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Old 03-25-2015, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,555 posts, read 17,535,380 times
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As a spin off to the current thread about seniors and income inequality, when do you think one really needs to be "on-track," so to speak, in order to retire in the normal range, say between 60-67? Obviously the more you have the earlier, the better, but is there a point where someone who has zero saved will probably never get on track? If that age exists, is it 30? 40? If you're in your 50s and only have $50k or so, are you pretty much out of luck?

Assuming no windfalls, when do you think people can get really screwed from being behind the curve?
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,910 posts, read 4,644,145 times
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I'm in my mid-40s and feel behind the curve. My husband is in his late-40s. I did not invest at all during my twenties and really didn't get aggressive until about 10 years ago. My husband has always invested, but meagerly. As such, we're now looking at needing to step up our game since we're closer to retirement age than not.

I'm not expecting any windfalls any time soon - when I finally retire my parents will only be in their late 80s. So any inheritance I might get from them won't be until I'm in my 70s. And even then I am not assuming I'll get an inheritance other than a few pieces of antique furniture that I've already "claimed" per my mother's request a few years ago.

Having said this, my grandmother's pension was pretty low, and yet she had a good life. She had a small home that she loved, and lived in a low-cost area that allowed her to have a nice social life without breaking the bank. And once she needed more assistance and moved into a retirement community near my house, she still had enough to pay the rent and buy groceries, and pay for all the other things she needed. She certainly couldn't take extravagant vacations, but she lived well on what she had.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:25 AM
 
8,820 posts, read 5,121,165 times
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I had zero until age 31, that is when I began investing $20 per paycheck. Now at age 48 I am on track to replace half of my current income with my own nest egg.

If you're 50 with $50k, you can easily get there IF you are still working to your potential (not underemployed), done raising and supporting children, have a small mortgage or maybe done with your mortgage.

But no matter where you are, any savings is better than no savings. If you're not on track, that's no reason to throw in the towel. Do whatever you can do, you'll benefit.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:32 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,179 posts, read 2,852,979 times
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I will reach my goal in 4 years if I get 4% raises the next 3 years.

It'll give me a 30K base from which to live outside of the retirement accounts.

We did not start saving until our mid-40's - so take that as a positive note.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:33 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,487 posts, read 62,101,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
As a spin off to the current thread about seniors and income inequality,
when do you think one really needs to be "on-track," so to speak...
Until your kids are out of the house and that house is paid for...
don't refer to your savings and investments as "retirement funds".
Have them certainly... but be careful about the head game.

In decades past, when most married and had their kids young(er)...
that reckoning and reevaluation c/would commonly happen by 45 or 50.

Conveniently, this would correspond with the prime earning years
and the onset of the maturity required to deliberately save even more.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:40 AM
 
29,764 posts, read 34,851,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
As a spin off to the current thread about seniors and income inequality, when do you think one really needs to be "on-track," so to speak, in order to retire in the normal range, say between 60-67? Obviously the more you have the earlier, the better, but is there a point where someone who has zero saved will probably never get on track? If that age exists, is it 30? 40? If you're in your 50s and only have $50k or so, are you pretty much out of luck?

Assuming no windfalls, when do you think people can get really screwed from being behind the curve?
Not being a smart A__, but your question is phrased as a last possible date so my answer is truly the day before you retire. With the logical suggestion that if retirement is a choice it should not be exercised until you are ready. As many have noted you can be on track at one age and events blow that plan up before you get to when you want to retire. Best case and most fail proof day to actually be ready is the day of or before. After that as many also have noted crap can happen. So you may only have a few days to be on track and retired in theory.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,674 posts, read 49,423,020 times
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I think that by around 30, a person needs a wake-up call. Somehow to plan a path to retirement.

I finished college at 28. My wife and I went through our own such wake-up. We decided to focus on a career path that offered a solid pension, and we started building our portfolio at that time.



I look around and easily see many people, who never did this. Years go by, without goals or plans for the future. I suspect that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:05 PM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,179 posts, read 2,852,979 times
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I don't have kids and I think its way harder when you do have them - to plan for your retirement.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,469,891 times
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I think by 30 you should have a plan for retirement and a budget item for putting away money on a regular basis.
Any windfalls that come (raise, bonus, inheritance) should also have some set aside for retirement.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:00 PM
 
Location: CT
3,461 posts, read 1,854,094 times
Reputation: 4614
My wife and I were way underfunded by the time I was fifty, I was unemployed, we had gone through all our savings and retirement money to stay afloat, and she was just starting a new job. But we got back on our feet, kept hitting 401K's hard and getting match from employers, got the kids to adulthood, paid off the house and now at 63 we're almost ready. By the time I'm 65 we'll be well funded to live comfortably for the next 30 years if we make it. So, even if you start late, it can be done, and BTW, we are not millionaires nor did we make outrageous money. Just have to make a plan and go for it.
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