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Old 03-20-2008, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
Reputation: 19134

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
Talking about government jobs. People for years have looked down on government workers because maybe they could make a lot more money on the outside. Well, I took my job just for the security. I gave up more money to get greater security. I may not make a big pension but I have a secure (hopefully) one and health insurance.

Just how many who looked down on my career choice now wish they had worked at a government job for all those years? I always tell college students that they may have to start at a lower salary, but there are promotion possibilities and great benefits and to weigh this against just a high salary.
Well said.

I went to my 25th highschool reunion, and was the only person in my class who was already retired.

Had I still been working, they would have been perfectly comfortable giving me grief for being a government worker. But since I had just started my pension, it had never entered their minds that anyone could be on pension already.
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:50 AM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,138,131 times
Reputation: 9518
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoryS View Post
is anyone beginning to wonder if full retirement is just an illusion for many of us?
It seems obvious that retirement is impossible for most Americans now. The biggest obstacle is affordable health care. Most working class Americans will have to work until they die or become disabled and can no longer work. Then the health care system will finish them off through neglect and refusals of treatment.

If this seems cynical, I ask you to show me how I am wrong in my assessment; I need some cheering up.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,114 posts, read 8,154,458 times
Reputation: 18766
Post The Secret Is To Cut Costs

The "system", as we used to call it when I was in college, assumes that you will continue to pay the same amount for living costs after retirement, as you do before retirement. This is not necessarily true. My wife and I are nearing retirement age, both with pensions and some savings - but of course, not nearly enough! So we sat down together several times (we actually enjoyed this) to discuss what we could do about the situation.

We made a list of where our current income goes - just doing this for a month or two can be very enlightening! - and found that about a fifth of our costs would disappear. Things like buying lunch at work, buying clothes for work, buying gasoline to commute to work, paying higher taxes due to higher income, maintaining an extra vehicle...all of that really adds up.

Then we looked at what we could do without. Living in Rhode Island near the coast, I have long kept a small fishing boat with trailer, but without it, I would save hundreds of dollars per year. If we do not eat out so much (less tired from work = able to cook more at home), there's hundreds more per year. We both enjoy gardening (flowers) but if we grew some or all of our fresh produce, bingo! More savings - BIG ones.

But the straw that kept breaking our income-camel's back was the mortgage. Like many people, we bought up during the housing boom. Although we have very much enjoyed this home, we had to admit that we would rather be able to retire, than to live in a house with a mortgage. So we are looking to sell the place, take our equity, and buy some rural land for CASH. NO more mortgage! If we have to live in a camper for a few years while we build (my dream has always been to build my own cabin/home), then so be it. Another dream of ours - to live in the country.

If you sit down and take an hour or so from this fast-paced life we all live and work in, sort out your thoughts, decide what you really want and enjoy, and what you can do without, you may actually get somewhere. Retirement for too many people is "supposed" to be about world-wide travel, playing golf every day, and relaxing by the pool with a cool drink. If you wait till you can afford that, you may never retire. That lifestyle is a myth for most people. Down-size your needs until they intersect with your retirement income, and you have a fine place to start! Good luck to all those who want to retire and feel afraid that they never will. You can, if you really want to!
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:08 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,294,382 times
Reputation: 20418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
It seems obvious that retirement is impossible for most Americans now. The biggest obstacle is affordable health care. Most working class Americans will have to work until they die or become disabled and can no longer work.
Americans have Medicare at age 65... I work in the medical field and Medicare is almost universally accepted in my area.

Seniors also have the option of purchasing supplemental coverage with automatic Social Security Premium Deductions... Good Plans in my area cost around $150 a month... +/-

For what it's worth, Seniors also can choose Prescription Drug Coverage for an additional premium of between $15 to $60 per month.

Truly indigent are also eligible for Medical in California and Free Health Services. Medical IS NOT universally accepted and in some cases a patient may have to travel great distances.

My Hospital "Gives" away a lot of Medical Services each year...

I wouldn't say Health Care is the reason driving America's Senior Citizens to work... but rather the high cost of living...

I personally know Washington State Seniors that continue to work because the ever increasing Property Tax Burden they face to keep their homes of many years...
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
It seems obvious that retirement is impossible for most Americans now. The biggest obstacle is affordable health care. Most working class Americans will have to work until they die or become disabled and can no longer work. Then the health care system will finish them off through neglect and refusals of treatment.

If this seems cynical, I ask you to show me how I am wrong in my assessment; I need some cheering up.
I guess that we see things differently.

As a 47 year old retiree, I look around and I see other folks who are also on pension. One of my brothers is also on pension, though I got mine first. My other two brothers are waiting until they hit 65 to retire.

I don't see anything that truly stops someone from retiring in America, unless you insist on maintaining an extremely high cost-of-living [and of course that you have utterly refused to invest all these years].

For anyone to spend like crazy all their life and to wait until they turn 65, to suddenly consider their finances; that is just crazy. Our nation does have a supplemental insurance policy setup for those folks [SSA], but it seems that most folks realize that they should not rely on that entirely.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:51 PM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,138,131 times
Reputation: 9518
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Americans have Medicare at age 65... I work in the medical field and Medicare is almost universally accepted in my area.

...
The problem is that doctors who are enrolled in the Medicare programs are not accepting new patients in most cases, at least in my area (Colorado). This makes Medicare the same as being uninsured for most future retirees.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:58 PM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,138,131 times
Reputation: 9518
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
For anyone to spend like crazy all their life and to wait until they turn 65, to suddenly consider their finances; that is just crazy.
That's not the reason for many people as you must know. Life doesn't deal everyone the same cards. In reality, many if not most people live from payday to payday and are perpetualy one paycheck away from foreclosure. Those that escape that working class trap are fortunate ones.
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:10 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 644,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
That's not the reason for many people as you must know. Life doesn't deal everyone the same cards. In reality, many if not most people live from payday to payday and are perpetualy one paycheck away from foreclosure. Those that escape that working class trap are fortunate ones.
I disagree. Everyone pretty much has the same opportunities in this life. It's their willingness to take advantage of those opportunities that separates the more successful people from the less successful people. It take discipline to achieve and too few people are willing to adopt a life of discipline versus a life of immediate pleasure.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:06 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,379,395 times
Reputation: 24613
Opportunites are just another word for casino. B-B is wrong. People do not have either the same opportunities or the training and mindset to take advantage of an opportunity. Should the unfortunate (without fortune) be left to suffer while a very few live in luxury?
I think not. I do not believe it is moral to allow suffering because the suffers cannot afford the to do anything to relieve their misery.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
That's not the reason for many people as you must know. Life doesn't deal everyone the same cards. In reality, many if not most people live from payday to payday and are perpetualy one paycheck away from foreclosure. Those that escape that working class trap are fortunate ones.
By their own choosing.

Are they in a profession where they are paid minimum wage? or are they spending too much?
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