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Old 02-05-2016, 03:56 PM
Location: Central NY
4,653 posts, read 3,237,575 times
Reputation: 11907


My two cents--- it is a huge mistake to compare what anyone makes against another person's income.

A lot of judgements are made, people get angry and express it in their posts, some people feel less than and some feel more than, depending on their circumstance.

Politics, religion, and income....... very bad for discussion of a civil type, IMHO.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:40 PM
17,249 posts, read 10,176,823 times
Reputation: 28762
Unfortunate, gets 1200 a month in Social Security, 190 dollars in pension.

Nearing 80 years old and resorting to seasonal jobs here and there.

However she got to this point, very sad for her to be alone and scraping by.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:31 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,879 posts, read 25,306,858 times
Reputation: 26334
I read the article and it looks to me like there is a developing poor subculture of older people who had just average jobs and lived in high COL areas where it was even more difficult for an average worker to get ahead. Looks like these folks want the nomadic lifestyle. I think many dream of retiring and traveling. Then they find out they can't afford to do it the way they wanted and they settle for what they can do.

But time will pass and these people will reach the point where they can no longer drive all over the country looking for menial jobs. They will have to figure out how to use the system to get medical, food, and housing assistance. They will have no choice. I think they realize they will never be able to have their dream retirement but they are determined to do something fun before old age and poverty force them to make the changes they don't want to make.

It does seem like they made some poor choices. Like too much debt or paying to store 'stuff'. But poverty takes a huge toll on people and eventually they just get tired of doing without or sacrificing. It's even harder for the newly old and poor who did OK until 2008 forced them into a new reality.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:56 AM
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,324,391 times
Reputation: 13779
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I just looked at a CNN COL comparison tool and it said 60k in LA is about 40k here in Indy. Truth be told, I bet it's actually less in reality. For someone with decades of experience, it's a low salary.
And at least a bachelor's degree to boot.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:17 AM
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,324,391 times
Reputation: 13779
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
Not only does Escort Rider have a $56,000 per year pension in retirement from the teaching job which is large, he also owns a fully paid off condo in Los Angeles.
So? You could have gone to college and gotten a teaching degree and been a school teacher, too, and then after putting in decades of dealing with lots of other people's children, you could have a nice pension, too. You could have taken civil service tests and "settled" for being a "paper pusher". You could have taken civil service tests to become a police or corrections officer. You chose to do none of those things, and now you're jealous of those who did.

If you only have SS to get by on in retirement, that's also your choice. IRAs and 401ks have been around for at least 35 or 40 years. Even people with pensions have always been encouraged to save for retirement. If you had put 3-7% of your pay into IRAs or 401ks for 30 years, which is often what public employees contributed to their pensions annually, you'd have a nice little nest egg to help you get by in your old age. If you didn't then you have nobody but yourself to blame for your predicament now.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:21 AM
Location: Tennessee
34,670 posts, read 33,671,635 times
Reputation: 51856
I stopped reading at $100 for a guided tour.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:39 AM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,726,438 times
Reputation: 32304
If any proof were needed that almost everything is realtive, the discussion about my finanical circumstances provides that proof. I have been bemused to find myself the subject of that debate, so I suppose it's time for me to weigh in on it.

As I stated in another thread, I occupy a sort of middle point in that discussion of what income we need/want in retirement. In that other thread, one poster wrote that $10,000 per month was "sufficient" to live on. (I took issue with the use of the word "sufficient"). Another wrote that ending up with only $5,000 per month is a "scary" prospect. They have a different point of view, not necessarily right or wrong but illustrating that everything is relative.

I have a good life in retirement and I am not dissatisfied with my modest financial circumstances from the point of view of my needs and wants. Having a master's degree, my expectations for "success" in the financial sense (there are other criteria for success in life besides the financial one) may be different from some other posters. Everything is relative.

And a significant part of that relativity, as someone else wisely pointed out, is the cost of living in a given location. It is so easy to forget that a $60,000 salary in Los Angeles is equivalent to $40,000 in Indianapolis.
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:33 AM
662 posts, read 476,887 times
Reputation: 1690
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
...and then after putting in decades of dealing with lots of other people's children, ...
What kept me from teaching at the elementary & jr/high school levels wasn't the kids; it was the parents. The things I saw in my volunteer positions as den mom, recreation direction and more (and as a neighbor, frankly), was sobering and terrifying. Not enough pay IMO.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:23 PM
5,424 posts, read 3,442,945 times
Reputation: 13688
I really do not think that everything is 'relative'.

No one has a necessity of $5000 or $10,000 per month in retirement. That is in the realm of grandiosity.

That is an absolute. And to think otherwise is not realistic thinking.

And $60,000 in a working life is plenty to live on. And $56,000 in retirement is way more than anyone needs to live in retirement.

One does not need to entertain grandiose wishes or desires. And plenty of people are living on $25,000 or $30,000 per year in retirement and some are living on Social Security of $16,500 or $20,000 per year. Nothing relative about it.

And repeating and quoting Serious Conversation's $60,000 in Los Angeles is actually $40,000 in Indianapolis is not an absolute. Some people buy a condo in Los Angeles making $60,000 per year as a working person and have it fully paid for in their retirement. And there are plenty of people of modest means living in the outlying suburbs of Los Angeles, as there are people of modest means living in the outlying areas of New York City and the outer boroughs.

It is ridiculous that anyone takes the flamboyant jokesters on City-Forum seriously who spout nonsense about needing or wanting $10,000 per month in retirement. And anyone posting that $5000 per month in retirement is scary should rearrange their needs and wants in life and simplify if they cannot provide that amount for themselves. Retirement can be a scaled down time of life and still be very enjoyable.

Last edited by matisse12; 02-06-2016 at 06:40 PM..
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:04 PM
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,264,598 times
Reputation: 4451
Matisse12 you are wrong on so many levels I can't even begin. But I will anyway. $5k a month is grandiose?? Maybe in Mayberry in 1964, but not most of the nicer places to live in the USA in 2016 and beyond. As I was the one that said that retiring with only $5k a month would scare me, I did mean just that, for ME, not you, and that is for taking care of my wife and myself, now, and for the next 30 years. Only about 40% of my starting retirement income will be COL adjusted, and as the pensions and cash depreciate, the real purchasing power of $5k non COL adjusted in 2040 would be about what $2500 is today, I have the foresight to plan for that hopeful eventuality. As mathjak often says, you can always cut back, if tou are living above a minimum. Thats not a choice if you are already there. Maybe you're old enough that you will be dead by 2040, so in your mind $5k would only have to last you a much shorter time. The only person that can determine whether they made it on what their retirement income was are those on their death beds that still have money to leave behind. Until you are there you are only guessing.

We all know you have little money to retire on, so it's no surprise that you have to regard $5k a month as grandiose, otherwise what you have would have to be inadequate. As stated in my post, I am part of the "few" that expects,mand should have a higher standard of living for the first 15 or so years of my retirement than I have now. That is my reward for living below my means and saving and working until I'm 62+. There is no way on Gods green earth you have any authority to state that $5k a month is way more than enough as an absolute truth. Who do you think you are? Only the person in retirement that defines what he/she/they need and want and thr amount of risk they are willing to take can determine that. Period.

I was making $60k plus over 20 years ago. But I should go BACK to living in that standard of living because..????? It makes you feel better??? Because it is flamboyant and grandiose to want to do and live better?? Dear Lord, where do you come up with this stuff?? The top 40% in the US make $60k or more, hardly grandiose or rich. Unless your yardstick is dirt poor your whole life. Don't tell me what is comfortable or enough, thank you very much, I can do that myself!!

Last edited by Perryinva; 02-06-2016 at 06:13 PM..
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