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Old 01-30-2016, 06:57 PM
Location: SW Florida
9,778 posts, read 7,063,873 times
Reputation: 14355


Originally Posted by meo92953 View Post
Vicky, I didn't realize the extent of the problems you had. My heart is with you.

Augie, I find many things disturbing about your comments. Okay, I did wonder how she didn't choose teeth over entertainment, but that was her choice. Not yours.

I was laid off at 55. I did not realize we were going into a recession until later,when I couldn't find a job. It was a nightmare & I finally let my house go into foreclosure. I even had to declare bankruptcy.

On top of that, a woman ran a red light and destroyed my car & my back. It was not a good time. But, because of the accident, I couldn't work & a couple years of fighting the system, I was finally declared disabled. I guess that was my luck. Unfortunately I can no longer bend or walk without a cane or walker, but hey, I'm surviving.

Oh, my family supported me after the accident, until I started receiving SSDI.
Of course it's the business of the woman in the article as to whether she uses her available money for entertainment or for her dental health, and to her credit, I didn't see anywhere in the article where she was asking for help or even sympathy for her situation. She was discussing her life and its vicissitudes for an article in a publication, just the facts, ma'am.

But that article was put out there with the premise that many Americans must work well beyond their retirement because they cannot afford to stop working for financial reasons. The purposes for these articles, whether it's meant to elicit sympathy or "there but for the grace of G-d go I", feelings in the reader, for sure it's based on assumptions that the folks in the article should be retired, would ordinarily be retired, would much preferredto be retired, but their finances have forced them to do whatever they must to keep working.

So readers react by considering the financial details presented in the articles, and since it may well be a "there but the grace of G-d..." scenario, will tend to judge those financial details , with the thoughts that perhaps the person's current situation might have been avoided if he or she had made better choices with what they had or was available to them. Especially, as has been shown in every anecdotal story I have ever read in one of these articles, the individuals spent beyond their means when they had money, incurred significant debt over time, and often continued to make choices that would only lead them further into the holes they were in.

Hence the remarks about the art show vs. teeth. Sure it's no one's business but hers as to how she she spent that $100, ( unless it was my $100 or I had to fork over money I needed to fix my own teeth ,for her later dental work), but in identifying to an extent with someone who has limited financial resources, some of us have pointed out the obvious fact that spendingthe $100 on ber teeth might have saved her $13,000 at a later date, as well as the opinions that its foolish to spend $100 on entertainment when one is on such a limited budget.

I know from your posts that you have had terrible times, including severe injuries in a car accident, job loss and other personal tragedies,,and from all indications you have handled these losses with grace and dignity. I don't know if I would have done as well in your shoes, and I commend you. I'm glad to see you have gotten the help you need to resume your life as well as you can, and I am glad we have those safety nets out there for folks who truly need that help too. And I wish for you continued solace and comfort, and the continued courage to go on and make your life a good one.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:21 PM
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,985 posts, read 3,477,182 times
Reputation: 10538
Well thank you, travellassie. Gads, sometimes I don't feel as if I've handled it well at all. Often I wish I was stronger.

I will say that once I got the back payment from Social Security, I paid for my teeth to be taken care of, paid off family members who had been supporting me & bought a decent car that did not hurt my back.

My teeth had deteriorated due to the pills I had to take. I still live very frugally and once in a great, great while, maybe once a year, I get crab legs at the fish market.

Most of the money, along with the monies from the car accident have gone into investments. I live as if I don't have it.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:51 PM
1,734 posts, read 1,953,209 times
Reputation: 3906
Originally Posted by vicky3vicky View Post
I do believe that luck is a huge factor.


things got a bit complicated, but we wound up with 4 houses [3 of them rentals] totally paid off, and a couple nice little side hustles. Life is good. LJ , Bobby, and I are all doing okay healthwise at the moment. Bills are paid. Cruises are booked, and there is extra.

So, are we lucky, or did we do things right? Luck ALWAYS plays a big part.

Vicki, that is a really heartwarming story! Makes me a wholehearted believer again!

FWIW, I read about John Otar, a Canadian engineer and financial planner, here on these boards from a JimandThom post. I went on his website to see what he had to say.

The guy is an engineer. Like me, "Just the facts, m'am. Show me that numbers."

He wrote an entire 500 page book about the role of luck in our financial outcomes.

So, you are in good company, with your belief in luck. (Mathjak also cites the role of luck in financial outcomes. Only, he calls it "sequence risk", FWIW).

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Old 01-30-2016, 08:59 PM
Location: Forest bathing
1,641 posts, read 974,614 times
Reputation: 3829
I have a half-sister who, at 63, is a hotel housekeeper. She earns $22k a year. She rents, has not retirement savings, drives an old car. She says she will work until she is 70. My other hal-sib and I did better in life so we plan on helping out. Our mom also sends her money. We aren't wealthy by any standard but are frugal and everything is paid for. Although we have no pension (shoulda kept working that soul less government job), we do have some retirement savings and home equity in a house that we will ultimately downsize from.

It is sad that someone like her who has worked her entire life but made bad choices in men and didn't go for an education beyond high school, has to rely on family and probsbly low income senior housing.
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:50 PM
Location: Tennessee
23,685 posts, read 17,651,107 times
Reputation: 27772
I don't really get the point of the OP and why this kind of topic continuously generates so many replies.

This person seems like an edge case. I can't think of anyone I know personally who owns an RV, much less anyone who uses it to travel from site to site looking for employment. Even with gas where it is now, I can't imagine you'd even break even by doing this. There are plenty of counties here in Indiana with a relatively low cost of living where a retiree could find a simple, low paying job without much effort - here in the Indy metro, unemployment has been hovering from the high 3s to the mid 4s for the last six months or so. Virtually every low wage retail place is hiring, and wages are improving. I've seen local grocery stores starting at $11/hr.

This person needs to find a low cost place and just settle down. What they're doing is stupid, but makes for good headlines.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:06 PM
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,315 posts, read 4,180,834 times
Reputation: 15929
Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
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.
It all boils down to what your income is in retirement. We bought a second house and have two vehicles we still owe on. It's quite manageable for us.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:23 PM
2,043 posts, read 1,954,971 times
Reputation: 3459
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post

The other stories weren't quite as frustrating although they were less detailed, but who knows. There are things that I think society is responsible for - such as the recurring theme of not being able to afford healthcare. Universal healthcare - whether it's single payer or not, should be something that our country provides to its citizens and it's shameful that we don't. But these stories were not about people whose situations were due to overwhelming medical expenses.
I agree.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:32 PM
Location: West Hollywood
3,190 posts, read 2,506,537 times
Reputation: 5262
You're never too young to die.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:11 AM
Location: Tennessee
23,685 posts, read 17,651,107 times
Reputation: 27772
Originally Posted by MordinSolus View Post
You're never too young to die.
At 79, you've lived a normal life expectancy. Trying to save and worry about compounding growth for the future at that point is nearly pointless.
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:37 AM
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,985 posts, read 3,477,182 times
Reputation: 10538
Originally Posted by MordinSolus View Post
You're never too young to die.
Please don't do that. My son just died and it is offensive. He was 44.
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