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Old July 11th, 2012, 10:19 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by whiterhino View Post
I have 4 engineers who work for me. They range in age from 44 to 58. We decided to bring in a co-op or college kid to work as an engineering clerk with hopes that they may work into something. We contacted all the local high schools and a couple colleges. We received a total of 3 applicants. Some of the high schools said we don't do co-op any more and one said they have eliminated CAD classes. WTF? None of the candidates were what we were looking for.

feva4u, why do you think that your parents or grandparents had it any easier to get ahead than you do? When we started out it was unheard of to be able to buy a house with anything less than 10% down. Now you can do it with less than 5%. My wife and I were married 8 years before we could afford to buy a humble home. Saving, trying to raise kids, all that stuff was no different 30 - 50 years ago than it is now. Many people lost their jobs and homes in 80-82 and had to start over.

On top of that, your generation is far more educated both by schooling and access to usefull information through the internet. Years ago the only way to get information on saving strategy, stocks, bonds, mutual funds was to go to the library or pay an advisor. Now you can find more in 20 minutes than I could find in a month 30+ years ago. The younger generation seems to have this smirk that they are far smarter than their stupid parents. Well, it wasn't your generation that invented the computer and internet. It's just that your generation is the first to be able to take full advantage of it. I remember when a FAX machine was a big deal because you could send something without having to wait days for it to come or go in the mail. Now people get pissed if they have to wait more than a couple minutes for an attachment to come through.

Don't be so quick to criticize someone till you have walked in the same shoes.
Whoa there old man, where did I say it was easier back then? However, when you graduated high school, could you apply for a union automotive job with pension and insurance benefits? What was the size of that workforce in the US at the time? Was the majority of the low skill level labor jobs still located in the US and available if you applied? How did they pay compared to someone with a college degree? Did you need to add the expense of a college degree to earn more than twice minimium wage?

Did you read any of the linked articles?

Have you bought a house lately? 20% down with 750+ credit is almost mandatory to see any of the current interest rates on a loan.

I fully hope my kids are smarter than I am. I'll even let them smirk about it. The world would still be perceived as flat if each generation had to learn the same thing over and over again.

Criticizing, really? Was social security projected to run out of money before you were 40 when you graduated high school? Was the countries credit rating downgraded when you graduated from high school? Was the national debt doubling ever 4 yrs when you graduated from high school? Were banks failing causing world wide stock market crashes when you graduated from high school? What was the middle class tax rate when you graduated from high school? Was a health care law put into place right before the biggest generation in the country was about to retire? How many people were working to support each retiree when you graduated from high school? There's a big shit storm coming and all of us are going to suffer through it.

I've already been through 2 company chapter 11's, a plant closing, taken a 18% permanent paycut, had my co-op program eliminated from a company, been the last of a 9 person team left prior to closing, and lost half of my 401K in my career. I haven't been working that long. I didn't cry about it, I moved on and found something different each time and will continue to do so as the next round of shit comes forward. None of us have had it easy, but it's a different market and a different world today than it was back then.

"Don't be so quick to criticize someone till you have walked in the same shoes".
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #22
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And you blame all that on your parents????
I also hope my kids are smarter than me. I just hope they don't think that I am stupid, but rather helped them get where they are.

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Strange because I'm in the "math" oriented side of business and I've been forced to hire people with the same degree I have at starting wages $10-18K less than I did over 10 yrs ago. Housing prices have gone down but everything else in life has gone up. College was about 35% less expensive then as well. It's a shame and it's not sustainable. In my mind, my parents and grandparents failed to set the country up for success,and I will not be able to support them in thier failures. I only hope we can manage to turn things for the better for our children in the future.
Maybe I am too stupid to interpret this properly but in my mind, you have called the prior two generations failures and blame your future on them. All I am saying is that life wasn't perfect for them. To your question about about getting out of high school and getting a union/pension job, yes. In fact, I did that. 22 months later I got laid off, not by Pontiac motors but because the union said my seniority date was expired. It had nothing to do with how good of a job I had but simply based upon my start date. My boss wanted to keep me but after 2 weeks, the union said I had to go. I was out of work, had a family support, and yes, had 95% of my wages for a period of time. What did I do? I went back to school. By the time I got recalled, I had landed a job as an apprentice die maker, so I turned my recall down. People called me stupid. On the other hand, I had the attitude that never again would I be in a position to not be able to duplicate my wage elsewhere. And guess what, at that time, by staying at the small job shop, trying to learn a trade, I was making 70% of what I could have if I had taken the recall. One summer I worked 12 hours per day, 7 days a week for 13 straight weeks making sure I could support my family. You have no right to accuse me of not knowing what it is like to lose my income or what it is like to struggle. I was married 22 years before I could afford a new car. In the meantime, I drove used vehicles that required maintenance to keep going. I was never able to take my kids on lavish vacations. Most of our vacations were spent camping around Michigan. They were teenagers before I could swing a trip out west to go skiing. I've always done well, but have never been wealthy. I forfeited some of my savings so that my kids could experience things like water and snow skiing. Was I wrong? According to you, yes. I spent money helping my kids going to college. I did not provide a free ride, but helped them where I could. According to you, I should have told them tough shit, and put all of the money into my retirement. Same goes for their weddings.

There is no doubt I made mistakes. And, I suppose I could have taken every spare dime and invested it for my retirement and told my kids tough shit for everything. Instead, we tried to find a balance of providing for our family and putting away money at the same time. 20 years ago it was expected to be able to earn 10% on your investments and many programs were based on that or more. Is it my fault that investments are less than half that now? According to you, I guess so. When my dad retired, the expected average age of death for a male was around 70-72. He is 84. This is a large part of the struggle with pensions and health care. The life expectancies are much higher and therefore the formulas used (by those stupid people) turned out to be inaccurate. And you don't think the rest of us have lost money in our 401K's? Welcome to my world where the timeline of catching up is much shorter than yours.

I hope you have a better crystal ball than all of us have had.

It bothers me to see so many have such a sarcastic attitude about their elders. For me, I learned many things from my parents and have nothing but the higest respect for them. Not in my wildest dreams could I call them failures or blame them for my future, or lack of it. My dad was a tradesman who built his own home, for cash, never having a mortgage. He worked overtime to earn money to buy supplies for the house I grew up in. I have memories of no closet doors or window treatments in my bedroom. I don't have any animosity that I lived in a house under construction. Instead, I have respect that my father raised me to have the attitude that if I can't afford it, I don't need it.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by feva4u View Post
Criticizing, really? Was social security projected to run out of money before you were 40 when you graduated high school? Was the countries credit rating downgraded when you graduated from high school? Was the national debt doubling ever 4 yrs when you graduated from high school? Was a health care law put into place right before the biggest generation in the country was about to retire? How many people were working to support each retiree when you graduated from high school? There's a big shit storm coming and all of us are going to suffer through it.
The younger generations didn't have control of the country leading to this. My parents and grandparents generations did. Your generation currently has control. The above has been the result. Call it lack of respect, call it pointing out the obvious, either way the current younger gen is going to deal with a financial market/economy not seen since the 1920's and the steamroller started during my parents and grandparents generations control over the country.

Edit: Sorry for using "you" It wasn't meant as a personal jab.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #24
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For the record I'd like to add that my generation and one after me are way bigger pieces of shit then the generations before us. We'll be lucky to keep the country alive for another 4 generations with the will not's outnumbering the wills now.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 09:42 AM   #25
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Kind of a different take on things, one of the better reads I've found for Soc sec.
"William Burrows"
Do you not see that the huge cost of 12.4% of a worker’s salary makes it difficult for most to save beyond that, but moreover that so many in the future will receive only a fraction of the earned annuity value of their contributions. The problem is that the first generations into the system received huge returns on their contributions (as politicians bought their votes) paid for by ever increasing taxes on the young so that now, an “average worker (based on wage index) will not even receive a 1 to I return on his taxes (not including disability portion). For your information, I have made a lifetime study of Social Security, and can prove my numbers and will be glad to share my computer program.

Social Security was intended in its beginnings (1935 law) to be a pension program (largely because many private pensions were failing i
n the depression), not really a social insurance program (even though it is named Old Age and Survivors insurance—OASI; the D for disability came later in 1957). This principle has been maintained throughout the next 70 years , as SS was touted as the third leg of the retirement stool after savings and private pensions.

This was why President Roosevelt insisted that its funding be separated from regular Federal taxes, so that Americans would feel a vested interest in its continuation. It was always intended (until corrupted by Congress later) that benefits reflected (if not exactly proportional to) a “fair” annuity type basis the value of contributions.

The only “welfare” built into the system at first were 1) the first dollar was worth more than the last so that low income workers would receive a greater return and 2) There was no vesting so that those who died early would pay for those who lived longer than “average”.

The social insurance part is called SSI, a means tested supplement that is paid out of general funds, NOT social security taxes. It was added in 1973.

The life expectancy at birth is irrelevant for social security. What matters is life expectancy at age 65 which in 1940 was about 13.5 years (the man/woman differential was dropped years ago). Today it is about 18.5 years. That is 5 years. From this it can be justified that retirement may have a basis to go from 67 (current age for the 1960 cohort) to 70, EXCEPT for the fact that we have paid in so much more than earlier generations.

So now the numbers:

The average worker who retired in 1950 at age 65 and lived the average lifespan of 13.5 years after retirement received 17 times the annuity value of his and his employers taxes.

In 1960 it was about 14 years, 8x.

In 1970 it was about 15 years, 4x. (NOT including medicare tax, started in 1966) for this and all below).

In 1980 it was about 16 years, 2.3x.

In 1990 it was about 17 years, 1.2x.

In 2000 it was about 18 years,.9x.

In 2010 it is estimated at 19 years,.8x.

In 2020 under current law it will be about.6x.

I can support these numbers with detailed calculations based on the long bonds into which SS supposedly “invests”.

And these are average workers. Lower income workers often received stratospheric returns, often based on as little as 6 quarters of contributions. Maximum contribution workers receive significantly less than this.

As a worker who has paid in the maximum for nearly all his working life, I will get less than 40 cents on the dollar under current law at my retirement at age 66 and 2 months in 2021.
So here is the CHAIN LETTER PONZI fraud. In order to do provide earlier generations with huge unearned returns on their social security contributions, to buy their vote at the expense of those too young (or not even born) to vote, CONGRESS kept raising the tax rates and caps so that now those at the end of the chain letter will receive NEGATIVE returns.

This is simple fraud, corruption and politics. Our own government has defrauded us. Worse, the 2.5 trillion “trust” fund is also a fraud, filled with worthless IOU’s that must be presented to Congress, which will then have to raise taxes or borrow more money to honor them. This is the fault of President Reagan who should have insisted in the 1983 changes to SS that they invest in real, marketable treasury bonds. Instead, our money has been wasted.

I and most other late baby boomers, unlike our parents and grand-parents have a legitimate claim on our money. The annuity value of what I and my employers have already paid in (up to age 57) is over 700,000 dollars. This would have bought me a terrific private pension, many times what I will get with SS. I and most of my cohorts will fight with every ounce of strength to get what we (unlike those who went before us) have earned by our payments. I will not accept any reductions for higher income workers as we already are cheated by only being credited with 10 cents on the dollar for highest earnings."
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