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Old 12-02-2006, 10:28 PM   #1
Josh Brehm
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An older friend of mine and I were talking a week ago, and at some point he started talking about how people aren't going to be able to retire or have pension plans/social security because of the babyboomers retiring and all. I don't know how much of this is all true, I've never researched it much. What's everyone's thoughts on it?
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:27 AM   #2
Lynne Pitts
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It's going to be hard to keep this discussion non-political, and as soon as it enters that realm,:nuke: it will go to Pukie's bucket. So be careful...
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:17 AM   #3
Josh Brehm
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My mistake lynne, as I said I know hardly anything at all about this topic, I didn't realize it had the high chance to turn ugly.
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:07 AM   #4
Mike Rosenberg
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To keep it non-political...


Josh,

Think about the ratio or workers paying in vs. retirees who collect 30 years ago, 20, years ago, 10 years ago, now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now...etc. that will give you some insight into the key drivers of the social security system.

As for pensions, that is another animal all together. Companies were not required to fully fund their pensions, they were allowed to pay as they go. What happens if they go bankrupt (ala the entire airline industry)? The gov't takes over the pension but discounts them so the retirees only get a %age of what they were planning to get. (my FIL put in 39 years at US Air (aleghaney) and lost 45% of his). The financially driven types are pushing companies into bankruptcy in order to shift the pension liability to the gov't. smart moves on paper, but ethically challenged. actually almost the entire airline industry did this over the last 4 years.

FWIW...one person's thoughts
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:49 AM   #5
Mike ODonnell
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Learn to eat Paleo...as we may be hunting our food in the future. That's non-political.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:04 PM   #6
Motion Macivor
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Hunt what?
In the future the only animals left will be rats.

Giant vicious geneticaly modified rats.

God help us all.
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:04 PM   #7
Aushion Chatman
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I wonder what the number of folks who actually "retire" is nowadays though...seems like less and less do because less can. Pensions and social security don't mean what they used to anymore, it's almost becoming an irrelevant question...the question is can you make enough money yourself to actually pull-off the "retirement".
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:32 PM   #8
Frank M Needham
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I somewhat agree with your friend Josh, with exceptions. While the number of folks retiring in the traditional sense with undoubtedly dwindle, the concept of retirement with financial security will not disappear entirely. This is something that is so ingrained into us that it can't go away. It is true that the demographic numbers that made up the working scenario for SS and pensions is in the process of dramatically reversing. Used to be that there were far more numbers of folks working and kicking into the pot to make it work. Now all the folks are becoming the geezers whom want to use the contents of the pot. Think of a tiered cake in the right side up position that has now had its position reversed and can no longer support its weight.

As Mike hints at above, there are other complex factors at work here. Financial irresponsibility can happen anywhere at anytime with disastrous results. At the top of some industries you have less than scrupulous managers that will manipulate things in any manner possible to their ends. At the other end, workers see this unjustified nonsense going on and demand that they be compensated more also. Where does it all end? Having a situation where all continue to reach into the pot, while still leaving enough left over for retirement accounts, can not continue indefinitely.

Using common sense to sort all this out doesn't seem to work either. As has been said, common sense is sense that we have in common, not... The answer that works for me is to continue to think soundly about future possibilities, save, get more education/skills, and do things that will someday generate income in thier own right.

I only wish that instead of beginning to think twenty to thirty years down the road about the future twenty years ago, that I would have begun to do so at the beginning of the teen years. If one has that kind of perspective in planning for the future then you can truely minimize the impact of any event that may come.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:19 AM   #9
Damon Stewart
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We're taught a certain concept of what represents security from a very early age: Go to school, work hard, get good grades, on thru college, get a good job. In the last two decades we've seen a gradual shift along a risk spectrum whereby I would now categorize that plan as one of the riskiest if one plans on a fully-funded retirment. Pension plans are starting to be a thing of the past and 401K's were originally designed for highly compensated employees who could fund the maximum each month. I thought the upside down tiered cake was a great analogy for our Social Security system and if you're under 45 I wouldn't plan on receiving it.

Some people are going to be able to retire but sadly the stratification of rich/middle/poor in the US is becoming rich/poor as our middle class loses jobs to China, India, and other low cost labor producers. Some even bigger questions to ask are how long can our currency remain stable if the Federal govt's liabilities (SS, Medicare, Medicaid) are larger than our GDP? At some point the foreign appetite for our debt can dry up and printing more money will no longer address the problem.

Long story short, if you want to retire I wouldn't depend on social security, a 401K, or a pension.
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Old 12-04-2006, 11:45 AM   #10
Mark Miller
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Good Stuff. Its like no one in the U.S wants to talk about the Pink Elephant in the room. I agree that the boomers will hit the SS system hard. As well as, Medicare and other helath care programs. We as 30-40 somethings need to get our heads on straight. I see people daily spending tommorrows dollar today. We are painting ourselves into a corner. Most ( I said most) families to live a "middle class" life need to be a dual income family. The costs to live is reaching out of control. I am a police officer and I see too many young officers banking on their retirement penision to take care of them. Our department still has it set up so when SS kicks in our retirement benefit is reduced by the amount of SS. Old Thinking in my opinion. How many people do you know that our on interest only loans for their mortgages? We have gotten away from owning and saving to leases and borrowing. Essentially we are building a house of cards. Sooner or later we will become a 2 class nation. Rich will own the country the rest of us will be in debt to up to our eyes. Prepare yourself and your family for retirement. The good news is by doing crossfit you will be heathier and less of a burden on helath care and be able to work longer and essentially never retire. Just a thought.
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