Author Topic: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache  (Read 12877 times)

scottish

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the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« on: October 21, 2014, 08:46:02 PM »

surfhb

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 09:04:24 PM »
....straight to the comments section.  :)

shanghaiMMM

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 11:38:10 PM »
I particularly enjoyed this comment:


Another thing to think about is motorcycle. If the father drives it to work everyday that isn't raining the motorcycle might come close to paying for itself.

The reason we can't retire is because we don't have pensions. Not because we spend too much. You could decide not to buy a car for your children and put that money away for retirement. But all your neighbors will spend that money on cars for their children and their children will use those cars to attend more activities in school, form friendships which will create job leads throughout their lives and drive to unpaid internships.

Your kids won't have to worry about whether to buy cars for their kids because they will have lost out on the jobs that would give them that choice. If you want to retire change the incentives for employers so that they offer pensions.

surfhb

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 11:58:10 PM »
My favorite:



I see many issues with this article. First of all, it is true that nearly everyone can cut back in spending. I will give you that. Yet, cutting back spending just to pay the bills is pretty much what is causing this plunge to the bottom of the economic scale of most Americans. Most Americans can just barely get by.

The true problem is the graph in the article. Only 10 percent of Americans have financial gains enough to buy and consume products. The part that scares me as a small business owner is the fact that 90 percent of Americans now fall BENEATH the graph.

If you are giving the advise that a family making over $100,000 a year should cut back on spending, than I am doomed and my doors will close. The top 10 percent will not buy enough of my products to keep my business above the red.

The top ten percent are not job creators, we the average business owners are. If people in the middle class can not consume products we will fail.

Beric01

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 01:02:29 AM »
Comments are just great. Nice article!

VirginiaBob

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 05:03:15 AM »
I particularly enjoyed this comment:


Another thing to think about is motorcycle. If the father drives it to work everyday that isn't raining the motorcycle might come close to paying for itself.

The reason we can't retire is because we don't have pensions. Not because we spend too much. You could decide not to buy a car for your children and put that money away for retirement. But all your neighbors will spend that money on cars for their children and their children will use those cars to attend more activities in school, form friendships which will create job leads throughout their lives and drive to unpaid internships.

Your kids won't have to worry about whether to buy cars for their kids because they will have lost out on the jobs that would give them that choice. If you want to retire change the incentives for employers so that they offer pensions.


I don't know if I should laugh or cry.  If anything, your kids not getting free cars will make them work harder which will improve thier chances for success.

Kaivalagi

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 05:09:33 AM »
I had to stop reading the comments... I was starting to feel physical pain! *Sigh*

VirginiaBob

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 06:53:19 AM »
The interesting part is that all the comments are talking about the top 10% of income families have it made, etc., and are defending this family.  The bar graph at the beginning separates the top 10% from the bottom 90%.   At $110,000 of expenses with no retirement savings to shield them from taxes, thier taxable income is probably around $150K, which puts them in the top 9%. 

prof61820

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 07:25:16 AM »
I particularly enjoyed this comment:


Another thing to think about is motorcycle. If the father drives it to work everyday that isn't raining the motorcycle might come close to paying for itself.

The reason we can't retire is because we don't have pensions. Not because we spend too much. You could decide not to buy a car for your children and put that money away for retirement. But all your neighbors will spend that money on cars for their children and their children will use those cars to attend more activities in school, form friendships which will create job leads throughout their lives and drive to unpaid internships.

Your kids won't have to worry about whether to buy cars for their kids because they will have lost out on the jobs that would give them that choice. If you want to retire change the incentives for employers so that they offer pensions.


I've been trying to understand this mentality.  Do many Americans with 401Ks that spend like they have pensions do so out of the need to feel "middle class?"  Of course, by doing this, they are actually making themselves poor.  Did their parents have pensions and therefore could live more paycheck to paycheck and buy "stuff"?  If they don't have the frills, do they believe they are somehow slipping out of the middle class because they are not keeping up with the Jonses' or fulfilling the oft quoted American myth that "every generation does better than the next?"  Of course, retiring on social security and sending your kids off to incur $75K in student loan debt is not middle class either - its just something you can hide from the neighbors.  Because not enough folks save early for retirement, why not have some sort of opt out 401K program that starts retirement savings for you (unless you opt out) on the first day you start a job?  I think imparting to young workers that they need to start saving for retirement in their twenties is very important if we want to keep the 401K system.

Here is a  link to an interesting program that is being floated in Illinois:

http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/opinions/guestcommentary/28568762-474/daniel-biss-and-michael-frerichs-house-must-act-to-improve-illinoisans-retirement-security.html#.VC7BSRYzDZY

Businesses are opposing this because it will clearly show workers the costs of retirement and what they NEED to do to be secure at very young age and will then, in turn, ask for pay raises.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 08:21:47 AM by prof61820 »

prof61820

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2014, 07:29:30 AM »
My favorite:



I see many issues with this article. First of all, it is true that nearly everyone can cut back in spending. I will give you that. Yet, cutting back spending just to pay the bills is pretty much what is causing this plunge to the bottom of the economic scale of most Americans. Most Americans can just barely get by.

The true problem is the graph in the article. Only 10 percent of Americans have financial gains enough to buy and consume products. The part that scares me as a small business owner is the fact that 90 percent of Americans now fall BENEATH the graph.

If you are giving the advise that a family making over $100,000 a year should cut back on spending, than I am doomed and my doors will close. The top 10 percent will not buy enough of my products to keep my business above the red.

The top ten percent are not job creators, we the average business owners are. If people in the middle class can not consume products we will fail.

What a doozy...it's exactly this type of spending that's making the family poor.  Here's a news flash: the government and every responsible financial advisor should be advising that families making over $100,000 a year to cut back on spending to build significant retirement, health care and college nest eggs.  If you don't have all three, you have no business spending.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 08:19:32 AM by prof61820 »

projekt

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2014, 07:57:54 AM »
How interesting. Business is the "job creator" but if you don't buy from them they go out of business. Who said something like that? Back in the 30s or something? I think his name started with a K.

prof61820

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2014, 09:41:52 AM »
From the article: "The recipe for retirement planning remains the same as it ever has: spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Do this your whole working life, and things should turn out just fine."

Unless you have very financially savvy parents (and significant resources), the likelihood of most Americans saving for retirement in their twenties is pretty low.  I think the statistics bear this out.  Either the system needs to be adjusted for this reality or the government needs to engage in a real massive financial literacy information campaign.

VirginiaBob

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2014, 10:25:16 AM »
From the article: "The recipe for retirement planning remains the same as it ever has: spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Do this your whole working life, and things should turn out just fine."

Unless you have very financially savvy parents (and significant resources), the likelihood of most Americans saving for retirement in their twenties is pretty low.  I think the statistics bear this out.  Either the system needs to be adjusted for this reality or the government needs to engage in a real massive financial literacy information campaign.

I didn't have financially savvy parents, and yet I still financed a $6,000 car while in college, 1996-2000.  That was pretty stupid.  That money probably would have been worth $25,000 by now, not even including other car expenses.

rujancified

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2014, 10:30:22 AM »
I've had this conversation with various people throughout the last few years (even before discovering this site and knowing FI/RE was a "thing"). The conversation that always stuck out to me most of all was with my mother, who is a teacher. She teaches in a suburb of Boston and is in her early 60s. Growing up, she was a SAHM and we were solid middle class. Parents drove old cars, kids wore hand me downs, and we ate on-sale food at home. The Gap was a fancy store to me and we never shopped there. Now that the kids are grown up, the parents treat themselves more (dinners out, fancy vacations), but have a more than hearty retirement fund.

Anyway, in a rather surprising reversal, she was talking about how hard it was for the younger teachers (largely female, of course) to "get by" on their salaries. I'll grant that housing prices are astronomical in that area and many other consumer goods are more expensive than in the 80s/90s. But those teachers make a solid salary (prob high 50s-60s, depending on experience/edu) and can't get by? I asked what sorts of cars they drove (late model SUVs) and if they had expensive habits (for sure: coach bags, mani/pedi habits). I said: they should shop at Marshall's like we did and kick the nail habit. She said they should be able to afford some luxuries and I was like, who ARE YOU and what have you done with my frugal mother?

FWIW: This isn't a dig on teachers or women who want nice things (I am the latter). Like we all know around here: you can have some of the things, but you probably can't have all of the things all of the time.

MoneyCat

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2014, 10:45:20 AM »
I've had this conversation with various people throughout the last few years (even before discovering this site and knowing FI/RE was a "thing"). The conversation that always stuck out to me most of all was with my mother, who is a teacher. She teaches in a suburb of Boston and is in her early 60s. Growing up, she was a SAHM and we were solid middle class. Parents drove old cars, kids wore hand me downs, and we ate on-sale food at home. The Gap was a fancy store to me and we never shopped there. Now that the kids are grown up, the parents treat themselves more (dinners out, fancy vacations), but have a more than hearty retirement fund.

Anyway, in a rather surprising reversal, she was talking about how hard it was for the younger teachers (largely female, of course) to "get by" on their salaries. I'll grant that housing prices are astronomical in that area and many other consumer goods are more expensive than in the 80s/90s. But those teachers make a solid salary (prob high 50s-60s, depending on experience/edu) and can't get by? I asked what sorts of cars they drove (late model SUVs) and if they had expensive habits (for sure: coach bags, mani/pedi habits). I said: they should shop at Marshall's like we did and kick the nail habit. She said they should be able to afford some luxuries and I was like, who ARE YOU and what have you done with my frugal mother?

FWIW: This isn't a dig on teachers or women who want nice things (I am the latter). Like we all know around here: you can have some of the things, but you probably can't have all of the things all of the time.

     Teachers in high-COL areas make $50k-$60k unless they are Baby Boomers, because Baby Boomers come from an era of higher salaries.  $50k doesn't pay for squat in Boston, NJ, Connecticut, and many other areas of the USA.  For example, I was able to get a small, very inexpensive house in my neighborhood for only about $340,000 (including taxes and fees).  I have had my hours increased and pay reduced every year for the the past five years, which makes it more difficult from both a financial and emotional standpoint.
     Teaching is a very stressful job that requires long hours (I average between 55-60 hours week and that is increasing because the state legislature decided that I have too much free time.)  Due to the stress of the job, teachers (at least in my school) have a tendency to waste their money on luxuries like massages, expensive cars that they can't afford, mani/pedis, expensive shoes, etc. in an effort to get a dopamine rush.  It's the kind of mentality that I personally had to develop strong self-discipline to overcome.
     So, yeah, their behavior is pretty stupid, but it's coming from a place of desperation.  They aren't thinking clearly because of the constant crippling stress they are suffering.

MayDay

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2014, 10:48:14 AM »
I've had this conversation with various people throughout the last few years (even before discovering this site and knowing FI/RE was a "thing"). The conversation that always stuck out to me most of all was with my mother, who is a teacher. She teaches in a suburb of Boston and is in her early 60s. Growing up, she was a SAHM and we were solid middle class. Parents drove old cars, kids wore hand me downs, and we ate on-sale food at home. The Gap was a fancy store to me and we never shopped there. Now that the kids are grown up, the parents treat themselves more (dinners out, fancy vacations), but have a more than hearty retirement fund.

Anyway, in a rather surprising reversal, she was talking about how hard it was for the younger teachers (largely female, of course) to "get by" on their salaries. I'll grant that housing prices are astronomical in that area and many other consumer goods are more expensive than in the 80s/90s. But those teachers make a solid salary (prob high 50s-60s, depending on experience/edu) and can't get by? I asked what sorts of cars they drove (late model SUVs) and if they had expensive habits (for sure: coach bags, mani/pedi habits). I said: they should shop at Marshall's like we did and kick the nail habit. She said they should be able to afford some luxuries and I was like, who ARE YOU and what have you done with my frugal mother?

FWIW: This isn't a dig on teachers or women who want nice things (I am the latter). Like we all know around here: you can have some of the things, but you probably can't have all of the things all of the time.

This reminds me of my mother.  They were seriously poor when us kids were little.  She tells stories about how my grandparents would come to stay, and expect cream (real cream) for their coffee, and then my mother had to figure out what food she wasn't going to buy to afford the cream, and how to stretch dinners to feed 7 instead of 5 people, etc. 

Yet now, she as completely lost sight of that.  I said something while she visited about "don't eat all the cheese, it has to last until November because I am not shopping again until then".  Now keep in mind we have a very full fridge and pantry, no one is going hungry.  You would have thought I was starving my children, rather than making the last of the cheddar last another week.  She tried to give me 20$ to go buy cheese with so the kids didn't "starve".  The whole time I was thinking the same as you:  Who is this woman, and what did she do with my mother?

Actually I think the reality is my mother had quite a hard time when we were little, out of necessity, and is now purposefully forgetting those days, and indulging herself to quite a high degree (they can now easily afford it).  But I just look on in horror at how much she changed from doing all these frugal and environmentally friendly things when I was young, to the amazing wastefulness in her life now.  I would rather her spend less, retire now, and actually get to spend more time with her grandkids, then buy them cheese they don't  need.  (and my dad is just as bad, not to throw my mom under the bus alone).
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 10:50:40 AM by MayDay »

starguru

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2014, 11:14:33 AM »
I think US should do what Australia does and force people to save some % of their income.

dude

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2014, 11:23:29 AM »
     Teaching is a very stressful job that requires long hours (I average between 55-60 hours week and that is increasing because the state legislature decided that I have too much free time.)

Hmm, skeptical, but at any rate, for 3 months, they work zero hours.  I have some teacher friends in both the Hartford and Boston areas, and they don't seem stressed at all, and make pretty good money, with loads of time and opportunity to make side income as well.

I'll grant that some inner-city schools (depending on the grade) are probably pretty stressful.

darkadams00

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2014, 11:32:43 AM »
I think US should do what Australia does and force people to save some % of their income.

The US does--it's called Social InSecurity. When the government imposes economic policy, the outcome is rarely (giving the benefit of the doubt here) equal to what the private sector operating under competitive markets could produce.

For the masses, Social Security will prevent starvation, and Medicare/Medicaid/Medi-etc will keep them from dying on the streets. For the poor who never bought a home, HUD will keep a roof over their heads, and for those who still can't make it, SNAP/TANF will pitch in a few pennies for groceries and other basic needs.

For those who manage their finances instead of letting their finances manage them--they get the privilege to watch their retirement dollars languish in an arbitrarily controlled fund year after year where returns (why are these called "benefits"?) are almost more certain to go down rather than up simply due to macro economic pressures and political wrangling. 

rujancified

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2014, 11:55:59 AM »
I've had this conversation with various people throughout the last few years (even before discovering this site and knowing FI/RE was a "thing"). The conversation that always stuck out to me most of all was with my mother, who is a teacher. She teaches in a suburb of Boston and is in her early 60s. Growing up, she was a SAHM and we were solid middle class. Parents drove old cars, kids wore hand me downs, and we ate on-sale food at home. The Gap was a fancy store to me and we never shopped there. Now that the kids are grown up, the parents treat themselves more (dinners out, fancy vacations), but have a more than hearty retirement fund.

Anyway, in a rather surprising reversal, she was talking about how hard it was for the younger teachers (largely female, of course) to "get by" on their salaries. I'll grant that housing prices are astronomical in that area and many other consumer goods are more expensive than in the 80s/90s. But those teachers make a solid salary (prob high 50s-60s, depending on experience/edu) and can't get by? I asked what sorts of cars they drove (late model SUVs) and if they had expensive habits (for sure: coach bags, mani/pedi habits). I said: they should shop at Marshall's like we did and kick the nail habit. She said they should be able to afford some luxuries and I was like, who ARE YOU and what have you done with my frugal mother?

FWIW: This isn't a dig on teachers or women who want nice things (I am the latter). Like we all know around here: you can have some of the things, but you probably can't have all of the things all of the time.

     Teachers in high-COL areas make $50k-$60k unless they are Baby Boomers, because Baby Boomers come from an era of higher salaries.  $50k doesn't pay for squat in Boston, NJ, Connecticut, and many other areas of the USA.  For example, I was able to get a small, very inexpensive house in my neighborhood for only about $340,000 (including taxes and fees). 

Bold mine. This, coupled with the absolutely atrocious winters in the NE, is why I moved 1000 miles away from my friends and family 9 years ago. At the time, I was making 45k and living in Boston. It would have taken years to accumulate the scratch to buy a modest place, but I lived okay by not having a car, eating at home mostly, and buying clothes on clearance. I couldn't afford anything beyond stay-cations and knockoff purses, but I lived in a great city with exceptional public transportation. I couldn't imagine moving until someone offered me nearly 2x the money to live/work in a much cheaper city at which point I said to hell with New England. 

I recognize that I'm "lucky" (hate that word here, but privileged seems wrong as well) that I work in technology and my job skills translate to a different marketplace, nor does my job require regionally specific accreditations. Up until early 2013, I'd rarely worked less than 55+ hours a week and the hours were unpredicatable (tech support, but add lawyers). You're right that working so many hours is unsustainable, extremely stressful, and stress can lead to poor financial decisions. I certainly ate take out (translation: Drank my body weight in wine) far more when I was working longer hours.

starguru

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2014, 11:56:31 AM »
I think US should do what Australia does and force people to save some % of their income.

The US does--it's called Social InSecurity. When the government imposes economic policy, the outcome is rarely (giving the benefit of the doubt here) equal to what the private sector operating under competitive markets could produce.

For the masses, Social Security will prevent starvation, and Medicare/Medicaid/Medi-etc will keep them from dying on the streets. For the poor who never bought a home, HUD will keep a roof over their heads, and for those who still can't make it, SNAP/TANF will pitch in a few pennies for groceries and other basic needs.

Required savings can exist along side SS.   I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Quote
For those who manage their finances instead of letting their finances manage them--they get the privilege to watch their retirement dollars languish in an arbitrarily controlled fund year after year where returns (why are these called "benefits"?) are almost more certain to go down rather than up simply due to macro economic pressures and political wrangling. 

Not sure what you mean by this, but am not sure how the growth of mandatory 401k contributions would differ from the growth of voluntary ones.

ivyhedge

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2014, 01:12:09 PM »
I couldn't imagine moving until someone offered me nearly 2x the money to live/work in a much cheaper city at which point I said to hell with New England. 

Ha. We have found that Boston is our "inexpensive" city. After living in DC for seven years, Boston is a ghasp of fresh air when it comes to materialistic competition among folks.
Do you like Charlotte? Given our careers, and ranks, we could not move there. But I have several relations who have done so of late and they find it much improved over the backwater town that it was barely a decade ago.


On topic: I know a number of folks at MF. They're generally good investors with a bias toward fundamental analysis and they've been that way for many years (not all of them, clearly).
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 01:15:34 PM by ivyhedge »

AJ

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2014, 01:50:12 PM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

frugalnacho

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2014, 02:05:23 PM »
I skipped the comment section and just smashed my face into my desk.  Same effect.

rujancified

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2014, 02:30:03 PM »
I couldn't imagine moving until someone offered me nearly 2x the money to live/work in a much cheaper city at which point I said to hell with New England. 

Ha. We have found that Boston is our "inexpensive" city. After living in DC for seven years, Boston is a ghasp of fresh air when it comes to materialistic competition among folks.
Do you like Charlotte? Given our careers, and ranks, we could not move there. But I have several relations who have done so of late and they find it much improved over the backwater town that it was barely a decade ago.


On topic: I know a number of folks at MF. They're generally good investors with a bias toward fundamental analysis and they've been that way for many years (not all of them, clearly).

DC is insanely expensive! And too true - many people in MA/New England aren't super concerned with flashiness (wrt fashion, cars, etc).

Charlotte is growing and figuring things out as it goes. I love certain facets (cheap, easy living; great weather; proximity to mountains) and dislike others (people can be fake; local/regional politics). My manager calls it a big town vs a small city and that's pretty apt, imo.  There isn't a ton of "Culture," but there's some and it's getting better year over year.

Despite the negatives, I tell everyone (who asks for my opinion) to move South. Most of my HS and College friends (and friends of friends) are at a crossroads where they've had a kid or two and they want to slow the pace down. It's harder to downshift in New England where base living expenses (houses/heating, food, gas, taxes) are so high. Taxes here aren't great (SC is better), but other basics can be dirt cheap comparitively.

MoneyCat

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2014, 03:27:19 PM »
     Teaching is a very stressful job that requires long hours (I average between 55-60 hours week and that is increasing because the state legislature decided that I have too much free time.)

Hmm, skeptical, but at any rate, for 3 months, they work zero hours.  I have some teacher friends in both the Hartford and Boston areas, and they don't seem stressed at all, and make pretty good money, with loads of time and opportunity to make side income as well.

I'll grant that some inner-city schools (depending on the grade) are probably pretty stressful.

Apparently, I am imagining the fact that I am taking a short work break right now after starting at 7 am this morning.  I will be working tonight until 9 pm.  But thanks for cutting my pay.  It's also not three months off.  It's two months off during which I have to attend professional development seminars to keep my certificate, because it's impossible to attend those seminars during the school year when I'm working 60 hours a week.  Everybody hates teachers so much.  I'm sorry Mrs. Crabtree forced you to do your math homework.

I don't have it as bad as some teachers though.  I'm friends with an English teacher who works no fewer than 72 hours a week because she also is forced to do the school plays after school.  She does get a stipend for it but no stipend is worth doing 72 hours a week.

If anyone out there is thinking about going into teaching, don't do it.  Go start your own business and make a lot of money and then you can set educational policy like Bill Gates and the Waltons.

darkadams00

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2014, 03:30:36 PM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

I agree with AJ. Why is SS not considered savings? It's a mandatory "foregoing the use of current wages/salary for purchases today to make those funds available for purchases at some point in the future." That's called savings. And it's directly tied to retirement. And the SSA is a government agency that uses programs to enact policy. So that makes SS a mandatory, government-managed, retirement savings program.

If I'm completely dissatisfied with how SS has been run for the last two decades, I'm unsatisfied with how SS is run today, and I'm likely to be dissatisfied with how SS will be run in the future--why would I be in favor of additional forced savings of any sort? Will that make schmucks who won't learn one toot about a budget, credit, interest, debt, savings, and taxes any better off? Possibly for a few, but for the typical financial clown, this would push him to more credit and a worse financial position since he effectively will experience a decrease in wages today. He'll look wherever possible to ensure that his status is preserved, just like he does today. And this would force more of my savings into a public fund that is likely to yield a lower return than I can get in the private sector.

No thanks.

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2014, 03:39:27 PM »
I skipped the comment section and just smashed my face into my desk.  Same effect.

+1

Maybe you need to smash it several times since there were probably a lot of comments.

prof61820

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2014, 03:41:30 PM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

I agree with AJ. Why is SS not considered savings? It's a mandatory "foregoing the use of current wages/salary for purchases today to make those funds available for purchases at some point in the future." That's called savings. And it's directly tied to retirement. And the SSA is a government agency that uses programs to enact policy. So that makes SS a mandatory, government-managed, retirement savings program.

If I'm completely dissatisfied with how SS has been run for the last two decades, I'm unsatisfied with how SS is run today, and I'm likely to be dissatisfied with how SS will be run in the future--why would I be in favor of additional forced savings of any sort? Will that make schmucks who won't learn one toot about a budget, credit, interest, debt, savings, and taxes any better off? Possibly for a few, but for the typical financial clown, this would push him to more credit and a worse financial position since he effectively will experience a decrease in wages today. He'll look wherever possible to ensure that his status is preserved, just like he does today. And this would force more of my savings into a public fund that is likely to yield a lower return than I can get in the private sector.

No thanks.

I think you are both right, SS is forced savings/insurance but not enough to provide a secure retirement (and more easily subject to cuts, age increases, etc. than a pension). 

A mandatory 401(k) - or an opt out - like in my post above, would help educate and build savings for many workers who wouldn't otherwise begin saving until well into their thirties and miss years of compounding.  Because it's a 401K, you would control how it is invested (or if you were unsatisfied with the options, in theory, opt out and create an IRA so you can better control your investment options or invest in taxable non-IRA investments).

Do you have any issues with an "opt out" 401k type plan?  Do you see the educational value of this type of program - especially for non-mustachians and for those of us without economists for parents?
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 03:51:00 PM by prof61820 »

Trirod

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2014, 03:45:24 PM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

I agree with AJ. Why is SS not considered savings? It's a mandatory "foregoing the use of current wages/salary for purchases today to make those funds available for purchases at some point in the future." That's called savings. And it's directly tied to retirement. And the SSA is a government agency that uses programs to enact policy. So that makes SS a mandatory, government-managed, retirement savings program.

If I'm completely dissatisfied with how SS has been run for the last two decades, I'm unsatisfied with how SS is run today, and I'm likely to be dissatisfied with how SS will be run in the future--why would I be in favor of additional forced savings of any sort? Will that make schmucks who won't learn one toot about a budget, credit, interest, debt, savings, and taxes any better off? Possibly for a few, but for the typical financial clown, this would push him to more credit and a worse financial position since he effectively will experience a decrease in wages today. He'll look wherever possible to ensure that his status is preserved, just like he does today. And this would force more of my savings into a public fund that is likely to yield a lower return than I can get in the private sector.

No thanks.

For some (very low earners), SS is a savings program.  For most of us though it is a tax to provide a social welfare program.  You just have to look how it's calculated.  On your first tranche of lifetime eanrings you "make" 90 cents on the dollar, then the next tranche it gets cut to 32c and after that it goes to 15c - at this point it's definitely a tax.  I don't have a problem with that - just as long as you are aware that for higher earners it is more of a tax and much less of a "savings" program.

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2014, 04:18:25 PM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

I agree with AJ. Why is SS not considered savings? It's a mandatory "foregoing the use of current wages/salary for purchases today to make those funds available for purchases at some point in the future." That's called savings. And it's directly tied to retirement. And the SSA is a government agency that uses programs to enact policy. So that makes SS a mandatory, government-managed, retirement savings program.

If I'm completely dissatisfied with how SS has been run for the last two decades, I'm unsatisfied with how SS is run today, and I'm likely to be dissatisfied with how SS will be run in the future--why would I be in favor of additional forced savings of any sort? Will that make schmucks who won't learn one toot about a budget, credit, interest, debt, savings, and taxes any better off? Possibly for a few, but for the typical financial clown, this would push him to more credit and a worse financial position since he effectively will experience a decrease in wages today. He'll look wherever possible to ensure that his status is preserved, just like he does today. And this would force more of my savings into a public fund that is likely to yield a lower return than I can get in the private sector.

No thanks.

For some (very low earners), SS is a savings program.  For most of us though it is a tax to provide a social welfare program.  You just have to look how it's calculated.  On your first tranche of lifetime eanrings you "make" 90 cents on the dollar, then the next tranche it gets cut to 32c and after that it goes to 15c - at this point it's definitely a tax.  I don't have a problem with that - just as long as you are aware that for higher earners it is more of a tax and much less of a "savings" program.

We must have different definitions of high earner.  What's the SS cutoff?  $105K or something like that?  Every dollar earned over $105K is free from SS taxes.  That's hardly a "soak the rich" tax program.  The vast majority of actual high earners are barely having SS tax touch their earnings.

Trirod

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2014, 07:50:32 PM »
I wasn't talking about the 1% when I talked about higher earners - I really meant anybody in the middle class.  The "return" on your social security taxes reduces from 90% to 32% right at about $10,000 annual earnings - so way below the poverty line.  It goes from 32% to 15% at around $60,000 of annual earnings. So you don't have to be a very high earner before you get to that 15% rate.  Of course, as you say once you hit the SS threshold (which I think is closer to $115k now) you don't pay it any more.

This all assumes 35 years of earnings.  If you retire with, say, only 20 years of earnings, you are much more likely to be in the 32% band and therefore get a much better return on your SS taxes.  So it definitely pays to be mustachian.


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Primm

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2014, 08:15:32 PM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

I agree with AJ. Why is SS not considered savings? It's a mandatory "foregoing the use of current wages/salary for purchases today to make those funds available for purchases at some point in the future." That's called savings. And it's directly tied to retirement. And the SSA is a government agency that uses programs to enact policy. So that makes SS a mandatory, government-managed, retirement savings program.

If I'm completely dissatisfied with how SS has been run for the last two decades, I'm unsatisfied with how SS is run today, and I'm likely to be dissatisfied with how SS will be run in the future--why would I be in favor of additional forced savings of any sort? Will that make schmucks who won't learn one toot about a budget, credit, interest, debt, savings, and taxes any better off? Possibly for a few, but for the typical financial clown, this would push him to more credit and a worse financial position since he effectively will experience a decrease in wages today. He'll look wherever possible to ensure that his status is preserved, just like he does today. And this would force more of my savings into a public fund that is likely to yield a lower return than I can get in the private sector.

No thanks.

I think you are both right, SS is forced savings/insurance but not enough to provide a secure retirement (and more easily subject to cuts, age increases, etc. than a pension). 

A mandatory 401(k) - or an opt out - like in my post above, would help educate and build savings for many workers who wouldn't otherwise begin saving until well into their thirties and miss years of compounding.  Because it's a 401K, you would control how it is invested (or if you were unsatisfied with the options, in theory, opt out and create an IRA so you can better control your investment options or invest in taxable non-IRA investments).

Do you have any issues with an "opt out" 401k type plan?  Do you see the educational value of this type of program - especially for non-mustachians and for those of us without economists for parents?

I don't get why the opt-out. In Australia superannuation is mandatory, full stop. At least if you earn >$450 a month, which is nearly everyone, even students doing part-time work at McDonalds.

It's on top of SS. Super is for retirement, social security is for unemployment / if you can't earn and have no savings. Why not both?

prof61820

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2014, 06:14:14 AM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

I agree with AJ. Why is SS not considered savings? It's a mandatory "foregoing the use of current wages/salary for purchases today to make those funds available for purchases at some point in the future." That's called savings. And it's directly tied to retirement. And the SSA is a government agency that uses programs to enact policy. So that makes SS a mandatory, government-managed, retirement savings program.

If I'm completely dissatisfied with how SS has been run for the last two decades, I'm unsatisfied with how SS is run today, and I'm likely to be dissatisfied with how SS will be run in the future--why would I be in favor of additional forced savings of any sort? Will that make schmucks who won't learn one toot about a budget, credit, interest, debt, savings, and taxes any better off? Possibly for a few, but for the typical financial clown, this would push him to more credit and a worse financial position since he effectively will experience a decrease in wages today. He'll look wherever possible to ensure that his status is preserved, just like he does today. And this would force more of my savings into a public fund that is likely to yield a lower return than I can get in the private sector.

No thanks.

I think you are both right, SS is forced savings/insurance but not enough to provide a secure retirement (and more easily subject to cuts, age increases, etc. than a pension). 

A mandatory 401(k) - or an opt out - like in my post above, would help educate and build savings for many workers who wouldn't otherwise begin saving until well into their thirties and miss years of compounding.  Because it's a 401K, you would control how it is invested (or if you were unsatisfied with the options, in theory, opt out and create an IRA so you can better control your investment options or invest in taxable non-IRA investments).

Do you have any issues with an "opt out" 401k type plan?  Do you see the educational value of this type of program - especially for non-mustachians and for those of us without economists for parents?

I don't get why the opt-out. In Australia superannuation is mandatory, full stop. At least if you earn >$450 a month, which is nearly everyone, even students doing part-time work at McDonalds.

It's on top of SS. Super is for retirement, social security is for unemployment / if you can't earn and have no savings. Why not both?

I am a fan of the Australian system and I do think mandatory 401K savings is better public policy.  I think an opt out is easier to pass politically in the US.  An opt out would be better than what we have now.  I am stunned that businesses oppose an opt out.

rujancified

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2014, 07:47:52 AM »
I've had this conversation with various people throughout the last few years (even before discovering this site and knowing FI/RE was a "thing"). The conversation that always stuck out to me most of all was with my mother, who is a teacher. She teaches in a suburb of Boston and is in her early 60s. Growing up, she was a SAHM and we were solid middle class. Parents drove old cars, kids wore hand me downs, and we ate on-sale food at home. The Gap was a fancy store to me and we never shopped there. Now that the kids are grown up, the parents treat themselves more (dinners out, fancy vacations), but have a more than hearty retirement fund.

Anyway, in a rather surprising reversal, she was talking about how hard it was for the younger teachers (largely female, of course) to "get by" on their salaries. I'll grant that housing prices are astronomical in that area and many other consumer goods are more expensive than in the 80s/90s. But those teachers make a solid salary (prob high 50s-60s, depending on experience/edu) and can't get by? I asked what sorts of cars they drove (late model SUVs) and if they had expensive habits (for sure: coach bags, mani/pedi habits). I said: they should shop at Marshall's like we did and kick the nail habit. She said they should be able to afford some luxuries and I was like, who ARE YOU and what have you done with my frugal mother?

FWIW: This isn't a dig on teachers or women who want nice things (I am the latter). Like we all know around here: you can have some of the things, but you probably can't have all of the things all of the time.

This reminds me of my mother.  They were seriously poor when us kids were little.  She tells stories about how my grandparents would come to stay, and expect cream (real cream) for their coffee, and then my mother had to figure out what food she wasn't going to buy to afford the cream, and how to stretch dinners to feed 7 instead of 5 people, etc. 

Yet now, she as completely lost sight of that.  I said something while she visited about "don't eat all the cheese, it has to last until November because I am not shopping again until then".  Now keep in mind we have a very full fridge and pantry, no one is going hungry.  You would have thought I was starving my children, rather than making the last of the cheddar last another week.  She tried to give me 20$ to go buy cheese with so the kids didn't "starve".  The whole time I was thinking the same as you:  Who is this woman, and what did she do with my mother?

Actually I think the reality is my mother had quite a hard time when we were little, out of necessity, and is now purposefully forgetting those days, and indulging herself to quite a high degree (they can now easily afford it).  But I just look on in horror at how much she changed from doing all these frugal and environmentally friendly things when I was young, to the amazing wastefulness in her life now.  I would rather her spend less, retire now, and actually get to spend more time with her grandkids, then buy them cheese they don't  need.  (and my dad is just as bad, not to throw my mom under the bus alone).

I think, at least in my family, that my parents expected to struggle when they first got married/had kids/bought a house. My mother was 19 when she got married and hadn't finished college. They waited until their later 20s to have kids and buy the house, but they were living on 1 median income. Shit, I struggled at those ages, too and was only supporting myself! Things got better when we got older, giving my mom time to finish her undergrad and various grad degrees to start teaching (which she did in her late 40s).

My parents could easily retire now and I struggle with the conversation when they bring up waiting a few more years. I REALLY want them to retire now (my mom has had health problems for the last 18 months) so they can have some good times traveling around to all the places they put off to raise us. But she loves her job and won't think of it. If only we were all so lucky to love our jobs, right? :)

retired?

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2014, 09:51:00 AM »
The Motley Fool is what led me to MMM.  From an article debunking the USA Today's article about what one needs to earn to achieve "The American Dream".

So, I like MF.

darkadams00

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2014, 03:19:46 PM »
I would dispute the classification of SS as a "savings program". 

Why?

I agree with AJ. Why is SS not considered savings? It's a mandatory "foregoing the use of current wages/salary for purchases today to make those funds available for purchases at some point in the future." That's called savings. And it's directly tied to retirement. And the SSA is a government agency that uses programs to enact policy. So that makes SS a mandatory, government-managed, retirement savings program.

If I'm completely dissatisfied with how SS has been run for the last two decades, I'm unsatisfied with how SS is run today, and I'm likely to be dissatisfied with how SS will be run in the future--why would I be in favor of additional forced savings of any sort? Will that make schmucks who won't learn one toot about a budget, credit, interest, debt, savings, and taxes any better off? Possibly for a few, but for the typical financial clown, this would push him to more credit and a worse financial position since he effectively will experience a decrease in wages today. He'll look wherever possible to ensure that his status is preserved, just like he does today. And this would force more of my savings into a public fund that is likely to yield a lower return than I can get in the private sector.

No thanks.

I think you are both right, SS is forced savings/insurance but not enough to provide a secure retirement (and more easily subject to cuts, age increases, etc. than a pension). 

A mandatory 401(k) - or an opt out - like in my post above, would help educate and build savings for many workers who wouldn't otherwise begin saving until well into their thirties and miss years of compounding.  Because it's a 401K, you would control how it is invested (or if you were unsatisfied with the options, in theory, opt out and create an IRA so you can better control your investment options or invest in taxable non-IRA investments).

Do you have any issues with an "opt out" 401k type plan?  Do you see the educational value of this type of program - especially for non-mustachians and for those of us without economists for parents?

I don't get why the opt-out. In Australia superannuation is mandatory, full stop. At least if you earn >$450 a month, which is nearly everyone, even students doing part-time work at McDonalds.

It's on top of SS. Super is for retirement, social security is for unemployment / if you can't earn and have no savings. Why not both?

If Australian SS is for unemployment and superannuation is for retirement, then the naming conventions of the two systems are different. In the US, unemployment (not connected to retirement) is called unemployment (and contributed separately), and SS is for retirement. If you're saying super (retirement) is on top of SS (unemployment not connected to retirement), then we already have that system in place in the US. Sorry, don't have time to look up the Aussie system at the moment, so I was just trying to see if I understood Primm's comment accurately.

GardenFun

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2014, 09:41:22 AM »
Isn't SS also the program where the employee contributes 6.2%, plus the employer contributes another 6.2%?  So 12.4% is going into a fund.

 That would be one heck of a 401k.  Plus heirs would receive anything left. 

bacchi

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2014, 10:03:53 AM »
Isn't SS also the program where the employee contributes 6.2%, plus the employer contributes another 6.2%?  So 12.4% is going into a fund.

 That would be one heck of a 401k.  Plus heirs would receive anything left.

If that 12.4% went to a 401k, the family in the original article would've withdrawn it already for an addition to their house.

GardenFun

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2014, 10:12:18 AM »
Isn't SS also the program where the employee contributes 6.2%, plus the employer contributes another 6.2%?  So 12.4% is going into a fund.

 That would be one heck of a 401k.  Plus heirs would receive anything left.

If that 12.4% went to a 401k, the family in the original article would've withdrawn it already for an addition to their house.

Don't disagree.  Which is why the loan option for 401k's shouldn't exist. 

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2014, 02:16:01 PM »
Isn't SS also the program where the employee contributes 6.2%, plus the employer contributes another 6.2%?  So 12.4% is going into a fund.

 That would be one heck of a 401k.  Plus heirs would receive anything left.

If that 12.4% went to a 401k, the family in the original article would've withdrawn it already for an addition to their house.

Don't disagree.  Which is why the loan option for 401k's shouldn't exist.

That's kind of like saying chainsaws shouldn't exist because someone might chop off their arm. They are tools, and when used properly can do a lot of good, but when used improperly can do a lot of damage.

GardenFun

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2014, 04:05:08 PM »
That's kind of like saying chainsaws shouldn't exist because someone might chop off their arm. They are tools, and when used properly can do a lot of good, but when used improperly can do a lot of damage.
[/quote]

But I also don't give a chainsaw to a child, knowing that the likelihood of bodily damage is significantly higher than with an adult.  When it comes to finances, lack of knowledge/understanding enables many people to make childish decisions with their money, resulting in long-term, irreparable damage. 

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2014, 07:33:09 PM »
That's kind of like saying chainsaws shouldn't exist because someone might chop off their arm. They are tools, and when used properly can do a lot of good, but when used improperly can do a lot of damage.

But I also don't give a chainsaw to a child, knowing that the likelihood of bodily damage is significantly higher than with an adult.  When it comes to finances, lack of knowledge/understanding enables many people to make childish decisions with their money, resulting in long-term, irreparable damage.
[/quote]

I wouldn't give a chainsaw to a child either. And I wouldn't recommend a 401k loan to a spendthrift, but I also wouldn't abolish them completely in order to ensure no one gets hurt because of the side effect of removing an important tool from society. Why hurt everyone for the potential poor choices of the financially foolish?

GardenFun

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2014, 07:36:06 PM »
That's kind of like saying chainsaws shouldn't exist because someone might chop off their arm. They are tools, and when used properly can do a lot of good, but when used improperly can do a lot of damage.

But I also don't give a chainsaw to a child, knowing that the likelihood of bodily damage is significantly higher than with an adult.  When it comes to finances, lack of knowledge/understanding enables many people to make childish decisions with their money, resulting in long-term, irreparable damage.

I wouldn't give a chainsaw to a child either. And I wouldn't recommend a 401k loan to a spendthrift, but I also wouldn't abolish them completely in order to ensure no one gets hurt because of the side effect of removing an important tool from society. Why hurt everyone for the potential poor choices of the financially foolish?
[/quote]

My only reason is to try to protect the financially foolish.  But I do agree that it starts to sound like socialism, while I favor capitalism.  So point goes to you.  ;-)

frugalnacho

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2014, 08:01:33 AM »
What summer? My bosses asked me to come in for four weeks (UNPAID) during my last summer 'break'. BTW. I don't get my "summers off" which is an old, tired, and barely thought out generic comment ignorant people throw out to justify screwing educators out of compensation.

So to clarify: each spring the Board of Education hands me a calendar and a contract. The language reads something like this, We will pay you $X.00 for 193 contracted days per year (the calendar includes other mandatory hours such as Open House and Parent/Teacher conferences).  Sign here if you agree.

Therefore, my rate of pay is calculated by dividing the number of days I agree to work for the district by my salary. The Board decides which 193 days on the twelve month calendar they want me to show up. This is not really that different than you paying your attorney, lawyer, or doctor for services rendered. My mom is a tax accountant - she works January through April 15 each year. Does this mean she gets "summer and fall" off? She only EARNS money when she and the client decide upon the service and amount.

I know several teachers and they get the full summer off.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #45 on: October 28, 2014, 08:06:10 AM »
My only reason is to try to protect the financially foolish.  But I do agree that it starts to sound like socialism, while I favor capitalism.  So point goes to you.  ;-)

Maybe you can propose a new law to congress (since they are so on top of things) to require a quick personal finance quiz before you are allowed to take out a 401k loan. If you fail, you have to wait 1 month and study more.

Timmmy

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #46 on: October 28, 2014, 08:20:55 AM »
     Teaching is a very stressful job that requires long hours (I average between 55-60 hours week and that is increasing because the state legislature decided that I have too much free time.)

Hmm, skeptical, but at any rate, for 3 months, they work zero hours.  I have some teacher friends in both the Hartford and Boston areas, and they don't seem stressed at all, and make pretty good money, with loads of time and opportunity to make side income as well.

I'll grant that some inner-city schools (depending on the grade) are probably pretty stressful.

Apparently, I am imagining the fact that I am taking a short work break right now after starting at 7 am this morning.  I will be working tonight until 9 pm.  But thanks for cutting my pay.  It's also not three months off.  It's two months off during which I have to attend professional development seminars to keep my certificate, because it's impossible to attend those seminars during the school year when I'm working 60 hours a week.  Everybody hates teachers so much.  I'm sorry Mrs. Crabtree forced you to do your math homework.

I don't have it as bad as some teachers though.  I'm friends with an English teacher who works no fewer than 72 hours a week because she also is forced to do the school plays after school.  She does get a stipend for it but no stipend is worth doing 72 hours a week.

If anyone out there is thinking about going into teaching, don't do it.  Go start your own business and make a lot of money and then you can set educational policy like Bill Gates and the Waltons.

What summer? My bosses asked me to come in for four weeks (UNPAID) during my last summer 'break'. BTW. I don't get my "summers off" which is an old, tired, and barely thought out generic comment ignorant people throw out to justify screwing educators out of compensation.

So to clarify: each spring the Board of Education hands me a calendar and a contract. The language reads something like this, We will pay you $X.00 for 193 contracted days per year (the calendar includes other mandatory hours such as Open House and Parent/Teacher conferences).  Sign here if you agree.

Therefore, my rate of pay is calculated by dividing the number of days I agree to work for the district by my salary. The Board decides which 193 days on the twelve month calendar they want me to show up. This is not really that different than you paying your attorney, lawyer, or doctor for services rendered. My mom is a tax accountant - she works January through April 15 each year. Does this mean she gets "summer and fall" off? She only EARNS money when she and the client decide upon the service and amount.

I'm not attacking you so please don't be offended.  I hear a lot of teachers complaining about hours worked.  I know several personally but also online.  If it's sooooo  bad, why not leave the profession?  Teachers pay/hours is an economy just like everything else.  If the supply is reduced with out reduced demand the cost of those hours will increase.  Obviously there are still plenty of people willing to do the job so it seems like (to me) that it must not be that bad. 

Am I just missing the boat entirely?  I guess I don't understand why every teacher I talk to hates (maybe too strong a word) their job and yet goes back year after year. 

VirginiaBob

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #47 on: October 28, 2014, 08:25:22 AM »
My only reason is to try to protect the financially foolish.  But I do agree that it starts to sound like socialism, while I favor capitalism.  So point goes to you.  ;-)

Maybe you can propose a new law to congress (since they are so on top of things) to require a quick personal finance quiz before you are allowed to take out a 401k loan. If you fail, you have to wait 1 month and study more.

Or maybe make congress pass that quiz before they can spend any of our money.

nereo

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Re: the Motley Fool is growing a mustache
« Reply #48 on: October 28, 2014, 08:38:51 AM »
The Motley Fool is what led me to MMM.  From an article debunking the USA Today's article about what one needs to earn to achieve "The American Dream".

So, I like MF.
I have mixed feelings about the MF today.  Truth be told, MF was invaluable when first started saving and I remember how much emphasis they put on Index Investing, funding tax-advantaged accounts, DCAing, automatic-deposits, and "getting rich slow." They even have a "13 steps to investing Foolishly" segment, most of which follows the Mustachian ethos.  However, my opinion of "The Fool" has soured a bit lately because of how much they push their stock-picking service.  I can't get onto the site without being bombarded by emails and ads for subscribing to TMF Pro (limited enrollment period!!).  IMO they've also shifted a lot of their focus to daily and quarterly performance of stocks - which is a far cry from the index-fund strategy that works best for the vast majority of people.  TMF seems to cater now to rich personal investors, or people trying to imitiate a rich personal investor (danger! danger!)

my other thought: this thread has gotten so off-topic.  Somehow most are just talking about SS and 401(k)s instead of TMF or the article that started this thread.  Oh well..  Entropy I guess.