Retirement Planning - Lessons Learned

Jstpssng

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Lets not go all political on this point. But as we imagine possible changes to come, something to keep in mind as people are made unnecessary by automation and offshoring jobs is the example of the Middle East (and elsewhere) with an excess of bright enthusiastic people who have no job prospects at all. In some countries that's a formula for revolution in the streets by those who aren't needed. The US isn't at risk of this but universal guaranteed basic income might eventually become needed to keep the public settled down if enough people know, realistically, that they have no prospect of earning enough to support a family and live decently. In the richest country in the world. May you live in interesting times .... :)

My point here is we may see universal basic income adopted, out of necessity - not to stir up political rivalries!
I've long felt that something similar is needed. Face it, the jobs aren't there like they were 40 years ago, and everybody wants "cheap stuff." Rather than a cash payout though, I envision some type of stock sharing, that way income is based more on the state of the economy.
 

Jstpssng

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I think we all do. However, how are we going to deal with the ones that don't fit the qualification of "deserves it"? I don't have a solution for that.
Also, who is going to decide who "deserves it"?
 

California

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Using what criteria?
Let's leave at that before the thread veers off into politics.

The original questions were:

- What have you learned in retirement?

- What would you have done/planned for differently?

- Did you move away or stay at home and are you happy?
 

RickB

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Let's leave at that before the thread veers off into politics.

The original questions were:

- What have you learned in retirement?

- What would you have done/planned for differently?

- Did you move away or stay at home and are you happy?
You get appointed as the thread police? New moderator?
Nothing in my 3 word question is political. You are several dozen pages too late to address thread drift. If you don't like where this is going just scroll on by.
 

Fuddy1952

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Hopefully my 2 cents is apolitical and I can express my thoughts about who deserves what.
It's no secret a lot of places in America have fallen to decay, there are the homeless, people living in tents, etc.
No one with mental illness or substance abuse should be allowed to live on the streets. We used to have mental facilities until some people thought they were cruel (some were horrific, many were ok). It's much better those people there than on the streets (much less cruel).
So that probably gets the majority off the streets, they at least now get treatment, food, medical care, etc. Basic necessities.
The rest choosing that lifestyle that's their choice but living like that where it's legal, not on private or public property. It's their problem finding a place to live, there are already shelters available. If one chooses to defecate in public they go to the mental facility.
Law abiding people who are destitute and able to work can get a job, they're available.
That leaves the destitute unable to work, crippled, sick they need assistance there are medical workers doctors, dentists, etc already who donate their time and services.
I believe the majority of taxpayers wouldn't be opposed to all that being part of an infrastructure package.
Any public assistance program should be short term, helping people get back on their feet. Single parents shouldn't be rewarded having kids they can't support. Taxpayers shouldn't be punished assisting people who made bad choices.
The opposite is true also. The successful wealthy shouldn't be punished or overwhelmed with taxes but also shouldn't pay nothing by loopholes in the system.
Everyone needs to pay a fair share for living where they have a good military, police, fire, roads, mental hospitals, etc.
There's no simple easy solution but people on either extreme the poor and rich shouldn't be able to milk the system.
 

Larry Caldwell

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You are correct, funny I had an IT shop as well, probably the most productive gig of my life.

The reality does remain, in IT or probably a load of other careers, in your mid 30's if you can't be a useful mid manager, you won't be able to keep up. At least when I was there, there was a place to go and server out another 10 years with some value to the company and not stay up all night reading white papers.........

Best,

ed
I was well into my 40s before I dabbled in IT. I wrote device drivers for hardware, pretty simple if you can think in assembler. It was gig work, but well paid.
 

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The golden years? I don't know if i'm lucky or just more responsible but i'm in pretty good shape. I've got my aching joints etc etc but generally speaking, pretty good shape for a 50 year old. im pushing 70.

2 of my neighbor buddies are both in ruff shape. one guy is 300 lbs and going for heart surgery next week. just finished knee surgery last month and a couple of other things, i can't keep up.

my other buddy is thin as a rail but lifetime smoker and vodka and he's in ruff shape too.

I suggested the term golden years is BS. I think a better idea is to give a person a 15 year retirement as soon as they finish school or hit 18. Then work till you drop.

It's just a shame to see those guys with nothin but time and can't do much of anything with it.
 

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I suggested the term golden years is BS. I think a better idea is to give a person a 15 year retirement as soon as they finish school or hit 18. Then work till you drop.
Two or three years of expenses only paid public service after HS, then a “living wage” pension which you can spend as you see fit.
 

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How many plan or have stayed working to 70 and/or beyond?
i
I find it interesting to see projected benefit at various retirement ages on the SS earnings statement.

Also amusing is total earnings going back to the beginning...

Even though I started paying in at age 12 my first year of earnings is at age 13 based on $50 a week for a 6 day a week summer job washing and being an all around auto dealership gopher...
 
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dougtrr2

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I think that any time you try to write rules governing a situation there is a 90/10 effect. For example, our company instituted some attendance policies. We were able to "get" 90% of the people that had attendance issues, but there were 10% that still managed to navigate the loopholes. Conversely, the new rules "got" 10% of the good employees that had a string of bad luck.

It is very hard to write rules/laws that are "perfect", even if you could come to a consensus of who is deserving.

Doug in SW IA
 

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How many plan or have stayed working to 70 and/or beyond?
i
I find it interesting to see projected benefit at various retirement ages on the SS earnings statement.

Also amusing is total earnings going back to the beginning...

Even though I started paying in at age 12 my first year of earnings is at age 13 based on $50 a week for a 6 day a week summer job washing and being an all around auto dealership gopher...
Ultrarunner,

A key point often overlooked is thinking about spouses. For example; a few years back your spouse could start collecting the reduced payment at 62 while you keep working, then switch to "half" of yours when you retire. But now if the spouse retires early, their payment when they get half of yours will be reduced due to the choice to retire at 62. I recall it's a 30+ percent reduction for the spouse. If you both retire early, the reduction applies to both of you, forever.

Taking early vs. taking late has a cross over point at near 80 years old. But remember at your death, your spouse only gets the higher of either hers or yours. So you need to consider keeping one of your payments as high as possible in the event one of you survives long after the other.

On the other hand, if you delay S.S. until 70, (24% adder), the max your spouse can get is only 50% of your full retirement age.

Finally, just because you "retire" doesn't mean you have to take S.S., you can delay. Maybe taking 401 k at a higher rate, to bridge until you start collecting.

I am working on a spreadsheet with 401 k, S.S. me, S.S. spouse. It has edit cells where 401 k growth percentages, 401 k withdraw percentages, age of 401 k starts, my age of S.S. withdraw starts and when spouse age of withdraw of S.S. This sums up potential yearly total withdraws.
 

Jstpssng

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^^^^^
One possible consideration is that SS is purported to run out of funds in about 12 years, then they only will distribute what is taken in.
It seems like if you are going to retire anyways it might be best to maximize SS distributions and allow your other funds to keep growing.
 

RickB

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^^^^^
One possible consideration is that SS is purported to run out of funds in about 12 years, then they only will distribute what is taken in.
It seems like if you are going to retire anyways it might be best to maximize SS distributions and allow your other funds to keep growing.
The possible uncertainty of SS distributions certainly could change one's strategy.
 

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Universal basic income to a population that does not pay taxes, funded by a middle class, avoided by upper class tax shields...is a sure fire way for the US to shoot itself in the face.

Needing to eat has been the best motivating factor for a civilization to flourish and keep progressing. Keep the most basic of all motivations...plus if there is a universal basic income, we will see stagflation for generations.
 

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The possible uncertainty of SS distributions certainly could change one's strategy.
The trust fund will be exhausted in 14 years, which will lead to a 30% reduction in benefits, so none of the calculations made today will hold for long. The easiest way is an across-the-board reduction for everybody, but that would leave poor people in dire straits. All I know is that in 14 years I'll be 88 years old, and it will probably be somebody else's problem.
 

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The trust fund will be exhausted in 14 years, which will lead to a 30% reduction in benefits, so none of the calculations made today will hold for long. The easiest way is an across-the-board reduction for everybody, but that would leave poor people in dire straits. All I know is that in 14 years I'll be 88 years old, and it will probably be somebody else's problem.
Does anyone else find it fascinating that we will print money for nearly anything, but, SS which has expanded in scope, and has been largely self supporting has to live on a strict P/L?

This is a funny world.

Best,

ed
 

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I'm sure when the time comes they'll put this country deeper in debt. So many people have decided that they don't need to work so how can they pay taxes.
 

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Does anyone else find it fascinating that we will print money for nearly anything, but, SS which has expanded in scope, and has been largely self supporting has to live on a strict P/L?

This is a funny world.

Best,

ed
Do you expect benefits to be cut simply because there are no funds?
 

Jstpssng

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Do you expect benefits to be cut simply because there are no funds?
Hopefully, yes. They already are cutting benefits to some. If you’ve been paying in for 50+ years the impression is that you are eligible for full amount at 70. Yet that doesn’t apply if you are over the income threshhold.
As is sometimes mentioned the quickest way to find a fix would be to put Congress under the same umbrella as the rest of us. The country was set up to avoid the elitism which our current legislators enjoy...
 

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Do you expect benefits to be cut simply because there are no funds?
Good question, I am not sure and that is the biggest part of the problem. If you paid in (worked and had your money confiscated) then you should be able to count on ss with the full faith of the US government.

It makes me madder than a hoot owl for folks to look at social security as voluntary or an entitlement. I and my employers lived up to our obligations (at gun point), if the country is still sovereign, I should be able to count on the government to meet it's obligations.

Best,

ed
 

dirttoys

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Hopefully, yes. They already are cutting benefits to some. If you’ve been paying in for 50+ years the impression is that you are eligible for full amount at 70. Yet that doesn’t apply if you are over the income threshhold.
As is sometimes mentioned the quickest way to find a fix would be to put Congress under the same umbrella as the rest of us. The country was set up to avoid the elitism which our current legislators enjoy...
I couldn't agree more, that law makers should live under the same laws as their subjects (socialism is for the socialist, not the people).

It makes it sound like you hope benefits will be reduced if ss runs a deficit? I would live with that if we treated everything else the same way and went to cash accounting. I assume the threshold you mean the upper cap where you no longer pay in, in that year? I have no idea what that has to do with bene reductions?

Best,

ed
 

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Good question, I am not sure and that is the biggest part of the problem. If you paid in (worked and had your money confiscated) then you should be able to count on ss with the full faith of the US government.

It makes me madder than a hoot owl for folks to look at social security as voluntary or an entitlement. I and my employers lived up to our obligations (at gun point), if the country is still sovereign, I should be able to count on the government to meet it's obligations.

Best,

ed
Agreed. 100%
 

Jstpssng

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I couldn't agree more, that law makers should live under the same laws as their subjects (socialism is for the socialist, not the people).

It makes it sound like you hope benefits will be reduced if ss runs a deficit? I would live with that if we treated everything else the same way and went to cash accounting. I assume the threshold you mean the upper cap where you no longer pay in, in that year? I have no idea what that has to do with bene reductions?

Best,

ed
I believe that we should balance the budget rather than kicking the can down the road the way we've been doing for most of my adult life. This would affect me more than many (most) TBN members as I didn't plan ahead the way that some of you did. But that was my choice...

The "threshhold" I referred to is the apparent income level when you are 70+, at which they don't pay you full benefits. I was unaware of this until last winter, when I was talking to the owner of a snowsled shop who told me that although he is over 70 he still doesn't recieve the full amount which the SS calculates he should recieve.
 

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I believe that we should balance the budget rather than kicking the can down the road the way we've been doing for most of my adult life. This would affect me more than many (most) TBN members as I didn't plan ahead the way that some of you did. But that was my choice...

The "threshhold" I referred to is the apparent income level when you are 70+, at which they don't pay you full benefits. I was unaware of this until last winter, when I was talking to the owner of a snowsled shop who told me that although he is over 70 he still doesn't recieve the full amount which the SS calculates he should recieve.
My disclaimer for this should be longer than the post! But, please confirm with your financial folks, and let me know if I am mistaken. Take no action on my word.

1. FRA full retirement age is worst case 67, you can get more money monthly if you defer up till 70.
2. Earning limits are a little complex, but, at FRA you can make all you want and still receive your full check. If you have money withheld because of earnings up to that point, they should start to trickle back to you.

I agree with the concept of a balanced budget. However, I can think of several hundred things that need to come in line before SS.

Best,

ed
 

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I believe that we should balance the budget rather than kicking the can down the road the way we've been doing for most of my adult life. This would affect me more than many (most) TBN members as I didn't plan ahead the way that some of you did. But that was my choice...

The "threshhold" I referred to is the apparent income level when you are 70+, at which they don't pay you full benefits. I was unaware of this until last winter, when I was talking to the owner of a snowsled shop who told me that although he is over 70 he still doesn't recieve the full amount which the SS calculates he should recieve.
See link from AARP. 10 myths about Social Security.
Also, there is no income threshold if you are FRA


 

dirttoys

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See link from AARP. 10 myths about Social Security.
Also, there is no income threshold if you are FRA


LOL wish you were a little quicker:) Thanks for the link.

It is so funny SS and medicare are so complex, about the time you are supposed to not have to do complex crap any more.

I have known so many older folks that did get care because they didn't understand what they were entitled to, really is a shame.

Best,

ed
 

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I don't know if this applies to everyone, it probably doesn't, but retiring at 61 a financial consultant I know advised me taking our SS at 62. Of course the longer you wait the more you get and it's mandatory to take it at 70 I believe. His reasoning was no one knows how long they'll live and although you get less you get more over time. I paid in starting at 14 with a newspaper route.
Our SS is a pittance and my heart goes out to those having to live off of it. I don't see how they manage. I know we couldn't.
 

Jstpssng

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My disclaimer for this should be longer than the post! But, please confirm with your financial folks, and let me know if I am mistaken. Take no action on my word.

1. FRA full retirement age is worst case 67, you can get more money monthly if you defer up till 70.
2. Earning limits are a little complex, but, at FRA you can make all you want and still receive your full check. If you have money withheld because of earnings up to that point, they should start to trickle back to you.

I agree with the concept of a balanced budget. However, I can think of several hundred things that need to come in line before SS.

Best,

ed
I agree. However, I'm a bit biased right now as I hope to be on the receiving end in a few years.
See link from AARP. 10 myths about Social Security.
Also, there is no income threshold if you are FRA


I thought that also, until I was talking to somebody who is 70 yet not getting full benefits. Some of the points in your link were educational, and dispelled my previous comment about Congress.
 

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I'm an actuary and did the math for my mom who retired at 57 with a full pension and 401k, but was unsure what to do about claiming SS. She would have to live to 83, at that point the benefit of waiting past 62 was better. So there is a 21 year break even point. Then it works out to around 8% benefit per year delayed.

I told her to claim it at 62 and live your best retired life. Waiting till your 83 to to live your best life is nonsense.

My dad on the other hand is a stubborn mule and waited until 69. His reasoning is, getting a guaranteed 8% return for 3 years (his FRA is 66) is better than gambling it on the market.
 

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Dad never retired even with chemo, dialysis, radiation and passed at 73 not working the last 3 weeks.

He fully intended not to collect knowing it was a benefit to mom and it continues to this day.
 

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I'm an actuary and did the math for my mom who retired at 57 with a full pension and 401k, but was unsure what to do about claiming SS. She would have to live to 83, at that point the benefit of waiting past 62 was better. So there is a 21 year break even point. Then it works out to around 8% benefit per year delayed.

I told her to claim it at 62 and live your best retired life. Waiting till your 83 to to live your best life is nonsense.

My dad on the other hand is a stubborn mule and waited until 69. His reasoning is, getting a guaranteed 8% return for 3 years (his FRA is 66) is better than gambling it on the market.
Everybody's circumstances are different and for many, engaging a specialist for specific advice when to file for SS is worthwhile. After all, you will live with the consequences of your choice for the rest of your life.

I filed at 67 and my wife filed, as I recall as my dependent, at that time. Then she deferred filing for herself until her 70. We had calculated all scenarios and this maximized our benefits long term - all based on the assumption of living at least into our 80's. This seemed like a fair gamble since other savings would keep the survivor comfortable if one of us didn't live that long, and the government's guaranteed return was a better gamble long term than guessing the future of the economy. All our ancestors had lived to late 80's or beyond. Dad to 88 after both tuberculosis and polio, Mom to 98, her older sister to 107. Wife's parents similar.

Again, pay a pro for advice if you don't have all the information to find the optimum.
 

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I'm an actuary and did the math for my mom who retired at 57 with a full pension and 401k, but was unsure what to do about claiming SS. She would have to live to 83, at that point the benefit of waiting past 62 was better. So there is a 21 year break even point. Then it works out to around 8% benefit per year delayed.

I told her to claim it at 62 and live your best retired life. Waiting till your 83 to to live your best life is nonsense.

My dad on the other hand is a stubborn mule and waited until 69. His reasoning is, getting a guaranteed 8% return for 3 years (his FRA is 66) is better than gambling it on the market.

How can you tell the difference between an accountant and an actuary?

- an accountant looks at your shoes when talking to you.

- an actuary looks at his shoes when talking to you.

MoKelly
 

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How can you tell the difference between an accountant and an actuary?

- an accountant looks at your shoes when talking to you.

- an actuary looks at his shoes when talking to you.

MoKelly
Now do auditors! :D





My favorite line was
"I'm from the government. I'm here to help you".
 

MoKelly

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Now do auditors! :D





My favorite line was
"I'm from the government. I'm here to help you".

I was an auditor out of school for 5 years and then an accountant for 30 years.

My sister is an actuary.

Thanksgiving dinners are one wild time at our house!!!

MoKelly
 

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I was an auditor out of school for 5 years and then an accountant for 30 years.

My sister is an actuary.

Thanksgiving dinners are one wild time at our house!!!

MoKelly
I would say that the odds from that post is that your family gatherings are sure to add up to great time.

All the best,

Peter, who trained as neither...
 

California

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I was an auditor out of school for 5 years and then an accountant for 30 years.

My sister is an actuary.

Thanksgiving dinners are one wild time at our house!!!
Probably at least as entertaining as watching a table of auditor-trainees, each trying to calculate how to split a big restaurant bill on their HP-12C's.
 

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I didn't wait. I took my money at 62. I'm now 63. I may not make to 67 which should be my full retirement age.. I'm ok with the amount I get. Of course we could all get more if our tax dollars weren't going to other countries for crazy things. But that has gone on for so long, I don't see anything changing for those of us on SS.. I think I got a 1.3% increase the first of the year.
Sad part is, we keep electing people that look out for themselves, and other countries,(the people) and we get the scraps !
 
 
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