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This Is What Retirement Looks Like With No Savings

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So scary.   I read about WV teacher strike and I compare it to what Hawaii teachers went through when my mother began teaching in the 70s.  I can't believe that it's illegal for teachers to strike there.... but it also blows my mind that they still come out ahead of Hawaii when you look at cost-of-living adjustments.  Apparently, Hawaii and AZ are trading places for last in the nation. 

My mom is turning 70 this year and still has a mortgage because my folks didn't purchase a house till all us  kids were over 18.  My dad has passed. She's got a pension, SS, and cares for my youngest brother who is mentally disabled and gets SSDI.  He'll come to me when my mom passes.... women in her line are long-lived (her mom is still living independently at 93), but she's started feeling her age and recently hurt her back and got PT.  She occasionally talks about taking up substitute teaching to supplement her income, but keeps mislaying paperwork, so I don't think she's very serious about it. 

I know I'm paying into Social Security, I'll have a pension (though HI's is underfunded), and I'm slowly building up my 403b & 457... next step would be pad the emergency fund out to 6 months and  to fund an IRA. 

My husband half-jokes about working till he drops dead.  His parents seem to have a comfortable retirement and frequently travel and dine out.  His mother has a filing cabinent full of receipts and accounting.  She's very organized.   The difference between our folks is striking... and comparing to us, well. I'm learning and I'm glad I'm getting a handle on it now, even if it is a little late, at least I'm not so close to retirement age that it's panic time. 


I do think that once our son graduates, I"ll probably take up a part-time retail or restaurant job, something in the el/hospitality industry to help supplement savings. 

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It will be even more embarrassing if somehow something really happens to social security as we know it. There is always talk of changing it, reducing benefits ,eliminating it, or privatizing it. I keep hearing young people say they don't think social security will even be around for them. I tend to think they are wrong but who knows?

Teachers at very least still get a pension but they need to save in a 403b or Roth becauseI I know some states are restructuring teacher pension plans and not usually to improve the benefit. Some state plans are in trouble and/or underfunded.

I worry whats going to happen to folks when the next great recession happens.


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People have called me a pessimist my whole life, but when I talk to people 45 and younger and when I look at polling for different age brackets...I see SS, Medicare, etc being expanded, not reduced. In the coming decades I’d bet on an expansion of the social safety net...especially if we watch our grandparents work until death, go hungry, go without proper healthcare, and go homeless or live in awful conditions as the article seems to indicate is happening.

For example, SS is insanely easy to save/expand. Step 1, don’t exempt income that is over 112k or whatever it is. Step 2, don’t exempt investment income. Step 3, get rid of its flat tax nature and ask people like me to pay increasingly higher rates.

Although anything can happen in the short term, specifically 2018 and possibly until 2020 if the Dems can’t retake a chamber. So we’ll see. 

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