You’re on your own

Consider the following regarding retirement:

  • Most private sector workers never had a pension plan
    1. Of those that did, many never became vested,
    2. or work for one employer long enough to earn a significant benefit… that’s both yesterday and today by the way
  • Until about forty years ago there was no such thing as a 401k plan
    • How did most workers plan for retirement with no pension and no 401k?🤔
      • Are they the seniors living on Social Security alone?
  • Ask the experts how much one needs to save and how it can be used for a comfortable lifetime retirement and you will get as many answers as there are experts
  • Social Security is a key portion of retirement income for nearly every American… portion being the main factor
  • 401k plans are more valuable to workers than a pension plan
    • If used properly before and after retirement
    • The average 401k account balance for those within ten years of retirement will get them no more than about $650 in monthly income; the median balance is much worse
    • Almost half of all Americans have no retirement plan savings whatsoever.
  • Relying on a big drop in spending upon retirement, especially early retirement, is a mistake and a myth
    • That is, if you don’t want a measurable decrease in your standard of living

There you have it, you’re on your own to make it all work.

7 comments

  1. Are you implying that people lack personal responsibility? That we must mandate that government take full control and dictate how people should spend their money and live their lives? Is this because people are to stupid or lazy to manage their own money?

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    1. The problem is more limited than that. People are not good at looking ahead more than a few decades and providing for their far futures.

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      1. A lucky thing happened to me. Hawaii state began to worry in the 80’s about the liability it was building up in its retirement system, so it offered its employees the option of withdrawing the cash value of their retirement fund, and giving up some future retirement benefits. The luck came from me being forced to estimate what my retirement income would turn out to be in 2 decades, including investment returns I could expect from the cash the state was offering me. (I decided not to take the money.)

        Maybe large organizations should require its employees to have a conference with a retirement officer, or maybe even attend a course on their future retirement.

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  2. When I first went to work on a permanent job in 1971, I had no idea what sort of retirement plan my new employer had. It was not the last thing on my mind, because it wasn’t anywhere on my mind. I bet lots of people are as thoughtless as me, so I favor beefing up Social Security to take much more out of paychecks and provide much higher retirement benefits. We can’t count on workers to provide adequately for their retirements, so we must do it for them.

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    1. Greglee – I will agree, since many retirement plans offered to employees, include zero COLA, and many low income workers do not have enough income, to save anything for retirement, it is time to increase Social Security benefits. But, we need to ensure that it is paid for. I would like to see each employer pay the same amount on each worker, no matter what the wage, then the worker would pay 10%, and get to deduct that from their taxable income. Then everyone receives the same benefit in retirement. We also, need to fix the taxation of Social Security benefits. As Social Security benefits increase, you may find you now have to pay taxes on those benefits. The income rates for SS benefit taxation are not currently indexed to inflation. We are the richest nation in the world, yet we have low income retirees, that have to get food, rent and utility assistance from the government. My 90 year old mother gets $750 per month in SS benefits, $105 in food assistance and $86 from a company pension. $941 x 12 = $11,292 per year. She started working for 50 cents per hour in 1948 and ended making $7 per hour in 1995. It is a good thing she lives with my 72 year old sister.

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