Monday, May 22, 2006

Can you afford to retire?

A number of people have sent this in:

Few Americans will be able to retire unless they learn to save and invest. Few have that skill and the investment industry is full of people who will sell investors junk that has a high fee to the sales person.
Retirement for Americans is under attack throughout the country and LANS offers the typical inadequate retirement plan.
The outsourcing of LANL was about cutting benefits for employees as has happened in companies all over the US. A sad state of affairs, for a country that once took pride in its large, comfortable middle class.
As I have said before, we are being taken back to 1929; however no one really cares and it surely will never return to the way it is today. Corporate America has learned that there are plenty of warm bodies in the work force that will live three families under a single roof and work for 1/3 what they are currently paying their workers today,so why not take advantage of the situation?

In my opinion I would anticipate that over the next ten years as the baby boomers begin to lose their financial security, dreams and expectations of what life was to bring we'll see an increase in suicides, murders, and depression; probably greater then we saw in 1929. So, as you can see population control will not be an issue and the drain on the social programs will be minimized. Don't worry, it's all good.
I saw the Frontline report, twice. I have a different view than the previous posters.

To me, retirement is feasible and possible, especially for LANL/LANS folk. All it takes is the amount of planning that most of us would put into a few good backpacking trips.

I agree with Eric that it is feasible and plausible. However, it involves saving a lot more than in the past. This implies that our spendable income is significantly reduced during our working years.
Maybe for us, but not for your children.
Our children can come out fine as well. They just have to use a well thought out strategy. And start early.

I have started to counsel my own children and their friends. The game is playable if you pay attention to the new rules.
I agree with what is said towards the end of the fourth segment. To paraphrase it she sums it up by saying that retirement plans are over in America and that we have gone from a nation of those who think they are going to retire to a nation that will work until you are dead, dependent on a social program known as social security that could fold at any time. I see this as simply getting back to the basics where one must have a home paid in full, a paid off used car, a small piece of land to plant a garden, some chickens or eatable live stock. Then you need only to pay your taxes on the property so that you don't find your butt in the street with no place to go. I can't say this would be all that bad, considering how our expectations in life far outweigh our yearly income and understanding that most people in America live far beyond their means. Maybe a good jolt to the system will get things back in prospective.
I think that Eric has it about right. If future generations start
saving for their retirement while still in their 20's, they should do
fine in their old age. The game has changed, but it is still possible
to play the game and come out a winner. However, you must teach your
children the powerful advantages of using both time and investment
diversity. Using these two basic tools, almost anyone can become a
"financial genius".

Kids are also great observers of their parents. If you constantly
live beyond your means and pile up a mountain of debt, your kids will
likely follow your example. Live a life of thrift, but learn to enjoy
the numerous little luxuries that are all around you. And remember --
driving an old, used car is like a badge of honor. Wear it proudly.
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