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Old 03-14-2015, 08:19 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Earl E Retyre View Post
I believe part of the answer (as a long term/future solution) is that schools should teach children about finances...
Just having a school add a class isn't good enough.

My son took a personal financial glass in HS on my suggestion. It was a pretty big waste of time. The teacher didn't know what he was talking about most of the time and they spent way too much time playing computer games (finance games/simulations...).

I was lucky in college that I took a class called "Money and Banking" from a professor that had worked at the Fed. He was great and really did know what he was talking about. I learned a lot.

So basically, adding a class in schools is a start, but it's certainly not sufficient!
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:35 AM   #22
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I know the US society is a very consumerist society.

But I never had any trouble ignoring the ads.

You'd think most folks would become inured to them.
I guess not, since so much is spent on advertising! A couple of days ago I got a FaceBook feed post that was basically an ad for a new shade of Coach bag- a weird neon-y yellow-green. There were 45 comments and ordinariiy I ignore those posts but I'm disgusted at how the quality of Coach bags has deteriorated and at their moving production from NY to China, so I posted a comment to that effect. The other 45 comments were about the bag "Like".."Need"..."Love this color"..."Want"... And that's where the dollars that should be saved for retirement are going.

As for the graph- yeah, I'm one of those points. Planned to retire at 65 (one year before FRA), decided I was fed up and retired at 61. Glad I could do it. Maybe it's because I own only 3 Coach bags and the newest was bought 11 years ago.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:44 AM   #23
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As mentioned before...there's SS for the ones that paid into it. Many live off the grid and get paid under the table. We all make our own choices. I saved up my marshmallows. I don't feel guilty and in most cases you make your own bed.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:00 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Just having a school add a class isn't good enough.

My son took a personal financial glass in HS on my suggestion. It was a pretty big waste of time. The teacher didn't know what he was talking about most of the time and they spent way too much time playing computer games (finance games/simulations...).

I was lucky in college that I took a class called "Money and Banking" from a professor that had worked at the Fed. He was great and really did know what he was talking about. I learned a lot.

So basically, adding a class in schools is a start, but it's certainly not sufficient!
Better education is the cure for many of societies ills and a good financial education is critical. Just read the following article in the NYT and they talk about the complexities built into our financial/tax/social security system and how those complexities make it so difficult for the average person to save.

"This appears to be a distinctly American condition. While Social Security may well have evolved to its muddled state in part to let more citizens benefit earlier and not suffer from inflation’s effects, our tax system and other arenas are ones where multiple constituencies lobby against decreased complexity and make their livings off everyone else’s confusion."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/14/yo...773522000&_r=1

Too many lawyers and lobbyists in DC. Time to simplify the system.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:12 AM   #25
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While I have little doubt that many will have to take a serious hit on their standard of living I wonder how many will be really living under bridges given all the other social services available. Besides, there are only so many bridges available.
+1. It's not clear to me that there's really a crisis or that conditions are getting worse for older folks than 10, 20 , 30 years ago. However, if there were hard data showing a homeless problem or other humanitarian issue, I could be convinced otherwise. I suspect the majority of people will retire, just not as comfortably as they would have liked.


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I know that many on here will say that it is their own fault for not saving for retirement. But I have to agree with this report that public policy must change to make it easier for Americans to save.

Given that half of workers that could contribute to a retirement plan DON"T contribute, I wonder if we have to go to something mandatory - like SS contributions. I don't have all the answers, but this is so sad.
I wonder if minor tweaks to existing solutions might go a long way. Simple things like making contributing to a 401k the default and eliminating plans with high fees.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:22 AM   #26
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I guess not, since so much is spent on advertising! A couple of days ago I got a FaceBook feed post that was basically an ad for a new shade of Coach bag- a weird neon-y yellow-green. There were 45 comments and ordinariiy I ignore those posts but I'm disgusted at how the quality of Coach bags has deteriorated and at their moving production from NY to China, so I posted a comment to that effect. The other 45 comments were about the bag "Like".."Need"..."Love this color"..."Want"... And that's where the dollars that should be saved for retirement are going.

As for the graph- yeah, I'm one of those points. Planned to retire at 65 (one year before FRA), decided I was fed up and retired at 61. Glad I could do it. Maybe it's because I own only 3 Coach bags and the newest was bought 11 years ago.
I am seeing more and more of this from my "friends" on Facebook. They will like or comment on some sort of commercial product...basically endorsing whatever stupid product they like. I really used to enjoy FB to keep up with folks I normally wouldn't but lately it's as though it's nothing but ads, ads, ads and ads that try to look like "news stories" or just some stupid "Top 10 Things That You Probably Don't Care About" page that is only trying to generate click-throughs.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:26 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
I guess not, since so much is spent on advertising! A couple of days ago I got a FaceBook feed post that was basically an ad for a new shade of Coach bag- a weird neon-y yellow-green. There were 45 comments and ordinariiy I ignore those posts but I'm disgusted at how the quality of Coach bags has deteriorated and at their moving production from NY to China, so I posted a comment to that effect. The other 45 comments were about the bag "Like".."Need"..."Love this color"..."Want"... And that's where the dollars that should be saved for retirement are going.

As for the graph- yeah, I'm one of those points. Planned to retire at 65 (one year before FRA), decided I was fed up and retired at 61. Glad I could do it. Maybe it's because I own only 3 Coach bags and the newest was bought 11 years ago.
I always wondered if the huge advertising budgets is like SPAM or phishing - a huge amount of effort targeted at that 2% or 5% that fall for the deal.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:32 AM   #28
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I am seeing more and more of this from my "friends" on Facebook. They will like or comment on some sort of commercial product...basically endorsing whatever stupid product they like. I really used to enjoy FB to keep up with folks I normally wouldn't but lately it's as though it's nothing but ads, ads, ads and ads that try to look like "news stories" or just some stupid "Top 10 Things That You Probably Don't Care About" page that is only trying to generate click-throughs.
I have a lot of Facebook "friends" who are actually neighbors - it pays to keep neighbors friendly. I'm usually shocked with what pages they "like".

Walmart - so and so "likes" Walmart, wow. OK hopefully I didn't just offend anyone here.

But even my real friends on Facebook fall for sharing a lot of silly crap designed to generate click throughs, or rumors that are not true and easily disproven.

What I really hate are the "share if you agree" or "like this if you xxxx", and many folks do just that. Many FB folks will share something on their page simply because they were asked to.

We prevent FB friends from posting on our page for the simple reason that we see how much crap is posted to other people's pages by friends who feel compelled to share.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:36 AM   #29
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The UK, who face a similar problem with traditional workplace pensions disappearing, are now requiring employers to auto enroll employees in 401k type plans. Too early to know if it will work but they are hoping that it will be too much effort for many folks to go to the bother on opting out, since it seems to be too much effort for them to opt in.


https://www.towerswatson.com/~/media...Enrollment.pdf

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How do employees opt out of auto-enrollment?
Employees can opt out any time — but not before they have been made an active member of the plan. The U.K. government hopes to employ inertia in favor of pension saving. To prevent coercion, opt-out notices must be obtained from the plan — but can be obtained from the employer if the rules of the occupational pension plan expressly delegate administrative functions to the employer.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:51 AM   #30
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From a pretty young age, I figured out that life was all about a cascading series of choices. True, your choices are constrained by circumstance, but at least part of that constraining circumstance is the choices you have made in the past. Each time you choose a path, you necessarily forego the chance to make the future choices that lie down the other path. Over time, your range of available action becomes narrower and narrower, until at a certain point you arrive at a place where you have no further options.

For that reason, the young wife and I have tried to make choices -- in education, jobs and purchases -- that limit our future options as little as possible. As one example, we could have bought a much larger house than we did, but the money saved by not stretching to spend the very last penny of our income has enabled us to have more and better options about how we live and when we'll retire. For another example, the young wife worked hard when she was a new teacher to take additional courses and become certified in additional subject areas, so that she could increase her job security, as well have more and better choice of teaching assignments.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:58 AM   #31
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My dad would have worked full time till death , if he was still able. Some chose to as a purpose for life , Grandfather was of the same mindset.

My dad is near 80 and in just the past year his body told him he can't work anymore. It has broken his spirit quite a bit. I know he probably doesn't think much of me retiring in my mid 40s , five years ago and basically doing nothing. He probably is thinking as long as I am not digging into his wallet, he isn't going to say anything.


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Old 03-14-2015, 09:59 AM   #32
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it is rarely that final financial event that causes someone financiial failure . it is the choices ,paths and decisions that lead up to it that cause the financial suicide.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:12 AM   #33
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The UK, who face a similar problem with traditional workplace pensions disappearing, are now requiring employers to auto enroll employees in 401k type plans. Too early to know if it will work but they are hoping that it will be too much effort for many folks to go to the bother on opting out, since it seems to be too much effort for them to opt in.
The thing I wonder about with 401k's is how many of them will be orphaned (i.e. forgotten) by the young that may have put in a few $K in each while they went from job to job. These will have substantial balances after 30 years but will the young remember where they were? Or is this even an issue? My 20-year old son has a few $K from a retail job he left last year, default invested in a lifecycle fund at T. Rowe Price. I guess the answer is to get him to set up a rollover IRA at Vanguard etc. and consolidate all his little 401k's there over time but how many people will do that, really?
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:19 AM   #34
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actually if you look at the other thread with the charts from jp morgan most folks who didn't think they could retire did indeed retire and retired early too for whatever reasons.

.More fodder for the mill: JP Morgan 2015 Ret. Report
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:23 AM   #35
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The thing I wonder about with 401k's is how many of them will be orphaned (i.e. forgotten) by the young that may have put in a few $K in each while they went from job to job. These will have substantial balances after 30 years but will the young remember where they were? Or is this even an issue? My 20-year old son has a few $K from a retail job he left last year, default invested in a lifecycle fund at T. Rowe Price. I guess the answer is to get him to set up a rollover IRA at Vanguard etc. and consolidate all his little 401k's there over time but how many people will do that, really?
That is a better problem than in the past where traditional pension plans were ineligible to be rolled over and many were forgotten about. I have 2 small pensions from companies I left 25 and 30 years ago and can easily see why some folks don't keep in touch with old employers so they can collect future pensions. With DC plans then when you leave a company you get the paperwork, and/or interview with HR as you leave and it is very easy at that point to roll over your DC plan to an IRA.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:09 PM   #36
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I just finished reading a great book on brain function, Incognito. The author argues that between genetics, diet, environmental toxins, and a host of other factors there isn't a lot of brain CPU power leftover for free will to fit in, if it does at all. Historically, humans have been programmed to look for short term rewards - shelter from the storm or a rabbit for tonight's dinner. Advertisers get this and exploit it - balloon mortgages, buy now pay later plans, instant credit, loss leaders, and a million other tactics.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:22 PM   #37
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That is a better problem than in the past where traditional pension plans were ineligible to be rolled over and many were forgotten about. I have 2 small pensions from companies I left 25 and 30 years ago and can easily see why some folks don't keep in touch with old employers so they can collect future pensions. With DC plans then when you leave a company you get the paperwork, and/or interview with HR as you leave and it is very easy at that point to roll over your DC plan to an IRA.
Well yeah, assuming that they actually look at the paperwork and figure out how to do the rollovers. That's the issue methinks.

I think a lot of the younger workers just cash out the 401k.
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Mosty Americans Can't Retire?
Old 03-14-2015, 01:46 PM   #38
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Mosty Americans Can't Retire?

How can this be said when the evidence shows that most Americans do retire? They are retiring at a slightly older age than a few years back, but when it is said that they cannot retire, I suspect that fits with someone's socialist agenda.

As a statement intended to describe reality, it is flat out false.

Ha
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Old 03-14-2015, 02:17 PM   #39
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Yes, people do retire, but they do not have the same income as when they were still working.

Neither do I. If I insisted on having the same income as when I worked, I would still be working.

However, I still spend about the same as I did, and perhaps even more. Saved when I worked, in order to spend it now. That's how it works.

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As mentioned before...there's SS for the ones that paid into it. Many live off the grid and get paid under the table. We all make our own choices. I saved up my marshmallows. I don't feel guilty and in most cases you make your own bed.
I just want to mention that SSI (for people who do not qualify for SS) and SS for people who work low-wage jobs all their life may not differ that much. I remember talking to some older folks who get just a bit more than $1K/month from SS, while I read on the Web that some people get more than $700 from SSI.

Yes, people may work off the grid, but when they reach retirement age they get back on the grid.
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:00 PM   #40
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Americans do retire and I know among my family members, those with just about nothing find a way to live on that. They stay home. They live cheaply or move in with adult children. They get by.

What I have noticed among people I work with is that 401k is more expensive that it should be, so many look for advice and learn "get the free money. At least put in up to the match" What they take away from this is more like "as long as you save the 3% or 4% to get the match you will be fine" which is not true at all.
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