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Subject:  Re: Elder suicides rising in Korea Date:  2/17/2013  10:55 AM
Author:  alstroemeria Number:  47943 of 117514

a well planned retirement here using IRAs and 401Ks can afford those who are RESPONSIBLE a good retirement.

People making median or less income, especially when accompanied by some sort of tragedy, are likely to be unable to save enough for a good retirement. Family member with serious medical/mental/emotional problems, below-average IQ or personality that prevents a good education or good skills acquisition and therefore good job, automation/off-shoring causing long-term unemployment at a critical juncture (like in one's 50s), making the mistake of buying a house or significant investments near the peak of a bubble, perhaps a personality that doesn't look toward the future and assumes that God or fate will provide. Or as SP likes to point out, a financially devastating divorce.

I've known people who seemed well on the path of a secure retirement, when their efforts were sabotaged by long-term unemployment, abandonment by a spouse, theft of their savings by an unscrupulous investment advisor, long-term employer went under, taking their pension/retirement health care with it, victim of state government cut-backs just at a time when other employers have closed their doors.

Would you be in such good shape if, instead of a significant inheritance, you needed to support elderly parents? This very scenario interfered with my parents' saving for retirement. So did their cashing out my father's paid-up whole life insurance policy to help pay for my brother's dental school. You aren't a parent and don't know the lengths parents will go to help ensure good lives for their children.

One of my daughter's 30something friends has a long-term unemployed mother that she supports on her paralegal salary (she would prefer to continue doing non-pfofit work, but just can;t support her mother that way). When she saved enough to buy an apartment in one of the outer boroughs of NYC, it had to be a 2BR so her mother wouldn't be homeless or living in public housing.

Not everyone's life runs smoothly.
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