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Sadly this article reminds me a lot of my parents.

Both of them are 53 now and I think that I have a bigger savings account than they do. I know it wasn't due to free spending or poor investments either. My dad will tell you that he gave away more money to people than he would care to talk about.

WHen i was little we lived in Seattle, WA. My dad was the regional sales manager for Bayer aspirin. His territory ranged from Vancouver (sp?) to Mexico City and as far west a Denver. Needless to say it was a really good job. THe one drawback was that he was on the road 300 days a year. I was about 4 and my brother was 2 when he decided that he would rather spend time with his family that make all of the $$ in the world. He took a job with my Uncle, in the SF bay area, in his printing shop that had been in the family for years. They bought a house out in the country town of Brentwood,CA (Northern CA). My uncle, lets just say, was not the most tactful money manager. Instead of paying the IRS he just blew them off for yeras. Needless to say the government always collects and my dad and my uncle bit the bulet. My dad had no idea what was going on since my uncle handled the books.

They took out 2nds on their houses and my dad got a paper route so my 2 brothers and I would have enough to eat. I remember riding around in the back of his truck on Sundays on top of newspapers after I helped put the ads in the paper. It was terrible. I would have to take motion sickness pills before we left or I would get sick.

Dad's day started at 2am and went till whenever his work was done at the shop. Even then he had time to coach my brothers and I in baseball, watch our swim and cross country meets, wrestling and boxing matches, and footballs games.

About the time of the Trouble with the IRS my mom developed severe asthma. I remember being 12 years old and having to drive her to the emergency room since we couldn't afford the ambuelence (sp) ride. Our insurance didn't cover a lot of anything and with the trips to the hospital being almost a semianual event both of my parents were forced to come up with 2nd jobs for extra money. My mom would slave for hours making dried flower arrangements after she got home from her job at church.

Even through all of the trouble my mom and dad were stellar parents and still are and always will be the smartest, hardest working people I know. One sad fact for them, they will never retire. Their house is worth a lot of money now since the population of my town went from 4000 to 40000. I try to get them to sell the house and come get a house in VA or somewhere cheap but they decline. Nose grinders till the end. So they are my idols and my motivation to achieve Financial Independence or just have enough money that I can let them live off of me and be comfortable if I have a family of my own. I figure I owe them that much.

Thanks for the therapy,
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