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Old 12-30-2017, 10:55 AM
 
2,215 posts, read 742,813 times
Reputation: 1376

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Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post
It's 5 years. I have just over a year to go but running all the numbers, it doesn't seem to get up to what I consider "much of anything" until you're over at least a decade of employment in.


All my friends say to shop my resume and jump ship the moment someone else offers a big enough pay increase but the longer I stay here, the more valuable the pension seems. I don't work for the government but my company has been around since the late 1800s and every time I turn around someone is retiring after 30 years of service here. So the pension is very tempting but I can't predict the future so...yeah.


FYI, you can only cash it out if the value is 25k or under so that part I feel kinda sucks...
FWIW I worked for one company after graduating college and retired from there with a pension.
I was in it for the long haul and raises/bonuses/401K + eventual pension made up for the "higher paying job" down the street.

Jumping ship for salary increases is fine for "today" but what about "tomorrow" ?
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:56 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,546 posts, read 39,924,861 times
Reputation: 23663
  • make a plan
  • stick with the plan
  • only change plans when you can document WHY.
single?... get a few more jobs (I worked 3 while single) I never touched the pay from my main job, lived and played on PT job income.
  1. Invest for growth (and KNOW what you invest in)
  2. Grow wealth outside of wage income (it is only incremental and taxed heavy)
  3. Consider buying income real estate. (Gets you into the market and making wise decisions (if buying, renting , maintaining at correct price) Great for tweaking your taxes on wage earnings.)
  4. Get a 'freedom project' (A way to assure you can retire early... business / investments...)
  5. Learn something new everyday that will lead toward your goals.
  6. Ask a lot of questions. (of everyone)

You like to travel?

Get a job that PAYS you to travel... tho only an engineer... I took several international assignments that paid me AND MY FAMILY to live. work, travel overseas.
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,203 posts, read 3,196,256 times
Reputation: 2031
Quote:
Originally Posted by skycaller23 View Post
FWIW I worked for one company after graduating college and retired from there with a pension.
I was in it for the long haul and raises/bonuses/401K + eventual pension made up for the "higher paying job" down the street.

Jumping ship for salary increases is fine for "today" but what about "tomorrow" ?
I feel you...


My job doesn't pay bad...I'm just closing in on 6 figures. But considering my age and current savings I do have that pressure sometimes to "go as hard as I can" and consider as many increases in income as I can while I can. It's just really hard to gauge if it's worth it to stay for that reason or not.
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,451 posts, read 1,153,447 times
Reputation: 5472
Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post

By the way I'm currently single, no kids (no plans to have any), live in the southeast and work full time from home. Any questions, ask away. So with that said, tell me: what are some things you would have told 38-year old you that could be advice applicable to me for the future? What are some things you did right that have led to a good life in retirement? Did you have worries going into retirement that aren't worries now that you're actually retired? Any insight/advice at all you feel like sharing, please do...
Several posters had given you great advice so I am not going to repeat the same things.

If I could do it over, I would have gotten a government job instead of working in the private industry. I got half a dozen of job offers after getting my Ph.D including one from the Fed. I chose a job with a Fortune 500 company not so much for the money but for the location and great pension/healthcare benefits. Little did I know that the company eliminated both the pension and retiree health care plans later.

Two of my sisters worked in the private industries and got laid off or pushed into early retirement in their early 50's. They got jobs with their states and will get a pension and health care benefits when they retire.

Only until after I had retired that I checked into how to apply for jobs with the government mainly for information for my daughter and nephews. I was surprised to find that it was not too difficult once you know the tricks. The best way to learn of the tricks is to ask current government workers especially in the position or field that you are interested in. One of the most frequently mentioned trick is to get a foot in the door first by accepting any positions that you can do. Once you are in, you can try to apply for an upgrade or a new job. Hiring preferences are given to current gov. workers.

Here are my answers to your questions:

1. The things that I did right were:

- went back to school when I was 30 years old to obtain grad degrees in more interesting, better pay and more employable jobs.
- took advantages of all the retirement saving options (IRA, 401K, Roth IRA, HSA).
- were very frugal and did not relax and spend a bit money on hobbies and travel until my kid graduated from HS.
- learned about investment very early in my career (diversification, benefit of compounding, automatic monthly investment from my paycheck, not having credit card debts etc.)

2. Worries going into retirement?

None maybe except the anxiety of having to make big changes in my life like moving to another state. We took the big step and made an offer for a house in Idaho few weeks ago. I am excited but worried at the same time about the big task of moving. We have tried to downsize in the last 1.5 years while looking for the new place. However, there are still a lot of things to do to get rid of stuffs accumulated in the last 25 years. I wished that we had gotten rid of a lot of stuffs slowly over the years.

I also want to repeat an earlier poster's suggestions of developing hobbies and interests long before your retirement. What I enjoy most about being retired is to have more time for my hobbies.

Last edited by BellaDL; 12-30-2017 at 11:24 AM..
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:19 AM
 
Location: next up where ever I go
588 posts, read 344,483 times
Reputation: 2087
This is a touchy subject which I am about to present....

I note that you are bankrolling your mother. She has not worked in four years. That is not a good situation for you on all levels going forward. I also note that you and your mother have a strained relationship.

Your mother needs to get a job. I don't care if it is minimum wage. You realize your mother could actually live into your retirement years. Can you afford to continue to pay for her. She needs to contribute, go on disability, food stamps etc.

It is either her or you. She is an adult. I would call Social Services and see what she can get. If she is able bodied probably not much. That being said....your mother will allow you to bankroll her until you stop it.

Again, I know many would think I was being cruel. I am not. I am being down to earth practical. You are not your mother's keeper.

That is what I would have told my 38 year old self if I were in your situation.

I started paying my own way with my first job at 16. If I would have asked my mother for a roof over my head I would have had to pay rent...don't even think of my father. He wanted me to take care of him and promise I would never send him to a nursing home (hmmmmm I recall I had that conversation with him when I was 37!). I was the sibling that took care of the parents. Screwed my career royally.

I was lucky. Both my parents died suddenly...no lingering for years demanding me to care for them and their chronic illnesses never ending. It would have killed me. Just all the doc appointments, illnesses etc. kept me in straights for 10 years before they passed. They had options but they said I was duty bound to take care of them and I did.

Like I said....screwed my career royally.

So that is my message to you. Put your foot down. That money should be going for your old age. It will be here before you know it with no one to take care of you.

Just like me, a female, no kids, end of career. I was lucky enough to marry well at 50. The marriage sucked but I came out of it much much richer and I will be forever grateful for those eight years of hell for the position I am in now at 62 and believe me! It ain't much but it is much more than I had before I married him. Shoot we still talk!

Good luck and get a backbone!
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Old 12-30-2017, 11:28 AM
 
4,431 posts, read 2,608,360 times
Reputation: 10299
OP South:

You've gotten good advice so far.

I definitely want to add: plan for the totally unexpected. What do I mean?

Well if you haven't read my story, during my 20s i was on top of the world. I save about 30-50% of my income a year AT LEAST, took trips from NE to Florida every winter to bith see Disney world and my grandmother, took weekenders getaways etc when I could. I bought my share of toys ( component stereo system, records, CD s tapes etc., video camera, etc). I had an expensive fully loaded 4x4 pickup truck, a luxury truck BEFORE the days where every truck is a "luxury truck". I did what i wanted and still saved like mad. The only thing lacking was buying a house.

THEN: late 20s serious chronic medical conditions began to plague me. By 35 I WAS HOMELESS living under a bridge next to the RR tracks, YOUR biggest fear. I had gone through all my money, both as an uninsured patient and as for covering bare bones living.

The by age 40 I was early medically retired, drawing SSDI. I'm 54 now, and my SSDI doesn't pay the bills the way it used to, so I've gone back to work part time as that is all I can handle.

So here's my advice:

Save 20% MINIMUM to yourself. 30 % if you can. Save an additional 5% for your emergency fund. That E fund will come in handy if big if you are oit of work for any reason, be it lay off, wanting to change jobs, or like me, medivsl issues. Choose more than one venue for savings, say 10% 401k, 10% Roth IRA, 5% various stocks and bonds, 5% CD's or the like. As you noted you habe to be vested for the pension. Id stay for it too.

Next job; as long as you like doing what you are doing for whom you are doing it for, stay. It's not a bad thing to stay put. I also moved chasing jobs and higher salaries, but it does get tiring. Sometimes you just "gotta settle down". Id look at additional work in your field or another field that might interest you and save save save that money. I habe always until now, worked at least 2 jobs. It's not for everyone however, but it can add to your savings now to make up for the compounding you missed out on, and won't hurt your net worth any, lol.

Next: travel. Get in the habit of saving x% or x $ amount and plan your trips, don't just go on a whim. By planning you can pay for your trip and you'll relax more knowing it's paid for. We want desperately to get back to Hawai'i, our next trip was planned for 2016, but we bought a house instead. We shoved it back to 2018 as we are concentrating on paying down the house. Now we've shoved it back to going in 2020. We are saving towards it. By planning ahead, we can figure out today's cost, pad it for increases by the time we go, and save that amount plus for big trips. Sometimes we just want to get in the minivan and GO SOMEWHERE that's NOT HERE. I feel you on that, so we save a few dollars in a sub savings account at the credit union just for weekenders.

Next, I'd save to buy a house, and if you end up moving again or changing jobs, that 20% for down payment plus any related closing costs cam either add to your retirement or will be there when you decide to buy. We are planning on going south for at least winters, and buying in our chosen retirement city when our house is paid for.

Lastly, keep out of debt. Debt takes away future dollars and costs interest. It's one reason we are scrambling to pay off our house. Well save literally hundreds of thousands in future dollars going to interest. Well then, habingbpaid for the house in 5 years, put all that mortgage principle and interest right into retirement. That'll be relief on two fronts: one pauing off the house before fill retirement, and two adding to retirement.

I guess living below your means is something to remind you of, but I think you've had advice on that enough. But it and staying debt free bear repeating. It's how people get into trouble.

My main POINT: save save save for the future as you don't know monkey wrench will come your way and mess up your best laud plans. I didn't pls. On being physically sick enough to NOT WORK. having my SSDI for 14 years now, and it no longer paying the bills like it did opened my/our eyes for what living on SS in the future holds for us. It can be from, but we are now taking steps to mitigate the grimness. Id stay for the pension alone if I were you, and still not count on it or SS to cover you all in retirement.

I'm going to try going going back to work full time. See if I can handle it if I can get the job I want. That's so I can save 50% of it now again as I don't really need morevthsn my part time hours to add to ssdi to pay the bills. And if I can struggle through, I'll work to 67, and my OH to 70, retiring a year apart.

Best of luck, you are smart to ask questions and save now as opposed to waiting in the future and being disappointed.

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Old 12-30-2017, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,203 posts, read 3,196,256 times
Reputation: 2031
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
  • make a plan
  • stick with the plan
  • only change plans when you can document WHY.
single?... get a few more jobs (I worked 3 while single) I never touched the pay from my main job, lived and played on PT job income.
  1. Invest for growth (and KNOW what you invest in)
  2. Grow wealth outside of wage income (it is only incremental and taxed heavy)
  3. Consider buying income real estate. (Gets you into the market and making wise decisions (if buying, renting , maintaining at correct price) Great for tweaking your taxes on wage earnings.)
  4. Get a 'freedom project' (A way to assure you can retire early... business / investments...)
  5. Learn something new everyday that will lead toward your goals.
  6. Ask a lot of questions. (of everyone)
You like to travel?

Get a job that PAYS you to travel... tho only an engineer... I took several international assignments that paid me AND MY FAMILY to live. work, travel overseas.

Thanks for the tips!


You would really leave the job I have now that has a potential pension at my age to get a travel related job though?


I am definitely already looking into the second job and making a way to get another additional income coming in.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,203 posts, read 3,196,256 times
Reputation: 2031
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
Several posters had given you great advice so I am not going to repeat the same things.

If I could do it over, I would have gotten a government job instead of working in the private industry. I got half a dozen of job offers after getting my Ph.D including one from the Fed. I chose a job with a Fortune 500 company not so much for the money but for the location and great pension/healthcare benefits. Little did I know that the company eliminated both the pension and retiree health care plans later.

Two of my sisters worked in the private industries and got laid off or pushed into early retirement in their early 50's. They got jobs with their states and will get a pension and health care benefits when they retire.

Only until after I had retired that I checked into how to apply for jobs with the government mainly for information for my daughter and nephews. I was surprised to find that it was not too difficult once you know the tricks. The best way to learn of the tricks is to ask current government workers especially in the position or field that you are interested in. One of the most frequently mentioned trick is to get a foot in the door first by accepting any positions that you can do. Once you are in, you can try to apply for an upgrade or a new job. Hiring preferences are given to current gov. workers.

Here are my answers to your questions:

1. The things that I did right were:

- went back to school when I was 30 years old to obtain grad degrees in more interesting, better pay and more employable jobs.
- took advantages of all the retirement saving options (IRA, 401K, Roth IRA, HSA).
- were very frugal and did not relax and spend a bit money on hobbies and travel until my kid graduated from HS.
- learned about investment very early in my career (diversification, benefit of compounding, automatic monthly investment from my paycheck, not having credit card debts etc.)

2. Worries going into retirement?

None maybe except the anxiety of having to make big changes in my life like moving to another state. We took the big step and made an offer for a house in Idaho few weeks ago. I am excited but worried at the same time about the big task of moving. We have tried to downsize in the last 1.5 years while looking for the new place. However, there are still a lot of things to do to get rid of stuffs accumulated in the last 25 years. I wished that we had gotten rid of a lot of stuffs slowly over the years.

I also want to repeat an earlier poster's suggestions of developing hobbies and interests long before your retirement. What I enjoy most about being retired is to have more time for my hobbies.

I do definitely have some concern about getting laid off and age discrimination, etc. I understand I do need to work on beefing up savings and getting other income streams in to help counter for this.


Thank you for the tips and good luck with the new home!
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,203 posts, read 3,196,256 times
Reputation: 2031
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMKSarah View Post
This is a touchy subject which I am about to present....

I note that you are bankrolling your mother. She has not worked in four years. That is not a good situation for you on all levels going forward. I also note that you and your mother have a strained relationship.

Your mother needs to get a job. I don't care if it is minimum wage. You realize your mother could actually live into your retirement years. Can you afford to continue to pay for her. She needs to contribute, go on disability, food stamps etc.

It is either her or you. She is an adult. I would call Social Services and see what she can get. If she is able bodied probably not much. That being said....your mother will allow you to bankroll her until you stop it.

Again, I know many would think I was being cruel. I am not. I am being down to earth practical. You are not your mother's keeper.

That is what I would have told my 38 year old self if I were in your situation.

I started paying my own way with my first job at 16. If I would have asked my mother for a roof over my head I would have had to pay rent...don't even think of my father. He wanted me to take care of him and promise I would never send him to a nursing home (hmmmmm I recall I had that conversation with him when I was 37!). I was the sibling that took care of the parents. Screwed my career royally.

I was lucky. Both my parents died suddenly...no lingering for years demanding me to care for them and their chronic illnesses never ending. It would have killed me. Just all the doc appointments, illnesses etc. kept me in straights for 10 years before they passed. They had options but they said I was duty bound to take care of them and I did.

Like I said....screwed my career royally.

So that is my message to you. Put your foot down. That money should be going for your old age. It will be here before you know it with no one to take care of you.

Just like me, a female, no kids, end of career. I was lucky enough to marry well at 50. The marriage sucked but I came out of it much much richer and I will be forever grateful for those eight years of hell for the position I am in now at 62 and believe me! It ain't much but it is much more than I had before I married him. Shoot we still talk!

Good luck and get a backbone!

You're not the first person to tell me this and it's not "too" touchy of a subject for me honestly. I don't mind people expressing their opinions on it-I appreciate you giving your wisdom and perspective.


Right now I have agreed to pay about $250/month in bills for her. I am taking this money from what would be travel funds. She already gets food stamps. Her pension from the job she worked is just under $13 a month. $13 a month after 14 years at the same employer. That is ALL.SHE.GETS. There is no savings...none...zero...zilch...nada...nothing...i f someone doesn't give her gas money she can't make it to an interview. And if someone isn't paying her light bill it gets cut off.


I have gone down the social services route with no help to date. I will keep calling and trying to find resources but to date have been unable to get anything at all for her.


Yes, it pains me to be paying bills for someone who is able bodied and can work but she does have some issues which are making it harder for her to do so than your average person. I have put a time limit on the help and just chose to start doing this as up until this point, she would come to me when things were cut off and situations were really dire and then a big lump sum would have to be wired or whatever. This way I have more control over the situation and can keep the lights on by paying that bill every month instead of getting caught off guard and having to pay for that and everything else that is months behind all at one time. In other words, I want to help and for it to be more consistent...for now.


I have frank conversations about her needing to get a job all the time and earlier this month she got a temp job she actually loved and she even going into it had her hopes up she could go permanent and keep working she said "for another decade" but hey, she is 59 and living in a place with no opportunity and others outperformed her and her temp assignment ended after 3 weeks in. Her little heart was broken and its hard to push her to stay motivated but I feel obligated right now to help knowing that I can see now she did put in some effort. We worked on her resume and discussed some potential creative solutions over Christmas that I hope she held to her heart but bottom line is I'm giving right now what I think is reasonable but am also doing my darndest to help her help herself so I'm not doing this forever.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,203 posts, read 3,196,256 times
Reputation: 2031
Quote:
Originally Posted by galaxyhi View Post
OP South:

You've gotten good advice so far.

I definitely want to add: plan for the totally unexpected. What do I mean?

Well if you haven't read my story, during my 20s i was on top of the world. I save about 30-50% of my income a year AT LEAST, took trips from NE to Florida every winter to bith see Disney world and my grandmother, took weekenders getaways etc when I could. I bought my share of toys ( component stereo system, records, CD s tapes etc., video camera, etc). I had an expensive fully loaded 4x4 pickup truck, a luxury truck BEFORE the days where every truck is a "luxury truck". I did what i wanted and still saved like mad. The only thing lacking was buying a house.

THEN: late 20s serious chronic medical conditions began to plague me. By 35 I WAS HOMELESS living under a bridge next to the RR tracks, YOUR biggest fear. I had gone through all my money, both as an uninsured patient and as for covering bare bones living.

The by age 40 I was early medically retired, drawing SSDI. I'm 54 now, and my SSDI doesn't pay the bills the way it used to, so I've gone back to work part time as that is all I can handle.

So here's my advice:

Save 20% MINIMUM to yourself. 30 % if you can. Save an additional 5% for your emergency fund. That E fund will come in handy if big if you are oit of work for any reason, be it lay off, wanting to change jobs, or like me, medivsl issues. Choose more than one venue for savings, say 10% 401k, 10% Roth IRA, 5% various stocks and bonds, 5% CD's or the like. As you noted you habe to be vested for the pension. Id stay for it too.

Next job; as long as you like doing what you are doing for whom you are doing it for, stay. It's not a bad thing to stay put. I also moved chasing jobs and higher salaries, but it does get tiring. Sometimes you just "gotta settle down". Id look at additional work in your field or another field that might interest you and save save save that money. I habe always until now, worked at least 2 jobs. It's not for everyone however, but it can add to your savings now to make up for the compounding you missed out on, and won't hurt your net worth any, lol.

Next: travel. Get in the habit of saving x% or x $ amount and plan your trips, don't just go on a whim. By planning you can pay for your trip and you'll relax more knowing it's paid for. We want desperately to get back to Hawai'i, our next trip was planned for 2016, but we bought a house instead. We shoved it back to 2018 as we are concentrating on paying down the house. Now we've shoved it back to going in 2020. We are saving towards it. By planning ahead, we can figure out today's cost, pad it for increases by the time we go, and save that amount plus for big trips. Sometimes we just want to get in the minivan and GO SOMEWHERE that's NOT HERE. I feel you on that, so we save a few dollars in a sub savings account at the credit union just for weekenders.

Next, I'd save to buy a house, and if you end up moving again or changing jobs, that 20% for down payment plus any related closing costs cam either add to your retirement or will be there when you decide to buy. We are planning on going south for at least winters, and buying in our chosen retirement city when our house is paid for.

Lastly, keep out of debt. Debt takes away future dollars and costs interest. It's one reason we are scrambling to pay off our house. Well save literally hundreds of thousands in future dollars going to interest. Well then, habingbpaid for the house in 5 years, put all that mortgage principle and interest right into retirement. That'll be relief on two fronts: one pauing off the house before fill retirement, and two adding to retirement.

I guess living below your means is something to remind you of, but I think you've had advice on that enough. But it and staying debt free bear repeating. It's how people get into trouble.

My main POINT: save save save for the future as you don't know monkey wrench will come your way and mess up your best laud plans. I didn't pls. On being physically sick enough to NOT WORK. having my SSDI for 14 years now, and it no longer paying the bills like it did opened my/our eyes for what living on SS in the future holds for us. It can be from, but we are now taking steps to mitigate the grimness. Id stay for the pension alone if I were you, and still not count on it or SS to cover you all in retirement.

I'm going to try going going back to work full time. See if I can handle it if I can get the job I want. That's so I can save 50% of it now again as I don't really need morevthsn my part time hours to add to ssdi to pay the bills. And if I can struggle through, I'll work to 67, and my OH to 70, retiring a year apart.

Best of luck, you are smart to ask questions and save now as opposed to waiting in the future and being disappointed.

Hi there...I do remember your story. It is very touching and I appreciate you sharing it. It is a reminder to me to save as much as I can for my future self. Honestly I do think to myself all of the time that anything could happen at any point so I am grateful for how things are now but I do worry about the future.


Instead of worrying so much I am trying to take baby steps to do better to prepare. As people can see I am behind but I think there is room to catch up and improve. I wish you the best of luck in re-entering the workforce full time.


The 30% savings part...I assume you meant gross right?


I am saving a certain amount right now for travel but I am working on cutting that amount down.


I feel like 20% down on a house will take me so long to save I might be too old to get a decent home assuming a 15 year mortgage by the time I do get a down payment saved up. Dunno...gotta think more about that. I do want a paid off residence by retirement time.
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