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Old 04-03-2008, 07:33 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
It is my understanding that COBRA is priced (by law) as the employee premium plus the the employer premium plus 10% to cover administrative overhead. It is limited to 18 months of coverage.
It is extremely expensive. A friend of mine who lost his job found out that it would cost $1200/month for him, his wife, and son. And, he had just lost his job!

I couldn't pay for it when I lost my job at one time. And, I "made too much" on unemployment to get state insurance. Catch-22. Of course, if I was an illegal alien and walked over the border, I'd get FREE healthcare! But, no, after all my years of working and paying taxes, I could not get healthcare. Go figure. Pays to have no money at all, and to not be a citizen.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,691 posts, read 33,700,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
Well, lots of people come here to work with my boss, from all over the world. It's a big deal to get into his lab. I guess these scientists will go anywhere, and suffer anything for their "craft".

Not everyone can move just for money reasons - there's work that is important to their career, maybe they have family in the area and would be miserable moving, not to mention it's very expensive to move. Sometimes, it's because someone can't sell their house - especially in this market. So, we take what we can't control, and add that to what we CAN, and see what we can do.
But everything you mentioned is choice related. They chose to live near their family. They chose to live near a project rather than do something different. They chose to price their house at a price where it won't sell quicker. Other people choose differently because they are thinking about money-related issues. Can they have more money to spend/save if they take this job instead of that job, move away from family, sell their house and make less of a profit but move to a place where housing is cheaper?

I'm not making any value judgment about their choices but when they hit 60, and they see others doing better financially, other who did make life decisions primarily based on having more money, they shouldn't be whining when money wasn't the primary motivator for them until it was time to retire.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:00 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
But everything you mentioned is choice related. They chose to live near their family. They chose to live near a project rather than do something different. They chose to price their house at a price where it won't sell quicker. Other people choose differently because they are thinking about money-related issues. Can they have more money to spend/save if they take this job instead of that job, move away from family, sell their house and make less of a profit but move to a place where housing is cheaper?

I'm not making any value judgment about their choices but when they hit 60, and they see others doing better financially, other who did make life decisions primarily based on having more money, they shouldn't be whining when money wasn't the primary motivator for them until it was time to retire.
You are totally right - it depends on what is important to you in your life. Mine was adventure - so, I did whatever I wanted to do - and now, I'll be "ok" in retirement with maybe working PT, but not as well as others who can vacation and be comfortable, etc. I finally "settled down" about 10 years ago, after losing a really good job. I worked my way back up, and now I'm in a pretty good position - a company that even has a pension and also keeps older people in the workforce as part of their policy.

I just think that SOME people will be in trouble not necessarily because they didn't try hard, but because many jobs don't pay that much, and not everyone can have high-level positions. Someone has to do the other work, and whoever does will have problems in retirement, even though they worked at least 40 hours/week and worked hard. Because of the cost of living rising and the real wages going down, many can not keep up. And, it's not for lack of trying.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:42 AM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,745,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoryS View Post
While oil prices are skyrocketing and food following right behind is anyone beginning to wonder if full retirement is just an illusion for many of us? And does anyone think that we might have finally hit that theoretical "tipping point" where worldwide demand will exceed supply meaning prices will rise even higher and faster than they are now?
See, I think it's important to go back to the original point of this thread, that essentially blames one's inability to retire on the current economic climate.


Good times and bad times have alternated back and forth since the beginning of time. And people have always managed to retire. What's more, in today's era of ubiquitous prosperity and financial instruments galore, it's even more absurd than ever to argue this point.

This thread boils down to two basic groups: Those who have been willing to make tough decisions to retire and those who haven't. Yes, everybody who has lived on their own for more than twenty years have suffered reverses. Some of you have had illnesses or lost jobs. But almost everybody has lost a job at one time or another. My wife and I lost our livelihoods on the same day when we were forced to close our business.

But we bounced back. What's more, we were buttressed by our accumulated savings. We saved money by always putting money into savings first, not last. For there's never enough money left over, no matter how much you make.

In short, we made decisions that allowed us to enjoy financial stability. It's not something that happened overnight. It meant long years of doing without.

1) We never took on a mortgage that was more than one-fourth of either one of our take home pay. That meant we always lived in one of the smaller homes in the neighborhood and really waited before renovating anything. Heck, we drywalled our basement ourselves. We framed it, had a contractor friend check our work, paid an electrician to run wire, then learned how to drywall. Instead of writing a $15,000 check to a contractor, we were out $3,500.

Another note, every house we bought was underpriced for the market. We didn't buy a house simply because we were in love with it (same rule applies to cars, by the way). We bought our houses based on how much we could increase their value. Our first house was in a marginal neighborhood, had been neglected, but had lots of character. We bought it on a shoestring for $80K, put lots of elbow grease and sweat into the place, and sold it for $275,000 12 years later. That was a nearly 10% return per year. We then plowed the money into another undervalued home in a good neighborhood with great schools. Recently, after undergoing a lot of home improvement projects, we had the home reappraised to get a better mortgage rate, and the home value has jumped 28% in two years in a down real estate market. So we have built up $300,000 in equity on our home, just by virtue of being somewhat shrewd on what we bought and not paying a contractor to do anything we could do ourselves at nights and on weekends.

2) We drive cars until the wheels fall off.

3) Enjoy your daily cup from Starbucks before strolling into the office? That's $3.50 a day. $17.50 a month. $875 a year. Eat lunch out every day? That's somewhere around $1,600 a year, if you throw in a soda or an extra snack. So those two expenses alone cost you $2,475 annually. Imagine what would happen if you plow that money into investments or savings. Do that for 20 years, with a 6% return on your money, and you have $103,000.

4) Own shelfloads of books? You realize that the library lets you read them for free. And they have videos, too. Those are small things, really, but it's the attitude that matters. Do you really need to have the latest and greatest of anything? Of course not.

5) Are you checking prices at the grocery store? I mean really looking at prices? Best move we ever made was invest in a used freezer and a membership to Sam's. We can buy an entire month's worth of food for a family of five for $500.

6) Without fail, we have good life, home, car, and health insurance. For our health insurance, we have a catastrophic coverage rider. For our car, we have a $1,000 deductible. But we are covered if the worst happens.

So do yourself a big, fat, hairy favor and pick up a copy of Money Magazine at the library and read it religiously. Pick up a copy of Consumer Reports, too. You'll learn amazing ways to shave hundreds of dollars off your monthly expenses, money that you can be socking back for a rainy day.

Or you can sit there and whine.

Last edited by cpg35223; 04-03-2008 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:14 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,986 times
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Actually, people have NOT always retired. Our parents (The Greatest Generation) were the first to have retired totally.

Our grandparents worked all their lives. It was only possible later on.

And, again, quit with the "whining" judgement on people, please. The person was merely asking questions about how things are today, which are not good for someone retiring, no matter what you say.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:19 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 36,583,468 times
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"Another note, every house we bought was underpriced for the market. We didn't buy a house simply because we were in love with it (same rule applies to cars, by the way). We bought our houses based on how much we could increase their value. Our first house was in a marginal neighborhood, had been neglected, but had lots of character. We bought it on a shoestring for $80K, put lots of elbow grease and sweat into the place, and sold it for $275,000 12 years later. That was a nearly 10% return per year. We then plowed the money into another undervalued home in a good neighborhood with great schools. Recently, after undergoing a lot of home improvement projects, we had the home reappraised to get a better mortgage rate, and the home value has jumped 28% in two years in a down real estate market. So we have built up $300,000 in equity on our home, just by virtue of being somewhat shrewd on what we bought and not paying a contractor to do anything we could do ourselves at nights and on weekends".

cpg I once actively sold real estate and I thought most clients would be like you. Unfortunately I would say less than 5% are...

And I love your use of the word, "butressed".
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:57 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,745,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
And, again, quit with the "whining" judgement on people, please. The person was merely asking questions about how things are today, which are not good for someone retiring, no matter what you say.
It wasn't a question. It was a complaint. It also reeks of defeatism, which I really can't abide.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,828,923 times
Reputation: 18992
Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
Actually, people have NOT always retired. Our parents (The Greatest Generation) were the first to have retired totally.

Our grandparents worked all their lives. It was only possible later on.
I think it's more realistic to say that your grandparents worked all their lives. I guess everyone has a different family history, however.

My grandparents were definitely able to retire, even though they were never wealthy. I don't believe anyone in my family has worked all their lives. I'm not sure if everyone had a pension, but they found a way. Some probably relied on family help. Interestingly, my family history includes a great great grandfather who received a pension for fighting in the Civil War.

As for health insurance, I wish you all the best Bideshi and hope this forum can help you come up with a solution. My husband and I both took the "work for the government, take a boring job just to get the benefits" route during the 70's and 80's. They weren't particularly fun jobs, but we left them with good packages. We have some other insurance, but this is our primary coverage for health care. Other than that we are using rental properties as our major investment. One strange side effect of the mortgage meltdown is that many people are renting while they wait for prices to drop. It's a good time to be a landlord.

Last edited by normie; 04-03-2008 at 07:11 PM..
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:09 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
I think it's more realistic to say that your grandparents worked all their lives. I guess everyone has a different family history, however.

My grandparents were definitely able to retire, even though they were never wealthy. I don't believe anyone in my family has worked all their lives. I'm not sure if everyone had a pension, but they found a way. Some probably relied on family help. Interestingly, my family history includes a great great grandfather who received a pension for fighting in the Civil War.

As for health insurance, I wish you all the best Bideshi and hope this forum can help you come up with a solution. My husband and I both took the "work for the government, take a boring job just to get the benefits" route during the 70's and 80's. They weren't particularly fun jobs, but we left them with good packages. We have some other insurance, but this is our primary coverage for health care. Other than that we are using rental properties as our major investment. One strange side effect of the mortgage meltdown is that many people are renting while they wait for prices to drop. It's a good time to be a landlord.
My point was that only during the Greatest Generation's time was retirement for MOST even possible. Before that, people did not necessarily retire, in many generations before that. Even back in the 19th century, if people did retire from their factory jobs, they had to do something else to keep food on the table. And, those people who came through the Depression as adults like our grandparents - many could not retire.

Of course, as you say, SOME could, but it was not likely for many. The Greatest Generation's "full retirement" for most was not what normally happened before that, or after, which is US.

There's nothing wrong with that, either - I'm not complaining about having to work - I'll do it as long as I can, full-time and then part-time. It's going to be a growing trend for my generation, as has been pointed out in the news for years. It's just a different era. We went from the 3-legged stool of social security, pension, and savings to the 4-legged stool which includes a job.

Besides, us Baby Boomers won't go down easy - we'll be hoppin' around until we drop dead! Not to mention the fact that companies will need us because the ones coming up after us are not as well-educated, and cannot communicate properly with other people, what with all their "gadgets", AND there aren't as many of them as there are of us. I heard yesterday that 50% are dropping out of H.S. now in the U.S. We're going to have big problems on our hands, for sure.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:22 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,986 times
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Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
It wasn't a question. It was a complaint. It also reeks of defeatism, which I really can't abide.
Ah - I see - "defeatism" - I don't see it that way at all. It's just a discussion to me. I had no feeling of defeat - just talking about current situations.

I don't understand the attitudes of some in here who think that those who are having some trouble with retirement (as many, many people are having in the U.S.) are "losers" or something. It's not unusual or strange - it's pretty well-known today how hard it is in retirement for many - not YOU all, but many.

I don't find anything "defeatist" about that. It just "is". Like I've said before, if you do well, more power to you, but don't feel superior to the rest of us - there's no reason to. And, it's quite insulting when some of you in here put down the others who may not do as well. Does that mean anything about what kind of people they are? Not to me.
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