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Old 02-23-2016, 02:15 PM
 
12,145 posts, read 5,213,177 times
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Sometimes I think the name of this forum should be changed from "Retirement" to "Retirement for the Rich and Famous". How unrealistic is it for the vast majority of Americans to retire with $2,000,000? Really? Maybe in Santa Barbara or Manhattan. I'm willing to bet that the people who do have $2,000,000 when they retire barely even touch it and leave that or more to their kids when they die.
The last time I checked, retirement wasn't an exclusive club for the wealthy and it's too bad there aren't more realistic threads in this forum than "You'll need $2 million before you can think of retirement". This is someone's elitist's joke.

 
Old 02-23-2016, 02:18 PM
 
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there are quite a few here worth way more then 2 million . many of us came from nothing and did it all ourselves , so while it may be off the table for you it certainly wasn't for us .
 
Old 02-23-2016, 02:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
there are quite a few here worth way more then 2 million . many of us came from nothing and did it all ourselves , so while it may be off the table for you it certainly wasn't for us .
True and I don't begrudge you any of it. You worked hard, you earned and you deserve it and you should enjoy it. But to tell the average person they need $2,000,000 in order to even think of retiring is so absurd and unfair that I felt I needed to speak out about it.
 
Old 02-23-2016, 02:26 PM
 
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well i certainly never made such a statement . folks live on social security and survive ok.

like water your resources will seek their own level . it may not be a life you like but you make it work
 
Old 02-23-2016, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
well i certainly never made such a statement . folks live on social security and survive ok.

like water your resources will seek their own level . it may not be a life you like but you make it work
I totally agree with you.
 
Old 02-23-2016, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,976 posts, read 1,385,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Sometimes I think the name of this forum should be changed from "Retirement" to "Retirement for the Rich and Famous". How unrealistic is it for the vast majority of Americans to retire with $2,000,000? Really? Maybe in Santa Barbara or Manhattan. I'm willing to bet that the people who do have $2,000,000 when they retire barely even touch it and leave that or more to their kids when they die.
The last time I checked, retirement wasn't an exclusive club for the wealthy and it's too bad there aren't more realistic threads in this forum than "You'll need $2 million before you can think of retirement". This is someone's elitist's joke.
Many of us started from nothing, we even made mistakes but kept our long term goals. You are correct, that so far we don't need it and only take the RMD. But the goal of $2 mil in retirement is certainly obtainable especially for someone young.
 
Old 02-23-2016, 02:52 PM
 
29,910 posts, read 34,981,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
i know so many who have lower amounts of resources and they live such stressful lives . they are always worrying about the next big unexpected expense that kills their cash flow and budget .

as you age you want choices in life as well and they can cost extra money .

not having choices in life is one of the most horrible feelings at times . more so when it is about your health .
It is not just about how much you need to actually retire but how much you will need throughout your retirement years and the various stages of life that naturally occur during retirement. The longer we live the more we have to deal with. Thirty years or more of retirement can be as many changes as happened during the thirty plus years prior to retirement. It really is all about expectations. We had our old neighbors as house guests and they are also retired with a fairly expensive and well funded retirement lifestyle. We spent a good deal of time discussing retirement health and life style issues as they relate to CCRC's, Independent Living etc down the road.
 
Old 02-23-2016, 03:18 PM
 
2,451 posts, read 2,086,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
there are quite a few here worth way more then 2 million . many of us came from nothing and did it all ourselves , so while it may be off the table for you it certainly wasn't for us .
Congratulations Donald!
 
Old 02-23-2016, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
305 posts, read 133,581 times
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I remember looking at how much I should have saved by the time I'm 30, according to that site I was right on track, but I don't know now. I don't see how I'm going to ever have 2 million.

I'm saving though, I put in as much as my employer will match, and while I'd like to stash away more we'd probably get ourselves into a hole with medical expenses.

I'm making good choices, so I'm just going to have to hope it's all enough.
 
Old 02-23-2016, 05:04 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,204,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'm pretty well in agreement with you.

I'm 29 and this figure may be accurate for my generation. Even so, I wholeheartedly believe these retirement planning articles way understate the impact of black swan events. In twenty years, I'll be 49, and will have ten to fifteen working years left, maybe even twenty. However, by then it's likely we'll see robotics and automation destroy many current positions, even ones we consider secure today. With the way politics in this country is today, I don't have much confidence in politicians of any flavor to be able to make rational, well thought-out decisions that makes the country competitive going forward. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't have even worse gridlock/political bickering that retards progress, or even civil unrest, in the next ten or twenty years.

I know several people who are basically planning everything around retirement and saving money, and many of these are in their 20s-30s. They don't take vacations (even a lot of day/weekend trips are deemed too expensive), don't have many hobbies (hobbies cost money), don't really partake in many of the same activities as their peers, etc. The best, most healthy years of their life are passing them by while they try to hoard wealth for a future that might not even arrive for them. I don't think that's really living.

With that said, I think the paid for house with low HOA fees/property taxes (can't retire in NY/NJ/CT/MA or some other high tax state? Tough - go somewhere you can afford), no debt, SS, moderate other income streams, and moderate savings to act as a cushion is sufficient for most. Once the expenditures are reduced and you have cash flow coming in and enough savings for most of the predictable big expenses, you're way ahead of the curve.

A buddy of mine back in Tennessee is around 60 and has been semi-retired for nearly a decade. He has several rental properties of his own, averaging around $1k net/month each, runs a consulting business on the side, and his wife works (he only married about two years ago, so not a big factor) and also has a rental or two. They're probably making $4k-$5k month on the rentals alone after his management fees (8%) are taken out. I think he said the consulting business made $30-$40k last year (which he only works 25-30 hours/week doing), plus whatever she brings in is just gravy. He had a costly divorce in his 40s, so it's not like he's had the steadiest of lifestyles either. He is ridiculously cheap (just "upgraded" to a 2005 Accord a couple years back, ran off an iPhone 4 for years, rarely eats out, etc.) and could live the lifestyle he lives now single. IMO, the key for him have been low fixed costs plus the constant cash flow from the rentals.
I started at 23. However, at the time, there were an escalating series of cuts in defense spending which meant a glut of people trying for high tech jobs. Another problem was being just a few years behind the Boomers. That meant extremely limited opportunities for career advancement. For the first 10 years of my career my main method of advancement was job / company hopping. The other problem was, during that time frame (spanning from the 80s well into the 90s) housing costs were escalating badly. I was a renter from the time I got my degree until a couple years after getting married. Rents went nowhere but up and my jobs kept me in high cost geos. By the time I became a home owner, I had to front a large sum for a downpayment for a place that needed a lot of work right off the bat.

The other problem was (and Millennials are even worse off here), although securities markets treated me well for the first several years, since Y2K it has been a rocky road. I've dollar cost averaged ongoing which has helped some. But the real killer was, given my cost environment, I was not able to max out on the 401K until I reached my 40s. I've been maxing since and am now doing catch up.

But barring doing some sort of big bets and winning, I am not going to see 2 mil. To be fair, once we sell our house and move somewhere cheaper we'll net something from that arbitrage. But I doubt it will tally up to 2 mil.
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