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Author: fleg9bo 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: of 756811  
Subject: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 1:08 PM
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http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/columnists/sfl-ybask05apr05,0,2786219.column

"Americans appear to be a nation of optimists when it comes to retirement, but for some people the retirement dream may turn into a nightmare," said Dallas Salisbury, EBRI's president and CEO. "Apparently, unrealistic expectations and not knowing how much they will need to retire comfortably add to American workers' optimistic sense of confidence."

Half of American workers say the government or employers should shoulder more of the burden for retirement security, [FDR's legacy?] while only 7 percent say the individual should pay a greater share of the cost. And more than a third of workers across all income, age and gender groups are not willing to cut back on spending today in order to save for retirement.
__________________________________

The survey should be at http://www.ebri.org/rcs/ but that link isn't working right now. There's more at http://www.aarp.org/research/press/presscurrentnews/Articles/a2004-04-05-rcs.html

--fleg
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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: 165401 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 1:55 PM
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fleg9bo posts,

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/columnists/sfl-ybask05apr05,0,2786219.column

We underestimate our needs. Ten percent of workers believe they will need less than half their pre-retirement income in retirement, and 28 percent said they will need from one-half to 70 percent. Most financial planners agree expenses in retirement will be at least 70 percent to 80 percent of what they were before, if not 100 percent.


I still find it amazing that these so-called retirement "experts" can't figure out the difference between pre-retirement income and pre-retirement expenses. This author seems to use income and expenses interchangably.

My annual retirement expenses are about 25% of my pre-retirement annual income.

intercst


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Author: spl241 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165406 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 2:05 PM
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(From the provided link...)

<Americans...a nation of optimists--47 percent who have yet to save are still confident that their retirement money will inevitably come from somewhere>

Two years ago, a teacher at my school won a national award for excellence in teaching. The award was for $25K. It was hers to keep. It was not "in the name of the school," to be used for computers, etc.

The lady is energetic and extremely knowledgeable in her subject (history). She's a dynamic communicator and creates lots of hands-on projects that motivate her kids. She directs a play each year that helps fund a trip to Howard, Grambling, or some other well-known minority college. She's the head chaperone of this trip--another example of giving of her time and talents. She hasn't had her "own" spring break in years.

Look back now at the 3 boldfaced words in the snip. After this lady received her $25K check, she was asked what her plans were for the money. "I haven't been doing anything on my retirement," she said. "I guess I knew it would come from somewhere." She's not 27 or 37: she's 47.

*Phil* looked at me, shook his head, and said, "I wish her luck. I've had that much in my emergency fund for the last 10 years. How could someone as smart as _______ be that clueless about retirement?"

Since the link provided questions rather than answers to that very question, I won't attempt an answer, either.




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Author: dtschet Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165412 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 2:34 PM
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As an educated woman perhaps she realizes that most retirees do not live long enough after employment to have to fund it for very many years.

Maybe it's better to keep working and maintain a bit of an income as you age.

:)

donna <--- would live in a cardboard box if I had to count on retirement savings ...

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Author: TheBreeze Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165420 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 3:12 PM
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I still find it amazing that these so-called retirement "experts" can't figure out the difference between pre-retirement income and pre-retirement expenses.

Yeah, no 401k contribution and no FICA. But what about those of us with a bunch of chilluns? That's $6500 per kid I *won't* have to be earning.

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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: 165451 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 7:47 PM
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Intercst:

Remember that many of these "experts" simply want you to invest your money with them, so they definitely have a hidden agenda!

On the other hand, a lot of people obviously are foolish and have no idea how to even live within the 100 percent of their incomes -- even at three figures -- so how on earth could they EVER learn to live on half of that?

Vermonter (Half of a couple happily living on about 1/3 of what we earned when we worked...)

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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: 165452 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 7:49 PM
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spl:

Ye gods... that IS scary! And she's a TEACHER?

Sigh...

Vermonter

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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: 165453 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 7:51 PM
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Donna:

As an educated woman perhaps she realizes that most retirees do not live long enough after employment to have to fund it for very many years.

Why on earth would you say that? Gee, we know LOT of older couples here who have been retired for 20 years or more and are still very happy and in reasonably good health!

would live in a cardboard box if I had to count on retirement savings ...

That's a sadly somber attitude! Why so?

It's never too late to start...

Welllll, ALMOST never...!

Vermonter

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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: 165454 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 7:53 PM
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Whoops - I meant a lot of people cannot seem to live within 100 percent of their incomes, even at SIX figures (not THREE)!

:)

Vermonter

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Author: dtschet Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165458 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 8:30 PM
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Well, Vermontguy, I was a single mom for many years living on no child support. I took many low-paying jobs and was not able to save.

(short version)

:)

donna

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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: 165471 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 9:43 PM
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donna,

I took many low-paying jobs and was not able to save.

Did you follow the thread entitled "The real causes of wealth"?

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20680067

It's obvious, but how many people nonetheless blame their lack of wealth on income, chance events, and investment choices, instead of on the more likely culprit, lack of discipline?

I always think these studies oversimplify the difficulties of low-wage earners in saving. I wonder how you feel about this topic? Do you think it's true that you just didn't "choose" to save, or did you really not *have* anything to save?

I can understand if you choose not to reply. Just curious to hear it from the other side.

Rocannon

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165479 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/25/2004 10:51 PM
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I always think these studies oversimplify the difficulties of low-wage earners in saving. I wonder how you feel about this topic? Do you think it's true that you just didn't "choose" to save, or did you really not *have* anything to save? -- Rocannon

I think what actually happens to many "low-wage earners" is that they make choices unwisely when young and get locked into expenses and lifestyles before they put any thought into whether they will be able to save. For examples, they get married and/or have kids at an early age. This pretty much excludes lots of cost saving options like living in a "group home" situation where lots of other adults live and where they often avoid material possessions because they "grow legs". I remember rental houses in a college town that had up to 15 students sharing two bathrooms. They bunked in the basement, the attic and the garage if necessary to cut their rent down to $35/mo. Boarding houses and hostels are other examples. Having kids and high living standards kill saving ability in the critical early adult years.

1HF


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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: 165501 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/26/2004 5:18 AM
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Donna:

I was a single mom for many years living on no child support. I took many low-paying jobs and was not able to save.

That IS a tough row to hoe -- and bless you for hanging in there to care for your child(ren).

I have to hope that, somehow, you'll be able to put something away as you near retirement age, and that, if you have been working, you'll at least be able to collect reasonable Social Security.

Vermonter

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Author: dtschet Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165505 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/26/2004 7:45 AM
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Hi Ro,

My childhood was difficult, so my wage earning road was hit early. Orphaned and living with abusers hastened my departure to the working world.

Graduated HS and began my first full-time job as a bank teller at age 17. Annual salary $5600 in 1967.

I saved to pay cash for my first car. Paid for evening college classes and housing expenses.

Remember this was the sixties and we frowned upon wealth. Gave most of my extra money away to those who needed it more than I did.

I came into a small inheritance and refused it because the family whose mom had died needed the money more.

My roommate introduced me to a nice young man serving in Vietnam. We hit it off. A few weeks after he arrived back home, we were married (1969)

He began school on the GI Bill. I came into another inheritance. I was happy to use it to finance his education, while I continued to work.

Child arrives in 1972 - me still working he still in school. Took 6 months off to be with my infant daughter.

He finishes up school and meets someone at his first teaching position that he falls in love with. He leaves us in 1978 with a run-down old house, a slew of bills and a broken heart.

It was tough - I was 28 years old. I was nice - no attorney and no cash settlement. Just presented my divorce papers in front of the judge and cut him loose.

I guess my view of things at the time was short-sighted, eh?

Fast foreward to today.

Still helping others - still no savings.

Retirement in 7 years if I live frugally. Since I have done that all my life, why change now?

:)

Cheers,

donna

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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: 165544 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/26/2004 11:01 AM
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<<Still helping others - still no savings.

Retirement in 7 years if I live frugally. Since I have done that all my life, why change now?

:)

Cheers,

donna

>>


Interesting story, and you are obviously a nice person. But I'd say it's time to help yourself, don't you think?



Seattle Pioneer

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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: 165558 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/26/2004 11:58 AM
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donna,

I suspected something like that. You have my sympathy and best wishes!

Rocannon

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Author: dtschet Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165586 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/26/2004 1:38 PM
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:)

I am helping my children and that helps me.

Pretty happy these days.

Cheers,

donna

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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: 165607 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/26/2004 3:17 PM
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What did explain most of the differences in wealth? Venti and Wise concluded it was this: How much the families chose to save. Those who made it a priority to save built wealth, regardless of their income level, individual circumstances or choice of investments.
</snip>

It's obvious, but how many people nonetheless blame their lack of wealth on income, chance events, and investment choices, instead of on the more likely culprit, lack of discipline?



Here's my story, and you be the judge of whether or not I could have saved during those salary years of $4,5,6,7 or 8 thousand dollars with two kids and rent and medical expenses.

I had a Dad who was very successful and that was my role model. I knew what financial success was, but on the other hand, I had married and had 2 children, which put a damper on several plans. Given the opportunity 7 years ago, I grabbed it, and made my financial life a secure one.

Here's the story:
Graduated HS and began my first job age 18. Annual salary $3840 in 1961. I took the bus (.25) back and forth.

Got married in 1963. Divorced in 1969. I had two beautiful daughters aged 5 and 4. I paid $2,000 for my divorce and took all the bills just so I could get out. I got $150 a month child support. Let me say that he never, ever missed paying that and I am deeply grateful to him for that gift.

In 1969, I was making $401 a month ($4812 a year)and thankfully, health insurance was free but only for me - no family plan for females. Apartment rent was $175 a month, plus groceries and gas for the old station wagon I drove. I thank the goddess for Marv, the mechanic who did all of the work on that car and never charged me. I also took in ironing to make a little extra cash.

My Dad made a down payment on a 4 bedroom house for me - maybe in 1975 or so. The house payment was $175 a month (those days are long gone!) I couldn't afford the payments. I think I was making somewhere around $8000 a year - not enough to even meet my basic needs, certainly not enough to save anything. Dad used to give me very nice cash gifts (which Mom never knew about.) He's also hand me a hundred dollars at least once a month - and I don't think I could've made it at all were it not for my Dad.

I sold that house in 1986 (which had appreciated from $20,000 to $120,000.) That was the first time I had any money to do something with. I invested in the market. Gold and smaller stocks. Made a few bucks - bought a house in a good neighborhood. Sold it for 125% profit and here I am.

Until I quit working in 1998, a 401(k) was not available initially and then, not available to clerical staff. I had not one cent saved toward retirement (well, a little from the state) and it wasn't until my parents died and I bought Dad's business and all of the contracts for deed he had and a commercial building, that I was able to set up an estate for myself.

I live on very little now and don't feel deprived at all, but then I have very few "needs" as opposed to wants, i.e., money to go to Cancun, to buy the first new car I've ever had, to get birthday and Christmas gifts for the Grands and my girls and SIL. I do okay, but the message here is that during my work life, I never had access to ANY financial training, nor to any plans to retirement. Where would I be today if I hadn't purchased all of my folks' assets from the other heirs? In poverty. With no retirement savings at all.

MizL *fortunate daughter*






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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165708 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 1:06 AM
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I think what actually happens to many "low-wage earners" is that they make choices unwisely when young and get locked into expenses and lifestyles before they put any thought into whether they will be able to save.

My first job was so low paid, I got a raise when minimum wage was increased. My first husband also worked at low-paid jobs, and we lived in substandard housing. I never bought clothes or furnishings for myself (parents bought me clothes for Chirstmas and I scrounged the rest). The kids had mostly hand-me-down toys, games, & books, as well as library books. We watched the same 12" b&w TV for years. Eating out was once a month pizza or McDonalds or cheap Chinese restuarant. We drove one old car. Expensive treats were rare trips to museums, movies, or concerts. Vacations were camping in the summer and visitng family at holidays. I was really careful with grocery shopping.

Why would you assume that people on low incomes are managing their money worse than others? I think the oppposite is true: people on middle class incomes are more likey to manage poorly. Really low-income people don't have access to credit. I can honestly say that I never wasted a dollar in the early years. Never got into debt.

I got my act together in my 30s. Left husband #1, got a decent job (low paying at first, but I worked hard and got paid better over several years), acquired hubby #2, and through his connections eventually a high-paid professional job that I've basically been doing ever since at different places.

I'm a millionaire now largely becasue of the frugality I learned in my early adult years. If there's a lesson to be learned here it's live below your means, be patient, AND be lucky enough to have good employemnt connections. I think this last bit is what many low-income people are missing and is a major reason why they stay low-income.

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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: 165709 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 1:52 AM
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alstroemeria writes,

<<I think what actually happens to many "low-wage earners" is that they make choices unwisely when young and get locked into expenses and lifestyles before they put any thought into whether they will be able to save.>>

My first job was so low paid, I got a raise when minimum wage was increased. My first husband also worked at low-paid jobs, and we lived in substandard housing. I never bought clothes or furnishings for myself (parents bought me clothes for Chirstmas and I scrounged the rest). The kids had mostly hand-me-down toys, games, & books, as well as library books. We watched the same 12" b&w TV for years. Eating out was once a month pizza or McDonalds or cheap Chinese restuarant. We drove one old car. Expensive treats were rare trips to museums, movies, or concerts. Vacations were camping in the summer and visitng family at holidays. I was really careful with grocery shopping.

Why would you assume that people on low incomes are managing their money worse than others? I think the oppposite is true: people on middle class incomes are more likey to manage poorly. Really low-income people don't have access to credit. I can honestly say that I never wasted a dollar in the early years. Never got into debt.

I got my act together in my 30s. Left husband #1, got a decent job (low paying at first, but I worked hard and got paid better over several years), acquired hubby #2, and through his connections eventually a high-paid professional job that I've basically been doing ever since at different places.

I'm a millionaire now largely becasue of the frugality I learned in my early adult years. If there's a lesson to be learned here it's live below your means, be patient, AND be lucky enough to have good employemnt connections. I think this last bit is what many low-income people are missing and is a major reason why they stay low-income.


Excellent post!

Most of our conservative friends ignore the importance of "employment connections" in one's success in life.

How else could you explain a young lad from Midland, TX who studied little in school, had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, was a failure as a Texas Oilman despite the backing of his politically well-connected Daddy and financing from his Daddy's rich friends, yet became the President of the United States.

intercst


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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165728 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 8:47 AM
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{{Most of our conservative friends ignore the importance of "employment connections" in one's success in life.}}


Did you read the post over on LBYM about the study recently published that said "...income differences explain just 5% of the wealth dispersion..."


The study was done by Steven Venti and David Wise.


Or is this study just crap? What is the Intercst take on this?



c

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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: 165734 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 9:24 AM
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cattleman22 writes,

{{Most of our conservative friends ignore the importance of "employment connections" in one's success in life.}}

Did you read the post over on LBYM about the study recently published that said "...income differences explain just 5% of the wealth dispersion..."

The study was done by Steven Venti and David Wise.

Or is this study just crap? What is the Intercst take on this?


Yes I did, but "income differences" aren't "connection differences".

intercst


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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165739 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 9:50 AM
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{{Yes I did, but "income differences" aren't "connection differences".}}


But what is the result of having better connections? Wouldn't it be a higher income? But if a higher income plays a relatively minor role in a person's wealth, why would having better connections have a large role?




c

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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: 165745 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 10:20 AM
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SeattlePioneer,

But I'd say it's time to help yourself

From one POV, she's very late in helping herself. She should have helped herself first ("first place the oxygen mask on yourself, then on your child"). But I understand where she is coming from.

Like donna, I grew up thinking that saving money is not good. If you have extra money, you would be a bad person to keep it for yourself. It should be given to those who have less - the church, or charitable causes.

It took me many years to decide to be selfish. Even today, I have a great ethical conflict, knowing that I have considerable luxuries - potable running water (hot and cold!), a secure living space, the finest medical care, high-tech running shoes, the list goes on - while people are dying for the lack of simple medicines that I can get from my corner drugstore.

Nevertheless, I rationalize my selfishness. If I can build up a chunk of money to live off of, when I die that chunk of money will go towards charities that will hopefully help people in such dire situations. So I hope my selfishness will be helpful to others in the end.

Rocannon

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165748 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 10:44 AM
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alstroemeria asks:
Why would you assume that people on low incomes are managing their money worse than others?

I'm not assuming that. I'm suggesting that the reason many "can't" save much is because they made choices that locked them into expenses without thinking about the future. If we make the assumption that the ability to save is important so that we don't become a burden on society toward the end of our lives, then smarter choices while young have a big impact. Young people often just do these things that make it harder to save without thinking about whether they will be able to save. They may not think kids are optional. They may not think postponing marriage could be a wise thing to do. They may not want to be seen driving an old car, living in a small house, wearing anything other than the latest fashions from the swankiest designers. They may focus on what status they can buy now instead of whether they will have a nest egg for later.

I think the oppposite is true: people on middle class incomes are more likely to manage poorly.

I don't know about more likely, but perhaps more poorly. They just have more to work with. But this isn't about low vs. middle income money management habits.

Let's ignore other income classes and go at this from a different angle by asking "What makes it so hard for low income people to save enough for retirement?" The obvious answer is that their expense/income ratio is too high. To the extent that expenses are decreaseable, there may be room for savings. To the extent that income is increaseable, there may be room for savings. Agreed?

Now lets look at that at another way. What personal charcteristics effect the expense vs. income ratio? The easy ones are intellect, choices and motivation. There are certainly others, but let's look at those.

Low intellect could also be called low cognitive ability. This certainly isn't limited to low-income people, but could be a factor in both the income and expense side of the ratio. If a person is unable to calculate the effects of his purchasing choices, he could easily have difficulty saving. If a person is unable to think his way into a higher income, then saving ability would suffer.

Let's assume a person has at least average intelligence, but makes choices that limit his ability to save. This could be a matter of low cognitive discipline. That means the person lacks the discipline to focus on the future impact of a choice. One example would be the choice to have unprotected sex. They could also lack the discipline to set goals and achieve them. For example, they could choose to marry and raise a family before securing an education that could expand options. These can both effect expenses and income and thus the ratio.

Let's assume that a person has both the ability to analyze the consequences of an action and the discipline to set goals and stick to the program. Now let's suppose that person simply lacks the motivation to save because they think "it will come from somewhere". This "faith" in the future is why some people don't save. It may be a faith in their ability to keep expenses low or it may be a faith in their ability to draw income from "somewhere". It's the second group that is dangerous to society. Not everyone can be Magic Johnson's mother. Pumping babies into society is not, in and of itself, adding value and doesn't merit a golden years entitlement to the pot at the end of the rainbow. In the past, people could rely on their children to support them. Now they rely on everybody else to support them.

I got my act together in my 30s.

Did your choices before then lock you into expenses or income that raised your expense/income ratio?

I'm a millionaire now largely becasue of the frugality I learned in my early adult years. If there's a lesson to be learned here it's live below your means, be patient, AND be lucky enough to have good employemnt connections. I think this last bit is what many low-income people are missing and is a major reason why they stay low-income.

You attribute your wealth to frugality and then to luck. A low income person might shrug his shoulders and say, "Well I don't have luck, so I might as well skip the frugality part and just become dependent on others when I'm old." You made your own luck. That's the best message you offer.

1HF


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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: 165755 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 11:24 AM
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cattleman22 asks,

{{Yes I did, but "income differences" aren't "connection differences".}}

But what is the result of having better connections? Wouldn't it be a higher income? But if a higher income plays a relatively minor role in a person's wealth, why would having better connections have a large role?


Perhaps, or your Daddy's connections might keep you out of jail during your long history of drug and alcohol abuse. It's a lot easier to earn money when you're not incarcerated.

intercst



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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165756 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 11:29 AM
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Like donna, I grew up thinking that saving money is not good. If you have extra money, you would be a bad person to keep it for yourself. It should be given to those who have less - the church, or charitable causes. -- Rocannon

This is something authoritarians (like the church) teach to create societal dependence. It makes populations much easier to influence and control. Becoming either self-sufficient or self-reliant is seen as selfish. In the eyes of those who benefit from a share and share-alike philosophy, it sets a bad example. Self-sufficiency equates to "you don't need me" and self-reliance equates to "I can't enslave you".

1HF




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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: 165759 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 11:36 AM
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It's a lot easier to earn money when you're not incarcerated.
- intercst


I doubt George Bush Jr. ever had to earn money. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He may not even know how a price scanner at a grocery store or Wal-Mart works. Yes, I'm jealous, I wish I was born rich, although I doubt I would have been a drunk or coke head. I think the taste of alcohol is disgusting. - Art


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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165761 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 11:43 AM
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{{This is something authoritarians (like the church) teach to create societal dependence.}}


This is why i believe Daschle wants to end programs that encourage wealth such IRA's and 401k's. I could not think of anything that would scare a democrat more than people becoming more self reliant. I guess an improving economy also scares them as well.



c

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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: 165777 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 12:51 PM
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Excellent post, 1HF. I, too, am particularly concerned about the "then a miracle occurs" mindset of many people. I see it in my own family, where it almost goes along with a "I have less than sibling X, so someone should give me some more to make it even". Entitlement within the family. These are usually people that have, as you say, make bad choices and/or have spent on frivolous items.

I do worry a bit about someone ending up really at the end of their rope. It would be very hard let them end up on the street when I could get them off.

arrete

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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: 165779 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 1:00 PM
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The link was working when I tried it, but the pdf files were 
encrypted and unreadable.  I found another link that had a chart
with numbers, and here they are (rounded slightly for convenience):

Total Savings and Investments(excluding home equity)

Percentages of Total Responses within Age Ranges

			All	25-34	35-44	45-54	55+

< 25K                   45	64	48	30	29
25K-50K		        11	17	11	9	5
50K-100K		9	7	10	9	10
100K-250K		10	2	9	19	13
$250K +		        8	3	7	10	13

DNK/Refused	        18	8	15	24	30

Source:  EBRI/ASEC 2004 Retirement Survey

Not a very pretty picture!
Only 13% of those 55+ have more than $250K.
Even including the Don't Know/Refused category in that
group would still only make it 43%--almost the same 
percentage (44%) as those who have less than $100K.

2old




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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: 165788 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 2:41 PM
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Excellent post, 1HF. I, too, am particularly concerned about the "then a miracle occurs" mindset of many people. - arrete

The problem is that if Telegraph's prediction about the demise of cheap oil is worst case scenario it could possibly be a big crash of the stock market, or WWIII fighting over the end of the oil, thus way laying all our best laid plans. Another words, those people who just lived like there's no tomorrow may be right. There may not be. There's a lot of "ifs" in this whole thing.

That's one reason I went ahead and quit working even though I probably really should try and re-earn what I lost after March 2000. I figure best case I'm ok, and worst case it won't matter anyway.

Those crazy nut case Islamic Terrorists could mess up everybody's life if they manage to get their hands on a nuclear bomb. - Art

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165794 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 3:14 PM
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arrete offers:
I, too, am particularly concerned about the "then a miracle occurs" mindset of many people. I see it in my own family, where it almost goes along with a "I have less than sibling X, so someone should give me some more to make it even". Entitlement within the family. These are usually people that have, as you say, make bad choices and/or have spent on frivolous items.

Their is some internal jealousy among my siblings, mostly directed at my brother 1GoldenBoy. It has eased up over the years as each has found his niche. There was some jealousy about my ER, but they found solace in the fact that I had never experienced "the joys of parenting" and thus didn't really live a fulfilling life. <g> Woids cannot expwess how ok I am wit dat.

I do worry a bit about someone ending up really at the end of their rope. It would be very hard let them end up on the street when I could get them off. -- arrete

In my immediate family, we would probably let them end up on the street and then take them in. We tend to let each other make their own mistakes and hope they learn from them. Too much generosity interferes with that education. If one of my siblings became dependent on the others, that dependency would have a price that would provide incentive to get back out or at the very least, to be a very good guest (or else get their a$$ whupped for being a leach). When it isn't a matter of mistakes, but some tragic circumstances beyond someone's control, we have been very cohesive.

1HF


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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: 165802 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 3:55 PM
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arrete:
I do worry a bit about someone ending up really at the end of their rope. It would be very hard let them end up on the street when I could get them off.


This is a valid concern! I have a SIL that meets this bill and will soon be "at the end of her rope" because of bad life decisions. I wonder when you stop helping them though. We finally stopped because all the time & money we gave her was like pouring it into a bottomless pit. She never learned and still does not. Last I heard, her home was being used on a daily basis for drug transactions, teen sex and who knows what else. Her oldest son, which is the only good thing that has ever come out of her life (only because she did not raise him), has turned her into the police but being the savvy crook that she is, has so far been able to duck and dodge prosecution.

As Michael Jay Fox used to say about his sister on the TV sitcom "Family Ties", "she is destined to be taken care of by the state"!

decath

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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: 165860 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/27/2004 10:42 PM
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Total Savings and Investments(excluding home equity)


How are people at age 55+ going to live on $25,000? That's 30% of the respondents! I'm really shocked.

I have the $100,000 tied up, some of it in cash but the rest of my estate is in my home and in rentals. I feel safe - not rich, but safe and very fortunate that I set myself up well enough - considering I was a single parent and a secretary in my adult life.

MizL

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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: 165882 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/28/2004 12:11 AM
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How are people at age 55+ going to live on $25,000? That's 30% of the respondents! I'm really shocked. - MizL

Telegraph says a lot of retirees in Florida live on $25,000/year. One could easily live where I live on $25,000/year. Not fancy, but you'd have food, a warm bed, and transportation. You could easily get by here in East TN on $25,000/year. - Art

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Author: sydsydsyd Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165903 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/28/2004 10:22 AM
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Telegraph says a lot of retirees in Florida live on $25,000/year. One could easily live where I live on $25,000/year. Not fancy, but you'd have food, a warm bed, and transportation. You could easily get by here in East TN on $25,000/year.

True enough -- hell, I got by for years in L.A. (granted, with a housemate to split expenses and a job to pay for health insurance) on about $25k/year and saved the rest.

However, the poster was referring to the table at:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20692458

The $25k figure refers to TOTAL savings (excluding housing equity). Anyyone who is 55+ with that little saved will either be working for the rest of his life or will be at the mercy of social security for retirement.

I suppose that there are people in this world with hundreds of thousands of dollars in housing equity, but less than $25k in more conventional investment vehicles. (There are probably some people in this position in southern California right now.) I don't know if I could sleep at night if I were in that position.

sydsydsyd

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Author: lowstudent 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: 165906 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/28/2004 10:56 AM
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"I suppose that there are people in this world with hundreds of thousands of dollars in housing equity, but less than $25k in more conventional investment vehicles. (There are probably some people in this position in southern California right now.) I don't know if I could sleep at night if I were in that position."

I live in New York City's suburbs. I have many friends with negative conventional savings situations and hundreds of thousands in home equity. They sleep fine, It really isn't that bad a situation, you merely have to be trusting your job, or your ability to find new employment. No matter how you look at it you have access to hundreds of thousands, if a lifestyle change is required.

In many regions you must really stretch your finances to buy a home, but that stretch has major long term benefits even with years of tight finances. Fifteen years after living in a cash crunch for a few years, my house is far more valuable, my payments are less than(or equal to) what rent would now be. My saving are of greater value than the home. The earlier stretch payed off handsomely.

Every situation has to be examined, we had two incomes, so could take a little more risk. But the situation you outline is pretty common, and I think there are some good reasons to go there and that it can be a good long term path,as a part of a plan.



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Author: LEOLOneeds2Bfire Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 165959 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/28/2004 7:45 PM
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Telegraph says a lot of retirees in Florida live on $25,000/year. One could easily live where I live on $25,000/year. Not fancy, but you'd have food, a warm bed, and transportation. You could easily get by here in East TN on $25,000/year. – Art


With my condo paid off I plan to live on $22-24K a year living in high cost San Francisco.


Leolo

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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: 166183 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 9:48 AM
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In my immediate family, we would probably let them end up on the street and then take them in. We tend to let each other make their own mistakes and hope they learn from them. Too much generosity interferes with that education.

We just packed one of my siblings off to Arizona. Altho she got $250K from the sale of her condo, after paying off mortgage, home equity loan, 401K loan and CC debt, she was left with $120K. She bought a house in AZ for $116K. She only has $30K in her 401K, so she intends to live on only SS and possibly earnings from a part-time job. Judging from the CC debt and loans when she was earning over $50K/yr, it's beyond me how she's going to live on so much less. I will be really torn when (not if) she gets into an untenable situation. Helping her pack, I couldn't help but notice that she had more clothes then I've seen anywhere outside of a department store--some of them still with price tags on. The boxes of XMas decorations alone would fill a small room (or attic). At least 30 pairs of shoes and more than 20 handbags. This is far more 'stuff' than I have. I've been trying to do catch-up on my retirement savings, so I've been pretty careful about how I spend money for the last 10 years. I'm hoping that one (or all) of her 4 children will be there for her, but with families of their own, they don't appear to be very sympathetic. It will definitely be a quandary...

2old


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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: 166184 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 9:56 AM
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One could easily live where I live on $25,000/year

But 25K/year would require receiving maximum SS benefits (approx. 23K/year), plus having about $40K in savings (at a 4% withdrawal rate). 29% in the survey had less than $25K in total savings, and most of them probably won't be receiving maximum SS benefits. I think that's what MizL was referring to...

2old


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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 166206 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 11:48 AM
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I'm hoping that one (or all) of her 4 children will be there for her, but with families of their own, they don't appear to be very sympathetic. It will definitely be a quandary... -- 2old

It seems heartless sometimes to force people to face reality towards the end of their lives, but they had a lifetime to do it voluntarily. I think we're in a crossover period where people still have expectations that their kids owe them a lifetime of servitude. When people learn that I have no kids, some still ask "But who will take care of you when you're old?" I sometimes reply, "The worms."<g>

1HF


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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: 166227 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 2:34 PM
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When people learn that I have no kids, some still ask "But who will take care of you when you're old?" I sometimes reply, "The worms."<g>

Perhaps we childless people are not as bad off as some think--not having a 'crutch' might force realism to the forefront.

Those worms are just going to have to wait until I'm through! (and maybe my sister also)

2old



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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: 166235 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 3:10 PM
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Perhaps we childless people are not as bad off as some think--not having a 'crutch' might force realism to the forefront.

Those worms are just going to have to wait until I'm through! (and maybe my sister also) - 2old


With the coming of Peak Oil the following scripture will make a lot of sense. I'm so glad that my wife and I didn't have kids and leave them a tremendously overpopulated world with no alternatives sources of cheap energy. - Art

Luke 23:29
29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!'

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Author: Evelynk Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 166237 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 3:13 PM
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With the coming of Peak Oil the following scripture will make a lot of sense. I'm so glad that my wife and I didn't have kids and leave them a tremendously overpopulated world with no alternatives sources of cheap energy. - Art

You know I kind of feel the same way. I like kids and I wouldn't mind having one, but I always think about this and it deters me. I suppose I could adopt, but it sounds like such a hassle and with a lot of uncertainty. I dunno.

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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: 166242 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 4:00 PM
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I suppose I could adopt, but it sounds like such a hassle and with a lot of uncertainty. I dunno. - Evelynk

I'm too much of a cheapskate to adopt. I never liked working and never really had a job I loved. My wife doesn't have a domestic bone in her body. I do most of the cooking, cleaning, outdoor work, etc. If we'd had kids I would have been "Mr. Mom."

I figure I would have been a bad example to most kids. The only thing I would have been really good at is feeding kids. I'm a great cook and I love it, but having kids is more than feeding them. When you have kids you have to be unselfish with your time as well as your money. You have to be willing to give of your time. I also can't stand rock n' roll. Having to listen to that would have driven me crazy. - Art

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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: 166250 of 756811
Subject: Re: Retirement Confidence Survey Date: 4/30/2004 4:34 PM
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I also can't stand rock n' roll. Having to listen to that would have driven me crazy. - Art

Heh, heh™ My mother always said it was a Communist plot to give her a headache.

Her: "Turn that crap down, you're going to go deaf!"

Me: "Uh?"

tngirl


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