Yeah theres a difference between living and existing.
I thought I'd start a thread on old age since, let's face it, we're not getting any younger and some of us here are past our prime. I figure we could use a thread where we can discuss our hopes and fears for old age/retirement. Have you started planning for it, if yes, how? Do you worry about it, or look forward to it? Stuff like that.
Personally, I'm in my mid 30s. I'm not old, but I'm sure as hell not young either. I'm like most, I have a decent job, but the thought of doing it for another 35+ years makes me groan. I don't have any children or a gf/wife, but I do have people who I take care of (parents etc).
For me, I wonder if we haven't taken life prolonging to an uncomfortable length. I know a lot of old people (70+) and only a very few are what I'd call genuinely happy. Almost all are ill in some way, and kept alive by pills and other treatments. Hardly any do what they would like to do, but in stead mostly do very little. This is almost entirely due to either not being able to afford to do anything fun on a pension, or not having the strength/health to do it. This makes me wonder, just what is the point of living into old age? You break your back at work for 50 odd years until you're forced out either by retirement laws or your own deteriorating health. Then you have to make do with a fraction of your former wage while you wait for death to take you, only death is kept at bay by all the drugs you're made to take.
So, am I the only one here wondering if a nice clean, natural death at 60 wouldn't be a godsend or are you all waiting eagerly for the LAN parties at the old folks home?
Yeah theres a difference between living and existing.
You know, I think you hit the nail on the head there with that expression. For so many old people I know the only reason for their continued existence is because those closest to them (children, grandchildren, siblings, spouses, etc...) don't want them to leave, so instead of going out with some dignity, they plod on, existing day to day, but with very little joy.
I've sometimes wondered if this can't be justified as a form of cruelty? I'm not saying that all old folks should be shot when they reach 70 or something like that, but let's face it, what percentage of old people do you know that have almost completely lost their lust for life?
I know plenty of people that live full lives past 60. Jeez man, anymore it's not that old. I think part of it is you've got no significant other or kids, and I'm wondering about your social life - do you have a few good friends? I'm also wondering if you're a bit depressed, and if taking care of your parents is giving you a skewed view of older age. I mean, if you're taking care of them I assume they are sick or otherwise in need of help.
We had my son a bit later than normal (I'm 36 now), so I'll be about 52 when he graduates high school, and I may be a grandfather, or close to it, by the time I'm 60. I feel there's SOOOO much to look forward to. The only thing that sucks is knowing all the shit I won't get to see after I'm dead. Medicine and medical technology is only going to get better, which in turn should improve the quality of life in our later years.
My wife's grandma passed away not too long ago, and spent the last several years of her life mostly deaf, partially blind, sitting in a chair "watching" TV all day. I'd have killed myself. But that's not everyone's experience. Eat your veggies and see a therapist, you'll be ok bro =)
I see your point, and the truth is, those old people I do know who are genuinely happy all have two things in common, they all have kids/grandkids/greatgrandkids to fawn over, and they have good health. Those that lack one or both, not so happy. So, is the key to a happy old age simply eating your veggies and knocking up some broad?
The true key to old man happiness is making enough money to upgrade from your old wife to a young piece of ass.
My parents are mid 70s and are totally self sufficient. They are slowing down (joint issues etc) but still get around just fine. Hell my dad still has a side business in his retirement building security cam DVR/NVRs for banks. Keep active physically and mentally and you can be active well into the 70s/80s.
^^ Truth in that, I know a lot and I mean a LOT of old people. Mostly due to my parents playing bridge with them so I pick up a lot of work that way being in restoration. They tell me and I tell the ones that don't truth so much in the day you stop doing things is the week you will die. I've seen it a dozen times in the past 10 years. Those that keep going to work or has a hobby that keep at it keep going. The ones who retired and did basically nothing have pretty much all passed on. It is both a mental and physical thing. Stay active doing something even if it is only golfing.
As to your retirement question, the wife and I got married young (me 20, her 24) and we put away a good amount for the first few years. We slacked off for a bit, and unfortunately that was during the economic downturn, so we didn't get to buy in low. But either way, we don't have kids and we're going to try to retire by our mid-50's. We have 401k's, Roth IRA's, and a good amount of savings (we keep a $10k emergency fund and have around another $8-10k in savings).
So now we're going to start working on a "carry-over" type investment. Something liquid that we can draw on to take us from the day we retire until we hit whatever age they change the draw on our various retirement accounts (likely mid-60's).
I've been thinking that once we've got a decent amount of money around age 45-50 and could conceivably retire, it'll make going to work incredibly freeing. I think the knowledge that you could retire but choose to continue to work makes actually going to work a lot more palettable.
It's generally 100% dependent on your health in old age, some of it is luck, but a lot of it is how well you take care of yourself when you are younger.
I saw two drastic differences just in my 2 sets of grandparents. On my moms side of the family, both grandparents smoked, my grandpa drank(socially, wasn't an alcoholic) and both were a little overweight(not huge, more stocky/thick). My grandma died at 68 of lung cancer(and was bedridden almost the entire last 2 years), and my grandfather also died of lung cancer at 75, and needed home nursing care the last year or so.
On my dads side of the family my grandparents were farmers. Worked hard on the farm all their lives. Lived out in the woods after they sold the farm and retired in their late 60s. My grandpa hunted and fished everyday(owned 500 acres of woods with a large pond), and my grandma was an avid gardener(flowers and food). Neither ever had any chronic health problems, my grandpa dropped dead of a heart attack at 84 one day while out hunting and hiking through the woods, and my grandma lived to 94 and was still active until the day she died. She'd be out raking leaves, planting flowers, harvesting her garden on zucchini, strawberries, etc. Damn old lady had more energy at 90 than I did in my late 20s at the same time. They had a huge yard and leaf ranking + big bonfire was a yearly tradition in the fall, I'd be winded and tired and taking breaks every hour and she'd just keep plugging along. It was crazy how much stamina she had even at 90. Then she'd go inside and make a huge dinner for 20+ people. I don't know how she did it.
So really, don't abuse your body when you are young, and your odds of being able to be active well into old age are much, much better. I need to follow that advice myself though, I'm in my mid 30s and I drink(socially, 2-3 times a month) and I'm fat. I'm not going to make it to 94 at this rate.
I now have aunts and uncles that are pushing into their 70s and I see similar patterns. Some are super active with running, biking, walking, etc and you'd swear they weren't a day over 55 or 60. Others just sit at home and lay on the couch watching TV and smoking, and you would have sworn they looked like they were 70 a decade before they actually were. I have a 72 year old aunt that is super active and still works out and she looks younger than another aunt I have who is only 59, but fat and lazy.
Last edited by joeboo; 07-14-2014 at 02:47 PM.
I'm just making the assumption I'll never be able to retire. I'll definitely plan for it. But social security, medicare, 401k/IRA, I don't want to depend on those to retire. Our country of late seems to have little motivation to fixing these problems.
So, towards that end, I'm glad I've got a desk job. I could easily do this job into my 70's.
Feel free to kill yourself when you feel your life isn't worth living. Leave the old people alone, let them do what THEY want to do. Obviously they feel their life is above the threshold of ending it, and they are entitled to life as long as they make that choice.
Quality of life is important. But that's a personal decision. Very personal.
You ain't the only one. Alzheimer's is not a pretty way to die. I've watched it many times. Bullet in the fucking brain time. Got a family history of it too.
Also got about 20 more years before I need to buy the gun. Maybe by then we'll have cooler guns.
Alzheimer's is the scariest shit I've seen and would rather have cancer a hundred times then that shit. I'm looking forward to retirement and seeing the advances in science and technology. We were born at the right time where we embrace technology and aren't confused by it. Just think about the stuff you had in 2000 and compare it to what you have now. Can't wait to see what new toys the future brings.
Originally Posted by Noodleface
Sometimes you get caught on the bad end of genetics.
Many times people treat their bodies like shit for 50 years and then start worrying about their situation when they are already on a cocktail of drugs and nearing their golden years.
Biggest issue many people face is the battle of the bulge. Your metabolism changes in your 30's and slows down a good bit as you age. People fail to adjust and end up carrying around another 20-30lbs+ which is terrible for you. How many people in their 80's and 90's are fat asses?
Very close second is the shit we call food. Tons of salt in just about everything and much of the shit people eat is processed garbage. Take a look at some studies on processed meat, 67% more likely for cancer is fucking scary and frankly scares me more than smoking did in the 80's. People knew that smoking was bad for them at that point many are oblivious how bad much of the food they eat is. Many families view the convenience of certain foods to be far more important than the health.
Booze and drugs. Many that use them aren't doing so in moderation. We all know boozers and people that are hooked on mind meds or pain pills.
Stress from work and shitty family life. Poor financial decisions. All factor in. Stress is a huge killer. People are working longer hours and living check to check to pay their bills. Years of that takes it toll.
Add all that up and people are getting sick. No surprise.
I meet plenty of guys cycling and on the trail and at mountain bike events who are well into their 60's and even 70's and still charging it on the regular. They are my hope and inspiration. I've done a fair amount of abusive behavior in my younger years but I can't go back so I'm just trying to keep on the right mindset as much as I can now. I've heard cycling referred to as a fountain of youth, plus it doesn't wreck you like running and lifting.
You ever trip your balls off so much that you saw the precipice of eternity? Infinite realities colliding into each other The fish tank glass walls formed by limitless timeless streams of reality. The inescapable terror as you realize for as many lives you live as a hero, you live as a villain, or a failure? That moment you were kid, that reference in time fading with all your memories blurring who you loved, what you loved, what you hated, what you believed in, every defining characteristic that was you fading into complete entropy--millions of little tiny individual thoughts that form human sentience. That's why I don't get stoned, always the same thing.
You need both money and good health in old age to have it good. I know an old lady who has relatively good health, but survives on the minimum paid government pension here and she can't afford to do shit but sleep half the day and watch some TV or brows Facebook in the evenings. Well, she has good physical health, but this is a heavy drain on her mental health. Then there is another woman I know (older than the first) who has a shit ton of money, but can't do shit on her own. She can walk short distances but mainly sits in a wheelchair in the old folks home she's in. Neither are in an enviable position.
Then I know a couple like Joeboo's grandparents, live on a farm (that they bought after retirement). They aren't rich, but they have a decent income. They spend all day doing stuff on the farm, raising chickens, gardening and maintenance as well as having a very active social life.
What worries me most about old age is mainly financial. I pay into a pension fund but let's face it, who here believes the current pension system in place in the West will still be active in ~40 years time? What they've started talking about in Sweden for example is that people work their "regular" jobs from youth til about 50-60, then they go into a re-education program and find another job to work into their 80s. Something tells me the job you're going to be working from 60-80 isn't going to be a high paid desk job, and more like "do you want fries with that" slave job.
I wouldn't trust any corporate-run pension program at this point. Take control of your own retirement and invest on your own.
Stuff like this scares the crap out of me
Is your pension safe? - - MSN Money
Sure there are still risks in investing on your own, but I think I'd rather screw up myself than have someone else screw me with no way out of it.
Nearly 80% of the private pension plans covered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., or PBGC, are underfunded, to the tune of $740 billion. The news is even worse among the nation's largest companies. Only 18 defined benefit pension plans offered by companies in Standard & Poor's 500 benchmark are fully funded.
More than 1,400 companies shut down their pension plans in fiscal year 2011, compared with 1,200 in 2009, according to the PBGC. An additional 152 plans failed, meaning they were terminated without enough money to pay promised benefits and were taken over by the PBGC. The PBGC itself, which is funded by employer-paid insurance premiums, is running a $26 billion deficit.
Public pension funds are underfunded by at least $1 trillion, according to a report by the State Budget Crisis Task Force. To close the gap, 35 states have reduced pension benefits for their employees, and half have increased worker contributions to their plans, according to a report released in March by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Three states -- Georgia, Michigan and Utah -- have implemented hybrid plans that include defined contribution plans, similar to 401k's, that shift some investment risk to workers.
Even fully funded retirement plans aren't exempt. General Motors, once considered the model for running a solid pension plan, shocked its salaried retirees by announcing it was offloading their pensions to Prudential Financial. About 42,000 retirees had to make the difficult decision whether to take a lump-sum settlement or trust Prudential to send them monthly checks.
I still expect Wall Street to find some way to fuck up your retirement fund, regardless if it's a pension or self funded.
Many older poeple I worked with got fucked out of retirement savings through the 90s crash and again in the recent housing bubble crash, although not as bad.
Private and government pensions are pretty fucked on funding which is terrible. One of those shadow issues people know but don't really talk about. Lots of people are going to get fucked. In addition, if they don't pay into social security during that time there is no other safety net for them. The federal government can borrow almost without limit and cut much more fat than states, cities and corporations.
Social security on the other hand is more likely to be around and likely to looks very much the same.
First, the people that get it actually vote.
Second, there is plenty of money getting spent in other areas (namely military) which will be diverted before the checks start bouncing or they'll borrow more.
Third, there are truly very very few things that would cause people to go fucking nuts and cutting most people's only source of income in retirement after they paid in to the system for 50 years is one of them. No party or person is stupid enough to even think about it.
Fourth they'll likely raise the age again to 69 and remove the cap on wages and or increase the rate over time to fund it.
Zero chance they screw with much of anything else.
Pay your social security taxes. You'd be surprised how many self employed people screw around with that and it can bite them in the ass if their spouse isn't paying in big to cover them should their assets not do as expected or their inheritance gets eaten up in a reverse mortgage.
I'd wager most people on state / local pensions that aren't required to pay into it will end up regretting it down the road.
Last edited by Kedwyn; 07-16-2014 at 05:21 AM.
I'm not too sure on that myself, at least here in Europe. At the moment we are expected to pay for the pensions and medical expenses of the current (Baby boomer) generation of old people, while at the same time we are being bombarded with news where politicians and "experts" keep telling us we can't expect the same when we get older. Either we'll get less (and have to pay out of pocket more) or the retirement age will go up, or a mix of both. So in the end, our generation will have to pay for both our grandparents, parents and our own, all while having to endure record unemployment, less job security, austerity, wage stagnation and record unsustainable government debt. Fun times ahead!
Social security isn't anywhere near the problem medicare is. Fun fact: It now costs an average of $1.25 million to provide health care for someone from age 65 to 87. (the life expectancy at 65.) That's a liability of about a half trillion just for the people retiring this year.
Like someone else said, hopefully the life expectancy and good quality of life continues to rise as our generation 20s-40s? gets older. For myself I'm hoping I can stay in good enough shape to still play pick up games of basketball into my late 40s / early 50s then switch to just tennis and lower impact stuff after that. I do have relatives super active into their 70s.
As long as you don't get saddled with illness, I'd say you can have a pretty good quality of life all the way up to around 80, but probably shits the bed (literally and figuratively) pretty shortly after that.
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