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Old 02-29-2008, 04:27 PM
 
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
156 posts, read 352,279 times
Reputation: 215

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Actually, what I had more in mind when I started this thread was more of a discussion about the effect that out of control oil inflation will have on retiring. Somehow it progressed into a discussion of who worked how hard to retire...and with how much. Out of control inflation is everyone's enemy. You may think you are fixed for life because of how much money you have but there are reasons for you to be deeply concerned too. This economy is in deep trouble. It's possible that the rules are going to take a drastic change. The policies that have caused this have been largely perpetrated by people of high incomes. Out of control government spending and borrowing, indiscriminate printing of money, the refusal to encourage switchover to alternate fuel sources, unpatriotic and indefensible, greedy policies by private American industry, and failure to keep established traditional values as a basic framework have eroded the very foundation to a point we all must wonder what is next. We cannot all have everything. Economics is the study of the allocation of ALWAYS limited resources. When somebody makes money in the stock market...somebody must lose money. There is no magic to it. The suggestion that all can be well off is just not true. There will always be haves and have nots. Most importantly as someone mentioned already...is a middle class that FEELS as though they have a good life and that some or most of their desires have been achieved. Many people who just a few years ago FELT middle class now feel shut out and anything BUT middle class. This doesn't bode well for the future. Families used to live on one income and yes...they actually still retired at some point. They had one automobile, one wage earner in the family, and lived in infinitely more modest homes. Some of us can still remember those times. We were by and large a much happier society. If you are well off you must be just as concerned as others that are not so well off about these issues. Hopefully, we can find some solutions and make it better for all of us. We really have no choice....
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,695 posts, read 49,488,800 times
Reputation: 19146
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoryS View Post
... Out of control inflation is everyone's enemy.

... This economy is in deep trouble.

... Out of control government spending and borrowing, indiscriminate printing of money, the refusal to encourage switchover to alternate fuel sources, unpatriotic and indefensible, greedy policies by private American industry, and failure to keep established traditional values as a basic framework have eroded the very foundation to a point we all must wonder what is next.

... When somebody makes money in the stock market...somebody must lose money. There is no magic to it. The suggestion that all can be well off is just not true. There will always be haves and have nots.
Good points.

I am more concerned about our nation not buying any thing grown or built in America.

When our tomatoes, corn, beans and lettuce and all being shipped in from overseas; what happens if those ships ever stop?

They could stop due to a fuel crisis, or political crisis, or war.

At one time, we were fully capable of growing our own crops, but we don't. And now we no longer have that capability.

We were once fully capable of making our own clothes right here in the US. But not anymore.

We were once capable of making all of our goods, right here in the US. We used to have the capability of mining, and refining, and manufacture of everythign that our nation needed.

Today we depend on the rest of the planet, and most of our own capabilites have been shut down.

When we had import tarrifs, our own industires were protected. Our jobs were protected, our farmers were protected.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:03 PM
 
12,327 posts, read 18,433,096 times
Reputation: 19228
Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
I'm not talking about personal experiences - I'm talking about our fellow Americans. I'm not even talking about ME at this point and what I'm going to do. I'm better off than some, and worse off than others, like everybody else.

Doesn't seem anyone has any compassion (except a couple of us) - it's all about "me, me, me - I can retire - why can't everyone else"? Tell that to the elderly woman who has to decide between eating and prescriptions. And, tell her it's her own fault. Jeepers, creepers people - I couldn't do it. Maybe you can.

I just can't think that way.

And Jersey Man, you seem to be saying that it depends on the situation. That's all I'm saying. Some people are to blame, of course, but not everyone, as people seem to be saying.

Or did I misunderstand? Wouldn't be the first time.
There are already safety nets for this - social security, medicaid, medicare, food stamps. You realize that don't you? It's not perfect, it's not alot, but it keeps people from starving during retirement. BUT - the point is their may not always be these safety nets, social security for one is running out of money. However, I actually think (and I am no fan of income redistribution) the U.S. is heading to a social democracy where safety nets will be more common with the unfortunete entitlement philosophy of many young ones out there. I won't get into a drawn out discussion of the political, societal, and economic failings of this approach, just saying that everyone will be poorer for it....but there you go, compassion.

But, what people are saying is - life isn't fair. It's a big roll of the dice. You can work hard and still end up broke...or you can be poor and one day win the lottery. Or you can walk out one day and get run over by a truck. Society can't be responsible for everything, unless you want a communist governemnt where everyone is assigned a job, drinks state issued vodka, waits in line 5 hours for government issued bread, and wears cheap gray pullovers.

So we have a happy medium - rich people, poor people, maybe by no fault of there own. And a safety net along with private charities and churches, etc. Not perfect, but it seems to work pretty well. Now in the future, who knows, I just know I don't want to be living in one of those societies wearing cheap gray pullovers.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:24 PM
 
554 posts, read 2,027,655 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?
Well with the way the stock markets are going, I would say that is a possibility. I am watching my 403 go down.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:01 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,999,418 times
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I definitely think that oil production reached it's peak several years ago.OPEC and others could produce more but for a shorter time. Nothing can replace it as far as cost is concerned that we have now.Biodiesel seems to make the most sense but the maximum we can produce is like 2.5% of replacement for crude from estimates.We need to reduce crude consumption ;not go up at 10% more per year.
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Old 02-29-2008, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,695 posts, read 49,488,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
I definitely think that oil production reached it's peak several years ago.OPEC and others could produce more but for a shorter time. Nothing can replace it as far as cost is concerned that we have now.Biodiesel seems to make the most sense but the maximum we can produce is like 2.5% of replacement for crude from estimates.We need to reduce crude consumption ;not go up at 10% more per year.

10% ?

China just woke up. a billion Chinese all want cars.

The world demand for oil is nothing today as compared to next week.

The US could never hope to demand as much oil as China will demand very soon.

We have given away our slot as top dog.

The Chinese grow our food now, they make our clothes, they make our heavy equipment, they make cars. And in return we give them our money. They out number us, and they are wealthier than we are.

Now who do you think is going to get the oil?
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,821,383 times
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Sorry to see all of this pessimism. I am quite enjoying retirement and hope all of you get to experience it too. Not being part of the corporate or organizational culture is very enjoyable, and hopefully you can all experience this freedom too.

I expect us to conquer the energy problem, and in the very near future. Out here in California, we have many of the new homes built with solar electric panels, and if/when we get plug in hybrid vehicles, our ability to gain energy independence should rapidly become a reality.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:33 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,652 posts, read 40,020,325 times
Reputation: 23806
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
Sorry to see all of this pessimism. I am quite enjoying retirement and hope all of you get to experience it too. Not being part of the corporate or organizational culture is very enjoyable, and hopefully you can all experience this freedom too.
me too!!, especially being free from the corp glut syndrome

Quote:
I expect us to conquer the energy problem, and in the very near future. Out here in California, we have many of the new homes built with solar electric panels, and if/when we get plug in hybrid vehicles, our ability to gain energy independence should rapidly become a reality.
Gonna be awhile on getting over the hurdles, but todays announcement of the VW Diesel Hybrid @ 75 mpg + is good news. (except for CARB states...but probably USA will have clean enough fuel for CARB states by the time this is released)

I've been getting 50 mpg since 1976 and am working on a 75 mpg experiment, and do passive solar. (and keep house at 65F), BUT... the energy prices are hurting me and I'm sure they are really hurting others AND since the diesel prices are artificially high in USA, AND goods still travel by Train, Truck, Barges all powered by diesel it's gonna get real ugly. (Even if 'big George' hasn't heard of $4.00 fuel )

I don't think there will be significant usage changes till $5.00+, but those 5 mpg motorhomes can set you back ~ $400/day, and the farm I was working last summer was pouring 300 gal / day into the combines and tractors. Think what the folks in cold climates with oil heat are facing

Energy $$ will continue to go up (China is not going away soon) India is booming, being fed USD and EURO's.

I will admit I was surprised how significantly the worldwide markets reacted to USA problems (so much for diversification...) Since US is the 300# gorilla (consumer) things are likely to be a bit different, and that will apply to retirees too.

Less discretionary spending (higher food, taxes, energy, housing), more focus on essentials - not that that is bad, unless you were hoping for the 'gravy-train'. If so, you best be in the new 'upper class', and not a 'worker-bee'. Most society's worldwide are that way, so check them out, and you will get a snapshot of your future. Especially note the western Europe countries that have declined in economic and power prominence. That is most likely scenario. (IMHO)
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 644,785 times
Reputation: 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
10% ?


The Chinese grow our food now, they make our clothes, they make our heavy equipment, they make cars. And in return we give them our money. They out number us, and they are wealthier than we are.

Have you been to China recently? They average Chinese family is way behind the average American family in terms of wealth. In fact, the average American family is well ahead of the typical family in the World! What we all seem to focus on is how we compare to our fellow Americans - not to the rest of the World. I was in Athens, Greece a few years ago. Everyone but the very wealthy lived in apartment buildings (which they rented) and rode on motorcycles. Entire families on a motorcycle! And this scene is prevelent throughout the World. We have the highest rate of home ownership of any nation. In other parts of the globe, people never consider the possibility of owning a home. And fuel costs have traditionally been higher in other parts of the World than America. And you know what? Those people seem pretty happy.
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,836,225 times
Reputation: 18992
For what it's worth...

I'm catching up on city-data, and just read all five pages of this thread in one piece. It's great to read such thought provoking comments and also very amusing.

Why is it amusing, you may ask? Because I could swear I just fell into a time warp. I remember having all night bull sessions that were just like this... in the 1970's. I shared a house with a bunch of 20 somethings, and we'd sit up all night debating this sort of thing. I still remember some of those conversations, as if they just happened.

I swear, you could print out this thread and go back in time and hear us saying the exact same things. Almost all of us were convinced we would never be able to retire. We knew that retirement was a thing of the past! (We were also positive none of us would ever be able to afford a house. Or even our own apartment. Not with the way the economy was going in the 1970's. There was a recession going on! Gas lines! Inflation! An war that was eating through the nation's budget and politicians warned we might be there 100 years! We knew that we would never have a life even remotely like our parents' because the economy would never recover.)

We were so sure we knew how life would turn out. 30+ years later I find myself retired, in a house that I own. It's a completely different place than I expected to be. Who knew?

Was it because I was lucky? Because I was disciplined? Because I was born at the right time? Who knows. I made plenty of mistakes along the way, hit a few lucky breaks, did a few things right. Is it a story that will repeat for the next generation? Beats me. I don't know the moral of this story, I just was struck by the de ja vu.

Last edited by normie; 03-01-2008 at 06:40 AM..
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