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Old 05-31-2010, 04:11 PM   #21
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As to the OP's question: do I feel besieged financially? No. Am I keeping a watchful eye on the current financial markets? Absolutely. Do I feel there are significant financial headwinds? Clearly. Will standards of living for most be declining in the future? I think so.

My bottomline is that I think I'm positioned better than most to weather the storm.
This is almost exactly my take on things as well.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:52 PM   #22
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I'm not worried but I think there are many people that have an unrealistic expectation about the future. I think 1982-now have been unusual in many ways - great stock market performance, improving standard of living, yada yada. I don't think that can continue. If anything I think we will move from a period of growth/expansion into a period of stability.

All my life I was convinced SS would not be there so I did not plan for it. I was told I had to save like mad because that was the only way I would ever be able to retire. Well, I did those things. Now, at the ripe old age of 45 I have a good nest egg and I'm fairly convinced that SS will be available to me.

I wonder though about my peers. Few have much savings, many people my age are up to their eyeballs in debt. I think that is the norm rather than the exception. So I see two possibilities:

A. I'll be among the "haves" and will enjoy life as long as I am not bothered at seeing the meager existence of some of my peers who failed to plan
B. I'll be taxed to death to support my peers who did not plan and I'll spend my time sitting on the beach wondering why I bothered.

In either case there is very little I can do about it and very little reason to fear what lies ahead. I should always be relatively well off and that is what really matters.

The world is actually looking pretty good right now so I see very little cause for worry in the next 50 years. There are problems of course but there is far more opportunity. The chances of a devastating war seem remote, we are finally doing something about the major environmental issues, and growth in China and India are creating tens of millions of new middle-class consumers every year and contributing to global productivity.
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:06 PM   #23
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I think it is fair to say that there is a huge amount of angst out there regarding the future. Almost everyone I know (from working folks to retired folks and youngins) feels like they are going to suffer financially in the future one way or the other. Escalating health care costs, higher taxes, high unemployment, lower wages, low interest rates, fear of inflation or deflation, benefits cuts, low returns on investments, high deficits, relatives requiring significant financial aid, the list goes on and on... Whether those fears are founded or not, they seem to exist nonetheless.

Do you feel like your financial future is at risk? What are your fears and hopes for the future?

I am not looking for a political debate or hysterics, just some honest truth about how people around here feel about the future...

I feel giddy when I think about the future. For now I am in a very vulnerable position. Most of my money comes from my w-2 income. However, in four or five years I'll be in great shape. I believe by then my investment income will be able to fund 33% of my yearly expenses.

I am not tying my investment income to the US. I invest globally. With each new investment purchase I not only diversify my income away from the w-2 salary, but also globalise my income.

I believe that my financial security will be much greater in the future.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:12 PM   #24
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My employer has proposed 6 furlough days for next year, on top of a 2.75% pay cut, on top of the already missed 5% raise I was supposed to get earlier this year. We haven't taken a pay cut in 25 years (before my time) so needless to say, moral is at an all time low around my job. To make matters worse, my wife and I both work at the same place so its a double whammy.

I will soon have to break out the spreadsheets and see how much this is going to affect our retirement plans, but I still enjoy my job so although I suspect we will have to work an extra year, I don't feel besieged at all. Just disappointed.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:27 PM   #25
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Er'd December 2002. Since then NW is up 39% and I've been living from investments since SS doesn't start for another 2 years ( and I do intend to take it at 62). So to answer OP, no, I do not feel financially besieged at all.

Considering that we have had the worst financial environment since the Great Depression in the last couple of years it has demonstrated to my complete satisfaction that a well diversified investment portfolio and a reasonable LBYM withdrawal rate is as good as it gets on the financial comfort department. (Unless I win the lottery ... hum maybe I ought to buy a ticket once in a while...)
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:35 PM   #26
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Just to be clear. I am happy with our current financial situation. Our income and net worth have never been higher and we made a lot of money in the market over the past year. I don't know whether the future will be better or worse (hoping for better). But some things do worry me (I am a worrywart after all). I guess we'll have to roll with the punches and make the best of whatever comes our way. As others mentioned, if anything, I think that we will be better positioned to deal with the problem than a lot of people.

I am a bit surprised at the number of optimistic folks, especially given the somber and belligerent mood on this board over the past month or so.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:49 PM   #27
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I'm with LOL, I feel great about the future. I'm also with W2R, I don't like saying that out loud for fear of jinxing things.

We are about 5 years out from our expected FIRE date and I'm really happy with how we're doing financially. I expect the economy to be mediocre at best for quite a while, but I don't expect a lot of dire personal ramifications from that, and I expect things to recover eventually. I do worry about how it will affect other people who are not so lucky/prepared.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:01 PM   #28
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I feel confident about the future.

There are a lot of things which could adversely affect our financial future - higher taxes, higher education costs, higher health care costs, inflation, deflation and probably a few unforseen things that I have not considered. Some of them will happen.

But even though I am only 44, I have already experienced:

1. the 1987 sharemarket crash - which in my home country was followed by the worst recession since the 1930s

2. the Asian crisis of 1997 - property prices fell by 60% over a 7 year period

3. the dot-com crash of 2000 - actually not that big a deal here

4. the SARS epidemic - which was actually quite scary

5. the credit crisis of 2007-8 - which locally at least was not anywhere near as bad as #1 or #2

And I survived economically and actually did quite well out of the recoveries which followed. Having lived through and successfully dealt with difficult economic conditions several times gives me confidence in my ability to get through whatever the future may throw at me. No doubt, these will prove to be famous last words but I am an optimist.

However, I worry about current and future retirees in general - there are far too many people expecting far too much from a future that they have not properly provided for (either by choice or by circumstances). That said, I worry about current and future taxpayers even more.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:25 PM   #29
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I am more worried about my daughter and my SO's children . It seems like that generation is really being hit hard with the job layoffs and the dropping home values . I was out to dinner with several friends recently and we all echoed the same sentiments about our children.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:34 PM   #30
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I am a bit surprised at the number of optimistic folks, especially given the somber and belligerent mood on this board over the past month or so.
Yeah, we like to bitch and complain a lot, but we're really a pretty jolly bunch
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:38 PM   #31
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I work in research at a university. We have a constant stream of student workers. It is sad to watch them graduate over the last few years with very few getting jobs recently. Too many go back and live with Mom and Dad. When I graduated from the same university in the same field (engineering) 20 years ago, everyone got jobs, it was a matter of how good the offer was. Even in a bad year it usually just meant you had to wait 6 months to start.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post
I feel giddy when I think about the future. For now I am in a very vulnerable position. Most of my money comes from my w-2 income. However, in four or five years I'll be in great shape. I believe by then my investment income will be able to fund 33% of my yearly expenses.

I am not tying my investment income to the US. I invest globally. With each new investment purchase I not only diversify my income away from the w-2 salary, but also globalise my income.

I believe that my financial security will be much greater in the future.

It goes something like this:

Quote:
In an ancient kingdom there once was a Thief who was caught and brought before the King. The King was handing out death sentences right and left. The Thief, thinking quickly said, "If your majesty will but give me a year, I will teach your favorite horse to talk".

Perhaps the King believed, perhaps He was amused, perhaps He tired of handing out death - He figured why not? and gave him the year.

The Thief stayed at the stable and every morning he'd get up and go to the king's favorite horse and say "MaMa." At first, the stable boys would watch, stunned, but soon they laughed. One said to the boldest, "Ask him what he expects?" and burst out laughing again. He went to the Thief and asked him, "Why do you do this?". The Thief answered, "I have a year. During that time, the king may die - or I may die - or, who knows? the horse may talk
.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:53 PM   #33
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I think it is fair to say that there is a huge amount of angst out there regarding the future. Almost everyone I know (from working folks to retired folks and youngins) feels like they are going to suffer financially in the future one way or the other. Escalating health care costs, higher taxes, high unemployment, lower wages, low interest rates, fear of inflation or deflation, benefits cuts, low returns on investments, high deficits, relatives requiring significant financial aid, the list goes on and on... Whether those fears are founded or not, they seem to exist nonetheless.

Do you feel like your financial future is at risk? What are your fears and hopes for the future?

I am not looking for a political debate or hysterics, just some honest truth about how people around here feel about the future...

there have been some band-aids applied, but the structural problems remain.

with unemployment at 20%...47% of public paying zero in income tax....record numbers on welfare....housing in freefall....banks lying about their balance sheets...states, cities, counties, school districts suffering...another unjust war being pushed....civil liberties under attack via terrorism hype...social security is now in the red....

dark days are here, and will continue to be -

the answer? inflate the money supply...which will further devalue the dollar versus what we purchase.

i dont see mad max in the near future. i see high inflation.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:08 PM   #34
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I do worry and I hate that seeing the color of the numbers for the markets, green or red, affects my mood a little. Like some of the previous posters I worry about the future of the next generation (and the present for them in terms of jobs). I wish I could remember that from adversity comes strength and innovation.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:36 PM   #35
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dark days are here, and will continue to be -
Hey there. Life is a beautiful thing. Yeah, we all worry 'bout stuff. But know what? Life is too short. Catch a wave, hug a kitten, drink a brewski, listen to beautiful music, look at the stars, love life.

If the dark days are comin', so be it. Personally, I don't think it's happening, but what do I know? If it's true, I'd like to get an excellent bottle of champagne and sit on my rooftop with my darling hubby and observe. Watching the storm coming but relishing every moment I can before it gets here.

Cheers,

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Old 05-31-2010, 08:41 PM   #36
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Hey there. Life is a beautiful thing. Yeah, we all worry 'bout stuff. But know what? Life is too short. Catch a wave, hug a kitten, drink a brewski, listen to beautiful music, look at the stars, love life.

If the dark days are comin', so be it. Personally, I don't think it's happening, but what do I know? If it's true, I'd like to get an excellent bottle of champagne and sit on my rooftop with my darling hubby and observe. Watching the storm coming but relishing every moment I can before it gets here.

Cheers,

Purron
i personally have skated through it - so i've been able to sniff the flowers.

my heart hurts for the millions that are suffering. i hope they take your advice
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:56 PM   #37
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I am a bit surprised at the number of optimistic folks, especially given the somber and belligerent mood on this board over the past month or so.
Me too - it's amazing that so many people feel rosy about the future. Though not besieged, I do have concerns about the future albeit it isn't much I can do other than continuing updating my skills, saving, and diversifying out portfolio. In the interim, all what can do is to enjoy the present and do not worry about what tomorrow brings as there's so little we can do something about it.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #38
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i personally have skated through it - so i've been able to sniff the flowers.

my heart hurts for the millions that are suffering. i hope they take your advice
There are many enjoyable things that are free, e.g, walking in the parks, watching the stars above, listening to chirping of birds, sound of leaves from gentle breeze and rain drops, etc.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:17 PM   #39
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I work in research at a university. We have a constant stream of student workers. It is sad to watch them graduate over the last few years with very few getting jobs recently. Too many go back and live with Mom and Dad. When I graduated from the same university in the same field (engineering) 20 years ago, everyone got jobs, it was a matter of how good the offer was. Even in a bad year it usually just meant you had to wait 6 months to start.
It was true that many engineering graduates had received multiple offers before they graduated in the past. Recently, it may take 3 to 4 months after graduation to receive an offer. There are always exceptions. My daughter's friend had 2 offers before graduation, but he was a straight A student. We had two summer interns graduated 6 months ago finally land a job recently. Companies are starting to hire more workers but at a cautious pace.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:32 PM   #40
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Firedreamer,
Don't you cop out on me. You are not allowed to get despondent.
I was thinking the other day how you may be the guy with that great tip to help my son move into the work force after he gets his degree. I was showing him & the DW Internet pictures and reading about the work complex you mentioned you are associated with. I'm sure you know how it is to be in school and wonder what tha heck your going to do when you get out.
Steve

PS. I often use the chem major folks on bogleheads and this forum to encourage my son.
So if you have a strange feeling someone is talking about you, it might be me.
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