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Old 02-29-2016, 08:22 AM
 
6,874 posts, read 7,267,992 times
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For years now, I also have started to look out more for number one financially. I don't help family as much any more, or others in general. Let's just say I'm more careful with my money in lots of ways. But I do still give to charities. Always will.

I definitely have become more conservative in my personal spending. Which may only be natural as one ages and REALLY starts to realize, Uh, I REALLY REALLY don't want to work anymore. So I better get on the ball with doing what I need to so that goal can be achieved.

I've always thought the REALLY wealthy don't have to worry about WHO is in office. They'll be ok either way. If some of them lost 75 percent of their money they'd STILL be just fiiiine. I'll likely never be in that position. I used to wonder about B Gates or W Buffet or D. Trump -- or the Queen of England or Sultan of Brunei for that matter….well damn -- how much money does a person need. And true they'll NEVER have to worry about not being able to pay for health care.

But for years now I've thought… you know what…you can't have too much...I want as MUCH as I can save, while still enjoying the life I'm living today. One goal of mine is to be so rich or have so much, that I don't have to worry about who's in office. Either way I'll be fine.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:05 AM
 
11,929 posts, read 20,372,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
There was a thread here not long ago, something about "How did you feel when you saw your first SS check?" and my response was, "How long is THIS going to last?". Most here mis-read my response; what I really meant by that was, don't stand around proudly and happily looking at that check...chances are excellent that it won't last the rest of your life. Same thing with Medicare.

To those who insist that the politicians would never let SS go broke due to the importance of the elderly vote, I say, what can they do when the money is just no longer there? Do they really worry that much about a bunch of old geezers? Maybe they used to, but as someone here pointed out, times change.

To the OP: I hope you have a long and happy retirement. But I would not plan on collecting a SS check, for the duration of it. I do not even expect it to last out my own years, and I'm 68!
I'm 56 years old, and the mantra of Social Security going bust has been around since probably well before I was in college. Late 70's. That was one of the reasons we saved like crazy. We bought into that. We also at that time hadn't heard of 401ks, and pensions were well and truly dead.

Social Security won't go bust. Won't happen.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:49 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,183 posts, read 1,338,732 times
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This is the BEST discussion! Very thoughtful posts.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,174 posts, read 1,954,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
I'm 56 years old, and the mantra of Social Security going bust has been around since probably well before I was in college. Late 70's. That was one of the reasons we saved like crazy. We bought into that. We also at that time hadn't heard of 401ks, and pensions were well and truly dead.

Social Security won't go bust. Won't happen.
We need something. Unfortunately, many people will not plan for their own security, so some sort of mandatory system is needed.

SS will be different in the future than it is today, that is certain. Just as it's different for me than for my parents. When my father started working the combined FICA rate was about 6%, and his full retirement age was 65. In comparison, for me the combined rate has been the current 15.3% for nearly my entire work history. And my full retirement age will be 67... stated in another way it's like getting roughly a 15% cut in benefits as compared to my parents.

I'm not complaining. It is what it is. People are living longer and the rate of population growth is slower, so the system has to adapt. With that said, I would prefer to have a non-political entity setting the tax rate and benefit levels. I think that would result in a more believable program that people would have more faith in. Today we know some things will have to change... we just don't know what they'll be yet, which is unsettling.

Last edited by hikernut; 02-29-2016 at 03:29 PM..
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Old 02-29-2016, 03:21 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,126,238 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
I know it's very long but, wow talk about a topic…this one prompted by a new thread about how much people have saved for retirement. I hope this doesn't ramble too much, and is SOMEWHAT coherent.

What are some of your thoughts about how you've seen the CONCEPT OF RETIREMENT change over the years: how it's paid for, what's expected during those years.

It's not just money…it's also how people have changed their attitudes about WORK, their own lives, and saving as well..on personal levels and societally as well.

And for reallll old timers their formative mindset about work and saving was already set, because there WAS no Soc. Security until they were already adults. So it was a happy surprise…not expected from age 25.

Some previous generations didn't know what "retirement" was. They worked until they died. But then again those were the "workers." The rich or wealthy worked early on to BUILD their empires, but then their MONEY worked for them. And of course the workaholic types, worked until they keeled over, no matter how wealthy they were.

-- Did it all change with the success of the "retirements" of the WWII generation? Or was is depression era babies who saved every dime so they were able to retire (those tow generations sort of over lap a bit)….and then THEIR kids, the baby boomers sort of expected that THEY would get to retire?

(Was it a mistake of start the social safety net, or did we make a mistake in how it was used?)

-- Did the boomers change it all with their ME, ME ME mind set. Because once you start that kind of thinking it's only natural that you would ask yourself do I really WANT to work until I drop?

-- Then you have the LUCK of living and working during BOOM years, instead of bust years. Look at the challenges facing Millennials and some Gen X an Yers, and this younger. People graduating from college tens of thousands of dollars in debt -- with no great job prospects. Is that doom and gloom or reality? (Of course another issue is did society as a whole make a mistake pushing everyone into college?) (One guy called a radio show saying he was more than 200K in student loan debt -- just getting a B.A. accounting degree. The host was speechless. Thought the young man was crazy for doing that. But it was done so what could you do but TRY to give him advice for going forward.)

-- And there's the serendipity of life as far as one's health, or the health of a child. Look at how having a disabled child, or having bad health it at the wrong time can throw a monkey wrench into ANY plan. So I guess we need that social safety net?

-- and of course there's also the FINANCIAL part of retirement. and how if you never "achieve" economically then you just might work all your life whether you want to or had planned to or not. But that ebbs and flows too. I see articles about how some college grads are LOATHE to take on debt -- just like -- full circle….our depression baby grandparents were.

I just find the entire psychology and sociology of retirement an interesting topic….especially as I'm approaching my own (hoped-for) retirement. It touches on soo many aspects and sectors of society...
ALSO PLEASE if any one knows about how retirement is thought of or financed in other countries PLEASE POST. I'd love to know if the retirement concept is different in Italy or the U.K. or CANADA, or even Russia or Zimbabwe, South Africa or Brazil, or China, or India, or wherever….

------------------------

I mentioned changing attitudes about work…because at 55. I think I've lived long enough to see and notice some changes.
Mom had a pension and Soci and savings. Did fine, thank god didn't out live her savings. But that's luck of the draw isn't it? Same with an aunt, who was only a live in governess/housekeeper/majordomo. Had savings and Soc Secur. Lived a simple retirement but still took inexpensive trips, etc. She also did not outlive her money. They both worked until 80.

Then there's me the late-stage baby-boomer who at 55 can't WAIT to retire. I dream of it every day. and have my eyes on 65. I'd quit and retire tomorrow if I could. I just don't want to work anymore. I'm burned out. I think there are MANY more people like me, than before. Our jobs may not be as physical. But they're MENTALLY draining. More of us are sandwiched between kids and aging parents. The little bit of caregiving I did for my aunt -- and years later my mom -- burned me out completely. ARE THERE MORE PEOPLE LIKE ME NOW during these times. OR...WERE THERE ALWAYS THEY JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE CONCEPT OF RETIREMENT LOOMING LIKE A CARROT IN FRONT OF THEM. SO THEIR ENTIRE MIND SET WAS DIFFERENT?

Then for others add on perhaps how the work environment has changed. A LOT of people HATE their jobs, either what they're doing or where they're working…so THEY don't want to work anymore either. I'm DONE with working. I go in, mark my time, do just enough not to get fired, and hope to coast for 9 1/2 more years.

BUT I also have saved a BIT. I'm lucky enough to have a pension coming (Lord willing). As a late-boomer all I can do is pray I (us as a whole) don't get screwed by any future changes to Soc. Medicare, health care, elder care, etc.
Most Xers I have in my own circle (including me) have a more refined and educated version of the Lost Generation one. We don't expect much help from the government however unlike the actual Lost (with the exception of that small percentage who were Great Gatsbys) we are armed with very good tools and info for making the best of 401Ks, IRAs and eventual SS planning. Now whether we as individuals accomplish our goals or exercise discipline is as varied as humanity itself. But as a generation, like many other things, we look at retirement and say - "Meh .... could be better, could be worse!"
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:50 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
4,690 posts, read 2,540,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
"Did the boomers change it all with their ME, ME ME mind set. Because once you start that kind of thinking it's only natural that you would ask yourself do I really WANT to work until I drop?"



Let us see if I understand this Me, Me, Me mind set. Is this the same generation that finished help for the post WWII recovery of Europe and Japan and then watched while the European countries and Japan provided full medical coverage and livable pensions for their citizens? Is this the same generation that helped protect the rest of the world from Soviet and Chinese aggression? And paid for wars in Korea and Vietnam and the Middle East? And has contributed hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid? Is this the same generation that has seen taxes grow and has seen the infrastructure crumble and the benefits of those taxes go down and down?


Is this the same generation that paid the social security and medicare benefits of the last generation? Is this the same generation that has paid into those funds since they started to work and now hears that the funds are not sustainable?

Frankly I am missing the me, me, me part.
So am I. We boomers are not the "me, me, me" generation. That followed us by years.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:31 PM
 
13,872 posts, read 7,381,208 times
Reputation: 25346
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikernut View Post
We need something. Unfortunately, many people will not plan for their own security, so some sort of mandatory system is needed.

SS will be different in the future than it is today, that is certain. Just as it's different for me than for my parents. When my father started working the combined FICA rate was about 6%, and his full retirement age was 65. In comparison, for me the combined rate has been the current 15.3% for nearly my entire work history. And my full retirement age will be 67... stated in another way it's like getting roughly a 15% cut in benefits as compared to my parents.

I'm not complaining. It is what it is. People are living longer and the rate of population growth is slower, so the system has to adapt. With that said, I would prefer to have a non-political entity setting the tax rate and benefit levels. I think that would result in a more believable program that people would have more faith in. Today we know some things will have to change... we just don't know what they'll be yet, which is unsettling.
Social Security is underfunded by 30%. The retirement age will be tweaked a bit. Payroll taxes will go up a bit. The affluent will be paying more. 41% of people age 55 to 64 have zero retirement savings. Without Social Security, they starve. There's really no other option. With increasing wealth and income stratification and the demise of defined-benefit pensions, that 41% is going to be more than 50% in another 25 years when the Millennials start hitting that age bracket.

Killing off Social Security is rhetoric by rich people. They don't want to pay more tax. They own the stock in the corporations that will be paying more payroll tax. They've managed to co-opt the political process. The get people to vote against their self-interest by having them focus on fringe issues like abortion rights or gun rights. It's a brilliant strategy but when you start telling a 45 year old middle class voter with little retirement savings and no defined-benefit pension that they're going to starve when they hit 65 and can't work, they'll figure it out.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:09 PM
 
13,872 posts, read 7,381,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
But for years now I've thought… you know what…you can't have too much...I want as MUCH as I can save, while still enjoying the life I'm living today. One goal of mine is to be so rich or have so much, that I don't have to worry about who's in office. Either way I'll be fine.
Good luck with that. I figure I'd need an extra $1/2 million to go without Social Security and another $250K to pay cash for my health care if Medicare goes away. And that can't be in a 401(k) or IRA where the distributions would be taxed to death because I'm a rich person.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:01 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,126,238 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Social Security is underfunded by 30%. The retirement age will be tweaked a bit. Payroll taxes will go up a bit. The affluent will be paying more. 41% of people age 55 to 64 have zero retirement savings. Without Social Security, they starve. There's really no other option. With increasing wealth and income stratification and the demise of defined-benefit pensions, that 41% is going to be more than 50% in another 25 years when the Millennials start hitting that age bracket.

Killing off Social Security is rhetoric by rich people. They don't want to pay more tax. They own the stock in the corporations that will be paying more payroll tax. They've managed to co-opt the political process. The get people to vote against their self-interest by having them focus on fringe issues like abortion rights or gun rights. It's a brilliant strategy but when you start telling a 45 year old middle class voter with little retirement savings and no defined-benefit pension that they're going to starve when they hit 65 and can't work, they'll figure it out.
Less than 25 years.

The oldest Millies are now 35 years old.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Social Security is underfunded by 30%. The retirement age will be tweaked a bit. Payroll taxes will go up a bit. The affluent will be paying more. 41% of people age 55 to 64 have zero retirement savings. Without Social Security, they starve. There's really no other option. With increasing wealth and income stratification and the demise of defined-benefit pensions, that 41% is going to be more than 50% in another 25 years when the Millennials start hitting that age bracket.

Killing off Social Security is rhetoric by rich people. They don't want to pay more tax. They own the stock in the corporations that will be paying more payroll tax. They've managed to co-opt the political process. The get people to vote against their self-interest by having them focus on fringe issues like abortion rights or gun rights. It's a brilliant strategy but when you start telling a 45 year old middle class voter with little retirement savings and no defined-benefit pension that they're going to starve when they hit 65 and can't work, they'll figure it out.
I don't disagree with your basic premise that people will be paying more to keep SS ongoing, but starvation? There are numerous people out there with little savings today that, while struggling, are far from "starving."
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