The golden age of retirement - is now??

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The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby hicabob » Thu May 02, 2013 5:37 pm

This article surprised me. For all the negativity we see about the average Americans ability to retire these days, it would seem we are in fact living in the best of times when it comes to retirement.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 ... -told.aspx
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby bottlecap » Thu May 02, 2013 5:46 pm

Very interesting. Thanks.

JT
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby Equitius » Thu May 02, 2013 5:47 pm

"For Age and Want, save while you may; no Morning Sun lasts a whole Day." - Ben Franklin

I tend to agree with the article. My parents never saved a dime for retirement or my college and they managed fine. Money does not make for happiness, but I also agree that it can make (some) things easier.

Reading the article it seems to me that those who do nothing to prepare for retirement fare OK (although they may lose their homes to Medicaid), and, of course, the ultra-rich will fare OK as well.
Last edited by Equitius on Thu May 02, 2013 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby HouseStark » Thu May 02, 2013 5:53 pm

I think a big part of the judgments of the worsening state of current and future generations of retirees comes from increased expectations. As the article points out, things were not always that great for retirees of earlier generations, but now people expect to live longer and many expect to have better standards of living while doing it. There's a large segment of the population that has had upper quartile lifestyles, perhaps more than their income justified, while in their earning years, but aren't necessarily going to be able to maintain that level in retirement, if they are not prepared for it.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby gerrym51 » Thu May 02, 2013 7:00 pm

i'm enjoying it. :mrgreen:
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby OverTheHill » Thu May 02, 2013 7:32 pm

I think the big difference is that so many folks today live far beyond their means, but for credit cards and other types of debt. When they retire, they not only lose their earned income, but they also lose many avenues to easy credit. The combined effect is to push them down many rungs on the ladder. In my grandfather's day (he was born 1860, died 1960), folks usually didn't retire, they just died. My grandfather beat the odds by living to 100. My dad's generation (he was born 1915, died 1980) was somewhat the same, only he died at his desk at 65. Times change, people change, life changes.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby RenoJay » Thu May 02, 2013 8:04 pm

One question I wonder about is whether all the studies that show that seniors have very little saved for retirement actually look at ALL of a senior's assets. The other day I was doing some Boglehead-type advising for a friend who showed me her finances. She had three moderately funded IRAs/401k, but in aggregate she's doing a great job saving. Would all these studies only look at one of the retirement vehicles and conclude that she was inadequately prepared?
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby atfish » Thu May 02, 2013 8:16 pm

People talk about wanting to go back to the "Good old Days". Not me!!! For me now is the "Good Old Days" & my golden age of retirement.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby rickmerrill » Thu May 02, 2013 8:41 pm

So, retirement has been suckie for many and is getting a little less sucker? This article didn't make me feel much better. What I focus on is how well this generation of middle class who work hard, invest a lot, manage their money reasonably well will do. With the sharp decrease in pensions and the plethora of expensive 401k plans, that are all too often getting underfunded and invested poorly, and hungry advisors skimming their savings I actually think a certain segment that would have done ok will be joining the little less sucker crowd which is after all going to be suckie. I think it has become imperative that people get educated about investing and don't make any missteps and we all know that is not going to be the case for many.

The upper and upper middle class will do ok or great, the lower class will have a tough time unless they have someone to care for them. The ones in the middle will do ok if they wise up or not do so well if they don't. Why we don't teach the young about budgeting, LBYM and investing is beyond me. The great thing about a pension was you didn't need to think about it (except it being underfunded or going away) - just work for 25 or more years and it and SS would get you there.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby Hub » Thu May 02, 2013 9:22 pm

Thanks for posting the article. Seems as though the minimum standard of living in retirement is better than it's ever been and easier to attain than ever.

The typical sky is falling for baby boomer retirees with no savings angle is more about the harsh reality that so many that view themselves as better than that will be forced to lower their standard of living significantly.

For those of us that want to retire early, maintain our current standard of living, and never run out of money... that's a different ballgame.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby Boonedog » Thu May 02, 2013 9:40 pm

hicabob wrote:This article surprised me. For all the negativity we see about the average Americans ability to retire these days, it would seem we are in fact living in the best of times when it comes to retirement.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 ... -told.aspx


Hopefully you read The Motley Fool with a grain of salt. I used to read them years ago but seems all they care about is getting your Credit Card instead of giving good investment advice, just my opinion. I will stick to Morningstar and Investors Business Daily.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby hicabob » Thu May 02, 2013 10:12 pm

Boonedog wrote:
hicabob wrote:This article surprised me. For all the negativity we see about the average Americans ability to retire these days, it would seem we are in fact living in the best of times when it comes to retirement.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 ... -told.aspx


Hopefully you read The Motley Fool with a grain of salt. I used to read them years ago but seems all they care about is getting your Credit Card instead of giving good investment advice, just my opinion. I will stick to Morningstar and Investors Business Daily.

I see them as typical financial press these days. They seem to have a decent business going. They were interesting and I followed them at first, probably too avidly but when they discontinued all their not-so-hot portfolios :shock: in one of the inevitable crashes I lost some++ respect. Still - interesting statistics on the history of retirement in the US
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby abuss368 » Thu May 02, 2013 10:23 pm

hicabob wrote:This article surprised me. For all the negativity we see about the average Americans ability to retire these days, it would seem we are in fact living in the best of times when it comes to retirement.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2 ... -told.aspx



That was a very interesting article. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby nisiprius » Thu May 02, 2013 10:35 pm

Very interesting, quite credible.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby OverTheHill » Fri May 03, 2013 10:26 am

Of course, the financial media makes its money by scaring folks, which is why all you read about is how bad things are, plus how much worse they're going to get by tomorrow.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby Sam I Am » Fri May 03, 2013 11:02 am

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby backofbeyond » Fri May 03, 2013 4:29 pm

Very interesting, enjoyed reading it. Thank you for posting.

Nice to know that things have always been this bad, but not necessarily getting worse. :?
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby JCom » Fri May 03, 2013 6:50 pm

This article goes against the popular consensus but seems to be true for the people around me. My family always told me that my grandma had a LOT of money saved for retirement. It was a lot to them since no one in my family were good at saving. About a year ago I started helping my grandma with her portfolio and I was shocked at just how little she had. I will have more than her when I'm 35 than she does at 70.

I know it's anecdotal, but this article seems to confirm my own suspicions. Thanks for posting the article.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby nedsaid » Sat May 04, 2013 10:46 am

No, the world is not coming to an end for the baby boomers going into retirement. The Motley Fool article was excellent and timely. It really is a crisis in expectations. We have never had it so good.

My beloved Grandmother had Social Security, Medicare, and some savings. Grandpa didn't make it to 65 but Grandmother did fine. In her later years, she had family members that lived with her and helped her out. She never had to go to a rest home. Her two kids were close by and they helped her out a lot.

If families stick together, you can get through about anything. What is worrisome is that families are more fragmented now and the extended family that my great grandparents and their parents depended on doesn't really exist anymore. This is a bigger challenge than the solvency of Social Security and Medicare.

PBS did a series on the risks of retirement plans. I didn't watch it but I have seen similar programs in the past. The company pension plan that folks gush over now wasn't as great as advertised. It took a long time to vest and even longer for the benefits to really build up. Most people have multiple jobs during their careers and usually don't stick around long enough to build substantial benefits. Pensions also were not portable. 401k plans, flawed as they are, atleast let you take your balances with you to your own rollover IRA. I have done this a couple of times.

Pensions now are running into all kinds of funding problems now. The causes are pretty much the two recent bear markets, very low interest rates, and unrealistic assumptions about investment returns. It turns out that pensions are just as risky as the 401ks but for a pensioner the risks are not apparent. I am concerned that pensioners might see their benefits cut. Pretty tough when you built your plans around promised benefits.

401ks and IRAs have flaws as retirement vehicles. We should invest them like the pension funds do and consider annuitizing part of our nest egg upon retirement. For me, so far so good.

Let's face it. Investing is risky. Life in general is risky. We can't completely protect ourselves from risk. We save, invest, and diversify our investments. We do the best we can knowing the outcomes are uncertain.
A fool and his money are good for business.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby Larry Siegel » Sun May 12, 2013 11:38 pm

The golden age of *old age* is in the future. Doctors and biomedical researchers are working on it. We're doing better than ever before, but in 1000 years we'll look back on today's medical practices and think they're barbaric.

Retirement is an economic concept (being unemployed for the rest of your life) and the golden age of *retirement* will occur when stock prices are high and interest rates are high, so you can exchange your stocks for a guaranteed annuity income. Such conditions do not prevail now.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby LFKB » Mon May 13, 2013 1:54 am

I worked an unpaid internship my junior year of college. One of the other guys with the same position as me wrote for the Fool. I don't put much credibility into their articles.
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Re: The golden age of retirement - is now??

Postby grayfox » Mon May 13, 2013 10:49 am

Have to disagree with everyone. I don't follow the logic from A to B to C in that article. There are three charts that either don't seem especially relevant to the question does the average person have the means to retire comfortably today. In fact, I might infer the opposite from those charts.

:thumbsdown :thumbsdown
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