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Old 08-30-2018, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,667 posts, read 1,920,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
Getting in their heads doesnít mean itís achievable. I canít imagine what my mother could have done differently to be financially independent in her 50ís, nor my brother.
I agree with mysticaltyger's assertion but with one caveat:

1. Must be able bodied and working

Obviously a stay at home mom is not going to be building up a retirement savings of her own if her husband is the one working. If they divorce or he passes on but was not good with money and has nothing to pay in alimony, division of assets, or in a will or trust, then she's SOL. At the same time, it was likely her choice to be a SAHM, so there's that.

If someone has the mental and physical capacity to work, however, it should such that people are educated in school at some point in time as to financial responsibility and how to ensure that they at least know how to save for the future, or even invest. Not likely to happen anytime really soon as there is a huge vested interest in our society for the rich who thrive off capitalism to ensure people spend all their money on what they are selling and that they remain wage slaves to them for as long as possible. I mean, that's how they became and continue to get richer, right?

But in this day and age, having the entirety of human knowledge essentially at your fingertips through the internet, it is very possible to easily learn in a short time how to properly save and invest so that you CAN achieve financial independence long before typical retirement ages. The info is out there. It's just a matter of choosing to believe it and having the desire to use it to achieve that goal.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:41 PM
 
6,930 posts, read 4,513,401 times
Reputation: 12165
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbkoreaus View Post
So much truth here. I lived in S. Korea for most of my childhood, and while it's no third world country by any means, the opportunities are not comparable to what the US offers. I can't tell you the number of Korean families I know who moved to the states knowing little to no English, and still managed to open and run a successful dry cleaning business or whatever business they desired, and make more than a lot of doctors/lawyers do. Amazing what hard work and a desirable skillset can do for a person in the US.
Such testaments require a caveat: America is rife with opportunities for enterprising, business-oriented people to parlay a skill (sometimes the most rudimentary skill!) into something potentially lucrative. Such opportunities are inferior anywhere else, often by large margins. BUT - notice that these opportunities are all about being a worldly self-starter. They do nothing for say a concert-violinist, good enough to play professionally at a small-town orchestra, but not good enough for a solo career. They do nothing for a chess player who's achieved Grandmaster rating, but who isn't good enough to be a superstar on the international circuit. They do nothing for a mathematician, who got a PhD from Caltech, but has no particular penchant for finance, or the charisma to succeed in academia.

America is particularly unkind to people who are "book smart", but not "street smart". This is because of aversion to "experts" - America's infamous anti-intellectualism; and likewise, aversion to state intervention to sustain a public good. Violinists, chess masters and mathematicians are a public good. In a society like the USSR, for example, such persons would have been subsidized at public expense, even if they produce no marketable goods, and do nothing for the bottom-line. In a society such as the US, these persons would end up working at Wal-Mart, playing violin or chess or doing math in their spare time.

Tales of American poverty almost invariably include some (or all) of the following:

1. Drug/alcohol abuse.
2. Frivolous spending (cigarettes, fast cars, flashy widgets, etc.).
3. Having kids prematurely/too many kids/kids out of wedlock.
4. Abjectly poor personal habits, leading for example to obesity or other chronic health-maladies.
5. Disregard for education, whereupon one graduates from high school (or never graduates) functionally illiterate.
5. Maladroit choices in education... the infamous $150K art-history degree, leading to a career at Starbucks.

Well, it bears repeating, that it is entirely possible to avoid all of the above, but nevertheless to still be poor. I mean people who are drug-free and sober, who exercise regularly and stay fit, who have kids in the traditional family sense (or are child-free-by-choice), who are frugal in their habits, who graduated from college without debt, but with good grades in a useful major - and nevertheless, who fail. Why? Because not everyone does well in an individualistic, sink-or-swim society. Some people have considerable talent, but need to be guided and corralled, let along with firm hand of both limitations and support. American society just isn't equipped to provide that.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:49 PM
 
17,860 posts, read 15,149,845 times
Reputation: 33697
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShampooBanana View Post
I agree with mysticaltyger's assertion but with one caveat:

1. Must be able bodied and working

Obviously a stay at home mom is not going to be building up a retirement savings of her own if her husband is the one working. If they divorce or he passes on but was not good with money and has nothing to pay in alimony, division of assets, or in a will or trust, then she's SOL. At the same time, it was likely her choice to be a SAHM, so there's that.

If someone has the mental and physical capacity to work, however, it should such that people are educated in school at some point in time as to financial responsibility and how to ensure that they at least know how to save for the future, or even invest. Not likely to happen anytime really soon as there is a huge vested interest in our society for the rich who thrive off capitalism to ensure people spend all their money on what they are selling and that they remain wage slaves to them for as long as possible. I mean, that's how they became and continue to get richer, right?

But in this day and age, having the entirety of human knowledge essentially at your fingertips through the internet, it is very possible to easily learn in a short time how to properly save and invest so that you CAN achieve financial independence long before typical retirement ages. The info is out there. It's just a matter of choosing to believe it and having the desire to use it to achieve that goal.
Investing assumes people make enough to pay all their bills and then have money left over. This is the problem and why it is so hard for so many. My mother worked full time while raising us alone after my father got sick, and my grandfather still had to subsidize our rent. My brother was an auto mechanic whose wife left him causing him to spend his working years paying for two households. There wasnít a cent left to save let alone invest. He doesnít have a big tv or even cable.

I know many people working two jobs and still struggling to pay normal bills.
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Old 08-30-2018, 04:20 PM
 
1,300 posts, read 653,698 times
Reputation: 1818
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
As I've been saying on these CD boards forever, people need to get it in their heads that they need to be at least semi-financially independent by their mid 50s, if not sooner.
Well, yes, I do agree with that. Unfortunately, for those of us that did not achieve this, it is REALLY hard job-hunting in your 50's and age is a huge barrier at that point.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:39 PM
 
1,760 posts, read 407,231 times
Reputation: 2034
Quote:
Originally Posted by the tiger View Post
The logic is most people don't have any financial intelligence, yet alone financial IQ.
https://apnews.com/1d31cf4b56e449769ab4cb456237ea1f
The problem is that kids with 401(k) accounts are taking financial advice from their parents with pensions.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:28 PM
 
24,929 posts, read 27,115,853 times
Reputation: 23070
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
Getting in their heads doesn’t mean it’s achievable. I can’t imagine what my mother could have done differently to be financially independent in her 50’s, nor my brother.
Pretty much everyone always says that.

You can now invest in the stock market with no minimums. You can buy Fidelity's new total stock market index fund with no minimum and a 0% expense ratio. Get your kids started.

How much money do people spend on these non-necessities?

Drugs
Alcohol
Tattoos
Pets
Kids (especially kids outside marriage).

Most people can. The problem is, they don't know it's possible. And when you tell them, they don't believe it, because they have it drummed into them by all the people around them that it's not possible, so they don't even try.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:28 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,838,812 times
Reputation: 47485
The economy is strong the real wage rate is horrid
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,936 posts, read 1,291,151 times
Reputation: 5304
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbkoreaus View Post
So much truth here. I lived in S. Korea for most of my childhood, and while it's no third world country by any means, the opportunities are not comparable to what the US offers. I can't tell you the number of Korean families I know who moved to the states knowing little to no English, and still managed to open and run a successful dry cleaning business or whatever business they desired, and make more than a lot of doctors/lawyers do. Amazing what hard work and a desirable skillset can do for a person in the US.

I agree with the overall message. I think your anecdote...oversimplifies a bit. No disrespect to the Korean dry cleaners. The people involved earned every cent and worked hard for it.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:46 PM
 
17,860 posts, read 15,149,845 times
Reputation: 33697
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Pretty much everyone always says that.

You can now invest in the stock market with no minimums. You can buy Fidelity's new total stock market index fund with no minimum and a 0% expense ratio. Get your kids started.

How much money do people spend on these non-necessities?

Drugs
Alcohol
Tattoos
Pets
Kids (especially kids outside marriage).

Most people can. The problem is, they don't know it's possible. And when you tell them, they don't believe it, because they have it drummed into them by all the people around them that it's not possible, so they don't even try.
The thing is, you were born intelligent and with good financial sense, and in most cases, with parents and people around you having stocks, investing, etc. If you grow up in a lower income rural farm community, or blue collar or a lot of areas with less college educated people, and no one you've ever known personally has ever said a word about stocks and investing, and they take you to the mall to spend your birthday money, it wouldn't even occur to you that investing was something regular people did.


Neither my mother or my brother drink, have tattoos, pets (my brother had a dog when he was married though) or kids outside marriage. As I said, he was an auto mechanic paying for two households after his wife left, and my mom was forced into the workforce with 2 kids in 1967 when my father suffered a brain injury. Neither had a cent left over to put in the stock market nor had either had someone who taught them about money.


These scenarios are common in these areas, divorce, higher disability rates due to very physical and sometimes dangerous jobs, etc.


Yes, I understand free will and choice, but it is not nearly as easy as some seem to think to break these cycles. They do often make it worse. Stressed people drink more and smoke more. People who grow up where many people smoke and drink also smoke and drink more. They don't decide to start smoking at 30, they do this at 12 when we're all still stupid about life, and then they are addicted. As an ex-smoker I can attest how hard it was and it took me years to be successful at quitting.


I'm not saying it's not possible for people from poor areas to succeed, I know many, many will. My point was that cycles are hard to break and it's not as easy as "just do this". If it were easy to control our minds no one would be overweight or have any other controllable problem in this country. Just saying "Just eat less" is not enough, and this to me is the same. The issues are ingrained and internally programmed.


The vast majority of people stay where they are generationally. It's like as with weight, there's a "set-point" where our bodies want to stay. It is just as hard for a person in poverty to become middle class as it is for a middle class person to become a multi-millionaire. I don't think at it's core it's by choice, I think it's how we were designed.


My brother still drives a car he bought in 1989. He doesn't have cable and he buys his clothes at Walmart. He doesn't go out, drink, smoke or gamble. But he spent his entire adult life living paycheck to paycheck and not even making it. Many of the CNA's in the nursing homes I work in work double shifts several times a week. I cannot even imagine coming in at 7am and not leaving until 11pm. And doing back-breaking work as well. I feel drained when I have to work 9 hours.


When you start out at that point, it is hard to get out. You try to save a little, $25 a paycheck, then in the 3rd week the carborator goes on your car or you get a letter saying your share of the health insurance going up by $30 a check next year. You can't even open a bank account because you can't maintain $100 after you pay your bills. It is not going to occur to that person that the answer to all their problems is to invest in the stock market. They are just trying to get through another day.


I just feel like telling them to simply invest is a bit too "let them eat cake". Life is not that simplistic, and it often does seem like life is stacked against you from that place.

Last edited by ocnjgirl; 08-30-2018 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Arcadia, CA
106 posts, read 36,532 times
Reputation: 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
The thing is, you were born intelligent and with good financial sense, and in most cases, with parents and people around you having stocks, investing, etc. If you grow up in a lower income rural farm community, or blue collar or a lot of areas with less college educated people, and no one you've ever known personally has ever said a word about stocks and investing, and they take you to the mall to spend your birthday money, it wouldn't even occur to you that investing was something regular people did.


Neither my mother or my brother drink, have tattoos, pets (my brother had a dog when he was married though) or kids outside marriage. As I said, he was an auto mechanic paying for two households after his wife left, and my mom was forced into the workforce with 2 kids in 1967 when my father suffered a brain injury. Neither had a cent left over to put in the stock market nor had either had someone who taught them about money.


These scenarios are common in these areas, divorce, higher disability rates due to very physical and sometimes dangerous jobs, etc.


Yes, I understand free will and choice, but it is not nearly as easy as some seem to think to break these cycles. They do often make it worse. Stressed people drink more and smoke more. People who grow up where many people smoke and drink also smoke and drink more. They don't decide to start smoking at 30, they do this at 12 when we're all still stupid about life, and then they are addicted. As an ex-smoker I can attest how hard it was and it took me years to be successful at quitting.


I'm not saying it's not possible for people from poor areas to succeed, I know many, many will. My point was that cycles are hard to break and it's not as easy as "just do this". If it were easy to control our minds no one would be overweight or have any other controllable problem in this country. Just saying "Just eat less" is not enough, and this to me is the same. The issues are ingrained and internally programmed.


The vast majority of people stay where they are generationally. It's like as with weight, there's a "set-point" where our bodies want to stay. It is just as hard for a person in poverty to become middle class as it is for a middle class person to become a multi-millionaire. I don't think at it's core it's by choice, I think it's how we were designed.


My brother still drives a car he bought in 1989. He doesn't have cable and he buys his clothes at Walmart. He doesn't go out, drink, smoke or gamble. But he spent his entire adult life living paycheck to paycheck and not even making it. Many of the CNA's in the nursing homes I work in work double shifts several times a week. I cannot even imagine coming in at 7am and not leaving until 11pm. And doing back-breaking work as well. I feel drained when I have to work 9 hours.


When you start out at that point, it is hard to get out. You try to save a little, $25 a paycheck, then in the 3rd week the carborator goes on your car or you get a letter saying your share of the health insurance going up by $30 a check next year. You can't even open a bank account because you can't maintain $100 after you pay your bills. It is not going to occur to that person that the answer to all their problems is to invest in the stock market. They are just trying to get through another day.


I just feel like telling them to simply invest is a bit too "let them eat cake". Life is not that simplistic, and it often does seem like life is stacked against you from that place.
I think your experience just shows how uneven the distribution of wealth is in America. Based on what I know, wealth is mostly concentrated around urban areas like San Francisco or New York, so while people living near these economic centers have a better opportunity at learning the right skills or the financial knowledge to succeed, for those living further from the urban areas the chance is considerably lower.
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