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Old 02-27-2009, 12:48 PM   #41
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Someone's gotta go back and get a sh**load of dimes.
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Old 02-27-2009, 02:55 PM   #42
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Blazing Saddles...one of my favorite movies!

I met Burton Gilliam a few years ago. He lives only a few miles from my abode. Maybe I'll go over to his place and borrow a cup of sugar.....
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:11 PM   #43
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:24 PM   #44
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Blazing Saddles...one of my favorite movies!

I met Burton Gilliam a few years ago. He lives only a few miles from my abode. Maybe I'll go over to his place and borrow a cup of sugar.....
Just don't ask for any beans!

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Old 02-27-2009, 05:55 PM   #45
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I feel rich enough but the financial/economic news is contagious. I'm okay as long as my PF continues to bounce around within it's cushion; stay in that padded room, knock on wood. Feb. numbers will be in tomorrow evening, fingers crossed.
We're also still in the padded room (FireCalc still gives me 100%) but I agree that the financial news is contagous. We find ourselves holding back on purchases and feeling poorer even though we know we are ok.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:34 PM   #46
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"We don't care how you git here folks, just git here..."

Burton Gilliam, starring in a Ford dealership commercial
When I met him, he looked great; same toothy grin, nice eyes and dark hair. I guess some people may wonder now if that's his natural hair color. I figure it is...at one point in his life....

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Just don't ask for any beans!
Hmm, maybe I should call and ask what he's been eating lately before I drop by.......
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:58 PM   #47
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bbbamI, I just read your post from yesterday about waiting for xnumber of years until your husband turns 59 1/2 and start drawing from his IRA. Be advised that you don't have to wait for that age in order to take withdrawals. Check with your tax person but I think you can take regular specific monthly withdrawals earlier that 59 1/2 without penalty. There is also an IRS publication that touches on this subject. I did it when I was 55. I was retired, had the money in my 401k and took monthly withdrawals.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:59 PM   #48
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bbbamI, I just read your post from yesterday about waiting for xnumber of years until your husband turns 59 1/2 and start drawing from his IRA. Be advised that you don't have to wait for that age in order to take withdrawals. Check with your tax person but I think you can take regular specific monthly withdrawals earlier that 59 1/2 without penalty. There is also an IRS publication that touches on this subject. I did it when I was 55. I was retired, had the money in my 401k and took monthly withdrawals.
Yes, that would be the 72t plan.

However, I believe we're not going to take this option as a large chunk of the 401k (hasn't been rolled into an IRA yet, but will be soon) is invested in equities. At this point, I think we need to leave it alone as we will be drawing down from a "whupped" account.

But who knows...maybe we'll change our mind. I appreciate your thoughtful post.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:32 AM   #49
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But for myself I am not living poorer. What do the retirees here have to encounter that they feel poorer?
Amongst all the Doom & Gloom it is good to have voices like Scott Burns in the wilderness:

Your Wealth Is Not Your Standard of Living

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Hereís a challenging thought: Things arenít as bad as they seem.
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We see things dark and hopeless because we are looking at the world through a wealth window, not an income window. Wealth changes faster than income. It also changes more than income. But when push comes to shove, the standard of living that most Americans enjoy is determined by flows of income and benefits, not wealth.
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Bottom line: Donít get me wrong, there is plenty to worry about. But before you allow fear to run free, check the income that supports your actual standard of living.

And if youíre young and still working, remember--- itís Bargain City out there. America is on sale.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:48 AM   #50
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:40 AM   #51
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Not living in a refugee camp, drinking stump water, and eating gruel...
So when did you leave Texas?

Damn! I'm ER'd, so I don't have much time for internet (if I was working, there'd be plenty of time for internet ). So I musta missed yer post when you escaped.
If you plan on returning soon fer a va-cation, I'll tell ya, we're runnin' low on the stump water.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:38 AM   #52
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I comfort myself with the fact that I am able to buy "more" shares - and my savings rate is increasing (salary increasing, and cash outflow decreasing). Statements are depressing, but most of my TSP/deferred comp is out of reach regardless. I've even allowed myself to take advantage of great sales on items on my "luxury" list! I'm healthy, happy, employed (by TWO companies), and life is just good! Having been freakin' poor and in debt over my head once upon a time - and survived & overcame, I choose to focus on the positive anyway!
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:41 AM   #53
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So when did you leave Texas?

Damn! I'm ER'd, so I don't have much time for internet (if I was working, there'd be plenty of time for internet ). So I musta missed yer post when you escaped.
If you plan on returning soon fer a va-cation, I'll tell ya, we're runnin' low on the stump water.


I've replaced stump water with cactus juice! Besides, the termites are eating all the stumps...
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:51 AM   #54
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ok ok - so I paid full retail for new C.E. Schmidt overalls(Tractor Supply) for the New Orleans trip - I have to dress up for their favorite Chinese buffett in Slidell.

And then it's a coin toss for for my favorite seafood Muffaletta place.

heh heh heh - maybe I can be poor with a granola bar every other meal.
So would the Chinese buffet be at Trey Yen? I don't remember if they have a buffet; only eaten at the one in Hammond, LA. They have great food. And have you had the thin fried catfish at Middendorf"s?
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:08 PM   #55
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A year and a half ago, I felt "flush". We had a low withdrawal rate and enough assets that we could help out family members in a financial emergency if needed.

Now I feel "safe enough" for our living expenses, but the extra cushion is gone. If some special need came up, we could be looking at some tough tradeoffs.

Yep - I feel poorer - no way around that.

Audrey
Audrey's situation is similar to ours. When I retired (booted by MegaCorp actually) 2.6 years ago, things looked rosey. For about a year, things got even rosier as the market went up, I exercised some options, collected severance and collected unemployment. Whee..... !! Lotsa fun. The past 1.5 yrs or so has seen all that come to an end. No additonal compensation from MegaCorp or the state, market down, remaining options deep under water and about to expire. We're flying solo and there's a lot less gas in the tank!

The joy has been taken out of spontaneous/frivilous spending. Friends called saying they would be passing through town and why don't we meet them for dinner. We did. Lots of fun at the time. But later DW and I both brought up the fact that the approximate $80 we spent was as much as our normal grocery bill for a week! Before this downturn, we'd have never given it a second thought. We'd have only thought about how much we had enjoyed spending a little time with friends.

We're still OK. We've postponed some decorating, buying a modest RV, a new car and some international travel. Any extra cushion is pretty much gone. Helping my son and his family if something were to happen (like loss of a job) would be a challenge where before it would have been a piece of cake. Our regular gifts to MIL who is trying to live on SS continue but I've heard DW mention to her that they need to review her budget.

All the basics are still covered, but we definintely feel poorer.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:26 PM   #56
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The joy has been taken out of spontaneous/frivilous spending. Friends called saying they would be passing through town and why don't we meet them for dinner. We did. Lots of fun at the time. But later DW and I both brought up the fact that the approximate $80 spent was as much as our normal grocery bill for a week! Before this downturn, we'd have never given it a second thought. We'd have only thought about how much we had enjoyed spending a little time with friends.
We're not retired yet (and probably won't be for a LONG time now), but the same is true here. Even after maxing out a 401K and two Roths, we often find ourselves with a lot more discretionary income than we used to. We haven't given up going out to eat after church on Sundays, but other than that, it's pretty much gone. Stuff I used to not blink at spending $50 or $100 for now goes unpurchased. Not because we can't afford it presently -- we can -- but because it feels like every last dollar could be critical in terms of surviving the next few years of chronic unemployment and underemployment.

We have probably $20,000 of household projects on hold. Even if we spent all of that now, we'd have more than enough of an emergency fund in ordinary times. Obviously, these aren't ordinary times. So the money stays in the bomb shelter.

If I factor in likely severance pay, unemployment and subsidized COBRA for nine months, if I got a pink slip tomorrow we could probably make it at least two years even if neither of us took any work at all (though if that happened, my wife could easily pick up a part-time job or two) in that time frame.

It's rather telling that I don't feel like even that much of a cushion is close to being enough. So at the end of each month, another 2-3 weeks of treading water goes into savings. Our tax refund, which we should get next week, is another 3-4 weeks as well.

Discretionary income has become little more than a symbol of increased survivability now.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:27 PM   #57
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...The joy has been taken out of spontaneous/frivilous spending. Friends called saying they would be passing through town and why don't we meet them for dinner. We did. Lots of fun at the time. But later DW and I both brought up the fact that the approximate $80 we spent was as much as our normal grocery bill for a week! Before this downturn, we'd have never given it a second thought. We'd have only thought about how much we had enjoyed spending a little time with friends.
I understand about looking at 1 simple dinner out = 1 week worth of groceries. This reminds me of my starving college student days when I had a set income (work study and summer j*bs) and known expenses (books, room & board, gas, Friday night $0.50 pitchers of beer ).
I never imagined returning to this tight budgeting mode. I am so glad I had that training.
Find some joy - treat yourself to a simple pleasure, like a banana split, or a music CD. Keep it cheap, maybe make it something silly.
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:30 PM   #58
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High food prices make me feel poor. Smaller packages and higher prices. And the fact that the shoppers around me are looking very blase about the high prices is very annoying. I feel like screaming "$5.27 a pound for pork! This is insanity! Doesn't anyone care ?? !!" Fortunately, I almost always find something at a decent price, anyway, but it takes time.

Which brings up another subject. I feel time-deprived ( "time-poor") when I only have 3 hours a day when I am not sleeping or working, which is the case five days a week for me. Not whining here, I choose this lifestyle because of the total picture, but time is sort of on a par with money, richness, poorness, quality of life.

Oh yeah, gas at $ 4.00 a gallon made me feel poor, too.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:10 PM   #59
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We have probably $20,000 of household projects on hold. Even if we spent all of that now, we'd have more than enough of an emergency fund in ordinary times. Obviously, these aren't ordinary times. So the money stays in the bomb shelter.
Discretionary income has become little more than a symbol of increased survivability now.
We've had at least that backlog of projects looking for a contractor. The nice thing about a recession is that we finally have contractors available again!

Our cash flow now is better than it was in 2000-2002, so our cash stash can stretch a lot further than we expected...
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:07 AM   #60
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Quotes on Worry, Fear, Anxiety & Suffering

Some good ones:

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"If you are going through hell, keep going.Ē ~ Winston Churchill
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My life has been full of terrible misfortunes -- most of which have never happened." ~ Michel de Montaigne

and the ever popular:

Quote:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

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