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Stupidest NYT financial story ever?
Old 02-22-2017, 12:17 AM   #1
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Stupidest NYT financial story ever?

What a worthless, absurd article.

The New York Times: How Big Do You Want Your Nest Egg to Be?

Most of the crazy numbers bandied about by these folks are taken at face value by the writer.

Quote:
Her number hovers around $65 million. With that she would travel with her family. But “I see that as an educational experience more than a luxury item purchased with a windfall,” said Ms. Todd, 51, a writer and teacher in Sacramento who is married with three children. “We’d travel cheap and dirty, with immersion in mind.”

[snip]

“We have a half mil in the bank, and I panic all the time about not having enough,” Ms. Todd said. In addition to her parents and in-laws, all of whom are in their 90s “with two pension plans possibly running out,” her two children will be heading to college in the next five years. She also has a $500,000 home with $400,000 still owed on it and a retirement fund that did not begin until 2002, when her husband graduated from law school.
Even with all the "cheap and dirty" traveling, good luck reaching $65 million...
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Old 02-22-2017, 12:35 AM   #2
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That looks like it used up about 8 inches of electronic paper, maybe a foot. Although I have to say, if I had 20 Million dollars I would give to philanthropy too. Philanthropy really could use some money.


One word: Editor
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:06 AM   #3
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Most of the crazy numbers bandied about by these folks are taken at face value by the writer.
Agree some of the numbers are crazy but I didn't see the intent of article as trying to educate people on what you need to do to retire securely. Just a general interest article, she asked some folks a question and wrote up their answers.
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:58 AM   #4
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First of all I try not to waste too many seconds of my precious time left on this planet reading anything in the NYT.

Having scanned the article it seems that no one in the story has ever run any retirement numbers. The first paragraph has some loser thinking he needs $20MM to buy a home and have a $100K annual income.

OTOH Now you got me thinking. I'm hoping that I'M not the one who's math is off!!
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:34 AM   #5
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I think I found one of their interviewees:

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Old 02-22-2017, 07:37 AM   #6
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Math is hard.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:14 AM   #7
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What are theses millions of $$$?
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:21 AM   #8
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Then we read stories about lottery winners who take home at least $10M as their share in the winning ticket, only to blow it all in a few years and end up worse off than had they never won anything. Go figure.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:55 AM   #9
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I read about a reasonable person or two who were highlighted by absurd and clueless people who had no idea what they needed for resources. "As for Ms. Sosnow, her life is simple and straightforward. “If I wanted more money, I could pursue it, but why?” she said."
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:16 AM   #10
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I read about a reasonable person or two who were highlighted by absurd and clueless people who had no idea what they needed for resources. "As for Ms. Sosnow, her life is simple and straightforward. “If I wanted more money, I could pursue it, but why?” she said."
As I glanced through the article, she was the only one who knew anything about money. She said she needed only $36K/year.
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:26 AM   #11
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Agree some of the numbers are crazy but I didn't see the intent of article as trying to educate people on what you need to do to retire securely. Just a general interest article, she asked some folks a question and wrote up their answers.
Right. Just a disorganized babble without any focus on what it really takes.

Articles like this are exactly why when I am approached by a writer or TV interviewer for a story, I tell them to take a hike. I refuse all interviews. I did it one time, and it was inserted into a story in an editorial way that really irked me. The poor lady that the OP quoted comes off sounding really clueless, but I bet there is a bigger story here that the writer left out. Been there, done that.
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:48 AM   #12
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It was interesting in a way in that none of the people featured even hinted at how much $$ they actually had in their nest eggs, just how much they wished they had. Sure, I wish I had $100 million! It doesn't sound like they are anywhere near the amounts they talk about--Ms Todd owes $400k on a house she says is valued at $500k, probably not the situation of most people who have $65 million lying around. It's also the flip side of the many stories about people who plan to retire with a $20k nest egg to supplement their Social Security.

But yes, it's a pointless story, just about fantasy nest eggs.

I have used up my ten NYT articles but learned that you can open them up in a private browser window, which doesn't do cookies, and read as many as you like.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:06 AM   #13
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First of all I try not to waste too many seconds of my precious time left on this planet reading anything in the NYT!
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:09 AM   #14
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Even with all the "cheap and dirty" traveling, good luck reaching $65 million...
Yeah, that part of the article made it pretty clear to me that this has nothing to do with realistic retirement planning. This Ms. Todd lady is 51, has $500k in the bank, two kids approaching college age, and owes $400k on her mortgage... and her dream number is $65 million?? This is pure fantasy on any rational level, so my take on it is that she's just trotting out her "if I won the lottery" scenario. The author actually uses the phrase "stupid money" and "fantasy" money in the article, thus dispelling the notion that this is a serious article about retirement.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:39 AM   #15
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Yeah, that part of the article made it pretty clear to me that this has nothing to do with realistic retirement planning. This Ms. Todd lady is 51, has $500k in the bank, two kids approaching college age, and owes $400k on her mortgage... and her dream number is $65 million?? This is pure fantasy on any rational level, so my take on it is that she's just trotting out her "if I won the lottery" scenario. The author actually uses the phrase "stupid money" and "fantasy" money in the article, thus dispelling the notion that this is a serious article about retirement.
I will remind you that Ms. Todd may have been edited to look this way. Maybe they did talk about the lottery in between and the writer cut it out.

I see what people mean about not wanting to read NYT. Exhibit A.
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:27 AM   #16
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I just wasted a portion of my life reading that stupid article
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Old 02-22-2017, 12:31 PM   #17
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Dumb Article. $36,000 a year with a paid off house is very doable for my lifestyle.

I think that I'll pass on any future NYT articles.

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Old 02-22-2017, 02:30 PM   #18
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Meh, I just take the article as face value... It's kind of a dreamer discussion that illustrates that different people have different thoughts on what Financial Independence, Financial Freedom, and Financial Abundance means to them.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:32 PM   #19
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Dumb Article. $36,000 a year with a paid off house is very doable for my lifestyle.

I think that I'll pass on any future NYT articles.

Michael
Only if one continues to get ACA subsidy, or is of Medicare age, or not a resident of the US. Else, 1/2 of that budget would go for healthcare already.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:52 PM   #20
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Only if one continues to get ACA subsidy, or is of Medicare age, or not a resident of the US. Else, 1/2 of that budget would go for healthcare already.
My apologies for the near-sightedness regarding Health Insurance. I work for State Govt. and my wife and I are grandfathered in our State retiree health plan. The State provides "no cost" premiums for a 70/30 plan from age 60 on. Upon going on medicare the State Plan becomes the secondary coverage. Hence, my magic number is 60.

By the way, if an individual started their employment for the State of NC prior to 2006, they would only have had to work 5 years in order to get their health covered from age 60 forward. Now-adays, I believe that an employee needs to work 10 years for a 50% reduction and 20 years to have the healthcare premiums paid for life.

By the way, I've got one of those chronic conditions that made my decision (to go into State Govt) really easy - almost 13 years ago. Heck, I would swept floors for the 5 years.

BTW - In a few years folks may need millions of dollars just for healthcare during retirement. Not good...
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