I work in a small, 4 person nonprofit office. Super casual, low budget (our "offices" are in a 60's trailer....), but they prioritize taking care of their employees pretty well. The full-time, long term employees (2 men) make reasonable salaries for the area, and their wives work/have worked on and off most of their adult lives. These individuals aren't high earners, but they *should* be pretty comfortable and have a reasonably comfortable retirement future if they were/are wise.
Employee 1 -- Wife and he work full time. Careful budgeter -- awesome. Brings lunch -- cool. Working on being able to homestead in the future -- the horses are a little unneccesary, but otherwise they grow food and whatnot and have the acreage to do it. It brings them a lot of joy and relaxation, and they have no plans to retire early -- to each their own.
The Antimustachian part: they recently finished their own home on their property. He did the contracting and a lot of the work which is awesome, so I am sure they saved a lot. They are old enough to be my parents, so no kids in the home. Just the two of them, and the wife with reasonable back issues that have required surgery in the past.
FOUR bedrooms. 2 family rooms. A kitchen and dining. 2 levels. 3 or 4 bathrooms.
I know they have extended family out of town, but all their kids live locally. The extra bedrooms are only used once a year.
They are already in their mid 50s -- its a gorgeous house, but struggle to see the practicality, or how his lovely wife will be able to take care of it if her back problems come back. I truly hope it isn't a huge financial burden either. This coworker openly questions our intent to downsize from our 3 bedroom, 2 bath (1700 square feet) house. And doesn't see the irony of his own.
Employee 2 -- Lives in a modular home that was bought new some time ago. Nice home and a good size for them. Late 50s, wife works part time. Parents are aging, so I know they have extra strain there. Consistently on the look out for side gigs -- wife will cut hair, sell products, etc. He will tune pianos, teach music, etc.
Buys every gadget imagineable. Both have kindles, both have ipads, both have computers, netflix, cable, amazon prime, fire bar (I think thats the amazon compatible thing that streams from amazon prime), bose items, instruments, electronics of every sort.
Finances furniture, *brings* lunches in each week that consist of a walmart bag of frozen active/fit type of meals, buys apps and whatnot for the thrill because its just 10.00 here and there.
Recently told me that he and his wife bought the amazon echo....for fun.
I happened to accidentally (remember, 60s trailer walls) overhear a conversation that made me think that they may have opted out of SS in the early years of their lives (US allows certain nonprofit workers/faith based workers to do this very early on in their working life). However, this means they are entirely dependent on what they themselves can save for retirement.
I truly hope this isn't the case. I don't see any evidence there that would make me think that those accounts are very large....
This rant is more because I worry about them....less for the shame part.