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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-28-2005, 05:50 PM   #21
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Re: Living the American Dream

Yep the imaginary people in the article are in the imaginary upper-middle-class which resides in the top 0.25-0.5% of the real world.
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-28-2005, 05:53 PM   #22
 
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
I think Chris Rock said something about the difference between rich (or as Forbes puts it - upper middle class) and Wealthy:

"Shaq is Rich - the guy who write's Shaq's check and says, 'here ya go, Shaq, now go get an Escalade with 22 inch spinners!" is wealthy!"

I will never buy a vacation home, my parents own vacation homes in Big Bear, Mammoth, and Colorado, and I have free access. We've used the Big Bear once.
Chris Rock also said when defining rich in terms of Oprah Winfrey:

"If Oprah woke up with only 100 million dollars, she'd probably jump out the window of a 50 story building."

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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-28-2005, 06:13 PM   #23
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by jug
Amazing, its all in the mind.

I live IMHO pretty well, as far as Im concerned, on about 45000K cash a year.

I go on vacations overseas if I want, I have my 2 cars, my home. enough food in my belly.

Its all relative

jug
Hello jug. There are 2 of us (and 4 dogs). We take vacations,
(about anywhere we want) own 2 cars and 3 boats, 2 homes,
abd plenty (too much?) to eat and drink. Plus, we do this on about
50% of what you use up per year. Not only that, but it is pretty
easy.

JG

P.S. For those of you who have heard this story a bazillion
times, I'm just giving encouragement to those folks who
are wondering if they can ever make it.

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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-28-2005, 06:31 PM   #24
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Re: Living the American Dream

I'm creating a new "old saw".

If it has spark plugs or needs a new roof periodically, rent it!
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-28-2005, 09:18 PM   #25
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
I'm creating a new "old saw".

If it has spark plugs or needs a new roof periodically, rent it!
Speaking of roofs, we need a new one, plus a new driveway.
These are both projects for next summer. Obviously it's going to be a trick to work these into our "bare bones" budget.
Unless I get real lucky by then (unlikely) it looks to me like
these projects may trigger a
reverse mortgage. I don't have
a "home improvement" bucket in the budget. Hell, I don't even
have a budget. Still just winging it..................

JG
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 03:33 AM   #26
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Speaking of roofs, we need a new one, plus a new driveway.
These are both projects for next summer.* Obviously it's going to be a trick to work these into our "bare bones" budget.
Unless I get real lucky by then (unlikely) it looks to me like
these projects may trigger a
reverse mortgage.* I don't have
a "home improvement" bucket in the budget.* Hell, I don't even
have a budget.* Still just winging it..................

JG
That is where we are different. I need a new roof soon so I have a special savings account for saving the money for the roof. I put aside $6K this year and should have enough by the end of next year.

One might think that I have the right approach but I cannot help wondering since you are ER and I am a working stiff.
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 04:53 AM   #27
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tadpole
That is where we are different. I need a new roof soon so I have a special savings account for saving the money for the roof. I put aside $6K this year and should have enough by the end of next year.

One might think that I have the right approach but I cannot help wondering since you are ER and I am a working stiff.
A man has got to know his limitations.

JG
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 05:49 AM   #28
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Hello jug.* There are 2 of us (and 4 dogs).* We take vacations,
(about anywhere we want) own 2 cars and 3 boats, 2 homes,
abd plenty (too much?) to eat and drink.* Plus, we do this on about
50% of what you use up per year.* Not only that, but it is pretty
easy.

JG

P.S.* For those of you who have heard this story a bazillion
times, I'm just giving encouragement to those folks who
are wondering if they can ever make it.*

I guess if I put my mind to it, I would cut the 45k each year to about 30K, but I love the luxury of having a few shekels in my pocket to buy the cup of starbucks coffee.

Having pocket money I guess got important to me, since I grew up very poor and just never had enough for even basics.

Life is not a contest, a good life is having enough to live spontaneously without worrying or thinking too much about what we are doing.* This is why the pocket money to buy little things like coffee or a bagel make me feel good, I never had it growing up.

If you put a mercedes or BMW in front of me, it does nothing for me.* If you put a bagel with lox and cream cheese with a nice cup of dunkin donuts coffee, Im very happy. I live in a modest 3 bedroom house that I am tickled pink to live in compared to the flats I lived in as a child.

To get up each day, feel good, or reasonably good, with a few dollars to piss away is what does it for me.* Its all relative

The need for people to have bigger and better and to run on the treadmill to pay the mortgage on it is based on a "hole" they have inside themselves that can never be filled up. When you realize this "race" is all BS, then you can free yourself and FIRE

So they feed the mortgage and payment machine with their sweat and their health as the bankers sit back and count da dough.
jug
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 07:09 AM   #29
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by jug
I guess if I put my mind to it, I would cut the 45k each year to about 30K, but I love the luxury of having a few shekels in my pocket to buy the cup of starbucks coffee.

Having pocket money I guess got important to me, since I grew up very poor and just never had enough for even basics.

Life is not a contest, a good life is having enough to live spontaneously without worrying or thinking too much about what we are doing.* This is why the pocket money to buy little things like coffee or a bagel make me feel good, I never had it growing up.

If you put a mercedes or BMW in front of me, it does nothing for me.* If you put a bagel with lox and cream cheese with a nice cup of dunkin donuts coffee, Im very happy. I live in a modest 3 bedroom house that I am tickled pink to live in compared to the flats I lived in as a child.

To get up each day, feel good, or reasonably good, with a few dollars to piss away is what does it for me.* Its all relative

The need for people to have bigger and better and to run on the treadmill to pay the mortgage on it is based on a "hole" they have inside themselves that can never be filled up.* *When you realize this "race" is all BS, then you can free yourself and FIRE

So they feed the mortgage and payment machine with their sweat and their health as the bankers sit back and count da dough.
jug
As you say, jug, it is all about choices. I don't think its a bad idea to have some BAM ("bumming around money"), so long as it doesn't become a constant stream of money slipping through your fingers.

Your comment about bigger and better all the time struck me. What has really astounded me lately (especially over the holidays) is how much pressure there is from family and friends (especially the former) to consume. I'm not sure whether it is them trying to lie vicariously through me, or just a reflection of societal pressure (and advertising) that I am normally pretty much immune to, but the family is quite vocal that I should be living bigger and better. My family has decided that we need to: turn up the thermostat, rip out the kitchen and expand it and a room my wife mostly uses as an office, move to a bigger house in a more glamorous neighborhood, go on more expensive vacations, etc. I guess I could eventually see the re-done kitchen (it is pretty small and poorly laid out), but I do not have the spare funds at the moment and (more importantly) I don't need it. All of the other stuff is out of left field, especially the idea that I need to move. When I explain to my dad that I hope to be able to semi-retire in 5 years or fully retire in 8 to 10, it doesn't compute. He can't understand why I would want to stop making money (presumably to fuel ever-increasing consumption).
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 08:02 AM   #30
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
As you say, jug, it is all about choices.* I don't think its a bad idea to have some BAM ("bumming around money"), so long as it doesn't become a constant stream of money slipping through your fingers.

Your comment about bigger and better all the time struck me.* What has really astounded me lately (especially over the holidays) is how much pressure there is from family and friends (especially the former) to consume.* I'm not sure whether it is them trying to lie vicariously through me, or just a reflection of societal pressure (and advertising) that I am normally pretty much immune to, but the family is quite vocal that I should be living bigger and better.* My family has decided that we need to: turn up the thermostat, rip out the kitchen and expand it and a room my wife mostly uses as an office, move to a bigger house in a more glamorous neighborhood, go on more expensive vacations, etc.* I guess I could eventually see the re-done kitchen (it is pretty small and poorly laid out), but I do not have the spare funds at the moment and (more importantly) I don't need it.* All of the other stuff is out of left field, especially the idea that I need to move.* When I explain to my dad that I hope to be able to semi-retire in 5 years or fully retire in 8 to 10, it doesn't compute.* He can't understand why I would want to stop making money (presumably to fuel ever-increasing consumption).
You have to know yourself, this is the essence of why we live the way we do.

Luckily for me, my wife is also pretty simple, except that she wanted a granite counter top and a fully ceramic tiled house in the place we will soon close on in Vegas.

Ever increasing consumption is basically a symptom of something out of balance within one's self. People spend to feel the power of being able to spend and get the satisfaction of constantly having something new with the hope of filling that inner hole.

The hole can never be filled, just like the drug addict who gets the high, then everything goes back to normal, and normal does not feel good to some people. So he goes for another fix.

The culture, with its 900 plus TV channels, sells us all sorts of crap we dont need. They feed this frenzy, they know how to play our psyhes. Madison avenue is king at this.

As for the holidays, well, Im jewish, felt bad when I was a kid cause I was left out, but now I feel good that I am not part of the American mainstream rushing about with all of this pressure to buy buy and buy during holiday season. As they buy, I sit in S.Bucks, sipping my cawfee, chomping at my scone, and enjoying the scenery. I love to watch people.

When my friends complain to me about this frenzy, I tell them I can "convert" them at a price and they'll never have to worry about Xmas shopping again.

However they will be missing a "foreskin" and I do have to be paid for my "surgical" services.
Oy vey!!!!

jug
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 08:25 AM   #31
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Re: Living the American Dream

I suspect that just by living in the U.S most of us are upper middle class.

www.globalrichlist.com

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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 08:35 AM   #32
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by jug
You have to know yourself, this is the essence of why we live the way we do.

Luckily for me, my wife is also pretty simple, except that she wanted a granite counter top and a fully ceramic tiled house in the place we will soon close on in Vegas.

Ever increasing consumption is basically a symptom of something out of balance within one's self.* People spend to feel the power of being able to spend and get the satisfaction of constantly having something new with the hope of filling that inner hole.

The hole can never be filled, just like the drug addict who gets the high, then everything goes back to normal, and normal does not feel good to some* people.* *So he goes for another fix.

The culture, with its 900 plus TV channels, sells us all sorts of crap we dont need.* They feed this frenzy, they know how to play our psyhes.* Madison avenue is king at this.

As for the holidays, well, Im jewish, felt bad when I was a kid cause I was left out, but now I feel good that I am not part of the American mainstream rushing about with all of this pressure to buy buy and buy during holiday season.* As they buy, I sit in S.Bucks, sipping my cawfee, chomping at my scone, and enjoying the scenery.* I love to watch people.

When my friends complain to me about this frenzy, I tell them I can "convert" them at a price and they'll never have to worry about Xmas shopping again.

However they will be missing a "foreskin" and I do have to be paid for my "surgical" services.
Oy vey!!!!

jug
Um, have you guys lived with a tiled house? I await the day when I get rid of the kitchen and dining room tiles because I keep dropping things (like frying pans, big mugs, etc.) and breaking the damned tiles. Maybe you are just less clumsy?

That's a great idea for a post retirement second career: a mohel!
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 08:36 AM   #33
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmark
I suspect that just by living in the U.S most of us are upper middle class.

www.globalrichlist.com
And since that link makes you feel so rich, don't forget to make your donation using the large flashing link immediately to the right of your results.
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 08:42 AM   #34
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I'm not sure whether it is them trying to lie vicariously through me, or just a reflection of societal pressure (and advertising) that I am normally pretty much immune to, but the family is quite vocal that I should be living bigger and better.
I'm assuming you meant "live" rather than "lie", but perhaps the latter is still accurate in describing what they're doing. The "lie" they're routing vicariously through you is the same lie they tell themselves. They must perpetually buy new things to give them a sense of progress in their lives, and if they can't afford it, they get the same "high" by witnessing you do it and feel more comfortable in continuing their consumption habits (plus, they get to enjoy new things without paying for them just by visiting you).
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 08:49 AM   #35
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
I'm assuming you meant "live" rather than "lie", but perhaps the latter is still accurate in describing what they're doing.* The "lie" they're routing vicariously through you is the same lie they tell themselves.* They must perpetually buy new things to give them a sense of progress in their lives, and if they can't afford it, they get the same "high" by witnessing you do it and feel more comfortable in continuing their consumption habits (plus, they get to enjoy new things without paying for them just by visiting you).
The funny thing is, that's not really the case, at least in Dad's (and Mom's) case. I think he probably clears well in excess of $100k from his business. To my certain knowledge, his liquid investments (CDs, bonds, equities) total over a million. He is drawing full SS. They own the house free and clear. I'd guess that he has about $200k in accounts receivable and another ~$100k to $200k in inventory for his business. Mom also draws SS. Dad also has funny consumption patterns: used cars that he spends no more than $5 for and then runs forever, a boat that is almost as old as I am that is at the municipal marina (cheap), very thrifty on lots of other things, too. Yet I think he goes to Vegas at least once a month (and gambles extensively), hits Atlantic City (ugh) at least once a week, is generally willing to pony up on the house, etc. Different strokes, I guess. I would just be a lot happier if there were a tad more of "live and let live" going on.
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 08:54 AM   #36
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Um, have you guys lived with a tiled house?* I await the day when I get rid of the kitchen and dining room tiles because I keep dropping things (like frying pans, big mugs, etc.) and breaking the damned tiles.* Maybe you are just less clumsy?

That's a great idea for a post retirement second career: a mohel!
If it were up to me, I would have a wooden floor or pergo floor house.

The builder tiles about half of the house for you out there, you pay a few bucks more to do the rest of the job. *The bedrooms are not tiled, just carpet. * I guess in the desert SW as compared to the NE where I am, tile may be a big better as far as dealing with the affects of the heat.

When I tire of the carpet in the bedrooms, I'll rip it up, go to H. Depot and lay a wooden or pergo floor. *My current home has wood and pergo, Im very happy with it since it is easy to clean, and since I have 2 cats it doesnt stink.

For us this is the last shebang as far as houses go, or maybe not, so if the lady wants tile, I'll give her tile. *If she drops dishes, I'll just turn my head, walk out, go to S.Buck, order a cawfee and scone, and let the world walk on by.

Jug
perveyer of Cawfee and part time Moyehl, ouch!!!!!!
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-29-2005, 07:53 PM   #37
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Re: Living the American Dream

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Originally Posted by davew894
This thread has a lot of talk about the problems of consumption... addicitions, filling missing holes, your consumption affirming the excessive consumption of those around you, etc... and I totally agree that excessive consumption is a fast path to nowhere.* But keep in mind the American economy is what it is due to excessive consumption.* The work hard/play hard ethos of the American people in general is what makes this country the economic powerhouse that it is.* The people who have already ER'd on this board are able to do so because of the over consumption that nearly all Americans are constantly striving for (and the value that brings to American corporations).* Imagine the stock market returns if everyone lived as frugally responsibly as everyone on this board.* Returns would be pathetic, dividends would be significantly lower, the gumment and the corporations would have trouble paying their debts... to the people on this board and other capitalists/investors around the world.

It's great that so many have figured out that consumption can be a big problem in their individual lives, but remember whose incompetence over consumption brought us to this party.
As long as the average sap is bamboozled by the fancy adds to mortgage his life to buy that big suv, that new boat and all the other crap, the US will continue to pump out the products that keep the companies gradually growing, keeping the market in a gradual upward move over the long run feeding the portfolios of those in their 20's and30's who want to book out of the fast lane ASAP.

Without such consumption we would be a backwater layed back country drunk on budweiser and cheap wine.

The funny thing is that the Western European economies are not so shabby, and they manage to have national health schemes for most of their people, with vacations given to all workers at 5-6 weeks each.

And if there are qualms about the rationing of their health care system, take a good look at how long they live in each country and they may very well be a few points over our lifespans. So they are perhaps doing something right.
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-30-2005, 08:30 AM   #38
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Re: Living the American Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by jug
so if the lady wants tile, I'll give her tile. If she drops dishes, I'll just turn my head, walk out, go to S.Buck, order a cawfee and scone, and let the world walk on by.

You are a good husband, jug.
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Re: Living the American Dream
Old 12-30-2005, 01:11 PM   #39
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Re: Living the American Dream

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*If she drops dishes, I'll just turn my head, walk out, go to S.Buck, order a cawfee and scone, and let the world walk on by.

Jug
I would do the same unless the dishes were thrown at me.

JG
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