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Old 05-31-2010, 10:34 PM   #41
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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.
So that was you talking about me?

Don't worry, DW and I are not despondent about our choice of career or the prospects for our industry at all.

I had to read again the pm I sent you a few months ago, and I stand by what I wrote.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:46 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
So that was you talking about me?

Don't worry, DW and I are not despondent about our choice of career or the prospects for our industry at all.

I had to read again the pm I sent you a few months ago, and I stand by what I wrote.
I went back a day or so ago and read it myself.
Wanted to be sure I was repeating some things you wrote correctly.
With our family ties in that area I'm always interested in possibilties for the future.
Steve
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:47 PM   #43
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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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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.
I'm pretty confident about my financial situation going forward. If I end up in deep trouble, it will have to be so much worse for most others that I will be thanking God for my blessings.

However, like Moemg and BWE, I worry about the future generations. I have a daughter and a 4 y.o. granddaughter. I feel really bad that we have mortgaged their future to pay for our health system and to bail out the irresponsible, unethical, and amoral. I can't do anything for the vast majority out there, but I plan to leave money and knowledge behind when I go (protected to the best of my ability from grabbing gov't fingers) to help them get by. A bit of payback, as it were. Of course, hopefully DD will be pretty old when she gets it. I'm not feeling guilty enough to die young.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:24 PM   #44
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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.
...and don't you just know I'm the crankiest one of all!



Hmmm...think I'll pop a cherry in my mouth....now that's better.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:28 AM   #45
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I'm sort of the designated worry wart. Just ask DW. I DO have to remind myself quite often:

"Most of the things you worry about never happen".

Without getting political, I do see our "system" collapsing around us. While I've made provisions for my family, I can see that there are also plenty of folks who would just as soon take it away from me as work for it like I did. I fear we've reached the tipping point where those who vote themselves "free" (you name it - but health care comes to mind) outnumber those who said "get out of my way, I can do this myself."

Still, I don't sit around thinking about it all the time. Just once in a while - when someone asks the question, heh, heh - I can begin to dwell on the negative. My bad.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:07 AM   #46
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Like many on the forum I am not particularly worried about myself but more so for the younger generations. I fear that we have sold their birthright for a mess of pottage in many respects.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:47 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
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.
This retiree dosen't feel that way at all.

Both financially and in all other "life matters", things for me were much, much worse many years ago.

Life is great...
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:28 AM   #48
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Sometimes I do feel that way, it has always been my nature to prepare for worst case scenarios, yet I know they seldom happen. To fight this tendency I try to take stock of my blessings.

Health, at 53 things are good, same issues I have had since I was 30 all minor.

Wealth, in spite of the recession and market losses I still have 25X of the current salary I would need to pay myself with no work.

Income, I have a part-time job, 4 hours a day, it provides 2/3 of my annual living expenses.

Security, my house is paid off, my vehicle is a 2010 and it is paid off.

Ok I feel better now, (I'll keep repeating these things until it works, hopefully)

However if I listen to or read the news, I can quickly come to the conclusion that there is no good news, no reason to be optimistic and the world as I knew it has changed for the worse and good times will never return.

I was talking with my neighbor yesterday after mowing the lawn. He is a smart guy, a little older than me and he is not retired. He was very down on the condition of the government, the economy and the future in the USA for all of us. He said he didn't see a way out. One of my comments to him as I agree with many or your points but I also believe the people our age in the Depression didn't see a way out either, yet it happened.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:29 AM   #49
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I do not feel any anxiety at all about my financial future (51, retired almost 4 years ago from programming, 100% invested in individual high quality stocks mostly in IRAs, no pension, paid off house).

Dividends (extracted via 72t from my IRAs) are up almost 10%/year (up 39% in 3.6 years) since retirement.
While my health insurance rates are up more, my total expenses are up less, and easily covered now.
If I see any SS some day, great, a nice bonus. If not, I do not count on it anyway.

The various 'crisis of the day' reported by the financial press are irrelevant (to me), each quickly forgotten as soon as the next one hits the headlines. Our economy is by nature cyclical. There will always be some problems ahead. Wasting energy worrying about each one seems pointless.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:59 AM   #50
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Never before in our lives have we been better off than we are now. We have Zero Debt (important to us) a DB pension with COLAs, medical & prescription coverage - although what will happen to that is anyone's guess - the bulk of the income from the job I have now is going to savings/investments to be spent later, (I'm assuming there will be a "later" - that in itself is optimism) we have a few minor medical issues typical of those in their 50s but nothing serious, so life is good.

If the economy crashes hard we'll be in a lot better shape than many others we know. I'm fairly certain that some living high on the hog now will be living in small trailers eating rice and beans. "The Piper Will Be Paid" and we've already paid him so that's behind us.

Things are so bad that the decision I'm agonizing the most over now, given that the weather is forecast to be near perfect tomorrow, is whether to go for a long motorcycle ride or take the boat out on the river. I tell ya, times are tough.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:06 AM   #51
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I'm feeling a whole lot better now than I was 3 years ago. Now I have made it to ER and the first few months are pretty darned good financially with a very rosy future looking forward.

I'm so pleased I held on that extra few years to get plenty of cushion before pulling the plug.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:39 AM   #52
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Sooo - after 16 yrs, I should start taking this ER thing serious? Nah. Katrina was a tad chewy BUT:

Saints finally won a Superbowl after what seems a lifetime AND weight down from 195 to 165, cholesterol police don't seem to have the house staked out anymore(176 down from 400). Did lose it over the weekend - chucked the nuts and twigs - ate BBQ steak, burger and hot dog, baked beans, three cheesemac, etc.

heh heh heh - agile, mobile and hostile - Target 2015 on full auto deduct, small pension and early SS. Not getting any younger(67) plus I hear you can't take it with you.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:09 AM   #53
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I guess I'm optimistic. My salary increases (until the public back lash about fed salaries hits) fairly regularly, my pension accrues (until the public back lash), and I have my health.

I'm doing pretty good, calculators show 100% chance of never running out of money, even without SS factored in.

I worry about getting taxed to death tho. Will all my saving be held against me and I'll get taxed at a higher rate, means tested SS, etc.

I have a ways to retirement (12 to 16 years) so a lot can happen. I guess that's what bothers me. Can't plan for everything...
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:35 PM   #54
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I am very optimistic about my immediate family's financial future. I'm not quite 30 yet, so that colors my thinking some. We have a generous income that covers well more than what we live on, which allows a lot of savings and debt reduction (ie mortgage). We have two beautiful daughters, the eldest about to start Kindergarten. Our house is on track to be paid off in 7 years or so. We will probably be FI and just "padding the nest egg" in about +/- 5 years.

In the meantime, DW keeps making more money each year at a great job. My income has been stable and I have survived many rounds of layoffs. I have professional licenses in two different fields, either of which could lend itself to "hanging out a shingle" if times got really tough, or at the least fairly painlessly switching careers. We are young and healthy and have the rest of life ahead of us.

If the $hit hits the fan in a geopolitical sense, between DW and I we have enough language fluency to relocate to a few different continents and many many different countries. Our financial investments today could provide for a modest existence in many of these far flung places for quite a while.

Why waste time worrying? You only get one go-round at life. Focus efforts on things that you can control, and make plans based on those factors. For those things you cannot control, don't sweat it too much.

Our biggest stressor at the moment is reckless finances and spending decisions among the in-laws. To a certain extent it is "their business", but the second order effects blow back on us. I think the recent economic downturn has been a huge eye opener to some of the family. They are starting to see that the "savers" may have the right idea - storing away some resources during the good times really pays off in flexibility and reduced stress during the down times. My BIL was the latest one to come around. Last night he said "I wish I knew three years ago what I know now" meaning that he wishes he could have saved some of his income while he was making a lot because times are still tough in his industry and jobs are scarce. And he has a wife to support now. Even though no one wants to see people suffer, I do expect that the economic downturn has a silver lining. People will be reminded that economic prosperity and growth do not increase exponentially to the sky and that there will be periods of hard times intermixed with great economic recoveries. Credit does not flow like water and it can't hurt to have some money saved up.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:41 PM   #55
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I basically share FUEGO's views. We are young (mid-20s) and have been able to keep debt (only partial student loans) to a minimum while putting away for the future and still enjoying today.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:58 PM   #56
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I think it's really important to focus on living and enjoying your own life, no matter what is happening in the larger world. Otherwise you are robbing yourself of what could be the good times. Most things on the news are completely out of our control, and the media is just interested in keeping you anxious or mad so you will feel compelled to keep watching.

Then if (when) the cr@p hits the fan such that life is terrible, at least you can look back and be glad you made the best of the good times.

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Old 06-01-2010, 06:07 PM   #57
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My current outlook is shaped quite a bit by my experiences early in life. As many know, in my 20's I was an officer on a Navy submarine. We spent months cruising around hundreds of feet underwater, and we all knew that if we sprang a big enough leak we would die. But if we worried about that possibility constantly, we would go crazy.

So, what we did was take reasonable precautions -- operate according to regular checklists (such as rigging compartments for dive), conduct regular equipment inspections, ensure that people were properly trained to operate the boat and its equipment, and practice what we would do if we really ever did have a flooding casualty. Then, we went about our business without worrying.

If you have taken appropriate precautions and have a plan, you might start to worry when you start taking on water, but you should be busy enough trying to solve the problem that you are not incapacitated.

Translating to the present -- I have taken what I think are reasonable precautions to protect my portfolio in a variety of situations, and I have an action plan for reasonably foreseeable negative events. Worrying will not help me and may hinder rational thinking, so I don't. If and when things head south, I don't plan to be paralyzed by fear.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:13 PM   #58
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Then if (when) the cr@p hits the fan such that life is terrible, at least you can look back and be glad you made the best of the good times.
Oh what's the fun in that? It much better to be able to tell everyone, "See, I told you we were headed for ruin but would you listen? Of course not. You wanted to be happy and enjoy life when I KNEW we were all doomed!!!"
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:24 PM   #59
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Oh what's the fun in that? It much better to be able to tell everyone, "See, I told you we were headed for ruin but would you listen? Of course not. You wanted to be happy and enjoy life when I KNEW we were all doomed!!!"
I know! And you really should have been anxious and depressed all the time instead of living life well!!!!!!

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Old 06-02-2010, 06:28 AM   #60
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I have revised our financial plans downward from when I retired in 2002. The major changes were reduced inflation and reduced portfolio returns. Partly because of that, we now spend half the year in Mexico and sublet our place up north. This has reduced our SWR to match the revised plan.

As far as all the gloom and doom in the news of the world, the lack of English-language newspapers keeps our focus on today and the enjoyment of it.

So we have adapted to the new economic reality and things look OK again. If things turn more positive again, we will be in great shape.
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