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Old 03-02-2015, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,323,056 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryT View Post
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.
I agree. There are an awful lot of posters who refuse to recognize that the only reason they're comfortable in their retirement is because the Fickle Finger of Fate didn't push them into the financial toilet at some point in their lives despite all their "hard work" and "planning".

There's a thread open right now in this forum that's exactly like this right now... "Means Testing". The gist of most of the posts there is that retirees who are struggling economically have only themselves to blame because they didn't "plan" well enough for their retirement.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:52 AM
 
685 posts, read 564,075 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 may well be in that position where due to age and not being able to do my job any longer (it required being able to hear well). After looking full time for some months, a recruiter told me to go on a vacation because there were no jobs (NYC/NY/NJ/PA). I could go on, but why...

Our bottom line became we'd have to move someplace cheaper. It was an early retirement. I have pension but it's not enough to live off and I'm some years from 66 yet when other things become available and it won't be enough with the crazy out of control economy. Whether we can afford it or not is unknown. So, yes, I "retired" because I couldn't find a job. I refer to it as forced retirement.

Linda_d: We planned everything in life and were ahead of the curve. We're not extravagant. We may or may not be okay. But retiring ten years ahead of schedule put a major crimp through us and we're doing what we can to get through this. There are things for which you can plan and mitigate potential risks (like having more savings than anyone was recommending) and there are other things all the planning in the world won't get you through.

Last edited by PeaceOut001; 03-02-2015 at 08:07 AM.. Reason: Responded to poster.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,000 posts, read 54,493,040 times
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I am one of those people who wants desperately to retire! I've been working for more than 35 years. I actually have something that most people do not have--a defined pension plan. I can retire on fifteen days notice and sit home and collect a decent check.

The problem is that the decent check is not enough right now. Due to circumstances/divorce/single parenting mostly without child support, blah blah blah, I had to take out loans to help my daughter get through college. Her father stepped up late in the game to take out college loans also, but halfway through he lost his job and I had to cover his share. He's working again, but of course he isn't going to ever help pay for his share that he missed because he's not that type of person. In addition, I bought a condo late in life, and I had some related expenses that gave me a little more debt in that area. I can't sell and move because the place is worth less than I owe.

I probably COULD live on the pension and pay down my debts if I never go anywhere and eat rice and beans for the next few years. And I may just opt to do that eventually.

Ideally, I would find another job closer to home (I have a 90-minute commute each way), and of course it wouldn't pay what a job in the city pays, but I really only have to make up the difference between the pension and the salary. I don't need health benefits because I would take them with me and I won't have to pay for them in retirement as I do now.

The problem is finding an actual job at the age of 56 in an area that doesn't have a lot of business other than the tourism industry and mostly hires young and pretty people to fill service jobs (I live near the ocean in New Jersey), but that's the plan for me right now. Real retirement probably can't actually happen for another five years.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,323,056 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceOut001 View Post
Linda_d: We planned everything in life and were ahead of the curve. We're not extravagant. We may or may not be okay. But retiring ten years ahead of schedule put a major crimp through us and we're doing what we can to get through this. There are things for which you can plan and mitigate potential risks (like having more savings than anyone was recommending) and there are other things all the planning in the world won't get you through.
This is exactly what many of the posters on the thread I mentioned refuse to accept/understand. All the retirement planning and saving doesn't mean squat when you get hit with some kind of economic disaster out of left field. The tone of that thread is very mean-spirited and selfish, and when I posted that I thought they should show more compassion to people who had unforeseen disasters, it didn't go over well.

Now I pretty much stay out of that thread because you can't reason with arrogant and sanctimonious who delude themselves into thinking they've got more money than other people because they're smarter, harder-working, more deserving.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:31 AM
 
685 posts, read 564,075 times
Reputation: 1004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
This is exactly what many of the posters on the thread I mentioned refuse to accept/understand. All the retirement planning and saving doesn't mean squat when you get hit with some kind of economic disaster out of left field. The tone of that thread is very mean-spirited and selfish, and when I posted that, it didn't go over well.

Now I pretty much stay out of that thread because you can't reason with arrogant and sanctimonious who delude themselves into thinking they've got more money than other people because they'rere smarter, harder-working, more deserving.
Yes, I saw the "all the planning" bit and there are always unknowns that hit as well. All that planning helped a lot but we were hit with a double-whammy and had to retire or leave the workforce.

The economic disaster was foreseen (as was the housing crash) and in the papers years back before it hit. Age discrimination was also in full bloom (in my life) in the mid-80s and you'd have to be blind to not see that. In the 80s, it was a simple course correction for me. Later, it was not that simple.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Princeton
1,078 posts, read 1,122,699 times
Reputation: 2137
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.
Outstanding, who wouldn't want to live between "The Red Woods" and the Ocean? great attitude and post! it's amazing, we have a few retirees who volunteer here at the firehouse and I must admit, they are really doing good for us, they (husband and wife) work around the firehouse during the day doing various duties, cleaning, receiving different items, they have the coffee and goodies at the ready during calls, it's good to see John when we come back and he has the coffee on, anyways, I salute your efforts to get by and live happy and simple with what you have living within your means, good and care free. I definitely like your style.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:04 AM
 
491 posts, read 597,769 times
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I have enjoyed reading this thread. I too am one of those who ended up retired early due to disablitiy(arthritis). Was it how I wanted my life's? No! But it is what it is. I'm too have decreased my posting as I got tired of being scolded by the "I made perfect choices and so should have you" police. I felt I made the best decisions I could. I did stay In a less lucerative job to try to keep a failing marriage together. His job took him to an area where I couldn't get a very good job in my field. there were other things along the way that just happened.

I enjoyed the Retiing on a literal shoe string thread, but there sure was a lot of bashing going on. I used to really enjoy Livecontents posts, but I wonder if he didn't
T bag it due to comments.

anyhow, count me in on one of the low money people who is retired and had a nice life. I actually have a huge group of friends in real life who have similar circumstances. we aren't the desperate sad people some of the more well off would like to believe and we don't eat beans and rice every meal! sometimes we switch it up and have rice and beans, which is actually what I am having from lunch. It is a new recipe with coconut milk in the rice and s slaw recipe that goes with it. sounded good, so we will see
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:39 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,135,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
This is exactly what many of the posters on the thread I mentioned refuse to accept/understand. All the retirement planning and saving doesn't mean squat when you get hit with some kind of economic disaster out of left field. The tone of that thread is very mean-spirited and selfish, and when I posted that I thought they should show more compassion to people who had unforeseen disasters, it didn't go over well.

Now I pretty much stay out of that thread because you can't reason with arrogant and sanctimonious who delude themselves into thinking they've got more money than other people because they're smarter, harder-working, more deserving.
Yep. Things happen. Even for folks who have accumulated savings, illness and or accidents can wipe that out. Losing one's job late in life can wipe it out (using savings to "get by" until landing a job at 60, and that job never comes).

All sorts of things, including natural disasters, can wipe out a person's accumulated savings.

Folks can have flood insurance, for example, and a hurricane hit and the insurance company refuse to pay the claim, due to some "loophole." What is a person supposed to do when there is a mortgage on the property?

Yes, bankruptcy can happen late in life to people who have been responsible their entire careers - and raised a family, educated their kids.

The scenarios are as varied and vast as there are people on the planet.

Just because a person has health insurance, for example, it doesn't mean they are indemnified "forever" - there are caps on those policies. Degenerative disease, years of nursing home care . . . outrageous pharmaceutical costs . . . not everything is covered in full - people seem to forget that.

Not everyone has options other than take the hit, go bankrupt . . . and you can't start all over again in a career in your 60s. Folks are lucky to get hired for any kind of low paying job once they hit retirement age. And then there are people who have an illness that prevents them from being able to work, yet the medical bills continue.

There are thousands of folks living on less than $1000 a month. Thank God for social safety nets. That is who the safety nets are for . . . the elderly, the handicapped/impaired, the sick/frail, and children.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,908 posts, read 4,642,846 times
Reputation: 6247
My husband and I recently crunched some numbers.

If we keep investing at our current levels, we are on track to replace 87% of our current salaries when we retire in 18 years.

Of course, inflation makes that all moot since the cost of living will undoubtedly be MUCH HIGHER in 18 years when we are ready to retire.

As such, we'll continue to increase our investments whenever we get a raise, until we're maxed out. And we'll continue to pay extra on our mortgage so that it can be paid off by the time we retire.

And then at that point we'll hope for the best.

My mistake was that I basically ignored 401K stuff throughout my 20s and didn't start putting in until I was 28. And even then I only put in 3% or something insanely low like that. I'm now putting in 11% and will increase it by 1% every year until it can't go any higher. And then I'll pray that I continue to get raises so that the amount going in will still be higher every year. If only I had taken advantage of 401K earlier - I'd be in a much better position as opposed to having to play catch up now in my 40s.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:56 AM
 
2,421 posts, read 3,721,370 times
Reputation: 3455
So interesting and enlightening. I'm glad I posed the question. I suspected there had to be more potential retirees on here without the "comfortable" retirement income that so many espouse to. Especially among single parents. I also considered the tone of a certain group of people on here who tend to view anyone who does not arrive at the retirement door with sufficient funds in their pockets "as slackers". Something, I know I have defended in a few discussions here.

This could be a lesson learned for some. All people need encouragement and especially those who have arrived at the Retirement gate a little or even a lot short , as they are most likely those with the most fears, and question how they are going to make it. I don't see the word "Well Off" before the word Retirement Forum on this board. So we should be welcoming all posters who come on here to seek advice and ideas and share their stories.

Naturally, striving to obtain a comfortable retirement early in life is the best course of action, and that advise and the suggestions people offer on how to achieve it can be helpful to someone earlier in their career. But to someone 60, there may be other suggestions and success stories more appropriate to share. Since the later are statistically the norm, perhaps we may need to ponder our responses to them more.

Last edited by modhatter; 03-02-2015 at 10:22 AM..
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