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Old 04-28-2016, 02:21 PM   #241
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Absolutely. I am a young looking 65 but my hair is almost pure white. Old geezer? Who knows. But I enjoy driving and can afford expensive sporty cars and have several and always pay cash for everything. I am not trying to impress anyone. Just like to drive fast. Not sure why people are so judgemental re what other people buy. Some people can actually afford their toys but if it makes others feel better to assume they are in debt up to their ears, I guess they will. I certainly wouldn't presume to offer advice about what others should do with their money, as long as they don't overspend and even then. Oh, I often have such a babe get out of the passenger side but she is my very good looking spouse.


Sorry Danmar, as we get older we tend to kick the can down the road when questioning if we are geezers. To keep a constant reference point we must always ask a 20 year old what age is a geezer. And I think we all know what that answer is for all of us over 50 here.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:13 PM   #242
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I listened to an Onpoint WBUR podcast during my walk this morning during which Neal Gabler discussed his plight:

http://onpoint.wbur.org/2016/04/27/m...-and-cash-poor

He did not really discuss how he ended up cash poor, and he seemed to appreciate the comments of the few callers who identified with his troubles.
He didn't blame anyone but himself, but it was hard to feel much empathy for him after reading some of the comments on this forum regarding his court judgements.
I came away with the impression that he overspent to be able to impress or keep up with a certain set.
He rather self righteously (at least it seemed to me) said his dreams were modest: a nice house, decent car to drive, the ability to educate his two daughters, but failed to mention where his daughters were educated, and chose instead to rail about how book advances are structured, and that the IRS no longer allows a self employed taxpayer to average their income so that they are not hit with a big tax bill in one year.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:20 PM   #243
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I listened to the podcast; thanks Tandemlovers for posting the link.

He should indeed be ashamed of chronically living beyond his means, and his numerous uncollected judgments. And I agree that his definition of "middle class existence" is more "gold plated" than "aluminum plated" (to use his terms): he doesn't own a "reasonable home … $250,000", and sending "kids to college" doesn't have to include Stanford University tuition rates.

P.S. I don't get the references within the introduction to "rage", "anger" and "fury". As FreeBear points out, poverty levels are much worse in the Third World, where many would be hard-pressed to find $20, let alone $400. Globalization is gradually evening this out: the USA has no monopoly on intelligent, hardworking, ambitious people.

Americans should be less selfish and acknowledge that while their standard of living has been falling slightly, this is due to an international levelling and is overall a good thing.
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:24 PM   #244
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Thanks Tandemlovers....I used your link to listen to the podcast also. This guy sure is getting a lot of run from this piece so he's definitely struck a nerve.

I don't get how the parents that paid for his children's tuition only had a '97 Avalon for him to inherit. He may have seriously impaired thier finances.

His gripe about taxes.....so you get a big lump in one year and pay a jacked up marginal rate. You live off that for the next year or two and your income in the subsequent years is 0 so you pay no income tax.....instant income tax averaging.

The survey question (Could you find $400 to pay for an emergency?) would have different result if the question had been "Could you find $400 for (insert extravagant purchase or activity here)"?
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:40 PM   #245
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His gripe about taxes.....so you get a big lump in one year and pay a jacked up marginal rate. You live off that for the next year or two and your income in the subsequent years is 0 so you pay no income tax.....instant income tax averaging.
Wouldn't you pay less tax overall if you received the income spread equally over two or three years? I think he is probably right about that.

On the other hand, I don't know why he couldn't negotiate the advance being paid over two or three years rather than all at once; the publisher might well have preferred such arrangement. Who knows what really happened, but I would not be surprised if he was greedy and jumped at the chance for a lump sum, without even considering the tax implications ... by his own admission, he is terrible with money.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:06 PM   #246
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Eventually his passport might be revoked, at least, based on proposed new rules by the IRS for those with unpaid tax judgments.

I would like to see authors like this "exposed" and embarrassed.

Why the IRS didn't foreclose? Primary residence rule ?
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:11 PM   #247
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Indeed. Did he choose that knowing it is his passion and temporary --in that his parents will provide a nice backstop by way of fat inheritance some day to shore up the savings ... ?

I've seen that happen - choices are made my looking at the total environment.
No, he didn't. B/c we knew that we will only have one kid, we raised him to be independent, and didn't spoil him. He wants nothing to do with our money and has been independent right out of college. He also has been saving. Unlike us, he isn't materialistic. He said he is happy to live on bare minimum.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:17 PM   #248
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Wouldn't you pay less tax overall if you received the income spread equally over two or three years? I think he is probably right about that.



On the other hand, I don't know why he couldn't negotiate the advance being paid over two or three years rather than all at once; the publisher might well have preferred such arrangement. Who knows what really happened, but I would not be surprised if he was greedy and jumped at the chance for a lump sum, without even considering the tax implications ... by his own admission, he is terrible with money.

You might pay a bit more but likely less if you pay 0 every other year or so. It seems like the publisher would prefer to spread the payment out. In any event it's not something that affects a lot of middle class folks.


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Old 04-28-2016, 11:48 PM   #249
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The survey question (Could you find $400 to pay for an emergency?) would have different result if the question had been "Could you find $400 for (insert extravagant purchase or activity here)"?
GREAT point! The $400-600 was likely found to get the next smartphone... of course, it was "found" by way of Visa.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:53 AM   #250
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:17 AM   #251
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On talk radio the other day, Dave Ramsey mentioned this article.

His perspective was that at least this guy admitted to making some mistakes, not making a claim of being a total victim "of the system"...
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:28 AM   #252
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On talk radio the other day, Dave Ramsey mentioned this article.

His perspective was that at least this guy admitted to making some mistakes, not making a claim of being a total victim "of the system"...
I like Dave Ramsey, who is the best I've seen at showing a simple, clear and powerful path for people who, unlike this author, have hit bottom and are DETERMINED to get rid of debt and build financial security. He's often a crank and I don't like his occasional political comments, but his message about debt, crushing one's debt, avoiding more debt and making oneself bullet proof financially is powerfully helpful stuff for those who are WILLING to take action. Most, like the author, aren't. I had married friends who went through a bankruptcy in 2009 and were in a bad place emotionally and reached out to me for ideas. I asked if they'd be interested in Ramsey's central book "Total Money Makeover" and they said yes. I sent it to them and never heard about it again. Later they divorced. Recently, the husband, who remains a good friend, asked me for help with learning to budget after his truck, that he's making payments to another friend on, was broken. I told him about You Need A Budget (YNAB), which I use. He bought the software but didn't bother to learn to use it, wanting me to come show him. In the subsequent first couple of months he bought an $800 bike and an expensive stove for the house he lives in and RENTS. It's been a lesson in how even good people who have seemingly hit bottom can be impervious to change and also how it is important to me with my friendships to focus on mutual interests and avoid financial dimensions. He asked me how he could ever retire and all I could say was "Work until 68 - 70 when you can maximize Social Security" and I also thought, unkindly, "Maybe you can re-marry someone who will take care of you financially."
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:16 PM   #253
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To me this has been a very interesting thread. And a special thanks to Flyboy5 for his research. But I think it shows an even deeper problem than one bad author and one bad article.

I am a subscriber to The Atlantic, but decided not to renew my subscription even before this article came out. I don't know what has changed more, me or The Atlantic, but I remember decades ago when reading a well thought out Atlantic article really made me think and could actually make me change my mind about an issue. I always looked forward to gaining some insight from their articles.

Now I find most of them are just very long winded fluff, more designed for shock appeal than any actual analysis. And I don't think it is only The Atlantic. Years ago I ended my subscription to Time Magazine and other "news" weeklies. For Time, they even removed the "letters to the Editor" section, which was sometimes the best part.

Maybe they no longer have the money to pay their authors, or maybe there are no longer any good actual editors, or maybe their readership is less well educated, I don't know, but it makes me sad.

And... and... get off my lawn!

(Sorry to hijack the thread, but hey at least it is not about Porches )
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:22 PM   #254
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(Sorry to hijack the thread, but hey at least it is not about Porches )

Hey!
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:19 PM   #255
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...and an expensive stove for the house he lives in and RENTS.
I have to ask - was there something wrong with the stove that was there, the house owner didn't replace it and buying one was was easier than moving or was this just a "I wanna new stove" kind of thing?
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The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings
Old 04-30-2016, 08:32 PM   #256
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The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings

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I have to ask - was there something wrong with the stove that was there, the house owner didn't replace it and buying one was was easier than moving or was this just a "I wanna new stove" kind of thing?
The reason I mentioned it is because the imperviousness of the author to basic personal finance principles like LBYM seems to be common, including my friend. But, yes, he made some amazing pho on the original stove, so there was nothing wrong with it. He is a great cook and just wanted a higher end stove, right now, because it came up for sale in Craig's List, which means it was destined for him to own! I love the guy and to keep it that way, as a relationship boundary, I've simply made the decision recently that I cannot help him as some kind of financial advisor when he asks. I find it awkward to discuss a friend's (horrible) finances and then I find it frustrating because he doesn't act on anything I suggest. I only share this story because I'm sure others have a love able financial disaster in their lives. Serenity Prayer, Serenity Prayer...
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:12 PM   #257
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To me this has been a very interesting thread. And a special thanks to Flyboy5 for his research. But I think it shows an even deeper problem than one bad author and one bad article.

I am a subscriber to The Atlantic, but decided not to renew my subscription even before this article came out. I don't know what has changed more, me or The Atlantic, but I remember decades ago when reading a well thought out Atlantic article really made me think and could actually make me change my mind about an issue. I always looked forward to gaining some insight from their articles.

Now I find most of them are just very long winded fluff, more designed for shock appeal than any actual analysis. And I don't think it is only The Atlantic. Years ago I ended my subscription to Time Magazine and other "news" weeklies. For Time, they even removed the "letters to the Editor" section, which was sometimes the best part.

Maybe they no longer have the money to pay their authors, or maybe there are no longer any good actual editors, or maybe their readership is less well educated, I don't know, but it makes me sad.

And... and... get off my lawn!

(Sorry to hijack the thread, but hey at least it is not about Porches )
Journalism in general. The publishing industry think they can make all the money off of sound bites and click bait and aren't willing to invest in real investigative journalism anymore, not to mention fact checking. And maybe they're right. Maybe most people don't read in depth articles anymore.

I admit I've given up. I just do the web searches it takes when I want to learn more about any particular topic. There are some sites that cover stuff in depth, but they aren't general magazines, but rather dedicated to specific topics.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:23 AM   #258
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The only magazine I appreciate anymore is The Smithsonian, and, even then, only select articles. For some reason, I enjoy the print versions more than the online version. I think it is because their article headings cannot represent the content adequately.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:13 AM   #259
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Agree about the "dumbing down" of the media. Magazines, newspapers, TV all seem to be aiming for a level of intelligence and sophistication that appears to be quite low. No lack of opinions though, often poorly supported. Not sure where all this ends up, but pretty sure I will be gone before we see it.
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:47 PM   #260
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Serenity Prayer, Serenity Prayer...
I understand, have a nephew like that. Great guy personally, lots of fun, has no sense at all with money.
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