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Do you feel financially secure?

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by ASU2003, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Location:
    Where ever I roam
    Why the Rich Don’t Feel Rich | The Exchange - Yahoo! Finance

    Whether it is "Keeping up the The Joneses", or not knowing how long you are going to live, or what live events will happen to you in the future, or what the fiat money system will do in the future... It is hard to feel comfortable with the amount of money you have, even though you should.

    What would it take for you to feel secure? More money, a stable long term job with benefits? No debt? No bills and gasoline expenses? Lower taxes (excluding income taxes)? Do you have a plan to get these things, or have you come up with an alternative? Maybe dropping out of the rat race, not having a traditional house, and being off-the grid is the answer...

    Also, what financial assets or wealth should you have before becoming an entrepreneur? Do you need enough to cover the business start-up expenses and two years of bills? Three years?

    I might make 1/10th of what the doctor in the top article makes, but I should feel much better than I do about where I am financially. There are just too many unknowns right now. How long will I live, what are health insurance rates going to do? Food prices, travel costs, entertainment costs... I have done a lot to minimize my expenses and prevent price hikes for energy from impacting me though with my solar power system.
     
  2. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    That physician makes nearly 14 times what I do. Maybe he doesn't feel secure because he's invested his entire life's philosophy, or his entire spirituality, into the material world. Maybe he feels he is nothing if he cannot keep his $1 million home, his three cars, etc. Worse, maybe he feels he is nothing if he cannot accumulate more. It isn't any way to live. Dude has three cars. I've never owned one before, and I can't afford one at the moment (though I'm grateful to have access to one if I want).

    In the meantime, I'd like to think that making in a year what he does in a month would make me feel very fortunate indeed. I'd like to think that making $50,000 (on average) would make me feel financially secure. But not on its own. I'd like to use the extra cash flow this would create at first to pay down my debt. After that, much of it would be diverted into savings, which are virtually non-existent to me right now.

    So in summary, $50,000 (adjusting for inflation year to year) with little or no debt would be an ideal for me. It would be the baseline for me to feel financially secure.

    Would I want more? Probably. But that's my baseline for financial security. I'm not that far off that mark, though at the moment my income fluctuates, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to reach closer to that goal soon, but maybe so in the near future once I figure out this freelancing thing out better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  3. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    We feel more financially comfortable now than we have ever before. We're not living in debt. Our investments are doing ok, we're able to set aside quite a bit of money every month, and have a decent amount stashed away for retirement. My husband has a reassuring level of job security. We have good health care benefits and a significant amount of money in an HSA account to cover medical emergencies. We definitely aren't scraping by from paycheck to paycheck.

    BUT we are very concerned about the future. We're worried that either through inflation or other means that money we've saved for retirement will be worthless or gone. We're also concerned that we will be unable to meet our daughter's educational needs without accruing debt.

    One of these years my husband would like to go into business for himself, to have a family business, but we just can't figure out how we could possibly save enough money to make that a reality. So for now we work and save and do our best to live frugally, knowing that every penny we stash away could be taken away at any time.

    I don't feel that any income would make me feel fully financially secure at this time. But having some significant amount of my own money coming in every month, rather than this grad student stipend, would be helpful. I'm looking forward to when my husband and I both have a reliable, stable income.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  4. amonkie

    amonkie Very Tilted

    Location:
    Windy City
    I've never been so financially insecure in my life.

    My husband broke off on his own 2 years ago to start his own business. The good news is that his income supports him 100% the bad news is that working for yourself means the cash flow can be extremely unreliable. I am working myself, but am in a position in growing company and basically paying my dues in sweat equity until it grows to the point there are substantial gains.

    We have no health insurance due to the above. I have some money in 401k from past jobs, but I can't contribute to that right now - all I can do is keep an eye on my portfolio allocations and ride things out. So far that strategy is working OK in that department.

    Our solution is to pay down debt, and hold off on major purchases. I had to push off going back to school because it's just not realistic to add 40k in student loans when we already have 100+k plus of his student loans, car payments, and live in Chicago where cost of living is outrageous. We use no credit cards to keep ourselves out of that pitfall since I don't feel comfortable charging something when we truly do not know 100% that there will be funds to pay that down in the same month.

    It's stressful. You can cut lots of expenses, but at the end of the day the basic cost of living is there. One of the biggest solutions for us would be to move out of the Chicago area, but we do not have the ability to put any savings aside to make that happen.
     
  5. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member

    Right now? Not particularly, just because of some major things coming.

    One, my husband is due to graduate with his Master's in September. I hope that this goes more smoothly than it did the last time he graduated. The economy is recovering, so I can only hope there are jobs. This time, I can't afford for him to be unemployed for six months. The only reason why we made it through last time was because I had a job teaching 40 hours a week at a preschool for $9/hr, we went on food stamps, and my parents owned the house we lived in, so they cut our rent significantly. I can live very frugally if need be as far as food is concerned. This whole "let's push up graduation" thing happened suddenly; we were expecting to both graduate in December. Right now, we don't have enough money to cushion us if he does not get a job. I cannot support us on my income alone since I am in graduate school. I try to have a cushion of savings for emergencies, but it's down a bit since we've had some medical bills and work done to the car. This all came up AFTER I bought my ticket for Toronto and we made plans to go together to his conference in Napa. It also doesn't help that I only have my 10-hr a week job over the summer; having to student teach in the fall cut into my employability significantly.

    Perhaps if he'd start applying for jobs NOW I would feel better about this whole graduating in three months thing.
     
  6. Cubby

    Cubby Vertical

    Nope..not at all. I have a good job but it is in the private tech industry and there are continually layoffs so that is really my biggest concern. And it isn't even so much that I would get layed off but what type of job I could get after (and more importantly what type of salary). Right now with three kids in elementary school, all their sports, a house that needs new windows, new kitchen, we are looking at getting a new car in the next couple of weeks, etc. Just too much possibly going out and not enough money in reserve for if income is not coming in as much as it used to for me to feel comfortable.

    For me to feel secure I'd have to lower my debt to a level that half my salary could support in case I do have to find a new job and it doesn't pay as well. Ideally I would be comfortable if the mortgage was paid off but that won't happen for a while. In the meantime my wife and I need to really sit down and budget properly.
     
  7. Lindy

    Lindy Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Nebraska
    There is always a tendency in these kinds of discussions to equate wealth with a high income and a lavish lifestyle. Income has little to do with wealth.
    Wealthy or "rich" is measuring your net worth, not your income or counting toys. If you spend all you make (or more) you'll never be wealthy, no matter what you earn.
    I'm rich by those standards, with my net worth being a little over a million in stocks, land, and other investments. I'll admit to having some good luck with investments, but I'm also diligent and have always lived well under my means.
    I currently have two cars, a 2002 SAAB and 1983 Honda Civic. I've never owned a new car. I live in house valued at about $125K in a middle class neighborhood. I keep up with the Barnetts next door, not the Joneses.

    Last year I lived on significantly less than I paid in taxes. I have no debt.
    I shake my head and laugh at some acquaintances that are so concerned with looking rich that they most likely will never be rich.
    I've been working since I was fifteen years old and what impresses me is intelligence, work ethic, and pragmatism. I'm too driven to not work, but I'm where I can work for myself, and be choosy about working for others, mostly taking jobs to learn.
    I could care less about 500k McMansions, Lexi, Range Rovers, wristwatches the size of a dinner plate, and other risky depreciating illiquid "assets" that are so popular with seekers of status.
    So yes, I feel financially secure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  8. cynthetiq

    cynthetiq Administrator Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    New York City
    I feel secure because I spend less than I make and I also save plenty.

    I don't buy crap, well, I try not to. I try to buy things that generate a small income. I tend to buy experiences.

    I pay cash for everything. Only debt I have are some mortgages, but they are being paid fast as possible.

    Since November 2012, I paid cash for a sports car (not new) and a house. These are 2 psychological barriers for me for some time but I needed to make it happen as a goal and I did.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I live within my means, but post-secondary education was so damn expensive. In another two years, my student debt will be cleared, which will free up $300/month in cash flow.

    I remember chatting with a coworker who went to university 10 years before me. She paid less than half what I did. I felt ripped off.
     
  10. KirStang

    KirStang Something Patriotic.

    I have a good amount in savings, but graduating during the recession makes me hesitant to take on too much financial obligations.
     
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    No, not yet.
    Not after I've been through the past some years.

    But give me time, hopefully life doesn't throw me another twist...and I'm slowly able to rebuild.
    Talk to me next year.
     
  12. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    I'm in a good place financially with a higher salary than I ever thought I would see given working for non-profits, few significant expenses (mortgage almost paid and one more year of daughter's college tuition), comfortable savings if needed for emergency, investments that are performing well and significant retirement as a result of starting contributions at a young age and years of matching employer(s) contributions.

    But it took 25 years to get here. I've become less thrifty in recent years and see no reason not to enjoy finer things w/o going overboard.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Still going to college, still taking out loans. Parents are (and have been since the day I turned 18) completely unable to help me out in any financial capacity, so I'm completely on my own. It has taught me the value of a dollar and just how far I can stretch it. Unfortunately, for now, it's still being stretched far too tight for me to be comfortable.

    I'm optimistically hoping that I'll be able to land a job in my field very soon after I graduate that will allow me to pay down my debt and allow me to live the simple lifestyle that I've always known. I really don't need much; food, a place to stay, a reliable vehicle of transportation (my own, public transit, a bike, whatever), and a few simple musical instruments. Anything other than that would just be icing on the cake.
    All I need is enough money to afford the first three things (as I already have the fourth) as well as enough for me to pay my bills and repay my debt while allowing me to put a little bit away every month for the future.

    I'm with you, rogue49. Talk to me in a few years.
     
  14. Indigo Kid

    Indigo Kid Getting Tilted

    Not too secure, but comfortable. And using coupons and living within our means.
     
  15. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    I'm doing really well considering how little skill and education I have. Seriously. It's utterly ridiculous and I'm really grateful.

    Key to success has to been to take a career that pays well and use that money to invest in side ventures that generate passive income.

    Unless you're making seven figures at work after taxes, passive income is the only way to go as far as being able to feel secure.

    That and living like a Cheerios-powered pauper and driving a decade-old hatchback haven't hurt the old bottom line either.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Living off of granola and working from home* help too.

    *No dress code, no fast food lunches, no transportation costs (heck, I don't even own a transit pass, let alone a car)
     
  17. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    I'm trying to figure out which one of us sounds more like a homeless dude.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Well, I said I worked from "home." That's a good sign.

    You only mentioned Cheerios, being a pauper, and an old hatchback. That doesn't sound good.
     
  19. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    Uh-huh. Sure.

    No, it doesn't.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto