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Old 12-08-2008, 07:33 PM   #21
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What scares me is all the 50 and 60-somethings who haven't had 100K salaries, medical bills or kids' tuition who are now out of work and looking, with nothing saved and not much time left to do anything about it. Not all of them have lived high on the hog -- I can think of several I know here in town who have always worked their tails off and kept the wolf from the door -- but barely.

What can we do to help them? And yes, I feel obligated to help. Call it noblesse oblige if you will -- I got a winning hand in life and haven't had to work hard to make it all work. If I can't in good conscience claim full responsibility for my life working out wonderfully, how can I put full responsibility for a poor or challenging life on the one living it?

There are lots of things we should be doing to help prevent this type of scenario (I agree with ziggy and Texarcandy that better financial education in high school would be a good start) -- but what do we do with the folks who are 60 and hurting now?

Seriously, any ideas? I'm not sure sandwich-boarding it is going to be a solution for the masses.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:03 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Urchina View Post
What scares me is all the 50 and 60-somethings who haven't had 100K salaries, medical bills or kids' tuition who are now out of work and looking, with nothing saved and not much time left to do anything about it. Not all of them have lived high on the hog -- I can think of several I know here in town who have always worked their tails off and kept the wolf from the door -- but barely.

........
I've known those kind of folks you mention all my life "who have always worked their tails off and kept the wolf from the door -- but barely."

I've noticed they don't generally retire so much as retirement is forced on them via illness/disability or when their industry changes/goes away - generally they "retire" with a combination of some or all of:
  • Social Security
  • Medicaid
  • A few small financial assets maybe or very small pension
  • hopefully a paid-for modest home
  • Disability benefits of various sorts for "early" retirees
  • Assistance from family
I am reminded that the idea of having a "retirement" while still able to work is a fairly recent concept for the masses - and one that may never have been sustainable anyway.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:09 PM   #23
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...
If I can't in good conscience claim full responsibility for my life working out wonderfully, how can I put full responsibility for a poor or challenging life on the one living it?
...
My sentiment too. I was good at what I was doing, but it wouldn't mean a thing if society happened to not care about it. Oh, I would make a living doing something else, but the pay would not be as good.

About this man, perhaps he has been a NewYorker all his life, and couldn't see himself relocating to another place in the country where the pay may be a bit lower, but more than offset by the lower cost of living. He is a bit old now, but appears resourceful enough that he would not have problems finding work outside NYC when younger. At his age, it is tough to start over.

Anyway, this man was working in the toy business, and it so happens that I just now read my latest Time issue. On page 4, there is an article about 50% of China toy exporters have been shut down. There is a photo of the Chinese workers at a Dongguan factory, learning of the layoff, got upset, went on a rampage and trashed the company's office, and overturned police cars.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:27 PM   #24
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I think some posters to this board tend to be cruelly judgmental of others. Not everyone's daughter can be an engineer, or could even stomach being an engineer for one month.

The guy worked hard his entire life; they took care of their daughter, and tried their best. Some definite bad luck on the wife's health certainly didn't help.

It is ridiculous and cruel to rag on him. I doubt he would be as censorious in the event of one of us having bad fortune. He isn't asking for a handout; he is an experienced worker looking for job leads.

Ha
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:15 PM   #25
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I have always said that the most successful and driven people I know have been those that went hungry for some time ( a little or a lot) during their formative years because of some unfortunate event. What does not break them, makes them. Unfortunately, many of our middle class workers may not have gone through this, and when starkly confronted by the realities we have today they may not be able to cope.
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:26 PM   #26
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He isn't asking for a handout; he is an experienced worker looking for job leads.
Maybe my wife should start wearing a sandwich board around the town courthouse square.
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:09 PM   #27
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I think some posters to this board tend to be cruelly judgmental of others. Not everyone's daughter can be an engineer, or could even stomach being an engineer for one month.


Ha
Having dated my share of women engineers, I say great to the guy's daughter for having the chops to even think about being an actress.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:21 PM   #28
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I think some posters to this board tend to be cruelly judgmental of others. Not everyone's daughter can be an engineer, or could even stomach being an engineer for one month.

The guy worked hard his entire life; they took care of their daughter, and tried their best. Some definite bad luck on the wife's health certainly didn't help.

It is ridiculous and cruel to rag on him. I doubt he would be as censorious in the event of one of us having bad fortune. He isn't asking for a handout; he is an experienced worker looking for job leads.

Ha
Thank you, Ha, for a voice of sanity and compassion.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:26 PM   #29
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Thank you, Ha, for a voice of sanity and compassion.
What else would you have expected from Snoop Dog Ha?
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:55 AM   #30
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Man, you guys are tough.
Actually Martha, if I take your comment to it's conclusions, I would say it is you that would end up being (unintentionally) tough.

Gotta run for a while, just wanted to put that placeholder there for myself, I'll explain more later...

-ERD50
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:19 AM   #31
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The not being tough and no one can fail mentality helped get the US into this financial mess. No reason to heap on the guy though Just print some more money and bail the guy out.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:33 AM   #32
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The not being tough and no one can fail mentality helped get the US into this financial mess. No reason to heap on the guy though Just print some more money and bail the guy out.
"Piling on" does no good at this point. On the other hand, using it as an example for "young dreamers" as to how NOT to leave your financial situation so vulnerable is very useful. If it reminds people not to:
  • live above their means
  • Leverage themselves to the point where they still have a mortgage in their 60s if they don't have a sufficient and rock-solid income stream to pay it
  • Ignore the need to build a strong emergency fund and retirement portfolio
-- then it has served a useful purpose to use this guy's situation as an unfortunate example. That to me is the value in paying heed to this piece, not the "piling on" that some LBYMers feel a need to do when they see an excessive consumer start to crash and burn.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 12-10-2008, 09:06 AM   #33
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"Piling on" does no good at this point. On the other hand, using it as an example for "young dreamers" as to how NOT to leave your financial situation so vulnerable is very useful. If it reminds people not to:
  • live above their means
  • Leverage themselves to the point where they still have a mortgage in their 60s if they don't have a sufficient and rock-solid income stream to pay it
  • Ignore the need to build a strong emergency fund and retirement portfolio
-- then it has served a useful purpose to use this guy's situation as an unfortunate example. That to me is the value in paying heed to this piece, not the "piling on" that some LBYMers feel a need to do when they see an excessive consumer start to crash and burn.
Be nice if someone did learn from this. Of course when you turn around bail people out for making ignorant housing purchases it does make me wonder. Not a very good message to send in my opinion.
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