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Old 04-01-2016, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,217,509 times
Reputation: 6866

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReachTheBeach View Post
So we get to stay in the beach front condo in the tropics on vacation and retire in comfort. That is fine; there should be greater rewards. But there is an undercurrent in this discussion that disturbs me; it seems like some people feel that it's okay if the fast food worker barely survives and if he doesn't get a better job during his career he is undeserving of anything more than a meager retirement at an advanced age. I think that worker should also get to enjoy life. Maybe he has to drive or take a bus to the nearest coast and stay in a motel a couple of blocks from the beach. Retirement housing will probably have to be in an apartment building but asking for it to be near family and maybe have a few activities seems reasonable to me. I don't like the rhetoric that shames the workers who never made it far up the money tree.
^^^^ This is why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are pulling in a significant number of voters.

A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between : Spotlight on Statistics: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

See page 2, real earnings since 1979. The working class got screwed.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,783 posts, read 4,836,241 times
Reputation: 19448
Reachthebeach, Of course, but most of those "low value" jobs are (or should be) occupied by folks on the first rung of their career ladder. My point is that, if they are capable, THEY have to put in the effort to advance. No one is going to give them a raise or promotion for sitting on their hands. Of course there will always be a need for low-skilled workers. And I am very glad that those opportunities are available for folks starting out, or for those with a permanently limited skillset (how's that for PC?), and I agree that the wages for these positions need to elevated to at least a living wage. It's awful hard to get by on 40 x $7 per week! I was raised on a server's tips, so I know what it's like for a family on those wages. My single mom had 5 kids to raise on tips. But as a waitress, she used her head to figure out which servers made the most tips (cocktail, country club, and steakhouse) for the least hours and always worked those jobs. This was her version of climbing the ladder.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:04 AM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,878,614 times
Reputation: 6291
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
^^^^ This is why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are pulling in a significant number of voters.

A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between : Spotlight on Statistics: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

See page 2, real earnings since 1979. The working class got screwed.
It's entirely possible that I voted for one of them in a recent primary. I fear that in the Fall I will be holding my nose and picking the cleanest turd though.

But this discussion will lurch into the ditch in a hurry if we start down that path...
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:15 AM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,878,614 times
Reputation: 6291
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
Reachthebeach, Of course, but most of those "low value" jobs are (or should be) occupied by folks on the first rung of their career ladder. My point is that, if they are capable, THEY have to put in the effort to advance. No one is going to give them a raise or promotion for sitting on their hands. Of course there will always be a need for low-skilled workers. And I am very glad that those opportunities are available for folks starting out, or for those with a permanently limited skillset (how's that for PC?), and I agree that the wages for these positions need to elevated to at least a living wage. It's awful hard to get by on 40 x $7 per week! I was raised on a server's tips, so I know what it's like for a family on those wages. My single mom had 5 kids to raise on tips. But as a waitress, she used her head to figure out which servers made the most tips (cocktail, country club, and steakhouse) for the least hours and always worked those jobs. This was her version of climbing the ladder.
PC language is a good start but treating people who aren't able to climb very high with dignity requires more than that. Anecdotes don't make the math work any better; there just isn't room for everyone to move up. These stories of survival on meager wages don't justify continuing to pay meager wages either, IMO.

This discussion has really moved around. When we are talking about people working jobs that pay reasonable wages and people aren't saving enough, I think we are on the same page - it's their fault that they won't have as much as they could in retirement. But the people at the really low end of the scale that can barely survive are another matter entirely, at least IMO.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:04 AM
 
1,618 posts, read 3,371,215 times
Reputation: 1752
Live for today! That is /was/will be the mantra for most Americans. If they had thought a bit about the future they could have educated themselves and saved for the future. Sure, it is possible you could live free and die early but with the health care we have now most live well past retirement age.


Live now and spend all you have! I had friends that had all the toys and trips and not a thought to where will I spend my retirement life. Simply saving 15% of even a minimum wage a month would have given you a nice chunk of money to live on at 62. And, with SS you would be in pretty good shape. But, no, most say Uncle Sam will take care of me!!!


How many times have you heard down the years, Social Security will not take care of all your needs in retirement!
I suppose denial and procrastination are tough to break.


I have many relatives that started to save when they got their first job and they now have great retirements. AND, no pension. They saved from their own paychecks. Some even had very minimal salaries throughout their working lives and still had 600k or so in retirement accounts. It can be difficult forgoing frivolous wants but it can be done.


I have an uncle that never saved and had 2 ex-wives so he now lives on SS of about $900/month. He has to live with his brother and is in failing health. Not a pretty picture.


Thanks for the soapbox!! Oh yes, Save, Save and Save!!
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:22 AM
 
8,849 posts, read 5,132,953 times
Reputation: 10118
Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
My plan is to live on financial fumes as long as I can.
Well, OK. Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:28 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,824,529 times
Reputation: 13083
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliotgb View Post
I was just job eliminated at the age of 62. Collecting for 26 weeks.
More stringent in Virginia, where I had to file.
They want 2 contacts every week, including the phone numbers of the person contacted, the email addy and the result of the contact.


I'm not sure how much they dig into each contact for proof, but I just never take chances and try to apply to 2 or more jobs every week.
Wow, only 26 weeks? I feel lucky!

I started making a list of the places I sent my resume, but after a couple of months of not hearing from Unemployment (or employers), I just stopped. No sense in beating a dead horse, as they say.

Did you at least get 60% of your pay from the state? LOL, I was actually able to continue putting money into my savings while getting unemployment!

Good luck to you. I know how it feels.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:34 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,824,529 times
Reputation: 13083
Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
If you make minimum wage and are broke, what calculation do you really need to make?
None!

Another burden lifted from your shoulders!
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,133 posts, read 12,385,819 times
Reputation: 13971
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
And the reason is that everybody thinks they should go to college and major in sociology, or political science, or some such. Not many are entering the trade schools and apprenticeships, which is odd since many journey-level jobs pay far more than those college grads will ever make.

People will always need a/c techs and plumbers, linemen,and welding fabricators
It's something that's looked down upon because the perception is if all you have is high school you don't have the smarts or "critical thinking skills" whatever that means.

Back in 1969, fresh from Vietnam and just short of 21 years old, I tried San Jose State for a semester, couldn't relate to anyone, hated every minute of it and my grades showed it. College wasn't for me so I took a different route ending up as a certified engineering technician.

It took over ten years, along with five whole days of written testing, to become certified as a senior engineering technician and for me the ride has been a pretty good one. I've always loved my job and liked what I do so that is a big plus and another big plus is getting a job has always been laughably easy to do and at 67 I still get unsolicited job offers.

The written tests weren't easy in my view and in preparation for solving grid using the Hardy Cross Method I hired my daughters high school math teacher to come to the house three to four times a week for three months so I could brush up on my math. I got very good at iterations. I needed a 60 to pass the test and I got a 60. I remember celebrating how a 60 was as good as 100.

And now they're talking about doing away with algebra in high school? To do my job you better know algebra or you'll never make it.

Back in the 70's and early 80's we didn't have computers to solve our problems, what used to take me four hours I can now do in four minutes, so back in the day we all got pretty good at this sort of thing.

But I think I've forgotten how to do it. Oh well, there's always a computer.

From the 2010 salary survey what is most interesting is how few of us have college degrees. Most that do are professional engineers that want the certification because it's more easily portable across state lines.



I've heard graduates complain about not being able to find a job paying more than $15 but I don't know anyone in this field with five or more years earning less than $50k on a job that most likely comes with union class benefits since most companies are union companies.
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Old 04-01-2016, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,783 posts, read 4,836,241 times
Reputation: 19448
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReachTheBeach View Post
PC language is a good start but treating people who aren't able to climb very high with dignity requires more than that. Anecdotes don't make the math work any better; there just isn't room for everyone to move up. These stories of survival on meager wages don't justify continuing to pay meager wages either, IMO.

This discussion has really moved around. When we are talking about people working jobs that pay reasonable wages and people aren't saving enough, I think we are on the same page - it's their fault that they won't have as much as they could in retirement. But the people at the really low end of the scale that can barely survive are another matter entirely, at least IMO.

I agree, as I said $7/hr is awful hard to live on in today's economy. It's ridiculous really.

I know plenty about treating people with challenges with dignity. As I stated my mom had limited opportunities with a 10th grade education. My brother had undiagnosed learning disabilities, my 2nd brother had to drop out in 9th grade because of health problems (he got his GED at about 30, in order to get a promotion to supervisor), and my niece and nephew have learning disabilities, technically they are developmentally disabled.

What you see as anecdotes, I see as the lives of myself, ALL of my family, most of my friends. None of whom have college degrees. All have progressed in their careers through self-initiated learning processes, and being able to see and take advantage of opportunities to advance. I realize others' "mileage may vary".

I am pretty appalled at the lack of saving in folks over 40. I understand when you're young, you don't really get how the whole system works, and SS is just something Grampa talks about all the time. But when I see folks in their 40's with a $25,000 boat loan, two leased cars and a McMansion with zilch retirement savings, I just can't help but shake my head. I have no pity for them. However, a lot of folks do everything right, and fate STILL sneaks up and smacks them with an illness or premature death of a spouse. Those are the folks that have my greatest sympathy.
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