I never had any desire to 'retire' if it meant sitting around doing
nothing all day. Or if it meant playing golf five days a week. That would be
difficult since I have never played a round of golf in my life and will die
without doing so. For me, the idea of retirement was not needing to
work every day in order to eat. That concept is no longer a reality for me due
to the 'great recession' as it is called. I call it the greatest
transfer of wealth from the middle class to the 1%. During the recession, the
wealthy saw more growth than ever in history. The middle class has almost
disappeared and no one was prosecuted. Not a single banker or politician.Where is the justice?
The idea of a nation with a lot of elderly people being supported by the younger
people disappoints me. Being an era focused so heavily on information and
specialized education, I plan on continuing to seek useful work for as long as I
can do it..Unless I'm called to be a mission
Let's be clear about what's going on. The distribution of wealth has
become fantastically top heavy the last 20 years. Those driving this process,
the top 1% have decided that they simply can't afford to let the rest of us
retire. So we are being told (it's a campaign) that the country cannot
afford to let us retire - work 'til you drop. Destroy pensions, end social
security. In this, the wealthiest country in the world, this is giant lie. The
top 1% doesn't just want most of it, they want ALL of it.Space
does not allow me to explore the theory that would explain what is going on, but
it is going on. Insistence on work without end will destroy the society we have
come to expect. It must be fought at all costs.
Don't just retire but retire to something. Like the song, "It's so
important to make someone happy" and doing service is a great gift to give
to someone everyday retired or not. 1 in 4 Americans rely 100% on their Social
Security check to live month to month. We have got to think dfferently that work
is noble.If you rest you rust!
Maybe more of a transfer from the ones who save to the ones who spend than from
the poor to the wealthy. With the interest rates in savings not exceeding 1% the
good old paradigm of putting off $100 a month that over the course of 30 years
will accumulate enough interest to retire on does not work anymore. At 10% $100
a month will give you $226 K after 30 years, at 5% $83K, but at 1% only $41K. At
the same time, those who want to spend can borrow at low interest rates, default
on payments, think of various tricks to borrow again after defaulting, etc. If
we want a regular worker to be able to retire off his savings the interest rates
need to go up.
Retirement is great! Retired at 55, have served 2 full-time mission, 8 years as
a church service missionary, been to Israel, China, Germany, Poland, Czech
Republic, Austria, and, of course, all around the U.S. and into Canada. Never a
dull moment, never a regret about retiring.The secret is provident
living. No debt, modest house, modest vehicles, no cable/satellite TV, no
depreciating assets (what some people regard as toys). Plant a garden,
exercise.Work hard! Serve! Uncompensated work has the very same
value as compensated work. It adds the same value to the pie we all share.
People actually take more pride in their work when it is service, and
uncompensated. They're not trading time for money, but truly engaged in the
task at hand.The capitalistic ideal of "career" is better
than any other political system devised, but is nonetheless imperfect. True
individual freedom comes with getting off the capitalistic wheel as soon as
possible in life. There are analogous models in other cultures throughout the
world.After your first full-time mission, you realize that you can
live and be even happier with a lot less than you thought.
I will never retire.Why?The Republican Party and
Plutocrats (Republican President Bush's self-proclaimed base) need me and
millions of other Americans to keep working in order sustain the wealth transfer
from the middle class to the plutocratic class.Someday Sean Hannity
will refer to all of us middle class supporters/sustainers for plutocrats as
great Americans...I can't wait.
It's no ones business what I do when I retire. If I want to sit around or
continue to work....no one needs to lecture me that I need to stay in the
workforce longer if I can retire and pay my own way.What we should
be discussing is why are people having a harder time. Is it loss of pensions?
Bad investments? Lack of saving and putting money into retirement?For me, my biggest obstacle is taxes. People keep voting to raise property
taxes to fund another expensive program. Then they vote to raise tuition $60 to
fund another program, then they raise tuition to pay for newspapers, then the
feds come in and raise taxes if you have insurance and raise taxes if you
don't have insurance. After watching 30-35% of my money go to taxes, they
tell me I'm not paying enough in taxes.How do I save money,
when people can vote to steal the money from me? Obama even discussed about
digging into 401k and roth ira accounts. He pointed at the large amount of money
that they can stealGiveincentivesforpeople to save. Maybe tax them if they
don't save 10% of their income....
I look forward to retirement in about 10 years. Careful planning, saving,
investing, and financial management will allow me to retire at twice (at least)
the monthly income as I currently make (and that is adjusted for inflation). It
can be done if one really want to.What will I do - pursue hobbies
and interests that I haven't been able to based upon current obligations.
A mission or two will be considered, based upon my wife's poor health.
@NewYorkerI appreciate the service you have offered. My husband and
I started with similar plans. We follow your provident living advice
exactly.(Exception, no mortgage yet to save money, we have unheard of cheap
rent.) However, the current economy does not provide the same opportunities
for the same sacrifice you enjoyed . Given your age I feel comfortable comparing
you historically to my father in law. In the 1980s he was able to buy a very
nice home for $40,000. Interest rates were higher, but compared to his $30,000
annual income (without a college degree) his debt load was very manageable. Current average Utah income: $40,000 average home price $240,000. My engineering husband with a college degree makes barely more than
that. After a 6 month layoff that used up our savings and 1/2 our food storage,
his income dropped significantly just to get another job and we had to work our
way back up. Many of our friends are choosing to limit family size
and have the wife work to make up the difference. We have chosen otherwise.
I'm not complaining. We are very happy, but I just want to offer some
@NewYorkerGood to know where The Lord has been. We were wondering where He
was, as the rest of us still can't save enough, after the downsizing
scourges of the last few decades.
@ ChellerellaI appreciate your concerns about being able to achieve
the same level of autonomy in a different age. Our first home in NW Provo cost
only 11,000--a fixer-upper as were all our houses. I was making only $1.00 per
hour. My wife babysat for .25 an hour. We took on students room and board, as
many as 5 students paying $60 a month each. When we left that house a year after
graduation we had 5 children.We went from fixer-upper to fixer-upper
and ended up with 8 children. We now have 26 grandchildren and 30
great-grandchildren. We certainly know and understand what you are going
through.You can do it. Do not get enticed by the consumer mentality.
Put the money away. Our vacations were almost all tenting. We did Disneyland/San
Diego once with the children, but from much cheaper accommodations. While there,
we ate outside the park at the picnic tables.We almost never ate
out. Our children would get sweetened cereals once a year as stocking
suffers.Did our peers here in happy valley live that way, too? Not
many. But then they are still working.Your choice.
I like people like New Yorker.Save and prosper. It actually happens.
A lot of lazy people who think its someone else's responsibility to take
care of them.It's your job to pay your bills, stop looking to
blame the rich. Only a lazy person would do such a thing.
Lots of judgmental comments posted on this site.
I know plenty of people who have the money to retire but choose to continue to
work at least part-time. I even have an acquaintance who is 75 that works one
day a week at his old job. It is a real "win-win" situation. He has
decades of experience that comes in handy at his old company while he is free to
pursue leisure activities the rest of the week. Meanwhile doing
absolutely nothing doesn't sound like an enjoyable retirement - it sounds
more like a prison sentence.
I certainly agree that for many continuing to work is a good thing. But it is
important that it be optional and allow one to pursue areas of work that are
interesting, perhaps denied him or her earlier in life. But its not good to
have to work late in life to keep the wolf away from the door, or to have to
work when one is ill or in serious decline. THAT is what's in store for
The key is to have the option to retire and the best chance to do that is to
start planning and saving/investing early in life. some decide to continue to
work others retire and pursue other dreams. I just read several great post on
the site Retirement And Good Living about what recent retirees are doing
including sailing full time, RVing across the US, starting businesses based on
hobbies, volunteering with the Peace Corps, backpacking across the globe and
more. The possibilities are almost endless.
@MarxistPeople can retire and comfortably. The idea that the 1%
have somehow robbed you is lazy thinking and it's wrong. There are two
things that 'rob' people of a great retirement: 1) not being able to
postpone wants in favor of saving 10% of their income. The math adds up. If a
person who is 25 years old will start putting away $200/month at a 6% interest
rate (the average for the stock market over the past 80 years is about 10%) they
will retire a millionaire. It's simple time value of money. Instead, those
same people NEED an iPhone they don't really NEED. 2) Some people
don't allocate their portfolio correctly. They don't adjust according
to their age. The reason people lost so much in 2008 is not because Wall Street
robbed them. It's because they were in investments too aggressive for
their age. There is no reason someone who has saved and invested and managed
well cannot retire very wealthy. It happens all the time.
To A1994:You hit the nail squarely on the head. Too many are
unwilling to: 1) Get a relevant education that teaches them how to solve
problems that others are willing to pay to get solved. 2) Sacrifice current
wants and live within their means 3) Save 10% 4) Invest it wisely in EQUITY
of great businesses 5) Ignore the gyrations of the market month-to-month and
year-to-year 6) Keep their education current.Those who do these
simple things will retire comfortably, and depending on their income and
savings, many will retire early. But if you have a mentality that the
"rich" are robbing you, and the world is somehow unfair and owes you a
wonderful standard of living, then you are deluded and probably will work until
Glen Beck doesn't like the idea of Social Security, so he tried to turn
religious people against it by saying it violates the commandment which says to
keep the Sabbath day holy. It says 6 days shalt thou labor, and one day rest.
He says people should work until they die otherwise they are not working 6 days
a week.Nice try, but a person doesn't have to labor for pay to
labor. Nor do they have to work 8 hours a day. A person can write a book 2 hours
a day, or do volunteer work etc.Social Security is something people
have earned, its theirs. And if Americans want to be able to have it they need
to reign in their Government from trying to be worlds policeman. Our treasury is
being wasted. Americans also need to be careful who they vote for. There are tea
party types who would discontinue or dramatically cut Social Security if given a
chance. Its a matter of priority. Be Boss of the world or live a quality life
and mind our own business.
The more elderly people that need to work just to survive... the fewer jobs
there will be available for younger people to get into to better their
I could retire right now if I want, I'm 60 but I'll probably work
until I'm about 70. Many men my age are resigned to puttering around the
golf course, I'm still carving fall line turns on double black diamonds,
dropping in on cranking surf, and producing on the job.
I don't understand this fixation on the 1% from the liberals. I will never
be in the 1% and I have no expectations of having a pension or for that matter
ever receiving a dime of social security. I do fully expect that I will be a
millionaire when I retire. The reason for that is because my wife and I are
frugal, don't spend our money on toys and unnecessary gadgets, and we save
more than 10% of our income each paycheck in 401 k's, IRA's, and Roth
IRA's. My retirement is my problem, not the governments, or even my
employer. I am saving for it myself. If I do get some of the social security
money that I payed into the system, then that will be an added bonus.
Carmen,We did all the recommended things you listed. What we did
not expect was the illnesses and death of family members. Unemployment, in
which we used the assets we had saved so we did not need help from everyone
else. Taking care of elderly parents when no one else in the family was willing
to give up the goodies in their lifestyle. We have made many decisions that
were rather inconvenient and financially devastating when no one else in the
family would step up and help. We have enough for the basics in life. Even
better we have great memories of helping out when others refused.
You get a whole perspective on what is utility's. Every trip to the store,
every thing starts to be a consideration. You try to make an educated guess, and
at the end of the year looking at what you did, giving 5 stare ratings on how
bad you regret things. 5 the worst. all you can do is live and learn, no matter
how old you get.
sally,I am so sorry for the troubles you have had. Unfortunately,
the best laid plans can end up far from what we expected. But you are far
better off than if you hadn't prepared. And being prepared gave you the
freedom to make some of the choices you made. If you had not prepared, your
choice would have been made for you.