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Old 02-01-2016, 01:42 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,849 posts, read 4,967,060 times
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The biggest problems wrt savings are divorce, illness, job loss, death, and college expenses.

Most people impacted by those have lost substantial savings.
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:33 PM
4,069 posts, read 1,561,064 times
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Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I am not the one whom you addressed with this, but I am wondering what you mean by "in order to have a voice". I presume you mean morally speaking, as you acknowledged that legally speaking, each voter has a voice no matter how ignorant or how little he/she pays in taxes. So am I correct that you mean in order to have a legitimate voice in these discussions on City-Data?

If so, then my take on the matter is that there is no such number. The more taxes one pays, the greater the moral right to a "voice". How can there be some cut-off point, which would be highly arbitrary? (Indeed, that may be your point).

Also, are we talking about Federal income taxes only? Pretty much everyone pays sales taxes in the states which have them, which is most states.

I do agree with the concept that it is hypocritical for someone who pays little or nothing in Federal income taxes to complain about the use of "our" tax dollars, but don't ask me for an amount.

Well, that is my point that even those who pay zero in Federal income taxes are entitled to voice an opinion here and elsewhere. I don't agree that more dollars spent should give you more voice, and in fact that is exactly the problem in Washington today. In the past 10 years my lovely bride and I have had years when we paid zero fed income tax, and years when we paid, well, a lot. I think we are entitled to the same voice in any of those years, even those years when we paid zip.

Also, trying to segregate just Fed income tax from all the other taxes is an exercise in futility. Virtually all of us pay some taxes of some sort.

In fact, even though I am not "one of those people" I believe even the "Fox news watching, Donald Trump supporting, Sarah Palin loving, great unwashed masses" are also entitled to express an opinion about how tax dollars are spent.

But I do respect your well-stated opinion, even though I disagree.

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Old 02-01-2016, 03:06 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,286 posts, read 12,525,000 times
Reputation: 19480
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
It depends upon your retirement income stream. If retiring means your income drops by 40 or 50%, yeah, debt is a problem. However, if your income is going to be about as much as when you were working, you don't have to worry much about debt if you can already handle what you have.
All it means is that they will carry their foolish spending habits forward into retirement. Living in debt just means the banking system relies on you for support payments.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:33 PM
Location: SW Florida
9,766 posts, read 7,047,160 times
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Originally Posted by Red On The Noodle View Post
Back to the article . . . .

I was struck by her thoughts of suicide.

I have an elderly friend that I help out from time to time. She too has expressed the suicidal thoughts and usually over money matters.

She has no debt, a small pension and her deceased husband's SS and lives in a very low cost area, owning her own home. When he first passed away, it was a comfortable living. Now that prices keep rising, food, taxes, utilities, medical -- it's a juggling act every month. It wears you down after a while.

I just wonder if we will see more elderly suicides in the coming decade.
I'm wondering if thoughts of just being bone weary of living, especially when life seems to have become exponentially more complicated, and struggling with the details,of everyday life, makes an older person think of death as an escape. Especially when the person has lost a spouse, many of his/her peers, and feels isolated.

My mother, age 89, says she's ready for death anytime it wants to come and take her. Although she is in reasonable health for her age, she has outlived her money ( which has lasted longer than it would have if she hadn't been well subsidized over the years by either me or my sister, and I still help her out). She makes a little too much with her Social Security to qualify for much help other than subsidized housing, and unfortunately that doesn't seem to be good enough in her mind ( original beer budget, champagne taste there.). She isn't thinking of suicide, but seems to think that death would solve her money problems.
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Old 02-01-2016, 03:54 PM
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I still think the key is to be debt free when you retire and own home.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:18 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,157,976 times
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
What we see today is the tip of the iceberg. More than half of current retirees have some kind of defined benefit pension. When the last of the boomers retire, it will be more like 30%. I would imagine that more than half of people age 50 today will work until they can't work and then hope the safety net will be there for them. There will be millions of people looking for low income elderly housing units that do not exist. If someone age 50 loses their job, they face all kinds of age discrimination problems even if they have kept up with technology and have 21st century job skills. You're not going to add to your retirement nest egg when you're a Walmart greeter. When you get to age 62, you're so strapped for cash that you have no choice but to start taking Social Security locking in the lowest possible pension.

Given human nature, the only way to fix this is to adopt some kind of compelled retirement savings so 20-somethings go their entire working life creating their retirement nest egg.
This is going to be deja vu all over again ... just like what happened with the Lost Generation.

Generation X = The Lost Generation.

But I think Losts were far more unionized and had more in the way of pensions than X.

Once again, Gen X = Gen hosed.

Millies may have it even worse.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:32 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,157,976 times
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
It's way easier to blame politicians than to accept that the United States has an abysmal individual savings rate and that's individual people making individual spending vs saving decisions. The bottom third of the population can't save. We all get that. The problem is that a huge slice of the middle class spends every dime they earn. Globally, the median household income is about $10,000 dollars. The lowest of the low welfare recipient does better than that in the United States. Where I'm going with this is that half the world survives just fine on $10,000 per year. Someone in the United States who is "barely making it" has a huge pile of discretionary income. They choose to spend it rather than save it. They hit age 65 with no savings and it's somehow blamed on some politician.
People do this in part because a combination of peer pressure, herd mentality and at times, even influential so called thought leaders telling people to spend - in order to benefit our economy. The sad truth is our economy is addicted to consumer spending. We have outsourced and offshored the real economy in a race to the bottom, fomented by Austrian School mavens and Global Mega Corporations. It is high time we took a hard look at the ways that failed industrial, macroeconomic and trade strategies have resulted in the US people digging themselves into a deep hole.

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Old 02-01-2016, 04:54 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,157,976 times
Reputation: 10910
Originally Posted by Aqua Blue View Post
I think there is a disconnect from when we grew up and news articles were really researched and actually had facts and now. Now it is all sensationalism. They want us to believe that say all poor people are welfare queens and all old people spent their money foolishly and are now destitute and making poor decisions.

It seems like presenting things that way makes the news article reader feel better about themselves. They are smarter, more disciplined etc than the person in the article. The person in the article thinks they are just telling their story, but the author uses it as a springboard for sensationalism.
"Cheap holiday in other peoples' misery!" - John Lydon
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:28 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,286 posts, read 12,525,000 times
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You don't spend $13,000 on dental care if you are broke. You go to a dental school and let the interns practice on you. It's either free or you pay a minimal fee, but $13,000 is half a dozen crowns at a boutique dentist. It's just one more really stupid expense.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:29 PM
5,429 posts, read 3,456,960 times
Reputation: 13714
Smoking causes more heart, circulatory, and pulmonary disease than it does cancer.

Heart disease, circulatory disease, and pulmonary disease are rampant among smokers.

Although smoking also causes a lot of cancer, and not just lung cancer. It even causes pancreatic and liver cancer, along with throat cancer, esophageal cancer, etc.

When David Bowie died of liver cancer a couple weeks ago at the relatively young age of 68, knowing that he was a life-long extensive cigarette smoker, I looked up the causes of liver cancer, and was interested to find that around 25 percent of liver cancers are caused by cigarette smoking.

Last edited by matisse12; 02-01-2016 at 05:46 PM..
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