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Old 03-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #21
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i don't understand. do they owe you the money or someone else. if they owe someone else how are you liable
They owe me the money.

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Because if it gets to be a big problem, affecting a lot of people, someone will step forward to solve it.
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This is what really concerns me. What enjoyinglife 102 said:

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Whenever I see data like this, it just raises my concerns about how much social security a lot of us will see.
This is far bigger than just my merry little band of mortgagors. This is really what is giving me heartburn.

Enough worrying for today. I can't fix this problem, as Midpack so aptly quoted.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:02 PM   #22
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the data from this Franklin Templeton Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) survey
I don't know the specifics on that survey, but consider the source. Mutual fund companies have a vested interest in whipping up anxiety re retirement ("if I don't start investing aggressively, I might be reduced to eating cat food!"). That's why they also promote the myth that every retiree will need passive income equal to at least 70% of pre-retirement income.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:12 AM   #23
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I've seen similar reports before, from a variety of sources, and I have not seen any reports stating that "practically everyone ages 55 to 65 have enough in retirement savings to live on for 30 years", so I'm inclined to believe the report. Furthermore, a number of co-workers have come to me to chat about retirement, since they heard I've been working hard to understand what needs to be understood, and those conversations also lead me to believe that that report is pretty close to on-target.

I think I shared on this forum (and if not, it was on another forum) last week that I learned that my holdings plus the holdings of a close friend in my company represent almost 25% of the whole for my company's 401k plan. We're just two employees out of thirty. And our company is not a young group. As I contemplate ER in 5-10 years, some co-workers my age are just starting to think seriously about retirement.

From the advice co-workers have asked me for over the last six months, I have gotten an impression of just how much (or little) some of them have saved for retirement. Unless the stock market triples in value, few of my co-workers could possibly save up the amount that I figured I'll need to have saved in order to be able to afford to retire, even if they stopped paying the mortgage, stopped eating, turned off the electric, from now until FRA.

But catching up like that doesn't even seem to be the general intention: I have several times explained the difference between having the 401k, as crappy as ours is (no match, high ERs), versus not having a 401k, and instead being able to deduct IRA contributions - essentially highlighting the difference between putting away ~$17k/$23k per year tax-advantaged versus putting away only ~$5k/$6k per year tax-advantaged per year. So far only one co-worker gave any indication that that represented any significant difference to them. From these comments and from the understanding that my own holdings represent such a large percentage of the whole plan, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that on average co-workers are contributing no more than $100 per biweekly paycheck toward retirement.

Perhaps these folks are atypical, but I rather doubt it.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:44 AM   #24
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The metaphorical grasshoppers will always be with us. And, yes, it may impact our own lives by driving means testing of social security, reducing pension security, tanking the equities and real estate markets and things like that. But rather than worry, I try to plan around those eventualities. Thus, our own plan, which is within a few years of being implemented:

1.) Does not assume any reduction in spending from our current level, except for not saving or paying the mortgage anymore. There is plenty of fat in that budget, so we could cut back if we really needed to;

2.) Does not rely on receiving one penny from Social Security;

3.) Does not rely on any inheritance;

4.) Does not rely on extracting any of the equity from our house;

5.) Can be paid for by pension income alone or by a 4% draw on our stash.

I realize that it is probably overkill, that we could retire sooner and that we will probably die with a large chunk of unspent assets, but it helps me avoid worrying about these things. As I learned long ago, plan for the worst and hope for the best. Once you've done everything in your own control, relax and enjoy the ride.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:54 AM   #25
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Thus, our own plan, which is within a few years of being implemented:

1.) Does not assume any reduction in spending from our current level, except for not saving or paying the mortgage anymore. There is plenty of fat in that budget, so we could cut back if we really needed to;

2.) Does not rely on receiving one penny from Social Security;

3.) Does not rely on any inheritance;

4.) Does not rely on extracting any of the equity from our house;

5.) Can be paid for by pension income alone or by a 4% draw on our stash.

I realize that it is probably overkill...
Belt, suspenders, duct tape, super glue, Velcro and two pair of pants.

What could possibly go wrong!
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:22 AM   #26
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Belt, suspenders, duct tape, super glue, Velcro and two pair of pants.

What could possibly go wrong!
Asteroid! Not much else of an earthly nature, though.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:38 AM   #27
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:48 AM   #28
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I've seen similar reports before, from a variety of sources, and I have not seen any reports stating that "practically everyone ages 55 to 65 have enough in retirement savings to live on for 30 years", so I'm inclined to believe the report.
I believe it too, especially given what I see with most relatives and most people at work. The ones doing the best are those who get a COLA'd pension and medical coverage post-retirement. But for the most part those days are gone or will be soon.

I think a lot of boomers are going to be eating cat food. And not the good stuff either, store brand only.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:05 AM   #29
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When I was working, people really didn't get it. You have to SAVE $$$ while you work. And not just the 2% or whatever of your salary.

It seems to be hard for people to grasp the concept of not spending all the time. I mean, I didn't live poor. But I brought my lunch to work (saving $50 a week) and didn't buy a new house that was a 45 min. commute... I could go on.

It wasn't easy for me to do this, and I did most of it toward the end of my working life when I finally made decent money. But I did it, I'm retired, got enough $, am hoping that SS still pays me and I inherit SOME... but I know I can cut expenses to the bone and still be okay if none of that happens.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #30
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I realize that it is probably overkill, that we could retire sooner and that we will probably die with a large chunk of unspent assets, but it helps me avoid worrying about these things. As I learned long ago, plan for the worst and hope for the best. Once you've done everything in your own control, relax and enjoy the ride.
I don't think it is overkill, at all. It is just sensible. But then, I guess I have a cautious nature, too.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #31
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Belt, suspenders, duct tape, super glue, Velcro and two pair of pants.

What could possibly go wrong!
Health issues keep you from enjoying all that money you have saved.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:50 PM   #32
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It wasn't easy for me to do this, and I did most of it toward the end of my working life when I finally made decent money.
And therein lies the problem, at least for those of us in our fifties now. Just when a lot of us were expecting to finally break through and start the "end of our working life when we finally made decent money", it didn't happen: Suddenly, if you're over fifty, you're no longer revving up the engine of retirement savings but instead looking for a job, and happy - happy - to find something paying 20% less, 30% less, 40% less, maybe even 50% less.

A close friend of mine worked for a division of one of the largest companies in the world. She was doing great work. Within a few years things turned sour. She started getting inexplicably poor reviews that had no relationship to actual events or actual performance. It was like a novel was being written about the sudden, inexplicable conversion of a model employee into someone who simply didn't have the skills to do the job. At the same time, the actual working conditions degraded markedly, making the effort of remaining a professional, and competent as ever even more difficult, given how the reward for a job well done was another poor review. My friend wasn't alone. Within the course of four years, the company found a way to either chase away or let go every single employee in her division over the age of 50, and one or two getting close to that age. But the company was smart: They didn't contest unemployment compensation (which, if they did, clearly would have caused at least several discrimination claims), and they had on the record a documented history, albeit fictional, justifying the terminations. The division now enjoys higher profits from just moderately lower quality work from the low-paid twentysomethings they hired to replace the elder workers they got rid of. And the fiftysomethings scramble to find jobs just to keep from dipping into what little they did manage to save previously.

Business used to understand that our maturity and experience justifies our higher salaries. I think business understands now that that was actually never true - that maturity and experience beyond a certain point is worth comparatively marginal amounts, rather than the comparatively more significant amounts that used to feed that phenomenon you outlined, making decent money toward the end of your career, enough to save for retirement. While I think that a lot of my contemporaries definitely could have saved more for retirement by now, given the opportunities they had previously, at this point, the game has changed, and the ability to do that going forward is going to be much more limited for real, rather than just out of lack of will, as you alluded to.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:46 PM   #33
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And therein lies the problem, at least for those of us in our fifties now. Just when a lot of us were expecting to finally break through and start the "end of our working life when we finally made decent money", it didn't happen: Suddenly, if you're over fifty, you're no longer revving up the engine of retirement savings but instead looking for a job, and happy - happy - to find something paying 20% less, 30% less, 40% less, maybe even 50% less.
Back when I started work, the manager who hired me gave me the heads up about the game I was entering. He basically told me engineering should be treated like a sports career, don't count on reaching full retirement age. Fortunately I had my job issues early on, so FI was in the cards from the get go even though most people thought it not worth the sacrifice.

Besides the risk, another problem with waiting till the last minute to prepare is that you lose the compounding growth over time. My largest accounts I stopped funding many years ago, so my paycheck looks like a trickle. This aspect is where I believe the damage from excessive student loan debt is severe, very few of today's young people can even choose to get an early start as I did. Seems like a long time ago when pension spiking was a viable strategy, and I sure hope today's kids find some analogous opportunity when their time comes.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:26 PM   #34
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The metaphorical grasshoppers will always be with us. And, yes, it may impact our own lives by driving means testing of social security, reducing pension security, tanking the equities and real estate markets and things like that. But rather than worry, I try to plan around those eventualities. Thus, our own plan, which is within a few years of being implemented:

1.) Does not assume any reduction in spending from our current level, except for not saving or paying the mortgage anymore. There is plenty of fat in that budget, so we could cut back if we really needed to;

2.) Does not rely on receiving one penny from Social Security;

3.) Does not rely on any inheritance;

4.) Does not rely on extracting any of the equity from our house;

5.) Can be paid for by pension income alone or by a 4% draw on our stash.

I realize that it is probably overkill, that we could retire sooner and that we will probably die with a large chunk of unspent assets, but it helps me avoid worrying about these things. As I learned long ago, plan for the worst and hope for the best. Once you've done everything in your own control, relax and enjoy the ride.
Gumby, this sounds like our plan too. I figure I'd hate to count on Social Security to find I'm means tested out at the last minute.

SIS
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:58 PM   #35
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And therein lies the problem, at least for those of us in our fifties now. Just when a lot of us were expecting to finally break through and start the "end of our working life when we finally made decent money", it didn't happen: Suddenly, if you're over fifty, you're no longer revving up the engine of retirement savings but instead looking for a job, and happy - happy - to find something paying 20% less, 30% less, 40% less, maybe even 50% less.
----
Business used to understand that our maturity and experience justifies our higher salaries. I think business understands now that that was actually never true - that maturity and experience beyond a certain point is worth comparatively marginal amounts, rather than the comparatively more significant amounts that used to feed that phenomenon you outlined, making decent money toward the end of your career, enough to save for retirement. While I think that a lot of my contemporaries definitely could have saved more for retirement by now, given the opportunities they had previously, at this point, the game has changed, and the ability to do that going forward is going to be much more limited for real, rather than just out of lack of will, as you alluded to.
Oh you are absolutely right on all counts. But the people I was talking about had secure jobs and were younger and not saving. My boss was 35 and well-paid, and couldn't possibly forgo expensive vacations to save for retirement past some small amount in the 401k. And these discussions started 10 years ago - on people who really did have good incomes and are still there. Crossing fingers.

The business environment is awful right now. 10% of our dept. was let go, and so we were doing more work. I was starting to get the bad review for no reason syndrome (made me unpromotable) a couple of months before I quit. I was lucky to be a little older and - having survived the cut - not too worried because I planned to retire soon.

I think the business model of use 'em up young, hire them cheap, and get rid of the older people with experience is totally and utterly screwed up and I hope the country and businesses are eventually going to see that. I started seeing that trend quite a while ago.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:10 PM   #36
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To those referred to in the last sentence, what we have saved is a fortune. And I do, at times, wonder if it's enough. I guess it's all relative.
Sometimes just wondering if you will have enough is enough motivation to keep on LBYMing and watching your retirement stash grow and grow and grow.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:43 PM   #37
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Sometimes just wondering if you will have enough is enough motivation to keep on LBYMing and watching your retirement stash grow and grow and grow.
+1 - certainly works for me...
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:45 PM   #38
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I started a Roth for my daughter when she was a summer fire fighter and attending college some years ago. Then she got married and she and hubby went into the Peace Corps. When they returned a year ago, they started work and they both invest each year into their Roth IRA's and their company 401k...they are both in their early twenties so I hope the habit sticks with them. They bought a nice house with their savings that built up while they were in Peace Corps and they returned from that experience with a much different attitude about whether owning things was all that important. Saving early and relying on compounding is really the only way that the middle class can get ahead. All the posts regarding how dangerous it is to wait are true. I agree, no one values experience whether any of us think that is good or not.
Back in the day, I remember doing presentations on the work world in which I told people that they will change jobs and entire careers seven to ten times in their work life. What I think we neglected to realize was that, if those same people didn't change careers or grow in their existing jobs, their experience would become so dated, that it would have no value. And their companies would lay them off without any scruples at all. Often people have no way to see the end coming until it is too late. Getting and keeping up with skills is not easy and often not cheap so we are seeing lots of people being cast to the side for no reason other than their wages were not see as being cost effective. It is very sad but what it means is that saving money as early as possible creates options and peace of mind. Of course what THAT means is that people will put off or simply discard the idea of reproducing. Children cost money too and you can't save tons of money and have kids too. What a mess we have made of things. But I know this; my kids have already said they don't want kids. And when I was an investment advisor, I told people who were eager to early retire, that the single most important thing they needed to do was not have kids. I didn't like saying that but the data is there to see. Early retirees (and I mean extreme early like people in their 30's or 40's) generally don't have kids.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:06 PM   #39
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Thinker25 nailed it. People who could be saving more aren't. They will be sorry. It's not everybody of course but an awful lot of my colleagues just kept spending and spending. What are they going to do?
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:03 PM   #40
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The contributors here are in a select minority. I often wonder how many folks find this place, lurk a bit, then realize how ill-prepared they are, and never/seldom post out of embarrassment, fear, or reality check.
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I could fit that mold, but after getting by just fine in my ill-prepared state for almost 13 years, I am no longer embarrassed or afraid to talk about it. I figured out the big balances most people deprive themselves to attain during their working years are fine for those who earn six figure incomes, but assets are not the key to a happy retirement in my opinion, the much more critical figure is cash flow. As long as the dooms day prophets don't get to say, "I told you so" if and when the Social Security system ever does really fail, I am going to keep on enjoying a carefree life without suffering anxiety every time we take another trip.
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