Author Topic: What's the sorriest situation you've known of someone who couldn't retire?  (Read 23315 times)

carolina822

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She wasn't too worried, though, because her father promised her a big inheritance (MILLIONS, he said).  But, not a penny if she left her husband.

WTF? Where does an arrangement like that come from?

From assholes.

MishMash

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My FIL:

Married DHs mom, who had a wealthy family, worked as a lawyer, got a taste of the finer things in life, thought he was entitled to all of it, including entitled to his secretary.  Got divorced, tried to go after the mothers family for "support" since they were paying moms salary during divorce.  Stress of it all literally killed DHs mom.  FIL gets engaged to the secretary, who turns out to be crazy pants, so he splits when he finds woman number 3 DHs step mom, who is 20 years younger.

Married 20 years, him making 300k plus most of the time.  Lived in multi million dollar interest only mortgage homes in CA.  Her two kids had to have the BEST of everything, private schools, cars, Ivy League colleges etc.  She of course never worked.  FIL looses his job in the recession, can't find another one because he's 1. Lazy and 2. retirement age.  So they start raiding what little retirement accounts he had to hold onto the interest only mortgage house.  Stepmom sees he can't afford her anymore, divorces him and takes half of the remaining assets. 

FIL ends up in an extended stay hotel, racking up six figures in credit card debt, gets injured, and because he doesn't have a woman doing things for him for the first time in his life, is living in his own filth.

Cue in DHs shithole siblings telling DH he needs to "save his fathers life" and I now have a 71 year old man child living in the guest room.  He does nothing all day, is racist and sexist, is fighting us tooth and nail on paying back his credit cards (I said bankrupt them and he won't) owes us 15k (which we won't see) and refuses to act like an adult so we've had to deal with things like hauling him to the ER because he dehydrated himself by drinking nothing but beer and eating salty junk food (I don't buy it, he mail orders it and is hiding it in the house).  Oh, and yesterday he shit himself because he had gastric bypass, and ate a ton of fatty food, which he KNOWS upsets his stomach due to the fat malabsorption from the surgery.  And no it wasn't a little "don't trust this fart" one, it was a throw out all your clothes in sealed bag outside one. 

And yes, we've forced him to the doctor about this and they ran every test known to man on him, they said it's a result of the bypass and he just needs to stop eating shit food and drinking beer.  And he won't.

We also found out this week that WE are his retirement plan, he wants to follow us around until the day he dies.  We told him one year when he moved in.  So there was a coming to jesus moment where DH laid down the law this weekend.  I think it went in one ear and out the other.

mbl

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I have a friend who is a 55 year old woman.  She makes around $130k, is married and has 3 adult children, 25, 28 and 30.   25 and 30 still live at home, with no intention of moving out.  One has a low paying job and spends all his money on alcohol and travel with his buddies, the other just lies around the house all day. Hubby was a stay at home dad, so he has never worked since first child was born.  They have a large home in a nice neighborhood that is literally crumbling around them from neglect (despite hubby's 100% free time for at least the past 10 years), yet they spend money lavishly on trips, restaurant meals, clothes, salon services, and enough groceries to feed five families.   The house is jam-packed full of every kind of unnecessary stuff imaginable.  Their kitchen has multiples of every gadget ever made.   She is so very tired of working, but it's all on her and none of them seem to care that she'll be grinding it out until she is a very old woman.   She seems to accept it, thinking there is no other way unless you strike it rich by inheritance or lottery win.   I almost dread the day she finds out we we have quit our jobs and retired early.  She doesn't know of our plans, as she works with my husband and we want to keep it quiet until he's ready to give his notice.

I wonder what her reaction will be when she learns you FIREd. Disbelief, rationalization, blaming it on luck, etc. Anybody has stories about reactions of "consumer" co-workers to your early retirement?

Or, perhaps it really doesn't mean a whole lot?  I suspect that she's more focused on her own life than someone elses.

Sibley

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My FIL:

Married DHs mom, who had a wealthy family, worked as a lawyer, got a taste of the finer things in life, thought he was entitled to all of it, including entitled to his secretary.  Got divorced, tried to go after the mothers family for "support" since they were paying moms salary during divorce.  Stress of it all literally killed DHs mom.  FIL gets engaged to the secretary, who turns out to be crazy pants, so he splits when he finds woman number 3 DHs step mom, who is 20 years younger.

Married 20 years, him making 300k plus most of the time.  Lived in multi million dollar interest only mortgage homes in CA.  Her two kids had to have the BEST of everything, private schools, cars, Ivy League colleges etc.  She of course never worked.  FIL looses his job in the recession, can't find another one because he's 1. Lazy and 2. retirement age.  So they start raiding what little retirement accounts he had to hold onto the interest only mortgage house.  Stepmom sees he can't afford her anymore, divorces him and takes half of the remaining assets. 

FIL ends up in an extended stay hotel, racking up six figures in credit card debt, gets injured, and because he doesn't have a woman doing things for him for the first time in his life, is living in his own filth.

Cue in DHs shithole siblings telling DH he needs to "save his fathers life" and I now have a 71 year old man child living in the guest room.  He does nothing all day, is racist and sexist, is fighting us tooth and nail on paying back his credit cards (I said bankrupt them and he won't) owes us 15k (which we won't see) and refuses to act like an adult so we've had to deal with things like hauling him to the ER because he dehydrated himself by drinking nothing but beer and eating salty junk food (I don't buy it, he mail orders it and is hiding it in the house).  Oh, and yesterday he shit himself because he had gastric bypass, and ate a ton of fatty food, which he KNOWS upsets his stomach due to the fat malabsorption from the surgery.  And no it wasn't a little "don't trust this fart" one, it was a throw out all your clothes in sealed bag outside one. 

And yes, we've forced him to the doctor about this and they ran every test known to man on him, they said it's a result of the bypass and he just needs to stop eating shit food and drinking beer.  And he won't.

We also found out this week that WE are his retirement plan, he wants to follow us around until the day he dies.  We told him one year when he moved in.  So there was a coming to jesus moment where DH laid down the law this weekend.  I think it went in one ear and out the other.

Oh dear. The only thing I can do is suggest you and @TheGrimSqueaker commiserate. Different situations, similar emotions. Plus TGS tends to have amazing insight and might actually have some useful suggestions.

progman2000

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My FIL:

Married DHs mom, who had a wealthy family, worked as a lawyer, got a taste of the finer things in life, thought he was entitled to all of it, including entitled to his secretary.  Got divorced, tried to go after the mothers family for "support" since they were paying moms salary during divorce.  Stress of it all literally killed DHs mom.  FIL gets engaged to the secretary, who turns out to be crazy pants, so he splits when he finds woman number 3 DHs step mom, who is 20 years younger.

Married 20 years, him making 300k plus most of the time.  Lived in multi million dollar interest only mortgage homes in CA.  Her two kids had to have the BEST of everything, private schools, cars, Ivy League colleges etc.  She of course never worked.  FIL looses his job in the recession, can't find another one because he's 1. Lazy and 2. retirement age.  So they start raiding what little retirement accounts he had to hold onto the interest only mortgage house.  Stepmom sees he can't afford her anymore, divorces him and takes half of the remaining assets. 

FIL ends up in an extended stay hotel, racking up six figures in credit card debt, gets injured, and because he doesn't have a woman doing things for him for the first time in his life, is living in his own filth.

Cue in DHs shithole siblings telling DH he needs to "save his fathers life" and I now have a 71 year old man child living in the guest room.  He does nothing all day, is racist and sexist, is fighting us tooth and nail on paying back his credit cards (I said bankrupt them and he won't) owes us 15k (which we won't see) and refuses to act like an adult so we've had to deal with things like hauling him to the ER because he dehydrated himself by drinking nothing but beer and eating salty junk food (I don't buy it, he mail orders it and is hiding it in the house).  Oh, and yesterday he shit himself because he had gastric bypass, and ate a ton of fatty food, which he KNOWS upsets his stomach due to the fat malabsorption from the surgery.  And no it wasn't a little "don't trust this fart" one, it was a throw out all your clothes in sealed bag outside one. 

And yes, we've forced him to the doctor about this and they ran every test known to man on him, they said it's a result of the bypass and he just needs to stop eating shit food and drinking beer.  And he won't.

We also found out this week that WE are his retirement plan, he wants to follow us around until the day he dies.  We told him one year when he moved in.  So there was a coming to jesus moment where DH laid down the law this weekend.  I think it went in one ear and out the other.
Congratulations, I think you win the thread.

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merula

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Wow, these stories make my contribution look positively happy.

Coworker, 65. Married a woman 10+ years younger and kids are 16 and 18. Wife has always been a SAHM and has major medical issues. She can't move around their suburban McMansion by herself, can't drive even though they live in the exurbs. Kids have their hearts set on very expensive private colleges for dance and music, respectively. He's going to pay for all of that on his ~$100k salary,

He's been in his job forever, but hasn't bothered to learn anything in 15 years, and the job has evolved. He thinks of himself as a top performer (legend in his own mind), but he's barely meeting expectations and his lack of raises/bonuses is evidence of that. (He's vocal about that; his assumption is that if he's not getting raises or bonuses, then obviously the women in his office couldn't possibly be so he has no compunction about sharing.) He's lucky this is a solid, stable company that almost never fires anyone.

Two years ago, because it was obvious that the stock market was on the verge of a crash, he took his $400,000 total retirement savings and put it into "cash". He's waiting for the inevitable crash to get back in. I'm hopeful that when he said "cash" he meant "the money market fund option" and not that he pulled it all out of our very generous 401k plan and is literally hiding it under a mattress.

Maybe I should send him to the "Top Is In" thread?

Cassie

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Mishmash, put him on a waiting list for low income seniors housing. They take a third of his income for rent. Go to your local social services aging department and get him a social worker who will know what other things he will qualify for and assistance obtaining those. I was a social worker for awhile. Your aging department will either be run by the state or county.  For your mental health you need him gone.

kelvin

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I worked for a while at a factory.

Lots of refugees, lots of immigrants (to Canada). All hard working, honest people who believe in a good education, and in supporting family. Some of them are illiterate, some of them have university degrees from overseas that are worthless here. Many of them have family that were scattered to different parts of the world after a war back home.

They were so kind to me. Very supportive. When working a crappy min wage job, sometimes the older employees there don't like to hear about how your schooling is going because it makes them feel bitter that they didn't graduate. These people would ask me if I finished my homework before I started my shift, would ask me what I was learning in class, would help me practice my presentations on the shop floor before I went to class the next day.

A lot of them bought lottery tickets. What else do you do, when you're in your 50s and living below the poverty line? Most of them have no savings whatsoever. They all had kids when they were back home and living a middle-class or upper-class lifestyle, and they can't afford their kids now that they're in Canada. It makes me ashamed of my country and the way we treat poor people.

At least they have health care, I guess.

MishMash

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Mishmash, put him on a waiting list for low income seniors housing. They take a third of his income for rent. Go to your local social services aging department and get him a social worker who will know what other things he will qualify for and assistance obtaining those. I was a social worker for awhile. Your aging department will either be run by the state or county.  For your mental health you need him gone.

I did this, because he was such a high earner for so long, his social security is higher (2400) then the max end for subsidized housing and services in our county. 

We got into it with DHs sister yesterday who had the audacity to say we were "being to harsh" on him and that 'he's fragile'.  I told her she is more then welcome to take him if she thinks he's that fragile and doesn't like how we handle things.  She about flipped her mind screaming that she can't take care of him because she has kids and he's not a good role model etc.  And that she thinks it's medical and we need to take better care of him etc.  PS already talked to about 6 doctors about that very subject, his meds are on point, he's just lazy.

Then we called ex stepmom to confirm that this was consistent behavior, and her response was Wait, you got him to ACTUALLY do something, that's like literally a miracle.  Whenever I tried he'd just get up in my face and scream at me until I cried. I said, oh, he does that to me too, I laugh in his face though and then don't relent until he does the task at hand.  It's literally a battle of wills all day, every day.

babybug

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Mishmash, put him on a waiting list for low income seniors housing. They take a third of his income for rent. Go to your local social services aging department and get him a social worker who will know what other things he will qualify for and assistance obtaining those. I was a social worker for awhile. Your aging department will either be run by the state or county.  For your mental health you need him gone.

I did this, because he was such a high earner for so long, his social security is higher (2400) then the max end for subsidized housing and services in our county. 

We got into it with DHs sister yesterday who had the audacity to say we were "being to harsh" on him and that 'he's fragile'.  I told her she is more then welcome to take him if she thinks he's that fragile and doesn't like how we handle things.  She about flipped her mind screaming that she can't take care of him because she has kids and he's not a good role model etc.  And that she thinks it's medical and we need to take better care of him etc.  PS already talked to about 6 doctors about that very subject, his meds are on point, he's just lazy.

Then we called ex stepmom to confirm that this was consistent behavior, and her response was Wait, you got him to ACTUALLY do something, that's like literally a miracle.  Whenever I tried he'd just get up in my face and scream at me until I cried. I said, oh, he does that to me too, I laugh in his face though and then don't relent until he does the task at hand.  It's literally a battle of wills all day, every day.
Wait, he has SS income? Make him sign over his check and give him a $100/week allowance or else throw his butt out

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MishMash

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Mishmash, put him on a waiting list for low income seniors housing. They take a third of his income for rent. Go to your local social services aging department and get him a social worker who will know what other things he will qualify for and assistance obtaining those. I was a social worker for awhile. Your aging department will either be run by the state or county.  For your mental health you need him gone.

I did this, because he was such a high earner for so long, his social security is higher (2400) then the max end for subsidized housing and services in our county. 

We got into it with DHs sister yesterday who had the audacity to say we were "being to harsh" on him and that 'he's fragile'.  I told her she is more then welcome to take him if she thinks he's that fragile and doesn't like how we handle things.  She about flipped her mind screaming that she can't take care of him because she has kids and he's not a good role model etc.  And that she thinks it's medical and we need to take better care of him etc.  PS already talked to about 6 doctors about that very subject, his meds are on point, he's just lazy.

Then we called ex stepmom to confirm that this was consistent behavior, and her response was Wait, you got him to ACTUALLY do something, that's like literally a miracle.  Whenever I tried he'd just get up in my face and scream at me until I cried. I said, oh, he does that to me too, I laugh in his face though and then don't relent until he does the task at hand.  It's literally a battle of wills all day, every day.
Wait, he has SS income? Make him sign over his check and give him a $100/week allowance or else throw his butt out

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Yes he does, and he's supposed to be using it to pay off his debt and pay us rent.  Neither of which he actually does.  And if he DOES pay us rent then we can't simply kick him out, he will be a tenant protected by those laws.  So at this stage, where we ARE on the verge of kicking his ass to the curb and writing him off, I don't want him paying us so that we can skirt the tenant laws.  He's a very litigious man.

Sibley

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Mishmash, put him on a waiting list for low income seniors housing. They take a third of his income for rent. Go to your local social services aging department and get him a social worker who will know what other things he will qualify for and assistance obtaining those. I was a social worker for awhile. Your aging department will either be run by the state or county.  For your mental health you need him gone.

I did this, because he was such a high earner for so long, his social security is higher (2400) then the max end for subsidized housing and services in our county. 

We got into it with DHs sister yesterday who had the audacity to say we were "being to harsh" on him and that 'he's fragile'.  I told her she is more then welcome to take him if she thinks he's that fragile and doesn't like how we handle things.  She about flipped her mind screaming that she can't take care of him because she has kids and he's not a good role model etc.  And that she thinks it's medical and we need to take better care of him etc.  PS already talked to about 6 doctors about that very subject, his meds are on point, he's just lazy.

Then we called ex stepmom to confirm that this was consistent behavior, and her response was Wait, you got him to ACTUALLY do something, that's like literally a miracle.  Whenever I tried he'd just get up in my face and scream at me until I cried. I said, oh, he does that to me too, I laugh in his face though and then don't relent until he does the task at hand.  It's literally a battle of wills all day, every day.
Wait, he has SS income? Make him sign over his check and give him a $100/week allowance or else throw his butt out

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Yes he does, and he's supposed to be using it to pay off his debt and pay us rent.  Neither of which he actually does.  And if he DOES pay us rent then we can't simply kick him out, he will be a tenant protected by those laws.  So at this stage, where we ARE on the verge of kicking his ass to the curb and writing him off, I don't want him paying us so that we can skirt the tenant laws.  He's a very litigious man.

Everyone gets all bent out of shape when natural consequences kick in and it happens to be making someone unhappy. Kick him out with a clear conscience. He's got income, he won't starve. Maybe he'll learn to be a little more pleasant.

Rosy

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He can retire just fine on $2400 SS. I know plenty of people who'd kill for that amount on a monthly basis - luxe living:)
That also means he has medicare - so he is in decent shape.

Difficult situation, but given the circumstances, I'd say it is time for him to leave.

MishMash

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He can retire just fine on $2400 SS. I know plenty of people who'd kill for that amount on a monthly basis - luxe living:)
That also means he has medicare - so he is in decent shape.

Difficult situation, but given the circumstances, I'd say it is time for him to leave.

I agree he could retire on his own if it weren't for his damn shopping habits.   He's a see something I want so I buy it kind of guy.  And while it's gotten better since he moved in, it's still a whole level of bullshit.

Larsg

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Know a lady who is 73.  She must work jobs like cleaning or receptionist to get by.  Her son is helping her pay for her expenses.  She gets minimal Social Security.  No escape for her and she worries what happens if she can't work.  One step away from homeless.

Almost the same lady in my hood...74, Husband died of Cancer and they had no savings (medical bills, etc.). They bough  their retirement home with a mortgage prior to his diagnosis in 2007. Market Crashed, he died, she lost the house, was homeless living in a tent. Now lives in a trailer park with a friend and has to work 6-7 days per week in a retail shop just to get by/cover he monthly prescriptions (Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, COPD). Hardly any help from her kids and neither kid is self sustaining enough to support the mother. Just tragic.

babybug

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MishMash,
He's gonna ruin your marriage.

Think aggressive brain tumor ...radical excision (him and all his apologists) or it kills you.

Move abroad if you have to. I mean it.

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MishMash

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MishMash,
He's gonna ruin your marriage.

Think aggressive brain tumor ...radical excision (him and all his apologists) or it kills you.

Move abroad if you have to. I mean it.

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My husband put in for a PCS move and we told him he has to be out by the time we move or be homeless.  And abroad was his number 2 request on the list.  I'd been saying for a while we wouldn't be able to get rid of him unless we moved and DH finally saw it.  He's finally gotten to the point that I've seen for a while, his entire family is fucking parasitic and each member of it only gives a fuck about themselves.  OCD and narcissism run DEEP in that family so he's ready to write them all off after this weekend.

Step37

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MishMash,
He's gonna ruin your marriage.

Think aggressive brain tumor ...radical excision (him and all his apologists) or it kills you.

Move abroad if you have to. I mean it.

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My husband put in for a PCS move and we told him he has to be out by the time we move or be homeless.  And abroad was his number 2 request on the list.  I'd been saying for a while we wouldn't be able to get rid of him unless we moved and DH finally saw it.  He's finally gotten to the point that I've seen for a while, his entire family is fucking parasitic and each member of it only gives a fuck about themselves.  OCD and narcissism run DEEP in that family so he's ready to write them all off after this weekend.

Oh, thank goodness. Iíve been feeling sick for you while reading these updates. Good riddance, parasite(s). The sooner the better.

Chrissy

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Yep, time for some scorched earth.

mm1970

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MishMash,
He's gonna ruin your marriage.

Think aggressive brain tumor ...radical excision (him and all his apologists) or it kills you.

Move abroad if you have to. I mean it.

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My husband put in for a PCS move and we told him he has to be out by the time we move or be homeless.  And abroad was his number 2 request on the list.  I'd been saying for a while we wouldn't be able to get rid of him unless we moved and DH finally saw it.  He's finally gotten to the point that I've seen for a while, his entire family is fucking parasitic and each member of it only gives a fuck about themselves.  OCD and narcissism run DEEP in that family so he's ready to write them all off after this weekend.
Holy camoly, I hope you get the abroad PCS and get the fuck out.

golden1

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There is a man at my work, super nice guy, who was in his 50ís and set to retire early in a years time.  His wife had a stroke, lost her job (about equal in pay to his) and he had to take a year off to help her rehab.  She was never able to go back to work, so he has to work, probably until he is in his 70ís.

Sometimes, life is really shitty.

babybug

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My ex coworker /friend is 75. ... 6 years ago he lost employment after taking a 2 year mba to start afresh.  Before that he had lost his business and $11- million in house& cash from divorce, IRS problem and embezzlement by his office manager.

So, he luckily got contract work for 2012-16 making >300k a yr. He has saved about 350 k in SEP-IRA.

But since last year can't work, he got into a battle with his boss, spent over 100k legal fees, used up all non-IRA savings, now he's totally broke, maxed out.

Only has the SEP-IRA - $50k of it is in marijuana stock which  will make him millions soon.

Just revealed he's never filed or paid 2016 taxes. His townhome lien had just been released by IRS with a 5- yr probation aaargh.

He believes he'll start a new successful career, buy his dream house etc. He won't sell his 3 or 4 classic cars in a paid storage and his garage for >15 yrs coz he can't get anyone to pay the 100s of k they're worth.

He just can't live on his $3k/month SS, the idea is nuts. The term 'retirement' is like death, it causes a violent reaction of rage and fear.  Luckily? no children.

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Imustacheyouaquestion

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Coworker 1 - late 50s, still paying student loans for her graduate degree and inherited credit card debt from her ex-husband, who was never gainfully employed during their marriage. Putting two kids through college. Could not pay her mortgage on time when payroll delayed our biweekly checks by a couple days at the end of 2017.

Coworker 2 - early 60s, sending money to support one grown child and has another grandchild living with her part time. Says she will never retire because she emptied her 401k to send a daughter to a private college. The daughter now makes more than her but is not going to repay her for college costs. 

Coworker 3 - 40s but the story is the parents. They bought a house and are renting to one set of parents who can't afford to buy. The other set of parents just moved back in with them, necessitating buying a larger house.  The father retired with a pension but squandered it on bad investments so they're looking for part-time work again in their 70s.

Coworker 4 - 70s, said he's "too broke to worry about identity theft because he has nothing left to steal."

I have a family member who is 60 and has never held a real job for any length of time. He subsists off checks from his 90 year old mother. I'm not sure if he has 40 working quarters to qualify for SS. I think he will probably squander what's left of the estate he inherits and then end up homeless when she dies.

auntie_betty

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When my marriage broke up 21 years ago my best friend and I were in a similar financial position - i.e. poor. Both worked our way up and got good, well-paid jobs. I met OH, we knuckled own and saved and retired at 54 and 53. She consecutively met a couple of man childs (think - taking to their bed and not leaving for days until they got their own way, which usually meant another car loan). Married one of them. Moved to opposite ends of the country as they were jealous of her adult children. 10 years later she's till paying off one loan, no house and a car with 200,000 miles. Changed jobs so many times she lost her good positions and has no retirement savings except a max of around £15,000 which is in lots of small pots.

Over the years her health has deteriorated, not helped by an accident at work she wouldn't sue over. Doing a manual job which she isn't fit to do and can't/won't say no when they ask her to do extra hours at short notice. State retirement is at least 12 years away. Living with (at last) a lovely man but he too has very little pension to come and is also doing a manual job which is taking its toll. They are living in a very high COL but lucky to have  rent controlled place - but likely to have to move in the next few years due to redevelopment.

And they spent their 20k+ savings on buying a caravan a few years ago so they could get away for breaks. Except their boss (same man) doesn't let them have two consecutive days off, and when they do get there they often get called back. The site fees are 4k+ a year. Don't want to sell as 'can't afford to lose money on it' but can't accept they are losing 4k a year already. Plus getting endless stress from wanting to get down there and not being able.

I find it endlessly frustrating but am powerless to help :(

WranglerBowman

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There's a woman at work who has to be in her upper 60's and I overheard her complaining to her boss how bad she needs a raise cause she can no longer afford the minimum payment(s) on multiple credit cards...  Guess there was never a plan to ever payoff credit card debt?!

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What I mean here is that someone whose situation is that he can't possibly think about early retiring.

I'll start.  I knew a guy (early 30's at the time) who had 4 young children at the time, all from a fairly high-maintenance wife (stay-at-home at the time), who had just rolled all his savings into his McMansion in California's Imperial Valley (I think it was Moreno Valley) in early 2007, and still with about $50K of student debt (instead of paying that down, he had built up his savings to buy a $550K home in what had been "the hottest real estate market around".  He said that he absolutely could not lose his job (aerospace engineer), so he made sure to be the hardest working, boss-supplicating corporate peon at work - and totally miserable - so that he would be at the bottom of any layoff list.  He said that he could see 20 years in the future as when he could start to "sock away retirement cash".

my mother in law.  Her husband cheated on her, divorced her, and stuck her with a bunch of debt (so i am told) when she was a young mother of 2.  she put herself through law school (more debt) to get a job working for local government offices (not a lot of $$) and put her kids in very expensive NY private schools ("only the best" syndrome) and helped pay for their $50K/year college tuition even though she was still saddled with debt.

she's in her low/mid 60s now and i don't think she'll retire anytime soon.  so many unfortunate circumstances (some avoidable, some not).

i would argue that she failed to put her own oxygen mask on first (pay off her own debt) before spending on private schools but she's my MIL so mum's the word. unless it's on an anonymous interweb forum.

Cassie

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Maybe the kids could pay her back what she spent on their college to help her out.  You are right that she did make some bad choices in addition to bad luck.

Rosy

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There's a woman at work who has to be in her upper 60's and I overheard her complaining to her boss how bad she needs a raise cause she can no longer afford the minimum payment(s) on multiple credit cards...  Guess there was never a plan to ever payoff credit card debt?!

THAT ^^^ contribution wins the prize - for I know not what:)

marty998

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There's a woman at work who has to be in her upper 60's and I overheard her complaining to her boss how bad she needs a raise cause she can no longer afford the minimum payment(s) on multiple credit cards...  Guess there was never a plan to ever payoff credit card debt?!

THAT ^^^ contribution wins the prize - for I know not what:)

After 40 working years you would think she understands how the labor market works....

Hula Hoop

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What I mean here is that someone whose situation is that he can't possibly think about early retiring.

I'll start.  I knew a guy (early 30's at the time) who had 4 young children at the time, all from a fairly high-maintenance wife (stay-at-home at the time), who had just rolled all his savings into his McMansion in California's Imperial Valley (I think it was Moreno Valley) in early 2007, and still with about $50K of student debt (instead of paying that down, he had built up his savings to buy a $550K home in what had been "the hottest real estate market around".  He said that he absolutely could not lose his job (aerospace engineer), so he made sure to be the hardest working, boss-supplicating corporate peon at work - and totally miserable - so that he would be at the bottom of any layoff list.  He said that he could see 20 years in the future as when he could start to "sock away retirement cash".

my mother in law.  Her husband cheated on her, divorced her, and stuck her with a bunch of debt (so i am told) when she was a young mother of 2.  she put herself through law school (more debt) to get a job working for local government offices (not a lot of $$) and put her kids in very expensive NY private schools ("only the best" syndrome) and helped pay for their $50K/year college tuition even though she was still saddled with debt.

she's in her low/mid 60s now and i don't think she'll retire anytime soon.  so many unfortunate circumstances (some avoidable, some not).

i would argue that she failed to put her own oxygen mask on first (pay off her own debt) before spending on private schools but she's my MIL so mum's the word. unless it's on an anonymous interweb forum.

I guess I'm just your typical Mustachian but as a product myself of NY public schools, I never got the attraction of sending your kids to crazy expensive private schools - unless you're incredibly wealthy I guess.  I just don't get it. 

swampwiz

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My ex coworker /friend is 75. ... 6 years ago he lost employment after taking a 2 year mba to start afresh.
What age was he when he finished his MBA?  I ha been considering getting yet another master's, this time in business analytics / data science, but I wonder how marketable I would be after a 10+ year retirement and being eligible for AARP.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 12:07:56 PM by swampwiz »

MsPeacock

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What I mean here is that someone whose situation is that he can't possibly think about early retiring.

I'll start.  I knew a guy (early 30's at the time) who had 4 young children at the time, all from a fairly high-maintenance wife (stay-at-home at the time), who had just rolled all his savings into his McMansion in California's Imperial Valley (I think it was Moreno Valley) in early 2007, and still with about $50K of student debt (instead of paying that down, he had built up his savings to buy a $550K home in what had been "the hottest real estate market around".  He said that he absolutely could not lose his job (aerospace engineer), so he made sure to be the hardest working, boss-supplicating corporate peon at work - and totally miserable - so that he would be at the bottom of any layoff list.  He said that he could see 20 years in the future as when he could start to "sock away retirement cash".

my mother in law.  Her husband cheated on her, divorced her, and stuck her with a bunch of debt (so i am told) when she was a young mother of 2.  she put herself through law school (more debt) to get a job working for local government offices (not a lot of $$) and put her kids in very expensive NY private schools ("only the best" syndrome) and helped pay for their $50K/year college tuition even though she was still saddled with debt.

she's in her low/mid 60s now and i don't think she'll retire anytime soon.  so many unfortunate circumstances (some avoidable, some not).

i would argue that she failed to put her own oxygen mask on first (pay off her own debt) before spending on private schools but she's my MIL so mum's the word. unless it's on an anonymous interweb forum.

Friends in their 50s  - borrowed out of their retirement savings in order to fund private school and expensive summer camps for their kids. As in private elementary school and "I don't know how we are going to pay for college. They might have to go *to a state university* (gasp!)."   They aren't retirement age yet, but I foresee problems.

Capsu78

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Met an American down in South America.  We hit it off during a tour group and started discussing retirement. I'm "pretired" I tell him as my wife still works blah, blah.  Give him a non specific rundown of how we plan to fund retirement, I mention a smallish pension.  He says "You a lucky.  I was an international cargo pilot for most of my career, but I made a mistake by always working 1099 instead of for one of the big international shippers who offered a pension.  I'm 72 and my money runs out by the time I hit 74".  His "strike" count- First wife divorced him and took half.  He ends up marrying a Filipeno gal, and earns his second strike when they divorce.  (He said she had 4 sisters who all married Americans, and all got divorced!  "I should have seen that coming!") 
The day we met, he was driving down to Chile from Seattle where a former co worker said "If you can get here, you will have a job"... unfortunately, his odd model, 12 year old GM car lost its transmission in the mountains, stranding him at night on the side of a very dangerous mountain pass.  He had been stranded close to a month in the SA country searching for a mechanic that could first find the parts, then repair his "odd" model car that was no longer in existence for close to a decade.
Bottom line- he had short and long term issues he was dealing with.  Joining this tour group was his once a month splurge to keep his sanity.  He was very smart, had amazing stories, spoke 6 languages, had piloted a specific large aircraft through almost every international airport in the world...and now he was stuck in SA waiting for his car to get repaired. He felt bad when I offered to pick up a $2 beer for him. 

frugalecon

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Met an American down in South America.  We hit it off during a tour group and started discussing retirement. I'm "pretired" I tell him as my wife still works blah, blah.  Give him a non specific rundown of how we plan to fund retirement, I mention a smallish pension.  He says "You a lucky.  I was an international cargo pilot for most of my career, but I made a mistake by always working 1099 instead of for one of the big international shippers who offered a pension.  I'm 72 and my money runs out by the time I hit 74".  His "strike" count- First wife divorced him and took half.  He ends up marrying a Filipeno gal, and earns his second strike when they divorce.  (He said she had 4 sisters who all married Americans, and all got divorced!  "I should have seen that coming!") 
The day we met, he was driving down to Chile from Seattle where a former co worker said "If you can get here, you will have a job"... unfortunately, his odd model, 12 year old GM car lost its transmission in the mountains, stranding him at night on the side of a very dangerous mountain pass.  He had been stranded close to a month in the SA country searching for a mechanic that could first find the parts, then repair his "odd" model car that was no longer in existence for close to a decade.
Bottom line- he had short and long term issues he was dealing with.  Joining this tour group was his once a month splurge to keep his sanity.  He was very smart, had amazing stories, spoke 6 languages, had piloted a specific large aircraft through almost every international airport in the world...and now he was stuck in SA waiting for his car to get repaired. He felt bad when I offered to pick up a $2 beer for him.

What possible salvage value could his car have? Seems like it would have made more sense to scrape his money together just to get to Chile, if he could indeed work there.

A lot of stories about people in dire straits in their senior years seem to involve people who have difficulty rationally (and dispassionately)  evaluating situations.

Hula Hoop

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Met an American down in South America.  We hit it off during a tour group and started discussing retirement. I'm "pretired" I tell him as my wife still works blah, blah.  Give him a non specific rundown of how we plan to fund retirement, I mention a smallish pension.  He says "You a lucky.  I was an international cargo pilot for most of my career, but I made a mistake by always working 1099 instead of for one of the big international shippers who offered a pension.  I'm 72 and my money runs out by the time I hit 74".  His "strike" count- First wife divorced him and took half.  He ends up marrying a Filipeno gal, and earns his second strike when they divorce.  (He said she had 4 sisters who all married Americans, and all got divorced!  "I should have seen that coming!") 
The day we met, he was driving down to Chile from Seattle where a former co worker said "If you can get here, you will have a job"... unfortunately, his odd model, 12 year old GM car lost its transmission in the mountains, stranding him at night on the side of a very dangerous mountain pass.  He had been stranded close to a month in the SA country searching for a mechanic that could first find the parts, then repair his "odd" model car that was no longer in existence for close to a decade.
Bottom line- he had short and long term issues he was dealing with.  Joining this tour group was his once a month splurge to keep his sanity.  He was very smart, had amazing stories, spoke 6 languages, had piloted a specific large aircraft through almost every international airport in the world...and now he was stuck in SA waiting for his car to get repaired. He felt bad when I offered to pick up a $2 beer for him.

What possible salvage value could his car have? Seems like it would have made more sense to scrape his money together just to get to Chile, if he could indeed work there.

A lot of stories about people in dire straits in their senior years seem to involve people who have difficulty rationally (and dispassionately)  evaluating situations.

Wouldn't it make more sense just to scrap the car and fly (or take the bus) to Chile?  I travelled in SA about 15 years ago but I remember air fares being cheap and bus fares even cheaper.

Capsu78

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I didn't do a deep dive on his thought process, as we were really just a couple of strangers chatting,  but I think his issue was the vehicle had all of his "stuff" in it, plus he still needed a vehicle when he arrived.  As I mentioned,  the guy was very sharp and well aged... I had no idea he was that old until he told me. 

kelvin

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Just had the most frustrating conversation with a friend of mine, B.

B works a crappy job for a stable, but crappy, employer. He makes a bit above min wage, has absolutely no prospects going forward, no hope of a promotion or salary raise, even if he leaves the company to do the same job elsewhere.

He almost didn't get his high school, and refuses to go back to school. I think he just plain hates working with authority figures, and a major reason his current job sits well with him is that he's very isolated from his co-workers/bosses. He gets his work done, nothing blows up, everyone's happy.

His sister has managed to get herself fired from every position she's ever worked, and blames the employers/the economy for the fact that she's out of work.

His mother is also chronically unemployed. She's a much nicer, less confrontational person than the sister, so I'm not sure what the issue is there, but she left on bad terms with all her employers and has been out of work for years. 

B moved into his current townhouse with his sister and a roommate. Roommate moved out. Sister never paid her share of the rent, sponged off some friends for a bit, and is currently living with the grandparents. B's mother moved into the townhouse. B is now paying for a townhouse on his own - I'm pretty sure the monthly rent is ~$100 cheaper than his monthly take-home. He managed to convince the landlord to lower rent prices for a year while he searched for a new roommate. Min wage in my town went up and he made a little more money. That year of grace period is probably over by now.

I gather that the mother was on social assistance for a bit, that assistance has since been revoked. I'm not well-read on what the rules are for social assistance in my town, I gather that there's not enough money, and unless there's a child involved, cheques will stop coming after a month or two. To get more cheques, you have to pay back the first few. It works more as an interest-free-loan-of-indeterminate-amount and less as a supplement to income/rent.

B and his mother both have a plethora of "allergies" and other health issues which means no one will ever live with them. Min wage raise is going to be repealed since the right-wing politician won the election. B applied to live in a 2bdrm apartment near work, but he doesn't have cash on hand for first + last and probably went to the landlord with a sob story about how he's so poor. The landlord leased the apartment to someone else.

B is now talking about how he "didn't get the apartment, so won't be moving for a while" which he's happy about, because he doesn't actually want to move. I really don't like his attitude. There are other 2 bdrm apartments in the area, even 1 bdrm apartments. If you can't afford to support your mother, you can't afford to support your mother. Heck, when I was making his money, I was living in an illegal room in someone's basement. B is also one of those people who will complain and moan about any overtime that comes his way. He's living below the poverty line, he can't afford to say no to OT right now.

His main plan for the future seems to be to work forever at this crappy job and moan forever about how he can't afford anything. He doesn't adapt well to change, and isn't initiating any changes of his own. I really don't understand, and have no idea how to help him. I suspect anything I say to nudge him in the right direction would just be countermanded by his mother, who lives with him and whom he respects and thinks well of.

I think I'm going to phase out of this guy's life. It's sad, but I don't know what else to do. 

SunnyDays

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@kelvin, it sounds like the mother was on a type of municipal assistance if that's the way it worked.  We used to have this sort of thing here and it was just meant as a stop-gap measure until one could apply for provincial assistance.  So you could suggest to your friend that she do that.  If she's been out of work for years, what has she been living on?  Her son?  You could hand him some job listings for things that he might qualify for, but like they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you you can't make it drink.

John Galt incarnate!

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I knew a man who had no education beyond  high school.

He worked at different blue-collar jobs until he was about 40 at which time his mother died.


When her estate was settled he inherited her home in California's Silicon Valley.

He sold the home for $1.4 million.

Within ~ 2 years of the sale  he spent all of the $1.4 million.

He cannot retire because has no  $ saved and his only source of retirement $ will be Social Security retirement benefits.

The last I heard of him he was working at a trash recycling facility sorting incoming trash on a conveyor belt.

I cannot think of sorrier tale of a wasted, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to FIRE.


kelvin

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@SunnyDays They won't discuss the details about what happened last time she was on municipal/provincial assistance. I know she's been living off her family for years, and refuses to apply for assistance again because she knows she'll be rejected. I suspect she owes the city money at least.

I've been thinking about offering them tips on "How to appear middle-class" or something. I found when I was broke + hungry I had to appear happy + well fed when asking for jobs, applying to live somewhere, getting registered in my school courses, etc. I suspect they're letting things slip in these conversations that highlight how desperate they are at times when they need a potential employer/landlord to trust them. I'm a firm believer in "don't offer help where it's not wanted" so I'm not sure how to bring this up in casual conversation as a "take it or leave it" type thing.

(My parents offered me all kinds of "advice" that was worse than useless, was actively harmful to my struggle to get out of poverty.)

deborah

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The people I'm sorry for don't deserve their bad luck. This is the story of a woman I knew.

When I was younger, I knew a young woman whose mother was diagnosed with MS while my friend was at university. The mother went downhill rapidly, and became wheelchair bound by the time my friend was 25. Needless to say, my friend did most of the care for her mother, and so had limited opportunity to have a job - let alone a career. So she became a "temp" and worked at all sorts of places except on the days she had to do things for her mother. Her care stopped the mother from needing to be admitted to a nursing home, but the mother needed to be strapped into the wheelchair, and wheeled everywhere (she couldn't move it herself).

When she was 35, she started to have problems with the feelings in her limbs. She was diagnosed, and had MS herself. She could no longer look after her mother, who went into a nursing home, and died shortly afterward. She, herself, was soon only able to walk with calipers. She still worked, when she could. It took a further 10 years for her to be wheelchair bound. She's now dead, but she could never retire. She never had any opportunity to earn much.

Just before she was diagnosed, she met a guy, and they fell in love, but his two children completely rejected her, so they reluctantly parted. It was the only time she ever had a boyfriend. She never had much of a job, so she always lived hand to mouth. She never had anyone to look after her, the way she had looked after her mother. 

swampwiz

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I knew a man who had no education beyond  high school.

He worked at different blue-collar jobs until he was about 40 at which time his mother died.


When her estate was settled he inherited her home in California's Silicon Valley.

He sold the home for $1.4 million.

Within ~ 2 years of the sale  he spent all of the $1.4 million.

He cannot retire because has no  $ saved and his only source of retirement $ will be Social Security retirement benefits.

The last I heard of him he was working at a trash recycling facility sorting incoming trash on a conveyor belt.

I cannot think of sorrier tale of a wasted, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to FIRE.

DING, DING!  WE HAVE A WINNER!

mm1970

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I just finished reading Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century

Lot of sad stories in there of 60, 70, 80 year olds working manual labor to survive.

Raymond Reddington

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Wow, some real humdingers in here. I suppose mine isn't so great in comparison, but here it is anyway:

Coworker with 25 years on the job. Was stupid with a lot of women who saw he had a public service job, with public service healthcare and benefits. Birth control clearly wasn't used, or wasn't a priority.

Has 6 different kids with 5 different women. Guy works 6 days a week, 12-14 hour days voluntarily (he'd work seven if he was allowed to), and barely takes home $400 biweekly because he was always an overtime guy, and the judgment for child support considered that. He is quite literally a slave, since failure to pay child support can lead to his arrest, possibly even due to no fault of his own if the overtime disappears. He has gotten very close on multiple occasions, but there always seemed to be just enough OT, or just enough cash in the paycheck to paycheck checking account to cover the payments, and it hasn't had to come to that.

Anyway, the oldest, about 4 years ago, was going about 6 months away from no longer being eligible for child support payments. Guy was finally gonna get a break, and be able to start saving for his retirement since while his pension amount will be nice due to all the overtime, he's still got 5 kids with 4 different women on child support and that's going to destroy that pension in a hurry. He is in his mid 50s and still has to have roommates because of this situation, and lives in an absolute dump of a neighborhood that isn't safe. This is while pulling in 6 figures, just about every year. Meanwhile, the women were clearly living large on the dole as the child support was not being spent on the kids (a nominal amount was, but that's it), so paternal financial responsibility aside, he's working too much to be a good dad for visitation purposes, and he's not even *really* supporting his kids, only his baby mommas.

So, anyway, what does he do with the end of his self inflicted sentence finally coming up, with kids dropping off child support one at a time every few years, with 25 years on the job at age 53?

Naturally, he has a 7th kid with a 6th woman. And yet again, no, they're not married.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 10:01:43 PM by Raymond Reddington »

Miss Piggy

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Naturally, he has a 7th kid with a 6th woman. And yet again, no, they're not married.

Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I mean, kid 1, okay...mistake made. Kid 2, well, another lesson learned. Kid 3...TIME FOR A VASECTOMY!!!!!!!!!!!!

mm1970

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Naturally, he has a 7th kid with a 6th woman. And yet again, no, they're not married.

Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I mean, kid 1, okay...mistake made. Kid 2, well, another lesson learned. Kid 3...TIME FOR A VASECTOMY!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh geez

Raymond Reddington

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Naturally, he has a 7th kid with a 6th woman. And yet again, no, they're not married.

Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I mean, kid 1, okay...mistake made. Kid 2, well, another lesson learned. Kid 3...TIME FOR A VASECTOMY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yup. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 6-7 times? Well that's just the stubornness of a moron who thinks he's Superman (or Kool Aid Man) running into a wall over and over.

Hula Hoop

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Coworker with 25 years on the job. Was stupid with a lot of women who saw he had a public service job, with public service healthcare and benefits. Birth control clearly wasn't used, or wasn't a priority.

This is what gets me.  If the guy was a ferrari driving investment banker I'd kind of get it but a public service shift worker with a relatively low wage?  How do these women benefit from it?  I guess his kids get the really good public service health care?  But if they're not married to him then they get nothing.  Being the child of a single mother myself, I don't believe that they use the child support money on themselves.  That sounds like his bitching.

Also I can't imagine meeting a guy with 6 kids with 5 women and thinking "this guy is obviously a real catch."

Raymond Reddington

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Coworker with 25 years on the job. Was stupid with a lot of women who saw he had a public service job, with public service healthcare and benefits. Birth control clearly wasn't used, or wasn't a priority.

This is what gets me.  If the guy was a ferrari driving investment banker I'd kind of get it but a public service shift worker with a relatively low wage?  How do these women benefit from it?  I guess his kids get the really good public service health care?  But if they're not married to him then they get nothing.  Being the child of a single mother myself, I don't believe that they use the child support money on themselves.  That sounds like his bitching.

Also I can't imagine meeting a guy with 6 kids with 5 women and thinking "this guy is obviously a real catch."

He didn't have 25 years on the job with the first 5 women. And who said the job was low paying? Remember, I said he was over 6 figures annually (granted, not a lot in NYC, but nothing to sneeze at) when all was said and done and yet his YEARLY take home was probably around 5K (he showed me one pay stub). Re: benefits, he married two of the first five women. There are women out there like that. It's a small minority of the population, for sure, but there are some that just want to have children at all costs and don't care if the man sticks around, and just intend to get as much of a free ride out of it as they can. You find them all the time over here in NYC. They are the ones demanding a free ride on public transit from everyone that has just walked out, playing the poverty sob story (and teaching their kids to beg in this manner, which is even more inexcusable) for free necessities when they have new sneakers, new phones, and expensive toys. Needless to say, this is a small segment of the population, but these toxic people do exist, and they will literally never end up in a good financial place once the gravy train runs out since they have no marketable skills, minimal social security, major gaps in employment history, and oftentimes bad attitudes that potential employers see through almost immediately. But they're real, and they're terrifying. They're the horror stories people rail against when decrying the existence of support programs like welfare that are designed to help honest, hardworking people get back up on their feet. They pretty much ruin anything they touch. And this guy had the lack of foresight to end up with several of them (1-2 of the women were just young and immature at the time as he obviously was, and figured it out, he once admitted, but the rest? Merciless and out for themselves. I have no idea about the last one because I didn't talk to him anymore at that point, just could not handle the dumb.)

Remember, relative value is subjective. To women who grow up in the projects and drop out of high school with no real aspirations or career prospects, a guy with a government job who can pay child support IS a cash cow. It's the equivalent of buying a share of ConEd stock cuz you can't afford Amazon - there may not be much upside, but you know what you're going to get, and you know his employment will always be in demand, and thus your "dividends" will continue.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 06:52:08 AM by Raymond Reddington »

ltt

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I knew a man who had no education beyond  high school.

He worked at different blue-collar jobs until he was about 40 at which time his mother died.


When her estate was settled he inherited her home in California's Silicon Valley.

He sold the home for $1.4 million.

Within ~ 2 years of the sale  he spent all of the $1.4 million.

He cannot retire because has no  $ saved and his only source of retirement $ will be Social Security retirement benefits.

The last I heard of him he was working at a trash recycling facility sorting incoming trash on a conveyor belt.

I cannot think of sorrier tale of a wasted, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to FIRE.

DING, DING!  WE HAVE A WINNER!

I agree...just WOW!