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Old 01-14-2017, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,249 posts, read 8,608,711 times
Reputation: 35712

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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
A lot of it has to do with frugality. Plain and simple your relationship with stuff. Oh and being able to cook for yourself. It doesn't have to be ramen noodles, btw.
Well, SOMETHING has to give, not talking about you personally creeksitter. But you can't be working 20 hours of overtime or have a 2nd job to get ahead, shop for and home cook all your meals, do all of your car and home repairs yourself, AND research every single purchase to get it for half price. I know some would have you believe that's possible...and raise a family on top of it...but just like the superwoman myth had to finally fade so will the "ANYONE can pull them up by their own bootstraps with one arm tied behind their back while carrying a ton of bricks on their shoulders" myth have to fade. Hearing that a few people have done it is fantastic...to then assume anyone can and that if they can't they're terrible people is just wrong.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:25 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,504 posts, read 6,448,935 times
Reputation: 10106
Have you heard of straw-man argument, that's basically what you presented. The poor can't afford this, the poor can't afford that.
Realistically, If you have the overtime then you can afford a healthy salad from Trader's Joe. Pick up fresh fruits and fresh munchies like celery and carrots for snacks. No cooking involved. Pre cooked food doesn't have to be not healthy. Hummus, roast chicken, roast beef. Every super market has it. In fact, Costco has a lot of ready made food too. You don't have to eat pizza or hot dogs or ramen noodles all the time.

Last edited by NewbieHere; 01-14-2017 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Ohio
20,052 posts, read 14,306,500 times
Reputation: 16212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
I read somewhere that about 40% of working Americans make less than $30k a year ($15 an hour.)
Your source is wrong.

50.08666% of wage earners earn less than $30,000 annually.

https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2015

Note that those are wage earners, rather than households. The median household income is greater than $55,000 annually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
Most people could not come up with $1000 to cover an emergency.
That is by choice and not by design. Americans are poor savers and government polices are neither conducive to saving nor reward savers.

CHART: Savings Rate By Income Level - Business Insider

The savings rate for the bottom two quintiles is less than 1%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
A good percent of Americans are poor.
"Poor" is relative. A poor American is better situated than a poor Zimbabwean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
The result is most Americans live pay check to paycheck...
Again, that is by choice, not by design. You're not entitled to cable TV or orange-scented Chlorox-brand kitchen wipes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
... and with the average Social Security check being about $1200,
The average monthly benefit is $1,348

https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/facts...icfact-alt.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
... many seniors live their final years in poverty.

According to the Census Bureau, about one in seven people ages 65 and older (15%) have incomes below the SPM poverty thresholds, compared to one in ten (10%) under the official measure.

Poverty Among Seniors: An Updated Analysis of National and State Level Poverty Rates Under the Official and Supplemental Poverty Measures | The Henry J. Kaiser Family FoundationFew seniors live in poverty and poverty is relative State-to-State.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovenice View Post
I believe that. $50,000 in 1962 is worth $285,000 in 2015, according to inflation calculators.

The average salary in the U.S. in 1962 was $4,291.40 according to Wikipedia.
The median income was $2,800.

https://www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-040.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewbieHere View Post
Plenty people are rent slave.
Owning can cost more than renting.

https://www.realestateconsulting.com...-than-renting/
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:13 PM
 
5,729 posts, read 8,804,400 times
Reputation: 4947
Quote:
But you can't be working 20 hours of overtime or have a 2nd job to get ahead
If you are working 20 hrs overtime then you would have a base rate of pay less than $8.25 to make it come out less than 30K.

Quote:
some would have you believe that's possible...and raise a family on top of it
That's the crux of the matter... as a society we haven't managed to discourage starting a family until one is further up the wage ladder.

You may be reacting to Submariner's glib comment. I bet if you tallied up the market value of his building and farming ventures it could well add up to more than 30K. Especially if you add a pension he probably acquired for serving our country. Plus the kids may not have seemed like an expense if they are growing/trapping their own food.

But you have a good point - it is a lot easier to get ahead on 30K a year when you aren't overworked.
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,760 posts, read 49,594,922 times
Reputation: 19181
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
...You may be reacting to Submariner's glib comment. I bet if you tallied up the market value of his building and farming ventures it could well add up to more than 30K
We saved up a lot of Net Worth in our investments when I was working. That was converted into our farm after I retired. I fail to see anything glib about it.



Quote:
... Especially if you add a pension he probably acquired for serving our country.
I get $1,480/month in my pension.



Quote:
... Plus the kids may not have seemed like an expense if they are growing/trapping their own food.
By the time I retired, our children were in high school. Previous to that we lived in various cities.
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:39 PM
 
5,729 posts, read 8,804,400 times
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Were you making less than 30K a year when you were working?
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:42 PM
 
5,097 posts, read 2,503,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
I read somewhere that about 40% of working Americans make less than $30k a year ($15 an hour.) Most people could not come up with $1000 to cover an emergency. A good percent of Americans are poor.

The result is most Americans live pay check to paycheck and have very little saved for retirement and with the average Social Security check being about $1200, many seniors live their final years in poverty.

Anyone on this board, the exception and even though you were low income most of your life, you still saved a good amount of money for retirement? If so, tell us how.
I was very careful with spending always - always taking whatever extra I had to it into a home and future security. I don't think it's something that someone can 'catch up' with later in life, but rather a life pattern that is always about preparing for the future.

I know many people who are like the grasshopper in the fable with the ant (and the grasshopper). They enjoy the day, not really thinking about the future, or perhaps thinking that dealing with the future can happen in the future.

... fiddling all day while the ants toiled.
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Old 01-14-2017, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,760 posts, read 49,594,922 times
Reputation: 19181
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Were you making less than 30K a year when you were working?
My salary income has always been below the national average.

I started paying income taxes in 1974. I began learning about how to file income taxes in 1983. From 1975 until 1983, my Adjusted Gross Income [AGI] peaked in the mid-20ks.

From 1983 until I retired in 2001, I have not had an AGI over $100.

As a retiree I still keep my AGI low.
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:24 PM
 
5,729 posts, read 8,804,400 times
Reputation: 4947
Quote:
My salary income has always been below the national average.
But then you had rental income on top of that?

Quote:
From 1975 until 1983, my Adjusted Gross Income [AGI] peaked in the mid-20ks.
What would that be in today's dollars?

Quote:
From 1983 until I retired in 2001, I have not had an AGI over $100.
I assume due to depreciation?

I know it seems like I am harping on you and you do have great frugality tips. But my point is you have non-cash ways of increasing your net worth and standard of living.

Yes, I understand your cash inflows are less than 30K. But you are using your labor and knowhow to provide for yourself in ways that do add value.
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Old 01-14-2017, 06:43 PM
 
13,410 posts, read 6,765,449 times
Reputation: 12894
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Investor View Post
I read somewhere that about 40% of working Americans make less than $30k a year ($15 an hour.) Most people could not come up with $1000 to cover an emergency. A good percent of Americans are poor.

The result is most Americans live pay check to paycheck and have very little saved for retirement and with the average Social Security check being about $1200, many seniors live their final years in poverty.

Anyone on this board, the exception and even though you were low income most of your life, you still saved a good amount of money for retirement? If so, tell us how.
My grandmother did. Because she always found ways to live beneath her means. She did not turn on the heater in Ohio. IDK how she kept her pipes safe, but no heat. She slept under 18 blankets and stayed clothed inside the way one does outside.

She died with a half a million dollars and 3 propertyies and she had never bought a plastic bag for anything. She used the plastic bags that bread come in and vegetables and fruit from the grocer.

She never bought anything that wasn't on sale AND had a coupon. When you stock up like that, you don't run out and find yourself having to pay full price.

She did not use anything electric that could be avoided. I remember crawling with my cousins over three floors of carpet to pick up anything visible to the naked eye so as to avoid using the vacuum at my Aunt's house when g'ma was visiting. We had to keep it a secret that we used electric blankets while the heat was on 50 or something for her visit.

She raised three children during the depression and never gave up any of the habits she had taken up to survive and keep her kids fed.

It CAN be done, people just don't WANT to. There are things now showing how you can grow food in tiny spaces.

My stepmother rolled her eyes at my g'ma which is big because SM was pretty close to her in frugal. But when g'ma said 'don't throw that milk out, it's still good for cooking' I realized how every few pennies she had to stretch before.

My stepmother has not purchased paper since the kids left the house. Because every part of the paper has to get used, front and back.

I know when I go over there if I want to write something down I go to the little drawer with little pieces of paper cut that have at least one side not written on.

All scraps that are not toxic to dogs are given to them. Saves on dog food. Well, g'ma wouldn't have had a dog to spend a penny on, but my Dad does.

My sister and I got in trouble if we used too much toilet paper. Never throw away something like laundry detergent that just 'ran out'. Swish some water in to get what is sticking to the inside of the bottle. That is two more loads.

No dryer usage, except to de-wrinkle in some cases. Everything is hung up outside.

The water heater is on for a total of four hours a day. 2 in the AM and 2 in the evening. All showers and such must be done during that time.

At this point I'm mixing step-mom and g'ma but the point is - extremely frugal.

Repair, not replace. My father drove a car literally into the ground and still didn't want to give up on it. The new one has a leaky tire and he fills it up every 3 weeks. Not getting a new one until he has to.

My aunt about lost her mind at my copying this! I filled up a tire every 2-3 weeks too until she pitched a fit.

she has no concept of frugal and is wasting all her retirement money as a result.

I'm nowhere as frugal as I should be, but I do a lot of the things I was taught!

I bought a fixer-upper condo but I won't fix it up until the mortgage is paid. That's many many thousands saved on interest.

Most people who think it can't be done aren't willing to. Would I like floors? Yes. But my mortgage is half what rent would be for an apartment with everything normal in it. Or to spend to fix mine.

I only fix or replace what I have to and the rest will be the way it is until there is no mortgage. HTH
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