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Tiger MT's Carter

Retirement Savings?

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Very interesting thread with some thoughtworthy ideas and/or plans.

 Just a few comments from a retired guy with 2 DB pensions (Navy, DoD,) retired military health care, medicare and a fat health insurance payment every month. It's not that much dough, my ex got 1/3 of my pension and we split a helluva long time ago; the courts always favor the woman. Period.

Greg and some others have a really valid point: you slave all your life, forgoing the things you enjoy (traveling, hunting, skiing, whatever) to save. Then you retire and you die or your other half gets a really debilitating disease and all that work, savings and $$$ is going to waste and you are not going to get any benefit from all that work.

 Minimize your maximum regret. Take steps so that you can retire, but I personally would not put all my eggs in the "I'll do this after I retire" basket. You may be dead then. Prolly about a 10-15% chance of that. I took my SS the instant I could. Actuarily, its all the same amount of $$$ if you take it at 67 or 70, late takers of SS get more $$ then, but get the money for less time. "all your money can not another second buy" ,  "all we are is dust in the wind".

 Health care is so freaking expensive I cannot believe it. My wife has a chronic condition, the meds for which are awesomely expensive. Thank God for 21 years in the Navy and Reserve, that military health care has saved my a$$. Have some way to pay for unbelievably expensive health care. One of my friend's wife has rheumatoid arthritis; 1 shot a month and one shot costs $10,000. (he is retired AF) My bro, who has a much higher retirement income than I, is constantly putting off this or that healthcare issue due to cost.

 Don't think for a New York minute that the expanding, ever hungry for your money US Gummint could not legally take all or some of your IRA or 401k; the UK government and the German government both did that years ago. More socialists than just Bernie Sanders in the US have suggested that very thing. I think the risk is small, but it is not 0.

 I'm not saying save nothing; I've saved all my life. I am saying stop and smell the roses some while you are working. There may not be a chance to smell those roses after you retire.

 "Moderation is one of the four virtues" Plato

Before the government just starts "legally taking your IRA or 401k $" (why that $?  why not other $?), I suspect that they would tweak the tax code to find the $ needed to keep this experiment afloat...raise the tax rates, reduce deductions, etc.  As far as when it is most advantageous to start taking SS, I will only say this:  there are plenty of people/entities MUCH smarter than I who would tell you that there ARE good reasons for waiting...yes, if you die at a certain age you MAY have been better off taking it asap, obviously, but part of prudent planning is considering what IF you do live to be 90 or 100.  Anyway, whatever works for you...again, I would say that before anyone pulls the plug and retires, spend some $ and consult a fee-only financial planner, or, ask your CPA if his/her firm will help with some planning.   I don't think the accumulation is all that hard, but the income extraction is much trickier, IMO, as you really cannot screw up without some major ramifications.  A big downturn like 2001-2003 or 2008-2009 really sucks, but if you're still in the accumulation phase you just suck it up and contribute more if you can, buying at those lows...but, if you have already retired and you are not allocated properly, and you are taking distributions from the portfolio, you can deflate things in a hurry.  Anyway, good banter...

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