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A sad tale for a friend who didn't
Old 06-20-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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A sad tale for a friend who didn't

I just heard today that a guy I've known for more than 30 years is completely broke. He's 64 and made really good money for many years. Unfortunately, he spent it all. He was in the financial business and has been unemployed for several years and apparently has gone through his retirement accounts. He's losing his house and hoping his daughter and son in law will help him out.

The people in the FIRE community are the complete opposite. For years, a casual observer would have presumed this guy was better off than me. He spent more money on strong drink and women, drove nice cars, wore expensive clothes and liked to go out a lot. He went through 3 divorces and still the women loved him.

He's a few years older than me and it's sad. While our lives weren't nearly as exciting, we have enough socked away to have a 6 figure income forever, unless the bond market and some other stuff go completely to hell. I'm thankful we lived below our means. While we're trying to figure out how to split time between our vacation home and our main home, he's losing his little condo to foreclosure. The FIRE community way is sure better than what he did!
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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The Hare and the Tortoise defined.

Unfortunately there are way too many Hares amoungst the baby boomers. They may come lookin for their due from you. Cause in their mind, you just got lucky !
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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While our income isn't going to be six figures like yours, we'll do ok...much better than some of my family members and friends. I fully expect to get some nasty looks once we're not working, yet traveling, relaxing...and smiling a lot!
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Old 06-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #4
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Sounds like he had a few good years at least! Hopefully the memories will comfort him when everything else is gone.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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He just traded the timing of his joy. Most of us have a balance of working/personal living toward FIRE and or joys and smiles in ER. He had most of his fun early, now he gets to enjoy other pleasures

Interesting that he has 3 EXs that loves him still....
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:19 PM   #6
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I don't know what some people think, but I see it among my friends, too. We know a teacher across the street, a long time divorced lady. She just retired and came over furious because she went to social security and says she only now found out that TX teachers don't pay into SS, and therefore don't get it. She was yelling "how do they expect me to live on $1700 a month?" (her pension) I couldn't believe she didn't know this. But she always plays a victim, so who knows.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
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A sad tale indeed. Hope he can at least get social security and medicare. I have friends who are much like him. My rules: appreciate their good qualities, offer advice (if asked), refrain from saying "you should have know better", and hope for the best.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:34 PM   #8
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After making such a good salary for years, I imagine that his SS payments will be substantial.

Of course, he can fritter that away as easily as he did his salary. Too bad he doesn't have a pension (I assume).

His daughter and son-in-law have every right to be furious.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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Everyone here does from very well to pretty well on these issues. The types who do not, like the broker and the teacher above, probably need a more paternalistic system to help them avoid shooting themselves in the foot.

One is tempted to think these people are crazy, or stupid, but in my own experience they are not necessarily. Aside from poor luck, some people are just made very uncomfortable by financial considerations, and also tend to have very poor financial judgment. I believe the least worst answer for this is something akin to SS, but an account based system, administerd by someone like TIAA/ CREF. I realize there are many problems with this, but there are many problems without it too, and we are going to see a lot of those very soon IMO.

Ha
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #10
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I don't feel sorry for him. He made his decisions along the way.

It's not like he will suffer a death sentence. He will dramatically reduce his lifestyle. It was his choice.

If the story was... this guy saved all his life and prepared for retirement and got ripped off.... I would be very sympathetic.

Heck we all know people that blew all their money... Often family members that eventually ask for bailouts and handouts... And this guy is true to form... he is following the usual pattern... p!ss away all his money year after year and then try to shift the burden to family members to bail them out.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:31 PM   #11
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Okay, maybe not as dramatic..but the tale reminds me of this song:

EAGLES LYRICS - Life In The Fast Lane

Once again, the moral of the tale is the tortise and the hare or it's not how much you make but what you keep (and not squander away).
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:32 PM   #12
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I don't feel sorry for him. He made his decisions along the way.

It's not like he will suffer a death sentence. He will dramatically reduce his lifestyle. It was his choice.

If the story was... this guy saved all his life and prepared for retirement and got ripped off.... I would be very sympathetic.

Heck we all know people that blew all their money... Often family members that eventually ask for bailouts and handouts... And this guy is true to form... he is following the usual pattern... p!ss away all his money year after year and then try to shift the burden to family members to bail them out.
In theory what you say is true. And no it truly isn't fair.

But what would you do if it was your father that showed up homeless, hungry, and cold.

Would you say " Oh Sorry dad - You have to go live under a bridge"
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:55 PM   #13
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In theory what you say is true. And no it truly isn't fair.

But what would you do if it was your father that showed up homeless, hungry, and cold.

Would you say " Oh Sorry dad - You have to go live under a bridge"
People often discuss the introversion part of the INTJ personality- but from what I read it often appears that the "J" part is pretty well expressed too.

Ha
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #14
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In theory what you say is true. And no it truly isn't fair.

But what would you do if it was your father that showed up homeless, hungry, and cold.

Would you say " Oh Sorry dad - You have to go live under a bridge"

Of course not but I would not be happy about the situation !
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:25 PM   #15
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This happens all the time. He'll be fine. Millions in the same boat. Dems the breaks.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:26 PM   #16
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..............But what would you do if it was your father that showed up homeless, hungry, and cold...........
I'd call a priest, as my dad died when I was 13.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:30 PM   #17
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I think the appropriate analogy is the Ant and the Grasshopper, rather than the Tortoise and the Hare.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:33 PM   #18
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People often discuss the introversion part of the INTJ personality- but from what I read it often appears that the "J" part is pretty well expressed too.

Ha
But what is the point of depriving yourself, of wine, woman, fast cars and nice clothes if you can't tut tut, at the foolishness of other.

The other great thing about the J part is it is free
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:51 PM   #19
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I think the appropriate analogy is the Ant and the Grasshopper, rather than the Tortoise and the Hare.
Oh, Perhaps you are right.

Tortoise and Hare, Ant and Grasshopper, Little Red Hen, The Millionaire next door, ...

The Slow and steady in saving and lifestyle guy sure beats the Big Spender -flash in the pan guy. At least he does in my book.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:53 PM   #20
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But what is the point of depriving yourself, of wine, woman, fast cars and nice clothes if you can't tut tut, at the foolishness of other.

The other great thing about the J part is it is free
Tut Tut

- What a foolish post.
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