Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 6045551 times)

DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11400 on: November 22, 2015, 04:20:15 AM »
Colleague of mine, in July:

"Yes, I invested some money. I don't know where exactly, I don't know what I invested in, and I don't know the current value. But I will just ignore it and then in the future it will turn out to have grown wildly!"

Same colleague, last week:
"Oh, dear, I can't remember whether or not I've left the gas on at home. And I can't go back home now that I'm at work. I realized when I was driving here, and I thought about what I would miss if my house exploded. Well, replacing the furniture would cost a few bucks. No, I don't have renter's insurance. I cancelled it a while back when cutting costs."

(She ended up phoning her neighbor who could go and check on her gas; it was off, luckily, so she still has a house).

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11401 on: November 22, 2015, 10:22:54 AM »
Colleague of mine, in July:

"Yes, I invested some money. I don't know where exactly, I don't know what I invested in, and I don't know the current value. But I will just ignore it and then in the future it will turn out to have grown wildly!"

Step 1. Invest
Step 2. Forget about what you invested
Step 3. ???????
Step 4 .PROFIT!

edmundblackadder

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11402 on: November 22, 2015, 10:46:28 AM »
That's ....kind of my strategy?

1. Dump money into Vanguard index funds.
2. Ignore news about the stock market for ten-fifteen years so I don't panic.
3. Profit!

arebelspy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11403 on: November 22, 2015, 10:49:40 AM »
Yeah, but you know where it is and what it's invested in. :)

Your plan is much more solid.
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DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11404 on: November 22, 2015, 12:47:54 PM »
@Mr. Blackadder: given her other financial choices, I'm very, very afraid that she heard something about "investing is the thing to do!", then talked to someone willing to relieve her of her money, who had her channel a few thousand euros into some kind of high-fee very risky investment or real scam, and she's out of that money already but doesn't even know it yet.

With This Herring

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11405 on: November 22, 2015, 05:42:11 PM »
I've finally made it through the thread!  Now I can finally participate, once something comes up.
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Metta

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11406 on: November 22, 2015, 06:34:18 PM »
There are a lot of unhappy people in my office lately, and for good reason. We are engaged in a project that will end the need for most programmers in our department within one to two years. (That's about 40 very senior programmers in both the mainframe and Java environments who will either lose their jobs or will have to do something other than code for a living.) Management has been brutally frank that people need to take responsibility for their own "re-tooling" and that nothing is guaranteed moving into the future. Because of the aggressive deadline management has chosen, it is going to require very long hours for the next 18 months. (I think a plan presented to workers as "You need to work very hard for the next two years and then we will fire you" is crazy. But no one asked me my opinion.)

People are, of course, pretty upset and they've been venting to me. I've told each person that they have a year or two to get together FU money, which will make everything feel better and less scary and that I can show them how I've saved money. Most have told me that it is impossible.

One person told me that she is extremely frugal and thinks my idea has merit, so we talked about her expenses and what she can cut. (My guess is that she makes somewhere between 100K and 150K in a LCOL city, so she doesn't have a cash inflow problem.) She's apparently paying for three cable hook-ups just for her and all possible channels. I told her how we had cut cable television (but still use cable for Internet access) and suggested she should do the same since it would save her somewhere north of $150 a month. (Also, if she's going to be working 80 hour weeks, she won't have time to watch much tv.) I also recommended Ting and a couple of other painless strategies for saving money. At the end she thanked me and then said, "I'm going to do it!"

"Great!" I said.

"But not yet."

"Why not? What are you waiting for?"

"I have to get current with the cable company first."

I was dumbfounded. Here was an intelligent, well-paid, well-educated, middle-aged woman who had let her finances spiral so far out of control that not only did she have no savings and no FU money, she was behind on her cable bill. What can one say to that?


RWD

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11407 on: November 22, 2015, 06:52:13 PM »
"I have to get current with the cable company first."

Can't you cancel even if you aren't current? I don't know, I've never had a TV subscription, but I don't see how they could force you to keep a service just because you aren't current on your bill...

Metta

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11408 on: November 22, 2015, 07:19:02 PM »
"I have to get current with the cable company first."

Can't you cancel even if you aren't current? I don't know, I've never had a TV subscription, but I don't see how they could force you to keep a service just because you aren't current on your bill...

I don't know. I've never really had to deal with that. I should ask her. I was so startled that it drove all sensible thoughts from my mind.

mairuiming

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11409 on: November 23, 2015, 05:24:20 AM »

Hi, this is my first post in this forum.
I started reading about FI few weeks ago and was talking about MMM forum with one of my office colleague (CW1).

CW1: So when do you plan to retire ?
Me: I haven't done all the calculations yet, but I would target to be FI by age 45 (I know few mustachian may think 45 is too late).
CW1: What are you going to do with your time when you retire so early ?
Me: I will devote more time practice music instruments (I play flute)

CW2 jumps in the conversation and reasons retiring early is a bad idea.

CW2: When you grow older you 'have' to buy a larger car and a bigger house.
Me: Why ?
CW2: Because this is what we should do. My father just bought a new car (his father used to drive a Audi 2012 model)

I tried to run away from the conversation and not get influenced by anti-mustachians

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11410 on: November 23, 2015, 09:24:36 AM »
There are a lot of unhappy people in my office lately, and for good reason. We are engaged in a project that will end the need for most programmers in our department within one to two years. (That's about 40 very senior programmers in both the mainframe and Java environments who will either lose their jobs or will have to do something other than code for a living.) Management has been brutally frank that people need to take responsibility for their own "re-tooling" and that nothing is guaranteed moving into the future. Because of the aggressive deadline management has chosen, it is going to require very long hours for the next 18 months. (I think a plan presented to workers as "You need to work very hard for the next two years and then we will fire you" is crazy. But no one asked me my opinion.)

People are, of course, pretty upset and they've been venting to me. I've told each person that they have a year or two to get together FU money, which will make everything feel better and less scary and that I can show them how I've saved money. Most have told me that it is impossible.

One person told me that she is extremely frugal and thinks my idea has merit, so we talked about her expenses and what she can cut. (My guess is that she makes somewhere between 100K and 150K in a LCOL city, so she doesn't have a cash inflow problem.) She's apparently paying for three cable hook-ups just for her and all possible channels. I told her how we had cut cable television (but still use cable for Internet access) and suggested she should do the same since it would save her somewhere north of $150 a month. (Also, if she's going to be working 80 hour weeks, she won't have time to watch much tv.) I also recommended Ting and a couple of other painless strategies for saving money. At the end she thanked me and then said, "I'm going to do it!"

"Great!" I said.

"But not yet."

"Why not? What are you waiting for?"

"I have to get current with the cable company first."

I was dumbfounded. Here was an intelligent, well-paid, well-educated, middle-aged woman who had let her finances spiral so far out of control that not only did she have no savings and no FU money, she was behind on her cable bill. What can one say to that?
I understand being unhappy...I mean, I work for a company that has been downsizing and all (so many people are quitting).

Why don't they just look for another job?  80 hours a week for 18 months then out of a job?  I'd be hitting the pavement pretty hard, unless there is overtime. No, I'd still be looking.

mlejw6

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11411 on: November 23, 2015, 11:36:13 AM »
So, my husband has been telling me about his CW. CW's car died: the engine timing belt broke and took other parts of the engine with it. This made the repair more expensive than the value of the car. Here's the kicker:

 - It's a 2009 VW SUV that cost ~$40k
 - He still owes $7000 (wtf?) on this 6 year old car
 - He decided to replace it with the same exact car in the 2015 model
 - But - guess what - the dealer magnanimously took off $3500 of what they owe on the old car! What a great deal!

I just shook my head. I guess he's the type of person who thinks he will always have a car payment, so it doesn't matter how much car he gets as long as he can make the payments.
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MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11412 on: November 23, 2015, 11:42:21 AM »

I just shook my head. I guess he's the type of person who thinks he will always have a car payment, so it doesn't matter how much car he gets as long as he can make the payments.

Sounds like he's the dealer's best friend. If they continue to please him he'll come by every few years to trade it in.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11413 on: November 23, 2015, 11:52:30 AM »
So, my husband has been telling me about his CW. CW's car died: the engine timing belt broke and took other parts of the engine with it. This made the repair more expensive than the value of the car. Here's the kicker:

 - It's a 2009 VW SUV that cost ~$40k
 - He still owes $7000 (wtf?) on this 6 year old car
 - He decided to replace it with the same exact car in the 2015 model
 - But - guess what - the dealer magnanimously took off $3500 of what they owe on the old car! What a great deal!

I just shook my head. I guess he's the type of person who thinks he will always have a car payment, so it doesn't matter how much car he gets as long as he can make the payments.
If he's the type of person that doesn't pay enough attention to the preventative maintenance schedule of a vehicle that his life LITERALLY depends on functioning properly, why would he pay enough attention to the numbers to realize that car payments are bad?

Making Cookies

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11414 on: November 23, 2015, 02:09:18 PM »
Married couple, friends of mine and former work colleagues, used to commute separately by car ~35 miles each way to work here. Same company, same office, different department, so they didn't see each other during the day anyway. That's anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes drive, depending on traffic. They grew vegetables on their allotment, though, because it would save money and be good for the environment.
Pennywise, pound-foolish. Even one person driving that much for a job is insane in my world.

I have married friends who up until recently worked in different departments at the same large university and commuted at least 30 miles there. They'd frequently work different shifts (by 2 hours or so; he might work 8-4 and she was 8-6 because she worked four 10s) so they would drive separately. (I would totally sit and read a book, catch up on my Internet, etc. for two hours to save 60 miles worth of gas a couple times a week.) Then they had a baby, so needed to make some cutbacks, and therefore started "carpooling" sometimes.

Depends on what you drive. 99% of the time my wife and I carpool. Sometimes though (like this week) when the overlap is too great we drive separately (7 miles each way). We're talking several hours.

60 miles savings in a 30 mpg car at $1.85/gal gas. $4? Depends on how tight the rest of your schedule. If I needed to get home and clean or rake leaves then it might be worthwhile to drive separately when you need to. Just offset the expense by eating simple that week.

GoldenNeko

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11415 on: November 25, 2015, 03:28:52 PM »
This person if one of our big managers. Been having big salary and responsibilities for almost ten years now. We had a conversation that went like this:

Co-worker (after me saying I had almost finished paying my student debts in a conversation about them and money in general): but, you're young, how can you have almost finished paying your student debts? Between my own home payments, my student debts and all the costs of life, I can only try to refinance my rate. I need a raise. I've talked about it with (big boss).
Me : *O_O then putting the 'I understand" mask while screaming inside* uh yeah! Banks are so difficult...."

This person is single, has no children, and frequently brings family members to vacations and is shopping addict. And makes twice my salary at least. Yeah, and eats out on a daily basis (to me sounds more like spending problem than an income problem). This person got the raise.
And the circle goes on.

Can I also ask for a raise, because, you know, life is hard?
 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2015, 12:06:56 PM by GoldenNeko »

MoonShadow

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11416 on: November 25, 2015, 05:07:22 PM »

Can I also ask for a raise, because, you know, life is hard?

Yes.

jorjor

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11417 on: November 25, 2015, 05:23:13 PM »
So I am an external auditor working for one of the Big 4. As an incentive, if you get your CPA in the first year of working there you get a $5k bonus. So I was talking to one of our first year staff the other day, and she was telling me that several of her friends (also first years) were giving advice about the bonus. Specifically, they were saying how important it is to make sure you drop your 401k contribution to 0% for that paycheck and then immediately put it back to normal for the next paycheck so that you get as much of your bonus as possible. I just laughed and told her that if anything, she should increase her contribution percentage for that paycheck since you don't actually need any of it. Fortunately, she seemed to think her friends were being ridiculous, too...

Both places I've worked, the bonus was a separate "special" check and no 401k contributions came out of it (or any other elective contributions for that matter...just taxes). Weird.

nobodyspecial

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11418 on: November 25, 2015, 09:01:37 PM »

Can I also ask for a raise, because, you know, life is hard?

Yes.
You can ask ....

mairuiming

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11419 on: November 26, 2015, 12:02:23 AM »
Today at lunch.

CW: do you know person ABC in office earns so much and is saving more than 75% salary. I wonder what will he do with so much money
Me: May be he wants to retire early
CW: (silence)

I am happy someone in office is planning for FIRE

cerat0n1a

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11420 on: November 26, 2015, 05:18:51 AM »
Today at lunch.

CW: do you know person ABC in office earns so much and is saving more than 75% salary. I wonder what will he do with so much money
Me: May be he wants to retire early
CW: (silence)

I am happy someone in office is planning for FIRE

Over the last 10-15 years, I've had quite a few co-workers from India, often here in Britain on short-term 1-2yr assignments. Many of them have been earning UK-sized salaries while here, but tried to keep expenses super low (often by having big group of people sharing a small apartment) with the express aim of going back home with enough money to buy a house/have a lavish wedding/retire early. So I'm kind of surprised that the concept isn't better known in India.

Merrie

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11421 on: November 26, 2015, 07:11:54 AM »
Coworker: I wonder when we'll have a 25% employee discount day again.
Me: They always seem to announce them just a day or two ahead of time.
Coworker: Yeah. And they're never on pay week! They should be on pay week. I can't afford to buy anything otherwise.
Me: ... yes, I bet that's frustrating for a lot of people.

Ceridwen

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11422 on: November 26, 2015, 07:29:20 AM »
Coworker: I wonder when we'll have a 25% employee discount day again.
Me: They always seem to announce them just a day or two ahead of time.
Coworker: Yeah. And they're never on pay week! They should be on pay week. I can't afford to buy anything otherwise.
Me: ... yes, I bet that's frustrating for a lot of people.

Ugh, sad.  I get a lot of that in my office too.  "I can't go out for lunch today, but tomorrow's pay day so let's go then!".

nobodyspecial

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11423 on: November 26, 2015, 10:13:42 AM »
Coworker: I wonder when we'll have a 25% employee discount day again.
Me: They always seem to announce them just a day or two ahead of time.
Coworker: Yeah. And they're never on pay week! They should be on pay week. I can't afford to buy anything otherwise.
Me: ... yes, I bet that's frustrating for a lot of people.

Ugh, sad.  I get a lot of that in my office too.  "I can't go out for lunch today, but tomorrow's pay day so let's go then!".
That's ridiculous - haven't these people heard of overdrafts?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11424 on: November 26, 2015, 11:12:47 AM »
Coworker: I wonder when we'll have a 25% employee discount day again.
Me: They always seem to announce them just a day or two ahead of time.
Coworker: Yeah. And they're never on pay week! They should be on pay week. I can't afford to buy anything otherwise.
Me: ... yes, I bet that's frustrating for a lot of people.

Ugh, sad.  I get a lot of that in my office too.  "I can't go out for lunch today, but tomorrow's pay day so let's go then!".
That's ridiculous - haven't these people heard of overdrafts?

payday loan, loan sharking, there is plenty of possibility!
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SwordGuy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11425 on: November 26, 2015, 12:02:20 PM »
Colleague of mine, in July:

"Yes, I invested some money. I don't know where exactly, I don't know what I invested in, and I don't know the current value. But I will just ignore it and then in the future it will turn out to have grown wildly!"

Step 1. Invest
Step 2. Forget about what you invested
Step 3. ???????
Step 4 .PROFIT!

One of the major investment houses did a study to find out the demographics of their most successful investors:

1st place:  Dead people.
2nd place: People who invested and forgot they had done so.

Why?  Because neither group panics and sells low when the market drops.  And they don't pull out their investments to buy stupid stuff.



dude

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11426 on: November 27, 2015, 06:49:39 AM »
Co-worker is an exec assistant making @$65k.  Just bought her "dream car," a Volvo SUV with ALL the bells and whistles (cameras, warning buzzers, navigation, etc., etc., etc.).  To her credit, she bought it used, but it was still like $26k.  I looked it up and it's one of Consumer Reports' most-expensive cars to own.  Just the other day, she said she was talking to one of the executives here about the car; he bought his wife one. He asked her, "Have you had the oil changed on it yet?"  She replied, "No, why?"  He said, "When we took my wife's in, it was $180 for an oil change."  Oh shit.  Apparently the thing takes like 7 quarts of oil, it has to be premium oil, and it's got to be done by the dealer to maintain the warranty?  The other thing about this co-worker is she is hell on cars -- never fails to find ways to run over curbs, find the largest potholes in the state, or run into things.  I cringed at the thought of how much this "dream car" might cost her over the next few years.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11427 on: November 27, 2015, 01:35:06 PM »
Co-worker is an exec assistant making @$65k.  Just bought her "dream car," a Volvo SUV with ALL the bells and whistles (cameras, warning buzzers, navigation, etc., etc., etc.).  To her credit, she bought it used, but it was still like $26k.  I looked it up and it's one of Consumer Reports' most-expensive cars to own.  Just the other day, she said she was talking to one of the executives here about the car; he bought his wife one. He asked her, "Have you had the oil changed on it yet?"  She replied, "No, why?"  He said, "When we took my wife's in, it was $180 for an oil change."  Oh shit.  Apparently the thing takes like 7 quarts of oil, it has to be premium oil, and it's got to be done by the dealer to maintain the warranty?  The other thing about this co-worker is she is hell on cars -- never fails to find ways to run over curbs, find the largest potholes in the state, or run into things.  I cringed at the thought of how much this "dream car" might cost her over the next few years.

$26k car making $65k actually sounds pretty spot on for 90% of the population

Let her know she doesn't have to take it to the dealer to keep the warranty (is it even still under warranty?)  That's illegal.  http://www.smart-service.com/blog/2013/05/warranty-rights

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11428 on: November 27, 2015, 02:45:03 PM »




CW: What do you think you need to retire?

Me: Idk, a couple million and many who want to retire early would think that's too much.

CW: WHAT? I'm aiming for like $12M!



$12M! OMG.

Similar experience with a good friend of mine. I told him that I could definitely retire in our current HCOL area on $2M, he said no way, you'd need at least $8M here. I will never understand what some people think they need so much money for.

nobodyspecial

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11429 on: November 27, 2015, 03:26:01 PM »
Similar experience with a good friend of mine. I told him that I could definitely retire in our current HCOL area on $2M, he said no way, you'd need at least $8M here. I will never understand what some people think they need so much money for.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11430 on: November 27, 2015, 04:09:50 PM »




CW: What do you think you need to retire?

Me: Idk, a couple million and many who want to retire early would think that's too much.

CW: WHAT? I'm aiming for like $12M!



$12M! OMG.

Similar experience with a good friend of mine. I told him that I could definitely retire in our current HCOL area on $2M, he said no way, you'd need at least $8M here. I will never understand what some people think they need so much money for.

I would imagine a lot of them think the money is being drawn from a simple savings account rather than a portfolio that continues to gain interest.
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mairuiming

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11431 on: November 27, 2015, 07:42:14 PM »
Over the last 10-15 years, I've had quite a few co-workers from India, often here in Britain on short-term 1-2yr assignments. Many of them have been earning UK-sized salaries while here, but tried to keep expenses super low (often by having big group of people sharing a small apartment) with the express aim of going back home with enough money to buy a house/have a lavish wedding/retire early. So I'm kind of surprised that the concept isn't better known in India.

Hi Ceratonia,
Concept of saving money is well known in India.
Our government's job is to collect tax. We don't get mediclaim, social security, pension, have very few good public school, have sub standard public hospitals, etc etc.

Let me explain why Indians on short term assignment abroad save 60-80% salary.
Putting some numbers will give a better perspective.

In India someone with 5 year work experience (say in IT industry) will take home close to INR 1 Million = GBP 10k = USD 15k per year. (foreign exchange rates)
If this person save 50% salary, annual saving is GBP 5k (or USD 7.5k).
Please bear in mind, with a smaller salary base maintaining 50% saving rate is a bit difficult especially when you have dependent (read kids, ageing parents, non-working wife).

Now consider this person is sent to UK/US on a 1 year assignment with take home pay of GBP 40k (or USD 60k) per year.
Key personal objective of this person in this 1 years is to save a heck lot of money.
Say, this person saves 50% salary (conservative estimate).
Per year saving during these foreign assignments is GBP 20 k (or USD 30k).

As you can see, during foreign assignment even if someone maintains the same saving rate as they would have done in India, this person can save 4 times more (in actual FX rates).
This provide a huge push towards Financial independence.

For those on this forum wondering why salaries in India are so low. Quick explanation is PPP - purchasing power parity.
In 2015 foreign exchange rates, 1 USD = 65 INR (Indian rupee).
However, In 2015 PPP rates, 1 USD = 21 INR (Indian rupee).
For example, If a Macdonald burger is $5 in US it will cost 5*21 = INR 110 in India (not 5 * 65 = INR 325). Therefore, salary of INR 1 million has purchasing power equivalent to USD 47k (or GBP 30k).

But when someone is on an assignment to US/UK etc, this person brings back hard cash/currency which is converted NOT on PPP but on FX rates.

Hope this explains.

Side note 1: Early retirement is a bit difficult to achieve in India provided consumer price inflation rate for last 25 years averaged at 8% per year. For FIRE, investments have to be put in high risk areas with returns of 13+% just to pay off your expenses and maintain purchasing power of your investments. With higher returns comes higher risk of volatility. Having said that, I know few people who are actively aiming for FIRE.

Side note 2: I read the forum and people talk about house size 2000+ sq. ft. In India, a 1000 sq. ft. apartment is considered luxury and will cost north of 5 times annual salary for average person (may be 10-15 times in good locations). YES, maintaining a high saving rate is extremely important and a foreign assignment goes a long way in putting a larger down payment. Home loan interest rate from public banks in India is close to 10% p.a.

Side note 3: In India it is quite common for parents to cover the cost of kids college education. Because education loan in India is expensive. Public banks give loan @ 14+% p.a. Interest is charged while kid is in college. So If you borrow USD 25k for 4 year college education (current rate for good college in India), when child start working he/she would be looking at repayment on USD 40k. Maximum loan repayment tenure is 15 years. So repayment is USD 520 per month. This is higher than 50% of entire take home salary for a fresh college graduate. So parents save for their retirement and kids college.

Rant over. Have a good day.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 09:29:51 PM by mairuiming »

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11432 on: November 27, 2015, 09:51:24 PM »
Over the last 10-15 years, I've had quite a few co-workers from India, often here in Britain on short-term 1-2yr assignments. Many of them have been earning UK-sized salaries while here, but tried to keep expenses super low (often by having big group of people sharing a small apartment) with the express aim of going back home with enough money to buy a house/have a lavish wedding/retire early. So I'm kind of surprised that the concept isn't better known in India.

Hi Ceratonia,
Concept of saving money is well known in India.
Our government's job is to collect tax. We don't get mediclaim, social security, pension, have very few good public school, have sub standard public hospitals, etc etc.

Let me explain why Indians on short term assignment abroad save 60-80% salary.
Putting some numbers will give a better perspective.

In India someone with 5 year work experience (say in IT industry) will take home close to INR 1 Million = GBP 10k = USD 15k per year. (foreign exchange rates)
If this person save 50% salary, annual saving is GBP 5k (or USD 7.5k).
Please bear in mind, with a smaller salary base maintaining 50% saving rate is a bit difficult especially when you have dependent (read kids, ageing parents, non-working wife).

Now consider this person is sent to UK/US on a 1 year assignment with take home pay of GBP 40k (or USD 60k) per year.
Key personal objective of this person in this 1 years is to save a heck lot of money.
Say, this person saves 50% salary (conservative estimate).
Per year saving during these foreign assignments is GBP 20 k (or USD 30k).

As you can see, during foreign assignment even if someone maintains the same saving rate as they would have done in India, this person can save 4 times more (in actual FX rates).
This provide a huge push towards Financial independence.

For those on this forum wondering why salaries in India are so low. Quick explanation is PPP - purchasing power parity.
In 2015 foreign exchange rates, 1 USD = 65 INR (Indian rupee).
However, In 2015 PPP rates, 1 USD = 21 INR (Indian rupee).
For example, If a Macdonald burger is $5 in US it will cost 5*21 = INR 110 in India (not 5 * 65 = INR 325). Therefore, salary of INR 1 million has purchasing power equivalent to USD 47k (or GBP 30k).

But when someone is on an assignment to US/UK etc, this person brings back hard cash/currency which is converted NOT on PPP but on FX rates.

Hope this explains.

Side note 1: Early retirement is a bit difficult to achieve in India provided consumer price inflation rate for last 25 years averaged at 8% per year. For FIRE, investments have to be put in high risk areas with returns of 13+% just to pay off your expenses and maintain purchasing power of your investments. With higher returns comes higher risk of volatility. Having said that, I know few people who are actively aiming for FIRE.

Side note 2: I read the forum and people talk about house size 2000+ sq. ft. In India, a 1000 sq. ft. apartment is considered luxury and will cost north of 5 times annual salary for average person (may be 10-15 times in good locations). YES, maintaining a high saving rate is extremely important and a foreign assignment goes a long way in putting a larger down payment. Home loan interest rate from public banks in India is close to 10% p.a.

Side note 3: In India it is quite common for parents to cover the cost of kids college education. Because education loan in India is expensive. Public banks give loan @ 14+% p.a. Interest is charged while kid is in college. So If you borrow USD 25k for 4 year college education (current rate for good college in India), when child start working he/she would be looking at repayment on USD 40k. Maximum loan repayment tenure is 15 years. So repayment is USD 520 per month. This is higher than 50% of entire take home salary for a fresh college graduate. So parents save for their retirement and kids college.

Rant over. Have a good day.

Awesome post! Where in India are you (if you don't mind me asking, feel free to respond by PM if you prefer).

cerat0n1a

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11433 on: November 28, 2015, 11:06:38 AM »
Great post, mairuiming.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11434 on: November 28, 2015, 06:29:39 PM »
Over the last 10-15 years, I've had quite a few co-workers from India, often here in Britain on short-term 1-2yr assignments. Many of them have been earning UK-sized salaries while here, but tried to keep expenses super low (often by having big group of people sharing a small apartment) with the express aim of going back home with enough money to buy a house/have a lavish wedding/retire early. So I'm kind of surprised that the concept isn't better known in India.

Hi Ceratonia,
Concept of saving money is well known in India.
Our government's job is to collect tax. We don't get mediclaim, social security, pension, have very few good public school, have sub standard public hospitals, etc etc.

Let me explain why Indians on short term assignment abroad save 60-80% salary.
Putting some numbers will give a better perspective.

In India someone with 5 year work experience (say in IT industry) will take home close to INR 1 Million = GBP 10k = USD 15k per year. (foreign exchange rates)
If this person save 50% salary, annual saving is GBP 5k (or USD 7.5k).
Please bear in mind, with a smaller salary base maintaining 50% saving rate is a bit difficult especially when you have dependent (read kids, ageing parents, non-working wife).

Now consider this person is sent to UK/US on a 1 year assignment with take home pay of GBP 40k (or USD 60k) per year.
Key personal objective of this person in this 1 years is to save a heck lot of money.
Say, this person saves 50% salary (conservative estimate).
Per year saving during these foreign assignments is GBP 20 k (or USD 30k).

As you can see, during foreign assignment even if someone maintains the same saving rate as they would have done in India, this person can save 4 times more (in actual FX rates).
This provide a huge push towards Financial independence.

For those on this forum wondering why salaries in India are so low. Quick explanation is PPP - purchasing power parity.
In 2015 foreign exchange rates, 1 USD = 65 INR (Indian rupee).
However, In 2015 PPP rates, 1 USD = 21 INR (Indian rupee).
For example, If a Macdonald burger is $5 in US it will cost 5*21 = INR 110 in India (not 5 * 65 = INR 325). Therefore, salary of INR 1 million has purchasing power equivalent to USD 47k (or GBP 30k).

But when someone is on an assignment to US/UK etc, this person brings back hard cash/currency which is converted NOT on PPP but on FX rates.

Hope this explains.

Side note 1: Early retirement is a bit difficult to achieve in India provided consumer price inflation rate for last 25 years averaged at 8% per year. For FIRE, investments have to be put in high risk areas with returns of 13+% just to pay off your expenses and maintain purchasing power of your investments. With higher returns comes higher risk of volatility. Having said that, I know few people who are actively aiming for FIRE.

Side note 2: I read the forum and people talk about house size 2000+ sq. ft. In India, a 1000 sq. ft. apartment is considered luxury and will cost north of 5 times annual salary for average person (may be 10-15 times in good locations). YES, maintaining a high saving rate is extremely important and a foreign assignment goes a long way in putting a larger down payment. Home loan interest rate from public banks in India is close to 10% p.a.

Side note 3: In India it is quite common for parents to cover the cost of kids college education. Because education loan in India is expensive. Public banks give loan @ 14+% p.a. Interest is charged while kid is in college. So If you borrow USD 25k for 4 year college education (current rate for good college in India), when child start working he/she would be looking at repayment on USD 40k. Maximum loan repayment tenure is 15 years. So repayment is USD 520 per month. This is higher than 50% of entire take home salary for a fresh college graduate. So parents save for their retirement and kids college.

Rant over. Have a good day.
This was enlightening.  I'm well known for being a frugal one at my office, and at my prior job too.

When I met my boss at my last company, we chatted.  He's from India.  He saved $6k his first year in graduate school, which was 50% of his salary.

(In California)

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11435 on: November 30, 2015, 09:26:23 AM »
Rant over. Have a good day.

Awesome post! Where in India are you (if you don't mind me asking, feel free to respond by PM if you prefer).
[/quote]

yes, I agree - great post. Also curious what part of India you reside in?



mairuiming

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11436 on: November 30, 2015, 06:57:18 PM »
Rant over. Have a good day.
--
Awesome post! Where in India are you (if you don't mind me asking, feel free to respond by PM if you prefer).
yes, I agree - great post. Also curious what part of India you reside in?

I am from Meerut (tier 2 city in North India. 70km/45mile from New Delhi)
Currently working in Beijing (China) on a 2 yr assignment.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11437 on: December 01, 2015, 07:21:30 AM »
I sheepishly admitted that I had shopped on Black Friday, because I bought a new dishwasher. I mentioned that installing it was annoying because I made two separate hardware store trips for plumbing parts. Coworkers were super impressed that I installed a dishwasher, because apparently that's magic.

(The dishwasher that came with the house was designed in a way that made it disgusting and impossible to clean.)

MrMoogle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11438 on: December 01, 2015, 09:01:41 AM »
Two people in my area have bought new cars in the last month.  One was a new muscle car (I think it's a camero with a lot of options), the other a used truck (for ~$25k).  Each time, there was a parade of people who went out and looked at it.

mlejw6

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11439 on: December 01, 2015, 09:07:35 AM »
Two people in my area have bought new cars in the last month.  One was a new muscle car (I think it's a camero with a lot of options), the other a used truck (for ~$25k).  Each time, there was a parade of people who went out and looked at it.

That reminds me: my coworker got a new car recently. It's a BMW SUV. However, it only seats 4 people because it has this weird console thing in the middle of the back seat. It's bigger, but less useful than his previous car: a Civic. Lol!
But, at least he doesn't brag about it.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11440 on: December 01, 2015, 09:12:13 AM »
Bonus season is coming up at my company (where bonus's are really just deferred salary) Anyways.  i have a coworker who is much older than me, still has student loans and has pre-ordered a motorcycle, it arrives at the end of this week but they can't pick it up til they get that bonus cash.
PM me about how to save 6% on your annual grocery Bill!

There is a 35k starwood bonus right now as well. PM me for the info.

Making Cookies

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11441 on: December 01, 2015, 09:51:58 AM »
Two people in my area have bought new cars in the last month.  One was a new muscle car (I think it's a camero with a lot of options), the other a used truck (for ~$25k).  Each time, there was a parade of people who went out and looked at it.

That reminds me: my coworker got a new car recently. It's a BMW SUV. However, it only seats 4 people because it has this weird console thing in the middle of the back seat. It's bigger, but less useful than his previous car: a Civic. Lol!
But, at least he doesn't brag about it.

Now I have to go look that up. How would the back seats fold down? That's the biggest advantage of the wagon body style (SUV or sporty wagon).

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11442 on: December 01, 2015, 10:14:28 AM »
Bonus season is coming up at my company (where bonus's are really just deferred salary) Anyways.  i have a coworker who is much older than me, still has student loans and has pre-ordered a motorcycle, it arrives at the end of this week but they can't pick it up til they get that bonus cash.

Oh, I'm told bonus season is crazy on Wall Street. There you have traders making millions, but living paycheck to paycheck and hoping that their bonus is enough to keep them satisfied.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11443 on: December 01, 2015, 10:59:57 AM »
Two people in my area have bought new cars in the last month.  One was a new muscle car (I think it's a camero with a lot of options), the other a used truck (for ~$25k).  Each time, there was a parade of people who went out and looked at it.

That reminds me: my coworker got a new car recently. It's a BMW SUV. However, it only seats 4 people because it has this weird console thing in the middle of the back seat. It's bigger, but less useful than his previous car: a Civic. Lol!
But, at least he doesn't brag about it.

Now I have to go look that up. How would the back seats fold down? That's the biggest advantage of the wagon body style (SUV or sporty wagon).
It's a BMW. They didn't buy it for utility, they bought it for luxury. They probably bought the SUV for some illusion of safety. My supervisor and my dad both refuse to drive anything lower than a small SUV because they say it feels dangerous.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11444 on: December 01, 2015, 11:42:56 AM »
Oh, I'm told bonus season is crazy on Wall Street. There you have traders making millions, but living paycheck to paycheck and hoping that their bonus is enough to keep them satisfied.

As someone in the part of New York State outside of New York City -- that is to say, the area largely subsidized by taxes on Wall Street bonus checks -- I hope they keep working hard.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11445 on: December 01, 2015, 11:45:40 AM »
Two people in my area have bought new cars in the last month.  One was a new muscle car (I think it's a camero with a lot of options), the other a used truck (for ~$25k).  Each time, there was a parade of people who went out and looked at it.

That reminds me: my coworker got a new car recently. It's a BMW SUV. However, it only seats 4 people because it has this weird console thing in the middle of the back seat. It's bigger, but less useful than his previous car: a Civic. Lol!
But, at least he doesn't brag about it.

Now I have to go look that up. How would the back seats fold down? That's the biggest advantage of the wagon body style (SUV or sporty wagon).
It's a BMW. They didn't buy it for utility, they bought it for luxury. They probably bought the SUV for some illusion of safety. My supervisor and my dad both refuse to drive anything lower than a small SUV because they say it feels dangerous.

I remember when my dad bought a Mercedes for the luxury of it, he says it was the worst car he's ever owned due to the high cost of maintenance. He still likes Luxury though, and has bought Lexus since, but has no regrets about them. He has the money for the cars anyways, just hates wasting money on unnecessary things.

trailrated

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11446 on: December 01, 2015, 11:55:25 AM »
A worker here ordered two guns from a local store. In California you must wait 10 days from the time of purchase to pick them up. Store policy for one type is to wait 11 days. So yesterday he went to pick one up...

Me: "Are you going shooting tonight?"
Him: "No"
Me: "So you are driving an extra 20 minutes out of your way tonight to get something that you will not use today?"
Him: "Yeah"
Me: "Then you are going back there tomorrow to pick up the other one?"
Him: "Yeah..."
Me: "If you are not using it tonight why not just pick up both tomorrow and save yourself the time and the trip today?"
Him: "You just don't get it"
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11447 on: December 01, 2015, 02:14:23 PM »
This isn't crazy or shocking, but it did amuse me... a co-worker today was telling me about her husband's new truck. At the end of the conversation we had this exchange:

CW: Does your husband have a truck?
Me: He has a work truck.
CW: What is his personal car?
Me: He doesn't have one. He is allowed to drive the work truck home. It's really a great perk!
CW: But what does he drive for fun or on the weekends?
Me: My car.
CW: But what do you drive then?
Me: Uh, we either go somewhere together or I ride my bike.
CW: You ride your bike TO TOWN?! But you live out in the county!

She seemed shocked by this entire conversation. It continued on a bit and she couldn't imagine not having two cars just in case. And biking all the way into town was just crazy. We live about 2 miles outside town limits, we bike in a lot of the time. I also decided it probably wasn't worth it to explain that we were a one car family before the work truck and likely would be again if it was no longer an option. But I did smile and shake my head as I walked back to my office.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11448 on: December 01, 2015, 02:15:55 PM »
A worker here ordered two guns from a local store. In California you must wait 10 days from the time of purchase to pick them up. Store policy for one type is to wait 11 days. So yesterday he went to pick one up...

Me: "Are you going shooting tonight?"
Him: "No"
Me: "So you are driving an extra 20 minutes out of your way tonight to get something that you will not use today?"
Him: "Yeah"
Me: "Then you are going back there tomorrow to pick up the other one?"
Him: "Yeah..."
Me: "If you are not using it tonight why not just pick up both tomorrow and save yourself the time and the trip today?"
Him: "You just don't get it"

Clearly you just don't get it!

horsepoor

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #11449 on: December 01, 2015, 09:09:03 PM »
Not really an anti-mustachian thing, but someone who is retiring soon came by my cubicle today.  I asked when the actual date was, since people tend to leave around New Year's.  He said he had 3 months because it was so advantageous to work until he turns 62.  Then later someone else who's retiring came by and had a similar conversation with a co-worker who's almost to minimum retirement age (57).  I just nodded and thought about how I won't give a crap about any extra money I might get for sticking around past my MRA considering the stacks of money I'll have piled up if I decide to work that long.  And today was one of those days where that seemed like a bigger IF than usual.