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Old 02-27-2008, 06:23 AM
 
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
156 posts, read 352,089 times
Reputation: 215

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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?
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:39 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,773 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?
I guess it'll go back to the old days - people worked all their lives - they didn't know about anything called "retirement". Only the Greatest Generation, like my parents, actually were able to retire, since they had such prosperity after WWII.

I doubt we'll be able to fully retire, unless we're quite well-off. Since the median household income in the U.S. is only $45,000, that leaves out most of us.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:07 PM
 
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
156 posts, read 352,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
I guess it'll go back to the old days - people worked all their lives - they didn't know about anything called "retirement". Only the Greatest Generation, like my parents, actually were able to retire, since they had such prosperity after WWII.

I doubt we'll be able to fully retire, unless we're quite well-off. Since the median household income in the U.S. is only $45,000, that leaves out most of us.
I guess that's true Cousinal....I sort of feel bad even bringing it up now because of how depressing it is to many. I still hope things will improve for all.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 644,173 times
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The problem is that too many people never prepared for retirement. It was too easy to buy a new car, or redecorate the house, or whatever - but saving for the future never seemed important to a lot of people. Look at people who are retired now. Some are in fantastic shape financially, others not so much. Even in the same neighborhood you've got one guy who is a millionaire and his neighbor is barely getting by. Why? Discipline. They all lived through the same economic eras - Jimmy Carter and 18% mortgages, long gas lines, etc, etc. But some people prevail while others give up.

At the end of the day, people are where they are as a result of the decisions they have made.
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:22 PM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 1,882,830 times
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Originally Posted by Buckhead_Broker View Post
The problem is that too many people never prepared for retirement.

At the end of the day, people are where they are as a result of the decisions they have made.
Not fair, Buckhead! That's way too moralistic. What about compassion?

First of all, women only earn 76 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn. Is that inferior earning power a decision that individual woman made?

What about a hard working person who then has cancer, or is disabled seriously in an accident, and never attains the earning power of a healthy, able bodied person? They deserve to be the elderly poor because they aren't prepared for retirement? Just their own d**n fault for bad planning?

You incorrectly assume a level playing field. Not everyone who has financial limitations deserves contempt. 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.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:46 AM
 
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
156 posts, read 352,089 times
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[quote=willdufauve;2970124] What about compassion?

Wow compassion...such an underused word today. Hard to define it completely. Can be something as simple as holding a door for a disabled person in a wheelchair. Can be something as complex as helping build houses for people who have none. Not something that can be taught....not something that can be forgotten, once you have it. Not something that can be understood if it's not in your heart. Has nothing to do with money or power...has everything to do with right and wrong. But you wouldn't want to live in a world without it...no matter how much money you have.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,325,293 times
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The rich and government employees will be able to retire. Same for many UNION workers. But if you are not rich, non union and not working for government, expect to die with your boots on.
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,455,573 times
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Quote:
Is retirement going to become impossible?
So long as folks are retiring; then I do not see it as impossible.

Whether it be through government careers, or strong unions, or simply good investment vehicles; folks are doing it too much to say that it is not possible.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:22 AM
 
1,861 posts, read 3,024,773 times
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I really don't get this attitude of "it's your own fault". I just think that's SO not true in many cases. Yes, in some cases, that is probably true - people who lived above their means, borrowed too much, wanted too many things, etc.

But, there are many, many, many of us in America whose wages have not kept up with the soaring costs of living - like housing, food, utilities, etc. Real wages have been stagnant for decades. For example, in the 70's, you might have spent 25% of your income on rent - today, that might be 60%.

How is that someone's fault that prices go up, but not wages?
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:41 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,052,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinsal View Post
I really don't get this attitude of "it's your own fault". I just think that's SO not true in many cases. Yes, in some cases, that is probably true - people who lived above their means, borrowed too much, wanted too many things, etc.

But, there are many, many, many of us in America whose wages have not kept up with the soaring costs of living - like housing, food, utilities, etc. Real wages have been stagnant for decades. For example, in the 70's, you might have spent 25% of your income on rent - today, that might be 60%.

How is that someone's fault that prices go up, but not wages?
Well, it is someone's fault, but not necessarily the wage earner's. There is a mean streak in this country of if I won at the money game, then everyone else who doesn't deserves to suffer. It is a way of being selfish and justifying it by blaming others who didn't do as well.

The way I look at it is there will always be winners and losers. Some people will never do very well and some will do extraordinarily well. Some of the very well off got that way by sticking a figurative boot in other people's faces and some by smart and hard work.

But if huge numbers of people cannot maintain a moderately middle class existence, then our whole economic system is in trouble. When there are significant numbers of people who work but cannot afford a roof over their heads, our economic system is in trouble.

There is one thing that is demonstrably true and has been throughout history. A large and comfortable middle class is the fuel for economic stability and growth. After all, the excesses of unfettered capitalism created the conditions for communism to flower.

And I am one who has done pretty well for myself so I am not whining about my own situation.
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