Join Early Retirement Today
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-23-2016, 06:50 PM   #61
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyber888 View Post
C'mon, your sister is far from poor if she has 3 houses in California and $750,000 in her nest egg. Her unemployment has nothing to do with being rich or poor. Her networth is probably more than $1 million.

Poor = by definition, means you have no cash, not even $50 in your pocket, you have no house, and you probably live on the streets begging.

Your sister is rich.
This should go on that "Bubble" thread. Talk about outta touch

I know a guy who never had anything. Ever! But now he's got 5 million dollars

He's very very Rich/Poor
__________________

__________________
razztazz is online now  
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!

The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings
Old 04-23-2016, 06:52 PM   #62
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fedup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 2,930
The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejman View Post
Considering that the average household income in the US is $51,939 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Househ..._United_States and the average NW is $301,000 The Average American Net Worth Is Huge! | Financial Samurai I would have to say that your sister is very wealthy. Good for her!

Try to convince her that. She still has bag lady syndrome. But that's not the point of my posts. My point is that she never earned a lot of money and she was able to accumulate a nice sum on her own which makes me doubt this lack of savings article.

Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________

__________________
When I post IIRC, that means going by memory. Google is your friend for facts. Stop being a lazy bum, I can't do all the googling for you. I'm lazy too. LOL
Fedup is offline  
Old 04-23-2016, 06:59 PM   #63
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I think it's really easy for many of us to get judgmental... I know I put the J in in INTJ all the time.

I think the article in the OP and the article linked by Gumby both high light the human nature desire to provide the best for our kids - whether we can afford it or not... and the expectation of what a middle class lifestyle is has also gotten inflated.

I hit the lottery when it came to parents and upbringing... Dad made decent income (engineer) but lived frugally and I grew up in a household where budgets/costs were pinched constantly. Parents paid school costs - but had strings attached on the major and grades. I wanted to be a poli sci major, dad replied "not on my dime". I wanted to go to a small liberal arts college in the midwest - same reply from dad. The engineering degree from a state school turned out to be big boost in my adult life. Dad was right.
Lol, ISTJ and heavy on the J.

+1 on being lucky with parents. Mom was a math teacher, dad an architect. They like to joke that I inherited all the IQ while my brother got the EQ. We were comfortable enough and had all the necessities albeit no expensive vacations. Mom grew up poor and she put herself through college so she was always drumming into my head (as early as grade school) that while they won't be able to leave me an inheritance, what they can give me is a good education so I guess even back then, I knew that my choice of major would be dependent on career options. Thankfully, math, science, technology and engineering were already my fields of interest even in grade school so they didn't have to push me into switching into a more lucrative field. Parents would've paid for private college (my sibling and I had something similar to 529 prepaid tuition at our choice of mid-tier college) but I received a scholarship from a state university so those funds ended up paying for dorm room and allowance.

Wasn't able to finish my degree since we migrated to the US mid-way and I started working full time right away. However, my educational background has still served me well. Thankfully, once I got in at my current job, work ethic and skill set enabled me to promote relatively quickly to my current position (which is pretty much the highest available if I don't want to deal with the stress and hassle of supervising employees).
__________________
hnzw_rui is offline  
Old 04-23-2016, 07:07 PM   #64
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fedup View Post
Try to convince her that. She still has bag lady syndrome. But that's not the point of my posts. My point is that she never earned a lot of money and she was able to accumulate a nice sum on her own which makes me doubt this lack of savings article.

Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
Oh, that. That was covered a long time ago..."

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
__________________
ejman is online now  
Old 04-23-2016, 07:32 PM   #65
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,324
Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
This should go on that "Bubble" thread. Talk about outta
Someone tried to recruit me to do yard work and housework for free for the elderly - in a bubble zip code of single family homes. I am still kind of puzzled over that. Being older and house poor is not the same as actually being poor, especially in a metro area with a large homeless population. IMHO, kind of some inside the bubble thinking there on the free help part.

I would put keeping a house in retirement one can't afford to keep up more in the living above ones means category than the truly needy segment of society.
__________________
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
daylatedollarshort is offline  
Old 04-23-2016, 07:53 PM   #66
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Keim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,128
I find myself with little sympathy for the whiny author. No major issues caused his pain. Just inertia and a lack of ability to see long term consequences.

I contrast with another article I recently read stating people with $200k in investible assets were rich/affluent (Why I Believe the American Dream Just Died - Fortune) and I wonder what people are smoking.

To quote the Boy Scouts: Be prepared! (DAMMIT!)
__________________
You can't enlighten the unconscious.
But you can hit'em upside the head a few times to make sure they are really out...
Keim is offline  
Old 04-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #67
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fedup View Post
And she still shops at a thrift shop and brags about her $1 blouse.

This is how she amassed her wealth. By spending her money on homes and putting the rest in savings rather than spending it all on fancy clothes.

I was taking my older son school clothes shopping late last summer. I told him we'd go to the trendy stores (albeit discount ones like H&M) after we looked first at Goodwill. He ended up buying 10 t-shirts of cool-nerd style (video game themes, star wars, star trek, and comic book hero). He was so happy he decided he didn't need to go any further. I also picked up a spring wetsuit for the other son for $5. Wahoo.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline  
Old 04-23-2016, 09:39 PM   #68
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Which just goes to show you: You can't fix stoopid.

I think that's related to the IQ issue though unfortunately. Just by definition half the population is on the left half of the bell curve when it comes to intelligence. Whether this is innate or not, there's not a lot they can do about that. I would suggest that everyone here is at least on the right side of that curve. We're the lucky ones. Yes there are rich doctors that can't save, and there are poor laborers that can, but they're always the exceptions.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
bmcgonig is offline  
Old 04-23-2016, 11:03 PM   #69
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,387
To be clear, my post that 'You can't fix stoopid" was related to the subject's rejection of a suggestion to use $10,000 of $12,000 in cash that they kept in the house to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt as stupid, not that they could not save.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winemaker View Post
During my w@rking days in the '90's, co workers who knew I did alot of investing, asked for money tips and advice. I specifically remember once "how do I make more on my money "?

I told him if he paid off any CC debt, he would be earning close to 12%. I asked where he had his cash now. He said he had $12,000 in the kitchen drawer, that's where his wife and 2 teenage girls got their allowances, and it was also their "emergency stash " for repairs and whatever. He carried over $10,000 in CC debt!

I told him to pay off the CC debt with the cash, and use the CC for their "emergency stash". He would hear nothing of it and thought it was stupid advice. He never asked me again.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now  
The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings
Old 04-23-2016, 11:25 PM   #70
Full time employment: Posting here.
Markola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 545
The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings

I had a small pit in my stomach reading the article, though not for the author, who wrote it with no commitment to changing his ways but apparently as just another deliverable to get the next desperately-needed paycheck. On what planet does someone who writes for a living make the decision to send a kid to Stanford and another to Emory by draining his parents' funds? He's made his family vulnerable through ludicrous decision-making, which he shows no sign of changing. I can't worry about him. What is bothersome is that many of my good friends have kids heading to college next year and are living very much like the author.
__________________
Markola is offline  
Old 04-24-2016, 01:22 AM   #71
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,324
So what would you all do going forward if you were the article author to get back on track financially?
__________________
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
daylatedollarshort is offline  
Old 04-24-2016, 01:24 AM   #72
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markola View Post
On what planet does someone who writes for a living make the decision to send a kid to Stanford and another to Emory by draining his parents' funds?
This is actually the thing that made me cringe the most. It's one thing to endanger your own finances but his parents', too? And he's not in a position to to help his parents in case they encounter sudden financial difficulties (e.g. long-term care).
__________________
hnzw_rui is offline  
Old 04-24-2016, 01:28 AM   #73
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Keim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,128
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
So what would you all do going forward if you were the article author to get back on track financially?
As they say: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

He skipped the prevention. He's in a mess. No fancy solutions. Author needs to get expenses in line with income.
__________________
You can't enlighten the unconscious.
But you can hit'em upside the head a few times to make sure they are really out...
Keim is offline  
Old 04-24-2016, 05:56 AM   #74
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Hartford
Posts: 103
I have very mixed feelings about this article. I read it as well as a lot of the comments on this, the Atlantic site, and other sites. It took a while to come to satisfactory (for me) conclusions.

I feel bad for the author and his family. Conversely, I feel fortunate about our personal situation.

When I wonder why his family is broke and we are FI, I think back to when we were first married....Why are we OK and he is not? It's all about the choices we made.

All of our lives we lived below our means. We generally saved around 20-25% of our earnings and lived on the rest. We kept debt to a minimum and have been mortgage free since age 45. Even though we made some investment errors, our savings have increased to a level at which we could retire now.

When I read this forum about people that are FI, a common characteristic is that they all LBYM. Some made lots of money, some made not so much. But they all designed their lifestyle so that they could live on less than they took in.

It appears to me that the author describes a lifestyle that has been either at or just beyond his means. Now he's telling us about the later-life consequences.

We have taught our kids to LBYM and are very happy to see them do that. Of all the values we could have taught them, this is one that will affect their happiness in their golden years.

My wife and I have been fortunate to have reasonably good paying jobs. This allowed us to live pretty comfortably. I am sensitive to those who are not as fortunate, like those who have lower paying jobs, divorce, medical issues, etc. It's harder for them.

With that said, I still think most of us on this forum have seen people with relatively low salaries become FI just by LBYM. They made choices all their lives that allow them to save.

It's not easy to do much for people who are at the later stage of their careers. The most productive thing we can do is teach young people to start saving early.
__________________
ImThinkin2019 is offline  
The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings
Old 04-24-2016, 07:10 AM   #75
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,045
The Atlantic Article on Lack of Savings

You've LBYM for the last 40 years and now you've got got quite the 'pile'. The 'pile' doesn't seem all that large to you because you were there when it was small- and it grew slowly over a long time. She clipped coupons and painted while you fixed the toilets and sinks. No tradesman crossed your threshold. You drove that old Mazda until the plastics were brittle from age. You celebrated a bonus with a good meal, an inexpensive fishing rod and banked the rest. You made the difficult but right choices.

The pile didn't just happen you made it happen you didn't cheat, steal, rob - you saved, you scrimped you played the good game. Yes there was an element of luck - no great tragedy to overcome no asset draining illness. But you did what you could.

The author chose not to clip those coupons, fix those toilets, abstain from the $4 lattes or teach his children life lessons about spending.

I have no guilt about the pile and no reluctance to say the authors financial choices were poor ones - and the results predictable.

Oh and stop eyeing my pile

Edit: I suggest the author read Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University Book...

Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
rayinpenn is offline  
Old 04-24-2016, 07:43 AM   #76
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,387
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
So what would you all do going forward if you were the article author to get back on track financially?
That is a tough one as he has dug himself a big hole, but first would be to look at selling the house in the Hamptons, banking any equity and renting a modest apartment. Presuming that rent would be less than the carrying costs of the house it would be a good first step to adjust their lifestyle with their income.

Another would be to make arrangements to get advances in a more tax efficient way as it sounds like he is getting hammered on taxes due to the lumpiness of his income. That and put the wife to work.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is online now  
Old 04-24-2016, 08:00 AM   #77
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,406
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
So what would you all do going forward if you were the article author to get back on track financially?
That's a really important question, and strangely enough, one that the author of the article doesn't really address. He only spends one short paragraph summarizing their current frugal lifestyle.
Quote:
In my house, we have learned to live a no-frills existence. We halved our mortgage payments through a loan-modification program. We drive a 1997 Toyota Avalon with 160,000 miles that I got from my father when he died. We haven’t taken a vacation in 10 years. We have no credit cards, only a debit card. We have no retirement savings, because we emptied a small 401(k) to pay for our younger daughter’s wedding. We eat out maybe once every two or three months. Though I was a film critic for many years, I seldom go to the movies now. We shop sales. We forgo house and car repairs until they are absolutely necessary. We count pennies.
What is missing here is any vision of the future or some financial objectives, or a desired future outcome they are working toward. He is still living in the present, not working toward the future.

The part that troubles me the most is this (my bold).
Quote:
I don’t ask for or expect any sympathy. I am responsible for my quagmire—no one else. I didn’t get gulled into overextending myself by unscrupulous credit merchants. Basically, I screwed up, royally. I lived beyond my means, primarily because my means kept dwindling.
The primary problem was not dwindling means, it was spending, and probably still is.

I think he will have a hard time ever getting past this because he doesn't seem to grasp how his behaviour today leads to higher probable outcomes tomorrow.
__________________
MichaelB is offline  
Old 04-24-2016, 08:40 AM   #78
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
So what would you all do going forward if you were the article author to get back on track financially?
I'd recommend a thoughtful reading The Millionaire Next Door. It was very enlightening to me, though admittedly I was predisposed to accept the message.

I formally (required 401k education) and informally (only when asked) counseled employees on handling their personal finances for almost 30 years, and I honestly don't think I reached any of them. Could very well be my shortcomings, though my HR Director was also unable to help any of them. We both tried as many approaches as we could think of.

I also formed an NAIC investment club at the request of several employees, that went absolutely nowhere. They wanted to invest as little as possible, with a guarantee of big/positive returns, and they didn't want to learn/research anything, they 'just wanted me to tell them what investments to buy.'
__________________
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  
Old 04-24-2016, 10:23 AM   #79
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 358
(those of you with elephant memories may remember that for three years, I was one of the replacements for Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on the PBS movie-review show Sneak Previews)

Try to remember this author's face. Maybe I will remember him when I see him again.
__________________
fh2000 is offline  
Old 04-24-2016, 10:58 AM   #80
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 358
After finishing reading the article, I have different thoughts than most posters here, coming from an Asian background: he and his parents invested almost all their funds on his 2 daughters. This is what most Asian families do today including DW and I with our children though we have more means to do so.

"Although I don’t have any regrets about that choice—one daughter went to Stanford, was a Rhodes Scholar, and is now at Harvard Medical School; the other went to Emory, joined WorldTeach and then AmeriCorps, got a master’s degree from the University of Texas, and became a licensed clinical social worker specializing in traumatized children—paying that tariff meant there would be no inheritance when my parents passed on. It meant that we had depleted not only our own small savings, but my parents’ as well."

His two daughters are well-prepared to become great contributors to the society and hopefully to his retirement if they were raised in an Asian family. I am not sure if the young ladies would pay them back like I did to my mom though. My 2 other siblings and I contributed funds for my late mother for 30 years so she could have a comfortable life after spent all her funds on us.

I consider this is one thing he and his parents did right.
__________________

__________________
fh2000 is offline  
Closed Thread


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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Atlantic Article on retiring deserat Other topics 1 08-03-2009 11:11 PM
Atlantic City JohnDoe Other topics 6 05-13-2008 06:46 AM
mid atlantic states question: route 17 lazygood4nothinbum Travel Information 8 09-04-2007 03:16 PM
South Atlantic states califdreamer Life after FIRE 66 11-02-2006 10:33 AM
Atlantic City closed! laurence Other topics 3 07-05-2006 03:42 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:42 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.