Sunday, September 24, 2006

I Want To Retire

Some day, why not. Afterall, my younger brother age 52 is taking a buy-out and retiring from GM at the end of the year. Lucky guy. This past week I received in the mail a booklet from my own outfit that controls my pension plan. Titled "To and Through Retirement", it promised tips to get my portfolio on track for retirement.

I already knew where this was going before I turned the cover page:

---according to their analyses, I won’t have enough in my 401K to retire until I’m 80,
---unless I invest large sums of my present income into their financial products;
---those financial products will include risky ventures such as stocks and insurance.

They don’t call them stocks and insurance in their literature. They’re called equities and annuities. Have you noticed the changing vernacular businesses use to avoid having a negative connotation of their product or business? Don’t say stocks, say equities. It’s not a used car, it’s a pre-owned vehicle. You’re not taking out a second mortgage on your home, you’re cashing out the equity. Casinos call it gaming; we call it gambling.

Stocks are a gamble in my book, ever since the dot com bubble burst. I saw my retirement savings shrink. My colleague and I figured we would never be able to retire because we would owe into our 401K till we died just to break even. Yet there’s always a push from the financial planners for you to put large sums into stocks. Am I being cynical in thinking there must be a large commission in it for them?

Anyway, back to the magazine. A sidebar featured a fellow "nearing retirement" at age 71. Age 71?? I want to have worn out three rocking chairs before I’m 71.

By the way, they suggested that he put almost 50 per cent of his retirement portfolio into stocks.


Blogger WordWhiz said...

AMEN!! They keep pushing back the age at which you can take social security, which gives large corporations free reign to push back the age at which you qualify to take a full pension. They want us to work until the, the MINUTE...we drop dead! It's sad.

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a vast difference between .com stocks and blue chip stocks Dave, I'd be pretty sure the growth figures for the US stock market would be much the same as ours in Australia, they show a trend line here of more than 20% PA if you take a period of 5 years or more.
Hey I'm not tryin' to sell you anything here BTW, but an open mind is a handy thing as long as it's not so open that your brains can fall out.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Oh well, what can one expect from corporate America? They're not businessmen, they're "morally-challenged legal tender swine".

9:33 PM  
Anonymous younger brother said...

Correction. I'm only 51 and retiring after more then 34 yrs of service, with an incentive.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Dave. LOL about the "pre-owned" vehicles. Here, they also call them "certified" pre-owned vehicles, which I guess means they're guaranteed not to break down until you get them home.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Well Dave, take whatever figure you though you would need at retirement and double it! My hubby worked for 45 years at the same place and retired at 70 as the boss. We thought everything was covered, but the stock market has not kept up it's end of the bargain and the tax man has declared open season on our wallets. I know the government never really intended for many people to collect SSI --- the original timing was retire at 65, but life expectancy at the time was 64. With the advent of modern medicine, you are probably gonna stick around to 83 or 84, so don't quit your day job too soon. All the "golden oldies" in Florida have left really great jobs and are carrying out groceries at Publix for golf money. Old age is not for sissies!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I retired. Then, I went and got a teaching job. I'm not too sure what to call that.


3:59 PM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

Can football fans retire? If not, may I please borrow a match?

4:35 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

50% seems like too much to me if you're planning on a retirement soon. I always heard that as you got nearer retirement, you should put your money in safer places.

Age 71 seems a bit late to retire to me.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I've already retired, I just didn't tell the HR department. ;-)

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I retired five years ago and although I have enough to pay all my bills and enjoy a little travel, I am not living high on the hog.

In the past five years, I notice I am using more and more of my retirement pay just to cover the essentials.

The good side is that things that I once spent money on like clothes, school, etc. are no longer eating up a lot of money

Count your blessings if you retire with a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes to keep you warm. Having a family who loves you helps too and I know you have that.

I agree with others that you should not rush into retirement. I waited until I was 65 while most of my friends retired from teaching at 55. I am glad now that I had those extra ten years.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

My husband retired from the Police Department early, but he already had a thriving locksmithing business going. We collect some retirement and pay what the other officers pay for health insurance. I still don't think we have enough money to retire at 65, but the house will be paid off by then, so who knows.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

In defense of husband made very savvy investments PRIOR to the mess it is now and was able to retire 2 years ago this December. But I have to agree....right now, it's a very "ify" thing. I sure hope you're able to wear out that rocking chair before you hit 80!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Scar isn't it? I keep thinking I'm going to retire, but I have this nasty habit of eating.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...


I always worked for mortgage companies that didn't even bother to give us health insurance, let alone retirement accounts. Even though I have those things now in my current position working with the disabled, I have only been with the company for 10 months, and I'm 43. So between that factor and my husband having his own contracting company, I'm looking to retire comfortably somewhere around the age of 106.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:46 AM  

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