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At least in the US, unless you were fortunate enough to inherit a ton of money or managed to save a lot via a successful business, there is no real expectation of retirement. The idea is to continue working into your 60s and 70s, perhaps fewer hours a week. Otherwise your standard of living will certainly fall.
Well, if you work from 23 to 60, that's 37 years of employment. If you can save 1/3 of your income, that should cover 19 years (assuming 0 growth), and around 25 years (assuming 10-15% growth). But in reality very few people can save that much. Especially as budgeting is not a skill people have these days. Families with 100K household income drive luxury cars (they also lease instead of buying used), people wear designer clothing (3x the cost of normal clothes), spend a ton on eating out, upgrading phones/gadgets every 2 years, etc. There was a study recently that said 50% of Americans have less than 10K saved up.
Perhaps it's all true. Studies find what they want to find - but I don know that a lot of employees where I work make comparatively low pay and yet will buy $200 boots because they'll be in style for a few months.
But, it's there own fault. In the grand scheme, unless they hope and plan to die young, they're living far beyond their means.
So I had small cars, bought mostly used and kept until they weren't worth fixing. If any of my neighbors thought I should be more stylish they could buy me something better. Ordering lunch every day at work, instead of bringing it? That's thousands of dollars/year. Upgrading phones? WTF for? And spend a kilobuck on it - well, it's like this - I won't shed a tear for someone who's spent it all on short term goals. I can quit working whenever I want. Can travel, buy things, and not skip a beat. Not because my pay was high (it never was) but because I learned how to live with what I had and have enough of it saved to keep doing just that.
With a little luck, Social Security will tide them through. Or, maybe it's time for payback in a biblical style: after the fat years come the lean years, and the fat years were forgotten as a consequence of the lean years.
What? You work like a bee and live like a rat? All those saving wouldn't do you any good it you should hit by a truck tomorrow. On the other hand if you should live to 100 years old, well it helps. Its a "IF".
Not quite. I can buy anything I want - just not everything I want.
I simply don't give a sh*t about peer pressure of any sort and make my own decisions. I'm one of those with a flip-phone (there are others, here - a surprising number). Desktop PC was a bare-bones and it is way past my necessary requirements, but bought in the sweet spot of pricing. Not a gamer's (or video editor's) box by any means, but my eight core Xeon (at work) doesn't do any better for anything I do with respect to development. I'll replace it if it's characteristics are become an obstacle. My two-HDD 17" laptop also flies (Dell M6500) - we cook most nights but do takeout once or twice a week. All-inclusive vacations at quality resorts (like Couples, for example).
So no - one doesn't have to live like a rat. One need nearly not waste.
As for living for today and/or preparing for tomorrow? That one, I'm afraid, is a contradiction in life for which I've now answer. One can simply choose a path and hope it works out.
Meanwhile, I even get to enjoy the pleasure of planning and anticipation for likely events. Next year will be Hawaii. Mrs. wants to do Australia, too. I'm thinking India. When I retire, we can do both. A trip to Israel, too. So - if I live, "I won". If I don't, "I'm dead".
You trendy young thing, you. I still have a Nokia brick (3340, I think?). It makes and takes phone calls and texts, which is exactly what I want a phone to do. If I'm at home, you can reach me on the landline. If I'm out, 99% of the time I don't want to be reached anyway.
If I want to use social media or the web, I do it on a laptop where I can actually see what I'm looking at.
This discussion seems more about lifestyle and planning for retirement than I'd anticipated when asking the question. I've come to realise that the majority of people driving flashy cars, wearing the latest fashions and eating at the best restaurants are not in fact wealthy, they just have the biggest debts. (There are exceptions of course). Meanwhile many you see with somewhat "tired" clothes, or driving a 5 year old car, as a result have significant savings which can reduce stress, increase flexibility and resilience (e.g. when the calefaction system [ I had to look that up] breaks can fix it), and sleep easy knowing their future is probably going to be reasonably comfortable.
Personally, though nominally retired (and not yet 60 - quite) I still have ex-clients asking me to do more stuff (including the quite large project I mentioned); tinker with my own websites for a variety of non-IT interests, help out with a couple of charity websites (for free) that I'm involved with, and have just written a wedding-list website application for my son, which I'll market later this year. I spend a fraction of the time I used to in front of a screen, and miss it far less than I'd expected. I'm choosing not to learn the cutting-edge tools but my inbuilt curiosity means I still read articles on CP and elsewhere. I still run a (slightly broken) Windows 8 laptop and am dreading the hassle of moving everything to Win10 when the screen finally falls apart!
What? You work like a bee and live like a rat? All those saving wouldn't do you any good it you should hit by a truck tomorrow.
I don't go out for dinner every week, but when I go out... I go where I want, eat what I want and I do not even look at prices.
If I buy a bottle of something I buy a bootle of something good, but I don't need to buy more than one bottle every X months
I don't own a flip phone, it is just an iPhone 4S (it was my previous company phone and I bought to the company when they wanted to retire it). Its glass on the back side is broken, covered with tape, because I don't see the need to pay over 100$ for something that doesn't affect the functionality at all.
I have driven for years a tiny old car with rust getting out of the paints, but mechanically perfect until I had to sell it because I got a kid and needed space. It drove, it kept me warm, I never had an accident, its consume was low, its polution was low... I replaced it with a 2 years old used big enough car.
I buy good clothes of previous seasons (new but old), because they are less than 50% of original prices and... on the one side I don't give a crap about trends, and on the other side it doesn't even make any difference if clothes are from this year trend or not in my dress style (classic, elegant, discret)...
Is that to live like a rat? If you think so... I think it is just living without unnecessary money waste.
Let me just ask you something:
Could you buy a car tomorrow if you had an accident and your current one was irreparable? Could you replace your kitchen / calefaction system if it got broken from one day to another? Could you leave your children enough money to grow without serious necessities if you got hit by a truck tomorrow?
I do, and without the help of a bank.
Life is just a question of priorities I guess
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about?
Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you
Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
You nailed it. Most of my co-workers make near or over 100k, yet complain about money. Many have multiple bankruptcies, divorces, foreclosures, and whatnot. Yet the parking lot is filled with luxury cars and suvs; all financed.
One thing about America is that since healthcare costs are so high, it is difficult to retire before 65. I will be able to, but looking to live abroad in a less expensive country where a minor hospitalization doesn't wipe out years of savings.
unless you were fortunate enough to inherit a ton of money or managed to save a lot via a successful business, there is no real expectation of retirement.
But, there is another way! I've known way too many people who have retired on disability, or faked on the job injuries for a settlement/annuity. My younger brother retired at 48 yo from a super easy govt. job due to arthritis and my brother-in-law retired at 52 with a knee injury that had nothing to do with his job.
As for myself, I'm 51 and have been in software for almost 20 years. I really don't see myself retiring before probably 65 or so. (based on IRA performance) Even after that, I can see myself piddling with personal projects and probably hanging out here in the lounge.
Yes, but still managed to put our 2 children through university.
Nish Nishant wrote:
that you live in a low-cost town
That's kind of a misnomer. Usually folks who live in cities with higher costs get paid more. I've lived just south of Chicago my whole life, I could earn more $ if I worked in the city but I don't need the hassle.
"Progress doesn't come from early risers – progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things." Lazarus Long