4 Replies Latest reply on May 1, 2012 9:48 AM by JRR


      New York Times economics columnist Joe Nocera did a very tghoughtful piece on 401-K plans - here it is -
      My personal feeling on good use for retiremenmt savings -
      After nearly 40 years of work life, I want to ENJOY what I saved - 
      I did not save to shell down $5,000 a day for a hospital - nor $500 a day for a nursing home -
      our health care system is run by thieves in white coats -
      I will blow my money on seeing the world and travelling business class - 
        • Re: 401K
          ...and should you stay healthy, I'm sure you will enjoy yourself immensely.
          However, I believe the point of Joe Nocera's article was that he is NOT prepared for retirement. His losses have been sizable and devastating. He has to hope (and this is what he refers to as 'faith-based'; it has nothing to do with religion) that he will be able to continue earning a living as a writer, because there's little else he can do.
          SmartMoney's website has an excellent article titled "Nearly Half of Boomers Fully Retired By 65" by Glenn Ruffenach. The stats quoted show that almost 1 in 5 older Boomers was forced to retire due to health reasons. 6% took involuntary retirement (I'm one of those) because they couldn't find work.
          Only 6% were able to say "they could afford to retire; they had enough money."
          I don't believe in assuming that nothing will go wrong and I can go through life without numerous 'bumps'. Sometimes one is lucky and nothing bad happens....but I know too many Boomer friends/family for whom such 'faith-based' hoping, instead of firm financial planning, didn't work.
          I believe in financial planning, which is neither investing nor budgeting. I believe in analyzing risks and mitigating them whenever cost-effective. I believe I'd rather assume that something will probably go wrong somewhere down the line, and it's best to figure out a strategy beforehand rather than scrambling to make last-minute adjustments.
            • Re: 401K
              Thanks, jkom51; I suppose "enough money" is relative - conceptually "enough' may be a little outside the mainstream of American thinking, since the entire economic system is built on people wanting "more".  If we let fear of the unforseed (and money-driven American medicine) dictate our financial planning, no amount will be enough... 
                • Re: 401K
                  I agree with jcom on the financial planning need. It seems like the "fear" you mention is more like paranoia instead of a rational amount of preparation.
                  I too was "retired" due to disgust and effort required to replace jobs every year or two after release from a close to 15 year stint at an excellent job. Sure changed my attitude a bit when I realized that you cannot count on anybody but me to take care of me and my family.
                    • Re: 401K

                      Want is the root of all misery! Content man is King!  My wife and I figured we can live just fine on my Social Security and a small pension, if we don't have a mortgage, and spend our nestegg  globetrotting - so we will trade our suburban  Washington home for a place that will cost one third the value of our home, near Palm Beach or Tampa, and spend our freetime growing our own fruit and vegetables.  I suppose our thinking is based on our relatively good health - if our health care were to claim  a bigger chunk of our income, we would probably think differently - but I would rather live well while I can and thenseek a hasty exit than enrich the thieves that run our health care!