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The Millionaire Retirees Next Door
Wall Street Journal ^ | May 12, 2011 | John Cogan

Posted on 05/12/2011 1:07:54 PM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia

Readers may recall the 1950s TV show, "The Millionaire," which portrayed stories of individuals who were given a "no strings attached" gift of money by an anonymous benefactor. Each week in one of the show's opening scenes, a man representing the wealthy benefactor, John Beresford Tipton Jr., knocked on an unsuspecting recipient's door and announced: "My name is Michael Anthony and I have a cashier's check for you for one million dollars."

That TV program is scheduled to return next year as a reality show, and the new recipients will be the typical husband and wife who reach age 66 and qualify for Social Security. Starting next year, this typical couple, receiving the average benefit, will begin collecting a combination of cash and health-care entitlement benefits that will total $1 million over their remaining expected lifetime.

According to my calculations based on government data, such married couples will begin receiving monthly Social Security checks that will, on average, total about $550,000 after inflation. They will receive health-care services paid for by Medicare that, on average, will total another $450,000 after inflation. The benefactors will be a generation of younger workers who are trying to support themselves and their families while paying taxes to finance the rest of government spending.

We cannot even remotely afford to make good on these promised benefits. Although our system of personal liberty, free enterprise and limited government has made us an affluent and upwardly mobile people, we are not yet a nation of John Beresford Tiptons.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: millionaire; retirees
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1 posted on 05/12/2011 1:07:55 PM PDT by rightwingintelligentsia
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Saw a program on A&E (IIRC) where they give people $100,000 to get their lives back on track. Stupid, really.

So, one guy who’s a homeless drinker gets $100K.
Goes out and buys a new $35K truck, because the lack of a $35K truck has been what’s really holding him back.

Then he buys a beater for one of his trailer-trash girlfriends. No biggie.

Never quite gets out of the house, or the bar. Spends weeks buying people drinks.

In one hour and $100K, he really doesn’t evolve much. At the end, he refuses to tell the show’s producers what’s left in the bank, but then we already know.


2 posted on 05/12/2011 1:13:35 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: SJSAMPLE

A friend of mine is a millionaire retiree. He was cheap as all get out while he worked inorder to save for his retirement. He got a pension from the Naval Reserve as well as a pension from a New York City job. He was loaded when he retired at 55 years of age. The icing on the cake was when his mom died and left him a boatload of cash, and property. Inheritances and cheapness really added to his wallet. Last year he and his wife visited the Great Wall of China.


3 posted on 05/12/2011 1:16:33 PM PDT by LottieDah (If only those who speak so eloquently on behalf of animals would do so on behalf of the unborn.)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

There is no free lunch. Yes, this typical 66 year old couple probably paid their taxes, and paid social security, but society does not owe them $1 million in benefits.

It won’t last.


4 posted on 05/12/2011 1:22:29 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

If anyone feels compelled to donate to the brownsfan retirement fund, I’m here to accept.

I have no shame. :)


5 posted on 05/12/2011 1:24:14 PM PDT by brownsfan (I miss the America I grew up in.)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

The quickest way to have someone destroy themselves for you is to give them a large sum of money. This only works if the person is a complete loser and user.

I often joke that If I woke up and had a time machine I would buy lottery tickets for all my worst enemies because they would end up destroying their lives quicker.

I would also buy lottery tickets for my friends, not directly, but i would help them pay off their houses and make some emergency funds for them on the condition that they only use them when absolutely needed.


6 posted on 05/12/2011 1:26:28 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: PGR88

Actually, if every dollar I ever gave to social security was put in a modest bond fund, I’d have MUCH more than $1,000,000.

Ever hear of the rule of 72?


7 posted on 05/12/2011 1:30:32 PM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: GraceG

Just in case you ever get that time machine...

...I hate you, you stink, you are stupid.

Now remember your enemies.;)


8 posted on 05/12/2011 1:32:35 PM PDT by 11Bush
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To: brownsfan

No problem.
I’m here to help.

I just need your SSN, bank account number and PIN.

I got your back, Buddy.


9 posted on 05/12/2011 1:32:56 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: 11Bush

In order to be my enemy you have to be the type of person who is a leech and complete loser.


10 posted on 05/12/2011 1:33:43 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: RobRoy

THAT was exactly my thought....give me a % of our investment....and forget Medicare....Just let us buy our own healthcare you idgits!


11 posted on 05/12/2011 1:33:43 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Unlike the West, the Islamic world is serious.)
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To: GraceG
I would buy lottery tickets for all my worst enemies because they would end up destroying their lives quicker.

That would be a lot of winning lottery tickets, since over 62 million voted for obummer.

12 posted on 05/12/2011 1:42:47 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (The American taxpayer cannot support the tax and spend habits of DC.)
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To: LottieDah

My parents are very typical of the people in the book “The Millionaire Next Door”. They’ve managed to retire with quite a pile despite living on one income all their lives and sending us to college nearly loan-free.

Living beneath your means, fixing your own stuff, wearing stuff out and not being stupid with your money can leave you with quite a savings account if you’re consistent and self-disciplined.

I hope to follow in their footsteps.

LQ


13 posted on 05/12/2011 1:47:26 PM PDT by LizardQueen (The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.)
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To: SJSAMPLE

Sounds like my ex-, except that he’s not homeless thanks to government handouts.


14 posted on 05/12/2011 1:48:49 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: GraceG

I’ve failed to come up with a way to qualify for your enemies list, so can you put me down as a friend?


15 posted on 05/12/2011 1:53:02 PM PDT by Jeff Winston
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To: SJSAMPLE

I remember years ago, Oprah gave 100 people $50,000 each to help them get “back on their feet”. Even SHE was amazed how quickly these people blew through the money and bought useless stuff. Out of all of them, I think ONE actually managed to turn her life around and put the money to good use.


16 posted on 05/12/2011 1:53:47 PM PDT by toothfairy86
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To: SJSAMPLE

“I got your back, Buddy.”

In a prison cellmate sort of way, I see.


17 posted on 05/12/2011 1:55:45 PM PDT by brownsfan (I miss the America I grew up in.)
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To: toothfairy86

Oprah would have learned something even more important had she offerred to give those people a $50,000 per year JOB.

She (in theory) would have gotten the work product of her $5mil, and coul have used it to hire more people.

But as soon as they unionized and demanded 15 minute coffe breaks every hour and paid parking spaced and free medical,...

The worst thing I can wish on liberals is that some day they come to understand the consequences of all their good intentions.


18 posted on 05/12/2011 1:58:50 PM PDT by Mr. K (this administration is WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY~!! [Palin/Bachman 2012])
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Many of these so-called millionaires are like myself and husband who decided to ‘retire’ because we could not find work - so we will be forced to live on savings for the years until we can collect SS.

In addition, we as do others, live in a house that is too far underwater in an area where every other home is for sale (or being given away, practically) for us to be able to downsize, much as we want to. So we will live with too much square footage, pay a lot more for utilities than we want to or can afford, and this situation shows NO signs of changing.

Yes, we saved enough money to not be a burden on our kids, and hopefully with careful budgeting will be able to control our remaining years, but odds are we will NEED social security and medicare to survive, as the money pit in which we live slowly drains our savings.

Additionally, because my husband had a heart attack at 58 we are concerned that we may not find health insurance to get him to medicare age - once you have a heart attack, you are denied by every health insurance company available and Obamacare isn’t going to change anything in that respect.

I sure wish we could consider ourselves millionaires, but with the cost of everything going up (Rush said hamburger has tripled in price in the last year), it is evident that the sooner we die, the better off we will be.

Sucks to be aging in this economy.


19 posted on 05/12/2011 1:59:34 PM PDT by SusaninOhio
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
A million back then - and a million today are VERY different. Then again, with Social Security people PAID into the program.

It's not an 'entitlement' program when people pay for it.

It's not a give-away unless you've got the HIV virus - which is not much more than having a cold - and you get full Social Security for YEARS. Or if you're one of the almost 30% of minority males who isn't employed but is disabled - say by alcohol? or drug problems? - both qualify for disability - and THEY get FULL Social Security - sometimes for 40, 50, 60 years...

None of this 'wait til retirement' crap for the drug addicts. They can start collecting in their 20's.

Are liberal elites worried about their favorite victim groups gaming the system? Hell no... Spread that wealth around - have older Americans work until they drop to keep that addicts on the money...

20 posted on 05/12/2011 2:03:46 PM PDT by GOPJ (Osama bin SEALed - http://www.citizenwarrior.com/2009/05/terrifying-brilliance-of-islam.html)
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To: RobRoy

“Ever hear of the rule of 72?”

It breaks down in a zero interest rate environment.

“Actually, if every dollar I ever gave to social security was put in a modest bond fund, I’d have MUCH more than $1,000,000.”

And if you had a pony, well.......you’d have a pony.


21 posted on 05/12/2011 2:05:23 PM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: toothfairy86

One of the worst shows on TV is the “Home Makeover” or whatever they call it, when they give some hard-case family a new home.

They tear down the old home, in most cases, and slap up a monster home with useless bullshit in its place. This is supposed to “help” the family, but probably only leaves them with a huge tax burden. For the money, they could’ve helped a dozen needy families, but they have to spend $50K on flat-screen TVs, game rooms and jacuzzis just to make a big deal.

One sad-sack family immediately went out and mortgaged the home, then defaulted on it.

Shows like this actually destroy my faith in humanity, because people seem to think a plasma TV will cure their ills.


22 posted on 05/12/2011 2:13:59 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: PGR88

self employed people that have been reasonably successful over the course of 35 to 40 years will probably not get value for what they paid into the system.


23 posted on 05/12/2011 2:18:48 PM PDT by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: goodnesswins

can’t redistribute wealth, that way......


24 posted on 05/12/2011 2:19:06 PM PDT by Tahoe3002
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
Since a loaf of bread is going to cost $50,000 soon seems like a fair deal to me.
25 posted on 05/12/2011 2:23:52 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Ladies and Gentlemen the _resident of the untied States!!)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

The real p1sser is that even if John Beresford Tipton came to call nowadays - and always assuming that the government somehow let you keep the money - a million bucks would be just about enough to keep yourself in Alpo.

A dollar isn’t what it used to be - and neither is a million bucks.


26 posted on 05/12/2011 2:24:06 PM PDT by Jack Hammer (e)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

Get ready for a big shock!
Do your own calculations. Add up all the FICA and SS taxes taken out of your paycheck, or paid by you if you are self employed. Invested in a no risk investment @ 3-5 per cent over the average working life of 40 years, at age 66 you would have a whole lot more than $1 million.
SS is a Ponzi scheme, not in a “lock box” not invested. People pay in on the bottom to pay people on the top. Inevitably it collapses.


27 posted on 05/12/2011 2:27:26 PM PDT by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: RobRoy

Exactly right! See my post below.
Please explain Rule of 72 to all FReepers. Important information to have!


28 posted on 05/12/2011 2:30:28 PM PDT by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

How much was withheld from their salaries, over the course of their lives for social security and other ‘benefit’ taxes?


29 posted on 05/12/2011 2:42:17 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: PGR88

How much was withheld? Why doesn’t the government just give that amount back to them as a lump sum?

Oh I know. Congress can’t raid the ‘lock box’ for illegal alien benefits if they do.

Is that why you oppose them getting the ‘benefit’ of their taxes?


30 posted on 05/12/2011 2:44:20 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: Cincinna

If you divide 72 by your interest rate, that is the number of years it will take to double your money.

So if you earn 7 percent on your investment then your investment will double in a little over 10 years.

A 10 percent return will double your investment in 7.2 years.

This assumes that you reinvest your returns.


31 posted on 05/12/2011 2:45:24 PM PDT by lurked_for_a_decade (Burp)
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To: LizardQueen
Living beneath your means, fixing your own stuff, wearing stuff out and not being stupid with your money can leave you with quite a savings account if you’re consistent and self-disciplined.

That's what me and my wife did, although my wife dresses very nice. I would patch my jeans until there was no space for more; she hated that. But we're retired living the good life while many acquaintances who threw money around are deep in debt. Her brother just hit us up for a $100G loan to avoid bankruptcy, which she refused him because he only wanted to buy the best of things (on credit) like 1st-class plane seats. I always tell young people, live below your means and you will be just fine later on.

32 posted on 05/12/2011 2:46:57 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: RFEngineer

“It breaks down in a zero interest rate environment.”

Go for dividends instead. At least you get a respectable and rising return.


33 posted on 05/12/2011 2:52:47 PM PDT by Starboard
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To: Cincinna

What is really sad is how many people truly believe that they have made “contributions” to a “fund” that is obligated to pay them a pension benefit at a certain age. In fact they have paid taxes to the government which create absolutely no property right for future pension benefit. No matter how much one has paid in FICA taxes one has no certain right to receive anything in return. And whatever one does receive in Social Security benefits is paid out of the fruit of another’s labor. Congress has the authority to terminate Social Security and never make another payment again. That’s not my opinion: that’s from the text of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Flemming vs Nestor. It’s also the language of the 1935 FICA: “Section 1104 ‘RESERVATION OF POWER’: The right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision of this Act is hereby reserved to the Congress.” Unfortunately, it’s impossible to reason with somebody who has been convinced that he’s going to get something for free or, in this case, in return for taxes paid. Like it or not, Social Security is a very popular welfare program.


34 posted on 05/12/2011 2:56:33 PM PDT by Skepolitic
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

I suppose the author would rather have 19 illegals living next door in a one bedroom house with a ‘man cave’ dug underneath to hold all the cash only renters.

But wait a minute..... this is the WALL STREET journal. WALL STREET, the beneficiaries of the TARP and other ‘economic recovery’ programs, paid for by taxes on wage earning citizens, much of which goes to Social Security and Medicare!

So for WALL STREET to keep raiding that ‘lock box’, citizens who’ve had that money withheld from the wages they EARNED, well we can’t have retirees taking using any of that money, can we now!

Now you know why the WALL STREET journal is pushing garbage like this.


35 posted on 05/12/2011 2:57:13 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: Starboard

So I guess it’s no problem that the government is handing out thousands (in some cases up to about $80K) per year in benefits (free healthcare, education, food, $$) to welfare folks who didn’t earn them? Why don’t they ever tally that up and throw it in their faces? No, they would rather pick on retirees who are at the end of their lives with limited options for employment and WHO HAVE PAID tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands into the system.


36 posted on 05/12/2011 3:03:08 PM PDT by applpie
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To: applpie

“So I guess it’s no problem that the government is handing out thousands (in some cases up to about $80K) per year in benefits (free healthcare, education, food, $$) to welfare folks who didn’t earn them?”

And then the government pays even more on top of that to fund the agencies and army of bureaucrts and contractors who dole out the money. America is being royally screwed by the government.


37 posted on 05/12/2011 3:21:53 PM PDT by Starboard
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
I think the key is to have a very detailed, well thought out plan for what you would do should a serious boat-load of cash land in your lap. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor.)

Should it happen, you won't go down the same path as so many lottery winners and maybe, just maybe, developing such a detailed plan would serve to spur you on to making it happen without first having the big 'pay day'.

38 posted on 05/12/2011 3:22:33 PM PDT by Oratam
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To: Starboard

“Go for dividends instead. At least you get a respectable and rising return”

We were having an accounting rules-of-thumb discussion and you ruined it with helpful advice.


39 posted on 05/12/2011 3:30:42 PM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: RFEngineer

Look into the recent lists of dividend champions, achievers and challengers. 4-5 percent is do-able with a reasonable degree of safety, but do your due diligence. Higher payers are not always safe bets and they can cut their payouts which will result in a hit on the stock price.


40 posted on 05/12/2011 3:43:04 PM PDT by Starboard
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To: Starboard

“Look into the recent lists of dividend champions....”

I agree. My point to the poster was not from investment standpoint, rather that what he paid was a tax that was not subject to recall and that he was not due interest that otherwise would have been paid.

It’s a common argument used with SS - your excellent advice notwithstanding.


41 posted on 05/12/2011 3:50:49 PM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

So today’s seniors need to consider how they want the script for “The Millionaire” sequel to be written: There’s a knock at the door. We now know that on the other side there’s a check for a million dollars. When the door opens, do we really want to see our children, under the commanding gaze of Uncle Sam, presenting us with that check?

I believe that half of the seniors on this site, and about 90% of the seniors overall have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with this approach (i.e., stealing from kids and the unborn).

Because of that, we are FINISHED as a first-world country.


42 posted on 05/12/2011 4:11:20 PM PDT by BobL (PLEASE READ: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2657811/posts))
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To: hedgetrimmer

The Wall Street Journal started out as a financial paper but became a leading voice for Conservatism in the 60’s. It is an excellent newspaper. Starting in the pre-Reagan era, it’s Editorial Page was a beacon of Conservatism in a dark desert of liberalism, along with Goldwater and Buckley.
It has continued as the best conservative newspaper in the country, even after the death of the long term Editorial Page Editor, and later, Editor, the late, great, Bob Bartley.


43 posted on 05/12/2011 4:19:57 PM PDT by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: Oratam

Besides paying off existing debts, what would you suggest?
How would you invest $250-$500k?


44 posted on 05/12/2011 4:23:25 PM PDT by Cincinna ( *** NOBAMA 2012 ***)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia

***Readers may recall the 1950s TV show, “The Millionaire,” which portrayed stories of individuals who were given a “no strings attached” ****

I kind of like the movie IF I HAD A MILLION. It shows how various people spend their gift of $1,000,000 during the depression.
One gambles his off, thinking it is a joke.
A prostitute goes in for good living.
A hot check thief can’t get this check cashed.
WC Field’s girlfriend buys lots of junk Model-Ts and runs road hogs off the road.

A fun movie.


45 posted on 05/12/2011 4:52:19 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name. See my home page, if you dare!)
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To: rightwingintelligentsia
The following is not about whether we SHOULD have Social Security/Medicare or whether we should or should not drastically modify the system (that's a whole different conversation), but is presented only for a bit of perspective:
 
$500,000 per individual, over 20 years (age 66-86) is $25,000 per year, or $2,083 per month which includes cash AND health care benefits. 
 
Take away the health care benefits to determine the amount of cash and you're left with about $1,145  per month, gross, per individual.  Millions of people will draw much less per month in SSA.  Then, take out taxes and medicare premiums, deductibles and co-insurance and you're left with about 800-1,000 per month.  Subtract food, utilities, gasoline, property taxes (or perhaps mortgage/rent), modest clothing purchases, etc from that.
 
Millionaires?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

46 posted on 05/12/2011 4:56:13 PM PDT by Let_It_Be_So
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To: Cincinna

I remember early in the last decade, a Wall Street Journal editor calling for the United States to have a population of a billion people, in order to create a more perfect marketing situation for the globalists, who were slavering over the Chinese and Indian populations. What an idiot to think American representative government could survive with that many people.

We can’t even hold our freedoms with 250 million plus 50 million illegal aliens.


47 posted on 05/12/2011 5:08:39 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: RFEngineer

>>And if you had a pony, well.......you’d have a pony.<<

My point was clear, and a response to someone saying that a person who put money in it their whole life does not deserve a collective $1,000,000 in retirement. They actually would have significantly more if they had put it in low risk investments.


48 posted on 05/12/2011 10:23:40 PM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Cincinna

The rule of 72 is absurdly simple. And destroys the myth that if your investment earned 10% interest you would collect twice as much money as if your investment earned 5%. It takes into account the time value of money. It is what makes insurance companies richer than banks.

It works like this: Divide your interest rate into the number 72. The result is how many years it takes to double your money.

So, lets say you start with $100,000 at age 30. At 12% interest, 72/12=6 years. So the following would be true:

Age Value
30 100,000
36 200,000
42 400,000
48 800,000
54 1,600,000
60 3,200,000
66 6,400,000

Now, lets make it 6, which would double your money every 12 years:
Age Value
30 100,000
42 200,000
54 400,000
66 800,000

Double the interest rate give this person eight times as much money at retirement! It is real. I wish high schools would teach this simple fact to American kids. We would not need social security at all.


49 posted on 05/12/2011 10:31:59 PM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: RobRoy

“Compound Interest is the Eighth Wonder of the World.”


50 posted on 05/12/2011 10:36:32 PM PDT by dfwgator
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