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Old 02-28-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,455,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
I get what you're saying, but we have little control over many things - like illness, being laid-off, divorce that we didn't want, widowhood, being a woman who makes .76 to every man's dollar, etc.

I worked for an employer where females advance much faster than males do.

The normal prerequisites for employment are often waived for females. The normal requirements for advancement are either abbreviated or waived entirely for females. At my last work site in the stair step of supervisors above me, my three immediate supervisors were all three junior to me and had significantly less qualifications than I had. Yet they were each advanced above me because they were female [well wait two of them were 'minority' female]. I had to go up my chain-of-command, up three levels of supervisors before I would finally come to a supervisor who had equal or more qualifications and time in service than I had.



Quote:
... What if, for example, someone saves a lot of money, and it gets wiped out during a major illness? (50% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills) What if one becomes a single mother and the father doesn't pay child support and has disappeared?
I do understand that accidents and illnesses do happen.

I also understand that we have significantly more single moms who avoid paying child-support than we do single dads. So about the working dads who are raising their children without help from the children's moms?

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Old 02-28-2008, 01:23 PM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,773 times
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The gist is that some do well, and some not so much, for many, many different reasons. I agree to disagree with some of you who say you have total control over what happens to you financially.

1/3 of elderly single women live in poverty - their fault, perhaps?
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,652,176 times
Reputation: 17267
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?
Somewhere along the way, our society fell into the black hole of convenience. In doing so, we lost the knowledge to sew, to cook from scratch, to plant a sustainable garden, to preserve the produce those gardens grew and to have fun without something electronic in front of us.

Put the blame where the blame belongs. It is not on the rising cost of groceries or gas. The blame rests solely with each individual. Everyone needs to assess himself, his consequences, his options and where he is headed. It's true that you might die in the next tornado, or the next hurricane or the next earthquake. But that doesn't mean you don't look beyond the next calamity and prepare for something more permanent - such as old age.

Your future is in your hands. It always has been. That isn't new. But somewhere along the path of public education, that seems to get blurred or ignored. I'm not sure why that isn't more thoroughly taught. But until it is, we are going to have to endure people who say, "but I thought..." when they are in their late 30's or 40's. And, somewhere along the line, folks seem to think that the government is going to keep all the citizens of the country afloat financially. That isn't going to happen, either. The money that you put into social security with each paycheck is not earmarked for you; it is put toward the checks going out to those who have already retired or become disabled and can't work. You are helping to support them. If you were born after 1950, there will be nohting there when you reach retirement age. George W. Bush made that proclamation to the nation years ago. That's yesterday's news. I guess there were a whole lot of people who missed it.

And health care? Only the biggest and most successful corporations - that are still operating on American soil - offer a benefits and retirement package. Some offer continued health coverage for a price and that price is often the total amount of your pension check. It's the tradeoff. You decide which you need most - health care or money. Before you tell me I am full of crap, send me a DM and I'll give you the name of the corporation that does that.

So what are the options for retirement? There are a few. You have to think outside the box. If you really can't work all your life or there are circumstances which limit your abilities, you really need to think about options for making money after you can no longer work for someone else. Still, that doesn't help with the health care issue. If my condition gets worse or another crops up or cancer finds me, I'll be in the same boat others have been in when the sea got rough. Having said that, there are options for health care that I have chosen not to explore. It's a choice many of us have to make.

If you know the company you work for doesn't offer any benefits, then you are ahead of the game. How long can you afford to work there without benefits? How much of a risk are taking? You have a husband or a wife that has a good job or a career, so your money is just mad money? That only works as long as you are married or your spouse can continue to work.

At what point do you take responsiblity for yourself and your future? It can be done, but if you don't know how, then now is a real good time to find out and make the a plan. Be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. That solution involves everyone being responsible for themselves and their future.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
The gist is that some do well, and some not so much, for many, many different reasons. I agree to disagree with some of you who say you have total control over what happens to you financially.

1/3 of elderly single women live in poverty - their fault, perhaps?
The way you say it, it sounds like poverty is dirty and nasty. Perhaps you could help me out and tell me how you define "poverty." My income is well below the poverty line and I have more than I need. So I guess it's all about what each of us feels we "need" to live comfortably. Oh, and I am very comfortable.

Last edited by AliceT; 02-28-2008 at 01:53 PM..
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:01 PM
 
Location: WA
5,395 posts, read 21,398,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willdufauve View Post
...
If America is such a wealthy country, then surely we can afford an adequate safety net to take care of the sick and elderly and not throw people on the junk pile of the poorly prepared.
That is what SS and Medicare are. Just because we are a relatively rich country does not mean that there is no need for personal responsibility and planning.

This country comes closer to offering equal opportunity to the citizens than any other that has ever existed in the history of the planet... but equal opportunity will never mean equal results because people must take initiative.

We cannot stop the people from swarming to borders because of the great opportunity in this country… they are not going to countries where equal results are more common… look at North Korea, Cuba, and the others where personal initiative is not wanted.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,691 posts, read 33,695,295 times
Reputation: 51904
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
There was once a paradigm in our culture where each 'working-man' defined his existence by his profession.

If you were a construction worker, than you remained a construction worker until the day that you died. You stuck with that one profession. Perhaps with one employer, year after year depending upon that employer to give you pay raises, or not.

However our culture has changed, is changing.

Today folks job hop, they change their profession. They move. They shop around for different career opportunities.

Today people are in greater control of how much they earn, where they live, and what sort of lifestyle they practice.

In my case, I did stick to one profession, but it was a profession with defined benefits and annual pay-raises. It included a good retirement package, so I decided to stick to that career for 20-years and retire. But that was my decision.
I agree, totally. I worked in my job for 34 years, maybe not the same job but the same agency. Perhaps if I would have worked for private companies I would have earned more during my working years jumping from company to company but had less in retirement. I have always lived a very unflashy life not because of money issues but because I'm a plain person and the things I like to have and do, just happen to be things that don't cost a lot. If they were, maybe I'd be concerned about retirement, too. I made a decision not to have kids and the decision didn't have anything to do with money but a down the road result is I'm not supporting/semi-supporting any now in my 50+ years. I don't own a home so I don't have expenses that come with home ownership. I have no credit card debt. I drive a mid sized sedan. It just has to work for me to be happy. I have 1 TV that's 13 years old. It works fine. So, I agree, that "Today people are in greater control of how much they earn, where they live, and what sort of lifestyle they practice" and that impacts retirement.

Interested in an article on America's poor?

How Poor Are America's Poor? Examining the "Plague" of Poverty in America
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:07 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,565,364 times
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Of course circumtances can wreck the most careful planners. I also know (we all do) people who didn't plan at all.
As for working all one's life, a) a lot of jobs require physical youth b) many able people cannot get hired c) even non-laboring jobs have physical requirements. As much as people want to believe that 60 is the new 40, etc., it's just not so. The healthiest person can have arthritis or poor eyesight. Try opening hundreds of medication packs as an RN with slightly stiff hands, and reading the tiny print to avoid making errors! Clerks have to stand for long periods of time. Healthcare workers are often working like animals of field labor.
I do think retirement (never mind "early") as been oversold, mostly by financial magazines (their demographic) as this time of a pair of silver-haired foxes on their motorcycles and sailboats. Yes, there are such, but they are not the average.
Something like 1/3 of baby boomers over 65 will be single. For some, that will cost big-time. (I've always just wanted to break even with men...)
People will do what they have to do, if they have had "failures" or have simply failed to even try to plan. A small trailer in a small town in the Southeast? If it's what you can afford.
I see many friends/cohorts headed for very meager futures, with or without calamities interfering.
I personally overall look forward to retirement as not working, pure and simple. I've done my traveling, might or might not do more. I have back problems to prevent some activities/travel- work-related, not age so much. My night vision is getting worse, and I'm only 55. I have been doing "the right things" for older age for about 12 years and am firmly on track, if nothing happens.
Not sure where the idea of whooping it up with a full head of silver hair comes from, but I don't think it's the future for most people, especially if they've raised kids.
I actually look forward to a quiet life. Maybe work 1-2 days a week (although my job as a psychiatric RN sure has its physical drawbacks on a bad day). No visions of sailing the world or anything. An annual vacation out West suits me just fine.
Health costs, of course, are the big question. Major illness can clobber any insurance, with uncovered stuff and co-pays. And not all illness is someone's lifestyle "fault."
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 644,173 times
Reputation: 279
Look, everything that we become is a result of the choices we make. If you get ill or injured and can't work - where was the disability insurance? Was the illness self-inflicted, i.e. was it due to smoking, alcoholism, not maintaining good health, obesity? Those are all examples of making the wrong decisions.

If you get laid off or jobs go away - what were you doing to increase your marketability for other jobs? Did you learn new skills or just go home and sit on the sofa?

If you're a woman and you're divorced - did you ever attempt to learn about financial matters or just blindly accept that your husband would always take care of that?

If you never seemed to have enough money - did you have too many kids, or have them too early, so that your ability to build a career and a solid nest egg was diminished?

Did you do well in school so that you could go to college and have an opportunity for a better career? Or was having fun at the expense of studying just too attractive?

As the old saying goes, "God gives every bird his worm, He just doesn't drop it in the nest." We live in the country with the greatest opportunity for the average person to do well. It simply depends on how you use the gifts you are given.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,455,573 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceT View Post
Somewhere along the way, our society fell into the black hole of convenience. In doing so, we lost the knowledge to sew, to cook from scratch, to plant a sustainable garden, to preserve the produce those gardens grew and to have fun without something electronic in front of us.

Put the blame where the blame belongs. It is not on the rising cost of groceries or gas. The blame rests solely with each individual. Everyone needs to assess himself, his consequences, his options and where he is headed. It's true that you might die in the next tornado, or the next hurricane or the next earthquake. But that doesn't mean you don't look beyond the next calamity and prepare for something more permanent - such as old age.
Good point.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:18 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,738,716 times
Reputation: 46028
Blah blah blah. Whine whine whine. I'm sorry. I just have zero sympathy.

Here's the way it works, and the way it has always worked from time immemorial.

1. Go to school. Learn a trade or get a degree. If you go to college, pick a school where you don't rack up student loans.
2. Work hard. Continually improve yourself in your job.
3. Save 10% of your paycheck, no matter what.
4. Don't live beyond your means.
5. If you get into a jam, get a second job.
6. Always have decent insurance.

Heck, if you just put 2,000 a year into an IRA for the first ten years of your career and do nothing else, on average you'll have $350,000 by the time you hit 60. That's without putting another dime into investing. Add the value of your home increasing over time, miscellaneous investing, and pretty much any person of any economic class can wind up a multi millionaire.

But it kills me how people get into their 50s without having saved a dime, having spent every dime on going out to eat, big screen televisions, high-priced cars, geegaws for the house and twice-yearly vacations, and then whine about how it's the government's fault, the economy's fault, big business' fault--when it's their own fault.

Yes, unique circumstances can wreck even the best-planned retirement. But the simple truth is that 99% of those who are complaining are the ones who just never gave a thought to the future, and suddenly want the rest of us to do something about it.
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Old 02-28-2008, 04:36 PM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,738,716 times
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In fact, I'll take it one step further. If you're facing hardship in life, it may very well be because of the political choices you've made at the ballot box.

Don't like that Social Security won't be able to fully fund your retirement? Then you should have demanded action back in the 80s, when reform was first being touted. Instead, we let the AARP control the issue in Washington.

Don't like that you don't have enough money left over at the end of the month? Then blame a bloated network of government services that require somewhere between 35-45% of your paycheck. Every time you say, "Well, I think illegal immigrants should get free healthcare" or "Well I think it's scandalous that the government is cutting back funding for the arts" or "Well, isn't it great that the government has ponied up the matching funds for our nice new museum in town," then you are contributing to the giveaway political culture in this country that is responsible for our looming fiscal insolvency. After all, I didn't see mass protests over Bush's Medicare Prescription Act.

Don't like that oil prices are as high as a cat's back? Then don't wring your hands over the environmental impact of drilling in the North Slope of Alaska and don't write your governor to protest a new refinery going up in your state. Because those are the true reasons why the cost of energy is so high in this country.

In other words, we've made our own bed by the political decisions we've made. Now, over the next 40 years, we're going to lie in it unless we have the political courage to do something about it.
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