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Another Article on "Can You Retire?"
Old 03-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #1
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Another Article on "Can You Retire?"

What's Retirement Mean? - The Invested Life

Interesting wrinkle- not can you retire, but can you retire and live the way you want to live.

Ha
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:22 PM   #2
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Boy! People's desire is insatiable. First they just want to stop working for the man. Now, they want their life filled with leisure activities. Where does it end?
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:22 PM   #3
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I thought it was very broadminded of him to consider that retirement doesn't mean the same thing to everyone .... that some envision a much less expensive retirement lifestyle than others do, and that you have to think about what you are going to want to spend in retirement.

Some interesting facts quoted:
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1. More than two-fifths (41 percent) of Americans in the lowest pre-retirement income level will not have enough resources to cover even basic expenses and uninsured health costs after 10 years of retirement.

2. Almost half of all “early baby boomers” -- those now ages 56 to 62 -- are at risk of not being able to cover basic expenditures in retirement.

3. In 2007, the median value of 401(k) accounts for people under 35 years of age fell to $9,600, from $12,090 in 2004.
As an "early baby boomer", I am sad to see that half of us are at risk of not being able to pay for a bare bones retirement. I can easily understand how that could happen. At times, life throws obstacles at us so fast that it feels like a game of Mario Brothers.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
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As an under-35 it's shocking to me that the median 401k for my age group is under 10k. I'll contribute nearly double that this year alone, and my income is far from spectacular.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:52 PM   #5
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It looks like I will have company under the bridge. Will the fascists put me in jail for the high crime of being poor?
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:56 AM   #6
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Will the fascists put me in jail for the high crime of being poor?
Only if you're poor and have the wrong color skin. If you're talking about fascism.

I don't really know what the point of retirement woes articles are about. This one seems to be saying make sure you've accounted for these few things before you decide to retire, but is it worrying over things the people its aimed at mostly can't change because of their income, or actually trying to help people be better informed as to their decisions or to help them change their behavior? If you can afford to do this while working, but want to continue doing that thing and can't afford to if you retire right now or in the future or ever, it's not exactly difficult to figure out your choices. The choices may suck, unfortunately, but you have to work within reality.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:20 AM   #7
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"what will it cost"? This is brilliant journalism but ultimately disturbing to those of us who were planning to retire without asking that question. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:44 AM   #8
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Wisdom from an unlikely source (to me).

The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it's at what income. -George Foreman

Once a potential retiree turns their focus on what will my expenses be for the lifestyle I want and what safety factor am I comfortable with - the path becomes clear. Simple but not easy. The folks that target an age (most people I know) are coming at the retirement goal from the wrong perspective IMO.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:40 AM   #9
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As an under-35 it's shocking to me that the median 401k for my age group is under 10k. I'll contribute nearly double that this year alone, and my income is far from spectacular.
Heck, when DW/me were 35, we had no retirement savings. Of course, that was the days before 401(k)'s and IRA's - allowed for folks that did not have a pension (which we did at the time).

Of course, the pension (e.g. defined benefit) plan went the way of the dodo bird...
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:56 AM   #10
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Sometimes I wonder if I may have to protect myself and family, from the penniless boomers.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:12 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Midpack;1051825]Wisdom from an unlikely source (to me).

The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it's at what income. -George Foreman

I'll bet he was grilling a steak the old-fashioned way when he pondered this.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:59 AM   #12
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...

Interesting wrinkle- not can you retire, but can you retire and live the way you want to live.

Ha
That has always been my goal. If I could not support a certain level of lifestyle... I would continue to work.


I am soooo glad that DW and I were careful with our money all of those years.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:49 AM   #13
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Sometimes I wonder if I may have to protect myself and family, from the penniless boomers.
Not from this boomer (and DW) ... Penniless? I think not...

Personally, I don't like the general association of boomers with negative expressions on what is wrong with the world.

Heck, if it wasen't for "the greatest generation", we boomers would not be here (blame our existance on them ).

As for me? I didn't spend my time demonstrating (I served in Nam), nor was part of the "educational elite" (college was not in my future, due to the "expectations" of my parents to support them in their lifestyle).

Please don't paint all boomers with a broad brush. Heck, in August '69 when Woodstock was held, I was dodging incoming 122MM rockets.

Sorry - I get upset when I see the term "boomers" in a negative manner....
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:16 AM   #14
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Not from this boomer (and DW) ... Penniless? I think not..............Please don't paint all boomers with a broad brush. .........
Sorry - I get upset when I see the term "boomers" in a negative manner....
+1 The problem is that far to many of our contemporaries have lived beyond their means and not adequately saved and as a result are either going to have to accept a lower standard of living in retirement or work longer than they expected to.

While perhaps some blame can be put that this generation was the transition from defined benefit pension plans to 401k's and cash balance plans and that the need to save wasn't adequately communicated the fact is that too many had to have the fancy cars, fancy homes, exotic travel and whatever NOW and their savings for the future suffered as a result.

Their imprudence is not our fault. I just hope that those of us who were prudent don't get forced to bail these people out.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:36 AM   #15
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What's Retirement Mean? - The Invested Life

Interesting wrinkle- not can you retire, but can you retire and live the way you want to live.

Ha
Well, it really circles down to the way you lived your life pre-retirement, doesn't it? I think a person's retirement, or non-retirement, is formed long before the calendar date arrives. It's formed in their fundamental nature, by their outlook on life, their values, their life experiences. My next door neighbor can, in the next several years, retire if she wants to. But she won't. She enjoys and values the social life her work gives her. So, financially she could live the way she desires, but socially she could not.

Unhappily, some people are forced into retirement by health or job loss, when they would rather be working. For some people, work simply is their life; it defines them, it sustains them, it gives their lives meaning and purpose. I imagine for them, retirement is painful, and not even necessarily in a financial sense.

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Old 03-28-2011, 07:45 AM   #16
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Not from this boomer (and DW) ... Penniless? I think not...

Personally, I don't like the general association of boomers with negative expressions on what is wrong with the world.

Heck, if it wasen't for "the greatest generation", we boomers would not be here (blame our existance on them ).

As for me? I didn't spend my time demonstrating (I served in Nam), nor was part of the "educational elite" (college was not in my future, due to the "expectations" of my parents to support them in their lifestyle).

Please don't paint all boomers with a broad brush. Heck, in August '69 when Woodstock was held, I was dodging incoming 122MM rockets.

Sorry - I get upset when I see the term "boomers" in a negative manner....
Chuckle, that is exactly what I think when I see these broad sweeps but I wouldn't say please. Born before 1 Jan 1946 or after 31 Dec 1964? You are what makes America great. Born on or between 1 Jan 1946 or 31 Dec 1964 you are the scum of America. It pains me that so many veterans are included in the sweep which often is brainwashing hatemongering.

And have you noticed that when someone uses the "we" word they goes on to judge themselves verses this mythical "other" class of boomers, shaking their heads over how much better they are than their fellow boomers and lamenting on how "we" have ruined the world. Of course, the intent is to always divide the rest of the age groups against about 20 years of fellow humans.

You realize this when you see so many people who believe that the boomers are already retired. For example, I saved the majority (75-80%) of my retirement money in my last ten years. The 1964 boomers aren't even 50 years old and the 1946 boomers are just turning 65. I could cherry-pick stories of any demographic you want and find people whose irresponsibility or procrastination makes good fodder for a journalist.

And concerning the "greatest generation" popping the boomers, I like to tell people that "we", of course, self-impregnated ourselves into existance in a giant conspiracy to make the "non-boomers" lives as entertainingly miserable as possible.

If you read enough of this stuff you will find that the boomers are "all" broke and "all" holding the majority of the wealth; not working and sitting on all the good paying jobs; bums and too focused on working day and night; selfish and having to support their grown children and parents, unhealthy couch potatoes and spending all their time in the gym and at the plastic surgeon trying to stay young, etc. Such stories can be told about any demographic. I hear a lot negative stereotyping of the "younger" generation from older people but it doesn't compute. I find them amazing.

Remember when the world was all "dominos" or did you ever play the early versions of the "game of life"? I have observed both in action with respect to the boomer attacks. I have stated here and quite seriously that I expect the end game is to separate boomer retirees from the economics of the rest of society in order to socialize funds available in the demographic while preaching anti-socialization of the remaining society's funds ... until they retire. But my conclusion is always the same - the boomers will die; it's a given. And, in our society, dieing cost money whether you have it or not. Perhaps America will embrace euthanasia to solve it's "boomer problem" so no one will incur the cost.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:48 AM   #17
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Boy! People's desire is insatiable. First they just want to stop working for the man. Now, they want their life filled with leisure activities. Where does it end?
With a life filled with leisure activities.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:35 AM   #18
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A big +1 on your whole statement
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:13 AM   #19
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As an under-35 it's shocking to me that the median 401k for my age group is under 10k. I'll contribute nearly double that this year alone, and my income is far from spectacular.
That under $10K figure does sound scary, but "under 35" is also an awfully broad group. What is the bottom figure for it, anyway? 18, the year you "typically" graduate high school? Or 22, the age you "typically" graduate college and enter the workforce? There are just too many people at the low end to drag that figure down, so I don't think it's really a fair number.

I would expect an 18, 22, or even a 25 year old to have very little in their 401k, simply because they haven't been in the workforce long enough, don't have a high-paying job, have too many other expenses, etc. In my case, I didn't even start investing in my company's 401k until I was 28. I wish I had done it sooner, but unfortunately I logged up some debt at an early age, such as buying a condo before I was really ready to, and then getting into a bad marriage.

And by the time I turned 35, I had about $56K saved up in various 401k's, plus another $135K saved up in after-tax investing. I was helped out considerably though, when I sold that condo and cleared about $76K, after I paid off all the renovations and such. That benefitted mainly the after-tax, not the 401k.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:21 AM   #20
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Boy! People's desire is insatiable. First they just want to stop working for the man. Now, they want their life filled with leisure activities. Where does it end?
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With a life filled with leisure activities.
Will they get bored eventually? Will these leisure activities stay legal and moral?

Ah, no need for me to worry, as most will not get too far in their pursuit of happiness.
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