"People may have decided their present expenses are such they can’t
afford a savings plan. The question they should ask is whether they can afford
the consequences of not having one."Well, there's the rub -
too many of us don't have anything to save after ongoing expenses are
handled. I am retired and I can get by because I have two pensions (!) and
social security. In the past pensions were the key to successful retirement.
But business has decided it doesn't want them and government is hamstrung
in protecting what's left. There is a short term fix - in law bring back
pensions!American capitalism could save itself if it would be fair
to retirees in supporting pensions, that is, defined benefit pensions.People cannot be left to die in poverty, so a revolt is coming.
One of the problems is a lack of education about retirement and retirement
planning. Planning for retirement should be a priority for everyone. For those
who can afford to save/invest the key is to start saving/investing early in
life, be consistent, take advantage of any employer matching plan, max out
contributions when possible, eliminate debt, avoid risks with your nest egg and
plan for multiple streams of income once retired and make catch up contributions
once you reach 50. I use several sites for retirement information including
Dividendchannel, Valueforum and the site Retirement And Good Living which offers
information on planning and investing as well as other financial topics, health,
retirement locations, part time work and also has a great blog of guest posts
from around the globe about a variety of retirement issues.
People may have decided their present expenses are such they can’t afford
a savings plan. The question they should ask is whether they can afford the
consequences of not having one.QUOTEOn the face of it
this seems Hobson's choice then, although I think the article is berating
the elderly for not having been provideNT. Let's see If I can offer a few
optimistic thoughts:1. Children have by now "left the
nest". This should help a lot - although many retirees still kindly, even
lovingly, support an unemployed child or two. 2. Retirees have
potentially endless and overwhelming medical expenses, but this is mitigated at
present with medicare / medicaid so they only have to make co-payments. While
the so-called "affordable care act" seeks to enforce sometimes hefty
medical insurance, there is no requiremement for insurance for retired outside
of SS. Best advice though is to stay fit OR to use common sense solutions in
response to sickness. You cannot afford to be ill. 3. Start your
own business in retirement. GOOD LUCK.4. Save now, even if you
are already retired. 5. PRAY!!
Wait a minute. Isn't it bad for the economy if we stop spending and start
saving? Isn't that why interest rates for savings are somewhere around
My first boss out of college is a great guy, works hard, is quite conservative.
In the IT sector, he's had far more than his fair share of economic
turbulence, as companies fold under competition, get bought out, force people to
move as they contract, etc. Yet, he's been able to stay on top
of things, adjusting to new situations with ease, an impressive work ethic and
an easy going demeanor.He told me a few weeks ago that even thought
he's always put away money in the various 401K accounts he's had at
each job, he's nowhere close to having enough money to retire, so he's
planning on working as long as he possibly can, well into his 70s, if
possible.His job really should be an opportunity for a young person
out of college... but lack of economic security means he'll be battling
back the young up-and-comers, fighting them for limited salary money.
We all make choices, unless of course you are really poor and don't have
choices. That was the point of Social Security and Medicare (Medicaid too).
Allow some limited choices to the elderly who were too poor to find a way to
save for retirement.Of course, those on the right would have us
believe that being poor is a character flaw. And that this flaw causes folks to
waste away their resources. And fail to save for retirement. And to have the
audacity to live beyond their working years. These poor folks are the takers
who suck the lifeblood out of the rest of us goes this line of thinking. What
complete utter drivel.
Most people don't save enough for retirement because most American workers
make barely enough to live on.
What's WRONG with struggling? Did anybody in history say life should have
no struggles?? Saving for retirement IS a struggle. It SHOULD be a
personal priority when you are YOUNG (not a government priority to save you when
you are old).Part of the problem is... many people have been taught
that they can live on Social Security when they retire... that's a myth...
you can't. People need to be taught that in no uncertain terms. I think our politicians like people to think they can live on Social
Security, but unless you plan to live in a slum apartment and eat cat food... SS
is not enough. And it won't get BETTER for our children, or for future
generations... it's going to get worse. Social Security will
be almost nothing when I qualify to retire. It's even less promising for
my kids, and their kids. I'm warning them that they need to plan and save
to take care of their own needs before AND after retirement (I know... a
'flaming-right-wing' kinda thing to teach your kids). Many Leftists
probably think that's child abuse.
Is it because they can't or because they won't?With the
article on paying for an education and wanting to force the university to be
liable for the loans the student takes out. Commenters there made statements
that they have to pay for their kids education. That isn't the case at all.
You can have your child work and save up money. It wasn't that long ago,
that young teenagers worked long hours on the farm or in the community while
going to school. Most teenagers just need to get off the couch, away from the
tv, video games and shut off their phone or stop purchasing things they really
At what point are we going to admit that the average person is just not going to
save for retirement? All the calls to increase our savings are falling on deaf
ears! About two thirds of retirees rely on Social Security for 50%
or more of their retirement income.Most people have enough trouble
avoiding predatory payday loans, bogus home appliance warranty programs, and
high fee whole life insurance policies, to map out a coherent retirement
savings plan.I don't know how to accomplish this, but it has to
be something like SS, we can't trust low information investors to slick
Social Security was probably America's Best Idea.It just did
not go anywhere near far enough. EVERY American should be contributing a hefty
portion of their working years' income. There should be no cap on salaries
so that the 1% are paying their fair share. It MUST NOT be tied to the stock
market as many GOPers desire. (That would only further enrich the Wall Street
crowd.)Almost everyone below the 1% level struggles and struggles
mightily throughout their lives. Shouldn't there be a time when they may
stop struggling and begin living?2bits, will you return your SS
checks to the government so you may struggle as you wish others will?Didn't think so . . . .
It's really a shame that in the 1980s, the Reagan era, the attitudes of
business and the government changed and defined benefit plans were phased out,
replaced by defined contribution plans which, unexplainably, have absurd limits
that make it very difficult to save for retirement within those constraints.
Corporate profits came first rather than a sense of joint interests of the
business and the employees who help make the business function. On top of
limits on defined contribution plans, IRAs have caps that make it hard, both in
terms of the amount that can be contributed, but also income caps. The system
is bizarre and has created a serious problem. This is not a Social Security
problem, it is a financial system manipulation. This is where the mess is and
where Congress must focus. It is a dire problem that no one really wants to
If we are lucky enough to have a few dollars to put away after today's
prices eat up our wages, what we have for savings options are hardly options at
all. Either we put our money in the bank at near zero rates for savings accounts
and CDs and lose around 2% annually due to inflation, or even more if the
"shadow" statistics are correct. Or we can invest in the Wall Street
casino and literally gamble it away. This is especially if you're an
ordinary saver who doesn't know how to play the stock market, and even
those who do know how are playing with fire as yet another inflated bubble
threatens to burst.Some people advise buying precious metals as an
investment that will hold value. If I had the money, I think I'd put my
savings there. Otherwise, I watch with trepidation as my 401k gains some and
loses more over the last two decades, to the point where it would have almost
been better to have socked those dollars away in my mattress, regardless the
taxes levied against them!
@one old man,Re: "2bits, will you return your SS checks to the
government so you may struggle"...Classic liberal mind-set...
and the reason I've been conservative since I was a little boy.Me and my friends used to collect pop bottles for money to spend at the local
drug store. We would divy up the money and before we left the store they spent
theirs on candy and ate it. I would buy some candy and put some money in my
pocket for a trip to the drug store tomorrow.The next day they
wanted me to give them my money (because they spent all theirs yesterday).Moral to the story... just because I'm frugal and struggle and save
today... does NOT mean you can take what I saved (just because you
didn't).Same with SS. Just because I saved and struggled when
I was young to insure I had retirement savings... does NOT Mean I must give it
up to you because you didn't.So no... I will NOT be giving up
my SS checks to you when the time comes. And I won't feel bad about it.
2 bits -- Why do you assume liberals don't save money for retirement? I
have and I encourage my kids to as well. Way to stereotype.
@Wonder,I know there are some liberals who save for retirement.
But there are also those who spend every penny as soon as they get it... and
they expect to be able to use what YOU saved when they need it.You
have to admit that a frugal conservative is more likely to save... than a
spend-and-tax, rely on the government Liberal (I know... another stereotype).
I know a lot of liberals aren't that way... but some are.I have
a sister-in-law who spends every cent the day she gets it (even if she has to
waste it, and she frequently does waste it on extravagant things). And then
when the money runs out... she wants me to give her what I saved.When I'm not happy to give her my savings... she says, "I would give
YOU money IF I had it".... and she probably would. Maybe that's why
she's so quick to spend it (so she doesn't have to worry about
that).It's easy to say you would give somebody money IF you had
it... when you don't have it.
@ 2 bits, your assertion that conservatives save and liberals don't is
absurd. The more you pontificate on this fiction, the worse it looks.
@one old man"Social Security was probably America's Best
Idea."------Yup. I just love giving around 6% of my income
and having my employer do the same, so I can get 1/3 of that back (if even that)
when I retire. Great investment! (Not!)Social security is a boon for
many of today's retirees - meaning they get much more out of it than they
put into it. However, that is changing, and today's younger workers will
get far less out of it than they put in, if they even get anything at all.Social security is a transfer of wealth from one generation to another.
@Utes Fan -- You are right about the older generation getting more out of it
than they put in -- particularly Medicare. It's amusing to read all the
Tea Party types pontificate on how the poor mooch off the government and then
defend themselves taking Medicare. (I don't begrudge them their Medicare,
I just think it's funny.) They say they paid into it so they are just
getting back what they put in. Let me tell you, after about your first knee
replacement, you're close to having back what you put in. You got lots of
health problems, you're definitely a "moocher." We need Medicare
(or at least we did before Obamacare when it would have been impossible for the
elderly to get health insurance), but this will have to be an issue that is
dealt with. It absolutely is the young supporting the (voting) elderly.
hope n change
Any wages earned above $110,100 go untaxed for Social Security. Again, why do those in the best financial position to pay social security, pay
Nothing!The ability to bribe those in charge to rig the game for the
wealthy...again.95% of the tax laws are available to only 1% of the
population.Selling retirement pensions and pillaging them for
immediate profit.... is good for vulture capitalism, not so good for the actual
I am still trying to figure out when retirement became a right? I always
thought that retirement was something you worked and saved for. Like a car or a
house. If you want to retire, shouldn't you plan for that?Would society have any compassion for me if I said that I didn't have
enough money to buy a 4000 sq foot house in a really nice neighborhood for my
spouse of 5 years?If you wouldn't have much compassion for
that, why should you have compassion for me when I haven't bothered to save
for my own retirement when I have had at least 45 years to save up?
I am saving for my retirement. I know social security will be bankrupt before I
retire. What bothers me is that I have to pay for someone else’s
retirement, while saving for my own. Current retired persons do not
appreciate what a sweet deal they were given. Social security, pensions. For
those working now pensions are unheard of except for government workers. Social
security is headed to bankruptcy. At what point was it decided that
people could retire, and rely on working people to give them money? If you can
save up enough that you do not have to work, more power to you. Retire at 40 if
you can. If you are disabled an unable to work, I would support public
assistance. But many people can work into their 80’s and 90’sThere are those who will go on social security and get payments for 35+ years.
VIDAR,I agree on 2 things. 1. Current retired persons do not
appreciate what a sweet deal they were given2. social security will
be bankrupt before I retireI disagree people can work into their
90s... I would HATE to work with a team of 90 year old programmers who can only
write COBOL (If that)!===========My parents are retired.
They BOTH have pensions (full income for life). They both have insurance for
life through their employer. As well as Medicare. When was the
last time you saw a company that provided a pension, or insurance for life?My parents make more now than they did when they were working...
that's a sweet deal.Can we sustain that forever? Politicians say, "YES". Logic, common sense, and economic
experts say, "NO"So... what do we do if these benefits
can't be sustained? Just drive off the cliff?We need to FIX
it... but politicians won't touch it... it's the 3rd-rail of politics.
Because even talking about fixing it gets them UNELECTED. And being re-elected
is more important than anything...
Social Security is not bankrupt, it will never be bankrupt. Worst case scenario
if we do absolutely nothing is that benefits get reduced by about 20% starting
in about 20 years. That's not a desirable outcome, but it is nowhere close
to being bankrupt.
Well, I don't think it's possible. If the economy crashes, all the
trillions that is in savings will be gone. The FDIC only has a few billion, all
that money wont be worth the paper it's printed on. I can't afford
gold or any thing, so my best thought is food. The thing is inflation doubles in
7 years 4x in 12, till the money won't be worth the paper that it's
printed on. It's inevitable.
Americans don't have money to save in retirement because their current
salaries prohibit them from doing so. What used to be their salaries and
pensions are now bonus checks for millionaires and billionaires. The game has
become rigged. All because an actor in the 1980s changed American economic
policy and let corporate plutocrats run our country.
"I am still trying to figure out when retirement became a right? I always
thought that retirement was something you worked and saved for. Like a car or a
house. If you want to retire, shouldn't you plan for that?"So we should have a bunch of 80-90 year olds slaving away because your
president promoted a terrible economic policy which led to Wall Street losing
their 401k?Wow.See, that's why we need to get back
to good old America. Back then we believed that after 30 years of dedication you
had earned your right to retire and enjoy your last few years if life.
Apparently not, thanks to your ilk, we're back in a new Gilded Age. Work
till ya drop! While your richie 1 percent doesn't know what to do with
their mountains of money! Oh I know, buy off more repub politicians! Bribery is
a form of free speech now. The thanks GOP!
To "The Real Maverick" since when can't people save for retirement?
They can afford $200/month for cell phones for them and their kids. They can
afford cable TV, internet, air condition, and all sorts of other luxuries. If
they can afford non-essential purchases, why can't they afford to save for
retirement?Who said that 80-90 year olds should be slaving away?
Shouldn't you be saving when you are 20 to 60 years old so that if you want
to retire you can? If they didn't save, why do they have to work if they
have kids that can support them?You still have not answered the
question. You are distracting from the question at hand: Since when is
retirement a right? If retirement is a right, then why don't I have a
right to a new car, big house, or other luxuries?
@Redshirt -- We as a country, many years ago, decided that we would provide a
safety net for the elderly. In that sense it is a right. It is a part of our
current social contract. And it's pretty popular, so good luck changing
it. I don't think there's much common desire for all of us to pay for
you a 4000 square foot house, but there is a pretty universal consensus that we
want Social Security and Medicare.
Sad that people blame their lack of preparedness on some politician.HVHThe income that is taxed is capped because the benefit is capped. Do
you want to also remove the cap from the benefit, so those gazillionaires are
getting $40K/mo checks from SS?Roland,SS has less money than
it should have because BO cut its funding to buy votes – he shaved about a
decade’s worth of life off SS.Maverick,No one had to
lose their 401(k). Mine took a hit during the last recession, but it came
through with more than both I and my employer put into it, and I am not even an
active investor – just a bond fund, a defensive stock fund, and a couple
growth stock funds. Over its life it has had about a 10% return, better than
what I’ll get from SS. The trouble was when people had ALL their
retirement in one investment.
To "Wonder" but SS is not a safety net. It is an entitlement. If SS
was to be a safety net then it would only apply to the poor, and would have to
have appropriations made each year. That is, unless the Federal Government
planned for everybody to fail to save for the future.However, that
is not the issue. If your plans for retirement are to live off of SS, then
who's fault is it that you didn't save? The premise of this article
is that American's don't save enough for retirement. Who's
responsibility is it for you to save for your retirement?If I
can't fully retire on SS or else am forced to downsize my lifestyle at
retirement, who's fault is that?Again, what right is there that
says I am guaranteed a retirement? Retirement where I am no longer working a
regular job and can just sit and watch TV all day. What right do I have to
force you to pay for me to stay at home and do nothing?
If you give 100 people $100,000 on January 1st of the year, how many will have
any of it left by the end of the same year? Well statistically only 6 of the
original 100 will have any left. They can be conservatives, liberals, white,
black, gay, straight or any other persuasion. It is human nature to consume.
Sadly we need to find a way to help those who have no control over their
savings. Social Security will help some of those and it will help the poor who
don't have the resources to retire or save. Hard choices and
not always easy for those trying to literally make it from paycheck to paycheck.
Unless your income is less than most everyone else's, there is no obvious
reason why you couldn't save if you set your mind to it. Reason being
those others get by on less, therefore you can too.How? Don't
get the most house you can afford, instead get the least that will accomidate
you. Likewise with your car. Are power windows necessary? Dont get that
tattoo. Instead of buying lottery tickets, learn to invest. Take advantage of
just the match if you have a 401k you have at work. Then put the most you can
into a Roth IRA. Don't forget to have an emergency fund.