This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like
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  1. #1
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Default This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like

    "Many seniors are stuck with lives of never-ending work—a fate that could befall millions in the coming decades."

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business...fornia/553970/
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Scary. I've wondered for a while now what's going to happen with the Boomer generation.

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    when I worked at the boyscouts we had a lady like this. She always was so sad that her friends were doing retirement things and here she was basically having to do whatever scut work the boy scouts wanted. She had no vehicle and depended on the bus. Had to bring her lunch or eat the party scraps leftover. She was too old to be out by herself and wasnt really useful to the Boy Scouts either. She had just assumed her Dh was putting retirement away and had ins.

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    I've wondered for a while now what's going to happen with the Boomer generation.
    Me too - I'm a few years older than Boomers, as I watched them in private industry, I wondered how they would fare. In about 1982 (I was 43) most Fortune 500 companies switched from pensions to IRA/401k Plans. (I think the IRA's were only common for about a year, then switched to 401ks.) Where I worked, only about 30 to 35% signed up. And as the years went by, that number was fairly steady - never getting above 40%.
    So you had to wonder how Boomers would fare - no pension, no 401k, only small savings accounts. Houses grew from 1500 foot family homes to 3000 foot, triple garage McMansions, late model cars, boats, RVs, vacation homes, toys, etc.

    The article lists a bunch of excuses - housing slumps where house were upside down. Market crashes where stocks fell. Tough job markets, yada. Poor excuses - if they hadn't sold their upsidedown house, just kept making the payments, they would now have a paid-for house. If they had hung onto their stocks thru the downturns, they would be wealthy today. Boomers didn't invent bad times and failures - during the 1929, the older generation had way worse market crashes, much worse job markets, real estate dips. Yet most of them made it to retirement on lived off of their savings and SS pensions.

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    Registered User CPA-Kim's Avatar
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    Just want to add that life can throw you a curve ball at any time. I had a very good financial plan in play. I was debt free and a few years away from collecting $5,000 (with a 3% annual raise) a month State of Florida pension with another $1,700 (age 62) Social Security. I had no debt, a house paid in full, a new car paid in full, a 401k, and some money in the bank. Then I was diagnosed with ALS in 2015.

    I had to leave work on disability and take my pension in a lump sum since my life expectancy was shorter than the breakeven on my lump sum compared to the accumulated $5,000 a month. Anyway, the best of financial plans can be smashed with a terminal illness. To make matters worse, it took them a year to diagnose me and, during that time, I had to keep working. I lived alone so all of the paperwork, decisions, etc. was up to me.

    If you have your health, you have everything now makes a lot of sense. I'm blessed to have strong faith and a slow progression, but nothing is for sure in this life.
    Last edited by CPA-Kim; 02-28-2018 at 07:32 PM.
    Kim
    The Lord will provide

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    It can be pretty tough to make house payments if you lose a good job with benefits including health care and have to replace it with three or four or more part time minimum wage jobs with no benefits and then live paycheck to meager paycheck because there isn't another good job available. That's happened a lot in our area and resulted in many foreclosures and also a big loss in population as people were forced to move away to find work. The loss of population made it harder to sell houses here, too.

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    Registered User mombottoo's Avatar
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    I know people like those who are described in the article and it is sad. And, like CPA-Kim said, illness can strike at any time and change your plans. My husband was injured on the job back in the latter part of 2000 and he started receive SSDI in early 2003. Luckily, we had purchased all the right insurances and paid off our house when he received his WC settlement. So, overall our lifestyle really hasn't changed all that much and we haven't had to touch our retirement savings (IRA) yet and he isn't eligible to draw his pension for a couple of more years. Unless something totally unexpected happens we will have a roof over our head and food on the table, but our elder years definitely aren't going to be like we thought they would.

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    What is the saying about life is what happens while you're busy planning? We had a good (we thought) plan running up to retirement that we thought would allow us to keep our home and do some traveling once we retired.

    Dh became disabled in January of 2001 and when he began drawing SS disability in November 2001, we determined what my projected SS income would be and started living on that amount i.e. his SS disability plus my projected SS. We then used my income to pay off our mortgage, replace our furnace, a/c, roof, household appliances and our vehicle and to begin building savings. I worked until age 70 and saved 100% of my salary for the four years after I started drawing SS at age 66. Those savings are my retirement. Dh died in 2015 so my income went down to just the amount of his SS. The decrease was buffered by the fact such a large portion of our income had been going for his medical expenses which I no longer had to pay. Still I struggle with upkeep on the house, property taxes, paying people to mow grass and plow snow and the ever increasing cost of medical insurance and uninsured medical expenses.

    I've always been thrifty which has worked well for me living on SS. I still put in a garden and can/freeze/dehydrate what I produce. My clothing comes from thrift shops except for undies and shoes. I bought a new winter coat and boots just before I retired which are now on their 5th year and still do not need to be replaced. Also, before I retired each Christmas my boss gave me a gift certificate to Target and I used those to build up a supply of sheets and towels so likely will never need to buy those again.

    I have a budget and strive to stay within its limits. Although some months I'm way over mostly it averages out annually.

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    Registered User bookwormpeg's Avatar
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    I know for a fact that all the planning in the world can change in a minute.....you know the saying about you can plan all you want but God has the last word......One sickness can wipe out your million dollar savings......or, look what Mother Nature did to Rockport and Houston, TX.....thousands of people lost EVERYTHING.......young people just starting out....lots of retired people who have no means of starting over.....It's very sad......I don't know what the answer is other then plan the best you can and pray for the best......

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    The article is so true. I saw a lot of older people at the food banks. Not young people. My parents were born in 1928 and 1930. They paid with cash and saved cash. The house was $45,000 and paid off in 10 years with mom working 2 jobs and dad had one. When they got older, mom had a pension and SS and dad had SS. With only utilities to pay, they would get about $4000/mth and lived well. After dad passed, mom sold the house and lived in a apartment. She was financially, in great shape. Despite her health issues and leukemia.

    My DH and I have a tiny savings. We will have a vested pension in a few years, but it will be quite small. We told the youngest that we will pay for his college. Somehow. DH has been trying to start his own business but nothing has worked out yet. We do have some stocks/401k/annuities but they are not big. We will need to rely on the sale of our properties (2 rental and our home) in retirement. That will be the retirement plan. Our health may be a big issue as I've had many chronic illnesses that require expensive meds (my insurance refuses to cover them) and DH has had a stroke. If we retire at age 62, our total SS would equal $2000/mth. Our mortgages are close to that. We'll need to work a very long time.....

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    I'm sure you've seen the news about Lordstown Ohio GM plant closing. 1500 employees without jobs...average hourly rate was $35. Major crisis...no way will they be able to find a job around here making the same. Even 2 min. wage jobs will not make that up. ~It's a crying shame with all these closures. The us economy is in the pits...and no one wants to admit it.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    There's no way for American workers to compete with wages in second and third world countries. That's just a fact. Automation plays a big part in job losses, too. That won't change and will only increase. I don't know what the answer is. Retraining for other jobs can help some people, and I hope those losing jobs can find ways to make that work out for them.

    I think people are spending beyond their means again. That means we're going to see a repeat of the last crash, and it might be even worse this time. I saw a stat lately about the average credit card debt in this country per capita. I forget what it was, but I recall I was shocked how high it was. That's never a good sign. Payday lenders are being deregulated too, another way people get into financial trouble. Lots of signs make me nervous these days.

    We're heading into retirement starting next week. We think we'll be okay financially, but it's still scary.

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    Registered User bookwormpeg's Avatar
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    Good luck SD....retirement can be great if you are financially prepared. But who knows what tomorrow will bring. Expect the unexpected is my motto.....

    I agree people are living wayyy beyond their means. It's very sad....I have no sympathy for them....I mentor young teen moms and I stress about an emergency fund and not living beyond their means. It's tough for them because they see their peers coming in with new clothing and getting their nails done every week and they want it too.....sometimes its like talking to the wall...…

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Teenagers think money grows on trees.

    We should be okay for retirement. It's just making me nervous in general because it's such a huge change, but I don't expect major problems.

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    it is hard esp when things keep going up and up so you are always behind. property tax, hydro. food, water etc, all have gone up every year a few percentages yet wages don't. so every year a few more hundred behind inflation. the local govt just does pay raises the new council first act pay raise. we have lots of condo towers going up with thousands of people moving in but yet we need to be taxed more for upgrades. well what did they do 5 yrs ? far less people living here then and less taxes. so if so many more people living here and paying taxes why is everything going up?

    yes some jobs have great pensions govt, teachers, nurses, cops etc. the traditional jobs. but more don't here. they complain about people not spending enough in restaurants etc well how can you if you are always forking out more. housing went up so much 16 yrs our house 245k now 1million and it would be torn down.

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