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Old 03-31-2016, 12:36 PM
 
7,801 posts, read 4,391,333 times
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I've had many conversations with friends who claimed they couldn't afford to retire; they've gone something like this...


Me: Do you really need (a long list) that huge house, huge car, new clothes every season, mani/pedis and massages, to have your hair cut and colored, the lastest TV/phone/camera, vacations twice a year, to eat out every nights, etc., etc, etc.?


Them: Yes.


There you have it! "A man is rich in proportion to what he can do without."
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:03 PM
 
8,859 posts, read 5,136,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
If you make minimum wage and are broke, what calculation do you really need to make?
I would sincerely like to know what your plans are. You're about 10 years away from traditional retirement age?
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:23 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,826,042 times
Reputation: 13083
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
I understand that and some of us certainly could do exactly that and never feel the effects.

According to this snapshot the average retired worker receives $1,344.70 while the spouse receives $693.64 for a total combined benefit of $2,038.38 as a couple.

This is what social security calls an "average" but I would like to know what the median is.

Well, now. That pretty much leaves out single people, doesn't it?

Oh, well, I guess it's worth it! haha
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,879,340 times
Reputation: 6291
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
I understand that and some of us certainly could do exactly that and never feel the effects.

According to this snapshot the average retired worker receives $1,344.70 while the spouse receives $693.64 for a total combined benefit of $2,038.38 as a couple.

This is what social security calls an "average" but I would like to know what the median is.
Why?
My guess would be that the median and mean would not be as far apart as you might think; they are only using data from people getting payments so there are no zeros and payouts are capped (for 2016, max is $2,639) so there aren't crazy extremes to throw out.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:43 PM
 
1,512 posts, read 966,043 times
Reputation: 2858
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
I understand that and some of us certainly could do exactly that and never feel the effects.

According to this snapshot the average retired worker receives $1,344.70 while the spouse receives $693.64 for a total combined benefit of $2,038.38 as a couple.

This is what social security calls an "average" but I would like to know what the median is.
I am reading that as the average for a couple consisting of one "working" spouse and one "non-working" spouse, where the working spouse paid into SS over 40 quarters with payment based on 35 working years while the non-working spouse did not meet that requirement.

Am I reading that correctly?
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:12 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,167 posts, read 1,266,787 times
Reputation: 4460
The paradigm that you collect SS early because with "just a little addition from savings", I'll be fine, only works for more income if you really assume a shorter life, and intentional depletion of priciple towards that end. Otherwise, using that same savings to live off of, while delaying your SS, will always give you more effortless income, taxed at a lower rate, later, IF YOU DO live. With that actual take home higher income, you will not need your savings until much later, so it has actually not only enough time to recover, but usually surpass what it was, and certainly what it will be if you have to draw off it every year starting at 62.

It's just that most people seem to have this fear of using their savings for what they saved it for, and not collecting what they see as owed them as soon as possible. I showed my own wife the numbers in black and white, and that her collecting SS at 62 does not help our quality of life in any way, but all she knew was "I want it now!"

Its an entirely different story if you have little or no savings, in which case delaying is moot.
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:51 PM
 
1,109 posts, read 594,815 times
Reputation: 3940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Once in a while we hear comments in this Retirement Forum to the effect that "I will have to work until I drop dead", which is certainly a grim scenario for the future. Even people who love their jobs probably look forward to the increased freedom of retirement eventually.
I have little sympathy for people currently aged 45-65 who by all accounts had incredible opportunities which are simply not available for those under 30. The decade and a half in the middle there seems to be somewhat of a grey area.

No savings? HOW? It's not my fault that so many boomers simply failed to plan for the future. I know lots of young people who ARE in fact saving because we were just coming of age and entering adulthood during the last crash. While not as bad as the Great Depression that molded the Greatest Generation into who they were, some of us have taken note and realize if we're going to make it we need to save for rainy days.

Housing costs were reasonable throughout most of your lives. A 1br apartment in a seedy area costs upwards of $1k per month near any major employment center in the country. The costs only go up in places like DC, NY, SF, LA, etc. Today if you're under 30 (or even 35) and can manage to get a loan to buy a house it'll likely be a structure that's at least 60 years old and outdated in every way possible from energy efficiency to size to room layouts.

Employment: It was darn near impossible not to find it when boomers were growing up and wages always went up, not only in nominal terms, but in real inflation adjusted terms. Quality of life in this country hit it's peak during your time, and probably before I hit adulthood. If you're upper middle age now you pretty much had to do something to sabotage yourself to end up unemployed for long (which lets admit, a lot of tatted up and pierced young people are in fact doing to themselves).

Energy was cheaper for you starting out.

Schools were far better and you didn't have so much federal government nonsense gunking up the system. I have to worry about making enough to send the kids that I don't even have yet to private school because pretty much anywhere where housing is affordable has schools that are less than stellar. And when it comes to college it's not like I could work part time and then pay for the education. Had to drive around the desert in my case, and even without the debt I'm looking at a lower standard of living than the previous generation.

Overall Quality of Life seems better in any previous generation. I wish "Leave it to Beaver" could be found in this day and age. We have less free time, everything seems dirtier and there's trash all over. People are less friendly and far less respectful of others, in general.

My apologies if this comes off as pessimistic, it certainly is, but to reverberate my main point: I don't have sympathy for boomers who complain about money or who are not in a position to retire. Those who blew it did it to themselves in the vast majority of cases.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,889 posts, read 25,327,549 times
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A lot of people were hit by things they couldn't plan for like health issues or unemployment. And now that means losing a job you can't replace. For those who haven't been out there for a while we have scads of jobs that pay nothing and relatively few that pay something. Between technology and offshoring, a huge percentage of the decent jobs are just gone.

Many people were looking towards the last 10 or 15 years of high value employment to feather their retirement nest. The kids should be gone and the house pretty much paid for. Time to buckle down and save a lot. Then life happened and here you are, old and unemployed. And you aren't going to be saving a lot if you are only making $10 an hour part time with no benefits. Instead of feathering your nest you are living hand to mouth and counting the days till you can collect that first SS check. And you can't afford to do anything else. It isn't realistic to just keep on working. Most of those craptastic $10 jobs are hard physical work ill suited to seniors who spent the last 20 years in a climate controlled office telling others what to do.

Age discrimination is rampant out there. And there are literally hundreds of people applying for anything full time with benefits so why hire an old person? There are millions of people trying to escape craptastic and get to decent. What's left of the American Dream. The old and un or under employed just don't count.

So you do the best you can! And for many that means collecting SS ASAP. It wasn't the plan but that's what happened.
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,949 posts, read 5,305,279 times
Reputation: 17972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl View Post
My husband works with someone who intends to retire and collect SS at 62, which we think is insane. He keeps trying to talk her out of it, explaining the math, but she just won't have it.

But she's never been fiscally savvy that we can tell, so we're not surprised at her intransigence.
Most people I know retired with pension and supplement. At 62 the supplement ends and you take SS. These threads are about the only people I am aware of that worked or plan to work into their 60's. That's not real life where I came from. ALL major corporations had early retirement and they wanted you to take it.
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,740,386 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Once in a while we hear comments in this Retirement Forum to the effect that "I will have to work until I drop dead", which is certainly a grim scenario for the future. Even people who love their jobs probably look forward to the increased freedom of retirement eventually.

................
Quote:
Originally Posted by InchingWest View Post
I have little sympathy for people currently aged 45-65 who by all accounts had incredible opportunities which are simply not available for those under 30. The decade and a half in the middle there seems to be somewhat of a grey area.

No savings? HOW? It's not my fault that so many boomers simply failed to plan for the future. I know lots of young people who ARE in fact saving because we were just coming of age and entering adulthood during the last crash. While not as bad as the Great Depression that molded the Greatest Generation into who they were, some of us have taken note and realize if we're going to make it we need to save for rainy days.

Housing costs were reasonable throughout most of your lives. A 1br apartment in a seedy area costs upwards of $1k per month near any major employment center in the country. The costs only go up in places like DC, NY, SF, LA, etc. Today if you're under 30 (or even 35) and can manage to get a loan to buy a house it'll likely be a structure that's at least 60 years old and outdated in every way possible from energy efficiency to size to room layouts.

Employment: It was darn near impossible not to find it when boomers were growing up and wages always went up, not only in nominal terms, but in real inflation adjusted terms. Quality of life in this country hit it's peak during your time, and probably before I hit adulthood. If you're upper middle age now you pretty much had to do something to sabotage yourself to end up unemployed for long (which lets admit, a lot of tatted up and pierced young people are in fact doing to themselves).

Energy was cheaper for you starting out.

Schools were far better and you didn't have so much federal government nonsense gunking up the system. I have to worry about making enough to send the kids that I don't even have yet to private school because pretty much anywhere where housing is affordable has schools that are less than stellar. And when it comes to college it's not like I could work part time and then pay for the education. Had to drive around the desert in my case, and even without the debt I'm looking at a lower standard of living than the previous generation.

Overall Quality of Life seems better in any previous generation. I wish "Leave it to Beaver" could be found in this day and age. We have less free time, everything seems dirtier and there's trash all over. People are less friendly and far less respectful of others, in general.

My apologies if this comes off as pessimistic, it certainly is, but to reverberate my main point: I don't have sympathy for boomers who complain about money or who are not in a position to retire. Those who blew it did it to themselves in the vast majority of cases.
I quoted above the portion of my post which you quoted and responded to just in order to say that when I wrote it I had no generational ramifications whatsoever in mind. I was addressing in a generalized way the concept of people "who couldn't retire if they wanted to" which is the subject of the thread.

I don't mind that you chose to review the matter through a generational lens, so I suppose my point is that I don't feel you have rebutted me; rather, you have added a particular dimension to the discussion.

It may surprise you (or not) that this 71-year-old agrees with most of what you wrote. I have posted previously in a couple of different threads (perhaps in the Economics Forum or perhaps here in Retirement, I can't remember) that I think my age group (I was born in 1944) had it easier than the age groups which followed. (I avoided the word generation on purpose, as technically I am two years too old to be a Boomer and I didn't want to get side-tracked into that argument).

"Had it easier" needs qualification. I don't mean we were handed anything on a platter. I know I worked hard for what I have. However, certain factors were more favorable for us. Just to take one factor as an example, I graduated from a state university in 1965 with zero debt. No, Mommy and Daddy were not rich or even well-to-do. That was NORMAL at the time. I worked part-time jobs while in college, lived on a shoestring, and came out debt-free - that's how it was done back then. Tuition was heavily subsidized by the taxpayers.

I was fortunate to have been born when I was.
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