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The Next Ten Years - Crystal Ball
Old 08-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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The Next Ten Years - Crystal Ball

The most enjoyable part about the forum, is the general upbeat, positive attitude of most members.

That said... here's a question that I think about quite a bit, expecting that at best, the next ten years will be "it".

What do you see happening between now and 2022, or whatever your time line is for retirement?

A thousand different possibilities of course, but am thinking more in terms of America... Lifestyles, Government, Markets, Environment, Healthcare, War?,
General Economy, Politics, Middle Class, Housing... etc, etc.

Not looking for a treatise, or an all encompassing overview, but for a "feeling"... optimism? pessimism? greatest hopes... greatest fears? long term better, worse? health? happiness?

Have you looked ahead... beyond financial safety... to think about the quality of your life, and how you will relate to your own corner of the world?
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on a personal note...
For the first 22 years of our retirement, bride and self have been so busy enjoying life, that we never spent too much time looking into the future, other than keeping our eyes on financial security. Now, as our world slows down, we spend a little more time thinking about the country, the world, and what's ahead for our kids and their kids. Not an obsession, but a touch of realism, in a world that's beginning to go faster than we're used to.
Here's a clue as to what it's like: When we talk to people our own age... our own era, there's an unspoken understanding that we share about having been there... It's comforting to realize that "normal" for us is very different than "normal" for a 30 year old.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:54 PM   #2
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I have slowly learned that politics and outside forces are mostly outside my control and scary as they are happening but largely irrelevant for the most part.

I see a high probability that everything will be totally fine 10 years from now. Odds are that our family will see some calamity during the next decade (fire, flood, tornado hurricane, economic set back, illness/injury/death, etc) but we'll do ok in spite of it.

I expect my kids will be 10 years older at the end of the next decade, and life will present a different set of interesting and exciting challenges. But life won't be fundamentally different than today.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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On a personal level, I am pretty optimistic. I think we will muddle through whatever is thrown our way. When I read doom and gloom articles, it seems like we are well positioned to face many of the possible threats to our financial well-being, so I don't spend much time worrying about them. I believe that the greatest challenges to our quality of life will remain health-related and not money-related.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I have slowly learned that politics and outside forces are mostly outside my control and scary as they are happening but largely irrelevant for the most part.

I see a high probability that everything will be totally fine 10 years from now. Odds are that our family will see some calamity during the next decade (fire, flood, tornado hurricane, economic set back, illness/injury/death, etc) but we'll do ok in spite of it.

I expect my kids will be 10 years older at the end of the next decade, and life will present a different set of interesting and exciting challenges. But life won't be fundamentally different than today.
+1 except that we don't' have kids.

We try to control what we can - our mental & physical health, our social ties, our finances - and are generally happy with our lot in life.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #5
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I think 10 years from now most of us are going to be getting on with our lives, just as we are now. A few will be asleep at the wheel while others fret about some impending crisis. The journey to that point will be mostly less eventful than we fear, and once we are there we will be surprised at how smart we were dealing with the challenges. With good fortune and the grace of God I will be there along with those I hold dear.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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I'm optimistic. I think the probability of the last 12 years repeating themselves is less than the probability that the next 10 years will be highly prosperous.The last 12 years have been filled with booms and busts, wars and peace, health and sickness, feast and famine.

For me, it seems those with the current gloom and doom outlooks are those for which this is the first cycle they've lived thru. And as we all know, everything runs in cycles.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:05 PM   #7
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I believe that technology will continue to drive productivity in the US and world at large. I see our government plodding along pretty much as it has the last ten years. I hope the economy continues on a slow and uneventful recovery. Personally I am optimistic and having been retired now going on seven years, I wouldn't have any complaints if the next seven were similar.

My biggest concern is America's ability to educate our young people in the math and science fields in order to turn out the engineers and scientists that the US so badly needs.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #8
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I'm less optimistic than previous posters, but then I was very concerned Japan would take over the world in the 80's, and that proved to be unfounded. That said, I don't believe the problems we face are insoluble by any means, so let's go with the positive outlooks above. I am still invested 50:40:10 so I certainly haven't given up and don't expect to...I'm in for the duration come what may.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I have slowly learned that politics and outside forces are mostly outside my control and scary as they are happening but largely irrelevant for the most part.
+1

I feel that, especially when retired and you have more time to be distracted, it's important to stay focused on your life and your immediate community. If you feel "something is wrong in the universe" then do something about it, but in the context of what you can do on a local level to make a difference. This may be no more than helping out family and friends or being part of some local group effort.

Spending time worrying about "the big picture" or "the fate of humankind" doesn't contribute anything IMO. Focus on things you can actually do something about.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:50 PM   #10
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On both the personal and "macro" level I am optimistic. We usually learn from our mistakes, and I believe in the basic goodness of most all people. The US continues to have great resources in terms of "know-how" and innovation. My children will have to be flexible in order to adapt to a continually changing world.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
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I'm less optimistic than previous posters, but then I was very concerned Japan would take over the world in the 80's, and that proved to be unfounded. That said, I don't believe the problems we face are insoluble by any means, so let's go with the positive outlooks above.
I occasionally see Ed Rendell on TV. I had an opportunity to chat at a function with Ed Rendell in person in the early '90s when he was mayor of Philadelphia and I was a engineering manager in a high-tech company. I remember him lamenting Japan's dominance at the time, and I remember telling him the US electronics and software/computer industry was making great strides and Japan wasn't quite the dominant player it had been. He was surprised and delighted to hear it - but also a bit skeptical.

I always wonder if he remembers that conversation...... Ha, fat chance, I know. But it was fun "surprising" a politico with a totally different world view of the US future in the computer industry.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #12
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10 years is a long time. I am increasingly worried about some of the latest virus mutations. I tend to be a pessimist by nature.
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Old 08-06-2012, 05:59 PM   #13
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We live in different parts of the country (and many outside the US). I think we are strongly influenced by what we see around us. I live in an area that, although it has lots of poor people, is economically still doing well and I see lots of people working really hard and out shopping like mad all the time. I see new buildings being built and new businesses opening all the time. I find this encouraging.

And then I read points of view from people who live in parts of the country hit very hard by this or that and seeing the depressing effects a poor local economy, and I'm sure it's tough to see that and not be very discouraged and wonder how the economic numbers can look as good as they do when their area is suffering.

FWIW - economic anecdote - they are starting to build houses like mad on my street, and there are only 2 "premium" lots left. These are the only lots left that have the space to accomodate some very desirable house upgrades.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:06 PM   #14
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10 years is a long time. I am increasingly worried about some of the latest virus mutations. I tend to be a pessimist by nature.
I have to admit - I don't tend to worry about the financial stuff that much - I figure chances are pretty good of "muddling through somehow". But the antibiotic resistant bacteria and virus mutations - that stuff does seem like a real possibility for global disaster.

Again, I can't really do anything about whatever pestilance decides to attack humankind, just like I can't do a darn thing about a large asteroid hit.

The best "revenge" is to live the best life you can until that asteroid, disease, or mayan curse hits and destroys the world as we know it. At least at that time you'll have satisfaction in not having sacrificed the years you did get to live.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #15
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10 years is a long time. I am increasingly worried about some of the latest virus mutations. I tend to be a pessimist by nature.
Me too. I worry the things we don't worry about will become the real problem. Even so, not much I can do about it other than be careful. I don't live in fear, but with caution. Plus remember to take delight in every day.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #16
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I am an over obsessive pre-planner. I always have the next 5 - 10 years planned out with multiple paths that could or should occur.

What I see over the next 10 or so years. We will move back closer to our jobs. Home shares will become more common. More diverse fuels will be offered or at least will start coming on the market (hydrogen). Minimum wage will increase till it is above $10. Locally we just had two county governments combine - I believe this will happen more often. The DOW will be at 20k...
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:11 PM   #17
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I think the don't haves will take from the haves on an unprecedented scale.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:25 PM   #18
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I worry that life will get harder and not easier for folks to raise families and save for retirement. I see friends in their 50s and 60s who have been pushed out of jobs and are among the long term unemployed. Companies will continue to phase out pensions, pushing the onus of saving for retirement onto the backs of (largely unprepared) average Joes in 401ks with ltd investment vehicles. The SS age will continue to rise, and they may even start means testing. New folks starting out will in large part have trouble getting and keeping jobs that make their student loans worthwhile.

I believe real estate will bounceback within the next 5 years. Gold will likely stay relatively high. I see a shrinking middle class and greater difficulty for entrepreneurs to get businesses off the ground. I see wealthy folks leaving the country rather than pay high taxes. I am starting to think if our biz taxes stay so high, companies may start moving or setting up offices in Canada (or other countries) which now have lower biz taxes than the US.

I think a fiscal conservative in the whitehouse can start to turn this around but it will take a long time to dig us out of our hole. Sorry that this is mostly gloomy. I hope that in a year, our outlook from my crystal ball will be better. Feel free to insert economist opinion of choice!
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #19
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Don't know what will happen and I won't worry about it. I only think (but not worry) about the things I can control or influence.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #20
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I agree with Audreyh1's posts.

Worrying only makes sense when we can do something about the problem. Beyond that, worry could almost be considered a pathology.

Most of you know about, and in a friendly way have even teased me about, my "belt and suspenders and more" approach to my own financial plan, which was something that I could DO about my worries. After creating a protective plan, what sense is there in letting worries rule our days and nights?

After one has done everything possible, there is no sense in continuing to worry. Time to kick back and enjoy these good years. Tomorrow, any one of us could be hit by a runaway truck but today, we have our lives to enjoy.

What will happen in the next ten years? Who knows? One thing that I do know is that they will be the most wonderful ten years possible for me.
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