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Re: 43% of Americans at risk of not having enough retirement $
Old 10-29-2006, 08:19 AM   #21
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Re: 43% of Americans at risk of not having enough retirement $

macdaddy, good point. While the future of some of those pensions is iffy, an honest review of what Americans are up against would include taking the annual benefits of those pensions, multiplying by 25, and including that amount in their nest eggs.

Alas, for DW and me, no inheritances, no pensions. Just DCA, and LBYM. We're still very fortunate.

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Re: 43% of Americans at risk of not having enough retirement $
Old 10-29-2006, 09:51 AM   #22
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Re: 43% of Americans at risk of not having enough retirement $

Originally Posted by jazz4cash
I think this is the usual hype. I agree with those that believe the actual percentage is much higher. How could the 43% figure possibly correlate to the following quote from the article:

More than half of workers 55 and older have saved less than $50,000 toward retirement....................?

It seems to me that "more than half" would be at risk!

One problem I see is that they (the media) make it seem so hard to achieve generating a decent nest egg for a normal retirement that many people just give up and never try. The article goes on and on about all the choices and responsibilities, blah blah blah. Its true except how hard is it to put 10-15 % in an index fund and leave it alone? I know it not as easy as I make it sound, but folks I speak with miss out on the fact that even if you cannot save "enough", having something is better than having nothing.
Agree, the %-age is higher. I find that there is a tendency for people like us (those posting on this site) to think that the majority of the country thinks, acts, behaves and saves like us. The majority is so far from that it is scary. They don't do ANY ONE OF THOSE THINGS like us. (Just watch the news and you can see what I mean - I don't watch it anymore).

Also, keep in mind that most of the media folks (reporters, news directors, etc.) are in the 43% + group (especially from the local media), so it makes them feel a bit better to report on it as if it is completely out of those people's control. I know; I have a couple of them as friends / neighbors.

Think about how many people live hand to mouth. I'm not saying their life is any less fulfilling or anything. Just that their perspective is completely different. Different expectations, perceptions... I actually heard a statistic that something like 65% of all people in the US over the age of 65 have less than $2500 in the bank. Now THAT is scary.

I am also amazed at the people that live in the same middle/upper-middle class neighborhood I do, who have virtually no clue of what it takes to retire, how a 401k works, or that it is completely in their own control whether they retire early. All they know is that Soc Sec is out there somewhere, they will need to buy a new car (wouldn't even think of buying a used car) in the next year or so- on credit of course, and that they will work until they are 65+ (they really have no idea how long they will need to work).

When I say something about not working any longer than I have to (~age 50), they look at me like I have 3 eyeballs.

Granted, some of these people really like what they do, have no real hobbies or interests, and would not have a clue how to manage their own finances (assuming they actually had some to manage) - or even how to find someone else to help them do it (I know - blasphemy, but better than pissing it all away).

And, I live in an a-typical suburban neighborhood, where everyone is not out to impress the Joneses with fancy cars, houses....

I talked to an ex-neighbor yesterday that tried his luck in a restaurant business and lost everything. Sold the house to use the funds in the business. Recently declared bankruptcy. He thought that was the best thing since sliced bread. Wiped out about $80k of Credit card debt. He was real proud of that move. Said he was now working about 18 hours a week. In the same sentence, he said he really didn't need to work any more than that, but that he really does need the money right now.

Wife still makes a good salary, but they lost all their retirement savings in the restaurant..... I had respect for the fact that he went for it with the business, until I heard him boasting about his bankruptcy savvy. Said it took him about an hour to file (not sure how much of an exaggeration that was, but well worth it to him...)

Anyway, am I rambling?

Most People are about as happy as they make up their mind to be - A. Lincoln
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