What do you fear about retirement?

Jul 22, 2012

Dying Early as a Retirement Plan

In the New York Times article at the link below, it says "Dying Early Is Not the Basis of a Retirement Plan."

I say, "Why not? Dying early as a retirement plan has worked for many people!"

This article about retirement is unbelievable and bizarre, however. Bizarre, given that is written by an academic. More on that later.

This part of the article is almost unbelievable, but likely true.

"Seventy-five percent of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts. The specter of downward mobility in retirement is a looming reality for both middle- and higher-income workers. Almost half of middle-class workers, 49 percent, will be poor or near poor in retirement, living on a food budget of about $5 a day."

Hmm, a food budget of about $5 a day doesn't seem like a great way to retire happy, wild, and free.

Here is the link to the New York Times retirement article Our Ridiculous Approach to Retirement.

My thoughts about the article: This woman says, "My plan calls for a way out that would create guaranteed retirement accounts on top of Social Security. These accounts would be required, professionally managed, come with a guaranteed rate of return and pay out annuities."

In my opinion, this woman is delusional when she says "professionally managed" and "come with a guaranteed rate of return".

What the heck does "professionally managed" mean? Managed by greedy bankers or dubious financial advisors? Sure, most Americans (me too) would have a lot of trust in these people!

Worse yet, would be to have a new retirement plan, just like the U.S. Social Security System, managed by politicians and government workers.

And "come with a guaranteed rate of return". Plain and simple, there is no such thing as a "guaranteed rate of return" when we factor in inflation and so many other uncertain factors prevalent in the world economic order. Even George W. Bush admitted that the U.S. Social Security system cannot provide a guaranteed rate of return simply because there is no trust fund set aside for Social Security. The funds for Social Security were raided by the U.S. Government many years ago to pay for general expenditures. (See these Social Security Quotes.)

Now this woman (an academic, at that) is talking about another government program that would "create guaranteed retirement accounts".

Get real! Now I know why this prominent French writer and philosopher so many years ago stated:

"I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly."
— Michel de Montaigne

Here are some new retirement quotes and retirement sayings to place your retirement planning in proper perspective so you don't have to adopt dying early as your retirement plan:

"Let's spend all our money to buy cool stuff. Later we can sell it all on eBay to pay for our retirement."
— from Glasbergen cartoon

"What a wonderful title: The Joy of Not Working. Ernie Zelinski's basic message, no matter your career stage, is get a well-balanced life and quit relying on your job to define who you are. It's hard to quibble with Zelinski's live-life-to-the-fullest message. Those who have drafted a resignation letter in their heads a thousand times may be motivated to finally quit an unfilling job."
— Michelle Archer, USA TODAY
“Get this book [How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free] if you look forward to a retirement with 'zing!' ”
— Nancy Paradis, St. Petersburg Times, Florida

"I'm regularly asked what my [retirement] plan is, and I deliberately don't have much of a plan. I've had lots of plans in my life and it might be nice to have a period that is less planned."
— Malcolm Hamilton, Canada's Expert on Pensions and Retirement Planning

"People may live as much retired from the world as they like, but sooner or later they find themselves debtor or creditor to some one. More money won’t bring you more happiness — It works the other way around."
— from the book Career Success WITHOUT a Real Job

"Everyone needs a reason to put their shoes on in the morning [when they retire]. If you put on the slippers, you'll end up dragging your feet all day."
— Norma Fagan, Dir. of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Monroe County

"Whatever the challenge of a new age, in the end what really counts is not the years in our lives but the life in our years. It is not about longevity, but the depth of life. Long ago I learned that age does not wither the mind if people remain positive. No one is too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. It is a mind game. As Churchill suggested, "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."
— Singapore Retiree Jennie Chau

"Yes, I am thoroughly enjoying retirement! The best part is observing my neighbors drive off to work in the morning knowing that that their day will be filled with jerks, brainless and endless meetings, jerks, vendor lunches where you hold your breath just waiting for the sales pitch until you regurgitate your pasta, more jerks and the eventual company reorganization of the section that was just reorganized last month!
— Bill Kalmar

Here is a little item in the Globe and Mail about how I invest my money: Early Retiree Prefers Peace of Mind Investing His Retirement Money. Note how mean and vicious the comments and replies to comments can become.

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