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June 15, 2009


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Nice post. One thing you said got me to thinking... "If I get Social Security (which I should -- I've paid a TON into it), that will be icing on the cake".

This seems to be a common preception out there from people about to retire. I get that the system is broken, but you're likely to see something due to voting strength if nothing else. Any chance you could give some round numbers to back this up. How much did you pay in during your working life... or perhaps how many years would you have to draw SS to "break even" if you want to be vague on specific numbers?

My guess is it is the younger generations now that are really going to wind up in a bad spot with SS due to the baby boomer population. It seems like SS is a basic pyramid scheme which works fine until the population doesn't look like a pyramid. Baby boomers should have gotten a break (more of y'all to finance a smaller number in the older generation). Us youngins are the ones that have the right to complain unless I'm missing something.

Just some thoughts for a future post if you're up for it.

Bob --

Here's about as much heart as I have for this issue:


That's exactly my thought. The only way Social Security will go away is if there's a voting majority in both the House and Senate that plan on retiring when their election cycle is up...because their career there would be over.

It's good that you're keeping your location options open. I've read a few posts recently from people planning early retirement whose calculations assume they'll be staying put in the house they're in now far into the future, which seems mad to me. Your kids could scatter and presumably you'll want to spend time with them. I emigrated, and as an extreme example my husband's siblings are in California, NYC, England, Germany and Dhaka while we're in Toronto; it is costing his family a collective fortune (but of course worth it) to stay connected over the years!

Thanks for pointing out your previous article. I would still be interested in seeing some sort of break even scenario for those numbers. Maybe I'll research and run those numbers "for fun" sometime and let you know.

My opinion is that SS should have age limits gradually raised. Too many people think of it as their retirement instead of what it was meant to be - security for those that experience severe hardships in life or live beyond the normal life expectancy.

as an aside, the history page about SS is very enlightening:

Sorry to have hijacked your post way off topic!

Bob --

No problem.

If you really get into it and end up with a good analysis, send it to me if you like and I'll review it for a possible guest post (with your approval, of course.)

"Retirement" (as distinct from "too old and sick to work anymore") is rapidly becoming a quaint, old-fashioned concept that is just not feasible anymore.

I always figured I'd just keep working until I die, and it looks like that's what's going to happen.

I'm doing reasonably well financially, but at 48 I'm still a looong way from the theoretical 1.5 million dollars I'd need to actually retire at 65. And I have 2 kids to send to college beginning 8 yrs from now. If someone like me with a 6 figure income can't afford to retire, who can?

I'm of the belief that if you have to "retire" or you live for weekends or vacation, your career is fundamentally broken.

If you're doing what you love, then it's not work. Who wouldn't want to do what they love until they die?

Taking care of my parents and stepmother in their old age...and maybe blogging or twittering about it.

My career is fundamentally broken for me, but even if I loved my job, I would still cut back significantly if possible. I want to travel with my husband, volunteer significant hours at PugHearts or the Houston SPCA, and take time to visit family and friends on a regular basis. I do all of that now when I can fit it in around my job (usually on the weekends), but retirement means that I could fit in a job I like/love around my actual life.

My husband and I choose to save a bunch now so we can retire in our mid-fifties without relying on Social Security at all...if we get any, our budget will say thank you.

My husband will still officiate football since he loves it. I love volunteering, so that will probably be the center of my retirement. We both enjoy vacation travel, so we are budgeting for 3-4 "large" trips a year in retirement.

In short, retirement to me simply means having enough money to have the freedom of choice.

Don't wait until your kids are out of the house to send your wife back to work. Do it now. That way, when she gets bored with your current lifestyle of living responsibly and saving money (and she will), and leaves you for another man, you won't have to pay quite as much alimony or child support. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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