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Old 03-07-2015, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,465 posts, read 5,935,374 times
Reputation: 16165

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_sm1th73 View Post
Oh, fer heaven's sake. Let's stop piling onto Mathjak. Waste of time to take offense at the slightest opportunity; to cherish resentments; and to imagine slights where none were intended.

I can't see into MJ's head, obviously. However, from a real dispassionate reading of his posts over the years, they are data-driven, fact-based, and devoid of oneupsmanship.

At the risk of beating a dead horse - let's all get over ourselves. We're falling into the ?millennial? ?gen y? patterns that we sometimes observe in others. At this age, we are not special snowflakes, for whom a plain presentation of fact causes irremediable harm. I, for one, have grown thicker skin than that, lol!

Best, Jane
Again the opening topic was why don't we hear more from those who are struggling. As much as I like mathjak i used his post as a perfect example of why this may be the case here.

You may have grown thicker skin. Or maybe you have not been in the same situation as the poster in rural West Virginia who had no choice but to work a low end job with no chance for advancement, only to read a post saying it was his own fault and a bad choice. Or the poster who had a solid career and an emergency fund who had the audacity to purchase cable TV, only to be told later after a few tragic events wiped out his emergency fund, that purchasing cable TV was a bad decision and has led to the current situation of near poverty. If I were in those situations I'd see a post like that and no doubt leave the board, or at the very least be inclined not to speak up.

I wasn't trying to bash MJ. Just trying to stay on topic.

Last edited by DaveinMtAiry; 03-07-2015 at 06:08 AM..
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,465 posts, read 5,935,374 times
Reputation: 16165
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
just a question ? there is not one diversified mutual fund that would be in a 401k that lost money to date over any long term period of time so why the lost money ?

usually the reasons are overly aggreesivly invested , mismatched long term investments with short term needs for the money , instead of rebalancing and staying the course as investing requires , they bailed out and ran.,.

just curious why you lost money ?

I was just about to ask the same question. It's really hard, almost impossible really, to lose money in a 401k. If this is the case then you could certainly say that was on the poster for either making bad choices (too much cash) or trying to time the market by going in and out too often.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:43 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,883 posts, read 8,666,921 times
Reputation: 8406
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
The word 'fault' is your unnecessary stumbling block. The word deals with the past, not the present and future, and offers nothing constructive.
Bingo. Even as precursor to subsequent thoughts, it is corrupter of whatever positive sentiment may also be carried along after it. If the intent is to help a specific, individual adult, then there's no place for it. The derailing of many past threads may be tracked back to the response to a request for information or assistance being instead recriminations against failure, blaming the victim, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
It's really hard, almost impossible really, to lose money in a 401k.
Maybe. But combine together some reasonable bits of good advice and you could come close! "Arrange your asset allocation such that tax efficient investments are in taxable accounts and tax inefficient investments are in tax advantaged accounts." Next bit of good advice: "Maximize your 401(k) contributions because you earn too much income to qualify for deductible contributions to an IRA." Add 'em up in a situation where you've worked for the same employer forever, they don't offer in-service roll-overs, and every single option available that covers the tax inefficient side of the asset allocation sucks wind. And five years after making this an annual complaint to management, the situation remains unchanged because these are the fund options that are offered in a plan that doesn't cost the employer anything to offer.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:55 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,880,403 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU View Post
Bingo. Even as precursor to subsequent thoughts, it is corrupter of whatever positive sentiment may also be carried along after it. If the intent is to help a specific, individual adult, then there's no place for it. The derailing of many past threads may be tracked back to the response to a request for information or assistance being instead recriminations against failure, blaming the victim, etc.

Maybe. But combine together some reasonable bits of good advice and you could come close! "Arrange your asset allocation such that tax efficient investments are in taxable accounts and tax inefficient investments are in tax advantaged accounts." Next bit of good advice: "Maximize your 401(k) contributions because you earn too much income to qualify for deductible contributions to an IRA." Add 'em up in a situation where you've worked for the same employer forever, they don't offer in-service roll-overs, and every single option available that covers the tax inefficient side of the asset allocation sucks wind. And five years after making this an annual complaint to management, the situation remains unchanged because these are the fund options that are offered in a plan that doesn't cost the employer anything to offer.
That is a retirement work place saving reality for many a person. A work place plan with horrible options. Not everyone has Fidelity or Vanguard etc in their list of options. Some only have high cost annuities that make a ton of money for the local insurance/investment company administering the plan. It is not always just our decisions but the range of options someone else gives us.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:14 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 884,534 times
Reputation: 1971
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
The word 'fault' is your unnecessary stumbling block. The word deals with the past, not the present and future, and offers nothing constructive. If you could get over the blame game, a lot of us could hear you a whole lot better and weed out this distracting stuff. Your information is valuable enough, wihtout the constant editorializing. I say this from respect for what you bring to the forum.
I understand what you are saying, but isn't the word "fault" your unnecessary stumbling block? The word doesn't hurt my feelings or elicit an emotional reaction in me beyond its meaning. What word would be better, cause you less agitation, and allow you to simply read the message for what it means, not what you ascribe it to mean somewhere in the subtext? (I'm asking seriously, so hard to communicate tone.)

I have spent my life, probably to a slightly unhealthy degree, lol, seeing my actions as my responsibility, and the outcomes I've experienced are mine too. I guess that's why some people, like me, can look at the good things that have happened (comfortable retirement, for example) and say, "Yes, I did good there." (YES, I am always acknowledging that good fortune played a part in that--but I don't need to constantly remind people that we have overcome certain large obstacles to get here either. And our planning included those obstacles, btw. I'm not chastizing ANYONE. I'm not lecturing ANYONE. I'm not bragging! I'm just saying that I was grateful when good luck came our way, but I saw planning for bad luck as my responsibility as well--for me maybe "fault" simply means "responsibility", but I don't see it as a "recrimination" or have an emotional reaction to it.)

The flip side of that coin is that the word "fault" doesn't hurt me. When I say "my fault" and acknowledge responsibility for something, it is EVERY time a learning moment where I know I had the power to do something differently, where I accept the outcome of my actions, and where I decide to do something differently in the future if I want a different outcome. That is all that word means to me.

If someone uses that word in a situation where it doesn't fit--where in fact I am not responsible for an outcome, I can't see why it would hurt me.

But I do understand it's a loaded word for many. For me it means what it means, I look within and check, learn if I need to so I do something different next time. That's it. If not, I let that word go.

But for you, it stops you in your tracks and the word has different connotations that cloud the rest of the post's meaning. So I'm sincerely asking, what word would be better?

And must every post be completely devoid of anything that would possibly trigger any given individual's negative emotional reaction in order to have value?

Last edited by Montanama; 03-07-2015 at 07:30 AM..
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:03 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
11,883 posts, read 8,666,921 times
Reputation: 8406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanama View Post
And must every post be completely devoid of anything that would possibly trigger any given individual's negative emotional reaction in order to have value?
Of course not. If it was not something that happened far too often, no one would have mentioned it.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:26 AM
 
4,173 posts, read 2,939,876 times
Reputation: 2629
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
There are not two distinct groups of people in anything. There is an impressively broad and complex spectrum in between the two poles you cite, above. I agree with your final sentence, which is easy to do for anyone at any point on the spectrum.

On that spectrum, it's not just those given a 'bad hand of cards' who may have not made a fortune for retirement. There are other reasons besides bad luck and stupid choices. Such as, I did what I did because that's all I knew how to do given my education and resources and I did it with all my heart and soul and never slacked off and so be it.

Now you are just playing semantics (or nitpicking) and ignoring my meaning. Of course it is a spectrum. Sometimes constructs are easier to understand when simplified. You seem to want to argue and act offended. Picking one word or sentence and mischaracterizing another's intent can't lead to any understanding. It seems like not only are you offended easily, but you wish to put others on the defensive unnecessarily FWIW.

Funny part is that if you read my post dispassionately, you might note that I basically agreed with you and expanded on the thought.

Last edited by shaker281; 03-07-2015 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:40 AM
 
4,173 posts, read 2,939,876 times
Reputation: 2629
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
many people don't like hearing they had anything to do with their results. it is always going to be something , someone else or something out their control that caused negative results.

...
I think that is the crux of the matter. People want to wash away the past and at the same time blame it for their circumstances. Personal responsibility is when you know that every choice you make, is yours and yours alone. Regardless of circumstances. Some will overcome the most egregious challenges and some will wallow. This doesn't mean that those challenges do not shape us, but how they shape us is within our control.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:44 AM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,880,403 times
Reputation: 11705
Perhaps part of the reason for so much tension real or imagined is because:

There is a movement among some in our society to increase the redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots. Guess what the haves are fighting back and telling the have nots why. Expect more of it as means testing and redistribution advocates continue to divide us. Perhaps it is valid and necessary but what is justified often has unintended consequences. We as retirees are probably prime candidates to strike back. Why? We have reached the fruition stage of our life long financial efforts and are in the prime of reflecting on those efforts in the context of others. I can remember a few years ago my status in CD was "Get your hand out of my pocket".
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:46 AM
 
4,173 posts, read 2,939,876 times
Reputation: 2629
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I'll come outof the closet. Been working since I was 15. Went into the service. Went back into the Guard, did 24 years total. Have always worked, tried to save. Never once bought a "toy" (boat etc.), expensive vacation, nada. used cars, bought a couple of houses which only lost me money. Worked my way through college in my late 20s, early 30s. Got a pretty good job, but late in the game, around 35.

58, don't have enough to retire. Any retirement will be a frugal one. Havent' done anything but lost money in my self managed retirement 401K.

I did all the right things, didn't make any huge mistakes.
At 58, it is not too late for you. Assuming you can still work, if you go until 70 you have a decent chance of financial security. I would question how you have consistently lost money in your 401K. That needs to be analyzed and addressed.
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