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Old 04-18-2021, 10:44 AM   #41
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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.
Have you arrived at your current station by doing nothing? By remaining inert and motionless, waiting merely for the invisible hand to deliver to you what it will, good or bad? I suspect not.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:01 AM   #42
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Personally, I would have a difficult time doing it today.

I graduated high school in 1969 in New York City and briefly went to college for three weeks, after which I dropped out. At that time (September, 1969), I had my pick of jobs, all union jobs and all offering paid training, health insurance, a pension and later on 401ks (in addition to the pension). The entry-level hourly pay was low but after getting seniority (four years to top pay), I could buy a house in a nice area, have a good car and my wife didn't have to work. For most high school graduates today, with no work experience as I had at the time, this would be almost impossible except for rare individuals. I would also add that I had the good fortune to have had a decent education, had a mother and a father who loved me, never had food or healthcare insecurity and never wanted for anything. Unfortunately, in my opinion, my biopsychosocialspiritual environment while growing up is very different from the circumstances many kids today are experiencing. And this does not even begin to address the problems of a very different housing market, filled with investors and corporations who are purchasing huge swathes of houses to rent, and AI and robotics taking away the jobs which high school graduates used to be able to fill. No, in my opinion, the World has changed considerably and if things continue this way, there may be some difficult reckoning in the future. As an aside, I would also suggest that most posters on this forum are the rare individuals who do succeed, no matter the circumstances, but they may tend to downplay their "rareness."
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If we can do it, anyone can?
Old 04-18-2021, 11:07 AM   #43
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If we can do it, anyone can?

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Originally Posted by brett View Post
I believe that it is very different now.

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

Many unionized 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.


Or maybe this traditional mindset is looking in the wrong places. Google, Salesforce and many other giant companies have formed their own training programs, at little or no cost, remote from home, to get people into jobs paying $60K or more in 3 months or so, no coding skill required. See the TalentStacker podcast, for example.

One course in coding can also lead directly into high five figure jobs with no degree required.

Companies are paying for students, especially people of color, to be trained at community and technical colleges for all manner of high paying jobs in plumbing, electrical, welding, trucking and many other trades. Zero cost.

The military is still hiring. Zero cost.

You mention health care costs. Yes, that sector is growing so fast it canít fill all of the jobs.

People who are motivated enough to call or even email one of the above can improve their lot. If not, not.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:08 AM   #44
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I believe that one of the biggest threats today is rising cost of post secondary and post graduate education.

Seems to me that cost/affordability is an ever increasing barrier to entry for many.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:16 AM   #45
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Or maybe this traditional mindset is looking in the wrong places. Google, Salesforce and many other giant companies have formed their own training programs, at little or no cost, remote from home, to get people into jobs paying $60K or more in 3 months or so, no coding skill required. See the TalentStacker podcast, for example.

One course in coding can also lead directly into high five figure jobs with no degree required.

Companies are paying for students, especially people of color, to be trained at community and technical colleges for all manner of high paying jobs in plumbing, electrical, welding, trucking and many other trades. Zero cost.

The military is still hiring. Zero cost.

You mention health care costs. Yes, that sector is growing so fast it canít fill all of the jobs.

People who are motivated enough to call or even email one of the above can improve their lot. If not, not.
YES!!!! EXACTLY!

I live in a HCOL and even my DD who didn't graduate college owns a (mortgaged) house in my town, of course my college educated son does.

My kids (DS, DD, GS) are all saving a % of their 'meager' income for retirement but probably will have to work past my FIREd age (50)

But then again, no one was interested in an ivy league (heard that's where the best grants are) just in being able to follow their hearts. They paid for most of their education (I covered food). And yes, divorce / pandemic / quarantines took a hit on their assets (they thanked Bank of Mom and are paying me back) but put their big kid pants on and took lower paying jobs to restart last fall .

It's all about thinking outside the box (no Philharmonic so teach) to carve their own way to success (and me staying out of it for the most part)
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:24 AM   #46
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All opportunities IMO are here today, for everyone that wants them bad enough. You just have to be creative, and will yourself to make the goals you want. Sacrifices will have to be made at every turn but having a good retirement financially, can be accomplished where every you live and work in the US.
Just my 2Ę and I'm a believer in that, no matter how many bumps along the way you can achieve what you have set out for if you want it bad enough.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:29 AM   #47
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I believe that one of the biggest threats today is rising cost of post secondary and post graduate education.
Totally agree. We saved for years to be able to send our kids through four-year universities and get them out with no debt. The cost is outrageous and we didnít want them to be saddled with huge student loans as they complete their education and start out their careers and families.

We started nearly four decades ago without secondary and post graduate debt and felt the kids deserved that same start.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:36 AM   #48
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I get around---the internet. I read many young people saying it is different now. College expenses are to high, houses cost to much, the economy is different, wages are stagnant. Basically I find lots of excuses why the younger generation can't get ahead. It makes me wonder how much of it is true.
My experience, we were middleclass, as I have said here too many times, our average inflation adjusted income was $71k over 37 years. (inflation adjusted means, the $18k we earned in 1981 was adjusted to just above $50k to cipher into the average.) That is slightly above the median US income. But we weren't high income earners. This makes me think yes, If we can do it. The above numbers were in 2018 when we closed the business, so $71k is closer to $78k.
I understand we are a small percentage and most people don't save like many ER readers did. But, if a young couple earns near $80k can they do what we did over 30+ years, or, are things really different?

Why single out young people? How many people your age, who earned as much as you, have ER'd? Or even saved enough for a comfortable retirement? We are a rare breed and will probably always be. I for one, am grateful that I was lucky to have the opportunities & mind-set to do this.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:36 AM   #49
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As the pandemic stretches on, I have noticed a lot of people with unrealistic expectations. A few examples are the fact that people expect a vaccine to be 100% effective, no side effects, no illness, and no pain. People are expecting colleges to be completely free, everybody accepted, no cost factor, and a ticket to a million dollar house on graduation. People are saying you can't build financial security as easily as past generations. Whether that's the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, get it?

I don't know about you but I didn't start from an easy spot. If I could climb out of homelessness, work 1.5 jobs while desperately trying to not lose my home in the 1990s, have 2 kids own their own home in my HCOL area -- why can't others? My generation complained that 'we' had it harder than our parents and I'm sure our parents generation complained the same

Yes, they may have to forego shopping at Niemann's, buying a Tesla, megahome, gardener ..... but it's all about priorities.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:40 AM   #50
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Why single out young people? How many people your age, who earned as much as you, have ER'd? Or even saved enough for a comfortable retirement? We are a rare breed and will probably always be. I for one, am grateful that I was lucky to have the opportunities & mind-set to do this.
No!!! Thats my point! I saved a set % of my income so I could FIRE (put aside 1/3 of each raise). Many of my friends owned fancy trucks, megahomes, and the latest styles so couldn't retire. Very different priorities. Even my sister who made 2◊ me cannot retire due to consumer debt

I never made over 65k a year. Until now. Pension + investments are more than that
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:43 AM   #51
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Three rules that will always be valid:
1. LBYM
2. Pay Yourself First
3. Learn compounding

May seem oversimplified, and for many it means moving to a lower COL to make the numbers work better. It takes patience, hard work, and perseverance to reach that end goal. However that goal *is* achievable as OP stated.

I only partially agree that the genetic lottery is an important factor. Sure it comes into play with a bad medical illness. However, if anyone values education and stays way from destructive influences, it is possible to overcome bad luck being born into poverty. Being in US or other developed country for sure is required, but the world is getting smaller and information is more available to make a plan and improve where you started life.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:50 AM   #52
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Yes, the opportunity to retire early for people is there today. It requires hard work, good choices, and a great attitude. Is it easier for some compared to others? Absolutely, but still available to most.
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:02 PM   #53
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Three rules that will always be valid:
1. LBYM
2. Pay Yourself First
3. Learn compounding
+1000%!! Well said
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:06 PM   #54
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We know that there were ups and downs in the economy from my HS graduation until now, and we presume ups and downs for those that just graduated. The trajectory for the economy was generally up for me. Presuming that same general trajectory for those that just graduated, then I don't see why it would be any more difficult to FIRE. True, some things are harder, more expensive, etc, but there are things that are easier, cheaper, etc. The starting point is huge, obviously, but the OP question isn't about that (or if it is, I'm not going to address it). Presuming a similar start in life, and a similar economy, it would seem that FIRE is as accessable as ever. The fly in the ointment is if one believes "this time it's different" WRT where the benefits of society land. I'm presuming a strong middle class.
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:32 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
Why single out young people?
Because that's what I'm reading about. How hard it is for young people today.



Quote:

How many people your age, who earned as much as you, have ER'd? Or even saved enough for a comfortable retirement? We are a rare breed and will probably always be. I for one, am grateful that I was lucky to have the opportunities & mind-set to do this.

Yes, I agree, we are rare birds. I still wonder if the economic situation has changed making it so much harder now, or, am I just reading writing from complainers.
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:49 PM   #56
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Totally agree. We saved for years to be able to send our kids through four-year universities and get them out with no debt. The cost is outrageous and we didn’t want them to be saddled with huge student loans as they complete their education and start out their careers and families.

We started nearly four decades ago without secondary and post graduate debt and felt the kids deserved that same start.
Ditto. Now we are doing the same for each of our young grandchildren. Plus they will get amounts off the top from our respective estates for edu.

Who knows what the costs of education will be in 15-20 years. This is a gift for both our children who will hopefully not have this burden, and of course for our grandchildren should they wish to take advantage of it.

Both our children had no student debt. We want the same for our grandchildren.

We do not believe that we can judge the future based on our past experiences.
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:16 PM   #57
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That is the point. And the reason to remember that the silent evidence is out there. A lot of it, IMO.
I feel that you and I have been talking past each other.

Of course, if your luck is bad enough, you won't succeed. And you probably wouldn't be posting here. That is hardly an earth shattering revelation. But good or bad luck has always been a factor. It is just as likely that I would have been hit by a bus and paralyzed 45 years ago as it is that a young person trying to follow my path would be hit by a bus today.

The question is not whether luck of the draw at birth or exogenous factors such as illness, accident , war etc. were or were not a factor in my success. Yes, I have been lucky. If you read any of my posts in the past, you will see that I have acknowledged that time and time again.

Rather, the question is whether it is more difficult for a young person today to follow the same path I did. Or is there something about modern life -- costs of education, job availability, housing expense, etc. -- that makes it impossible?

I submit that it is still possible. As I mentioned earlier, the same educational and job opportunities that were available to me remain available and would put one in the same relative economic position. My house has appreciated at just about the rate of inflation since I bought it 29 years ago. (Some other things are now cheaper than when I was young - like electronics, food and clothing, and mortgages.) So, assuming that a young person today did the same things I did (and didn't get hit by the metaphoric bus) then they could arrive at the same endpoint.

Will it be easy for that young person? Not a bit. In fact, it will be tremendously difficult. But it was equally difficult for me.

And if I had remained a burger flipper at McDonalds (my first job) then I would never have retired, just as a burger flipper at McDonalds is not going to retire today.
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:29 PM   #58
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I came to US at age 36 in 1995. Penniless, no English, no suitable profession or education for US.
For 3 years I worked odd jobs ($7-8.50) per hour. Lived by the way in San Francisco - not the cheaper city even then. Yes, I couldn't afford anything - no dining out, vacations, decent shoes (payless who remember). Food on sale only. Had to borrow money to study, even to buy computer. Worked at night - study at day. Worked at day - study at night. 3 f### years (actually 3 years and 3 months) until I finally land a job in very large and famous software company.
And I'm not the genius (my wife said opposite :-( ). So, if I was able to make it, everybody should be able to.
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:40 PM   #59
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Not everyone has the same amount of common sense, basic personal financial savvy, the same ambition, the same desire for knowledge, the same ability to recognize opportunity, work ethic, or indeed the same desire to leave their current situation in order to make a change in their circumstances.

I suspect that many on this forum have all or a very high combination of these attributes in their character.
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Old 04-18-2021, 01:43 PM   #60
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Three rules that will always be valid:
1. LBYM
2. Pay Yourself First
3. Learn compounding

May seem oversimplified, and for many it means moving to a lower COL to make the numbers work better. It takes patience, hard work, and perseverance to reach that end goal. However that goal *is* achievable as OP stated.
Then there is #4. Understand the difference between Need and Want.
Take care of the real "needs" then take the "wants" and save/invest it. Understand the pitfalls of instant gratification.


Cheers!
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