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Most Americans losing sleep over money
Old 04-20-2017, 05:35 PM   #1
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Most Americans losing sleep over money

It seems that more people than not are losing sleep over money issues. Given what I read here and elsewhere that is not a surprise. What does surprise me is that so few are changing their spending to do anything about it.

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The majority of Americans (65%) are losing sleep over money issues, according to a new study from CreditCards.com — up from 56% in 2007. The most common stressor is health care or insurance bills at 38%, followed by saving for retirement at 37%. “What people worry about most changed quite a bit in the past year,” Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com said. “Health care has been such a hot button issue for so long, and whether it’s around the election or just about the cost of maintaining your own health care, we’ve seen a big jump in worrying about that.” (Health care was a factor for just 29% of respondents in 2016.)
America’s insomnia problem is even worse than before the Great Recession - MarketWatch
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:48 PM   #2
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this is y i paid off my mortgage, i sleep well at night, i would have made more in the stock market, but im happy with what i have i dont need more, hence no lost sleep
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:56 PM   #3
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Back in the day I lost sleep over money issues. I did make changes and fortunately married a wonderful woman who was willing to work with me to get our joint finances on track. A significant promotion she got amplified the benefits of the changes we made, but without the changes the money from the promotion may have gone down some drain.
Now I lose sleep worrying about the kids. But hopefully we'll help them with a nest egg when we depart this earth.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:04 PM   #4
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We could quit traveling and going out so much so I don't worry. We have plenty of fat to cut.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:20 PM   #5
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What does surprise me is that so few are changing their spending to do anything about it.
That doesn't surprise me at all Walt. Most of us know people who are poor at managing their money and doggedly continue their poor habits, regardless of outside circumstances. Some might temporarily change their behavior until the immediate crisis is over, before immediately going back to their old ways. My guess would be that only a few make significant changes to the money-management behavior that seems to be baked into most people from a fairly early age. I think for most, it's part of our basic psychological make-up.

(PS - I think you know that too, but I can understand your initial reaction.)
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:29 PM   #6
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We could quit traveling and going out so much so I don't worry. We have plenty of fat to cut.
+1. No debt and very low fixed expenses. We could easily cut 60% from the budget. Wouldn't be fun but very doable.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:50 PM   #7
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I'd love to know how these firms get their "statistics". No one has asked me!
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:49 AM   #8
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I lost sleep over work issues, not money. I just RE'd and I'm sleeping better.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:45 PM   #9
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Back in the day I lost sleep over money issues. I did make changes and fortunately married a wonderful woman who was willing to work with me to get our joint finances on track.
So did I, even divorcing over it when I was in my early 30's. I had expected to be somewhat poor starting out since everyone else I knew was too at that stage of life but five years later it was getting old. That marriage was over when she wanted to take out a loan to go on a trip. I just didn't see any future going down that road. We had a combined gross income of a bit over $60k a year which according to the inflation calculator at bls.gov is equivalent to $150k now. I thought that was doing pretty good for a couple in their early 30's but it wasn't enough for her.

Later met and married one of the sweetest, most kind, generous ladies I've ever met and she's fairly frugal too. In July we'll have been married 29 years so I think this one's gonna work.

We are slightly acquainted with a couple our age (mid 60's) who is up to their eyeballs in debt (they're friends of a SIL). He's a carpenter, she's a retired math teacher so I know they can do the math. Last I heard they were ~$500k in debt and have lost all but one or two of their friends because the others got tired of being mooched on for a place to stay when they travel because they can't afford hotels anymore.

I'll never understand that kind of behavior.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:26 PM   #10
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At one time I concluded that I attract friends who don't know how to handle money. From the time I was a kid, I always had enough money and none of my friends did. Even today, most of my friends - even ones who make/made decent money - seem not to be able to come up with even a couple grand to travel to Paradise for an (otherwise) all-expenses paid tropical vacation. I look at their lifestyles and conclude that it's what they have chosen and, for the most part, they are happy. I suspect they DO lose sleep over money, though.

I have had a few months of my life where I worried about money. It was always after I had done something foolish with the money I had (expensive car purchase, bad investment - think IRS coming after you bad.) Now I am conservative as a rocking chair, have more money than I actually need to survive (all other things remaining semi-normal) and my friends still struggle - even into their 60s and 70s. You would think they would learn, but they seem not to.

One of my closest (longest-term) friends has (between he and his wife) earned as much as my family unit did. He struggles with mortgage payments in his early 70s. He always has some "play" money, but never enough to actually DO something (travel, home improvement, pay off credit cards, etc.) I've given him financial council for 25 years - and he seems to understand what I'm saying at the time. Still neither he nor his wife can deny themselves anything on the spur of the moment. So they have a house full of stuff. They wear better clothes than we do. They drive nicer cars than we do. But they own NOTHING free and clear. Technically, they are probably bankrupt, but they have enough coming in to pay off some of the monthly bills and keep going.

My friend never gets a night's sleep. Between his medical issues and worry over money, he's lucky to get 2 hours at a time. He's chronically thinking about money and "whines" to me. I usually treat when we go out to eat/entertainment. Unless I pay, he typically can not afford our get-togethers.

I have finally concluded that it's not my friends who have no money, it's that most people have no money. This is backed up every time I see one of those gummint reports showing what people have saved for retirement. I'm always in the 5 percentile or better - with no inheritance, no high-paying j*b, no unusual intellect or abilities, etc. Most folk I know have very little saved by retirement. They have their SS and maybe a pension. But money saved? More like debt owed!

No wonder so many folks loose sleep over money. I still have my concerns about black swans or dying with too much money, but I don't lose sleep over it. YMMV
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:13 PM   #11
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I don't lose sleep over money ever. Anything under $50 is chum change. But I pay attention to large sum of money. It's where I can make a difference.
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Old 04-21-2017, 04:35 PM   #12
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I can't say I ever lost sleep over money. I always had enough money to cover my bills, even when I was young and wasn't earning a lot. Nor when I bought my apartment and owed a lot of money and the closing costs took a lot of my saved-up money away.


The only time I was a little worried about something related to money was when I was trying to recover some money I had invested with a friend years earlier and he had become difficult to reach. He did get back to me and bought out my share of the investment with a reasonable rate of return, but it took several years.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:30 PM   #13
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Actually none of my friends are bad with money. We had 1 couple that were but we are no longer friends.
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Most Americans losing sleep over money
Old 04-21-2017, 05:34 PM   #14
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Most Americans losing sleep over money

I don't lose sleep over money.

I lose sleep because I am having such fun doing something (jigsaw puzzles, podcasts, web browsing, video games, you name it), that I just don't want to go to bed. I know, pretty immature.

Oh well, I set the alarm clock and if I don't get enough sleep, I'll go to bed earlier the next night.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:37 PM   #15
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Why do you set an alarm clock?
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:37 PM   #16
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I have lost more sleep in my 40s thinking about where my career was headed, what I should be doing. It was mid-life crisis perhaps.

The only time I stayed up late worrying about money was when the market went berzerk in early 2000, and my stocks took off like rockets. I did not know what to do. Greed kept me from selling them, for fear of seeing them go higher. It did not make sense, but how could the crowd or the market be wrong?

When the market crashed, I felt better because that cognitive dissonance was finally resolved, even though I lost mucho money. Yep. It all made sense when the bubble finally burst.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:46 PM   #17
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Why do you set an alarm clock?
6 months into E.R. and I admit to still waking at 4:30 a.m. to go to the gym for workouts. The difference now is that upon returning home, rather than the mad dash to get to w*rk, I can take a leisurely approach to the rest of my day and enjoy another cup-o-joe.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:55 PM   #18
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Why do you set an alarm clock?
I don't PERSONALLY like a 25-26 hour day, which is natural to me. I have never proselytized for alarm clock usage.

The result of a 25-26 hour day is sometimes being asleep when everyone else is awake. Nothing is open. Nothing is predictable. Life is weird. It's like living on Mars.

I tried that* the first few years of my retirement, and I prefer getting up around 9 AM. Then I go to bed at irregular times, when I am sleepy. I average 8 hours though there is wide variation.

*(using no alarm clock, not living on Mars)
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:24 PM   #19
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Back to original questions-why don't more do anything about poor financial habits?

My former business partner and I were approached by our secretary and her husband. They had been married nearly 40 years and wanted some financial advice since they had no assets aside from their heavily mortgaged home. They met with us and we told them to buy a notebook, write down every expense for 30 days, then come back and show us how much money came in and went out during that month.

She never asked for the follow up appointment, and avoided the topic when I brought it up.

I don't think she wanted us to know just how bad they were at managing money. He retired about a year later, and they moved to another city to rent an apartment from their daughter and son-in-law (at below market rent). My guess is that she is one of the "losing sleep" people.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:30 PM   #20
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What does surprise me is that so few are changing their spending to do anything about it....
It shouldn't surprise you. Look at folks who refuse to eat healthy and they are told time and time ago that they have to change habits or else. What do they do? Yep, get diabetes and get their foot cut a few years later. Or smokers? The writing has been on the wall for a VERY long time. You smoke? It is very likely to KILL YOU. So what does the smoker do? Keep on smoking. Or people who get speeding ticket after speeding ticket? Do they stop?

My point you ask? Bad habits are terribly difficult to break.
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