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Old 08-09-2014, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,525,560 times
Reputation: 27566

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Too many people living above their means.
Average credit card debt is over $15,000.

American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2014
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:51 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Yep, I agree with you.

Thank you, LBJ.

Let's face it: even Social Security was created as a solution for only a PORTION of Americans. And LBJ's Great Society . . . welfare was supposed to be a stop-gap measure (and for some Americans, it still is, but the working poor - who are TRYING to make their way on their own - don't even qualify for many of the benefits!)

We have created a social "safety net" that has transmogrified into a "lifestyle" -- and one which too often rewards poor (irresponsible) life decisions and bad behaviors.
Or societal discriminatory practices, divorce, illness, limited intellectual/physical ability, changing job markets, regional economic decline (think North Carolina counties as an example). There are a lot of reasons both self inflicted and not. I have experienced a lot of different people with all of the above and if anyone really cares about those without it is easy to become a contributor to the solution. Most local rescue missions are well thought of and give a high rate of their contributions to the needy regardless of age. I am a realist and while that might make me at times seem not as concerned it is reality that tempers my thoughts. Many Americans just don't care about others suffering and that differs from state to state and region to region. Many who profess a concern are also quick to retire to a low tax state with a lower level of social services and safety net. I am one of those and hope my direct charitable contributions off set the difference in some ways. Medicaid perhaps not.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:53 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
Too many people living above their means.
Average credit card debt is over $15,000.

American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2014
Also from your link:

Quote:
Note that the averageAmerican household owed far more than the median, and also that the average indebted household owed far more than the average household overall. Such large discrepancies indicate that a relatively small number of households were deeply underwater.
Debt often increases as a result of divorce, job loss, illness and many other life slamming events.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:03 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,179,255 times
Reputation: 22375
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Or societal discriminatory practices, divorce, illness, limited intellectual/physical ability, changing job markets, regional economic decline (think North Carolina counties as an example). There are a lot of reasons both self inflicted and not. I have experienced a lot of different people with all of the above and if anyone really cares about those without it is easy to become a contributor to the solution. Most local rescue missions are well thought of and give a high rate of their contributions to the needy regardless of age. I am a realist and while that might make me at times seem not as concerned it is reality that tempers my thoughts. Many Americans just don't care about others suffering and that differs from state to state and region to region. Many who profess a concern are also quick to retire to a low tax state with a lower level of social services and safety net. I am one of those and hope my direct charitable contributions off set the difference in some ways. Medicaid perhaps not.
All of those factors do contribute to folks needing a safety net. But again, they would need it termporarily, whether employment security checks, Medicaid or "welfare" and food stamps.

My objection is to people feeling someone "owes" them a middle class lifestyle even if they have made terrible lifelong decisions. You would THINK they would know that they were dooming themselves to poverty and a rat hole subsidized apartment. But no, they want someone to send them a check, give them housing, healthcare and an iPhone.

Folks who are struggling to get back on their feet - drug addicts, felons on work release, the frail elderly, people who have lost their jobs, and all children - those people DESERVE and NEED a safety net. However, they don't need it for their entire lives!

For those of us who believe that charity is part of our duty as human beings -- providing food banks, rehab programs, soup kitchens, etc is necessary and valued part of that safety net.

I don't object to helping those who need assistance while they get back on their feet, regardless of their age.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,525,560 times
Reputation: 27566
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Also from your link:



Debt often increases as a result of divorce, job loss, illness and many other life slamming events.
As well as boats, luxury vacations, new cars and kids that always get what they want.

My son was still in high school when the housing bust happened.
Upper middle class community with several golf club subdivisions.
All the talk centered around their HELOCS and adj rate mortgages.
Some had planned to use a HELOC to send their kids to college.
I was kinda surprised that so many discussed their personal finances so openly.
And there were lots of foreclosures in those golf communities that summer.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:33 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTexan View Post
As well as boats, luxury vacations, new cars and kids that always get what they want.

My son was still in high school when the housing bust happened.
Upper middle class community with several golf club subdivisions.
All the talk centered around their HELOCS and adj rate mortgages.
Some had planned to use a HELOC to send their kids to college.
I was kinda surprised that so many discussed their personal finances so openly.
And there were lots of foreclosures in those golf communities that summer.
Also from I believe your link:

American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2014

Quote:
What does this mean? Credit card debt is holding fairly steady – but whether or not that’s a good thing is up for debate. On the one hand, higher consumer spending puts the economy on a positive track. Higher spending leads to more jobs and higher incomes, which in turn lead to higher spending. However, if wages and employment are improving at this sluggish pace, this might well be an indication that families are borrowing to make ends meet rather than a reflection of a well-founded increase in consumer confidence.
So lets assume and reflect on what you note as frivolous spending. It fueled jobs, income, capital gains, dividends all which enhanced many of our retirement savings and left us now retired and comfortable. It fueled sales taxes, real estate taxes, income taxes all of which helped provide many of us good salaries and pensions along with our investments. So sorta in away their foolish debt driven spending helped fund many of our retirements and I guess we ought to be sorta thankful? Maybe just maybe their suffering helped provide our comfort and we oh well you know what I am trying to say. Didn't banks pay us higher interest rates so they could use that money to lend to those crazy in debt people to borrow?
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:36 PM
 
12,706 posts, read 9,978,586 times
Reputation: 9515
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilnewbie View Post
I do think that not enough people have enough money for retirement but I also think some people are "scared" into saving too much for retirement... Looking around at NORMAL everyday retired people who DON'T WORK anymore, none of them have 1 million dollars saved up but if you read the many journals out there, 1 million is not even enough... these people are fine... you don't need 1 million (although, it would be nice if you did) to retire...
Pensions are not what they used to be. Low interest rates have caused a lot of pension funds to need to dip into principal to make their promised payouts, so it looks like it will get worse before it gets better (if ever).

As pension benefits have already shrunk a lot in the last 20 years in both public and private sectors, more and more individual savings are needed to cover the gap. Plus, in this economy a lot of Boomers have been laid off in their mid-50s and couldn't find another job.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Glenbogle
730 posts, read 1,027,828 times
Reputation: 1046
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Also, just because folks don't have savings AT THE MOMENT, it doesn't mean they didn't have savings. There are all kinds of life events that can wipe out one's money within a few years, from investments that don't work out to illnesses.
Amen to that, I'm living proof.

Sometimes it is literally a perfect storm. Recession + bigtime medical expenses + health conditions that aren't Medicaid-disability level but nevertheless prevent someone from returning to an employment level that can sustain them without having to draw on their savings.

Also don't forget the huge chunk a divorce can take out of someone's assets. Depending on the state one lives in, that alone can make a big dent and it doesn't ALWAYS happen when the couple is only in their 40s or early 50s either.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,525,560 times
Reputation: 27566
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
All of those factors do contribute to folks needing a safety net. But again, they would need it termporarily, whether employment security checks, Medicaid or "welfare" and food stamps.

My objection is to people feeling someone "owes" them a middle class lifestyle even if they have made terrible lifelong decisions. You would THINK they would know that they were dooming themselves to poverty and a rat hole subsidized apartment. But no, they want someone to send them a check, give them housing, healthcare and an iPhone.

Folks who are struggling to get back on their feet - drug addicts, felons on work release, the frail elderly, people who have lost their jobs, and all children - those people DESERVE and NEED a safety net. However, they don't need it for their entire lives!

For those of us who believe that charity is part of our duty as human beings -- providing food banks, rehab programs, soup kitchens, etc is necessary and valued part of that safety net.

I don't object to helping those who need assistance while they get back on their feet, regardless of their age.
I did until I started volunteering at the local food bank instead of just dropping off food.
After 2 months I left and stopped donating cases of canned goods.

I'm all for helping folks but the scammers need to be thrown out but they are not.

I now donate to help rescued and abused animals.
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Old 08-09-2014, 01:44 PM
 
29,782 posts, read 34,876,173 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
Pensions are not what they used to be. Low interest rates have caused a lot of pension funds to need to dip into principal to make their promised payouts, so it looks like it will get worse before it gets better (if ever).

As pension benefits have already shrunk a lot in the last 20 years in both public and private sectors, more and more individual savings are needed to cover the gap. Plus, in this economy a lot of Boomers have been laid off in their mid-50s and couldn't find another job.
Very true, people need to realize that when someone has what they consider to be a lot that person may well realize it isn't over the long term with things being as uncertain as they are.
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