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Old 03-25-2015, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,682 posts, read 33,681,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
You know I read these posts and I can't help but reflect back when I was in high school. Now I'm going to date myself here, but this was in 1960, and I remember my choices for going to college were predominantly to become a teacher or a nurse. Now at that time, neither of those two things interested me, and I was lost as to "what to become". (most girls went to college just to find a husband)

So I went to college and was taking liberal arts classes trying to give myself more time to find my calling. As it turned out, I had to quit school after two years because my mom was financially abandoned by my father and she had 4 small children, one mentally retarded, and had little marketable skills herself.

So I had to find a full time job quick to help support my family, which I did for many years without much in marketable skills myself. I was not thinking about retirement in those days and there was certainly no money to save. My priorities at that time was keeping food on the table, and finding a mate, which I did in my late 20's. I don't want to bother anyone with my boring life story, but just to say, it took a number of years before retirement ever starting entering my my thought process. I was just too busy trying to make ends meet, make a better living, and always up to my eyeballs in renovations of some sort. (I perused real estate as a means to get ahead)

It is easy for me at this juncture to look back and say what I should have done, and what things I should have been thinking about, but when your young, your head in not in the same place it is when you get older. Your simply not as smart, because it sometimes takes living your life to learn lessons. I was fortunate, and always very industrious and aggressive. I finally after trying different jobs found my calling. I was an entrepreneur, a risk taker, and had an excellent business mind and could manage people well. Who knew?????

So, sometimes it takes time to find yourself. Today of course it very different for women. All careers are open to them. I think any kid who graduates high school, and knows from the get go what they want to do for the rest of their life is fortunate. With me, I found it to be a process of elimination. After working in one field, I decided, "well, count this one out" and moved on to something else. That is until I finally arrived at something I liked, and was really good at (and had accumulated enough money through real estate to finance it).

Good parenting helps I am sure. Teaching kids the importance of education, maintaining good grades, saving and living within your means can be a real asset for kids starting out. I never had any of that with my family. My father was a successful builder and while the family was together, we were what I guess would be classified as well off. But neither parent was frugal, and just signing my report card was an inconvenience I think. I had no rules or structure in my life growing up, but luckily I was born with some good innate common sense, so I didn't do foolish things.

So the point of this long story is. Yes, LauraC's check list for how to have the perfect life, and never make mistakes is right on, sometimes you falter because it only takes one misstep along the way. Sometimes your born to less than ideal parents who do little to help prepare you for your own life's journey (and some are hardly role models themselves), so you are out of the gate pretty green. Sometimes that love of your life who you thought was the perfect mate turns out to be a womanizer. Always getting it right is not so easy while in the journey, but very easy to say after the journey is over.
Do you think if your mother had worked and had not been a housewife, it would have all been different because she would have been able to make an easier transition being economically better off after your dad was out of the picture? I know times are different now and this is Monday morning quarterbacking but when I was younger I used to tell teen girls to be financially independent then you don't have to stay with an abusive husband or put up with other things. You fall but you don't fall as hard.

And you are right about common sense being a big plus.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,536 posts, read 43,992,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
Do you think if your mother had worked and had not been a housewife, it would have all been different because she would have been able to make an easier transition being economically better off after your dad was out of the picture?
I can't resist commenting on this, because way back then was 60-75 years ago. I was in HS in the 50's. Women our parents age and class didn't have careers in those days, except for teaching which didn't pay well, or nursing which also didn't pay particularly well, and on which one certainly didn't retire particularly well. SS paid pennies. MEN earned the money. The mindset at the time for women was to GET MARRIED, stay home, raise the kids. My mother died when I was four, my dad remarried, my stepmother (age 37) had had an early failed marriage, then worked in offices and factories. When she married my dad, she quit, but would go back into the workforce off and on doing office work. He was a supervisor in the Post Office. When he died 20 years later, she never worked again. His govt pension, health insurance, paid off house, and their savings carried her through the next 30 years.

Coming from that environment and social class, I never thought much beyond teaching or nursing as a career. But, on graduation from HS, got a job in a local bank and stayed with offfice work for a long time until I went into real estate and stayed with that until the recession of the 80's.

There were women my age highly-educated as attorneys, but I only learned about this when I got the job in the law firm. These women came from a different class so had a mindset and knew about opportunities about which I had no clue.

What you did in life, in those days, was very much a function of how you were raised, what you saw. I NEVER knew women could be attorneys. Although my dad was intelligent and well read, he never encouraged me to consider law or medicine as potential career. Just not in the world view.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
to be financially independent then you don't have to stay with an abusive husband or put up with other things.
This has been my mantra my entire life. The loss of my mother at an early age, shifting between households until my dad remarried, bad relationship with stepmother, probably triggered my determination to rely on no one but myself. All my life, I've always worked and made my own choices. When I married, having only one child was one of those choices. I saw a lot of women back in those days who just couldn't function on their own, failed marriages with several kids, relying on child support that never came, having a man dictate their life. Their lives and the lives of their children were a mess. I was determined this was never going to be me.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 03-25-2015 at 03:31 PM..
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:25 PM
 
29,774 posts, read 34,860,277 times
Reputation: 11687
TY, TY one and all we actually have people being able to share their lives so others can gain a perspective and learn without being chastised. I hope both inequality threads have been as enlightening for others as they have been for me.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,572 posts, read 17,553,447 times
Reputation: 27640
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
My opinion, for the people who made bad choices early in life (which I think is the bulk of people in this predicament), is by the time they are seniors it's too late to address it. Their path was in play when they took the wrong fork when they were younger. I see it with friends and relatives. One has 3 children with different men she wasn't married to and has a physical menial job. She's a nice person and good at her job. She tries to take care of her kids but it's too late and she's only in her 30s. The men are behind on their child support. Her parents in another state had to take in one kid. What is she going to do when she can't physically do the job she does now? It's her entire job experience. They'll probably all wind up living with her elderly parents who themselves didn't foresee that their retirement income would have to be stretched so thin to cover so many people.

And I don't think either example above is unusual.
I don't want to say this is something she can't recover from, but it makes life difficult nonetheless. Much like the woman I mentioned who is 25 now with three kids and her husband left, it's almost impossible to enhance your skillset in order to earn a better wage while working what is probably a menial job, with variable and/or on-call hours. By the time the kids are teenagers or adults, these women will be in their 40s, starting from scratch nearly.

I've also seen a couple of costly divorces. An uncle of mine earns between $300k-$500k a year as a small business owner. He's paying his second wife of fifteen years about $5k/month for ten years and bought her a $250k condo and a $50k SUV. He's lost probably $100k-$200k on bad real estate decisions over the past five years and $50k on a boat. He divorced his third wife after about a year or so and she got out of it with a $100k and an Escalade. All told, his marital and real estate decisions will end up costing him at least a million dollars between ages 55-65.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:03 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,745 posts, read 7,030,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
I concur. They would would love many seniors to get in debt and pay the interest rates knowing that a high percentage of them have a moral conviction that you pay back what you owe.
As long as they didn't pay it back too quickly. The lenders love those interest charges, the higher the better!
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:25 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,745 posts, read 7,030,085 times
Reputation: 14234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
One of the best posts I've read on City-Data in a long time, in any forum. It is astute, perceptive, thoughtful, and takes in the big picture. (The bolding is mine, not LauraC's.)

However I can't resist getting into the "stay at home mother" issue. I don't think there's a thing in the world wrong with being a stay at home mom per se, although I recognize the potential described by LauraC for women to get into financial trouble later on in life because of it. For many women, however, the downside did not manifest itself:
1. Not every woman divorces or suffers the early death of a husband.
2. If the husband was responsible, life insurance was in place to take care of his family in the event of his untimely death. That's what life insurance is all about.
3. If the husband was a good earner, the wife and children will be taken care of financially in the divorce settlement. (Yes, that's a big "if").

There are upsides to mothers staying at home, as well, for both the child(ren) and the mother. Too many children raise themselves in our society. Being a latch key kid is not a good thing, in general.

Also, the burden on mothers who both work full-time and raise children is simply incredible, in my opinion. How so many cope with the stress of their plates being constantly over-full, the lack of sleep, the worry about what their children may be up to, etc., without going bonkers is beyond me. My hat is off to them, but in many (not all) marriages there is a better path.
I'd have to agree with you on all counts. With the applause for Laura C's post, and for the sentiments expressed on SAHM's. There used to be an old saying, that SAHM's had the most important job there was, bringing up the next generation of responsible, productive members of society. I'm old enough to remember when being a SAHM was expected of a married woman ( when I was a kid in the 50's and 60's). In those times, assuming the breadwinner made a decent living, was able to save money and even had pensions and other benefits that would provide for both the husband and wife when he retired, of course people didn't live as long in those days so those benefits didn't have to last for 25-30+ years after retirement.

Even with this assumption, though, my own parents preached the wisdom of women getting higher educations/career preparations so they could provide for themselves- as they said, "you can't assume that a man will/or be able to take care of you all your life". I'd guess they were looking at things like divorce, illness or other things that left a woman who'd married just out of high school on her own and at a loss as to how to provide for herself, and her family.

I was one of those working mothers, and yeah, I can identify with that full plate. But I count among my blessings a supportive husband who was a good at childcare as he was at being a provider. This allowed me to work part-time when our daughter was little, and I was able to get back to full time work when she was in high school. This allowed me to contribute to the household income, contribute to my own IRAs and other savings, even if it wasn't a princely sum of money! And when I went back to full time work, it was at a job that allowed me to work at home quite a bit, and job flexibility that helped with family responsibilities as well. And the benefits of that job included a defined pension, which, although it's also not a princely sum, is more than I ever expected to get at retirement and it contributes to our household retirement income now. All in all, I can't complain. I know not everyone is this fortunate.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:34 PM
 
29,774 posts, read 34,860,277 times
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I have mixed reactions about SAHM's. Yes they have a responsibility but so do mom's and dads's with kids who are working. Consider that at a certain age point the kids are in school part time and shortly there after for a full day. Yet mom is doing what she is doing. However the chores she gets done during the day another working parent still has when they get home. Young families have decisions to make and those decisions involve trade offs. I can only say been there, done that and made our decision and bed. Retirement and SS were integral in our decision making. My wife was not fully on board but is more than happy now and when she retired at 59 with 37 1/2 years service the sacrifices were more than worth it. Yes child care eats up a lot of the money you make while working but depending on the job the continuing SS and pension service time pay off down the road. A working mom with kids has no down time, wait a dad doesn't either.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:41 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,745 posts, read 7,030,085 times
Reputation: 14234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
I can't resist commenting on this, because way back then was 60-75 years ago. I was in HS in the 50's. Women our parents age and class didn't have careers in those days, except for teaching which didn't pay well, or nursing which also didn't pay particularly well, and on which one certainly didn't retire particularly well. SS paid pennies. MEN earned the money. The mindset at the time for women was to GET MARRIED, stay home, raise the kids. My mother died when I was four, my dad remarried, my stepmother (age 37) had had an early failed marriage, then worked in offices and factories. When she married my dad, she quit, but would go back into the workforce off and on doing office work. He was a supervisor in the Post Office. When he died 20 years later, she never worked again. His govt pension, health insurance, paid off house, and their savings carried her through the next 30 years.

Coming from that environment and social class, I never thought much beyond teaching or nursing as a career. But, on graduation from HS, got a job in a local bank and stayed with offfice work for a long time until I went into real estate and stayed with that until the recession of the 80's.

There were women my age highly-educated as attorneys, but I only learned about this when I got the job in the law firm. These women came from a different class so had a mindset and knew about opportunities about which I had no clue.

What you did in life, in those days, was very much a function of how you were raised, what you saw. I NEVER knew women could be attorneys. Although my dad was intelligent and well read, he never encouraged me to consider law or medicine as potential career. Just not in the world view.



This has been my mantra my entire life. The loss of my mother at an early age, shifting between households until my dad remarried, bad relationship with stepmother, probably triggered my determination to rely on no one but myself. All my life, I've always worked and made my own choices. When I married, having only one child was one of those choices. I saw a lot of women back in those days who just couldn't function on their own, failed marriages with several kids, relying on child support that never came, having a man dictate their life. Their lives and the lives of their children were a mess. I was determined this was never going to be me.
This could so well be me saying this! I was a child in the 50's, in HS in the 60's and saw my own mother's helplessness ( and enabling, but that's another matter) in the face of my father's alcoholism, and abusive personality. She was miserable, we was kids were miserable, but she stayed with my father because she saw no other option, I guess. Women in those days weren't generally expected to rely on themselves, and the concept of spousal or even child abuse didn't even exist in those days. I don't think it was until there was community support for helping women in this situation that it even occurred to many women that they could, and needed to rely on themselves.

My reaction to my childhood experiences was to determine I never wanted to marry or have children, because I didn't want to end up like my mother. I ended up doing both, but not before I had completed my own education and training for a stable career in healthcare, and knowing I could support myself. I
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,058 times
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Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
I said ther is no viable political solution. I never thought I would say this, but buy your guns and ammo and stock up on a lot of canned goods. We will see revolution and the people most at risk are in the upper classes. Does anyone recall that this was the same impetus that caused the French Revolution circa 1793.
Revolution, higher taxes or war. I wonder if history will repeat itself.

Paul Tudor Jones Warns "Disastrous Market Mania" Will End In "Revolution, Taxes, Or War" | Zero Hedge
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:00 PM
 
29,774 posts, read 34,860,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
Revolution, higher taxes or war. I wonder if history will repeat itself.

Paul Tudor Jones Warns "Disastrous Market Mania" Will End In "Revolution, Taxes, Or War" | Zero Hedge
It has already begun and unfortunately the people most at risk are the poor and they have already begun to suffer from the conflict. All the wealthy have to do is to begin to abandon the urban enclaves and leave them a further erosion of their tax base and without a network of support and financial resources to get one. Private military companies exist and their fire power is superior. Storming the bastion ain't what it use to be.
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