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Old 03-15-2008, 05:30 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,438,668 times
Reputation: 2506

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How many here will be like me and not afford to ever retire?
I have not been able to save enough and got hit with some big medical bills that wiped me out.
Planning for retirement doesn't work when you need every penny.

I want to hear from others who are in my shoes.
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
13,387 posts, read 16,739,735 times
Reputation: 4611
I'm in the same boat. I realized years ago that retirement would not be part of my lifestyle. At the age of 16 I had to drop out of High School because my mother died and we were on our own. We never knew our father.
In the mid 70's I rode a freight train out to Ca.
In my late 20's I was able to go to a city college in Riverside, Ca. and get my GED. But in order to keep a roof over my head, I had to keep working.
I worked for Winston Tire and was building a career as an auto mechanic until a job injury interfered. I was screwed out of my full compensation by one of their lawyers and ended up losing my job because they said that my hand injury( I lost part of my left thumb) lowered my qualifications.
I'm now a Small Engine Repair Technician with 21 years experience. I moved from Ca, to OK. last summer. My line of work is seasonal in OK. It wasn't in Ca. But I won't go into the +'s -v- -'s. I'll just say that with more farmland out here, I see better oppritunities.I'm almost completely starting over.(with some exceptions). At the age of 53, I still don't consider retirement as an option further down the road.
I admit, if I knew then what I know now, things would have been different.
But I didn't know and this how things turned out.
All through this, saving money was next to impossible and what I was able to save was always put to use when harder times came along.
I was never on welfare and food stamps nor have I been deep in debt.
I don't look at any of this negitively, I look at it as a way of life. I just live day by day and try each day to make more things alittle better,,if possible.
Now for those on the other thread that are calling people lazy because they haven't or aren't able to save up for retirement,,I'll just say,,,,I don't get offended easy, and, yes I'm sure there are many people out there like that, but I'm not one of them and I don't appreciate being catagorized as one.
Another thing,,,,,,,some of us here are not able to stop in life and spin things around,,,we have to keep going in the same direction and make the best of what we can.
I'm sure there are others like me on this forum.

Last edited by mkfarnam; 03-15-2008 at 07:17 PM..
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,515,954 times
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mkfarnam..I think you did the right thing to move from CA to OK. The cost of living alone will help.

Why not get some land that is ag exempt (very low taxes) and lease out the land for grazing ? Or let someone mow and bale it ?

If you go out to the rural communities, life is at a slower pace and everyday prices are lower. Land is cheaper too, especially if you can find something with an old but liveable house on it.
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma(formerly SoCalif) Originally Mich,
13,387 posts, read 16,739,735 times
Reputation: 4611
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
mkfarnam..I think you did the right thing to move from CA to OK. The cost of living alone will help.

Why not get some land that is ag exempt (very low taxes) and lease out the land for grazing ? Or let someone mow and bale it ?

If you go out to the rural communities, life is at a slower pace and everyday prices are lower. Land is cheaper too, especially if you can find something with an old but liveable house on it.
The cost of living is one of the reasons I moved.
I have considered your suggestions, I would love to own some farmland because I was raised on a Dairy Farm in Michigan.
But I will need some time to get established with my new job with John Deere.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:46 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,565,364 times
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Best of fortunes to you in Oklahoma!
I wonder who all these "keeping up with Jones" people are. I don't know any, and I live in a suburban town with high expenses. Maybe in New Jersey or somewhere.
I do think that divorce, becoming so common in our working lives, is a major reason there are so many people who are not in a position to retire. And I don't mean before 65, living it up on some beach in silver-haired couples. I mean regular working people like the person in Oklahoma. True, maybe not every working person came from such disadvantage in background, but then again, hardly everyone is a high-powered professional couple with leased cars, etc.
Maybe just the fact that this discussion is online eliminates the voices of people who don't have computers at home (or at work). Yes, there are still such people, and they work and live, too.
Many of us are one divorce, one hurricane, or one pink slip away from big trouble, present and future. And it's not for living too high on the hog.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:20 PM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,303,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I do think that divorce, becoming so common in our working lives, is a major reason there are so many people who are not in a position to retire.
There was a study several years ago that I have mentioned before and taken a lot of criticism about... never the less, it confirms exactly your point.

A common thread to financial security is "A Good First Marriage"

The study looked at how devastating divorce is on the family unit and more often than not... to the wife.

Even looking at the time value of money bears this out. Having to "Start Over" in Mid Life just doesn't give you the benefit of time to build a nest egg and this doesn't take into the account the high cost of divorce...
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Old 03-16-2008, 09:35 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,068,176 times
Reputation: 15063
Quote:
Originally Posted by nebulous1 View Post
How many here will be like me and not afford to ever retire?
I have not been able to save enough and got hit with some big medical bills that wiped me out.
Planning for retirement doesn't work when you need every penny.

I want to hear from others who are in my shoes.
http://bestsmileys.com/waving/1.gif (broken link) (Jammie waves hands to get your attention)

We're in exactly the same situation and I'm not ashamed to admit it. We have saved throughout our lives, but realistically we just don't have enough money that we will be able to totally retire. DH just turned 62 and I am 52. We will be leaving the jobs we've had for several years because we are relocating after spending our entire lives here. I need warmth and sunshine.

Health insurance is probably the number one issue for us.

We've never had high paying jobs, but have always settled in and after a few years have gotten a liveable wage. I feel that we are fortunate because we have no debt and neither one of us have the desire to keep up with anyone. Of course we have a bit in savings and a bit in our retirement plans, etc. But it would never be enough to actually live on for years. Without employment we would have an astronomical health insurance premium and it's just not feasible for us.

On the flip side, since we don't have the money to do any worldwide traveling or exciting things, working is probably very healthy for us.
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Old 03-17-2008, 06:26 AM
 
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
156 posts, read 352,089 times
Reputation: 215
[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I do think that divorce, becoming so common in our working lives, is a major reason there are so many people who are not in a position Ito retire.
This is so true. I read somewhere that when people divorce usually neither of them live as well(standard of living) as they were living together. As someone else mentioned it's like starting over in midlife. Ben Stein goes a step further in one of his financial columns. He says something to the effect of..."Love the one you're with"(his meaning being for financial well being, stay in your marriage if at all possible). And many of us have done just that. Or they stay in their marriage for the sake of their children. After all, happiness is a state of mind. lol...


Quote:
Maybe just the fact that this discussion is online eliminates the voices of people who don't have computers at home (or at work). Yes, there are still such people, and they work and live, too.
This is also a very good point. I don't even know anyone else in my area who participates in any discussion like this. Just the fact that you participate in these discussions says something about your personality. I'm not sure that this participation is even a prevalent attitude in our society. It seems to me that many people are so pre-occupied with "making it" that they never slow down enough to think about things like this. That may in fact be the majority of us.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 26,217,684 times
Reputation: 14611
Interesting thread - sorry to read about folks not having the ability to retire. Sorry to say, there's a stereotype about people living beyond their means - ie buying big houses, SUVs, LCD/HDTVs, cell phones, etc and not saving for their retirement years. But from the stories in this thread, that's not necessarily the case.

What gets me is seeing people over-extending themselves - such as buying expensive cars and having material items before they can afford them.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:28 PM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,565,364 times
Reputation: 20505
When people say they're not able to retire due to finances, I wonder, what age are you considering? The average woman lives into her 80s, men a few years behind. You might not be physically able to continue working, and you certainly might not still hav a job if able. I think "retirement" could be considered full Soc. Security age and/or Medicare age. Anything before 65 runs the issue of health insurance, a huge issue.
I'm not sure where the idea came that retirement could or should be significantly earlier than 65, but if one lacks retirement money, things do change at 65- modestly, but change.
I never understood how people could retire before 65, average working people. Maybe I didn't understand company pensions, or retiree health benefits, both of which are becoming a distant memory.
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