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Old 02-09-2010, 03:27 PM   #21
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Family Sells $1.5M Home for One That's One Third The Price To Help Said Family Retire in Early 40s
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:52 PM   #22
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The guy sure needs a new set of friends, and he sounds like a publicity hound. I hope he's covered his health insurance & long-term care, and I don't just mean of the "we'll call you in about six months when we have the availability to remove that tumor" variety.

Deadline journalism aside, "Stewardship 101" can be quite the burden of responsibility. Chuck Feeney's lifestyle makes this Austrian tycoon look like a piker.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:54 PM   #23
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The affluent life does more or less suck.

Ha
If your life sucks, IMO, it's not because you are affluent. Now if you've bought a bunch of expensive stuff because you were trying to reach some level of status or luxury or whatever - sure, that can lead to misery.

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For many years, he said, he was not brave enough to give up his comforts. The tipping point came during a three-week holiday with his wife in Hawaii.
''It was the biggest shock in my life when I realised how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is.
''In those three weeks we spent all the money you could possibly spend. But in all that time we had the feeling we hadn't met a single real person - that we were all just actors. The staff played the role of being friendly and the guests played the role of being important, and nobody was real.''
I have to say, I don't get this. Just because you have money it doesn't mean you have to spend it this way. Yes, you can go and stay at 5-star resorts, but you don't have to. One of the best trips ever to Hawaii was an extended group birding trip where we tromped all over several islands in some really remote areas and saw lots of unique and awesome stuff. And other times we found a modest vacation condo at a very good location, and then did tons of stuff on our own and had a blast. Hardly ever saw the hotel staff - too busy.

We avoid resort vacations like the plague mainly because they do seem artificial and not worth the money, but mainly because they don't accommodate our interests. We like to get out and do stuff. You can do that for little $$, you can do that for lotta $$$. Either way, you're probably gonna have a lot of fun.

I think this is just someone not knowing how to go and do things that are fun. Just like people who get bored with only recreative activities in retirement (although there are plenty who don't get bored with only recreative activities). Having money means that you have more means to go do what you really want to spend your time doing.

And then there is a major benefit of money of getting involved in things that are really important to you where you can donate your money and your time. Also - having a safety net to help family members out if they are in dire need.

So isn't this just a case of someone getting caught up in some kind of pre-conceived notion that if you have money you are required to spend it (and your time) in a certain way?

This is really bizarre - he might be worth $5.3M - but it looks like most of it was tied up in multiple luxury homes and toys? I agree with that - yeeeeech! And was he still working to afford all that stuff? That sounds like a big part of his problem. I just can't imagine having most of my net worth tied up in multiple (expensive to maintain, I'm sure) homes! Certainly the nest egg required to sustain such a lifestyle without working would be quite a bit higher than his current net worth.

I can't believe he is so simplistic in his thinking. Maybe that is how he got into all this trouble in the first place.

FWIW - according to this article I am also a "tycoon". But since I am the "Tycoon next door" type, my life is very, very different.

Audrey
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:12 PM   #24
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I think he's realized that money, despite its benefits, has a huge cost of ownership.
That is what he thinks is the problem. But money has very little cost of ownership - in fairly liquid investments, very little at all. It's the THINGS that can have a high cost of ownership. And the pursuit of a certain type of lifestyle.

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Old 02-09-2010, 04:19 PM   #25
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The article is very fishy to me--I think he is looking for publicity to sell his real estate. And I do wonder if his wife has separate assets.

Had he gone to a different resort in Hawaii where they made him feel really special and less like "actors," would he not be selling everything off?
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:57 PM   #26
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That is what he thinks is the problem. But money has very little cost of ownership - in fairly liquid investments, very little at all. It's the THINGS that can have a high cost of ownership. And the pursuit of a certain type of lifestyle.

Audrey
Didn't Jesus say "It is harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle"?

Now mind you I wouldn't know, either about the travails of being a rich man (or woman) but I think Jesus did say this, though likely not in English.

Ha
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #27
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or so I am told. The following article details someone who had mucho bucks and decided life was better without it and is in the process of giving it all away.

Austrian tycoon Karl Rabeder gives up fortune
I dig it. Whatever you need to make this go around in the world fine.

Peace
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:24 PM   #28
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This may be true, but the problem is that they face many of the same ticking time bombs with unfunded liabilities and promised future benefits as we do. And I would submit that any cuts in unsustainable promises would hit those a lot harder who always just assumed the benefits would be there for them than it would hit people who were skeptical about it from a young age and decided they needed to be able to rely on themselves as a "fallback" position in case economics forced governments to renege on their promises.
I agree. Or as a Reagan said "Trust but Verify". I trust that Uncle Sam will give me Social Security and provide health insurance when I am 65, but when I try to verify that they will be able to pay me. I find things like thedebtclock and see 90 trillion worth of unfunded liabilities for those two safety nets, and I decide that maybe I should hang on to my money a bit longer.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:39 PM   #29
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I calculated the other day that, by retiring at the age of 45 instead of 65, DW and I could potentially forgo over 6 million dollars (in 2010 dollars) in lost wages and stock market gains. So, by retiring early, we have decided to give up a lot of money to settle for what (we hope) will be a comfortable but simple lifestyle (certainly much, much simpler than what we could afford if we worked until full retirement age). Is that so different from what that guy is doing?
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:58 PM   #30
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It's great to read that. He's a wise person with the courage to act on his wisdom, IMO. Also true and very well said!
I agree. There are a surprising number of people who never figure this out until it's much too late. Some have money and search for happiness in things (which they will never find), and others don't have money and are unhappy for no other reason - very sad, but not uncommon. I don't know about the rest of you, but my net worth and my net happiness have not correlated very well during my 55 years so far.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:51 PM   #31
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Didn't Jesus say "It is harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle"?

Now mind you I wouldn't know, either about the travails of being a rich man (or woman) but I think Jesus did say this, though likely not in English.

Ha
Yes, he did say exactly that (except in Hebrew). I can't argue with Jesus about whether it is possible for a rich man to get into heaven. I'm just arguing about whether it guarantees earthly misery or not.

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Old 02-09-2010, 09:34 PM   #32
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I can certainly understand this guy's motivation. While we are not rich, we do own a significant number of assets, mostly consisting of real estate and have professional careers. Many times I wish that life was just simpler - no high paying career, no house and cars (I wish I could walk everywhere), and no finances to manage. It seems at times so appealing to live without all the trappings of modern life. How about a homestead?
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:09 PM   #33
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As with our colleges, so with a hundred "modern improvements"; there is an illusion about them; there is not always a positive advance. . . . Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:16 PM   #34
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It seems at times so appealing to live without all the trappings of modern life. How about a homestead?
Oh man! In searching the Web for RVer's blogs, I ran across a couple of blogs from homesteaders. My oh my! I sure like a simpler life but not so simple. I have no iPhone, just a simple phone, and no iPod, just a no-name MP3 player. That is simple enough compared to others. I wish it no simpler.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:35 AM   #35
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Speaking for Spain, it is true that- given our public Health and Social Security system that guarantees medical assitance and a lifetime pension for old age/disability- people don´t amass money for whatever may happen regarding those hazards. So, once they have their children independently living, they won´t go without anything they can afford....
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:24 AM   #36
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Well this thread has really brought out how massive the difference is between US and most other developed nations in terms of personal financial security. I never really thought about it. How we US citizens do really have to amass wealth just to protect our future financial security. I guess in those other countries financial independence isn't quite so critical an issue.

Still - if you want to retire early in those countries I suppose you still have to amass some level of savings to live off of until pensions kick in? Or are you usually required to work until a certain age to have a pension? And perhaps you want a lifestyle upgrade from what pension alone would provide you need to have some level of savings for retirement.

Still, there isn't a war chest needed for long term care needs, or medical emergencies, or to help family members out financially if they have serious medical needs or long-term care needs......

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Old 02-10-2010, 07:33 AM   #37
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I can certainly understand this guy's motivation. While we are not rich, we do own a significant number of assets, mostly consisting of real estate and have professional careers. Many times I wish that life was just simpler - no high paying career, no house and cars (I wish I could walk everywhere), and no finances to manage. It seems at times so appealing to live without all the trappings of modern life. How about a homestead?
I don't see what is so attractive about homesteading. Our ancestors spent a huge amount of time just subsisting. It wasn't simple when you had to do everything yourself with basic tools. Leisure time was almost non-existent.

You can definitely simplify your life by getting rid of a lot of assets like real estate and toys and by retiring from professional high-paying careers. You can even move to an area where you don't need a car and can walk/use public transport. Finances can be simplified to the level where they run almost on auto-pilot so you don't have to think about them much.

But you still have to live somewhere, so you can't really get rid of dealing with something to live in and some of the basic requirements of day-to-day living.

Simplifying your life to root out those things that are adding hassle but not value and enjoyment - that is definitely an excellent goal.

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:52 AM   #38
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It'll be a whole lot easier to get rid of it than it will be to get it back.

Why not park the wad somewhere safe a try the hut-thing for a while to simplify your life. Kind of like those starvation diets to flush our your system. Just takes a little disipline.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:19 AM   #39
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That is what is so weird to me. Most of my money is parked (i.e. invested). When you have to hold 25x your annual needs, there isn't a whole lot of room for extreme excesses unless you are super rich.

Basically, there is a huge difference between spending all your money now, and trying to make your money last for the rest of your life so that you don't have to earn any more.

Completely different ball game!!!!

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Old 02-10-2010, 01:58 PM   #40
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Well this thread has really brought out how massive the difference is between US and most other developed nations in terms of personal financial security. I never really thought about it. How we US citizens do really have to amass wealth just to protect our future financial security. I guess in those other countries financial independence isn't quite so critical an issue.

Still - if you want to retire early in those countries I suppose you still have to amass some level of savings to live off of until pensions kick in? Or are you usually required to work until a certain age to have a pension? And perhaps you want a lifestyle upgrade from what pension alone would provide you need to have some level of savings for retirement.

Still, there isn't a war chest needed for long term care needs, or medical emergencies, or to help family members out financially if they have serious medical needs or long-term care needs......

Audrey
Most of what you´ve written is true in Spain.
Public retirement pensions are linked to a certain age -65 as a general rule- and no matter the years you´ve been paying Social Security you can´t get a pension before the right age.
And you´ve got to have worked the last two years before you retire. And you can´t draw a pension and a salary at the same time. And there is a limit to your pension-you can´t improve it by paying more SS dues. And ....
But all in all we are satisfied with the system.
On average, after having worked 35 years and retiring at 65 your maximmun pension would be something like 40 000 euros annually, increased yearly according to the cost of living.
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