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Old 09-29-2017, 05:35 PM   #141
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the folk I know who struggle with money do so because it is also what comes naturally to them.
Without going into details, there is a younger couple (30s) with whom we are 'affiliated' (for want of a better word). She does contract work whenever she can obtain it, and he is on the mend from a medical issue........I sat with him about 8 months ago and discussed his situation as best I could; he talks about 'the company holding a position for him', and, (since due to his health he will be unable to return to his old job), I asked him what else he could do with them.......turns out the answer is nothing.

(I suspect, because I'm cynical, that the company is aware of this, and once his Workmen's Compensation is exhausted and he's declared able to return to (some kind of) employment, they'll cast him adrift.)

Finally I'll get to the point....they fritter money (that they don't have) away as if they've won the lottery, and have no discernible worries about the future. We worry about them but they don't seem to worry about themselves.....they had a kind of Fund Me after he was incapacitated, we and numerous others contributed, and next thing they're 'off here and off there'.

What can be done? Nothing, I fear.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:43 PM   #142
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I bet is makes people mad that contributed that they are using the $ to have fun instead of for bills. Some people truly don't get it.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:57 PM   #143
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MT: yes many things contribute to the inability to save. Bad things happen to people also and the one woman had 40k in her 401 and it went down to 2k by the time she retired I think by bad management by the company and not her. Sometimes people panic and sell when stocks are low. It makes people feel good about themselves and superior to others. In reality, many things are outside of our sphere of control. I also think this site has many more engineers, etc then teachers, social workers, etc. That can definitely influence attitude towards others.
+1. Vets with head injuries, crack babies, clinical depression - there's all sorts of reasons people can be poor through unfortunate circumstances. I saw a couple of Ted Talks recently about teens with antisocial behavior, which made it hard to succeed in school or work. One had traumatic brain injury from a fall as a baby (which wasn't linked to his teenage behavior initially) and the other one had a brain cyst.

Sure we know people who don't have any retirement savings through poor planning despite good incomes, but I don't think that is the reason everyone is poor or unprepared for retirement.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:19 PM   #144
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What Major Tom and Teacher Terry said.
Would love to add to it, but don't have the words to do better.

Empathy, humility and knowing oneself... not what you are, but who you are.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:33 PM   #145
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I spent 24 years helping people with disabilities go back to work. I loved the job and heard a lot of sad stories. Most were not the person's fault. I now teach a social work college class about disabilities. Before that I was a social worker. We would have blue collar workers get hurt and then they can't work and they were making good money. They use up all their savings and then sometimes would lose their house and maybe their marriage as a result. Some could be retrained but imagine if you are not very smart, didn't like school, etc, but good with your hands and now that is taken away. So you end up with a crappy paying job and you can kiss your previous lifestyle goodbye forever. Another story is a young doctor that has massive student debt and then has a severe head injury. He can only do menial work now. His identity is tied up in his previous profession. He will never be able to pay off the student debt.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:05 AM   #146
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..... my suspicion is that, for many of us, our attitudes towards finances are less the result of conscious choices, but more because of tendencies and inclinations that are "baked" into us from an early age. I have always spent a fair amount of time thinking about money and how to get the best utility from it; it just came naturally to me. The saving and investing I did in order to ER wasn't that hard to learn. I was already interested, so the many hours I spent reading wasn't hard work at all - I enjoyed them.

......
I only have to look at my sibling, to see how even though we grew up in the same family, and our parents treated us pretty equally, there was a big difference in the saving vs spending attitude.
I would eat my Halloween candy a few pieces per day, my sibling ate everything in a couple of weeks.
Same for allowance, we both got the same allowance, and I'd save for something, or spend just some of it, my sibling spent it all each week.

This carried on to adulthood, I have retirement savings, and my sibling has ZERO.

I always felt secure if I had a couple of thousand in the bank, knowing I could cover pretty much any expense that would crop up. I guess that is my character weakness.

My sibling can't seem to leave any money in the bank unspent....
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:21 AM   #147
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I only have to look at my sibling, to see how even though we grew up in the same family, and our parents treated us pretty equally, there was a big difference in the saving vs spending attitude.
A similar thing happened in my family. I'm afraid I don't like to go into much detail about my family and personal life in online forums, but my experience of family has been that no two members grow up in exactly the same circumstances. Families change over time, as does the relationship between the parents. Kids born a few years apart can experience the same parents in quite different ways. Even with kids who are very close in age, nothing is completely equal, despite the best efforts of the parents.

I have 3 siblings, and although we all had the same parents, each of us grew up, effectively, in a slightly different family. Our parents were frugal, but we each have distinctly different spending and saving habits, from very good to fairly atrocious
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:29 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
I only have to look at my sibling, to see how even though we grew up in the same family, and our parents treated us pretty equally, there was a big difference in the saving vs spending attitude.
I would eat my Halloween candy a few pieces per day, my sibling ate everything in a couple of weeks.
Same for allowance, we both got the same allowance, and I'd save for something, or spend just some of it, my sibling spent it all each week.

This carried on to adulthood, I have retirement savings, and my sibling has ZERO.

I always felt secure if I had a couple of thousand in the bank, knowing I could cover pretty much any expense that would crop up. I guess that is my character weakness.

My sibling can't seem to leave any money in the bank unspent....
Read an article long time ago about a study on being able to predict criminal behavior (not that it implies to your sibling).

Seems that kids who'd rather have a small candy bar today rather than wait for a much big one tomorrow were more likely to eventually head to crime later in life.

Again, 'crime' is a big word but 'immediate reward' vs delayed is more the operative.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:35 AM   #149
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I spent 24 years helping people with disabilities go back to work. I loved the job and heard a lot of sad stories. Most were not the person's fault. I now teach a social work college class about disabilities. Before that I was a social worker. We would have blue collar workers get hurt and then they can't work and they were making good money. They use up all their savings and then sometimes would lose their house and maybe their marriage as a result. Some could be retrained but imagine if you are not very smart, didn't like school, etc, but good with your hands and now that is taken away. So you end up with a crappy paying job and you can kiss your previous lifestyle goodbye forever. Another story is a young doctor that has massive student debt and then has a severe head injury. He can only do menial work now. His identity is tied up in his previous profession. He will never be able to pay off the student debt.
When I was in the sawmill we used to get temporary worker's for general labor. A good percentage of guys were homeless or about to become homeless.

If they were good workers we'd ask for them to come back. After a while you got to know the people.

Obviously some were in denial, other folks did take ownership of the situation.

The biggest lesson I took away was "there but for the grace of God go I". One good whack on the head and your whole world changes.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:36 AM   #150
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I have 3 siblings, and although we all had the same parents, each of us grew up, effectively, in a slightly different family. Our parents were frugal, but we each have distinctly different spending and saving habits, from very good to fairly atrocious
+1. It is a very odd thing, I was talking to one of my sisters, and she remembers a very different home life than I did. Since she is considerably older than I, Im in no position to see if she is accurate in her memories. But they are her memories and I guess how she remembers things are true for her and what shaped her.

I do know she is somewhat wrong in memories that are recent. She recently told me she had no idea my mother sold her house till 2 days after our Mom moved. The house was sold in 2 hours in June, Mom moved mid November. I reminded her of our phone call concerning Im the only one "Stuck" packing up Moms belongings for the move and could use a hand. She didnt recall that, I then tried to get out of the twilight zone and remind her that her husband called me to say mom was selling her house too cheap. She didnt recall that either. Her husband did recall that phone call, and he had gotten that info from her, so it did take place.

We do share some core savings habits, they are in the 8 figure club, they bought over 4 million dollars of property in the last 2 years just in homes for their newly married children. Like me she still cuts out coffee coupons for the weekly shopping.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:24 AM   #151
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+1. It is a very odd thing, I was talking to one of my sisters, and she remembers a very different home life than I did. Since she is considerably older than I, Im in no position to see if she is accurate in her memories. But they are her memories and I guess how she remembers things are true for her and what shaped her.

...snip..

.
+2
My sister's are 8 and 17 years older then me. We think were were raised by three different sets of parents.
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