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How Many People are Actually Saving for Their Retirement?

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  • #61
    I stopped contributing to my 401K a few years before I filed BK, since $$ was getting tighter and tighter. I have a low six figure sum in the account and would love to contribute again since full-retirement eligibility is at least six years away, but I don't want trouble with the trustee if my Ch 13 plan needs to be modified or he finds out in other ways. Or is that not going to happen? I know my court had a favorable ruling for 401K contributions during a Ch 13, but the debtor in that case was making contributions up to filing.

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    • #62
      switch625, it probably would not be a problem to start making contributions now. If you have a decrease in income and have to modify, you would stop contributions then. Acctually, you would probably stop contributions to try to avoid modifying. Check with your attorney.
      Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 03-20-2015, 11:26 AM.
      LadyInTheRed is in the black!
      Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
      $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

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      • #63
        I try to save 20% and live on 80%
        Life on planet earth is fun and I enjoy being here.

        [advertising removed by moderator -- please re-read BKForum rules]

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        • #64
          I started at 40 on the suggestion of a financial consultant at my job so now 30 years later, did pretty well for myself...Even I am surprised how much I was able to save with those small deductions from my paycheck every 2 weeks.
          So many things happen to folks during their life, but I am glad I don't look like all the things I have been through.

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          • #65
            I started my roth IRA at 18 (thanks to my aunt). I was not happy putting in $1,000 of my own money back then knowing I couldn't touch it for 50 years. But I am so glad I got in the habit to save for my future. I have been contributing to it for the past 19 years. The power of compound interest.......

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            • #66
              I'm an RN and I did chronic condition management for years and talked to many people who had significant costly health related expenses. There were three classes of people dealing with medical expenses and debt.

              The first were people who were wealthy and could pay all their expenses or they had hired an attorney and set their affairs in order so they could avail themselves to qualifying for public aid.

              The second were people with no savings due to poverty or just didn't save for retirement for what ever reasons. They were able to rely on public resources in short order. I'm not going to discuss the morality or social acceptability of this state, just the fact that they weren't able to pay their medical expenses and got help.

              The third group was those who had scrimped and saved and did without luxuries and vacations for decades just to save for retirement and rainy days. THEY GOT SCREWED! Often, before they could qualify any help like Medicaid, long term care or other assistance, they had to spend down their resources, often impoverishing themselves and spouse/partner. Every penny that they saved by denying themselves pleasures earlier in life was gone, with nothing to show for it.

              So who was the smartest?

              From what I've observed with many people, young and old, saving large amounts of money for the future, aside from an emergency fund, was a worthless endeavor if they ended up with prolonged health expenses at any point in life. Bankruptcy may be helpful for finite, short term medical expenses, but not for ongoing, chronic health care expenses. In 2015 the average cost of a private,self-pay bed in a nursing home was $91,250 a year. A semi-private bed was $80,300 a year. The expectation is that costs will rise by around 4% a year. We all know that medical costs are going up much more than that, though. How long will your retirement saving last for that? That doesn't even cover the medical expenses, which can often be huge.

              Needless to say, because of bad decisions and years of relative poverty (you be a single mother of four children with laughable child support and self employment and a business bankruptcy), I'm not in the last category. To provide for contingencies, I used the nominal retirement savings that I did have and bought a cheap homestead free and clear that will likely survive a bankruptcy. I have Medicare and private health insurance with a $5000 catastrophic limit. So, I don't plan on becoming dependent on the system. But if I were to need extraordinary medical care, I won't impoverish my husband for HIS remaining years. Or vice versa.

              In my life, I've spent anything I had just getting by. Life is good on a limited retirement income and the future will have to take care of itself.

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              • #67
                The bulk of my savings was in my 20s (early '90s) when I socked away (plus employer match) about $30K in my 401K, which grew to about $200K at the time of my discharge (completely exempt!) and via staggered Roth conversions, I have been able to bleed off about $1K per month tax & penalty free - and in general, it's still growing. The key is to sock it away when young, when the beauty of compound interest can work its magic.

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