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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, 07:26 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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                  #68
                  More than one in five don’t save any of their annual income. It's better you stat save as earliest as possible.

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                    #69
                    I don’t login much anymore, but I do lurk.

                    Love BK Forum. My BK, 11 years ago, and BK Forum, changed my life.

                    Filing for Bankruptcy was the best decision I’ve ever made.

                    I made a comment eight years ago, on this thread, about how much I thought I would have in my 401K when I was ready to retire.

                    I thought about that after looking into my 401k today, and seeing that I have a full $100,000 more saved, than I thought I would have.

                    I thought I would only be able to save 275,000, But I actually have $375,000 saved in my 401(k).

                    Filing my BK, back in the day was one of the saddest times of my life ,but it was one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made , and it has allowed me to save $375,000 for my retirement.



                    02-12-2009, Filed Chapter 7, Pro Se
                    03-24-2009, 341
                    05-28-2009, Discharged!

                    Comment


                      #70
                      Originally posted by SeattleBK View Post
                      I don’t login much anymore, but I do lurk.

                      Love BK Forum. My BK, 11 years ago, and BK Forum, changed my life.

                      Filing for Bankruptcy was the best decision I’ve ever made.

                      I made a comment eight years ago, on this thread, about how much I thought I would have in my 401K when I was ready to retire.

                      I thought about that after looking into my 401k today, and seeing that I have a full $100,000 more saved, than I thought I would have.

                      I thought I would only be able to save 275,000, But I actually have $375,000 saved in my 401(k).

                      Filing my BK, back in the day was one of the saddest times of my life ,but it was one of the best financial decisions I’ve ever made , and it has allowed me to save $375,000 for my retirement.


                      Congratulations!

                      When my wife and I had our financial melt down after the recession I went to work for a large financial institution (not banking or credit) in 2013; at the time we had separated, I had exactly $0.00 in retirement savings, I was 56 years old, and getting ready to file for a Chapter 13; my retirement life looked grim to say the least. My (then) goals were to work until 70(ish) and to try and work my 401(K) up to a million in the 14 year span; it will be 8 years next month since I (re)started my retirement fund, and so far I have a little over $340,000 in it. Not sure I'll hit the million by 70, but the new plan is to work until I'm 72, so that should be enough.
                      Latent car nut.

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                      • SeattleBK
                        SeattleBK commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Shipo,

                        Good job!

                        I suspect if you keep doing what you are doing, you may just get to 1 million.

                        I plan on retiring in one year, so I doubt that I will get to 1 million, but I definitely will get to 400,000.

                        If I Worked until 72, no doubt I definitely would get to a million.

                        However, I’m tired of working.

                        I won’t be able to take fine vacations, or eat at fancy restaurants in retirement, but I’ll be able to walk, garden, fish and jog, and stay in bed as long as I want in the morning.

                      #71
                      Thanks SeattleBK, fortunately I like what I do, I'm getting paid very well for it, and I get to travel something like 26 weeks per year, some of it international. The only wrinkle is it does get in the way of my jogging, especially when I'm on the road (last week I didn't travel and logged 47 miles, this week, yeah, travel and only 30 miles, 13 of which were from today).
                      Latent car nut.

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                        #72
                        My situation is a bit weird. I have a pension and exempted all of it. I have a small 401k, but I'm not allowed to withdraw until I leave the job because I defaulted on BOTH of the 401k loans. When 'Rona came around, I used the pandemic to withdraw every last dime and put it in a rollover IRA. Now my 401k is empty but I'm incredibly reluctant to put a dime in it since it's illiquid until I retire. The only advantage of my current 401k is the ERISA protection against creditors. I can't put any money in my own traditional IRA and deduct it. I can do Roth or make a trad IRA contribution for the wife. I'm inclined to make use all of the Roth space and if there is any extra (unlikely), I would just put it in a taxable account. IRAs have very weak protection from creditors in California outside of bankruptcy.

                        I'm tired of working too. Thank goodness I have the pension.

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