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Old 07-07-2019, 07:39 PM
 
628 posts, read 402,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
The basic answer is YES - and this is our lack of a Universal Health Care system.

Yeah, that's a simple answer...but, bottom line, if we completely reformed health care this country would see economic (or happiness) growth we can only imagine. But we won't because money is more important than human beings here.
I have a very long post for this thread that I will hopefully put together later this evening, but I could not read this comment without responding.

A woman I knew, who loved life, who loved her kids,killed herself so that her family would not lose their home.

Over 6 years ago, my "Cadillac" health insurance monthly premium[Kaiser Permanente] and meds and deductibles were OVER $1700 a month. This was just MY cost for healthcare, not my husbands' or sons'. And I was stuck on it, because I was "uninsureable". so I had to pay it or have nothing. Our family income was too high to qualify for any government help with this. If I had been a single parent, making only $9 an hour, [which I was not] I STILL would not have qualified beause my income would have been too high. How I know this is because when I was being treated for breast cancer, I became friends with other women who were also being treated. One woman who made $9 an hour a had to lose her home and her job to qualify for help. Others, married, had to divorce their husbands, and/or lose their homes and/or foreclose on their homes and/or plan to eventually file for bankruptcy so that they could get treatment.

I know. You can go into an emergency room and not be turned away for an emergency, but, guess what, chemotherapy is not considered an emergency. And sure, every woman I knew did get treatment, but so many lost everything they had worked hard to achieve. When a person is fighting a horrific disease, there is so much to deal with that fear of your children not only losing their parent, but also losing their home can make it appear that the only logical soluton seems to be suicide. At least this was the case. And though she was the only one I know of, who could find no other solution, most of the rest in our support group understood.

Eventually, I qualified for "Obamacare". I actually could have received it sooner but I believed all of the lies being spread about it when it was first enacted. Now, my healthcare, my husbands, and my disabled sons' monthly healthcare is ONLY a THIRD of what just my healthcare used to cost. Though we have what is considered a low fixed income, I feel so wealthy.

Things are going well for our family. We need expansion of healthcare, for everyone.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:02 PM
 
332 posts, read 142,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vana360 View Post
So I am having a hard time understanding/processing all of the information we read out there relating to salaries, house prices, student loan debt, food costs, transportation, etc. Is almost everyone living on a financial edge? If you simply take the median household income of $61k, how are people paying for housing wherein the median price in the U.S. is around $300k? Hell, even if that median household income was $80k its still not enough!

After you had your mortgage, and some basic living expenses like food and gas for your car there is not much left over. How are you then paying student load debt, spending on other consumer products (e.g., consumer spending is at all-time highs), paying your car note (the car debt is at an all time high as well - over a trillion dollars), where the average car transaction sale is around $30k per KBB. Ohh and dont forget to save for retirement as well.

Curious to hear what other people think. I know the numbers above are not perfect, however, I would say they are accurate enough for this discussion.
The answer is yes. We live very basic lifestyle and I would love to go back to school, but I can't afford it. We are careful.
Some gain inheritance and live more comfortable and able to invest. We can't.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:31 PM
 
628 posts, read 402,322 times
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13 years or so ago, I was "living on the brink", and I had NO idea. NONE. I thought that we were doing well. We were preparing for a humble but comfortable early retirement. I had a licensed in-home daycare, and planned to only keep a few kids who were almost like family. We had a buyer for my husbands auto repair shop. We had a nice ammount of savings. Our monthly income in retirement would be considerably lower than most people would consider an adequate ammount BUT we are a mostly Autistic family and had no desire for new cars, 2,000 sq, foot homes, makeup to "look 10 years younger", or any of that stuff. If the Jones had more [and they probably did] we did not envy them, and if they were happy with their "facade" we were happy for them as well.

Then my son got sick. I mean practically"no hope" sick. And his physical pain was beyond agonizing. There was nothing in western medicine to help him. The entire story can be found in prior posts I have made, but we spent hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to find help outside of western medicine. We tried everything, we went everywhere, no matter how crazy or far-fetched it seemed. [ you know, "just in case"] Bobby realized with all that was going on that he could not afford to sell the business, but he was very rarely able to run the business [which came back to bite us 10 years later] because we were fighting to keep my son alive.

By the time we found some things that helped him [ my son was the second minor in Colorado to be approved for mmj, but that was only one thing that helped] the rest of the worlds' economy had tanked. At this point, our net worth was NEGATIVE $300,000. I was thinking of starting my daycare up again, but legally could not because we had marijuana in the house. I was not able to work because my son needed me at home.

Time passed. We started rebuilding. It was slow, but after a few years we decided to speed things up a lot, that we would rent out our house and live in a travel trailer in the mountains at the nudist resort wehad been members at for many years [when you are Autistic, clothes HURT!}. We also thought that would help with my sons' health. It would have been perfect because we had been approved to run the restaurant. We had already been running the ice cream shop there for many years, so getting approval was easy. Plus, one of the many perks of running the restaurant, besides huge tips, etc, was free rent space and utilities, which we did not receive for running the ice cream shop. Two weeks before moving into our trailer, I had a double mastectomy for breast cancer, and MAR decided that running the restaurant would be too much work for me so they gave it to someone else [ we were able to keep the ice cream shop]

More time passed. We rebuilt more. We thought we were doing well financially. Bobby was back to need ing to retire because he had hurt his back, and mentally, emotionally, he was just not doing "okay". And he kept doing less "okay" Retirement seemed to help, and he was excited to help me into putting together an Autistic community. Then he got even less "okay". Then he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers. Then we found out that almost all of the money we had gotten from selling our house, business and building had to go to IRS, and to creditors, because the person [ a family member] who had taken over running the bulk of the business as far as bookkeeping and paperwork when youngest son first got ill, had stolen from us and the government BIGTIME.

So, long story still long [but I assure you, ultra condensed, and omitting many of the pinful parts] we were left with about $100,000 [plus social security] which we used to buy this house [ which had no running water when we bought it but it is now a jewel!] We have fixed it up, started a garden, got bees, planted perrenials, got chickens and goats. LIFE IS GOOD! Right now, more than ever in my life, I feel I am NOT on the brink. Of course I have thought that before [shrug]

The term used was "on the financial edge." I accidentally used the term "the brink" same meaning.

Last edited by vicky3vicky; 07-07-2019 at 08:39 PM.. Reason: used incorrect slang term
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:43 PM
 
7,899 posts, read 5,028,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
There is a fantasy that wealth and luxury are the natural order of things...
Indeed. The "natural order of things" is abject poverty. The natural order of things is for most people to die of communicable disease, starvation or violence. Everything else is a newfangled quirk of modernity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
If you can shave even $10,000 a year out of discretionary spending and invest that in savings, you can build substantial wealth over 40 years.
With all due respect, $10,000 year over 40 years doesn’t amount to “wealth”, even if you track Warren Buffett’s returns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by damba View Post
Good grief is that a big bag of nonsense!
It is, but the gentleman does have a salient point... it is entirely possible for a professional to find him/herself grievously under-employed. In my town there is a lawyer's office sporting a sign, "We do taxes too! Why not have a licensed attorney do your taxes?" This is a town where very few people have investments, but very many use payday loan stores. So here we have an attorney, presumably one who is not disbarred or otherwise afoul of professional standing, being reduced to working as a tax-preparer for the local blue-collar types.

An adjunct professor is similar. Earn a PhD, build up an admirable publication record, take early retirement, and end up... as an adjunct. Why? Because it's hard to get onto the tenure-track once you're say 50 years old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky3vicky View Post
...Eventually, I qualified for "Obamacare". ...
Your situation merits the most sincere sympathy. But I can't help noting, that the sort of person who does manage to save money and to invest it, can easily become theoretically "too rich" to qualify for Obamacare subsidies. So, one finds oneself having done all of the "right" things, saving and investing and so forth, only to find exorbitant health-insurance bills, as punishment for having, ahem, done all of the right things. Particularly insulting is that even tax-exempt dividends/interest count for the Obamacare qualification formula. So, one might have a large position in something like a tax-exempt bond fund, which does not incur federal income tax, but does launch one past the Obamacare subsidy threshold.

.... something to keep in mind, for those who have been saving the above-mentioned $10,000/yr for 40 years.
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Old Yesterday, 10:00 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,656 posts, read 28,672,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
An unremunerative low-end job isn't necessarily the result of lassitude or bad personal choices. And it is quite possible to have a job that requires considerable intellectual vigor and responsibility, despite paltry paycheck. An example would be adjunct-professor. Let's please cease with the canard that the poor are poor entirely because they've deliberately accepted a life of mediocre aspirations.

.....

So you are making the argument that no adjunct professor has actually made a deliberate choice to accept that job with that sort of paycheck?


There are all sorts of situations where a person chooses to accept a paycheck smaller than they could earn elsewhere. Doctors sometimes work in free clinics or in poverty areas instead of making a huge income. That is a choice.


The adjunct professor is in that job because of choices he has made and if he is not happy in that job or with that salary, he can aim higher.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 AM
 
7,899 posts, read 5,028,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
So you are making the argument that no adjunct professor has actually made a deliberate choice to accept that job with that sort of paycheck?

There are all sorts of situations where a person chooses to accept a paycheck smaller than they could earn elsewhere. Doctors sometimes work in free clinics or in poverty areas instead of making a huge income. That is a choice.

The adjunct professor is in that job because of choices he has made and if he is not happy in that job or with that salary, he can aim higher.
An absolute argument ("no", "all", "any",...) is almost impossible to sustain. I say "almost", for otherwise the statement would have been self-refuting.

Certainly, an imaginative and ambitious lawyer need not relegate himself to doing tax-returns in a dead-end Midwestern town. But he might choose to do so for whatever reason, be it burn-out or altruism or particular fancy for the quiet quaintness of rust-belt poverty. Neither would a physicist with a PhD from Stanford necessary have to end up as adjunct-prof at a community college... though conceivably some do that very thing by choice. Sure, myriad permutations abound.

But the point is that there are plenty of people of sound-mind and impeccable credentials who are nevertheless relegated to jobs of secondary and quite circumscribed earnings, for reasons other than personal choice. People who are in the bottom-half, aren't necessary rubes, dunces, degenerates or loafers. Some are intelligent and well-educated, but nevertheless underemployed. It happens, and it happens often.

Markets are not always efficient. I preach EMT in the context of investments, but maybe I don't entirely believe my own religion... at least not in the labor market, because there, an individual (the prospective employee) needs to go and find employment. There is much less "lubrication" in that market than in the stock market.
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Old Yesterday, 11:43 AM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,076,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
It is, but the gentleman does have a salient point... it is entirely possible for a professional to find him/herself grievously under-employed. In my town there is a lawyer's office sporting a sign, "We do taxes too! Why not have a licensed attorney do your taxes?" This is a town where very few people have investments, but very many use payday loan stores. So here we have an attorney, presumably one who is not disbarred or otherwise afoul of professional standing, being reduced to working as a tax-preparer for the local blue-collar types.

An adjunct professor is similar. Earn a PhD, build up an admirable publication record, take early retirement, and end up... as an adjunct. Why? Because it's hard to get onto the tenure-track once you're say 50 years old..
Yes, and stop signs are red

Nobody has excluded the possibility of a profesional being underemployed. Your example is a poor one, since it could easily be justified by the scenario where a staff member at a small town firm plugs the numbers in and the attorney signs off. It’s called revenue capturing- a tiny firm in the sticks can often make more regular money by offering multiple services. No, my friends who work for large law firms in cities don’t offer this service- obviously.

Your example of the adjunct is also quite poor. The person I replied to implied that only tenure track is a worthwhile career. Yes, the reality now is that there will be less tenured positions created but that does not necessarily imply someone needs to avoid academia entirely. I know several who lecture/teach and own separate productive businesses/additionally work outside academia comfortably. YMMV.
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Old Today, 03:59 PM
 
2,156 posts, read 527,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
But the point is that there are plenty of people of sound-mind and impeccable credentials who are nevertheless relegated to jobs of secondary and quite circumscribed earnings, for reasons other than personal choice.
I take exception to the bolded. Your use of the passive voice implies that jobs "happen to us" and promulgates a victim mindset. It implies determinism that is not present in the system. Aside from the odd member of the Federal Witness Protection Program, each of us is Free to Choose each and every day. That person of sound-mind and with impeccable credentials isn't relegated to a job; she actively selects a job. She, for her own reasons and taking her own counsel, selects a job that might have lower remunerations than she otherwise might select, but the choice is hers, and the choice is personal. Of course, neither you nor I can weigh her decision criteria for her.
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Old Today, 07:10 PM
 
26,078 posts, read 28,478,940 times
Reputation: 24788
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
With all due respect, $10,000 year over 40 years doesn’t amount to “wealth”, even if you track Warren Buffett’s returns.
$833 a month (10k per year) over 40 years at 5% turns into $1,276,000. Maybe that's not substantial to you, but it's a lot more than most people will ever have.
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