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Is my desire to live in a Nice place marketing or do i desire more than my college dorm 20 something apt?

My car Will get home-- at least most of the time-- so is my desire for another one just advertising and keeping up with the joneses? Even though I live in a rent subsidized building (I sublease) and make more than everyone.

Is my desire for a ____ because of blank?

Does it really not make one happier?
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Also those kitchen counters are grimy and old--is that marketing hype?

I mean a wooden box and four walls is all one needs!
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I know the language is tongue in cheek, but that is a real question ... are people who give up consumption happier?
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I know the language is tongue in cheek, but that is a real question ... are people who give up consumption happier?

It's not about giving up consumption, so much as it is in realizing the efforts of the marketing industry to get you to purchase things. If you recognize the psychology behind it and remain conscious of your choices, then you can make informed choices.

As an example:
When you grocery-shop, the milk is placed at the back of the store because almost everyone needs milk. On your way to the milk, you see other stuff in the aisles and remember you wanted to get something else or you see a great sale or something catches your eye that you just want to try. It's no coincidence that more expensive brands are placed at eye level; food manufacturers PAY for that shelf space specifically because it is at your eye level so they have a better chance of having their item purchased.

That's part of the psychology of marketing; they get you to walk to the back of the store to get what you need and pass tons of stuff along the way so you might buy that as well. That's why so many people recommend using a list when you shop so you stay on track with what you plan to spend.

There are people who buy Tesla automobiles or whatever xtn's car is, a Lotus, I think, or Mini Coopers because they enjoy something about that particular car. That's important to them. For me, a car is a car and it just needs to be reliable; toward that end, my eleven-year-old SUV is holding up quite well and not having a payment is worth more to me than having a new car.

LBYM is not as much about rejecting consumption as it is about making conscious choices of what to do with your money. If you can afford to fly to Paris once a month but you have to live in a low-rent apartment, are you willing to do so in order to fly to Paris? If you are a homebody and want a mansion, are you prepared to give up Paris every month?

You can have everything. You just can't have it all at the same time.

Minxie
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are people who give up consumption happier?

Are people who consume a lot happier?

PSU
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Are people who consume a lot happier?



I don't know. That is what I'm asking. They might be unhappy and stressed -- wondering how they are going to pay for that stuff.
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How do food manufacturers pay for shelf space a t eye level?

I would think if anything that is the grocery store dong that to get you to buy the more expensive item.
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are people who give up consumption happier?

People who consume using credit are unhappy. Consumption does not create happiness.

Up to a point, estimates are around $70K, income buys happiness. Below the income where basics are covered, increased income is associated with increased happiness. Past that point, money does not buy happiness.

We remodeled. The construction is average and consistent with the neighborhood. We paid cash, and limited the remodel such that it would not cause a complete reassessment of the property. It is comfortable, and plenty of space for the two of us to retire. Keeping up with the neighbors who are adding a second story isn't of value, and would cause financial stress. I wouldn't mind a second story for storage, but it is much more practical and less stressful to deal with (i.e. donate or throw out) unwanted stuff from late relatives homes than store it until someone else will throw it out.

Two co-workers did a complete high-end remodel, and took mortgages to finance the remodel. Neither will be able to pay off the mortgages before they retire, and the remodels have significantly increased their property taxes. Both will need to move when they retire. One has said that he regrets the remodel, and wouldn't do it again. The other would not have gone quite as high end on some of the materials.

Cars are useful, but I have no desire to own and maintain high end cars. We are enjoying our new Prius, but it is far from a high end car.
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How do food manufacturers pay for shelf space a t eye level?

I would think if anything that is the grocery store dong that to get you to buy the more expensive item.


By increasing the cost of the product. Many customers are lazy, and don't look around for other options.
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I mean I look at some of these people and I wonder where they get their cues from to purchase some of this stuff? And at one time I thought it's just marketing. But I think that is too simplistic and an easy way for someone to sell you on living below your means (not that there's anything wrong with that). But it's like a convenient argument to get you to buy their book or something. While I believe it's partly true that marketing has an effect: I'm not sure if "impressing someone at a stop light" is the only reason why someone drives a nice car....
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I'm not sure if "impressing someone at a stop light" is the only reason why someone drives a nice car....

Some people enjoy cars, others just need to be seen/noticed, and some have jobs that require transporting customers. There is not just one reason.
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How do food manufacturers pay for shelf space a t eye level?

I would think if anything that is the grocery store dong that to get you to buy the more expensive item.

By increasing the cost of the product. Many customers are lazy, and don't look around for other options.


I don't understand.

When I read this originally I took it to mean Nabisco contacts my neighborhood supermarket manager and says "hey we'll pay you an extra $500 a week to stock our product at eye level."

Otherwise the increase cost might be just paying for the advertising or just a bigger profit margin for paying for what you know. I mean sure corn syrup, sugar, water makes up a soda. But I am buying a coke because I know what coke tastes like and want that. I don't know what Safeway soda tastes like and don't want to take the chance.

I will however buy the cheapest brand laundry detergent because I know it cleans clothes as well as any other. Others will not however.
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When I read this originally I took it to mean Nabisco contacts my neighborhood supermarket manager and says "hey we'll pay you an extra $500 a week to stock our product at eye level."

Payments to stores for shelf space and higher payments for premium shelf space are already included in the price of the product. It isn't a new practice.
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How do food manufacturers pay for shelf space a t eye level?


http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/ANALYSIS-Grocery-stor...

In fact, the products on supermarket shelves are largely determined by the fees that suppliers pay -- and retailers demand -- to get their wares into the nation's grocery stores.

These so-called slotting fees have become standard. A two-year study by the Federal Trade Commission, concluded in November, found widespread use of slotting fees and the sense among manufacturers that such fees are "part of the cost of doing business," said FTC staff attorney Patricia Schultheiss, who worked on the study.


Minxie
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Im pretty sure Some Things make people happy

.... That car or that watch. I think the suze ormans and The dave Ramses are playing it down
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Im pretty sure Some Things make people happy

.... That car or that watch. I think the suze ormans and The dave Ramses are playing it down


I have a coworker who bought things and "lived!" Now he's 62 and forced to continue working because he burned through all his savings, although he wants to "retire" so he can do what he wants. He likes to invent and engineer things.

Living your life to be happy now at the expense of your retirement is short-sighted and immature. If you can both save for retirement and live it up, have at it. Most people can't buy a Porsche, raise children, save for college, pay debts, buy a house, and save for retirement.

Only you can decide your priorities. If you want a Porsche, you either earn tons of money at the expense of something else, usually time, or you save money at the expense of something else, often retirement.

Minxie
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What is with this obsession over retiring?

Most who retired when it was invented in the 1940s didn't live as long.

I'm still waiting for someone to contradict that fact.

So in today's day and age I put the retirement age at like 80 w a life expectancy into the 80s or 90s. No politician in their right mind would do that since they would lose the election but that is what social security would be like if it were implemented today

I care about achieving not counting down the days until this sucky thing called work is out of the way so I can do what I really want and chill out. This is a civil service mentality. They do nothing at work and can't wait to do nothing at home when their pensions kicks in. If that's what you want that's fine. But it's not what I want. And incidentally many had the time to leave but they still had to wait to be 55 to walk -- that's federal law. Retiring before that is just ridiculous in my view. Like youre incapable of working or something?
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Only you can decide...If you want a Porsche


I doubt I'll get it. Buying an apt is proving to be a major headache plus renovation cost etc.
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Buying an apt is proving to be a major headache plus renovation cost etc.

Reality can be painful.
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What is with this obsession over retiring?

Average life expectancy in the US is 78, not over 80.

1.) Many people have jobs that aren't pleasant.
2.) Having the choice to do what you want, and not what is necessary to generate earned income
3.) Health issues force many to retire before they would choose to retire

Significantly raising the full retirement age for Social Security will result in significant increases in SSDI.

Retiring before that is just ridiculous in my view. Like youre incapable of working or something?

Fine, it is your view and you are free to live your life that way. It doesn't mean others want to live by your views. Being capable of working and wanting to continue aren't the same.
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I care about achieving not counting down the days until this sucky thing called work is out of the way so I can do what I really want and chill out. This is a civil service mentality. They do nothing at work and can't wait to do nothing at home when their pensions kicks in. If that's what you want that's fine. But it's not what I want. And incidentally many had the time to leave but they still had to wait to be 55 to walk -- that's federal law. Retiring before that is just ridiculous in my view. Like youre incapable of working or something?

It's good to have options...ESPECIALLY if your job is eliminated or your company goes under or your firm kicks you out the door at age 65 or whatever.

I know, I know, not that any of this will ever happen to YOU, you overachiever you. You'll see us all in Galt's Gulch or something.

That is, assuming you can manage to buy a condo.

-synchronicity
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Average life expectancy in the US is 78, not over 80.
==============================

When talking about years collecting SS perhaps it's a good idea to look at life expectancy of those at 65. The current life expectancy for someone 65 is 84.3

http://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/index.ssf/2014/10/us_li...

Sixty-five-year-olds should expect to live, on average, another 19.3 years – or to the age of 84.3 - according to new report released this month by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Here's a chart from 1900-2010

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/2011/022.pdf

Table 22. Life expectancy at birth, at age 65, and at age 75, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin: United States, selected years 1900-2010

So at 65 in 1950 one could expect to live for 13.9 more years...or until 78.9. The chart only goes to 1950 at 65.
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I care about achieving not counting down the days until this sucky thing called work is out of the way so I can do what I really want and chill out. This is a civil service mentality. They do nothing at work and can't wait to do nothing at home when their pensions kicks in. If that's what you want that's fine. But it's not what I want. And incidentally many had the time to leave but they still had to wait to be 55 to walk -- that's federal law. Retiring before that is just ridiculous in my view. Like youre incapable of working or something?

LOL! I'm civil service and I'd bet I work harder than you for less money. :-) I'm not working toward retirement so my pension can "kick in." I'm working toward financial independence because there are other careers I want to try, other things I want to do. Your consideration that early retirement is ridiculous doesn't influence my plan at all.

Incidentally, pensions for civil servants under FERS are 1% of the average of that person's highest three years' salaries times the years of service. That bumps up to a fat 1.1% if that person works thirty years or more. If someone is earning $60k and works 44 years for the federal government, their pension is still only $29k.

Technically, you can "retire" after you achieve your minimum retirement age if you have ten years of service but the "pension" is minimal. I'm not really sure to what "federal law" you are referring.

And no, I probably won't be incapable of working at eighty; my family tends to be fairly long-lived. I don't choose to be working at eighty, though. That's my choice. :-)

Minxie
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Average life expectancy in the US is 78, not over 80.
==============================

When talking about years collecting SS perhaps it's a good idea to look at life expectancy of those at 65. The current life expectancy for someone 65 is 84.3


Okay, even with a life expectancy of almost 20 years, how many would actually be employable? Part of the argument for not raising the retirement age is that it would shift many to SSDI.
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Okay, even with a life expectancy of almost 20 years, how many would actually be employable? Part of the argument for not raising the retirement age is that it would shift many to SSDI.

I was just talking about the actual life expectancy...verifying the numbers. I did not take a stand on the raising the age for SS.

FWIW, I don't think the age for getting SS has anything to do with the age people should or should not retire. The age to retire is an individual decision.
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I know the language is tongue in cheek, but that is a real question ... are people who give up consumption happier?

You have my pity. What makes people happy/unhappy is dependent on themselves and what they value.

You don't seem to be self aware enough to know what you actually value. If you were, you wouldn't need to ask these questions.

Then, the people that you seem to be hoping will help you find the answers are people who obviously don't have the same values you do - which means their responses are unlikely to help you on your quest.

AJ
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are people who give up consumption happier?

Consuming with credit makes people stressed and unhappy. LBYM actually increases purchasing power by paying less interest and increasing investment income.
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"This is a civil service mentality."

I know plenty of people working non-civil service jobs who are counting the days till they can retire.
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Fine, it is your view and you are free to live your life that way. It doesn't mean others want to live by your views. Being capable of working and wanting to continue aren't the same.


well yeah because people like me have to pay for them, even though they can work--they just don't want to... its bullsh*t.
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I know plenty of people working non-civil service jobs who are counting the days till they can retire.



Really ? I have been working in private sector now for 10 years -- not once have I heard anyone talk about retiring, since leaving public service. Not even once.

Exception being this message board.
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well yeah because people like me have to pay for them, even though they can work--they just don't want to... its bullsh*t.

I'm curious: how are people like you paying for others to retire if they've clearly saved enough and structured their lives in such a way that they are financially independent?

Minxie
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Nik

My last private sector jobs (9 years) it was exceptionally rare to hear anyone talk about retiring, and that was generally a few folks who had retired from other jobs and then came to work with us. Most of the office was young, in their first or second job.

My current job has a lot of folks in that 55 to 65 range, with a number qualified to retire whenever they want. Retirement talk is constant. Of course, the most recent guy to retire literally took 2 days off, then started a similar job. He had 34 years in and I assure you has no financial need to work. Many stay on despite having decent pensions so they can reach a particular milestone, personally, professionally, or financially. The guy in the adjacent office has his date written down on his whiteboard.

So I suggest against stereotyping based on your experience at your job. People our age don't talk about when we are going to retire, because its a ways off for most of us.
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The guy in the adjacent office has his date written down on his whiteboard.

I have a two possible retirement dates encoded on my white board. No one has asked about the numbers on my white board.
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how are people like you ... Paying ...

SS tax that obviously won't be there for me
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SS tax that obviously won't be there for me

People who are planning on retirement are generally responsible enough to have saved for their retirement. Also, they've paid into SS for the preceding generations; it's part of our social contract here in the USA.

Minxie
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SS tax that obviously won't be there for me

In addition to many other things, you don't seem to understand how Social Security benefits work.

BTW, if all the women you date are interested in you solely because of your car or your shirt, then you may want to reconsider that. You remind me of a guy who once told me how the first things a woman looks at when sizing up a guy are his shoes and his watch. The phrase "the fish you catch depends on the bait you use" comes to mind.

I'm responding because the boards are slow and you're mildly amusing. Only mildly, tho'.

-synchronicity
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OK i drive a 1998 ford explorer with 153k miles on it. I paid cash for it ions ago.

Also, with regard to SS. I pay a lot of money every payday for something that is generally understood to be a big ponzi scheme and i won't see much benefit when my turn arrives to collect. So why don't you explain to me how SS works then.
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I pay a lot of money every payday for something that is generally understood to be a big ponzi scheme

Only by people who don't understand it.

SS benefits accrue based on compensation (highest 35 years, inflation-adjusted*). The benefit is calculated for "Normal Retirement Age", which for anyone born from 1960 on is age 67.

If someone "retires early", they can start collecting at age 62, but the monthly benefit is reduced. In general terms, SS benefits collected starting at age 62 as opposed to age 67 are going to be pretty close to actuarially equivalent. Similar thing if they defer to age 70 (and take the larger monthly benefit).

Which is just a long way of saying that regardless of whether one "retires early" or "retires late", the total value of their SS benefit over the remainder of their lifetime should be about the same.

-synchronicity

*- actually adjusted for "Average Wage Index", which is not quite "inflation" but is the same general concept
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There was a second part which you conveninetly left out...

THE BENEFIT WILL NOT BE THERE FOR ME

I guess this is sort of like explaining logic to a religious believer.

Who knew this thing called retirement was so sacrosanct and an entitlement to boot.
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THE BENEFIT WILL NOT BE THERE FOR ME

https://www.google.com/search?q=will+social+security+be+arou...

https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v70n3/v70n3p111.html

https://www.ssa.gov/newsletter/Statement%20Insert%2025+.pdf

Will Social Security
still be around
when I retire?
Yes. The Social Security taxes
you now pay go into the Social
Security Trust Funds and are
used to pay benefits to current
beneficiaries. The Social Security
Board of Trustees now estimates
that based on current law, in 2041,
the Trust Funds will be depleted.
Because people are living longer
and the birth rate is low, the ratio
of workers to beneficiaries is
falling. Therefore, the taxes that
are paid by workers will not be
enough to pay the full benefit
amounts scheduled.
However, this does not mean
that Social Security benefit
payments would disappear. Even
if modifications to the program
are not made, there would still
be enough funds in 2041 from
taxes paid by workers to pay
about $780 for every $1,000 in
benefits scheduled
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" that is generally understood to be a big ponzi scheme and i won't see much benefit when my turn arrives to collect."

You better start saving a lot more money then. Just FYI for 2016:

"The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the Federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $18,000.

The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000."
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THE BENEFIT WILL NOT BE THERE FOR ME

Yes it will be, and others have pointed out links to why that's the case.

I guess this is sort of like explaining logic to a religious believer.

Who knew this thing called retirement was so sacrosanct and an entitlement to boot.


The political boards are thataway =======>

With your posting style and manner of constructing arguments, I'm sure you'll fit right in.

-synchronicity
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Who knew this thing called retirement was so sacrosanct and an entitlement to boot.

=========================

That is why we start saving for it now.
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OK, I'll give a non-snarky answer, because someone might benefit from it.

These discussions are not about living in a shack and eating cold food out of cans in order to retire next week, nor is it about just scraping enough funds together to never work again as soon as possible because one is lazy and unmotivated. Nor is it that nice cars or nice houses are terrible evil things.

Rather, this is about priorities and goals. Everybody has a finite amount of funds (granted, for some people, it's more finite than others). WHAT do you want the most? How do you ALLOCATE those limited resources among countless possibilities?

You want a "fancy car". Fine. But why stop at a $50,000 Porsche, when you can buy a $300,000 Porsche (or Lambo or Ferrari or McLaren). I mean, why limit yourself? It's a BETTER car! Why only get a $1 million house (or whatever is top level in a given area, could be $5 million in parts of the Bay Area of Manhattan) when you could buy something twice as expensive that is even better?

I would assume the answer is that, although one COULD buy a $200,000 car, a $50,000 car accomplishes almost everything that they're looking for. The added benefit ("marginal utility") of spending $150,000 more is pretty small. Someone would be better off taking that $150,000 and using it somewhere else. Maybe fancy restaurants. Maybe nice clothes. Maybe even (*gasp*) SAVING it!

Everybody has different priorities. For some people, a $20,000 car accomplishes everything they want, so spending an extra $30K for that $50,000 car is a poor use of their funds and they'd better served putting it towards a nicer house or whatever. Take that same view and apply it towards everything, and you get the idea - it's all about resource allocation. If you know WHAT is important to you and WHY it's important, you can use YOUR funds in the way that is the best fit for YOU.

And be aware that YOUR preferences are different from mine, or hers, or his, or whoever.

Now, why would one save money? Well, maybe they do want to stop working as soon as possible, because they're lazy unmotivated underachievers who aren't fit to lick your boots. Or maybe they just want to have security and options. Say they have a great business idea, but know that it will require a year to take off. If they can save living expenses, they'll be able to quit their job, use that savings to support themselves for a year, and get that business off the ground (and possibly do much better than they were). If not...well, then it doesn't happen.

Also, sometimes things happen. Now, I'm sure that YOU are an invincible, absolutely necessary person that your employer could never live without and that your individual greatness means that your company/firm/whatever will be immensely successful simply due to your being a part of it, but sadly, that's not always the case for everyone. Sometimes companies go under even when one is talented and hard-working. Sometimes management outsources or reduces departments or staffing. Sometimes departments are taken over by pinheads and it makes sense to change jobs.

Again, maybe for you personally, being an awesome All-Star who undoubtedly has potential employers throwing offers wrapped around bricks through your window daily, you don't need savings because you can get hired by someone else in 15 minutes. But for all the rest of us, sometimes entire sectors go through downturns or whatever, and having a cushion is a positive. Maybe you want to work forever, but desire added flexibility to dictate time and terms, and having substantial savings helps your bargaining position. And so on.

Having a lot of savings (and also knowing what spending is CRITICAL to you and what is...well, nice, but unnecessary) allows one more options and more flexibility. It might allow one to take up more interesting work somewhere even if the compensation is lower (at least initially). Sometimes simply knowing that you're working 60+ hour weeks because you WANT to rather than because you HAVE to can allow one to make better life choices. Whatever.

And no, it's not about (on the one hand) buying a mansion, yacht, gold chains and flashy car vs. (on the other) buying at the Dollar Store discount bin and reading borrowed library books under a single bare bulb in an unheated SRO wearing a Salvation Army jacket. It's about balancing out competing "wants" and choosing those that work best for you. One of those "wants" may be "savings". It all depends.

That's probably too long and scrolly for most, but hey, maybe it'll be useful to somebody.

-synchronicity
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Most people can't buy a Porsche, raise children, save for college, pay debts, buy a house, and save for retirement.

Only you can decide your priorities. If you want a Porsche, you either earn tons of money at the expense of something else, usually time, or you save money at the expense of something else, often retirement.


I skipped the kids. Went with the house, Porsche, and saving for retirement.
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But why stop at a $50,000 Porsche, when you can buy a $300,000 Porsche (or Lambo or Ferrari or McLaren). I mean, why limit yourself? It's a BETTER car!



I can't afford A $300,000 car. Furthermore I don't know anyone who can.

I think we're all operating under a basic set of assumptions here. the first of which is that none of us really has a great deal of wealth piled up (above $5M) and none of here makes a top 1 % income.

So we're more or less playing with a the same hand. A used Porsche -- and one of the lower to mid models -- maybe in the cards for some here depending on the options or might not be.

But what can also be said is that our best asset is our talent and ability as it pertains to earning paycheck and that is our number one asset. So then my question is - why would you throw that away to earn jack in an index fund so you can retire by 52? Which is already several years younger than when fdr implemented retirement when nobody lived as long?
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I think we're all operating under a basic set of assumptions here. the first of which is that none of us really has a great deal of wealth piled up (above $5M) and none of here makes a top 1 % income.

Probably true, although there might be a couple of exceptions. These types of boards tend to skew above average in income and net worth.

But what can also be said is that our best asset is our talent and ability as it pertains to earning paycheck and that is our number one asset. So then my question is - why would you throw that away to earn jack in an index fund so you can retire by 52?

Well, first off, define "earn jack in an index fund". FWIW, I'm on track to retire around age 57 with a budget for annual income roughly equal to the "take home pay" that I've been earning the last several years. In terms of "marginal utility", working another decade after that contributes very little to my physical or mental well-being, and could even be worse.

It MIGHT prove worthwhile from an "I enjoy the work I'm doing" perspective...but it might not. Having that option is powerful. And again, sometimes employers don't value our talent and ability, so having that fallback as a form of "insurance" if it becomes necessary is good.

Some people might enjoy the work they're doing, but want to travel the world and see many sights, and won't have that option at their current jobs (and they'd like to travel while they can still move around easily). Or whatever the heck it is they'd prefer. Just because you CAN retire at age 52 doesn't mean you HAVE to.

Doesn't have to be retirement. If you have a kid and one parent (or both) want to switch to part time work or whatever arrangement, and that would result in taking a hit to income - again, substantial savings makes that an option. Or whatever the fact pattern is.

I'd hate to think we're defined as people by the "stuff" we have or what's on our W-2s.

Again, priorities and goals. If you want to buy a "fancy" car, go for it. One of my former co-workers, a very frugal guy, sold his 10 year old Honda Accord and bought a Jaguar. Granted, it was a 7 year old or something Jaguar so he got it for one-third of the cost of a new one (and he researched the heck out of it to know the history of that model year). For him, this was his one "splurge" when it came to cars. Last I heard he was generally enjoying it, although the repair costs - ugh.

If you're buying a "fancy" car to impress shallow people around you and to try to land a woman who will only be interested in you because you own a nice car, leading to relationship that you're generally not happy with and where overall you're unfulfilled but feel you "need" to do things to "impress" others...well, your choice, but it's not healthy. Not saying YOU are doing this, but there are many people who do similar things. It's the worst of all worlds - spending more money than necessary on stuff that doesn't make you feel better, and might make you feel even worse. Talk about poor resource allocation.

Anyway, it's about prioritization and having options. The fact you don't choose to take all your available options doesn't mean they're not valuable.

-synchronicity
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I skipped the kids. Went with the house, Porsche, and saving for retirement.

+1
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the first of which is that none of us really has a great deal of wealth piled up (above $5M)

I suspect that there are a number among us here with assets greater than $5M.

But what can also be said is that our best asset is our talent and ability as it pertains to earning paycheck and that is our number one asset. So then my question is - why would you throw that away to earn jack in an index fund so you can retire by 52?

Depends on your goals. A co-worker moved to a start-up. He took the risk of working long hours with the hope that he had chosen the right company. The payoff was enough to live not extravagantly, but he didn't have to work and hasn't.

none of here makes a top 1 % income.

I won't say that no one here has never has income that placed them in the top 1%, but likely that some are in the top 5%.
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I won't say that no one here has never has income that placed them in the top 1%, but likely that some are in the top 5%.

For 2014, the U.S. Census reports that the lower limit of top 5% household income is $206,568.

PSU
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For 2014, the U.S. Census reports that the lower limit of top 5% household income is $206,568.


$206,568 is not a lot of money.
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$206,568 is not a lot of money.

I know.
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If you're buying a "fancy" car to impress shallow people around you and to try to land a woman who will only be interested in you because you own a nice car, leading to relationship that you're generally not happy with and where overall you're unfulfilled but feel you "need" to do things to "impress" others...well, your choice, but it's not healthy. Not saying YOU are doing this, but there are many people who do similar things. It's the worst of all worlds - spending more money than necessary on stuff that doesn't make you feel better, and might make you feel even worse. Talk about poor resource allocation.



Who does that? Who are these "shallow people?" As far as I can tell just about everyone has their +'s and -'s. I'm yet to meet anyone who is more or less shallow than another categorically. Just some people have the dosh to buy nicer things and others who don't basically.

And getting back OT that is On Topic here -- I think the question really isn't that they are out to impress others, but to enjoy life and they think a part of it is a nice car. But do they succeed is the question. Also strangely some will buy it to aspire envy in others which I never understood.
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I won't say that no one here has never has income that placed them in the top 1%, but likely that some are in the top 5%.

The top 1% is...not a lot of money, surprisingly. This map shows the income required to be in the top 1% by state. I'd wager there are more 1%-ers than folks think. ID, for example, only requires an income of $274k.

http://www.businessinsider.com/one-percent-state-map-2014-9

Minxie
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I'd wager there are more 1%-ers than folks think. ID, for example, only requires an income of $274k.

In 2014, Idaho had a low population: 1.634 million, which means 16,340 in the 1%. With the low cost of living and low wages, it isn't easy to generate $274K income.
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Sorry, I meant more than we think are on the TMF boards.

M
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ID, for example, only requires an income of $274k.

http://www.businessinsider.com/one-percent-state-map-2014-9


Interesting. ID has a 1% level that is about 53.6% of the 1% level for NY. But if I go to the table further down, ID has a median income that is about 80% of the median income for NY.

I think this is telling us that the nationwide top 1% tends to be in the higher cost states that we perceive as also being higher income; but the folks further down the food chain don't participate in the higher income aspect as much.

Patzer
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but the folks further down the food chain don't participate in the higher income aspect as much.



They do when it comes to spending though. Often times keeping up with the Joneses who are able to out everything them ...kinda sad. Maybe I should have moved to Texas after all :(
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Maybe I should have moved to Texas after all :(

No, no you shouldn't have.

-synchronicity, in Texas, unfortunately. And yes, there's LOTS of conspicuous consumption here
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I would think if anything that is the grocery store dong that to get you to buy the more expensive item.

Most grocery stores have a flat 3-4% markup. I doubt they care what you buy. Name Brands do pay for X feet of shelve space in stored.
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I will however buy the cheapest brand laundry detergent because I know it cleans clothes as well as any other. Others will not however.


As someone who works for a soap manufacturer that is not true. While is true detergents all use the same base steal, neodal, water and fragrance the ratios and forumulation vary.
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I would think if anything that is the grocery store dong that to get you to buy the more expensive item.

Most grocery stores have a flat 3-4% markup. I doubt they care what you buy. Name Brands do pay for X feet of shelve space in stored.


Grocery stores have an average profit of 1 to 2% on each item. There is a high turnover of items or they are discontinued in addition to the slotting fees.

The markups vary widely, and mostly are between 25 and 80%. Dairy products have price controls. Profits on store brands, even with the lower price, is higher than national brands.

Stores do care what you buy, and have many ways of encouraging customers to buy more and buy higher profit items. Including the obvious of placing staples in the back of the store and high profit items in aisle end caps.
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I had a roommate once whose mother bought him the environmentally friendly stuff--urea and orange peel as the main ingredients--his laundry smelled like citrusy pee while he used it, but he did use it all...

All things aren't equal when it comes to detergents
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For years I've been buying the cheapest laundry detergent.

I sometimes will wash some clothes at my parents house who use Tide. I have not noticed one bit of difference except one smells different than the other.
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SlickNik,

I've got a nice, big house, a $50k truck and an expensive sports car. Sure, it makes you happy for a little while. But pretty soon you get spoiled to it, and the next thing that will make you happy again for a while longer is even more expensive. And when you start looking for the next thing, that money you spend on the stuff you already have will just seem wasted. It's money you could have saved for this next new thing, but didn't.

In the long run, the stuff that KEEPS you happy will tend to be:
1. Is the temperature comfortable?
2. And I safe and dry?
3. Is the food any good?
4. Am I free of significant worry?
5. Is the company I keep interesting?

Just one millionaire's opinion.

xtn

PS - Okay, the car continues to provide happiness in short bursts. So there are exceptions.
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I'd wager there are more 1%-ers than folks think.

Shouldn't everybody think that exactly 1 out of every 100 is in the set? I mean the definition is kinda built right into the name.

xtn
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Yeah, it was in reference to a comment about who was on the boards. :-)

Minxie
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Shouldn't everybody think that exactly 1 out of every 100 is in the set? I mean the definition is kinda built right into the name.

I was promised there wouldn't be any math.
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In the long run, the stuff that KEEPS <strike> you </strike> xtn happy will tend to be:





1. Is the temperature comfortable?
2. And I safe and dry?

This is setting the bar awful low.

3. Is the food any good?

I don't look at food as entertainment just a source of nutrition.


4. Am I free of significant worry?
5. Is the company I keep interesting?


I always worry. No idea what your friends have to do w anything.

I think the question is whether you are falling for a marketing or not.
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Really you can live in a roach motel and be happy in theory acording to this definition....



1. Is the temperature comfortable?
2. And I safe and dry?
3. Is the food any good?
4. Am I free of significant worry?
5. Is the company I keep interesting?
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I don't look at food as entertainment just a source of nutrition.

Aha--but you look at cars as entertainment, while many look at them as a source of transport. Can't you extrapolate?
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I don't look at food as entertainment just a source of nutrition.


So sad
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Aha--but you look at cars as entertainment, while many look at them as a source of transport. Can't you extrapolate?



I get up at 5:00 every day and I'm trying to run or work out whenever I can before work. I also try to eat healthy. I like the idea of having a good physique also.

I started thinking of another car when I got stranded on a bridge for 2 hours with people roaring by at 60 mph and me standing outside of my car thinking someone would just smash into the back of my car. Sure enough there was an older woman who actually flashed her lights at the back of my car. Not even realizing that I was standing 10 feet a way from it. I guess she thought I was driving really really slow. So yeah I guess if you get smashed by another car and end up dead or in a hospital for a long time, that's a really good way to save money on transportation costs. Although I hear ambulance rides are really expensive.
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Can't you extrapolate?


Yep sure I can. Boring people will be well boring.
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So sad

Why? I'm sure there are thousands of things I don't care about that other people are passionate and interested in. I'm not sad about a single one of them. People have different priorities and interests. There's nothing sad about that -- in fact, I feel the opposite. I love that there's such a diverse spectrum of personalities and desires in the world. That's part of what makes life so vibrant and engaging.
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Yep sure I can. Boring people will be well boring.

Thanks for setting such a good example for us to follow.

PSU
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^ No Comprende
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I don't look at food as entertainment just a source of nutrition.


So sad



I've noticed this invariably comes from people who are minimum 30 lbs. overweight.
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SlickNik,

In response to, 1. Is the temperature comfortable?
2. And I safe and dry?
3. Is the food any good?
4. Am I free of significant worry?
5. Is the company I keep interesting?


You wrote, Really you can live in a roach motel and be happy in theory acording to this definition....

Actually I think #2 and #4 might preclude a motel or other abode with a serious roach infestation. ;-)

But yeah, beyond a certain point "more house" doesn't buy you much more happiness. And it can actually cause more worries - though that's something you could mitigate by spending money on people that can maintain the place. But at that point the pride of ownership is more like the pride of owning a work of art and has nothing to do with its utility ... and would probably fall into that category of falling for that "Marketing hype" you refer to.

- Joel
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SlickNik,

Yes, my happiness criteria does set the bar pretty low. But here is something you can't seem to wrap around your head... setting the happiness bar low results in me being happy most of the time, without needing to spend a lot of my money to get it.

xtn
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1. Is the temperature comfortable?
2. And I safe and dry?
3. Is the food any good?
4. Am I free of significant worry?
5. Is the company I keep interesting?

Really you can live in a roach motel and be happy in theory acording to this definition....

LOL

6. Is my personal space substantially free of roaches?

I think you know what I mean. Above some lower minimum standard of housing, my overall happiness has not improved with bigger/fancier housing.

xtn
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Above some lower minimum standard of housing


But what exactly is that?
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I know the language is tongue in cheek, but that is a real question ... are people who give up consumption happier?

You really don't seem to get it, but such is the nature of trolls. No one, and I do mean no one, gives up consumption. The issue is whether giving up conspicuous consumption makes you happier? And for a lot of people, the answer is "yes". However, for those who essentially live on the surface, it probably doesn't. If the only way to gauge your happiness is through showing off your possessions, then chances are good that you will spend your entire life continually pursuing more of them. It's sad, but if you feel that you can only be happy by having more than those around you, have at it. Who knows? Someday you might be in the 1% and get your marginal income taxed to the Bejesus Belt.

LWW
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You really don't seem to get it, but such is the nature of trolls. No one, and I do mean no one, gives up consumption. The issue is whether giving up conspicuous consumption makes you happier?


That's a good troll post right there. I mean I thought it obvious we were discussing hyper consumption some 83 posts later ;)

The rest of your post sounds like you're celebrating the fact that now you're old enough to eat ice cream for dinner since before you're parents wouldn't let you.

Living below your means shouldn't be an ends.... It shouldn't be excuse to underachieve. If you don't want to show off that's fine but you need to back that up w performance I would think; don't you agree?
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You really don't seem to get it, but such is the nature of trolls.



What is with this troll BS? It's not like I'm posting this on the retire boards. Further, just because many here -- which wasn't obvious to me before -- choose to invest to retire early; that by no means should stop me from my goals. It's an investing forum plain and simple. There are a number of different ways to do that and, further a number of different approaches to use investments to reach your goals whatever they happen to be. Why is your way any better than mine? Or any more or less "motley fool" than mine? I can say that you're a troll. Investing is a rich mans sport. Always was. So by trying to save your way into the club without having made a fortune first; you're the troll.
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Above some lower minimum standard of housing


But what exactly is that?

For me personally?

If I didn't have a wife and two kids, I would say a decent, but not fancy, one bedroom apartment in a blue-collar neighborhood. That would probably be my minimum standard above which no more long-term happiness could be derived from housing.

Bad neighborhood? Meh. I don't carry around anything worth stealing. I don't keep big wads of cash in my dresser drawer. I don't dress like somebody worth mugging. And I could easily only show up and park there in my 1992 Civic with faded paint and a broken muffler. I could just keep my truck and my sports car somewhere else. If my wife ever leaves me, that's probably exactly what I would do in fact. I've already made note of a complex that's biking distance from both our current house and my kids' school so that they could easily come stay with me whenever they wanted. So I would probably actually get a two bedroom. It's in a neighborhood that's nicer than I need, nice enough that I could park my truck there too, but would still be way below my means.

xtn

PS - The lower income folks party better than my income peers anyway.
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Investing is a rich mans sport. Always was. So by trying to save your way into the club without having made a fortune first; you're the troll.

Where did you get that idea? I don't think anyone here is trying to save their way into any "club", however, I know plenty of people who have invested over the years and they certainly weren't rich when they got started. In fact, quite the opposite. My grandfather amassed quite the fortune over a period of 30 years by investing his income while he and my grandmother lived below their means on her income. Neither of them did without, but they ended up with a very comfortable retirement, and he was still able to leave his children a sizeable inheritance when he died in his 90s. Not bad for a guy with a Geology degree who worked blue collar in a gas refinery and a woman who worked for the USPS.


LWW
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SlickNik,

You wrote, Investing is a rich mans sport. Always was. So by trying to save your way into the club without having made a fortune first; you're the troll.

I think you confuse cause and effect.

Everyone that puts money into their 401k is investing. Most are investing in the stock market. Some of us actually save enough that way to become what others would call "rich". I prefer the term well-off, since rich seems to imply I could do almost anything I want financially.

On the other hand trading stocks and using complex derivatives might arguably be a rich-man's game. Certainly it requires more time than I can dedicate while working. And arguably it requires more capital than most people would have until they're approaching retirement. I've known people that got into both - in part for the entertainment value - after they've retired. But they're dangerous things to do if you don't take it seriously and study the behaviors and risks you're taking.

FWIW, these days it will typically take a million or more in investments and savings for any working couple to retire comfortably in most parts of the USA. A million won't be adequate in some parts, even for a single person. If you're young and just starting out? You might need $2 million or more. And that's above and beyond social security. If you believe social security simply won't be there for you ... well you're savings and investments had better be even bigger. (Say you were 27, planning to marry and living in Manhattan? I'd plan on needing more like $5M as a minimum.)

And the number required just keeps growing. It's just a fact of life. Of inflation. But people have been saving to meet retirement goals since almost forever. Certainly since before social security was created. And a sizable portion of the US population meet their goals every year. And most of them aren't corporate big-wigs, lawyers, doctors, bankers or sports stars.

From what I've seen mid-level workers tend be more motivated than anyone on either end of the income spectrum. That's because most of them are either dissatisfied with their work-life, tired of the rat race and don't want to give yet another job a try; or like me, they believe medical issues may reduce their ability to enjoy their latter years in life so best to plan to retire while you're still young enough to do some of the things you enjoy. The other common denominator is that all of these people are frugal, can plan for the future and can execute on a plan. We might not be the majority of the population; but I think we're more common than you think.

Finally, we've gone really off-topic for this board. This is the credit card and consumer debt board. Your original question about marketing hype probably applies; but retirement is only related because it's almost impossible to consider retiring when you are struggling with consumer debt...

- Joel
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I agree w Joel. We need to get back on topic.OT.
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I think you know what I mean. Above some lower minimum standard of housing, my overall happiness has not improved with bigger/fancier housing.



idk. i reach the point where its time for an upgrade after a few years. Whether my house or car. it gets really boring otherwise. i'm also sick of partying and hangovers... don't have the time for them. Maybe i can take that money and use it toward new furn and renovations in a new place. What is more impressive ... someone who spends all his money at bars w the 23 yr olds or someone w a nice ass place. I also don' feel right living in a place in manhattan that reminds me of a colleg dorm room for not cheap. I think i'm moving to queens if i can finally get board approval on a co op.
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What is more impressive ... someone who spends all his money at bars w the 23 yr olds or someone w a nice ass place.

Neither. Someone who manages his money well is more impressive than either of them, even if he's living in a tiny place.

Minxie
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Neither. Someone who manages his money well is more impressive than either of them, even if he's living in a tiny place.

Minxie


Yea how sexy. He manages his money well! Like who would know? I'll take the new renovation thanks.
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Yea how sexy. He manages his money well! Like who would know? I'll take the new renovation thanks.

Again, that's the great thing about choices. For me, a guy who plans inexpensive dates or uses coupons is pretty sexy; chances are he's saving and investing rather than wasting his money on the latest toy.

Different strokes and all that jazz,

Minxie
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Again, that's the great thing about choices. For me, a guy who plans inexpensive dates or uses coupons is pretty sexy; chances are he's saving and investing rather than wasting his money on the latest toy.

Different strokes and all that jazz,

Minxie


Ah a cheap thing. We can go out. I'll get some Applebees coupons
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Ah a cheap thing. We can go out. I'll get some Applebees coupons

She is waaay out of your league.
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idk. i reach the point where its time for an upgrade after a few years. Whether my house or car. it gets really boring otherwise. i'm also sick of partying and hangovers... don't have the time for them. Maybe i can take that money and use it toward new furn and renovations in a new place.

Maybe sometime you will find yourself and not need to try to buy happiness.
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Maybe sometime you will find yourself and not need to try to buy happiness.


I'm not lost or trying to buy happiness.

Some where, some time ago a caveman said "I want more." And that is why we have all of these great thing now.
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I'm not lost or trying to buy happiness.

Some where, some time ago a caveman said "I want more." And that is why we have all of these great thing now.


Pretty sure that caveman was fulfilling needs on the physiological/safety level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Once you get past that level, you are buying happiness/self-esteem/belonging/ego. Nothing wrong with that as long as you understand that this is what you are doing.

M
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What is more impressive ... someone who spends all his money at bars w the 23 yr olds or someone w a nice ass place.

Depends on whom you are attempting to impress, I suppose. Spending all your money on bars or housing doesn't impress me at all either way.

xtn
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Once you get past that level, you are buying happiness/self-esteem/belonging/ego. Nothing wrong with that as long as you understand that this is what you are doing.


How do you know that?

Do I like an iPhone 6 because I'm buying those things you state or did I buy a convenient appliance that has tons of info at my fingertips; gives me directions when I'm lost ; tells me the weather; music etc.
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Depends on whom you are attempting to impress, I suppose. Spending all your money on bars or housing doesn't impress me at all either way.



OK so i laid my cards on the table as the saying goes -- so lets here what you all are trying to do. Who are you trying to impress? And if the answer is no one then tell me what are you trying to do and how much do you make a year that you're so happy with?
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Who are you trying to impress? And if the answer is no one then tell me what are you trying to do and how much do you make a year that you're so happy with?

I make about $80,000 per year. I'm not trying to impress anyone. My goal is to not have to work until I die, make sure my children's education is taken care of and to make sure that if my son on the autism spectrum disorder is not able to work that there are some funds to help him in life after I'm gone.

Not living paycheck to paycheck is awesome, we take trips (paid for by my in-laws) periodically. I have a truck provided by work, my wife drives a 9 year old mini-van with more than 100,000 miles.

If I had everything for the future taken care of, I would indulge in scuba diving in exotic locals and photography. I live in a blue collar neighborhood which helps make meeting my goals possible.
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OK so i laid my cards on the table as the saying goes

Really? I never saw you actually say what your goals are or how much you make - at least not on this board. And I'm not so enamored of you that I follow you around to other boards that I don't typically read.

Who are you trying to impress?

Nobody.

And if the answer is no one then tell me what are you trying to do and how much do you make a year that you're so happy with?

And why should I bother to tell you specifics if I am not trying to impress you?

I will say - I make enough so that I am able to own a very nice waterfront home with great views - I see the cruise ships go by, along with lots of other shipping, fishing boats, sailboats and pleasure craft, as well as eagles, deer and other wildlife. I manage to do by spending only about half of my after-tax income. I have about 25 times my expected annual retirement expenses in investable assets. And my goal is to retire at least 10 years before my SS FRA. My net worth is north of 7 figures.

I did all that while living in nice middle class neighborhoods and driving decent, often new, cars. So your assertions that it's not possible to be a MND unless your life sucks are just incorrect.

AJ
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SlickNik,

You wrote, OK so i laid my cards on the table as the saying goes -- so lets here what you all are trying to do. Who are you trying to impress? And if the answer is no one then tell me what are you trying to do and how much do you make a year that you're so happy with?

My answer is no one.

I won't identify my finances too directly - I've pretty clearly identified myself in this forum. Posting financial specifics feels like a bad idea.

But I will tell you I'm a computer programmer for one of the world's largest software companies and I live in the Seattle area. Glassdoor.com can give you an idea of what I make.

I live in a 2 bedroom town-home on the east-side. It's valued at less than the median home price. It is mortgaged, but the LTV is already down to about 55%. I could pay off the mortgage today if I really wanted to.

Most days I bicycle to work. I do it for the exercise and because I enjoy it. My car turns 10 years old in six months. I purchased it new. I financed it, but paid it off within a year. It's a Honda Accord.

Ten years ago my net worth was just barely above six figures - shortly after divorcing my spend-thrift wife of 20 years. Some of my struggles from that time are archived here on this board. I won't claim it to be an interesting read. Just frustrating and at times bitter.

Today my net worth is in the low 7 figures. I have a bit less than 20 times my expenses in savings and investments. I will probably retire in 5 years.

I also found this nice woman here on TMF. We've been seeing each other for a quite a while now. These days she owns this very nice waterfront home with great views - I see the cruise ships go by, along with lots of other shipping, fishing boats, sailboats and pleasure craft, as well as eagles, deer and other wildlife. The place is also very close to nice bike trails, state and national forests, mountains and some of the few real rain forests in north America. I've been thinking I might retire there.

I've been through some drama in my life. In fact some members of my family seem to be drawn to it. But living with it, I found I didn't like it at all. Even as a kid, I found peace and quiet and a good book to be preferable to the company of some people.

Riding my bike and hiking in the woods. Reading a good book or watching a good show. Those are some of my pleasures. I used to really enjoy coding too. Just for the pleasure of diving into a complex problem, solving it and creating something new. I started really young - especially for my generation. But work has kind of worn the luster from that pleasure. I might find myself drawn back to it after I'm retired. But I'll probably write what I want to write - not what others feel I need to do.

- Joel
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What is with the snarky answers?

You have your goals of retiring before 65 or whatever they are and, I have mine--of never retiring.

I invest along the way and I stop when I can no longer work anymore. And that means like when I literally cannot work any more. Not getting laid off and not being able to find another 120,000$ a year job in my field. I make a 6 figure sal btw.
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I have fun along the w my money. I think the answers are too generalized. I mean theoretically I can wear the same shirt every day and drive a 1977 pinto. The reason I don't do that go much further than the need to impress someone else; vanity; the need to belong to the cool kids clubs;or being brain washed by advertising.
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SlickNik added to your Ignored Fools list.

This thread is getting REALLY boring, not to mention nonproductive. The board has been on my Favorites list for some time, for help posters have provided community members. With SlickNik's arrival, it has become less. I am sorry to see that happen, but it is. *sigh*
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Yea I guess if you're not smart enough to care about consumer behavior and why people do the things they do and getting ahead financially as a result -- well then it will be boring to you.

If you want to come on an investmnt board and talk about total bullsh*t it will be boring to you too. I just p boxed you, and maybe there's a Martha Stewart board you would feel more at home with. Why people come to an investment sight to discuss prepping bbq chicken -- i have no idea.
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I invest along the way and I stop when I can no longer work anymore. And that means like when I literally cannot work any more. Not getting laid off and not being able to find another 120,000$ a year job in my field. I make a 6 figure sal btw.

10 years ago, I had the same expectation. Things change. A six figure income doesn't make up for a job that I no longer enjoy and parts of which are causing stress.
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I make a 6 figure sal btw.

6 figure salary is not a lot of money.

BTW, if that's showing your cards, it's like letting someone see if the card is red or black.

PSU
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Why people come to an investment sight to discuss prepping bbq chicken -- i have no idea.

People can here for various reason, most likely for some financial topic. Then they began to socialize, become friends and discuss prepping bbq chicken. It's not much different than in real life where you meet someone at some event, work, church, or kid's activity where the initial meeting is not about bbq chicken but you end up making friends and eating bbq chicken on your or their back patio.

PSU
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Why are you guys shooting the messenger? I read it in a book

Go take it up w Danko. (Stanley died recently).

I take it about half the millionaires surveyed did not live in a tony area.
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Maybe it has to do with the NYC area also

There are several "developing areas" which are be any definition lower class that the realtors are pushing as "featured"

I guess to he transient NYers it might be but to us who have been living here and can remember when they were really nice and turned bad well this is just opportunism or the new reality or crazy major metro area real estate prices
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OK so i laid my cards on the table as the saying goes -- so lets here what you all are trying to do. Who are you trying to impress? And if the answer is no one then tell me what are you trying to do and how much do you make a year that you're so happy with?

I guess I've grown out of the need to impress anybody - at least with material things. I like to impress the kids at Scouts with a story or a skill. I like to impress the ladies with my clever wit and rock hard abs. I like to impress the folks who run the local food pantry with my volunteering efforts. I like to impress my customers/clients with my dedication and work ethic. I like to impress people I want to be friends with by trying to leave them thinking I'm good friend material. I like to impress my own kids with completely fictitious stories from the years I spent as a super hero.

Over the last fourteen years, which is how long ago my net worth swung from red to black and so can be considered a sort of starting point for me, the household income my wife and I have shared has ranged from a low of about $45k up to a high of about $160k gross. Average probably in the range of $120k. Those are just vague, round numbers, but should at least set the scene. Let's see... that would suggest a total household earned income of about $1.7MM for those fourteen years. Yeah, that's probably within spitting distance.

So the take-home from that is probably in the neighborhood of $1.35MM or somewhere around there? Just guessing. Our basic net worth passed a million dollars back in the Spring. So did we live on the other $350k for those fourteen years? Well, almost, but not quite. During that time I had an inheritance of $30k. Part of our spending was on rental property, from which I've added roughly $80k of profit so far over the years. And the employee matching in my 401k has added about $50 to my net worth that wasn't counted in the income figures earlier.

Anyways, I figure we've "lived" on an average of about $35,000 to $40,000 a year. For a family of four. Less in the earlier years, and of course more recently it's been more than that.

I don't own a suit. Most of my clothes come from Walmart, seriously. No gold watch. No pair of jet-skis. No set of golf clubs. Never been to Europe...biggest vacation ever was 3 nights in Mexico, and I live in Texas so it isn't all that far. Most expensive shoes I've ever owned were $110, and those were RedWing work boots. I kind-of want one of those fancy stoves with the big griddle on the top, but you know what, the bacon tastes just as good out of a skillet. An old cast iron skillet. Not one of those fancy gold-plated skillets like they sell in the fancier department stores. That makes for a good analogy...what really makes me happy is eating the bacon, not the name brands of the items used to cook the bacon.

I've got pretty simple tastes in most areas, and a million bucks, and consequently my ongoing happiness level is pretty high. High enough that living in a blue-collar neighborhood wouldn't phase it. High enough that somebody thinking I'm under dressed wouldn't phase it. High enough that I can show up to a dinner party in my old Civic and park next to newer, nicer cars and not be phased in the least.

Sure, I spend more now than I used to. The income level has risen over time. But more importantly, so has my savings account. I do have goals that require savings. It doesn't matter what they are. The point is that I'm free to choose them. I'm free to spend on something or not. I'm not forced into a decision I don't want. I can either pay for my kids' college or not. Up to me. No worries either way. THAT makes me happy. I get weekly paychecks at work. I've got a couple months worth of them stashed in my desk drawer until I feel like going by the bank again to make a deposit. No worries. THAT makes me happy. I hear other people freak out if payday is delayed a single day. Miserable sods I assume.

Why do you keep asking these sorts of questions? You don't behave as if you're hoping to be convinced. Do you just like picking other people apart to make your own life justifiable? Hey, that's fine with me if you do. Maybe that's what makes YOU happy instead.

xtn
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SlickNik: Who are you trying to impress?

aj485: Nobody.


AJ, you've been accidentally impressing me for years.

xtn
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I make a 6 figure sal btw.

6 figure salary is not a lot of money.

BTW, if that's showing your cards, it's like letting someone see if the card is red or black.

PSU


Especially in Silicon Valley. Not enough income to qualify for a loan to buy the house we own. Not a 1%, just an average engineer without stock options.
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Especially in Silicon Valley. Not enough income to qualify for a loan to buy the house we own. Not a 1%, just an average engineer without stock options.


Firstly i six figure salary can mean 500,000$ a year which is a lot of money.

I don't need to tell you exactly how much I make. I think that would be enough to let you know that I'm not exactly making the median 50k a year income.
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Also, if you're so embarrassed by what your doing and letting a guy on an internet message board affect your life choices then don't do it I guess.

I mean my parents and I admire a 70 year old woman who walks -- I'd say about a mile -- with her work in tow ( these big heavy garment bags) -- to a commuter train every day. And goes to work in the garment district.

And she's a woman. So what do you want me to tell you? I admire that. I don't admire the civil service lifer mentality. Getting your g man badge or what whatever at age 53. That's just me. That is who I am. Sorry.
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Also, if you're so embarrassed by what your doing and letting a guy on an internet message board affect your life choices then don't do it I guess.

Your not changing my life choices. Depending on the day, I am convinced I should be retired or ambivalent about retirement.

Getting your g man badge or what whatever at age 53. That's just me. That is who I am. Sorry.

Sorry, but there are age limits. You won't get a g man badge at 53.
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I don't need to tell you exactly how much I make. I think that would be enough to let you know that I'm not exactly making the median 50k a year income.

Given your posts, an approximation of your income can be made.
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You know whatever. The co op board doing a background check on my income thinks it's good. And they said when it gets validated -- which I already gave them my paystubs -- not sure what they are validating -- I can go to contract. It's good enough for a nyc co op board it should be good enough for you guys too alright then.
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I guess to he transient NYers it might be but to us who have been living here and can remember when they were really nice and turned bad

Name one NYC neighborhood that was really nice and turned bad in your lifetime.
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I already did Jackson heights
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I already did Jackson heights

BS. Assuming you are 38, and your first memories are from 1980, Jackston Heights was a sh!thole. It has done nothing but improve in that time, starting in the mid-late 90s.
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Whatever maybe it was a sh*thole even back then. It wasn't too long before 1980 that it was nice. It still is a sh*thole is the point.
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Whatever maybe it was a sh*thole even back then. It wasn't too long before 1980 that it was nice. It still is a sh*thole is the point.

Crime has steadily declined in Jackson Heights since the 90s, along with most of the city:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Heights,_Queens

Jackson Heights has followed the general crime patterns of New York City. After crime spikes in the 1970s into the 1990s, crime has declined significantly. According to New York City Police Department CompStat statistics, measured crime has declined more than 74% in the last 21 years (1993 to 2014). As of December 2014, the murder rate is down over 70% and grand larceny auto is down 93% from 1990.


I know many people in Jackson Heights. It's a wonderful neighborhood. I don't think you know the first thing about NYC.
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I don't admire the civil service lifer mentality. Getting your g man badge or what whatever at age 53. That's just me. That is who I am. Sorry.

Please stop disparaging civil servants. I am a civil servant and I work very hard to ensure that the troops get the best. While you may have known some people who lazed about the job, I assure that happens in every industry and presuming that all civil servants are the same is quite offensive.

Minxie

P.S. I'm also a Marine.
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*you
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I know many people in Jackson Heights. It's a wonderful neighborhood. I don't think you know the first thing about NYC.


What did you move here from Indiana last year.

Buddy I went to see an apt in Jackson Heights a few weeks ago. It is in a dump. Even still. Hell that is what inspired the millionaire next door unsavory thread. A work colleague is a police officer assigned to the area. He gets calls for domestic disputes from people who are drunk at like 10:00 in the morning. I have family that used to live there and moved in the early '80s
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According to New York City Police Department CompStat statistics, measured crime has declined more than 74% in the last 21 years (1993 to 2014). As of December 2014, the murder rate is down over 70% and grand larceny auto is down 93% from 1990.



That is like saying Bed Stuy brooklyn is now a nice area because crime is down there too compared with the 80's. It's not nice just not as bad as before.
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* work colleague has a son who is police
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I don't need to tell you exactly how much I make.

You're right, because you sort of already did.

http://boards.fool.com/should-i-get-a-car-payment-31910291.a...

In September you only had $10k in liquid savings. If you made $500,000 a year, a single paycheck would be larger than that (assuming twice monthly pay cycle).
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Also, if you "contribute 10%" to a 401K you can't be making more than $180,000 a year.
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"Ward, I think you were a little hard on the Beaver."

PSU
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I've been here for over ten years now.

I'm you better than you fake it, Buddy. I live in a nicer place than you, and in a nicer neighborhood, and I'm not cheating by subletting someone's subsidized apartment to be there. Mrs whafa and I are DINKs



I'm so glad you need to validate how better than me you are. There's one thing you are better at, that is for sure, and that is displaying a complete lack of class and taste.
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I stand by my statement. You are a NYC poseur



Only a nyc poseur thinks Jackson Heights (that's marketing hype right there) is a nice area and inferior to Valley Stream or Jersey City.
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Wait err that's Valley Stream and Jersey City inferior to Jackson Heights.
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I'm so glad you need to validate how better than me you are.


I'm not even all that great! It's just a very low bar.
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I'm not even all that great! It's just a very low bar.



Guy I don't know what you are even talking about. Your numbers mean that you pay about $2200 a month rent. Which would be the fair market value between a 1 br and a studio apt. in the east village where I currently live. I guess you are bragging that you are getting ripped off for your place (?) where I get it for less? To top it off you live with someone else -- that would be like me having a roommate -- not to mention by your own admission, you're riding their coattails. Reasons like this is why I can't wait to move to Queens where real NYers live.
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The perfect pivot for this is marketing hype with regard to real estate neighborhoods and over-paying for housing.
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Also those kitchen counters are grimy and old--is that marketing hype?

I mean a wooden box and four walls is all one needs!
- SlickNik | Date: 10/22/2015 4:31:49 PM | Number: 310411

When I was in Grade School, <1948-1956> my home was eight or nine blocks from a funeral home. They always received new caskets in nice plywood boxes. The owner of the funeral home, who we knew, would give the boxes to me, and my friends to take into a woods and build "forts" tree houses, etc. out of the material. One scavenged box would last a year or three.

David
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"What is with this obsession over retiring?"

Average life expectancy in the US is 78, not over 80.

1.) Many people have jobs that aren't pleasant.
2.) Having the choice to do what you want, and not what is necessary to generate earned income
3.) Health issues force many to retire before they would choose to retire

Significantly raising the full retirement age for Social Security will result in significant increases in SSDI.

Retiring before that is just ridiculous in my view. Like youre incapable of working or something?

Fine, it is your view and you are free to live your life that way. It doesn't mean others want to live by your views. Being capable of working and wanting to continue aren't the same. ...
- vkg | Date: 10/24/2015 8:58:18 PM | Number: 310412

I have NEVER, EVER had a job that I: 1. Didn't like, or in fact LOVE. If I did not like the job after the interview I simply would not accept that job. Life is too short not to like your job.

I retired from a job that I really liked a lot at the end of December 1995 to make room to promote my very able assistant to be promoted into my position. The deal was, promote my assistant into my position, or I will continue the one hour drive each way to work. My assistant was promoted, I retired. I was the BIG 50. I got tired of being retired so started: 1. A Law Firm, 2. A retail business <resale operation>, 3. A Telecommunications company, 4. A Venture Capital Limited Partnership. ...

David
WHOVPLLC
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At one time when I was working as a Venture Capital General Partner, prior to December 2015, I was comfortably in the top one percent. That is just one reason why I support Donald Trump as next President of the United States, the second reason is that I met "The Donald" in NYC, outside the Trump Tower on 51st Street in April 1977. We had a nice discussion after he tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I liked the building. I, of course, said that the building was beautiful and very impressive. He invited me upstairs to see the Penthouse.

David
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NoIDAtAll is already one of your Favorite Fools. - TMF Server
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