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Old 03-13-2009, 10:53 AM   #21
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Except that someone starting a full-time j*b at 18 won't be in college and thus is far less likely to be able to have the income to put away for early retirement. Though I guess those who go into the military right after high school and put in their 20+ would be an exception.
I am more and more impressed with Kotlikoff and Burns' ability to cover all the bases. In their book (Spend Til' the End"), Chaper 10 -- Does College Really Pay -- starts with:

Quote:
"The real question is not whether college grads earn more once they get work. The real question is can they achieve a higher living standard over their lifetimes given the costs of attending college"
and ends with

Quote:
"There's more to college than just making money, of course. ...will have lots of fun and will, no doubt, make lifetime friends. ...also should learn a lot. But on pure economic grounds, going to college, at least an expensive one, is far less beneficial than most people believe."
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:57 AM   #22
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Ron, I think that depends on what you study and where you go. I was accepted to some pretty prestigious private schools but I wound up going to a cheap state university which I was able to pay for in full by living at home and w*rking part time (mostly full-time during the summer and winter breaks) at a drug store.

So I got out of college with a job as a programmer -- and no student loan debt. Even when I was 18 I was being cheap and avoiding unnecessary debt...
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:03 AM   #23
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What if everyone ER'd?

...and stopped working at age 55?

There would be no WallyWorld greeters!
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:12 AM   #24
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Hmmm - I turned out to be a slacker with a Curmudgeon certificate - but long long ago in a State far away, my Father( medical retired blue collar) got a Poly Sci degree from Portland State, went to PUD meetings and made detailed rebutal speeches against WHOOP's and once caused a city council to reconsider making the dog catcher an elective office by threatening to run on a dog's right's platform(no leash and the right to poop). Also was a photographer for the a college paper while attending.

heh heh heh - a world of slackers(ER's) sounds great. I shall do my part.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:18 AM   #25
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I'll also guess that full time school AND a 40 hour w*rk week would be another exception.
But I will bet that someone here has done that!
Not me, but DD did a year of it.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #26
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I got a fantastic education at the UT College of Engineering for very little money. Looking at tuition plus book costs now, it's amazing how cheap it was back in the late 70s. I had no trouble paying for college by working part time and doing the engineering coop program for three semesters plus a very small scholarship. I lived at home part of the time. No loans, no massive money layout from my parents (though they did help with the first semester). But tuition was just a few hundred dollars!

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Old 03-13-2009, 11:40 AM   #27
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You can only take this so far as a thought exercise.

What if *everyone* was a Fire-Fighter? Who would build the houses that they protect? Who would produce the food for their dinners, etc, etc, etc.

It works better for ethical questions, where everyone can share equally.

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Old 03-13-2009, 12:13 PM   #28
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You can only take this so far as a thought exercise.

What if *everyone* was a Fire-Fighter? Who would build the houses that they protect? Who would produce the food for their dinners, etc, etc, etc.
But given the constraints suggested by the OP, it could potentially happen. Everyone starts working by age 25 on average and works 30 years on average in order to support themselves for 30 more years on average.

We probably aren't far from that reality today. Plenty of people retire by the time they are 55 or are forced to stop working due to death, disability, obsolescence, elder care or child care requirements, etc.

I wonder what the average career length is across all people (men and women, rich and poor).

Obviously if folks work an average of 30 years before ER, then there will always be SOME people doing work to support the ones that are not working. Every year will produce an eager new crop of 25 year olds seeking gainful employment.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:06 PM   #29
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HS drop out (9th grade), 21 years of work and, 30 years of "retirement" so far; hope to be "retired" for 46 years - if I make my "life expectancy". I need a "slacker" certificate (do they have them?).
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:12 PM   #30
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Ron, I think that depends on what you study and where you go. I was accepted to some pretty prestigious private schools but I wound up going to a cheap state university which I was able to pay for in full by living at home and w*rking part time (mostly full-time during the summer and winter breaks) at a drug store.

So I got out of college with a job as a programmer -- and no student loan debt. Even when I was 18 I was being cheap and avoiding unnecessary debt...
Yeah, you don't fit the description that L & B had in mind. Again, the YMMV rule applies but...
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:08 PM   #31
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I am more and more impressed with Kotlikoff and Burns' ability to cover all the bases. In their book (Spend Til' the End"), Chaper 10 -- Does College Really Pay --
I think I'll look for a copy. IMO it makes a lot of sense for Ziggy or Audrey to go to public schools and get degrees in IT or engineering. But the "conventional wisdom" that says everyone should go to college just doesn't compute for me.
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:22 PM   #32
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I think I'll look for a copy. IMO it makes a lot of sense for Ziggy or Audrey to go to public schools and get degrees in IT or engineering. But the "conventional wisdom" that says everyone should go to college just doesn't compute for me.
http://isbn.nu/9781416548904

Another example is the opening of Chapter 9:

"Who makes more, a doctor or a plumber?

...

"Ok, who has the higher living standard?"
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:56 PM   #33
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Well taking age 18 to 67 now?= 49 yrs
and that may not be enough for most to be able to afford to retire on either..
seeing as I saw on another report that some 68% os seniorws go broke by age 80, be it from Health care needs to Nursing home cost for one of the spouses to Death by the primary spouse's income source...

If one needs say an additional $10k income from savings? They need over $300,000 to do it to last, IF they have to leave it behind for their spouse to live on.. Otherwise only need $175,000 of course making about 5%apy and that about 6% B4 taking out taxes.. And less than 1/3rd of Seniors have this going for them...

I can see why Pres. Obama and some other Dems want to Double the SS & Medicare payroll taxes, take away their Chance to Gamble their $ away and give us Double SS and Medicare Beneifts back in return... Other Countries do it and works well for them! This Bear market/Crash is a Good Op to put something like this thru...

Not saying I would go for it, nor Professionals would, but for most of the others, might be the best way for them?
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:30 PM   #34
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http://isbn.nu/9781416548904

Another example is the opening of Chapter 9:

"Who makes more, a doctor or a plumber?

...

"Ok, who has the higher living standard?"

I have heard that argument and I think it is BS. They assume that the plumber NEVER hits a salary cealing and that the Doctor has no deductions. In fact, the plumber

How many plumbers are still working at age 60? How many Doctors? Seems to me as if all the plumbers that come to my house are in their 20s, 30s, or possibly 40s. That would suggest the manual labor associated with cleaning feces from pipes isn't conducive to longevity.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:43 PM   #35
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I have heard that argument and I think it is BS. They assume that the plumber NEVER hits a salary cealing and that the Doctor has no deductions. In fact, the plumber

How many plumbers are still working at age 60? How many Doctors? Seems to me as if all the plumbers that come to my house are in their 20s, 30s, or possibly 40s. That would suggest the manual labor associated with cleaning feces from pipes isn't conducive to longevity.
My guess? They later become owners of a pumbling business... which still makes them Plumbers. I would further guess that the owner of a going Plumbing Business makes more than the average doctor. Let's first rule out those like my Cardialogist whose salary has to be in the $500,000 a year category (from help wanted ads). On second thought, there has to be exceptional business owning Plumbers, also.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:25 PM   #36
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On second thought, there has to be exceptional business owning Plumbers, also.
Yep, I bet those Ghost Hunter guys (Ghost Hunters | SCIFI.COM) pull down some serious bucks, between their Rotorooter business and the TV show.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:39 PM   #37
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I think the cause-effect question goes in the other direction. "What changes in economic, political, and social conditions would be required before people would be comfortable retiring half way through their adult lives?"
My answer is: A huge change in the relative value we put on stuff-you-can-buy vs. free time. This would be a society where hardly anybody wants a 2,000 sq ft house, a 4,000 pound car, or a Caribbean cruise. We'd all prefer the simple lifestyle - grow your own vegetables, cook your own meals.
I live a beach-bum lifestyle, but if I couldn't afford those choices then I'd get a job. And while I'm happy to pluck fruit from our orchard before (some of) it goes to waste, I'm not growing my own veggies anytime soon...

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If you want to jump in a time machine to see what I mean, go back 100 years to 1909. The concept of ER was completely alien to the great unwashed masses of the middle and lower classes.
IIRC, in 1900 the median American lifespan was 47. And that's probably the middleclass white Anglo-Saxon Protestant version of an American that they're referring to.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:00 PM   #38
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If you worked 30 years from 25 then retired 30 years you would only be 85 when you ran out of money. It is a nice goal but really only would work for people who didn't have anything else going on and who planned to die young.
That's me. I have nothing else going on and plan(expect) to die before 85.

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Except that someone starting a full-time j*b at 18 won't be in college and thus is far less likely to be able to have the income to put away for early retirement. Though I guess those who go into the military right after high school and put in their 20+ would be an exception.
You don't need a high income to FIRE. My base pay is $43,000 and won't go up much. I still fully expect to retire no later than age 49 after 29 years of full-time blue-collar work. No pension. You don't need a college degree you just need to LWBYM.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:34 PM   #39
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You can only take this so far as a thought exercise.

What if *everyone* was a Fire-Fighter? Who would build the houses that they protect? Who would produce the food for their dinners, etc, etc, etc.

It works better for ethical questions, where everyone can share equally.

-ERD50
I think one reason the book suggests that question is to get people to think about the ethical aspect of any goal. I haven't really thought about whether ER is ethical.

I told a friend of mine I'm planning to retire in a few years and she said something like "It's not logical to expect to be able to live that many years without working." She thinks pension funds have over-promised and someone else (herself among them) will end up paying the bill. I don't think that's true of the City Employees' pension fund specifically. According to them they meet all the funding requirements (but do the funding requirements take today's longer life expectancy into account?). I get a statement of how much money has actually gone from my paycheck into the pension fund and I have no idea how they can possibly pay me the amount they say they are going to out of the amount I have put in. OTOH, the amount deducted from my paycheck for retirement is a hair over 8% of my salary, and my employer puts in the same, so you could say 16% of my salary has been going into a retirement account for the last 24 years, plus the smaller amounts I've put into my tax deferred account and Roth IRA. Is it unreasonable to expect to live for three or four decades on that much money?
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #40
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IIRC, in 1900 the median American lifespan was 47. And that's probably the middleclass white Anglo-Saxon Protestant version of an American that they're referring to.
I've seen the life expectancy in 1900 was about 47, but much of that was skewed much higher infant mortality rates. For those who made it into adulthood, I believe the life expectancy was over 60 even back then.
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