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Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 291

If I kill you to lower costs, I still killed you.

If I hit you to lower costs, I still hit you.

If I reaccomodate you to lower costs, I still reaccomodated you.

If I hire people of only one race and age group to replace another group to lower costs, I still committed age and race discrimination.

It's quite simple really.

Motive and intent matters in some cases but in many cases it does not.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 540

I'm not intending to move the goal posts only to clarify.

When you say "nice" car, I hear something more expensive than a honda accord or honda element. I hear $36k to $42k instead of $22k. If you meant buy a nice car from a company with a good maintenance record then we are in agreement.

I could have pushed harder and gone with 2 year old used cars and saved more and still not been in junkers like you describe but i did not.

It's not about penny pinching- now you are moving the goal posts.

You are painting a picture of being an extreme spendthrift when that's not necessary. If you want to retire even earlier or if you want to retire at my age like those janitors with a million bucks- then sure. But my goal wasn't that extreme.

While I don't "hate" my job- but when I was 30, I realized I got no status or enjoyment out of working like other people do. I've been retired 6 years now and I'm falling behind on doing the things I want to do. There are shows to watch, drawings to draw, songs to play, gardens to tend, walks to take, and places to see.

I realized young that unlike many people I actually enjoyed my life outside of work and if I could just have the money, I felt no need to work. I recognize that some people need to work to feel happy. I'm not wired that way.

Years of luxury DOES trump a few extra years of hard work. That's my entire point. From 20 to 30, I did that. The result was few good memories of the luxuries and a lot less money. It's trivial to waste $20,000 a year eating out, going to bars, etc. It costs money to work. You only get to save some of your income. A huge chunk goes to taxes as well. You save along the way or you work til you die or you commit suicide (as an increasing number of mid 60 year old people are doing).

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 540

Buying too much house is like betting large on two pair or even 3 of a kind.

You may win. But you may lose.

Buying less house is like only betting on a full house or even a straight flush.


So you buy too much house- then you lose your job. Ruined.
So you buy too much house- then you get sick. Ruined.
So you buy too much house- then the housing market drops (as it does every recession)- and your pay is cut or taxes go up. Ruined or in a lot of pain.
The OLD game was to buy a house- let it appreciate and leverage up.
Then they got more aggressive and said it was a "no lose" proposal and you should leverage to the max.

You MIGHT win. You might turn $30,000 into $270,000 in 5 years. But you may also be wiped out.


So say you buy a more reasonable house.

In the above cases, you make it thru without much pain (because it's easy to save up a couple years living expenses really quickly when your expenses are low).

Your winnings are not as great (in my case $20,000 would have been about $150,000 if I'd flipped it but instead I stayed and it's $350,000 but that might have been 600,000 to 700,000 if I'd flipped it.).

The case where you lose in both cases a major employer in the region leaves or ceases to exist- housing in the area becomes worthless- taxes remain high longer than you can stand- you go bankrupt and can't sell the house.

In both cases, if you make it- the winning case compared to renting is very nice. Over 90% of investors ACTUAL return is 2-3% over 10, 20, and 30 years (forbes magazine). Rent goes up as fast as inflation but housing payments don't. At the start of a 30 year mortgage you are paying as much for a 3/2 house as a 2/2 rental. At the end of a 30 year mortage, you are often paying under half as much as renters are paying. In retirement, you are paying a quarter what renters are paying (for comparable properties- so in the too much house case, you'd also be renting "too much apartment/luxury condo".

As you point out- everything changes.

Nothing is certain. It's all a percentage game. Real estate only has value when people want to live on it.

And to be honest, the limits to growth scenarios look to turn very, very nasty in 30 years. I'll be hoping I'm dead because a billion to two billion people could die and global wars over resources are likely.

For example- we are using more chromium every year than we did from 1901 to 2000. We are on track to use all of it- with recycling considered and that's whats estimated to be in the entire planet- not just known resources. And that's true for almost every industrial metal outside of iron. And no chromium will mean no more stainless steel. Maybe we'll figure out a replacement for it. But we'll have to find a replacement for so many things so quickly that disruption is more likely. In the mean time- we aren't doing ANYTHING to mitigate the problem. So the likely case is that it will hit hard when it hits.

Who knows-- maybe we can make new elements with fusion.

Anyway... I guess I'm painting a little more of a "buy guns and ammo and join a group" scenario than a "should I have a star bucks or save for the future" scenario. But if it happens, it's going to suck. And if it doesn't happen -well better to own a house than be renting.

I'm almost certainly dead by then (87 and my expected mortality is 78).

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 540

That's just luck. Mainly, you just want to save equivalent purchasing power. So by saving half my income until 51, I had enough to retire until 81 (assuming I can keep getting something close to inflation over the next 24 years). My expected mortality is 78. But, if I get "lucky", I have a paid for house (which I could downsize from to free up about $200k or reverse mortgage for an income stream) and I could reign in spending some so I should be in okay til I die. At least no eating pet food.

In my case, so far my investments have covered or slightly exceeded inflation. I'm getting 5.38% thru 2022, for example. We'll, see what things are like then.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 540

Or buy an affordable car (too many of my peers had $50,000 to $60,000 cars) and an affordable house (too many of my peers had houses that cost 2x to 3x what mine cost) and do a lot of fun cheap stuff with friends while taking a 2-3 weeks of nice vacations per year (but nothing too expensive too often). I took cruises, ski trips, and gaming trips.

Americans seem obsessed with status spending. By saving hard, I retired at 51.

Could I be screwed by social security being gutted? Sure. But that was where I drew the line you drew at a younger age.

And yea- our vacations suck. And we really don't get anything in trade for terrible vacation time compared to the rest of the world.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 540

Sorry dude, but I game (pathfinder with one group, boardgames with two other groups) with millenials. I'm well aware of their vices. I speak from personal experience. Sample size is small (about 30) but the behavior is clear. They talk about getting their "free" starbucks using their affinity cards (which is something like buy 10 to get 1 free). And they often eat out because its "too hard" to shop and cook after work or they don't know how to cook. And they eat out at lunch instead of brownbagging it.


Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 540

Fair point and I like data driven counter arguments.

I thought it was due to bankruptcy changes but it may not be.

It's still a fact that as a late boomer, we could afford to go to college on minimum wage without debt.
And it was even easier for the early boomers.

And we did go to brick and mortar schools and today the schools are marble and granite palaces.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 540

And you have just rediscovered the classic fable, "The grasshopper and the ant".

Your life experiences are most likely going to require that you work until the day you die.

As for the rest..

You are playing the odds in a situation where the odds are against you. You MAY be right. But I'd put the odds at under 10%. And the upside if you are right is that you live a better life now but suffer when you are old. But a lot of that better life, you won't remember when you are old. Regular luxury means that the luxury becomes unmemorable. If you are not going to remember it in 6 months, then it's a wasted luxury.

Increasingly- many people who took your side of the bet are committing suicide as they reach old age.

Saving hard, diversifying, owning your own *reasonable* sized (or even small) home is on the 90% side of the bet. Focusing on free activities with friends and family (games, dinner parties, etc.) and the occasional luxuries (I still took ski trips. i still ate out really nice once per quarter and I can still recall many of those meals).

But it is harder for millennials and that can be discouraging. And they may not make it before automation sweeps in. But my daughter and her friends are doing okay so far and about 10 years in to paying off their houses and doing okay at balancing fun and responsibility/savings.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 5, Insightful) 540

And the lack of bankruptcy means the banks would loan unreasonable amounts of money to 18 year olds who had no clue how much pain they were signing up for.

If the bankruptcy was removed, loans would drop, and so would tuition.

Grants are a factor but they were tiny amounts of money compared to student loans.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 540

That's supposed to say "millennial are running about a decade behind".

I was a late boomer- almost genx. I was similarly behind leading edge boomers. They were always in the job I wanted to be promoted too and they were going to be there until i was in my mid to late 50's.

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 3, Interesting) 540

Granted those happen- but buying too much house, eating out too much, buying too much car, traveling too much, buying clothing that's too nice, drinking after work, starbucks, and many other activities enjoyed by the young do not help.

I lived on half I made and saved the rest from 1987 onwards. I retired 16 years early.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 5, Insightful) 540

As a boomer, when i went to college, it was $180 a semester. Even adjusted for inflation that's a fraction of the cost today.

Tuitions went up enormously when the law was changed to allow loans not forgiven by bankruptcy.

Boomers are running about 10 years behind my age for every major landmark.

That being said- save hard, don't pamper yourself with eating out and starbucks and you can still retire years earlier.

Comment Re:Can't a magic 8 ball replace most CEOs? (Score 1) 287

In my experience with ceo's and senior executives- the "numbers" have a funny habit of changing to match projections. I saw them waste at least 6.5 billion dollars over 5 years in failed project after failed project. All based on unrealistic assumptions. And in every case, the failures were redefined as successes except for the failed SAP rollout.

A large corporation can cover some terrible errors and CEO's (and executives) are paid for changing things- not for running them well as they are. So you can have a good business practice and it will be removed and replaced with something else which is much, much worse.

If the change works- yea! Big bonus for the CEO and/or executives. If it fails- yea! Big golden parachute. If it's in the muddy middle- there will be a lot of pressure to say the change worked. Because deadlines, definitions- sometimes reality- is subject to intense pressure and manipulation to say the change worked.

Actual reality doesn't set in until they leave or the company goes tits up.

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