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Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 07:35 AM   #1
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Us vs. parents - obvious differences

I was reviewing my folks finances the other day and realized they have more income than we do. We have more investments and DW's
salary, but they have 2 SS checks and my Dad's pension. Houses
of comparable value and paid for. Vehicles of comparable age and
paid for. So, how is it that we are able to travel, dine out, support
4 dogs and still maintain some expensive toys (3 boats). I think it's
because we get more value out of our money. We dumpster dive and buy at resale shops. They shop for bargains but not nearly as hard as we do. Also, on recurring items (insurance, utilities, auto maintenance, home mainenance) they don't shop at all. They just pay
the bills that come in. Plus, what little money they have is not invested wisely. For example, my Dad has let 60K languish in his checking account for 2 years at -0- interest. Anyway, it is pretty
interesting that we are living a higher lifestyle on less money
just by aggressive shopping and making every dollar work for us.

JG
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 08:27 AM   #2
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

A related thing to think about is that as you get elderly, it may become harder to be an agressive shopper. I doubt I would dumpster dive at 85.
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

JG -

I know some frgual people who are poor investors. I believe some frugal people are so afraid to take any risk with money earned/saved they pass on stocks/real estate. Oddly enough they are wizards when it comes to saving a buck.
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I was reviewing my folks finances the other day and realized they have more income than we do. We have more investments and DW's
salary, but they have 2 SS checks and my Dad's pension. Houses
of comparable value and paid for. Vehicles of comparable age and
paid for. So, how is it that we are able to travel, dine out, support
4 dogs and still maintain some expensive toys (3 boats). I think it's
because we get more value out of our money. We dumpster dive and buy at resale shops. They shop for bargains but not nearly as hard as we do. Also, on recurring items (insurance, utilities, auto maintenance, home mainenance) they don't shop at all. They just pay
the bills that come in. Plus, what little money they have is not invested wisely. For example, my Dad has let 60K languish in his checking account for 2 years at -0- interest. Anyway, it is pretty
interesting that we are living a higher lifestyle on less money
just by aggressive shopping and making every dollar work for us.

JG
JG--It appears to me that you are 'in bondage' to your cheapness and your parents are not. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--is it? I just haven't done a smiley face at you in a while.

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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 09:27 AM   #5
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

JG, *I'm impressed with the lifestyle you are able to maintain given your spending level. *Shopping for bargains I understand, but I'm less clear on the benefits of "dumpster diving." *Do you find things to re-sell or use yourself? *

My parents were much more frugal than us. *To them, spending $ on things other than necessities was a grave mistake and rarely done. *Eating out, for example was almost unthinkable. *When forced into it, my mother was in anguish to the point of being unable to enjoy the meal. This attitude prevailed until she passed away. *This has influenced me to endorse frugality, but mainly as a means to pursue the things I really enjoy. *

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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 10:48 AM   #6
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Ditto, I know some people that are frugal but dont invest the savings. I suppose your folks are thinking, we have enough and it will last us, why bother with the little stuff. That is something that I have to fight since most people's spending catches up with their income. I think an ER goal has helped me close the medium and small leaks that I wasnt paying attention to in the past.
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 11:28 AM   #7
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I was reviewing my folks finances the other day and realized they have more income than we do.* We have more investments and DW's
salary, but they have 2 SS checks and my Dad's pension.* Houses
of comparable value and paid for.* Vehicles of comparable age and
paid for.* So, how is it that we are able to travel, dine out, support
4 dogs and still maintain some expensive toys (3 boats).* I think it's
because we get more value out of our money.* We dumpster dive and buy at resale shops.* They shop for bargains but not nearly as hard as we do.* Also, on recurring items (insurance, utilities, auto maintenance, home mainenance) they don't shop at all.* They just pay
the bills that come in.* Plus, what little money they have is not invested wisely.* For example, my Dad has let 60K languish in his checking account for 2 years at -0- interest.* Anyway, it is pretty
interesting that we are living a higher lifestyle on less money
just by aggressive shopping and making every dollar work for us.

JG
JG: *Sounds to me like your parents are doing very well. *You are damn fortunate that you don't have to worry about them financially.

However, I do think that it is bad form on their part not to be as aggressive and "Dumpster Dive" etc., etc. to find the very best deals as you do. *After all, your dads only 86

As far as the $60,000 in the checking acct. that's borderline criminal. *Maybe Martha can put you in contact with an attorney that can put an immediate stop to that. *(Failure to maximize your inheritence) *If that doesn't work, perhaps Ha Ha would be kind enough to explain
how the "futures" mkt works.

Beings your parents are still driving, and I would assume in good relative health, how about replacing those old cars with a brand new hassle free car? *(Or two). *Sounds to me like they deserve it.

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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 11:38 AM   #8
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

My Mom and stepdad make a lot more than me (which isn't hard to do, considering they have the benefit of two incomes coming in. I'm almost positive though, that, not counting real estate, I have more saved up than they do. Mom's in the federal gov't, under the old system, and will get a pretty nice retirement. I'm not sure about my stepdad, though. He's also a gov't employee, for the water/sewer commission, but I don't know about his financial specifics.

I do know that Mom says shen she retires at the beginning of 2009, she'll get around a 60K+ annual retirement. My stepdad will continue working (Mom will turn 60 then, and my stepdad will be 56) but they want to move to Florida within a year or so after she retires. I think my stepdad plans to get a job down there, either part time or full time, depending on their financial needs.

They have a house down there that they bought around 3 or 4 years ago, which they're renting out now. I don't think the rent is quite covering the mortgage, but that's because they refinanced to a 15 year. They have a lot of equity in their house up here in Maryland, but I know they've also refinanced and taken some out to buy new vehicles, have a garage built, etc.

Mom is extremely risk averse, and my stepdad is, too. They think I'm crazy for keeping my money in mutual funds, stocks, etc. But I keep telling them that I basically have no choice. The only pension I'll get is about $350 a month from the 7 years I put in at McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing.

I know they did try to start investing back in the late 90's, when it seemed like the prosperity would go on forever. And they panicked when things fell around 2000-2002.

As for my Grandma (Mom's mother), she's EXTREMELY risk averse. She still remembers the Great Depression, when she was a kid, and her parents lost their farm in the country, and had to sell their car. But, they must've been doing relatively well, because they still had their house in Harrisburg PA, and kept their truck. Her father ran a small company that built houses, so a truck was a necessity, but a car was a luxury.

For someone of that generation, I guess she's saved up pretty well over the years. Her house is paid in full. She doesn't drive anymore, so there's no expense of a car, gas, insurance, etc. I know I have a bit more saved up than her, but again, she's doing okay between her social security, her pension, and my Granddad's pension. Back in the late 90's, we did talk her into doing some investing, around the same time that my Mom really started. Grandmom kept wanting to pull out in 2001 and 2002, as things crumbled on the market, but we (well, mainly I, as my Mom was thinking about getting her to sell) talked her into riding it out. And at least now, her investments are back into the black, so she's reasonably happy.

Still, she has some CD's approaching maturity that aren't even paying 2%. I've tried to talk her into putting that money into a money market fund with Emigrant Direct, or buying some I-bonds. Even though with the I-bond, she'd have to wait 5 years before touching them without a penalty, and she's 81 now, it's doubtful she'd have to touch the money. She's leery of it, because she doesn't understand it, but I thnk she's going to let me put some of it into an I-bond for her.

As for me, when it comes to being frugal, I take more after my grandmother than my Mom & stepdad. I'll buy a car when I need to (well, unless I see some cool old car that catches my eye), but they'll sometimes buy something they don't really need. They buy furniture and other household stuff, while I usually look for hand-me downs. The most expensive piece of furniture I ever bought was a queen-sized bed back in 1995. I think it was about $500. I did pay $525 for a Sanyo 32" tv back in 2000 (It was $399, plus tax, plus a 5-year warranty I bought, plus they threw in a freee VCR that I gave away as a Christmas present). But stuff like chairs, couches, and so on, have been mostly hand-me-downs.

Most of my appliances have been used, as well. Although here the savings is a bit dubious, as they might use more electricity than something new. I remodeled my condo just before I sold it, buying all new appliances. I brought the old appliances over to the house I'm in now, as they were still newer than what was here.

I can't remember the last time my grandma has bought a piece of furniture, though. My Mom did buy her a new recliner this year, but that's about it. Just about everything else in the house dates back to the 80's, or older. Thankfully they usually bought conservative stuff thugh, so it doesn't look like the set to the Brady Bunch, or anything!
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
A related thing to think about is that as you get elderly, it may become harder to be an agressive shopper. I doubt I would dumpster dive at 85.
I agree. In my 40s I have the strength to elbow aside those 85-year-olds and get to the good stuff first, but some of them fight pretty hard. I'd hate to run into them again when I'm in MY 80s...

Quote:
Originally Posted by R*K
Eating out, for example was almost unthinkable. *When forced into it, my mother was in anguish to the point of being unable to enjoy the meal. This attitude prevailed until she passed away.
Maybe she knows what goes on in restaurant kitchens!
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I agree. In my 40s I have the strength to elbow aside those 85-year-olds and get to the good stuff first, but some of them fight pretty hard. I'd hate to run into them again when I'm in MY 80s...
Since they will be in their 120's, you will probably still have the upper hand... REW
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 01:15 PM   #11
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Since they will be in their 120's, you will probably still have the upper hand... * REW
Eh, maybe I'm wrong and people DO pay attention to my posts...
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 01:16 PM   #12
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
JG: *Sounds to me like your parents are doing very well. *You are damn fortunate that you don't have to worry about them financially.

However, I do think that it is bad form on their part not to be as aggressive and "Dumpster Dive" etc., etc. to find the very best deals as you do. *After all, your dads only 86

As far as the $60,000 in the checking acct. that's borderline criminal. *Maybe Martha can put you in contact with an attorney that can put an immediate stop to that. *(Failure to maximize your inheritence) *If that doesn't work, perhaps Ha Ha would be kind enough to explain
how the "futures" mkt works.

Beings your parents are still driving, and I would assume in good relative health, how about replacing those old cars with a brand new hassle free car? *(Or two). *Sounds to me like they deserve it.

Pretty good Jarhead, just lightly garnished with sarcasm. Kudos!

JG
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 01:26 PM   #13
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by R*K
JG, *I'm impressed with the lifestyle you are able to maintain given your spending level. *Shopping for bargains I understand, but I'm less clear on the benefits of "dumpster diving." *Do you find things to re-sell or use yourself? *

My parents were much more frugal than us. *To them, spending $ on things other than necessities was a grave mistake and rarely done. *Eating out, for example was almost unthinkable. *When forced into it, my mother was in anguish to the point of being unable to enjoy the meal. This attitude prevailed until she passed away. *This has influenced me to endorse frugality, but mainly as a means to pursue the things I really enjoy. *

Well, we do very little literal "dumpster diving". I use this phrase to mean
resale shops, garage sales, the "free table" at DW's workplace and
"pick it up free beside the road" 90% of what I drag home I resell.
90% of what DW drags home she keeps or eventually gives away.
So, it kind of balances out in the end.

JG
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 01:28 PM   #14
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
JG--It appears to me that you are 'in bondage' to your cheapness and your parents are not. * This isn't necessarily a bad thing--is it?* I just haven't done a smiley face at you in a while.

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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 01:31 PM   #15
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat
JG -

I know some frgual people who are poor investors.* I believe some frugal people are so afraid to take any risk with money earned/saved they pass on stocks/real estate.* Oddly enough they are wizards when it comes to saving a buck.*
My parents are almost completely clueless about anything financial.
This could prove to be a positive as events play themselves out.
We'll see.

JG
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 01:32 PM   #16
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
A related thing to think about is that as you get elderly, it may become harder to be an agressive shopper.* I doubt I would dumpster dive at 85.*
True!
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 01:38 PM   #17
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Eh, maybe I'm wrong and people DO pay attention to my posts...
What post was that?
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 08-20-2005, 02:18 PM   #18
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Pretty good Jarhead, just lightly garnished with sarcasm.* Kudos!*

JG
JG: Kidding aside, wish your parents well.

Also don't be at all surprised if they go through "major personality" shifts at their age.

Went through a lot of that with both of my parents.

As a matter of fact, I remember reading an article about Art Linkletter that reported he was an orphan. I was envious of him after finding that out.

Regards, Jarhead





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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 09-13-2005, 07:13 AM   #19
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

Well, I am now in with both feet (reluctantly). Spent the entire day yesterday trying to straighten out my parent's finances. I told them they
were lucky this was one thing I could still do. Spent about 2 hours iwth their banker and my mother. When we got home I sat down and explained
it all to my Dad. Was not too sure how he would respond
(loss of control). He was good. Seems to understand that he just is
losing the ability to deal with it. Anyway, I am taking it in "baby steps"......
His driver's license is up in November. Doubt he can get a new one so that will be the next big adjustment for all of us.

JG
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences
Old 09-13-2005, 07:49 AM   #20
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Re: Us vs. parents - obvious differences

I remember as a kid walking down the middle of our rural road in winter with my grandfather following me in the car. He couldn't differentiate the snow covered road from the snow covered ditch so he followed me down the road until we reached the highway.

Scary now to think about it. He should have let me drive.

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