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Old 04-19-2021, 05:05 AM   #81
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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?
Middle quintile is 68K as reported earlier by MichaelB, and the graph below shows what happens to the wealth held by the bottom half, as an example.

The graph is from https://fredblog.stlouisfed.org/2020...-on-net-worth/ which explains the Great Recession data very well. Something similar happens with each recession. There is a great flushing of wealth from the bottom half.

Time2, I think your point is very good as general advice to younger generations. But individual circumstances can be vastly different. I'm thinking of the individuals in the bottom half.

Like you, I had certain advantages. For example, my father was able to send 5 sons to city colleges. We were probably the middle quintile in the 60's and 70's. I also recall we had 2-3 cars at times, and each could get to a part-time job as well as drive to classes. He died at retirement, never really enjoying much about it.

So individuals can increase their chances of developing wealth, but statistics show different groups still struggle with that. For example, having $50-100K debt from student loans is a heavy weight to carry. The idea of student debt did not exist when I graduated. Now something else is in play.

I don't have solutions, though. I've met many people who will never accumulate average wealth like me because of cultural differences, lack of education, defeated spirit, and so on. But there are individuals who stand out, like many on this forum, and you can tell they hold a special characteristic that enables them to keep trying.
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:21 AM   #82
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"If we can do it, anyone can?"

Certainly - Work as hard/smart as possible, keep spending down, invest savings wisely.

That formula has always worked and will continue to do so. But it takes sacrifice. Sacrifice such as not buying something if you don't need it. And sacrifice to work instead of taking time off to play.

So anyone can ER - as long as they are willing to work for it.
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:51 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Time2 View Post
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?

If you have the will, discipline & intellectual curiosity it's simpler today than ever. My son will graduate high school & get his bachelors degree this year at the ripe old age of 16, we've spent no more than $2k on his college education (no scholarships).
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:19 AM   #84
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If you have the will, discipline & intellectual curiosity it's simpler today than ever. My son will graduate high school & get his bachelors degree this year at the ripe old age of 16, we've spent no more than $2k on his college education (no scholarships).
This thread has me coming back and back again. I also beleive it is "simpler today then ever". Congratulations to your son, he gets it and will succeed. My son payed his way through college and I also did. It can be done but sacrifices need to happen and road blocks have to be gone around.

Like so many have said, sacrifice and wanting something bad enough will get you to where, you want to be. Times have changed but goals are still goals and can be accomplished with hard work. I believe many just see the negative/easy way out and really don't go for what they want.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:29 AM   #85
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"If we can do it, anyone can?"

Certainly - Work as hard/smart as possible, keep spending down, invest savings wisely.

That formula has always worked and will continue to do so. But it takes sacrifice. Sacrifice such as not buying something if you don't need it. And sacrifice to work instead of taking time off to play.

So anyone can ER - as long as they are willing to work for it.

So outcomes are now guaranteed. And all this time they've been saying "Life ain't fair." I guess that means some of the "haves" shouldn't have after all...? But what the heck since we're all tied for first place. I think "Full-circle" is imminent.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:58 AM   #86
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Middle quintile is 68K as reported earlier by MichaelB, and the graph below shows what happens to the wealth held by the bottom half, as an example.

The graph is from https://fredblog.stlouisfed.org/2020...-on-net-worth/ which explains the Great Recession data very well. Something similar happens with each recession. There is a great flushing of wealth from the bottom half.

Noted

Quote:

Like you, I had certain advantages. For example, my father was able to send 5 sons to city colleges. We were probably the middle quintile in the 60's and 70's. I also recall we had 2-3 cars at times, and each could get to a part-time job as well as drive to classes. He died at retirement, never really enjoying much about it.

I'm not sure we had the same advantages, but still advantages. My dad worked construction, so was constantly in and out of work. At one point he did get into the carpenters union, but that was $8 an hr, don't recall what years, maybe between 65 and 70. He had a heart attack in 73 at 43 years old and never worked again. No college money from them. I did take a few community college classes, but not even a full year. My big luck was getting married to a person that had the mindset of living on less, in fact I learned about LBYMs form her.

I'm a little disappointed in the comments about gloating and ideas of superiority. Do we all have to make a preface before our comments about with how lucky and grateful we are. I am grateful to have been born healthy, white, male, in the USA, born at the right time, happened to like listening to talk radio, happened to hear, enjoy and learn much from Bob Brinker on the radio and begin investing because of that. Yes, I am lucky.


Quote:
I don't have solutions, though. I've met many people who will never accumulate average wealth like me because of cultural differences, lack of education, defeated spirit, and so on. But there are individuals who stand out, like many on this forum, and you can tell they hold a special characteristic that enables them to keep trying.

Speaking of culture, I married a women that immigrated here at 18 yrs old. When we married her English was poor. Yes, she was a hard worker, smart but not educated. As it turned out, the rest of her family that she came and never did get good command of English all excelled financially.
LBYMs really works.


I watched this fairly recently, sad, but happens too often.
https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_...isis#t-1080119
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:18 PM   #87
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I had some health issues recently they kept me at home and not even able to drive for a few months. In a way I still felt really lucky that I had a spouse to drive me to doctor's appointments and pick up groceries, I didn't have to work, and I didn't have to worry about money. I had the money to buy all sorts of health tests, books, healthy food, and medical supplies to try to get better and insurance to see whatever specialists I needed to see.

It is not hard for me to imagine being a single mom with the same issues, but without the same resources I have, and wonder how in the world I would have even survived.

So anyone can do it? Even if you have challenges like a 70 IQ, a brain tumor, born blind, or have schizophrenia?
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:59 PM   #88
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So anyone can do it? Even if you have challenges like a 70 IQ, a brain tumor, born blind, or have schizophrenia?

Yes however some people have a lot bigger hurdles in front of them.


Most people that don't succeed financially don't have the challenges that you've mentioned they'd rather live for today they lack drive, hard work and discipline.
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Old 04-19-2021, 02:13 PM   #89
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OP here, I just realized my subject line was not very declarative. When I said we, I meant people that have achieved Fi and were born after say, 1965.
i.e. did we have a better field to play on at that time.
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Old 04-19-2021, 03:02 PM   #90
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I don't know if it is any harder today than it was when I started. I can tell you that I came from a very poor household. My parents got divorced. My father was an alcoholic. I quit HS. There was no money that was going to be left to me. There was no college fund and there wasn't going to be one. I say all that to set the stage of, although I am sure it helps to have a head start due to family, its not necessary. I learned from my Grandmother something very valuable. Maybe something even more important that all the money you family can provide. A work ethic.

Bailed hay and cut grass until I was 16
Worked at the cotton mills until I was 18 (yeah there were those then)
Then military, and after 7 years of that, technical school.
The rest was just looking for opportunities and taking them as they came up.

Ronstar and others have it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronstar
"If we can do it, anyone can?"

Certainly - Work as hard/smart as possible, keep spending down, invest savings wisely.

That formula has always worked and will continue to do so. But it takes sacrifice. Sacrifice such as not buying something if you don't need it. And sacrifice to work instead of taking time off to play.

So anyone can ER - as long as they are willing to work for it.
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Old 04-19-2021, 03:45 PM   #91
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Yes however some people have a lot bigger hurdles in front of them.

Most people that don't succeed financially don't have the challenges that you've mentioned they'd rather live for today they lack drive, hard work and discipline.
Just curious if you have any references to support those beliefs? I understand that is a common perception, yet most research based studies on poverty somehow come to very different conclusions than lack of drive, hard work or discipline. Many studies find people in poverty often work very hard, like the one below -

"Hoping to call attention to the harsh realities of life for low-wage workers, and to elevate the voices of America’s working poor, Oxfam America commissioned a national survey of low-wage workers in 2013.The survey— conducted by Hart Research Associates—revealed stark and sometimes unexpected results, and raised anew questions about poverty and inequality in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
The survey found that America’s working poor have a strong work ethic, put in long hours, and believe that hard work can pay off. At the same time, millions of Americans hold jobs that trap them in a cycle of working hard while still unable to get ahead, which leaves them with little hope for economic mobility."
https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica...rs-in-america/
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Old 04-19-2021, 04:26 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Just curious if you have any references to support those beliefs? I understand that is a common perception, yet most research based studies on poverty somehow come to very different conclusions than lack of drive, hard work or discipline. Many studies find people in poverty often work very hard, like the one below -

"Hoping to call attention to the harsh realities of life for low-wage workers, and to elevate the voices of America’s working poor, Oxfam America commissioned a national survey of low-wage workers in 2013.The survey— conducted by Hart Research Associates—revealed stark and sometimes unexpected results, and raised anew questions about poverty and inequality in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
The survey found that America’s working poor have a strong work ethic, put in long hours, and believe that hard work can pay off. At the same time, millions of Americans hold jobs that trap them in a cycle of working hard while still unable to get ahead, which leaves them with little hope for economic mobility."
https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica...rs-in-america/

I don't, why do you think people don't succeed?
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Old 04-19-2021, 04:42 PM   #93
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..........
The survey found that America’s working poor have a strong work ethic, put in long hours, and believe that hard work can pay off. At the same time, millions of Americans hold jobs that trap them in a cycle of working hard while still unable to get ahead, which leaves them with little hope for economic mobility."
https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica...rs-in-america/
To accept that would force us to admit we'd had some advantage beyond our own industrious attitude and superior work ethic. Why embrace that when we can slap ourselves on the back instead and look down on the under achievers?
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:23 PM   #94
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... Most people that don't succeed financially don't have the challenges that you've mentioned they'd rather live for today they lack drive, hard work and discipline.
Is that your very own fact or can you back it up with citations, links, etc.?
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Old 04-19-2021, 05:58 PM   #95
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I don't, why do you think people don't succeed?
I try to follow the science, like the study in the previous article. According to most research, poverty is a complex issues with many causes, mental illness, disabilities, drug addition, gender and race discrimination to name a few, but I've not seen any science papers finding the cause is simply laziness or lack of ambition. If you have any of those, I would be interested in reading them.

Here is another interesting article on recent poverty research:
"Many believe such lifestyles are the result of low effort or poor individual choices. If people would simply follow the so-called success sequence -- delay marriage and childbirth, stay in school and so on, they wouldn't fall into poverty. According to this view, welfare programs such as food stamps, housing vouchers or basic income are counterproductive, because they discourage the effort and perseverance that poor people need to life themselves up by their bootstraps.

But this idea probably relies on a deep misunderstanding of what the lives of poor people are like. Economists are starting to accumulate evidence that instead of being indolent layabouts, poor people are harried and frantic. To deal with a world of precarity, where any misstep or piece of bad luck can lead to disastrous consequences, requires a massive amount of cognitive effort. And it is the stress of that constant effort, rather than bad moral or welfare inspired laziness, that drives many poor people to make subpar decisions."
https://www.bloombergquint.com/gadfl...s-not-laziness
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:02 PM   #96
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Is that your very own fact or can you back it up with citations, links, etc.?

As mentioned in my last post I don't have any date about people with an IQ of 70, a brain tumor, born blind, or have schizophrenia.


Feel free to enlighten me.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:10 PM   #97
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As mentioned in my last post I don't have any date about people with an IQ of 70, a brain tumor, born blind, or have schizophrenia.

Feel free to enlighten me.
Here is a start -
https://ncd.gov/newsroom/2017/disabi...report-release

Quick Report Takes:
People with disabilities live in poverty at more than twice the rate of people without disabilities.
People with disabilities make up approximately 12 percent of the U.S. working-age population; however, they account for more than half of those living in long-term poverty.
Currently, an estimated 228,600 people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and other significant disabilities work for subminimum wage.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:27 PM   #98
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I try to follow the science, like the study in the previous article. According to most research, poverty is a complex issues with many causes, mental illness, disabilities, drug addition, gender and race discrimination to name a few, but I've not seen any science papers finding the cause is simply laziness or lack of ambition. If you have any of those, I would be interested in reading them.

Here is another interesting article on recent poverty research:
"Many believe such lifestyles are the result of low effort or poor individual choices. If people would simply follow the so-called success sequence -- delay marriage and childbirth, stay in school and so on, they wouldn't fall into poverty. According to this view, welfare programs such as food stamps, housing vouchers or basic income are counterproductive, because they discourage the effort and perseverance that poor people need to life themselves up by their bootstraps.

But this idea probably relies on a deep misunderstanding of what the lives of poor people are like. Economists are starting to accumulate evidence that instead of being indolent layabouts, poor people are harried and frantic. To deal with a world of precarity, where any misstep or piece of bad luck can lead to disastrous consequences, requires a massive amount of cognitive effort. And it is the stress of that constant effort, rather than bad moral or welfare inspired laziness, that drives many poor people to make subpar decisions."
https://www.bloombergquint.com/gadfl...s-not-laziness

I know a lot of politicians "follow the science" too. That's an interesting opinion piece from Bloomberg.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:29 PM   #99
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I find it interesting that a number of people (in this post and others) talk about a "lack of high paying union jobs..." There are high paying non-union jobs. In fact, the majority of people in this country work at non-union jobs. I and most of my family have done so, and have managed to survive and some have even retired with a large sum of money.
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Old 04-19-2021, 06:36 PM   #100
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I know a lot of politicians "follow the science" too. That's an interesting opinion piece from Bloomberg.
It is an opinion piece citing a number of actual research studies.
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