Aug 26, 2010

How American Retirees Spend Their Retierment Life

Ever wonder how American retirees spend their retirement life and the of Top-10 Retirement Activities that they indulge in?

Here, according to a 2009 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is "How Retirees Age 65 to 74 Spend The Hours in Their Day", "

The figures are in hours and the results for the general American population (age 15 years old and older) are in brackets.
    Personal care activities (including sleeping) 9.55 (9.45)
    Eating and drinking 1.45 (1.22)
    Household activities 2.58 (1.80)
    Purchasing goods and services 0.86 (0.76)
    Caring for household members 0.07 (0.54)
    Caring for nonhousehold members 0.30 (0.21)
    Work 1.26 (3.53)
    Education 0.03 (0.46)
    Civic and religious activities 0.55 (0.34)
    Leisure and sports 6.77 (5.25)
    Watching TV 3.58 (2.61)
    Sports and exercise 0.35 (0.29)
    Socializing 0.59 (0.52)
    Reading 0.71 (0.33)
    Relaxing/thinking 0.44 (0.24)
    Leisure computer use 0.41 (0.36)
    Telephone calls, mail, and e-mail 0.25 (0.20)
    Other activities 0.34 (0.24)
Social Security has become a controversial issue in the U.S. lately. See my comment in relation to Social Security Is a Great Way to Be Deceived

Also see: Retirement Resources for Retirees
For some new best retirement quotes see:
      Here are some new not-so-funny and funny retirement quotes that come from these websites and give retirement advice for retirees:
        "The new retirement reality may be a messy proposition"
        — Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

        "We have a manufactured vision of what retirement is, and that doesn't necessarily correlate with reality. Unless you have a well-thought-out scenario, you're going to be in for a shock at retirement."
        — Paul Allen, 64, a self-employed software developer in Dallas

        "It [retirement] was absolutely boring. You can't go and say, 'I'm retired now. That's it!' It won't take long and you're really gone for good and someone throws the last shovel of dirt on a coffin with your name on it. That's the moment you're really retiring — when you die."
        — Ozzy Osbourne

        If you have debt and you are going into retirement,
        I don't think you are ready for retirement,"
        — Gary Gilgen, a certified financial advisor and director of the financial
        planning department at Rehmann Financial in Troy, Mich

        Why shouldn't retirees expect some reduction in Social Security and Medicare benefits, and soon? Before we retired, or will retire, we lived beyond our means by voting for those congressmen who would keep taxes low and borrow from the trust funds to pay government bills. Woe to the politician who would ask us to fully pay the taxes necessary for the services we expected from government.
        This large accumulated debt to the funds is coming due. So we have an obligation to help pay it off by accepting less from them or paying higher taxes on our retirement income. As retirees, we have no right to just pass our debt off on our kids. We certainly helped create it and should help pay it off.
        — Werner Gruhl, Columbia

      Aug 8, 2010

      Saving Only 10 percent of Your Income is for Losers

      Are you saving enough for retirement so that you don't have to rely on Social Security for a meagre retirement income?

      I just came across an interesting website How the Average US Consumer Spends Their Paycheck:

      Interestingly, here is a comment by a guy named Rob:

        I am seriously living in the most expensive place in america or something. If an average household income is $63,091...

        Mine's $110,000 before tax and i still feel i am running low on money
      A guy by the name of Bob replied to Rob with:

        You are spending too much. I have 7 children (1 in Med school), we earn 72,000 (before taxes,)

        We have a 2,400 sq ft home with a beautiful valley view (no lights, people or buildings). We're able to save up to 30,000 a year if we choose to.

        So yes, you spend too much. Our housing at $800 per month is 12% of our income. My suggestion is to look at the chart pie and address the big pieces first.

        My guess is you spend way too much on housing and transportation. You probably drive an expensive car and commute. We use 1 car and live 1 mile from work. You could do the same if you chose to. You have to make and ego vs spending decision. Personally my ego does well knowing that we're building our nest egg by big chunks. Both our cars are paid off.

        We're into healthy food, so it is mostly veggies, fruit, beans and chicken. Very inexpensive. I'll bet you eat out a lot. 2 people eating $12 lunches each day adds up to $7,500 per year. That is 4 trips to Cancun. Its all about your ego and what you decide.

        Good luck my friend.
      This was my comment to Bob:

        Hey Bob:

        Congratulations on your saving habits. I love to hear about people like you.

        I am writing a book called How NOT to Retire BROKE: Prosperity Principles to Help You Create $250,000 or More for Your Retirement.

        In the book I have a chapter called Saving Only 10 percent of Your Income is for Losers.

        I talk about how I was able to save 30 percent of my income once I started making decent money.

        I was delighted to read on one website where some guy was saving 60 percent of his income because he didn't increase his spending as his income went up.

        Just like this guy, you are saving more than me. It appears that you are saving 40 to 50 percent of your after tax income.

        For people who are in debt or unable to save, I advice that they read Larry Winget's book called You're Broke Because You Want to Be.

        What I like about Larry Winget is that he tells readers that their excuses about not being able to save money are lies and that excuses are for losers.

        One of my favorite quotes of all time is by J.P. Getty who said: "People who don't respect money don't have any."

        To add to this, "People who are foolish with their money are foolish in many other ways as well."

        Ernie J. Zelinski
        Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
        (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
        and The Joy of Not Working
        (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

      Here are some quotes about saving money:

        Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a
        hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living.
        — Timothy Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

        What good is freedom if you've not got the money for it?
        — Lillian Hellman

        Always remember: Money has no power of its own.
        — Suze Orman

        Don't buy expensive socks if you can never find them.
        — Unknownn wise person

        He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.
        — Unknown wise person

      Aug 3, 2010

      You Do NOT Need a Financial Advisor to Retire Comfortably

      This is a comment that I placed on US News in regards to their story Understanding the Psychology of Retirement Planning:

        I have worked less than half of my adult life and I didn't start saving for my retirement until I was in my forties. Even so, I will be okay in retirement with an adequate retirement income.
        I have never profited from any house appreciation because I rented for over 40 years. Moreover, I have never profited from stock investments because the majority of my savings are in safe investments. The key is to save 40 to 50 percent of your income once you start making a decent income so that you can enjoy being retired and experience 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement.

        I disagree with the author that you need a financial advisor. I have never used a financial advisor and I don't ever intend to use one.

        In fact, I would recommend to people that they stay away from financial advisors, regardless of whether they are fee-only or work on a commission basis. I don't place any credibility on whether they are accredited with any so-called financial association. These associations tend to be self-serving, trying to exclude others from the particular area of work.

        With so many baby boomers not having saved enough for retirement, what percentage of the baby boomers working as financial planners haven't saved enough for retirement themselves.

        Did these financial advisors see the housing bust coming and tell their clients to get out of housing? I bet over 95 percent of the financial advisors took a beating on their houses and investments because they were also the same ones advocating that a house is a great investment and that stocks were a great investment. If these people were so wrong, why would you place any trust in them? If they themselves haven't saved as much as they should have, they have no credibility with me and they should have absolutely no credibility with anyone else.

        If I ever considered hiring a financial planner, I would ask him or her to provide proof in the way of their own investments and assets over the last 10 to 20 years to convince me that they followed their own advice and that this advice paid off big-time for them.

        Incidentally, Larry Winget in his book You're Broke Because You Want to Be advocates similar advice in regards to hiring a financial advisor.

        In short, once you have a sizeable amount saved, consider hiring a financial person to help you invest your money but only if the person can prove that he or she has at least 10 to 20 times as much money as you have. If the financial advisor can’t prove to you with certified accounting documentation that he or she has saved a big amount of money using their own techniques, don’t hire him or her. Why would you want to pay someone to manage your money if he or she is broke or close to it? Trust me, you are liable to wind up broke yourself.

        Ernie Zelinski
        Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
        (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
        and the forthcoming How NOT to Retire Broke: Prosperity Principles to Help Your Create $500,000 or Much More for Your Retirement

      Here are some retirement quotes and retirement sayings to help you with your retirement planning so that you retire rich and die broke:

        If you have debt and you are going into retirement,
        I don't think you are ready for retirement,"
        — Gary Gilgen,
        Director of the financial planning department at Rehmann Financial in Troy, Mich

        The biggest trouble maker you will ever meet watches you shave or
        put makeup on your face in the mirror every morning.
        — Unknown Wise Person

        Bill Hagen, work is now past you
        Allow me these words to say
        You are now free as a bird,
        Today is your retirement day.
        — Dave Erhard

        Early to Retire
        Late to Rise
        Leaves a man happy,
        less wealthy, and
        wife pondering,
        was it wise?
        Retirement T-Shirt for Sale on Zazzle

        The Ideal Retirement Plan: "Marry an old rich broad and wait for her to die."
        — Ivan Wilson (commenting on an online article about retirment.)

        I used to have dreams that I died at my desk.
        Now that I've retired, I don't have those dreams anymore.
        — Haselback (commenting on an online article about retirment.)

      Aug 2, 2010

      Retirement Planning: Reduce Your Standard of Living Today If You Want Any Standard of Living in Retirement

      Welcome to the new retirement where your retirement wishes may be fantasy. The odds are high that you will exhaust your retirement savings after 10 or 20 years of retirement, according to the latest Retirement Readiness Report.

      About half of those now aged 56 to 62 are at risk of not having sufficient retirement income to pay for basic retirement expenses and uninsured medical expenses, according to the study.

      The study also found lower-income retirees are most likely to run out of retirement savings after 10 and certainly 20 years of retirement, and higher-income retirees are least likely to run out of money.

      In fact, retirees don't run out of retirement income. As they age and wind down their assets, they reduce their standard of living dramatically.

      In other words, people do not completely run out of money even though the studies say that retirees will. They take action either to spend less or to go back to work to earn more retirement income.

      Other research found that about 65 percent of American households are at risk of not having enough retirement income to maintain their living standard in retirement.

      Both studies assume that people will retire at age 65.

      That is not likely, however. Many Americans are forced to retire earlier and most even if they want to work later cannot find a job in retirement. So before you make your retirement speech, include your spouse in your retirement plan, have some fun at work, and start saving big time - at least 30 percent of your income as I have been doing to insure that my retirement plan is sound.

      Plain and simple: Saving a lot more money and reducing your standard of living now might be the only way to be reasonably certain you will enjoy any decent standard of living in your retirement and be able to write letters about the joy of not working.

      Some retirement quotes to put things in perspective:
        People who don't respect money don't have any.
        — J. Paul Getty, Billionaire Oil Tycoon

        It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
        — Oscar Wilde

        Money will appear when you are doing the right thing in your life.
        — Michael Phillips

        One week into retirement, you'll be so damned bored that you'll want to stick bicycle
        spokes into your eyes. You'll probably opt to look for another job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting [for retirement], doesn't it.
        - Timothy Ferris in The 4-Hour Workweek

        Teacher's Retirement Motto: I Used to Teach. Now I Have No Class.
        — Unknown wise person

        I have retired, un retired, and retired again all in the past 10 years.
        — Unknown retiree

        The Ideal Retirement Plan: Marry an old rich broad and wait for her to die.
        — Ivan Wilson (commenting on an online article about retirment.)

        It [retirement] was absolutely boring. You can't go and say, 'I'm retired now. That's it!' It won't take long and you're really gone for good and someone throws the last shovel of dirt on a coffin with your name on it. That's the moment you're really retiring — when you die.
        — Ozzy Osbourne