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Old 02-01-2016, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,223 posts, read 12,491,644 times
Reputation: 19369

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
My guess is that you don't actually know many public employees personally. You're just going by what anti-public employee propagandists spread around about a handful of outliers.

I'm retiring in 2 months with a public employee pension after 29 years in public service. It's significantly more than the $24k that ACWhite cited, but then I make significantly more in salary than most public employees who generally make between $35k and $60k. That $24k probably represents between 40 and 60% of the employee's annual pay over a set period of several year and depends upon how long the employee worked in public service.
By chance, the W-2 for my pension arrived today. In 2015 it paid me $14,270.15. That reflects 12 years in covered positions. They also provide a $60/month subsidy toward my medicare supplemental insurance, which costs me $273/month after the subsidy. Fortunately, SS provides $17k a year, minus the Medicare Part B premiums, and the RMDs from my 457 provide another $12k/year. My wife has a comparable retirement income, so I get the joy of paying income tax on 85% of my SS check and all of my other income, including the Medicare premiums I never get to see.

People who put in 30 years in comparable positions would collect about 2.5 times the pension. A receptionist who answered the phone for 30 years would receive about 1.5x that. The guy who spent 8 years coaching a state university football team (before he was fired) gets over $1 million a year, but that reflects a monstrous paycheck in the entertainment industry, exploiting penniless college athletes that can't legally be paid anything.

It should be noted that my state cancelled the pension system in 2003, so anyone hired after 8/1/2003 can look forward to whatever annuity their account will buy on their retirement date, which is subject to the vagaries of the equity markets.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,223 posts, read 12,491,644 times
Reputation: 19369
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_sm1th73 View Post
There is an Op-Ed piece in the NYT today:


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/02/op...ol-left-region


- The point is, "the rest of us" don't necessarily want to be subject to subsidies and preaching (of whatever variety). The rest of us (I am clearly a member) want to be part of the processes that dictate who subsidizes and preaches. Given that the economic policies of the past generation have impoverished the formerly entry level jobs to which the formerly middle class youngsters could aspire, I am firmly in favor of the movement.


Not sure we are in disagreement.
The entry level jobs went the way of technology. There are no more stenographers, only a handful of file clerks, and two ditch diggers where previously there were hundreds. The "strong back, weak mind" entry level positions no longer exist, and it wasn't the previous generation that did it. I remember seeing a room 40 years ago filled with hundreds of bookkeepers doing 10 key data entry. They are all gone, replaced by electronic point of sale data entry. Spreadsheets have replaced double entry ledgers. Factories that used to employ thousands now employ dozens. Millions of jobs have been eliminated by automation and mechanization, and the process is continuing. It happens everywhere you look. High tech jobs are not immune. Designing a new zoom camera lens once took hundreds of engineers doing calculations and tests. Now it's done by computer software, and machinery can poop out a prototype untouched by skilled hands.

Just because you read it in the Times doesn't make it true. Most reporters are not smart enough to understand the world they are writing about, and there are darned few reporters left. Their jobs have been automated out of existence.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,223 posts, read 12,491,644 times
Reputation: 19369
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.
She was just sensible. She bought what she could afford on a 15 year mortgage and paid it off. You would have to be spectacularly unlucky to not come out of a choice like that smelling like a rose. The appreciation may look impressive, but most of it is just inflation. The real ROI is being able to retire without a mortgage. Being debt free in retirement is a great path to a comfortable retirement.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:08 PM
 
440 posts, read 882,887 times
Reputation: 579
Sobering 2014 article from Harper's along the same lines as the Times article:

https://harpers.org/archive/2014/08/...-retirement/1/

Easy to be judgmental and smug, but you can lose it all.

The reason so many people can't retire has less to do with their own supposed flaws and everything to do with deliberate federal policy that encouraged outsourcing, gutting unions, ruinous trade agreements, age discrimination, and the gutting of pensions to be replaced by totally worthless 401(k)s.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:48 PM
 
1,293 posts, read 947,871 times
Reputation: 2307
This is - supposedly - a "moving" story about poor old people. I would like to see this lady's budget because I know how three people can live on her income, two of them big and relatively young, so no milk and rice diet - brain can stop working on it. In the same time, this is a story about what it's cost to fulfill your dream if you are a poor financial planner. The story says - yes, it is possible, but you have to struggle. I think this lady is pretty well-off, if her only problem at the age of 80 is a joint pain and weakness from low blood sugar. So it's not a sad story, it's rather an inspiring story. And she is still on the go. She whines and complains just because it's time to her to whine and complain, and because she feels lonely, but it was her decision to live without family. (Not every family will save you from the feeling of loneliness, though). So don't pity her, envy her.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,729,443 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonysam View Post
Sobering 2014 article from Harper's along the same lines as the Times article:

https://harpers.org/archive/2014/08/...-retirement/1/

Easy to be judgmental and smug, but you can lose it all.

The reason so many people can't retire has less to do with their own supposed flaws and everything to do with deliberate federal policy that encouraged outsourcing, gutting unions, ruinous trade agreements, age discrimination, and the gutting of pensions to be replaced by totally worthless 401(k)s.
How so "totally worthless"? A 401(k) is worth, at any given time, whatever the face amount is. Let's take the example of someone who has put relatively little into his 401(k) and retires after working 35 years with the 401(k) valued at $200,000. And let's say over the next year the markets tank horribly, losing 50% of their value (which is about as bad a scenario as it's possible to imagine). That 401(k) is still worth $100,000. It is not worth zero, so it's not "totally worthless".

Why do you keep writing such complete nonsense?
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:32 AM
 
71,495 posts, read 71,674,131 times
Reputation: 49074
it is all about the time frame that you are living in . those who were part of the 17 year period from 1987 to 2003 that averaged 14% a year would gladly take that 401k over a contributory pension .
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,831 posts, read 4,947,484 times
Reputation: 17299
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonysam View Post
Sobering 2014 article from Harper's along the same lines as the Times article:

https://harpers.org/archive/2014/08/...-retirement/1/

Easy to be judgmental and smug, but you can lose it all.

The reason so many people can't retire has less to do with their own supposed flaws and everything to do with deliberate federal policy that encouraged outsourcing, gutting unions, ruinous trade agreements, age discrimination, and the gutting of pensions to be replaced by totally worthless 401(k)s.
Thank you for posting that story. I had no idea that so many old folks had become wandering temps.

It's also nice that Amazon supplies them with free pain killing drugs.

Ain't America Great?
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,239 posts, read 15,442,099 times
Reputation: 8108
While I don't think anyone should have to work at almost 80 years old, I also wondered about this woman's choices throughout her life. The biggest problem seemed to be that she launched her interior design business at the worst possible time, but back then business was booming and I'm sure it seemed to be a foolproof plan.

Many of these people who are now in their late 60s to mid 70s were the free spirits back in the 1960s and 1970s. They didn't want to be tied down in a job for thirty years, etc. Well, one of the ramifications of that decision is very little money to retire on, unfortunately. Living in the present is great until you suddenly wake up with aches and pains, and realize that you're old and mostly unemployable.

And yes, life happens. People need to sacrifice for aging parents or special needs children, too. The mental health system in this country has gone from bad to worse to downright appalling in the past thirty years.

But if you didn't have any extra burdens to carry, and you just decided on a whim to see the country and find yourself stuck now, running out of money and health? Well, I'm not sure what your options are at this point.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:43 AM
 
1,734 posts, read 1,948,466 times
Reputation: 3901
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
...

Just because you read it in the Times doesn't make it true. Most reporters are not smart enough to understand the world they are writing about, and there are darned few reporters left. Their jobs have been automated out of existence.

lol! The piece was an opinion piece - hence truth has no bearing. (IMHO, as a basis for truth, NONE of the mainstream media are reliable sources for truth other than as conduits for independently verifiable numbers). Opinion piece's main point - the "middle class" is disenfranchised by the left AND by the right. "The Movement" espoused by Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump resonates. Heck, it resonates with me as well, as the mother of two young men! If you are a young white male in this society, you emerge into a world that has no use for you.


I surely don't quibble with the march of technology replacing columns of women typing away in the typing pool. What I DO note, up close and personal, is that the economic activity which previously provided entry level jobs for my cohort - the entry level direct sales jobs, the management trainee jobs - THOSE have disappeared. Having analyzed the phenomenon in the megacorps in which I have worked for the majority of my career, this is a direct result of offshoring.


That's me story and I'm sticking to it.
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