Sticking it out to the very end: Why some are giving up on retirement

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  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    March 31, 2014 7:09 p.m.


    I am so sorry for the troubles you have had. Unfortunately, the best laid plans can end up far from what we expected. But you are far better off than if you hadn't prepared. And being prepared gave you the freedom to make some of the choices you made. If you had not prepared, your choice would have been made for you.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 31, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    You get a whole perspective on what is utility's. Every trip to the store, every thing starts to be a consideration. You try to make an educated guess, and at the end of the year looking at what you did, giving 5 stare ratings on how bad you regret things. 5 the worst. all you can do is live and learn, no matter how old you get.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    March 31, 2014 8:52 a.m.


    We did all the recommended things you listed. What we did not expect was the illnesses and death of family members. Unemployment, in which we used the assets we had saved so we did not need help from everyone else. Taking care of elderly parents when no one else in the family was willing to give up the goodies in their lifestyle. We have made many decisions that were rather inconvenient and financially devastating when no one else in the family would step up and help. We have enough for the basics in life. Even better we have great memories of helping out when others refused.

  • Jumpyman Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2014 1:01 a.m.

    I don't understand this fixation on the 1% from the liberals. I will never be in the 1% and I have no expectations of having a pension or for that matter ever receiving a dime of social security. I do fully expect that I will be a millionaire when I retire. The reason for that is because my wife and I are frugal, don't spend our money on toys and unnecessary gadgets, and we save more than 10% of our income each paycheck in 401 k's, IRA's, and Roth IRA's. My retirement is my problem, not the governments, or even my employer. I am saving for it myself. If I do get some of the social security money that I payed into the system, then that will be an added bonus.

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    March 30, 2014 8:32 p.m.

    I could retire right now if I want, I'm 60 but I'll probably work until I'm about 70. Many men my age are resigned to puttering around the golf course, I'm still carving fall line turns on double black diamonds, dropping in on cranking surf, and producing on the job.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    The more elderly people that need to work just to survive... the fewer jobs there will be available for younger people to get into to better their situations.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 30, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Glen Beck doesn't like the idea of Social Security, so he tried to turn religious people against it by saying it violates the commandment which says to keep the Sabbath day holy. It says 6 days shalt thou labor, and one day rest. He says people should work until they die otherwise they are not working 6 days a week.

    Nice try, but a person doesn't have to labor for pay to labor. Nor do they have to work 8 hours a day. A person can write a book 2 hours a day, or do volunteer work etc.

    Social Security is something people have earned, its theirs. And if Americans want to be able to have it they need to reign in their Government from trying to be worlds policeman. Our treasury is being wasted. Americans also need to be careful who they vote for. There are tea party types who would discontinue or dramatically cut Social Security if given a chance. Its a matter of priority. Be Boss of the world or live a quality life and mind our own business.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    March 29, 2014 7:04 p.m.

    To A1994:

    You hit the nail squarely on the head. Too many are unwilling to: 1) Get a relevant education that teaches them how to solve problems that others are willing to pay to get solved. 2) Sacrifice current wants and live within their means 3) Save 10% 4) Invest it wisely in EQUITY of great businesses 5) Ignore the gyrations of the market month-to-month and year-to-year 6) Keep their education current.

    Those who do these simple things will retire comfortably, and depending on their income and savings, many will retire early. But if you have a mentality that the "rich" are robbing you, and the world is somehow unfair and owes you a wonderful standard of living, then you are deluded and probably will work until you drop.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    March 29, 2014 6:36 p.m.


    People can retire and comfortably. The idea that the 1% have somehow robbed you is lazy thinking and it's wrong. There are two things that 'rob' people of a great retirement: 1) not being able to postpone wants in favor of saving 10% of their income. The math adds up. If a person who is 25 years old will start putting away $200/month at a 6% interest rate (the average for the stock market over the past 80 years is about 10%) they will retire a millionaire. It's simple time value of money. Instead, those same people NEED an iPhone they don't really NEED. 2) Some people don't allocate their portfolio correctly. They don't adjust according to their age. The reason people lost so much in 2008 is not because Wall Street robbed them. It's because they were in investments too aggressive for their age. There is no reason someone who has saved and invested and managed well cannot retire very wealthy. It happens all the time.

  • carlyt ny, NY
    March 29, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    The key is to have the option to retire and the best chance to do that is to start planning and saving/investing early in life. some decide to continue to work others retire and pursue other dreams. I just read several great post on the site Retirement And Good Living about what recent retirees are doing including sailing full time, RVing across the US, starting businesses based on hobbies, volunteering with the Peace Corps, backpacking across the globe and more. The possibilities are almost endless.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    I certainly agree that for many continuing to work is a good thing. But it is important that it be optional and allow one to pursue areas of work that are interesting, perhaps denied him or her earlier in life. But its not good to have to work late in life to keep the wolf away from the door, or to have to work when one is ill or in serious decline. THAT is what's in store for us.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 28, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    I know plenty of people who have the money to retire but choose to continue to work at least part-time. I even have an acquaintance who is 75 that works one day a week at his old job. It is a real "win-win" situation. He has decades of experience that comes in handy at his old company while he is free to pursue leisure activities the rest of the week.

    Meanwhile doing absolutely nothing doesn't sound like an enjoyable retirement - it sounds more like a prison sentence.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    March 28, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    Lots of judgmental comments posted on this site.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    A lot of lazy people who think its someone else's responsibility to take care of them.

    It's your job to pay your bills, stop looking to blame the rich. Only a lazy person would do such a thing.

  • SillyRabbit Layton, 00
    March 28, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    I like people like New Yorker.

    Save and prosper. It actually happens.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    @ Chellerella

    I appreciate your concerns about being able to achieve the same level of autonomy in a different age. Our first home in NW Provo cost only 11,000--a fixer-upper as were all our houses. I was making only $1.00 per hour. My wife babysat for .25 an hour. We took on students room and board, as many as 5 students paying $60 a month each. When we left that house a year after graduation we had 5 children.

    We went from fixer-upper to fixer-upper and ended up with 8 children. We now have 26 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. We certainly know and understand what you are going through.

    You can do it. Do not get enticed by the consumer mentality. Put the money away. Our vacations were almost all tenting. We did Disneyland/San Diego once with the children, but from much cheaper accommodations. While there, we ate outside the park at the picnic tables.

    We almost never ate out. Our children would get sweetened cereals once a year as stocking suffers.

    Did our peers here in happy valley live that way, too? Not many. But then they are still working.

    Your choice.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    March 28, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Good to know where The Lord has been. We were wondering where He was, as the rest of us still can't save enough, after the downsizing scourges of the last few decades.

  • Chellerella Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:17 a.m.


    I appreciate the service you have offered. My husband and I started with similar plans. We follow your provident living advice exactly.(Exception, no mortgage yet to save money, we have unheard of cheap rent.) However, the current economy does not provide the same opportunities for the same sacrifice you enjoyed . Given your age I feel comfortable comparing you historically to my father in law. In the 1980s he was able to buy a very nice home for $40,000. Interest rates were higher, but compared to his $30,000 annual income (without a college degree) his debt load was very manageable.

    Current average Utah income: $40,000 average home price $240,000.

    My engineering husband with a college degree makes barely more than that. After a 6 month layoff that used up our savings and 1/2 our food storage, his income dropped significantly just to get another job and we had to work our way back up.

    Many of our friends are choosing to limit family size and have the wife work to make up the difference. We have chosen otherwise. I'm not complaining. We are very happy, but I just want to offer some perspective.

  • Utah Soldier Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    I look forward to retirement in about 10 years. Careful planning, saving, investing, and financial management will allow me to retire at twice (at least) the monthly income as I currently make (and that is adjusted for inflation). It can be done if one really want to.

    What will I do - pursue hobbies and interests that I haven't been able to based upon current obligations. A mission or two will be considered, based upon my wife's poor health.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    It's no ones business what I do when I retire. If I want to sit around or continue to one needs to lecture me that I need to stay in the workforce longer if I can retire and pay my own way.

    What we should be discussing is why are people having a harder time. Is it loss of pensions? Bad investments? Lack of saving and putting money into retirement?

    For me, my biggest obstacle is taxes. People keep voting to raise property taxes to fund another expensive program. Then they vote to raise tuition $60 to fund another program, then they raise tuition to pay for newspapers, then the feds come in and raise taxes if you have insurance and raise taxes if you don't have insurance. After watching 30-35% of my money go to taxes, they tell me I'm not paying enough in taxes.

    How do I save money, when people can vote to steal the money from me? Obama even discussed about digging into 401k and roth ira accounts. He pointed at the large amount of money that they can stealGiveincentivesforpeople to save. Maybe tax them if they don't save 10% of their income....

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    I will never retire.


    The Republican Party and Plutocrats (Republican President Bush's self-proclaimed base) need me and millions of other Americans to keep working in order sustain the wealth transfer from the middle class to the plutocratic class.

    Someday Sean Hannity will refer to all of us middle class supporters/sustainers for plutocrats as great Americans...

    I can't wait.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Retirement is great! Retired at 55, have served 2 full-time mission, 8 years as a church service missionary, been to Israel, China, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, and, of course, all around the U.S. and into Canada. Never a dull moment, never a regret about retiring.

    The secret is provident living. No debt, modest house, modest vehicles, no cable/satellite TV, no depreciating assets (what some people regard as toys). Plant a garden, exercise.

    Work hard! Serve! Uncompensated work has the very same value as compensated work. It adds the same value to the pie we all share. People actually take more pride in their work when it is service, and uncompensated. They're not trading time for money, but truly engaged in the task at hand.

    The capitalistic ideal of "career" is better than any other political system devised, but is nonetheless imperfect. True individual freedom comes with getting off the capitalistic wheel as soon as possible in life. There are analogous models in other cultures throughout the world.

    After your first full-time mission, you realize that you can live and be even happier with a lot less than you thought.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    Maybe more of a transfer from the ones who save to the ones who spend than from the poor to the wealthy. With the interest rates in savings not exceeding 1% the good old paradigm of putting off $100 a month that over the course of 30 years will accumulate enough interest to retire on does not work anymore. At 10% $100 a month will give you $226 K after 30 years, at 5% $83K, but at 1% only $41K. At the same time, those who want to spend can borrow at low interest rates, default on payments, think of various tricks to borrow again after defaulting, etc. If we want a regular worker to be able to retire off his savings the interest rates need to go up.

  • Gregorio Norco, CA
    March 28, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    Don't just retire but retire to something. Like the song, "It's so important to make someone happy" and doing service is a great gift to give to someone everyday retired or not. 1 in 4 Americans rely 100% on their Social Security check to live month to month. We have got to think dfferently that work is noble.If you rest you rust!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    Let's be clear about what's going on. The distribution of wealth has become fantastically top heavy the last 20 years. Those driving this process, the top 1% have decided that they simply can't afford to let the rest of us retire. So we are being told (it's a campaign) that the country cannot afford to let us retire - work 'til you drop. Destroy pensions, end social security. In this, the wealthiest country in the world, this is giant lie. The top 1% doesn't just want most of it, they want ALL of it.

    Space does not allow me to explore the theory that would explain what is going on, but it is going on. Insistence on work without end will destroy the society we have come to expect. It must be fought at all costs.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 28, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    The idea of a nation with a lot of elderly people being supported by the younger people disappoints me. Being an era focused so heavily on information and specialized education, I plan on continuing to seek useful work for as long as I can do it.


    Unless I'm called to be a mission president.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    March 27, 2014 10:47 p.m.

    I never had any desire to 'retire' if it meant sitting around doing nothing all day. Or if it meant playing golf five days a week. That would be difficult since I have never played a round of golf in my life and will die without doing so.

    For me, the idea of retirement was not needing to work every day in order to eat. That concept is no longer a reality for me due to the 'great recession' as it is called. I call it the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the 1%. During the recession, the wealthy saw more growth than ever in history. The middle class has almost disappeared and no one was prosecuted. Not a single banker or politician.

    Where is the justice?