May 26, 2006

The end of retirement


Great 4-part series on PBS's Frontline on retirement. Here's the last chapter. Get ready America (and home-value-reliant baby-boomers) for reality. Including a lifetime of work.

27 comments:

foreclose_me said...

PBS is full of crap. The only retirement is to have plenty of kids. The baby-bombers decided they wanted more pieces of paper instead. Oops, paper doesn't work while you ride golf carts.

Boomer/Renter/BubbleSitter/Whoissoscrewed said...

Why do you guys hate Boomers so much?

Bake McBride said...

Is it a problem with the 401k or is it the fact that people chose not to save enough money??

I happen to think it's the later

twib said...

I watched all four parts of this last week. PBS is all over the map with this one:

1. Pensions are bad because companies can go bankrupt and to protect the jobs of the current employees, they right off their obligations to their former employees.

2. 401Ks are bad because its your money to invest. Not all of us are experts at investing. Higher paid employees put more of their wages into 401Ks than lower paid employees. Yada Yada Yada.

The whole report is about how everyone is a "victim of the system" except for the really wealthy folks. Totally sensationalistic crap.

After watching it, I am glad that I am offered a 401K plan. It would suck to have to rely on the health of my company for pension payments long after I have left it.

Anonymous said...

MY RANT!

NO Presidential Nominee can win the election if they’re in favor of the BULL SHIT legislation that just came out of the US Senate!

We’re not going to forget what you did John McCain & Hillary Clinton. You two traders can’t win!!!!!! This issue is not going away anytime soon!

Anonymous said...

I’m going to rant too!

The House Republicans will not lose their majority if they don’t cave on immigration. Despite what the politically correct media says, this issue is not even close with the American People! We don’t want 12m new Mexican Citizens in this country … we want them OUT!

foreclose_me said...

The bill doesn't just legalize millions of Mexicans. It will allow 100,000,000 new immigrants into the US over the next 20 years.

Housing bubble? What bubble?

Anonymous said...

After watching it, I am glad that I am offered a 401K plan. It would suck to have to rely on the health of my company for pension payments long after I have left it.

I happen to work for the gov't agency that insures pensions. In the case you have described, as long as you didn't make a ton of money and worked a long period of time at a company that offered a pension, the gov't would fully insure the pension you were promised.

The people who normally get screwed are (1) those who still work for the company and have a pension that was still accruing benefits, and (2) those who make a lot of money and have worked at the company for a long time. In the second case, that's why the pilot unions are so pissed off about our agency taking over pensions, because there is a maximum amount we will insure, and it's much lower than these pilots were going to get if the airlines didn't file for bankruptcy.

If you work for a company and your pension was frozen many years ago, it is likely that your pension benefit will not be affected if the gov't has to take over the pension plan.

Mark said...

Let's have some historic perspective

Until Social Security in the early 1930's, there really wasn't such a thing as retirement for 90% of the US Public. You worked till you died. It was really only in the post-war era of great union benefits, that retirement plans were extended to workers in factories, etc. We are now returning to a 200 year "norm" where we simply don't have the resources to have people stop working at 65, and give them medical and pension till age 85 or older. Just as in the 1900-1929 era, only wealthy people will be able to "retire." . . .I'm not saying good or bad. . .just the facts.

Mark said...

BTW - I had a 403 at University of California, and I owned rental property. Most years my tax rate was 15% because I had three mortgages, so I "sheltered" my income at the 15% level. . .now that I am retired at 55, I am in the 28% category because I sold my rentals two years ago and invested the money. I would have been better off just saving the money in a regular account and paying taxes on it when I had huge mortgage deductions. . .now I am renting in San Diego, and trying to lower my taxes via Munis. . .SO. . .401/403's are NOT a great investment for everyone.

uknowwhoiyam said...

Is it a problem with the 401k or is it the fact that people chose not to save enough money??

I happen to think it's the later


Exactly.

There's nothing new to see here. The majority of Americans have been underplanning for retirement since before Social Security.

Anonymous said...

RE: mark-- I'm by no means a financial expert but did you take into account the pre-tax benefits that the money in the 403 was earning compared to had you had it taxed at a lower (tax bracket) rate immediately.(I'm not familiar with 403, only 401)? That 15% may have earned you a lot of extra money over the years in the investment funds. You are paying taxes on it now at a higher rate, though. Also, many 401's offer employer contributions, 2-4%. If one does the math, taking the pre-tax benefits (with a good fund) and employer contributions, usually this pays off for most folks.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha

Many decades ago you took our land by force. Now we'll take it back using your own laws agaisnt you. God bless the America legal system.

mr. smith said...

Just as in the 1900-1929 era, only wealthy people will be able to "retire".

And at that time, people got old and often lived with their children till death. One of the great benefits of social security/medicare is that it freed an older person's children from having to house, feed, and provide medical care for the elderly parents. Think about what it would be like having your 87yo mother and her 12 prescriptions living in your spare bedroom?

And when you start your own business...will you be hiring 27yo workers or 82yo workers? With which group will your company health plan be most solvent?

Anonymous said...

"BTW - I had a 403 at University of California, and I owned rental property. Most years my tax rate was 15% because I had three mortgages, so I "sheltered" my income at the 15% level. . .now that I am retired at 55, I am in the 28% category because I sold my rentals two years ago and invested the money. I would have been better off just saving the money in a regular account and paying taxes on it when I had huge mortgage deductions. . .now I am renting in San Diego, and trying to lower my taxes via Munis. . .SO. . .401/403's are NOT a great investment for everyone."

What the hell are you talking about moron?

Dogcrap Green said...

Why get upset over PBS? No free thinking man of value watches Big Brorther's station.

Dogcrap Green said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dogcrap Green said...

The 30 year mortgage and easy money is what killed retirement savings. Without them. House payements would be excatly the same, because tht is what people can spend. House might be a bit smaller, but the payemt would be the same and in 15 years their house would be paid off. Leaving full equity in the house and 25 years to save for retirement without a mortgage burdening them.

boomer hater said...

To answer boomer/renter's question

Gen X and Gen Y hate baby boomers because we see the baby boomers as the one's who ruined our country.
1. mortgaged our future with their out of control entitlement spending
2. ruined our educational system
3. made political correctness more important than personal character
4. turned our country into a bunch of wimps
5. etc. etc. etc.

keith said...

Dogcrap - I see why you can be so ignorant and dense sometimes. If you truly believe that PBS is not worth your time, because someone once told you it was perhaps liberally biased, then you're an ignoramus. It's the most educational channel on American TV.

The Nightly Business Report? Frontline? Sesame Street? Masterpiece Theatre? NOVA? Amazing that someone would have an issue with any of those shows, or PBS. Amazing.

Perhaps it's just too cerebral though for your mind to handle. Go back to Fox - they've got that pretty American flag waving 24x7x365 in the corner, short soundbites, and no educational or historical value. But it's safe and warm there.

Laughable.

I'd like to know specifically what you have against PBS.

Boomer/Renter/BubbleSitter/Whoissoscrewed said...

To answer boomer/renter's question

Gen X and Gen Y hate baby boomers because we see the baby boomers as the one's who ruined our country.
1. mortgaged our future with their out of control entitlement spending
2. ruined our educational system
3. made political correctness more important than personal character
4. turned our country into a bunch of wimps
5. etc. etc. etc.

You are right.

I have a 15 your old son, who is a free thinker, has deductive reasoning, is home schooled, and I hope, NOT a product/victim of the system.

I have assumed I will not have any social security for the last 11 years, and have acted accordingly.

I always thought the voters and politicians did those things listed above. I never vote.

Boomers out number Y and X Gens? More of them vote?

I guess the next Majority, which shall replace the Boomers Giant Voting power is the Spanish, not X and Y Gen combined.

foreclose_me said...

I guess the next Majority, which shall replace the Boomers Giant Voting power is the Spanish, not X and Y Gen combined.

Really? I haven't seen too many Spaniards around my way.

Perhaps you mean the Mexicans?

Bake McBride said...

There is nothing wrong with the current 401k system.....that is if you put money into it. I like the fact that I keep my money and if I leave my job can roll it over into an IRA.

The problem is that it's up to the individual to take care of their own retirement, and many don't want to face that reality.

boomer/bubblesitter/renter/whoissoscrewed said...

To Boomer Hater;

I mean Hispanics as a whole. Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Brazilians (Portuguese), Colombians,
and all the rest from South and Central America. Spain even. Mexico is not the only Spanish Speaking Country with population moving here in droves. Duh.


I understand that you are generalizing, and I do not take it personally that you do not like old people. You have dodged my statement with semantics.

Again, the list you compiled as to why you hate old people is Big Government and Fed Bank stuff, not a population segment's doing. If it is the Boomers’ fault, as you propose, the only explanation is their large voting block.

Ergo, the Hispanic people are fast becoming the majority of the American populations demographic and this block is the next to put their corrupt politicians in office, skipping your X and Y generations. Nothing to do with boomers........

You are wrong about old people, 35-year-old guys still ask me out, and I am not a typical 50-year-old. If you met me in person you would like me. (:

And I am acting as if there is no Social Security left, as every one should.

PS: Generalization of a segment of people is not very PC.

boomer/bubblesitter/renter/whoissoscrewed said...

PSS; and PBS Rocks.

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Anonymous said...

"You are wrong about old people, 35-year-old guys still ask me out, and I am not a typical 50-year-old. If you met me in person you would like me."


Typical self-centered boomer rant.

Oh how sweet is must be to be you mexi-boomer or whatever you consider yourself! But hey, after all 50 is the new 30 (or was that 35?) right? AND you're still hot and sexy after all these years. I'm sure all those age spots and wrinkles are quite a major turn on in your Viagra popping community.



As usual, boomers (along with their temporary Mexican labor force) and all their puppet media underestimate the real power of Gen X, Y and Next. The days are coming when they will be able to render and regard the boomers as useless and obsolete as they are.

It can't be too soon before the boomer gen checks out for good - deservingly filed in the "worthless and forgotten" category.