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Peer backlash against us?
Old 12-28-2010, 07:24 AM   #1
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Peer backlash against us?

Someone posted this article about retirement woes facing boomers on a cycling forum a few of us frequent. There is nothing new in the article - it goes over the oft told tale of lost pensions, evaporated 401ks and bleak years ahead. Unlike here though, the comments leaned pessimistic. A few people mentioned that they had things under control but many more were looking at years of unwanted work and more than a few expressed resentment at civil servants and other "undeserving" pensioners. Savers may soon fall under the same shadow -- after all, you couldn't have saved that much unless you were over-payed to begin with. Do we need to keep our heads down and circle the wagons in our ER outpost to avoid crowds with pitch forks?
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:35 AM   #2
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Nope. Just fly under the radar as much as possible...
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:41 AM   #3
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Yea, I wouldn't be bragging about retiring early to someone who just came to the realization that their retirement is their responsibility. Also there are those in the govt who may want to spread (your) the wealth.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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I may add some water to the moat...
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Do we need to keep our heads down and circle the wagons in our ER outpost to avoid crowds with pitch forks?
No. That's why we have adm's that can control the situation.

There will always be those that feel they deserve to be served dessert without eating their veggies. It's no different than some of us being jealous of others (for me, Hef - with his new "wife" ). There will always be those that have more...

Just my POV.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:42 AM   #6
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I think we just need to use the sympathy angle. Yep, it's really hard. Yep, the price of gas is too damn high. Yep, the last oil change on the Mercedes AMG550 was outrageous. Yep, short-term parking at the airport on the way to Vail was outrageous.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:49 AM   #7
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Not to mention the looks you get at the country club when you show up in last year's Maybach, and it's not even the chauffeur-driven model.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:49 AM   #8
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It's no different than some of us being jealous of others (for me, Hef - with his new "wife" ). There will always be those that have more...
Hef looked pretty pathetic. I'm not sure even Viagra can help him. But, with a decent pre-nup, his 24 YO fiance can certainly look forward to a nice ER after a few years of dues paying
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:53 AM   #9
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David Brooks (New York Times), annually gives out what he calls the "Sidney Awards" for the best magazine essays.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/24/op...ef=davidbrooks

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/op...ef=davidbrooks

Anyway, one of his choices was this (very extremely long) article that may (remotely?) be related to this issue:

The Inequality That Matters

Quote:
Does growing wealth and income inequality in the United States presage the downfall of the American republic? Will we evolve into a new Gilded Age plutocracy, irrevocably split between the competing interests of rich and poor? Or is growing inequality a mere bump in the road, a statistical blip along the path to greater wealth for virtually every American? Or is income inequality partially desirable, reflecting the greater productivity of society’s stars?
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The funny thing is this: For years, many cultural critics in and of the United States have been telling us that Americans should behave more like threshold earners. We should be less harried, more interested in nurturing friendships, and more interested in the non-commercial sphere of life. That may well be good advice. Many studies suggest that above a certain level more money brings only marginal increments of happiness. What isn’t so widely advertised is that those same critics have basically been telling us, without realizing it, that we should be acting in such a manner as to increase measured income inequality. Not only is high inequality an inevitable concomitant of human diversity, but growing income inequality may be, too, if lots of us take the kind of advice that will make us happier.
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Is the overall picture a shame? Yes. Is it distorting resource distribution and productivity in the meantime? Yes. Will it again bring our economy to its knees? Probably. Maybe that’s simply the price of modern society. Income inequality will likely continue to rise and we will search in vain for the appropriate political remedies for our underlying problems.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:54 AM   #10
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I am afraid we will have to "share", in one way or another.

I read the same article published here: Baby boomers facing retirements in jeopardy - Business - Your retirement - msnbc.com.

It has a picture of the typical poor retiree described as following.
Michael Vanatta, 61, of Vero Beach, Fla., is paying the price for being a boomer who enjoyed life without saving for the future. He put a daughter through college, but he also spent plenty of money on indulgences like dining out and the latest electronic gadgets.

Vanatta was laid off last January from his $100,000-a-year job as a sales executive for a turf company. And with savings of just $5,000, he's on a budget for the first time. In April, he will start taking Social Security at age 62.

Yes, we will need to "share" with unfortunate people as the above. Else, there will be pitch forks.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:27 AM   #11
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Yes, we will need to "share" with unfortunate people as the above.
He was not "unfortunate" - he was just plain stupid IMHO. He had the assets (OK, shared with his previous wife ), but it did say he bought his "toys" over the years.

As to the second example in the article? The woman is living in la-la land, IMHO. She expects to work till age 70, and then expects to travel, yet cannot afford to today?

Hey, I know that I/DW are truly fortunate in our current financial situation, but it was built over many years by significant sacrifices along the way. I have no desire to share with those that acted like "grasshoppers" in their earlier life...
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:33 AM   #12
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He was not "unfortunate" - he was just plain stupid IMHO.
Eh, do not be so harsh! Show some compassion, or else.


I was just being sarcastic.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:54 AM   #13
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I've seen my fair share of negativity about those of us who have planned for and reached financial independence both here and in my personal life. I do think it's wise to be sensitive to those who are not so well situated be it though bad luck or poor planning.

Envy can be a very nasty thing. If you can't have what someone else has, a common reaction is to put it down and convince yourself it's not worth having anyway.

DH and I have discussed this issue, particularly since he will be joining me in retirement early next year. We plan to focus on our simple lifestyle and the fact we may do occassional part time or contracting work.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:24 AM   #14
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I was just discussing this article with my wife this morning. As of today we are at 4 years til retirement. Today is her Birthday and 4 years from now she will have the required years and age to get her pension (I can actually leave anytime).

But there is NO one we can discuss this with among our peers. So we don't, simple as that. We just fly under the radar and don't discuss finances or retirement among our friends. Not sure what we will do when we are retired and they are still working though but I guess we will just concoct some story at that point! I have 4 years to come up with a good story!
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:30 AM   #15
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I do think it's wise to be sensitive to those who are not so well situated be it though bad luck or poor planning.
True, but when you see articles about folks who were living the "good life", and you read about someone (as in the article) that was making over $100k/year yet has only $5k in retirement investments, you wander if he was responsible (or his former DW's lawyer was).

Those that have a hard life and don't have the chance to accumulate much for retirement is one thing. Often, their lifestyles do not need much to get by in retirement (or even pre-retirement, as my disabled son represents) and can get by with a minimum of savings, along with SS.

However, when I read articles such as this that portray somebody who is living beyond their means (IMHO) and then expects somebody else to pick up the tab, it gets my blood boiling ....
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:31 AM   #16
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I was just discussing this article with my wife this morning. As of today we are at 4 years til retirement. Today is her Birthday and 4 years from now she will have the required years and age to get her pension (I can actually leave anytime).

But there is NO one we can discuss this with among our peers. So we don't, simple as that. We just fly under the radar and don't discuss finances or retirement among our friends. Not sure what we will do when we are retired and they are still working though but I guess we will just concoct some story at that point! I have 4 years to come up with a good story!
If they know that one or both of you are governemnt workers, there will be no need to concoct a story. They will know your story well enough.

Ha
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:01 AM   #17
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I sometimes feel like I live in two worlds regarding peer relationships. At work, I'm in a small group of people who are very much like me; savings-minded, LBYM with good incomes. We can talk about these things without worrying about envy and resentment.

Many of my relationships outside the workplace are with people who face a bleak future on the retirement front, be it through poor planning, some negative life events or a combination of these. I tend to avoid discussions with them about FIRE topics unless they are young enough to possibly be influenced toward preparation by my words.

As Brewer said "under the radar".

I'm still working on my post retirement response to "so what do you do?"
My favorite so far came from someone on this forum:

"I'm am investment portfolio manager"
(my nest egg)
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:02 AM   #18
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If they know that one or both of you are governemnt workers, there will be no need to concoct a story. They will know your story well enough.

Ha
True but it is only a 20 year pension. So it isn't a huge amount of money (something like 33% of her best salary) but we are so close that it would be foolish to RE now and lose out on that money for the next 40 years or so. So they will know it isn't enough to retire on. I work in private industry (architect) so everyone knows (thinks) I am poor!
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:12 AM   #19
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Just give a good cover story, like: "Credit cards are awesome! We are using ours to travel the world and no have to work forever!!! We'll send you postcards from everywhere"..............
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:20 AM   #20
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Just give a good cover story, like: "Credit cards are awesome! We are using ours to travel the world and no have to work forever!!! We'll send you postcards from everywhere"..............
That is a GREAT one! Will have to remember it for future use.

There is more than one kind of envy, though. We plan to relocate close to DW's family because we like the area, it is inexpensive and it is close to family that we (mostly) get along with. But every time we talk to DW's older sister I struggle to restrain the green-eyed monster when she casually mentions that DW's parents are watching the kid for her yet again.

Don't wave the red flag in front of the bull, have a good cover story, and everyone will likely simply assume you are floating on a sea of debt like everyone else.
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