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Old 01-30-2016, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,116 posts, read 8,160,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
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.
If there is one thing that defines financial difficulty in retirement, it has to be debt.

I'm not going to say anything about it, pro or con. People do have a right to do as they please.

But for those reading who hope to retire soon, do yourself a favor: pay down whatever debt you have, and don't take on any new debt. If you can't live 'the good life' without debt, just see what kind of life you end up with!
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:26 AM
 
Location: On the road
2,669 posts, read 1,981,688 times
Reputation: 2911
Carrying a debt load into retirement is simply a recipe for disaster. I am fortunate that we achieved complete freedom from debt a couple of years ago, and now we are able to squirrel away a significant portion of my salary while I am still working.
We were on the way to a sweet retirement a while back, but of course, "sh-- happens", and we barely escaped complete meltdown in 2008. A few years in Chap13, and I still have a job that pays pretty well. We might be able to settle down to a non-starvation retirement. I'll still probably have to do like some of these people and work bit jobs as we become itinerant old farts.

If you are over fifty and still loaded down with debt, do whatever you have to NOW to get out from under it. Your retired self will be glad you did.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:27 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 991,367 times
Reputation: 6978
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal2NC View Post
I did not read the article yet.
I notice in this particular thread there are some who seem to assume that those who are in very difficult financial situations have more or less "asked for it" or did not do a very good job of planning for their future. How easy it is for many of us to point a finger. We don't even need to know the whole story. It seems like the attitude is "well, gee, I've got a good retirement, I worked hard for it, I just don't understand why these people were so careless." It's easy to think that way when you have money in your wallet, food on the table, a decent roof over your head and a bank account.
If we would take a better look at the reasons why some of these people are in the bad situation they are in, we might discover a myriad of problems that the rest of us should be so grateful we do not have. Loss of job, illness, expensive medical costs, taking care of elders who have no resources, handicapped children who will remain the parents' responsibility until parents die, etc. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. If we had just a few of the many problems other people have, we wouldn't do very well ourselves.
Please stop blaming it all on the individual. I am not saying there aren't some who really did mess up their lives. But do not assume it is all of them.

p.s. Just started reading the article..... did anyone notice that expensive prime rib meal she had was enough to give her two more meals? So, what does that come out to, really? I figure about $7/meal. I see nothing extravagant about that.
I think a lot of what happens to us in life is just luck, good or bad. I hope I am not pointing a finger. To me, the people in the article appear to be making or have made choices that add greatly to their current situations. One at least seems to have a pretty fair income compared to mine.


Its hard for some people to accept changes in circumstances. Depression appears to be part of the problem for some. That compounds or is perhaps the root of the problem. I have sympathy but I can't see myself in their places.


I would have ordered the prime rib, too and pie.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:28 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,894,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
If there is one thing that defines financial difficulty in retirement, it has to be debt.

I'm not going to say anything about it, pro or con. People do have a right to do as they please.

But for those reading who hope to retire soon, do yourself a favor: pay down whatever debt you have, and don't take on any new debt. If you can't live 'the good life' without debt, just see what kind of life you end up with!
Credit cards were always an emergency tool for us. Logic told me early on in our marriage that if I could not afford to buy something I certainly could not afford to buy that item plus the interest the credit card charged. Unless you have to have it now, save your money and look for a sale of the item in the meantime.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:20 AM
 
6,290 posts, read 4,740,348 times
Reputation: 12899
What do we expect? We elect congressional representatives and Presidents who continue the idea of being the world's policeman. We give huge sums of money to corrupt governments, waste hundreds of billions building "infrastructure" in the Afghani wasteland. We fight endless wars and then those we support turn against us. We build schools and hospitals around the world when our own citizens cannot afford their taxes, day care and healthcare.


This is supposed to be a forum about retirement, but sadly our economy and taxes don't work well enough for the majority of people to reach a reasonable degree of financial comfort in retirement. It seems fashionable to blame the individual for not being frugal and for not working hard enough. News flash. Life is a lot easier in most other first and second world countries. Workers have better access to healthcare and day care. They get way more time for vacations and often substantially shorter and easier workweeks. Ted Cruz can make jokes about Sweden being overly socialistic. Maybe but he seems to want to cut every benefit including healthcare and just beef up the military. I certainly don't mean to single out Ted Cruz. The rest of them, Democrats and Republicans, just don't seem to get it either. The politicians argue about Benghazi. No one asks the obvious. Why were we even in Libya at that time? I guess it was to help distribute all of the money we were spending in that country. Great return on investment for the American taxpayers!
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:26 AM
 
Location: On the road
2,669 posts, read 1,981,688 times
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Must we politicize every discussion?
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:44 AM
 
Location: In a vehicle.
5,035 posts, read 3,220,815 times
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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.
Thing I noticed, everyone is still in CA.....


I'd do it way different than they did, but hindsight is 20/20
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:48 AM
 
6,290 posts, read 4,740,348 times
Reputation: 12899
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
Must we politicize every discussion?

I am hardly a politically oriented individual. However politics are at the heart of why Americans are having such difficult times. We pay a lot of taxes but get little back in return. We need a better safety net for our citizens. Whether their issues are bad luck, bad health or just poor judgment, we should be able to help. We need social security and Medicare systems that work. We need to figure out what it will take for young families to handle day care costs and for middle aged families to handle costs for college or vocational education. Trying to save for retirement is not just some odd personal issue. We all seem to be hit with this issue.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:55 AM
 
Location: On the road
2,669 posts, read 1,981,688 times
Reputation: 2911
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I am hardly a politically oriented individual. However politics are at the heart of why Americans are having such difficult times. We pay a lot of taxes but get little back in return. We need a better safety net for our citizens. Whether their issues are bad luck, bad health or just poor judgment, we should be able to help. We need social security and Medicare systems that work. We need to figure out what it will take for young families to handle day care costs and for middle aged families to handle costs for college or vocational education. Trying to save for retirement is not just some odd personal issue. We all seem to be hit with this issue.
I'm not disagreeing with you. But, I would like to have some conversations about dealing with life that does not become a political debate. I'm up to my ears in political debate.

If I am in the minority, I will say no more about it.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:03 PM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
2,673 posts, read 2,015,939 times
Reputation: 3671
I did notice that there's room in that woman's (in the OP's link) life to think more carefully and maybe plan a bit better.

-eating organic: why bother at an advanced age? she doesn't care to prolong her life due to finances so why not simply buy as cheaply as possible instead of paying a premium for organic.

-is she living at the lowest cost of living? I doubt driving that RV is saving anything with repairs, gas and space rentals for camping, although I did meet a retiring couple whose plan was to live out of their RV.
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