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Old 03-22-2019, 03:15 PM   #26
Ray Zee
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

its where you choose to live dummy. only a couple days a year are nice there.

if both you and zeno headed south for a thousand miles both would be in nice weather.
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Old 03-23-2019, 04:49 PM   #27
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

I live in the perfect very rural location - I just need to get an ocean worthy sailboat and dock it somewhere; to give me another option for escape and an extra bunker to hunker down in.


John can do the same and he can also escape to Canada if need be.


Weather is only a minor annoyance. Other People are the real problem. See Sartre.
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Old 03-23-2019, 04:57 PM   #28
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

I have to get personal today, and really it's just... idk, it's hard to explain, but I'll try.

Most of my life, I've financially been in the extremes of either making poverty wages or darn good money. There's an entire gap of income I never made, so for me, it's either low class income or upper middle class income. I've definitely rode some waves, and now that I'm finally stable on the higher end, I'm totally lost on what to do.

Problems as I see it:

1- There is a huge difference between making good money on paper and reality. I did some research on how people pay taxes and... If I made less money with certain life conditions (children, married), I'd be bringing home more money than I do now, but this all aside, sort of, but it kind of upsets me.

The problem with this paper / real money dichotomy is the expectation between what I can afford on paper and what I can afford in reality. A $2,000 / month studio in the slums is "perfect" for a single person with my income, until you realize what I pay in taxes, and now that $2k / month + utilities, parking, etc, is going to put me in the poor house.

I'm looking for a new place to stay because my current place sort of sucks. I contact Apt A and they put me in contact with an agent. I say my income and he shoots back with "I have this place for $2,350 / month." Uh... what? Before taxes, no problem, but after taxes, this is bull****!

I also supposedly earn enough that I ought to have my life together, all the dots connected, a brand new car, my own 1BR apt, shop at Whole Foods, and weekly yoga classes. Nothing of this sort is even remotely true. More like I can afford to rent a room in a broken down house, shop at Walmart, and buy a bus pass.

2- The second problem is that I have no reference on what to do with stable money. I never knew any middle class people. I never knew anyone that makes this sort of money. I grew up as a blue-collar hood rat and pretty much remained that way through most of my 20s. It wasn't until my 30s that I started to get into grips with real money and wow, I fumbled the ball every time, often to disastrous results.

Aside from that, I'm super nervous working with a single income. I've always had a side job or side hustle, like selling products online, poker, odd jobs, computer contracts, writing contracts, etc. The first few months I had this job, I was working other contracts at night. I didn't take a single day off, including Thanksgiving. I'm not making enough with music to count that, but I'm also not spending a fortune on this little hobby either. I'm probably lifelong break-even, give or take, but honestly, when it's just a few thousand dollars using gear that can be sold at a profit or break even, it's not really saying much.

Anyhow, I'm just not sure what to do. It's confusing and I'm somewhat embarrassed. I'm living super defensively, over-saving my money and not doing anything with it. I used to look at my bank account and think: if I had $Y, I'd buy X. Well, I have $Y and now I don't want to buy X. It's like the chase was fun, but the accomplishment and reward is just that I did the chase.

I don't know when this chase will very be over. $Y just keeps on increasing to some new number that will take another year to reach. I honestly have no idea how to budget, set goals, or when to pull the trigger on anything.

Thanks for reading my little thought for the day.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:26 PM   #29
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

dT,
Not an uncommon problem. People get unnecessarily squeamish about money, attaching all kinds of value judgements. I moved to NJ 2 years ago (minus a couple weeks). My brother was making low 6 figures (~120k), but underwater on multiple fronts. Money wasn't his problem, simply a reflection of the disorder in the rest of his life.
Like therapy, it took a trusted outside view to reflect the circumstances of the situation.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:40 PM   #30
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Dave,

I'm not really sure how to help because I tend to live pretty defensively, too. I'd say just keep living this way for as long as you can, then change.

Of course, you'll probably find out change is hard if you're like me.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:45 PM   #31
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

a person really needs to put at least 10,000 a year into retirement funds of some kind if they are past say 35 years old. and 5000 if younger. but all you can afford needs to go there, and when you get older enough then you will be overly glad you did by forgoing things that depreciate when younger.

that along with buying a house so you have your housing paid for in 20 years free and clear.

if you cant get that amount then all you can is the best you can do. early money compounds and provides your cushion when you need it most.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:51 PM   #32
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Boy do I live defensively.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:01 PM   #33
Ray Zee
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

those are minimums charlie. in the u.s. you really need at least one and closer to two million in net worth to retire comfortably without other income.

so starting early and letting your money compound is growing investments is important.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:11 PM   #34
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

I never realized that when I was young, Ray Zee.

I'm not that smart, I guess.
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Old 03-23-2019, 10:20 PM   #35
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Fortunately, I have a state pension, so I don't need a ton of savings to live fairly comfortably. There's no way I could have ever saved enough.
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:08 PM   #36
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Yeah, something or the other about maxing out 401k as well. It's just really strange. You think, "If I ever make this much, I'll..." then reality hits.

I don't even want to pay more than $1k / month on housing, but in LA, that's not an option unless you just want to rent a room (at least $1k / month). Even finding a $1,500 single is absurdly hard, and a lot of those places have a maximum you are allowed to earn!

The strangest part is that a lot of places are HUD housing with "upscale" apartments on the upper floors. So, on the one hand, they are happy to take whatever pennies the gov't is handing to them, but if you have a job, they want $2,500 to live in a relatively dangerous neighborhood.

So many apartments are just sitting empty. I swear some places have a 75% vacancy, yet they keep on building more places. You would think supply / demand would lower prices by say, $250?
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:12 AM   #37
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

housing is tough especially if you want to be in a city. but finding something to buy is often doable. there are many programs where you can buy with nothing or little for a down payment with a low interest loan.
most states have a first time buyer program. or military one. and even owner financing which i have done. some have rehab loans to get you in. you just have to hunt them down. and in the future rent will be much higher but loan payments stay the same and reduce your balance after awhile. and soon 20 years pass and your house is worth 4 times as much or more and you have it free and clear.
mortgage interest can be deductible and also still in effect is if you live in a house for two of the last 5 years 250,000 profit is tax free, or 500,000 of it if married . its crazy to rent if you can swing buying.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:15 AM   #38
Ray Zee
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

another thing is if you can have your domicile in a low tax state like Nevada where you dont pay any state income tax or taxes on social security income to the state. that alone might be enough to build a nice nest egg.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:37 AM   #39
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

The trade off is that you get certain opportunities in one city that aren't available in another. I wouldn't be able to make the money I make in LA anywhere else. In many places, I wouldn't even be able to find viable work at all. My skill set isn't exactly rare, but it is isolated to certain areas. Even in the world of programming, my skill set isn't universal and pretty isolated to a small sector. If I talk ecommerce, it's definitely not able to be done outside of a coastal area.

Don't get me wrong, I like living in LA, but at the same time, it's the least-worst option I have.

My only positive is that I live very lean since I'm very used to living through dry times. When I was contracting, I was guaranteed to be out of work from Thanksgiving to February. Maybe a few things during December, but I had to ride January out. It's a lot easier with consistent income, so I've been saving a lot of money very quickly. It would be about 50% more, but I spent a lot of money on medical bills, debt, and other non-essentials.

Owning a home is a nice thought and all, but I'd rather put down $50k at least before thinking about that. Optimistically, that's a good 5 years away, plus the last thing I want to think about today is a mortgage and possible (probably) foreclosure. idk, I truly don't understand money so you're probably talking above my head.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:00 AM   #40
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

I like to keep my shady pool hall hustlers and wise retirement investment planners in separate piles!
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:37 AM   #41
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Dave,

It's not that complicated. Really, millions of Americans do this stuff, and many are dumb as a box of rocks.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:44 PM   #42
Ray Zee
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

the wise retirement planners arent very good or they would be out making money for themselves instead of trying to get commissions from making money for somebody else.

if you want advice on something go to the persons that have done it for themselves.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:14 PM   #43
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

I did mine on my own, got some help from a nameless no-no person from 2+2; after I had already started on a plan ( a bit late but I caught up). I also read some good books on financial/economic basics. If you have that solid basis you can figure out most of the other stuff. I did have to make some sacrifices in not doing some fun stuff and/or extravagant things but the saved money (some every month) and wise investments really reaped large dividends down the road. Also thank you Vanguard! And index funds!


So I retired at 62, own a home and shop on 2.5 acres, can grow my own food, fish, and I stay very busy, but set my own schedule, and I am never bored. I also travel about the US, Europe, and Asia annoying everyone I can. Because: Plan, Plan, Plan.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:31 PM   #44
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Yeah, I'm tempted to try out Vanguard as well. Seems to be a pretty good option to sock away some money and get +ev. It's all too much for me to think about right now.

I did finally see a place that I just fell in love with today. Best part, it's less than $2k / month. I'm not sure if I'll get approved, but hey, why not try? The biggest leap is trying to balance between rent + the rest of life. I'm probably going to spend the rest of the night running numbers.

The biggest problem is trying to calm my nerves having a single income. It's a bummer that I never had a good stable income with a place I could stand to work at long term and / or not go out of business. This place is doing very well and has some great coworkers, so the onus is on me to keep my own head above water.

I'm still going to be working on other incomes because I'm just not cut out to live 9to5 and watch TV at night. I'm really trying to learn to trust the situation as it is today, so I'm forcing myself to slow down and relax from constant work a little bit (prepping for 3 shows while sick was "vacation," lol). I know this experiment won't happen long term, but I want to grind my head for positive reasons.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:43 AM   #45
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Zeno, you sound a lot like my mom and dad. You'd have made a great Ozarker.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:42 PM   #46
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

I'm proud the moniker "Ozarker" has been plastered to my masthead.

Thanks, Kioshk.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:20 PM   #47
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveT View Post
Yeah, I'm tempted to try out Vanguard as well. Seems to be a pretty good option to sock away some money and get +ev. It's all too much for me to think about right now.

I did finally see a place that I just fell in love with today. Best part, it's less than $2k / month. I'm not sure if I'll get approved, but hey, why not try? The biggest leap is trying to balance between rent + the rest of life. I'm probably going to spend the rest of the night running numbers.

The biggest problem is trying to calm my nerves having a single income. It's a bummer that I never had a good stable income with a place I could stand to work at long term and / or not go out of business. This place is doing very well and has some great coworkers, so the onus is on me to keep my own head above water.

I'm still going to be working on other incomes because I'm just not cut out to live 9to5 and watch TV at night. I'm really trying to learn to trust the situation as it is today, so I'm forcing myself to slow down and relax from constant work a little bit (prepping for 3 shows while sick was "vacation," lol). I know this experiment won't happen long term, but I want to grind my head for positive reasons.
Vanguard's retirement target year mutual funds are an extremely good product for virtually anyone, and especially anyone who doesn't want to invest the time and decision fatigue into trying to find something better, and if they don't have the hubris to assume that they can do better than market averages. The fees are very low, and the retirement savings plan is:

1. Buy the fund labeled with the year close to when you want to retire
2. Keep doing that
3. Keep doing that
...
N. Retire.

You'll do pretty close to market average returns on a mix of stocks and bonds that is appropriate for how close you are to retirement at the chosen year. You don't even have to think about changing your allocation as you age.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:24 PM   #48
Ray Zee
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

best to buy a basket over time of different stocks and hold them. or pick ones from the top funds you might consider investing in. this way you dont pay any yearly fee or 10b- 1 fees to the fund out of your portfolio.

first best investment is to buy you own house. hands down the best forced investment and you also get the enjoyment out of it.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:27 PM   #49
Ray Zee
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

another thing to follow is never pay interest on anything that depreciates and goes down in value over time.

one day we all get old and dont want to have be saying hello to the people that walk into walmart. or saying would you like fries with your burger sir.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:25 PM   #50
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Re: The Lounge Spring LC Thread: Hop On!

Under 60: 2 Low fee index funds. QQQQ and SP500. Small, regular purchases.
Use a brokerage account at Schwab or similar discount broker. Can also get a checking/debit account. Whatever you choose, no fee is a must.
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