Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
At 77 He Prepares Burgers Earning in 1 Week His Former Hourly Wage
Old 09-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
At 77 He Prepares Burgers Earning in 1 Week His Former Hourly Wage

The title of this thread refers to a new financial porn story on Yahoo! Finance:

At 77 He Prepares Burgers Earning in Week His Former Hourly Wage - Yahoo Finance

How could you not feel sorry for a 77 year old widower like this:

Quote:
It seems like another life. At the height of his corporate career, Tom Palome was pulling in a salary in the low six-figures and flying first class on business trips to Europe.
Today, the 77-year-old former vice president of marketing for Oral-B juggles two part-time jobs: one as a $10-an-hour food demonstrator at Sam's Club, the other flipping burgers and serving drinks at a golf club grill for slightly more than minimum wage.
...
For middle class households, with incomes ranging from the mid five to low six figures, it's especially grim. When the 2008 financial crisis hit, what little Palome had saved -- $90,000 -- took a beating and he suddenly found himself in need of cash to maintain his lifestyle. With years if not decades of life ahead of him, Palome took the jobs he could find.
The youthful and perennially optimistic grandfather considers himself lucky. He's blessed with good health, he said. He's able to work, live independently and maintain his dignity, even if he has to mop the floors at the club grill before going home at 8 p.m. and finally getting off his feet.
"That's part of the job," he said. "You have to respect the job you're doing and not be negative -- or don't do it."
Surely another victim of capitalism and greed. How sad that a 77 year old man has to work 2 part-time jobs, standing on his feet for an 8 hour shift at Sam's Club with just 1/2 hour of breaktime! And when he's not doing that, he's standing at a golf club kitchen grill in the Florida heat, while also tending the cash register. The system must be broken!

Oh, what's that? What are the actual historical facts? Why, they have absolutely nothing to do with how he ended up slaving away at 77....

Quote:
Palome, who said his jobs keep him active and learning new things, could survive without working. He receives $1,200 from Social Security and a $600 a month pension from his last corporate job. Still, his $1,400 in monthly wages allows him to bolster his savings and provides for some extras.
...
The job gave him a high five-figure income and an executive's life at age 39. He flew first class to Cooper offices in the U.S. and in England, Sweden and Germany. He helped win an endorsement for the Oral-B toothbrush from the U.S. Olympic Committee. He had a closet filled with business suits, and on weekends he played golf with other executives.
...
When Cooper relocated from New Jersey to California, Palome didn't want to uproot his family. So in 1980, when he was 44, he started a consulting company, with Cooper as his main client. He also did consulting for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson and others.
In flush years, Palome had several clients and earned about $120,000. Though he saved for his kids' college and helped his elderly parents, retirement wasn't on his radar.

"I never thought I'd live this long," he said.
...
At 64, when an 800 square foot manufactured home he'd seen in Plant City, a Tampa suburb, became available for $21,500, he purchased it with a credit card to amass frequent flier miles. He then sold his New Jersey home for $180,000, kept what he needed to quickly pay off his credit card debt and divided the rest among his children so they'd have down payments for their own homes. "The house was theirs as much as mine, and that's their inheritance from me," he said.
So this guy had a high 5-figure income in the late 70s/early 80s (even making more later on)....paid for his children's college educations....then gave away his home equity to his children for their own home down payments - and wonders why he can't subsist on his $40,000 401k balance plus Social Security and pension? And we're supposed to feel sorry for his blatant decisions?

He admits that he could exist just on his SS and pension - but he wants to be able to travel and do more things that require spending money. Gee, don't we all?

But this is still all perfect evidence that retirement plans have failed senior citizens!!! The above facts about paying for college educations and giving away his home equity and not wanting to move for a high-paying job have nothing to do with his having to work at age 77 at a hot grill or standing on his feet for 7 1/2 hours.


As far as the original title of the story, the Yahoo! Finance editors need to be a little more on their game:

Quote:
Palome earns about $80 for his day's work, $7.98 per hour in wages, plus tips. "I earn in a week what I used to earn in an hour," he said, adding that he understands seniors can't easily keep or get jobs that pay middle-income wages.
If he earned as much as $120,000/year at his best year, that works out to about $57/hr. It says he earns $1,400/month now at his part-time jobs- that works out to $350/week.

Unless he had a magic formula for working just 10 hours a week to earn $120,000/year at his peak, the finance editors need to learn some basic math to learn that $57 is nowhere near equal to $350.


In case anyone was wondering - a usual suspect is involved:

Quote:
How is the average middle-class person going to amass $1,000,000 by the time they're 65, which is what they'll need to get $40,000 a year in income from their retirement savings?" Ghilarducci said.
If someone is in middle class, and married (as many retirees are), as a couple they probably have at least $20,000/year in income from SS. Do they really need $40,000 additional to give them total household income of $60,000+/year? If they are truly average middle-class, did they ever have that high of a level of household disposable income while married?
__________________

__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-23-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Another example of why I gave up reading Yahoo! Finance articles years ago.
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 05:02 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
JoeWras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,515
OP already said it, but I'll re-iterate. This guy was making high 5 figures (say 80k to 90k) in the 1970s! GIVE ME A BREAK! He <tinkled> it away.
__________________
JoeWras is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
nash031's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Coronado
Posts: 1,485
If I was supposed to feel sorry for him, I failed.

What really irked me about that article was this:

Quote:
The current retirement savings systems isn't working, and that's becoming a crisis as Americans who make it to 65 in good health are now living at least two more decades," said Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager.
"Longevity should be a blessing, but if you haven't planned for it, you're going to work much longer than you ever dreamed of doing," he said. "Or you better be good to your children because you're probably going to be living with them."
I'm sorry, Larry, but it seems to be working just fine for me and thousands of others like me. Let's try educating people on their benefits and needs before we say "it isn't working".
__________________
nash031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 942
Wow, pretty brutal comments. It is a fact that a large percentage of people are just lousy with their own finances. We are all built differently. That is why for many, a forced savings such as social security is a blessing. Problem is, it is not enough to live on. I can still shake my head, and say "what were you thinking" and still have compassion at the same time. And be thankful I am one of the lucky ones who knew better.
__________________
modhatter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 05:39 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
dtbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Madison
Posts: 750
There is absolutely no excuse for a person pulling in $120K/year in the 70's to be in such a poor position as he is in. Let's be real, he pissed away all his money. No pity from me, I saved my money and worked on investing it at less then 1/2 of what he was making.
__________________
Wild Bill shoulda taken more out of his IRA when he could have. . . .
dtbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 06:09 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,685
Other than the quote from Teresa Ghilarducci who is a political hack out to take all the 401K money in exchange for a govenment issued pension, I do not see anywhere this man acted any more than honorable. The story is highlighting a true fact, this scenario is about to be played out more and more often. As Tom Palone shows there is nothing whatsoever wrong in this.

While I realize most people on this forum are far ahead of most people, a realization that this is going to be an increasing problem surely must be evident. Anger towards a person who is doing nothing except hardwork is misplaced. It sounds like he is a pretty darn good worker.
__________________
Running_Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 06:10 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,392
I read the article and I think there is a lot that must be missing. The thing that struck me is that he only is receiving $1200 a month in SS. Even if he took it at 62, that implies he didn't have all that many higher earning years.

My DH took SS at 62 1/2 and he currently is receiving almost $1900 a month. During most of our marriage he made less than $100k a year, going over $100k only for the last 10 years or so. When we got married in the early 90s he was making in the high 40s. That is way less than the numbers thrown around for the guy in the article but DH's SS is way higher. So the guy in the article had to make much less than DH made.

Also, most of the cash that he did have came from selling his house. That implies he had no retirement savings before retiring. The article says that he receives a $600 a month pension from a later job in his career. I have the feeling that when he started his business he thought it would be very successful and he put his efforts into it and that ultimately the business didn't succeed.
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
Wow, pretty brutal comments. It is a fact that a large percentage of people are just lousy with their own finances. We are all built differently. That is why for many, a forced savings such as social security is a blessing. Problem is, it is not enough to live on. I can still shake my head, and say "what were you thinking" and still have compassion at the same time. And be thankful I am one of the lucky ones who knew better.
Well, when the article author is trying to spin a story with an agenda, it makes me more sensitive to firing the anti-pity-party cannons:

Quote:
For middle class households, with incomes ranging from the mid five to low six figures, it's especially grim. When the 2008 financial crisis hit, what little Palome had saved -- $90,000 -- took a beating and he suddenly found himself in need of cash to maintain his lifestyle. With years if not decades of life ahead of him, Palome took the jobs he could find.
This guy had $90,000 in his retirement accounts right before the crash, and it dropped over 50% to $40,000 (at the bottom - we don't know what his balance is today, as they conveniently leave it out). I'm reading the above as the author implying that because of the crash (and only because of the crash) the guy had to go back to work. All because of greedy Wall Street forcing the stock market up so high, and then letting it crash when their house of cards fell apart.

A difference of $55,000 in his account balance would mean a difference of $2,000/year in withdrawals. He wouldn't have to work so hard part-time if all he had to make up was $2,000/year shortfall.

And when you read statements like

Quote:
They, too, are coming up short. Company-paid pensions are mostly a thing of the past, replaced in the last three decades by 401(k) accounts primarily funded and managed by employees.
the author conveniently ignores the statistic I've seen tossed around the forum of only about 50% (max) of workers ever had a pension to begin with in the "golden years" - and that includes any form of a pension, even if it was just $100/month. So when they say "a thing of the past", they're implying that most people used to rely on them for an easy retirement, when I don't believe that was the case.

I agree that many workers are having a difficult time managing 401k plans themselves, but the previous format of pensions requiring 20-30 years of constant service to amount to any significant income wouldn't be the white knight of retirement for current workers. And what did the 50%+ of workers in the 1950s-90s do who retired without pensions? They obviously found a way with or without a 401k...
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
The fact is, life has mostly been hard and unforgiving most of the time men have been on this planet. For ordinary run of the mill people, there were roughly 50-60 golden years after WW2, a shorter time in Japan and Europe.

Everyone likes it when conditions are getting better, nobody much is happy when things are rough. Realities such as this used to be called (and accepted as) the human condition. Today, if things are not tip- top many have a tendency to look for a scapegoat.

A smart person will keep his real feelings under wraps and be careful of what he cheers for.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 06:31 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
dtbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Madison
Posts: 750
Quote:
Originally Posted by MooreBonds View Post
Well, when the article author is trying to spin a story with an agenda, it makes me more sensitive to firing the anti-pity-party cannons:



This guy had $90,000 in his retirement accounts right before the crash, and it dropped over 50% to $40,000 (at the bottom - we don't know what his balance is today, as they conveniently leave it out). I'm reading the above as the author implying that because of the crash (and only because of the crash) the guy had to go back to work. All because of greedy Wall Street forcing the stock market up so high, and then letting it crash when their house of cards fell apart.

A difference of $55,000 in his account balance would mean a difference of $2,000/year in withdrawals. He wouldn't have to work so hard part-time if all he had to make up was $2,000/year shortfall.

And when you read statements like



the author conveniently ignores the statistic I've seen tossed around the forum of only about 50% (max) of workers ever had a pension to begin with in the "golden years" - and that includes any form of a pension, even if it was just $100/month. So when they say "a thing of the past", they're implying that most people used to rely on them for an easy retirement, when I don't believe that was the case.

I agree that many workers are having a difficult time managing 401k plans themselves, but the previous format of pensions requiring 20-30 years of constant service to amount to any significant income wouldn't be the white knight of retirement for current workers. And what did the 50%+ of workers in the 1950s-90s do who retired without pensions? They obviously found a way with or without a 401k...
+1 sir!
__________________
Wild Bill shoulda taken more out of his IRA when he could have. . . .
dtbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,961
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Another example of why I gave up reading Yahoo! Finance articles years ago.
+1...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 07:03 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,647
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
+1...
+1 also
__________________
sheehs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 07:18 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 119
Why all the harsh comments and judgement? Look, the guy messed up. It could happen to anyone, especially if they aren't very good with money. And I admire his fortitude in the face of bad circumstances. He's working hard to make the best of his situation. How can you fault him for that?
__________________
Fred123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 07:21 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
Wow, pretty brutal comments. It is a fact that a large percentage of people are just lousy with their own finances. We are all built differently. That is why for many, a forced savings such as social security is a blessing. Problem is, it is not enough to live on. I can still shake my head, and say "what were you thinking" and still have compassion at the same time. And be thankful I am one of the lucky ones who knew better.
I agree. We can blame the U.S. population in general for not saving more, but the reality is, for whatever reason, many people in this country, even the higher earners, simply don't save a lot and don't plan for retirement. Of the people we know this includes many with college educations and management careers in high tech and finance, and one family that even made millions from a start up but lost it all from too many years of living above their means.
__________________
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 07:45 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
gcgang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 924
The article could be titled, affluent exec who failed to save during his working years, now pays the price.
__________________
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. YB
gcgang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 08:01 PM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 710
Most people in the world do not have the means to save to have a self sustainable retirement. Even if they had the means, I am not convinced they would save. This might explain why pensions in most industrialized countries are handled by the government. I am sure it has something to do with human nature.
__________________
Letj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #18
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 7
The difference between comments here vs. the ones left on the article are pretty entertaining. By the way, save yourself time and don't read the comments on any Yahoo articles. Ever.

Anyway, as others have mentioned, it's difficult to feel sorry for him. Hopefully he was able to enjoy the years where he lived a pretty luxurious lifestyle (given his income and spending).
__________________
"The things you own end up owning you."
tylerdurden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 08:15 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerdurden View Post
by the way, save yourself time and don't read the comments on any yahoo articles. Ever.
fify...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2013, 08:16 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 2,904
Bah, there are loads and loads of coworkers and people in our area who make low 6 figures and have near zero retirement stashed away. They do have the new gold I-phone though.

This isn't just a poor earner problem. If you don't save when you are making $130,000 a year, there really is just no excuse.
__________________

__________________
Fermion is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:33 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.