The Survival Podcast Forum

Finance and Economics => The Money Board => Investing and Saving => Topic started by: Smurf Hunter on October 05, 2017, 04:01:00 PM

Title: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 05, 2017, 04:01:00 PM
If this is not a personal survival topic, I'm not sure what is...

Quote
People are living longer, more expensive lives, often without much of a safety net. As a result, record numbers of Americans older than 65 are working — now nearly 1 in 5. That proportion has risen steadily over the past decade, and at a far faster rate than any other age group. Today, 9 million senior citizens work, compared with 4 million in 2000.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/seniors-financial-insecurity/?utm_term=.b55234565063
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: surfivor on October 05, 2017, 04:34:29 PM
->  “I’m going to work until I die”

 In that case, don't work too hard
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: LvsChant on October 05, 2017, 04:39:56 PM
Actually... I find work pretty fulfilling and plan to do some type of work probably forever.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: RitaRose1945 on October 05, 2017, 04:47:18 PM
I will technically retire in about 15 years, but I'm working on setting a side business or businesses that will allow me some additional cash flow when I do.  If I get them set up and they pay more than I'm making at my job, then I'm fine with that too, but for now, I'm looking at them for supplemental income now and when I retire.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: FreeLancer on October 05, 2017, 05:13:32 PM
If this is not a personal survival topic, I'm not sure what is...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/seniors-financial-insecurity/?utm_term=.b55234565063

Sobering article.

If that doesn’t scare you into saving early and often for retirement, I don’t know what will.  Nobody is coming to the rescue.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 05, 2017, 05:50:32 PM
I don't know. I'm on the fence. I feel bad but part of me screams, "dude, you retired with $5k in the bank?"

I do agree we should have a hard look at managed funds. Each one needs a magnifying glass. What's the load? Are you paying the dividends? Are there oddball fees?

I was particularly struck by the lady lamenting her $2k retirement account that was at one point $40k. As if she could live out her life with $40k.

The level of financial ignorance in this country is amazing. No pension, no IRA, no 401(k), no 403b, no savings and I'll be fine?

I plan to work until I die. My wife plans to work until I hit my number at which point she will read books and do family things. But we have a plan. Do these retirees even consult an advisor?
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 05, 2017, 06:09:55 PM

I plan to work until I die. My wife plans to work until I hit my number at which point she will read books and do family things. But we have a plan. Do these retirees even consult an advisor?

About a decade ago we paid an attorney for some estate planning and he commented I was under insured.  I've got overlapping term life insurance policies and a token amount for free from my employer.  Between then it pays a bit more than 10 years gross income.  I don't need my family to live like royalty, but they can pay off the mortgage, car and college tuition and coast for a few years easily.  After that they can get their own jobs if they need more :)

Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: fritz_monroe on October 05, 2017, 06:33:52 PM
Actually... I find work pretty fulfilling and plan to do some type of work probably forever.
Me too, but I believe what is meant is that I'm going to HAVE TO work until I die.

I'm pretty sure that even if I won a large amount of money that made it so I didn't need to work anymore, I'd still work in some way.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 05, 2017, 07:10:11 PM
About a decade ago we paid an attorney for some estate planning and he commented I was under insured.  I've got overlapping term life insurance policies and a token amount for free from my employer.  Between then it pays a bit more than 10 years gross income.  I don't need my family to live like royalty, but they can pay off the mortgage, car and college tuition and coast for a few years easily.  After that they can get their own jobs if they need more :)



My planner told us we were both over-insured. Um, no. My wife has a stable engineering job that basically pays the bills and more importantly gets us insurance. I am an independent investor with a couple side hustles. In short, neither of us are replaceable. I'm more replaceable because my wife could turn it over to the advisor but she loses the stay at home parent. But I've squandered going back to my engineering degree.

She's a breadwinner and I'm a 1950s housewife who yields high return and does the home repair and runs a couple businesses. They are both hard roles to replace.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 05, 2017, 07:20:18 PM
The worst thing is being forced into doing something you don't want to do, just to survive.  So it is good to have Plan A and Plan B for not having to work and be able to fully retire.

HOWEVER! A couple of other things to consider:

1)  Plan to stay ACTIVE until you die.  That may mean continue working full or part time in a physically active job, and/or regular disciplined exercise, and/or frequent recreational activities.  Being at 63 my conclusion from the downward slope is: when you stop moving you start dying, so KEEP MOVING, friend!

2)  Obscene medical and long-term care costs can drain the largest retirement fund.  Keep insured but rules can change, insurance companies can go belly up, and you can't predict what your last years will be like.  So have a plan for how you will handle medical costs in your later years.  What you decide at 60 may be entirely different at 75, 85, 95.  For instance, my Dad had a heart valve replace when he was late 70s.  Kind of borderline whether that made sense but he was always in great physical shape so he went for it.  He never fully recovered.  Turns out he was already suffering early Parkinson's (undiagnosed) and the heart trouble accelerated it and 6 months after the heart valve operation he was having difficulty walking (stiff legs, balance).  He slowly decline to wheelchair and then bed bound and after several years of exhausting minute-to-minute care from my mom he passed away.  At the end pretty much everything had shut down--except his heart was beating strong!  Not a pretty scenario the last couple of weeks and that strong heart just kept him conscious through it all.  Even with great insurance it drained a lot of their savings.

3) Early dementia can also lead to devastating financial decision errors that wipe out savings.  Have a plan for giving up control and who will take over and by what means.  Having trusted offspring helps a bunch in this regard.  Even in a great family it is shocking to see vultures start to circle the savings/inheritance long before the last breath is out.  A family trust might be one option.  Or financial accounts with one or two offspring as co-owners.

4) No external entity is 100% safe for holding your retirement funds.  I have seen relatives wiped out because their company retirement fund went bankrupt the year before they were going to retire.  I consulted at a utility owned by Enron just at the time they went belly up.  A lot of friends had their entire retirement fund wiped out (it was all forced invested into Enron stock!).  In 2008 we saw brokerage firm using customer funds to cover internal "investments" in high risk trades (highly illegal but it happened anyway).  Have a retirement plan that does not depend on one source of holdings.

Considering all of these risk factors I think it is wise to plan to keep working beyond normal retirement age.  You might start withdrawing retire funds at some point, but consider staying in the work force in some manner.  If you are in your 60s and bail out of the work force for a couple of years, good luck with getting right back into it unless you have a very special skill not dependent on age, or you can restart a small business, etc.  You might want to use this as an opportunity to get into a line of work you never would have as a career but would be fun to do with less overhead costs.

Part of retirement planning should be to be totally out of debt before you retire if not already.  Make sure that house is paid off, you have good, reliable vehicle(s) that will last many years, no credit cards outstanding, etc.  We saw several acquaintances that retired with a heavily mortgaged house and either having to sell and move into very small apartment or go back to career work.

Often a well planned retirement can go just as anticipated and life is good.  But any one of these risk factors can and do crop up and can destroy everything if there is no contingency plan as well.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: FreeLancer on October 05, 2017, 07:30:31 PM
Wise words, NWP.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: RitaRose1945 on October 06, 2017, 11:24:31 AM
The worst thing is being forced into doing something you don't want to do, just to survive.  So it is good to have Plan A and Plan B for not having to work and be able to fully retire.

HOWEVER! A couple of other things to consider:

Karma given.

Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: archer on October 09, 2017, 10:52:53 AM
good info there NWP...
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: bigbear on October 12, 2017, 02:27:44 PM
A little perspective is in order:  Until recently (like within the last 100-150 years), retirement was only for the very wealthy.  After Social Security and pension plans and all the other currency manipulation and industrial revolution...  It was built on ever increasing productivity, consumption, tax structures, and slight lever adjustments to shift some of it down the road.  Prior to that, most people worked in some way or other until they physically/mentally couldn't.  And they didn't have $X,000,000 to pay for medical costs to prolong life.  So they essentially worked until they died.  "Retirement" is a First World phenomena that may or may not be sustainable as a goal for the majority of people.  That doesn't mean to not plan for it.  That doesn't mean not be responsible. 

Economists haven't seen the wage growth they have been hoping for after the ongoing currency manipulation (low interest, helicopter money, QE).  They seem to think it's still coming.  But with developing nations putting pressure on domestic wages, it's easy to see the headwinds for "retirement" as we know it and as most people expect/hope for.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 12, 2017, 04:16:49 PM
A little perspective is in order:  Until recently (like within the last 100-150 years), retirement was only for the very wealthy.  After Social Security and pension plans and all the other currency manipulation and industrial revolution...  It was built on ever increasing productivity, consumption, tax structures, and slight lever adjustments to shift some of it down the road.  Prior to that, most people worked in some way or other until they physically/mentally couldn't.  And they didn't have $X,000,000 to pay for medical costs to prolong life.  So they essentially worked until they died.  "Retirement" is a First World phenomena that may or may not be sustainable as a goal for the majority of people.  That doesn't mean to not plan for it.  That doesn't mean not be responsible. 

Economists haven't seen the wage growth they have been hoping for after the ongoing currency manipulation (low interest, helicopter money, QE).  They seem to think it's still coming.  But with developing nations putting pressure on domestic wages, it's easy to see the headwinds for "retirement" as we know it and as most people expect/hope for.

I'm sure there are several other unintended consequences of the modern age.  The automobile allowed workers to live in suburbs and commute several miles each way.  This caused a boom in single family home construction a few generations ago.  Then of course the internet and mobile phones were believed to boost our productivity, but instead many of us are perpetually "on the clock" to a small degree.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 12, 2017, 04:53:09 PM
A little perspective is in order:  Until recently (like within the last 100-150 years), retirement was only for the very wealthy.  After Social Security and pension plans and all the other currency manipulation and industrial revolution...  It was built on ever increasing productivity, consumption, tax structures, and slight lever adjustments to shift some of it down the road.  Prior to that, most people worked in some way or other until they physically/mentally couldn't.  And they didn't have $X,000,000 to pay for medical costs to prolong life.  So they essentially worked until they died.  "Retirement" is a First World phenomena that may or may not be sustainable as a goal for the majority of people.  That doesn't mean to not plan for it.  That doesn't mean not be responsible. 

Economists haven't seen the wage growth they have been hoping for after the ongoing currency manipulation (low interest, helicopter money, QE).  They seem to think it's still coming.  But with developing nations putting pressure on domestic wages, it's easy to see the headwinds for "retirement" as we know it and as most people expect/hope for.

Very true.  Add to that that when Social Security was started in the 30s, the average workers only  lived a couple of years past "retirement age."  Now people can live 20-30 years after retiring.  A LOT can happen in 30 years to upset financial situation: need to hire more help as your mobility decreases, vastly greater medical expenses, constant barrage of scams to suck away savings, vehicles wear out, etc.  Plus, there is an expectation that you will be going on cruises and travel around.  Not to mention the societal and broader economic changes (bubbles, taxes, inflation). I think few people have a realistic idea and plan for the risks to be faced over 20-30 years of retirement.  I've seen a very few people enjoy the picture book retirement, very few.  I've seen many die long before retirement age, or acquire major disabilities prior or soon after retirement, savings wiped out, scams rip them off of everything, unbelievable medical expenses even with cadillac plans.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 12, 2017, 05:15:42 PM
It's a little murky. My grandparents never retired, technically. When gramps dropped the day job they legally became farmers full time. Contract the land and work futures markets to balance risk. I guess for about 4 generations in my family there was no retirement as they just went back to the farm.

But then, the farm was a MASSIVE asset. My grandmother passed in a decrepit farmhouse with floors that weren't level, a roof that leaked, a heater that broke weekly, plumbing that was essentially a coin toss, and a failing foundation while sitting on $1 mil of land. Were it not for the garden, sunroom and her collection of cacti she'd have gone sooner. She loved that land.

So I don't know. We've only been industrialized a while. Even in the 30s the depression solution was to retreat to the farms. I think we're in a big experiment where we move away from the land as a primary resource. It's a good question. Would you swap your 401 for a few hundred acres of farmland? It damn near tore my family apart selling it.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 12, 2017, 06:11:54 PM
That is a very common situation, David.  Around this area there a lot of family farms dating back to the late 1800s.  They were passed on from gen1 to gen2 and perhaps gen3 intact, and even expanded as offspring started their own farms. Many farmers my age are now selling off large tracts and keeping 50 acres to lease out.  Nothing really sustainable to pass on to their kids.  And nowadays it is common NOT to pass the farm to the eldest or the one who stuck around, but it gets sold and divided evenly. Nothing left of a farm legacy.  Not many of the "kids" want to farm anymore.  Can't rely on cheap illegal immigrant labor as much as before.

I spent time in Iowa in the 1970s where this all happened decades ago and every family tract of 500 or so acres got bought up by the industrial Ag businesses.  You end up with fewer and fewer family farms and more vast horizon-to-horizon industrial farms.  Then they have such an advantage of economy of scale that the family farms struggle to compete in their own area.

Same old story: Big govt eventually leads to loss of family businesses and consolidation of resources into a few multi-national corps.  Big loves big and squashes small.  And most of the local family farms were all for government intervention: favorable tax rates for farms, national subsidies, land use restrictions, etc.  You don't get govt favors without the blowback which is the giants crushing the family farm.

Just as we see the family doctor dying off under the burden of national healthcare, we see family farms withering away under tax/zoning/seed licensing/subsidies.

My paternal grandparents had an incredible place on Hood Canal for their retirement (Seabeck).  My grandfather nought two wooded lots in the 1950s with cash, then logged one of them and traded the local mill for finished lumber.  He used that to build a small cabin while he built his retirement house, then sold the cabin and its lot.  It was one of the very few places within miles that had easy access to a pristine gravel beach, the lawn literally sloped down to the beach.  He died at 75 after long years of dementia and hip problems.  My grandmother lived in her house until she died at 100 yrs. He had a govt pension from the shipyard and social sec. But they never had mortgage payments, not a day of debt of any kind, and their 1957 BelAir lasted until neither could drive. Then the beach house was sold to be divided up between three surviving sons and the buyer leveled the house (which had beautiful stonework, fireplace, built-in cabinets and firewood box) and built a strange modern copper clad thing.  No trace of that legacy left.

I think being free of debt and keeping as small an expense footprint as possible helps a lot.  My grandparents also had a thriving garden and beehives that supplied much of their table produce, plus canning.  They could walk to the local marina/market for their mail and groceries.  The VA covered the worst of my grandfather's care (not ideal but better than not or facing crippling debt).
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 13, 2017, 08:50:16 AM
Hood Canal is nice.  I spent time in that area 3 different times last summer.  It's interesting how the real estate prices vary from opposite sides of the bridge.

If never had to go into an office in the city...
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 22, 2017, 04:56:31 PM
Je-sus.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/apos-much-average-50-something-110000289.html

While the average 50-55 has $125,000 saved for retirement the median has only $8,000. That means half of those in the age group have UNDER $8k for retirement. It's the default position to believe everyone is just like you. I have more than $8k in Verizon stock right now.

Now I get the push for socialism. Half of Gen X have no plan for retirement. More than half. THE AVERAGE 50-55 HAS AN $8-9k CREDIT CARD BALANCE. They're in the red. And if they're paying the kids' college debt Bernie starts making sense. Not that I agree but I understand. Without a damn good pension you're basically homeless.

I can't believe it but I'm changing my tune. The economic disaster that will destroy America isn't the Fed and the funny money. It's a lack of savings. I just blanket assume that every 60 year old is a millionaire. Turns out they're penniless.

How did I manage such luck? I married a woman who, like me, automatically put 10% in a 401, 10% in IRAs, and let me have 5% to play with. I thought that was normal. This really is a disaster.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: FreeLancer on October 22, 2017, 07:57:04 PM
While the average 50-55 has $125,000 saved for retirement the median has only $8,000. That means half of those in the age group have UNDER $8k for retirement.

I don't get it. 

A single investment of $4000 dollars sitting in a brain-dead S&P 500 index fund for the last 35 years would have grown to $200,000 by now.

There's no excuse for hitting 50 with only $125k, let alone $8k. 

Wake up and smell the cat food people!
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 22, 2017, 08:37:03 PM
I don't get it. 

A single investment of $4000 dollars sitting in a brain-dead S&P 500 index fund for the last 35 years would have grown to $200,000 by now.

There's no excuse for hitting 50 with only $125k, let alone $8k. 

Wake up and smell the cat food people!

Re these numbers "brain dead" is shifting in meaning. A Ronco "set it and forget it" is not only acceptable but compared to "I never bothered to try" it looks like genius.

I'm doing my best to crunch the numbers but I'll rely on the accountant dad here for a quote: "We're fucked". If the master plan is that we in a decade and a half have 50% of 70 year olds with literally no savings...

I suddenly hate myself. I'm sparring on this forum with other investors over what makes sense with our free money. I look like a fool debating Bitcoin, stock valuations, Y Combinator, currency markets, and other assets. None of that stuff matters if we're retiring broke. I used to think everyone thought like me...

I don't know what to say. We're going to fail.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: FreeLancer on October 22, 2017, 10:21:38 PM
Yeah, the problem really stems from an ignorance of basic principles.

Time is a powerful force when applied as early as possible to savings. But saving requires the discipline to delay gratification.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 23, 2017, 10:09:44 AM
David brings up a sobering perspective.

Ultimately it's not a good feeling to be the smartest guy in the room.  Apply this to almost any context, and it's equally unnerving.
If you made millions, but 95% have nothing, its really a matter of physics, time and pitch forks...

From a basic security perspective, I must admit we'd all be safer if everyone in the class got a B-/C+.
If you're the only kid scoring an A each exam, but the class average is failing, you're a target...
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 23, 2017, 12:22:37 PM
I worked briefly with a lady who never opened her 401. The company would match. She passed on free money to spend in the here and now. I was gobstopped.

I think the rational and prudent among us assume everybody puts 10% into retirement. Maybe in some special circumstances with entrepreneurs savings could be tied up in capital or some kind of investment but for the most part we assume it just comes out of the paycheck before you see it. Start day one and you never miss it.

The math on this is horrifying. My two year old has more savings than the median 55 year old. This is cataclysmic. half of Americans in their 50s aren't poor. They're destitute.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: bigbear on October 23, 2017, 02:11:20 PM
Social Security was never intended to be a retirement plan.  It was intended to prevent death by starvation for the lucky few who outlived the rest.  It's now more than just an emotional appeal for votes.  People say "It's my money" when there's talk about changing the system.

Gen Xers have job hopped like no others before.  And they don't rollover their 401k into an IRA for various reasons.  We (I'm late Gen-X) don't have pensions or health benefits upon retirement.  And most of our early jobs didn't have 401k plans with automatic enrollment.  IRS/DOL have set a lot of protective measures in place for companies to set up automatic contribution arrangements over the 10-20 years.  More recent generations at least have that going for them.  Using the "4th Turning" vernacular, we're a lost generation in many ways.

Also, those between age 50-55 had the hardest time getting re-employed after losing a job.  They aren't protected against age-ism and are paid more on average than younger people in the job pool.  So instead of saving for retirement, they are forced to spend it down now.

Regarding contribution rates:  there is no excuse not to contribute whatever gets you a company match.  I can get there may be reasons for not doing 10%.  But I cannot understand not doing 4% or 6% or whatever it is that maximizes however much company money you can get for free.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Carl on October 23, 2017, 03:09:02 PM
You still working SMURF?
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: LvsChant on October 23, 2017, 03:25:28 PM
Those statistics are really very sad... and I look at my own family and see some of my siblings who are probably in the same boat with others either at or nearing 50 who have very little saved.

I look around and think about what people in their retirement years are doing... many do not have their homes paid for. That is huge. I totally cannot understand how they think they can live on a retirement check from social security and still make mortgage payments.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Carl on October 23, 2017, 03:45:11 PM
  A friend of mine ,age 70 and still at a job, just 3 years ago got a 30 year mortgage on a house at 7.3 % and can't understand why I keep on her about getting the loan redone from someone else....some people you just can't help.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 23, 2017, 05:16:44 PM
I'm not dead yet - thanks for checking ;)
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 23, 2017, 06:25:39 PM
Gen Xers have job hopped like no others before.  And they don't rollover their 401k into an IRA for various reasons.  We (I'm late Gen-X) don't have pensions or health benefits upon retirement.  And most of our early jobs didn't have 401k plans with automatic enrollment.  IRS/DOL have set a lot of protective measures in place for companies to set up automatic contribution arrangements over the 10-20 years.  More recent generations at least have that going for them.  Using the "4th Turning" vernacular, we're a lost generation in many ways.

No kidding. I just didn't realize how bad it is.

Regarding contribution rates:  there is no excuse not to contribute whatever gets you a company match.  I can get there may be reasons for not doing 10%.  But I cannot understand not doing 4% or 6% or whatever it is that maximizes however much company money you can get for free.

I was brought up that 10% is the standard. We actually try for 20% ourselves. I can see only putting the matching 4, 6, or whatever in a 401 but you also need an IRA and a Roth. Funny to think about it now, but when the market blew up in 2007/2008 both my parents called my sister first. They both (divorced) told me later that essentially I'm a conservative Midwest type but my sister is now an East Coast type. I guess we have a reputation for being savers.

My family is a crazy outlier but my wife kinda wants to be retired by 55. We might make it happen.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Carl on October 23, 2017, 06:28:56 PM
  Cash value life insurance is a great way to TAX FREE help your offspring when you leave ,and better than most other methods .
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 23, 2017, 06:48:02 PM
There are many factors leading to the deplorable state of personal finances.  A good portion is clearly lack of planning and discipline to execute.  But even among those who went that route faithfully, unforeseen situations smacked them down to the "getting by for now" club.  We know several families devastated by a spouse or child having a long, EXPENSIVE illness and often death.  The interim loss of income and medical bills created so much debt that the life insurance and 401K that got drained was just treading water.  This is why I think it is SO IMPORTANT that every adult carefully think through just how much treatment you really want considering the impact it will have on your family.  I am very much pro-life but that does not mean pursuing extraordinary and obscenely expensive treatments, no matter how heart wrenching facing reality may be.

Another blind-sided situation is having your money looted.  Granted, having all your retirement savings in one place is poor planning.  But the various stock bubbles (indirect, but intentional looting), and private pension plan failures, leveled a few more folks we know.  Not everyone is a savvy investor reading the financial section every day and researching fundamentals, etc.  Some were able to recover, but others that were hit with mortgage problems at the same time did not have the reserve to build back up.  A LOT of folks don't even know what a stock index is, let alone how to invest in it.  They trust/hope whoever they happen to come across to be honest and actually care about its fund customers (hahahahahaha, I can imagine the brokers rolling on the floor, including some I knew and did work for).

Another factor is undiagnosed diminished mental capacity.  People who saved a ton fritter it away when their decision making ability frays and falls apart.  Some times family members/spouses can catch it before disaster, other times the damage is done too soon.

The vast majority of folks at risk or struggling now were either greedy wanting neat stuff now rather than comfort later, were lead astray by the lure of govt promising more and more to take care of them, and of course a public school system that cares more about your gender identity crisis you are not aware of yet then educating you about financial planning, how banks and stock markets work, how to save and invest.

Let's face it, our government, corporations, and banks do everything they can do get you to spend every penny you have now and depend on govt handouts later.  Is it really a surprise that 50% adults followed this advice?  What single thing in our popular culture or education system has done anything to help people have the proper mindset of planning to be self-sufficient, avoid unaffordable health care and unscrupulous financial profesisonals, and "Oh by the way, we have baked in a 7%-10% inflation rate and change the metrics as needed to make it looks like 2%-3%."  Just the idea of the govt deliberately embedding a steady inflation rate and lying about it (real inflation is just another tax on everyone) is evil.  Even at a "modest" 3%, the dollar has lost most of its former purchasing power in 25 years.  A very nice full size sedan in 1973 cost $2,500.  Today you will be paying more like $30,000.  May parents' house on prime gravel beach on Puget Sound cost them $25,000 in 1960 and today would be closer to $700K - $1 million.

No, the deck is stacked against the average Joe/Jane to preserve and grow their financial reserve.  Everything in the world around them, including their government will work hard to strip it away.  It's ALWAYS been this way.  Except in the past it was more explicitly understood that it was you against the world full of con men and untrusty bankers and shady politicians.  Somehow those shysters managed to polish up a good face and people in the past 50-70 years started to believe you could trust others with your money management and we didn't have to worry our pretty little heads about such matters.  Perhaps we are coming to a point soon when the devastation will remind everyone that the world has not changed: YOU have to become savvy in life to squirrel away your money regularly and protect it against every person in a suit or swinging a hammer or styling a stethoscope--because they ALL want what you have saved and will lie and play the siren song to lull you asleep.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 24, 2017, 09:45:54 AM
I appreciate the folks commenting here.  As many of you know, this topic is really not something easily brought up in polite company.
People either feel judged or even guilty, and that's a shame.

In my family's case, we were brought up in middle to upper-middle class families.  Living on the west coast, property values have gone bananas over the past couple generations.
Growing up most everyone I knew could double their money on a home in a decade. My dad had a partial pension and later started a 401K the last decade he was working.

To summarize that strategy, buy the best property you can afford, work for a good employer for 30 years and be patient.  - LOL what a crock...

If I were to walk through my own experience of the last decade:

Bought a house 10 years ago.  Today it is worth about 5% less than I paid.
Been putting around 10% into 401K savings into the "recommended" investments and it's appreciated 17% in aggregate.

So I have a 1.5 years salary in retirement and my home's equity is almost 25% of the market value.

Depending on who I share this with, I'm either complaining or bragging.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Carl on October 24, 2017, 10:02:07 AM
  The United States has the richest poor people in the world.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: bigbear on October 24, 2017, 10:22:14 AM
  The United States has the richest poor people in the world.

Partially paid for by future generations.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 24, 2017, 11:18:05 AM
I get the hurdles. But at the same time it's never been easier. Brokerage fees that averaged $45 in the 80s are today $7. You can open an IRA in 10 minutes online. Vanguard has pioneered low load funds and others are striving to match. This has been going on since the mid 90s when these 55 year olds were 35 and prime earners.

It's not a problem of financial savvy or being adept at picking funds, it's about savings. This is the first generation without savings. And it ain't going to get better down the line from the data I read.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 24, 2017, 11:37:29 AM
I get the hurdles. But at the same time it's never been easier. Brokerage fees that averaged $45 in the 80s are today $7. You can open an IRA in 10 minutes online. Vanguard has pioneered low load funds and others are striving to match. This has been going on since the mid 90s when these 55 year olds were 35 and prime earners.

It's not a problem of financial savvy or being adept at picking funds, it's about savings. This is the first generation without savings. And it ain't going to get better down the line from the data I read.

True.  All those depression era folks put away something each pay check for sure.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 24, 2017, 05:38:42 PM
True.  All those depression era folks put away something each pay check for sure.

That is very true, but not even that guarantees anything for the future.

Just a quick list of some calamities that have fallen on savers:

- Savings and loan bubble in mid-1980s:  Rainier Bank in Seattle was paying 13% on CDs (!!!!!) and everyone was buying those puppies.  I spoke before the WA State Retirement Investment Board asking them to keep the mutual fund pension option (it was pretty new at the time), and the entire board literally laughed at me for suggesting anyone should consider investing in anything else when 13% CDs were available.  Fortunately the Board kept the self-direct option for mutual funds and 3 months later Rainer went bankrupt and defaulted on billions of dollars in CDs.  Good God, a CD was considered ultra safe and recommended for retirees.  Ooops.

- Gold has GOT to be safe, right?  I mean, from time immemorial everyone knew having a stash of gold equaled financial safety. Around 1930 (?) Franklin Roosevelt made owning gold illegal and forced you to accept 2/3 of its value in  relatively new Federal Reserve Notes.  A 33% loss overnight.

- Saving Federal Reserve Notes must be safe then?  1973 Nixon voids Bretton Woods meaning foreign nations will no longer able to turn in the dollars they hold for gold reserves, and inflation roars off to where even CDs have to pay 13% to try to keep up (not).

- Lesson from Brazil 2000:  While hard to imagine we get to this point, it should still be a lesson on not to assume anything.  A friend in Brazil has a father who retired in 1999 and sold his office supply business.  When inflation was taking off due to national debt everyone (seems to be a theme here) kept their savings in the bank to earn enough "safe" interest to keep sort of up with inflation.  The father had a friend who had done the same: sold his business to retire and put it in the bank for safe keeping. After some months my friend's father got an uneasy gut feeling about the savings and withdrew every penny into cash.  His wife was livid--inflation would eat through their savings in a few years!  Within A FEW DAYS the government announces they have seized all domestic bank accounts AND "safe deposit" box cash, and customers will be "allowed" to keep 10%.  The other 90% will be used to pay down the national debt to foreign (global) banks.

And of course we have the housing boom/bust/underwater as Smurf mentioned that despoiled the sage advice that "real estate is always a good investment."  All of this is not to say don't save it is hopeless.   But to caution that no matter how successful you are at saving, if it is not very diversified, then you could be wiped out by your government, a bust in that market, or unscrupulous con men.  It is proven over time that whatever "everyone" assumes is safe, may be the exact target of the next politico over-step.  Think that 401K is safe?  There was serious talk in 2008 about the government possibly forcing 401Ks to divert to Treasuries.  It was only talk this time around.  401K/mutual fund, life insurance (those have defaulted before), real estate, bank savings/CD, cash itself, tulips.  The politicos/bankers have figured out how to drain the savings of the masses no matter how it is stored.

And even if you do manage to save and protect your savings, do you have a risk mitigation plan for long term elder care? Dementia before being institutionalized? Chronic and likely terminal illness that could drag out to a few years?

Do you have A Plan A, B and C?  If you are totally dependent on savings of any sort and let your ability to be earning income slip (health/fitness lapse, obsolete skills, etc) then you might wake one day to discover some fat cat figured out how to rob your savings in the night.  I really think we should all be striving to save, invest in diverse means, but also store up food and tools with skills to use them, learn new skills for self-sufficiency and barter, have a side business, be fit and able to continue working (if the need arises), have a house paid off and free of debt.  As I caution my adult offspring:  "If you don't have a spark of terror in your consciousness, then you are not paying attention to the world around you."  Never assume you have it figured out, always assume someone is working mighty hard 24/7 to find a way to confiscate/drain/steal/destroy your savings in whatever form.  And as the old saying goes, if your savings are all on paper and not in your grubby hands, then it can disappear in a flash beyond your control.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Carl on October 24, 2017, 05:41:35 PM
  I have the fruit jar savings and loan.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 24, 2017, 07:07:18 PM
  I have the fruit jar savings and loan.

Sure, but you can't eat fruit jars...oh wait, uh...well...
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 24, 2017, 08:31:55 PM
That is very true, but not even that guarantees anything for the future.

Just a quick list of some calamities that have fallen on savers:

- Savings and loan bubble in mid-1980s:  Rainier Bank in Seattle was paying 13% on CDs (!!!!!) and everyone was buying those puppies.  I spoke before the WA State Retirement Investment Board asking them to keep the mutual fund pension option (it was pretty new at the time), and the entire board literally laughed at me for suggesting anyone should consider investing in anything else when 13% CDs were available.  Fortunately the Board kept the self-direct option for mutual funds and 3 months later Rainer went bankrupt and defaulted on billions of dollars in CDs.  Good God, a CD was considered ultra safe and recommended for retirees.  Ooops.

- Gold has GOT to be safe, right?  I mean, from time immemorial everyone knew having a stash of gold equaled financial safety. Around 1930 (?) Franklin Roosevelt made owning gold illegal and forced you to accept 2/3 of its value in  relatively new Federal Reserve Notes.  A 33% loss overnight.

- Saving Federal Reserve Notes must be safe then?  1973 Nixon voids Bretton Woods meaning foreign nations will no longer able to turn in the dollars they hold for gold reserves, and inflation roars off to where even CDs have to pay 13% to try to keep up (not).

- Lesson from Brazil 2000:  While hard to imagine we get to this point, it should still be a lesson on not to assume anything.  A friend in Brazil has a father who retired in 1999 and sold his office supply business.  When inflation was taking off due to national debt everyone (seems to be a theme here) kept their savings in the bank to earn enough "safe" interest to keep sort of up with inflation.  The father had a friend who had done the same: sold his business to retire and put it in the bank for safe keeping. After some months my friend's father got an uneasy gut feeling about the savings and withdrew every penny into cash.  His wife was livid--inflation would eat through their savings in a few years!  Within A FEW DAYS the government announces they have seized all domestic bank accounts AND "safe deposit" box cash, and customers will be "allowed" to keep 10%.  The other 90% will be used to pay down the national debt to foreign (global) banks.

And of course we have the housing boom/bust/underwater as Smurf mentioned that despoiled the sage advice that "real estate is always a good investment."  All of this is not to say don't save it is hopeless.   But to caution that no matter how successful you are at saving, if it is not very diversified, then you could be wiped out by your government, a bust in that market, or unscrupulous con men.  It is proven over time that whatever "everyone" assumes is safe, may be the exact target of the next politico over-step.  Think that 401K is safe?  There was serious talk in 2008 about the government possibly forcing 401Ks to divert to Treasuries.  It was only talk this time around.  401K/mutual fund, life insurance (those have defaulted before), real estate, bank savings/CD, cash itself, tulips.  The politicos/bankers have figured out how to drain the savings of the masses no matter how it is stored.

And even if you do manage to save and protect your savings, do you have a risk mitigation plan for long term elder care? Dementia before being institutionalized? Chronic and likely terminal illness that could drag out to a few years?

Do you have A Plan A, B and C?  If you are totally dependent on savings of any sort and let your ability to be earning income slip (health/fitness lapse, obsolete skills, etc) then you might wake one day to discover some fat cat figured out how to rob your savings in the night.  I really think we should all be striving to save, invest in diverse means, but also store up food and tools with skills to use them, learn new skills for self-sufficiency and barter, have a side business, be fit and able to continue working (if the need arises), have a house paid off and free of debt.  As I caution my adult offspring:  "If you don't have a spark of terror in your consciousness, then you are not paying attention to the world around you."  Never assume you have it figured out, always assume someone is working mighty hard 24/7 to find a way to confiscate/drain/steal/destroy your savings in whatever form.  And as the old saying goes, if your savings are all on paper and not in your grubby hands, then it can disappear in a flash beyond your control.

Christ all Friday you make it sound like us fast and loose traders have the real security. Not that I disagree. A lot of "guaranteed" blew up.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on October 25, 2017, 03:00:25 AM
Christ all Friday you make it sound like us fast and loose traders have the real security. Not that I disagree. A lot of "guaranteed" blew up.

I'm an optimist by nature  :D, otherwise I would be carrying a bucket of tar and a sack of feathers.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Carl on October 25, 2017, 05:04:24 AM
  There are no 'sure thing' investments...even land and homes .
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: bigbear on October 25, 2017, 09:52:26 AM
Do you have A Plan A, B and C? 

The problem is that those who are not saving don't have a plan at all beyond gov't support.  Many of whom do so to maintain today's lifestyle. 

I get that there are some with very low income households and/or legitimately uncontrollable circumstances.  In ways, that's a separate issue.  But 50% of ALL people age 50-55 don't having $8k in retirement savings!  I'm sure flat screens, smartphones, and designer imports abound in that demographic...  and probably quite a few McMansions.  The fruit looks nice, but the core is rotten.  The taxpayer has naively fallen for the pretty wax coating of a sob story.

When those people are 65 and "retired," they'll also be full-time voters in the back pocket of AARP in support of big government...  "It's my money.  I paid into the system.  I have a right."
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: mountainmoma on October 25, 2017, 01:03:33 PM
I'm an example of shit happens. But, I am still better off than the median, in many ways.

When I got divorced, I gave my ex my 401k to take more house equity. The house did turn out to be the better investment, but certainly not diversified. We would need to go to another thread to do justice to how being divorced with children, after being  housewife for years, ties your hands on decisions you can make. For one, you can't move to a cheaper area to live in.

Later, I became chronically ill. Best laid plans and all, all of a sudden couldnt work for money or in the household. Savings built up spent on medical bills. I live on a social security check, and not the max amount either, since my last years of work were low paid since I was also juggling the kids.

So, what has helped that isnt savings ? Same as mentioned. Anything and everything I did that saves me money now is what enables me to live on it.

No Debt. Paid off mortgage per its scheduale. Paid off second loan with child support ( since most of that debt was lawyers...) before all else, Peanut butter and beans are healthy, done 2 months before last check, as I can do basic math. No borrowing on credit cards, etc...

Shrink all recurring bills to minimum. No cable or cell phone. Heat with wood stove. Energy saving measures for electric, unplug stuff, laptops, LED's etc...The efficient woodstove, post 2001 refrig, efficient washer and solar electric and solar hot water were installed before I became ill. I have never regretted the money spent on this, as it was a window of time when I had the cash and now it saves me every single month.  Most of our cost benefit analysis on these things assumes that your life will continue as it is. But, what if your life doesnt continue as it is ? Any money you have in the bank will go to the medical bills. Or, in other scenarios mentioned up thread, government confiscation of one form or another. The lack of debt and the monthly bill savings do not go away, they are an investment and insurance in case the future does not go as planned.

Budget. Spend wisely, save even a little at a time adds up. Plan every dollar before spending. Put the money aside every month for known expenses, property tax, insurance, new tires and other wear and tear. This will save not having to borrow for the new tires, not have to pay monthly fees to pay insurance monthly when you can pay it annually. Any excess then can be saved or invested, even if it is an investment in an ounce of silver or long term food storage or garden beds. On a low budget, each of these small monthly savings add up. Buying in bulk saves money and gives more household security.

Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: PorcupineKate on October 25, 2017, 01:47:36 PM
Mountainmomma,

Your situation is one of my biggest fears.  While I am not worried about getting divorced I am terrified of medical bills wiping us out as my health declines.  This is what has happened to my sister and her husband.  They are in a giant hole of medical debt that they can not get out from. 

This thread and a few other things are really opening my eyes to the need for my husband and I to get organized.  We seriously need to start figuring all the long term financial stuff. While we have some savings we have too much debt and not enough insurance. We also have too much stuff and seriously need to simplify our lives so we can have a more resilient and stable future.

Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: mountainmoma on October 25, 2017, 02:54:22 PM
I dont take out loans or charge for medical expenses. If you dont have it and it is life threatening, they have to look to government medical insurances or write it off, or you can make small monthly payments the rest of your life directly to the hospital. They cant take your house, do not put medical bills on a home equity line or charge card. There are many things I cant do or try because I cant afford it, but that is the nature of modern medical care possibilities, it is never ending things that can be tried, often for diminishing returns. I often just say "no". I did take out of my small emergency for my broken crown, but that is why that is there and I will be tossing all available funds back at that until even again. Got 10% off for paying cash, still horribly expensive, but at least that is something. It could well wipe out your savings, so make sure you can live without your savings. That is the key. If you can live off of a disability check if you had to, everything else, all potentially better scenarios, will just be that much easier. Yes, I vote for you to wipe out debt, possibly before having more savings, and organizing for peak resiliency with todays funds. Could be that a few wise purchases now will see you thru the "times get tough, or even if they dont..." future.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: PorcupineKate on October 25, 2017, 03:31:54 PM
Good advice.  It is one of the reasons we need to get our act together now. 
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on November 09, 2017, 04:24:47 PM
I just heard a financial planner say that the 65% of all credit card users in the US carry a balance.  :jaw-drop:

I don't want to have a credit card vs. cash debate but I think we can all agree that paying off the card is the only responsible thing to do.

Just to be clear, the average American can't afford to retire, can't afford the car he's driving, can't afford his house, can't afford his TV, and has to pay 20% to Visa just to have shoes?

Everything I was raised to believe about money I assumed was global knowledge. The scales have fallen from my eyes. Now I feel like the 1% because I have a retirement plan, two cars we payed cash for (OK, we got a better deal financing the Toyota but we payed the balance ASAP), and overpay the mortgage. It might sound naive but I spent years wondering how people afforded new cars when I have only driven used beaters. Now I know: they can't. I thought I was normal on how I approach money.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Morning Sunshine on November 09, 2017, 05:02:21 PM
I just heard a financial planner say that the 65% of all credit card users in the US carry a balance.  :jaw-drop:

I don't want to have a credit card vs. cash debate but I think we can all agree that paying off the card is the only responsible thing to do.

Just to be clear, the average American can't afford to retire, can't afford the car he's driving, can't afford his house, can't afford his TV, and has to pay 20% to Visa just to have shoes?

I saw this the other day: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5064743/Shopper-tries-ring-1-800-goods-just-3-70.html 
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on November 11, 2017, 04:51:47 AM
...
Everything I was raised to believe about money I assumed was global knowledge. The scales have fallen from my eyes. Now I feel like the 1% because I have a retirement plan, two cars we payed cash for (OK, we got a better deal financing the Toyota but we payed the balance ASAP), and overpay the mortgage. It might sound naive but I spent years wondering how people afforded new cars when I have only driven used beaters. Now I know: they can't. I thought I was normal on how I approach money.

When my wife and I started listening to Dave Ramsey (15 yrs ago?!) we paid off our debts and accelerated our mortgage payments (re-fied the balance form 30 yr to 15 yr for a much cheaper rate).  We paid the new Honda off in 2 yrs and paid cash for my used diesel truck.  After that we realized most of those fancy cars and trucks on the road are heavily financed.  I love our old reliable vehicles (still have them, 2003 and 2004 in excellent condition) and marvel at the luxurious debt-mobiles going down the road.  Our daughters are debt free from the beginning except for a mortgage.  Life is so much simpler without the crushing credit card, car, second mortgage burden that many friends suffer through.  Very, very much of our "exuberant consumer economy" is driven on debt, just like our national budget spending 50% more than revenues.  Do our politicians mirror the population, or do we mimic our leaders?  Or is it a vicious cycle of both?
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on November 17, 2017, 10:24:41 PM
I just got wind that 10% of student loans aren't being paid. That's 10% of 1.3 trillion dollars. And it's not getting better.

When I look at retirement, credit card debt, and student loans the housing crisis looks like a joke.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: LvsChant on November 18, 2017, 06:44:52 AM
Ugh... student loans. Another thing the government should have stayed out of.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on November 19, 2017, 05:35:39 AM
Ugh... student loans. Another thing the government should have stayed out of.

Why? If I'm the .gov I print funny money, give it to the bankers who in turn give it to 18 year old idiots who use it to debt themselves studying Sanskrit. But the pubic universities do my bidding, the teachers further belief in me and the institutions donate to me.

If it helps, just think of "student loans" as a money laundering system. If you disagree, sit in on a social science/journalism/communications class at your local university. It's stuff 3rd graders could do for a reason.

"Education" enriches teachers, administrators, bankers, and politicians. And that lifetime of crippling debt means junior needs a corporate job to make the monthly payments. Everybody wins.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on November 26, 2017, 01:45:08 PM
You can finance your iPhone out to 24 months... It takes 2 years to scrounge $1k?

https://appadvice.com/post/iphone-financing/753976

Of all the things I wouldn't finance a phone has to be #1. Besides, if you're the guy who needs the new iPhone you'll just be hungry again for the new one next year. It's a hedonic treadmill.

Just a nation of minimum payments I guess.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: AvenueQ on November 26, 2017, 04:56:07 PM
You can finance your iPhone out to 24 months... It takes 2 years to scrounge $1k?

https://appadvice.com/post/iphone-financing/753976

Of all the things I wouldn't finance a phone has to be #1. Besides, if you're the guy who needs the new iPhone you'll just be hungry again for the new one next year. It's a hedonic treadmill.

Just a nation of minimum payments I guess.

I noticed this the last time I bought a phone (2-3 years ago). I was also confused. Why offer this for phones but not other similarly-priced tech, like computers or video game consoles? I think it must be a holdover from when phones were included free or low-cost with contracts, since so many companies are now going the non-contract route and customers were getting sticker shock when seeing the *actual* price of their phone.

Or the majority really are all just living paycheck-to-paycheck. Yeesh.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: mountainmoma on November 26, 2017, 10:22:55 PM
Computers used to come with financing. We financed our first computer -- and furniture.... young and stupid. At least for the furniture. It was the beginning of personal computers and having a word processor was a very big help for my husbands grad school work. Apple offered financing for the first Mac, 1983.... we put the downpayment on a charge card ( the charge card was paid off quickly) I seem to recall that financing was more common than using a charge card then, maybe the interest rate was lower ?
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on November 27, 2017, 06:36:52 AM
Computers used to come with financing. We financed our first computer -- and furniture.... young and stupid. At least for the furniture. It was the beginning of personal computers and having a word processor was a very big help for my husbands grad school work. Apple offered financing for the first Mac, 1983.... we put the downpayment on a charge card ( the charge card was paid off quickly) I seem to recall that financing was more common than using a charge card then, maybe the interest rate was lower ?

Yeah, I remember being young and seeing "layaway" commercials. I guess that used to be common. They still offer weird no money down, no payments offers on furniture.

I doubt there's a human alive who would fault you for buying a computer to finish school, especially 30 years ago when grad school meant something.

I kinda feel that's the theme here. We all get financing a truck to start a landscaping business. Or taking a loan to expand a factory. But those have returns. Living in debt with no savings and struggling to pay the minimum monthly is a different animal. There's a guy out there right now who has a 10 year loan on his Escalade and is excited to finance his new iPhone. And he will work until he drops dead.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Carl on November 27, 2017, 07:09:12 AM
  To have better debt-ability ,it is healthy to buy some things on store credit (usually much lower rate than credit cards) and pay them off on,or ahead of time,to show a good history and responsibility. Then you would have a better capability to borrow when you need it.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: NWPilgrim on November 27, 2017, 07:47:39 PM
Yeah, I remember being young and seeing "layaway" commercials. I guess that used to be common. They still offer weird no money down, no payments offers on furniture.

I doubt there's a human alive who would fault you for buying a computer to finish school, especially 30 years ago when grad school meant something.

I kinda feel that's the theme here. We all get financing a truck to start a landscaping business. Or taking a loan to expand a factory. But those have returns. Living in debt with no savings and struggling to pay the minimum monthly is a different animal. There's a guy out there right now who has a 10 year loan on his Escalade and is excited to finance his new iPhone. And he will work until he drops dead.

I think that is a key point, David!  Loans or any debt should be very short term and easily within current monthly budget discretionary limits, or "investing" in something with a sure return (vehicle to commute to new/better job or business, tools for job/biz, education with direct path to better career, etc.).  Personally I prefer to just avoid short term consumer debt entirely and pass up the occasional great buy on a credit card to pay off in 1-3 months.  But for a job or biz then I think it makes sense to take on some manageable debt as long as it DIRECTLY improves your earning ability.  But education loans have gotten stupid these days with $50K-$100K loans for degrees with no hope to ever lead to a career that could pay them off in 20 years let alone 3-5 yrs.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on May 16, 2018, 05:24:04 PM
Marketwatch put up an article claiming you should have double your salary saved by the time you are 35. People reacted negatively.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-money-saved-by-age-35-experts-2018-5

That's not that much money. If we had saved twice our income at 35 there would have been a discussion at the mound and a little rough language.

Not that I'm not sympathetic with 30 year olds who spent 6 years in college accumulating debt and studying Latvian poetry because they were lied to by just about everyone in society. But holy crap do we have a savings disaster.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: LvsChant on May 16, 2018, 09:02:27 PM
With the kind of student loan debt so many of them accumulate, I'd guess they would see that type of saving as an impossible dream... we are working hard to make sure our kids don't have any debt when they graduate... it is something we really want to do for them.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 17, 2018, 08:28:19 AM
Marketwatch put up an article claiming you should have double your salary saved by the time you are 35. People reacted negatively.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-money-saved-by-age-35-experts-2018-5

That's not that much money. If we had saved twice our income at 35 there would have been a discussion at the mound and a little rough language.

Not that I'm not sympathetic with 30 year olds who spent 6 years in college accumulating debt and studying Latvian poetry because they were lied to by just about everyone in society. But holy crap do we have a savings disaster.

My name is Smurf Hunter and I have a problem.
I turn 42 next month and in my 401k+IRA I have about 1.75 times my gross salary saved.
I withhold 11% from each paycheck, and my employer matches another 3%.  So 14% of my gross income is withheld.

I saved aggressively before I had kids, then my wife stopped working and at the time we lost 40% of our household income, so foolishly I pulled back from the contributions in those years.  For the past decade I've been better, started with 5% and increased 1% annually to where I am now.

Though I've always thought when I retire my lifestyle would be considerably less expensive. There are SO many child related expenses that will go away after retirement. I wouldn't have to deal with commuting, buying overpriced convenience meals while working late, etc.  Not to mention the hope of downsizing and relocating to a less expensive zipcode, or possibly even relocation to fly over country.  I could replace a $600K west coast home with a $300K home with more property in much of the US.

The odd thing is, I'm a rockstar saver compared to my peers.  There are a lot of engineers on my team in their mid twenties, and few do any retirement savings, not even to the point of the free 3% company match.  I have gently, but firmly explained that's literally free money, but it has not clicked for them.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Zef_66 on May 17, 2018, 10:32:48 AM
My name is Smurf Hunter and I have a problem.
I turn 42 next month and in my 401k+IRA I have about 1.75 times my gross salary saved.
I withhold 11% from each paycheck, and my employer matches another 3%.  So 14% of my gross income is withheld.

I saved aggressively before I had kids, then my wife stopped working and at the time we lost 40% of our household income, so foolishly I pulled back from the contributions in those years.  For the past decade I've been better, started with 5% and increased 1% annually to where I am now.

Though I've always thought when I retire my lifestyle would be considerably less expensive. There are SO many child related expenses that will go away after retirement. I wouldn't have to deal with commuting, buying overpriced convenience meals while working late, etc.  Not to mention the hope of downsizing and relocating to a less expensive zipcode, or possibly even relocation to fly over country.  I could replace a $600K west coast home with a $300K home with more property in much of the US.

The odd thing is, I'm a rockstar saver compared to my peers.  There are a lot of engineers on my team in their mid twenties, and few do any retirement savings, not even to the point of the free 3% company match.  I have gently, but firmly explained that's literally free money, but it has not clicked for them.
Thanks for the honest post, Smurf.

I'm in an odd spot, I think. I'm 36. Just my own personal IRA & 401K, I have about 2/3 of my gross salary saved. But my company is employee owned, so the company pays our retirement money into an ESOP. Basically, we get shares of our company and an independent company sets a yearly stock price for those shares. So my ESOP is currently 1.65 times my gross. All total, I'm around 2.3 times my gross.
Doesn't look bad on the surface. But I'm always worried. The majority of my retirement is in one company. Yes, we are doing well and growing each year. But with 25-30 years before I retire, I'm worried that trend will continue. If 10 years from now, when I have $250k in my ESOP, and the company hits some hard times, do I ride it out, or jump ship and take what I have with me? If the company goes down the tubes, everything is gone. I only have what I've saved myself in my Roth and unmatched 401K.

Just the chance I have to take I guess. If all goes well and we keep going as we have been for the past 10 years, I could retire at 60 with $1.5mil. It is such a gamble to be all in on one company. Not to mention that my wife is now a stay at home mom. So it's just me that we are relying on for the future. I'm currently saving about 7% of my salary and trying to up that a little each year. But it's tough with 3 kids and only one income.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: FreeLancer on May 17, 2018, 04:01:20 PM
I saw this table recently that suggests savings targets should be adjusted up as household income increases. 

(https://amp-businessinsider-com.cdn.ampproject.org/i/s/amp.businessinsider.com/images/56e1af9d52bcd05b008b581f-1136-895.png)
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on May 17, 2018, 05:15:46 PM
I don't cling to any metrics as gold, Reasonable people can disagree on the correct metric and I've experienced shifting our savings plans due to life events. We were lucky to achieve a ~20% savings early on though it delayed buying a house until we were 26... in 2006. So it's a double edged sword. Put money here or there? We could have saved a lot less and bought earlier and not been hit so bad in the recession but we ran the math on compounding interest and decidded to build the savings rather than go all in to a house.

I more focus on the people who call good savings unrealistic. It's a good debate whether to fund the 401 or pay off the mortgage. We did that game for a while in order to refinance and generate more savings. The math is difficult and you could be making a bad decision for all the right reasons. And you still have the ability to lose the timing game.

The odd thing is, I'm a rockstar saver compared to my peers.  There are a lot of engineers on my team in their mid twenties, and few do any retirement savings, not even to the point of the free 3% company match.  I have gently, but firmly explained that's literally free money, but it has not clicked for them.

That's what is crazy to me. My company matched up to 5% (I think). So I used to coach new employees to put 5% in the 401, 10% in the IRA and voila you have a 20% savings for 15% cost. The next step was to survive 5 years and vest in the pension. I watched guys not use the 401 match and jump gigs 4 years in. Just plain crazy.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on May 18, 2018, 09:55:58 AM
My place vests in just 2 years.  Extra stupid not to opt into that.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: David in MN on October 16, 2018, 02:39:13 PM
Michelle SUmmerfield tells us why she's not worried about not having savings:

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/why-m-not-worried-being-090000424.html

While she's at least somewhat on track in that she does contribute to her retirement it's befuddling to me that there is no desire to optimize or even hint at planning. Too bad.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Ken325 on October 16, 2018, 09:10:05 PM
A lot of people have already made this point but I want to repeate it.   Stay active or die.  I spent 10 years working in a medical research lab.  We did some long term studies for drug companies on the side.  People on experemental medications or treatments would come in every 6 months for a physical exam.  Some of these studies tracked people over decades.  When I looked at the data for people who had just retired I noticed about 70% would develop a major medical issue within a year of retiring.  They would have heart problems, kidney failure, develop diabetes, get dementia, you name it.  The only exception seemed to be people who got up and did something everyday. We had one guy in his 90s who was doing great.  He owned 3 small grocery stores and everyday he got up, dressed for work and went to check on one of his stores.  He didn't stay all day but he would drop by for 3-4 hours.  That is the kind of retirment I want.  I heard one person call it an encore career.  I want to get to where I don't have to work then find something I enjoy doing and continue to work anyway.  Maybe voluntering at a state park or own a small shop that rents kayaks.  Maybe I will do volunter work for my church.  I don't know what I will do but I do know that sitting around the house watching TV will kill you.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 17, 2018, 01:38:33 PM
A lot of people have already made this point but I want to repeate it.   Stay active or die.  I spent 10 years working in a medical research lab.  We did some long term studies for drug companies on the side.  People on experemental medications or treatments would come in every 6 months for a physical exam.  Some of these studies tracked people over decades.  When I looked at the data for people who had just retired I noticed about 70% would develop a major medical issue within a year of retiring.  They would have heart problems, kidney failure, develop diabetes, get dementia, you name it.  The only exception seemed to be people who got up and did something everyday. We had one guy in his 90s who was doing great.  He owned 3 small grocery stores and everyday he got up, dressed for work and went to check on one of his stores.  He didn't stay all day but he would drop by for 3-4 hours.  That is the kind of retirment I want.  I heard one person call it an encore career.  I want to get to where I don't have to work then find something I enjoy doing and continue to work anyway.  Maybe voluntering at a state park or own a small shop that rents kayaks.  Maybe I will do volunter work for my church.  I don't know what I will do but I do know that sitting around the house watching TV will kill you.

Hard to argue against that advice.

More clinically, are you suggesting that in the first year of retirement a person went from "perfectly healthy" to the diagnosis you listed?

My hypothesis is that a couch potato during working years just became a bigger couch potato in retirement.
If you cram recreation or a side hustle into your evenings and weekends while you work, it seems reasonable you'd do even more M-F/9-5 in retirement.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Ken325 on October 20, 2018, 01:59:19 PM
Yes,  the problems started within a year of retirment.  I'm not saying they died, but people start developing major problems within a year if they just putter around the house doing nothing.  Men worse than women.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: Fyrekat on November 25, 2018, 11:30:09 AM
I've known a few retirees during my 21yr career so far.  Only 1 of them has died suddenly after retirement.  He was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer about a year before he retired, and then the year after, had a stroke.  He was a hard working farmer at home, and a Civil / Mechanical Engineer at work.  I think a lot of the problems with retirement only stem from 1) Prior Health followed by 2) Activity.

I'm seeing articles coming out now that show Millennials are "eating their feelings" in some studies.  This will mean that they too will start dying off faster, especially if not eating healthier (though other studies show they do in some cases).

I myself was perfectly fine until one day a few years ago... I went to the Dr. for consistent migraines and found out my BP was 220/125, went through lots of tests, lowered eating habits, lost 40 lbs (40 more to go), and 4 meds, I'm at ~130/80.  I probably won't make it to retirement.  It's all a matter of habits and genetics.
Title: Re: “I’m going to work until I die”
Post by: iam4liberty on November 25, 2018, 11:52:38 AM
I look forward to working in retirement.  The trick is to find a labor of love.  For example, my father made handcrafted wood puzzles, a friend of mine is a "closed-door" gunsmith, and another owns a gameshop.  These were all hobbies which could provide 50%+ of their pre-retirement income.  The Wall Street Journal regularly runs articles on this.  The most recent was a salesman who became a professional magician. 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-former-salesman-finds-the-trick-to-being-happy-in-a-new-career-1542381787 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-former-salesman-finds-the-trick-to-being-happy-in-a-new-career-1542381787)
A Former Salesman Finds The Trick to Being Happy in a New Career
Professional magician David Bowers realized that people often put off what they really want to do until it’s too late


All his life, David Bowers wondered what it would be like to be a magician. Growing up, he read about magic, attended magic shows and regularly watched “The Magic Land of Alakazam,” a nationally syndicated TV series starring magician Mark Wilson.

But for 39 years, Mr. Bowers was a salesman for Columbia Rubber Corp., based in Beltsville, Md., selling conveyor belts to quarries and heavy industrial operations. He enjoyed the job and was good at it. “All of my customers became friends,” says Mr. Bowers, who lives with his wife in Chambersburg, Pa.

Then, for his 50th birthday party, his wife, Judy, hired a magician to perform. The magician, tipped off by Mrs. Bowers, spoke to Mr. Bowers about what it was like to be a magician—and offered to be his mentor. Mr. Bowers enthusiastically agreed.
...
But in 2008, Mr. Bowers says he realized something. “People in life wait to do things, and then something happens and they don’t get to do it,” he says.

He retired from the rubber company that year, at age 62, and set out on a new career as a professional magician.

He performs for people of all ages, from preschoolers to the elderly. Last year, he had 110 shows. His largest show was when he performed before a crowd of 2,000 at a 2014 event in Harrisburg, Pa.