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Old 01-05-2017, 07:46 PM
 
1,157 posts, read 1,252,224 times
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I apologize for the tone of my original post. I just don't see a lot of discussion about this topic anywhere and see it as a coming crisis.

I am a borderline GenX/Millennial and actually am not one of the people I described. I own a home, save a lot, and have a good job. But many of the generation of kids after me are in terrible shape. It doesn't seem quite so bad in the moment because their parents can help them out, and they can eat and get by and scrape together some money, but my point was that the relative ease with which the older generations have retired have made people forget what is required for that to happen.

I was a little bit off talking about wealthy boomers. Though there are a lot of them, the Silents are indeed wealthier as was pointed out. Ability to save being debt-free after college (if they went), pensions on top of social security, vast increases in value of real estate, and vast investment gains in the past, made it much easier for these people to retire.

My example of a mailman and a teacher was intentional. Many teacher pensions for 20+ year veterans used to approach their pre-retirement income. Federal pensions were good too. It's not uncommon for two people of middling careers to have a net worth of a few million dollars when retiring, especially the Silents. The idea that two 30 year olds with liberal arts degrees right now, who have been working in retail and trying to pay off college debt, will ever be in that position, even not adjusted for inflation, is laughable.

Retirement calculators aimed at young people, to pump up 401ks, are also predicated on outdated notions of gains. The architects of 401ks now believe their system was based on rosy predictions. (see more here: The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started).

The combination of a lackluster job market, younger boomers staying in jobs forever, college debt, education ill-suited to the job market, dwindling entitlement programs, and all the rest of it.. point to a pretty scary future for people now in their 20s and 30s. I don't know enough about the ones even younger than that. I think a lot of them are questioning taking on the college debt that the older ones took as a must.
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:53 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,200 posts, read 6,308,074 times
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Generation wars are not allowed. Just reminding.
But to answer your OP, they have time on their side.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:32 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,740 posts, read 4,365,107 times
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People/Government doesn't care about low income retirees today. Why would anyone think that suddenly there will be all this concern over poverty stricken Millennial retirees in the future? Go read Paul Ryan's plans for the future of Medicare/Social Security/Medicaid if you don't believe me. The Baby Boom cohort may be better off then some, but if OP thinks we're all rolling in thousand dollar bills, he needs to think again. I'm a Boomer who became disabled prior to retirement 15 years ago and watched my savings and everything else go down the toilet as I tried to pay medical bills, prescription costs, and put a little food on the table. By time I finally got the right diagnosis - it only took my doctors 5 years of wasted time and money - my SSDI disability award was only $760.00/month. Next year when I turn 66. my SSDI will roll over into Social Security with the same monthly payment of $760/month. I am forced to use Medicaid and foodstamps to get by. Well, we all know that so-called president trump is getting rid of the ACA, including medicaid, his first day in office. I believe food stamps are slated to vanish on his third day, and before his first week is up, affordable housing will also be defunded.

Does anyone care other than those of us who are being impacted by the disappearance of the social safety net? Not that I can see. People in my position are going to be dying soon. That's what happens when you deprive a person no longer able to work of food, shelter and medical care. I feel like taking every last pill I have before I go to sleep tonight. I'm too old and my health is going downhill too rapidly for me to continue on with nothing. I have no close family members still alive and no one to turn to. At least OP seems to be younger and may yet have the time to figure something out. My time is out.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:34 PM
 
29,772 posts, read 34,851,819 times
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Yes there are poor retirees just like there are the poor spread out over all age groups. What is perhaps different about poor retirees is that some are people who didn't become poor until their retired years. Are they any more deserving than those seniors who have been poor all their lives.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:42 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,828 posts, read 18,832,665 times
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The idea that two 30 year olds, with liberal arts degrees right now who have been working in retail and trying to pay off college debt, will ever be in that position, even not adjusted for inflation, is laughable.

Well, the news is that you are generalizing and stereotyping us. Most of us had to specialize in something, often something we weren't interested in, to get a job. And many of us went to cheap state colleges and worked our way though.

For example, when I told my dad I wanted to major in liberal arts, he said No. And that was final.

You can't usually get a real job if you major in liberal arts and I don't know who is telling anyone that they can. Another example: my ex had to give up his love of music (his dream of majoring in it and becoming a professional musician) to become a CPA in order to earn a living. He also gave up his dream of attending Williams College because his parents couldn't afford it. He lived at home, worked, and attended a local college.

I gave up my love of art to major in education "so that you can get a job." I purposely went to a state college because I had younger siblings who needed to go to college too.

I don't have kids but my nieces are going to college and living at home and they are studying some high tech stuff that I don't even understand. They'll do fine but they are NOT studying liberal arts. They both are serious about being able to support themselves.

You major in something that is marketable. Very often you don't even need to go to college because there is already a surplus of college educated people. The young people can research and find out what jobs to train for.

It probably won't be a dream job. Most of us never worked at a dream job. But most of us didn't have to work ten hours a day in a sweat shop either, like our grandparents or great grandparents may have. We had it better but we did not have it great.

Life is full of surprises but those who do the research and put some thought into it can probably figure out what to do. A lot of us floundered, fell down, got back up again and kept on trying. Yes, there should definitely be safety nets for those who, through no fault of their own, fall upon hard times or simply do not have the ability to earn a living. But I think most young people just have to figure out how to earn money, get a job, and start out at the bottom and work their way up. And be patient--how many of us started out at the top?
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:45 PM
 
6,615 posts, read 3,738,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basehead617 View Post
Young Gen-Xers and Millennials are starting decent paying careers much later in life, making much less than their parents, and are unable to save any money at all due to high cost of living and debt, and flattening investment gains.

Their retirement will arrive and they will have likely zero or negative net worth. On top of that, social security will likely be somewhat insolvent and unable to pay even the meager benefits it now provides. And medicare will hardly be in better shape.

The only way I see this crisis being handled is by the economy taking several enormous body blows, a plummeting housing market, along with plummeting cost of services, e.g. massive deflationary pressures, product/food shortages, etc.

Rich baby boomers make the political decisions in this country and the insane wealth of the baby boomer generation (and even their pension-fattened parents) is distorting the discussion here of what it means to be a retiree - even a modest retired couple of a mailman and a teacher are retiring filthy rich compared to how the young generations will.

Are there any think tanks studying what it will mean for a generation to retire with virtually no money, in a country that will likely not have today's safety net?
I don't think they're starting their careers making decent money any later than I and millions of others did. I didn't start seriously saving for retirement until age 40. I didn't make a decent salary until I was age 30. But if you're speaking of the working class (janitors, maids, waitresses, low level clerks, cashiers), they will have the same problems as my generation had: lack of money.

Investment gains - we've been in a several year bull market. The stock market will reward the millennials. They also have the internet with a wealth (pardon the pun) of financial information at their fingertips. That was unavailable to the prior generation. They can join forums with experts, join financial sites with expert analyses, get analyst recommendations on investments, etc. They can buy stocks themselves online for a few dollars, whereas in my earlier days, you had to hire a broker and pay a large fee. (Again, this doesn't apply to the working class, since they don't have the money to invest, except under unusual circumstances.)

Retirement funds - I didn't have a 401k for much of my working life. The millennials have that at the starting gate. (Again, not the working class, usually.)

Debt - Student loan debt is a problem. Other than that, debt is entirely within the control of the individual, like it was in the prior generation. If they choose to run up large credit card debt, they will have trouble building their retirement fund.

Social Security - It's fixable. It's a matter of whether the govt will fix it or abolish it. If it's fixed, they'll have supplemental income, like the prior generations. If not, millions of the working class will live in poverty, but I don't think that's who you're speaking of. Nothing can be done about that except a social program. That is precisely why Social Security was started in the first place.

For the middle class, I don't see that the millennials will have a harder time of it. In some ways, they have it better. Females are paid more these days than when I was young (it was quite legal for a company to pay women less, and even tell you point blank that you are paid less than Dave because you are female). Minorities definitely have it better (in my young days, blacks would not even be hired for certain jobs).

For the working class, without SS and Medicare, they will end up living in real poverty, I'm afraid. (I'm talking homelessness and eating cat food.) But that's not because of the special circumstances of their generation. It will be because of no SS and Medicare, if those are done away with.

For the wealthy, things will be better than ever, of course. The gap between the wealthy and the rest of the country continues to grow with every generation since, I think, the 1970s. The wealthy millennials will inherit wealth from their parents to add to their own wealth.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:08 PM
 
6,615 posts, read 3,738,816 times
Reputation: 13655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
People/Government doesn't care about low income retirees today. Why would anyone think that suddenly there will be all this concern over poverty stricken Millennial retirees in the future? Go read Paul Ryan's plans for the future of Medicare/Social Security/Medicaid if you don't believe me. The Baby Boom cohort may be better off then some, but if OP thinks we're all rolling in thousand dollar bills, he needs to think again. I'm a Boomer who became disabled prior to retirement 15 years ago and watched my savings and everything else go down the toilet as I tried to pay medical bills, prescription costs, and put a little food on the table. By time I finally got the right diagnosis - it only took my doctors 5 years of wasted time and money - my SSDI disability award was only $760.00/month. Next year when I turn 66. my SSDI will roll over into Social Security with the same monthly payment of $760/month. I am forced to use Medicaid and foodstamps to get by. Well, we all know that so-called president trump is getting rid of the ACA, including medicaid, his first day in office. I believe food stamps are slated to vanish on his third day, and before his first week is up, affordable housing will also be defunded.

Does anyone care other than those of us who are being impacted by the disappearance of the social safety net? Not that I can see. People in my position are going to be dying soon. That's what happens when you deprive a person no longer able to work of food, shelter and medical care. I feel like taking every last pill I have before I go to sleep tonight. I'm too old and my health is going downhill too rapidly for me to continue on with nothing. I have no close family members still alive and no one to turn to. At least OP seems to be younger and may yet have the time to figure something out. My time is out.
I care, and so do millions of others. Don't give up. Let's see what happens.

As for Medicaid...Medicaid is not ending. If he repeals Obamacare (and he's making tweeting sounds like he's building an excuse for not doing so), that will only end the "expansion" of Medicaid that is part of Obamacare. Regular Medicaid will still be intact in the states, whatever it was before 2010. Your income is low enough that hopefully that won't affect you. It depends on your state.

Also, Medicare works with Medicaid to aid seniors with low income. Ryan has a plan to "privatize" part of Medicare, but hopefully that won't pass (the Dems and some Republicans will fight that), but if it does, hopefully it won't affect the basic care much for those who are already 65, since it's too late for them to make other arrangements.

I've not heard that Trump is going to repeal federal funding for food stamps (states fund their own food stamp programs, but I think the fed kicks in a part of the funding).

Be glad you are off SSI, because that might be in trouble. OTOH, the Dems might be able to protect that. They will certainly try. That is not something a President can do; it's a congressional vote thing.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:13 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,200 posts, read 6,308,074 times
Reputation: 9815
You can also move overseas to lower cost area. My sister's ex roommate moved to Spain to retire. She was a dance teacher. You get cheaper health care overseas.
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,558 posts, read 17,535,380 times
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I think it's going to be tough for older Millennials and younger Gen-Xers, but in the current political climate, it's difficult to project what is going to happen over the next year or so, much less many years out.

As a 30 year old Millennial, I look at the breakdown like this. Keep in mind I live in a small town in Tennessee where this isn't a lot of opportunity.

1) Maybe 10%-20% of the people I know around my age are doing "pretty good to well off." These are mostly higher end health care workers (area is health care driven), like young pharmacists, some more experienced RNs/BSNs, young physicians, FNPs, PAs. etc. There is a small smattering of younger entrepreneurs and other private sector workers doing well. Most of these people probably have jobs paying $45k+ (good wage in this area) with benefits, are saving for retirement, etc.

2) Probably 30%-50% are $12/hr-$18/hr or so, maybe with benefits, maybe not. Some are probably able to save something, but many are going to be paycheck to paycheck. They're mostly getting by without assistance.

3) Probably another 10%-20% are minimum wage to $12/hr. These people are barely getting by, without or with assistance, and probably saving nothing and are in unstable jobs with no benefits.

4) The reminder are either unemployed or not looking for work.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:01 AM
 
Location: USA
6,223 posts, read 5,354,840 times
Reputation: 10636
I know some people who retired broke and they get by. Sometimes it's better to retire poor than being middle class. These people I know get food stamps, subsidize housing, all medical paid for, cash assistance, etc. They even go to the food bank to add to what they get from the state. It's hardly an ideal situation, but you don't see them starving in the streets.
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