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Old 06-03-2009, 11:36 AM   #21
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We got a card table and four chairs with green stamps. We still have them 42 years later!
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:02 PM   #22
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To get back to the original post... I retired at 57, I'm now 59. I always lived within my means, had little or no credit card debt, had tons of equity in my house, contributed the max to my 401K and had a healthy savings account. What a good girl I was!
Well guess what happened? My investments lost 25% before I felt forced to pull out of the stock market, my house value went down about 18% and I couldn't sell it. Will I be able to collect Social Security in three years? Don"t know - it may be out of money by then. My pension? I worked in the newspaper industry which is dying. Don't know if my pension will be there in 3 years. Medicare in 6 years? Rumor has it it will be broke in 5 years. I have no health insurance either.
But I'm still one of the lucky ones because I still have what's left of my investments even though they're not earning the way they're supposed to. I still own a home and still have pretty good equity in it.
My point is that I did EVERYTHING right - according to the "experts", and I still lost a huge amount of my financial security. But because I did everything right, I am in better shape than so many, so I count my blessings and try to focus on what I do have, not what I lost. I don't know what I can do about the health insurance though. Not many options on my budget.
It does no good to chortle over the folks who made some poor decisions and find themselves in a terrible bind now. They were, in many cases, sold a bill of goods, just like I was. In their case, as in mine, it was the "experts" that led us down this path. I'm done with the "professionals". They don't really know anything more than I do. It's all a big gamble.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
25% of our gross income goes to expenses.
25% of our gross income goes to income and payroll taxes (2009 will probably be the first year for which we spend more on taxes than on ourselves).
50% of our gross income goes to investments. So each year we save 2 years worth of expenses.

We have a medium size house in a middle class neighborhood and 2 used cars (8 and 12 years old). We live on a very low cost of living area. We keep our fixed expenses as low as possible (I hate long term financial commitments) which leaves us plenty of money for a few luxuries. When we get a bonus or a raise, it gets invested for the future.

That's how we are doing it...
Ditto on that. Except we are only in a "low to average cost of living" area. And the cars are each 9 years old (bought new during college years). And we may spend just a few more % on living expenses and a few % less on taxes.

We are in the position of not worrying about money for quite a while even if DW and I were laid off tomorrow. Unemployment (which we can get for 57 weeks) would more than pay for all our living expenses and still allow us to save some. Under 9 years left on the mortgage. After tax investments would fund at least 5-6 years of living expenses without having to consider touching 401k's, IRA's, HSA's, etc.

My main concern re: money is that the market recovers too quickly and I can't dollar cost average into my investment portfolio at the low low prices as of late.
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:26 PM   #24
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Reply to CUPPAJOE I have 29 years Air National Guard and its been Saturday for almost a year,I retired july of last year. oh Good Morning everyone .
Wow, 29 years ANG. Thank you for your service.

And congrats on the upcoming 1 year anniversary. Please make sure you celebrate it.
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:31 PM   #25
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Ratface, your story was fascinating and shows how you've applied the lessons of your youth. Thank you very much for sharing with us. Good stuff to remember, as I grew up in comparative luxury, now that I think about it.

But we still had Greenbax stamps, and I would save them to get stuff all the time. FWIW, Piggly Wiggly still does Greenbax, but you check your balance of stamps online and can print out vouchers for stuff instead of licking the stamps!
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:26 PM   #26
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Like the previous post from Laurelita, I am done with the "professionals". This is the reason I joined this forum after stumbling upon it in the course of my research and I am learning a lot from you folks. Thanks! My only trusted consultant is my 90 year old Aunt(she built her own sizeable retirement) as she has my best interests at heart. Which is more than can be said for some of the professionals who only generated commissions at my expense. I am going to be making some changes as soon as I map a course of action, and my decisions will be made with a very clear picture of cost vs. benefit derived. It is a jungle out there.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:35 PM   #27
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My DW reminded me that there were 2 kinds of yellow colored stamps where we grew up; Gold Strike and Gold Bond. Both of our parents depended on them for extras.

Larry

27 days, but who's counting
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:37 PM   #28
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Since I'm retired and am enjoying my fed and military retirement the question is what to do with my TSP monies?Should I purchase a annuity with some of the dough and use the rest to pay off the house OR put all in an annuity and keep the house as a deduction?What say you good folk in this forum your advice would be grateful. Don Oh I have 7 years and the home is paid for.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:40 PM   #29
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Hey- anybody ever collect a full set of dishes with purchases at the supermarket
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #30
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No to the dishes, but my mother got a service for 12! in silver plated flatware from Kellogg! You saved the coupons on the side of cereal boxes. Five kids in the family, and now I know why we ate so much cereal!
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:50 PM   #31
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UPDATED: these links are acting screwy, so if they just take you to the main TSP page, copying and pasting them into your web browser's URL box does w*rk.

Some info sites for TSP withdrawal options...
Publications
http://www.tsp.gov/forms/pubintro.html
Look for
Tax Issues
Annuity Pubs

Current Annuity Interest Rates are found at http://www.tsp.gov/curinfo/data.html
excerpt: Annuity interest rate index: 3.125% for annuities purchased in June 2009, and 3.125% for annuities purchased in May 2009.

I was a civilian fed in the FERS retirement system who did a voluntary separation.
As you know, there is a completely different set of rules for uniformed TSP participants than civilians, so I can't help much.

Do you have access to a Personnel specialist who can assist you ?
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:53 PM   #32
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Hey- anybody ever collect a full set of dishes with purchases at the supermarket
Yes, I was given a set of Johann Havilland (spelling?) china for my wedding by my exMIL, all bought from the local grocery store.
I was not consulted beforehand.
Any comments on that are fair game.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:54 PM   #33
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justavet

I actually had 2 tsp accounts one for the military side and one for civil service.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:01 PM   #34
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I'm trying ti figure out the yield sign and the blue dot above the word post reply you see I'm a virgin when it comes to figuring out all the little do dads on this page.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:06 PM   #35
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I'm trying ti figure out the yield sign and the blue dot above the word post reply you see I'm a virgin when it comes to figuring out all the little do dads on this page.
the white and red inverted yield sign is a Report button for bad posts that violate forum rules.
the blue (or is it green?) dot right next to the yield sign means that person is logged on.
BTW, we sacrifice virgins.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:29 PM   #36
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Please don't throw me in the volcano Oh noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!As Im being tossed in the volcano s mouth and am falling before I hit the lava what heck are those stars?
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:07 PM   #37
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Ratface--thanks for sharing that; it made me think of my own childhood. We were poor, but somehow I never knew it. My parents were busy sacrificing so that we 3 kids never went without.

Laurelita--many, many people share your story! Welcome to the board.

Justavet--welcome! I'm one of those lucky people who stumbled into a great job with excellent benefits 28 years ago, married a responsible man, and now find myself in very comfortable financial position. My last day at megacorp is June 12.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:19 PM   #38
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I am left speechless by the grocery store china by your mother in law, freebird!

Justavet, you might also want to check out the FAQ link at the top of the forum. Feel free to ask questions, but also use the search tool, as I am sure many others have had the same questions, too!
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:55 AM   #39
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I am left speechless by the grocery store china by your mother in law, freebird!
I feel a new thread coming on...worst gift ever received from a relative or friend. Coming soon to a theatre near you.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:50 AM   #40
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Do it, freebird...I have a story.
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