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Old 11-07-2018, 09:38 AM
 
3,626 posts, read 1,566,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post
Stuff happens, of course; everyone has had stuff happen to them.

You describe, however, a situation where bad stuff - and only bad stuff - happen to a specific person over and over, year after year, bad stuff after bad stuff, with no good stuff ever happening.


Statistically, few people have bad stuff - and only bad stuff - happen to them over the course of their lives.

Statistically, most everyone has some good stuff happen to them along with some bad stuff happening to them.

Clearly, most everyone is a product of their decisions, where good decisions usually have good outcomes and bad decisions usually have bad outcomes, and every now and then a good decision has a bad outcome and a bad decision has a good outcome.

But at the end of the day, it is all about decision.
Board of directors takes a decision after a bad quarter or year.

Elected officials cannot decide whats best in terms of medical care.

So yeah, choices and decisions.

 
Old 11-07-2018, 09:39 AM
 
2,000 posts, read 1,191,611 times
Reputation: 2280
I'm surprised no one has brought up the most common reason:


Most people plan to work a lot longer than they do. Some are forced out because of ageism in the workforce, others are forced out because they are no longer productive. Still others have medical issues that they didn't expect to have and can no longer work.
 
Old 11-07-2018, 09:43 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,294 posts, read 6,362,704 times
Reputation: 9932
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I wrote about this up-thread but most of us are pre-programmed to make good decisions by our parents. You have bad parents and you're primed to make a lifetime of bad decisions and the outcome is poverty. Once you're in that space, everything becomes tactical to survive the day or the week.
You can’t blame parents always. Or else how do you explain the difference in outcome for different siblings. I’ve seen this in my family. Higher education didn’t help either. My brother who is the lowest person in the scale in our family when it comes to intelligence, hard work, good look, etc.. yet, guess what, he turned out to be financially better than we would expect from him.
 
Old 11-07-2018, 09:46 AM
 
Location: SoCal
13,294 posts, read 6,362,704 times
Reputation: 9932
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysgenic View Post
I'm surprised no one has brought up the most common reason:


Most people plan to work a lot longer than they do. Some are forced out because of ageism in the workforce, others are forced out because they are no longer productive. Still others have medical issues that they didn't expect to have and can no longer work.
It depends on what medical issue is, I know more than half the people in their 40s who have some medical problem. One of my bosses were taking high blood pressure when he was in his early 40s.
 
Old 11-07-2018, 09:57 AM
 
2,879 posts, read 5,036,297 times
Reputation: 6794
Not quoting specific posts, but a couple of responses (yes, involving generalizations) ...

Re: crappy planners. Based entirely on my experience, I think this is a large percentage of the "poor senior citizens" group. My traditional peer group is white collar, middle- or upper middle- income professionals. Four years ago, I took up a hobby that brings me in regular close contact with mostly uneducated, working-class or lower middle-income blue collar workers. Prior to this, I would've cited all kinds of reasons for senior poverty, like medical bills, divorce, other catastrophes. Not poor planning, because I believed most people do try to plan ahead and live within their means. Most people I know are saving and investing and planning. Now, after becoming more enmeshed in this blue collar world, I would put the primary responsibility on crappy planning. A whole lot of "living for today" and never thinking of needs down the road, along with a fatalistic "what's the point" attitude. Making poor financial decisions, like buying expensive toys instead of saving, living beyond their means and running up a lot of credit card debt. More smoking, which is a pretty good financial burden when you don't earn very much. There are a lot of legitimate underlying reasons for poor decision making (no good role models, no access to financial education or information, cultural pressures, etc.), but I honestly was surprised at the general lack of planning. Classic avoidance behavior.

Re: people, especially women, who don't take control of their own finances. In my experience, this is more common than you'd think in the "women of a certain age" cohort. Only 1 of the other widows in my grief support group had a freaking clue about their finances. Their husbands "handled the money," and when widowed, they had no idea how much it was or where it was. They didn't even know if they were poor, so no way they could possibly do a good job managing that to ensure they have enough money in retirement. I hope that this is a generational thing that will eventually go away. It's really scary to me.
 
Old 11-07-2018, 10:07 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 577,835 times
Reputation: 3127
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
I wrote about this up-thread but most of us are pre-programmed to make good decisions by our parents. You have bad parents and you're primed to make a lifetime of bad decisions and the outcome is poverty. Once you're in that space, everything becomes tactical to survive the day or the week.

Well, I think that's overly simplistic and probably only true in cases where both parents had the same mindset. I wonder how many of those situations there really were. For example my parents were different as night and day when it came to finances and I suspect that was often the case back in our parents day.

My mom's outlook was summed up by her favorite phrases: Save for a rainy day, Never buy anything you don't need, Always pay your bills first, Look out for yourself first because nobody else will, and Needs come before wants.

My dad's outlook, summed up by HIS favorite phrases, was Money is for spending, Live for today because tomorrow is never guaranteed, It's my/your/their money and I/you/they have a right to do whatever I/you/they want with it, and Wants are just as important as needs.

As a result the mortgage payment was always several months behind and the credit cards always carried a balance. My mom agonized over it but it didn't bother my dad in the least. My dad was the breadwinner and so he made all the money decisions of course. That was the norm back in the 1950s/60s. My mom didn't even open the mail if it was bills, but left them on the sideboard for my dad to open. Often they sat there for weeks unopened but because it wasn't "her job" to pay the bills she never opened them. She was the one who answered the phone calls from the bank and the collection agencies though, because they called the house during the day.

Nevertheless I do not think my dad was a "bad parent" nor my mom a "good parent" when it comes to finances. My dad's money decisions didn't mean that our family was poor, it just meant that my dad was always in debt. But that honestly never bothered him. What influenced me most was that my dad was always a positive happy person and my mom was generally negative and miserable, so I identified far more with my dad than with my mother. Including about finances.
 
Old 11-07-2018, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,291 posts, read 4,166,644 times
Reputation: 15789
Quote:
Originally Posted by City Guy997S View Post
Century Village is a development in Florida aimed at low income seniors. You can buy units there for as little as $20,000.

HBO did a documentary on Kings Point (sister community). Google either Century Village or Kings Point and it will be eye opening when it come to poor retirees.

Here is a short video on the misery:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM_4OWljZGc
Quote:
Originally Posted by City Guy997S View Post

Arrogant New Yorkers and an extension of the corruption they endured back home. I feel sorry for the ones who just want to enjoy their retirement years in peace and quiet. I wonder if that forensic audit was ever done. I'm guessing that every attempt to do one was stymied
 
Old 11-07-2018, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,452 posts, read 3,674,074 times
Reputation: 4835
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaternum View Post
Re: people, especially women, who don't take control of their own finances. In my experience, this is more common than you'd think in the "women of a certain age" cohort. Only 1 of the other widows in my grief support group had a freaking clue about their finances. Their husbands "handled the money," and when widowed, they had no idea how much it was or where it was. They didn't even know if they were poor, so no way they could possibly do a good job managing that to ensure they have enough money in retirement. I hope that this is a generational thing that will eventually go away. It's really scary to me.

This is why we always visit our Financial Planner as a couple. My wife complains that she feels like an idiot during some of the conversations, but Boy, does she ask good questions! I tend to have my mind racing ahead of the conversation and making assumptions to fill the chinks in the road. Her questions, asked from the point-of-view of not fully understanding the concept, often reveal the truth that I missed.
 
Old 11-07-2018, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Arizona
183 posts, read 112,401 times
Reputation: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
It matters not to my SO that his Ex wife collects 1/2 is Social Security check,
There's no reason why it should matter to him, she doesn't collect half of his social security check. (meaning he would get more if she wasn't in the picture) He would get the same whether she was getting a check based on his earnings or not.
 
Old 11-07-2018, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,650 posts, read 17,623,979 times
Reputation: 27728
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
Not to most of us. At least the possibilities are greatly reduced with planning. When I worked I always opted for additional life insurance and for extended disability coverage. I built an emergency fund to handle my expenses for at least a year.
A high school classmate of mine was in a catastrophic vehicle accident back in August. A month or so in ICU followed by a month or so at The Shepherd Center, a specialty spinal rehabilitation hospital, in Atlanta. Paralyzed from the chest down and will need constant care for the rest of his life.

He's 32-33 with twin toddler girls. He can no longer do his job. His wife had a job, but with all the medical trips and such, who knows if that's still going to be around. They are selling their house. I have no idea what their finances are like, but it has to be utterly devastating. Just on the surface you're going from two incomes to one income permanently, with unbelievable medical expenses on top of that.

You can go from upper middle class to completely screwed with something like this.
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