Our Ridiculous Approach to Retirement​ — Written 07/23/12

For Your Entertainment (FYE)  ;+)

 

…..and this is valid worldwide!…….NO Kidding, Old Folks!!……;+)

 

“To maintain living standards into old age, in the USA, we need roughly 20 times our annual income in financial wealth. If you earn $100,000 at retirement, you need about $2 million beyond what you will receive from Social Security. If you have an income-producing partner and a paid-off house, you need less. This number is startling in light of the stone-cold fact that most people aged 50 to 64 have nothing or next to nothing in retirement accounts and thus will rely solely on Social Security.

 

Even for those who know their “number” and are prepared for retirement (it happens, rarely), these conversations aren’t easy. At dinner one night, a friend told me how much he has in retirement assets and said he didn’t think he had saved enough. I mentally calculated his mortality, figured he would die sooner than he predicted, and told him cheerfully that he shouldn’t worry. (“Congratulations!”) But dying early is not the basis of a retirement plan.”

 

 

 

“If we manage to accept that our investments will likely not be enough, we usually enter another fantasy world — that of working longer. After all, people hear that 70 is the new 50, and a recent report from Boston College says that if people work until age 70, they will most likely have enough to retire on. Unfortunately, this ignores the reality that unemployment rates for those over 50 are increasing faster than for any other group and that displaced older workers face a higher risk of long-term unemployment than their younger counterparts. If those workers ever do get re-hired, it’s not without taking at least a 25 percent wage cut.”

 

“Like the nation’s wealth gap, the longevity gap has also widened. The chance to work into one’s 70s primarily belongs to the most well off. Medical technology has helped extend life, by helping older people survive longer with illnesses and by helping others stay active. The gains in longevity in the last two decades almost all went to people earning more than average. It makes perfect sense for human beings to think each of us is special and can work forever. To admit you can’t, or might not be able to, is hard, and denial and magical thinking are underrated human coping devices in response to helplessness and fear.”

 

“Not yet convinced that failure is baked into the voluntary, self-directed, commercially run retirement plans system? Consider what would have to happen for it to work for you. First, figure out when you and your spouse will be laid off or be too sick to work. Second, figure out when you will die. Third, understand that you need to save 7 percent of every dollar you earn. (Didn’t start doing that when you were 25 and you are 55 now? Just save 30 percent of every dollar.) Fourth, earn at least 3 percent above inflation on your investments, every year. (Easy. Just find the best funds for the lowest price and have them optimally allocated.) Fifth, do not withdraw any funds when you lose your job, have a health problem, get divorced, buy a house or send a kid to college. Sixth, time your retirement account withdrawals so the last cent is spent the day you die.”

 

“As we all know, these abilities are not common for our species. The current model for retirement savings, which forces individuals to figure out a plan for their retirement years, whether through a “guy” or by individual decision making, will always fall short.”

 

” Can we afford to be in our own country, anymore, at retirement?…..or are we condemned to replicate the “Errant Wandering Jew” destiny and live a nomadic life of annual moves and cost of living adjustments until death?………”

 

“The Wandering Jew is a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the 13th century. The original legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. The exact nature of the wanderer’s indiscretion varies in different versions of the tale, as do aspects of his character; sometimes he is said to be a shoemaker or other tradesman, while sometimes he is the doorman at Pontius Pilate’s estate.”

 

 

Resources

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/opinion/sunday/our-ridiculous-approach-to-retirement.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/retirement_calculator/

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/social_security_us/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier

http://crr.bc.edu/briefs/national-retirement-risk-index-how-much-longer-do-we-need-to-work/

http://teresaghilarducci.org/

http://americanexpatchiangmai.com/how-much-money-do-you-really-need-to-live-comfortably-in-chiang-mai/

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp

http://www.expatistan.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_living

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wandering_Jew

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s