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Old 11-21-2007, 01:02 PM   #21
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On one hand, survey after survey shows that GenX is more savvy about retirement savings than the Boomers were at the same age...
If 62% of Gen Xer's admit to living paycheck to paycheck, then as many as 38% may be planning ahead to fund their own retirement.

Not very impressive, but that would be much better than the Boomers did.

I suspect that a lot of people don't plan/save for retirement because it doesn't occur to them.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:18 PM   #22
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I suspect that a lot of people don't plan/save for retirement because it doesn't occur to them.
Agreed.

There are a lot of dim-witted people out there.
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:31 PM   #23
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But at least some baby-boomers will get pensions and Social Security, so they didn't have to plan for retirement as well as Gen Xers.
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Old 11-24-2007, 10:42 PM   #24
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But at least some baby-boomers will get pensions and Social Security, so they didn't have to plan for retirement as well as Gen Xers.
Noooooo...... we planned things so we'd get pensions and SS. I wonder, what were you guys thinking that you didn't do the same? I mean, we layed things out for you, the whole plan was there for you to see how we did it. But nooooooo...... you had to go do your own thing, don't listen to mom and dad...... so, now go sleep in the bed you made!
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Old 11-25-2007, 10:53 AM   #25
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Noooooo...... we planned things so we'd get pensions and SS. I wonder, what were you guys thinking that you didn't do the same? I mean, we layed things out for you, the whole plan was there for you to see how we did it. But nooooooo...... you had to go do your own thing, don't listen to mom and dad...... so, now go sleep in the bed you made!
Yup, I agree.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:48 AM   #26
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Noooooo...... we planned things so we'd get pensions and SS. I wonder, what were you guys thinking that you didn't do the same? I mean, we layed things out for you, the whole plan was there for you to see how we did it. But nooooooo...... you had to go do your own thing, don't listen to mom and dad...... so, now go sleep in the bed you made!
You call this a plan?

Both pensions and social security fund retirees out of the contributions of the workers. You underestimate Gen-X's slacking abilities!
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:55 AM   #27
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It seems to me to be like most things in life. What are YOU willing to do to advance the cause of YOUR life? Some are willing to go that extra mile to ensure that their lives are not determined by "chance". Others continue to willingly live in a fantasy world world of "Well... things will work out in the end.... somehow".
Live in the world of fact and reality, and almost anyone will see that saving for retirement is important because pensions are almost gone, SS may not be there, etc. Only through investing, 401k's, your own business, real estate, etc, do you have a chance of succeeding.
Live in the fantasy world of "the world owes me something", or "the govt, my folks, my children, or some devine intervention will save me in the future, and you are setting up your life to be ruined.
As all things in life... the choice is yours...
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:35 PM   #28
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Noooooo...... we planned things so we'd get pensions and SS. I wonder, what were you guys thinking that you didn't do the same? I mean, we layed things out for you, the whole plan was there for you to see how we did it. But nooooooo...... you had to go do your own thing, don't listen to mom and dad...... so, now go sleep in the bed you made!
Not sure what to make of the above post. :confused:

Assuming that it is meant to be take seriously, I have difficulty understanding how baby boomers "planned things" so that they would receive SS (which began in the mid-1930s: see History Social Security and Operations - History) or pensions (most company pensions began in the 1940s: see History Pensions - Pension History: United States). Boomers are certainly among the beneficiaries, but they were not the originators.

Perhaps many (not all) Gen-Xers can be fairly criticized for not taking adequate steps to build private retirement nesteggs in response to social security's problems, or the decision of many companies to eliminate defined benefit pension plans; but it is difficult to see how Gen-Xers are responsible for those developments.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:57 PM   #29
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You underestimate Gen-X's slacking abilities!
Dead wrong! I have complete confidence that the Gen-X generation can out-slack the best of the slackers! That's why my plan doesn't include SS, which I haven't started to collect. SS is the "gravy" or "cushion" that folks on this board keep referring to.

But you guys have time on your side and most of you will "get it." Remember, you actually have a huge advantage over us old timers. We had to live through having golden handcuffs chaining us to jobs we often grew to hate (just read this board for unlimited pitiful examples) in order to top off pensions and get retiree health care. With cash balance/portable pension plans, 401K's, decoupling of health care from employers and coupling to government (hopefully), you're free to pursue your careers in and of themselves, and not just a means to retirement.

So X'er's, stop whining and go "get 'er done!"
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:11 PM   #30
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You call this a plan?
Well, yeah, I guess so. It's Sunday night. I'm enjoying a glass of wine and listening to some good music while reading the board. I don't have to get up tomorrow and go to work..... The plan is working so far.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:19 PM   #31
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Well, yeah, I guess so. It's Sunday night. I'm enjoying a glass of wine and listening to some good music while reading the board. I don't have to get up tomorrow and go to work..... The plan is working so far.
Good thing you don't have to go to work on Monday morning......this is Monday night!

Heck, I never know what day of the week it is either.....but I never really care!
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:27 PM   #32
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Good thing you don't have to go to work on Monday morning......this is Monday night!

Heck, I never know what day of the week it is either.....but I never really care!
Well darn it! As soon as I read that Goonie, I looked up at my retirement clock (one of those that reads out in days instead of hours) and sure enough it is Monday. I'll be go to hell....... The hand is just reaching the demarcation between Monday and Tuesday. Gosh, had me fooled! Feels like Sunday night......

I really am retired I guess!! And I just proved it to myself. 17 months out of w*rk and I don't know or care what day it is. Oh well, the not having to go to work tomorrow morning is still true!
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:23 AM   #33
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Noooooo...... we planned things so we'd get pensions and SS. I wonder, what were you guys thinking that you didn't do the same? I mean, we layed things out for you, the whole plan was there for you to see how we did it. But nooooooo...... you had to go do your own thing, don't listen to mom and dad...... so, now go sleep in the bed you made!

I can't tell if you're being serious or sarcastic. If you were joking, then feel free to ignore this post. However, if you were serious, then read on.

In the interest of disclosure, I'm 32 years old, which makes me a gen-X-er.

As Milton said, I'm not sure how the Boomers could've "planned" to have Social Security and pensions, since they originated around the time they were born. Additionally, I don't really see how it's a failure of me and my peers to have graduated school into an era of inflated housing prices, higher taxation, and enormous national debt.

I'm going to try and state this as non-confrontationally as I can, but I may fail. Boomers got to be born into an era of wealth. The country had no debt, and the economy boomed because of the war. Social Security was solvent, and most jobs of the period offered pensions. These two factors pretty much obviated their need to accumulate any substantial nest eggs. The country's tax rate was low (mostly due to the lack of a national debt and the accompanying interest payments that consume a quarter of the government's current budget) and housing was cheap. My father was able to raise a family of 3 on a single income, and pay off the mortgage to his house in 12 years, all on a blue-collar income working for a tire factory. He's now retired, and living off a generous pension.

Does anybody reading this think that such a feat is even remotely possible today? Do you honestly think that it's reasonable to think that a person could pay off a house in 12 years, and support a wife and 3 kids, all on a blue-collar income? I do not believe that is realistic at all, today.

Around the time I was born (mid-70's), the country started borrowing money to fund its programs, so it could keep the taxes down. This was nothing more than the boomers borrowing money from their own children. As a result, they got to continue to enjoy low taxes, and spend their money however they wanted. They didn't even have to worry about investing it, because they had company pensions and Social Security to fall back on.

Fast-forward to the 90's. My generation graduates college and finds the following:

1) Taxes have skyrocketed, to pay for services that previously had been paid for with debt, to keep taxes artificially low. Boomers are getting older and falling ill, putting even more of a strain on the health-care system.
2) The national debt is through the roof. 25% of all taxes collected by the government are spent simply servicing the interest on the massive national debt, putting us taxpayers in the crippling position of only receiving 75% of the services we're paying for (on the other hand, our parents actually got more than 100% of the services they paid for, since it was largely funded by debt). So not only am I paying for my own services, I'm picking up the tab for my parents' services (with interest) from the 70's and 80's.
3) Housing prices have ballooned. Our parents are enjoying downsizing their housing, giving their savings yet another boost, on the backs of young families like mine who are just trying to find an affordable home.
4) Nobody is offering pensions. The percentage of companies offering lifetime pensions to new employees has plummeted, leaving us responsible for accumulating our own nest egg.

So in summary, we have no corporate pensions, are paying off our parents' debt, with mortgages twice the size of our parents' (for the same size house), with less money in our pockets (after taxes) to do it all with.

I'm a Gen-X-er, but I'm not apathetic. I'm downright mad.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:28 PM   #34
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Kombat,

My post was sarcastic, but I'm glad it touched off some discussion.........

Each generation bears it's own cross. Each generation bears a generalized description of itself which is not true for many of its members.

I'm delighted your dad enjoyed a blue collar career when manufacturing was doing well in our country and could afford lush benefits such as lifetime medical and generous pensions. But, if you haven't noticed, things have changed. Millions of boomers are finding retiree medical benefits being withdrawn or reduced. Pensions are/were being changed to the cash balance format mid-career reducing payouts dramatically. Etc., etc. Remember, most boomers (except for RE types) are just now beginning to retire and are feeling the weight of the changes of the past decade. Since they were "promised" pensions and lifetime medical, since 401k's and IRA's were not available at the beginning of their working lives, many are being caught with their pants around their ankles.......

I'm not defending boomers who are unprepared for retirement. I did it the hard way (no big investment wins, no inheritance, lots of long work hours at blaaah factory jobs) and have limited sympathy for those who didn't. But I do recognize that the game has changed in the fourth quarter for many as employers back out of obligations/promises.

For Gen Xer's, you carry much of the boomers debt burden and you don't have the promises of lifetime medical and pensions (which are frequently not being kept) which many boomers had, but you do have up front knowledge that you need to do it yourselves. So, as I said in another post, "get 'er done!" You see the task in front of you, the tools (IRA, 401k, 403b, etc.) are available, now it's time to cinch up the harness and pull that plow for a few decades. Stay flexible in your career, take care of yourself and never depend on one employer, plan for tomorrow.

BTW, I worked in manufacturing all my life, including years at the blue collar level. I spent most of the last decade closing down factories and off-shoring production to China, Brazil, Singapore and Mexico. I got to lay off hundreds of my former peers leaving their futures in total limbo since they counted on Megacorp for pension/medical. My outlook may be different than yours since you see you dad who successfully dodged the bullet and I see hundreds of former associates who caught it right between the eyes.

Again, congrats to you dad for making it through with the tire company. He's one of the lucky ones, as am I and grateful for it.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:25 PM   #35
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So in summary, we have no corporate pensions, are paying off our parents' debt, with mortgages twice the size of our parents' (for the same size house), with less money in our pockets (after taxes) to do it all with.

I'm a Gen-X-er, but I'm not apathetic. I'm downright mad.
Angry Young Man, here's another thread for you: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...s-30976-6.html.

Note to youbet: while I'm glad that your post was not intended to be taken seriously, trolling sarcasm isn't particularly helpful.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:39 PM   #36
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Millions of boomers are finding retiree medical benefits being withdrawn or reduced. Pensions are/were being changed to the cash balance format mid-career reducing payouts dramatically. Etc., etc.
Yes.

TickTock Rule of Finance: Heavily discount promises of money/benefits to be paid to you in the future.


Hmmmm, that's about the fourth time I've posted that. Maybe I should make it my sig?
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:45 PM   #37
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Yep, maybe you should TickTock. It's a good rule of thumb. I follow it.

And I'll stick to my repetitive song that promised defined benefit pensions and lifetime healthcare aren't always as wonderful as they seem. Often, they turn into golden handcuffs locking miserable employees into a company/occupation/career they truly hate........just look around this board and see all the painful moaning from folks who are about to lose it from the pain of their current jobs, but are golden handcuffed to them. And, even if you like the job you're handcuffed to, what are the chances that the benefit promises won't be withdrawn? Or you'll be laid off before you've vested? Or the company will go out of business?

Lighten up Milton buddy. You're gona explode all over your keyboard and monitor one of these days and it will be one heck of a mess to clean up!
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:05 AM   #38
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For Gen Xer's, you carry much of the boomers debt burden and you don't have the promises of lifetime medical and pensions (which are frequently not being kept) which many boomers had, but you do have up front knowledge that you need to do it yourselves.
That's a good point, youbet. I hadn't really considered that aspect of it, but there's no denying that that is in fact an advantage.

My frustration stems from the attitude of a lot of older folks who see today's generation struggling with house payments and living paycheck-to-paycheck, and criticize them for their lifestyle, saying things like "I paid off my house in 10 years, while my wife stayed home and raised 4 kids. How come you can't do the same? You must be lazy."

This ignores the realities that

a) Houses are much more expensive nowadays, as a proportion of your income; and
b) We're taxed at a higher rate. Income taxation rates are far higher than they were in the 60's and 70's, plus we also have the GST, Ontario Health Tax (sorry, "Premium"), capital gains taxes, dividend taxes, and more (some of those may have existed back in the 70's, I'm making some assumptions here) crippling our ability to save and pay our bills.

On the other hand, you're right, and my generation should recognize these limitations and prepare for their own future. It frightens me to look around at peers my own age and see them failing to save anything at all for their future, living paycheck to paycheck. When I ask them about their plans for retirement, they don't have any. They spout meaningless, fluffy rhetoric like, "things have a way of working out in the end." They're operating under the mistaken impression that they're currently living as their own parents did (not true, their parents never drove luxury cars or had high-def TV), and that their lives will work out like their parents' did (again, not true, their parents have corporate pensions propping up their retirement - my generation will not).

I worry about these people. They're blissfully plodding along, thinking they'll be able to retire just like their parents did, choosing to remain ignorant of the realities of the math.

My wife and I do not have kids. Frankly, I don't believe we could afford them. We both work in high-tech and make a gross family income of over $130,000. Yet I still don't believe we could have kids and still meet our retirement goals. I don't think we're alone, and I see this as a problem. Our country's birth rate is less than our death rate. The only reason Canada is not shrinking is because of immigration. Why are people choosing not to have kids? Is it possible that many other families feel the same as my wife and I? That is, that given the absence of corporate pensions and the crippling cost of housing, couples cannot have kids and still save enough for retirement?

A couple of our close friends are pregnant. They've waited much longer than our parents did. She's 30, he's 31. That's not "young" to be having kids. Yet they are still renting their housing, having been unable to afford a down payment on a house (he works in high-tech, she worked part-time as a massage therapist, making them a essentially a single-income family, but it's a good white-collar income). Until now, their money has been going toward paying off student loans and car payments. Honestly, I think this couple is in trouble. They have virtually no savings, have not even started to pay off a house, and now they're bringing a child into their family. But they're in their early 30's, and have seemingly done everything right. What's the problem? Why has this couple been unable to properly prepare for children? Why do they have no retirement savings?

They don't drive a BMW (they drive a 6 year old Mazda). They don't take a lot of fancy trips or eat out all the time. He has a great-paying job and (until now) only had 2 mouths to feed. My own father (as I mentioned earlier) had a blue-collar job that paid far less, yet was able to have 2 kids at ages 23 and 26. By the time he was my friend's age, he only had 2 years left to finish paying off his house. Why was it so much easier for my father? Why are my friends going to have so much trouble raising a family and saving for retirement? Why do my wife and I (and thousands of other young Canadian families) believe that a 6-figure family income is insufficient to both raise a family and save for retirement?

The answer, in my opinion, is "taxes and housing." But I'd be very interested in hearing some other opinions. Pundits have long predicted that Canada's high taxes and expensive housing would eventually impact the economy. Why does nobody seem to realize that it's already happening? This is reality. My wife and I are 32. We have no kids and do not plan to have any, because we don't think we can afford them. It's too late to cut taxes, turn back the clock so we're 25 again, and have kids the second time around. The damage is done. And we're not alone. Why does nobody realize the seriousness of this problem? Why is nobody talking about how immigration is the only thing keeping our population growing, but that it's not a practical long-term solution?

There are serious financial and demographic problems brewing in my generation. There's going to be a huge wake-up call when Gen-X retires and finds it has neither pensions nor savings. Those of us who chose not to have kids will be alright, but those who chose to have a family are going to be quite upset to find their tax dollars went to pay off their parents' debt instead of supporting their own retirement.

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Again, congrats to you dad for making it through with the tire company. He's one of the lucky ones, as am I and grateful for it.
He worked hard and never complained. He put in his 30 years (all shiftwork) and walked. However, after leaving, he had some emotional issues about purpose and self-worth. Watching him go through it was painful, and it made me realize that while there is no shortage of people willing to help you financially prepare for retirement, there's a distinct lack of a support network to help people emotionally prepare for retirement. I think some form of counseling should be mandatory for all employees applying for retirement. I'd be very interested to see depression statistics for the "recently retired" demographic.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:45 AM   #39
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There are serious financial and demographic problems brewing in my generation. There's going to be a huge wake-up call when Gen-X retires and finds it has neither pensions nor savings.
Conflicting information on the Gen-X saving/investing experience:

(1) Financial Post

(2) For Gen X, time to grow up and get a broker - Cracked Nest Egg - MSNBC.com
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:56 AM   #40
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I think a lot of the problems that various countries are facing right now, especially in Europe is what should the role of government be, and how does that affect the people. Obviously any governent anywhere will have some effect on your life. Governments make rules that the citizens are bound to follow. Unless you are in favor of anarchy... which I am not. Just as an aside... most folks that have things to lose, cars, homes, jewlery, are not in favor of anarchy either.
The question becomes how much should that govt interfere in your life, and what are the reprecussions of that. In general, if you want the prices of goods and services to go down, you must add the element of competition to the business landscape. If you are the only hot dog seller in town, and the govt keeps anyone else from getting a hot dog selling licence, then obviously as the "only dog in town" you could charge anything you wanted for a hotdog, within reason, and people would pay for it, or not. As long as that hot dog seller is happy with his profit margin, he really has no incentive to change very much.
But now let's say that the govt now allows licences for other hot dog sellers. Perhaps a new vendor pops up a few blocks away. This new vendor adds grilled onions to his dog in hopes of attracting business his way. The original hot dog vendor drops his prices by .50 to try to get business back in his direction. And so the struggle continues in the free market as it should. I know this is an overly simplistic example, but I believe that almost all services and goods to be sold, work on basically the same principle. Add competition for customers, and two very good things happen. To compete, the producers of the goods with either improve their products to make them more attractive, or lower their prices to have the same effect.
The problem usually comes about when businesses attempt to gain favors from the govt to artificially bring advantage in their direction. Maybe a contribution to a public official, allows there to be fewer hot dog licences issued this year etc. Thus competition is artificially lowered. Other problems occur when cries of "competition is not fair" start going out. There are many that believe the government should make sure that everyone gets their "fair share". This is when the government tries to "level the playing field" by giving money away to those businesses not doing as well. While it was done with the best of intentions, "Looking out for the little guy". The net effect of doing that, is negative. The govt is now propping up a business that is producing an inferior product or service, as determined by customers not wanting to buy it.
Ok.... so what is the point of all of the above examples? If you want the citizens of a country to thrive. If you want your money to go further, and for the price of products and services to go down. Then get as much goverment regulation, and interferance out of the business community as possible. Canada at this point has a medical system run by the govt. Since there is no competition there, the quality will go down, and the prices will go up. There are some that will say... wait... in Canada medical is free! No... it is not free, your taxes go to pay for it all. And because there is no competition for medicine in Canada, the taxes are very high to pay for it all.
There are still some rent controlled buildings left in NYC. Ever been to one? Most of the ones that still servive are dirty and falling apart. Why is that? The govt has stepped in, in the name of the "public good" and told landlords that own those building that they are only allowed to charge a certain amount of money per tenant. So if I am the unfortunate owner of such a building I am not allowed to charge tenants whatever the going rate might be. What is my incentive as an owner to try to make a "better product", if I am not allowed to enjoy the financial rewards of my labor? And as a result, landords let their places fall into disrepair. I could be wrong.... but I would wager if Canada's housing market is out of controll... it is because of some serious govt regulation driving it.
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Another retirement plan option... LRAO FIRE and Money 10 10-17-2006 10:31 PM
Please critique my retirement plan JohnEyles FIRE and Money 22 09-15-2006 02:26 PM
New retirement plan - keep working! laurence Life after FIRE 31 03-16-2005 06:20 AM

 

 
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