U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 01-02-2016, 07:37 AM
 
71,989 posts, read 72,020,102 times
Reputation: 49559

Advertisements

whether we like to think of it that way or not retirement is a reward for having the resources to do so not a right .

75% of Americans live pay check to paycheck with near zero savings . so why should retirement be any different all of a sudden .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-02-2016, 08:29 AM
 
39,327 posts, read 20,433,961 times
Reputation: 12809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tall Traveler View Post
You need to become knowledgeable about how the system works before making inaccurate comments that highlight your ignorance.
I compare SS to SPIA's only the recipient pays in through time. Although not exactly but it compares. When you buy a SPIA you have a choice, when you contribute to SS you don't have a choice.

When the contributor begins collecting collecting they are guaranteed an income for the rest of their lives. Just like buying a SPIA you want to buy into a company that will not go under. People were forced to pay into the government SPIA but the government doesn't have to do a good job, they just make promises. I don't know, maybe my basic understanding is wrong. What is your understanding of how the system works?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 08:32 AM
 
71,989 posts, read 72,020,102 times
Reputation: 49559
that gov't annuity you speak of is far and away the best deals in annuity's you can ever get .

you can't find any commercial annuity , cola adjusted that pays what ss does , especially if a low income earner .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 09:11 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,397 posts, read 6,404,610 times
Reputation: 9975
Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Exactly what is the "safety net" for childless adults and why do I see so many homeless?
Not around here. The childless adults in my family are not homeless. I did hear of one case, he has degree from top public school but decided not to work after his early 30s. Who gives him that right? Good thing he has wealthy parents to mooch off, I think you need to find wealthy parents.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 09:28 AM
 
39,327 posts, read 20,433,961 times
Reputation: 12809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
I was surprised to see Ramesh Ponnuru write this cr*p because he is a usually sensible guy. My job is researching retirement and other investment-related issues for a think tank - and he and I both know that when you look at data you have to look at the whole distribution, not just the mean or median.

The average American retiree is in pretty good shape. But that consists of a top 15-20% (not 1%) that has done exceedingly well, a large middle group, and a group that has nothing but Social Security and a a few thousand dollars in savings.

You can guess who is going to be asking whom to give them money over the next few decades. This is a crisis because people vote, and they'll vote high taxes on anyone who has been prudent enough to save enough for retirement. A lot of people, me included, have saved just enough and can't afford to pay for all the people who haven't.

By the way, people with large retirement balances, and by that I mean over $1 million or so, aren't "the rich." They are middle to upper middle class people who lived below their means, saved and invested, or were participants in well-run pension plans. $1 million gets you $40,000 in income. Add that to Social Security and you can survive, but you won't be buying that McMansion on the golf course in Scottsdale that you've always wanted. The rich are, well, rich, with tens of millions or more - more than they will ever need; that's what being rich is.
Excellent EXCELLENT post Larry.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:10 AM
 
39,327 posts, read 20,433,961 times
Reputation: 12809
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
that gov't annuity you speak of is far and away the best deals in annuity's you can ever get .

you can't find any commercial annuity , cola adjusted that pays what ss does , especially if a low income earner .
I've enjoyed reading this thread. It's EXCELLENT thread with some very good points and thoughts.

Although I am just learning about SPIA's I do have to agree. I was forced to pay into SS from when I was young, carefree and financially illiterate but if given a choice at the time I would not have. I'm glad I was not given the choice. My reply was in to response to people who blame retiree's instead of understanding SS. Hopefully the forum member who I responded to lives long enough to appreciate it too.

I hope government doesn't screw it up for them though. I wonder if the media is using fear mongering for a later purpose. Either way, I know not to depend on anyone, not even if it's promised.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:16 AM
 
2,631 posts, read 1,944,656 times
Reputation: 4597
It's interesting to note, that for "means testing" [they use that for EBT qualification] your IRA or 401k is considered "means" even if you are retired but not yet old enough to collect SS per your retirement plan. You can have < 1000 dollars on line 37 the year you apply for EBT, but if you have an IRA that was put there in lieu of a pension, designed of course to support you for 25 years, you have too much "assets" to get an EBT.


But a pension you'll get after, say, age 65, equivalent, btw, to an IRA of well over a million dollars; often over 2 million dollars ...doesn't count as "means." Hmmm.


I say, cr@psh*t! Talk about easy food stamps for early retirees of typically, UAW or government jobs [common]?, but not for you?....just because you don't have your retirement funded by a pension?

Last edited by TwinbrookNine; 01-02-2016 at 10:29 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:21 AM
 
7,982 posts, read 5,070,972 times
Reputation: 13653
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
No, actually if you earn 0% on a billion dollars, you still have a billion dollars.

The most important return is the return of capital, not the return on capital. How much you save is much more important than the investment return, unless you have decades to build wealth - and, even then, a great return on a small investment balance is still small.
I take exactly the opposite approach. If I had a billion dollars, but year after year managed only 0% returns, then effectively I have no income, and no spending money.

The whole point of retirement is to live off of the returns of capital - not to consume the capital. In fact, I'd go further: the whole point of retirement is to be a wise steward of capital. If I can never glean such wisdom, then I can never afford to retire, no matter how much I manage to accumulate from savings, inheritance, lottery, tooth-fairy etc.

If, as happened during the past 16 years, the return on capital does not (or does not substantially) outpace GDP growth, then Piketty had it exactly backwards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
The reason that public sector salaries have "soared" is because governments have shed low level, low paid jobs and replaced them with better educated technical people.
Excellent point! At the federal level, it's not that a GS-15 makes so much more today, compared to 20 years ago, in inflation-adjusted terms. Rather, it's that GS-15s now make up a so much larger percentage of the career civil-service.

Functional tasks have been comprehensively outsourced to private industry, to a ceaselessly growing and shifting army of private contractors. Some of those contractors earn enviable salaries (many don't), but they don't accumulate pensions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,458 posts, read 1,161,199 times
Reputation: 5565
So far most of the participants in this thread have already been retired. From what I have learned from reading the polls and postings at this forum, the majority of the posters here are much more well-off and/or well-prepared for retirement in comparison to the general US population (myself included). So I am not at all surprise to see many agree with Andrew G. Biggs' article that there is no retirement crisis.

While Biggs' article seems very persuasive, I found some of the cited statistics debatable. I bolded terms like 'total' and 'average'. Another poster had given an excellent example of the very misleading usage of 'average' and 'lumping' the super richs with the typical folks so I am not going to repeat it here.

Quote:
The total incomes of Americans age 65 or older are equal to 92 percent of the national average income
...
In absolute dollar terms, U.S. seniors have the second-highest average incomes in the world, behind tiny Luxembourg.
....

Americans’ total retirement assets were equal to 2.7 times total personal incomes.
Although the title of the article refutes the assertion that there is a retirement crisis, the conclusion states that there is a retirement crisis in terms of social security funding

Quote:
Social Security’s long-term funding shortfall rose by 58 percent from 2008 to 2015.

The data show that the biggest retirement danger isn’t that Americans haven’t saved enough. It is politicians, both past and present, who promise Social Security benefits without paying for them. That’s the true retirement crisis the presidential candidates need to address.
According to this research, currently a very high percentage of the elderly relies solely on SS. Clearly it will be a HUGE CRISIS when SS fundings run out.

Policy Basics: Top Ten Facts about Social Security | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


Quote:
Close to half of the elderly would be poor without Social Security. Social Security lifts nearly 15 million elderly Americans out of poverty.
A quick search of 'retirement crisis' yielded many articles with more persuasive statistics supporting the concern of the impending retirement crisis. I quoted some of them below:


U.S. Retirement Crisis Is Real: NIRS

Quote:
The public sentiment survey found 86% of Americans agree there is a retirement crisis, and 57% strongly agree. That’s in spite of a drop in concern over respondents’ personal retirement situation. Less than three-quarters of respondents said they felt “highly anxious” about their retirement outlook, down from 85% in 2013.
Still, more than half say they’ll keep working after retirement, and 42% are worried they’ll have to sell their house to be financially secure.
NIRS pointed to data from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research that found as of 2013, more than half of U.S. households don’t have enough to maintain their standard of living in retirement even if they work past age 65.
Retirement crisis is real and getting worse: Study

Quote:
As of 2013, the top 20% of working-age households by income held 67.7% of all retirement assets, while the bottom 50% held 7.4% of assets.
Roughly 31% of Americans have no retirement savings and no access to defined benefit plans, according to Federal Reserve data, including 19% of people ages 55 to 64. Of the 65% of private-sector workers with access to workplace retirement plans, only 48% participated in one in 2014

https://www.americanprogress.org/iss...rement-crisis/

Quote:
A large percentage of Americans are saving nothing for retirement
According to a recently released household survey conducted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as of 2013, approximately 31 percent of Americans reported having zero retirement savings and lacking a defined-benefit, or DB, pension.

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-...risis-fig1.png

The Retirement Crisis is Real: More than 50% of Americans Do Not Have Enough for Retirement | NewRetirement Blog
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-02-2016, 10:31 AM
 
33,046 posts, read 22,121,606 times
Reputation: 8970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
I was surprised to see Ramesh Ponnuru write this cr*p because he is a usually sensible guy. My job is researching retirement and other investment-related issues for a think tank - and he and I both know that when you look at data you have to look at the whole distribution, not just the mean or median.

The average American retiree is in pretty good shape. But that consists of a top 15-20% (not 1%) that has done exceedingly well, a large middle group, and a group that has nothing but Social Security and a a few thousand dollars in savings.

You can guess who is going to be asking whom to give them money over the next few decades. This is a crisis because people vote, and they'll vote high taxes on anyone who has been prudent enough to save enough for retirement. A lot of people, me included, have saved just enough and can't afford to pay for all the people who haven't.

By the way, people with large retirement balances, and by that I mean over $1 million or so, aren't "the rich." They are middle to upper middle class people who lived below their means, saved and invested, or were participants in well-run pension plans. $1 million gets you $40,000 in income. Add that to Social Security and you can survive, but you won't be buying that McMansion on the golf course in Scottsdale that you've always wanted. The rich are, well, rich, with tens of millions or more - more than they will ever need; that's what being rich is.

You appear to see a monolithic group of those who "weren't prudent enough to save enough for retirement". In addition to your group I see also a group of those who did not earn enough to adequately save for retirement, e.g. burger flippers.

Do you make any distinction between these two groups and are different policy approaches appropriate for each?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top