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"panic & terror"
Old 06-28-2011, 10:25 AM   #1
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"panic & terror"

It is not that bad, but I am becoming increasingly worried that I should work to full retirement age (another 10 years) if there are no tax increases/adjustments because I can see reaching the age of 80 (don't actually think I'll live that long--have been hoping to live to 57) and they say, "Oops, no more social security" and there we are eating dog food (no, really beans and rice, but still...).
My more rational side says that things almost always work out no matter the level of panic that precedes the resolution. Our financial planner says yes, but that was prior to the failure of the bipartisan talks.
My observation has been that people who are let go for bad behavior or fired ALWAYS end up in a better position. Yet I am my father's daughter and have an annoyingly high need for security.
Wish I were wealthy enough to just be able to forget the bleakest scenarios. What do you wise folks think is going to happen re taxes, SS, Medicare? Help me sleep at night!
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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If you are worried, keep working. No reason to retire and live in fear of tomorrow.

(Wish more of you retireewannabees would follow this advice so those of us retired and living off the govt. dole SS could sleep better at night...)
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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What do you wise folks think is going to happen re taxes, SS, Medicare? Help me sleep at night!
Taxes (direct and indirect) of all sorts will go up. SS and Medicare will still be around but will be less generous than they have been. retirees that are better off will pay significantly more Medicare premiums and their SS payments will be reduced.

For an idea at what one sustainable solution would be look at the Simpson-Bowles proposal(s).
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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I agree with MB that in future decades, benefits will probably be less than they are presently. Most of us have built some "cushion" into our retirement budget, and that may be where this cushion ends up going.

I am a bit of a security junkie too. I would suggest formulating (at least) two retirement plans, including one for the worst case scenario. Then LBYM, LBYM, LBYM until your savings can fund your (newly) low level of expenditures in retirement in such a scenario. If things turn out better, then you would have more to spend.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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If you are worried, keep working. No reason to retire and live in fear of tomorrow.

(Wish more of you retireewannabees would follow this advice so those of us retired and living off the govt. dole SS could sleep better at night...)
Bottom line, do as REWahoo says, not as he does
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #6
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Probably not necessary to work another 10 years. The next three will probably give you a good feel for the direction things are going with debt, politics, and healthcare. With a good safety margin and some flexibility in spending and lifestyle you should be ready for anything they may throw at you.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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I am a bit of a security junkie too. I would suggest formulating (at least) two retirement plans, including one for the worst case scenario. Then LBYM, LBYM, LBYM until your savings can fund your (newly) low level of expenditures in retirement in such a scenario. If things turn out better, then you would have more to spend.
+1. For me that's turned out to be a WR of about 2.5% without Soc Sec. If that's not enough of a safety factor, guess I'll have to cut back further or go back to work, not the end of the world.

There is no plan that eliminates all uncertainty, and never will be. Coming to that realization was very helpful to me. There is uncertainty in life no matter what your age or station in life, it doesn't go away just because you "retire." YMMV
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
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... not the end of the world.
Careful. According to some on this thread the end is near...
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:08 PM   #9
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Hmmm...Yes, I know I can work longer, but I hate where we are. I have a disease that killed my mother at 57, so have a bit of a superstition about that number. Although I have had each mainifestation 3 years younger than she did, and I got past 54.
Calculating on ORP and Firecalc, it seems that each year I work longer gives me 3K more in annual income, or $250/month difference.
We also plan on part-time work after the "retirement", and that will probably be adjustable.
That gives it a slightly different complexion too. But you are all correct, the closer to dead one is, the less one has to save.
Doggone that crystal ball, every time I try to use it, it is out of order!
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:37 AM   #10
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It is not that bad, but I am becoming increasingly worried that I should work to full retirement age (another 10 years) if there are no tax increases/adjustments because I can see reaching the age of 80 (don't actually think I'll live that long--have been hoping to live to 57) and they say, "Oops, no more social security" and there we are eating dog food (no, really beans and rice, but still...).
My more rational side says that things almost always work out no matter the level of panic that precedes the resolution. Our financial planner says yes, but that was prior to the failure of the bipartisan talks.
Wish I were wealthy enough to just be able to forget the bleakest scenarios. What do you wise folks think is going to happen re taxes, SS, Medicare? Help me sleep at night!
Sounds like you're suffering from "Just One More Year" syndrome. If you do it for long enough then you'll end up with more money than you could ever possibly spend... at least in the very short time you have left to live.

The best remedy for anxiety is education. For example, start with "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Social Security and Medicare" and then dig into the online studies referenced in the book:
Book review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Security and Medicare | Military Retirement & Financial Independence

Or read William Bernstein's "Calculator From Hell" series and decide that you're close enough:
(FAQ archive): Bernstein's "Retirement Calculator from Hell" articles
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:10 AM   #11
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(Wish more of you retireewannabees would follow this advice so those of us retired and living off the govt. dole SS could sleep better at night...)
And stay away from my rivers and lakes, not to mention golf courses and movie theaters.

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Hmmm...Yes, I know I can work longer, but I hate where we are. I have a disease that killed my mother at 57, so have a bit of a superstition about that number. Although I have had each mainifestation 3 years younger than she did, and I got past 54.
Calculating on ORP and Firecalc, it seems that each year I work longer gives me 3K more in annual income, or $250/month difference.
We also plan on part-time work after the "retirement", and that will probably be adjustable.
That gives it a slightly different complexion too. But you are all correct, the closer to dead one is, the less one has to save.
Doggone that crystal ball, every time I try to use it, it is out of order!
Don't mean to be harsh, but are you gonna live in fear of dying young or live in fear of running out of money. I always tell my DW that worrying accomplishes nothing. There's two options: Stop worrying or do something about it. You've managed to double the problem. You're worrying about both.

I say either retire now and let the chips fall where they may, but at least you can stop worrying about dying young and never getting to enjoy your retirement.

That, or stop worrying about a disease you apparently can't do much about and work until you feel secure and stop worrying about missing out on retirement.

Worrying about both is paralyzing. You'll end up with nothing but an ulcer, or worse, in the end. You won't get to retire, you'll still have the disease hanging over your head and you'll still be working trying get some security. That's no way to live your life.

Better yet, stop worrying about all of it, retire and do what's necessary to make sure you're reasonably secure (reduce spending, continue to save, take a part time job, whatever). Enjoy your life. None of us have a guarantee. Any of us could keel over tomorrow or have our money run out due to unforeseen circumstances. If the worst comes to pass, so be it. At least you enjoyed the journey.

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Old 06-29-2011, 11:17 AM   #12
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And stay away from my rivers and lakes, not to mention golf courses and movie theaters.



Don't mean to be harsh, but are you gonna live in fear of dying young or live in fear of running out of money.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:24 AM   #13
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One option to help you decide is to continue to w*rk another 3-5 years and see what happens on both fronts. I understand all too well about waiting until you "have enough" to retire only to die 7 months into retirement at age 57. W*rking another couple of years should help you sort out your fears about the financial issues and living another couple of years may help you see where you potential health issues are at that time. Don't try to make too many choices at once...especially if you are that close to not living in a manner which you are most comfortable with in retirement. Generally, once you quit....it is really tough to go back especially at the same salary level etc.

Take your time on both fronts. From what you said it would appear you are not ready to ER on several fronts.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:39 AM   #14
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On medicare for Part B by the time you reach 300k you pay the full 326/month. Note that part A costs $454/month if you don't have the credits, and for part D there is also already a means test. Check the medicare web site for details. So for medicare the main change would be to lower the points at which the step up happens.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:25 PM   #15
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On medicare for Part B by the time you reach 300k you pay the full 326/month. Note that part A costs $454/month if you don't have the credits, and for part D there is also already a means test. Check the medicare web site for details. So for medicare the main change would be to lower the points at which the step up happens.
Thanks meieilde. I don't think there is much need to fear our income reaching 300K! All comments have been helpful so thanks to all.
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