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Old 11-30-2009, 09:14 AM   #61
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Brogan007, going back to your earlier statement:
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Originally Posted by brogan007 View Post
...Average Joe earns less than 100k. Assume 100k.
Save 10k a year to be financially secure Are you kidding? C'mon?
Living off spam, with 4 folks sharing a 2 bed apt, no car & no vacations.
Sure thing. Easy...
For most of my working career I earned far less than $100k and I saved far more than $10k/year. I never felt like I was scrimping or depriving myself of anything. I've always lived in nice houses and had a nice car - nothing too fancy, but certainly not a clunker. I live in the USA, have vacationed in Europe quite a few times, and have traveled all over the U.S.

My salary was good, but nothing astronomical. I never deprived myself of anything that I wanted just for the sake of saving money, yet, I did manage to save a lot. I'm 48 yrs old and retired earlier this year. So it IS possible! And I've never once eaten Spam!


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Sifting through these general opinions...is the same underlying thread... Financial institutions are not to be believed.
I think people here were saying that CNBC and other financial TV shows / infomercials should not be believed. Those are not financial institutions, they're just entertainment.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:24 AM   #62
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Morbid curiosity made me open a thread titled....Realistic = no hope!

I simply can not divert my eyes from roadkill.

Interesting points made however. Carry on....
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:55 AM   #63
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Maybe the OP is saying that if so many people can't make it, it will drag down those of us who have saved in the form of more taxes, more subsidized health care, cash for clunker programs on all kinds of things, etc.

If that's not what he's saying, and he's just saying it's impossible for any working stiff to save enough to retire, he's just plain wrong, as many here have proven.

I dunno. His points weren't made too clearly.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:22 AM   #64
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I didn't really understand from the OP the part about saying to disconnect from the Matrix. What? To not pay taxes?

If his situation like the average Joe that he described, maybe after 35 years, he now is doing some self-searching and seeing that he is not ready to FIRE so thinks the concept of FIRE is a scam.

What we are saying that it is possible, start early, LBYM, plan ahead, take advantage of the magic of compounding, invest to keep up with inflation, etc. but he probably didn't take these steps earlier in his life.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:44 AM   #65
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I'm always amazed at the animosity shown by some forum members to anyone who dares to post anything contrary to their opinion. I suppose we should all nod and agree like good little sheep. : yawn :
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:52 AM   #66
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No pitch. Nothing to sell.
No contradiction...I smile because folks who buy & hold Index Funds are living proof that marketing to the sheep is still working....the world of investing has changed. Buy & hold Index funds are history.
About a year ago, a lot of financial articles were written saying "buy and hold is dead", and "MPT doesn't work", etc. Funny how an 8 month bull market kills those stories.........
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #67
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Sarah, I am happy to listen to people give there reasons for why they think our country is in deep do do. But I am not impressed with posters who say they are going to be tax cheats. I think his statements about not paying taxes and his incorrect statements about the attitudes of forum members lead to the animosity you see.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:00 PM   #68
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Sarah, I am happy to listen to people give there reasons for why they think our country is in deep do do. But I am not impressed with posters who say they are going to be tax cheats. I think his statements about not paying taxes and his incorrect statements about the attitudes of forum members lead to the animosity you see.
Agreed.

I think he would have gotten a much different reception here had his approach been one of "I'm concerned about..." rather than "I know...".
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:12 PM   #69
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I'm always amazed at the animosity shown by some forum members to anyone who dares to post anything contrary to their opinion. I suppose we should all nod and agree like good little sheep. : yawn :
I partially agree, thinking back to some of the hostile reaction to the megabears who were "calling" for a major financial mess and a stock market crash back in 2007 -- and those who "ate their own cooking" in that regard got the last laugh in that round.

However, there is another similarity: it wasn't merely the fact that a few people were very bearish and believing in "doomsday" that earned derision for the most part -- it was the follow-on "and you're an idiot if you don't see it" sort of sentiment expressed in those posts that usually raised the objections.

And I see the same here.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:21 PM   #70
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Brogan007, going back to your earlier statement:

For most of my working career I earned far less than $100k and I saved far more than $10k/year. I never felt like I was scrimping or depriving myself of anything. I've always lived in nice houses and had a nice car - nothing too fancy, but certainly not a clunker. I live in the USA, have vacationed in Europe quite a few times, and have traveled all over the U.S.

My salary was good, but nothing astronomical. I never deprived myself of anything that I wanted just for the sake of saving money, yet, I did manage to save a lot. I'm 48 yrs old and retired earlier this year. So it IS possible! And I've never once eaten Spam!
Although we do have some very wealthy members, I think the above is generally true for many of us on this forum. I know it is for me. I have lived a very nice upper middle class life on a salary less than six figures with savings well exceeding $10K.

One idea that might benefit brogan007 would be to examine his budget and figure out WHY it costs him so much to live a nice life. If he is living in Manhattan, for example, that would explain it and he should be well aware of his choice and what it implies for his cost of living and lifestyle. Or, there could be other choices that he is making that are impacting his lifestyle.

The median 2008 family income in the U.S. was $50,303, so frequently those making more are able to save much of the difference and live just about like everyone else.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:19 PM   #71
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The median 2008 family income in the U.S. was $50,303, so frequently those making more are able to save much of the difference and live just about like everyone else.
Have you ever noticed that many who whine about never being able to retire appear to just be unwilling to make the sacrifices to be able to do so?
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:26 PM   #72
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Nothing goes better with whine than a good cheese...........
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:34 PM   #73
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Have you ever noticed that many who whine about never being able to retire appear to just be unwilling to make the sacrifices to be able to do so?
Yes, and then recently I have noticed another similar phenomenon, too. That is that others (not including our members here!) may retire and whine that they cannot afford a yacht, international travel, an antique car collection, or a McMansion on the water with all the trimmings.

Life is full of choices and the happiest among us are those who are conscious of that, and make the choices that allow them the most happiness. To me this is where reading and thinking about philosophies such as those expressed in Walden are so valuable.

Edited to add... Maybe this is part of the human condition. I remember when I was working (a whole 3 weeks ago! ) that many would complain when someone new was hired at a higher salary, despite having lesser qualifications and experience. But, (as I kept reminding myself), we all made our deal, choosing the best job for us of those available to us at the time when we were hired. If we made the best deal possible, what happened with someone else doesn't matter.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:14 PM   #74
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Brogan,

Appears you've picked at a scab (maybe deliberately?). I too am new at this site, and have been browsing it for about a week. I can relate to your frustration of seeking guidance, and finding none. I've read a lot of investment books over the last 14yrs and I can tell you with complete certainty that "nobody knows" the right thing to tell you. Even when searching the internet (and this organization's site), there's no straight answers or an easy to follow guide. Even in your posting's responses here - there are a lot of positive recommendations, but you have to look for them amongst the clutter and the silly texting style abbreviations. Investment advice only keeps people in the investment selling advice world rich - not you.

I would compare it to rolling a rock uphill, and no one wants to help you - they just roll the rocks down at you (no offense to any responders intended)

You're right in your assumptions about the average person - doesn't make enough money to pay for everything (kids, house, cars, education"s", vacations, long term health care, etc. He also probably won't enjoy retirement, as according to "statistics" (from the talking TV heads) he hasn't saved enough for it (although enough is a moving target at best for everyone).

It comes down to you and your decisions in life - no one can make them for you. Everyone takes their own unique path throughout life, and every decision you make affects the success of your outcome. The folly here is if you try to take someone else's path, or constantly compare your path to others' choices. This pretty much guarantees an all-around unhappy life.

For what it's worth, and if you don't mind listening to someone who hasn't figured it all out either -

My Retirement Steps: MAKE/HAVE A PLAN

Make sure that your income always exceeds your outgo... This will give you the funds for doing a lot of the things one needs to accomplish in life (see items in third paragraph above). You either have to make more (hard for most of us), or learn to spend less (even harder) to accomplish this worthy goal in life. I also must mention that with complete certainty (again) their "will" be compromises.

Start saving what you can for retirement early... Time is the greatest partner one can have for retirement saving. It's the "magic of compounding" that comes with time that assists you in your retirement saving success. The later you start saving, the more you must save and the greater the chance of failure to reach your goal. I wish I had started younger than 45. It took a huge effort to make up for that mistake.

There is no right answer for where to invest. Conventional wisdom states safety is achieved with a mix of 60/40 stock/bonds. I'm currently 50/50 as I'm 58 and looking to retire next year (this mix won't change throughout retirement). I don't care to become a Wall Street unknowing expert, so I chose Vanguard Mutual Funds right from the start (credit goes to 14 years of reading/not finding a financial guru). FYI - almost made a mistake using one early on. Thank God I took the time to do a little research for myself. I'd recommend a little research be done by everybody. Even Vanguard offers little help to small investors and have among the largest minimum investment amounts. When you've become a successful investor in their eyes +$500k then they'll help you (too late, and shame on you Vanguard and the rest of the Mutual Fund industry).

There are no guarantees in retirement - you need to stick to your plan and hope for the best. Most of us won't make through a long successful retirement. Currently, the US government census has only around 12% of the population over the age of 65. Their projections aren't for this percentage to change greatly through 2020. Scare yourself real good and check out the population percentage over 80. You will die - it's a given. But this doesn't mean that you should give up on your plan! I use 80 max for a cushion.

4-5% withdrawal off your savings should work fine. Don't forget the significant impact of Social Security for whenever you gamble/choose to take it. Forget about the negatives that say it won't be there. If it really isn't - none of this email advise is worth a tinkers damn.

Remember if you follow what I've done early enough in life - you should be able to retire comfortably. The KEY here is that the majority of the U.S. population won't follow this simple plan. Imagine if they did and everyone was a millionaire - we'd really be screwed in retirement. I've written too much here, so I'll close and wait for the rocks
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:24 PM   #75
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Fritz, welcome to the forum.
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... I'll close and wait for the rocks
Unless Brogan throws a few at you, I don't suspect you'll be getting any - at least not from what you've said in your first post. Sounds good to me.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:52 PM   #76
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Fritz,
Welcome to the forum.

What you've written jives well with what most here believe
- Save. Save early. Save as much as possible.
- Invest in low-cost mutual funds (people prefer index funds)
- Diversify.
- Withdraw a reasonable percentage (most here would say less than 4%)
- No guarantees - you have to be flexible.

Why would you expect rocks from this forum?
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:01 PM   #77
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Kudos, fritz.

On another tack, it is worth mentioning that there are many different lifestyles worth living in retirement, and a lot of them are far more attainable than a golf community home with a luxury car in the driveway. Lots of retirees with not so much money do quite well. Tioga George lives quite a life travelling all over the place on not much more than Social Security, for example. Any number of expats have a good time in Mexico, Panama, Thailand, etc. I bet Haha lives on a good deal less than I do and he seems to live a pretty pleasant life in Seattle. The couple sailing around at www.tendervittles.net probably live on half or less of what I do.

So I guess you do the best you can to save up and plan, but when the time comes you make the most of what you have. Those that do so seeking to suck the sweet out of every day have a lot better time than those that spend time bellyaching.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:13 PM   #78
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Welcome.

I did not read any of the responses, so mine might be a repeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brogan007 View Post
Hi All.
New to this forum but not to the world of investments.
Are you sure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brogan007 View Post
I mean, the % likelyhood of Joe Public actually HAVING, say, a million at aged 65 is pretty slim. Then the crunch comes when Joe figures out that his financial planner forgot to mention that in 35 yrs time, a million would only feel like $200k, if he's lucky. Really lucky.
I say that JPublic has a very good chance at saving a million before he reaches 65. This is the USA after all. I just don't see how a million would feel like 200K in 35 yrs? What inflation rate are you thinking about? In the past 35 years, the average inflation rate is about 3.5% annually.

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Also, this concept of 80% of "work income" as retirement needs
Another scam....people will "need" more than 100%....
Alright, I think you have really gone overboard on this.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:27 PM   #79
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Fritz, Brogan--welcome to the boards.

I've read this thread and there are many quite serious suggestions in response to what I see as a challenge from Brogran (i.e., "prove me wrong!"). I don't know if he really wants advice or not, but many goodhearted people have posted thoughtful answers (that took a lot of time to compose) to his questions. I'm amazed at how much I continue to learn from this board. I hope Brogran finds the answers he wants. If he finds them somewhere else, I hope he shares them here.
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:07 PM   #80
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Fritz,

Welcome to the board. Great advice...especially about it becoming one's own decision. No one knows what's best except yourself.

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