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I apologize as I have posted this type of thing here before, but it was a while ago. I just cross posted this on CAMPFIRE version as well. I felt the need to do so here since many of you are my old friends from the original REHP board, before we became split over politics.

I have been thinking a lot lately about "the rest of my financial life". I am 48 and have pretty much made "the right" financial decisions (not without mistakes). I earn a big income from my own business and have always saved about half of it. I try to squeeze $1.50 out of every dollar and always have. I live well but at about half the level of friends in a similar situation. I'll call them "the Whizzers" (as in "whizzing" away all of their money.

I am wondering if THE WHIZZERS will win. It seems that my type is under total attack from all sides. Inflation pressuring the family budget on one end, financial assets melting away on the other end. One political party just drooling at the opportunity to make my type the whipping boy and tax the hell out of us, with the other party probably going to have to do something similar albeit with less joy in doing so.

If I save 10 million dollars (just a number that I pulled out of the air) over 30 years and THE WHIZZERS save 1 million thru forced savings like 401K and home equity, but that 10 million melts down to $5M (and their $1M melts to $500,000), who wins? Sure, I'll have $5M vs their $500,000, but it cost me $10M to save $5M. Granted, hedonism is not the total key to happiness, but it seems like they are being greatly rewarded for their spendthrift ways while I am being punished severely.

So do I want to spend the next 17 years (to age 65) on the same track? And if I quit saving, will my CURRENT savings survive the next 4 presidential terms, in tact, after inflation and taxes?

Let's talk about this!
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I don't know who'll win. But, even if it took me $30M to save $5M, I'd rather do that than have an underfunded old age. And, an underfunded old age is almost guaranteed for the majority of people our age. I'm a little youger than you.

I imagine means testing might come into play someday regarding social security. We might be taxed to fund non savers in our old age. We will be taxed to dig the US out of the hole both political parties have dug over the past 20 years. And, the US will likeley keep the dollar low and inflation high so that the national debt becomes cheaper. I wonder of the price of my house will keep up with inflation?

Anyway, there's no telling who will win, and we might die of brain cancer in two years anyway, so I enjoy the now and plan for the future and don't really worry about what will happen all that much.

Volucris
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I don't know who'll win. But, even if it took me $30M to save $5M, I'd rather do that than have an underfunded old age.

I am not sure you're right.
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Geez, Volucris

You posted this on the CampFire board and apparently weren't satisfied with a thread that ran 40-50 posts...

So the same garbage here?

Posting the same thing on multiple boards is a no no....

You should cross post...using a link.

Only Cheereos pulls that kind of crap.

t.
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So do I want to spend the next 17 years (to age 65) on the same track? And if I quit saving, will my CURRENT savings survive the next 4 presidential terms, in tact, after inflation and taxes?

Let's talk about this!

I don't know if you win or not, but the Whizzers will lose. I wouldn't want to live on Social Security now, and it won't be easier in 17 years.

cliff
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I saw somebody express almost the same concern on another board today. This was one of the responses:

Responsibility is sort of like AIDS. You may wish you didn't have it... but once you do there really isn't any getting rid of it.
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Great quote but what does it have to do with my concern that the whizzers will win? Yes, I am responsible. And yes I can't get rid of that. But it doesn't mean that the system will be responsible. It appears that we've been on an irresponsible path for a generation now and it's time to pay the piper.
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Geez, Volucris

You posted this on the CampFire board and apparently weren't satisfied with a thread that ran 40-50 posts...

So the same garbage here?



Ummmmm, WTH are you talking about? I didn't post anything on the CampFIRE board.
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He confused you with me. Yes I posted that on the other board. I mentioned that here (that I cross posted). Does that make it garbage? Why is this garbage? Frankly I think that my post is a very valid concern that many people who save must at least wonder about. This is a financial bulletin board and this is a financial topic. Why is it garbage?
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hmm... I'm fairly frugal. No debt, pay credit card off each month, etc. Not too many toys - but enough to keep me happy :-)

I don't have any 'nagging worry' about being able to pay MOST bills that pop up. Certainly any 'bill' under 10k does not worry me. This greatly reduces my stress levels.

I've acquaintances (whizzers) who live with incessant, persistent calls from bill collectors; or who, although a montly income between 60k and 100k, apparently live from paycheck to paycheck -and any LITTLE expense (less than 500!!) causes them stress. They do have the 'toys'.

Personally, I think I'm the winner.

I think that if I had 5M while 90% of my fellow americans had 500k - I would still be MUCH better off.
jmnsho :-)
ralph
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I am wondering if THE WHIZZERS will win.

Why worry about "winning" and what other people do? A lot of things will change between now and your retirement. If taxes go up to cover the "Whizzers", so what? Other tax changes may benefit you.

Do you want to punish the "Whizzers" for stupidity? Stupidity is part of the human condition. Their lives will not be very luxurious.

Taking responsibility for your own life is rewarding, in itself. You can live well because you did save. That seems pretty sweet revenge, if that's what you're after.
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Why worry about "winning" and what other people do? A lot of things will change between now and your retirement. If taxes go up to cover the "Whizzers", so what? Other tax changes may benefit you.

Do you want to punish the "Whizzers" for stupidity? Stupidity is part of the human condition. Their lives will not be very luxurious.

Taking responsibility for your own life is rewarding, in itself. You can live well because you did save. That seems pretty sweet revenge, if that's what you're after.


I think you misunderstood my main concern. My main concern is that the old 60/40 equity/fixed income "safety portfolio" might not work as the USA heads into what appears to be decline. THAT is my main concern.
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My main concern is that the old 60/40 equity/fixed income "safety portfolio" might not work as the USA heads into what appears to be decline. THAT is my main concern.

Seems like your main concern is that you can't predict the future.
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I think you misunderstood my main concern. My main concern is that the old 60/40 equity/fixed income "safety portfolio" might not work as the USA heads into what appears to be decline. THAT is my main concern.

Why the hell are you worried about this crap and why the hell are you going by some "expert's" formulaic BS as to what constitutes a viable strategy? Get inventive, invest some of your money overseas, take a bit of risk and stop getting your knickers in a twist. You're in your late 40's and still working. I'm retired. If anyone should be sweating it, it should be those of us who are where you want to be 15-20 years from now.

I'm just hoping that http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=LYG drops some more before pulling the trigger on more shares (currently own 1000). I don't think it's likely to go belly up anytime soon as the company has been in business since 1765.

http://www.lloydstsb.com/about_ltsb/lloyds_bank.asp

Frontline's http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=fro been pretty good to me since picking up 2000 shares in mid-2007, paying out $9.50 in dividends on a purchase price averaging $45.49/share. Took a bit of a dump today for no apparent reason. Oh well, these things happen when the mama's boys of Wall Street pee their pants because, well, because they're Wall Street mama's boys. When I bought in, the nominal dividend was $1.50/quarter. Just this last week, FRO paid me $2.75. Yeah the dividend can be volatile, but I was OK with th $1.50/share/quarter that originally attracted me. Hasn't been below $1.50 since 2003.

FRO dividend history: http://www.frontline.bm/IR/dividend.shtml


Churchy
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He confused you with me. Yes I posted that on the other board. I mentioned that here (that I cross posted). Does that make it garbage? Why is this garbage? Frankly I think that my post is a very valid concern that many people who save must at least wonder about. This is a financial bulletin board and this is a financial topic. Why is it garbage?

It isn't garbage, it is a valid concern/fear that a lot of people share.

There are a few posters here who feel the highest, best use of their life's energy to say nasty things to liberals. What you actually wrote is of no consequence.

If these keyboard warriors can find a way to say something nasty to someone they think is liberal, that's all they care about. Your actual words mean nothing to them. You just happened to get caught in the crossfire. Your politics don't matter. Simply by posting here you are fair game in their eyes. You're seen as a liberal and they hate you for that. That's all you need to know.

If you post here much, be prepared for more of the same. The conservatives will blast you with both barrels even if your posts have nothing to with politics--as yours didn't.
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Seems like your main concern is that you can't predict the future.

Yeah, that does seem to spoil it for a lot of people. Used to bother me until I finally accepted that the only thing I had any control over was myself and that I had already successfully dealt with some pretty traumatic events. If I survived those, I can survive pretty much anything the future holds (with the possible exception of the detonation of a nuke in my backyard).

Churchy
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Geez, Volucris

You posted this on the CampFire board and apparently weren't satisfied with a thread that ran 40-50 posts...

So the same garbage here?

Posting the same thing on multiple boards is a no no....

You should cross post...using a link.

Only Cheereos pulls that kind of crap.

t.



Dude, you need to cut down on the caffeinated beverages.

A little more fiber in your diet wouldn't hurt, either.

Churchy
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If you post here much, be prepared for more of the same. The conservatives will blast you with both barrels even if your posts have nothing to with politics--as yours didn't.

Correct, my post was not meant to be political although the part about looming tax increases could, perhaps, be interpreted that way. I am steadfast Republican, by the way. But I chose to post this here because I found that even those who are liberal here share the same "investor class" concerns that most Republican investors like me share.

I see the comparison between the CAMPFIRE and LIBERAL retire boards as this:

Both sides consist of members of the investment class looking to improve their knowledge of how to accumulate enough to take care of themselves. The conservative board is willing to put up with the religious Gardenbunny crap that the Republicans carry as baggage as the price for a big enough alliance to help block ever rising taxes and government. The liberal investment class members are willing to put up with more wealth redistribution baggage in order to create a big enough alliance to block the ever religious intrusion on their private lives that they see the religious Republicans imposing.

Personally I am a libertarian at heart. Do what you want in the bedroom. But I'll vote Republican every time because I feel under attack by the redistributionists and I can tolerage the religious crap.
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>> Both sides consist of members of the investment class looking to improve their knowledge of how to accumulate enough to take care of themselves. The conservative board is willing to put up with the religious Gardenbunny crap that the Republicans carry as baggage as the price for a big enough alliance to help block ever rising taxes and government. The liberal investment class members are willing to put up with more wealth redistribution baggage in order to create a big enough alliance to block the ever religious intrusion on their private lives that they see the religious Republicans imposing.

Personally I am a libertarian at heart. Do what you want in the bedroom. But I'll vote Republican every time because I feel under attack by the redistributionists and I can tolerage the religious crap.
<<

Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. I'm disgusted with the GOP for letting the neocon God/gays/guns crowd take over the limited-federal government party of Barry Goldwater and for failing to control spending and tanking the dollar, and I'm disgusted with the the Democrats for their willingness to punish ants and give to grasshoppers to the point where ants have little incentive to produce, and for their constant blocking of developing more domestic energy which is desperately needed as a bridge to alternatives for a few years.

For the most part, people vote their pocketbooks and that's why I've historically leaned Republican. I will state that this crop of neocon Republicans lost their way since their sweep in '94 and recovery of the White House in 2000, and I'm glad Texas is rarely in play so I can plan to vote for Bob Barr with little worry about shifting the state outcome.

The sad thing is that I think a socially tolerant and fiscally conservative "party" could form the largest voting bloc in the country, except that the rules and laws in place for elections pretty much force a two party system on us. Even Teddy Roosevelt couldn't do it with the Bull Moose Party in 1912, and if he couldn't do it then in today's media/sound bite environment combined with the decline of third party movements in general it unfortunately feels like a lost cause. I dimply can't support either side, though I can support individuals on both sides.

#29
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I agree that a 3rd party won't make it. I won't "throw my vote away" on Bob Barr because I know that's really a vote for Obama. But I understand how you feel....even if McCain wins, it's just a less in your face version of the same thing, economically.

Yes, the dollar collapse is the result of the overspending. Bush should have gone on TV on Sept 12 2001 and told us that every single federal expenditure would be cut buy 3% or 5% to fund the war on terror. The public would have backed him up. Instead he borrowed the money then did the big Medicare expansion to buy the 2004 election (seniors didn't vote for him any more than they would have anyway). And while I do think that Saddam had to go, WMDS or not, Bush should have gone on TV frequently to give progress updates. Never did that either. And the religious baggage is annoying. Belief in a higher power is all that a President should project. Because the real real real truth is that no one knows if that power is God, Allah, Jesus, the Moses guy or the Gardenbunny.


So now we have people ready to jump on the latest new kid in town, regardless of the fact that his religious baggage seems even worse than Bush's. His preacher for 20 years foments hate. His middle name and father are muslim. But since he's totally different than Bush he's the new kid in town!
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>> I agree that a 3rd party won't make it. I won't "throw my vote away" on Bob Barr because I know that's really a vote for Obama. <<

I live in a lock Republican state. You live in a toss-up state that's pretty much always up for grabs.

Big difference. Out here a vote for Barr isn't a vote for Obama -- it's a vote that says we need the GOP to get off the God/gays/guns kick and rein in spending.

#29
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Excellent point. I stand corrected.

I actually switched and voted for Obama then switched back. I just DETEST Hillary. That being said, I believe that she would have kicked McCains butt back to Vietnam. She would have been unbeatable. So I voted to stop her where she WAS beatable (I still don't believe she's gone, by the way...I smell a deal or something). I figured that despite the mainstream media's free pass and endorsement of this new kid in town, mainstream Americans might at least quietly bristle at a freshman senator with no track record, a history of a hate-America minister AND wife, and a middle name and background that SUGGEST muslim sympathies.
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<<Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. I'm disgusted with the GOP for letting the neocon God/gays/guns crowd take over the limited-federal government party of Barry Goldwater and for failing to control spending and tanking the dollar,>>


I don't know if you noticed, but Goldwater was a spectacular loser and they greatest gift to Democrats since Herbert Hoover ran for re election.

One of the major successes of Ronald Reagan was building a winning coalition, which only won because conservative Christians were on board. The two Bushes won by keeping that coalition together, giving a margin of 5-2 Presidential victories to Republicans.

It's perfectly reasonable to be unhappy about Republican fiscal imprudence. The combination of tax cuts, and implied fiscal responsibility (only infrequently delivered) kept many fiscal conservatives on board with the Republican Party and in a coalition with conservative Christians to deliver winning election results.

I suppose you can despise the working class Reagan Republicans and Christians who voted "R" if you like. But I expect you, too, voted R because the tax cuts and promised fiscal conservatism made that coalition worth voting for.

Blowing up thew fiscal conservative policies understandably loosens your interest in voting "R" and sharpens your irritation with elements of that coalition you probably never liked much.

Goldwater was a loser --- his political coalition was too narrow. Reagan's genius was putting together a broader coalition, which definitely included gun rights advocates, conservative Christians, and those concerned about lax national security.

Now we will see whether John McCain can appeal to a centrist core and paint Obama as the left wing Democrat that he is. I supported McCain because he was the candidate most likely to do just that, despite his maverick policy reputation.

We shall see.



Seattle Pioneer
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<<I actually switched and voted for Obama then switched back. I just DETEST Hillary. That being said, I believe that she would have kicked McCains butt back to Vietnam. She would have been unbeatable. So I voted to stop her where she WAS beatable (I still don't believe she's gone, by the way...I smell a deal or something). I figured that despite the mainstream media's free pass and endorsement of this new kid in town, mainstream Americans might at least quietly bristle at a freshman senator with no track record, a history of a hate-America minister AND wife, and a middle name and background that SUGGEST muslim sympathies.

>>


The greatest thing in the world would be to elect McCain, which would be a hearty pull on the nose of every committed Democrat. Worth doing for that reason if no other!

I think/hope he has a fighting chance.



Seattle Pioneer
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Big difference. Out here a vote for Barr isn't a vote for Obama -- it's a vote that says we need the GOP to get off the God/gays/guns kick and rein in spending.

I would agree except that Bob Barr really is on the G-d/gays/guns kick even if he claims to be Libertarian. And I question his desire to reign in spending. Has you ever looked into the financials of the PAC he runs (or did before become a candidate for President)? Wow...

I honestly don't see how Bob Barr fits the Libertarian mold.

Acme
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It's perfectly reasonable to be unhappy about Republican fiscal imprudence. The combination of tax cuts, and implied fiscal responsibility (only infrequently delivered) kept many fiscal conservatives on board with the Republican Party and in a coalition with conservative Christians to deliver winning election results.

This, in a nutshell, is my problem biggest with the Republican party. I don't agree with a lot of the social items on their agenda, but I embrace the fact that people have different views on things.

I do, however, have a problem with hypocrisy. And when it comes to fiscal matters, the Republican party has been hypocritical to its core for quite a long time.

"Tax and spend" is something the Republican party likes to say about the Democratic party. But, honestly, is that any worse than the Republican model? You know -- cut taxes and spend more! Personally, I think both fiscal models suck.



Now we will see whether John McCain can appeal to a centrist core and paint Obama as the left wing Democrat that he is.

The problem is...IMO there's nothing centrist about McCain. I'm exactly the kind of person he should be appealing to. But I find him about as appealing as ear wax.

Acme
(Who notes that his second biggest problem with both the Republican party and the Democratic party is the notion that if you disagree with them, you are a moron and unpatriotic. Hmm...I guess I could apply that to a lot of people here as well...)
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Personally I am a libertarian at heart. Do what you want in the bedroom. But I'll vote Republican every time because I feel under attack by the redistributionists and I can tolerage the religious crap.

As long as you "vote Republican every time" they will not change -they have your vote and the votes of the fanatical Christians. The religious crap will fester and grow. If you're libertarian at heart, support libertarian candidates. Loudly support libertarian Republicans (like Ron Paul) join the Republican Liberty caucus http://www.rlc.org/ , denounce the evil within the Republican party and vote against them (consider it tough love if you have to). Voting for the lesser of two evils will ALWAYS guarantee an evil result.

FoolNBlue (Does not vote Republican everytime -and would have voted for Clinton over McCain but may have to pinch his nose and vote against Obama)
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This, in a nutshell, is my problem biggest with the Republican party. I don't agree with a lot of the social items on their agenda, but I embrace the fact that people have different views on things.

What do you like about them? They sure as hell aren't fiscally conservative (Bush's spending increases are incredible.. sure, he pays though inflation vice direct taxes but the effects are the same) and they aren't about individual rights. It's been too long since they've been fiscally conservative and they offer very little more than sound bites that the Democrats will tax you to death.

Too bad the Democrats nominated a divisive redistributionist. If they had chosen a fiscally conservative candidate respecting the individual, they'd win in a landslide (talk about a "mandate". Instead it will be an ugly close election with a guaranteed loss for 99.9% of us no matter who wins.

FoolNBlue (Witnessing the fall of a once great civilization)
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What do you like about them?

Honestly, there is not much I like about either party.

Maybe when I'm not so sleep deprived (we have a 7-wk-old baby girl) I'll be able to think through things in a way to explain my views. I figure that will be sometime around the next election...2012!

Acme
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>> Honestly, there is not much I like about either party. <<

What I don't like about both parties is that their leadership tends to marginalize their pragmatists.

I think that's a function of the primary system with an assist from increased political polarization. In a primary you have to convince your base that you are the most true to their parties core values, and then in the general election you have to find a way to gracefully backpedal from some of them in order to capture the independent/moderate vote.

GWB has to play the (ha) "compassionate conservative" in the general election even as he emphasized his neocon pedigree in the primaries.

Mike Dukakis gets into a friggin' tank to convince people he's not a total dove.

I've long wanted sensible Republicans not beholden to the God/gays/guns crowd and sensible Democrats not beholden to unions or class warfare types to join together and leave their current parties to form a "sensibility" party. But until election laws change so the game isn't rigged for a "two party system" are changed, that will never be feasible.

And as a result, sensible and somewhat conservative Democrats and sensible and somewhat progressive Republicans oppose each other, even though they have a lot more in common with each other than they do with the more extreme elements in their own party. And I think that's a sad commentary on our electoral system.

#29
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<<As long as you "vote Republican every time" they will not change -they have your vote and the votes of the fanatical Christians. The religious crap will fester and grow. If you're libertarian at heart, support libertarian candidates. Loudly support libertarian Republicans (like Ron Paul) join the Republican Liberty caucus http://www.rlc.org/ , denounce the evil within the Republican party and vote against them (consider it tough love if you have to). Voting for the lesser of two evils will ALWAYS guarantee an evil result.
>>


I don't doubt that a good many conservative Christians are equally contemptuous of you.

You don't seem to understand what is needed to create a political coalition that can win the Presidency.

Even Obama is now trying to court the conservative Christians, to undermine that block of Republican votes.



Seattle Pioneer
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<<
Too bad the Democrats nominated a divisive redistributionist. If they had chosen a fiscally conservative candidate respecting the individual, they'd win in a landslide (talk about a "mandate". Instead it will be an ugly close election with a guaranteed loss for 99.9% of us no matter who wins.
>>


Further evidence that you understand nothing about American politics, I'm afraid.



Seattle Pioneer
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#29: I've long wanted sensible Republicans not beholden to the God/gays/guns crowd and sensible Democrats not beholden to unions or class warfare types to join together and leave their current parties to form a "sensibility" party

Is "class warfare" a code expression used in libertarian worlds? I'm not very knowledgeable about the libertarian vernacular, but I read several uses of this expression at TMF.

My exposure to libertarian "thought" started and ended with Ayn Rand.

BTW, this is a sincere question, in spite of the snide tone. Maybe you could also explain what it means, as it seems like two disconnected words to me.

cliff
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>> Is "class warfare" a code expression used in libertarian worlds? I'm not very knowledgeable about the libertarian vernacular, but I read several uses of this expression at TMF. <<

It's not Randian per se, but it is to me what some on the left wage in the name of fairness.

One can reasonably argue that those who have been blessed with the opportunities our system provides should contribute more to the common good. I agree with that.

No, when I refer to "class warfare" I don't merely think of people who think the rich should pay more. I think of politicians who use the politics of envy and resentment to stoke the fires of those who feel "cheated" by the system. I think of politicians who specifically pit haves and have-nots against each other, actually trying to increase the resentment and friction. This (IMO) ridiculous idea of a "windfall tax" on Big Oil is a perfect example to me. No one called to "help" Big Oil in 1985 with $10 oil and they were hurting while Houston real estate went into the toilet; why is it now okay to "hurt" them now when they don't even set the market price for oil?

Note that I don't think all liberals or all Democrats engage in it. But in many cases, to be your party's standard-bearer, you have to engage in it big time...and then back away from it in November. Same is true for core Republican issues like tax cuts (spending and deficits be damned) and religious values (First Amendment be damned).

#29
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My main concern is that the old 60/40 equity/fixed income "safety portfolio" might not work as the USA heads into what appears to be decline. THAT is my main concern.

You're probably right - on both counts!
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