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Old 01-31-2016, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,798,299 times
Reputation: 32309

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonysam View Post
401(k)s are total scams designed not to make you financially secure but to save companies money on pension costs by shifting ALL of the risk on the employees. I can't believe people are so ignorant they don't know that simple truth.

They were originally set up for use by high-paid executives until the Reagan administration relaxed the rules.

They were never designed to replace pensions, which are a FAR better deal, by the way, but loopholes in ERISA made it easy for companies to ditch their defined benefit plans--these are pensions--in favor of the horrible defined contribution plans like 401(k)s. 401(k) are NOT pensions.

This is not my opinion--this is FACT, which 30 years of this horrible 401(k) experiment has borne me out.

People have no conception of how much money they would have to save in these DIY accounts or savings to even remotely come close to the most modest pension. Hint: It is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The ONLY way the vast majority of people have ANY kind of "wealth" to see them through a halfway secure retirement is if they own a home outright and are able to sell it. That, of course, almost always requires one to be married to a working spouse. It is virtually out of reach for most single people, women especially.

I'm so sorry you have had experiences which make you so bitter. Your bitterness has skewed your view of reality. First of all, 401(k)'s are not scams at all because they are completely transparent; they are investment vehicles and many employees are fortunate enough to receive employer contributions. Sure, you are correct that they are not as good as pensions because the guarantee is no longer attached, but that doesn't make them scams, and that doesn't make them "horrible".


And no, most people are not "ignorant" about what 401(k)'s are. Millions of people have in fact made themselves financially secure through their 401(k)'s. And yes, 30 or 40 years of working make it very feasible to amass hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Owning a paid-off home is also not out of reach of most single people. I am single (well, divorced a long time ago) and my career was very low-paying (high school teacher), but I have a paid-off home.


Writing full of invective and hyperbole, as yours is, will not be effective in making your point.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:42 PM
 
2,451 posts, read 2,086,077 times
Reputation: 5733
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I'm so sorry you have had experiences which make you so bitter. Your bitterness has skewed your view of reality. First of all, 401(k)'s are not scams at all because they are completely transparent; they are investment vehicles and many employees are fortunate enough to receive employer contributions. Sure, you are correct that they are not as good as pensions because the guarantee is no longer attached, but that doesn't make them scams, and that doesn't make them "horrible".


And no, most people are not "ignorant" about what 401(k)'s are. Millions of people have in fact made themselves financially secure through their 401(k)'s. And yes, 30 or 40 years of working make it very feasible to amass hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Owning a paid-off home is also not out of reach of most single people. I am single (well, divorced a long time ago) and my career was very low-paying (high school teacher), but I have a paid-off home.


Writing full of invective and hyperbole, as yours is, will not be effective in making your point.


Great post
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,819 posts, read 17,734,769 times
Reputation: 27881
Quote:
Originally Posted by meo92953 View Post
Some people are just wanderers. How &/or why is it necessary to tie down a wanderer?

I wrote a poem once about this:
No one can catch the bird when she's flying
There's few that would even try,
Most seem to know that the beauty of the bird
Is the sun on her wings as she flies.
It's not, but if she really can't afford it, she should try to raise her income and cut costs. If she's doing it because she likes it, even though she's broke, more power to her.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,819 posts, read 17,734,769 times
Reputation: 27881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
I totally agree. The article in the OP seems to trying to paint the people in it as "typical" retirees when they're anything but that. It's how they've chosen to live their retirements that resulted in them having to work crappy part-time jobs to support their retirement lifestyles. They made choices, so they live with them.

What angers me the most about this article is that it seems to be another one of a growing trend of authors and publishers pushing outliers as being representative of the typical. The OP article isn't written as "how retirees travel the country on a shoestring" POV but from the "how the Great Recession forced retirees into homelessness" POV, which is total bull manure. It's like that story somebody posted on the Economics or Retirement forum weeks ago about how "the college loan burden prevents couple from retirement". Well, it turned out Mommy and Daddy couldn't retire before they were even 60 because they were still supporting "artist" son with $120k in student loans and semi-employed other son with $60k in student loans which they had co-signed for. Cry me a river!

Trying to pass these extreme cases off as typical denigrates the real plight of people who have real problems not of their own making.
Most people don't have the desire, even if they have the means, to live out of an RV permanently. It's a niche lifestyle and obviously it's something she wants.

I think there is some substance into the argument that older workers who were laid off in the Great Recession and not able to get back into the labor force were basically "retired." I see this all the time back home in Tennessee where people got knocked down the ladder in the recession and have had dramatic reductions in their standard of living. I'm sure some have ended up homeless.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Kansas
19,185 posts, read 15,088,601 times
Reputation: 18250
She made choices. She enjoyed a life of wealth without thinking about tomorrow. She is traveling around and could easily check into subsidized housing for seniors. Here in KS, they advertise in the newspaper about opening in that type of housing all the time.

A lot of these people just feel very entitled and continue to spend money because they "deserve" nice things. She made choices. It is called "personality responsibility". She didn't spend her life living below poverty level like so many others.

Poor old lady that had to give up the high class life she was used to? Oh, boo-hoo!
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,633 posts, read 9,724,917 times
Reputation: 11024
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
P/T usually has no benefits.
That 80% is all full time workers in the US.

Walmart PT employees have access to a 401k and stock options. They also get the same bennies as full time, which most people aren't aware of. And we have a multitude of insurances available to us as well.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,747 posts, read 4,234,589 times
Reputation: 6867
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
She made choices. She enjoyed a life of wealth without thinking about tomorrow. She is traveling around and could easily check into subsidized housing for seniors. Here in KS, they advertise in the newspaper about opening in that type of housing all the time.

A lot of these people just feel very entitled and continue to spend money because they "deserve" nice things. She made choices. It is called "personality responsibility". She didn't spend her life living below poverty level like so many others.

Poor old lady that had to give up the high class life she was used to? Oh, boo-hoo!
If owning a double-wide in a trailer park is high class, I shudder to think how the middle and lower class residents of Northern California must struggle to survive.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:31 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,855,343 times
Reputation: 13083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
You are special.
You are especially lucky. Of all the houses bought 19 years ago, how many have appreciated the way yours has? What if you didn't need a house in that particular area, at that particular time?

Good Luck. It counts.
Bad Luck. That counts, too.

So stop pounding yourself on the back. You got lucky. It could have gone the other way.
Oh, I absolutely agree. Luck plays a major part in life. Mostly over the course of my life its been "if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!"

Finding this house was definitely lucky.

I don't understand why people think I'm boasting. I have a bad back, so I'm not doing any pounding or even patting on it.

And, no, I am not special.

I got the house paid off by limiting the things I bought (or didn't buy, actually). I took two vacations in those 19 years, although I could have taken much more.

So, yes, luck played a part but so did my desire to minimize my outgo.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,360,476 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Maybe she decided she didn't want to go into government subsidized housing and be "one of those people". Different strokes for different folks.
She owned a double-wide mobile home in a park in California that she couldn't sell in 2008 because of the increase in lot rent and the poor economy. Since she already owned the RV (which she is still paying on), she had been planning on traveling in it for a while. She could have stayed where she was but chose not to.

The problem isn't her choice because she's not complaining; the problem is that the article's author used her as an example of a senior so impoverished by the Great Recession that she's forced to work low paying part-time jobs to make ends meet when she's not that at all.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,633 posts, read 9,724,917 times
Reputation: 11024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
Saw this article in the LA Times and wondered what y'all would think.

http://graphics.latimes.com/retireme...t=notification

Three stories of older Americans still working menial jobs just to survive. They say they were the victims of the 2008 recession.

One lady is 79 and drives all over the country from seasonal job to seasonal job.

Well, they all do. The other stories involve two couples. Surprisingly one man receives a 2700 a month military pension, disability and another stipend. But I guess they also have a lot of unpaid debt.

I read the entire thread before I read the article. I have thought about doing what they are doing but, being the realist I am, decided I couldn't/wouldn't want to. My ex and I had thoughts about it too. Traveling the country and working, here and there, for however long we wanted to. It would have been fun for awhile, maybe, but I think it would get old.


I'm not sure if that woman really wants to live like that or if she's doing it just to survive. Sounds like her 'home' is ready to bite the dust and then I wonder what she'll do. Sounds like at least two out of three have a heavy debt load. So glad I don't...except for my house. I suppose I could be considered "poor" by many but I 'make do' on about $26,000 a year. All I have to do is stay healthy and keep on working! Maybe, like me, that woman has simply accepted that this is her life, that's how it is, and keeps on going.


As for the "too young to die"...well, people die at all ages. I've just been lucky that I haven't.
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