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Old 04-03-2015, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,294 posts, read 3,339,856 times
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I'm saddened & disappointed that evidentally a great many people (in my age bracket/ 83 in less than 3 weeks) have found it extremely difficult to arrive at retirement age and don't have enough retirement income to live a comfortable life.

I worked my way through college, (father had passed away when I was age 13), I started working at part time jobs at age 12 (stocking shelves at grocery stores, cutting grass & other similiar part time jobs until age 16 when I got a "good-paying" summer job for the next three summers (working on an Asphalt Paving Crew at 2.95/hr--with lots of over-time). Worked summer vacations and 3 part-time jobs throughout the college years and got married to college sweetheart right after graduation, AND started my sales and marketing career in the Industrial Engineering and Construction Field ....SEVEN days after graduation.

I worked for 40 years, married for 51 years and we had one child--couldn't have any more due to a medical situation--wife had 8 miscarriages. We saved as much as we could, lived and SPENT within our means, drove used cars until our 20th yr of marriage, wife worked in the medical field for 13 years in the middle of our marriage years, and we started to invest any extra dollars in the market in 1975 and put the maximum in our 401K's every year from 1981 to 1993 when I retired. I have NO pension of any type, NO gov't or military income of any type-------just social security and the income from an IRA account and the brokerage account established in 1975.....I am a "self-educated-investor" and do my own management. Until the passing of my wife, we had 11 years of very comfortable retirement and traveled extensively and wanted for nothing. To this day, I live in the home I built 35 years ago in the state and area I wanted to retire in, and have had no mortage for these last 35 years.

How did I (we) do it?..................By hard work, planning, living within our means, not carring any debt, and utilizing "common sense" in all aspects of our married life...
Nothing any other couple couldn't do if they: planned, saved, exercised "self-discpline", common sense and not try and "keep up with the Jones".

IMHO, 75% of those people (in my age bracket) that do not have enough retirement income, have no one to blame except themselves........Their current situation is the combined effect of the choices they made over these past many years.

Yes, I'm a realist and firmly believe "what effort your put into your life, results in what you get out of it in the end"!!
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:36 AM
 
2,294 posts, read 1,559,623 times
Reputation: 2737
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
I'm saddened & disappointed that evidentally a great many people (in my age bracket/ 83 in less than 3 weeks) have found it extremely difficult to arrive at retirement age and don't have enough retirement income to live a comfortable life.

I worked my way through college, (father had passed away when I was age 13), I started working at part time jobs at age 12 (stocking shelves at grocery stores, cutting grass & other similiar part time jobs until age 16 when I got a "good-paying" summer job for the next three summers (working on an Asphalt Paving Crew at 2.95/hr--with lots of over-time). Worked summer vacations and 3 part-time jobs throughout the college years and got married to college sweetheart right after graduation, AND started my sales and marketing career in the Industrial Engineering and Construction Field ....SEVEN days after graduation.

I worked for 40 years, married for 51 years and we had one child--couldn't have any more due to a medical situation--wife had 8 miscarriages. We saved as much as we could, lived and SPENT within our means, drove used cars until our 20th yr of marriage, wife worked in the medical field for 13 years in the middle of our marriage years, and we started to invest any extra dollars in the market in 1975 and put the maximum in our 401K's every year from 1981 to 1993 when I retired. I have NO pension of any type, NO gov't or military income of any type-------just social security and the income from an IRA account and the brokerage account established in 1975.....I am a "self-educated-investor" and do my own management. Until the passing of my wife, we had 11 years of very comfortable retirement and traveled extensively and wanted for nothing. To this day, I live in the home I built 35 years ago in the state and area I wanted to retire in, and have had no mortage for these last 35 years.

How did I (we) do it?..................By hard work, planning, living within our means, not carring any debt, and utilizing "common sense" in all aspects of our married life...
Nothing any other couple couldn't do if they: planned, saved, exercised "self-discpline", common sense and not try and "keep up with the Jones".

IMHO, 75% of those people (in my age bracket) that do not have enough retirement income, have no one to blame except themselves........Their current situation is the combined effect of the choices they made over these past many years.

Yes, I'm a realist and firmly believe "what effort your put into your life, results in what you get out of it in the end"!!
Fantastic post, sir! And from someone with a great amount of wisdom and world experience ! I respect you greatly!
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:26 AM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,776 posts, read 14,946,433 times
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When I was in high school, long ago, my goal was to eventually own an old farm. I live in an old farmhouse on 107 acres with a brook and waterfalls. We have not had a mortgage for about 30 years. Our lives have been similar to Montana Griz above. We live in a low hassle place.

There are a lot of people leaving cities and suburbs to seek out a safer place to ride out what they see coming. They sell their house in suburbia, move to Maine and buy a place where they can hunker down for the next 20 years. It is a growing trend. These people don't want to come to Maine and change everything. They read the sign that says, "Maine, the way life should be". They believe it. We are trying to keep Maine as a low hassle place.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:38 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,490 posts, read 62,120,010 times
Reputation: 32158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
I'm saddened & disappointed that evidentally a great many people
(in my age bracket/ 83 in less than 3 weeks) have found it extremely difficult to
arrive at
retirement age and don't have enough retirement income to live a comfortable life.
Your group did their "arriving" TWENTY years ago.
If they're having difficulties now... it's about outliving (or outspending) what they had...
and what allowed them to get to 83.
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:51 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,953,636 times
Reputation: 5383
The real problem isn't for current retirees who consumed the wealth of the greatest generation, the wealth of their own generation, and the wealth of the future generation through outsourcing.

The problem is the generation after them because social security is completely insolvent. You can disagree, but there are a lack of other financial analysts on the thread and the talking heads on the news don't have half a clue how finance actually works. Entitlements are bankrupting our country. People retiring on nothing but social security is only fueling the fire. The entitlements are like a diseased limb that must be cut off. I'm talking about the entitlements, not the people, there is no divine right to retire at 62 and live to 84. The retirement age was set at 62 when the average age of death was 63. If the retirement age was indexed to lifespan so that the same percentage of a persons life involved having a J O f***ing B it wouldn't be a problem, but everyone gets entitled to extra years of retirement that someone else has to pay for. If someone saves and retires early, good for them. Retiring at 62 without savings is the number one way to ruin the future of our country.

Fixing it is politically toxic because those attached to the government's teet will ensure they vote to protect their supply of milk. It is far easier for them to vote than to work.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:13 AM
 
2,675 posts, read 4,534,960 times
Reputation: 2131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burkmere View Post
Ok, you are right. Women have it unblievably rough. It's always the man's fault and I'm totally insensitive.
And all women are paid less than men even in the same job classifications like teachers and public sector employees.

My original point was that the surveys they do which finds to no surprise that men on average make more than women do not take into account generally that job classifications aren't compared. Public sector employees and teachers as well as most private sector job workers in the same job classifications whether men or women make the same. That was my original point which was then twisted.

There are also many many cases (no, I'm not one of them) in which the divorce left the woman in much better shape than the man. So, while I'm not mitigating anyone's plight, some balance needs to be introduced into this subject.
That is simply not true. Read the studies published in good, refereed journals in economics, industrial psychology and management. Nearly all of them control for most, if not all, the factors identified in earlier posts. Nearly all find a sizable remaining gap. And that is with RECENT data.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,452 posts, read 1,153,447 times
Reputation: 5482
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
How did I (we) do it?..................By hard work, planning, living within our means, not carring any debt, and utilizing "common sense" in all aspects of our married life...
Nothing any other couple couldn't do if they: planned, saved, exercised "self-discpline", common sense and

Yes, I'm a realist and firmly believe "what effort your put into your life, results in what you get out of it in the end"!!
Montana Griz,

My hat is off to you and many folks like you including our parents and parents in laws. The living principles which you have lived by are absolutely the golden standards to follow if one want to enjoy their golden years.

We did not experience the Great Depression but have seen the devastating effect of the recent Great Recession. Personally, we were affected very little by it. Our house assessed value plummeted 50% and had just barely climbed up to 55%. We paid off our mortgage years ago so if we could sell it now at the current assessed value, the only loss we would incur was the difference between owning vs. renting the house. Many others were not as lucky and some suffered financial ruins with the house under the water at the same time with losing their jobs and having to relocate etc. Our 401K/IRA/investment lost 30-50% of the values but since we still have our jobs, we did not have to cash out our losses. We also did not get panicked or got bad advice so our portfolios have recovered since then. Many others are not as fortunate. It's a reality that it takes money to make money. If one has to depleted one saving/financial cushion because of necessity during the recession, they certainly can not benefit from the market recovery. In addition, the more conservative folks who keep their money in CDs, saving acounts etc, they have steadily and continually losing their money with the CD/saving interest returns being WAY below inflation rates!.

It is the fact that the US economy is not #1 in the world. The global economy means income 'equalization' between the US working class with the rest of the mostly much poorer world. The steady outflow of jobs to oversea and the enormous financial rewards to outsourcing CEO/upper management/venture capitalist wizards resulting in HUGE income gap in the US.

Here are some stats from this article
Average America vs the One Percent - Forbes

Quote:
The 1 percent are worth about $8.4 million, or 70 times the worth of the lower classes.

The 1 percent are executives, doctors, lawyers and politicians, among other things. Within this group of people is an even smaller and wealthier subset of people, 1 percent of the top, or .01 percent of the entire nation. Those people have incomes of over $27 million, or roughly 540 times the national average income. Altogether, the top 1 percent control 43 percent of the wealth in the nation; the next 4 percent control an additional 29 percent.
From what I have seen around me, there are still many hardworking folks in this country but the return of their effort is not as good as in the good old days

Quote:
The Fallacy of Hard Work

It’s a common belief in America that all people have the same opportunity for success as the top 1 percent. Most people consider success to be a by-product of hard work, and hard work is something that Americans are extremely familiar with. In fact, Americans have increased productivity by 80 percent since 1979; unfortunately, their income hasn’t risen accordingly, if at all.

The average worker in an American company makes substantially less than supervisors and executives. In fact, corporate executives make 62 times more money than an average worker in bonuses alone, not counting the executive’s actual salary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
Yes, I'm a realist and firmly believe "what effort your put into your life, results in what you get out of it in the end"!!
I agree on the principle but there are many life extenuating circumstances. From what I have seen, these unfortunate situations - lost jobs from layoffs/outsourcing, lost homes from the sub prime mortgage crisis, heavy education loan debt but no jobs from fraudulent universities, savings wiped out by sudden/huge medical expenses etc. have affected many people.

There are no questions that many people reaped what they sow and their unfortunate circumstances are the results of their previous actions or in-actions.

Back to the original poll for the "Chicken Little retirement outlook", I expect different answer from the folks who have already retired, who are considering retirement because they think that they are ready vs the old ones who do not think that they could afford to retire (a large percentage of them either don't participate in cd-forum or got discouraged from expressing their views here) and the younger ones who are concerned about their future.

As I had expressed in previous post, the stats don't lie. Of course there appears to be conflicting or contradictory stats but just like all the media info, one has to consider the sources, the slants (one good example is the citing of the 'average' 401K balance vs the 'median' value).

Personal observations aside, my readings of the stats is that there is an impending retirement crisis if nothing is done to prevent it. It does not happen today or in the near-term but the steadily downward retirement readiness trends are there. When will we fall off the cliff and get into another economic mess or even a depression with safety nets with huge holes due to reality, nobody knows for sure but IMO, the future may still be rosy for me but likely very bleak for the next generation.

Last edited by BellaDL; 04-03-2015 at 09:00 AM..
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
2,839 posts, read 1,694,054 times
Reputation: 4521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post

IMHO, 75% of those people (in my age bracket) that do not have enough retirement income, have no one to blame except themselves........Their current situation is the combined effect of the choices they made over these past many years.

Yes, I'm a realist and firmly believe "what effort your put into your life, results in what you get out of it in the end"!!
Couldn't agree more.

While a lot of savings were wiped out by the Great Recession, and the overall economic situation has been bleak'ish, still a lot of people - the majority in my opinion - simply lived way beyond their means. This is true both for the families making $40k a year and those making $200k.

I blame the "borrow and spend, borrow and spend more" trend of the people of my generation on the yuppie culture of the 80s. We live in a house that one of us can pay off should anything happen. Most of our friends live in huge homes that need both incomes to maintain. We buy our cars every 8-9 years, most of our friends are on the rotting 2-3 year leases and they only get luxury brands. Yet we probably make a bit more money than they do. We know far too many people who won't have anything but Social Security when they retire, even though they've been making decent wages most of their lives.

This is why, even though I lean Republican on fiscal issues, I am dead against dismantling Social Security - while most of the people who pay into it would never see the meaningful return on their money, the sad truth is the majority of our population will live in abject 3rd world poverty without SS. We're not a savers' culture like some other nations.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
There are a lot of people leaving cities and suburbs to seek out a safer place to ride out what they see coming. They sell their house in suburbia, move to Maine and buy a place where they can hunker down for the next 20 years. It is a growing trend. These people don't want to come to Maine and change everything. They read the sign that says, "Maine, the way life should be". They believe it. We are trying to keep Maine as a low hassle place.


I read somewhere that Maine has a very high population percentage of seniors. I've also read that the state has some dozen or more "senior colleges" that offer much more than bingo and shuffleboard. I've seen some of the course listings online. I don't think many seniors would be bored in your wonderful state. Not at all a bad place to ride out one's years ~
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
Reputation: 15649
I couldn't rep BellaDL again but agree with her reality-based balanced view. She seems to be in touch.
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