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Photo Engineer
03-26-2012, 08:45 PM
US Steel? Westinghouse? Alcoa? Xerox?

More like the waitress down at the local coffee shop. The mechanic who fixes your car. The fellow at the car wash. And that guy/gal behind the lawn mower.

Ken

Yes Ken, I did use those examples but I also included small businesses in my post which you ignored. Druggists, Waitresses, Clerks and others can buy into retirement plans if their company has no plan. They do not for the most part.

But, what I cannot believe based on my post and some comments above, is that 90% have no pensions. Maybe the 60% or so is more reasonable? IDK. My mother was a sales clerk in a small store but managed a retirement savings plan and my father worked for a small steel company and did the same. We called my dad's place, the junkyard with affection as it was a junkyard for high end metals (Zirconium, Hafnium, etc) and when they went belly up with the closing of many plants in western PA, he moved on and still kept his pension. They were fully funded.

My grandfather owned his own business with his sons as sole employees. They all had retirement pensions!

It takes a person willing to forgo luxuries today for stability later I think. Most people do not want to plan ahead, they want someone else to do it for them.

PE

Poisson Du Jour
03-26-2012, 08:48 PM
Come and live in the Promised Land. Australia, oi!

Tim Gray
03-26-2012, 09:34 PM
It takes a person willing to forgo luxuries today for stability later I think. Most people do not want to plan ahead, they want someone else to do it for them.


Maybe in the past. A lot of people working minimum wage type jobs nowadays don't make enough money to plan ahead or have any real luxuries to speak of that they can forgo.

kb3lms
03-26-2012, 09:59 PM
Here is a link to an interesting article about the movie industry switch to digbibal. Maybe it's not all about convenience or inconvenience and cost of the medium, there's also an element of union contracts and labor issues to deal with that a digbibal workflow might avoid.

http://http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/film-fading-to-black

The part I found especially interesting was in the section "DIGITAL: AN "OVERNIGHT SUCCESS" and "THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE OUT." Moving to digbible eliminated issues with the SAG and AMPTP because if it wasn't film the SAG contracts didn't apply according to this article.

Ain't much Kodak can do about that.

Photo Engineer
03-26-2012, 09:59 PM
Maybe in the past. A lot of people working minimum wage type jobs nowadays don't make enough money to plan ahead or have any real luxuries to speak of that they can forgo.

Maybe so, maybe not. My mother got $0.25 over minimum and still managed a savings plan for herself.

PE

Tim Gray
03-26-2012, 10:16 PM
Maybe so, maybe not. My mother got $0.25 over minimum and still managed a savings plan for herself.

PE

Times are different now. I'm shocked I have to even say that.

If I made minimum wage, my gas bill for my car each month would take up a third of my wages - pre tax. I know, I drive a gas guzzler (a Mini) :D Never mind rent in some places... $1200/month isn't that much, particularly if you have dependents.

keithwms
03-26-2012, 10:23 PM
Right about now is when I usually mention The Great Stagnation (http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Stagnation-Low-Hanging-ebook/dp/B004H0M8QS) by Tyler Cowen.

Steve Smith
03-27-2012, 12:41 AM
people lose their job and drain the 401k trying to save their house before they end up losing it too.

That shouldn't be allowed. Over here, I can't touch the savings in my pension plan until I am 60.


The days of going to work for a career at the same place are long gone.

Whilst that is generally true, I am currently in year 24 with the same employer. I have an uncle who has the family record though. He left school at 16 and retired at 65 recently from a career designing satellites at Marconi.

I don't think that is going to be very common now.


Steve.

Roger Cole
03-27-2012, 03:57 AM
That shouldn't be allowed. Over here, I can't touch the savings in my pension plan until I am 60.


Steve.

Well you can't here as long as you're with the company, with a few exceptions that mostly amount to borrowing from yourself and paying yourself back with interest. But when you leave, either voluntarily or otherwise, you can leave the money alone and when you get another job roll the old funds into the new account, convert the funds into an IRA (Individual Retirement Account basically a non-employer version of a 401(k) ) or take all the money and pay a 20% tax penalty. Previous poster is right - all too often people either take the money to live on while unemployed or mean well and leave it alone a while but end up taking it anyway to keep their house when they don't get another job in time. Quite often it's about their only choice and may really be better than losing a house. Tough choices.

Steve Smith
03-27-2012, 04:26 AM
But when you leave, either voluntarily or otherwise, you can leave the money alone and when you get another job roll the old funds into the new account, convert the funds into an IRA (Individual Retirement Account basically a non-employer version of a 401(k) ) or take all the money and pay a 20% tax penalty.

Over here you can't take the funds if you leave the job (unless you have been paying in for less than two years I think).
Moving the funds to another account is common but I wouldn't do it as a percentage fee is always charged for administering it. It's easier just to leave it where it is and claim it when the time comes.


Steve.

Roger Cole
03-27-2012, 04:30 AM
Humm never encountered a fee for what's called a "roll over" (to a new company account) but then again I've only done it once.

CGW
03-27-2012, 06:58 AM
Right about now is when I usually mention The Great Stagnation (http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Stagnation-Low-Hanging-ebook/dp/B004H0M8QS) by Tyler Cowen.

Or how 'bout outing him as a Koch stooge? Oh, and don't forget to tell the sheep about ALEC, too.

CGW
03-27-2012, 08:13 AM
???

Please...George Mason U is heavily funded by the Koch bros. ALEC? C'mon.

CGW
03-27-2012, 08:46 AM
Right about now is when I usually mention The Great Stagnation (http://www.amazon.com/The-Great-Stagnation-Low-Hanging-ebook/dp/B004H0M8QS) by Tyler Cowen.

He teaches at George Mason U which is heavily funded by the Koch brothers--'nuff said. Sometimes it's good to know who's waving a flag before you salute it, OK? Ignore away.

Photo Engineer
03-27-2012, 09:14 AM
Times are different now. I'm shocked I have to even say that.

If I made minimum wage, my gas bill for my car each month would take up a third of my wages - pre tax. I know, I drive a gas guzzler (a Mini) :D Never mind rent in some places... $1200/month isn't that much, particularly if you have dependents.

I hear you, but we were talking about people now collecting their pensions. They were saving back in the good old days. The statement was that about 90% of them were not collecting a pension.

However, back in those days, even though gasoline was $0.15 / gallon and the same for a loaf of bread, these were a substantial portion of the average wage. Minimum wage back then was $0.50 / hour. It rose to $0.75 in the mid to late 50s.

At $0.50 / hour and $0.15 / gallon my 20 gallon tank took $3.00 to fill. That was 6 hours of work. My car got 8.5 miles to the gallon. (Don't argue on this, I had it checked when I bought it new and that was the going value!) It was 11 miles to school. So, I used about 3 gallons per day commuting. Rent was $40 / month unfurnished for most apartments. That was about 2 weeks pay before taxes.

Doesn't look all that different!

PE

keithwms
03-27-2012, 09:24 AM
That's true Ron. What has changed the most over the past few decades in the area of personal finance is that the concept of building up a savings has steadily eroded. Until the credit crunch of '08/09, a lot of people were living on plastic and assuming they would always be able to do so. Almost everybody could afford anything.... or so they thought. The '08 crash taught a lot of hard lessons. If one good thing came out of it, it is that people are saving a bit more.

I worry a lot about the amount of money people spend on self-obsoleting electronica... all the iPads and iPods and dSLRs etc. These are all objects that cost us at the sales counter and also cost jobs at home. Rather than spending several $k per year on the latest imported gadgets, how about putting a few $k away into a 401k or such... where it'll make a huge difference over 20 years.

When I went through high school, there was a "civics" course that we all had to take. It might be time to replace that with a course in personal finance and economics. There won't be any civics left if young people don't learn the perils of plastic.

And just to complete my rant, the student loan debt now exceeds that on credit cards, so... another big problem of finance is looming.

End of rant ;)

adam hirsch
03-27-2012, 09:24 AM
I'll take a Nobel laureate and the facts over right-wing fear-mongering and fabulism any day, thanks.

The left and progressives rearing their ugly heads, once again. Aren't there any constitutionalists, here?

keithwms
03-27-2012, 09:26 AM
The left and progressives rearing their ugly heads, once again. Aren't there any constitutionalists, here?

Trust me it's not worth it! Those kinds of discussions are best had when you know the person on the other side of the table. Otherwise you may find out the other guy is clueless and you wish you could take back the time you put into attempting to have a rational discussion...

Photo Engineer
03-27-2012, 09:33 AM
Keith;

I'm saying a pension could have been built from savings by a person born in the 20s, the 30s, and the 40s. That is the original postulate several pages ago that was disputed when someone said that about 90% of the retirees had no pension, and the implication was there that they had no chance to get one. From the 50s on, it has become possible but increasingly difficult to save money but a lot is coming via outright debt and the desire to spend lavishly as I said earlier. It is difficult to sacrifice today for future stability.

With each decade, people become less inclined to save for their future. That is my point. So, even if the economy and every other factor was in favor of building a retirement fund from scratch, few would do so.

PE

keithwms
03-27-2012, 09:36 AM
Oh I agree completely, Ron.

Too many people rely on debt, routinely, to live. And the debt cycle is sustainable only as long as there is steady growth. But when that growth sputters, the whole thing comes crashing down like a massive Ponzi scheme.

Anyway, I can report that most people in my generation do not assume social security will be there for them. Sad. But again... it was never designed to be a retirement plan.