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Gregmal
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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-couple-retired-2-years-ago-on-about-27-000-a-year-heres-how-its-going-11633706641?siteid=yhoof2

 

Came across this and looked into it and its actually a reasonably well followed retirement story that is not some typical "how to retire" clickbait story....are people this pathetic or is this just some kind of joke?

 

$27k a year to live on? Dont want to work more than 10 hours a week but then decided they didnt even want to do that? Steve made $350 in a YEAR selling garbage as art? Joan is getting a $45 royalty? An extra $630 writing? They got their pandemic checks even though they weren't effected by anything...they avoid Cleveland Clinic because their medical bills went up $300 in a calendar year even though the husband requires more medical attention? Over the years they've been able to "chip away" at their $4,000! debt...including "writing a letter to the CEO of Capital One"! LOL. And yet, despite basically refusing to work they're at times going to the Salvation Army for help? WTF is wrong with people? And oh yea, what good is retirement if you cant "splurge" on a $5 a month museum membership? 

 

 

Edited by Gregmal
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this is what retirement looks like for vast majority of americans who basically have no/little savings. in fact at a certain low level of savings, it's probably rational to get rid of all assets and become a ward of the state.

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The FIRE movement for most is essentially being miserable for half your life so you can continue to be miserable the other half of your life; and then brag to everyone online that you're retired.

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3 minutes ago, JRM said:

The FIRE movement for most is essentially being miserable for half your life so you can continue to be miserable the other half of your life; and then brag to everyone online that you're retired.

 

This isn't FIRE, this is geriatric poverty/not saving for one's whole life; this is what will happen to every american who has $0-a few hundred k or whatever in their retirement accounts in their 60's, no home equity, etc.

 

Quote

The aim for the couple, both 67 at the time, was to retire, slash their spending and live off an income of less than $30,000.

 

Edited by thepupil
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3 minutes ago, thepupil said:

this is what retirement looks like for vast majority of americans who basically have no/little savings. in fact at a certain low level of savings, it's probably rational to get rid of all assets and become a ward of the state.

 

Variation on this ....  In Canada, most people are entitled to a Canada/Quebec Pension Plan - payable anywhere in the world, at any time. The pension could be +/- 30% of the Age 65 amount, depending upon when the person choses to retire, and is in addition to subsidized health care if in the country for > 6 months/yr. Standard 'snowbird' stuff.

 

Except ... keep going south, and fly on to the Carribean, South America, Africa, India, etc. The CAD pension goes a lot further in the weaker currency, local costs are materially lower than they would be in Florida, and its Summer when its Winter in Canada. Rent vs buy, visit with the relatives, pick a different place every year. Retirement looks pretty good!

 

The shorter version is the 2-3 week cruise, with 1-2 month stopovers along the way. Use the cruise ship as a water taxi, where practical share your villa rental costs with others. Obviously not for everyone, and applicable only to the 'go-go' years of retirement.

 

SD

 

 

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Its more telling though the look through composition of these people. Soooo self consumed....thinking theyre important enough to personally write the CEO of Capital One...demanding their interest and late fees be cut. Planning on working 10 hours but then deciding that it "just wasnt for them"...but then shameless taking from organizations designs to help those in bad spots. The extra $800 a month made a HUGE difference for them, but they have no interest in real jobs...

 

Its crazy too because it could all work for them, on their budgets, to an even greater degree....If they just went out and got semi skilled part time jobs making $25-40k a year with benefits. In todays labor market, you dont even have to try to get a job that can provide that. And yet, by choice, they do.... this? Live like vagrants?

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median retirement savings is only $172K in 60's, even at super aggressive 6% withdrawal rate (basically depleting/annuitizing the corpus), life only looks about $10K / year better than these folks for >50% of Americans.

 

clearly many people do it and live off $25-$35K/year, but that doesn't mean it's pretty! these folks are pretty rent burdened at 40% of gross. 

 

https://www.synchronybank.com/blog/median-retirement-savings-by-age/

Edited by thepupil
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16 minutes ago, thepupil said:

median retirement savings is only $172K in 60's, even at super aggressive 6% withdrawal rate (basically depleting/annuitizing the corpus), life only looks about $10K / year better than these folks for >50% of Americans.

 

clearly many people do it and live off $25-$35K/year, but that doesn't mean it's pretty! these folks are pretty rent burdened at 40% of gross. 

 

https://www.synchronybank.com/blog/median-retirement-savings-by-age/

I can sympathize with folks who have a couple hundred thousand in retirement funds in their 60s...it shows an effort and if you're not white collar its hard to get much more than that. But theres no excuse for not owning a home over the past 5 decades. Housing has spent exactly what? 5-10 years during that stretch as arguably unaffordable? Stop. fucking. renting. Now its getting past the point of no return which will just make it worse for folks as far as housing goes. 

 

But back to these people. Not only do they have 0! but they are talking about $4000 in debt as this huge thing. "Chipping away" at it? How do you chip away at $4000 lol? Isnt that like just something you pay in a month or two? Or roll into a no interest promo balance transfer? Part of me feels bad for folks, part of me doesnt understand at all, and part of me is thankful because if the majority of people weren't so dumb it would be harder to do well in life and certainly make things much more expensive. 

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2 minutes ago, Gregmal said:

I can sympathize with folks who have a couple hundred thousand in retirement funds in their 60s...it shows an effort and if you're not white collar its hard to get much more than that. But theres no excuse for not owning a home over the past 5 decades. Housing has spent exactly what? 5-10 years during that stretch as arguably unaffordable? Stop. fucking. renting. Now its getting past the point of no return which will just make it worse for folks as far as housing goes. 

 

But back to these people. Not only do they have 0! but they are talking about $4000 in debt as this huge thing. "Chipping away" at it? How do you chip away at $4000 lol? Isnt that like just something you pay in a month or two? Or roll into a no interest promo balance transfer? Part of me feels bad for folks, part of me doesnt understand at all, and part of me is thankful because if the majority of people weren't so dumb it would be harder to do well in life and certainly make things much more expensive. 

 

Maybe I am too sympathetic but compared to what comes easy for some of us after years of honing our financial literacy skills, the mental capacity of some of these folks are simply not built the same way; not entirely their moral fault.


some people still gotta rely on banks to calculate for them the mortgage payment amounts, let alone estimate living expense cost of retirement.

 

I blame the public schooling system which does not put emphasis on financial literacy.

 

Maybe its all a big conspiracy. Capitalists need blind ignorant working class to churn the machines and/or contribute to asset bubbles with their residual earnings.

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yep, and the general populace is okay at accumulating a little home equity w/ 74% of retiress and i think like 65% of americans owning their homes. 

 

basically these people lived paycheck to paycheck their whole working lives, never accumulated equity, or had some form of disaster that wrecked their prior accumulations (most commonly medical, which I sympathize with, our system is pretty terrible). 

 

it's likely these people didn't make the best choices in life, but there also could have been extenuating circumstances.

 

they don't seem entirely unhappy 🤷‍♂️

 

https://www.newretirement.com/retirement/average-household-savings-home-equity-and-other-balances/

 

Quote

Home: 74% of American Retirees Own Their Home

 

And, home equity accounts for a significant portion of household wealth — growing significantly as people age.

According to Census Bureau data, households aged:

  • 45-54 have $70,860 in home equity totaling 64% of their net worth
  • 55-64 have $103,400 in home equity totaling 61% of their net worth
  • 65-69 have $136,670 in home equity totaling 61% of their net worth
  • 70-74 have $153,300 in home equity totaling 72% of their net worth
  • 75 and older have $149,860 in home equity totaling 75% of their net worth

Home equity can be a critical component of a retirement plan.  This money can be tapped by retirees in a wide variety of effective ways, most commonly through: downsizing or securing a reverse mortgages.

Model these strategies for using your home equity in your NewRetirement Plan and see the impact on your cash flow, ability to achieve your desired retirement lifestyle and net worth.

 

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I have surveyed the FIRE community, and while it doesn't really fit my lifestyle, I certainly wouldn't characterize them as a miserable lot. Many people have huge amounts of fat to trim in their budgets - spending that provides little incremental benefits or even causes a burden when you accumulate a bunch of useless junk that clutters your house. Removing those layers of spending and working toward financial independence should make you happier, not miserable. Although that's mostly just for the people who were high income to begin with, as it's a lot easier to try to save half of a 300k income than half of a 30k income.

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Many people really just dont want to work very hard these days, so they try to live as cheap as possible.  I don't really know why, but I am guessing many of them grew up watching their parents work really hard, get divorced, and not be very happy in general.  They figure why not try something else.

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Few years a guy complaining to a friend of mine said...

 

“Goddammit, I just turned 65 and went down to file for my CPP (Canada’s federally run contributory pension plan) and they turned me down!! You rich guys get to collect and us little guys get shafted once again!! Goddammed gommerment!”

My friend explained...
“Listen, you never paid a single cent into CPP. You spent your whole life taking cash payments under the table. You did everything you could to avoid paying taxes. In fact it was only last week that you were laughing and bragging that you hardly paid any taxes during your whole life. That’s why you can’t collect CPP.”

“Yeah, well it still ain’t fair!”

And that unfortunately is the way a lot of people think.

 

Another true story...

 

Years ago Revenue Canada was doing an audit of fishermen in a certain part of our Province where it was a well known fact that the fishermen were dividing up payments for their catch and on paper they were spreading the payments among the family members including children to reduce taxes and ensure everyone in the family would all get unemployment payments.

So this lady phones into the local talk show complaining about their community being singled out for this and how it badly reflected on people in the area. Said it was disgusting. And finished up the tirade by saying...
“We make an honest living up here and I will have you know that, just like everyone else in the community, every single person in our family works their full 14 weeks every single year!”
Fourteen being the minimum needed to collect unemployment payments. Meanwhile the rest of us were paying for her family's other 38 weeks.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Minseok said:

 

Maybe I am too sympathetic but compared to what comes easy for some of us after years of honing our financial literacy skills, the mental capacity of some of these folks are simply not built the same way; not entirely their moral fault.


some people still gotta rely on banks to calculate for them the mortgage payment amounts, let alone estimate living expense cost of retirement.

 

I blame the public schooling system which does not put emphasis on financial literacy.

 

Maybe its all a big conspiracy. Capitalists need blind ignorant working class to churn the machines and/or contribute to asset bubbles with their residual earnings.

 

1 in 10 people have an IQ below 83. 

 

The poverty rate in the US is 11.4% of the population. 

 

Schooling has something to do with it, but there is also an entire other degree to this. 

 

The United States Military has an IQ threshold of 83. They have studied this extensively for decades and come to the conclusion that there is absolutely NO job in the military that can be done by these individuals which provides any semblance of productivity or value. It has also been shown that NO amount of training, funds, or time can help people below this threshold learn a skill etc. This has been well documented by clinical psychologists. This is a problem that nobody knows how to solve and everything that has been tried does not work *(funding, trainings programs, government jobs programs, welfare, etc.). 

 

 

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@cwericbyea its hard to sympathize in some of these cases. Brings out the anti-socialist in us.


People just need to admit working for money does have its merits.

 

@Castanza it is a big problem for society. I heard this argument first from Jordan Peterson. I dont know, we probably need these socialist measures to keep them low.

 

If only we had a pill for treating this IQ condition

 

Edited by Minseok
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I find it impossible to empathize with such people (and I know people like this personally).  I've been working more than 10hours per week since I've been about 12 and I had a paper route before that.   I could retire now, but will probably work for the next 15 years at least.  Saying poor me I've saved nothing my entire life and working 10 hours per week isn't for me is just unimaginable to me.   Some people simply deserve the situation they've created for themselves.  I'd much rather help someone who has tried and had some bad luck then help people like this.   They are worse than useless to themselves and everyone else.

 

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It's just a different 'value' system, measured against different metrics.

In their minds they are being entirely rational.

 

Many years ago I had a great conversation with a kindred spirit who occassionaly smuggled liquor from St Pierre and Miquuelon, something of a sport on that part of the coast. He was truly gifted at it, often earning as much in 1-2 trips as he might otherwise have earned in an entire fishing season, but lived very modestly along with his Mrs and their family dog. He explained that he was in it 'for the challenge', and was so disappointed by the ineptutude of the coast guard officials, that he just gave it up!

 

Fortunately, he agreed to have a nephew 'crew' on his boat one season, with a stop or two at St Pierre. The nephew gets sick as a dog on small boats, but suudenly came back with 1/2 the downpayment on a small house.  I know, 'cause I staked him the other half!

 

SD

 

 

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1 hour ago, SharperDingaan said:

It's just a different 'value' system, measured against different metrics.

In their minds they are being entirely rational.

 

Many years ago I had a great conversation with a kindred spirit who occassionaly smuggled liquor from St Pierre and Miquuelon, something of a sport on that part of the coast. He was truly gifted at it, often earning as much in 1-2 trips as he might otherwise have earned in an entire fishing season, but lived very modestly along with his Mrs and their family dog. He explained that he was in it 'for the challenge', and was so disappointed by the ineptutude of the coast guard officials, that he just gave it up!

 

Fortunately, he agreed to have a nephew 'crew' on his boat one season, with a stop or two at St Pierre. The nephew gets sick as a dog on small boats, but suudenly came back with 1/2 the downpayment on a small house.  I know, 'cause I staked him the other half!

 

SD

 

 

I learned something today. St Pierre and Miquuelon is still a French Island! That's why smuggling liquor makes sense. I guess it's mostly VAT arbitrage or do they have special liquor taxes there? Liquor isn't really outrageously expensive in mainland France.

 

Sorry for the OT post.

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5 hours ago, SharperDingaan said:

It's just a different 'value' system, measured against different metrics.

In their minds they are being entirely rational.

 

Many years ago I had a great conversation with a kindred spirit who occassionaly smuggled liquor from St Pierre and Miquuelon, something of a sport on that part of the coast. He was truly gifted at it, often earning as much in 1-2 trips as he might otherwise have earned in an entire fishing season, but lived very modestly along with his Mrs and their family dog. He explained that he was in it 'for the challenge', and was so disappointed by the ineptutude of the coast guard officials, that he just gave it up!

 

Fortunately, he agreed to have a nephew 'crew' on his boat one season, with a stop or two at St Pierre. The nephew gets sick as a dog on small boats, but suudenly came back with 1/2 the downpayment on a small house.  I know, 'cause I staked him the other half!

 

SD

 

 

Haha. Rum runnin has long been a Maritime tradition.

 

Friend of mine's grandfather was a very well known rum runner back during prohibition. He built a very successful roadhouse out in the back woods that straddled the Maine/New Brunswick border. They always kept a spotter outside and when the U.S. officials made a raid, they would shift the booze to the Canadian side. When the Mounties raided they would shift the booze to the US side. Don't know if the two countries ever coordinated their efforts, but I do know for a fact that the family still has a lot of that money made back nearly 100 years ago.

 

 

Edited by cwericb
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7 minutes ago, Spekulatius said:

I learned something today. St Pierre and Miquuelon is still a French Island! That's why smuggling liquor makes sense. I guess it's mostly VAT arbitrage or do they have special liquor taxes there? Liquor isn't really outrageously expensive in mainland France.

 

Sorry for the OT post.

 

More along the lines of something additional being sent to a bonded warehouse on SP, and being released at a discount price re 'incorrect' labelling; subject to later receipt of replacement 'correct' labels. The old labels wash off in SP, the bottles do some travelling, and reappear with new labels in a povincial bonded warehouse. Needless to say, the Mrs is very good with paperwork :classic_wink:

 

SD 

 

 

   

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18 hours ago, JRM said:

The FIRE movement for most is essentially being miserable for half your life so you can continue to be miserable the other half of your life; and then brag to everyone online that you're retired.

 

not sure if you were the person that tweeted that or just parroting the tweet, but to me it comes down to happiness. If you are happy spending $20k/$30k/$XXk a year and the lifestyle that entails then why not? Sure, there's those bloggers that go to preach the FIRE gospel as some type of side hustle, but there's also those that are bitter that they just can't pull the trigger and escape the rat race.

 

To each his own. 

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3 hours ago, Gamecock-YT said:

 

not sure if you were the person that tweeted that or just parroting the tweet, but to me it comes down to happiness. If you are happy spending $20k/$30k/$XXk a year and the lifestyle that entails then why not? Sure, there's those bloggers that go to preach the FIRE gospel as some type of side hustle, but there's also those that are bitter that they just can't pull the trigger and escape the rat race.

 

To each his own. 

 

It wasn't my tweet, I heard that a while back from a friend.  I'm all for people minimizing material possessions, maximizing experiences, learning new skills, and living a more fulfilling life.  The only articles you see online are like "30 year old couple retires early", and then you find out they both made $150k for ten years and lived in a van and had no kids and invested 100% in an S&P index fund.  Those stories make my head hurt. 

 

The article posted originally made me think of hardcore FIRE devotees, for some reason.  I guess retiring at 60 with no savings is by definition retiring early; not based on age but based on savings life (they have the retirement savings of a couple in their 20's).

Edited by JRM
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21 hours ago, Spekulatius said:

I learned something today. St Pierre and Miquuelon is still a French Island! That's why smuggling liquor makes sense. I guess it's mostly VAT arbitrage or do they have special liquor taxes there? Liquor isn't really outrageously expensive in mainland France.

 

Sorry for the OT post.

 

I learned that too recently, watching an episode of "Republic of Doyle."

Edited by boilermaker75
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