Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Levels of possessions
Old 01-28-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SecondCor521's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Boise
Posts: 2,402
Levels of possessions

Hi all,

I've noticed something about levels of possessions. It seems to me that there are somewhat reinforcing and stable levels of the amount of possessions one owns:

Homeless people, like Jesus
Extreme minimilists, perpetual travelers (the Terhorsts or the Talbots)
Full time RVers
Housebound minimalists
Typical Americans
Affluent Americans

What I mean by reinforcing and thus stable levels can be conveyed somewhat by the following examples:

Typical Americans own a house, car, and lawnmower. They own a lawnmower because they own property with grass on it, and they own a house with a garage because they need a place to store the car and lawnmower. They need to car to travel to the job in order to pay for the house to put the car and lawnmower.

RV wanderers own a car and a house all in one. They don't own a lawnmower because they don't have a lawn. They probably own a coffeepot out of convenience.

Extreme minimalists and PT travelers don't own a lawnmower or house, and therefore they may not need a car or a job, so they can own less stuff. But they own a backpack to carry their stuff. They buy coffee at Starbucks with their debit card.

Homeless people don't own a backpack, because they don't have enough stuff to need one or have enough money to get one. They drink coffee that is free from one place or another.

Affluent Americans don't own a lawnmower, tools, ladders, or cleaning supplies because they have enough money to hire out those kinds of jobs.

What level are you at? Why? Have you considered changing to a different level? Why? Has anyone transitioned across three or more levels?

(By the way, I am not implying any value judgments)

2Cor521
__________________

__________________
"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
SecondCor521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-28-2012, 02:37 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
tightasadrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: athens
Posts: 802
Typical American. I'd enjoy RV-type I think, but I would have to proceed with dual type identification because DW couldn't be blown out of her castle/nest.
__________________

__________________
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
tightasadrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,043
I am currently a "Typical American" though I will soon become a "housebound minimalist".

Right now: we own a 2500 sqft house with garage, 2 cars, lawnmower, and all the trimmings... In a few weeks: we will be renting a 800 sqft condo, we will still own 1 car but no lawnmower. I am ruthlessly getting rid of a lot of stuff in preparation for the move. At least 70% of our possessions gotta go. I don't want to live in a small condo stuffed with things, so it's a great motivation.

Why do it? No profound reason for it. Just moving from an inexpensive suburb in Dixie to an expensive downtown area on the West Coast. Completely different lifestyle, completely different needs.
__________________
FIREd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,973
Interesting OP. I am probably also typical American (even though income was affluent) and happily moving toward minimalist, though not housebound (?). Seems like a prerequisite for ER...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
I'd like to think that we're housebound minimalists because we're cheap frugal. We have what we need without going overboard. For example, spouse has a CRT TV because she sees no reason to upgrade to an LCD, let alone HD. But we have more house and more land than we really need.

We got our lawnmower for free from a typical American neighbor who was upgrading... and he's still working for a paycheck.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 438
Housebound minimalist I guess - 800 sq ft mobile home on 2.5 acres. Two vehicles, but the truck only gets driven about once a week. DW complains I sometimes donate stuff too fast.
__________________
rmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 03:14 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,665
During my w*rking years I bounced between extreme minimalist and housebound minimalist, according to your categories. I'm now an extreme minimalist. I've always needed to feel I could pick up and go anywhere at a moment's notice. That was true when I was a teenager, and it's still true today.
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
Homeless people don't own a backpack, because they don't have enough stuff to need one or have enough money to get one. They drink coffee that is free from one place or another.
2Cor521
Maybe that is the way Jesus did it, but not most homeles people. If they are quite mobile, they own a huge backpack. Less mobile, a grocery cart and various large balck garbage bags.. They have cardboard to put under their sleeping bag or bedroll, they have wool blankets. They migh have a doll or stuffed aninal for comfort. Their lives are mostly wretched, but they do what they can to achieve some physical and emotional comfort.

As for moderately well off Americans, when is a last time you saw one with only a house, car, garage and lawnmower? I refer you to to the garage thread currently running on this site for more information.
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,886
We have a house with 3.5 acres, a 2-car garage, but only one car. The other side of the garage contains the lawn tractor, lawn mower, rototiller, brush hog, electric chain saw, and dozens of other yard tools. We use 'em all. Personally I like the outdoor exercise, and love plants and trees. I will be sorry when, one day, I can no longer do the work myself.

Neighbors don't lift a finger - illegals hired hands do everything. Sooo....I guess we are "typical," while neighbors are "affluent." But somehow, as a middle-aged lady who knows her way around a chainsaw, I don't exactly feel "typical"

Amethyst
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
Sirka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
Hi all,

I've noticed something about levels of possessions. It seems to me that there are somewhat reinforcing and stable levels of the amount of possessions one owns:

1)Homeless people, like Jesus
2)Extreme minimilists, perpetual travelers
3)Retired - downsized
4)Full time RVers
5)Housebound minimalists
6)Typical Americans
7)Affluent Americans

What I mean by reinforcing and thus stable levels can be conveyed somewhat by the following examples:

Typical Americans own a house, 2cars, and lawnmower. They own a lawnmower because they own property with grass on it, and they own a house with a garage, so they can store all the extra stuff in it.
The cars and lawnmower are parked outside. They need the cars to travel to the job in order to pay for the house, storage units and the stuff!.
I had to revise your definitions (I hope you don't mind), so I can fit in
We are 3)Retired - downsized: 1 car, 1 RV, 3 bedroom home with garage, 1 cell phone and no landline (only NetTalk). We got rid off most of the 'stuff' when we sold our home and downsized. It does not pay to store it, except in the basement.
__________________
Hard to say what it was, when it isn't.
FIRED in 2005 @ 55
Sirka is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 04:25 PM   #11
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,098
Not sure which definition I fit into. I used to be "Typical American" but now rent, and have no garden to look after or house maintenance to worry about. We own a car and live away from our town several months of the year in other rented accommodation in various parts of the country and also abroad.
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,877
Typical American, sort of

I own my own home and car, but no lawnmower because I have a lawn guy to mow for me. At some point I sold him my lawnmower for three free mows.

No garage either, although I wish I had one. My Venza sits out in my driveway, exposed to the rain, dirt, and hail. (sob!) Better than no Venza at all, though, and at least I have off street parking.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 200
Typical Southwest American. Have courtyard garden - but no water-hogging grass. So no need for a lawnmower. (I haven't seen a lawn since moving to New Mexico and good riddance to them!)
__________________
PaddyMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grasshopper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,670
Same here in SE Arizona no grass to mow, but plenty for the wildings. No garage, but a barn full of stuff, looks like a hardware store, grocery, that two trucks drive in. We did get a little LCD TV, so we could move it about our home. The old 25 YO Sony was just heavy and falling apart(think plastic and sun). I had a new toaster oven in the barn after the old one took a dump. I have spare DVD players, air compressors, computers/parts, keyboards. Swamp cooler motors, pumps, I could just go on. 100 mile drive to a hardware store makes you buy two of everything.
__________________
grasshopper is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 06:16 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
... electric chain saw, ...
I had no idea these things existed.

Meanwhile, at Intergalactic Chainsaw Inc's HQ, R&D Division:
Researcher #1: "We keep making the teeth sharper, and the chain spins even faster, but the customers keep coming up with better protective gear. We're losing the danger race!"

Researcher #2: "I know-- let's make it electric. With a 20-amp cord to wrap around the chain!!"
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 06:32 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
~900 sf house (with attached garage) 5000 sf lot
1 car (2005 Kia bought used, ~2000 miles/yr)
Sporadically give stuff away (tools, car stuff, plants, clothes, costume jewelry...).
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 06:35 PM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
tightasadrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: athens
Posts: 802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
~900 sf house (with attached garage) 5000 sf lot
1 car (2005 Kia bought used, ~2000 miles/yr)
Sporadically give stuff away (tools, car stuff, plants, clothes, costume jewelry...).
Khan. You're my hero.
__________________
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
tightasadrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #18
Moderator
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 21,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I had no idea these things existed.

Meanwhile, at Intergalactic Chainsaw Inc's HQ, R&D Division:
Researcher #1: "We keep making the teeth sharper, and the chain spins even faster, but the customers keep coming up with better protective gear. We're losing the danger race!"

Researcher #2: "I know-- let's make it electric. With a 20-amp cord to wrap around the chain!!"
Can't be more dangerous than electric hedge trimmers. I've cut through the cord twice while cutting the huge hedge we had in our house in Baton Rouge

The GFI breaker works better than my hedge trimming abilities (these tools are also double insulated).
__________________
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 07:31 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,555
We are the typical American h/h. We own our house, 3 car garage, 3 vehicles, lawnmower, snow blower, etc. I don't think that I could ever get my DH to give up his baby (sports car) and his 2 car garage. If I could, I would love to live Alan's lifestyle of renting and then traveling and renting in different places for part of the year. It sounds ideal to me.
__________________
Dreamer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 07:32 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,886
Ha ha ha! Yes, I've cut one or two electric hedge-trimmer cords in my day. I like the electric chain saw because it's far lighter than a gas-powered saw, and doesn't make smoke. It's not as powerful as a gas saw, but it gets the job done - just takes longer. I have a regular 16-inch saw, plus a small 10-inch electric pruning chainsaw mounted on a pole, for reaching over my head while I'm standing on a ladder! I am just an old cut-up!

What really frosts me is the following "safety feature" dreamed up by the manufacturers - I use heavy-duty outdoor electric cable with 3-prong male and female ends, but the hedge trimmer and chain saw only have TWO prong plugs - the better to suddenly fall out, causing the machine to quit while you're using it.

Amethyst
__________________

__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:22 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.