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Old 09-26-2014, 03:18 AM   #41
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A few thoughts came into my head while watching the trailer,

-Like Unpaintedhuffhines, I was rather put off by the alarmist viewpoint put forward by the gentleman who claimed that, "social security is bankrupt" and "social security got started without anyone thinking about who would pay the bills". That seemed like a a tactic employed solely to get viewers' attention, at the expense of credibility, in my opinion.

-The older gentleman who was blowing balloons, and who said, "Maybe we should just give up the notion that we get to retire - change what you do" had a valid viewpoint, I thought.

-Continuing on from the last point, on seeing the caption, "The Looming Retirement Crisis In America" on the screen, my first thought was that it is only a crisis for people who expect to retire but cannot - and why would anyone expect to retire if it is clear to them that they won't have sufficient resources? Working into your old age, for as long as you are physically and mentally capable is not such a bad thing is it? Isn't it what most people did before our current welfare and benefits system was set up? I have a number of friends who don't expect to be able to fully retire until they are no longer capable of working, and even though they are not all people who particularly love their jobs, they are comfortable with that prospect.

I am not convinced that there actually is "a looming retirement crisis in America".
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:34 AM   #42
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I spent 21 years going through public and college education, living below poverty level through graduate school, finally getting a decent job at age 33. Paid my share of SS, a lot of income taxes and saved a good chunk of my income for retirement. Now I see many who will not get an education even for a good paying blue collar job and pick up day jobs paying them cash. They are not paying income taxes or SS and expect us who have worked hard and paid our dues to pay for their medical expenses and fund a comfortable retirement. I really wonder what is going to be left of this country for the children and grandchildren of the boomer generation.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:42 AM   #43
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I ended up watching it last nite (created the profile "DaddyAndre" with the email of GiggetyGoo@hotmail.com). Overall, not as bad as I thought it would be. But, with the exception of the couple who seemed to be doing everything right, but had a daughter with severe, expensive medical issues, it was hard to really feel much compassion for the rest of them.

The 42 year old cello player who made $23,000 per year needs to face reality. She chose that profession, knowing that it was difficult, if not impossible, to make much money doing it. She needs to pick up a second job, seriously.

As for that 65 year old couple, they mentioned that they bought the house in 2005 at the peak of the market. In some of the dialog, I think they did mention 2013, but I can't remember for sure. Anyway, in one of the outdoor shots, they showed a Grand Cherokee and a Lexus in the driveway. I think the Jeep was the previous generation though, which would make it a 2005-2010. Couldn't tell how new the Lexus was, as they all look kind of alike to me. But, suffice to say, these people weren't exactly buying cheap cars. And, as others have pointed out, that house is pretty nicely decorated! And it apparently ain't no Sears and Roebuck kit home!

I thought it was interesting how the husband mentioned his own parents, laid off aerospace workers, who lived out their golden years in a trailer park in Irvine (or someplace that started with "I"). He said he didn't want to end up like that...the town was okay, but the trailer, no. Well buddy, you gotta do what you gotta do, and a trailer is better than being out on the street!

As for the 24 year old kid, I got a bit confused about that. I thought it said that his parents, grandmother, and himself were all living in a ~540 square foot apartment? Or were the elders just over to play helicopter parent? Anyway, it's good that the kid is trying to bring awareness to his generation. But $150,000 in student debt?! That's on him and his parents. Can't afford it? Don't take out the loans. Or go to a cheaper state school, or even a community college to start off.

Overall though, I wonder how bad this impending retirement crisis really is going to be? I see so many conflicting articles on the internet. One recent one said that the typical early baby boomer (1946-55 roughly) is on track to replace something like 125% of their income in retirement. And even the leading edge of Gen-X (1965-75 more or less) is on track to replace something like 116%. I can't find that article now, though. And of course, you always have to wonder how they get their data, the spin they put on it, etc. What's that old saying... Figures don't lie, but liars figure?
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:57 AM   #44
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Between SS and other available social services nobody is going to starve. Even here in WV, not known for high incomes and generous social services, that is the case. And if someone didn't plan ahead and can't afford to cruise the world in retirement or keep their mcmansion, well, that's a situation of their own making.

And I see it with other people I know and relatives, as we've all discussed in other threads. They think the solution to every impulsive "I wanna..." is charge it or take out a loan and then "Surprise!" something happens that they can't work anymore or "Surprise!" you're 68 years old and a health issue or out of date skills forces retirement.

What did these people think was going to happen?
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The film is good example of what one should not do. They are self made failures.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:08 AM   #45
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I recognize that the filmmaker created this to make a point, so he needed to find some failures out there, but this is like filming a bunch of obese people saying "well, what with all the sugar that is in the sodas nowadays, the $1 menu only has unhealthy items, and the unlimited breadsticks at Olive Garden, it's not really my fault that I'm fat."

Agree with Andre1969 - if you're going to take out $150,000 in student loans (I certainly wouldn't recommend that), how about have a plan to pay it back? It's like these people look around and are amazed at how they ended up where they did. Take some personal responsibility!
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:20 AM   #46
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Do you guys think we need some type of retirement system(option) in this country?
No, while there have been proposals for an enhanced SS that would effectively force people to save more for retirement like SS does that in theory would "solve" the problem because it would be a government imposed solution to their lack of discipline. The problem I have with such a proposal is that it penalizes those who are diligent and save because it forces them into a low-return option like SS. Existing tools are sufficient, the problem is that too many people don't have the discipline to use them properly.

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The 401k is probably not going to work for low income earners and even some low middle income earners.....
I think it can because SS is quite progressive and replaces more income for lower income people so they need less private savings because they have less income to replace from sources other than SS. If they save some, regularly and don't do any of the "stupid" things many people do like raiding their 401k rather than rolling their 401k into an IRA when they change jobs to temporarily bail themselves out of credit card debt because they live above their means, make poor investment decisions, have inadequate diversification/too much company stock in their 401k (think Enron), etc. they should be able to save enough to provide the difference between SS and their living expenses.

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....many Americans just don't seem interested in learning about saving for retirement.
You hit the nail on the head. The questions is whether the solution is a government imposed additional savings plan or more education and letting people be free to make their own decisions and live with the consequences of any poor decisions they make.

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Hopefully this film will motivate some younger people to fund their retirement savings. ...
The people I know in the next/your generation are observing how many in my generation have screwed themselves by not saving for retirement and are saving more so as to not make the same mistake. That and things like automatic enrollment, target retirement date investment options, etc will help as well.

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.....If you consider maxing out a 401k and a Roth through a decade only allows for 230k it just doesn't seem like much cash.
A couple things you are overlooking. One is that this savings would be over a 40+ year career (assuming entering the work force at 22 and retiring at 62) and would be some savings that whole 40 years, increasing savings over the career with raises and promotions and job changes and most importantly, the power of compounding. $100/month over a 40 year career compounded at a modest 5% rate would be $153k and many people should be able to save much more than that.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:29 AM   #47
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I ended up watching it last nite (created the profile "DaddyAndre" with the email of GiggetyGoo@hotmail.com). Overall, not as bad as I thought it would be. But, with the exception of the couple who seemed to be doing everything right, but had a daughter with severe, expensive medical issues, it was hard to really feel much compassion for the rest of them.
Yes, I felt bad for that couple. Unemployment plus medical bills isn't a great position to be in. I think most people who don't save are more like this family. Paycheck to paycheck people who live in normal houses with normal cars. I still believe money can be squeezed out from somewhere, but it's hard to say without knowing their budget.

Quote:
The 42 year old cello player who made $23,000 per year needs to face reality. She chose that profession, knowing that it was difficult, if not impossible, to make much money doing it. She needs to pick up a second job, seriously.
She had a second job teaching lessons, but they didn't say how much it paid. My impression is that the divorce wasn't her idea, but who knows the real story. She's in trouble though. That story made me second guess the music lessons I'm signing my DD up for.

I think the older couple just never realized that age discrimination happens. The husband probably had a long career and it probably didn't occur to him that no one would hire him after 60. Maybe he was just planning on working for a long time. I still don't understand why anyone would sign up for such a large mortgage at their age though (I'm assuming they didn't have the cash in the bank to pay it off in full).
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:36 AM   #48
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Oh, if anybody's curious about the fate of that San Francisco couple, it looks like things turned around for them, although they're not out of the woods yet. I found this blurb on Yahoo News...

"For the Beardsleys, making up for lost ground has been a continuous effort. To get some help with their mortgage, they invited their son John, 46, and his family to move in for about a year while they tried to sell their house. The home eventually did sell in May, and by moving to a more affordable town, the couple were able to cut their monthly housing costs by $3,500, not to mention the hundreds of dollars they are saving on lower utility bills. The last couple of years of strong stock market returns has also given their ransacked retirement accounts a much-needed boost.

They each receive Social Security benefits, but even after downsizing, it isn’t near enough to cover household expenses, Julia says. Now that Bob is working again, they are facing another hurdle before they can begin saving for retirement. After struggling to get by for eight years, they amassed $60,000 worth of credit card debt.
“We’re slowly getting out of this,” Bob says. “The economic upturn has helped a lot and of course, being employed helps, too.”"


https://finance.yahoo.com/news/-brok...165255027.html
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:50 AM   #49
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Oh, another thought I had on that couple that had the child with the congenital heart defect- their health insurance was $1000/mo. Ours is only $450/mo. with great coverage. We are on my husband's plan, but my company offered similar coverage. That's an extra $6600/yr. that we can put away, with no effect on our lifestyle. I wonder if they would have less expensive premiums through the ACA exchange?
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:57 AM   #50
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Agree with Andre1969 - if you're going to take out $150,000 in student loans (I certainly wouldn't recommend that), how about have a plan to pay it back? It's like these people look around and are amazed at how they ended up where they did. Take some personal responsibility!
I think it's as much of a problem of the "I want this, so I'll buy it" mentality, as the $5 latte is the poster child.

People think "MMMmm...that grande double mocha latte sounds good, so I'll buy it". They don't think of the compounding effect of not spending $5 on that coffee every day, just like they don't think of the compounding effect of any other purchase. Their brains live in a vacuum that can't connect the cause/effect of NOT consuming whatever, and instead saving that money to benefit their life in another area.

In the same way, I think the student loans is part of not having a plan to pay it back...but also just having the mindset of "Oh, Prestigious University, I want to go there, it sounds great!". Just like with that latte, they have a total disconnect between the cost of something, and the value/benefit of not consuming it. It's almost like they live in a world of expiring dollars, where if they don't buy that latte or pay the high tuition, the money will vanish, so there's no downfall to consuming it, and no benefit to not consuming it and delaying your gratification.
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:29 AM   #51
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I think it's as much of a problem of the "I want this, so I'll buy it" mentality, as the $5 latte is the poster child.

People think "MMMmm...that grande double mocha latte sounds good, so I'll buy it". They don't think of the compounding effect of not spending $5 on that coffee every day, just like they don't think of the compounding effect of any other purchase. Their brains live in a vacuum that can't connect the cause/effect of NOT consuming whatever, and instead saving that money to benefit their life in another area.

In the same way, I think the student loans is part of not having a plan to pay it back...but also just having the mindset of "Oh, Prestigious University, I want to go there, it sounds great!". Just like with that latte, they have a total disconnect between the cost of something, and the value/benefit of not consuming it. It's almost like they live in a world of expiring dollars, where if they don't buy that latte or pay the high tuition, the money will vanish, so there's no downfall to consuming it, and no benefit to not consuming it and delaying your gratification.
Those are good points. I think the best approach to this is putting the money away before you even see it. Then you are free to buy whatever you want.

Regarding the student loans, the parents need to take some responsibility too. Kids can't get those kinds of loans these days without a cosigner. IMO, that's a terrible thing to facilitate. I suspect the family had a high income (he was in sales) and lived in a HCOL area (NJ) and weren't eligible for a lot of financial aid. Still, lots of upper middle class kids go to state schools and they are starting to get better and better stat-wise, compared to when I went to college. Look how hard it is to get into Michigan, Wisconsin-Madison, UC-Berkeley, UNC, UVA etc. these days.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:21 AM   #52
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From the sound of things, the title of that piece is a misnomer if 'eggs' is supposed to refer to someone's retirement 'nest egg' - seems like most of the people showcased never had any eggs to begin with!
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:25 AM   #53
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We personally know several parents / kids with 6 figure school debts and useless degrees that only made the kids overqualified for Starbucks and the parents short on retirement funds. I think when it happens to so many people nationwide there is something larger going on than one family's bad judgement. One trillion in student loan debt is a huge drag on the whole economy and impacts us all.

I know most regular posters here are money-smart about paying for college, but for other readers, as a public service announcement, I would like to suggest parents of prospective college students look online at the free Payscale reports by college, by major and by tuition ROI, the Job Outlook Handbook and the Forbes articles on financial aid.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:28 AM   #54
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Regarding the student loans, the parents need to take some responsibility too. Kids can't get those kinds of loans these days without a cosigner. IMO, that's a terrible thing to facilitate. I suspect the family had a high income (he was in sales) and lived in a HCOL area (NJ) and weren't eligible for a lot of financial aid. Still, lots of upper middle class kids go to state schools and they are starting to get better and better stat-wise, compared to when I went to college. Look how hard it is to get into Michigan, Wisconsin-Madison, UC-Berkeley, UNC, UVA etc. these days.
Likely correct for undergraduate degrees, but not the case for advanced schooling. Our older daughter's Masters and JD were obtained via student loans in her name only, as was our younger daughter's Master.

Regarding state schools in general - I graduated from a fairly modest state school in the mid-90's, after being a stay at home mom during my 20's, and went on to make well into the six figures over my career. If one distinguishes themselves in both school and work, as I did, then where one graduates from quickly becomes a non issue.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:49 AM   #55
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Bravo gentlemen . . . nicely done!
LOL - I may not be ladylike - but I'm definitely not a gentleman.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:55 AM   #56
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LOL - I may not be ladylike - but I'm definitely not a gentleman.
So sorry. I was rushing to finish the post before I left the house!
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:00 AM   #57
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Yeah, I signed in with the name "hjadskhfkjashfjaskdhkasjhdjaskhdjkashdas" and email address "sskjasfhdahsdfhsakdfhklsjdfhskljdhflksdhf@aol.com ", and it let me in. I watched the first part, found it boring, and skimmed to the end. It was clear they're selling something.
Dammit was wondering who took that one, it wouldn't let me use it.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:02 AM   #58
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I probably won't watch it as it is 80 minutes long and I have MADD (movie attention deficit disorder)

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If we're talking about advocacy pieces, I'm with you. Just give me the transcript and I can skim it in a tenth of the time it takes to watch the thing. If it seems interesting I can read more carefully.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:50 AM   #59
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The comments above raise a question I have: Have we created a society that is to complex for the average person to understand? Other posts discuss most folks not knowing insurance terms, this discussion shows not understand retirement issues, etc.
Is the amount of things that need to be understood beyond the capacity of a lot of folks to absorb and understand?
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:19 PM   #60
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The comments above raise a question I have: Have we created a society that is to complex for the average person to understand? Other posts discuss most folks not knowing insurance terms, this discussion shows not understand retirement issues, etc.
Is the amount of things that need to be understood beyond the capacity of a lot of folks to absorb and understand?
I think that is a good point and a big part of the problem. Another is billions spent on marketing to get people to part with their money and very little on how to save it, except for financial ads which often come with high priced fees.

Used clothes are becoming one of our largest export items. Retirement savings are lacking but people in the U.S, on average, throw away 68 pounds of clothes per year -

The fashionista's dilemma: Cheap clothes - CNN.com
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