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Old 01-10-2016, 03:47 PM
 
7,921 posts, read 5,037,155 times
Reputation: 13576

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
My point is that the "golden era of affluent retirees" is coming to an abrupt end.
On this, I think, we all emphatically agree. There's no crisis now. There won't be a crisis for the next 10-15 years or so. But slowly, tensions are mounting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
The United States isn't 50% of the world economy like in 1950 when the rest of the first world was bombed to rubble. We're 20% of the world economy and declining.
Here too I can't quibble. But what's so baffling is that precisely as the US has been losing so much relative ground over the past 10 years, the dollar has been strengthening, and US stock markets have been handily outpacing most foreign markets. This is a dual penalty for US-based equity investors seeking to diversify abroad.

Simply put, why isn't the dollar trading at $1 = 50 Yen, or $1.65 = 1 Euro? Why isn't the Nikkei at 45,000 and the DAX at 17,000?
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Amongst the AZ Cactus
7,074 posts, read 4,922,801 times
Reputation: 7700
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
My point is that the "golden era of affluent retirees" is coming to an abrupt end. Defined-benefit pensions? Gone. The median person is going to hit 60-something with low net worth and practically no retirement savings. The top-30% or so will be OK assuming they don't get divorced too often and actually contribute to their defined contribution retirement account. Most retirees are going to be living very close to the poverty level.

Yep. And most Gen-Xers are screwed. More than half of late-boomers are screwed. Social Security is going to do exactly what it was designed to do. It's going to keep the elderly slightly above the poverty level.
Your guess is as good as anybody's about the future. You seem to have convinced yourself the future is sealed and delivered and that people can't save/fund their own retirement throughout their working career to fund a more comfortable retirement financially. So be it. Your opinion and you're welcome to it of course but at least the younger generation in the work force seems to be getting it to some degree and not looking for excuses in this regard and being proactive about it, adjusting to the new reality.

Millennials Are Outpacing Everyone in Retirement Savings

As for "most retirees" living at/near the poverty level, based on savings levels and lack of planning/saving for the future by many, I agree with you. They will indeed have to live on a very low income or continue working long past the date they probably would feel is ideal for those who choose not to save for retirement or save very little for the future over the decades during one's working years.

As for gen-Xers, I guess that's what the marketers call my wife and I and we retired from nothing special or high income jobs in our mid 40's, no pension. One day we might get a modest pension from our working days down the line at a later age but I'm not counting on it. This is in no way to brag but to prove that those who want something in life can obtain it and not fall into the "most retirees" picture you paint if they so choose. I'm a firm believer in that the vast majority of people make their own bed in life, negative or positive. The opportunities are out there for those who plan and prepare. "Luck" is made for the most part. We are living proof of that. The vast majority of people are capable of the same if they plan and want something bad enough in life, set the goal, and make it a priority.
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,053 posts, read 13,584,112 times
Reputation: 22127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
This is a perfect example of not planning well. Did she and her husband not plan for retirement? If her husband died when she was 63, there was plenty of time to properly fund a retirement with the proper planning. If I go first, my wife will have a very comfortable income for the rest of her life. And if she goes first, I also will have a very comfortable income. It's called planning and it's what responsible people do.
OH you are so very, very perfect aren't you! If you read my posts you might have noticed that my Great Aunt had a severely mentally disabled daughter. When her husband passed her daughter was in her 40s and required full time, 24/7 care. How would you suggest that a 63 year old woman in that situation 'properly fund a retirement'? In fact how would any 63 year old properly fund a retirement unless they were to start robbing banks?
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Old 01-10-2016, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,053 posts, read 13,584,112 times
Reputation: 22127
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Anybody who adds nothing to the conversation but "I was pre-law, didn't go to law school, am saddled with school loans, and work a low wage job" is kind of inviting the snarky 1-liner put-downs.
It only invites snark for people who say things in an internet forum that they wouldn't say to their next door neighbor. The constant denigration of people in these kinds of discussions is really tiresome.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,252 posts, read 4,136,323 times
Reputation: 15661
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
OH you are so very, very perfect aren't you! If you read my posts you might have noticed that my Great Aunt had a severely mentally disabled daughter. When her husband passed her daughter was in her 40s and required full time, 24/7 care. How would you suggest that a 63 year old woman in that situation 'properly fund a retirement'? In fact how would any 63 year old properly fund a retirement unless they were to start robbing banks?

That should all have been in place long before she was 63. What was going on between age 21 and age 63? I didn't plan for my future on the day I retired. That process started 42 years earlier. That doesn't make me perfect, it just makes me prepared. And that response was posted before I knew about the daughter. But still, that should have made retirement planning all the more important knowing you have a disabled daughter that will in all probability outlive you. You can get angry at me all you want. But my wife will not be in the same predicament because we both planned for our future long before retirement.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,233 posts, read 8,523,201 times
Reputation: 35647
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
That should all have been in place long before she was 63. What was going on between age 21 and age 63? I didn't plan for my future on the day I retired. That process started 42 years earlier. That doesn't make me perfect, it just makes me prepared. And that response was posted before I knew about the daughter. But still, that should have made retirement planning all the more important knowing you have a disabled daughter that will in all probability outlive you. You can get angry at me all you want. But my wife will not be in the same predicament because we both planned for our future long before retirement.
All well and good - please offer up a list of the trials and tribulations you had to plan around to get to where you are now. Either that or offer up praise to whatever gods or force that be for getting the luck of the draw.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
31,053 posts, read 13,584,112 times
Reputation: 22127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
That should all have been in place long before she was 63. What was going on between age 21 and age 63? I didn't plan for my future on the day I retired. That process started 42 years earlier. That doesn't make me perfect, it just makes me prepared. And that response was posted before I knew about the daughter. But still, that should have made retirement planning all the more important knowing you have a disabled daughter that will in all probability outlive you. You can get angry at me all you want. But my wife will not be in the same predicament because we both planned for our future long before retirement.
Do you even understand that when she got married very few women worked outside of the home? She graduated high school but had no marketable skills. If she had worked it would have been in retail or some low level clerical job and probably would not have paid for the nurses she would have had to hire to care for her daughter while she was away from the home. And I'm not angry with you at all, I'm just appalled that you have the audacity to blame what this woman was receiving at 103 years of age on "poor planning" that's so ludicrous it's laughable.

I have another great aunt who is 102 and she would have faced the same situation except for the fact that she owned a large home in San Francisco and sold it for 2 million and moved to a very posh retirement community in Sonoma County
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,252 posts, read 4,136,323 times
Reputation: 15661
Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
All well and good - please offer up a list of the trials and tribulations you had to plan around to get to where you are now. Either that or offer up praise to whatever gods or force that be for getting the luck of the draw.

No trials and tribulations, just working hard and planning for the future starting at a young age. Same as many others did. As Samuel Goldwyn once said "The harder I work, the luckier I get." And I didn't have any special advantages. I'm a first generation American who speaks English as a second language.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Amongst the AZ Cactus
7,074 posts, read 4,922,801 times
Reputation: 7700
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
No trials and tribulations, just working hard and planning for the future starting at a young age. Same as many others did. As Samuel Goldwyn once said "The harder I work, the luckier I get." And I didn't have any special advantages. I'm a first generation American who speaks English as a second language.
My experience has been that many people see the end result and not think about the decades of planning, practice, sacrifice, and work that someone put into in making that goal happen.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
Reputation: 32304
Default Defined benefit pensions

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Defined benefit pensions are going to vanish completely even in the public sector. As states and cities/towns get crushed with pension liabilities, the voters who have nothing like those cushy pensions are going to kill them at the ballot box.
......................
You have mis-stated the situation of public pensions, as if they were all the same. The truth is that public pensions vary enromously in terms of their generosity (not all are "cushy" by any means, but the media writes about the ones that are because it's more eye-catching) and their funding health. For the most part, it's not like tax revenues fund the pensions of retired public workers; instead, their contributions and those of the employers were placed into the pension fund during all the years of their employment to be invested in stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. so as to pay the pension obligations going forward.

Yes, there are some poorly funded public pension systems which do in fact fit your description. My quarrel with your post is that you have taken that subset of systems and pretended that there is no other kind.

One key to the degree of your emotionality on this subject is your word "completely". Defined benefit pensions are going to vanish "completely"? That is quite absurd, although I'll probably be dead in 20 more years so I won't be able to come back and argue the point with you. If you had written that many public pensions will be scaled back, I can agree with that. In some places it has already happened for new hires.
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