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Old 05-01-2015, 05:33 AM
 
8,191 posts, read 11,905,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Drugs: Yearly out-of-pocket drug costs ranged from a low of $27 (2013) to a high of $85 (2011 & 2012).
You speak of being a freak of nature due to your hearing aid; I think you're more of a freak of nature for having less than $100 in annual drug costs! That's fantastic and I hope your good health continues. Unfortunately, many seniors (including my parents) aren't nearly as fortunate as you when it comes to drug costs and have hundreds of dollars in such costs monthly, never mind annually.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
Well now, thats the trick to it, isn't it? No one likes to take a hit on their standard of living, and unless youve always lived WAY below your means, then early retirement in that case actually means financial independence to have the income to do what you want as young as you want, and still be smart enough to have it last forever without needing SS or a pension. That is roughly Mr.Moneymoustaches website philosophy. As are many ultra frugal living websites. And if thats all it takes to satisfy you, literally just smelling roses, then I am almost envious of you. I need more than that. (I know thats not what you meant)
Not at all what I meant, it is better to be retired happy and healthy that is why some of us are on 25K per year and others on 200K per year. Why does it have to be without pension or SS? That is no where in any post I have ever written as I am a big fan of each. One of the reasons we often have so much acrimony in posts is we all tend to view things from our personal situation at times without fully realizing that others are just as happy with more or less. On the other hand some are unhappy with more or less.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:19 AM
 
29,774 posts, read 34,856,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
It only took me a few minutes to go back through my tax records to cover the six years I've been on Medicare. Here are the results (my costs only, not including amounts insurance paid):

Drugs: Yearly out-of-pocket drug costs ranged from a low of $27 (2013) to a high of $85 (2011 & 2012).

Lab work: Yearly ranged from a low of $40 (2013) to a high of $310 (2009).

Insurance premiums: Yearly amounts didn't vary much. The average was about $1450.

Doctors and dentists: This varied a lot because I had a dental implant in two different years; those high years were $3826 and $3830. The two lowest years (2013 and 2014) were $275 and $370.

Total yearly costs for dental and medical were:

2009: $5,813 (a dental implant year)
2010: $1,843
2011: $5,574 (another dental implant year)
2012: $2,724
2013: $1,817
2014: $8,286 (my share for hearing aids was $6312)

Total for six years = $26,057 divided by 6 = $4343 (yearly average from ages 65 to 71).

The damn hearing aids added over $1000 to the yearly average. So if I hadn't been a freak of nature with my hearing loss, a yearly average out of pocket medical/dental costs of just over $3,000 seems about right to me.

Important note: I do NOT think people citing much higher costs are lying. People's medical conditions are quite variable, and hospitalizations can add to the costs. (I have had no hospitalizations since early childhood). Also, age is a variable. I am still too young to have had any major medical problems, but who knows what is in store for me during the next six years (none of us can know).
So if married to yourself you would have annual medical cost of $8,886 with a high year of over $16,000 and two years of over $10,000 so budgeting $12,500 annually for a couple might be prudent for some. Some would budget the $12,500 and in the years not exceeded dump the rest in a reserve account and or add to their other savings. Get ready for the exceptional year that might be over 20K and a real budget buster.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:01 AM
 
Location: CT
3,461 posts, read 1,854,644 times
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I guess retirement can mean different things to different people, but the bottom line is, nobody is entitled to retire. If you didn't prepare, if you've had a hard life, if you had an accident, maybe just no luck in life, then you need to adapt and do what you need to do. My Dad was laid off when he was in his early sixties, who's going to hire him? He was a carpenter and he hadn't really prepared financially to survive on SS or to supplement it from savings, so he did side jobs and lived basically hand to mouth and did OK and had no regrets. He and my mother lived frugally, but happy, their standard of living dodn't change much and he enjoyed having the extra time and making it on occasional side jobs. Just as we experience in our working life, there are those that have and those that have not, we are supposed to be individually responsible for ourselves. Unfortunately there is a growing wave in this country to equalize the differences between the haves and have nots, and that's socialism. That experiment has been tried several times, and failed, apathy prevails when the point of working hard and succeeding is minimized and penalized, when there's no point to working harder we will drop to the least common denominator. Perhaps its already begun.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:11 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,265,106 times
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+1. 100% agree. The difference is that you can only do that when you're younger and able or just very lucky. My DW was a single mom for many many years, and went 10 of them with no health insurance of any kind, back in the '70s and was lucky (normal?) and never needed any. To think that way in your 70s and 80s is just, well , crazy. I don't think the US is really near Socialism yet, but it is indeed closer every day as more and more leaches on society game the system when they realize that living at the bottom rungs in the US is easier than working, sometimes pays better, and life is often better than the middle rungs in other counties because of all the bleeding hearts here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Why does it have to be without pension or SS? That is no where in any post I have ever written as I am a big fan of each.
I wasn't referring to you, I was referring to the "retire young and frugal" sites. If you only work a regular, income earning, taxed job from the time you graduate college, and retire at 32, which many of them profess is possible (and the only way to live and "smell the roses while you can"), living off bonds and investments, how much SS and pension do you think you would POSSIBLY have earned to claim at "normal" retirement in your 60's?

That's why I say it is often unrealistic. If you don't work 35 years, then whatever SS and company earned benefits exist are reduced greatly or eliminated. I clearly remember when graduating from college (1980), we were all told that SS was broke and don't expect anything from it at retirement. ANd here I am, absolutely counting on it as a large part of my income when I retire, and not particularly worried about it.

I DO pity the average person in their 20's nowadays. The tried and true "work steady and hard, and life will turn out fine" is FAR less available to those Joe Average kids, then to the same Joe Average when we were in our 20's. Todays young workers have no pensions (unless Gov't or Military), little job security, tremendous outsourcing, etc). The big difference for them is that the more educated, more in demand trained individuals have access to better jobs and more income (if willing to relocate) than the same in our generations did in our 20's & 30's because the internet allows instant information, salary, and job availability that we didn't have. So my whole working life, I knew if I just plugged away, (and I LIKE my job) at the very least, I had to worry much less than my uneducated parents did, or Joe Average about having a safe retirement. They have no such assurance, unless they are in demand. My SS & pension are a HUGE part of my planned retirement, but I COULD actually retire at FRA if I had neither for some ungodly reason.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Amongst the AZ Cactus
7,074 posts, read 4,920,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
If you only work a regular, income earning, taxed job from the time you graduate college, and retire at 32, which many of them profess is possible (and the only way to live and "smell the roses while you can"), living off bonds and investments, how much SS and pension do you think you would POSSIBLY have earned to claim at "normal" retirement in your 60's.

That's why I say it is often unrealistic. If you don't work 35 years, then whatever SS and company earned benefits exist are reduced greatly or eliminated. I clearly remember when graduating from college (1980), we were all told that SS was broke and don't expect anything from it at retirement. ANd here I am, absolutely counting on it as a large part of my income when I retire, and not particularly worried about it.
I don't think a guaranteed pension is something that one should solely rely upon in this day and age.

You're assuming SS and a pension(often not indexed to inflation) are the only ways to retire comfortably for the long haul. I also think you're taking a leap to assume they are safe/not subject to cutting or outright elimination. While I think SS is pretty safe with people collecting today given those that try to take any of that away wouldn't get reelected, more than a few pensions have lots of wiggle room and some people who were "promised", or led to think they were promised life benefits, find out the hard way when their pensions are scaled back or eliminated. And perhaps you're not aware of this:

Congress approves plan to allow pension cuts - Dec. 12, 2014

For myself, and many others who are or have taken it upon themselves to save/invest over their working days, feel it's the best way to make their own retirement happen with the best odds. All options have uncontrollable elements of course but I feel much more comfortable managing/working with my pile of money than a company pension plan or gov plan that I have no say on what can/can't happen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
I DO pity the average person in their 20's nowadays. The tried and true "work steady and hard, and life will turn out fine" is FAR less available to those Joe Average kids, then to the same Joe Average when we were in our 20's. Todays young workers have no pensions (unless Gov't or Military), little job security, tremendous outsourcing, ebay reselling or selling products via a storefront, etc). The big difference for them is that the more educated, more in demand trained individuals have access to better jobs and more income (if willing to relocate) than the same in our generations did in our 20's & 30's because the internet allows instant information, salary, and job availability that we didn't have. So my whole working life, I knew if I just plugged away, (and I LIKE my job) at the very least, I had to worry much less than my uneducated parents did, or Joe Average about having a safe retirement. They have no such assurance, unless they are in demand. My SS & pension are a HUGE part of my planned retirement, but I COULD actually retire at FRA if I had neither for some ungodly reason.


"Pity" for the average person in their 20's? Opportunities are less available today? Wow, really? I'm more optimistic than you on the job front for people starting off today. Based on what I see all around me/with people I know, if someone is a go getter/puts a bit of effort into their lives without making excuses it's something/someone else holding them back, even without an education, one can make a decent living working for themselves. I've known many people who didn't need an advanced education or any for that matter(landscapers, HVAC, tile installers, handyman service, carpet/floor cleaning service, dog washing, electricians, etc.) who earn a nice living, some doing extremely well, and have an abundance of work. And as you say, those who are in more highly educated fields can do very well if they stick to fields that are in demand and will remain in demand for the coming decades given the demographics of our country. Healthcare is begging for workers in many areas with excellent pay. Pharmacists, accountants, certain areas of IT, etc. are other fields one can do well in/jobs are abundant.

Last edited by stevek64; 05-01-2015 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:56 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,265,106 times
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A pension as sole savings? Of course not. 35 years ago, when we were making these decisions, pensions very rarely disappeared and could be counted on. In my own case, our planis mid sized, about $4.5 billion, and 105% funded or better over the last 30 years and the company is well run and has paid dividends every quarter without fail. Our plan also has a neat at retirement benefit where we can get a small part of our pension as a lump sum, and still retain the vast majority as an annuity. That plan is gone for new hires after 2008.

Today's AVERAGE 20 year olds can find jobs if they are go getters, but even if you weren't a go getter in my generation, all you had to do was plug away. How many retirement benefits do you think dog washers, fast food, big box store employees, tile installers and carpet cleaners have? ANYONE that wanted to work and had a degree when I was 25, found a job. Absolutely not true today. Joe Average is not a pharmacist, engineer, dr, lawyer, etc. . STEM type jobs are and always gave been in demand because they are not easy and require maturity and aptitude. He WAS a factory worker, in auto, textile, widgets, steel, paper, electronics, etc, etc.....all gone or practically so today.

Many many young people are just not mature enough today to handle the long term financial aspects of life. Sure, there were plenty of them in my generation, but when they finally did grow up, they usually had some safeguards that helped. And plenty will be hand to mouth in retirement still. Do you honestly think todays kids will have it easier or have more guarantees for their retirement??

As noted in other threads, at least for the next 30 years, all the businesses and jobs that benefit from all that boomer retirement money being spent, will thrive. After that, with much of our income generated economy going out of the country, i have my serious doubts. The gap between the haves and have nots widens every day, and that rarely bodes well in our government model.

Last edited by Perryinva; 05-02-2015 at 05:05 AM..
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Old 05-02-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Amongst the AZ Cactus
7,074 posts, read 4,920,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
Today's AVERAGE 20 year olds can find jobs if they are go getters, but even if you weren't a go getter in my generation, all you had to do was plug away. How many retirement benefits do you think dog washers, fast food, big box store employees, tile installers and carpet cleaners have? ANYONE that wanted to work and had a degree when I was 25, found a job. Absolutely not true today. Joe Average is not a pharmacist, engineer, dr, lawyer, etc. . STEM type jobs are and always gave been in demand because they are not easy and require maturity and aptitude. He WAS a factory worker, in auto, textile, widgets, steel, paper, electronics, etc, etc.....all gone or practically so today.
Right, people who work for themselves/for others largely have to fund their own retirements these days. As this thread illustrates, most don't take this upon themselves, even for those who make decent money. I worked in the IT field with people who largely made good money and the vast majority put nothing/very little towards their retirement so I think attitude is more of the issue than what one makes. This one individual I worked with would sit down with me and we'd talk retirement savings as she told me she was interested in putting money away. She told me she was ready to put money away for retirement in a deferred account, followed by a bunch of "buts" and I suggested even if she could start with $25 every few weeks(before tax). Well, this conversation would pop up every few years when I saw her in the hallway and she told me she just couldn't afford this now, on and on and on, etc. She made more money than me and I just smiled and thought this is why many people today have very little saved. Not that they "can't", but "won't". And nothing wrong with that in my book, people have their own choices in life to make and have decided they want to work longer than I, and more than a few will have to work indefinitely by nothing more than their own choices. To each their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
Many many young people are just not mature enough today to handle the long term financial aspects of life. Sure, there were plenty of them in my generation, but when they finally did grow up, they usually had some safeguards that helped. And plenty will be hand to mouth in retirement still. Do you honestly think todays kids will have it easier or have more guarantees for their retirement??
I agree, most people in their teens/20's just starting out in their jobs are not thinking about retirement. I think this was always the case, not just with young people today. I was the same way at that age. But this attitude carries on for most into their 30's, 40's, 50's, etc.

I think the "guarantees" of retirement(pensions and such) started to unravel some time ago but for those who retired in let's say the 70's or before, I can see your point as valid in being able to count on a pension as close as one can get to 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
The gap between the haves and have nots widens every day, and that rarely bodes well in our government model.
That will occur if a large segment of the populace doesn't take the initiative to adopt to the reality of a situation, ie don't educate themselves, put some effort into getting into work that is in demand and just give up and use excuses about the good old days, they are a victim because someone else makes more money than them and that's not "fair", etc. We are a free society and with that comes choices individuals have to make or not make to adapt to that reality. For those who want a more socialist/I want gov to take care of me more, everyone should be more equal by a gov decree, such countries exist(even the US does this at some levels). In such cases, then perhaps the best thing for those who want that type of society should consider moving to such a place. I'm not trying to be a wise guy here but I come from the view that many things in life can't be controlled in life except ourselves/our own actions and I approach life that way.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,479,637 times
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The thing is the US has always pushed consumerism as we changed from a producer nation to a consumer nation.
A consumer nation though is service which is typically lower paying then producer type jobs.

The US has always had a dismal savings record compared to other countries.
And with lower paying jobs and easy access to credit it's even worse.

Your average CC balance is near $20,000 while your average savings account balance is $5,000.
And near 30% of Americans don't even have a bank account.
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:31 PM
 
29,774 posts, read 34,856,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
The thing is the US has always pushed consumerism as we changed from a producer nation to a consumer nation.
A consumer nation though is service which is typically lower paying then producer type jobs.

The US has always had a dismal savings record compared to other countries.
And with lower paying jobs and easy access to credit it's even worse.

Your average CC balance is near $20,000 while your average savings account balance is $5,000.
And near 30% of Americans don't even have a bank account.
Savings account balance isn't as relevant as it use to be. I can get money from investment accounts in 24-48 hours or less. Coming from a cash reserve fund is quick and easy. As MJ says the data is flimsy as there are to many dots not connected. Even CC data can be misleading as a number of folks carry a high average balance that they pay off each month and get the points.
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