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Old 01-06-2017, 09:56 PM
 
6,564 posts, read 3,119,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
The only thing I'd quibble with is that it is MUCH, MUCH harder to "work your way through school" these days. Heck, I'm a lot younger than you and the tuition even at state schools has absolutely skyrocketed since I graduated over 20 years ago. Student loans are a serious issue. Of course, that's all the more reason to skip any major that isn't marketable. Few have the luxury of majoring in liberal arts these days.




Exactly. I have one son who majored in geography! He graduated in 2004 and found exactly one job somewhere in mid-America where he didn't want to go for about $40000.

Who is to blame? No one but him.

Nonetheless after fits and starts he is making around $70,000 in a totally unrelated field and depending on the choices he makes he could reach a 6 figure salary. Probably could have already done that, but management "is not his thing".

Most peoples outcomes are directly related to their choices. Sure there are catastrophes that can derail anyone, but even many of those could be mitigated by better choices.

I don't expect other people to pay for my sons retirement. I expect my son, to make up for his less than stellar choices. Its slow going, but he is on his way.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,739 posts, read 17,687,620 times
Reputation: 27816
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
The only thing I'd quibble with is that it is MUCH, MUCH harder to "work your way through school" these days. Heck, I'm a lot younger than you and the tuition even at state schools has absolutely skyrocketed since I graduated over 20 years ago. Student loans are a serious issue. Of course, that's all the more reason to skip any major that isn't marketable. Few have the luxury of majoring in liberal arts these days.
But at the same time, you have guidance counselors and academics pushing the "follow your heart" mantra. When I was in business school, back in 2009, the business school had huge printouts of available jobs. In hindsight, it looked like a CSV dump off Indeed, but they were deliberately misleading in making it seem real.

Yes, students need to be more vigilant, but they're also being misled.

I didn't have any knowledge about labor markets a decade ago, but a decade later after many hardships, moves, and independent study, I'd wager I'm far more informed than any of the "professionals" I dealt with for career counseling in college.

Last edited by Serious Conversation; 01-06-2017 at 11:17 PM..
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,739 posts, read 17,687,620 times
Reputation: 27816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
As a public school teacher in California I paid 9% per year to support my eventual pension, and I had to put in 34 years and hold off until age 61.5 in order to get that $50K pension. It sounds like what you're citing as typical in the Northeast is more generous than what we have in California. New hires have a less generous deal as well. (Disclaimer: I am NOT complaining, as I am satisfied with my pension and am able to live on it in reasonable comfort.)

My point is that every time a specific case is cited, or in this case a regional average that we have no way to verify easily, that doesn't mean that teachers' pensions everywhere are generous to the same degree. As I posted earlier, one problem in these discussions is the hyperbolic language such as "filthy rich". You have couched your point in much more reasonable language, specifically disavowing "filthy rich", which I appreciate; I feel like with you one can have a rational discussion.

I would agree with you that teachers in the Northeast (provided your rough average is accurate, and I have no reason to think it isn't) have a pretty good deal. But even your "80th percentile" claim could be misleading if you mean the 80th percentile nationally, because the Northeast has a higher cost of living than the national average, which would make that retirement LESS than 80th percentile regionally.
He may very well be right about teacher in prestigious New England communities, but government employment is often the most highly sought after and best employment in communities where the private sector is depressed.

Where I am, the minimum salary for any K-12 teacher wet behind the ears coming out of college in $41,000 annually. I have a good friend who was making $34k as a software developer with an MS in CS and three years experience in 2013. I was making $21k on the help desk with a bachelor's in economics and around six IT certifications at the time.

Even in poor areas like here in Tennessee, public sector jobs have minimum salary floors. Private sector jobs go as low as the market will bear.

I'm honestly surprised how short shrift this type of situation gets and the lack of understanding on this board, but given the fact that most people here are from prestigious areas and affluent, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the general lack of understanding of the life that poor people like me in the middle of nowhere live.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,739 posts, read 17,687,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovenice View Post
How many BB were laid off? Without work? Had to go five years just to get back to where they were?

To assume that everyone will have a picture perfect career trajectory if they only *put in the effort* is naive. Layoffs, mergers, companies bought and sold and jobs eliminated ... dip into savings, etc. Medical bills. Too many ifs to count.

It's a different world and to assume that everyone will be retiring no problem *if only* they put in the effort is foolish.
Absolutely correct - while I believe that your personal decisions still constitute the largest factor of "how well you do," it is ignorant to assume where, how, and how wealthy you grew up don't constitute major factors. That's not even mentioning life's regular bumps in the road.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,739 posts, read 17,687,620 times
Reputation: 27816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondy View Post
[/b]

Exactly. I have one son who majored in geography! He graduated in 2004 and found exactly one job somewhere in mid-America where he didn't want to go for about $40000.

Who is to blame? No one but him.

Nonetheless after fits and starts he is making around $70,000 in a totally unrelated field and depending on the choices he makes he could reach a 6 figure salary. Probably could have already done that, but management "is not his thing".

Most peoples outcomes are directly related to their choices. Sure there are catastrophes that can derail anyone, but even many of those could be mitigated by better choices.

I don't expect other people to pay for my sons retirement. I expect my son, to make up for his less than stellar choices. Its slow going, but he is on his way.
Where does he live?

Only about 6% of all workers in the country make over $100,000 annually. The people who do that well do not generally "stumble into it." There is often some planning and foresight that went into getting them that far among most of their peers.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:39 PM
 
Location: On the road
6,011 posts, read 2,924,117 times
Reputation: 11575
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.
I think you started your thread by painting with a really broad brush that includes far too many assumptions about million of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by basehead617 View Post
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.
And continued with even more questionable assumptions.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:53 AM
 
6,564 posts, read 3,119,591 times
Reputation: 6069
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Where does he live?

Only about 6% of all workers in the country make over $100,000 annually. The people who do that well do not generally "stumble into it." There is often some planning and foresight that went into getting them that far among most of their peers.
He lives in NY.........Long Island.........so even if he reaches a six figure salary, COL will consume most of it.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:19 AM
 
Location: USA
6,229 posts, read 5,381,454 times
Reputation: 10643
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
The only thing I'd quibble with is that it is MUCH, MUCH harder to "work your way through school" these days. Heck, I'm a lot younger than you and the tuition even at state schools has absolutely skyrocketed since I graduated over 20 years ago. Student loans are a serious issue. Of course, that's all the more reason to skip any major that isn't marketable. Few have the luxury of majoring in liberal arts these days.

Liberal arts is better than nothing. Many jobs just simply need a generic bachelors to get an interview. I don't know what kids without degrees would do today to make a living wage short of going into a trade.

With the colleges pumping out graduates quicker than any time in history I don't see why an employer would bother with someone with just a HS diploma alone.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:01 AM
 
72,085 posts, read 72,068,214 times
Reputation: 49621
college today is the equal to the old high school diploma of my day .

it is only an entry pass to a job , not even a good job at that. most of the better jobs take masters or a specialty area . not having a degree today or trade skill is like not having a high school diploma back when i entered the work force . you can't even be a cop in nyc without a degree .
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:03 AM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
8,612 posts, read 6,176,476 times
Reputation: 8633
Quote:
Originally Posted by basehead617 View Post
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.
You have nothing to apologize for in your original post. It lays the groundwork for a good discussion.

Everything is relative....and I knew what you meant by the "filthy rich" reference. Thank you for posting.
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