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My Retirement Plan Is
Save 10% of every paycheck for the rest of my life. 23%
Hit the Lotto. Hit it BIG. 30%
Head a gigantic multi-national and bail out just before it collapses. 0%
Wait for my parents to die and hope they leave me something (except for that crappy china cabinet they have). 15%
Engage in a short but colorful career as "The Cheez-Wiz Bandit", escape to South America, die in a firefight with the Bolivian Army. 30%

Votes: 13

 Weekend Socializing

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Mar 17, 2002

I spent some time with various friends this weekend and have recognized some things in myself as a result.


More diaries by doofus
Is Your Child a Taliban?
Public School (And Other) Charities
I Despise the Olympics
Someone Help This Poor Guy
Why Is Gitmo Gone?
I *am* somebody!!
Islamic Ji-ography
Didn't Anyone Help This Guy?
Mortality Forcibly Reconsidered
Oh Dear!
I Am A Criminal Suspect (Apparently)
Cheers for Le Tour de France
The Spec Is Nearing Initial Release
Prosyletizing Long-Lost Friends

I have a fair number of friends - people that I confide in (as opposed to people that I hang out with). They now encompass a wide range, from early 20's (still in college or just out) to my age or so (40).

This weekend the young just-married couple (he, 24 and a computer programmer, she is slightly younger and a pre-med major) had a weekend of dinner parties both Saturday and Sunday night to inaugurate their new apartment. I was the oldest one there; everyone else was at the most mid-30's and a lot of people were in college still.

At one point I was complimented for not looking 40, which I found both flattering and amusing.

I somehow slipped into "sage old wise man" mode and the husband and I began talking about financial matters. I like him; he's a smart guy but he doesn't pretend to have all the answers yet. He listens well and wants information about those areas where he is not as well-versed, such as taxes and investments and real estate. I was encouraging him to think about what he wants for their future and to begin NOW for retirement. "Save 10% of your salary for now. Even 10% will grow like crazy. Compound interest is a true miracle."

His wife was less open. She has the plan already, but it doesn't include this kind of stuff. She says, "We don't know if we will be living here in a year or not." So she doesn't think it makes sense (note to the reader: we are in Southern California; you can easily gain back the costs of purchasing a home here plus see a little profit in a year. Real Estate has not slowed down here.).

But what struck me about this series of get-togethers was how much I envied these younger folks, because they have more time than I do. Not time in a day, time in their lives. They have 15 more years than I do (or 10, or 6 or whatever). They can save 5 or 6 years more money for retirement; they can buy some property at a younger age and keep it and gain equity. They can retire earlier than I'll be able to. I had to start over 6 years ago with some basic possessions and $6 000. I feel happy to be where I am today, but, damn, if I only had been able to keep it together for the last 15 years Lord knows where I'd be instead.

So, to all you freshly-minted code jockeys, accountants, scientists, marketing and salespeople and other various and sundry folks leaving school soon, listen to this old man: Save 10% starting with your first paycheck! Use your company's 401(k) or open an IRA or equivalent plan. Do it. You'll be able to reire early, hit the road and never look back. And THAT is the best revenge.


Write-In Poll Option (none / 0) (#1)
by SpaceGhoti on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 02:31:41 AM PST
Obtain citizenship in a socialist-heavy country and live on government pension.

A troll's true colors.

Step two: (none / 0) (#3)
by tkatchev on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 10:24:49 AM PST
Learn to live by collecting empty beer bottles when socialism collapses and you are left out on the streets without a cent.

Peace and much love...

Duh. (none / 0) (#2)
by hauntedattics on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 10:15:31 AM PST
Not to be harsh, but I thought everyone knew about the 10% savings rule and the miracle of compound interest. Apparently not.

This girl may be right about waiting to buy real estate (there are other factors involved besides the local market, remember), but if she thinks that way about retirement and 401(k)s she is either an idiot, a wackjob, or both. I certainly ain't counting on Social Security still being around in 30-40 years.

To Be Fair (none / 0) (#4)
by doofus on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 11:21:09 AM PST
Fresh out of school grads aren't generally thinking about their situation 30 or 40 years in the future. I certainly wasn't. I think my words were "insightful" only because it hasn't been something he's been thinking about. And she's neither an idiot or a whackjob, she's concerned she won't get into the medical school of her choice and they'd have to move, etc. I still think buying and keeping even for a year is a moneymaker, but that's just my opinion.

PITA (none / 0) (#15)
by hauntedattics on Tue Mar 19th, 2002 at 05:36:28 AM PST
In a market where real estate is rapidly appreciating, it may be worth it to buy and sell after a year. However, you have to take into account the PITA - pain in the ass - factor as well. Is it worth all the hassle of ownership to make a small profit? What if the market stalls in the next year and you still have to sell your property? It depends on where your priorities are.

I didn't mean to denigrate your friend's wife. She has a valid point. It's just so easy to set up a 401(k) paycheck deduction that I'm surprised more people don't do it.

Money is quite important to you. (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by elenchos on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 05:31:57 PM PST
You seem to view youth merely as an opportunity to make clever long-term investment decisions. Why not consider that youth is an opportunity to get the most out of our too-brief existence, rather than a mere prelude to a later phase of our all-too-brief existence?

For that matter, why not think of our old age as yet another opportunity to get the most out of life? Thus, why waste any of our short, short lives fussing over money? What does that get you, in the end?

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

money (none / 0) (#6)
by jazz diva on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 08:12:07 PM PST
money allows for a more comfortable, although still brief, existence, doesn't it? what is trolling??

here... (none / 0) (#8)
by poltroon on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 10:03:01 PM PST
I'll help... trolling.

thanks? (none / 0) (#9)
by jazz diva on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 10:06:59 PM PST
well, that didn't really answer my question, but I guess I will find out if I do it. apparently trolling is not rocking the boat, cause everyone seems to enjoy doing that.

Because (none / 0) (#7)
by doofus on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 09:42:31 PM PST
as I told the husband, I've worked at a few large mega-corps. I have seen guys in their 70's still getting up and going to work every day at the office because they have to. Not want to, have to.

I don't want to wake up on my 60th birthday and say, "Shit, I have to work for a paycheck for the rest of my life."

And I don't want anyone else to do that either, especially people I care about and are young enough to set themselves up so they don't have to.

Working at something because you want to is one thing. Working because you have to quite another.

Hint. (none / 0) (#10)
by tkatchev on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 10:12:44 PM PST
Raise a normal family (if the U.S. liberalist hegemony still understands what that is) and you will not have problems like that.

Peace and much love...

What? (none / 0) (#11)
by poltroon on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 10:43:21 PM PST
Raise a normal family and you won't have trouble saving for retirement?

How is it that I live in the US and know various normal families - married parents and two or three kids - who are just scraping by as they reach retirement age?

I suppose if you define "normal" as middleclass, then by definition you'll never have a money problem.

A normal family (none / 0) (#12)
by jvance on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 11:25:11 PM PST
being one in which the children fulfill their obligations to and express their love for their parents by taking care of them in their old age.

Am I completely off base here, tkatchev?
Adequacy has turned into a cesspool consisting of ... blubbering, superstitious fools arguing with smug, pseudointellectual assholes. -AR

Oh... (none / 0) (#13)
by poltroon on Mon Mar 18th, 2002 at 11:31:44 PM PST
the offspring retirement plan. What an excellent reason to have children.

Better have a bunch, in case some happen to be retarded or self destructive or cancer prone...

They can't afford it. (none / 0) (#16)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Mar 19th, 2002 at 09:59:00 AM PST
They have to put part of their salary away.

They have to permanently buy new gadgets that are wearing out faster with each new type.

They have the obligation to keep the Economy going so they have to spend, spend, spend.

How can you expect them to have any money left to care about someone?

do you know how many people (none / 0) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Mar 19th, 2002 at 01:54:09 AM PST
on their deathbed have been heard to utter "I should have put away a little more of my salary"? Just asking.


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