I didn't realize just how lousy a deal Social Security is . . .

UncleMark

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Let's face it ... our whole life is a gamble so waiting on SS is just one more gamble. I took mine at 62.... the main reason is that I believe they'll start doing means testing one of these days and I'd be left out.

I don't think they would ever actually means test SS benefits. What I think is more probable is that it be considered fully taxable for higher income people.
 

NPT

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If you know of any bond mutual fund that pays 5% or higher, let's hear what it is.
Yields.jpg
 
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NPT

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It is funny reading the board on the issue. Most Americans don't really have a good early opportunity. The site below lists median and average retirement amounts. Neither bodes well for early retirement. Fortunately, I'm above where the average or median person my age is, but even looking at my number's retirement might be feasible at 65 but I'm skeptical. The average American at 60 has $221,000. Let's assume that is $250,000 at 62. 4% rule is $10,000/year. The average family income in the US is around $70,000, which probably puts a person at $1500/month or so Social Security or $18,000 per year. So early retirement is $28,000/year at 62. Not a pretty sight. If it is a couple making the same money, $56,000/year. Livable, but not a lot of international travel.

That doesn't look good. Most people, no matter how much they make, live for today and never think about tomorrow. If you start young and can save you don't have to save a lot. And for those who say they can't save I'd be willing to bet that I could find money they could save. I've known people that are always behind and showed them how they have plenty money to cover their bills plus some extra.

I don't agree with the 80% of income after you retire because you have more time to travel, more time to shop, etc. whereas when working you don't have all that time on your hands. I know in my case that my spending went up after retiring. Of course everyone is different so it may go down for some people.
 
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NPT

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I don't think they would ever actually means test SS benefits. What I think is more probable is that it be considered fully taxable for higher income people.
I'm not as convinced as you are that they won't means test. A lot of politicians like to stick it to the people who have been responsible and sacrificed in their early years. And means testing has been brought up by some politicians ... guess we'll just have to wait and see.

I do think that they will eventually start taxing the higher income people like you say. Don't guess I ever understood the rational for not doing it because the benefits you get sure aren't linear with what you pay in. In other words, a person that pays $300,000 into SS over their lifetime will definitely not get twice as much as a person that pays $150,000 over their lifetime.
 

Stuffshot

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That doesn't look good. Most people, no matter how much they make, live for today and never think about tomorrow. If you start young and can save you don't have to save a lot. And for those who say they can't save I'd be willing to bet that I could find money they could save. I've known people that are always behind and showed them how they have plenty money to cover their bills plus some extra.

I don't agree with the 80% of income after you retire because you have more time to travel, more time to shop, etc. whereas when working you don't have all that time on your hands. I know in my case that my spending went up after retiring. Of course everyone is different so it may go down for some people.
There is some disagreement among the various rules of thumb whether you'll need X% of your normal income or Y% or whatever % when you retire. Hard to be sure when the experts disagree. It might be just as simple to work out a monthly spending budget on Word or Excel.

Groups like AARP publish worksheets listing every conceivable expense category that might arise in retirement, and most of your spending is going through credit cards and checking accounts anyway, so there are monthly statements to reference (if you kept them😬). Much better than relying on your memory of what you spent it on.
 
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DANC

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That doesn't look good. Most people, no matter how much they make, live for today and never think about tomorrow. If you start young and can save you don't have to save a lot. And for those who say they can't save I'd be willing to bet that I could find money they could save. I've known people that are always behind and showed them how they have plenty money to cover their bills plus some extra.

I don't agree with the 80% of income after you retire because you have more time to travel, more time to shop, etc. whereas when working you don't have all that time on your hands. I know in my case that my spending went up after retiring. Of course everyone is different so it may go down for some people.
It went down for me, but my daughter got married not long after I retired (I did pay a crazy amount for the wedding, but my expenses have gone down because I'm not supporting her anymore), I made sure I paid down a lot of debt and I dipped into savings to pay off the house. So, my expenses are the basics plus travel, which we do quite a bit of, but airfares have been relatively cheap and we look for deals - we're flexible, now that we're retired.

I'd say the biggest savings we've realized is we're not eating out as much. When we both worked, it was too easy to eat out. Now, we generally eat out a couple night's a week, because we have time to prepare meals at home.

Overall, I'm probably in much better financial shape 9 years after retirement, but mainly because I took care of the debt. For me, that's the key.

In our case, we're getting by on about 60% of pre-retirement income and it allows us to stay out of our IRA or only dip into it for big-ticket items. With the stock market going gangbusters, our IRAs have grown way beyond what was expected. Of course, there's always the chance of a major downturn.
 
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NPT

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It went down for me, but my daughter got married not long after I retired (I did pay a crazy amount for the wedding, but my expenses have gone down because I'm not supporting her anymore), I made sure I paid down a lot of debt and I dipped into savings to pay off the house. So, my expenses are the basics plus travel, which we do quite a bit of, but airfares have been relatively cheap and we look for deals - we're flexible, now that we're retired.

I'd say the biggest savings we've realized is we're not eating out as much. When we both worked, it was too easy to eat out. Now, we generally eat out a couple night's a week, because we have time to prepare meals at home.

Overall, I'm probably in much better financial shape 9 years after retirement, but mainly because I took care of the debt. For me, that's the key.

In our case, we're getting by on about 60% of pre-retirement income and it allows us to stay out of our IRA or only dip into it for big-ticket items. With the stock market going gangbusters, our IRAs have grown way beyond what was expected. Of course, there's always the chance of a major downturn.
We just gave our daughter $25,000 for her wedding and said do what you want to do. I think she had a lot left over which was fine with us.

You did just the opposite of us. When we worked and got home I wasn't gonna leave again so we very seldom eat out but after we retired we started eating out more.

We paid off our house by the time I was 40-45. I was able to retire at 53 and my wife at 51...been retired quite some time now.
 

Stuffshot

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It went down for me, but my daughter got married not long after I retired (I did pay a crazy amount for the wedding, but my expenses have gone down because I'm not supporting her anymore), I made sure I paid down a lot of debt and I dipped into savings to pay off the house. So, my expenses are the basics plus travel, which we do quite a bit of, but airfares have been relatively cheap and we look for deals - we're flexible, now that we're retired.

I'd say the biggest savings we've realized is we're not eating out as much. When we both worked, it was too easy to eat out. Now, we generally eat out a couple night's a week, because we have time to prepare meals at home.

Overall, I'm probably in much better financial shape 9 years after retirement, but mainly because I took care of the debt. For me, that's the key.

In our case, we're getting by on about 60% of pre-retirement income and it allows us to stay out of our IRA or only dip into it for big-ticket items. With the stock market going gangbusters, our IRAs have grown way beyond what was expected. Of course, there's always the chance of a major downturn.
You wrote, "we're not eating out as much."

I'll bet you're eating less food, too. The restaurants I like the most have the habit of selling me what amounts to two meals when I order one. Usually, the takehome leftovers are still great the next day but, make no mistake, meals in restaurants are huge.
 

DANC

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We just gave our daughter $25,000 for her wedding and said do what you want to do. I think she had a lot left over which was fine with us.

You did just the opposite of us. When we worked and got home I wasn't gonna leave again so we very seldom eat out but after we retired we started eating out more.

We paid off our house by the time I was 40-45. I was able to retire at 53 and my wife at 51...been retired quite some time now.
I retired at 58. I could have retired much earlier if my wife would have been willing to stick to a budget.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.....
 

HooDatGuy

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We just gave our daughter $25,000 for her wedding and said do what you want to do. I think she had a lot left over which was fine with us.

You did just the opposite of us. When we worked and got home I wasn't gonna leave again so we very seldom eat out but after we retired we started eating out more.

We paid off our house by the time I was 40-45. I was able to retire at 53 and my wife at 51...been retired quite some time now.
In my experience, cheap weddings lead to cheap marriages.

A lot of people think spending a ton of money on a wedding is a sign of vanity.

Completely wrong, IMO. You only get married once and you better make sure you have a partner that believes the same.

I have a lot of regretful expenditures in life, but I’ve never regretted spending heavy on friends and family in the name of a good time.
 

DANC

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In my experience, cheap weddings lead to cheap marriages.

A lot of people think spending a ton of money on a wedding is a sign of vanity.

Completely wrong, IMO. You only get married once and you better make sure you have a partner that believes the same.

I have a lot of regretful expenditures in life, but I’ve never regretted spending heavy on friends and family in the name of a good time.
The amount of money spent on weddings is obscene. The expectations are unrealistic for a large part of society.

But she was my only child and my little girl usually got what she wanted.

I don't think the cost of the wedding has a thing to do with longevity of the marriage. I've seen marriages with the most lavish wedding collapse after 6 months.
 
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UncleMark

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I retired at 58. I could have retired much earlier if my wife would have been willing to stick to a budget.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.....
LOL. I got lucky on that. Where we differ is what we do want to spend money on when we can. She wants big ticket home improvement type stuff, while I want to go to dinner and a movie.
 
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HooDatGuy

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The amount of money spent on weddings is obscene. The expectations are unrealistic for a large part of society.

But she was my only child and my little girl usually got what she wanted.

I don't think the cost of the wedding has a thing to do with longevity of the marriage. I've seen marriages with the most lavish wedding collapse after 6 months.
I don’t think it is at all obscene. You’re making it official with your partner for the next 50+ years of life. That is no small event and deserves to be celebrated as much.

Indiana doesn’t have enough Catholics is what the disagreement boils down to.

Protestants looks at marriage as a non binding agreement, so obviously why celebrate.
 

mcmurtry66

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I don’t think it is at all obscene. You’re making it official with your partner for the next 50+ years of life. That is no small event and deserves to be celebrated as much.

Indiana doesn’t have enough Catholics is what the disagreement boils down to.

Protestants looks at marriage as a non binding agreement, so obviously why celebrate.
It’s an agreement that needs an option clause every seven or so years
 
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UncleMark

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We just gave our daughter $25,000 for her wedding and said do what you want to do. I think she had a lot left over which was fine with us.

LOL. I got married for around $600. The venue was free, the judge did it for free, my mom paid for the cake, and I fed a couple dozen people. Made most of that back in "gift" money.
 

mcmurtry66

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LOL. I got married for around $600. The venue was free, the judge did it for free, my mom paid for the cake, and I fed a couple dozen people. Made most of that back in "gift" money.
They have Weddings on Wednesday here at the courthouse. The Judges call it the farm system for the family court lol
 
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NPT

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A lot of people think spending a ton of money on a wedding is a sign of vanity.
We know our daughter pretty well so I would guess that she did not spend half of it so they had a little money to start off with.
 

UncleMark

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We know our daughter pretty well so I would guess that she did not spend half of it so they had a little money to start off with.

Anything more than a quickie at the courthouse and a reception at White Castle is just showin' off.
 

HooDatGuy

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We know our daughter pretty well so I would guess that she did not spend half of it so they had a little money to start off with.
I’m assuming you went. Was it a 25k wedding or no?

I could tell you the price of every wedding I went to to within 5k.

Except some of the truly outrageous ones.
 

UncleMark

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There is some disagreement among the various rules of thumb whether you'll need X% of your normal income or Y% or whatever % when you retire. Hard to be sure when the experts disagree. It might be just as simple to work out a monthly spending budget on Word or Excel.

Oh for cryin' out loud. It should be simple enough to know what your take home pay has been while working, and what it will be once you retire. Assuming you'ved lived within your means, you either adjust your lifestyle to account for the difference or see how much money you'll have if you draw the difference from savings and investments. Me, I figured out what that difference was and found a lame part time job to make up the difference. Easy peasy. Once that part time job is no longer sustainable, I should have enough socked away for both of us to live twenty years or so.
 
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NPT

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Anything more than a quickie at the courthouse and a reception at White Castle is just showin' off.
You could afford White Castle??? We cooked our own dinner after our wedding and it was from roadkill. :) :)