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Old 01-30-2016, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,656 posts, read 1,522,222 times
Reputation: 3627

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Brilliantly put!

One of the reasons that I was so distraught in recent weeks, with the seemingly unrelenting stock market losses, was that there was nobody with whom to commiserate. Instead, when I piped up to share my frustration at work, I was met with gleefully sadistic taunts of, "Well, it must be nice to be able to lose all that money!" This goes beyond finding good tax-advisors or accountants or whatnot. It's about psychological support from a suitable peer-group.

I work amongst engineers. Many have PhDs, and most are t least somewhat true to the engineering stereotype of frugality. But they have families, stay-at-home spouses, 2-3 kids (or more; it's a conservative area) to raise, Millennials who boomeranged back home, investment-houses that have gone sour, elderly parents that require live-in care, McMansions with landscaping costs, new cars, a boat. I've spent a lifetime living like Freemkt (probably) and earning/saving like Mathjak or Sportyandmisty (probably; I don't mean to insult people or to use them as cartoonish stereotypes). This means, for me, one foot in the dollar-store/Goodwill/bargain-bin aisle, and another foot in the, ahem, opposite camp - completely bypassing (again not to make idle insinuations about people) the middle-class.

This means dearth of capacity to commiserate, to get together socially for exchanging ideas on investment - or just idle banter. It's important to be around a peer-group, even if no actionable knowledge is exchanged, just for the moral support. Am I peeved that I'm ignorant of clever and abstruse tax-loopholes, of which the mythical "wealthy" can take advantage? Yes, at least a little bit. But what really irritates me is that I don't have anyone to whom to vent, about $XYZ losses on a crushing day in the market.

Likes flocks to like, right? Where should I flock?
I'm not as frugal as you but I can sympathize with your problem. In my career, most of my older co-workers were on the previous federal pension system of CSRS with a 2% pension multiplier. There was little interest in investing - just pay off your home and take your generous pension when the time comes. With the "new" (1984) federal pension system, investing is required if you want to fund your retirement. And I also work in engineering. I suspect that government engineers are just not as interested in financial planning/investing as say engineers at a Fortune 500 company or in Silicone Valley. Another issue is that our positions require security clearances so you don't want to know too much about your co-worker's financial situation because you might have to be interviewed by the OPM investigator on their trust worthiness. And then many Americans are taught that it is gauche to talk about money. Now I have a couple of co-workers that are interested in financial planning but they are married with families so they are also less sympathetic to a single person losing money in the stock market. The main issue is not so much that I needed sympathy during downturns but that I needed some day to day financial guidance and encouragement earlier in my career (before the internet forums existed) and was unable to get it.

I agree with NewbieHere that the internet is your best bet for commiseration and to find out about those possible tax loopholes. There are many financial forums out there that might be of interest to you. Also I'm not clear on your situation and why you have to be so frugal. Are you planning to retire at an early age? Perhaps you are risk adverse and need to adjust your asset allocation. I was 100% equities in 2008 and that was part of my downfall. I feel much more comfortable with the recent correction at my 60/40 allocation. And I don't check my 401k balances that often although I do check how the market is doing each day. Checking my balances would just stress me out.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 01-30-2016 at 01:50 PM..
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:30 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
17,925 posts, read 18,245,396 times
Reputation: 11491
A million isn't enough in most places, BUT there are places you can retire in the US for much less than that. Just don't plan on being in a progressive area with amenities. There are towns in Northern Pennsylvania you can buy a home for $30,000 and it will be quite good, but the winters are cold. Still, the people are nice. I suggest people shoot for $2,000,000 as a minimum if they want to be in an okay situation. It is what it is these days. All the money went to the top and nothing left for the average joe.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,844,519 times
Reputation: 6377
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg View Post
A million isn't enough in most places, BUT there are places you can retire in the US for much less than that. Just don't plan on being in a progressive area with amenities. There are towns in Northern Pennsylvania you can buy a home for $30,000 and it will be quite good, but the winters are cold. Still, the people are nice. I suggest people shoot for $2,000,000 as a minimum if they want to be in an okay situation. It is what it is these days. All the money went to the top and nothing left for the average joe.
Oh that's it just shoot for $2,000,000.00. Anyone can do it. It just takes what? A powerball ticket?
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,844,519 times
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Oh I forgot. Maybe I should just move to Texas and shoot at a rabbit for food. Maybe I could become an oil tycoon.
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Old 01-31-2016, 02:37 AM
 
71,498 posts, read 71,674,131 times
Reputation: 49074
i have been hunting for 20 years . if i had to count on my hunting skills to feed us we would starve .
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:15 AM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,156,240 times
Reputation: 8527
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
Oh that's it just shoot for $2,000,000.00. Anyone can do it. It just takes what? A powerball ticket?
No, it takes two decent incomes (or one very good one), a good tax-deferred investment program sponsored by one's employer, and the self-discipline needed to live on 70% or 80% of what you make. Unless you are in the lowest tax bracket, other people live perfectly fine lives on that amount; so can you.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:40 AM
 
71,498 posts, read 71,674,131 times
Reputation: 49074
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohio_peasant View Post
Brilliantly put!

One of the reasons that I was so distraught in recent weeks, with the seemingly unrelenting stock market losses, was that there was nobody with whom to commiserate. Instead, when I piped up to share my frustration at work, I was met with gleefully sadistic taunts of, "Well, it must be nice to be able to lose all that money!" This goes beyond finding good tax-advisors or accountants or whatnot. It's about psychological support from a suitable peer-group.

I work amongst engineers. Many have PhDs, and most are t least somewhat true to the engineering stereotype of frugality. But they have families, stay-at-home spouses, 2-3 kids (or more; it's a conservative area) to raise, Millennials who boomeranged back home, investment-houses that have gone sour, elderly parents that require live-in care, McMansions with landscaping costs, new cars, a boat. I've spent a lifetime living like Freemkt (probably) and earning/saving like Mathjak or Sportyandmisty (probably; I don't mean to insult people or to use them as cartoonish stereotypes). This means, for me, one foot in the dollar-store/Goodwill/bargain-bin aisle, and another foot in the, ahem, opposite camp - completely bypassing (again not to make idle insinuations about people) the middle-class.

This means dearth of capacity to commiserate, to get together socially for exchanging ideas on investment - or just idle banter. It's important to be around a peer-group, even if no actionable knowledge is exchanged, just for the moral support. Am I peeved that I'm ignorant of clever and abstruse tax-loopholes, of which the mythical "wealthy" can take advantage? Yes, at least a little bit. But what really irritates me is that I don't have anyone to whom to vent, about $XYZ losses on a crushing day in the market.

Likes flocks to like, right? Where should I flock?

for most of us long term investors the levels we fall down to in downturns would not even be the levels we achieved had we not been investors and just went with risk free investments so you have to put that in perspective .

think of it like having a job working on commissions . you have great years and lean years and it never means the great years are going to be your income level going forward every year . would you ever expect to sell a stock at the exact high ? i never do .

rather the results over a working career are somewhere in the middle .

i worked on commission for many years and did far better then a salaried position would have but that does not mean i made the highest amounts year after year .
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:43 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,083 posts, read 22,934,448 times
Reputation: 35202
No need to worry about saving a million dollars. In America, we take care of our old people. I live on a limited income with free healthcare and I'm just fine.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:48 AM
 
71,498 posts, read 71,674,131 times
Reputation: 49074
no , we don't take care of old people , we take care of poor people .counting on tax payers money to support basic retirement expenses is another discussion that isn't really part of the topic here . there is a line between advocating using the tools put in place to cut down on what you pay for your fair share of something vs advocating tax payers to support you , so someone does not have to worry about supporting themselves ..

just medicare and medigap today can run a couple 10k or more in after tax dollars . that alone takes up 250,000 in savings to generate. so yeah you don't need a lot of money saved if you become dependent on tax payers money .

Last edited by mathjak107; 01-31-2016 at 04:18 AM..
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,844,519 times
Reputation: 6377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
No, it takes two decent incomes (or one very good one), a good tax-deferred investment program sponsored by one's employer, and the self-discipline needed to live on 70% or 80% of what you make. Unless you are in the lowest tax bracket, other people live perfectly fine lives on that amount; so can you.
So all I need is a decent income and the ability to live on 70% of that income. Does that take into account getting laid off? Or sick? Or have a new baby? Or have a parent that gets sick? Or take into account the company I work for having a 401k but does not match? Or even more likely a company that don't have one at all? How about this you work for yourself selling cakes? You're business has 2 employees and one of them is you. Do you get that there are a lot of us that do not make over 40k per year. In fact I bet there are more that make less than 40k per year then those that do.

Yes I am being sharp here. It is just that everyone here seems to think money grows on trees. That people can just reach into their pocket and take a $100.00 bill out. I promise you most can't. Yes some are self inflicted but the vast majority of struggling people out there would not ever reach half a million in savings let alone 1 million or even 2 million. Not because they don't try but because life happens and it won't let them.
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