2006 personal savings fall to 74-yr. low - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-01-2007, 09:28 PM   #1
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2006 personal savings fall to 74-yr. low

Good times ahead. Not a good sign with 78 million baby boomers approaching retirement.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/16598703.htm
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:42 PM   #2
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Scary as hell.

Did the article factor in the combined "perfect storm" of soaring health care costs (prescription drugs, at-home care, etc, not to mention the soaring costs of the other end, the obesity epidemic, as the nation's overeight kids grow up), and even if they were healthy and had money in the bank, there will only be 2 workers for every retiree?

And given the impossibilty of any kind of Social Security reform (if it couldn't be done in a rubber-stamp Bush Congress, how could it ever be done. )Remember that the AARP is the most powerful lobby in the U.S. by far, always has been. And today, it's merely the "Greatest Generation" AARP. Wait until the Boomers take it over.

Our problem is that we are a nation living on credit cards. Mortgages at crazy rates. Blowing three grand on Plasma TV's on our Visa. We have grown complacent. If we didn't have Wal-Mart's ultra-cheap prices, and the Wendy's 99-cent Value Meal, there'd be a revolution in this country. People could not even afford to eat. My God, I wonder how much the national total is for people putting a cup of coffee on the ol'plastic at Starbuck's each year!

Gees, I work hard, don't blow money on clothes etc, try to save, but there's always some damn small bill or situation that pops up. Plus the *#$&%&# co-payments when I go to the doctor and deductibles when I don't.

Sorry for the rant but you know what I mean! Some of us DO try to save! And I don't even have kids....what's it going to be like when I do have any, God willing???
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:49 PM   #3
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it is scary.

Check this out:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/...ebt-usat_x.htm
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Teta040
And today, it's merely the "Greatest Generation" AARP. Wait until the Boomers take it over.
That's a great point. I smell major tax increases.
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:55 PM   #5
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I try to save, but I have $5.50 in my savings account and we're close to $100,000 in debt (not including credit cards). One of my student loans is approaching 10% interest rate, so I pay double the amount required each month b/c I want it off my back. If I could put into savings the amount we're paying in each month student loans, we'd be able to put a down payment on a house or some other type of investment. Yeah, I know, education is an investment too
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:10 PM   #6
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Personal savings???? That shit actually exists?!!?

Not in my bank account, it doesn't. Mr. Blu and I were just taking a hard look at our finances tonight & it ain't a pretty sight. The county is reassessing property values & we've been warned to expect a 25% increase which is going to hurt when the new tax bills come in. I've ranted plenty about my health insurance troubles from last summer & $10,000+ in medical expenses that my insurance denied. We honestly figure at this point that we have one of three options: 1) Cancel every communication and entertainment expense we have (satellite TV, cell phones, house phone, DSL) PLUS each of us take on a 2nd job; 2) put our house up for sale; or 3)file bankruptcy.

And frankly, I'm not crazy about any of those. I just don't have any other answers & I don't see any relief coming.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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I'm a budget fanatic. My wife hates me for it on every day of the month except one, when we balance our checkbook.

I usually get a nice meal the next nite.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:21 PM   #8
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I have always been a horrible saver, but a few months ago I opened an online account with INGDirect because of an ad I saw where they offered a 4.5% interest rate for savings account, and no minimum balance requirement. I set up a direct withdrawal that takes $50 out of my paycheck each time I get paid (twice a month). I find that as long as I don't "see" the money, I am not tempted to spend it or I don't feel the loss of it. Still, I am no where near where I'd like to be.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
I have always been a horrible saver, but a few months ago I opened an online account with INGDirect because of an ad I saw where they offered a 4.5% interest rate for savings account, and no minimum balance requirement. I set up a direct withdrawal that takes $50 out of my paycheck each time I get paid (twice a month). I find that as long as I don't "see" the money, I am not tempted to spend it or I don't feel the loss of it. Still, I am no where near where I'd like to be.
That's a great start.

I do the same thing with my IRA.

Let 2 years go by and see how much you've saved.

compounding interest
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:34 PM   #10
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I generally force myself to save a lot, and that entails utilizing the company 401K plan at a fairly high rate, and, also, setting aside a monthly automatic deposit in a separate mutual fund account (which I opened, as a result of the great advice I received here several months back regarding my thread on how to start investing!). Add that to the fact that I have a lot of student loan debt and a job that doesn't pay all that well, and I'm surprised that I'm able to pull all of this off. However, the fact that I was able to consolidate all of my student loans a couple years ago at a fixed 3.38% has helped immensely.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus
However, the fact that I was able to consolidate all of my student loans a couple years ago at a fixed 3.38% has helped immensely.
Where? WHERE?

I was above 5% the day I started
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
Where? WHERE?

I was above 5% the day I started
Well, forgive me if I'm merely repeating something that you already know, but...

Student loan interest rate fluctuations are generally tied to that symbolic "overnight lending" rate that we hear about all the time from "the Fed," I believe. By 2004, with our poor economy, those rates had pretty much bottomed out, which led to record low interest rates for government-based student loans (obviously, wholly private student loans have a different rate that depends on how bitchy the lender is). And that's where 3.38% was set. Thankfully, that rate is set each July, regardless of the Fed's actions, so experts are able to easily predict if the rates are going to go up or down each year. Being finished with school, I consolidated at that rate before the rate went up dramatically in 2005, which coincided with the Fed's cumulative rate increases.

I feel quite fortunate to have been able to take advantage of that rate, because I know that I wouldn't be able to afford student loan payments otherwise, sadly. School is a colossal rip-off these days.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:01 PM   #13
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Ah, rats, I knew it sounded too good to be true! Federal student loans always max out significantly below my cost of tuition. I have some consolidated at 2.something and more at 4.something, but 3/4 of my loans are not from the gov't and are 8-9% at the moment The $9000 at 9% is the one I'm paying double on b/c I want that sucker gone.

Can't the gov't regulate ALL interest rates?
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
Can't the gov't regulate ALL interest rates?
No. They're too busy making sure that Halliburton always has a steady paycheck.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:09 PM   #15
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Mr. Brau, thanks for the article. Reading that made me a bit queasy. I mean, this is now, when all this has barely even begun. The demographic change, I mean. Wait another 20 years....it'll make the first week in New Orleans after Katrina look like a church picnic on a sunny spring day. In terms of health care suffering, etc.
I don't get the whole tax increase thing though. I'm not a fan of
Mr Bush by far, when I think "tax increase" all I can think about is how he wants to change the tax code, esp get rid of the estate taxm which he calls a "death tax" but it's an inheritance tax, which I guess is onorous for those who inherit vast corporate estates and properties worth millions.....like the Bush family....boo HOO! Can you link me to how your "tax increase" would work? I would hate to think of ugly generational conflicts but that's what's coming, as the elders tax the earning kids.

This is going to be absolutely horrible as nobody who has struggled all their lives should NOT be entitled to some reward at the end of thier lives, like my immigrant grandparents who owned a small-town pharmacy and broke their backs for 40 yrs and never took a vacation, then finally retired and got to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They scrimped and saved and did the right thing, they saved money and invested in their kids, put them through college, etc. Little for themsleves except a house they built. They didn't (as the popular bumper stickers from a few years back so brazenly proclaimed) "spend their children's inheritance." But to people in Gens X and Y and beyond, all grandparents are going to be alike, wnen it comes to Social Security legislation and benefits, etc. The media will paint (in many cases, correct) pics of freewheeing spenders. But missing the truth that these days (unlike even 25 yrs ago) it takes 2 people to earn what one used to be able to. Most houseolds struggle b/c THERE ARE NO "REAL" JOBS LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY AND THOSE THAT ARE DECENT.....well, the paharmaceutical companies are robbing us blind as it is. Take-home pay is down.

Leisje, I feel for you. I have student loan debts too. Though mine is lower....counting interest accumulated from a 15 yrs ago (I've been paying off mine VERY Slowly) mine is 2 loans that come to a little over 30,000. That's another difference.....back in the day, you could go to college and ACTUALLY comeout debt-free. There were grants, not loans, and you could pay your way through with a part-time job. I hear people tell me or I read articles about people who "payed their way" through college and it gets me SICK. It seems like another planet.

Blu, you poor soul. Let me have your addy as I want to write to you privately. I want to pray for you, big time!

Just as matter of interest, where do you live, that your property tax has been re-asessed that much (if you don't mind me asking.) Someday (and I hope that day is not soon) I am set to inherit my grandparent's beachfront property on one of the Finger Lakes in central NY State, and she moans constantly about the property taxes. I ask her for details but she won't say...she discusses it with my uncle. I think she wants to spare me the worst until I'm ready for it. Her place is locate dnear a village on the south end of the lake, I mean a stick in the mus place, probably not more than 2000 people, but someone wrote a book about it 20 yrs ago and since then every *expletive deleted* fat cat from NYC and Jersey has moved up here and a lot of the old locals have been slowly driven out by murderous property taxes. There aren't a lot of them (the place is still as small, population-wise) but the village has been yuppified and the little town square has been turned into a tourist trap. I mean, four streetfronts around a village square small enough to shout across , but there's goddarn yogurt shop and gift shop....anyway, we're one of the last oldtime familes left.

You know, it's a horrible thing to say, but I used to agonise over how I was going to care for my mother someday. Now she's gone, and sometimes, in a sick way, I am glad both of my parents are dead.

Outside of my student loan debt, my debts are small, but dangit, I can't get rid of them. I didn't even have a credit card until I was 31, but I decided to get one b/c one year for the first time I had to pay the IRS some money and nowhere else to get the cash. Outside of the credit card (sorry, I won't share that info!) I have a $800 bank loan from about 2 yrs ago I am almost done paying off (only 3 more payments, YES!!) and a dental bill I still owe almost $900 on. I went without dental insurance for a painfully long time and as a result my new dentist was not happy when she saw me for the first time. I explained to her why I was so overdue for a checkup. I needed major work. And my insurance only covered 60% of it. I had almost-perfect credit (at the time) so got some more money to pay it but that still left the other 30% in cash. So I'm paying off that bill too. I have only about $50 in cash in the bank and a small IRA, which I actually had to make a withdrawal from this year when I had a financial crisis in the spring. Add to that the money Mom left me (not much) I have a little, but if I had to go to the hospital, (God forbid) it would be chicken feed. I have pretty good insurance but it's a $100 ER co-payable and $250 for in-patient care! My God, can you belive it, I have seriously thought of having my kids at home and calling a friggin midwife rather than paying hospital expense. I suspect many others have had simialr ideas, they are cracking down on midwives here in NY State.

Regarding that article, and spekaing of dentists. I witnessed a terrible sight. At my last dentist appointment as I was in the waiting room, and there was a sweet old guy sitting katty-corner from me. He had a severe toothache. He was alone. Must have been in his late 60's and stooped, kind of frail. It was his first appointment, he was a walk--in, and one of the colleg-age assistants spent 20 minutes or so sitting next to him filling out his paperwork. Everything went like clockwork until the nice old lady receptionist kindly explained to him that the $180 cash he was going to be paying today before his appointment was for an initial exam only, for a diagnosis "to determine your course of treatment" and that he would have to come back for another appointment to get the actual treatment. The poor old dear grew increasingly angry about why he had to shell out $180 when they weren't going to be able to give him anything for the pain. I sat there reading my magazine, listening as the nice old lady at the desk metamophizised into everyone's nightmare of the faceless bearucrat, as solid and impeturbable as the Colossus of Rhodes. The man finally left in disgust, throwing his paper work to the floor, and still, I presume, in considerable pain.

I ached for him, as this is what would have happend with me had I not been familar with this sort of thing. Why do you think that I, a grad student with a modest income, and many expenses, never saw a dentist for a period of time I won't say how long? My teeth or the rent? Remember, I had no parents to move back in with, or even family living in my city oe within a 4 hr radius. Too far to commute. And my school was here. I could not relocate.

What a situation this country is heading in....
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