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Old 10-02-2015, 04:49 PM   #41
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Wow, I guess I was lucky. Nobody took me aside and told me specifically about pensions, but gosh, since my parents were 40 when I was born I ended up hanging around old people a lot. All their friends were old people, and we kids were supposed to be seen and not heard. That meant a lot of sitting there listening to boring conversations of ancient people when I really would have rather been playing. I think I knew how desirable a pension was as part of a compensation package, from the time I was about 6 years old. I'm serious! But I suppose that if I hadn't heard that over and over in the "boring" conversations of older people, I wouldn't have known it.
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Old 10-02-2015, 04:53 PM   #42
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Lol, first thing my aunt told me when we migrated to the US was get a government job. She actually suggested I go into law enforcement. I followed the advice on the government job, not so much on the law enforcement part. Pension will pave the way for ER at 55 even if I hadn't started seriously saving until now (at 30).

Well at least you gave it some cognitive thought, Hnzw.... I just stumbled into mine as it wasn't the reason I got into my field. In my youthful days I would often think how much more take home pay I would have if they didn't take all that money out of my check to fund my pension. After about age 35 or so, I woke up....


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Old 10-02-2015, 05:12 PM   #43
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Wow, I guess I was lucky. Nobody took me aside and told me specifically about pensions, but gosh, since my parents were 40 when I was born I ended up hanging around old people a lot. All their friends were old people, and we kids were supposed to be seen and not heard. That meant a lot of sitting there listening to boring conversations of ancient people when I really would have rather been playing. I think I knew how desirable a pension was as part of a compensation package, from the time I was about 6 years old. I'm serious! But I suppose that if I hadn't heard that over and over in the "boring" conversations of older people, I wouldn't have known it.

I did everything backwards....When I should have been saving I didn't... And now when I don't need to, I save better than I ever have. Im afraid it is going to get worse as I get older. ....I have developed a nasty habit of enjoying saving money more than I do spending it!


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Old 10-02-2015, 05:17 PM   #44
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I did everything backwards....When I should have been saving I didn't... And now when I don't need to, I save better than I ever have. Im afraid it is going to get worse as I get older. ....I have developed a nasty habit of enjoying saving money more than I do spending it!
It's fun to watch your nestegg grow, isn't it! Besides, maybe someday something big will come up that you want to spend it on. For me recently it was so nice to be able to afford my Dream House, even though I suppose I would have been OK back at the old house too. All my life I wanted a house like this, and now I have one.
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How Much Money Do You Need To Be In The Upper 25%
Old 10-02-2015, 05:23 PM   #45
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How Much Money Do You Need To Be In The Upper 25%

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It's fun to watch your nestegg grow, isn't it! Besides, maybe someday something big will come up that you want to spend it on. For me recently it was so nice to be able to afford my Dream House, even though I suppose I would have been OK back at the old house too. All my life I wanted a house like this, and now I have one.

Im not falling for it W2R.... You bought an asset, not junk, and that house is still on your asset ledger you look at monthly and admire! .... Maybe I should be looking to buy in a more upscale neighborhood. Tomorrow is "fall cleanup day" so I put out all my accumulated junk to get rid of.... The trash man wont even have to lift a finger....Its all gone already 30 minutes after I put it to the curb.


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Old 10-02-2015, 05:50 PM   #46
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... now when I don't need to, I save better than I ever have. Im afraid it is going to get worse as I get older. ....I have developed a nasty habit of enjoying saving money more than I do spending it!
I would not worry about this yet.

I have a few years on you, and I am spending more than I thought I would.

It's what happened when you realized that you might have fewer years left than money. I came to this realization when I got a new lease on life (but have big surgery scars to remind myself daily of what I went through), and even sat down and figured out our SS benefits.

Spend, spend, spend...
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:51 PM   #47
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You must be having a bad day, but I hope not.

I doubt most people who have read Scott Burns over the years would lump him among (the many) financial writers who put out 'typical journalistic meaningless babble' - but suit yourself. ....
Congrats! Two logical fallacies in the first two sentences. First, an ad-hominem attack on me (my day is going just fine, thank you!), then an 'appeal to authority' regarding Mr Burns.

I know Scott Burns is well respected, but I still am of the opinion (and there is factual info to back it up), that this article is pointless babble.


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I respect Scott Burns and thought it was mildly interesting, thought others might as well. I gather you don't, no problem, just ignore the thread.
That's fine. I ignore plenty of threads that I have no interest in. But I am interested in 'spin'/distortions and how data is presented, so I was (and am) interested in pointing out how pointless these numbers are.

Again - What value do you see in these numbers?

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Old 10-02-2015, 06:04 PM   #48
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Congrats! Two logical fallacies in the first two sentences. First, an ad-hominem attack on me (my day is going just fine, thank you!), then an 'appeal to authority' regarding Mr Burns.

I know Scott Burns is well respected, but I still am of the opinion (and there is factual info to back it up), that this article is pointless babble.

That's fine. I ignore plenty of threads that I have no interest in. But I am interested in 'spin'/distortions and how data is presented, so I was (and am) interested in pointing out how pointless these numbers are.

Again - What value do you see in these numbers?
I answered in that same post. Let's just drop it, you didn't like the article, got it...
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:13 PM   #49
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Let's just drop it.
A very fine course of action endorsed by your moderators.
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:13 PM   #50
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I would not worry about this yet.

I have a few years on you, and I am spending more than I thought I would.

It's what happened when you realized that you might have fewer years left than money. I came to this realization when I got a new lease on life (but have big surgery scars to remind myself daily of what I went through), and even sat down and figured out our SS benefits.

Spend, spend, spend...

I definitely need to remember this as anything can happen as you certainly know from experience. Im not able to throw caution into the wind yet and buy a nice mountain home. But heck, if you ever put it on VRBO I can force myself to rent it for a week!


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Old 10-02-2015, 06:26 PM   #51
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Im not falling for it W2R.... You bought an asset, not junk, and that house is still on your asset ledger you look at monthly and admire! .... Maybe I should be looking to buy in a more upscale neighborhood. Tomorrow is "fall cleanup day" so I put out all my accumulated junk to get rid of.... The trash man wont even have to lift a finger....Its all gone already 30 minutes after I put it to the curb.
It's all junk, once we head for those Pearly Gates (or whatever awaits us).

I think of it as a place to live, and hope to stay here for the duration. That's why the sudden up-tick of home values in my neighborhood right after I bought it, isn't something I think about too much. I am in a more upscale neighborhood, and love it. Even better, Frank is a great next door neighbor. My new neighborhood is also very walkable, or will be, once I get these doggone cataracts removed and once my broken toe is completely healed. The toe is almost finished healing. The idea is that if I can manage to walk more, I'll live longer and be healthier. Or so they say.

If I have to move for some unknown reason, anything I'll get out of it is gravy as far as I'm concerned.

Good idea to get rid of all your accumulated junk! If you do decide to move, you'll be so glad you did.
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Old 10-02-2015, 08:05 PM   #52
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It's all junk, once we head for those Pearly Gates (or whatever awaits us).

I think of it as a place to live, and hope to stay here for the duration. That's why the sudden up-tick of home values in my neighborhood right after I bought it, isn't something I think about too much. I am in a more upscale neighborhood, and love it. Even better, Frank is a great next door neighbor. My new neighborhood is also very walkable, or will be, once I get these doggone cataracts removed and once my broken toe is completely healed. The toe is almost finished healing. The idea is that if I can manage to walk more, I'll live longer and be healthier. Or so they say.

If I have to move for some unknown reason, anything I'll get out of it is gravy as far as I'm concerned.

Good idea to get rid of all your accumulated junk! If you do decide to move, you'll be so glad you did.

I know one persons trash is another persons treasure, but still it kind of sad people need this stuff. I had more valuable stuff 15 foot away in my garage that was wide open, but they wouldnt consider stealing any of it. Maybe they are being resourceful and making some money on it. The things were in good shape....I decided to put a small air hockey table out there a few hours ago before I left to visit GF. When I just came back, it was gone too. Practically a bedroom full of stuff put out on end of my driveway and completely gone before sundown!


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Old 10-02-2015, 08:17 PM   #53
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Let's just drop it.
A very fine course of action endorsed by your moderators.
Agree. - ERD50
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:50 PM   #54
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I wish someone had shown me the net present value of a government pension when I was 21. I think when looking at job offers I was often comparing apples to oranges without understanding the true value of those kinds of pensions.
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Well at least you gave it some cognitive thought, Hnzw....
I actually got into government a bit later (23) as I had to wait a few years for a civil service exam to open for either an entry level job or something in my field. I was recently reviewing retirement plan documents and apparently, if I had gone into law enforcement as my aunt recommended (they're constantly hiring police), I could have retired with full pension at age 45. Still, I don't regret my choice. I don't think I'm cut out to be police. The nicest thing about pensions is you can start at an entry level job paying $35K per year (making 6-10% contributions of just $2-3.5K) and if you eventually promote to $100+K, pension is calculated based on the $100K.

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I think at least some retired couples could live a $75K+ fulltime working couple lifestyle for less, with having 80+ hours plus commute time freed up for more DIY and price shopping, and expense reviews, like renegotiating the cable bill and comparing cell phone plans. We've saved a lot on food alone just by having more time to shop and cook.
One big savings - moving to a LCOL area. According to bankrate, $75K in LA Metro, CA is equivalent to $50K in Orlando Metro, FL. Much easier to relocate when you're not tied to a job. Of course, if mortgage is already paid off, that frees up a lot of money for spending.

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What value do you see in these numbers?
Maybe not for those who frequent this forum but for the average person, I think it paints a pretty realistic picture for how much you need to accumulate to in order to retire. I reckon there are plenty of folks earning $75K or higher who have no idea how large their nest egg needs to be to support the lifestyle they're accustomed to (and perhaps even fund all those vacations they plan to go on). The chart shows how much is needed if you retire in 2015 (as well as some historical data) for 3 different scenarios:
* not touching the principal
* at 4% withdrawal rate
* at 4% withdrawal rate with SS covering 40% of income

For most folks, the recommendation is probably true: "Keep your day job."

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I came to this realization when I got a new lease on life (but have big surgery scars to remind myself daily of what I went through), and even sat down and figured out our SS benefits.

Spend, spend, spend...
We're nowhere near FI so dad's near brush with death at the ripe old age of 60 (and resulting $80K medical bill that we're still waiting for reimbursement on) has actually put me in save, save, save mode. Part of the cash we used was supposed to be for house down payment and this event has made me greatly appreciate the value of having liquidity. And health insurance. Never going overseas again without getting travel insurance with primary medical.
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Old 10-06-2015, 01:45 PM   #55
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I'm not sure how the Wealthometer link, based on the FRB: Survey of Consumer Finances which includes households of all ages, would pertain to families of retirement age. That database includes a lot of folks from ages 21 (or whatever the lower age threshold is) through retirement age who have understandably not yet amassed a net worth adequate to retire. Wouldn't % of retirement age households net worth be a better measure?
What is retirement age?

I find The New Wealth Scoreboard to be a useful metric if you want to see how you "measure up" to everyone else. It's broken down by age group.

In terms of wealth (not income), the table says the median net worth of the top 25% of households is $32k to $712k (depending on age). I think it's interesting that you could be in the top 25% in terms of wealth, but say your net worth is entirely in your portfolio, and is worth $712k, and you allow yourself a generous 5% withdrawal rate, you're looking at about $35k/year, which is less than the overall median household income (somewhere around $50k/year IIRC). In other words, top 25% in terms of wealth does not equal top 25% in terms of income.

This also happens to be put together by Scott Burns, based on Survey of Consumer Finances data.
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:48 PM   #56
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What is retirement age?

I find The New Wealth Scoreboard to be a useful metric if you want to see how you "measure up" to everyone else. It's broken down by age group...
For the age group of 60-69, the top 10% has a median networth of $1955K. If that is per person, then a 10% couple has $4M. I would have thought that with $4M, a couple would have a higher standing than that.

If you grab 10 random geezer couples on the street, 1 out of 10 has $4M. Lots of money floating around.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:08 PM   #57
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The poor fellow - did he bump into things and bang his head on door lintels?

Heck, I only grew 7 inches between 12 and 15, and it felt like my arms and legs didn't quite know where they ended. I was always banging into stuff until I got used to being my new size.

And yeah, I remember being about 13, discovering a pan of cookies my sister had baked, "trying one," and the next thing I knew, they were all gone...and I still wanted dinner.

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My brother grew 13" in 8th grade, back in the mid-1950's.

Gosh, it must be amazing to be able to eat like that.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:19 PM   #58
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For the age group of 60-69, the top 10% has a median networth of $1955K. If that is per person, then a 10% couple has $4M. I would have thought that with $4M, a couple would have a higher standing than that.

If you grab 10 random geezer couples on the street, 1 out of 10 has $4M. Lots of money floating around.
Immediately above the table it says, "These figures show the median net worth (assets less debts) of households in each group." (Emphasis mine.) So think that suggests 1 in 10 random geezer couples has about $2mm.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:25 PM   #59
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For the age group of 60-69, the top 10% has a median networth of $1955K. If that is per person, then a 10% couple has $4M. I would have thought that with $4M, a couple would have a higher standing than that.

If you grab 10 random geezer couples on the street, 1 out of 10 has $4M. Lots of money floating around.
Note, I believe the net worth includes home equity and assets such as cars, too so not just money.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:46 PM   #60
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Immediately above the table it says, "These figures show the median net worth (assets less debts) of households in each group." (Emphasis mine.) So think that suggests 1 in 10 random geezer couples has about $2mm.
OK, households, not individuals. I feel much better now, thanks.

I was about to say that from now on whenever I go to Costco or Walmart I would not look at fellow geezers the same, because you never know the kind of money they have.

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Note, I believe the net worth includes home equity and assets such as cars, too so not just money.
So, if 1 in 10 geezer couples has a $1M home and $3M stash, that's still a lot of multimillionaire geezers. No?
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