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25 minutes ago, PotO said:

 True.  But even paying 3.7% pains me -- especially when you see what the clowns do with that money.  
 

In your profession, you could earn a boatload -- mostly tax free -- if you learn to use chopsticks and develop a taste for rice.  A lot of US staff in your field come here and work in entities like ABC University, Shanghai Branch.  

The problem is that, at what point is enough enough? I used to think getting to 7 figures was the goal. Now the goal is about time.

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1 hour ago, hegemony said:

The problem is that, at what point is enough enough? I used to think getting to 7 figures was the goal. Now the goal is about time.

 

Fair question, but no simple answer.  It all depends on personal perspective. 

 

I used to think it was all about time.  And luck.  Luck comes into play because we could get hit by a free bolt of lightening tomorrow.  Just glance at the news and you see all sorts of unlucky souls who go to sleep and never wake up or who go out the door to work and never come home for dinner.  And that's just the easy stuff.  In my line of work, things are different.  I've seen (and survived) shiat that they haven't even shown on TV movies yet.  Some say it's skill and training, but that's bullshiat.  It's luck.  

 

Genetics = luck.  Look at your family history.  I used to think I was lucky.  Everybody in my family lives until their late 80's or early 90's with no disastrous health consequences.  I think that's pretty good.  But then you see people with similar histories waltz into the doctor's office with a cold and come home with stage three death.  It's all luck, or the lack thereof.

 

So let's say you are lucky -- my buddy, Mike, is lucky.  He went to see the doctor there inVegas because he had a sore neck.  Bingo -- advanced thyroid cancer.  But he's lucky -- thyroid cancer is highly treatable and survival chances are at an all-time high.  He has Medicare so money wasn't a problem -- or was it.  Even with great coverage, he's looking at BK simply over medical bills.  And, again -- he's lucky.  He was only in the hole about $30k.  If you get a real serious form of cancer (well, they are ALL serious, but some more than others), your chances of survival depend entirely on the medication you an afford.  As PharmaHo has pointed out time and time again, there are cutting edge cancer medications that cost $30k-fooking-dollars per month and your insurance won't touch them with a shiatty end of a stick.  So??????  

 

Sooooo ... you have to make your own luck.  Make = buy.  If you have cash, you buy luck.  No cash?  Bend over and kiss your arse goodbye.  Now how lucky is that?  

 

Time is good.  Time is nice.  But many are the times that $$$ can buy time.  And, in general, $$$ can make the time that you do have more comfortable, secure and enjoyable.  

 

And when the time is really up, it's still good to have surplus $$$.  You have children.  A wife.  As much as my wife is sometimes a biatch, she is MY biatch and I don't want to see her out on the streets because we have never planned for a rainy day.  Worst comes to worst and you have nobody that you care about when your time is up, having $$$ is still great.  NO, I wouldn't leave that money to some re ... -- 0ooppsss, can't use that word here -- fund to cure cancer or whatever.  Even when they do cure that disease, there will be another new and exciting one to pop up and take its place.  I will leave any excess $$$ to something that will do the world infinite good -- Science to Exterminate Snowflakes Through Genetic Modification Fund.  Imagine, a world without myFUKKOers!  Now that is something to save money for and will better society. 

 

 

Edited by PotO

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27 minutes ago, PotO said:


Debt is freaking me out.  I let AmEx report a statement balance of $11.68 and CapOne $99.51 this month.  

 

Don't sweat it; even FICO has become blissed out about personal debt:

 

My FICO 8 scores are 800+ and trumpet the fact that my revolving debt utilization is just 4%. 

On the other hand, my older mortgage model FICO 2/4/5 FICO scores are about 100 pts lower -- freaking over the fact that I have over $30k in reported revolving debt!!

 

There's got to be the makings of a new "Dr. Strangelove" movie here: ("How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Debt") ...

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My neighbors showed me their new furniture yesterday. They are very proud of it. $8k at 12 months same as cash. Then 19% after that.

 

Told me that they were saving up a down payment for a house, but the furniture and beds were too good to pass up. They have about $1.2k left in the bank. Said that was enough of a buffer incase something goes wrong.

 

I told them I was happy for them, and it's nice to see people participating in this rip, roaring economy. 

 

As good fortune would have it, their only car started giving them trouble today.

 

I would say Murphy's Law has moved into the spare bedroom, and brought his three brothers with him. Broke, Desperate, and Stupid.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, TheVig said:

My neighbors showed me their new furniture yesterday. They are very proud of it. $8k at 12 months same as cash. Then 19% after that.

 

Told me that they were saving up a down payment for a house, but the furniture and beds were too good to pass up. They have about $1.2k left in the bank. Said that was enough of a buffer incase something goes wrong.

 

I told them I was happy for them, and it's nice to see people participating in this rip, roaring economy. 

 

As good fortune would have it, their only car started giving them trouble today.

 

I would say Murphy's Law has moved into the spare bedroom, and brought his three brothers with him. Broke, Desperate, and Stupid.

 

 

 


I suppose the good news is that their $1.2k in what-was-once-savings is 3 times higher than the national average.  I read where the average American has a whopping $400 in available savings.  
 

When I was a little mean tyke, I was pretty industrious and hard-working.  I saved a good portion of my allowance, lawn-mowing and snow-shoveling money.  If I ever had as little as $400 saved my father would have shown me precisely why God invented belts.  

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2 hours ago, PotO said:


I suppose the good news is that their $1.2k in what-was-once-savings is 3 times higher than the national average.  I read where the average American has a whopping $400 in available savings.  
 

When I was a little mean tyke, I was pretty industrious and hard-working.  I saved a good portion of my allowance, lawn-mowing and snow-shoveling money.  If I ever had as little as $400 saved my father would have shown me precisely why God invented belts.  

 

As a digression, my earliest experience shoveling snow to stash away money taught me a firm lesson in the importance of accurately estimating a job.

 

I grew up in a city on the east shore of Lake Michigan in the 60's.  "Lake effect" means annual snowfall of 100"+ annually (moisture patterns in that region mean the snow's abated a bit since.)  There was a strong demand for snow shoveling from November through March.  (A paper route was my mainstay

 

So, at age 11 I ventured into the neighborhood with my shovel.  Most homes only required about 20' - 30' of walk from the sidewalk to their front steps shoveled (the city reliably plowed the sidewalks, with about 4"-6" of snow packed down firmly).  I'd quote $2 for the job, which I could usually polish off with a clean finish in about 10-20 minutes, pushing hard.  At a time when minimum wage was about $1.60, that wasn't too shabby.  (And, yeah, for the under-30 crowd, I've omitted the text about how I had to trudge 5 miles through 8' of snow to get to these jobs ...)

 

Most homes in our neighborhood had garages or open parking at the back of their house, immediately off a paved access alley.  Driveways were few and far between and limited to more recent construction in place of a razed home or subdivided property.  The first time I was asked to quote a double car driveway, I said $5 off the top of my head, thinking that would be a great score with their walk.

 

You'd think we hadn't learned to calculate area in grade school ... we're talking about 8x the surface area of a typical sidewalk, and the amount of snow to be lifted onto existing 4' banks was seemingly endless.  I was cursing the task within 5 minutes, and after the first 1/2 hour desperately kept eying the house, hoping someone might notice my misery and take pity.  (I'm loathe to admit that my parents didn't see fit to equip me with appropriate boots and that my mittens did little to keep my extremities warm.)

 

I finished the job in a little over an hour, rang the doorbell, and stiffly extended my ice cube of a hand for payment.  I hobbled away with $8 (incl buck tip), headed back home where I knew from the worst of my winter paper deliveries that there was hell to pay in pain once my limbs started to thaw out.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, hdporter said:

 

As a digression, my earliest experience shoveling snow to stash away money taught me a firm lesson in the importance of accurately estimating a job.

 

I grew up in a city on the east shore of Lake Michigan in the 60's.  "Lake effect" means annual snowfall of 100"+ annually (moisture patterns in that region mean the snow's abated a bit since.)  There was a strong demand for snow shoveling from November through March.  (A paper route was my mainstay

 

So, at age 11 I ventured into the neighborhood with my shovel.  Most homes only required about 20' - 30' of walk from the sidewalk to their front steps shoveled (the city reliably plowed the sidewalks, with about 4"-6" of snow packed down firmly).  I'd quote $2 for the job, which I could usually polish off with a clean finish in about 10-20 minutes, pushing hard.  At a time when minimum wage was about $1.60, that wasn't too shabby.  (And, yeah, for the under-30 crowd, I've omitted the text about how I had to trudge 5 miles through 8' of snow to get to these jobs ...)

 

Most homes in our neighborhood had garages or open parking at the back of their house, immediately off a paved access alley.  Driveways were few and far between and limited to more recent construction in place of a razed home or subdivided property.  The first time I was asked to quote a double car driveway, I said $5 off the top of my head, thinking that would be a great score with their walk.

 

You'd think we hadn't learned to calculate area in grade school ... we're talking about 8x the surface area of a typical sidewalk, and the amount of snow to be lifted onto existing 4' banks was seemingly endless.  I was cursing the task within 5 minutes, and after the first 1/2 hour desperately kept eying the house, hoping someone might notice my misery and take pity.  (I'm loathe to admit that my parents didn't see fit to equip me with appropriate boots and that my mittens did little to keep my extremities warm.)

 

I finished the job in a little over an hour, rang the doorbell, and stiffly extended my ice cube of a hand for payment.  I hobbled away with $8 (incl buck tip), headed back home where I knew from the worst of my winter paper deliveries that there was hell to pay in pain once my limbs started to thaw out.

 

 

 

Interesting.  A couple of observations:

 

I think your main issue wasn't accurately estimating the job, but the fact that you priced yourself too cheaply.  When I was a kid minimum wage was $1.00 an hour.  On a day with light snow, I'd charge no less than $5 to clear snow from the walkway from a porch to the sidewalk.  If there was a short driveway involved, $10.  Longer driveway, $15.  Minimum.  And folks would pay.

 

Heavy snow day, triple those charges.  Take it or leave it.  When we had those fine Upstate New York winter blizzards, all bets were off.  I wouldn't even dust off your porch steps for less than $15.  Anything else was $40 to $75.  You either paid or dug a fooking tunnel to get out of your house to the street.  And your car in the garage?  You'd have a better chance of dialing 1 (800) Santa Claus to get a sleigh ride to work.  On a nice blizzard day, I could earn at least $1,000 without leaving my block.  After I convinced my old man to buy a snow blower, I'd charge the same, but extend my area two or three blocks and never earn less than $2,000.  My dream was moving to Alaska and becoming a millionaire.  

 

There was one richardhead college kid who tries to ruin my racket.  He had a little Toyota pickup and put a plow on the front.  He'd charge people something like $20 to $40 to plow your driveway in two minutes.  Only thing is that the idiot never left his truck and the plow pushed piles of snow that ultimately blocked your sidewalk or, worse yet, got pushed out into the street.  City maintenance would come by and fine the homeowner for pushing their crap into the road.  If you were one of the unlucky ones on every block to have a fire hydrant on your property and the plow pushed snow over it, you were doubly fooked because fines were a days wages for most people.  Then the city plow would come by and push it right back into your driveway.  People finally got smart and decided it was better to pay the local neighbor kid a bit more, but get a quality job and 24/7 on-call availability.  

 

Washing neighbors' cars was a good racket, but more in winter than summer.

 

Cutting grass in the hot summers was another money maker.  It got to the point where I schlepped off my paper route on my little brother and kept half of his earnings just to focus on neighborhood gigs.    

 

And now here I am fixing to retire in Las Vegas and have @hegemony push me around in a motorized wheelchair.  

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33 minutes ago, PotO said:

 

Interesting.  A couple of observations:

 

I think your main issue wasn't accurately estimating the job, but the fact that you priced yourself too cheaply.  When I was a kid minimum wage was $1.00 an hour.  On a day with light snow, I'd charge no less than $5 to clear snow from the walkway from a porch to the sidewalk.  If there was a short driveway involved, $10.  Longer driveway, $15.  Minimum.  And folks would pay.

 

 

Quite likely ... but I'll note that the fact that I was among the scrawniest 11-year olds in my class may have factored in the balance.  Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of gigs I caught were out of throw me a favor (in hindsight, I'd suggest I might have looked a bit pathetic ;).  Fortunately, puberty caught up with a vengeance about 18 months later ;)

 

btw, a buck for minimum wage sets you about 10 years before I first ventured out to earn a buck.  $5 for a walkway seems like a steep wage.  A CPI calculator suggest $5 in 1960 would buy you the equivalent of $43 in goods today.

 

Assuming that you've kept a keen eye out for economic opportunity, I'll assume you're sitting mighty pretty for retirement!

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35 minutes ago, hdporter said:

 

Quite likely ... but I'll note that the fact that I was among the scrawniest 11-year olds in my class may have factored in the balance.  Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of gigs I caught were out of throw me a favor (in hindsight, I'd suggest I might have looked a bit pathetic ;).  Fortunately, puberty caught up with a vengeance about 18 months later ;)

 

btw, a buck for minimum wage sets you about 10 years before I first ventured out to earn a buck.  $5 for a walkway seems like a steep wage.  A CPI calculator suggest $5 in 1960 would buy you the equivalent of $43 in goods today.

 

Assuming that you've kept a keen eye out for economic opportunity, I'll assume you're sitting mighty pretty for retirement!

 

As long as you continue to pay your taxes, my retirement is golden.  😁

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25 minutes ago, PotO said:

 

As long as you continue to pay your taxes, my retirement is golden.  😁

 

If that's the case, then I think the greater concern would be that the US credit rating continue to be strong.  The minute the world turns it nose up at our debt issues, WE'RE TOAST!!

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1 hour ago, hdporter said:

 

If that's the case, then I think the greater concern would be that the US credit rating continue to be strong.  The minute the world turns it nose up at our debt issues, WE'RE TOAST!!

 

You might be toast.  Not me.  I'm well-prepared for a rainy day, month, year or decades.  Besides, ever wonder why the very last option for our government is to fail to pay our troops?  The average guy in my unit carries more than one weapon -- one of which is fully automatic -- and enough ammo to light up a small town.  Try not paying him for a month or two and ya'll will be sleeping under cheap chiseled stones.  

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My comment stems from the suggestion that your retirement income is solid as long as the tax revenue stream is strong.  Just saying that if your retirement is dependent upon government solvency, its much more dependent upon the US continuing to successfully float its debt than on continued tax revenues.  (Not saying I'm worried about either, but the debt-related risk is much higher than the security of the tax revenue stream).

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21 hours ago, TheVig said:

My neighbors showed me their new furniture yesterday. They are very proud of it. $8k at 12 months same as cash. Then 19% after that.

 

Told me that they were saving up a down payment for a house, but the furniture and beds were too good to pass up. They have about $1.2k left in the bank. Said that was enough of a buffer incase something goes wrong.

 

I told them I was happy for them, and it's nice to see people participating in this rip, roaring economy. 

 

As good fortune would have it, their only car started giving them trouble today.

 

I would say Murphy's Law has moved into the spare bedroom, and brought his three brothers with him. Broke, Desperate, and Stupid.

 

 

 

A little follow up. Neighbors are trying to return furniture for refund. No luck. Neighbors seeked out my advice. I said show me a copy of the paperwork you signed.

 

Sure enough in big bold print where it discusses the payment terms.......all sales final, no refunds, no exchanges. Font size so big, even Stevie Wonder would have known better than to agree to those terms.

 

Previous post I said 19%. Nope its 28% if they don't PIF.

 

Regarding the car.....the transmission is toast.

Edited by TheVig

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1 hour ago, TheVig said:

A little follow up. Neighbors are trying to return furniture for refund. No luck. Neighbors seeked out my advice. I said show me a copy of the paperwork you signed.

 

Sure enough in big bold print where it discusses the payment terms.......all sales final, no refunds, no exchanges. Font size so big, even Stevie Wonder would have known better than to agree to those terms.

 

Previous post I said 19%. Nope its 28% if they don't PIF.

 

Regarding the car.....the transmission is toast.

Finally our grown kids have stopped giving money to the birth family for making impulsive dumb money decisions similar to this. We're the adoptive parents but the birth family has guilt our kids into loaning them money and never paying them back. Continuing calling in sick on a job then needing rent money, etc.

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4 hours ago, creditmaze said:

Finally our grown kids have stopped giving money to the birth family for making impulsive dumb money decisions similar to this. We're the adoptive parents but the birth family has guilt our kids into loaning them money and never paying them back. Continuing calling in sick on a job then needing rent money, etc.

Yikes. Parasites.

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6 hours ago, creditmaze said:

Finally our grown kids have stopped giving money to the birth family for making impulsive dumb money decisions similar to this. We're the adoptive parents but the birth family has guilt our kids into loaning them money and never paying them back. Continuing calling in sick on a job then needing rent money, etc.


That's a thought situation.  Must cause a lot of stress.  
 

I've seen a lot of -- let me try to be PC today -- "unusual" things in China ... and the typical Chinese philosophy under that type of scenario would be ...

 

1.  Belts work on grown kids, too; and

2.  Unadoption.
 

Hell, come to think of it, that's what we do in Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, too.  

 

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House flipping commercials on the radio are thru the roof.

 

No different then before 2008.......seating is limited. This Saturday at (insert hotel name here). Lol.

 

Occasionally a debt refinance commercial will be sprinkled in.

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2 hours ago, TheVig said:

House flipping commercials on the radio are thru the roof.

 

No different then before 2008.......seating is limited. This Saturday at (insert hotel name here). Lol.

 

Occasionally a debt refinance commercial will be sprinkled in.

also hearing more "lose weight and quit smoking with hypnosis" ads on the radio

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4 hours ago, hegemony said:

also hearing more "lose weight and quit smoking with hypnosis" ads on the radio


Every time we fly home on vacation we transit through SeaTac.  From the looks of things there, people should be paying attention to those ads.  

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7 hours ago, TheVig said:

House flipping commercials on the radio are thru the roof.

 

No different then before 2008.......seating is limited. This Saturday at (insert hotel name here). Lol.

 

Occasionally a debt refinance commercial will be sprinkled in.

Same goes for the settle your debt for less than full and ruin your credit companies. I was only hearing them on SiriusXM, but now they're on TV.

 

But the big bad credit card companies don't want you to know that you have right to ruin your credit.

Edited by IndyPoolPlayer

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