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What Retirees Would Have Done Differently
Old 01-19-2010, 01:18 AM   #1
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What Retirees Would Have Done Differently

What Retirees Would Have Done Differently



Money isn’t everything, according to a group of affluent Americans surveyed by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Focusing on family and friends, it turns out, gained in importance through the recession.
Just over half of retired respondents with at least $250,000 to invest said they wished they had focused more on their “life goals” than on “the numbers,” according to the firm’s Affluent Insights Quarterly, released today.

There isn't much detail in this story, but it may be a bit of a counterpoint to the "Sweet Spot" thread. This story refers to retirees with $250,000 as "affluent" while, based on the other thread, they are dangerously underfunded.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
There isn't much detail in this story, but it may be a bit of a counterpoint to the "Sweet Spot" thread.
i think your article supports the .5-1 million thread
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:51 AM   #3
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Sallie Krawcheck, president of Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management, which includes Merrill, told Bucks. “We as an industry talk to our clients about numbers, numbers, numbers. For us risk is standard deviation; for our clients it’s what if I have a health event that affects my life and my financials?”
This sums up why I didn't jump ship a few years ago. I felt very comfortable at 52 that I could manage living off investments until 62 when my pension and SS kicked in but leaving before age 55 meant ditching a generous retiree health plan.

Waiting this extra 3 years has meant loads more planning about what I want to do in retirement plus a very nice income to almost do what I want.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:22 AM   #4
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If you go to the original New York Times version you can read the comments. Two of my favorites were...

The best advice of this kind I ever saw was in the film "Peggy Sue Got Married" when she asks her grandfather what he would've done differently. He says "I would've taken better care of my teeth."

I think that the biggest regret that anyone can have is the regret of wasted time- there are so many experiences (good and bad) to be had while alive, so many things to see and feel, and its a shame to waste any of it by trudging along the common path.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:14 AM   #5
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I haven't been retired long enough to have any big should have thoughts.
Maybe I should have chosen a career with better health benefits at retirement. Also, should have gotten serious earlier in life about putting money in tax advantaged accounts. I'm trying to help direct my son in those things as he is still in college.

All in all I'm enjoying the first month of retirement.
Sure is nice to be a little lazy and hibernate on the really cold days.

Burning way to much wood (which I cut and split with a hydraulic splitter, of course) in the fireplace and drinking coffee with a touch of Irish cream & brandy.

Now that last line sounds like a real retiree, doesn't it?
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:22 AM   #6
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I'm not retired yet, but if I had it all to do over again, I suspect the only major thing I'd change is to pursue a government job right out of college for the pension and retiree health insurance. As it is, though, Plan B is to save and invest until it hurts so I can build up a large enough nest egg to substitute for them.
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:04 AM   #7
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<a post from the city-data.com forum>
"There's more than just saving money to think about. It helps if you have a good cushion but I know a lot of people who have had their plans ripped apart by physical problems.
This is something you need to think about now. Plan on future physical limitations. It's hard for a lot of people to think about but your body won't be able to do at 60 what you could do at 40 or even 50. Knees do start to hurt, shoulders hurt. Stairs can become major obstacles.
Keep yourself as healthy as you can now, it will definitely matter later on. In particular, don't neglect your eyes, hearing and teeth. These are things that are expensive to fix and that Medicare and post-retirement insurance won't cover. Having them healthy will make a major difference in the quality of your life as you age.
Cultivate friends and learn how to make new ones. Don't depend on people you meet only through work or through your kids. These are skills that you'll need when you have more time on your hands or if you move to a new place. "
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:04 PM   #8
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I'm about to ER very soon and if there one thing I would have changed it would be to increase my savings outside of my retirement (IRA/401K) accounts. I've done a real good job of saving money over the years but most of it is in my retirement accounts. To ER I need to tap into my retirement accounts and my choices are somewhat limited to avoid any penalties.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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I made a lot of mistakes along the way but everything worked out for the best. I don't regret anything because I did the best I could, and I was true to myself.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
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I told God that if I got sick I'd kick him in the balls - I didn't need any stinking health benefits since I planned to party til I puked while I was still young(age 49) and get up and go the next day.

ok ok the truth I was layed off at 49 with no health benefits and was mentally 'unemployed' til I made the shift between my ears that 'work sucked'.

And the man upstairs kept me healthy enough to enjoy 12 years without health insurance and a decade(the 90's) to really help my retirement portfolio.

Hindsight says the only difference would be to get lazier faster and not waste silly time thinking I should be 'doing something.'

Busy vacations(back when working) are an American disease that hopefully I've overcome.

Don't read books, never volunteer and remember - doing nothing in particular is the ultimate Zen.



Although I'm still partial to Ha Ha's "Eat what you want and die like a man."

heh heh heh - "Never apologize Mr CaHill, it's a sign of weakness." She Wore a Yellow Ribbon..
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:29 PM   #11
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I made a lot of mistakes along the way but everything worked out for the best. I don't regret anything because I did the best I could, and I was true to myself.
Yeah, what she said - it is probably more important to hold true to yourself than anything else. That should carry you thru all stages of life.

I'm too newly retired to have regrets. So far, it is great.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:34 PM   #12
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Yeah, what she said - it is probably more important to hold true to yourself than anything else. That should carry you thru all stages of life.

I'm too newly retired to have regrets. So far, it is great.
Yes, it is!! Glad you are enjoying it, too.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:57 PM   #13
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<a post from the city-data.com forum>
"There's more than just saving money to think about. It helps if you have a good cushion but I know a lot of people who have had their plans ripped apart by physical problems.
This is something you need to think about now. Plan on future physical limitations. It's hard for a lot of people to think about but your body won't be able to do at 60 what you could do at 40 or even 50. Knees do start to hurt, shoulders hurt. Stairs can become major obstacles.
"
This is what really motivated me to retire when I did (3 weeks ago, at age 54 yrs. and 7 months). I could have worked longer and amassed more resources, but I felt like my life was passing me by at work these last few years, and I wanted to have the chance to experience more of life while I'm still healthy and have the physical ability to do pretty much whatever I want to do. Sure, you need to have enough financial resources to have a reasonably comfortable life, but once you've reached that point, time becomes more important than money, at least for me. I doubt that I will want (or be able) to do all the things at age 65 that I want to do now, so for me the right decision was to retire now and get on with the rest of my life......lived the way I want to live it. You never really know for sure how it will all turn out, but for me, after 31 years of working, it was definitely the right decision to retire now and move on to a new chapter in my life.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:44 PM   #14
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I am not retired but saving more earlier would be it. I have a great, safe pension (State of Nevada), but I would love to have more than the $25,000 saved in my 457. Oh well, I'm going to collect my pension at 43 (5 more months), so I have some time to double dip a little and save a few bucks before the kids leave for college.

Beyond that, regrets aren't really healthy. Better would be to pass along your years of knowledge and wisdom to others, especially your kids. They may not listen, but you gotta try.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:07 PM   #15
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I made a lot of mistakes along the way but everything worked out for the best. I don't regret anything because I did the best I could, and I was true to myself.
Amen.

No question I screwed up a few times but hindsight is 20/20. I can say I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.

But I still have my integrity.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:24 PM   #16
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Hmmm...I'm just grateful I've survived all my shenanigans in the past. The rest somehow fell into place. I worked, I saved, I quit.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:30 PM   #17
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Amen.

No question I screwed up a few times but hindsight is 20/20. I can say I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.

But I still have my integrity.
Anyone who hasn't made a lot a few mistakes along the way hasn't really tried to do much with their life.

It's usually the things I didn't do that have caused the regrets.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:38 PM   #18
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But the one from Merrill took the questioning a step further and asked retirees to give advice to people who were still working. Topping both advice categories, for people between 10 and 15 years from retirement and those more than 15 years away, was “build a plan around what is most important to you in retirement.”
When you retirees were working, how many of you had any freakin' idea what you'd be doing in 15 months, let alone in 15 years?
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:51 PM   #19
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When you retirees were working, how many of you had any freakin' idea what you'd be doing in 15 months, let alone in 15 years?
I'm pretty sure I'll still be paying school/university bills in 15 years time but that I will not be working

Beyond that, I haven't got a clue, but I hope to be enjoying it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:53 AM   #20
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When you retirees were working, how many of you had any freakin' idea what you'd be doing in 15 months, let alone in 15 years?
I agree. At age 40 we had only just started saving for retirement, it was at least 10 years later that I could see that I could be FI at 55, and only then did we start thinking about what we might do in retirement - I think 5 years out is probably the maximum, and I am a an obsessive compulsive planner
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