When I read stories like the one below and the information about how much people have saved for their retirement, I’m flabbergasted by the delusional, utterly ridiculous behavior of American consumers. We know for a FACT that 60% of all workers in the country have less than $25,000 of total savings. Many have absolutely nothing saved. Even better, over 25% of all 401k participants have borrowed against their 401k plan as of the end of 2010. This data is for people with jobs. How about the 88 million people who aren’t in the labor market? I wonder how much savings they have. In order to retire at 65 and live above the poverty line, people need to have saved at least a couple hundred thousand dollars. Those who retired in the 1980s and 1990s had equity in their homes, many had defined benefit pensions, and could rely on Social Security and their savings.

Today you have 55 year old people with $25,000 of liquid assets earning .15%, underwater homes, no pension plans, and $15,000 of credit card debt. They cannot afford to retire. They will stay in the labor market until the day they die. This is not good news for the Millenials.

What I find incomprehensible is that Americans ramped up their spending in the 1st quarter of 2012 and their savings rate in back at a four year low of 3.9%. With the data about retirement savings being so pitiful consumers SHOULD BE saving 10% of their disposable income like they did in the early 1980s. Going further into debt in order to enjoy going out to dinner two times per week is about the stupidest thing anyone could do. And our leaders, media and Ivy League trained economists actually encourage this delusional foolish behavior. Can this many Americans be this stupid? What are they thinking? Are they counting on the government to come to their rescue when they are 75 years old, broke, homeless, and begging?

I find myself shaking my head and talking to myself when I see this data and watch the behavior of the majority. We’re surely doomed.   

Delaying retirement: 80 is the new 65

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — A quarter of middle-class Americans are now so pessimistic about their savings that they are planning to delay retirement until they are at least 80 years old — two years longer than the average person is even expected to live.

It sounds depressing, but for many it’s a necessity. On average, Americans have only saved a mere 7% of the retirement nest egg they were hoping to build, according to Wells Fargo’s latest retirement survey that polled 1,500 middle-class Americans.

While respondents (whose ages ranged from 20 to 80) had median savings of only $25,000, their median retirement savings goal was $350,000. And 30% of people in their 60s — right around the traditional retirement age of 65 — that were surveyed had saved less than $25,000 for retirement.

As a result, many people aren’t in a hurry to quit their day jobs.

Three-fourths of middle-class Americans expect to work throughout retirement. And this includes the 25% of Americans who say they will “need to work until at least age 80” before being able to retire comfortably.

The 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey: Job Insecurity, Debt Weigh on Retirement Confidence, Savings

March 2012 EBRI Issue Brief #369 Paperback, 36 pp. PDF, 1,585 kb Employee Benefit Research Institute,  2012

Download Issue Brief PDF

Executive Summary

  • Americans’ confidence in their ability to retire comfortably is stagnant at historically low levels. Just 14 percent are very confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement (statistically equivalent to the low of 13 percent measured in 2011 and 2009).
  • Employment insecurity looms large: Forty-two percent identify job uncertainty as the most pressing financial issue facing most Americans today.
  • Worker confidence about having enough money to pay for medical expenses and long-term care expenses in retirement remains well below their confidence levels for paying basic expenses.
  • Many workers report they have virtually no savings and investments. In total, 60 percent of workers report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000.
  • Twenty-five percent of workers in the 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey say the age at which they expect to retire has changed in the past year. In 1991, 11 percent of workers said they expected to retire after age 65, and by 2012 that has grown to 37 percent.
  • Regardless of those retirement age expectations, and consistent with prior RCS findings, half of current retirees surveyed say they left the work force unexpectedly due to health problems, disability, or changes at their employer, such as downsizing or closure.
  • Those already in retirement tend to express higher levels of confidence than current workers about several key financial aspects of retirement.
  • Retirees report they are significantly more reliant on Social Security as a major source of their retirement income than current workers expect to be.
  • Although 56 percent of workers expect to receive benefits from a defined benefit plan in retirement, only 33 percent report that they and/or their spouse currently have such a benefit with a current or previous employer.
  • More than half of workers (56 percent) report they and/or their spouse have not tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in retirement.
  • Only a minority of workers and retirees feel very comfortable using online technologies to perform various tasks related to financial management. Relatively few use mobile devices such as a smart phone or tablet to manage their finances, and just 10 percent say they are comfortable obtaining advice from financial professionals online.

101 thoughts on “INCOMPREHENSIBLE”

  1. Life expectancy is 78, but 25% of Americans think they’ll need to work until 80 in order to retire comfortably.

    This is Delusion with a capital D. Who is going to employ drooling doddering old fools like DaveL when they are 75 years old and racked with incontenance?

  2. Not really surprising. In this area retire just means from a 9-5 job. Almost everyone I know works until 70 and then relies on family to help support them.

    Yeah I know, anecdotal evidence is anecdotal….

    Anyway, the evidence supporting my belief that people are idiots continues to pile up.

  3. “What I find incomprehensible is that Americans ramped up their spending in the 1st quarter of 2012 and their savings rate in back at a four year low of 3.9%.”

    When you’ve spent most of your life eating filet mignon, it’s hard to stick with hamburg for very long. But, if you(me) spent most of your life eating hamburg, you get to retire and dine on filet mignon. Dumbfuck is as dumbfuck does. And I don’t need to be employed or take Viagra either.

  4. Admin you must of had a good job or retired before 08. Ive only met a dozen people in my life that have a payed for home.And now its even harder.Would you put serious money in the stock market for your retirement?
    If your amazed by all the poor people with no retirement money your out of touch.

    1. ron

      You bet your ass I’ve had good jobs. I worked my ass off in school, worked my ass off to get my CPA. Worked my ass off going to school at night after work for 3 and a half years to get my MBA. And I’ve been an excellent hard worker my whole life. I put money in 401k plans since I was 25 years old, maximizing my savings. I drive my cars into the ground. I have never in my life carried a credit card balance because I have never spent more than I made.

      Don’t give me sob stories about the poor Boomers. My parents paid off their house. It’s not hard if you just make the payments and don’t borrow against the equity.

      I’m amazed at the complete and utter stupidity of millions of morons in this country.

  5. Maybe 4 decades of living on the edge of just getting by has driven the heard totally mad ?

    ..and we all believed the economy was growing.Little did we know that we were being sucked into a black hole created by debt inflated currency.

    “The utter failure of our government controlled educational system in teaching our children how to think critically or question the validity of government created data has allowed the elite to paper over the fact the average American worker has not had any real income gains in at least four decades. The insidious nature of Federal Reserve created inflation (up 600% since 1970) is incomprehensible to a public that finds math boring and not essential in their lives.”

    ~ James Quinn

  6. See how fast the tanks and military would rush out when for example 50 000 workers would
    unite and demand a 200% wage increase.
    The system was fucked up from day 1.
    It’s moral coercion backed up by physical force.
    Very basic.

  7. I’m a first stage boomer. My retirement plan was set when I graduated from university: reach 65 with a wholly-owned home and a property that would support small-scale self-sufficient agriculture. I have that property (in South America) and on it is another house now occupied by my son and his fiancee. There is not real dividing line between us on who owns what, whose money is whose: we pool resources. I live an austere life by choice. Like Admin, I have never had credit card debt save for the first semester of boarding school for my son, who began at 13, a year earlier than planned. I have a twelve year old car and plan to keep it till it drops. I am scheduled to collect SocSec this year, but it will be a small sum and I will not depend on it in any case. I have no debt and neither does my son, who works down here and is very well paid. I will “earn my keep” with the kids by providing supplementary education, etc., for grandchildren we all hope will come, and by my farming activities and a small income from writing. Meanwhile, my relatives and friends who had very highly paid work do not enjoy a life nearly as comfortable as mine, and they have worries I do not. It’s all a question of priorities and, I suspect, of mastering the vital art of delayed gratification.

    1. Oscar – Amen

      Here is an example of how stupid most people are about money, planning and delayed gratification. I bring my lunch to work 9 out of 10 days. It is usually leftovers from dinner the night before. I meet my buddy every couple weeks and we get a couple slices of pizza and a drink for $7.

      The people in my office, most who make less money than me, eat out for lunch every day. They will spend $1,650 or so per year eating lunch. I’ll spend $150 per year. I will save the $1,500 difference and over 20 years that savings will grow to $50,000 if I can make a small return. The story above says that 60% of workers have less than $25,000 of savings. Just by bringing their lunch to work they could have $50,000.

      This exact scenario can be played out on a larger scale with cars. I buy a car, pay it off in three years and drive it for 10 or 12 years. I save the car payment for 7 to 9 years while morons lease BMWs and Lexuses for eternity so that people think they are successful. These are the people who are 50 years old with no savings and debt up to their eyeballs.

      We’re a nation of materialistic delusional morons.

  8. Why should they save? Intrest paid on the savings is 0.15%. Annual inflation is somewhere between 2% and 12% depending on who you want to quote. So every year that you save it you lose. Buy assets that you can use and then e-bay to fund retirement and you are way ahead. Inflation gets worse every year. Saving is for suckers.

    1. WTF are you going to buy assets with?

      If you spend your dollars on lunches and leases you won’t have it to buy gold and silver.

      I weep for humanity when I read some of the comments on this site.

  9. The idea of not saving in cash and instead purchasing productive assets is one that makes sense to me once one has the essentials covered. Some cash should be always be kept on hand, I believe; the amount varies with the individual and with circumstances. The nature of my son’s work is such that he is able to save a large portion of his salary. Some of the savings is going into a phased-growth silvopasture plantation on owned-outright land. Some goes into ag machinery to be operated by relatives. Some goes into small-scale projects like a brick-making operation, a machine shop, etc. If I read CT’s comment right, his idea is to buy things that will go up in price at a percentage higher than interest or stock market growth. That might not be so bad an idea, because a soldering machine I bought five years ago now retails for triple what I paid for it!

    If I misread CT, then Admin and I will weep together. If prudence does not make a comeback, the future for posterity is one I prefer not to contemplate.

  10. “I will save the $1,500 difference and over 20 years that savings will grow to $50,000 if I can make a small return.”

    After working and saving, working and saving, working and saving and after twenty years——- you end up with $50,000. That’s all well and good and quite commendable. The problem is that your $50,000 will only buy about $12,500 worth of stuff.

      1. The $50,000 is from bringing my freaking lunch to work.

        Driving cars for 10 or 12 years adds another $200,000 to that figure.

        I love to see the comments from people who didn’t live beneath their means and try to rationalize why they are fucked.

        It’s actually pathethic.

  11. “I didn’t save because inflation would have eaten away at my savings, so I went out to dinner three nights per week, leased fancy cars, borrowed against the equity in my house, bought 5 HDTVs for every room in my house, and went on nice vacations every year.”

    Mantra of a Moron

  12. Idiots who made a conscious choice to spend more than they made and now try to rationalize why they haven’t saved a fucking dime.


  13. Pressed wrong button,anyhow your just not in touch with most americans who didnt do as well as you.
    Must be great being perfect.

    1. ron

      Yeah. I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth in a 900 sq ft row home to a truck driver and a stay at home mom.

      I’m tired of the excuses from people who didn’t work hard and didn’t save enough. Bullshit.

  14. Eh, I’m guilty of eating out too much. Not for lunch, but for dinner.

    It costs me a lot, but me and my wife are working on changing it. College got us used to a steady diet of insta-food, and we suck at cooking for two.

  15. “Administrator says:


    That’s not nice. The poor guy is flaccid and you’re happy for him?”

    No Jim, he’s just as dumb as you for believing I wrote that.

  16. How dare some of you come on here and boast about how you work hard and save for retirement or are now fairly comfortable in retirement from doing so. You are just a bunch of fuckers who say “I’ve got mine and fuck the rest of you”.

    That’s the way it works on this site.

  17. So instead of renting a room to save more, I should just keep renting a place of my own?

    Instead of driving a beater, I should get a big ol’ pick m’ up on a 7 year no-interest loan?

    Instead of letting the roomies cook me splendid feasts, I should sit down to a steak every night?

    Consider this: Isn’t NOT saving much more energy intensive than saving?

  18. Admin says
    I’m tired of the excuses from people who didn’t work hard and didn’t save enough. Bullshit.

    Admin it’s too late the boomers did not save enough and time is up. The more salient question is; what is it going to look like going forward? Who will feed and care for 77 million boomers, what’s the free shit army (50 million strong) going to do when the free shit faucet is turned off, that my friend is the most critical question facing us today. Run a little risk analysis over that, I would be willing to bet they don’t just go back to work all peaceful like, the molotov cocktail will be their instrument of protest. A few hundred youth and a few gallons of gasoline and wreak havoc that’s unstoppable.
    Just sayin

  19. Did I mention that I was a teacher? I taught my students how to spell their names for 30 years. Now I collect a government gold plated pension as a parasite in the intestines of America. I got mine. Fuck those kids. They just interrupted my 6 hour days, 9 months of work, and 30 days off during the school year.

  20. I just got throttled, Word Press alert appeared on the laptop and stated, Slow down you are posting to fast. That never happened before.


  21. @ ron, who said, “Admin you must of had a good job or retired before 08. Ive only met a dozen people in my life that have a payed for home.And now its even harder.Would you put serious money in the stock market for your retirement?”

    My story mirrors Admin’s. For the last 20 years prior to retirement, my wife and I maxed out everything we legally could set aside in our retirement accounts. We collapsed a 30 year mortgage to 15 years and paid it off in 13, resulting in a big, fat check to us when we sold the house…..enough to build a brand new retirement home with no mortgage. No debt EVER, including the cost to put a son through college.

    The federal government could default on Social Security and my pension check, and we’d still have enough to live comfortably off our retirement savings. And yes, we’ve got really serious money in the stock market. Mostly VERY SAFE preferred common stock (think utility companies) that pays 6-7% interest.

    It can be done. The watchword is discipline.

  22. Saving for retirement implies a long term belief in the system. That things will be better years from now and you will be able to kick back and live fat and easy. That the value of what ever you have saved will be equal to or greater than the value that it has now. The savings rate is going down because the people can see that the old ways no longer apply. You want to save now, spend it like you got it. Funds are flowing out of stocks and into guns, food and supplies. Farm land is a savings that you can use, eat off of, and then sell when you are too old to work. I would never put money back into stocks or the bank so that they could clean me out like Corzine did to his customers. Saving is for suckers

    1. Savings rate is going down because idiots are whipping their credit cards out to buy iPhones and eat out at Cracker Barrel.

      The only way to get ahead in life is to spend less than you make and save the difference.

      Only people who haven’t saved a fucking dime in their lives says saving is for suckers. It is nothing but idiots rationalizing their utter stupidity.

  23. I gotta go with admin on this. In 1999 I bought an old 1986 4Runner for $1500. During the next 12+ years I paid myself $600 each month which is roughly what a car payment would have been. I’m still driving that 26 year old car today. I’ve used the $$$ saved to pay down debt, put a roof on my house and buy things that will ease my transition from this fucked up economy to whatever comes next. Live below your means and you will be amazed at how well things work out for you. Live large and you end up like most Americans……slaves to debt, spending your income to “make payments” and financing the rest with credit cards and equity loans. Reap what you sow idiots.

  24. @ CavTanker, who said, “Saving is for suckers.”

    I disagree. Your line of thinking is precisely the reason why government benefits programs have gotten out of control and created so much debt…………….supporting millions of irresponsible, lazy people who won’t get off their fat ass and try to do for themselves.

    Another story. My golfing buddies are nearly all millionaire Silents and hard working, self-made success stories. And every single one of them is a pinch-penny. No one puts on airs or drives a flashy car. One guy owns 6 homes and is constantly looking for lost golf balls which he sells on eBay. Another guy sold his computer business for $5 million and drives a beat up, 20 yr old Dodge truck with a floor stick shift. For our golf matches, everyone kicks in $2.86 (don’t ask why $2.86). The winning team gets 5 bucks each player, 4 bucks each to second place, and 3 bucks each to third place (wow, a big 14 cent profit to third place). We are obviously not high-rollers, and everyone just loves it that way. We’re there to relax and have FUN, and we do.

  25. Admin: exactly what interest rate are you expecting to turn an investment of $1500.00 annually for 20yrs into 50K? Also, where would you get said interest rate in 2012?

    1. ragman

      I didn’t say interest rate. I said return. I’ve been putting money into the American Century Global Gold fund every month since 2004. Annual return has been in excess of 15% for the last 8 years. A mear 5% return would get you to $50,000.

      I’m 17 years from retirement and I’ve put away plenty.

      People who lived for today always have a rationalization for why they didn’t save. I laugh at their bullshit excuses.


  26. Admin, you seem to be getting quite worked up, I think you should spend some of your savings on St. John’s Wort before you have a heart attack.

    SSS, That sounds like a good time, but it misses my point. I agree with you completely, when you bring up you friends who worked hard, saved and are now enjoying it. Good for them, I hope you all have fun. You were able to save and prosper during a time when the system worked.
    My point isn’t to sit on my butt and milk the system. I am working full time, going to class, and running a farm based business. What I am trying to say, is that I am 20+ years from retirement; the traditional systems of savings i.e. stocks, bonds, cash, etc. at this time do not appear to be a good store of wealth. If you are looking ahead, spending money on assets is a much safer store of wealth than Savings.

    1. CavTanker

      Show me someone who says savings is for suckers and I’ll show you an idiot with a big fat credit card balance and a big fat car loan or three year lease, a 401k balance of $5,000 with $3,000 loan against the balance.

      Did I hit any nerves?

      1. CavTanker

        What “ASSETS” you talkin about that you are going to sell on Ebay and fund your glorious retirement? Inquiring minds want to know your secret to success.

  27. everyone kicks in $2.86 (don’t ask why $2.86) -SSS

    Now I am curious. Im not asking. Perhaps thats the average price of a viagra pill.

  28. Retiring to other countries is something I keep hearing more and more of. Is this worth investigating? Or is it just another scheme?

  29. Saving is for suckers -CT

    I suppose you are saying that because of inflation, the Fed shoots for about 4% a year, what you make is worth less and less. Thats true. However credit card rates run about 20%.

    I dont see how its wise to borrow which is worse than saving. Then again I think perhaps your being facetious.

  30. Retiring to other countries is something I keep hearing more and more of. Is this worth investigating? -TPC

    Costa Rica is one of the top places.

  31. Yeah, thats what I hear as well. I wasn’t sure if it was just a pipe-dream or there was actually some merit behind it.

    Another place I hear a lot about is New Zealand, but that just may be the professionals I am around. As far as I can tell there aren’t a lot of MDs and PhD’s in NZ so that may be why a number have been relocating down under lately.

  32. Costa Ricans like Americans [for now =] and they have a good health care system which costs much less than here.

    the CCSS provides affordable medical service to any foreign resident or visitor. Foreigners living in Costa Rica can join the CCSS by paying a small monthly fee–based on income–or they can buy health insurance from the state monopoly Instituto de Seguro Nacional (INS), valid with over 200 affiliated doctors, hospitals, labs, and pharmacies in the private sector. In 2010, the government made it mandatory for residency applicants to become members of La Caja

  33. I remember being called stupid when friends tried to talk me onto going to the beach when I stayed to work on the roof of a rental.
    I was called stupid because I wasn’t buying stock in the 90s, instead I was paying double and triple payments on my properties.
    I’ve been called stupid for working so many hours all the time.
    Financial advisors used to say it was stupid to pay off your house, I paid off my house.

    Now I’m told that I’m really LUCKY to be able to retire and do anything I want to do

    1. ASIG

      You should have lived it up and then sold crap on Ebay to fund your retirement. How foolish of you to not spend more than you made. Aren’t you an American?

  34. That is a decidedly depressing article. One comment really stuck out for me, “slower lifestyle.” Man that would be nice. As soon as my student loans are gone I may embrace that.

    My friends are shocked that I haven’t bought a new car or a McMansion yet with “all that money” I make.

    I don’t think they understand that all of my money is owned by someone else, that every cent I spend on myself puts me further away from my goal of zero debt.

    Everyone is going to be surprised when my evil scheme is completed, and I get to live my life as I see fit! Running the numbers, its pretty surprising how much of my income becomes my own once that happens.

    1. TPC

      You are way ahead of the game. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. If you always live beneath your means, you’ll never get in trouble.

  35. CavTanker

    When you say “Saving is for suckers,” you’re sure to light someone’s fuze on this site because it’s not true. While you are correct that the financial world has been turned upside down in the past few years, there are still some tried and true guidelines which will serve you well. Such as:

    1. Despite inflation, always have some cash reserves. Always. The peace of mind is worth it. Even if you can afford only a few hundred bucks for that unexpected car repair, it’s better than taking an ASSET you really love to the pawn shop for some quick cash.

    2. There are still some very conservative investments with a steady, decent return (6-8%) which you don’t have to watch and aren’t getting slammed by high-speed computer trading. I mentioned one. Utility preferred stocks. Admin mentioned another, his American Century Global Gold fund (more risky, but he’s younger than I and can afford greater risk).

    3. Take a look at some indexed investments focused at stocks and bonds. Some are extremely conservative, some very risky, and lots in between. See next comment if you don’t have the time.

    4. We have an outstanding financial advisor for whom my wife worked for 17 years. The mutual trust between us is rock solid. We’re very lucky in that respect, but there are still many, many straight arrows in the financial advice world. Ask around.

    Kill Bill

    The $2.86 we kick in for our golf matches was to enable the golf shop to charge us an even $20 for the cart fee and the 2 bucks we pay for the bet. With the stupid county and state taxes on the cart rental (Jesus, is there anything that isn’t taxed in this country?), the pro shop added 86 cents to keep their accounting simpler.

  36. TPC

    If you pose one more thought-provoking question like that, I’m going to ask Admin to ban you from the site. TBP is reserved for profane, shit-throwing monkeys who haven’t a lick of common sense.

  37. Admin, i had to laugh when I read your post. You missed by a mile on the debt call. 10 years ago i spent all i had on a farm–2,500$/acre, it is now selling around here for 6-7$k/acre, so I think I have you beat pretty good on the 10 year return. As for what I plan on selling. That really made me laugh, because i am betting on you and the Fourth Turning being right. Food. We are busting our butts trying to set up a sustainable farm to sell food. So in a couple of years when things are really bad, you bring me your gold certificates and I’ll trade you a wormy apple for them 🙂 Then tell my grandkids “look what people used to think had value, a piece of paper.”

    Winter is coming.

  38. Did you buy the farm with your good looks?

    Or did you buy it with money you saved?

    Or did you borrow every dime and got lucky that the value went up and not down?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  39. A little bit of all really. The farm has been in the family for over 100 years. I bought it after my dad died.

  40. All that hard work building a farm and you will be overrun by the starving hordes of the Free Shit Army as they ransack your eBay food. Winter will be much worse than you can imagine.


    The best laid plans of mice and men.

  41. The $2.86 we kick in for our golf matches was to enable the golf shop to charge us an even $20 for the cart fee and the 2 bucks we pay for the bet. -SSS

    I didnt ask =)

  42. A little bit of all really. The farm has been in the family for over 100 years. I bought it after my dad died. -CT

    I suppose then that the bank owned the title to the land.

  43. CavTanker

    You got lucky. Farm in the family for 100 years, now yours. It still takes a prudent lifestyle to keep it that way.

  44. I worry about the FSA too. But pretending that all is well is not an option. We all make the our best guess on what the future will bring and then chart a course.

    Maybe you can stop by and take care of the FSA so i can sleep in for a change.

  45. Maybe you can stop by and take care of the FSA so i can sleep in for a change. -Cav

    Our debt is so large it cant be paid. Adam Smith noted this that no country has ever paid its debts.

    Sleep well Cav.

    I do.

  46. Building a farm and being self sufficient is a far cry from the morons borrowing and living for today.

    If the savings rate was plunging because people were starting their own farms to become less dependent on the financial system then I would be much more hopeful. But the savings rate is plunging due to delusional morons being lured with easy credit AGAIN.

    Good luck with your noble venture.

  47. SSS – Aw shucks! Time to fire up the lawnmower and drive through my neighbors farm then! Shit stormy enough for ya? 😀

    Cav: I have a similar opportunity here, however as the Admin says “shit goes wrong”. (so sue me, paraphrasing is one of the few things still not taxable in this country!)

    I’m not going to bank on my martial prowess being enough to keep hungry people at bay. Part of my “build a resume and get rid of debt” scheme includes scoping out other countries to immigrate to.

    Barring an extreme situation change (someone rises to straighten this country out) I will be one of the first rats out of this country. You can have your wormy apples. I’ll be living happily ever after in my new country, regretting only that I was born too late to affect any changes that may have made a difference.

    Shit is supposed to get hairy somewhere between 2030-2050. I turn 26 this year, and begin building my professional contacts in networks beyond this (relatively) small town. In theory I could begin affecting change in as little as four years. In reality I would be lucky to begin influencing even this area in nine years. That would give me ~15 years to A) Build up not only my credentials, but my political position as well, and B) Solidify my standing with the rank and file. Gotta win those votes to affect real change.

    This is the big question the leaders of my generation need to ask themselves: Can we pull together and save this ship before it sinks? Or is it even worth it? After all, we will have to fight off the Boomers (how they hate us) as well as ourselves (the ignorant hate the educated/critical thinkers) in addition to running our own lives.

    I guess time will tell. All I know is this country needs a fucking miracle.

  48. CT
    I did the same thing ten years ago. And also have the same plan. The transportation of cheap food will end. And if the government is ever successful at controlling the population they will use food to accomplish that. I am not trying to make any money with my farm; it’s only 52 acres, just keep adding and building. I modeled my farm after the Amish, all horse power; I sold my construction company to pay for my place and went back to school, and totally changed careers.
    I just came in from working on one of the horse’s front hoofs he started getting white line disease, nothing I can’t treat but it’s a pain in the ass to deal with, I do all my own farrier work, learned everything from books and the net. I also have many books that apply to my farm, just in case the net goes down.
    If shit goes south will have room for many more that’s my new strategy, I am going to build a community, will take on as many people as I can, I am not going to worry about others eating my stored food, have access to river in the back yard that is full of fish and hunting game would last a few months, maybe get us to the growing season. The free shit army might get sensetti but I damn well betcha I lay a bunch down first.
    The best laid plans of mice and men, I am Irish and must go down fighting its in my blood, I can’t stand the thought of being a victim., a bad plan is better than no plan.

  49. Heh, almost makes me want to defer my student loans until the shit hits the fan, and then run like hell to another country.

  50. PC
    Might be a plan, the world will not end and your generation will have to rebuild, shit will be tough for about 20 years if history is any guide, You will see good times again in your life time but it will be after the Boomers are all gone, the python will have to shit the proverbial pig. Keep going to school knowledge is power. And don’t forget to enjoy today, I will post something Stucky posted some time back, I try to read this everyday to remind myself.

  51. This notion of aging American workers never leaving the workforce mixed with a declining fertility rate (barely anyone to fund THEIR SS needs) and of course, no actual growth in the net number of jobs in the country for over a decade spells a complete nightmare for today’s young Americans looking out into their future. They have no idea just how screwed they are. I suggest they save every damn penny, Depression-survivor style.

  52. efarmer and admin. You dumbasses just dont get it,people now arent in the same boat you were in.
    The jobs arent there.Houses dont appretiate like they did.If you really think americans can save and retire like you did your fckin kidding yourself.Also im thinking about the vast majority of dumfcks out there.Not hard workers from anouther era.
    I already have all my crap paid for.I dont have a morgage or a car payment.So im not the problem.
    Im not worried about peak oil or the price of gold.or much of anything.
    Admin you sound real tight,get laid or drunk or something.

  53. Ron,

    Gosh, thanks for setting me straight. I can see so clearly now.

    One thing though, if times are so different and things aren’t working out like they used to, how did you do it?? Why do you not have a mortgage or car payment?? Why is it different for you than for the “vast majority of dumfcks out there”?


  54. Flash one small hitch in the whole dilemma, the Boomers are the largest voting bloc. I have predicted that going forward the Boomers (77 Million) will vote together to keep their Benefits, no more Red vs. Blue for the Greys. AARP is a very strong coalition and will tell the Boomers where the enemy is hiding and direct the fire, the youth are into it.

    But who’s to say we will be voting going forward.

  55. sensetti

    boomers can vote , but a vote for bread and circuses when there is no wheat available and the elephants had to be butchered for last winters meal is merely an exercise in futility.

  56. Flash
    Agreed, I guess it comes down to who gets the Elephant meat and who’s gnawing on a bone. Somebody’s gonna get cold and hungry.

  57. sensetti

    A friend of mine says if it comes down to it ,there are way too many fat ,stupid and slow people in the FSA for him to starve.
    And I think he means it..damn heluva woodsmen

  58. Same warm thoughts to you admin.
    Efarmer,im not retired yet,im ill and trying to get back in the work force.I can speak about the future of retiring beacause i dont think people have the same situation as people did in the past.I plan on retiring and living on little.Ive never owned a home,i didnt think i made enough to pay for one.even though the banks offered me the loan if i would just sign the paperwork.A payed for vehicle is easy.
    Im not impressed with much of the population,ive had jobs where i went in peoples homes.One thing that always stood out,no books.Mabe a tv guide.Ive traveled the world.And ive met many people,its amazing how many people have never traveled more than a hundred miles from theyre house in theyre life.Growing up i pictured life with a more civil advanced society.What did i get?people lieing and stealing for money,even if it destroys society.lousy music and the thug culture..Each of us lives with our own little world in our head.

  59. ron says: “The jobs arent there. Houses don’t appreciate like they did. If you really think americans can save and retire like you did your fckn kidding yourself.”

    I tend to agree with you. What just blows my mind is why so many young people are taking student loans and going to college to get degrees in subjects that lead to no jobs? They remind me of mechanical robots marching off a cliff. Where is the critical thinking? What I see in these colleges is assembly lines kept active by student loans. What good is an education to one that can’t use it? The jobs arent there. Why is this so hard to see? And why arent the jobs there? Because we have created a closed economic system where almost all production is controlled and regulated by the government and a few large corporations working in tandom with the government on all levels. Until this monopoly is broken the jobs won’t be there.

    We now have 21st century ghost towns; or now neighborhoods. And what is the answer from the banks and city councils? Tear them down. Talk about deadwood running our cities. Why not let people move into them just to keep them up? How about offering homesteading the homes that are abandoned? If people live in them for 5 years and improve them; then they can have ownership of them. Instead we have city government letting them rot in their place rather than letting someone move in for free. Talk about regressive thinking?

    And you are right, people can no longer trust saving their fiat money because this money was not created for saving; it was created for spending. Nothing is safe right now except skills. We are entering a new era. Let’s look for the new opportunities in this era. You seem to have done the right thing and you will see many selfstyled million & billionaires become humbled when they lose the proceeds of their life work of screwing others out of their money. My vision of the american dream was not of becoming filthy rich but rather living a happy and prosperous life. What I have not liked about almost all the investments is how they have been devised to milk production for the benefit of those who don’t work for a living. Notice how labor is taxed so high while there is so many ways to avoid tax on investments. And all those tax free municiple bond sales for questionable projects while the taxpayer is stuck with the payments. Hedge funds, speculations, corraling commodities to make them go up just to squeeze unjustified profits from them. I could go on and on with the corruption; but in the end the reconcilliation will come and it is going to cause a gnashing of teeth to those that have milked the system.

    I know this may pissoff many on this sight that have lived and saved the old fashioned way, didn’t go into debt; but your old way is dead. The new era is going to be different. I expect to see a new work week of 24 hours with the same pay as 40 hours work. People really don’t have to work so much anymore because of technology. Debt is going to be discharged on all levels. Yes many old people with large bank accounts are going to lose them because of this. There are solutions to our apparent problems but many old people knowing the old ways are not going to like them. But really; it is time for the old to move along to the pasture and the young to take over. It is there world now. So be happy. The world ends for us when we die; which isn’t far away. So be happy and let the next generation have the world. Our remaining time is worth more than money.

  60. What I find funny is the credit repair companies that have slogans like “it’s not your fault you are in debt, it’s been a tough time for many” or “there are lot’s of reasons why people get in over their head, we can help” I tell my kids who are watching these commercials how much crap that is. I tell them there is only one reason people get into debt, they spend more than they earn, it’s that simple. Unless there is a medical emergency that bankrupts some families, and I feel sorry for those people, there is no reason to be in debt and not save money.

  61. matt says: “there is no reason to be in debt and not save money.”

    Fiat money or FRNs are debt instuments. Many people have used up their savings and gotten into debt because of the contracting economy. I can name many reasons for getting into debt; like job loss, unexpected medical bills, kids to feed, car payments going unpaid because of job loss, and on and on.

    1. Thunderbird


      Most people have gotten into debt because they made poor life choices.


      You act like human beings aren’t rational creatures who make decisions.

  62. ron said: “If you really think americans can save and retire like you did your fckin kidding yourself.”

    If you look at “retirement” throughout human history you find that it was very rare for anyone but the very rich “retire”. Retirement as we know in the USA is an anomaly. It was easier (in relative terms) to save and retire for people that retired in the first half of 1900’s because our money had not been devalued as much as it has in the latter half.

    I doubt that people in the future will be able to retire in the same sense that we think of it now. Opportunities will always exist to get ahead and better yourself but full retirement is unlikely for the masses. Having sound money that cannot be devalued will help but even then, it is unrealistic.

    More millionaires were created during the depression than at any other time in US history. A similar thing will happen during this collapse. I believe the trick will be to chart a course that leaves you as flexible as possible to adapt to what are sure to be a rapidly changing circumstances. Opportunities will abound and those that can recognize and capitalize on them. With a dramatically reduced work ethic among the population compared to the Great Depression, more opportunities per hard working citizen may exist this time.

    One thing is certain though, taking advantage of opportunities from a starting point of being debt, will not be possible.

  63. T-bird,
    I lived it, the economy killed my business and forced me to sell my house. I have kids to feed as well, but luckily my family is in good health. What I learned over the past 4 years is to consider worst case scenarios before making any expensive purchases. Maybe that is why I am still renting, I can’t wrap my head around a mortgage payment that would be hard to pay if the economy tanks again. See, I have a “choice” after all.

  64. Administrator says: “You act like human beings aren’t rational creatures who make decisions.”

    What is rational in a herd mentality? I am surprized you said that. I consider you a rational being that thinks outside the herd mentality. That is why I read and appreciate your articles.

  65. “Most people have gotten into debt because they made poor life choices.”

    Pretty much. Even with all the bad shit that has occurred in my life, I still only have student loans to pay off…and about 2k on a credit card when I had to fix my car.

    Rule of thumb: People are stupid.

    PS: Salma Hayek, how I love thee

  66. After WW2 the herd was told to save and invest in bonds building golden calves. When wall street got hold of the golden calves people were told to go into debt and were helped by the banks. This cycle is not over. It is not that people are stupid; but rather it is the herd mentality to follow the advice of their leaders. In America those that don’t follow the advice of their leaders and think for themselves make out. But don’t blame the herd for their mentality because they are the work horses that produce the wealth. Just don’t piss off the herd by taking too much. Bees make honey and we take it for our own profit. But they keep on producing honey. Just don’t take it all.

    There will come a time when Moses will come down off the mountain and break these golden calves to pieces. What will that mean? Many will lose their nesteggs. But many will again have opportunity.


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