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Retirees Thrive Regardless of Nest Egg
Old 05-23-2016, 09:34 AM   #1
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Retirees Thrive Regardless of Nest Egg

An interesting rebuttal to all the retirement "doom and gloom" stories


Ignore the Retirement Alarmists: 5 Charts Proving the Average American Thrives in Retirement -- The Motley Fool
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:37 AM   #2
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interesting that in Figure 11 (assets to freedom chart) that $1 million + say 94% feel free while $100,000 to $1 million say 95%.

Guess taking care of all that extra moolah and assets has its toll...
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:23 AM   #3
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I find it interesting that the top tier is only $1M+. It helps my confidence level a bit more too. I am pretty confident, but can always use articles like this to bolster it a bit more.


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Old 05-23-2016, 12:14 PM   #4
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Could this indicate that 95% of our fellow hoomans are smarter and more in tune with "living within their means" than we thought? (Or could it mean that Murphy is just lurking around their houses and hasn't struck yet? )

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Old 05-23-2016, 12:18 PM   #5
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A little too rosy for my taste. I'd like to see more granular results by age. Happiness increases from ages 40 to 70 but most 70-year olds are less than a decade into retirement. The real test is the long run: a down market or two, having to replace a car or a roof, coping with the effects of inflation and increasing medical costs (including more usage of medical services). What about when your body can't handle the rigors of house and lawn maintenance so you need to pay for outside help?


It might also be interesting so segment the study by number of years post-retirement.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:23 PM   #6
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Honestly this is pretty stupid. When asked, which provides more freedom: working or not? Who is generally going to say they have more freedom working? More disposable income, sure. But not free time.


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Old 05-23-2016, 12:26 PM   #7
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I dunno, I thought the article was too brief and fluffy for me. I'd like to see more of the source data, i.e. how many and where were the "focus groups" located. Did the questions direct the participants to the answers, and so forth.

It's nice to read about positive results, but I'd also like to balance them with the negative. After all, that's how I decided to ER.

But thanks for sharing the article.

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Old 05-23-2016, 12:26 PM   #8
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I find it interesting that the top tier is only $1M+. It helps my confidence level a bit more too. I am pretty confident, but can always use articles like this to bolster it a bit more.


But note that those with $1M+ are 1% less so. Granted it's just 1% but I wonder why.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:29 PM   #9
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But note that those with $1M+ are 1% less so. Granted it's just 1% but I wonder why.
There is some "Noise" on the metric. I wouldn't read too much in the 1% difference.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:30 PM   #10
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The article says,
Quote:
It seems backwards to work tirelessly for 40 years to keep up with the Joneses only to discover -- in our waning years -- that the real key to happy living lies in figuring out what your own level of "enough" is, and leveraging that to give you the time to pursue what really matters.
I couldn't agree more! We are pushed and prodded by Madison Avenue and peer pressure, to buy, buy, buy, during most of our lives. With age comes at least a little wisdom, and for me part of that is realizing that it's not ME that wants all these things. It's outside influences, and I'll be doggoned if I'm going to work my life away to appease them.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:43 PM   #11
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Investable assets don't say much by themselves without income data.

That said, a homeless person has a lot of freedom and flexibility to do whatever is desired.

Except maybe going abroad.

Other two well-known tidbits: 1) children put a serious damper on one's happiness in the young years. 2) As age goes up, happiness goes up too. Uncorrelated with anything else. It's a brain chemistry thing apparently.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:27 PM   #12
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Retirees Thrive Regardless of Nest Egg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
I find it interesting that the top tier is only $1M+. It helps my confidence level a bit more too. I am pretty confident, but can always use articles like this to bolster it a bit more.



I can derive no great confidence of my own from any chart depicting an 88% agreement level for a group with supposedly <$25k in investible assets. Thankfully, like you I'm pretty confident as it stands. (Admittedly I was unable to read the linked article on my phone so I'm referring solely to the chart.)
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:34 PM   #13
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The article says,
I couldn't agree more! We are pushed and prodded by Madison Avenue and peer pressure, to buy, buy, buy, during most of our lives. With age comes at least a little wisdom, and for me part of that is realizing that it's not ME that wants all these things. It's outside influences, and I'll be doggoned if I'm going to work my life away to appease them.
+1. There is often a disconnect between the Madison Avenue version of happiness and actual research on happiness (which tends to coincide with what ancient philosophers knew all along.)
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:36 PM   #14
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From living in retirement communities for 27 years I'd say the article is spot on.
We classify where we've lived as working man's communities, and I'd guess the average Investible Assets to be substantially below $1 million In fact wealth has had almost no part in our associations with the residents in the places we've chosen.

I suppose it's a matter of perception, but even retirement communities like The Villages, didn't hold much charm for us. Having a new golf cart, or dressing up for dinner or shopping was anethema. Not that there's anything at all wrong with that, but just not in our comfort zone.

That said, it seems there has always been a level of happiness that corresponds to the description of contentment in the article. The other part that I think was insightful, was the bit about "adaptation". We fell into this automatically, and it was very easy, since at the time we retired, we were anything but financially secure. We, like many others were early retirees taking a chance on "making it"... with the idea that at age 53, we could always go back.

I believe that, in large part, the selection of where and how to live, may be the most important factor for happiness. We have since looked at and have been able to afford more expensive lifestyles is we so chose, but the comfort of living and loving the life we have learned makes anything else, a no starter.

I respect that tiny One Percent difference attributed to the million dollar plus number... and look at it as the extra effort needed to maintain the portfolios and wealth related factors. IMHO, maybe not a negligible number.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:53 PM   #15
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I think there is a lot of validity to the article and not from the charts, simply from the many, many retirees that I know who are happy and healthy and Have a heck of a lot less than the millions the pundits say we need.

Now in the interest of full disclosure many of my friends had some type of "government" job where they are drawing decent pensions.
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Retirees Thrive Regardless of Nest Egg
Old 05-23-2016, 07:44 PM   #16
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Retirees Thrive Regardless of Nest Egg

My road map for a happy retirement...

1) Are you the type to make the best out of any situation?
2) does a nice walk in the sunshine make happy? A walk in the cold wake you up and make you feel alive?
3) a walk with the pooch make you feel you've earned lunch
4) do you have a host of interest?
5) can you mow and trim the lawn and feel like you've achieved something
6) read a book cover to cover non stop
7) can you sit on the pier, bridge or shore with a pole and a bucket of bait and love it.

I'm hoping I'm on to something because I am all the above and counting on it to be enough
Had dinner with a 1 yr retired colleague - she's happy!




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Old 05-24-2016, 06:10 AM   #17
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These articles that look only at retirement savings usually have the same flaw: they don't take pensions (or lack thereof) into account. One can retire more securely and comfortably, in many cases, on no retirement savings plus a $50K pension with COLA and retiree health insurance than they can on a $2M 401K.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:17 AM   #18
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These articles that look only at retirement savings usually have the same flaw: they don't take pensions (or lack thereof) into account. One can retire more securely and comfortably, in many cases, on no retirement savings plus a $50K pension with COLA and retiree health insurance than they can on a $2M 401K.
Absolutely. A few years ago I was talking to a former colleague who'd retired at age 57. She told me I could do it, too. (She's probably a couple of years older than I am.) Her own career had included a break of about 10 years while she raised 3 sons, then going back in PT and eventually working her way into a high-power FT position- but Hubby had worked most of his career at IBM and probably had a gold-plated retirement package. Umm, yeah, that makes a big difference.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:39 PM   #19
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Sorry, I am not giving up my Millions to be more happy
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:19 AM   #20
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Many can derive happiness just by looking at their millions. Nowaways, it's not even a pile of cash, or shiny gold bars. It's just a number on the computer screen.
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