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Old 03-01-2016, 09:25 AM
 
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Honestly, I'd rather have a secure pension for $40k per year with cost of living increases than 1 million in savings.

Or a spouse to pool social security? Nice....

There's a lot more than retirement "savings".
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'm wanting to guess you live somewhere around Greenville, maybe Lake Keowee or Jocassee? I've seen some of the homes around Keowee, and they're brilliant. Even then, those very nice homes in South Carolina would be MAYBE the price of an average, older, more run-down house in metro Boston. How many SC natives end up being able to afford such a place, even in their peak income years? Very few.

In general, people in the South make less money and end up considerably poorer than their northern counterparts. What I don't understand is this study that had people in MA net only a few hundred per month more in income than someone in FL, which you could probably stretch to the rest of the Southern states, though they're likely poorer than Florida. Let's say people invest 10% of their annual income identically in MA and SC, but the MA couple makes double what the SC couple does. The MA couple should end up with far more in retirement savings. Simple numbers, but it's illustrative of a greater point.

Of course there are native Southerners who do very well for themselves, sometimes better than those in rich, northern states. Still, the main point still holds, and I don't know why this isn't obvious.
Lake Murray, just outside Columbia - the state capital. Yes Lake Keowee and Jocasee are also surrounded by v expensive homes, Also, the Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island. Kiawah Island, Pawley's Island, Hilton Head Island - there are gorgeous homes. There are also about 8 military bases in SC. Fort Jackson in Columbia trains almost all new Army recruits. Loads of military retired in SC. It's a diverse growing state. Of course it's not all good - but where is?
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,182 posts, read 1,959,996 times
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Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
This does not apply to everyone. I am in my 60s and enjoying the highest income of my life - as many older professionals and executives do. If I depleted my 401(k) by paying the tax and converting the money to an after-tax balance, I would be paying the highest possible tax rate on it. By waiting until my only other income is Social Security, I will pay less in tax.
Be sure you understand the phantom tax brackets that can appear once you start taking SS benefits. Income that would normally be taxed at 15% can possibly taxed as high as 27.75%. And some income that falls into the 25% bracket can actually be taxed at 46.25%.

Last edited by hikernut; 03-01-2016 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:06 AM
 
1,039 posts, read 775,577 times
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Originally Posted by hikernut View Post
Be sure you understand the phantom tax brackets that can appear once you start taking SS benefits. Income that would normally be taxed at 15% can possibly taxed as high as 27.75%. And some income that falls into the 25% bracket can actually be taxed at up to 46.25%.
Folks who live in places like New York City where they are triple taxes often move to states with no income tax in retirement and then draw down the 401K.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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Originally Posted by DelightfulNYC View Post
Folks who live in places like New York City where they are triple taxes often move to states with no income tax in retirement and then draw down the 401K.
Sure, that's all fine. I'm only mentioning the federal tax rates.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:02 PM
 
71,584 posts, read 71,751,865 times
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Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
Honestly, I'd rather have a secure pension for $40k per year with cost of living increases than 1 million in savings.

Or a spouse to pool social security? Nice....

There's a lot more than retirement "savings".
Not me, that is because besides the 40k inflation adjusted income 90% off every rolling 30 year periods you would have ended with your million or more left. Also expenses do not always fit in to budget exactly matching cash flow and you need lump sums
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Old 03-01-2016, 01:04 PM
 
13,912 posts, read 7,405,593 times
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Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
Honestly, I'd rather have a secure pension for $40k per year with cost of living increases than 1 million in savings.

Or a spouse to pool social security? Nice....

There's a lot more than retirement "savings".
I prefer to check the "all of the above" box, myself. That Social Security check is really good risk mitigation. In a paid-for home with fairly low ownership costs, I can cover all my expenses with that and still have slack for some modest luxuries. The savings goes to whatever I want to blow it on.

A spouse to pool their Social Security pension and their big pile of investable assets would be useful, too. But then I'd have to figure out long term care.
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,182 posts, read 1,959,996 times
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
A spouse to pool their Social Security pension and their big pile of investable assets would be useful, too. But then I'd have to figure out long term care.
That's one I have yet to figure out. All of the solutions I can think of are not so appealing...

(1) Buy long-term care insurance.
(2) Just risk it, in which case the surviving spouse could have a rough time of it.
(3) Split up assets and get a divorce of convenience.

Other?

I've read about bad experiences with LTC insurance, and have a tendency to not trust insurance companies.

Question to all... In the case of unpaid LTC expenses, is the surviving spouse's SS benefit at risk? I would feel much better knowing my wife would at least get to keep all of that check even in the worst case scenario.
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:46 PM
 
71,584 posts, read 71,751,865 times
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Originally Posted by hikernut View Post
That's one I have yet to figure out. All of the solutions I can think of are not so appealing...

(1) Buy long-term care insurance.
(2) Just risk it, in which case the surviving spouse could have a rough time of it.
(3) Split up assets and get a divorce of convenience.

Other?

I've read about bad experiences with LTC insurance, and have a tendency to not trust insurance companies.

Question to all... In the case of unpaid LTC expenses, is the surviving spouse's SS benefit at risk? I would feel much better knowing my wife would at least get to keep all of that check even in the worst case scenario.
in most states you can scratch #3 off the list . more and more states have laws protecting sickly spouses from being divorced away .


two very powerful laws here in ny have been upheld and according to our estate attorney who is one of the biggest in ny there are very very few medicaid divorces .

all court actions are now pretty much based on right of refusal .

our two laws that pretty much killed off medicaid divorce are :

(1) Section 5-311 of the General Obligation Law which provides that except as provided in Section 236 of the Domestic Relations Law, a husband and wife cannot contract to relieve either his or her liability to support the other in such a manner that he or she will become incapable of self support, and therefore likely to become a public charge; and

(2) Family Court Act Section 415 which provides that the spouse or parent of a recipient of public assistance or care, or of a person liable to become in need thereof, or a patient in an institution in the department of mental hygiene if of sufficient ability, is responsible for the support of such a person. The Court has the discretion to require any such person to contribute a fair and reasonable sum for such support (child up to 21 years of age).

also if it is eventually determined that a divorce is to be pursued, the divorce needs to satisfy all of the requirements of the Domestic Relations Law, such as establishing one of the requisite grounds for a divorce. This may be difficult to accomplish because of the illness or disability of one spouse .

for just a small perecentage of the average gains on our assets we were able to get a ny state partnership plan for ltc that protects those assets and the stay at home spouses income when the insurance runs out and medicaid picks up the bills
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:28 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,871,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
This may be true, but I've seen little of it personally. Being from Tennessee, we have some good schools (Vanderbilt, Sewanee, Belmont to start). North Carolina has UNC and Duke that are tip-top off my head. Do some of these graduates stay in the South? Sure, but many Southern cities don't have the type of employment already there to attract or retain top talent, and in many cases, their job markets are generally weaker compared to the BosWash corridor, Texas, some areas in the Midwest, and the Pacific coast. There are exceptions, particularly Charlotte and Atlanta, but your most sophisticated, innovative, and prestigious jobs are generally in the BosWash corrior and on the Pacific coast.

If the divide you're mentioning is urban/rural, I think you're largely correct.
You are making the same mistake that I have often made even having been raised, educated, worked and now retired in various Eastern locations. For defined geographic purposes that data collection would probably used if they wanted to be accurate Maryland, DC and Virginia are in the South. Until I graduated from college and moved below the Mason Dixon line I just naturally considered them in the South. When you remove them from your Northern comparison and put them in the Southern comparison I suspect you would agree the data changes:
United States Regions Map

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_United_States
Quote:
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—is a region of the United States of America. The South does not exactly match the geographic south, but is predominantly located in the southeastern corner; Arizona and New Mexico, which are geographically in the southern part of the country, are rarely considered part of the Southern United States, while West Virginia, which separated from Virginia in 1863,[2] commonly is.[3][4][5] Some scholars have proposed definitions of the South that do not coincide neatly with state boundaries.[6][7] While the states of Delaware and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia permitted slavery prior to the start of the Civil War, they remained with the Union. Since then, they became more culturally, economically, and politically aligned with the industrial Northern states, and are often identified as part of the Mid-Atlantic and/or Northeast by many residents, businesses, public institutions, and private organizations.[8][9][10][11][12] However, the United States Census Bureau puts them in the South.
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