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Old 09-12-2008, 06:33 AM   #41
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Here we go again...taking SS at 62 vs 65 or later...
Warning Hijack in process:

Have it both ways - take it at 62 spend it all, then at 70 mortgage the house with a low interest and interest only HELOC pay it all back and start all over at the 70 rate. Forget about paying the HELOC off there will just be less equity for others to fight about.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:56 AM   #42
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Yes, but one thing I cannot stand is the arrogance of those who are genetically gifted to be able to stay so physically active. I spent my life staying fit and living right and still have ended up at age 45 with a lower back that has me unable to do those things anymore. I live in a fair amount of pain daily.

I'm coming to accept that new reality, but I just can't stand those who think that their physical prowess as they age is all due to their efforts, and that anybody who has problems has somehow brought it upon themselves.

Their smugness can be rather infuriating.
Absolutely.

At 58, I'm now in better health/shape than I have been since about 30 years ago. I'm tweaking the food and the exercise, and expect to be in better condition at a lower weight in a year or so.

However, I have seen my future while watching my mother age (and her father before her). Bad stuff is showing up on schedule: arthritis (especially in the hands and knees), carpal tunnel problems, ulnar nerve problems.

I can work on and around the developing problems, but after 65 or so I will lose ground rapidly; and there is no exercise or food or vitamin or voodoo that can do a darn thing about it. Modern medicine can help with painkillers and surgery, but by 75 or so I will no longer be able to live alone.

"The good news is: It doesn't kill you. The bad news is: It doesn't kill you."
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:10 AM   #43
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Ouch. Guilty as charged.

In our defense, we didn't have much time to spend it-- either while working or parenting.
Not having much time to spend it probably equates to not receiving much marginal utility from spending it while you are young (and working and parenting).

I'm in the same boat right now with DW and I working and parenting a growing family. We just don't have a lot of free time to spend money on things or experiences right now.
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Old 09-12-2008, 09:27 AM   #44
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I've been watching the aged at my dads retirement community for about 6 years now. Seems like everyone does pretty well up until around 70-71, then one spouse or the other develops a fairly serious/debilitating illness or injury that pretty much keeps them in the house. Many do well until around 75. It doesnt look too good after that for running around town until all hours, spending money and howling at the moon. The place looks like a neutron bomb landed after about 2 in the afternoon.

Some people keep going though. Some travel a bunch, some hit the casinos every day, some still show up to swim laps in the pool and walk on the treadmills.
I'm wondering if people that join retirement communities might be self selecting so that they fit a profile that starts a significant decline in the early 70's. Plenty of examples of people in much latter life that are quite active and not in retirement communities. In many other countries the old, the middle and the young live together and communities of the decrepit are rare. Chicken or the egg?
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:20 AM   #45
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Thats always a possibility, but its an 'active senior community'. Three golf courses, a clubhouse with everything from card games to wood working to health club, indoor and outdoor pools. Most people buy in there to play golf and participate in the 'summer camp for old folks' routine.

What seems to be the primary problem is when one spouse passes on or develops the serious illness injury. There are a lot of couples where one has suffered a stroke, loss of eyesight, a major bone or muscular illness or injury, etc. Not something you'd have likely avoided by eating well or doing pushups, or something that would easily self-select.

The other spouse is then left with the choice of sitting home with their SO or going out on the town alone. Guess which way that usually goes.

I'm not sure the message is "you're going to fall apart when you hit 70, so shoot your wad NOW!". I think its "If you have a choice of living better in your 50's and 60's by spending a little more money, reconsider your probable spending needs in your 80's and 90's and maybe cut your plan age from 120 to 95 or so"
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:23 AM   #46
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like khan, i've got arthritic hands and there ain't nothin' i can do about that. just from gardening yesterday they are hurting still today. i wonder now if i won't be able to live on a sailboat even. i'm not sure i'd trust my hands to climb a mast. so it's just one less option to consider. once i get it out of my head and come to terms with my physical limitations, i'll be able to move on to something else that will make me just as happy. not a big deal. smile. that's life.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:39 AM   #47
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I'm wondering if people that join retirement communities might be self selecting so that they fit a profile that starts a significant decline in the early 70's.
Do you mean "self selecting" in the sense of "not dead"?
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:59 AM   #48
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I lived hard and fast when I was younger and in the military knowing I had a pension at the end. At 35 I cut it back quite a bit. Now I have a hard time spending (although I did buy a new Harley last year).

LBYM is almost like a disease, I find I have to make a conscious effort to spend on myself even though I can afford it. Although my military pension and investments cover all my bills and leave room for discretional spending I am not comfortable with the level of independence so ER is not an option I will explore until I hit 55. I decided several months ago to stop investing my max amount and start monthly fixed contributions and not worry about the rest or how I spend it.

This strategy seems to take some of the guilt from spending and allows me to stick to my investing goals. I also slid ER to the back burner for 10 more years until I reach 55 and then I will reassess my desire to retire.
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:36 PM   #49
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Hmmmm....an interesting topic. Here's some points from my own family: I was able to retire at 41, in large measure, because both parents died and (duh) left me money. Both my parents were frugal, to the point where a trust officer once commented (accurately, I think) that the "denied themselves many pleasures." I don't plan to repeat that mistake. I have little fear of spending my money too soon, as it's entirely locked up in trusts and gets parceled out to me. But that bitching is another (old) thread. Another point: I have living relatives (aunts, uncles) who are now well into their 80s. They are in (relatively) good health, but one of their children remarked to me (I was discussing likely inheritances): "There probably won't be very much left."

the point is to find your balance. On the one hand, it's stupid to scrimp and save, live a long life, and die rich. Even the Bible has words to that effect, about "A man who has no sun, yet works hard. Who will inherit his wealth?" At the other extreme, you shouldn't piss it all away today (unless, perhaps, you have a short life expectancy.) Why not a middle ground? I'd take that backpack trip at 25 (or 35, or 45) rather than wait until retirement. If I can still visit Japan, India, or Peru in my 70s and 80s like dear Auntie did, well and dandy, but tomorrow is given to no man, much less 30 or 40 years from now. Grab life by the ballls and twist! Just my $0.02

Another reason is to spend while the spending's good: future illness, taxes, or just plain problems could make your wealth vanish. Let's see, how about expensive Medicaid care in your last months, followed by taxes or recapture of your remaining assets? Or: high taxes in the unpredictable future? This country will have to raise revenues somehow, and taxing your retirement savings might be just the ticket. On the other hand, I defy Uncle Sam to tax the month I spent in Mexico this past summer, or my Summer 1995 bike ride around northern Europe. Point well made?
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:42 PM   #50
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:29 PM   #51
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FWIW I notice that seniors enjoy RVing all the way through their 70s. RVing is pretty physical and requires some stamina. There is the driving. There is the camp setup with lots of bending and lifting. Sometimes I'm amazed at how much they are able to do, but I see it all the time. There are lots of folks out there in their 70s and late 70s camping and RVing. One spouse may not be able to physically do much but as a couple, they can do it.

At about 82 is when the RVers finally hang it up. You just don't see people doing it past about 82. It's just too hard (especially the driving).

I would consider the RVers to be a self-selected group in that they tend to be populated by the more physically active seniors. So to me this is a useful measure of how long one might expect to be able to enjoy a lot of outside physical activity - or at least a moderate amount, as long as one stays physically active.

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Old 09-12-2008, 01:38 PM   #52
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I think some are relying too much on anecdotal evidence to get a picture of what life in your 70's is like. For half the folks, it means you are either dead or with one foot in the grave.

All the active folks in their 70's have obviously managed to avoid "a premature demise", stay healthy and are able to get out. The bedridden ones or physically limited ones you don't see much because they aren't out much.

In looking at a sample of my 4 grandparents who are (or would be) in their late 70's, 2 didn't make it to 80. A third has severe mobility limitations and can't really hear anything. The fourth grandparent (in the "best shape") just rounded the corner past 80 and is fairly active - ie can walk and cook and clean house and generally do for herself. But she is afraid of her own frailty and doesn't engage in many physical activities due to fear of serious injury (ie - falling and breaking a hip among other things).
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #53
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I've encountered several women in their 70s lately who are still going strong. One is completing a master's degree at the local University. Another was on my trip to Peru and Ecuador; she was about 78,enjoyed the trip very much even though she couldn't do all the hiking many of us enjoyed. Another couple in their 80s was on my trip to Costa Rica; neither was in the best condition. The husband had a hearing aid but he could still hike with the rest of the group; the wife had some dementia but still was enjoying many of the activities.

What I've noticed and admired about all of these people is that they are still using their skills and abilities as best they can, and enjoying life despite any disabilities. I hope I can do the same. It would be sad to have run through all the money before one reaches a ripe old age.
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:50 PM   #54
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I think some are relying too much on anecdotal evidence to get a picture of what life in your 70's is like. For half the folks, it means you are either dead or with one foot in the grave.
I think you are correct.
Life expectancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We see people around us in the 70's and think that is a correct picture.
We don't ask ourselves about the people we don't see and ask about the quality of their lives.
US Census Press Releases
Thirteen percent of the total population, 37.9 million people, was 65 and older in 2007.

Has anyone seen these 38 million people?
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:54 PM   #55
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I think they were all in line in front of me at Costco this morning.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:56 PM   #56
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My 2 cents...(or 2 dollar bill),
When you are young, most folks are money poor, trying to save and raising a family. When you are middle aged...you are saving for a decent retirement and paying off any debt. Then you become old... I don't see how many people can freewheel it when they are young unless they have been blessed with "family money" to begin with. Or have really exceptional jobs/businesses that can pay for that kind of thing...and have the time off to do it. Very few people are in that boat...
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:07 PM   #57
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Yea, the big problem for the young is, people like working us to death. "You have to learn the ropes" "Your billing rate is lower than mine so you can get more work done"

That sort of thing...

And there really isn't any choice at that point because you are just starting off and don't really have a lot of leverage through job experience or collected wealth. Sure, there may have a large diversity of jobs you can choose from but they are almost always in one of two categories

1) Normal hours and really bad pay
2) High hours and decent pay

The only way to get out of this type of cycle as early as possible is to doing something like build a buisness...which also takes a very large time investment at the start.

...or find a significant other to have support you...that's the option I'd prefer
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:25 PM   #58
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Taking the time for travel, lots of time off and cultural interests got me better j*bs with more interesting people. Don't regret that.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:36 PM   #59
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when your young you want to be older, when your older you want to be rich, when your rich you want to be young...
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:24 AM   #60
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This appeared in student paper of USF ("The Oracle", 9/11/08 ) and I thought it applicable: "[Once a person is aware of the finality of death] excuses are abandoned, leisure and happiness are seen as paramount, and a sense of urgency is placed on experiencing and accessing the best life possible when death is kept a consideration. The structure of priorities changes when confronted with looming death. Stress over the next pay raise or keeping the lawn well maintained seems utterly insignificant. This practical relativism makes what is truly valuable in the living world blindingly apparent."

- Pedorrero, who has his own time wasters, but stresses over the amount of the next trust check, and gets letters from the vigilante committee (normal people call it a "home owner's association") annually about his yellow lawn.
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