OT - Toy Money

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Being the owner is a whole different skill set. One friend of mine is out of work, and has been for a couple months. He is a great worker, but doesn't know how to manage, advertise, and so on. If you can start and run a business, that's great. Some folks can't.
With your own business, each customer you serve is your boss, for a period of time.
--
Christopher A. Young
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The key is finding a job you like. I have no plans to retire as long as I have my health and my brains functions normally. I may cut back my hours in a couple of years though. I guess I'm in a small minority of people that actually like what they do, enjoy the people I work with.
I have no stress at work. I can come and go as I please. Things like oil changes, doctor visits, trips to the post office are all done during the work day. Vacation time? "Take whatever time you want"
When I arrive in the morning, my tea is brewed and waiting. I start my computer, then have my cup of tea while chatting with Sue for about a half hour. Then I head out to the shop to see what is going on, stop to greet every employee along the way. Some people enjoy a difficult crossword puzzle or Sudoku, but I'd rather put together a challenging production schedule.
If I was working on an assembly line putting knobs on the passing toasters or lug nuts on the cars, I'd want to bail out as soon as possible. For me, going to my job is not work.
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My father, a uni professor, died when I was 12 and my mother had always been a stay-at-home, so there was a pretty big change in our lifestyle, then. They were young adults during the depression so had that mentality. She did fine with little. The house was almost paid for (seven years into a ten-year mortgage) so that was no issue. Cash flow wasn't great, though.

I'm not a cheap SOB, at all. I just don't borrow money I can't pay back easily; like you, BTDT. I've already retired from one job (took a buy-out) and supplement that retirement with another job paying pretty much the same, in a state with half the income taxes and a quarter of the property tax. It can be done and I found it's not nearly as scary on the outside as I thought it would be. "Retireing" was by far the best thing that happened to me (in the last 39 years - SWMBO may be listening).
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months expenses (ALL expenses) and 6 is better.
--
I want to find a voracious, small-minded predator
and name it after the IRS.
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That's part of my worries. I'm not sure but what the world economy is about to collapse. Due in large part to irresponsible spending in Washingmachine DC.
--
Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

Well, it's your money. Ok, "reasonable" for me is $40K or so (two years mortgage + taxes and some fun money). OTOH, Dave Ramsey tells us 3-6 months expenses. Everyones "needs" are different.

Yes, there are (way too many) people living on the brink of disaster. They're usually the ones with all the toys in the front yard, so they're not asking how much is "reasonable" to spend on toys. *Borrowing* for toys wasn't part of the equation.

Yes, this is a shred of a silver lining. I more conservatism comes back into our lives.
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I think this recession is proving that 3-6 months is probably not going to cut it. I know some people in their 50's that are in some pretty dire circumstances right now, and they had that the mythical "three months of mortgage payments" socked away, just like all the newspaper articles told them to. But as the Bard says "When sorrows come they come not as single spies but in batallions" and that's exactly what happened. Job woes easily translate into health woes because the stress level shoots up. Going on interviews every week with not even a nibble can spiritually gut someone.
I've been hiring a friend I've known since college to do odd jobs because he's that hard-up for money. After he lost his job (his World Bank job was outsourced) his wife divorced him and then he was diagnosed with prostate cancer (after deciding he couldn't afford COBRA). Once you're in the system as a "sick person" no one will hire you lest their group premiums soar. Fortunately, his kids are chipping in to help him, but times really got tough for him is a big hurry. If people can live without having a constant knot in their stomach with only 3 months of expenses in the bank, more power to them, but I think they're deceiving themselves.
Every expense we've budgeted for has gone up way more than any projections would have indicated. From gasoline to electricity to food to utilities to taxes to maintenance, etc. As governments run out of money, they're just going to ratchet up the tax and fee screws. I predict that by November, with employment rates still plummeting, the experts will declare that this the new norm, that it's structural, not temporary and we had just better get used to it.

Or, they sucked out the equity they had built up in their homes with a handy-dandy reverse mortgage. They didn't see it as borrowing but almost as free money, there for the tapping into.

Well, fiscal conservatism, anyway.
-- Bobby G.
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wrote:

I agree, to a point. That's why I have at least two years' mortgage payments in the bank. With any luck I won't need that much in three, because it'll be paid. The down side is that that money isn't making any money and is, in fact, losing ground.
Interviews aren't stressful at all, at least I have never felt them to be. I rather like interviewing. NEEDING the job to eat is stressful.

Would that everyone had three. It hasn't been that long since I was in that boat.

They already have (declared this the new norm)! Of course it just proves how clueless our current crop of politicians *AND* bureaucrats is.

Same thing. The *only* time I've ever "sucked" money out of a house was to add to it. What I added was worth more than the money. Unfortunately, the only major employer in the area got rid of 20K employees over three years. That put a big crimp in the property values. When I sold I still was above water, but not by much.

ALL conservatism. It all fits together. There is good reason things worked.
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investment that I could live with that paid enough more in interest over what I would have had to pay on the mortgage to make it seem worthwhile.
--
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and name it after the IRS.
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That's not the issue. I want the money in hand not because it's better invested than paying the mortgage down, rather as security to be sure I can pay the mortgage. The problem is that I have to pay for the privilege of having someone hold my money. That's what I don't like. Though, the mortgage is 4.5% so they're not making out like bandits either.
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Some already had. I can remember when unemployment went under 6%, what was then "structural" or "frictional" unemployment, that inflation was going to break out. I would be really surprised if we ever get back to mid-00's structural unemployment ever again. Too many one-of-kind happenings then from (too?) easy money from the Fed, to great leaps in productivity from computer adoptions, etc. to suspect that the halcyon days will ever return in full force, especially with all the other stuff going with health care, etc. I'll be happy if we manage to miss out on our equivalent of Japan's lost decade.
--
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You may be wishing for a "lost decade".
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<Yep. Exactly so. It's the same here in the UK. I think the consequenses of getting fired are not as serious here. You certainly seem to be in the shit in America if it happens.>
Yes, it's because during WWII, US companies skirted the wage freeze by providing free health care benefits. That model has "stuck" to the point where the cart's driving the horse. I wonder if people would be so war-happy if they realized that the income tax they pay every paycheck was a direct result of having to pay for war:
http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/taxes/ustax.shtml
<<When the Civil War erupted, the Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861, which restored earlier excises taxes and imposed a tax on personal incomes. The income tax was levied at 3 percent on all incomes higher than $800 a year.>>
And it's been going strong ever since. When you give the government special powers "just for an emergency" the emergency seems to last forever. It's the ratchet effect.
<Personally I have never borrowed money for any purpose & I'm not going to start now. I think if you had 30X your mortgage repayment in the bank you'd be better to pay off some of that mortgage.>
Our tax laws encourage having a mortgage. I had a car loan once, mainly to establish credit because you can't live in the US without a credit card. It was a 20% APR. It was also my last car loan. I paid it off early and have paid cash ever since.
<Obviously keep some back>
How much is the question? What's happening now is that state and local governments, after losing huge amounts of money in the harebrained schemes set up by investment banks, are now increasing fees and taxes to the breaking point.
Everybody thinks "we all" lost money during the recession. But that's not true. The money didn't just evaporate. Some investment bankers did just fine and the ones that didn't got government bailouts all over the world and did just fine, too. They were just smart enough to "plead poverty." That way, they didn't find lynch mobs waiting for them at home the way AIG execs did when the size of their "bonuses" for collapsing the world economy was revealed.
Now Lehman's Dick Fuld wants the company he killed to continue paying his legal fees that came about from killing the company. That's Catch-22 cubed.
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/still-paying-for-lehmans-demise /
-- Bobby G.
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Actually it was the other way around. The Natives were getting restless so the Government decided that health care benefits (and I don't think they were ever completely free, just subsidized) were not REALLY against wage freeze. BTW: This is about 90% of the reason we are in the general healthcare mess we are in today.

employee healthcare deduction.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

still working to keep ends met. Fun is not a percentage...it's a threshold that most people never meet. So they spend on fun anyway and hope for magic when they're old.
People who are financially secure for the long term with an uncertain future don't have to ask what percentage.
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Of course, you're right. There is a balance in the middle some where. And, it's the balance I'm seeking. I'm not counting on Social Security to be there for me. Or, they will keep advancing the eligible age until it's about 125 years old to start collecting. I also expect the retirement and mutual funds to be raided for some "crisis" of the government's making. Still, I do need to keep saving as best possible.
--
Christopher A. Young
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"Stormin Mormon" wrote in message

When the bills are paid, then what is left over can go to fun. Simple as that! (I have a monthly budget in Excel spreadsheet, so I know on the 1st of the month how much money I have for what....)
And when things are tight, I cut out optional stuff. Instead of eating out, eat at home, don't go to movies, etc. Fun might just be going for a short drive or something low cost.
Same with work.... Work first in the morning, then fun after that. And the fun is more fun knowing my work/chores are all done!
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On Aug 4, 11:03pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Anything that's left, but church and charities are excluded, i.e. fun first ;)
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On Aug 4, 11:03pm, "Stormin Mormon"

That reminds me of when I was in college. One year, I worked a summer job in a flat die forge shop. Discussing money during coffee break one day, one of the old black guys said that he split his check three ways; one for rent, one for groceries and one for Mr. Kessler. When I asked who Mr. Kessler was, he replied that it was his favorite brand of whiskey.
Paul
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Your answer all depends on whether flashlights and batteries are fun. :)
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