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Old 02-10-2008, 04:28 PM   #21
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By the way, my folks have an approximate income of 22k pre-tax, from SS and a couple of (very) small pensions. They not only live by their means, they have been saving a couple thousand dollars a year out of that income. In fact, one of their favorite hobbies is to see how much they can save (but they still eat fine, stay warm, and have sufficient of everything to fill their needs). They do have savings, a pretty large amount given the career my father had, but never touch it.

How do they do this? The live in a modest home, that has been paid off for years. They eat simple, home prepared meals (delicious I might add). They drive modest, economical cars, and drive them for a long time (Dad's truck is 13 y.o., and is in fine shape, will probably go for another 7 yrs or so, car is a newer Corolla-older one was totalled when a car did not stop at a red signal and nearly killed them). They use their time wisely, volunteering, taking walks, maintaining the home, reading, etc. Sometimes they go visit their kids (we are too far, so we visit them instead of them coming to us),

My point is, you really can live on a small income, if that is what you choose to do...and you can be happy with that lifestyle...if you choose to! Too many don't choose to. Too many try to keep up with the Jones's. Too many (young and old alike) feel like they are impoverished if they don't have that brand new 50" LCD TV. And too many are are not grateful enough for what they have.

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Old 02-10-2008, 04:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Brewer....

In an earlier life, I used to fret and stew over SS, felt I was getting ripped off by being forced to contribute, etc. I've gotta say, I've really mellowed in my outlook. Despite the fact that, given the way my life worked out, I'd probably have been financally ahead to keep my SS contributions and invest them myself, today I do support SS and the safety net it provides.
Youbet,

Welcome to the side of enlightenment.
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:03 PM   #23
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The way that I looked at SS security was that it went to my grandparents and now parents. It also kept me from being mugged
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:36 PM   #24
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"Ed Block, 81, has seen a series of expenses drain his savings in the 22 years since he retired from AT&T and moved to Key West, Florida. He and his wife helped with two granddaughters' college bills and still contribute to one grandson's prep school expenses. They've started a college fund for the rest of their grandchildren, assisted two sons who were downsized and pitched in when a grandchild needed special education.
With his diminished investments and a pension that doesn't rise with inflation, what he calls "Wall Street's agonies" added urgency to 2008 budget cuts the couple would have had to make anyway, he said.
"Twenty-two years without a paycheck is a very long time in the face of persistently rising costs," he said."

Ya gotta love the internet.

A little snooping reveals Mr. Block owns a house in Key West that's only worth $1.68 million according to Zillow. No wonder his insurance is $1200 a month. But his taxes are only about $3300.

Might just be time to downsize.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:36 PM   #25
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Ya gotta love the internet.

A little snooping reveals Mr. Block owns a house in Key West that's only worth $1.68 million according to Zillow. No wonder his insurance is $1200 a month. But his taxes are only about $3300.

Might just be time to downsize.
Ya life is rough
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:14 PM   #26
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Well.. I don't know him personally, but he has been a financial planner
in DFW for 20 years. He gives many historical examples that show
the "buy and hold" philosophy is wrong... especially if the economy
is heading for recession and the stock market may be heading into a
prolonged downturn.
I can give many historical examples of beating a buy & hold strategy too...

...now, if he can demonstrate the ability to reliably give future examples, then I'd sign up.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:03 PM   #27
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Mom is low income elderly and will not invest. Her savings is in the bank when rates go down her income shrinks. She used to get 12% or more then it went down to under 3% but she never missed a meal. She eats out at least once a day and bought a new car when she was 77. The house has been paid off since 1976 and she has more in savings than she did when she retired 20 years ago. If things get bad she can spend down her savings and if that runs out get a reverse mortgage. She has 200K in the bank at 81 so even if she took out hundreds a month it would last her the rest of her life. With no mortgage, no car payments, low income discount on property taxes most of her bills are utilities and buying food so a few hundred extra a month would give her more than she could spend. She has always been thrifty and her health isn't up to doing much shopping.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:44 PM   #28
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"The median income of people 65 and older in 2006 was $16,443, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, an independent nonprofit group."

Wow....I hadn't really thought about the median being this low!

Yes, that struck me also, but then I realized they were NOT citing HOUSEHOLD income, and I found this.........

"
Use this snapshot of financial America circa 2001 to find your place.
--Reporter: COURTNEY MCGRATH
WHO MAKES WHAT
AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME: $53,100
White: $58,800
Nonwhite or Hispanic: $33,500
HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD ...
is working for someone else: $53,500
is self-employed: $109,000
is retired: $32,900

so it looks like they took one-half of the average retired HOUSEHOLD income which approximately equals avg nonwhite household income or 56% on non-retired income and that seems reasonable and not nearly so dramatically low to me.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:01 PM   #29
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I am listening to one of the most popular personal finance experts in the DFW area who has been telling his clients to be out of the stock market for months... he just said when a recession is officially announced, the stock market may drop another 1000 to 1500 points.
So who is it? If your listening to him (radio I assume) he's obviously willing to put his name to his opinion, so why are you leaving his name off? The only "finance expert" I know of in the DFW area is Scott Burns, and I'm sure it's not him.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:29 PM   #30
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Ya gotta love the internet.

A little snooping reveals Mr. Block owns a house in Key West that's only worth $1.68 million according to Zillow. No wonder his insurance is $1200 a month. But his taxes are only about $3300.

Might just be time to downsize.
Nice work.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:58 PM   #31
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Nice work.
I actually feel sorry for the guy. He only paid about $200+k for the house when he retired. Now he's sitting on a gold mine but will probably get squeezed out by the high cost of living in a resort area.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:11 PM   #32
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I actually feel sorry for the guy. He only paid about $200+k for the house when he retired. Now he's sitting on a gold mine but will probably get squeezed out by the high cost of living in a resort area.
? I guess you feel sorry for Bill Gates too... '... these gold bars are so d*mn heavy ... and these 100 dollar bills don't fit in my wallet'... give me that problem ... PLEASE!
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:36 AM   #33
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So who is it? If your listening to him (radio I assume) he's obviously willing to put his name to his opinion, so why are you leaving his name off? The only "finance expert" I know of in the DFW area is Scott Burns, and I'm sure it's not him.
I fail to understand why you ask in such a hostile manner ?

His name is Ken Moraif.


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Old 02-13-2008, 05:53 PM   #34
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I fail to understand why you ask in such a hostile manner ? His name is Ken Moraif.
Not sure where you read hostile into my post, but not intended. However, IMHO when you post something controversial (obviously taken that way by the replies that followed, myself included) without naming the (in the case) public source, you shouldn't be surprised if someone asks who the source is.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:51 PM   #35
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02-10-2008

I am listening to one of the most popular personal finance experts
in the DFW area who has been telling his clients to be out of the
stock market for months... he just said when a recession is officially
announced, the stock market may drop another 1000 to 1500 points.

Today he said that we haven't hit bottom yet... and for those who
are near retirement it's not too late to get out of stocks... He said
the DOW might go as low as 5000.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:02 PM   #36
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Today he said that we haven't hit bottom yet... and for those who
are near retirement it's not too late to get out of stocks... He said
the DOW might go as low as 5000.
He will be able to tell us when to get back in again right?
Oh...
Never mind...

DD
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:23 AM   #37
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He will be able to tell us when to get back in again right?
Oh...
Never mind...

DD

Yes, he says he will tell you via his radio program when
it is safe to get back in.

As a financial planner, he has had his clients out of the
stock market since last fall. He also has been advising
listeners to his radio program to get out of the market
since last fall.

The past two weeks he has been saying to get ready...
but don't buy in yet. It has not bottomed.

Today he said the DOW could go down as far as 5000.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:06 AM   #38
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He will be able to tell us when to get back in again right?
Absolutely! Just look at those eyes.


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Old 10-27-2008, 07:47 AM   #39
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Interesting comments. I do "dole" (as you put it) out cash to my son and his family in similar ways to the couple discussed in the article and which you criticize. You may be right, but here's my reasoning.

1. Helping grandkids with college -

2. Helping out of work kids -

3. Helping special needs grandchild -

I'm perfectly free to not do these things and realize we could be living in a fancier house, driving fancier cars, taking more vacations, buying more toys/electronics/jewelry, getting deeper into our hobbies, etc., etc. But the satisfaction we receive from these giving activities surpasses the marginal utility of adding the next additional consumptive activity.

A friend stopped by to show off his new BMW. Man, what a nice car! I could easily afford one by using the $6K/yr I put into the grandkids college funds to make the payments.

My only beef with the 81 year old couple in the article is that they are whining about their situation now. If you're going to give during your retirement, take the time to understand what you're giving up to do so in terms of both current consumption and potential future lifestyle downgrades if things go against you financially.
+1000 Good post Youbet. What the heck do people have kids for if they don't give a darn what happens to them? There is a big difference between supporting your kids and spoiling them rotten. I didn't see anything here that would foster sloth or undue dependence.
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