whit wrote:^ I think one of the biggest problem is society's negative connotation with the term "lower" class and those who don't like it and is willing to fall into the perils of credit and interest to keep up with the joneses so to speak, at the same time..not fighting as hard for fair wage and ways to even out society as a whole.
Hmmm ... that sounds like my ex-wife (grin). But what I meant by not liking categorization by income alone ... or even net-worth alone ... is that there are, I think, better indicators to use when summing up a person's ability to manage their financial affairs. My ex and I were truly the "odd couple" when it came to that. Early in our marriage, she acquired her first VISA card ($500 credit limit). And literally before the ink was dry on her signature, she was in a shopping mall. When she came home, she had over a dozen pairs of shoes - and her remaining credit was in the single digits. And when I asked her, "Why so many shoes?" she replied (seemingly astonished that I'd even asked), "Because they were on sale!"
There are people who make $50k per year but manage their finances well. And there are people who make 4 times the income who don't. My ex was the kind of person who said (on many occasions), "My friends have this-or-that - why can't I?"
To dispense with "all" the dirty laundry of our marriage, let me just say that by the time I divorced her, I was making $55k per year and had $9k of consumer debt (partly from bailing her out of her own dilemmas). She was making $18k per year and had $28k of consumer debt. She had to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy shortly after the divorce. And when she did, her creditors came after me - eventually forcing me to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It was discharged in 2011 after 5 years on on-time payments. I retired the next month and started rebuilding my credit with a secured VISA with a $1,000 credit limit. In 2012, after 12 on-time monthly payments, the issuer converted it to unsecured. And finally, in 2013 (7 years from the 2006 filing date), all credit-file notations of the Chapter 13 disappeared from my credit reports. Armed with a clean credit file and 2 years of positive input on 1 VISA card, I began applying for other cards. So, except for the 1st VISA card (which I still have), the other 13 cards were acquired between July of 2013 and now.
So, if we used the category of "wisdom" in handling financial affairs since the divorce, I'd like to think I rank higher than the average person. FWIW, after her bankruptcy, my ex started getting into credit trouble again (sigh). But, she was saved by hooking up with a "sugar daddy" who assumed my earlier role of bailing her out of credit dilemmas. They're still together. But it hasn't been all sweetness and light. One of the first things he gave her was (ahem) herpes.
whit wrote:Do you realize at even 32k a year (not including treasurydirect) you make more than what a person would with minimum wage working full time? i looked it up, apparently it hasn't changed since 2009--it's 7.25 or 15,080 annually.
The city of Portland, Oregon recently upped the minimum wage for city workers to $15 an hour ... without (snicker) first determining how they would fund it. I took a look at my retirement income, divided it by 2,087 (the "national standard" number of hours worked by a full-time employee per year), and came up with $15.36 per hour. Of course, I had to work 30 years to get that "wage." Anyhow, I posted to the OregonLive forum that I wondered how people could justify making the same income I have now - just by walking in off the street. No replies - yet.
whit wrote:So yeah, there are plenty out there that is making less than you even at retirement and you guys are probably battling different expenses (medical versus building equity).
Medical expenses were a concern to me. This August, I'll turn 65 and apply for Medicare Part A & B. And I'm hoping I don't have an "emergency" between now and then. If I can make it to August healthy, I should be covered well. My current insurer (Cigna) will allow me to keep their coverage beyond age 65. The premium would be the same but, with Medicare being primary, Cigna will "waive" all co-pays and deductibles - even on RX drugs. In short, at age 65, I'll have ZERO-DOLLAR out-of-pocket coverage - assuming I only see their network-approved doctors. And nowadays, there are a lot more of them than there are doctors who accept Medicare assignment.
I'm so shocked that many of my senior friends haven't adequately planned for their retirement - even a little bit. And I'm equally shocked that some people (even seniors) have been locked into "consumerism" as a means to find happiness. I've always believed in the "hobo ethic" that people don't own possessions - they are owned BY them. I never "got used to" surrounding myself with "things" the way some people have. Give me a good book and a comfy chair and I'm a happy camper (grin). I don't even go on vacations. If I'm already enjoying life, why would I need or want to take a "break" from the process? And I certainly won't be going abroad. I've often joked that there's only one country on the face of this Earth where American tourists are treated with respect - and I'm living in it (grin).