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Old 02-07-2011, 10:38 AM   #41
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At age 64 I definitely find myself losing interest in the latest technology/toys. It appears my "Wow, that's neat!" gene is beginning to atrophy. I have absolutely no interest in 3D TV for example, nor do I want to Twitter with all the twits out there or get in anyone's face on Facebook.
Yeah, but what about those cool new RVs?

I'm not sure I ever had an interest in the latest tech, but I sure appreciate you guys working out all the bugs for me and then dropping the prices by a couple orders of magnitude.

For example I've always known that it's a good idea to work out, but for one reason or another it hasn't happened as regularly as it should. However for the last six months, listening to an iPod while working out has made a huge difference... so has not having to listen to live radio anymore. I think it's novelty of not having to listen to the entire CD to get the one or two good songs, or not having to listen to a whole slug of commercials in the middle of a set of pushups. This epiphany occurred... what... a decade after the iPod came out?

In a few more years I anticipate being similarly entranced by a Kindle XVII, especially if they replicate my local library's latest bestseller "hot pick lists" for free and without having to actually haul myself out of the recliner to pick them up from the library.

Way out into the next decade I can see similar lifestyle improvements from the tech behind Kinect.

I'm expecting you "canary in the coal mine" Boomers ahead of me to push similar enhancements to entertainment & mobility technology before I become bored with being immobilized...
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:39 AM   #42
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Now if they come up with a teleporter, I'll probably go with that over airline travel, even if it's a little more expensive. But other than that, I suspect the big tech changes will just fit into normal expenditures by the time I get to them.
I think that is the key . . . technological innovation that really makes an impact on day-to-day life. There hasn't been that much lately, and who knows if there will be in the future. Things are pretty comfortable from the perspective of the average American. Most of the "got to have it" innovations of the recent past fall in the category of "can live without it." Now compare everything we've developed in the past 50 years with indoor plumbing, refrigeration, central heating, electric lighting, the automobile and the air plane. Those were innovations worth paying dearly for. A phone that plays games and can surf the web . . . Eh!

The one exception is medical technology. Everything from hip replacements to statins has had a huge impact on people's lives. In these kinds of conversations we tend to say "except for medical expenditures . . . " But maybe medical innovations are the things that are really driving our standard of living increases these days.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:55 AM   #43
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I wonder if this is why I haven't bought an iPhone. Now that it is available on Verizon (my carrier), that issue is coming up again. At last I can afford one, and this is the toy that the world SAYS I am supposed to want. I am still on the fence, though, unsure of what to do.


Just get it, you'll love it. DW had antique version 1 and it really comes in handy while traveling. Now she has version 4, big improvement, Skypes with grandchildren from anywhere, got the full GPS package and no longer need the Garmin, and much, much more.

Heck, there's even a ER Forum App, doesn't get any better than that.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:24 AM   #44
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I wonder if this is why I haven't bought an iPhone. Now that it is available on Verizon (my carrier), that issue is coming up again. At last I can afford one, and this is the toy that the world SAYS I am supposed to want. I am still on the fence, though, unsure of what to do.
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Just get it, you'll love it. DW had antique version 1 and it really comes in handy while traveling. Now she has version 4, big improvement, Skypes with grandchildren from anywhere, got the full GPS package and no longer need the Garmin, and much, much more.

Heck, there's even a ER Forum App, doesn't get any better than that.
DW is getting an iPhone now that it is out on Verizon. I got a Motorola Droid 2 Global. It has two features I like: 1) I can turn on the tethering package for $.75/day and it becomes a WIFI hotspot (same on the iPhone I think); and 2) It has a dual SIM and will work in Europe so I can check email, use Google Maps, etc. I don't know that the Verizon iPhone is global -- it may be CDMA only??
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:54 AM   #45
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The one exception is medical technology. Everything from hip replacements to statins has had a huge impact on people's lives. In these kinds of conversations we tend to say "except for medical expenditures . . . " But maybe medical innovations are the things that are really driving our standard of living increases these days.
Great insight!
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:16 PM   #46
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So, can you 'tough out' losing half the portfolio in the first 5 years when you want it to last 40-50 years? Not so easy.-ERD50

Many of us who were close to 100% equities did have our portfolios drop to 50% (or close to it) and yes it was tough to watch. This major drop also occurred about 2 1/2 years after retiring. All selling of equities ceased. Portfolio is now back up to about 95% of the peak. Only withdrawals were from the cash side and only enough to pay taxes. If the market continues to be favorable, I will probably take some capital gains while the tax rates are favorable and replenish the cash account.

Being flexible with your withdrawal requirement helps. Also, it doesn't hurt to have both a military and federal pension for the basic needs.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #47
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Putting a camera on an IPad seems kind of silly. Why would anyone haul around something the size of a book to take pictures? That's what phones are for .

Voice recognition doesn't work with a strong Brooklyn akcent. Fergeddaboudit.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:25 PM   #48
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Putting a camera on an IPad seems kind of silly. Why would anyone haul around something the size od a book to take pictures? That's what phones are for .
One word - Skype. The Motorola has two -- one faces the user and one faces the other way (for pictures). I agree that the camera wouldn't be much use. But a pad seems like the idea platform for video phone calls.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:46 PM   #49
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This is not a financial question. Over a half century what affects the ability of a portfolio to continue to provide real positive return indefinitely is not the initial withdrawal rate. Instead, it is technology, global politics, war, mother nature, taxes, economic collapse. Regardless of the beginning withdrawal rate, opportunities will present themselves that will allow for major portfolio calamity or enrichment. How the portfolio responds to these situations is the critical factor.

A low initial withdrawal rate - less that 2% - seems important not so much because it is more sustainable but because it points to a buffer or reserve that can withstand substantial loss but still take advantage of unexpected opportunity.
In total agreement with your entire post.

While we expect the pensions and future SS benefits to cover all "needs" and "wants", the portfolio will be used as a back-up to hopefully buffer the unforeseeable.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:04 PM   #50
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Here's a first person report directly from the front lines:

At age 64 I definitely find myself losing interest in the latest technology/toys. It appears my "Wow, that's neat!" gene is beginning to atrophy. I have absolutely no interest in 3D TV for example, nor do I want to Twitter with all the twits out there or get in anyone's face on Facebook.

Oh yeah, one more thing...

Recently one of my brothers was upgrading his computer so he took his old one over to my parents house (father 96; mom 93). Dad - "What is that thing?" Brother - "It's a computer so you and mom can email the family members and go on the internet." Dad - "I have gone all through life without a computer and I don't want one now. Get that d@mn thing out of my house and don't every bring it back!" Technology and old dogs often don't get along well together.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:37 PM   #51
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How long will my retirement savings last?

The attached chart in the Sydney Morning Herald shows spend rates vs earn rate and how long it should last
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File Type: jpg How long will my savings last.jpg (68.8 KB, 18 views)
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:42 PM   #52
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One can calculate the present value of a perpetuity, but it's only as good as the input; i.e. GIGO...

As for technology, I've never had the spendcome to be an early adopter, but I do like my gadgets!
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:47 PM   #53
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You need an IPad, which is essentially an ITouch or non-talking IPhone for seniors . DW loves it and it has replaced her desktop (now defunct anyway) and laptop. Only problem for me is that I HATE typing on a a screen. You can buy external keyboards, but no one wnats to carry those around.
The iPad is tempting, but I know I don't need it, so I stay with my iTouch for now because I know the Galaxy and other tablets will drive the price down and features up in that market segment. Right now the Galaxy is $399 (quite a bit less than an iPad) but a 2 yr service contract is required. But a wi-fi only version has to come eventually, that's when they'll probably get me to buy. It's not the price of the devices that bug me, it's the monthly fees and contracts. Wi-fi is good enough for me and I suspect it will only become more available, we'll see. YMMV
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:52 PM   #54
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Thanks for all the earlier replies on unlimited duration SWR. I have run FIRECALC for all sorts of scenarios, though I had never run really short durations, those results were alarming and enlightening but understandable. I was thinking under 3% was pretty safe in perpetuity (40-50 years in practical terms) and hope to be under 2.5% myself. Thanks...
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:54 PM   #55
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I didn't read all the posts...

But if fixed investments were used, there is a basic calculation for a perpetuity. But there are no perpetual bonds to back it... except those issued by the British govt way back.


IMO - You could do it by using a portfolio of stocks and bonds if you were willing to do periodic resets and possibly lower your payout (if needed).
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #56
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Don't you people ever watch TV? In a few years you won't need a pad or a keyboard. You'll have glasses (or contacts, or retinal implants), and use gloves with Wii technology to detect the finger and hand movements on your virtual keyboard. Only until voice commands become reliable, though.
A keyboard, how quaint.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:17 PM   #57
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How long will my retirement savings last?

The attached chart in the Sydney Morning Herald shows spend rates vs earn rate and how long it should last
Interesting that they don't show 3 or 4%. Obviously intended for the lumpen proletariat.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:49 PM   #58
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You need an IPad, which is essentially an ITouch or non-talking IPhone for seniors . DW loves it and it has replaced her desktop (now defunct anyway) and laptop. Only problem for me is that I HATE typing on a a screen. You can buy external keyboards, but no one wnats to carry those around.
You sound like me. I thought this was interesting,Inspiron

it looks like the right idea, but I'll wait for them to work the bugs out.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #59
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Some comments on technology. The point isn't IPads or 3D TVs. It is the products and services that are available to us due to technological innovation that did not exist 40 years ago or were not widely available. They have a cost, many times unavoidable, but are not considered inflation. Some are mandatory standard of living improvements like automotive air bags and seat belts, MRIs, expensive pharmaceuticals, advanced treatment of life threatening conditions. These things cost money, are included in insurance premiums or auto costs, yet are not considered inflation. They increase the real expense level.

Other items, such as microwave ovens, cordless telephones, home computers, cable tv, cellular telephone, are also net increases to real spending. I think it is unrealistic to assume a particular standard of living is acceptable 30 or 40 years later with no change or improvement. The question is not if it is possible but if it is desirable. I feel that it is more prudent to factor into a withdrawal rate calculation a real increase in spending over time to compensate for a continual improvement in living standards. Somewhere between 0.5 to 1%.

Regarding age-based spending, personal experiences aren't conclusive, especially on this forum where LBYM and thrift are the norm. It seems to me that spending composition will change but there is no reason it would decline and many reasons it would increase. Personal and health related services can be substantial, costly but also desirable, and have a positive impact on one's quality of life. The fear of running out of money may move people to forgo these services. Is this spending less voluntary or forced? The same is true for travel - there may be a desire to travel but only expensive options are available due to health or physical condition.

Assuming spending needs will decline with age creates the risk of unfulfilled needs that might have significant impact on quality of life.

Sorry for the delay in responding - it's winter and we have new house guests from the north.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:51 PM   #60
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I would say 3.5%
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There are a lot of retirement and/or financially savvy people here, wonder what the consensus view might be for this question?
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