Author Topic: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...  (Read 7265 times)

the fixer

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Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:02:03 PM »
http://slashdot.org/poll/2737/i-expect-to-retire-

Now excuse me while I go make the popcorn :)

bo_knows

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 01:56:48 PM »
Wow is that a depressing thread.

windawake

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 05:51:41 PM »
A bunch of complainy-pants doomsayers over there.

arebelspy

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 06:32:57 PM »
Slashdot can be quite pessimistic at times.  Their technical knowledge and research skills are quite impressive though.

I also saw at some point an article or study about how many people at certain ages think they'll never be able to retire, yet somehow they do, and most are able to retire.  They may just not have the retirement they envisioned.

I think most people just don't know what to do, so they follow the standard advice (save 5-10% of your salary), and do what everyone else does - buy expensive toys, vacations, etc.

I feel bad for those who just follow the script - it's not their fault, they just never learned there was a better way.  I'm glad MMM and others like him are helping to open some people's eyes.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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bo_knows

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 06:44:13 PM »
I think most people just don't know what to do, so they follow the standard advice (save 5-10% of your salary), and do what everyone else does - buy expensive toys, vacations, etc.

I feel bad for those who just follow the script - it's not their fault, they just never learned there was a better way.  I'm glad MMM and others like him are helping to open some people's eyes.

I don't even think that is the most depressing part.  The fact that so many people think that retirement is "giving up on life" or they can't even imagine what they'd do with themselves, is a sad sad situation.  There are SO many things I'd rather be doing than testing software for the government. I could list 50 things off the top of my head, but those folks joke about retirement being a death sentence.

BlueHouse

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 07:11:20 PM »
I also saw at some point an article or study about how many people at certain ages think they'll never be able to retire, yet somehow they do, and most are able to retire.  They may just not have the retirement they envisioned.

3 months ago I thought I'd never retire (by never, I meant age 74).  I now have confidence that I can retire at what I once considered "Young" (age 60) with a large monthly budget, or I can retire 5 or 7 years earlier with a pared down budget.  I'm not sure yet if I'll get to the earlier date.  I'm reducing my expenses and seeing what is realistic for me.  I'll find out within the next few years whether I'll retire in 10 years or 15 years. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 02:13:41 PM »
They will find out what a blast it is if they can just forget the TV (and equivalences).  I am so busy and having so much fun, and other retirees say they are the same.  Maybe when we are old(er) and our health isn't as good, it may be different.  I should have done this years ago!

I don't even think that is the most depressing part.  The fact that so many people think that retirement is "giving up on life" or they can't even imagine what they'd do with themselves, is a sad sad situation.  There are SO many things I'd rather be doing than testing software for the government. I could list 50 things off the top of my head, but those folks joke about retirement being a death sentence.

austin

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2014, 09:46:53 PM »
You have to be quite a boring person if you can't envision what you'd do with your life if you weren't forced to work for money. Maybe it's a good thing people like this are put to work.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2014, 10:14:01 PM »
There are SO many things I'd rather be doing than testing software for the government. I could list 50 things off the top of my head, but those folks joke about retirement being a death sentence.

Then why are you spending a large chunk of your life testing software for the government?  Why not find a way to make a living doing something you'd enjoy doing instead?

That's why I don't see a lot of those comments as "complainy-pants doomsayers" because they don't want to retire.  I LIKE writing software (even though I prefer to spend 20-30 hours a week at it, rather than 60-80), so why would I want to stop?  Sure, I could do open source stuff, but there's more challenge in what I get paid for - and those direct deposits in my bank account are a gratifyingly tangible sign of appreciation :-)

arebelspy

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2014, 07:08:20 AM »
That's why I don't see a lot of those comments as "complainy-pants doomsayers" because they don't want to retire.

Except that many of them say the want to retire, don't like their job, etc., but say they won't ever be able to afford to retire.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Gin1984

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2014, 07:13:50 AM »
That's why I don't see a lot of those comments as "complainy-pants doomsayers" because they don't want to retire.

Except that many of them say the want to retire, don't like their job, etc., but say they won't ever be able to afford to retire.
My mom would have been one of those people but she retired early at 58, because her bosses added a pension when she was in her 40s and when I graduated high school in 2002 she started maxing out her 403b.  At this point she lives on her pension, and her cash out, has 475,000 in her 401k that she has not touched yet and seems fine.  We will see in 20 years though because her pension is not indexed to inflation.

arebelspy

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2014, 07:20:01 AM »
That's why I don't see a lot of those comments as "complainy-pants doomsayers" because they don't want to retire.

Except that many of them say the want to retire, don't like their job, etc., but say they won't ever be able to afford to retire.
My mom would have been one of those people but she retired early at 58, because her bosses added a pension when she was in her 40s and when I graduated high school in 2002 she started maxing out her 403b.  At this point she lives on her pension, and her cash out, has 475,000 in her 401k that she has not touched yet and seems fine.  We will see in 20 years though because her pension is not indexed to inflation.

That's awesome, good for her!

Most people, sadly, won't take charge like she did.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Gin1984

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 08:20:27 AM »
That's why I don't see a lot of those comments as "complainy-pants doomsayers" because they don't want to retire.

Except that many of them say the want to retire, don't like their job, etc., but say they won't ever be able to afford to retire.
My mom would have been one of those people but she retired early at 58, because her bosses added a pension when she was in her 40s and when I graduated high school in 2002 she started maxing out her 403b.  At this point she lives on her pension, and her cash out, has 475,000 in her 401k that she has not touched yet and seems fine.  We will see in 20 years though because her pension is not indexed to inflation.

That's awesome, good for her!

Most people, sadly, won't take charge like she did.
She did not change much, mostly she got lucky.  She had a huge cash out because of the contract and Ca law, some of which I convinced her to put in her 401k, ACA passed and her union added the pension (and took away the 403b match).  When she was originally looking at retiring 62, it would have taken her spending only $3000.  That last for about 2 month before she went back up to $4000 cause it was too hard.  But, she has moved to a cheaper area (rent is $900 instead of $1200) and had to decrease eating out because of health reasons.  That is part of why I am a fan of SS and pension, I don't trust people to be smart.

CarDude

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2014, 09:00:17 AM »
  That is part of why I am a fan of SS and pension, I don't trust people to be smart.

This could be said for pretty much any social support. Life isn't long enough to become an expert in everything.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2014, 11:34:30 AM »
Except that many of them say the want to retire, don't like their job, etc., but say they won't ever be able to afford to retire.

I didn't read all the comments, so maybe I just happened to hit on a section that was mostly from the 'don't wanna retire!' crowd.  But the poll has 30% saying either after 75 or never.  As some of the comments say, it would be interesting to know how that divides between 'can't afford to' and 'don't want to'.  I do admit, though, that my personal biases put me firmly in the latter camp :-)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2014, 11:39:49 AM by Jamesqf »

bo_knows

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2014, 08:58:19 AM »
There are SO many things I'd rather be doing than testing software for the government. I could list 50 things off the top of my head, but those folks joke about retirement being a death sentence.

Then why are you spending a large chunk of your life testing software for the government?  Why not find a way to make a living doing something you'd enjoy doing instead?

That's why I don't see a lot of those comments as "complainy-pants doomsayers" because they don't want to retire.  I LIKE writing software (even though I prefer to spend 20-30 hours a week at it, rather than 60-80), so why would I want to stop?  Sure, I could do open source stuff, but there's more challenge in what I get paid for - and those direct deposits in my bank account are a gratifyingly tangible sign of appreciation :-)

James, I know that you're firmly in a profession that you love and could do straight up till your deathbed, but most people are not.

My job is secure, well paying, and flexible with my schedule (I work only 36 hrs, with Fridays off) which is hugely important to me so that I can spend time with my son.  I'm probably 7 years away from some sort of FIRE scenario, whether both my wife and I drop to 50% employment, completely ditch employment, or go some other direction.  To me, it doesn't seem worth it to possibly jeopardize my FIRE plans for a mythical "love-what-you-do" profession that probably won't pay as well. 

There are a couple of businesses I'd possibly want to open as part of finding something I'd "love" to do, but I'm too comfortable right now and don't want to risk losing time at home for the crazy hours it would take to open a business. One of which is trying to develop an online game... but I'm trying to keep that as a hobby.

Too Long, Didn't Read: I'm a sissy. :)

the fixer

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2014, 10:51:05 AM »
I don't think it's very smart planning for software people to assume they'll be working forever, no matter how much they like their job. There are risks of certain disabilities ending one's career, although they're smaller for knowledge workers than most other types of jobs. The bigger risks are falling behind as technology advances and jobs getting outsourced. There are ways to reduce these risks that involve being really good at what you do, but given how many older people find it so difficult to get new employment it would be silly to ignore them.

I think a more reasonable answer would be "I never want to retire, but I'm doing my financial planning as if I were going to retire at 60 just in case my job disappears or I develop an expensive health problem."

Jamesqf

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2014, 01:17:18 PM »
I think a more reasonable answer would be "I never want to retire, but I'm doing my financial planning as if I were going to retire at 60 just in case my job disappears or I develop an expensive health problem."

Sure.  As I keep saying, financial independence and early retirement are two distinctly different things.  I was borderline FI more than a decade ago; each passing year improves my position.  (Barring the occasional '08 market crash, of course.)  That means that if a job or industry sector goes belly-up, I can live without working.  Which has my long-term planning goal for most of my adult life: not to ever not work (which is my definition of retirement), but to be able to survive if for some reason I couldn't work.

Now there's nothing to say that I always have to work in software: I enjoy it and it pays well, but there are other things I could find to do.  I think the difference is attitude: I might wind up jobless at 80, but I'll be unemployed, perhaps disabled, but not retired.


NewStachian

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2014, 01:48:17 PM »
In the first Matrix movie, when the Agent has Neo tied up and is telling him about the first Matrix, he talked about how they programmed it to be a perfect Utopia and people rejected the programming because it was against their nature. They knew something was wrong. His conclusion was that many humans define their existence by the misery that surrounds them.

While this is very pessimistic, I see many, many people who think they have little or no control over their life. I see it every day, as I'm sure many of you have if you've ever tried to describe what it's like to be Mustachian.

Mustachianism can be explained very simply: taking control of your life and maximizing your happiness.

the fixer

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2014, 02:44:41 PM »
Jamesqf, I wasn't directing my post at your situation specifically, more at the general attitude being expressed on /. I doubt all the people there saying "I never want to retire" are actually saving enough to allow themselves to do so if they needed to.

I noticed a comment with a link to ERE and MMM has been modded up. I was hoping that would happen.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2014, 03:49:07 PM »
Jamesqf, I wasn't directing my post at your situation specifically, more at the general attitude being expressed on /. I doubt all the people there saying "I never want to retire" are actually saving enough to allow themselves to do so if they needed to.

Sure, and I wasn't directing my reply at my situation specifically.  It's just easier, I think, to frame a reply in terms of specifics rather than generalities.  As for what fraction don't/won't have the money to retire...  Well, I'm curious about that too, and wish the poll had asked for reasons.

the fixer

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2014, 10:59:28 AM »
On a related note, I found this this morning: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-realistic-is-it-to-say-youll-never-retire/
Quote
But workers' expectations that they want to delay retirement is at odds with the experience of actual retirees. From 1991 to 2014, the median age at retirement -- age 62 -- has remained unchanged. The main reason for the gap between workers' expectations and retirees' experience is that many people retire unexpectedly.

The Retirement Confidence survey consistently reports that a large percentage of retirees leave the workforce earlier than they planned (49 percent in 2014). The reasons cited are health problems (61 percent), downsizing or plant closure (18 percent) and needing to care for a spouse or other family member (18 percent).
So the retirement plan of "never retire" essentially has a 50+% failure rate.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slashdot poll: I expect to retire...
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2014, 11:40:05 AM »
So the retirement plan of "never retire" essentially has a 50+% failure rate.

Of course an optimist would see it as having nearly a 50% success rate :-)  But that's part of the reason for FI: in case something happens that means you can't work.

Then too, there's an attitude thing.  In my younger days, I had extended periods of joblessness, where I either didn't work at all, or just had temporary work.  Was I retired, or just unemployed?  Same with losing a job after age 60 or so: my attitude would be to see it as unemployment rather than retirement.