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Old 12-14-2007, 03:35 PM   #81
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RIO:

--if you live in Ohio, my bet is that lawyers do chapter 7s for less than $3700 unless there is some kind of additional problem. If you need to file bankruptcy, file. If you can't afford a lawyer, get the forms and do it on your own.

--I strongly agree with SamClem. The more you feel in control, the happier you will be. So, control what you can. Get bankruptcy forms. Visit the simple living website Simple Living Discussion Forums. Take care of your health. Etc.

--Stay away from here. At this point we will just irritate and frustrate you and that will accomplish nothing.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:04 PM   #82
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As for REwahoo question, my answer is retirement is not an option for some people (let alone early retirement) and never will be, which is what I was trying to point out. It obviously went into another direction.

Thanks for the advise Martha, hopefully some better luck will come my way sooner or later.
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:55 PM   #83
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RIO-
Ive seen some very similar sentiments expressed on another board by a poster from Cinci. Could that be you?
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:41 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by RobertInOhio View Post
As for REwahoo question, my answer is retirement is not an option for some people (let alone early retirement) and never will be, which is what I was trying to point out.
So you dropped by the forum to tell all of us something we already knew.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:04 PM   #85
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So you dropped by the forum to tell all of us something we already knew.

Maybe to gain further perspective? Not everyone wants to live in a world of only what he or she believes.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:24 PM   #86
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Maybe to gain further perspective? Not everyone wants to live in a world of only what he or she believes.
I certainly hope Robert does gain enough perspective to understand if he continues to believe he has no control over his life, he will be correct. I also hope he follows Martha's excellent advice. All of it.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:28 PM   #87
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Well, ultimately, he has no control over his life, as none of us do. Despite this, there are choices along the way that we can make that perhaps diminish our chances of failure. Anyone can have their efforts wiped out, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:32 PM   #88
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In 2000, I wrote my brother an e-mail telling him I would never be able to afford to retire, and that I would be working until I was 95 if I didn't die first.

I was serious! I was over 50 with a negative net worth, and no prospects.

Needless to say, I was wrong and I am on track to ER in two years.

This guy is probably just as serious as I was. When you can't see where you are headed, sometimes it seems like such an impossible journey. If he is still reading, I would tell him not to give up. There is a way. You just have to find it.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:38 PM   #89
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Well, ultimately, he has no control over his life, as none of us do. Despite this, there are choices along the way that we can make that perhaps diminish our chances of failure. Anyone can have their efforts wiped out, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
Read your first sentence and really consider whether you believe it. If you did, you wouldn't save, go to school, have a child, or take any steps to head off disaster (buy insurance, etc). If you believed any of this, you wouldn't have written the second sentence, since the two are inconsistent.

"having no control" is not the same as "not having total control." I agree no one has total control, so we do what we can to affect what we can and minimize the chances of something bad happening.

In fact, the single largest determinant of our happiness and our success (however you define it) is our own attitude and our efforts. Talent helps, being born in favorable circumstances helps, but none of that matters if you've decided the world stinks and there's no point in trying.
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:47 AM   #90
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Nicely put, SamClem.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:57 AM   #91
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RIO--I'm going to piggy back on what others have stated. First you have to look at what you are doing. Do not answer these questions, but they are presented as something to think about. Are you working everyday? If not there is room to make more money. Don't complain I had to do it when I filed bankruptcy, and I did it for several years to stave of bankruptcy many years ago.

Where can you cut costs? Are you sitting in front of a computer with internet in your house? Do you have a cell phone and house phone? Do you have cable? Do you drive a car, when public transportation is readily available? How often do you go out to eat, even at McDonald's? Do you take your lunch to work? Are you receiving free or reduced lunches for your kids at school? How many sodas do you drink in a week? Do you smoke/drink?

One thing I've seen too many times is people who can't afford to pay their bills paying less than the minimum on all of their bills. That doesn't make sense to me, because their credit is still destroyed and they aren't making any progress on any of their bills. If your doing this, why? Why don't you pay only the bills that you can pay, at least you'd be making progress and can get to the rest later?

I don't know what the lawyers expect for payment on a Chapter 7 case, but I can tell you my Chapter 13 was way less than $3,700 and I lived in a very expensive area. I looked up the fees for the Federal Bankruptcy court in Cleveland and the fee listed is $300.00. A friend of mine was also unable to afford the $700 or $800 lawyer's fees for his Chapter 7. He found a paralegal that made sure the paperwork was filled out correctly. He was charged an extra $200.00 for the service. There's even a form to request you pay the filing fee in installments or even have it waived.

Here are two web sites. One has a list of Pro Bono bankruptcy attorneys in Ohio the other is the site for the bankruptcy courts. Good luck. WWW.LASCLEV.ORG
Northern District of Ohio - US Bankruptcy Court
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:53 AM   #92
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Read your first sentence and really consider whether you believe it. If you did, you wouldn't save, go to school, have a child, or take any steps to head off disaster (buy insurance, etc). If you believed any of this, you wouldn't have written the second sentence, since the two are inconsistent.
I don't think they're inconsistent. One's about the macro and one's about the micro.


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In fact, the single largest determinant of our happiness and our success (however you define it) is our own attitude and our efforts. Talent helps, being born in favorable circumstances helps, but none of that matters if you've decided the world stinks and there's no point in trying.
I absolutely agree. You have total control over how you look at things; however, it's not the same 'control' as above.

On Lou Dobbs' program the other night, they gave retirement statistics about people 25-35 (?, fuzzy on the details). 27% of them would have NO retirement savings by the time they reached retirement age (which I believe they referred to as 65ish).
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:28 PM   #93
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. 27% of them would have NO retirement savings by the time they reached retirement age (which I believe they referred to as 65ish).
The passive voice is the tipoff: "27% of them would have NO retirement savings . . ." could be written as "we predict 27% of them will have shirked their responsibility to provide for themselves by accumulating retirement savings. . ."

BTW, "Retirement age" will have no meaning for these people. You've reached retirement age when you've got enough money/assets to retire. When that day comes, look at the year at the top of the newspaper, subtract the year you were born, and the result is "retirement age."
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:02 PM   #94
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You've reached retirement age when you've got enough money/assets to retire. When that day comes, look at the year at the top of the newspaper, subtract the year you were born, and the result is "retirement age."
Yup.....my full retirement age was reached the day I read the comics in the Chicago Tribune's Saturday Edition back in April. Let's see.....April '07 minus April '57......hmmm, 50....what a perfect vintage!
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:07 PM   #95
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Wow, RobertinOhio. This has got to be one of the saddest posts I've ever read in this forum. Why do I find it sad? Because of the sense of utter hopelessness and despair I sense from you. I've got a few points I'd like to make interspersed with your comments below.

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After reading a number of these forums, I pretty much believe and very few of us "Generation Xers" are ever going to "retire". To be honest, I believe in retirement as much as I believe in Santa Claus.
Guess we differ there. When I was a child I thought as a child, and behaved as a child. As an adult I've done my best to put away childish thoughts and behaviors. As an adult I am a very strong believer in the benefits of long term planning. I guess you could say that I believe I can be my own Santa Claus.

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I spend just about every dollar I make in bills, food, stuff for kids, etc that there is no place I stop paying for to "save" for retirement. To be honest, I am sick of hearing the word "save". It sounds like the word "f-ck" to me.
Based on what I read in the above paragraph, and the following paragraph, I see some similarities and some differences between us. I am near you in age, and also have all the expenditures of someone with a family of four. I will admit to one strong advantage I have, that I don't know if you have. My parents paid for four years of college for me. I paid the rest, through to a Masters Degree, by the way.

I've never been laid off. But, I did recently take a job with a 20% pay cut. Puts family income around 70k. Regardless, I plan to save around 20k this year. How? I track my expenses, and don't have a lot of luxuries. I buy used or sale items whenever possible. I avoid things-such as cellphones-that have monthly fees. I keep my vehicles for a long time (I still have my 1st car, other vehicles were all used at the time of purchase). I NEVER buy things on credit. Debt is anathema to me. (Full disclosure-I owe on one thing, my house) Like you, when I hear the word "save" it sounds like the word "f-ck" to me. The difference is I like to do both.

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On the subject of an earlier post of a person in his 50s being laid off with no time to recover, it is not better for the 20 or 30 somethings. I am 32 now and back in 2003 to 2005, I was out of work for 18 1/2 months. I just this year finally got a stable non-contracting position and I will stick with it until they decide to fire me again where it just starts all over. Needless to say, I have not recovered and now I am worse off. I have a mid 450s credit scores, many charge-offs, and no money to file bankruptcy. Even though I qualify for a chapter 7, the cheapest lawyer I found wants $3700 in advance. He might as well ask me for a $1 million in gold bars. I am going to let a car get repo'ed so I can buy a used vehicle I can own outright.
I am sorry to hear the above. I really am. You've had some tough knocks in recent years. But, I have to say that when I read it what I see is a man that needs a plan. Those tough knocks can make you either tougher or weaker. Your choice. Back about six years ago I was a happy go lucky type of guy. Didn't plan a lot, took things as they came. I sense you may be a frustrated version of the same.

Then I had to have surgery to correct a life threatening problem. Suddenly my approach to life changed. I looked at my life and asked myself what would happen to my family if I had died or been incapacitated. Rather then feel helpless, that is when I began to plan in earnest.

I've already seen some pay-off from that planning.

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Since our neocon friends stole bankruptcy and forced us into this 401k scam that pushes everyone into the stock market ponzi scheme, I certainly hope a future generation sets up some kind of program for indigents in their 70s and 80s who are broke and unable to work.

I suspect I (and millions of others) will need it.
I, too, hope our government continues to have programs for people in need. And, I recognize that due to unforeseen events, I may become one of them. But, unlike what you seem to say, I am going to plan my best NOT to be one of them.
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America is a sham unfortunately, and most people never see it for the sham it is until they have no money. Money = Life in this country.
Here we disagree strongly. America isn't perfect, but I've seen none better. If you try you do have a chance in our system. But you have got to try!
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What I was trying to point out is America does not work for everyone. I know homeless people here eat better out of the trash dumpsters than the rest of the 3rd world, but that does not mean life is better here. You do not see 3rd world people in Africa screwing each other over for jobs or percentages, because none of that exists there. Maybe what the rich have created for us here was a bad idea after all.
Having worked in a homeless shelter, I've seen a bit of what you describe. I saw the full range of needy. I also saw people at that level use hard work and planning to turn their lives around.
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Sorry to be a kill joy, but I think retirement is going the way of the dodo , and unfortunately, it will take an entire generation of people starving to death in America in their 70s and 80s before it is realized the 401k/stock market ponzi retire scheme is a failure. If you do not believe me, ask someone who worked for Enron.
I think you are wrong. If you don't believe me, ask someone that has planned and reached retirement.
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I'll never put on dollar I earn in a stock market or real estate. I'd rather be homeless and hungry than lose everything I worked for over my life in a stock market, just so I can die in an office cubicle anyway.
I think your head-stuck-in-the-sand approach to planning and life dooms you to live the life you fear. By planning your financial life as best you can, you stand a chance of changing your future prospects. That change isn't promised-little in life is-but it is possible.

If you don't bother to learn the rules of the game, you shouldn't be upset if you lose.

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America & Capitalism are frauds. They just are.

Look at the threads on owning renter properties. How do you think those renters are doing? I am renter. I do not know property nor have I have ever so I can pretty much guess how those people are doing.
Again, I think you are wrong. People rent for many, many reasons.

As it happens, I don't rent. I bought a small home about ten years ago. How did I buy a house at the age of 25? Both my spouse and I worked as we went through school, and saved for it. We still live in that house, and I know some family and friends wonder why. Most of them have upgraded in that time. I'll tell you why. My house is not fancy, but it fills my needs. I prefer to put the money into savings, rather then a larger mortgage payment.

Incidentally, despite the current market, that house has appreciated in value over time. Thus, making that initial downpayment I scrimped together; and all subsequent mortgage payments, worthwhile investments. Over time buying the house has cost me much less than renting a similar property.
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If you gamed the system and have millions, you have my congratulations. GOOD JOB! But unfortunately, America does not work for everybody and some people are just destined to be worker bees for their entire lives. Maybe I will luck my way into a pension, or win a lottery and come out ok.

There is a difference is playing a rigged game and having control over one's own life. I do not think anyone has control over their own lives. I think that comes down to perception of control, or a belief in it. I know I have no control over my life, I just go with it and hope something good comes along to out weigh the bad.
I think the two paragraphs above show the crux of the difference between yourself and the people here. You don't believe you can impact your own life. How sad. I'll bet most on this forum vehemently disagree.

I wish you luck. But, I don't hold out much hope until you realize that you are the prime motivator in your own life.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:59 AM   #96
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Keim.... the above was the greatest posting I have EVER seen here on the forums. Your explainations were eloquent, well thought out, fact based, and even inspiring. I tip my hat to you for having the courage to write it.
The only thing that I could even try to add, is that I have met lots of people that sound just like RobertInOhio. The desperately want to believe that life is completely random for one reason. If they continue to believe that, it absolves them of all bad decsions they ever make in their lives. Take out a loan to big? It was predatory lenders that got me. Start a business that failed due to mis-management? It was the govt that is not looking out for the "little guy". Not prepared for retirement? I did not know any better, no one told me. This pattern is repeated over and over again without any learning or improvement going on at all. There is a name for people that think like this... and that name is "children".
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:15 AM   #97
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"having no control" is not the same as "not having total control." I agree no one has total control, so we do what we can to affect what we can and minimize the chances of something bad happening.
Sounds like the "free will" debate. I think Scott Adams' "moist robot" arguments are very persuasive...

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Old 12-17-2007, 11:41 AM   #98
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This is probably the most foolish thing that I have ever read on an internet message board.

There are four paths to wealth that I know of in this country:

1. Earn so much that it doesn't matter what you spend
2. Build a business that is worth a lot.
3. LBYM and invest in the stock market.
4. LBYM and invest in real estate.

1 and 2 are very hard for the average person. I'm not an NBA player or a tobacco trial lawyer. I'm not running the next Microsoft (or even the next auto repair chain).

That leaves 3 or 4 for most people.

You've just ruled out the only way that the average person can get rich in this country.

Follow the investing advice of the people on this board, and you will do well. Don't invest at all, and you will starve just like you said.

Don't whine to us when you starve if you aren't willing to do anything to prevent it.

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I'll never put on dollar I earn in a stock market or real estate. I'd rather be homeless and hungry than lose everything I worked for over my life in a stock market, just so I can die in an office cubicle anyway.
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:11 PM   #99
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Keim.... the above was the greatest posting I have EVER seen here on the forums. Your explainations were eloquent, well thought out, fact based, and even inspiring. I tip my hat to you for having the courage to write it.
The only thing that I could even try to add, is that I have met lots of people that sound just like RobertInOhio. The desperately want to believe that life is completely random for one reason. If they continue to believe that, it absolves them of all bad decsions they ever make in their lives. Take out a loan to big? It was predatory lenders that got me. Start a business that failed due to mis-management? It was the govt that is not looking out for the "little guy". Not prepared for retirement? I did not know any better, no one told me. This pattern is repeated over and over again without any learning or improvement going on at all. There is a name for people that think like this... and that name is "children".
Thanks for the kind words, Armor99. People don't often call me inspiring. A few years ago I won an award for being "most inspiring" employee. I excitedly went home and told my wife. She loves me dearly, I know, but she looked at me and said "YOU" Next time I talked to my folks, I told them. My mom said "YOU? REALLY" Can you guess the reaction I got from my brother? He quizzed me. "In what way do they think you are inspirational, bro?" Guess I must be inspirational in a sneak up and kick you in the behind kind of way... Anyhow, RobertInOhio's negativity and helplessness really got to me. Thought sharing a bit of my own story might be illustrative.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:55 AM   #100
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All men are NOT created equal. All men ARE created with equal potential. Each one of us has the potential to become the next Bill Gates, or the next drug addict living in the gutter. Some of us are gifted with enough intelligence to become great engineers, others are attractive enough to go into acting careers. However, what it is that ultimately determines where we wind up, are the decisions that we make in life. While there are random things that can happen to you in life, your reactions to those events can radically alter the outcome one way or the other. While it is true that if you are the son/daughter of billionaires it is almost impossible to fail financially, it does not ensure a happy life. The choices that you make ensure that. Your life is your own.... rise up and live it!
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