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Old 03-24-2015, 03:13 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
"Saving and scrimping" implies deprivation and doing without. Why is the issue never looked at from the earning more and investing side? I don't understand why people never look at retirement planning from the standpoint of "if I earn more, I can both invest more and enjoy today more," and instead assume a zero-sum game where the only way to grow retirement savings is simply to cut spending or save more.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:29 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
"Saving and scrimping" implies deprivation and doing without. Why is the issue never looked at from the earning more and investing side? I don't understand why people never look at retirement planning from the standpoint of "if I earn more, I can both invest more and enjoy today more," and instead assume a zero-sum game where the only way to grow retirement savings is simply to cut spending or save more.
Agreed! When my wife and I married it was the first time in both our lives we'd had combined incomes. Going into our marriage we were both dead broke; me thanks to divorce, her from having spent 18 years as a single working mom of two with no support from their father. Early-on we decided that we wanted to have some fun which had been a dearth in our former lives. But at the same time we systematically funded our 401(k)s and savings.

Depriving oneself while betting on the come - you won't be laid off, your pension fund won't fail, the economy will grow, etc. - made no sense to us at all. After having lost half my pension fund and half my 401(k) in divorce I was taking no chances on the future, barring a second divorce which, thankfully, has yet to happen.

In the end we had plenty of fun, were able to purchase a modest retirement home that perfectly meets our needs and have a comfortable, stable retirement. Depriving ourselves was never an option, nor should it have been.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:30 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,839 posts, read 18,861,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
"Saving and scrimping" implies deprivation and doing without. Why is the issue never looked at from the earning more and investing side? I don't understand why people never look at retirement planning from the standpoint of "if I earn more, I can both invest more and enjoy today more," and instead assume a zero-sum game where the only way to grow retirement savings is simply to cut spending or save more.
Some people do strive to earn more, some people do invest more, some people do both, some people do neither. Some people scrimp and save. I think that's been the theme of this thread, that everyone is different. Not everyone has the talent or opportunity to get into a high paying job. Not everyone has the good health. Some people's spouses cheat on them late in life and there is no making up for the money that is lost after a late in life divorce. There's income inequality for an entire spectrum of reasons.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:57 PM
 
2,421 posts, read 3,724,705 times
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I quote from Wardendresden's quote:

Quote:
"I was terrified by the similarities between our society and the era of the Great Depression. As a nation, we were moving toward levels of economic inequality we had not seen since the financial crash of the late 1920s. My reading of history, of events surrounding the New Deal era and the Depression, is that excess inequality tended to be associated with high speculation and a lack of appropriate constraints on the financial industry.

In essence, I came to believe growing economic inequality was intimately linked to economic catastrophe, which would be so great that it would tear our social fabric.

BC: Why is inequality so destabilizing and dangerous?
BJ: There are very few things in America that are taboo. But one thing we never, ever talk about is the potential for political instability in the U.S. We're taught as children that we had one great revolution. We take the stability of our democracy for granted.

But economic inequality is very dangerous, and the reason is that in our society wealth and power go together. As wealth becomes substantial, it starts to use its political power to ensure its hegemony and mucks up the important, competitive elements that make capitalism work. Over time, what was formally a vibrant economy with efficient markets becomes an inefficient, dysfunctional one.

Here's a recent example. The New York Times wrote that Wall Street does not want a transparent market for swaps and that Washington politicians were listening to its demands. The reason for the opposition is that, in effect, traders make more money by keeping "prices in the shadows." A transparent market means that you have the equivalent of a stock exchange, where all participants can see the prices of recent trades. That's all it means. It's hard for me to see how this would even be a serious discussion if the financial industry did not have political influence. Is there any public interest in a market that is opaque, rather than transparent?
Bruce Judson on the Societal Dangers of Income Inequality | Next New Deal

Bottom line is that is why the "freeloaders" everyone is concerned about, tend, percentagewise, to be corporations who get the largest share of "tax breaks" and corporate "welfare."


The vast difference between the huge income gap in America has many many ramifications for America.
Most of you already can see it in our government, and how the voice of America is being ignored over the wishes of the few at the top. This erodes democracy and eventually the middle class. Our rich are becoming enormously wealthy and our poor are becoming poorer. And we all know what is happening to the middle class. We are becoming an oligarchy society and all ready a Plutocracy. This does not bode well for anyone except the very wealthy.

If you read your history books on the subject you will see the destructive pattern we are in, and how our democracy is is being eroded more and more each year as the income gap becomes more and more pronounced. So yes, the income gap has many ill effects on society and among them the dissension within our own society which the OP mentioned in his opening post. I urge people to read up on it.

It is not at all a question of supporting or not supporting the "free market". I am a liberal and I support the free market (competition) I support it to the point that is is held in check, as unchecked you
have run away greed, power and eventually monopolies that are very bad for consumers and workers alike.

The rising tide lifts all boats is a line used to keep people in check I am afraid. It is the game of which came first, the chicken or the egg. The only thing trickling in the last 20 years, is trickling up, not down. Again turn to your history books. The divide in society that is growing which is indicative of an oligarchy society and as he mentions, is very destructive as it pits us against each other.

Here's just one article. You can read and find many on the subject.
Is America an Oligarchy? - The New Yorker

Where as Plutocracy is really a more accurate term as it implies government by the wealthy few. An oligarchy is government by "the few". The "few" could be due to being royal, wealthy, family, military, religious or anything else. Obviously the wealthy can often buy power but if a system of plutocracy and oligarchy occurred at the same time (government by a "few" wealthy people), both terms can apply.


Plutocracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by modhatter; 03-24-2015 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:51 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,144,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
"Saving and scrimping" implies deprivation and doing without. Why is the issue never looked at from the earning more and investing side? I don't understand why people never look at retirement planning from the standpoint of "if I earn more, I can both invest more and enjoy today more," and instead assume a zero-sum game where the only way to grow retirement savings is simply to cut spending or save more.
It is well and good to try and earn more both in terms of working as well as investing. But once a person has done all they can, then run the numbers, then seen that the bottom line is still not looking good, well ...



Not everyone can earn what is needed to set everything into motion, at an early enough point in life, to come out where they need to be when old. And as several have noted, things might come out of left field that rapidly consume assets.

It is not zero sum however notions of "abundance thinking" etc are, in the end, complete BS. There are definite winners and losers in this game. And trying really hard does not always mean winning.
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,515,954 times
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There is no fix for this unless the government takes all our money and then doles it out equally to everyone.
Do you want that ?
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:55 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
It is well and good to try and earn more both in terms of working as well as investing. But once a person has done all they can, then run the numbers, then seen that the bottom line is still not looking good, well ...



Not everyone can earn what is needed to set everything into motion, at an early enough point in life, to come out where they need to be when old. And as several have noted, things might come out of left field that rapidly consume assets.

It is not zero sum however notions of "abundance thinking" etc are, in the end, complete BS. There are definite winners and losers in this game. And trying really hard does not always mean winning.
I don't think he was saying that everyone could but it was a strategy that has worked for many including many in this forum. Work for all no. But a goal to strive for in retirement why not? Many with pensions realize that between that and their SS they could live very comfortably yet they desired more and worked with their tax sheltered work place savings especially those with pensions and 403B plans. Not all but many.
No trying hard doesn't always mean winning but my understanding is that it improves your chances considerably. So yes there will be inequality some by chance other by personal behavior. There has always been and probably will be. What escalates the discussion is the recent surge in calls for redistribution from one to another and that brings out another side in many folks. Class warfare as proclaimed by some can be painful and hurtful to innocent bystanders. Like most wars there will be collateral damage.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,286 posts, read 5,495,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
There is no fix for this unless the government takes all our money and then doles it out equally to everyone.
Do you want that ?
I said ther is no viable political solution. I never thought I would say this, but buy your guns and ammo and stock up on a lot of canned goods. We will see revolution and the people most at risk are in the upper classes. Does anyone recall that this was the same impetus that caused the French Revolution circa 1793.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:36 PM
 
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,335,268 times
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Many but not all gain some level of wisdom by the time they get to retirement age. Can't we all live an abundant life if abundance is measured by sunsets and friends and smiles and hello's and feeling the wind in your hair (or on your scalp) and the sun on your face, enjoying the laughter of the young and the stories of the old?

I have all that; I have an abundant life. Oh, yeah, all that and large steaming piles of money, too.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:54 PM
 
8,857 posts, read 5,136,100 times
Reputation: 10128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Agreed! When my wife and I married it was the first time in both our lives we'd had combined incomes. Going into our marriage we were both dead broke; me thanks to divorce, her from having spent 18 years as a single working mom of two with no support from their father. Early-on we decided that we wanted to have some fun which had been a dearth in our former lives. But at the same time we systematically funded our 401(k)s and savings.

Depriving oneself while betting on the come - you won't be laid off, your pension fund won't fail, the economy will grow, etc. - made no sense to us at all. After having lost half my pension fund and half my 401(k) in divorce I was taking no chances on the future, barring a second divorce which, thankfully, has yet to happen.

In the end we had plenty of fun, were able to purchase a modest retirement home that perfectly meets our needs and have a comfortable, stable retirement. Depriving ourselves was never an option, nor should it have been.
Absolutely. A happy life is all about balance. There isn't a pile of money large enough worth spending your most precious commodity (time) being miserable. On the other hand, being a spendthrift doesn't bring happiness. So balance it out. Spend on the things which really matter to you, and forego those things which don't.
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