Conversation with 29 y.o. brother at a party at my mom's house:Somebody: I'd love to be able to retire to [someplace]Bro: Yeah, me too.Bro (to me): How old do you have to be to retire, anyway?Me: What do you mean? Whenever you have enough money to.Bro: If you're rich maybe. But for normal people, when do they give you the money?Me: Ummm........ who? Social security?Bro: Uh, yeah, or pension or whatever. Who gives you the money? Me: Teacher's pension? [note: Bro was a teacher for 2 yrs in illinois, contributing to teacher's pension. Now a paralegal]Bro: Yeah, I guess. Is that all?Other teacher in room: Right now its 65 I think. Soon it'll probably be 67 or so. When you're old enough, who knows? Are you gonna become a teacher again?Bro: Um, no. I had enough. So social security then, when do you get that?Somebody: In your 60's. It'll change by then, you probably won't get that either.Bro: Hmm.... well I hope I get to retire someday.Then people started complaining about the economy and goverment and how they mismanage money, etc.... Not a good group of people to start a "Maybe you should save some money on your own so you don't have to rely on the government" conversation, consisting of several retirees and near-retirees who wouldn't take it well, and I don't want to upset my mom's friends. OK, I'm a wimp. There were maybe a dozen people present, and instead of listening to them all complain helplessly about when they'd get money, I took the opportunity to mingle in the other room, where people discussed movies.Hmmm.... have to have a talk with brother in private one of these days though. His wife controls their finances and she probably has things planned out, but its painful that he's so clueless.... It shocked me that an intelligent person, which he definitely is, would be ok with just accepting you can retire when someone starts sending you money. Doesn't sound like he has any retirement savings anyway--that he knows about, anyway. Typical attitude about retirement, you think? Or just my crazy brother? (and crazy friends of my mom)tab
Typical attitude about retirement, you think? Or just my crazy brother? (and crazy friends of my mom)To some degree I think this is a common perception. While many people I know understand that one needs to save for retirement, very few if any of them realize what needs to be done to retire early. They all talk about how nice it would be but are either unaware or unwilling to do what is necessary to make it a reality.A lot of people have the perception that if they work and contribute something to their retirement plan (or have a pension plan) that they don't need to do anything else. They will just work until 65 and retire.dt
OMG, "when do THEY send you the money?" !!!???Please fill him in. He'll be hitting you up for a loan if you don't.My brother-in-law keeps trying to figure out how to open a food franchise. I said "Just buy the stock". Blank stare. I explained that he'd get sick of making sandwiches pretty fast. And it's much tougher to sell a franchise than a stock. Or I suggested he purchase a REIT like KIM or SPG and get a little diversity and a dividend. What if his franchise is in a bad location? He changed the subject.nmckayat least he knows more about finance than my sister
Bro: Uh, yeah, or pension or whatever. Who gives you the money?"The Tooth Fairy".Maybe it would have gotten his attention.....maybe not.cliff
Unfortunately, your brother's attitude is pretty typical. To take the scary news even further, a majority of people don't know that the government doesn't "make" money, that it gets revenue from taxpayers (I saw this in a survey a while back).I don't blame you for not bringing up the subject. It wouldn't have gotten you anything except hostility - people tend to have a shoot-the-messenger mentality toward people who try to bring up delaying gratification/save/invest for retirement/don't count on the "government" to take care of you subjects (or really anytime someone tries to make them let go of their illusions/delusions and face the truth).Betsysmom
Or just my crazy brotherI don't think your brother is crazy, I think he just doesn't know. What a great opportunitiy for you to teach him all about retirement accounts. He might enjoy it (and you might too) if he understands it. People tend to avoid the things that they don't understand.Good luck.
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