Join Early Retirement Today
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-18-2021, 09:29 AM   #21
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19,487
In a nutshell, I was fortunate to have been born with an interest in and a talent for doing things that made good money. And I managed to hang on to some of that money.

A young person could still follow the exact same path I did out of high school and end up in the same position I am now. It would involve a lot of difficult, tedious and unpleasant work, as it did for me, but it could still be done. The exact same jobs are still available and still paying about the same relative to the average income. Actually, that young person could do better than me if they were smarter about managing their career (e.g. doing a better job of self promotion, developing helpful business relationships, changing employers at opportune moments, etc.). I know I left plenty of money on the table because I was not.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline  
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!

Old 04-18-2021, 09:30 AM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 8,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markola View Post
+1. And if the question is wealth-creation, just having the stupendous luck to have been born in a Western developed country at this era of history, especially speaking English, is a massive, unearned or deserved, leg up. ...
Yes. I have a longer version of the "your success is mostly due to luck" sermon that discusses that. Basically for most of us, before we had ever pooped in a diaper we had won the lottery.

Buffett on what he calls "the ovarian lottery:"
“You don’t know whether you’re going to be born black or white. You don’t know whether you’re going to be born male or female,” he explained. “You don’t know whether you’re going to be born infirm or able-bodied. You don’t know whether you’re going to be born in the United States or Afghanistan.”
[The ovarian lottery is] “the most important event in which you’ll ever participate,”“It’s going to determine way more than what school you go to, how hard you work, all kinds of things.” For example, “the least-gifted children of high-income parents graduate from college at higher rates than the most-gifted children of low-income parents.”
__________________
Ignoramus et ignorabimus
OldShooter is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:33 AM   #23
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Castro Valley
Posts: 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Median household income in the US was $68k last year. If your average income, adjusted for inflation, was above that for your entire career, you were not “lower” middle class, but substantially above that.
Statistical averages have little value. Cost of living is regional.
jkern is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:34 AM   #24
Full time employment: Posting here.
RetiredAt55.5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Philly Suburbs
Posts: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
Nassim Taleb discusses a concept that is very germane here. He calls it "silent evidence." Here is his illustration:
"Diagoras, a nonbeliever in the gods, was shown painted tablets bearing the portraits of some worshippers who prayed, then survived a subsequent shipwreck. The implication was that praying protects you from drowning. Diagoras asked, “Where are the pictures of those who prayed, then drowned?”

Most of us are here on this forum because we did all the right things or at least most of them. But almost certainly the moist important reason we're here is we have had good luck.

Consider those who also did the right things, but had bad luck: Picked the wrong parents, extended joblessness, medical catastrophes, divorces, business failure, a need to support aging parents or special needs children, ... the list is endless. Those folks are not active in the forum. They are silent evidence proving that not any one can. The truth is that "anyone" cannot. Only the lucky ones win.
+1

Sprinkle in some effort, perseverance, ability, patience, and mindset.

But, good or bad luck is a big factor. Not everyone can be a rock star in their chosen career(s). Luck can play a part in that but ability is a big factor.
RetiredAt55.5 is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:40 AM   #25
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Castro Valley
Posts: 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Well, in 2018 the middle quintile of household income was $63k. 40% of households earned more, and the other 40% earned less. I’d say that’s smack dab in the middle.

Being financially able to retire takes many years of effort and planning, and a fair amount of deferring current consumption to save more. It also helps to be in one of the higher income segments. If your point is someone who spent their adult working life in the middle segment should be able to achieve that, it seems reasonable.
In the SF Bay Area minimum wage is around $15 to $16 per hour. For a young couple that's about $66K per year. I t would hard to live what one considers a middle class standard of living on minimum wage.
jkern is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:45 AM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,758
I believe that it is very different now.

The cost of post secondary education has ballooned far greater than inflation.

Many unionized, relatively well paying blue collar jobs have gone. Moved offshore, replaced by technology, whatever.

Fewer people have DB pensions of any kind. Job tenure is much shorter-not enough time to build up the benefit of a DB.

Health care costs have increased at a faster rate than inflation.

Low paying service industry and retail jobs have become more prevalent

Economy continues to move toward knowledge based jobs that demand a higher level of skill, education, and continuous learning and upgrading.
brett is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:49 AM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tampa
Posts: 9,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
An unanswerable question since that messy "future" thing is involved. Ask me again in 30 years and I'll give you an accurate response.
Will you be ABLE to answer the question in 30 years?
__________________
TGIM
Dtail is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:50 AM   #28
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
Yes. I have a longer version of the "your success is mostly due to luck" sermon that discusses that. Basically for most of us, before we had ever pooped in a diaper we had won the lottery.

Buffett on what he calls "the ovarian lottery:"
“You don’t know whether you’re going to be born black or white. You don’t know whether you’re going to be born male or female,” he explained. “You don’t know whether you’re going to be born infirm or able-bodied. You don’t know whether you’re going to be born in the United States or Afghanistan.”
[The ovarian lottery is] “the most important event in which you’ll ever participate,”“It’s going to determine way more than what school you go to, how hard you work, all kinds of things.” For example, “the least-gifted children of high-income parents graduate from college at higher rates than the most-gifted children of low-income parents.”
Sounds like the Calvinist doctrine of predestination - our fate is fixed at birth. One of the reasons I really enjoyed the movie "Gattaca" is the message that it is not.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:50 AM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 14,808
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG
I hired many people who had to have a four degree while I didn't have one. It's a requirement that was introduced after 1984.

Our McDonald's starts people at $14 an hour. They'll need a couple jobs and a roommate or two to be able to rent a place.
A big name chicken sandwich place in my area starts people at $16 an hour. But, we are a very high cost of housing area. Very high. $16 an hour is not enough to rent even a small studio apartment and have money left over to live much of a life.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.

Self proclaimed President for Life of Outliers United.
Chuckanut is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 09:59 AM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 8,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Sounds like the Calvinist doctrine of predestination - our fate is fixed at birth. ...
Nope, not predestination, but from birth our options are largely fixed. For example, the young garbage picker in Kolkata, no matter how smart he is and no matter how hard he works, will never be the president of General Motors. Or of Tata, for that matter.
__________________
Ignoramus et ignorabimus
OldShooter is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:04 AM   #31
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19,487
But now you are changing the question. The question was whether a young person could replicate what I have done - retire early. I am not the president of GM. If someone did now precisely what I did then, they could retire just like me (absent supervening bad luck, of course).
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:07 AM   #32
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Castro Valley
Posts: 774
I believe the opportunity for young people to succeed today still exist. Due to technology and globalization it is more challenging and more competitive. The margin for error is smaller, but still doable.

Forty years ago the cost of college was significantly less, but FAFSA didn't exist. I see young people today with Pell Grants that cover 150% the cost of tuition.

While some traditional blue collar trades have shrunk, others have grown. Try getting a quote for crown molding in your house and you can see it's possible to make a good living with a blue collar job.

I do believe it's harder to get a high paying job without a degree, but not impossible. My step-daughter is 29 years old, didn't complete college and works at Apple making about $175K per year.
jkern is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gayl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Diablo Valley (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 2,534
I don't understand the idea that college is completely unaffordable. GS worked thru college, graduated during the pandemic and has paid off 1/2 his loans (dummy took a student loan to buy a car for cash) owing just ~7500 now. Granted DS took 6 months to pay off all loans in 2003 and it will take GS longer. But part of that was due to being furloughed / part due to funding his own Roth / part due to being 24 and living in SF. He currently makes only $22 hr (accepted pay cut to go back to work). State colleges are affordable, grants are available, and then there's FAFSA .... Low interest loans
gayl is online now  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:15 AM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 8,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
... absent supervening bad luck ...
That is the point. And the reason to remember that the silent evidence is out there. A lot of it, IMO.
__________________
Ignoramus et ignorabimus
OldShooter is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:15 AM   #35
Full time employment: Posting here.
teetee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 635
It is not about income, not even about net worth. They are just the puzzle pieces. It is about your avg saving rate, investment strategy, and the amount of time you allow the money to grow.
teetee is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:16 AM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gayl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Diablo Valley (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 2,534
I would say most of us are here because we had good role models somewhere in our lives
gayl is online now  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:20 AM   #37
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayl View Post
I don't understand the idea that college is completely unaffordable. GS worked thru college, graduated during the pandemic and has paid off 1/2 his loans (dummy took a student loan to buy a car for cash) owing just ~7500 now. Granted DS took 6 months to pay off all loans in 2003 and it will take GS longer. But part of that was due to being furloughed / part due to funding his own Roth / part due to being 24 and living in SF. He currently makes only $22 hr (accepted pay cut to go back to work). State colleges are affordable, grants are available, and then there's FAFSA .... Low interest loans
When I was 18, it wouldn't have mattered if college tuition was $5000 a year or $50,000 a year, because I had $0. Not ever having known someone who went to college (my mother and father quit school when they turned 15 and 17, respectively), I didn't even know you could borrow money for college. So I joined the Navy and they put me through college. All I had to do was risk my life on a submarine. You can still make the same trade today.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:25 AM   #38
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
That is the point. And the reason to remember that the silent evidence is out there. A lot of it, IMO.
I have spoken on this board many times about crediting the role of good fortune in my success. I've had a lot of it. But to take the fatalistic view that you have no chance at success because you were born to low income parents, as your Buffet quote implies, does a disservice to young people by persuading them that it is not even worth trying.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:36 AM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Sounds like the Calvinist doctrine of predestination - our fate is fixed at birth. One of the reasons I really enjoyed the movie "Gattaca" is the message that it is not.

That still doesn't mean a person can do anything about it or that the doing of anything will be successful. The invisible hand pulls the strings all along the way, not just on Day#1. Go ahead. Try to alter things. If things conspire to cause you success (The Hand) by so doing another, unknowable, inexorable, outcome is created. The best laid plans oft gang agley. A chain is only as reliable as its weakest link.
razztazz is offline  
Old 04-18-2021, 10:39 AM   #40
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19,487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
A big name chicken sandwich place in my area starts people at $16 an hour. But, we are a very high cost of housing area. Very high. $16 an hour is not enough to rent even a small studio apartment and have money left over to live much of a life.

I don't think anyone was ever going to retire early if they were stuck working as a server at a chain sandwich store. Even 40 years ago.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby 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
Has anyone here caught the Virus, or know anyone who has? ShokWaveRider COVID-19 | Containment Area 667 05-28-2020 07:00 PM
Anyone had or know anyone with the All-on-four dental procedure? Dreamer Health and Early Retirement 29 10-31-2016 06:18 PM
Anyone here still own Intel? Anyone considering selling now? Mulligan Active Investing, Market Strategies & Alternative Assets 42 03-30-2015 05:39 AM
Dried fruit, Anyone? Anyone? redduck Health and Early Retirement 16 06-17-2010 01:22 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:36 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.