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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 141 of 166

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by SLEEPERCELL

You're right that NJ's property taxes are very high, but putting even more of the burden on those under 60, by making those over 60 tax exempt, would drive even more families into forclosure & out of the state!

I think the truth is that whenever a particular segment is given an overwhelming break like that, at the expense of other residents, more people who qualify for that break move into the area, while the others move out. What do you do when 80% of the population wind up being people > 60 not paying property taxes, and the entire expense of running the state winds up on the backs of the 20% who are paying taxes?!

When I sold my house in north Jersey back in 2008, the 30-something couple that bought the house put 3% down & got an FHA mortgage .. and they both had jobs that paid 6-figures! I was incredulous .. but took the money & ran!


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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 142 of 166

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by ASTRAEA

Once in awhile--- I believe she also writes for the Costco member newsletter or magazine that goes out too.

I cannot fathom putting down 5% on a property--- that cannot be acceptable. I We put down 20% and even afterwards had to document for months for the mortgage company where money came from -- past and present and jump through hoops and to avoid paying PMI Insurance for a larger note.

Real Estate is going to be far more than interesting--- while I can't stand living in Maryland--- my heart was in New Jersey (you should laugh) but my brain and all my friends and relatives in NJ told me I can't afford to live there.  The rest all laugh about my desire to live in NJ and I just find it a wonderful state to visit, explore, etc.  But the taxes are simply too high as is the cost of living in many areas.  

I think that for any Senior--- federal, state and local taxes should read EXEMPT for anyone 60 years of age or older period. Seniors are the now paradigm shift for the economy-- and dropping penalties on Seniors would have an economic impact that would be positive. The money / life cycle of how the system in the US works isn't working and won't function.

Seniors have the potential to jump start the economy with restrictions (taxes/tax liabilities) removed. 

Without a significant change to the US system---- markets are shifting and housing will not recover but spiral downward, Economic disparity will blanket the country and I wouldn't or couldn't begin to imagine the shifts in social/economic/political areas other than it would be negative. Too many boomer houses will/are available and on a very soft market competing with the huge inventory of houses dumped by Freddie/Fannie for steep discounts to raise cash and potential tax revenues that are also competing with normal sales and then new property sales.

I wonder what Suzy has to say about all this?

Costa Rica?

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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 143 of 166

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by SLEEPERCELL

Do you ever watch the "Suzy Orman" or "Til Debt do Us Part" TV shows? The people who ask for help on those shows say a lot about our society as a whole! And despite the economic "wake up call" we've had in the last 2+ years, there are still people who spend money on what they want, without any basis at all in their actual finances.

The other night someone called into Suzy's show saying she'd just gotten married, and they wanted to know if they could afford to buy a house, and Suzy denied them based on how little $ they could put down right now. Suzy said how ridiculous it is that despite the mortage meltdown, some people were still getting mortgages with less than 5% to put down .. while the real estate market is still declining in many areas.


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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 144 of 166

In Response to How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by KidBoy2

So while I think Americans expectations may be out of whack or the poll numbers are skewed--- the question remains "How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?"

Karl made point of lifestyle and then of course location. "Comfortable" is subjective and had you inserted "really" to "HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY NEED FOR A COMFORTABLE RETIREMENT" with "AND YOU ARE GOING TO SACRIFICE SOMETHING TO LIVE THIS RETIREMENT DURING YOUR WORKING/SAVING YEARS then maybe answers would be different.

We all make choices and thus sacrifices during our working years. My Grandmother lived off of a $75 monthly social security check and lived in a public apartment (housing) after leaving the house my great grand father built-- she said it was too much to take care of and she was happy in her apartment and she never owned a car and walked in and about town to get her groceries, visit the doctors, etc.

I think our nation has serious issues and things seems to be way out of reality. How much do we really need?

My wife and I would love to live in a small town and walk on sidewalks and go everywhere about by foot or bicycle. We visited a small town where I grew up and the taxes (City only) were about $4500 average just for property--- then the State/County real estate taxes were another $4,000. 

I believe that we are facing a paradigm unlike any other. The baby boomer generation is retiring-- housing values are down and taxes are up while demand for the houses boomers have is down as is demand for moving into utopia since people are willing to sell cheap to get out from higher taxes and move somewhere without the sidewalks, city water and sewer services.

Karl also warned about having a major expense that can also throw your budget off and then for how long?

Where do seniors go to retire? Why?  All the seniors I ever knew growing up and even beyond into my older years always said, "No - I don't need that" or "that's too much for my needs."

What's happened?

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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 145 of 166

In Response to How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by KidBoy2

Is the poll out of whack or are American expectations above their means?

Less than 16% (15.73) earn 100k or more annually

Less than 11% (10.93) earn 75-100k annually

Less than 19% (18.27) earn 50-75k annually

Less than 27% (26.65) earn 25-50k annually

Less than 29% (28.22) EARN 0-25k annually

Now match these (facts) against what people say-----

Living beyond their means, false expectations, faulty poll?

50% of All Americans have a median salary of $44,389 annually

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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 146 of 166

In Response to How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by KidBoy2

How much you need may vary, but what you need to provide it based on a reasonable return depends on longevity! I used to run a spreadsheet that calculated how long our "nest egg" would last that included inflation etc.and some provision for those maintenance expenses, but a couple of years ago we had a large unplanned expense and I worry about the next 5 years instead of 10!

Karl

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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 147 of 166

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by retiredtraveler

.. and people wonder why it's so tough to meet other singles when traveling!  I may check out Road Scholar when I get a chance. Sometimes my volunteer involvements keep very very busy!


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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 148 of 166

I'm glad we used Road Scholar for the three trips we did. Even though the schedule wasn't always to our taste, the learning experiences were wonderful.

I've said this before, but I'll emphasize it again - DH and I have little or no interest in Southwestern art/history, but Road Scholar guide Allan Girtner was simply terrific. As a local historian he put together an absolutely riveting combination of tours, talks, concerts, and films. This was not something even a good travel agent, let alone a first-time visitor, could have duplicated. People who were experienced RS travelers said unanimously they think this guy is hands-down the best RS guide in the country, so we feel fortunate that we got him by serendipity (there's two guides that run NM tours for RS).

For us it worked out well to do half RS trips, half personal. In the current catalog of offerings there aren't many trips we're interested in, because our primary interest is West Coast travel. The only one we'd like to take now is Julia Child's Santa Barbara, but it's also their most popular and currently all four trips for the first half of 2011 are booked full.

As my brother lives in Los Angeles, we would wrap an entire driving trip before/after the Julia Child program, so I can't do a waitlist because I need a confirmed date. We would probably spend several days in Monterey/Carmel, one of our favorite eating towns; then the same in San Luis Obispo/Morro Bay. Do the RS program, then drive down to LA and spend a full week there - there's a fabulous B&B near my brother's house that is very difficult to get into but gets a 5-star TripAdvisor rating.

Then we either go down to San Diego or drive back home. Either way, it'll be another 4-5 week driving trip. That means we have to find someone to house-sit, which isn't easy!

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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 149 of 166

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by ASTRAEA

   I agree with you on most of your points. You may want to look at their catalog and see if you might be interested in some of their shorter programs that are more 'learning intensive', as opposed to group travel for longer periods. They do, or did, a lot of weekend seminar kinds of things where you have a teacher/speaker on a subject area. 

   I've not looked at their offerings for about a year, so I may be behind a bit.

   I understand your issues with travel. There really is not a large group, I'm sure you realize, of us that are 'tweeners' as far as early retirees that have the financial means to travel.

  There are even fewer of 'us' with the 'recent unpleasantness' and people losing their nest eggs, unable to sell a house, etc. And physically, few people are in shape and those group tours can be so slow. We find that in basic ranger walks where people are pooping out after a mile.

   I wish I had answers for you --- we like to travel so much. We'll be hitting DC/ Williamsburg in another month and we go out for 12 hour days. We'll go to a museum for several hours, do lunch, then do architectural walks for several hours, then hit the monuments or the free concerts at the Kennedy Center in the evening. A 'group' would quit after 4-5 hours.    

  

   


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RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

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Message 150 of 166

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by kom2010

   Good posting on Road Scholar.

I've eyed these programs for at least 15 years, and look at their listings online (in the old days, those really big catalogs I could get in the library), but have not used them (yet).

    They used to do many more programs where you would stay in college dorm rooms, during the summer, which made the programs a better bargain (depending on your proclivities). That was more in keeping with the 'elderhostel' name. They're more upscale now.

   It's far less expensive for us to travel in our little camper and have free ranger-led walks or campground talks in the national parks, but we may do some of the programs in the future for which we have a special interest and would like an informative guide.  


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