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Can You Afford to Retire?

Posted November 26, 2008 8:16 AM

Retirement may mean instant poverty for some of us. Our 401(k) savings have been slashed, heating prices are going through the roof, and inflation continues to increase. Go to the AARP site and run your calculations. Can you afford to retire? Or are you going to be the oldest pump expert in your plant?

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#1

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/26/2008 9:02 AM

"oldest pump expert in your plant?" I'm already that. Actually, you could replace "oldest" with "only", but that's a whole new thread.

It's sad. I was hoping to retire at 62, less than 7 years from now. We'll se, maybe I can still pull it off.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/26/2008 9:37 AM

I'm semi retired now, I'd like to cut down to a 2 day week but it's a big drop from 3 days to 2 financially.

We could manage, especially when you consider my pension could get screwed by the overpaid incompetent 'financial experts'.

Digging up the back garden to grow veg has some appeal... it's cheaper to live when you are retired...spend time rather than money.

I'm certainly going down to 1 or 2 when I hit 60. (3 yrs to go)

Del

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/27/2008 4:38 AM

C'mon Del! you're an engineer and you know that sometimes theory doesn't work out in practice.

The 'financial experts' are the ones who engineer our future financial path and as it happened - their theory turned into a practical night-mare for most of us but not for everybody, I suppose.

I keep checking my pension plan and it has gone down by almost 50% the one I have with H...ooops, almost said the name of the bank which is politically incorrect.

But I had/have another plan through work and that's even worse and that was/is with the Scotts...sorry it's popped out.

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#5
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/27/2008 5:10 AM

Maybe we should have invested our pension funds in Champagne and cut out the urethra of the leeches middle men.

Del

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#3

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/26/2008 10:45 AM

No, I cannot.

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#6

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/28/2008 12:12 PM

The missus and I were planning to hang up our keys at the end of 2008 after 66 years. That is until the "do gooders" inside the beltway decided to try to play God with the laws of supply and demand and human nature. If these boneheads want to experiment I wish they would get themselves a High School chemistry set and go out behind the barn where the only people they can hurt are themselves.

So, it is going to be "business as usual" on Jan. 2. As much as I would like to whine about it, in some respects I am glad to continue to be active. As my wife told me the other day..."I married you for better or for worse, but please God not for lunch".

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#7
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/28/2008 12:29 PM

As my wife told me the other day..."I married you for better or for worse, but please God not for lunch".

Falls off chair LOL

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#8

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/28/2008 12:53 PM

If I were to stay in my current condition, I'd say the future looks pretty bleek...but me and my bro decided that working for somebody else wasn't gonna cut it so we started a business together with the firm intention of both quitting our present (upper 60k) jobs within a year and finally make some real money. 3 months into it, and it is looking a lot better. Hopefully, retirement at 60-65 will be a possible (and comfortable) thing to think about...(early 40s right now so there's hope....:)

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#9

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

11/30/2008 10:21 PM

Was planning to retire at age 56 (2012). Took some money out to help the kids get started and to buy some toys last Christmas (glad I did). Figured it would add maybe 2 more years to the plan. When it recovers, I, like everyone else will have to rethink my strategies. The money I took from Bullion probably should have come from "Growth Assets". That is with 20/20 hindsight though. I just have to arrange so that margin calls don't turn paper losses into real ones and sit tight I suppose.

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#10

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 2:15 AM

In Hungary there are three kinds of pensions depending on the funds: State pension fund, private pension fund and voluntary pension fund. When you start to work you must choose between the state and the private one; that will be the either source of your pension. In addition, you can join to a voluntary fund. When I started to work the only option was the state fund so I did not have any choice but when the possibility came I joined to a voluntary fund too.

I have just retired last month. (I'm 60 and I had 44 years of work[I don't know if that is the right expression])That means that I started to use my state pension but I keep working with contracts. That makes extra money so the whole sum covers our living costs and I keep paying for the voluntary fund. I plan that after 5-8 years I will really finish working and that time I will start my voluntary pension. The sum i can get that way seems to be the same in value as my present income.

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#11
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 3:58 AM

Hey, congatulations on your retirement!
Enjoy...
I bet you have some fun projects lined up?

Del

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#17
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 3:13 PM

Yes, of course. But my free time haven't been more... I have to look after my wife, my (adult) children and two cats...

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#12

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 5:51 AM

I have quite a ways until I am at retirement age (only in my late 30's) but I have seen my 401k drop by about 40% in the last couple of months. All I can say is thank goodness that Social Security was not privatized. I can't imagine the kind of shape this country would be in if all of the people that depend on SS income had to take a 40% cut.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 1:38 PM

I can't imagine the kind of shape this country would be in if all of the people that depend on SS income had to take a 40% cut.

I am 43 and would walk away from Socialist Insecurity in a heart beat if they let me manage the entire 15% myself. I'd even consider it if I just got the 7 1/2% "direct employee contribution (confiscation) and not the "employer match".

If you put 15% of your income in nothing but CD's you would do a lot better than the paultry return on your money that Socialist Insecurity will provide.

I am all for privitization. The "Great Society", "War on Poverty" and the like have resulted in a growing beurocracy and people happy with living in the Nanny State. The original idea of social security was to be a safety net so people could live their non-working days in dignity and not have to eat dog food. Initially the return on "investment" was very good. As the years went on the return lowered because the number of people paying into the system shrank as the number of people drawing from the system grew. Can anyone say, "Pyramid Scheme"? If any private citizen tried to impliment such a system we'd be tossed in jail for promoting a pyramid scheme, but it's ok when congress does it.

I think we could phase OUT socialist insecurity over the next 20 years or so and put the responsibility on the individual (where it should be). You might ask what about those who spend it rather than save and invest it? To this I say hunger is a very good motivator and a lesson to those who follow.

Next check you get look at how much you have paid for the year in FICA and then look at your socialist insecurity statement to see how much you will get a month. Then do the math with that same money invested over a working life, even in CD's at an average of 5%.

Travis

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#14
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 1:48 PM

While you and I might be okay with keeping our 7.5% and investing it ourselves there are many people in this country that do not earn very much and would get almost nothing back from SS when they retire. There is something to be said for working toward a common good for all people. You can call it socialist if you like, but I would dare say that some of the programs that you dislike so much have probably served you and your family quite well.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 2:30 PM

So I'm responsible for making sure someone who makes less than I do is able to retire in comfort? No thanks.

People seem to forget that we (in the USA which is quickly becoming the USSA) are guaranteed equal OPPORTUNITY not equal OUTCOME.

If someone does not make much (or as much as they'd like to) then it is incumbent on THEM to find a way to make more, not look for a suppliment.

Travis

Still looking for Galt's Gulch...

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/01/2008 2:32 PM

Guest, why don't you register. I think we'll get along really, really, good.

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/02/2008 5:02 AM

I don't think anyone who is living solely on SS income is living in the lap of luxury. I think if by sacrificing a small amount of what you earn allows a great number of people to retire with some amount of dignity and even comfort then it is worth it.

While you may not want to admit it there are many people in this country that have not and never will be given equal opportunity through no fault of their own. You will end up paying for them in one way or another. If you fail to provide for them through programs like SS and Medicare then the costs will just show up differently.

Just imagine if through no fault of your own you were unable to work due to a disability. Would you want to live the next 10, 20, 30 or 40 years without some sort of social safety net? I am not saying that there are not ways that these programs could be improved or that some percentage of the recipients are not abusing the programs. The point is that if we want to be a civilized society we must all bear some cost for the common good.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/02/2008 10:37 AM

d m rosenburg,

great answer, especially your last point about the common good.

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#20
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/02/2008 11:41 AM

Thanks

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#29
In reply to #18

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/21/2008 9:15 PM

I met a colleague I hadn't seen in a while, and he was complaing about his 201k; I said, you mean 401 k, he said Nope its about half what it was...

I went back to school to get my MBA as part of my retirement planning. I figured that by the time I'm ready to retire they would establish a "means test." Where by all the do gooders who want to save the less fortunate will lay claim to my social security.

I figured I would be able to make up what they steal from me (Uhh, charitably redistribute to those less fortunate) by teaching.

Markets recover over the long term; It may be a very long term. But my plans to teach give me some flexibility.

If you find Galt's Gulch, please give me a holler.

milo

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#26
In reply to #15

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/07/2008 2:24 AM

Ever since regean tool office the tax cuts have been off set by taking the excess funds from social security, except for Clinton who used the money to pay off the $3 trillion debtr Regean left. He figured that less interst paid to the Federal Reserve would lower the national debt and increase the value of the dollar so retirement pay would go father.

The G.W. comme along and goes back with tax cute funded from the Social Security excess from the people who earn the least.

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#25
In reply to #12

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/07/2008 1:50 AM

Hey DM:

You and I might be out of luck. I want to retire in 20 years, and you may want to retire in 25 or 30 years. Our industrious politicans have stolen all the money and spent it. I would go private in a second, becasue I don't expect SSI to benefit my family. I have seen some estimates that the total unfunded SSI liability will be 41 trillon by 2050. Thats a nice gift to leave our kids.

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#32
In reply to #12

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

01/13/2009 1:56 AM

What do you think Bush has been using to OFFSET his deep tax cuts for business ?

All the excess from the Social Security Fund not presently need to pay the retired folks .

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#21

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/06/2008 3:16 AM

But the "NORTH AMERICAN UNION" will not work if the wages and the people of the 3 countrys are not at or near the same financial degree of economic slavery.

Then they can't spread out the new "AMERO" they are dieing to try out and turn the USA, CANADA, AND MEXICO into one country.

Kiss the Constitution BYE BYE !

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/06/2008 12:18 PM

"Kiss the Constitution BYE BYE !"

I've already done that.

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#23
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/06/2008 5:52 PM

bricktop,

i think they will try to slowly erode the constitution, at least that is how they see it. on the far left they discuss it as "the war on the constitution". if they put Dick Cheney into prison for what he has done, it might slow the war down. the government should know that the people will not stand for too much. that is why we were guaranteed the right to bear arms, so as to be able to defend ourselves from the government when it gets out of control. the founding fathers knew this was a possibility, and they were in favor of citizens being able to correct the wrongs of a government gone out of control. our country was founded on the concept of revolt against tyranny. someday, history might repeat itself.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/06/2008 9:31 PM

"someday, history might repeat itself."

Someday, history WILL repeat itself. Blame Cheney, or whoever you want, add in BO, they want our guns.

Put me on record here Joe, heavy shit will happen in our lifetime.

This week, a report came out that we can expect a major biological or nuclear attack will happen in the world, perhaps this country, (*), within the next 5 years. BO appoints the governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, to the position of Director of Homeland Security, the state with the most porous border in the country, and someone that has done absolutely nothing about it. Sorry, bonehead move. Nothing is going to change with BO at the helm.

Sleep with your weapon, and at least have a false sense of security.

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#27

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/09/2008 3:17 AM

I can almost afford to now. I have spend the last couple of months selling the banks and other stocks short. I have made back nearly all I lost in the crash. But I am hoping I can balence the loss and the tax on my Capital Gain and not be hit with a tax bill.

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#28
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/21/2008 9:06 PM

Irony is a fair topic in this section isn't it?

milo

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

12/22/2008 5:07 AM

Yes it is ironic that I have to balance the taxes I would rather pay a flat rate instead of even thinking about the Capital Gains from gambling.

But I did not want to be left out of the Financial Crisis so I went down and took out a Varible rate loan pegged at the fed rate (-1%) yes that is minus 1%.

I used the money to play the stock market and have turned $27k into $63k proving the fact that a disease ridden blind alshimers stricken monkyee can pick stocks better than Stock Trader.

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#31

Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

01/12/2009 9:51 PM

I retired 7 years ago at 67. Whatever retirement pension I had is gone and now my wife and I live only on social security. We live reasonably comfortably. We have a house, 8 acres of land, a workshop, a 1996 Toyota and a 2002 Chevy pickup, all paid for except for the house. We have learned through the years to live within our means. That means, not incurring new debts based on future income. I feel I am in a much better position than most.

The point I want to make is: People live beyond their means. They max their credit cards out, buy expensive toys, eat out, spend like there is no tomorrow. Well, tomorrow has come and a lot of people are hurting. We don't go out very often, never go to $12/ticket movies, don't take expensive vacations. My 27' CRT TV is not the top-of-the-line, but the picture is good enough for me. I can't see spending $1000+ for one of those newfangled flat screen, liquid crystal, HD digital TV's. I don't have an Ipod, blackberry or blue tooth. A simple cell phone that the phone co provides free is all I need. We cook all our meals. We don't throw money away on junk food. We don't buy Fillet Mignon at $9.95/lb when 93/7 hamburger for $2.79/lb is just as satisfying and nutritious. I don't turn up my nose to a can of corn because it has a dent. We shop for value and are surviving quite well.

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#33
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Re: Can You Afford to Retire?

01/15/2009 7:12 AM

We were raised to live below our means so that we could pay ourself first on payday. Wheater we owned the business or worked for someone else Grandad said pay yourself first.

Save $2.00 out of evey $5.00. I had to adapt that to $7.00 out of every $20.00 when we had kids but we kept putting money in the savings. We pulled all the saving out twice and paid off the farm after getting the mortage down. Then we bought more land but always went back to saving all we could.

Living below our mean is easy when I point out to my kids someone homeless whi is walking with all they own in a grabage bag along the roadway. Telling the kids that could easyily be us if we do not pay attention to our fiances but it is important to support the organization who help the homeless like the Salvation Army because we should as Americans help our neighbors but also because we might need their help too one day.

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