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View Poll Results: Your Employment-related Sources of Retirement Income
I have/will have 401K and/or pension plan income from my employer(s) 107 88.43%
No 401K/pension plan of my own but may receive benefits from my spouse's plan(s) 3 2.48%
Never had a 401K and/or pension plan and neither does/did my spouse 11 9.09%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Yesterday, 10:06 PM
830 posts, read 569,072 times
Reputation: 2628


Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post

My mind can barely wrap around these stories.

I've been out of college for a decade, and have had ten jobs of various types, lengths, and in various sectors of the economy since then. I've never held a government job. I've worked everywhere from a major defense contractor, to a small glass manufacturing facility, to a bank, to a software company, to a healthcare system. I've probably run the gamut of industries in a way most people never do, yet with all that moving around, the retirement benefits often cited here are so far above and beyond what is a current standard that it's just mind-boggling to me.

I saw where someone had a 6%/11% employee/employer 401k contribution ratio. Most places I've been have been 6%/3% or similar. Where I am now does 6%/6%, but with a lot of contingencies where it's actually difficult to have that 6% contribution match on any given year. I believe this is the best match I've ever had. 3/10 jobs were W-2 with no benefits of any kind.

I have friends who are low wage government employees (making 1/2 to 2/3 what I do) who would have by far the better retirement benefit at their wage/contribution vs. me at a higher wage/contribution level. These are often for low skill jobs that don't require a college degree or any special training.

Only one of these private sector employers offered a pension. In hindsight, I shouldn't have moved there to begin with, but once I was "in," I should have stayed.

At my current salary level, my employer match is about $4,000 annually. I have to be there for another year to be vested in their current contributions. The match accrues every two weeks, but is deposited into the account in a lump sum annually, and if you hire in or depart after/before the plan starts, respectively, you get a goose egg for a match for the entire year.

Seeing all these pensions, high match %ages, etc., is way more than I'll ever be able to achieve.
You live in Tennessee, isn't that the case? Forgive me, but I don't think the local economy is roaring great guns. If you want decent retirement benefits and compensation, perhaps you should think about getting yourself out to where employers are hungry enough to compete for new hires.

Private sector employers have to offer decent benefits in places like Seattle or Silicon Valley in order to win & retain the best workers. Those employers certainly aren't providing those great benefits out of the goodness of their hearts. Also, iirc, TN is a right-to-work state. Even though I came late to public service, I do know that the benefits offered at my workplace are the result of hard, protracted negotiation by my union with management. Management didn't just cough up those benefits because they wanted to be fair and kind to their workers; they were forced to concede them because of pressure during collective bargaining. Thank goodness.
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Old Yesterday, 10:30 PM
638 posts, read 192,076 times
Reputation: 2337
Very small pension, decent 401k that I rolled over after retirement, some IRA's, some non tax-favored savings, inherited from parents and good SS (will probably take after FRA, maybe age 70). Comfortable retirement, but not unlimited - have better cash flow than when I was working, due to lower taxes in retirement and not having to save anymore.

Hard work, good planning, smart parents, personal discipline, favorable tax treatment from my Uncle Sam, and Luck all played a part in providing a comfortable retirement - at least for the first year, LOL.
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Old Yesterday, 10:51 PM
409 posts, read 162,790 times
Reputation: 1163
My husband was in city management, so his pension is very good. He didn't take his SS yet, because we don't need the money. We figure that we can let it grow until age 66 and 4 months, for full retirement age.

I have two small pensions. One is very small, and the school district one is a lot more than the private sector one. I got "hit" with a small "windfall" ding on my SS. I took my SS at 62, because I have had ovarian cancer, inherited heart disease, borderline diabetes, and several surgeries. Our nurse practitioner daughter says that I am "sicker than my husband." In spite of it all, I am doing fairly well. No mets to the brain or any heart attacks yet.

My husband retired at age 60 and promptly became a city councilman. He is now 63 like I am. The city we live in gives him a small check every month. I retired at age 63 and took all my retirements, no matter how low. I just did not care, because the total of all sources equaled my part-time pay. Now I can babysit the grandson and do whatever I want with the other days that I don't babysit. I also wanted to receive a few checks before I developed health issues or died and early death, like my dad. He died at 66.

Our house and small commercial building are paid off. The building is an additional money stream. Our cars are paid off. My husband likes vintage cars. We have IRAS, Stocks, and pay for long-term health insurance for both of us. We have to pay for regular medical insurance until Medicare kicks in. My husband's former employer pays part of our medical insurance. We may have to apply for Cobra or Obamacare when my husband qualifies for Medicare and I don't. I am 4 months younger than he is.

We don't worry too much because our expenses are so minimal compared to our income. We are both savers and somewhat frugal. I don't like buying much, and find that shopping is a waste of time at my age. I do like to go to an occasional estate sale, but I don't buy anything big. I am thinking about buying another one-story rental house near our daughter, so we can live in it later. Real estate is not a bad place to "park" your money if you live in California. Equity tends to increase over the years. Prop 13 keeps the property taxes manageable.

I would say that we have planned O.K. and are comfortable, but not wealthy.

I have decided that I want to travel some, but not sure that my husband is on board. Will go alone if I get bad news from the doctor, LOL. I want to see Paris and spend a week each in several different countries. I have family in Hawaii and want to spend three weeks there. The last time I did that I was 12. When we were younger, everything was such a big rush.

I think we planned well enough, but who knows? Maybe it is never enough. I am thinking about having a mid-life crisis and buying a new car. I drive a 2008 Honda Element with no carpet. I hate carpet in my car, especially when I spill a full can of Coke.

Last edited by suziq38; Yesterday at 11:05 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 11:34 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,159 posts, read 23,124,299 times
Reputation: 35430
Couldn't answer your poll because I had a 401K that I cashed out about 10 years after I left that job. I was only there around a year and a half.
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Old Yesterday, 11:36 PM
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,703 posts, read 2,242,883 times
Reputation: 5274
For the first twenty years of my marriage, I worked at small businesses that had no retirement plans. My wife did work for a few years at a bank and she gets a small pension (enough to pay our utilities).

Then we relocated and were lucky enough to both be hired by a national financial services company for 21 years, until we retired. We had 401Ks and also got stock options when times were good. When the financial crisis hit, we sat down, took a deep breath, and decided to cinch up our belts and max fund the 401Ks every year. That decision has put us in OK shape for retirement. My wife took her social security at 64 and I took spousal benefits at 66 until I switched to my benefits at 69 1/2.
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Old Today, 12:42 AM
Location: Metro Seattle Area - Born and Raised
725 posts, read 298,048 times
Reputation: 1794
I have a decent pension plan with medical coverage from my former career/employer and I’m also a retired military reservist, which those monthly payments kick in once I turn 60... Still have to wait four more years, but it’s good to know that I can count on that in the very near future.

I’m also drawing a VA disability check for my wartime injuries as well.

I have a TSP/401K plan, which I’m hoping to draw some monthly $$$$ from. I can live with the earned yearly interest rates and not touch the principal, which is a comforting factor knowing that I have a nest egg sitting in reserve.

Currently working full-time for the the next year and a half... Unless, I throw in the towel and quit, but I like that I’m saving 30% of my income for when I go into full retirement once I turn 60. If I stay the next 1.5 years with my current employer, I’ll walk away with a very small pension, but every little bit helps in the end!!!

Afterwards, I’ll draw SS after turning 62 to top things off.

Btw, I worked in careers that offered good pension plans and benefits over jobs that offered higher pay, but far less benefits. And I also started to save for my retirement in my early 30s.
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Old Today, 05:29 AM
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,898 posts, read 1,419,256 times
Reputation: 10154
Pension, only about 1000 a month.
Retiree medical
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Old Today, 06:05 AM
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,464 posts, read 3,684,157 times
Reputation: 4847
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
The people with no sort of investments at all and zero/negligible savings will basically have to cobble together what they can from SS, any other government benefits they're eligible for, some work, and private charity.

Or like my parents' generation did. Until Dad got hired by GM at age 50 he never worked a job that had a pension or health insurance plan. They were children of the depression and saved prodigiously from Dad's blue-collar income. The late in life pension eligibility was 'frosting on the cake' so to speak and they continued to save during their retirement - at least until Dad suffered his stroke and went to a Nursing Home as private pay.

Until age 50 they only had a two-legged stool (SS and Personal Savings) for funding their retirement, and planned accordingly.

One generation later I find myself also without a pension (by choice) but have also planned accordingly.
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Old Today, 06:13 AM
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,926 posts, read 4,672,668 times
Reputation: 6266
I will have one very small pension, my 401K and SS. I cashed out my 457B last year and just took the penalty on it - it was a pretty inconsequential account (less than $5K) and not worth keeping until I retire in 17 years.

Husband will have one decent pension, his 401K and SS.
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Old Today, 06:16 AM
29,906 posts, read 34,965,886 times
Reputation: 11812
Two pensions with survivor benefits
Two SS benefits
We each have 401/403/Keogh accounts
After tax accounts
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