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Old 03-04-2014, 09:23 AM   #1
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Just thought folks might be interested in this article I came across this morning. The picture for the general public seems to be pretty bleak:

Our next big crisis will be a retirement crisis - Brett Arends's ROI - MarketWatch
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:52 AM   #2
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These articles seem to pop up from time to time, all saying the same thing. Americans are doomed. I suspect they are right. Every time I go to my local Target and see 70 year old cashiers standing on their feet all day, I'm reminded how fortunate I am. But the members on this forum are clearly the minority. The concept of retiring at 65 is changing rapidly. More Americans are being encourage to work until at least 67, and sometimes 70.

In fact, my FRA age for social security is 67, so if it weren't for my savings and LBYM mentality throughout my life, I suppose I'd be one of those people working until 67 or later.

I don't see much of a solution to it either. With DB plans being more scarce, Americans are being required to rely on their 401K plans to fund their retirement. But many Americans see their 401K as their emergency piggy bank, and they take early withdrawals, or borrow against their savings, just to deal with routine expenses. I don't know what the answer is, but I agree it's definitely a problem.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:58 AM   #3
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The Ant and the Grasshopper
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
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On the positive side, older folks seem to make for nice servers and cashiers. I'll be sure to tip on the generous side.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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Also, on a brighter note, not all of those old folks are down and out. Some are just workaholics. Back in college I worked in a department store part time after class. One of my coworkers was this old guy named Sydney, who I called "Bam-Bam" because he always hit the keys to the register loud and hard. Looked kinda like Jerry Stiller. Talked a bit like him, too.

He was pretty well-off, but just came in a few days a week for something to do. I believe his wife had died, and he didn't have too many friends. I'd imagine he's passed away by now, as this was back in the early 1990's. actually hadn't thought about him in ages, until this thread jogged my memory.

My Mom and stepdad both whine about having nothing to do in retirement. Mom retired a bit over 3 years ago, and stepdad took an early out about 4 months later. My stepdad, especially, whines about how he regrets quitting his j*b. However, he has selective memory loss. When he was still there, all he did was gripe about it and carry on about how miserable he was, and how they always screwed him over.

I agree though, older people often do make better cashiers, servers, etc than a lot of younger people. Maybe they're not always as fast, but they're often more attentive, thorough, and thoughtful.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:17 AM   #6
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I agree though, older people often do make better cashiers, servers, etc than a lot of younger people. Maybe they're not always as fast, but they're often more attentive, thorough, and thoughtful.

Add conscientious to that list!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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the outcome will be quite different here. The modified Aesop story will be told of the ant the grasshopper and the government frog. In this revised tail the feckless grasshopper doesn't like his fate and enlists the help of the frog to shake-down the ant for some of his "Fair-Share".
LOL. Good one. Aardvarks are coming, aardvarks are coming.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:40 AM   #8
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On the positive side, older folks seem to make for nice servers and cashiers. I'll be sure to tip on the generous side.
They are certainly friendlier.

My golf course has equal share of high school kids and retired folks (volunteered marshals, starters) working. The retired folks are there to kill time and/or help support their golf habit. They don't seem to be hurting financially. One recently boasted to me about all the different exotic places he traveled. Hopefully, that'd be me in 20 years.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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My local grocery store had "Help Wanted" signs up for many weeks, and I kept thinking why no one was applying since all we hear about is there are no jobs...

One day I came in and an older lady with a button saying "I'm new" was working the register....When I made some small talk, she said she took the job after her old mother passed away just to get out of the house and keep busy, after years of caring for her mom...


So you can't always assume older people working are there because of financial reasons....Heck my 93 year old mom often says she wishes she could go to a job-she's lucky to be spry and alert and does everything but drive....

OF course she retired at 65 ( been hitting SS for 28 years!!!!! and a small pension too!!!....so that's a lot of time off for one person!!!!!
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:28 PM   #10
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So you can't always assume older people working are there because of financial reasons....Heck my 93 year old mom often says she wishes she could go to a job-she's lucky to be spry and alert and does everything but drive....

OF course she retired at 65 ( been hitting SS for 28 years!!!!! and a small pension too!!!....so that's a lot of time off for one person!!!!!
My grandmother retired "officially" at the end of 1980, about two months before her 57th birthday. And immediately went back to work doing transcription work out of the home for a hospital. Eventually, she got a part time job in medical records at a hospital about 20 miles away. She loved it, as she could take off as much time as she wanted, or work as much as she wanted, so she had a job, but freedom at the same time.

But, then when she hit 70 in 1994, she decided it was time to finally hang it up. She often regretted it, saying she wished she had worked longer, but at least she had a few good years in there to do stuff and enjoy life, before macular degeneration took most of her eyesight in 1999 and she had to give up driving. So, she never got to enjoy a good, long life of total retirement and leisure. But, she was able to enjoy life along the way, take long vacations here and there, and have a pretty good work/life balance.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:36 PM   #11
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I knew we would eventually find someone who regretted not working more years at their job if we looked hard enough! See, it is possible!
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:24 PM   #12
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My MIL just turned 85. We finally convinced her that it was OK to retire. She actually seemed relieved to have our approval.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:04 PM   #13
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When I first RE'd I had a temporary insanity bout and went to the local upscale wine store to see if they needed part time help; just to keep busy.

The owner said: "Are you crazy? You're 53 years old and doing what everyone else wants to do! That's what I want to do!!"

He wouldn't hire me and I'm now sorta happy about that. I found lots of other things to occupy my time...including buying wine from him.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:12 PM   #14
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I saw this article this morning and this had me chuckling: "It doesn’t make for happy reading. According to Boston College, based on current projections, about half the country is at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement. "

OK, so maybe half the country is living above their means? We have not raised our standard of living in two decades, choosing instead to bank the raises and bonuses. Maybe that's why we are retiring early.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:17 PM   #15
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I saw this article this morning and this had me chuckling: "It doesn’t make for happy reading. According to Boston College, based on current projections, about half the country is at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement. "

OK, so maybe half the country is living above their means? We have not raised our standard of living in two decades, choosing instead to bank the raises and bonuses. Maybe that's why we are retiring early.
Boston College of all places should know that "...the poor you will always have with you..."
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:01 PM   #16
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When I first RE'd I had a temporary insanity bout and went to the local upscale wine store to see if they needed part time help; just to keep busy.
Just to keep busy (really?) or to have easier access to good wines?
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:25 PM   #17
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I became unemployed at 56. This was after 25 years as a business owner working 60-70 hours a week. I had never thought of not working, but things were changing in that business and it was getting harder and harder to make a good profit. Looking back, I made the right decision, but haven't admitted to being retired until about a year ago. I applied at a number of jobs over the years but was always told I was over qualified. Have done a lot of volunteer work .
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:32 AM   #18
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After 33 yrs of private practice, I decided to retire at 64 yr. I've had friends who worked till 70 and some died on the job or became so ill, they can't do much. With good pension, savings, SS, coupled with frugal lifestyle, I'm calling this next step-- my liberation!. I see 75 yrs olds and they are not the same as 64 yrs olds. I'm doing a long "bucket list" of things I like to try and do, and if I get bored at 75, at least I can say, I done most of those boring stuFF.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:37 AM   #19
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Just to keep busy (really?) or to have easier access to good wines?
Maybe that's the real reason he didn't hire me!
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:00 AM   #20
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After 33 yrs of private practice, I decided to retire at 64 yr. I've had friends who worked till 70 and some died on the job or became so ill, they can't do much. With good pension, savings, SS, coupled with frugal lifestyle, I'm calling this next step-- my liberation!. I see 75 yrs olds and they are not the same as 64 yrs olds. I'm doing a long "bucket list" of things I like to try and do, and if I get bored at 75, at least I can say, I done most of those boring stuFF.
You are right on the aging bit. Most people don't realize that you can go down fast after 70. Some do well into their 80's but its the 7th decade that weeds out those with good genes and those not so good.

That's why I've decided on a 5% WR for when we are in our 60's. Can always throttle it down in our later years.
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