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Old 12-14-2010, 01:35 PM   #21
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This gets toward what I was thinking about my parents, and what the definition of "work" is. They retired 15 years ago at 57. They moved to their dream home on a lake in NH. Neither works per se, but they do contribute a LOT to their community. My dad is helping the Historical Society rebuild an historic barn, he runs the Photography Club, oversees a rock quarry (he's a rockhound) outside of town, and does a bunch of other stuff. My mom is active with the local cancer support group, the town's art council, and her church.

So, they haven't returned to "work", but they definitely work! They are busier now than when they had real jobs! I don't see why the assumption is that you have to work to contribute to society. How about all the retirees who volunteer countless hours of their time? One could argue that that is more valuable than bringing home a paycheck.
The difference in terms of "work" is that they are doing what THEY want to do. When they don't like it anymore, they have the option of quitting with minimal, if any, repercussions.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:16 PM   #22
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I don't have any hard data, but how can we fight the demographic trends in developed countries where people live longer, and yet the birth rate gets lower. With so many retirees, who is out there producing? I mean the ones who are not tied up in nursing homes taking care of the elderly?

So, we say people need to work longer. But doing what? How can we provide meaningful and productive work to the elderly who need it?

And should we be talking ill of the people who cannot afford to retire? Not everyone has a good enough income to live on while stashing away tens of thousand a year. And if everyone does, well, to this non-economist, would that not mean higher inflation and cost of living? If everyone has a 7-figure portfolio, but there are so few youngsters out there to pamper and to take care of us geezers, would everything not cost more?

It sounds bleak! And yet, we all want to live longer, into our 90s and 100s. What is good for individuals is not necessarily good for the species!
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:02 PM   #23
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So, we say people need to work longer. But doing what? How can we provide meaningful and productive work to the elderly who need it?
In late middle age people shoud go to law school. Then, after they pass the bar, they can get old clients, and sue other old people, who will in turn hire old lawyers. Judges are already old, as they never die. This should take care of most of the problem.

Ha
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:19 PM   #24
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I don't have any hard data, but how can we fight the demographic trends in developed countries where people live longer, and yet the birth rate gets lower. With so many retirees, who is out there producing? I mean the ones who are not tied up in nursing homes taking care of the elderly?
Immigration...
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:33 PM   #25
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Yes, thank you! Tell that to people who believe that immigrants simply steal our jobs.

Of course in exchange for them to take care of us and changing our diapers in nursing homes, we will have to pay for the care with our stocks, our homes, our assets. They will earn it.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:47 AM   #26
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So, they haven't returned to "work", but they definitely work! They are busier now than when they had real jobs! I don't see why the assumption is that you have to work to contribute to society. How about all the retirees who volunteer countless hours of their time? One could argue that that is more valuable than bringing home a paycheck.
I agree. Fortunately most posts on this forum have some balance. I try to keep in mind this is an ER forum, but I get sideways with posts here from the 'all work is evil, all employers are bad' crowd that openly denigrate those who choose to work once FI, whether PT, full-time or volunteering. Some of the 'all work is evil' crowd were/are undoubtedly the co-workers we all couldn't stand working with.

And I get sideways with posts that suggest that those who choose to relax and putter around should feel guilty.

To me FI is the bigger point, to me it represents the freedom to do whatever DW and I choose. There is no "best" or "right" - it's a continuum of options just like all of life that precedes "retirement."
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:21 AM   #27
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Immigration...
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Yes, thank you! Tell that to people who believe that immigrants simply steal our jobs.
Interesting article:

Immigrants Make Paths to Suburbia, Not Cities

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They show a portrait of a rapidly changing America, whose young population is much more diverse than its older one.

About 48 percent of newborns last year were members of minority groups, compared with just a fifth of those over 65, a statistic that raises questions about possible generational tensions for the United States in coming decades, particularly over the cost of education and health care, said Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. [Poorly constructed sentence but nevertheless...]
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In the last large immigration wave, in the late 19th century, immigrants took several generations to assimilate into American society through education. But the United States cannot afford to wait that long as its declining economy struggles to compete with developing countries like China, said Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, co-director of an immigration research center at New York University.
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The data also showed an increasingly pinched middle class. Median income declined by almost 5 percent in the past decade, with a few exceptions, including Maryland, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The deterioration was worse in counties dependent on manufacturing, where income dropped by 9 percent.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:54 AM   #28
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:02 AM   #29
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my brief discussion with some Dutch people when the Greeks were fomenting over their issues this summer showed me that they were horrified at a retirement earlier than age 65.
They may not have been a representative sample. Only 22% of Dutch 60/64-year-olds are in employment, which is half the figure for the US (source).
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:45 AM   #30
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The philosophy of "work until you drop" is utterly incompatible with a society that has 16-17% real unemployment, especially when you add in rampant age discrimination in employment and hiring.

Isn't it better, if one is inclined, to jump off the hamster wheel when they can afford to do so, and provide a job opportunity for one of those 16-17% who need the job a lot more than they do?
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