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Three Million Dollars to Retire???? What???

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Old 05-18-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default Three Million Dollars to Retire???? What???

I just read an article online by a financial analyst who says he stays up nights worrying because he will have only three million dollars to retire. He says he needs 100k a years for each child to go to Harvard, etc.

Is it just me or is this guy living in a different world? I consider myself and family middle-class. My husband and I went to a state university and so will our children, most likely. We have the usual 401k, I have a very small pension from a hospital I worked for (they stopped the pension plan), we have some equity in the house. HOWEVER, I read articles all the time about how you can't retire unless you have 1 to 5 million dollars. Seriously. Ain't gonna happen here - and we know we're better off than a lot of folks.

Reality check anyone? All opinions appreciated (unless you have 3 million and are staying up nights).
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:58 PM   #2
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I've always read that to mean all assetts including your house. I mean, if it's just cash that would be really hard to get that type of money saved.

Plus, it depends on where you live and what you plan on doing after retiremnt. This guy sounds like he's still got kids in college. It would be insane to try to retire when you are paying college bills.

It's also insane to pay 100k a year for tuition. I mean, what career is going to pay well enough to allow you pay back all financial aid?
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:59 PM   #3
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Sounds like a problem I'd love to have. . .

I will have to work until 63 years old, and if I manage to stay at this job for 27 more years, I will draw my state retirement (about my monthly salary at the end of my career) and maybe some Social Security if it still exists.

My kids will have to go to state colleges and work, get scholarships, grants, and loans to do it. My parents did NOT pay for my college, and I haven't had the wherewithall to put $$ back for them. When you live from paycheck to paycheck, college funds go by the wayside for the electricity to stay on.

Yeah, reality check. Big time.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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that does seem a bit excessive, but I guess it all depends on your standard of living/expenses. I guess if you figure retiring at 65 and assuming you will live to be 90, 3mill works out to be 120,000 a year to live on (not factoring in interest on the remainder of course)...which is a lot more than I have now, but I guess some people spend more than that. granted, there is always a way to cut back...the kids don't necessarily need a free ride through the ivies!
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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My husband and I have the equivalent of 6-8 months of living expenses at our current standard if we pooled every kind of account we have. We have no children yet, but would not be paying 100% of their college tuition anyway. Maybe half, and the rest would be student loans. My husband financed and refinanced his education with student loans and will be making that payment every month until his mid 40's. I don't think it's so bad, especially once it's finally paid, we'll have that chunk to move towards savings. I am not counting on Social Security to be around by the time we reach retirement age (another 30+ years). I feel comfortable with our "cushion" but I know we should do more to save. My husband is a spender and it's very difficult to keep him from buying whatever he wants whenever he wants it.

I am far more worried about my parents who are in their early 60's and have always lived paycheck to paycheck. They have a mortgage, but no other significant debt. Will they want to come live with us? I don't know if we could manage to pay for a nursing home for either of them when that time comes.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
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I am retired and I assure you I do not have a million or so in the bank .....or anyplace else.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
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Right on, Bargoo!

And Cherry in STL I am already at your worry. My dad only has Soc Sec and my sis and I are helping him. He really wants a standard of living beyond his means. I think at some point he'll be staying with one of us. For right now, tho, he wants to be a swinging widower with his own pad.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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For those of us under 50, don't be planning on retiring before about 70 yrs old at the earliest. Neither SS, Medicare or most retirements will be sustainable at the current retirement age. When SS was formed, average life expectancy was 60 yrs old and only 6% of the population reached retirement age. Now, life expectancy is well into one's 70's. It can't maintain at this rate. We are living longer and healthier. This means we will have to work longer too. It just can't keep going at the current levels.

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Old 05-19-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
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These so-called financial analysts are not living on earth; they have their heads in the clouds ... I know very few people (in person, that is) that have that kind of money put away (successful business owners excluded). Most people have very little put away for their retirements; they are just trying to make it day by day, let alone worry about 30 years from now.

I am not going to concern myself about those kinds of predictions either, as they are always grossly exaggerated and unrealistic. Of course, they are always made by people who's earnings are in the highest income strata to begin with; and they dream of having millions of dollars some day. I agree, not gonna happen for most people I know; they couldn't raise half a million, let alone a few million.

My parents didn't pay for my college education either (me and the gov did with loans, grants, and my savings & earnings; some from my teen years that I worked through). I am shocked by how many people expect their parents to pay for these high education costs. Don't forget those colleges and universities are businesses; and they better get those tuitions down or they won't have any students in the future who could afford to go to them anyways, so they'll be closing in droves ...

We are seeing companies canning the pension plans; pension plans being stolen from; plus some companies trying to lay off their older employees before they get to retirement age (so contributions are cut short); so how could anyone suggest relying on them. In all the jobs I had in my lifetime, not one offered a pension plan to their employees (at that time), as they were in the process of switching to part-time contract workers instead, where they could forgo those kinds of benefits to part-time and casual workers (including the government).

I suspect the government will be taking care of most people just like they are now; but many people may have to hold part-time jobs for life in the future. I know many so-called retirees who are buying and/or starting their own businesses, or working part-time to augment their incomes now, so this will likely become much more common in the future ...
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:11 PM   #10
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