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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 08:48 AM   #41
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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Supposedly he's only going to leave a paltry 1 million or something like that to his offspring because of his strong belief in the work ethic.
I feel sorry for his poor cash-straped child ... his daughter could always write a book about growing up with B.G. as a father..... i'm sure the book rights would be worth a ton of money.
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 09:11 AM   #42
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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First, the mean US household income today is actually in the mid 60s. If you want a source, i can find you one. That's not to be confused with the mean annual salary for one working individual.

Back on point though, anyone means everyone and I told you my answer...... it wasnt "rich".
Sorry, I meant to say median household inome. The latest number for which is $43K, but thank you for your kind offer to find me a source.
http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/we...income20040826
http://www.whitehouse.gov/fsbr/income.html
http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/histinc/h06ar.html

BTW the mean household income is $59K. And I suspect most people making that income would also consider someone with a couple million as being rich, even if they are incorrect by your definition.

As to the "point"; I understand your point that the word "rich" may be misleading. I agree that what is rich to one person may not be to another, although it sounds like you feel that what is not rich to you must be not rich to everyone. :-/ But that really is beside the point of my original post.

My point was how difficult it is for some folks to accept the fact that many people who are relatively well off are frugal rather than extravagant. In my original post I was talking about middle management types I worked with who could not accept the concept that people richer than they were would chose not to spend more money on cars than they did. I think that this says something about our culture, and in my opinion it is not necessarily good.

Disputing what the word rich means, and what the correct figure for typical household income is, are not really germane to the point I was trying to make.
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 09:20 AM   #43
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

I'm afraid I have to squash the bill gates "giddiness". I know him and have been in a large number of meetings with him. He continues to work because he likes the power. He definitely still has a lot of teenage nerdy technical interest in cool new stuff. He and I regularly talked about new technologies and programs my company was working on and I have to say it was enjoyable to feed a very absorbent mind. For the most part though, I didnt enjoy any meetings with him. I guess it was kinda fun watching him brutalize the senior management staff of both his own and my company.

Remember also that this guy got where he got on a pair of lynchpin events that he got lucky on. One was when Gary Kildall's wife was packing up for a vacation and elected to defer meeting with IBM on making CP/M the OS for their new PC (he did all the technical stuff, she did all the business stuff), and the other was when Microsoft decided to diverge with IBM on next generation OS (windows 3.1 vs OS/2) and IBM paradoxically produced a technical winner with no marketing program. Frankly CP/M was a better product, as was OS/2. Microsofts only other products at the time, programming languages, were awful.

This is a great example of how having all the information in the world can lead to bad investing. At the time, I would have all but assured you that CP/M would be the predominant OS for many years, for a huge array of reasons. Even when IBM chose DOS, I was certain that CPM-86 would run it over in the aftermarket.

And when Microsoft decided to fork roads with IBM on OS/2? I would have guaranteed that IBM would crush them within a year or two, relegating microsoft to a maker of bad interpreters and compilers.

Its all about chances and fate I guess, and taking advantage of those. Hell, I wouldnt be wealthy and ER'ed today except for a chance meeting in a parking lot 20 years ago and helping a guy I really didnt care much for get a job on the other side of the country.
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 09:22 AM   #44
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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As for Bill Gates, my perception of him is he really doesnt do it for the money. *The man could have anything his heart desired, but he continues to work. *Folks like that do what they do because they're passoniate about it, not to get rich. * I saw him on Leno once (or some talk show), and he was like a little giddy kid that was so genuinely anxious and excited about his new upcoming products.
He might be in the same mentality a lot of people who just work their whole lives are in. Maybe all he enjoys is his work because that's all he has done his whole life. Does he have any hobbies or other interests besides Microsoft? I never remember hearing or seeing him surfing, para-sailing, or going to the Playboy mansion, for example. If all he does is put on a suit and tie and work in an office all day, then I wouldn't trade my life with his.

One major reason I decided when I was a teenager to ER by 40 or 50 is because I knew so many old people with a lot of money who just worked their whole lives to accumulate money and just died or got too old and sick without enjoying it. Life is too short not to retire early, but most people outside this forum don't get that and I feel sad for them. People like Bill Gates might be passionate about his work, but people like me are passionate about life.

The "Parable of the Cave" is the best example I can give to those who do not plan to ER.
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Bill Gates' best friend...
Old 09-10-2004, 11:40 AM   #45
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Bill Gates' best friend...

... is Warren Buffett.

And it's not for their money or their job skills-- they like each other for their minds.

Both are good bridge players. Not professionally good, but capable of holding their own. They've even partnered together in at least one pro tournament. Maybe it's the only thing the two of them can compete at, because Buffett doesn't do tech and Gates certainly doesn't do finance. Perhaps the lack of overlap allows them to preserve their friendship without falling into competition.

Gates is also reported to enjoy jigsaw puzzles; he & Melinda work on designs made from rare hardwoods. (Insert your tech joke here.) Call me a party animal, but that's a wild & crazy life for a multi-billionaire.

A decade or so ago, "Psychology Today" ran an article profiling the symptoms of autism and Asperger's Syndrome. It covered behavior, perception of the world, social skills, and so on. Several months later they ran a profile of Bill Gates. The two articles weren't explicitly linked but they had the same format, layout, length, subject order, etc. It could have been a coincidence but that quickly caught fire with the tabloids. There was lawsuit talk but I don't think Gates wanted a bunch of lawyers debating the degree to which he's autistic.

Gates-bashing aside, we ERs should all consider that he's found his avocation-- not just a vocation or a great job, but the ONE THING he loves doing more than ANYTHING else. I think that one of the reasons we're all ER'd is because we decided that we couldn't hack it (or didn't want to) in a REAL job. Yet Gates gets to spend the entire day (and night), for the rest of his life, solving problems and lording his superiority over his "peers". Not only that, but he's rewarded for it! It's not so much about controlling people as it is forcing them to acknowledge how brilliant he is. Why in the world would he ever retire?!? C'mon, look at this photo and tell me this is a "normal" guy. http://www.ebaumsworld.com/mugshots.html

Same with Buffett. He spends all his time on finance-- reading, researching, debating, and living it. It's definitely not about the money or the power, but he sure gets a thrill out of making little pennies into big bucks. He's found his avocation and he'll never stop doing it. (Sorry, no Buffett mugshots available.)

While I'm on a roll here, consider rock & pop guitarists. VH-1's "Behind the Music" staff did a documentary a few years ago on their obsession. (I don't think BTM will ever knock "60 Minutes" off their pile of investigative-reporting Emmys, but due to a lack of competition VH-1 is the best at "popular music history". For whatever that's worth...) The world's top -- guys like Hendrix, Richards, Paige, Townshend, Perry, Van Halen, Prince, Vaughn, B.B. King, Berry-- just can't help themselves. Guitars are the first thing they pick up in the morning and the last thing they put down at night. Everything else in their lives is just a distraction from boredom until their fingers heal enough to let them go back to the guitar.

I don't any of these guys fumbled around with high-school counselors & college self-assessment tests trying to find their avocations. All of them were hard-wired from the moment they were born to do what they've been doing. They could no more stop doing it than the rest of us could decide to stop eating or drinking.

So don't feel sorry for them. Feel sorry for us ERs, still fumbling around on the outskirts of a working society hoping to find our life's passion. Because that's certainly how much of society sees us!
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 11:41 AM   #46
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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I'm sure you heard someone say that 60-something was the average, mean or median.
The mean is $59K so that might be what they heard. The mean though is a pretty bad measure because it can and is heavily skewed by a small number who make a very large amount.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/histinc/h06ar.html

Quote:
Rich is certainly a relative term but I think it may be worthwhile to consider ones position against the rest of the world, not just the unusually well to do US positions. *Having a paid off house, a car and regular meals puts you ahead of the vast majority of people worldwide. *Having financial security, whether that means you will or wont buy a bigger tv if you can afford it, makes you rich. *By a few billion peoples metric anyhow.
This is worth looking at to put things into perspective.
http://www.worldrevolution.org/Proje...Inequality.htm

For azanon, if making $160K or more every year which places you solidly in the top 5% of income earners isn't rich then I'm not sure what objective measure you would use. On another financial discussion board there were folks suggesting that even $300K / year was only just "middle class". I think a lot of people have had their perception of "normal" thrown out of whack. Probably by TV programs showing all kinds of stuff as "normal" that can only be afforded by those with far above normal incomes like $160K / year.
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 12:01 PM   #47
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

For azanon, if making $160K or more every year which places you solidly in the top 5% of income earners isn't rich then I'm not sure what objective measure you would use. On another financial discussion board there were folks suggesting that even $300K / year was only just "middle class". I think a lot of people have had their perception of "normal" thrown out of whack. Probably by TV programs showing all kinds of stuff as "normal" that can only be afforded by those with far above normal incomes like $160K / year.

I have to suspect that anyone that thinks that $300K/year is only middle class, or even those that think $160K is only middle class, are destined to feel that they never have enough money and will always feel that if they could just get up to $xxxxx they will have enough.

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Re: Bill Gates' best friend...
Old 09-10-2004, 01:12 PM   #48
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Re: Bill Gates' best friend...

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...So don't feel sorry for them. *Feel sorry for us ERs, still fumbling around on the outskirts of a working society hoping to find our life's passion. *Because that's certainly how much of society sees us!
Nords,
I don't disagree: I for one clearly see ER as an opportunity to discover my true 'avocation' and do it -- when I had to work I wasn't finding it, and I certainly wasn't doing things at work that I loved enough to want to do forever.

I am guessing, though, that most people are in the same boat, ie. not loving their work. They just put up with work in order to get the economic units to continue living the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to. So ER's are not alone in never having found their lifetime's passion in work, they are just lucky enough to have the time to try to find something better in earnest.

Somebody smarter than I said, "Most people live lives of quiet desperation". ERs have a shot at living a better kind of life.

Finding your passion/avocation and doing it,-- paid or unpaid -- is my definition of success.

btw anybody know how/why Bill Gates was in an Albuquerque mugshot (presumably during the early years of starting microsoft) -- got a little crazy after an office party? Bit of dope-smoking on the weekend? Riding too fast on his skateboard? He looks pretty calm in the picture...

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Re: Bill Gates' best friend...
Old 09-10-2004, 01:19 PM   #49
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Re: Bill Gates' best friend...

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btw anybody know how/why Bill Gates was in an Albuquerque mugshot (presumably during the early years of starting microsoft) -- got a little crazy after an office party? *Bit of dope-smoking on the weekend? *Riding too fast on his skateboard? *He looks pretty calm in the picture...
IIRC it was speeding so fast that it was careless (vehicular offence) or reckless (criminal offence) driving.
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Maybe No "Lifetime" Passion
Old 09-10-2004, 01:25 PM   #50
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Maybe No "Lifetime" Passion

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I am guessing, though, that most people are in the same boat, ie. not loving their work. *They just put up with work in order to get the economic units to continue living the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to. *So ER's are not alone in never having found their lifetime's passion in work, they are just lucky enough to have the time to try to find something better in earnest.
It may also be that there is no "lifetime passion". There may only be a succession of approximations to it. I started out at one time wanting to be an astrophysicist/cosmologist but I wandered into software which I had been doing for spare cash since early high school. It was fun for a number of years and there were some pretty interesting challenges. Those challenges are all starting to look like repeats though and I'm wanting to do something different.

What I think I'd like to spend my time doing nobody is going to pay me for so I'm going to have to become financially independent and then do it. I can do some of it part time now but I'll have to keep doing the current day job to keep the economic units coming in until I'm FI.
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 01:29 PM   #51
 
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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So ER's are not alone in never having found their lifetime's passion in work, they are just lucky enough to have the time to try to find something better in earnest.
My lifetime passion was basically doing what I want, when I want.

Don't think anyone would pay me for this.
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Re: Bill Gates' best friend...
Old 09-10-2004, 01:31 PM   #52
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Re: Bill Gates' best friend...

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btw anybody know how/why Bill Gates was in an Albuquerque mugshot (presumably during the early years of starting microsoft) -- got a little crazy after an office party? Bit of dope-smoking on the weekend? Riding too fast on his skateboard? He looks pretty calm in the picture...
Over the speed limit in his new porsche and no drivers license.

I'm surprised they let him wear his glasses for the mug shot. He probably wishes they let him take them off.
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 01:43 PM   #53
 
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

Hey I had a mug shot from a little incident about a year
ago. Too bad I couldn't get a copy. It would look cool hanging in our rec room

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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 01:45 PM   #54
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

For your viewing pleasure...

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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 04:51 PM   #55
 
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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Better watch it there. This *sounds *like *"Class Warfare" *talk.

Cut-Throat

Quote:

The book just looked at survivors. I think you have made a good point though. Life throws people plenty of curve balls. You can do everything right and have some medical job problems or others and not reach Financial Independence.

I really believe that people are not in as much control as they like to think. You always hear from the ones that succeded. They tout that everyone can do it, but it's just not true. It is gratifying to them that they made it and someone else didn't. But the luck of the draw has more to do with it than they'd like to think. Most of us were born into families in the U.S. that provided an education, health care and a standard of living to pursue a career.

The people that really know how to stretch a dollar live in the poorest sections of 3rd world countries.

I read the book and thought it was pretty marginal compared to other books out there.

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Well, you may think that, however some things in life do not make distinctions. Witness this post I came across in another forum. *BTW - It's free to register!

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I have been having a difficult time deciding what is the right thing to do. But what I must do is what is best, so, I have decided to "come out of the closet". No, not that way! What I mean is I am in a battle for my life against cancer. I am determined to come out on top of this thing, but meanwhile it is making life very difficult - to say the least. My income is reduced quite a bit because I cannot give 200% to my day job like I used to, so I am forced to come up with creative ways to come up with survival money. I have the following items for sale:
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-10-2004, 04:53 PM   #56
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

Best of luck to whoever that is
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-11-2004, 04:37 AM   #57
 
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

Feeling especially perky this morning
and am pontificating as usual. I told my spouse as
she left that I was ready to begin year 61. She opined
I should always remember the millions before me who
never made it this far. I needed no reminder.

John Galt
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-14-2004, 10:20 AM   #58
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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I have to suspect that anyone that thinks that $300K/year is only middle class, or even those that think $160K is only middle class, are destined to feel that they never have enough money and will always feel that if they could just get up to $xxxxx they will have enough.
I agree! *Who said that? *The terms i used were "well-off" and "upper-middle class" for 2 mil liquid for a 59 year old, and 150k/year today, respectively
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-14-2004, 10:26 AM   #59
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

My whole point of not wanting to use "rich" to describe my dad was the very point TMND makes; *that being what he's worth today is what he should be worth given his salary during his working years. *If he had any less, he'd likely be considered an "UAW". * That's a lot of money yes, but he's an OLD guy now and that has to cover expenses for the next 30-40 years. *Its not like he can go out and spend it all this year, without impoverishing himself.

Not counting savings, i know how we lived. *We had a relatively nice house, dependable but not excessive cars, and he helped with my and my bro/sis college. *I certainly never lived a "rich" life like you see on TV ala paris hilton or whatever other actor/actress comes to mind when the "rich" word is tossed out. * There was enough. *There was comfort. *But there certainly wasnt lavishness.
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door
Old 09-14-2004, 11:48 AM   #60
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Re: Book Report - Millionaire next door

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My whole point of not wanting to use "rich" to describe my dad was the very point TMND makes; *that being what he's worth today is what he should be worth given his salary during his working years. *If he had any less, he'd likely be considered an "UAW". * That's a lot of money yes, but he's an OLD guy now and that has to cover expenses for the next 30-40 years. *Its not like he can go out and spend it all this year, without impoverishing himself.
Those categories that come from TMND (UAW, PAW, etc.) are nice but they don't reflect reality - the reality that comes from actually looking at the numbers and seeing what people actually save. *If you look at the nice numbers that wabmester posted on the (Net Worth discussion thread - http://early-retirement.org/cgi-bin/...num=1095131366) then you'll see that even for the top income quintile of households 65 and older that the median total networth is only ~$500K - that includes their home not just liquid networth. *Now, that's only for the top quintile. *Your dad was in a much higher income bracket than that. *He was in the top dodecile (top 5%) and don't have networth numbers for them broken out.

I find it intriguing that someone who grew up in a household where the income was in the top 5% of US households, their parents accumulated 20 times as much liquid wealth as the median US household of their age has in total wealth, and their father owned multiple pharmacies can still consider themselves middle class. *Must you be super-wealthy with personal jets and an army of servants to be beyond middle-class? *That means maybe a couple of thousand (maybe 10 thousand) people worldwide beyond middle class. *What amount of income do you need to be above the middle class? *How much networth do you need?

Quote:
I agree! *Who said that? *The terms i used were "well-off" and "upper-middle class" for 2 mil liquid for a 59 year old, and 150k/year today, respectively
Isn't "well-off" just a euphemism for rich and "upper-middle class" is still middle class. *I know that you didn't say that $300K is still middle class but over on one of the Motley Fool boards folks were talking about making $300K and still being middle-class. *Where do you draw the line?
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