Archive for the ‘retirement’ Tag

Another Good Reason to Distrust Government   Leave a comment

Posted March 14, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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Arguing with the Indoctrinated 5 (What the Rich Owe Me)   2 comments

There are generally two types of workers in this world.

There are people who are risk-adverse who work for someone else, who move on to other jobs when the company is struggling or going bankrupt. Chances are good they’ll find a better job with the competitor who just ran their former boss out of business.

Then there are entrepreneurs who leverage everything to build a company that employs the risk-adverse. These entrepreneurs risk losing everything in order to build their businesses. When the company tanks, they lose their homes, their cars, their savings, their retirements, their everything. With great risk comes the potential for great profit or crushing failure.

I’m risk adverse. I make a modest income by working 40 hours a week and I invest in “safe” things like my mortgage and retirement account. Maybe if I have a little extra, I buy some stock, but that’s as risky as I’ll ever get because I like my current life too much to risk losing everything on a huge gamble.

My father-in-law was a gambler. Instead of bellying up to the Blackjack table in Vegas, he bet everything on a company. And it paid off in millions of dollars of income … for a while. At least three times in the 33 years I’ve known him, he’s lost everything and had to start all over. This time, he’s 74 years old and he can’t do it. He’ll live the rest of his life on $1600 in Social Security income while the people he employed will find other jobs with the competitors who ran him out of business by being more competitive.

Brad and I agree that we owe Leo nothing except the offer of a bedroom if he’d like to come live with us. We don’t have a lot of money, but we have a house and we are willing to share. He made millions and he didn’t save any of it for his retirement. That’s the choice he made and the consequences he should assume.

We also agreed — back when Leo was rolling in dough — that he owed us nothing. His income was his income and he didn’t have to share with us because we didn’t earn his wealth. There were some really expensive (but not useful in Alaska) Christmas gifts that came our way at times, but we have gotten what we own currently by the sweat of our own brows through the jobs that we worked.

If we owe anyone anything (besides the bank — note to self, the mortgage is due again), it’s our employers for employing us. They could have hired other people. They didn’t have to employ us.

There are a lot of people who think that “the rich” owe them something because they are not as wealthy as “the rich”. I disagree. My husband is a construction worker who has become a small business owner. Every employer he’s ever had was “rich” compared to him. They were “rich” because they owned a company that made enough money to support themselves and some employees. Now, when you divided all that “wealth” up among the employees and the overhead, it might actually be that the “rich” boss took home less money than the inividual employees. In fact, Brad has actually worked for that guy a couple of times. The company was “rich”, but the owner wasn’t … not yet, anyway.

Several of those companies are gone now because their owners got tired of being risk-takers and decided to join the ranks of the risk-adverse. In fact, I work with that guy now. Others of those guys have since become “rich”. They own nice houses and drive nice cars while also owning a successful business.

And what is wrong with that? They earned it by working for it.
Most “rich” Americans did not start out in the wealth-class nor did they get there by lucking into being the CEO of a Wall Street investment firm. https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/joshua-rauh-what-forbes-400-list-says-about-american-wealth. Most US “millionnaires” are folks like my sister-in-law.

Amy grew up in a middle-middle-class family. Her father was a road engineer. She gained the benefit of his income in that he paid for her college education. She took that education and got a job as an accountant. When her first husband dragged her into an investment scheme that took the house she’d paid for,and all of their savings and created a debt crater the size of Detroit, she dumped him, kept her full-time job, moved into an apartment in a scary neighborhood, borrowed some money from her parents to pay for schooling so she could get her CPA and started killing her half of that debt. Within five years and at the age of 32, she was working for a nice salary (because she has highly sought after skills), had paid off the debt, repaid her parents for the loan, closed on a small home and begun saving for retirement because Ronald Reagan had let all of us know that there was no actual money in the Social Security Trust Fund. Until this decade, she never made more than $60,000 in annual income. She has made judicial investments in the stock market and mutual funds and she’s participated in her employers’ 401K programs. She’s got a good BS meter and she’s guessed the market a couple of times to avoid a huge crash.

She now has about $1.7 million in her combined retirement accounts. She got that by being debt free except for her mortgage for the last 40 years (she’s been mortgage free for almost 20 years now, but that was my brother’s contribution to the marriage). She has relentlessly saved 15% of her income for retirement. Careful investment strategy and the law of compounding interest did the rest.

She is a millionaire and, by extension, so is my brother. At least I shouldn’t have to worry about him needing to move in with me. She plans to live off the interest of her accounts and she may well need all of it because her mother is pushing 100 and still lively and living on her own.

And yet, in this world today, there are many people who would like to take 50% of that savings account to “give to the poor” because it’s just “not fair” that Amy has so much money and others do not.

She EARNED it by working for it, so why should she be forced to share it with others?

She doesn’t owe me a thing and she knows me, so why is there an assumption that she owes strangers anything?

Posted November 16, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide

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