: 1971
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
There has been quite a bit, over the years, of "I saved from age 20, what's wrong with you"; "I and the wife have LTC at thousands of dollars per year, why don't you"; "you must have spent all your money on ipads, iphones, flatscreen TVs, brand new cars, and vacations, you idiot." There has been so much assumption around this I don't see how you could have missed it, and not from just one poster.
And on the other hand, when I said "We started saving toward retirement at age 20" (without the why don't you, btw, but it seems it gets read in between the lines by some) it was, iirc, in response to a post that assumed that because we hope to be retiring comfortably we must have been given an advantage such as an inheritance somewhere along the way, or been born rich. Neither is true, not even close to true.

To say nothing of the subtler digs to which I generally just don't respond, about "McMansions" and the constantly assumed "I've got mine" mentality. And to be really honest, most of the really successful people I know just really want other people to be successful too (if they want to). Perhaps if they enthusiastically share what they see as the formula that worked for them, they are not lecturing, but hoping to help, kind of cheerleading? That is the way I always took it, and still do today--for we have a long way to go to get beyond "comfortable" to "confident".

This mindset of divisiveness makes me sad for this forum and for our broader society, it's become so prevalent everywhere.

Everyone struggles on some level, some on many levels. A financially comfortable retirement doesn't mean a life without heartache either.

It's okay that some people have more than me, and some people have less. I treat people the way I want to be treated, and that's about all I can do, can't fix it for everyone and don't expect nor want anyone to fix it for me. Absolutely, I look for places where I can help if someone is open to it.

In the end we are all lucky to be living where we do, where there are resources for those at every financial level (not all of them government resources, either). To most of the rest of the world we are all at the top of the heap.

I just don't think finances determine attitude, or character, or kindness, or charity towards others. I know as many selfish, horrid, self-involved poor people as rich. As many down-to-earth, lovely rich people as poor. Most people somewhere in the middle both with income and character. You are really kidding yourself if you think otherwise. I don't understand the need to constantly take offense and divide ourselves into groups--further increasing the misunderstanding between people who have much more in common than not.

Last edited by Montanama; 03-06-2015 at 02:49 PM..
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,252 posts, read 54,695,623 times
Reputation: 66772
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceOut001 View Post
Folks,
This has been a fabulous thread for me as well as the other on retirement where I didn't sense anyone being out of line or mean as many of you have said. We're in different stages in life with different mindsets. We seem to be raising an awareness and that's also very important to me.

After reading the various threads, I feel lighter and more at ease about whatever is put in front of my partner and me. I know whatever happens, we'll go with the flow. We've about wrapped up our trust/will package to the extent that we know who's doing what and it's now just a matter of going to the lawyer and paying a minor amount of money to get that in place in this fairly new State and yep, acts of god will happen and we'll adjust to it all.

My own shift came when after five years of sleeping on a lousy bed that we bought (for me) when we first moved here. I was focused on spending less and going cheap and my knees and back and partner were opposed to it. This week, I went to a local bed store and ordered a new made-to-order bed. In other words, even with limited income, my health is more important, so spending about $1k for something is the right thing to do and it should last me my lifetime. Sounds funny but it's a start. It's all about setting priorities and not worrying so much.

Truly, in peace, I thank you all for your valuable input and level-setting.
Enjoy that new bed! I had gone for years with a crummy bed that meant that the first thing I did every morning was stretch to crack my back and shoulder back into place, lol. When I finally bought my condo, at 52, I treated myself to a brand-new bed. Spent about $1200.

Almost five years later, I STILL lie in that bed some nights thankful that I have it. Especially on those days when I've walked past people sleeping on sidewalks and in front of heating exhaust grates.

You sound as if you'll be all right. I wish you the best!
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:27 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,773 posts, read 7,057,711 times
Reputation: 14337
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceOut001 View Post
Folks,
This has been a fabulous thread for me as well as the other on retirement where I didn't sense anyone being out of line or mean as many of you have said. We're in different stages in life with different mindsets. We seem to be raising an awareness and that's also very important to me.

After reading the various threads, I feel lighter and more at ease about whatever is put in front of my partner and me. I know whatever happens, we'll go with the flow. We've about wrapped up our trust/will package to the extent that we know who's doing what and it's now just a matter of going to the lawyer and paying a minor amount of money to get that in place in this fairly new State and yep, acts of god will happen and we'll adjust to it all.

My own shift came when after five years of sleeping on a lousy bed that we bought (for me) when we first moved here. I was focused on spending less and going cheap and my knees and back and partner were opposed to it. This week, I went to a local bed store and ordered a new made-to-order bed. In other words, even with limited income, my health is more important, so spending about $1k for something is the right thing to do and it should last me my lifetime. Sounds funny but it's a start. It's all about setting priorities and not worrying so much.

Truly, in peace, I thank you all for your valuable input and level-setting.
Glad you got rid of that lousy bed and got a new one customized for you. I bet you'll find that the improved sleep you get at night will do wonders on your perspective for whatever the future holds!

I wish you and your partner much luck.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:27 PM
 
71,855 posts, read 71,942,576 times
Reputation: 49413
it isn't criticizing anyone in particular . these are just the most common reasons people run in to trouble .

you may not like the facts but they are what they are. nothing in this world applys to everyone but you can bet your bottom dollar it apply's to more than you think..
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