UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (36) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Author: Plato90s Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 745015  
Subject: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 2:21 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 6
In the "Your Money" section of the NY Times, there's yet another story about stock brokers investing retiree's money inappropriately during the tech boom, causing massive losses and shattering their hopes of retirement.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/18/business/yourmoney/18retire.html?pagewanted=all&position=

The author starts out with a story of a couple who took early retirement at the age of 57 from a $40k/yr job with $386k in liquid assets. Their claim (which the arbitrators believed) was that preserving their asset value was their directive to the broker. They lost 65% of assets when the tech boom collapsed and went to arbitration to get their money back. They blame the broker for investing too aggressively, even though they apparently expected to live comfortably and be millionaires in a few years based on investment gains.

The next story has a couple where the husband was making $80k/year at the age of 60 investing $310k, and expecting to retire.

Finally, a woman at the age of 50 making $40k/year invested $410k, also expecting a comfortable retirement off her investments.

At this point, I had to stop and wonder. Are these people (the retirees) greedy or just plain ignorant? Or did they expect to die early, because all the numbers just seemed wrong.

I suppose it was part of the mindset back in 2000, but I still don't believe how anyone realistically thought that a conservative investment portfolio would yield enough income for people in those salary ranges and age to retire. Judging by their available liquid asset, their cash expense levels were probably considerable. You'd have to be greedy, which I think most people were by the end of the dot-com runup, or just plain ignorant of the basic realities of retirement.

The real answer, of course, is buried deep within the article, which spends most of its time bashing the stock brokers.

"While it may seem surprising that people would consider retiring with relatively small amounts saved, Ms. Roper of the Consumer Federation said, "Americans tend to have very unrealistic expectations about when they can retire."

Mr. Zamansky (lawyer for couple in sad-story #1) said that such horror stories show how important it is for investors to know all their options. "These cases show the real need for investor education which would help people like these protect themselves against unscrupulous brokers," he said. "


From where I sit, the hard truth is this. The stock brokers went after people who were greedy, told them what they wanted to believe, and then took them for a ride. People want a cushy retirement, and they knew they couldn't afford it based on the money they'd actually saved. But the dream was still there. So when some well-dressed person came along with a big smile telling them that they CAN afford it, they wanted to believe.

The same is true for people who want to own luxury cars, vacation timeshares, big houses, etc.... While we can punish the stock brokers who pulled the con-artist routine on these retiree-wannabe's, it really doesn't change the fact that people fall for con's for very basic reasons. They're greedy, or ignorant.

We can try to fix the latter, but there's no real cure for greed. There are no magic solutions to the retirement question. Like the REHP site says : save money, reduce expenses, and invest carefully.

Beware the person who tells you there's a shortcut... there are none.
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163817 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 2:33 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
From the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/18/business/yourmoney/18retire.html?pagewanted=all&position=

When Ms. Taylor called to ask what she should do about the losses, she said Mr. Cessna told her that the stocks would rebound. But in April 2002, she was stunned by a call from Mr. Cessna. "He said, 'I hate to tell you, Martha, but you're going to run out of money,' " she said. By the time she moved her account, it held $38,000.

Now Ms. Taylor, who is 50, earns $22,000 a year driving a school bus for the Wooster city schools. She has sued Merrill Lynch and Mr. Cessna; her arbitration is scheduled for October. The New York Stock Exchange is also investigating Mr. Cessna.

Merrill Lynch declined to make Mr. Cessna available. A Merrill Lynch spokesman, Mark Herr, said, "The use of seminars is well respected, used throughout the industry and extremely beneficial to clients and prospective clients." Mr. Herr declined to comment on Ms. Taylor's case other than to say that the facts and circumstances surrounding her claim are unique to Ms. Taylor.

</snip>


Only if the seminars offer free food and an open bar.

intercst



Print the post Back To Top
Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163822 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 4:54 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I say again: NEVER hand your money to someone else and blindly trust that agent to do well by you. I do my own, thanks, but even if I entrusted it to someone else (or a brokerage firm), you can bet your bippy I'd have my eye on where it was invested and how well it was doing. Ignorance is not bliss.

OTOH, we retired early (58)and have quite a bit LESS in our IRA/investments than any of those people mentioned, but we're doing just fine on less than $30K a year income, much of it from SS.

Depends on your lifestyle, I guess.

Vermonter

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163838 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 10:11 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
"They were pumping you up that we were all set and had plenty of money to retire," Mr. DeCoste recalled.

Ms. Taylor said Mr. Cessna told her that she could earn enough money in the stock market to withdraw as much as $3,000 a month.

"The amount of money we had, he said, in a matter of a few years we could possibly be millionaires."

Exactly the way almost all con jobs work--appeal to the victim's greed, and they can't resist.

Although it is sad, human nature is such, that no matter how many people are conned in this way, everyone else who knows/hears about it thinks they are too smart to have it happen to them--until it does.

Luckily for these folks, they were able to get their money back due to the excessive fees and lack of broker 'supervision'.

2old


Print the post Back To Top
Author: catmeyoo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163847 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 10:50 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 6
Only if the seminars offer free food and an open bar.

intercst


I went to one of those seminars once in San Francisco, one where they gave you a free dinner. No free bar though. You had to buy your own drinks. Cheapskate. After dinner the guy gave us a slide show about money and investing and retirement and then passed out forms for us to fill out with various questions about ourselves. Later I had an appointment with the guy and he said to bring detailed information about my financial situation with me, including last year's tax return. His office was in a highrise on Montgomery Street in the financial district, very plush, and he was not in partnership with anyone but appeared to be a sole owner. The outer area was large and I saw at least half a dozen people working at desk or cubicles. So he must have been doing fairly well.

During our interview I asked him detailed questions (I had a written list) of how he made his money through helping me and how much he made and he got close-faced and said a lot of vague things, giving no credible answer. I thought that was rude considering he was asking me all those personal questions—money is personal after all. I don't understand how small investors like myself can feel comfortable giving away all this information to these people and not getting some similar information back. I would no more let someone like that manage my money than I would jump off a tall building. Of course I do that with my CPA taxman, but then I understand how he makes his money and how much I pay him.

--catmeyoo




Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: Kestrel2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163848 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 10:54 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
I don't understand how small investors like myself can feel comfortable giving away all this information to these people and not getting some similar information back. I would no more let someone like that manage my money than I would jump off a tall building. Of course I do that with my CPA taxman, but then I understand how he makes his money and how much I pay him.

Most small investors don't do much or any kind of research and just want someone to take care of things for them. If a nice looking guy who seems professional and talks a good game offers to do that, for a "small fee" then many will take him up on it. You're not most investors Cat, most people on the Fool and especially on the REHP are pretty savvy and know when to do their own research and when they need help (from an honest accountant, etc as you said.)

Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163864 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 11:46 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
<<Consider the case of Gary D. Johnson, of Canal Fulton, Ohio, who worked at East Ohio Gas for 15 years as a compressor operator. For years, he and his wife, Lola, saved $600 a month to buy the company's stock. In 2000, however, he took the company up on its buyout offer and handed $240,000 in company stock to Mr. Dobbins at Prudential. "I told him I wanted to give it to him and not touch it," Mr. Johnson recalled. "He said in five years you'll have $500,000 and in 10 years you'll be a millionaire."

Mr. Dobbins also said he would throw in a $75,000 life insurance policy if Mr. Johnson opened an account, he said. But when ovarian cancer was diagnosed in his wife in November 2002, Mr. Dobbins said he knew nothing about such a policy, Mr. Johnson said.

Over three years, the Johnsons lost two-thirds of their retirement savings. Brokerage statements show that midway through his association with Mr. Dobbins, the risk tolerance listed for Mr. Johnson was changed from moderate to moderately aggressive, similar to what had happened to the Huffs.

Mr. Johnson, 60, is a plaintiff in the group arbitration against
>>


Ahhh. So company investment plans that invest in company stock merit no criticism in this article. Investing in company stock is bad when it produces large losses. Brokerage accounts are bad when that produces large losses. The customer is never a fool.

Well, a number of these utility blue collars are my former co-workers. I do have to say that Mr. Dobbins sounds like a greedy sleezeball, making promises only a fool would believe. Unfortunately, a good many blue collars are fools hoping someone will tell them what they'd like to believe.

Actually, I think it's important to punish the Mr.. Dobbins who encourage unsophisticated people to make bad decisions. Tolerating that means that people offering good advice will be pushed out of the marketplace, leaving the field to the sleezebags.

I had a neighbor who was a Boeing retiree with a pension and health care, but he kept spending more than the satisfactory income he had. He refinanced his house to pay off the credit cards a few times, getting farther into hock. At one time he told me he was gambling at casionos in order to pay off his debt! He sold off his house just before it was to be foreclosed, and is now a tenant. So there are plenty of fools, but I would prefer to have them do it to themselves rather than having hucksters selling the a load of crap under the guise of it being professional advice.

<<The same is true for people who want to own luxury cars, vacation timeshares, big houses, etc.... While we can punish the stock brokers who pulled the con-artist routine on these retiree-wannabe's, it really doesn't change the fact that people fall for con's for very basic reasons. They're greedy, or ignorant.

We can try to fix the latter, but there's no real cure for greed. There are no magic solutions to the retirement question. Like the REHP site says : save money, reduce expenses, and invest carefully.

>


Too true, Plato. Most of the unsophisticated people I've known aren't greedy in their natural state --- they've usually had that beaten out of them by previous foolish decisions by the time they reach retirement age, although I suppose a professional sleezebroker might convince them to take a final roll of the dice. It's ignorance and desperation that is the biggest problem.

Most of these guys have been the artful dodgers of personal finance for decades, spending too much and covering up problems by working overtime, taking out debt or other devices. But retirement is the end of artful dodging ---you either have the money or go broke and back to work.

I suppose I ought to give my own retirement seminars to my blue collar co-workers:

Nope --- keep working.

Nope ----keep working.

Nope --- keep working.


I think I'd be out of business in a hurry!

Of course, there IS a subculture of blue collars who have lived frugally, saved diligently and invested prudently. They (we) are the ones who didn't show up with new pickup trucks or fancy vacations. And I know a number of such people who aren't very bright but have a generous net worth and financial security. A decent blue collar job can still be a ticket to a good life if that income is used prudently rather than being wasted.

One thing that IS sad is that it's difficult to point out the wisdom of the last paragraph to people in today's workplace. Those who spend improvidentally will shout you down, claiming it can't be done or needn't be done, often afraid of having to face their own lousy decisions. I suppose what needs to be done is to make an example of those foolish older workers, pointing out to youngers workers how dumb their decisions have been ---of course, that would earn you their hatred.

So--- it's difficult to point out to young workers the road to financial success, while many interests and people are pointing out false roads.

Sad.



Seattle Pioneer







Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163866 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 11:52 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<OTOH, we retired early (58)and have quite a bit LESS in our IRA/investments than any of those people mentioned, but we're doing just fine on less than $30K a year income, much of it from SS.

Depends on your lifestyle, I guess.

Vermonter

>>


We need to get you out there offering seminars on retirement living, Vermonter!

Seriously --- there is so much BAD advice about retirement! Why don't we see some good seminars about living frugally and prudently in retirement, and throughout life, for that matter?



Seattle Pioneer

Print the post Back To Top
Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163869 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 12:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 4
Seattle Pioneer writes,

Of course, there IS a subculture of blue collars who have lived frugally, saved diligently and invested prudently. They (we) are the ones who didn't show up with new pickup trucks or fancy vacations. And I know a number of such people who aren't very bright but have a generous net worth and financial security. A decent blue collar job can still be a ticket to a good life if that income is used prudently rather than being wasted.

Not if George Bush and the Republicans have anything to say about it. <LOL>

Their preference would be for fewer well-paying union jobs and more folks toiling under the scrutiny of the "floor walkers" at Wal-Mart.

intercst


Print the post Back To Top
Author: familyceo Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163870 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 12:21 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
"We need to get you out there offering seminars on retirement living, Vermonter!"

Seattle Pioneer

I was thinking the same exact thing as I read that post. I love to read RV's posts because they are so "hopeful" to me. Of course you could do the same, SP. You guys are definite inspirations. Please keep up the good work, some of us are listening!!

ceo

Print the post Back To Top
Author: MizL Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163878 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 12:41 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Beware the person who tells you there's a shortcut... there are none.

Somebody once told me this was the 5-word theory of political economy:

there ain't no free lunch


MizL



Print the post Back To Top
Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163882 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 12:57 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
SP:

Seriously --- there is so much BAD advice about retirement! Why don't we see some good seminars about living frugally and prudently in retirement, and throughout life, for that matter?

I've wondered the same thing, SP! Tankfully, we all get to share ideas right here, though, right?

Again, I suspect (but cannot prove) that all those brokerage firms and others really want you to feel "scared" unless you give THEM all your money to invest so you'll have that mythical (for many) million or two, while they also skim off plenty for themselves!

It DOES depend on your life style, though. We pay our bills and eat out several times a week, yes, but we also just enjoy life together; we have lovely sunsets to watch up here on our ridge, squirrels skittering around, birds at our feeder, even a fox that ran down our hill the other morning! However, we also shop carefully, with coupons and discounts, and we buy what WE want -- not what the idiotic ads urge us to!

Don't you think a key is to learn to do what YOU feel is good and right? Too many seem unable to ever figure that out. Sad.

Vermonter

Print the post Back To Top
Author: tmeri Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163886 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 1:04 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
Seriously --- there is so much BAD advice about retirement! Why don't we see some good seminars about living frugally and prudently in retirement, and throughout life, for that matter?


It's an interesting question, Seattle. I suspect the reason we don't is that most people who pitch retirement seminars have to say something that will make people want to invest with them. Frugality is one of those unpleasant truths to many novices to financial independence, and I suspect that like your "Keep working" prescription, people saying "live frugally" would soon be out of business.

Actually, frugality is very freeing once you understand its benefits. It is only a hard truth at the beginning, then it becomes a treasured secret to success.

- tmeri

Print the post Back To Top
Author: MizL Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163888 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 1:10 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I thought that was rude considering he was asking me all those personal questions—money is personal after all. I don't understand how small investors like myself can feel comfortable giving away all this information to these people and not getting some similar information back.--catmeyoo


Something similar happened to a girlfriend and I when we were in Cancun. We stopped at one of the kiosks and asked directions and got to chatting with the guy there and he invited us to a free breakfast. We knew there'd be some kind of hook, but little did we know. The first thing they had us do was sit down with a sales person. I instantly shut down and poked my friend and said "let's go, now." She didn't want to, and the questions were about our charge cards, which they wanted us to show them (covering up the account number) and they wanted to know our marital status, and what we did for a living, and what we earned per year. I have to admit that as soon as we sat down, I figured the situation for what it was. A sales pitch for a time-share.

At that point, I stood up and said, "We aren't interested in doing business with you." My friend later said she was so glad I had the guts to do that. It wasn't guts, it was self-preservation. Duh! I'm going to go to Cancun to tell somebody the intimate details of my life. I don't think so...unless they buying me a few mangoritas!

MizL

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163892 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 1:28 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
<<Don't you think a key is to learn to do what YOU feel is good and right? Too many seem unable to ever figure that out. Sad.

Vermonter

>>


Sometimes I wonder. A relative put together a list of the things she wanted to do before she died, all BIG ticket items.

Sometimmes I find travel, eating out or other luxuries (such as my boat) to be refreshing as well. But I don't go around cultivating expensive habits. Instead, I try to look at what I really need in terms of luxuries and buy those they are really valuable to me, and lowest in cost.

It's easy to get used to expensive luxuries, and to pork out on them to the point that they don't mean much. My method gives me the maximum bang for the buck when I'm buying luxuries, I find.

But that begins by discovering what you, personally, really value, just as you suggest, Vermonter. But perhaps its just that my tastes are simple, even my taste for luxuries.

Getting such a list from other people might produce that list of big ticket items. Perhaps that would be useful for a couple planning to get married to do. If your intended partner cam up with the big ticket list, there would stilll be timme to RUN!



Seattle Pioneer



Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163894 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 1:34 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Seriously --- there is so much BAD advice about retirement! Why don't we see some good seminars about living frugally and prudently in retirement, and throughout life, for that matter?


It's an interesting question, Seattle. I suspect the reason we don't is that most people who pitch retirement seminars have to say something that will make people want to invest with them. Frugality is one of those unpleasant truths to many novices to financial independence, and I suspect that like your "Keep working" prescription, people saying "live frugally" would soon be out of business.

Actually, frugality is very freeing once you understand its benefits. It is only a hard truth at the beginning, then it becomes a treasured secret to success.

- tmeri

>


Good points, tmeri.


That kind of argues that churches and other such groups that ought to have the long term best interest of people at heart should be teaching the ideas of frugality, saving and investment.

Some do, I suppose, but I don't hear much about that. Perhaps church going Fools can tell us if that kind of thing is a part of their church program and if not, why not?

I wonder if the prevailing values of consumerism ("spend every dollar you can earn, beg or borrow") intimidates even churches?



Seattle Pioneer

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: Kestrel2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163896 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 1:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Some do, I suppose, but I don't hear much about that. Perhaps church going Fools can tell us if that kind of thing is a part of their church program and if not, why not?

Probably varies. Churches I have attended in the past tend to focus on God providing for your needs if you remain faithful. Some people interpret that to mean save wisely and be frugal, others seem to think it's a heavenly insurance policy that will bail them out of bad spending decisions. I don't think there's any kind of united front when it comes to religion and spending, I see just as many expensive SUVs in my church's parking lot as I do anywhere else.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163897 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 1:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<At that point, I stood up and said, "We aren't interested in doing business with you." My friend later said she was so glad I had the guts to do that. It wasn't guts, it was self-preservation. Duh! I'm going to go to Cancun to tell somebody the intimate details of my life. I don't think so...unless they buying me a few mangoritas!

MizL

>>


Heh, heh! I got sucked into one of those once myself. After about fifteen minutes of getting negative answers to all their usual come on lines (Do you like to go on vacations? Answer- no.) They cut me loose as a lost cause. Got my free come on gift though.

I talked to some other people who had been mangled by the process, but not me!



Seattle Pioneer

Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163899 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 1:57 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<<Some do, I suppose, but I don't hear much about that. Perhaps church going Fools can tell us if that kind of thing is a part of their church program and if not, why not?

Probably varies. Churches I have attended in the past tend to focus on God providing for your needs if you remain faithful. Some people interpret that to mean save wisely and be frugal, others seem to think it's a heavenly insurance policy that will bail them out of bad spending decisions. I don't think there's any kind of united front when it comes to religion and spending, I see just as many expensive SUVs in my church's parking lot as I do anywhere else.

>


Too bad. My guess would have been that one of the advantages of being a part of a flock was having a shepherd who would be shooting the wolves for you.



Seattle Pioneer

Print the post Back To Top
Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163900 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 2:04 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I don't think so...unless they buying me a few mangoritas!

Is that the kind of Margarita that after the 3'rd or 4'th one comes with a man attached ? :-)))


Print the post Back To Top
Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163901 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 2:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
That kind of argues that churches and other such groups that ought to have the long term best interest of people at heart should be teaching the ideas of frugality, saving and investment.

Seems to me that the major long-term interest of churchs/synagogues/mosques are their own survival and funding.

I know that the Rabbi of my synagogue rarely, if ever, sermonizes about living within ones means. The only time I recall him even touching on the issue was in the context of what sort of items might be considered "luxuries" that a family ought not be spending their money on while at the same time requesting a reduction in annual dues or requesting tuition assistance at the local day schools.

Some do, I suppose, but I don't hear much about that. Perhaps church going Fools can tell us if that kind of thing is a part of their church program and if not, why not?

I think that many places of worship have a hard enough time getting people to attend regularly, that to add "uncomfortable" discussions would cause even fewer people to attend.

I wonder if the prevailing values of consumerism ("spend every dollar you can earn, beg or borrow") intimidates even churches?

It probably goes more like ... "after tithing/paying dues, then do what you want with the remainder your money". I guess they, just like the government, have the right idea - "pay yourself first" :-)


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163902 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 2:17 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Seattle Pioneer writes,

That kind of argues that churches and other such groups that ought to have the long term best interest of people at heart should be teaching the ideas of frugality, saving and investment.

Some do, I suppose, but I don't hear much about that. Perhaps church going Fools can tell us if that kind of thing is a part of their church program and if not, why not?

I wonder if the prevailing values of consumerism ("spend every dollar you can earn, beg or borrow") intimidates even churches?


There's one such "faith-based" financial ministry -- Dave Ramsey's radio show.

http://www.daveramsey.com/

He's big on encouraging people to get out of debt. But goes overboard with even criticizing frugal folks like myself for charging everything to my Discover Card to get the 1% cash rebate and then paying off the balance in full each month.

His show also features an endless stream of plugs for tapes and seminars (I like the special $100 seminar tickets to the VIP section -- the velvet rope is everywhere.)

Another prominent feature is the investment advice. Instead of directing listeners to a low-fee index fund, Dave encourages them to contact one of his "endorsed local providers" (ELPs) -- financial planners who will "teach them" about growth mutual funds "where you can get 15% to 18% per year" and no doubt pay a big front-end sales load.

intercst


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: buffalogal100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163914 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 3:16 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Again, I suspect (but cannot prove) that all those brokerage firms and others really want you to feel "scared" unless you give THEM all your money to invest so you'll have that mythical (for many) million or two, while they also skim off plenty for themselves!
Vermonter
***

Most brokerage firms require compliance review and approval for any seminar given by their advisors. You take one unscrupulous stock jockey who obviously slipped through the radar and he can run herd over unsuspecting investors while lining his greasy pockets.
Activities such as the ones cited in the article stick out like a sore thumb on trade blotters. I'm amazed that these trades were allowed at the get-go especially when the investors were unsophisticated. The fact that one client's profile was arbitrarily changed without their knowlege is obviously a poor attempt at cover-up by the broker when it seems apparent that his trades were in question. I'm sure (said hopefully) that things have changed since those days.




Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163920 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 3:40 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
<<Again, I suspect (but cannot prove) that all those brokerage firms and others really want you to feel "scared" unless you give THEM all your money to invest so you'll have that mythical (for many) million or two, while they also skim off plenty for themselves!
Vermonter
***

Most brokerage firms require compliance review and approval for any seminar given by their advisors. You take one unscrupulous stock jockey who obviously slipped through the radar and he can run herd over unsuspecting investors while lining his greasy pockets.
>>


Yes, to some extent this is classic devil making by newspapers, in this case the New York Times.

A week or so ago, intercst posted an article in which people saw the stock market value of company stock plans decline. The allegation was that it was outrageous, unfair and abusive for companies to reward people with company stock or make encourage employees to buy stock through employee discounts. Then they identified a few people who had seen the value of their stock decline sharply from the all time high to a low price.

NEVER ONCE in that article did they identify how much CASH employees actually put up themselves, or whether they put up any cash of their own at all. And what's the deal of using an all time high to talk about how much "money" people "lost"? Very dishonest and deceptive reporting to make a point.

And then THIS week, the New York times is after an a sleazy stockbroker. People in this article seem to have done quite well by owning company stock, and the way they are ripped off is by encouraging them to get out of the company stock they own!

I suppose it's worthwhile to warn people about sleazy "financial advisers," but who is going to warn people about sleazy reporters and sleazy newspapers like the New York Times?


The local Seattle Times had a good example of that a couple of weeks ago. They found a sleazy lawyer in a rural county seat who was dishonest and doing a bad job of representing indigent clients whose criminal defense was being paid for by the state as well as people paying for their own defense. The newspaper was down on the county practice of paying a lump sum to lawyers for defending those accused of crimes, and they spent several days flogging this one attorney in print to make their point.

But what point? Individuals were also retaining this guys services and being poorly represented. The bar association was going after the lawyer in a rather lanquid way, but you could hardly indict the whole legal profession for one lousy lawyer. Yet that's what they were trying to do.

I'm unimpressed by that kind of reporting. It's dishonest and it's like using a nuclear bomb to attack a knat. Government regulators always seem to want to extend the frontiers of what they control, but the real story is the poor job they often do of protecting the public, their stated concern.




Seattle Pioneer

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: ariechert Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163944 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 5:58 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Is that the kind of Margarita that after the 3'rd or 4'th one comes with a man attached ? :-)))

It's a margarita made with mangos instead of limes. - Art

Print the post Back To Top
Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163953 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 6:51 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Is that the kind of Margarita that after the 3'rd or 4'th one comes with a man attached ? :-)))>>

It's a margarita made with mangos instead of limes. - Art


Mmmm ... sounds pretty good.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: MizL Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 163959 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/18/2004 7:28 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I don't think so...unless they buying me a few mangoritas!

Is that the kind of Margarita that after the 3'rd or 4'th one comes with a man attached ? :-)))markr33


Don't I wish. A Mangorita is a mango marguerita. They go down smooth especially in an open air restaurant with a white sandy beach, the tide rolling in, a family or two of kids on the beach, lovers strolling along.

The waiter had cute assets but was a little young for me. Yes, I confess, I asked. 23. ;)

MizL

We're waiting on a tornado around here. It's really greenish dark and very high winds. Where is that waiter when I need him?







Print the post Back To Top
Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164049 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/19/2004 5:18 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
SP:

Sometimes I find travel, eating out or other luxuries (such as my boat) to be refreshing as well. But I don't go around cultivating expensive habits. Instead, I try to look at what I really need in terms of luxuries and buy those they are really valuable to me, and lowest in cost.

Exactly. We think alike on that.

that begins by discovering what you, personally, really value, just as you suggest, Vermonter. But perhaps its just that my tastes are simple, even my taste for luxuries.

Again we agree.

I still say that the key to basic happiness is figuring out who YOU are, figuring out what YOU really want and need, and then somehow managing to not get caught up in trying to live your life the way everyone else thinks you're "supposed to" -- including buying every damn new toy that comes along, unless YOU really think you want it!

Zillions of people seem truly to have allowed themselves to become lemmings, or part of "the herd". Some may actually be happy that way, but I/we would not be.

I'm lucky enough to also have a partner who shares my basic beliefs, too, even if we don't always agree!

Vermonter

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Rocannon Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164097 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/19/2004 12:13 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
RetiredVermonter,

but we're doing just fine on less than $30K a year income

It is always encouraging to hear this. I am not retired and my expenses, not including taxes, run about $30K a year as well. I live in a fairly expensive area of the country, and always wonder how little I could get by with in less expensive areas (I have never thought of VT as a particularly less expensive area, though!).

I have a question. When I hear what a couple's expenses are, I always wonder how it would translate to a single person. Can you estimate about how much expenses would be for a single person living your lifestyle in VT... I assume it would not be $30K/2. Any idea?

Thanks in advance,

Rocannon

Print the post Back To Top
Author: tngirl74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164126 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/19/2004 1:39 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
At this point, I had to stop and wonder. Are these people (the retirees) greedy or just plain ignorant? Or did they expect to die early, because all the numbers just seemed wrong.

Why are your choices for their actions either greed or ignorance?

To me their choices seemed to be based on ignorance or apathy - but then, I don't know and I don't care.

tngirl



Print the post Back To Top
Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164146 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/19/2004 3:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Ro:

No, it would be darn near 70% I imagine, for the same house, heat, electricity, etc.! Only differences might be dining out food, medical insurance, etc. That kind of thing.

We tend not to be big "clubbers" and never go to bars, either. Too damn smokey and noisy for either of us!

Again, a lot depends on lifestyle, where you live, and how you live. Sit down to look at what you really owe vs need.

This turned out initially to be within $100/month of what I had calculated back then -- though medical insurance has gone up plenty!

Vermonter

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Rocannon Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164278 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/20/2004 10:24 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
RetiredVermonter,

No, it would be darn near 70% I imagine

Thanks, I was just curious. It's what I suspected.

We tend not to be big "clubbers" and never go to bars, either.

Me neither. I don't drink so there's no reason to enter a bar! I like VT because of the outdoor opportunities.

Sit down to look at what you really owe vs need

I have all my expenses tracked for the last six years or so, so I have a good feel for this. Insurance and housing costs are slippery. The cost of needs can vary quite a lot by region in the US...

Rocannon

Print the post Back To Top
Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164359 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/20/2004 3:40 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Rocannon:

I have all my expenses tracked for the last six years or so, so I have a good feel for this. Insurance and housing costs are slippery. The cost of needs can vary quite a lot by region in the US...

Good start.

Yes, insurance can be tricky. As I said, I think, we started out paying $325/month for BC/BS (with a $3,000 deductible on major hospital costs), but that is now $580/month just 3 years later!

Housing can vary widely in this area, of course. A nice home, even with a view, can sometimes be had for $100K. You can also spend $1 million plus (in the same area) or get a little 2-room place on an acre or two for even $20K -- also in the same area!

Zoning? What's that? :)

Vermonter

Print the post Back To Top
Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164476 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/21/2004 9:13 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
intercst:
There's one such "faith-based" financial ministry -- Dave Ramsey's radio show.

http://www.daveramsey.com/

He's big on encouraging people to get out of debt. But goes overboard with even criticizing frugal folks like myself for charging everything to my Discover Card to get the 1% cash rebate and then paying off the balance in full each month.

His show also features an endless stream of plugs for tapes and seminars (I like the special $100 seminar tickets to the VIP section -- the velvet rope is everywhere.)

Another prominent feature is the investment advice. Instead of directing listeners to a low-fee index fund, Dave encourages them to contact one of his "endorsed local providers" (ELPs) -- financial planners who will "teach them" about growth mutual funds "where you can get 15% to 18% per year" and no doubt pay a big front-end sales load.


I've been in the evangelical scene for about 17 years and occasionally come across someone in some type of scam. Whether it is network marketing or a salesman using his church contacts to make sales, I tell people to run away. At one church where I was on the leadership board, I got into several disagreements with the pastor about how to deal with these people. Being a pastor, he was overly kind to them wanting to change them. I, on the other hand, prefer the direct approach to telling them to take a flying leap being the wolves they are.

I've read many testimonies of how church members are so gullible when someone approaches them with the "Christian" adjective attached to them. Churches have been broken up over multi-level marketing schemes such as Amway.

I also hate it when a salesman finds out I'm a Christian and then all of a sudden begins quoting scriptures. I've often wondered if instead, I had mentioned that I'm a satanist, would he have quoted from the "black book". <g>

As far as teaching church members frugality and basic money management, I used to do annual seminars at my church (free of course) that taught from material by the popular Christian author, Larry Burkett of Christian Financial Concepts. Most of his material was about basic budgeting, frugality, saving and giving. He generally avoided investment advice and took no profits from his book/seminar/video sales. He was (passed away a few years ago) a true follower of Jesus Christ that dedicated his life to helping others.

decath

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164493 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/21/2004 11:11 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
<<
I've been in the evangelical scene for about 17 years and occasionally come across someone in some type of scam. Whether it is network marketing or a salesman using his church contacts to make sales, I tell people to run away. At one church where I was on the leadership board, I got into several disagreements with the pastor about how to deal with these people. Being a pastor, he was overly kind to them wanting to change them. I, on the other hand, prefer the direct approach to telling them to take a flying leap being the wolves they are.

>>


Yes. My theory is that one of the advantages of joining a flock is that the shepherd ought to be willing to shoot the wolves for you. Even the wolves in sheep's clothing.


<<As far as teaching church members frugality and basic money management, I used to do annual seminars at my church (free of course) that taught from material by the popular Christian author, Larry Burkett of Christian Financial Concepts. Most of his material was about basic budgeting, frugality, saving and giving. He generally avoided investment advice and took no profits from his book/seminar/video sales. He was (passed away a few years ago) a true follower of Jesus Christ that dedicated his life to helping others.

decath
>>>


Similarly, the prevailing values of consumerism are so toxic to so many people that I'm amazed the kind of program you taught isn't more widespread in churches. Heck, a good many churches are willing to oppose abortion, why not that abortion of personal finances and the family budget, consumerism?

I like your style.



Seattle Pioneer




Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: arrete Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 164498 of 745015
Subject: Re: Retirees cheated - greed or ignorance? Date: 4/21/2004 11:22 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
SP

Happy Balloon Day, you chauvinist pig <g>.

arrete

Print the post Back To Top
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (36) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Advertisement