Author Topic: Family with six-figure income broke every month  (Read 7559 times)

swiper

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PJ

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 09:29:12 PM »
Oh my.  That's just ridiculous ...
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darkk2b2

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 09:30:39 PM »
The part that stuck out to me was that they are going to defer property taxes to be able to take in an extra $245 a month. When they can do the same thing by not buying brand new clothes every month. (it said they spend $300 a month on clothes)

grantmeaname

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 09:31:46 PM »
How is $1700 a month on groceries and restaurants "not extravagant"? *eyeroll*.

arebelspy

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 09:38:35 PM »
And with them spending everything they earn, when their budget drops in retirement (due to pension being less than working income), it'll be tough.

However, it'll get tougher and tougher each year, as his pension has no COLA.  Ouch. 20 years from now, if they're still alive, they'll be HURTING.

A little planning and preparation goes a long way.
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strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 11:12:49 PM »
BC is expensive  but I don't see where his money is going.  Most of their debt is on the credit line.  It's still a lower amount then my mortgage and at a tiny bit better interest rate. their food bill is very high but not insane for here,  we're $700 and both my kids are under 5.

all told they list $2025 a month in expenses and the rest in fixed costs.  What the hell are those costs?  I'm assuming since their major debt is the credit line then they own a house outright.

mmmsc

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 12:58:47 AM »
Just did a rough estimate on his income tax owed each year and his net should be approx 77K. Divided by 12 = 6400 per month. I wonder where the other 1400 is going?

Honest Abe

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 04:57:13 AM »
I was under the impression from PF websites and blogs that ALL Canadians were mustachians. I'm confused..

strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 09:37:33 AM »
I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not.
I'm in BC.  I know 4 couples that I would consider to be close friends.   Close enough that we all know each others financial situations reasonably well. We're all mid 30's to early 40's.

Me -dual income 2 kids, make about $135k/year. No debt but a mortgage $204,000...  Rather then pay the mortgage quickly we're building a stach.  2 cars, old and very old
1 - dual income 1 kid, probably makes ~$130k/year  Carry a bit of debt mostly CC debt from school, but are working real hard to pay off their house well ahead of schedule. mortgage was about 100k last I heard. 1 car almost new They're in good shape
2 - dual income 1 kid, makes about ~$120k-$130k/year  They live in the most expensive area of any of us and have a huge $300,000 mortgage that will be around for the full 25 years. Also carry a fair amount of consumer debt and like their vacations and toys. If the lead income ever goes away they're in trouble. 1 new car, 1 company car If interest rates ever climb again they're in trouble.
3 - Single income 2 kids, make about ~80k/year. If mom goes back to work that would move to ~$150k.    did major reno's on their house and have everything including the house on a credit line, also two new trucks, new RV many many toys.  Roughly $300k on the credit line. The then moved out of province for work buying a new house for $400k.  Haven't been able to sell the old house yet...   They're a ticking time bomb
4 - single income 2 kids make about $60k/year.   mortgage is something near $280k  massive consumer debt.  1 old car 1 very old and broken down car. I don't know how much consumer debt and neither do they.  They refuse to look at the numbers.  Didn't do their taxes for 6 years even though it likely would have benefited them in the form of child subsidies.  Recently found out that they weren't even making minimum payments on the CC's because they were partially covered by disability insurance on the cards.  Long term disability was declines so that won't last long.  I figure they need to declare bankruptcy and start again.  They refuse to even look at the problem. They are so stressed by it that they need to keep taking vacations to relax. I'm actually kept up some nights worrying about their kids.

Mortgages are a major issue.  Housing is insane in the province.  We are after all the place where mansion or crack shack http://www.crackshackormansion.com/  comes from.   Add in the property taxes that are increasing faster then inflation as well as high fuel and food costs and things get tight real quick.

Jamesqf

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 11:07:58 AM »
"just $200 a month for dining out"

That's not extravagant?  When did "dining out" period stop becoming an extravagance?

And $300/month for clothes?  I probably spend about that much per year, if you include hiking/riding boots and similar.

jpo

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 06:52:14 AM »
Mortgages are a major issue.  Housing is insane in the province.  We are after all the place where mansion or crack shack http://www.crackshackormansion.com/  comes from.   Add in the property taxes that are increasing faster then inflation as well as high fuel and food costs and things get tight real quick.
Mind == blown for that website.

swiper

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 06:58:28 AM »
Mortgages are a major issue.  Housing is insane in the province.  We are after all the place where mansion or crack shack http://www.crackshackormansion.com/  comes from.   Add in the property taxes that are increasing faster then inflation as well as high fuel and food costs and things get tight real quick.
Mind == blown for that website.

I had a nice 15-0 streak going! The trick is to look at the neighboring houses. Size, use of stucco etc

For Canadians interested in release estate bubble news, I recommand Garth Turner's website. Often an entertaining read: http://www.greaterfool.ca/

noob515

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 08:17:39 AM »
To be fair, the article said the $300/mo clothing allowance was for 4 people, which is "only" $75/each. 

I love how the article says: "What we’ll do in retirement to maintain our way of life — it’s all up in the air".  Are you kidding?  What you'll do is nothing, because you can't maintain that lifestyle.

Also, if they have a 20 year old child still living with them, is that child helping pay towards the grocery or utility bills?  Even if they are in school, they should be working part time and helping contribute to the household income.

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 09:03:52 AM »
They could be doing much better, but it looks like their 100K salary has gotten them ahead of the curve.  800K in assets plus a 60K annual pension (assuming a retirement age of 58) is a lot better than most.  This doesn't even factor in the social benefit of living in Canada (they don't have to pay extra for health care, etc).

The Property tax deduction seems like a prudent move in general (not if they are just going to spend it on junk of course), a 2% below prime loan?  Is there even an interest rate on that?  I'd take that money out and just invest it to leave some more to the kids after they pass.

ruthiegirl

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 09:22:27 AM »
Well, shoot.   

I think I am in the 'ridiculous' category.  I spent most of this past weekend working all of our numbers in Mint (thank you MMM forums for that suggestion!) and we are a family living broke on 100K.  5K in credit card debt and my kids get expensive piano lessons and iPods.  Seeing the numbers was painful.  And I thought I was frugal!  I scrimp on the little things and then turn around and spend $500 for son's birthday.  And then I did it again for my daughter's birthday. 


I want to read articles like the one above and feel superior, but nope.  I am exactly like them -- spending money I don't have and living dangerously without a plan. 


Oi!  Let the face punches begin. 

venkol

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 09:45:34 AM »
Well, shoot.   

I think I am in the 'ridiculous' category.  I spent most of this past weekend working all of our numbers in Mint (thank you MMM forums for that suggestion!) and we are a family living broke on 100K.  5K in credit card debt and my kids get expensive piano lessons and iPods.  Seeing the numbers was painful.  And I thought I was frugal!  I scrimp on the little things and then turn around and spend $500 for son's birthday.  And then I did it again for my daughter's birthday. 


I want to read articles like the one above and feel superior, but nope.  I am exactly like them -- spending money I don't have and living dangerously without a plan. 


Oi!  Let the face punches begin.

I started in the same boat as well.  Luckily, with your income, turning things around will be fairly easy but it won't be painless as you will lose things you've gone to depend on.  After a few months, you wont miss those things.

strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2012, 10:12:04 AM »
This doesn't even factor in the social benefit of living in Canada (they don't have to pay extra for health care, etc).

Not true at least in BC.  My family of 4 pays something like $110/month to be part of the medical services plan.  You legally have to be part.    For Many people it's taken off at work and they never notice it.  It's been ages since I've seen a bill from them but I know it's deducted from every check my wife gets.


venkol

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2012, 11:45:37 AM »
This doesn't even factor in the social benefit of living in Canada (they don't have to pay extra for health care, etc).

Not true at least in BC.  My family of 4 pays something like $110/month to be part of the medical services plan.  You legally have to be part.    For Many people it's taken off at work and they never notice it.  It's been ages since I've seen a bill from them but I know it's deducted from every check my wife gets.

True, but I would just count that as taxes, something that simple salary worker doesn't really budget based on.  It's just something that comes out of the paycheck.

$100/month for a family of four?  Yeesh, our US based system is nothing short of criminal.  I pay $70/month just for me (i'm 30) through my employer who probably pays a lot more than that to the insurance company.

strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2012, 12:02:34 PM »
when it was just me I was near $80 as well.  Families are heavily subsidised.  My wife and I qualified as a family when we got married. Every kid after that is "free".  a family with 15 kids would pay exactly the same.

PJ

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2012, 12:27:42 PM »
Well, shoot.   

I think I am in the 'ridiculous' category.  I spent most of this past weekend working all of our numbers in Mint (thank you MMM forums for that suggestion!) and we are a family living broke on 100K.  5K in credit card debt and my kids get expensive piano lessons and iPods.  Seeing the numbers was painful.  And I thought I was frugal!  I scrimp on the little things and then turn around and spend $500 for son's birthday.  And then I did it again for my daughter's birthday. 


I want to read articles like the one above and feel superior, but nope.  I am exactly like them -- spending money I don't have and living dangerously without a plan. 


Oi!  Let the face punches begin.
 
Yup, me too.  But with a lower income and only me.  But ... slowly but surely we can turn things around!
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strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2012, 12:55:56 PM »
I'm surprised there isn't the financial equivalent to AA meetings.  I know almost nothing about AA but I remember one of the things is they have to admit there is a problem.   So many people out there need to realize and admit they have a financial problem so they can start fixing it.

arebelspy

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2012, 01:10:05 PM »
I'm surprised there isn't the financial equivalent to AA meetings.  I know almost nothing about AA but I remember one of the things is they have to admit there is a problem.   So many people out there need to realize and admit they have a financial problem so they can start fixing it.

The biggest problem with that is AA is all about admitting that you can't do it on your own and that you need a higher power.

Mustachianism, as I see it, runs quite counter to that (but YMMV).
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PJ

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2012, 01:10:55 PM »
I'm surprised there isn't the financial equivalent to AA meetings.  I know almost nothing about AA but I remember one of the things is they have to admit there is a problem.   So many people out there need to realize and admit they have a financial problem so they can start fixing it.
Well, actually, there is: 
 
http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/
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PJ

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2012, 01:20:48 PM »
I'm surprised there isn't the financial equivalent to AA meetings.  I know almost nothing about AA but I remember one of the things is they have to admit there is a problem.   So many people out there need to realize and admit they have a financial problem so they can start fixing it.

The biggest problem with that is AA is all about admitting that you can't do it on your own and that you need a higher power.

Mustachianism, as I see it, runs quite counter to that (but YMMV).
I don't think they have to be seen as mutually exclusive.  To speak purely from a Christian perspective (both because that's all I'm qualified to speak from, and because it's what I believe in) Christians believe that we don't really do anything on our own.  Every breath we take is because God continues to sustain life in us.  To admit that is to turn from our relative weakness to draw instead on the inexhaustible strength of God.  With this we can expect incredible transformation in the ways that we think and act, which is what Mustachianism encourages as well. 
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
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arebelspy

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2012, 01:27:06 PM »
I'm surprised there isn't the financial equivalent to AA meetings.  I know almost nothing about AA but I remember one of the things is they have to admit there is a problem.   So many people out there need to realize and admit they have a financial problem so they can start fixing it.

The biggest problem with that is AA is all about admitting that you can't do it on your own and that you need a higher power.

Mustachianism, as I see it, runs quite counter to that (but YMMV).
I don't think they have to be seen as mutually exclusive.  To speak purely from a Christian perspective (both because that's all I'm qualified to speak from, and because it's what I believe in) Christians believe that we don't really do anything on our own.  Every breath we take is because God continues to sustain life in us.  To admit that is to turn from our relative weakness to draw instead on the inexhaustible strength of God.  With this we can expect incredible transformation in the ways that we think and act, which is what Mustachianism encourages as well.

Oh, I don't think they're mutually exclusive at all.

Certainly one is free to think they can't become debt free or FI without a higher power. 

But I don't think it's necessary, either.  I think one can think they can do it on their own, and actually do it on their own.

That is not acceptable thinking in AA, from what I understand.  You must admit that you can't do it on your own, and that you need a higher power.  This is one of the main criticisms of AA.

And I don't think that is necessary for Mustachianism.  However I only speak for myself, and not anyone else, and opinions will certainly vary on that.
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PJ

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2012, 01:57:28 PM »
Oh, I don't think they're mutually exclusive at all.

Certainly one is free to think they can't become debt free or FI without a higher power. 

But I don't think it's necessary, either.  I think one can think they can do it on their own, and actually do it on their own.

That is not acceptable thinking in AA, from what I understand.  You must admit that you can't do it on your own, and that you need a higher power.  This is one of the main criticisms of AA.

And I don't think that is necessary for Mustachianism.  However I only speak for myself, and not anyone else, and opinions will certainly vary on that.
Thanks for the expansion of your thought.  I see what you're saying a bit better now.  Of course, programs like AA, NA and DA are not intended for making run of the mill life changes (like becoming a mustachian), remarkable though those changes might be.  They're specifically intended to address addiction issues when it comes to alcohol, drugs and money.  Some people setting out on the path to mustachianism might have addiction issues, but most probably don't.  Just a set of habits and assumptions that they can change, and things to learn. 

We're getting a bit (a lot!) OT here, but I want to share my reaction your comment about the criticism of AA.  I agree that those programs are only for those who do or can come to believe that there is a higher power.  They're rooted in that belief system - that's how they work.  Doesn't seem fair to "criticize" them for what is actually the strength and foundation of the program, you know?  There are lots of other programs for addressing addictions, which people are free to choose to access, if they don't/can't share that worldview.

However I only speak for myself, and not anyone else, and opinions will certainly vary on that.
That's all we can ever do, isn't it :-) 

It's understood, I hope, that we're just sharing our thoughts here, and that everyone is free to form or hold their own opinion.  I appreciate that this is a forum where different opinions can generally be held and discussed without disrespect!
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kkbmustang

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2012, 08:24:36 PM »
Hi. I'm KKBMustang and I spend too much money and have too much crap.

Jamesqf

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2012, 08:25:57 PM »
I don't think they have to be seen as mutually exclusive.  To speak purely from a Christian perspective (both because that's all I'm qualified to speak from, and because it's what I believe in) Christians believe that we don't really do anything on our own.

You're of course entitled to believe that, but from a purely objective viewpoint, those of us who don't believe in a higher power (or don't think the higher power has any interest in micromanaging our lives), can manage to do anything in this world that believers can.

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2012, 08:30:47 PM »
"When Mary is 65, annual income will grow to about $97,230 with the addition of Mary’s $6,540 OAS and her estimated $4,692 CPP. After 15% tax, the couple would have about $6,900 to spend each month in 2012 dollars."

So, they will retire with 97K per year basically guaranteed for two people? In a country that covers health care? Hold on, let me go get my teeny, tiny violin for them.
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PJ

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2012, 10:47:05 PM »
I don't think they have to be seen as mutually exclusive.  To speak purely from a Christian perspective (both because that's all I'm qualified to speak from, and because it's what I believe in) Christians believe that we don't really do anything on our own.

You're of course entitled to believe that, but from a purely objective viewpoint, those of us who don't believe in a higher power (or don't think the higher power has any interest in micromanaging our lives), can manage to do anything in this world that believers can.
Hey, I see what you did there, contrasting the Christian perspective with the "purely objective viewpoint." 
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strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2012, 11:26:21 PM »
I don't see where the 15% tax rate is coming from.  They're in BC the marginal tax rate on 80,000 is 32%.  It doesn't go down the higher you go...  hell it's 23% at $40,000

The numbers listed are also assuming the tax rate isn't going to climb.  Canada and BC are both running big deficits.  It may not be right away but rates are going to need to climb to pay the debts off.

They really really need to cut there spending and start saving or early retirement is the least of the worries.

sherr

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2012, 07:28:13 AM »
I don't think they have to be seen as mutually exclusive.  To speak purely from a Christian perspective (both because that's all I'm qualified to speak from, and because it's what I believe in) Christians believe that we don't really do anything on our own.  Every breath we take is because God continues to sustain life in us.  To admit that is to turn from our relative weakness to draw instead on the inexhaustible strength of God.  With this we can expect incredible transformation in the ways that we think and act, which is what Mustachianism encourages as well.

This is very off-topic for this forum, but I just wanted to say that not all Christians believe this. I am a Christian and I also believe that God has no interest in micro-managing our lives. I believe that God is quite capable of designing systems that are able to sustain themselves without constant intervention on his part.

AA was founded by Christians and one of their express goals is to help "spiritual and character development." Naturally some of the founders' beliefs crept in. It may not be the most objective or neutral program in the world, but since I can't criticize their results I won't criticize their methods.

arebelspy

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2012, 07:49:18 AM »
since I can't criticize their results I won't criticize their methods.

I actually criticize their results as well as method, but that's another discussion.   (I do appreciate the spirit of what they are trying to do.)

/modhaton

If anyone wants to discuss AA, feel free to start another thread to do so, or if anyone wants to discuss doing things with/without the help of a higher power, ditto (both in the "Off Topic" section, and try to keep it as civil as this has been so far).  Cheers!

(And I'm not criticizing anyone here, cause I'm as guilty as anyone, or moreso, just steering it back on track and suggestion other discussion, if desired, can be continued, but in a more appropriate thread).

/modhatoff

Back on topic, why do you guys think the media chose this family?  Clearly they aren't that bad off.  Is it to have people laugh at them, and feel superior?  There are clearly people who have it much, much worse (say, homeless).  Why do articles about people who "can't make it" on their salaries of double the median?
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swiper

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2012, 08:34:37 AM »
Back on topic, why do you guys think the media chose this family?  Clearly they aren't that bad off.  Is it to have people laugh at them, and feel superior?  There are clearly people who have it much, much worse (say, homeless).  Why do articles about people who "can't make it" on their salaries of double the median?

Money/financial details discussions seem taboo so in general these stories sell. This couple caught my eye as simple a case of poor/little planning. They were lucky due to:

A) defined benefit pension at his work
B) large increase in house value (guessing that they have held this property for a at least a few years, since our poor fp have paid off the mortgage) that they can hopefully realize before any crash.


And I think the article should have highlighted this situation. btw I'd love to see the FP profile a mustachian getting ready for ER/FI!



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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2012, 09:20:23 AM »
Back on topic - I just read the story and while they certainly are not living frugally or MMM like but it is not like they are in a financial mess either - sure they make $100k plus but according to the article they take home $60k.  They will have fat pensions and $300k in cash/retirement accounts - if he retires at 58 he'll get $59k pension, which is like having $1mil in the bank and it gets bigger if he works longer - to get to that $1mil level would take saving $30k a year for 20+ years.

They do have too much in housing (for BC that may be small potatoes though and who knows what they bought it for), the line of credit is like a mortgage, and as for deferring property taxes why not I would do it at prime minus 2% - that is like free money and helps diversify a bit out of the concentration in the house.

 



noob515

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2012, 10:01:22 AM »
To answer arebelspy, I think that perhaps the media chose this family BECAUSE they aren't that bad off.  Most people would assume that making $100k, by the time you're 58, you're financially set. There's been a lot of articles lately about how, back in the day, reaching the six-figure income was a real achievement, a sign that you were in the big league, or whatever.  Typically these articles will blame cost of living, student loan debt, and high housing prices for why $100k isn't the indicator of success that it once was.  And also, there's no shortage of articles about how baby boomers may not have saved/planned sufficently for retirement.  This article just kills both birds with one stone. 

I feel like a lot of pieces like this are designed to make those struggling with lower incomes feel like "hey, if these people have all that money and still can't make it work, then it's OKAY that my financial house is a mess".  And then the media runs articles about coupon clipping and such.  They're trying to give the general public a glimmer of hope, that if they just do these teeny tiny things, then they'll be okay financially.  Most people want to hear "oh, it's okay, it's not YOUR fault you're in this mess".  They don't want to get punched in the face with "WTF were you thinking by not saving for retirement?!".

But that's just my opinion.

strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2012, 10:40:32 AM »
They covered this family  because  the article is in the Financial Post. Their readers are not going to be the poor and homeless. They will be relatively upper middle class with a reasonable amount of assets. The other papers regularly write about the poor and homeless.  Almost always it comes down to the fact that they make $2000 before taxes and have to pay at least $1000 to rent because they're in the most expensive city in the country.  Everyone gets upset when I state that the poor should move elsewhere but I freely admit I can't afford to live in Vancouver so why would I expect people making 1/3 of what I do to be able to pull it off.

In BC the family isn't really doing that great.  It's quite impressive for a single income to make what he does but lots of dual income families make between $100k and $150k   THe majority of families I know are dual income,  they basically have to be.

Things are really expensive here.

PJ

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2012, 12:13:23 PM »
I agree with strider3700 that this family was probably chosen because it was a story that FP's readers could relate to - whether the reader is doing slightly better or slightly worse, it's at least in the ball park.  And like swiper, I'd love to see the news media featuring more positive stories, role models.  But human nature being what it is, that's not what gets the attention - you know, if it bleeds, it leads and all that.  So they have to make it sound worse than it is to get people's attention. 
 
What's that about, anyway?  Do you think we all just want to feel superior to others?
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strider3700

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2012, 12:53:09 PM »
 
What's that about, anyway?  Do you think we all just want to feel superior to others?

Whether we want to admit it or not we're basically always competing with each other in just about everything.  Money is important to basically everyone so we love to see how we're doing compared to everyone else.

Posthumane

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Re: Family with six-figure income broke every month
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2012, 04:27:59 PM »
I'm going to agree with Tooq here and say that, while they aren't mustachian, they aren't poorly off and despite their extravagant lifestyle they will probably be able to retire at 58 as they had planned. I agree with people who say their food spending is very high (even for Kelowna, which is a high cost of living area compared to some), but I don't agree with the sentiments that they had piss poor planning and are financially illiterate. The husband has been paying into a pension at work (which alone covers their current expense level), plus RRSPs, plus taxable investments. They paid off a mortgage on a house now worth $550 (even if they bought it for 200k, that's not at least average for a 53 year old), and have plenty of assets. I suspect their current inflated budget is due to lifestyle creep, as they wouldn't have been able to get to where they are if they had that kind of spending throughout their marriage. If they get that under control and pay off their remaining debt then they will be able to live on the pension alone.

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