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China's Share
Old 07-04-2008, 10:56 PM   #21
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China's Share

"The debt currently stands at $9.3 trillion and is largely driven by rising Medicare and Social Security costs."

Maybe this author hasn't noticed but we are engaged in a two front war that will last for decades. I see that he has left out the cost of those wars, instead suggesting that the way to save money is to not retire "early".

I suggest we remove our armies from the field as soon as possible and let China take over our efforts. They have the man power and resources to take our place.

I'm for China doing their share and all the Boomers that can, retiring early.

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Old 07-05-2008, 02:06 AM   #22
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Well, if we don't retire early, then we don't need to save and invest so much money. That means no investment in future production and GDP growth, so we will spend our money buying more imports. Does that sound patriotic? Hogwash! FIREes are just as patriotic as those who choose otherwise, and probably even more, because they know how to LBYMs, where those who don't are more likely not to even know what LBYMs means.
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Old 07-05-2008, 04:39 AM   #23
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Yes... unpatriotic. Keep yourself tied to the yoke until you die so you can help someone else not work and become wealthy. Continue working till you die or dies shortly after retirement, that way your pension is cleared from the books and your other assets will be spent by someone else.

That guy can k!$$ my ER bound @$$. I could care less what the $h!th3@d thinks. I hope he continues to work so SS is funded. Of course, I will bet that hypocritical jerk did not serve in the military... his patriotic gestures probably beging and end with a generous spew of empty rhetoric.
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:53 AM   #24
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So true. I have pity for those misguided souls who can't let go of the rat race for fear they will no longer be "productive". I'm not mentioning any names, but we have a prime example right here in our midst...

If you mean me, I'm not "productive." I just take their money.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:41 AM   #25
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I am wary of people who apply labels, blame and judgements to a block of people - in this case early retirees. If there is anything I've learned from participating here is we are a diverse group of people with many reasons for retiring (or planing to retire) early.
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:29 AM   #26
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How about reducing government spending and getting the unemployed to work?
True and instead of shaming us into working longer, he should be writing an article on using the ER crowd as an example of what can be accomplished if one does work hard and lead a frugal life! Screw the author.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:21 AM   #27
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True and instead of shaming us into working longer, he should be writing an article on using the ER crowd as an example of what can be accomplished if one does work hard and lead a frugal life! Screw the author.
Yeah, that's a corollary of this piece of tripe masquerading as "journalism." It seems like a thinly-veiled attempt to get people to drink the spend-and-consume Kool-Aid.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:58 AM   #28
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If you mean me, I'm not "productive." I just take their money.
No, I think you missed the point. It was such a subtle jab at some rich dude in Tampa that the guy being jabbed missed it completely.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:05 AM   #29
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No, I think you missed the point. It was such a subtle jab at some rich dude in Tampa that the guy being jabbed missed it completely.
This is my life....
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:21 AM   #30
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The Dilbert strip is a perfect example of how the system feels like it may increasingly discourage working.

I don't want this to get political, but to me it feels like a future of higher taxes and more means-tested benefits is likely. And if those things happen, it means more taxes are taken away from working folks, and more benefits are taken away from people who save and invest prudently for their own future.

If this future comes into being, it will continue to make what I call "the incremental value of work" -- that is, the amount of personal financial gain by working instead of retiring -- get closer and closer to zero. Get it close enough to zero and people will understandably say, "what the hell am I still doing on the hamster wheel?"

So if it's "unpatriotic" to retire early, I'd say it's also unpatriotic to allow a system that takes so much away from people who work and provide for their own futures that the government practically PUSHES them off the hamster wheel with policies that give virtually no incentive to stay on it. Sorry if this is borderline political, but I think if smug, self-identifying "patriots" like the schmuck who wrote this column really wanted people to work after they no longer needed to, they should be advocating that tax and spend policies stop encouraging retirement.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #31
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The Dilbert strip is a perfect example of how the system feels like it may increasingly discourage working.

I don't want this to get political, but to me it feels like a future of higher taxes and more means-tested benefits is likely. And if those things happen, it means more taxes are taken away from working folks, and more benefits are taken away from people who save and invest prudently for their own future.

If this future comes into being, it will continue to make what I call "the incremental value of work" -- that is, the amount of personal financial gain by working instead of retiring -- get closer and closer to zero. Get it close enough to zero and people will understandably say, "what the hell am I still doing on the hamster wheel?"

So if it's "unpatriotic" to retire early, I'd say it's also unpatriotic to allow a system that takes so much away from people who work and provide for their own futures that the government practically PUSHES them off the hamster wheel with policies that give virtually no incentive to stay on it. Sorry if this is borderline political, but I think if smug, self-identifying "patriots" like the schmuck who wrote this column really wanted people to work after they no longer needed to, they should be advocating that tax and spend policies stop encouraging retirement.
Wow, maybe we've come full circle from the OP. It seems clear we're between a rock and a hard place re: federal entitlement costs and increasingly unfavorable demographics with globalization compounding the problem. Either we're going to get taxed more or we're going to accept lesser benefits (fat chance...politicians know they lose votes taking things away, and the majority think the rich can pay the tax increases), so we're going to get taxed more. And based on the OP article and your assessment (not that I don't agree), it seems it's in the best interest of 'our leaders' to encourage us to continue to work. So you'd think they would increase or "tilt" the tax hurt on future (and present?) retirees and less so on active workers. Not that I'm wishing for any of this, but I can see how it might happen. It seems like something is going to have to give one of these days, unfortunately the sooner the better...
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #32
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. . . I think if smug, self-identifying "patriots" like the schmuck who wrote this column really wanted people to work after they no longer needed to, they should be advocating that tax and spend policies stop encouraging retirement.
I think folks like this guy will be encouraging a taxation policy that includes less taxation of "earned" income, more taxation of cap gains and interest. And means testing of SS. Welcome to our future--"Keep pulling on that oar, you old shirker!"
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:38 AM   #33
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And based on the OP article and your assessment (not that I don't agree), it seems it's in the best interest of 'our leaders' to encourage us to continue to work. So you'd think they would increase or "tilt" the tax hurt on future (and/or present) retirees and less so on active workers. Not that I'm wishing for this, but I can see how it might happen...
You could be right. If they're really going to get serious about making people choose to work over retirement, they need to let workers keep MORE of their income and retirees keep LESS. Because right now it feels like it's headed in the opposite direction, which is likely to make more people "do the math" and realize that they're working for practically nothing. When they realize that, you've lost them.

But there is one huge obstacle to taxing retirement income more punitively than earned income -- AARP. Maybe AARP is good for something after all...
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:40 AM   #34
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You could be right. If they're really going to get serious about making people choose to work over retirement, they need to let workers keep MORE of their income and retirees keep LESS. Because right now it feels like it's headed in the opposite direction, which is likely to make more people "do the math" and realize that they're working for practically nothing. When they realize that, you've lost them.

But there is one huge obstacle to taxing retirement income more punitively than earned income -- AARP. Maybe AARP is good for something after all...
Retirement entitlements are already being "means tested" resulting in less money in the pockets of seniors. Social security benefits used to be tax free and now they aren't. You include SS on your 1040 now and 80% might be included in your taxable income. Medicare Part B (I think) will cost "affluent" seniors more than someone with little or no income other than SS.
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:22 PM   #35
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Seriously,

Isn't it more productive (see Dilbert above) to get out of the way and let the younger generation have a shot at the work world brass ring?

Unpatriotic? Keep working! Keep saving! Sounds like something the mutual fund industry is promoting.
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Old 07-05-2008, 01:18 PM   #36
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Seriously,

Isn't it more productive (see Dilbert above) to get out of the way and let the younger generation have a shot at the work world brass ring?

Unpatriotic? Keep working! Keep saving! Sounds like something the mutual fund industry is promoting.
Very true. When I've talked with people about retiring that have a FA, their FA always says they don't have enough to retire yet and they need to keep working. I've not had anyone tell me that their FA said they had enough. I think that FAs have learned that once someone is no longer busy working all day they will suddenly realize that the fees they've been paying can be avoided very easily. A retired account is usually a lost account.

I'd probably retire except for my personal situation that keeps me trapped in Houston with a wife that doesn't want to be out of town that often. It was a major effort to get her to go to Europe for a week. My 4 weeks off per year is ok especially since I'm off almost every Friday. If my situation improves, I have the ability to take unpaid leave and keep my medical benefits. I will say that my career motivation and focus are gone. I aspire to mediocrity and I believe I have achieved it.

In my area there is currently a serious shortage of even marginally qualified people. If someone in the younger generation wants my job, there are others just like it that are currently open.
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:10 PM   #37
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Retirement entitlements are already being "means tested" resulting in less money in the pockets of seniors. Social security benefits used to be tax free and now they aren't. You include SS on your 1040 now and 80% might be included in your taxable income. Medicare Part B (I think) will cost "affluent" seniors more than someone with little or no income other than SS.
I know they already are to a point -- and it's 85% of SS that can be taxed, not 80%. I know because I do my mom's taxes since my dad passed in '05. Since he died her household income has dropped a bit (because of only one SS check instead of two and because of dropping interest rates on bank accounts and MMFs) -- AND her income tax nearly doubled because now she files single and 85% of her SS is taxed instead of 50%. Together this has kicked her into the 25% bracket instead of the 15, despite income that's lower by almost $10K per year.

But it seems the momentum and realities are going to push benefits toward means testing even more, and the more you push it that way and the more benefits you provide for people who have less, the more it seems like you can retire early with a fairly modest nest egg and have needs met (especially if the government really gets into health care). In that case, continuing to work, having more and more of it taxed and watching your promised benefits get means tested into nothing if you save too much seems like a sucker's bet.

And in reality, when we get to that point will be when these "means tested" benefits like SS and Medicare are based more on net worth than on income. At that point, it will be easy to question why you are depriving yourself of what you want *now* in order to maximize retirement security.

For example, if every $3 in net worth resulted in an expected $1 loss in SS and Medicare benefits at some hypothetical point in the future, that's like a 33% tax on saving in addition to the tax you may have already paid on the saved money. Seems like a good reason to reach for the hammock a little earlier than planned, if you ask me.
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:51 PM   #38
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We've from the government and we're here to help you! (and I'm a Democrat!).

85% tax on my early SS. And based on my 2006 tax return - I get to pay extra on Medicare starting this month cause I'm single turning 65 and over 82k.

My reward for being such a cheap bastard in the 90's(early ER) - 12k being my all time low. All praise to Bogle and time in the market.

His version of Patriotic is my version of 'stick it where the sun don't shine'. Patriotic eh! - get somebody to hold his coat while I fire up some of my leftover Roman Candles and shoot him in the butt.

heh heh heh - not that he touched a hot button or anything - .
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:09 PM   #39
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Many of us here did not exactly have a choice as when to retire. Mega corp moved our jobs to another country, or brought in workers from other countries to do our jobs for less. Some of us have some health issues and find it time to quit. As for myself, DW passed away when my son was 10 so I had to rethink the operations here. I work a few mornings a week and have become the soccer dad.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:03 PM   #40
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We've from the government and we're here to help you! (and I'm a Democrat!).

85% tax on my early SS. And based on my 2006 tax return - I get to pay extra on Medicare starting this month cause I'm single turning 65 and over 82k.

My reward for being such a cheap bastard in the 90's(early ER) - 12k being my all time low. All praise to Bogle and time in the market.

His version of Patriotic is my version of 'stick it where the sun don't shine'. Patriotic eh! - get somebody to hold his coat while I fire up some of my leftover Roman Candles and shoot him in the butt.

heh heh heh - not that he touched a hot button or anything - .
Somebody get unclemick a gold star for his curmudgeon certficate!
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