October 09, 2007

Non-housing thread on cubicles, working fo the man, mortgages, taxes, geo-arbitrage, global living, and life happiness


The mix of HP'ers is interesting - some folks just starting out, saving for a house at the right price. Some full-time renters. Some bubble sitters who cashed out at the peak. Some IT pros making bank and saving it. Some business owners. And some consultants, authors, retirees and freelancers.

What I want is for people who've found a better way - who don't work for the man, who don't work 60 hours a week, who don't commute to work, who don't spend 70% of their income on housing and taxes, who don't spend their lives in one place, who don't stress about their next paycheck and who above all don't work in a cubicle - for these folks to tell their stories.

There is some new thinking out there when it comes to work and life and happiness.

Geo-arbitrage is one idea - downsize your life, slow it down, save, spend less money and live somewhere more desirable (thank you high-speed internet)

Living globally is another idea - globalization, technology and democracy have opened up the world, borders have come down, and it's now possible to essentially live anywhere you'd like to live in this world.

And renting - not being tied down to a home and a place, having a mobile career, and consuming your shelter versus "owning" your shelter, is probably the most radical idea, but one worth exploring.

Do you like your job? Do you like your life? Do you want more? Do you know how to get it?

Have a good chat. And a good life of course.

110 comments:

Anonymous said...

No one is happy here in the US, hence the sales of Paxil, Effexor, and others.

david in norcal said...

I like my job, but I need to keep working in a cubicle to have health insurance since I'm disabled and couldn't afford my prosthetic on my own. Luckily I like my job, but I might do something different if I could afford or purchase my health care/health insurance.

I'm a homeowner who bought in 2004 after making a killing from a property bought in 2000. I banked half the killing and put the other half into my current home which isn't bigger, but features a 20 minute commute instead of 1 hour. And thanks to the downpayment, I can ride out a significant downturn, which strangely has barely hurt prices here near San Francisco.

For what it's worth, I bought because I was getting priced out of the RENTAL market in 2000 and back then bought a 2br/2ba condo for a monthly that was less than renting it after taxes and I did it so that I could stay in the Bay Area to be near family, friends and in the community I was born and raised in. Buying for me was a defensive move an investment in living here --I could not have stayed and lived with roommates forever and would have ended up in Sacramento, Phoenix or Reno. As it is, the rental market sucks here (for renters!), it's pricey, if you get a good rate, they'll raise it the following year big time.

This is just a reality check comment post for your readers and yourself. While I bought at two peak-y times during the bubble, I am not the stereotype that is bandied about and guess what, most of the people I know who bought aren't either --just regular folks priced out or kicked out of rentals trying to keep from getting priced out of the Bay Area and stay near their parents and friends.

Anonymous said...

We slowly started adjusting our lives 6 years ago - Kids- Private school. TV - gone. 4 years ago - I started my own company - after 20 years in the business (same biz-now I'm the boss). A great decision. I am thankful for the housing situation right now -- it forced us to put together another piece of the puzzle. The mortgage, sky rocketing property taxes, the unbelieveable expense of maintaining a house near the ocean, with a harsh winter - it just eats away at you.

House sold,(Yes, Price matters) We are now looking for rentals. We both feel the weight of the world lifted off our shoulders.

Kids - getting an education. TV-gone. Job - New. House -- sold.
Life - good.

Am I missing anything? Oh, travel, we are taking the kids and going on a trip. I've always wanted to go to Ireland, then Australia.

txchic57 said...

Geo-arbitrage. I didn't know there was a term for what I want to do. I already don't work for the man and haven't for many years. My husband and I both work at home for ourselves. I trade, he's an IP lawyer with his own solo practice. We live on a quarter of what we make. It ain't glamorous though. We don't have fancy furniture or cars or clothes. We've got my old bedroom set acquired in 1984 and we've been renting since 1989 after leaving San Diego and its bubble prior to this one. I keep looking for a place in one of my desired areas, i.e., Santa Fe, Sedona, Taos, Portland, Bend, Seattle, somewhere like that. Haven't found reason in any of those places yet. Being free of traditional employment is more important to me than anything else. I think if I had to show up somewhere every day at some certain time, I'd blow my brains out. I'm a boomer/gen X cusp-er and don't plan to "retire" on house equity (I have no house and am already retired, lol).

Sixpercenter said...

Interesting topic, Keith.

I majored in finance but hated working in a cubicle so I became a Navy pilot. For 11 yrs I rented and traveled with the Navy. I then got a job flying for a major airline. That was great until 9/11.

Now that great high paying job turned into an ok low paying job.

To protect myself I got certified as a financial planner and work part time for a "fee-only" firm. We sell no products just advice.

I also continue Navy flying as a reservist.

Between the three jobs I feel no presure and believe I'm well hedged.

At 43 I've still never owned a house. Partly this was due to the Navy moving me every three yrs. Mostly, I listened to the "chicken littles" starting in 2002.

I figure in 2-3 yrs prices will be more in line with rents. Then I'll buy.

One problem with not working for the man is that you have to shoulder the risk of the business, and bring in the business. I'd just assume leave that pressure on the man.

Debt Free Renter said...

I work in technology. I changed jobs every 3 years or so in order to advance my career and get paid dramatically greater salaries with each step.

Would I have made money being a homeowner during the boom? Yes. However, I would have either been stuck with incredibly long commutes, or stuck working someplace I hated and been paid 25-30% less than I got at my next job - if I had a job at all, because technology companies tend to get bought out or disappear.

I know some people whose houses are worth more than double what they paid 8-10 years ago. They have a lot less hair than I do, and a lot of it is gray, because they've had the responsibility of making huge mortgage payments all this time. All their money is tied up in their house.

I saved the money I didn't spend on rent. I am debt free. My investments are liquid, and have done at least as well as housing over the past several years. I started my own business with a small part of my savings. I periodically spend a few weeks in a foreign country or a few days in the mountains or at the beach, because I can. If I wanted to live in Fiji I could give 30 days notice and go.

It was kind of strange watching so many engineers I knew quit to become real estate agents. I would see houses changing hands for close to $1M and wonder "How the hell can anyone afford those payments now that the tech stocks have cratered and everyone's options are underwater?" I never could quite figure it out, but I guess I know now: they couldn't. Too bad for them.

More Free time than you said...

I live off Social Services, food stamps, housing paid, free health care, I played the system, I win you lose thats how we play the game. Suckers... Don't work for the man have the man work for you.

Anonymous said...

As long as I have my beer and my TV, it's okay for Cheney and Bush to f*ck us all up the a**

Anonymous said...

I do something but It's inconvenient to lean over the couch and put some clothes on. Plus Springer is about to come on.

So I'll just stay here and collect unemployment.

Andrew said...

i work for the man, but i like my job. not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. i don't think there is anything wrong with working for someone else, except that you pay a lot in taxes. i sold my home in october 2005. this enable me to move my family across the world. my employer ($billion software company) is being acquired by a much bigger software company. if i owned my home i would be fretting about possible layoffs and relocation. however, as a renter i can just pick up and move if i need to do so. instead of being worried about the takeover, i am excited.

moving abroad was the best thing i ever did for myself, my career and my family- and selling my home was the key to it all.

bickerer said...

Read 1776 recently and a thing that struck me was that British soldiers marching thru long island couldn't believe the prosperity and abundance they saw. And that Americans were revolting under such abundance.

I had seen a reference to this somewhere once before. Americans, discontent in the face of abundance.

I'm sure this is human nature everywhere, but I have spoken to many brits and was surprised that they seem to think The sky is NOT the limit, Anything is NOT possible, We're working class FOREVER don't fight it.

I'm not that experienced abroad but I think there is a larger sense of potential here.

So you ask 'do you want more'. It's in our culture to want more, but can't say the average american whats more of the right things.

More freedom and experiences, good.
More consumer crap, bad.

keith said...

Love the "don't limit your career to a place" comment

I have a friend in Phoenix, MBA, super-intelligent, great worker, who's had a series of crap jobs for crap companies for 8 years running, because he simply won't leave Phoenix to move to a real city with real Fortune-500 head offices, or strike out on his own.

Location, Location, Location they say. And they're right.

Lose your job in Seattle you get to pick which great company you'd like to work for next.

Lose your job in Phoenix, you're looking at Taco Bell placemat ads

Anonymous said...

Sounds all fine and good if you are 25 and single...not so good when you are 37, married with a three kids.

It appears from reading this blog that the vast majority of you are in the young and single comlumn. At least single if not so young.

You get a whole different perspective when you have kids. Like for instance school district quality. I live in a house that I could buy for 20-25% less a mile away. But I would be in a district that is garbage where my kids would be bused to be more "diverse". In my district there is no diversity and that's just fine with me.

I know some will say private school. Looked into it. The cost of 3 kids's 12 years private school tuition will far outweigh an extra 25% cost on housing.

And it's easy to say oh just move every 6 months to anyhwere in the world for a job. Again, easy if you're single, insnae if you have kids. I'm not going to move my kids from school to school or worse country to country every few months so I can make a little more money. Nor am I going to live in an apartment with children. That is absurd.

All that being said I very much enjoy my life. I am a Sr. Director for a mid-sized company with 300 employees. I work fairly steady
9-5 days and my commute is 10 minutes on a good traffic day, 20 minutes on a bad day.

I own a great home that I can easily afford which we bought 5 years ago. It's a decent sized home on 1/3 on a acre in a good neighborhood but it's no McMansion. Mortgage is fixed for the next 10 years at which time the house will be paid off. I have no HOA and my property tax is $1700 a year. No I didn't leave a 0 out, $1700 a year. Say it doubles in 10 years, my total housing costs will be $3500 a year. Can any of you renters say the same?

My wife works part-time 15 hrs or so a week. This is so she can be with the kids when they come from from school at 2:00. If she ever has to she can easily double or triple her income and that is a nice security blanket to have. She could work full time now and we could get the 6000 sq ft McMansion. But her time spent with the kids after school is inifintely more valuable than impressing our friends with a monster house.

My wife and I both drive 5 year old luxury cars. We could afford to drive brand new versions but we don't. We own a boat that we use almost every weekend. We could afford a beter and faster boat but we keep what we have. And all that is paid for. Aside from the mortgage there is no debt in my household and 15% of my salary goes into 401k/IRA accounts.

I guess my point is you don't need to go to extremes to live well. You don't need to get up to your eyes in debt. But you also don't need to live like a vagabond or pauper and save every penny you make either. There is a middle ground that I have found and it works great.

txchic57 said...

Kids are the biggest drag and biggest mistake anyone can make IMO. Talk about limiting your freedom. And don't give me any BS about selfishness for not having kids. It is far more selfish to continue to populate this already oversubscribed world with more average hyperconsumers who will contribute nothing and take much.

Anonymous said...

Despite the doom and gloom you all seem to crave, the vast majority of people are happy.

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/ha
rris_poll/index.asp?PID=796

Anonymous said...

tx,

You embody the HP (wo)man. Bitter and angry at the world. Has nothing to do with owning vs. renting. You are just angry and sad people. I feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

bickerer said...
Read 1776 recently and a thing that struck me was that British soldiers marching thru long island couldn't believe the prosperity and abundance they saw. And that Americans were revolting under such abundance.

The American patriots were fighting "against" the British system of "Free Trade". You seem to miss the implication of what you read----The British could not believe the prosperity and abundance which came about as the colonists rejected British Free Trade in favor of the American System of Political Economy.

And that is still the conflict today--British Free Trade versus the American System of Political Economy.

D. said...

"txchic57 said...
Kids are the biggest drag and biggest mistake anyone can make IMO. Talk about limiting your freedom. And don't give me any BS about selfishness for not having kids. It is far more selfish to continue to populate this already oversubscribed world with more average hyperconsumers who will contribute nothing and take much."

I'll make sure to tell my kids to stay away from you when you're old. We'll let the overpopulated muslim world overtake the US and take good care of you or let you die by yourself so you don't drag on and waste more planetary resources than you have to.

Anonymous said...

WIfe & I are mid-50's. Sold off FLorida real estate in 2004. Quit engineering job in August. Some part time consulting for old company. We now live & travel on our boat in Florida during the winter, nad will travel around & rent in other areas in the summer. As long as I have an internetconnection for some monthly stock trades, the commute is over....praise the lord!

txchic57 said...

Yeah right. Take away the credit cards and see how happy they are.

Is that why there's a 50% plus divorce rate?

Spooky said...

"It is far more selfish to continue to populate this already oversubscribed world with more average hyperconsumers who will contribute nothing and take much."

So...what do you propose? No one ever has kids again and the human race dwindles to extinction? talk about self-loathing...

Anonymous said...

Txchic,

You have issues. Talk them out with a professional. Hopefully this will bring you peace.

westwest888 said...

I've thought about it, but some days you realize how much you need the USA. Like when I had a root canal last week. I WOULD NOT want to get that done in Thailand.

It's tempting when you think about how much is sucks to save $19,000 a year (base year 2005; 401k and IRA) straight through retirement...or just take $30,000 right now and live on $1,000 a year in Thailand for the rest of your life.

Watch out for nuggets like this:

Tax Collection Responsibility Act of 2007 - H.R.3056

The House is scheduled to vote on this legislation that would repeal the IRS’s authority to use private debt collection companies, to delay implementation of withholding taxes on government contractors, and to revise the tax rules on expatriation.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Despite the doom and gloom you all seem to crave, the vast majority of people are happy.

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/ha
rris_poll/index.asp?PID=796

October 09, 2007 1:28 PM

Oh really? Please then explain the increase in drug addiction,poverty, the break down of the family, the lack of productive and purposeful employment over these last 40 years.

Just look at the so called entertainment on television. This is a self doomed society that will collapse of it's own foolishness if radical changes are not made soon.

If most people were really happy would you see 80,000 drunken, screaming "fans" attending mass spectator events each Sunday afternoon?

No, most people are not happy. They are simply roaming from one sensuous experience to the next looking for anything that might numb their misery.

Quit being a pussy and start telling the truth. That might be a good start.

txchic57 said...

LOL. Whatever. Feel sorry for me all you want. I'll think about all of you in your little cubes or maybe on your 2 hour commute to your drywall palace followed by dinner at Taco Bell and dragging the brats to soccer practice when the market closes and I'm off for a 2 hour bike ride.

We've all got issues, bro. Thankfully, mine don't involve being a debt slave like you all.

Eleutheros said...

I bought this farm in 1989 for cash saved up as real estate and other equity over a long period of time and built the house myself.

For 18 years now we've raised our own food, heated with our own fuel (wood), and our expenses are just about nil. Combined insurance, taxes, and utilities run about $200 a month (for a family of six). Cash income is from my shop on the farm where I make musical instruments from wood.

The phenomenon of the housing bubble has been (and continues to be) fascinating to watch. But out here in the backwater it has been like watching a movie. On a paid for farm we've observed the madness come and go and it has affected us not at all.

By the bye, my handle means "Free Man".

Anonymous said...

txchic57 said...
Kids are the biggest drag and biggest mistake anyone can make IMO. Talk about limiting your freedom.

Doesnt the world have greater creative potential with 6 billion minds?

The idea is to develop those 6 billion minds so that mankind can prosper from the new ideas that these humans discover.
There is no such thing as overpopulation unless you are part of the British Royal family.

Stuck in So Pa said...

"Anonymous said...
Sounds all fine and good if you are 25 and single...not so good when you are 37, married with three kids......."

That was a great post that addresses the one major factor that decides, I think, more than anything else, the renter vs. owner decision as it applies to possible job change.
My wife and I (lifelong DINKS) come from large families, in fact, no one of our generation on either side, had LESS than three kids, some more! Nothing locks you down in that job you hate, with the commute you dread,
living in that area you have always dreamed of LEAVING, than children!
Don't get me wrong. I love kids, enjoy the family gatherings (usually at my big place out in the country) with all the nieces, nephews, grandneices, grandnephews, but at the end of the day/weekend THEY ALL LEAVE!
Just imagining the hassle of moving with kids is enough to keep you right where you are. I have seen family/friends, over the years, turn down promotions/job transfers with great benefits and advancements, because of their children.
The comedian Gallagher once said that having a baby is like having "an anchor with a diaper"(He throws a large boat anchor with a diaper out on stage with a heavy tow chain attaching it to his ankle)! It tends to keep you where you are. It’s not that easy to just pick up and go.

Anonymous said...

txchic57 said...

Yeah right. Take away the credit cards and see how happy they are.

Is that why there's a 50% plus divorce rate?

October 09, 2007 1:48 PM

-----------------------------------

Holy shit woman, you need some happy pills and fast. Yikes!!

Anonymous said...

westwood:

Amen to that. People bitch about leaving all the time. Yet very few actually do it. You have the extreme leftist millionaires whose sole purpose in life is badmouth America. And where do they live? NY and LA. Where does George Soros live? Where does Ted Turner live? Where does Barbara Streisand live? They could all live in France or Cuba and enjoy the socialist paradise they so crave. Yet they and their leftist cohorts all live in the bad old USA. I wonder why.

I'll give props to Keith. He is a socialist and he moved to a socialist country. Gotta respect that.

daniel said...

Life is grand. Wife and I save a bundle renting from a landlord who is pretty good about the house. I bike to work, my wife rides the Metro, we make pancakes on Saturdays.

My job pays the bills and I like who I work with. It took me a while, but I no longer look at my job as my identity. It's just the labor I trade for dollars, which I can then trade for things like apples and fishing poles.

We have two keys to financial security. The first is to NOT upgrade - to treat durable goods as durable. Our consumer electronics, car, bicycles, and camping equipment are all laughably old, but they work just fine. We could afford better, but why? The second is to not pay for services we can do ourselves better and cheaper. Brake job? I get a mechanic. Preparing meals and cleaning the house? DIY.

David said...

You guys should really take a moment to consider the words of txchic and not just post knee-jerk responses. For a long time, I subscribed to the idea that having kids was in essence the end-goal of life. But in reality, that's subjugating the entire possibility of human experience as we now know it to the base biological pressures of darwinistic survival.

If your desire is to have an effect on the future - in essence to cast the seeds of your image into the next generation - there are a million ways to do it these days. Write a book, start a blog or become a teacher. We no longer need to have kids in order to ensure the survival of the human species. In fact, overpopulation could be the largest contributor to the problems that are now threatening human existence as we know it.

Some of you phrase the issue like it's a race between us and "them" (Muslims, Hispanics, Asians) but consider that when you die it's over for you. There's no need to ensure that 200 years from now, there are more of "us" than of "them." In fact, the one thing I praise about China is that they are willing to try restraining measures on their population growth.

Wake up people, the Earth cannot continue to support an ever-growing population. Of course, the problem with appealing to people's sense of moral correctness makes no difference since increasing the population is truly a tragedy of the commons.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

I am an entrepreneur in my spare time and a corporate trainer in my w2 world.

I am assuming that Social Security will be bankrupt when it is time for me to retire in 20 years, so I am doing BIG deals whilst working full time.

Entrepreneur projects;

We are putting solar powered water purification modules in schools in the third world.

We are raising money to develop a 5 start branded casino resort in the Caribbean.

I also represent timeshare-tour vacation phone rooms and act as their "agent to the TS developers" for 'sweet passive income'.

W2

At work I am in the safe, and consumer demanded, Energy Sector. I recruit and train phone sales people for a big and growing corporation.

I love all of the mortgage brokers, real estate clerks, and construction workers that are displaced, they work really hard. When I explain the coming recession pain and the job security in Energy, they never leave and they are grateful to be employed.

I plan to live in the Caribbean some day soon.

Anonymous said...

Part of the whole RE bubble is that it's somewhat anti-family because today's economy requires people to be mobile so when one's locked into a location and then subsequently can't move, that only hurts the nascent family by effectively living poor just to keep a roof over one's head.

Edgar said...

txchic57 sed:

Kids are the biggest drag and biggest mistake anyone can make IMO. Talk about limiting your freedom. And don't give me any BS about selfishness for not having kids. It is far more selfish to continue to populate this already oversubscribed world with more average hyperconsumers who will contribute nothing and take much.

I can't believe that I have finally read something from txchic57 that I actually agree with. Most people's kids are insufferable. The parents buy piles of plastic crap from China with credit cards they'll never pay off. Bratty, stupid, just like the parents. Hard times are coming for your stupid - assed kids, and it isn't my fault. Breeheehee!!

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton Strategist says illegal immigrants are the most powerful political group in America

http://tinyurl.com/2hyg4p

Keep voting democrat everyone.

Cybele said...

I love my life, but only because I evolved. I fell for the hyper consumerist lie as much as anyone did. When I emerged from school, I went to work for one of the largest wall street banks. I worked 70 hours / week, and I simply had no life. Plenty of cash, no debts, but no time for a life, at all

I was the greediest person I knew ...

Then I had an epiphany.

Be Fair.

I own my 80 acres in WNC near Asheville, but, i lease most of it to a farm cooperative here: my annual rent: the taxes on that portion of the land + $ 1.00

I have four children and I teach them at home. They work on the farm, along with the other interns.

I utterly disagree with the poster who stated that children are a burden on the planet. This is stupid: we need more decent people, we all know the bad ones will have no trouble increasing themselves.

Is buliding a sustainable life based on kindness and fairness impossible ?

I don' t think so. I am doing it

We can go where we want, when we want, how we want.

Why am I able to do this ? I give everything away. All of it. We make biodiesel here, I give it away. we give the crops away, too. I give away almost all of my earnings to charities around here. I have a sufficiency of what I need, and that is all a wise person should ever require.

If you want to be happy, ditch the consumerist lie: it is meant to be a trap, to lure you in, to deceive you, to make you feel insufficient, unworthy, inadequate. It will simply suck you dry and kill you, if you let it.

Happy Homedebtor said...

Honestly - from Aug 1994 - July '03, I was averaging 2+ moves a year with dorms, along with my parents at home moving around too. I stayed a rental with friends, but had a revolving door of roommates for those 3 1/2 years. Since I started my career in late '97, I would change positions/jobs about once a year as well - bouncing around for more money or out of boredom/etc, and at one point fleeing the .com/telecom implosion collateral damage. Now I have a house that I'll be staying in for the next 5-10 years, and a job I've been at for 3+. That sense of stability is helping me to be a bit more centered/focused on my career and gradschool, which are both going quite well.

For those of you with very static lives, the flexibility of vagrancy/being a migrant is probably great - it keeps you from going Kevin-Spacey (ala American Beauty). However, for folks like me where there is no such thing as static or consistency or routine, having a place to call home that'll be the same place for awhile (Because job-hopping starts again next fall after the MS and CSSBB) is a piece of sanity, allowing me to continue increasing my progress in all other parts of life.

BTW, I have an office, work 40 hours a week, telecommute 1-2 days a week, and like my job (and they're paying for my MS and MBA). I honestly can't complain about much - except the fact my wife's brother is a tool.

Anonymous said...

The lifestyle you describe is for a single person with no children, and they absolutely can gypsy around the world and make money at it. We have two children, and we have a nice Cape Code, about 1800 square feet in a nice neighborhood, and both hubby and I think the stability we give these children is essential for them.
It is more expensive to own then to rent, but not horrible, and when they grow up and have their own lives we can think about selling the house. It would always be more "financially prudent" in the short run not to have kids as it will cost you, but that is not all that matters.

toxic hic said...

Toxichic…

I have one child but practiced making her many thousands of times. Life is great. When I contemplate the beauty of the earth or stare into the heavens I treasure every breath. I can’t believe how much enjoyment I get out of work and how many different opportunities I have been given in different fields. As for finance, I have always had what I have needed. HP for me is fun; I am responsible for my financial decisions and am here because of what I believe and not the influence of another.

I have no credit cards, debit, boss, or house.

Anonymous said...

>> Kids are the biggest drag and biggest mistake anyone can make IMO. Talk about limiting your freedom. And don't give me any BS about selfishness for not having kids. It is far more selfish to continue to populate this already oversubscribed world with more average hyperconsumers who will contribute nothing and take much.

Go be the victim of a drive-by...

Mark in San Diego said...

I sometimes feel guilty posting on this "renter board" because I DID cash out at or near the top, and am sitting on the money, and the interest is paying for my rent. . .I retired from University of California at age 56 with a small pension, but full health care. . .my partner and I are free to live anywhere in the world, and spend two months a year in Zurich, where we have access to an apartment. We made a lot of money in real estate - buying at the bottom of the California market in 1992-1993, and renting 3 condos at 100 to 120 times purchase price. . .then sold them at tripple the price in 2003-early 2006. . .

I invest in real estate like I invest in stocks - I look at VALUE - I buy beat up stocks like Merck after the Vioxx problem, or ATT while they were lost in the wildernes 6 years ago. . .why? Because they had good cash flow, lots of money for dividends (both were paying 5% when I bought). . .I may buy investment property again here in San Diego when prices are down to 100 to 120 times rent. . .based on the building across the street - Acqua Vista, that should be next year(20% foreclosed units). . .

Life is good, view from my rental is great, and I bike or kyak in the bay most days.

Success advice to others - LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS . . .we always lived in our least expensive condo, and drove a 10 year old car, and took public transit to work. . .now it has all paid off.

Anonymous said...

Keith,

I don't recall seeing/reading/hearing *anything* about how this RE crash is affecting property tax collection rates in all the counties throughout the US. I live in a mid-west county where the property taxes are recalculated every 3 years. Ours were re-calced 2 years ago, so we're getting close to new valuations.

I think this is a HUGE story that hasn't even begun to be covered. There ARE going to be layoffs, service cutbacks, school funding problems, etc. I think this is a giant shitstorm that's brewing under the radar right now...

Anonymous said...

My answer out of the 9 to 5 grind was bread and butter rental properties in depressed but emerging areas in Philly suburbs. We began buying 10 years ago,and have acquired 90 rental units. We can live from the cash flows, and thanks to this crazy RE market have a net worth in the 7 figure bracket.(i figure i will lose 20% the next few years). I have recently opened a used car lot as well, which is a fun and profitable business(I love cars!)
Hopefully by this time next year I can make my living off the car lot, and use the rental income to reinvest. I have 2 kids, and own(rent from bank) a cookie cutter single family home bought 12 years ago. We don't have car payments and live rather frugal. Overall life is good, and I work hard to create wealth for myself rather than someone else. In 2009 I plan on focusing on buying more properties through short sales, lease options, and REO's. I plan on renting them for cash flow until the nest stupid RE runup. I will then cash out and retire well(while still in my 40's)
Bottom Feeder in Philly

Anonymous said...

I wonder how old the people judging and giving advice to txchick are?

Having observed many situations of people having kids and going full cycle -- i.e. birth to 20 years of age -- my observation is that if you do not want kids more than anything on the face of the earth, and are not prepared financially and emotionally to go the journey -- DO NOT HAVE THEM!

Though her assessment is on the negative side, its largely correct.

Most if not all the people I know who had kids in a off handed way e.g. got pregnant, maybe have a couple of kids "it would be nice", etc. have ended up with a heavy, heavy load to carry for themselves and for their kids. Some became disasters, and several ended in broken families.

Our BS society has advertised having kids as a "must do" event so they can sell crap to parents and children.

At one point in time, there was a necessity to have a family for survival purposes, when the entire family pitched in. Also growth of population was necessary which had an inherent civilizing force.

But those days are LOONNNNNG gone.

Having a kid is perhaps the single most responsibility and life path determining decision a person can undertake.

The statistics of juvenile crime, drop outs, pregnancy, gangs, and so on are mind boggling.

You really think this is the result of responsible committed parenting?

Throngs of wannabe, tattooed, pierced, Ipoded insatible young consumers are crowding America.

Anyone with 4 or more decades under their belt can readily see the changes we've had and they are not good.

I'm middle class and being a child in the 60's was bliss. We played out side, didn't have phones, Ipods, video games or even very much TV. There were no drugs or guns and we all played up and down the street without fear of something bad happening.

A couple of generations of breeders and their offspring and their politics have changed all that.

Again, unless you're as prepared as you possibly can be, and want kids more than anything for a VERY LONG TERM commitment -- DO NOT PROPOGATE!

Roxanne said...

Geo-arbitrage. This is my new favorite word. And I can highly recommend Shreveport , LA as a great place to practice geo-arbitrage.

Cost of living is 30% lower than the rest of the country, weather is great most of the time, lots of outdoor activity, cheap housing and tons of activities. I am moving here from Austin to get away from the big city.

I bought an income producing duplex and my contribution to my mortgage payment is $14.00 per month (will be even less when I move here full-time and have a homestead credit)

I work for me but heck I consider myself already retired.

Amtex said...

Having a child has been the greatest thing in my entire life. I had money, ran my own business, lived all over the US, did anything I wanted.

At 40, I decided to have a child. It is 10000 times better than I even imagined. Looking at life through the eyes of my 3 year old daughter is amazing.

Selfish? Yes, some other 3 year olds are that we meet at the park. Just like many 50 year olds are.

But I raised my daughter right from birth. She watches hardly any TV, wants to do outdoor activities all the time, and has learned long ago that material goods are very low on our priority list, no matter how much money we have.

It is amazing how kids turn out when you raise them instead of letting the TV or their peers raise them.

The lady who posted about how kids are a mistake must have never had a 3 year old come over and hug her and say "I love you"...totally unconditionally.

Anonymous said...

"I've thought about it, but some days you realize how much you need the USA. Like when I had a root canal last week. I WOULD NOT want to get that done in Thailand."

Westwest - you must be kidding me. Thailand has some of the best medical care in all of Asia (up there with Hong Kong & Singapore). I would rather get a root canal here in Thailand than most anywhere in the US. There is more attention on the patient and the facilities are modern (think 5 star hotel for a hospital room at $150 per night) with good value.

Living on $1000 per year in Thailand will keep you in the gutter.... about $20,000 per year and you can live a very good life.

But medical tourism is alive & well here. Living here is better in the sense that if there is a complication you can see the doctor that did the procedure without a long flight or travel hassle.

Please don't spout off without some information.

-Big Cheese

Jambu said...

I own a $485K home and send my kids to $20K a year private schools and own a brand new SUV. But that meanie George W. won't let me have free health insurance for my kid.

Boo hoo!!

I'm with TXCHICK on this one. If you want kids fine. Don't ask me to raise them for you or pay for their expenses.

Aww fuck it. This country is far down the communist path it's not even worth arguing anymore. Just vote for Democrats and we'll all be rich with free health care for one and all. The USSR had free health care and look how well it all worked out there.

42 said...

"4-hour work week" is 10% good advice and 90% Tim Ferris giving himself a blowjob. I am stunned at the advice to outsource all of your email, banking, etc. along with every login, password, account number, SSN and so forth to a virtual butler in India. wow, that's one of the worst ideas I've ever heard of.

still, reading it will give you some decent info.

Anonymous said...

"You are just angry and sad people. I feel sorry for you."

You're right, I am angry because there is a lot to be angry about. But please, before you label anyone as sad, please take a step back and look at yourself and the world around you. Perhaps, I feel sorry for you?

And besides, substantive change whether, political, social or technological, rarely emanates from those that are HAPPY with the status quo.

Mammoth said...

Keith, your timing on this thread is uncanny. Apologies for the long post, but it may be worth reading and it has a poignant ending.
------------------------
“There is some new thinking out there when it comes to work and life and happiness.

Do you like your life? Do you want more?"

Still looking for a better way. As the years go by I have found that what is most precious of all – is having the time to do what one enjoys doing. Six years ago we moved across Puget Sound and bought a home on 2½ acres with a mix of trees & open land, 2 ponds and a stream running across the property.

Still working in a cubicle, but am also working on a different lifestyle by building up a small plant-nursery business on the side. I buy small trees, coddle them for a year or two and then sell them to a local shop. Also grow & sell vegetable and flower starts in the spring.

I have planted a bunch of fruit trees and grow a garden, built some greenhouses, and am planning to start participating in the local farmer’s markets. Yes – none of this generates a high income but it is something that I enjoy doing a LOT more than commuting to my job in Seattle 5 days a week.

The commute is a 2-hour daily ordeal and involves taking a bus to the ferry, crossing Puget Sound, and then taking another bus (or vanpool) to work. Repeat in reverse at the end of the day. It sounds crazy, but over 20,000 people cross Puget Sound to their jobs in Seattle every day! The pay scale in Kitsap County sucks, so in order to pay the mortgage & all the bills all us ferry commuters are chained to the damn boat!

So what is the alternative? Ditch the good-paying job & the long commute, take a lower-paying job very close to home – one which provides health insurance – and have a small business on the side. Keeping expenses down by not buying into the materialistic mindset, by buying used rather than new, and by producing a lot of our own food. Thinking about putting a water-wheel in the stream and also putting up some solar panels in order to generate some of the electricity that we use. There is satisfaction in becoming more self-sufficient.

Meanwhile, our old house goes on the market today. If it doesn’t sell within 2 months, it will be turned back into a rental and will be cash-flow positive. And if it does sell we will use the proceeds to pay off our residence. This will reduce the need for higher income (Seattle job + commute) and enable an easier break away from the status quo.

Despite all the negativity & problems in the world, you still have a lot of choices for how to live your life. We’ve allowed ourselves to become locked in a prison cell, yet we hold the key that can set us free in our hands. All it takes is the conviction and courage to make a change.
------------------------------
While writing the above, my boss called me and a few other colleagues into his office, and told us that another close colleague of ours died last night. On Friday he called in sick, and yesterday he went in for exploratory surgery. (They think it may have been E Coli.) Bob had a heart attack and died on the operating table. He was ~50 years old.

Just like that. It can happen to anyone; it can happen to you, too. Live your life and enjoy yourself NOW, because tomorrow may never come.
-Mammoth

Anonymous said...

So...what do you propose? No one ever has kids again and the human race dwindles to extinction?

Do you think that dwindling of the human race is really a problem? How about means, parenthood and literacy tests?

"Three generations of imbeciles is enough." Oliver Wendell Holmes

Batman said...

I work doing research for paycheque 1, consulting for paycheque 2 and do some PR stuff for paycheque 3 right now, but the big cahuna for me is a startup I've been pimping for about 4 years that is on it's 3rd round of financing. If this baby sails, I'm hoping to quit jobs 1-3, buy some rural land and build an off grid home and experiment with living sustainably. I'm guessing that's not easy to do, but I'm a mechanical engineer and would like to make that my full time job for a bit.

The tough part will be to get my family of 6 to buy into my eccentric little plan.

HauspocalypseNow said...

This geo-arbitrage move anywhere is highly discouraged by the tax code in USA/CA.

Example CA pretends to be pro environment but prop13 locks u into your home FOREVER so you change jobs and suffer a 100 mile commute for years. Nice going boomers.

I have to have a smog pump on my DIRT BIKE in CA but you cant sell your house to be closer to your job w/o paying ten fold increase in taxes so you drive 100 miles every day(10 million people are trapped this way). WTF IS WRONG WITH CALIFORNIA, I HATE U. They only PRETEND to care about the environment and people. witness the prop 13 sacred cow. witness the predatory lending in CA is totally legal and unregulated. witness the NIMBY laws stopping new affordable housing. witness the residents who picket to stop apartments going in. instead they approve state money to LEND down payments to poor people for homes to run up housing prices further and line the bankers pockets.

CA hates humans.

Anonymous said...

"Like when I had a root canal last week. I WOULD NOT want to get that done in Thailand."

It sounds like you've not really been there...

http://www.bangkokdentalcenter.com/index.htm

It's far more advanced than you know.

AmazingRuss said...

I have been self employed as a software engineer for 16 years or so. Never have been stuck in a cube, but I did have a nice upstairs office with picture windows at my main clients office. It was just a bigger cube, and the windows would not open. All the other cube dwellers were awed by it though, which was weird. I just didn't feel comfy in that executive setting with my chuck taylors and hair halfway to my butt.

A couple years back they started trying to dictate my comings and goings (I prefer to work out of my home office), and I helped them find a nice replacement and bailed. I canceled most of my other clients too, as I was mightily sick of database work and having to take care of the entire system as well.

I went back finished off computer engineering degree, and am currently developing a video game, a dream I've had since I was an arcade rat in the 80's. I do a little outside work for a digital cinema company, because it's interesting, and have some royalty income, but I'm pretty much retired at 40.

I get plenty of sleep, toodle around on my bicycle, and generally do whatever I want. I'm so glad I don't have kids. People that have them ask why, with their forced smiles, and my only response is, "I like kids ok, but I could never eat a whole one". Some call it selfish, but I can't see how...there is no shortage of people. People say I look like I'm in my late 20's, which is doubtless due to the lack of kids. They grind you down in a hurry, and have this mysterious effect on wives, turning them fat, whiny, controlling, and mean. Must be a hormone thing....there are exceptions, but not many. That's not a chance I want to take with my wonderful girl.

She is finishing her PHD, and will be bringing in good money in a couple years if all goes well, at which point I'll be able to buy expensive toys again if I so desire. In all probability I'll just continue on in my little life of the mind, coding a bit, playing in local bands. I am very content, and damn grateful to whatever cosmic forces brought me to this situation.

I hope you all can find your equivalent nirvana.

Anonymous said...

I'm this guy at the end of the troll's thread :
"I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would want to tie themselves to a MILLSTONE like a house before the age of 40 much less 25."

To be honest I don't think many have the opportunity (or the stones) to pull off a life like I have - and quite frankly I'm not sure many people would be happy with such a life - but I sure as hell am :)

Yes, you could pull it off easily if mommy and daddy stuck a silver spoon in your mouth, but I grew up getting free lunch at school - actually, I couldn't stand the stigma (and neither could my 3 brothers and sisters) so even tho we qualified, we got jobs and spent our lunch hours washing dishes EARNING our 'free' lunch - that's the kind of people I am.

Do I like my life ? Hell yeah. In the last 7 years I've spent maybe 3 of them actually working, the rest were like today - sitting on my sofa watching the kids and playing on the internet.

How do you pull it off ?

1) It helps to grow up poor. This helps you laser-in on the the things that you REALLY need/want. I have no problem paying lots of money for the stuff that is important to me (tools for example) and not much on stuff that I consider next to useless (new furniture).

2) If you have a wife/spouse, it helps a lot if she grew up poor too. My wife is foreign and she remembers ration coupons for meat. A spouse who grew up rich is like a boat anchor tied around your neck. They have no sense of scale when it comes to 'stuff' - everything has to be the latest trendiest, most useless shit on the planet - and if you don't get it for them, you're a useless POS in their eyes.

3) Find a hook. In the 90's the corp world finally opened up and started accepting free-lancers / hired guns. They're willing to pay me double for the privilege of firing my ass anytime they want. Since I have zero desire to watch my ass explode after sitting 40 years in the same chair till I'm 65 - I took them up on their offer. Free lance IT - work 6 months, make more than a regular job pays in a year - write off a million things on your tax return - pay almost nothing on your taxes.

4) Frugal where it counts. Spend where it matters. Typically our family saves about 70 percent of our income. Wife doesn't work, two kids, rent a nice house - 3 BR almost new from an FB. Wife buys shoes bags whatever almost every day to her hearts content - but she does it on EBay and sales, getting brand name stuff for pennies on the dollar. Keeps her happy. New computer with 22 inch screen - because it was cheap and because it something we use every day. No TV tho - we don't use it. No new car - loses 25% as soon as you get it. No new furniture - drops 80 percent as soon as you buy it. Kids have lots of toys/clothes anything they want, but a lot of it is used - goodwill/garage sales. Why in God's name would you buy new clothes/toys for a kid who a) doesn't know the difference and b) will outgrow them in 3 months anyways. People buy new shit for their kids because its a STATUS SYMBOL.

It's all a matter of priorities. WHAT IS TRULY IMPORTANT TO YOU ? (not what the media or the neighbors or your dumbass BIL thinks is important - but what do YOU think is important).

Now that I'm on hiatus again - just quit my last gig because it was too boring - we're going to China for a few weeks this fall. Lots of money in the bank, why not ?

I don't like standing still. If I had a house I never would never have done a tenth of what I have since I became a free adult. Can't move - gotta sell the house. Can't quit your job - got a house payment. Can't travel for more than 2 weeks a year - company vacation rules. Can't start your own business - no time, no money (house payments), too dangerous (might lose the house). Can't take advantage of some special investment opportunity (gotta make sure you can make the monthly nut).

In short : get a good free-lance job of some kind, get a decent spouse who supports and loves you and your free-from-the-man lifestyle, live frugally where it counts, spend your ass off where you really want to, game the system (keep what you make away from the tax man by using ALL the deductions/credits they offer).

Finally. What's hilarious is that after all these years of liberty now I am going to build a house in the next few years. Ultimate contrary indicator am I LOL. I'm getting a house because I see the world collapsing in on itself and my lifestyle no longer being as useful to me as it has been. I need to take my savings and make myself even more self-reliant than I have been, and need a base for that to happen. Houses and land will be incredibly cheap in a few years for those with savings. In any case, the life of a gentleman farmer is on my list of things I always wanted to do so I am adjusting my life to the new realities coming down the pike.

Thanks to the housing crash for making my remaining life goal/dream come true. And thanks for all the corporate slaves drinking the poison every day in the pursuit of what their neighbors think will make them happy - sleepwalking thru your life - if any significant percentage of you ever really woke up (or made good decisions), my life would no longer be so fulfilling.

iiggnnaacciioo said...

Hi

Im a big of fan of this blog site. I live in Chile, a coupe of miles south of the states, and I've been reading this blog for two years now.
I studied architecture, but I've never built a thing. I'm a freelance illustrator for a living, childrens books, magazines, whatever comes a long.
I'm the only one in my family and in my group of friends who does not own a car.
I live in an apartment on the fringe of santiagos downtown area. I walk to the bank, to the publishers I work for, to the supermarket and take the subway or the bus wherever else Ive gotta go.
I rent, and I dont buy too many things in general.
Im 30 years old, I save my money in two banks and a third in stocks. I tend to go for SQM (soquimich, a chilean mining company who basically shovels nitrate, iodine and lithium from the desert and sends it to China).
We've been starting to read about the housing bust in the states in the papers for a couple of months now, and the chilean MSM states that Chile is well positioned against an american recession. (Yeah, right).
As my mother in law says, Chile is "culis mundi" or "the world's ass", and, as it is a very small and peripheral country completely devoted to exporting raw materials and raw fish, I think the shockwaves of the slowdown of the US building and spending extravaganza will end up affecting us, now matter what our super informed investment analysts say.

Anonymous said...

so not only are you morons bitter renters now you are bitter single, childless people as well

makes perfect sense.

now please tell me how wonderful life is living in a 1 bedroom apt, all by yourself but you get to put 60% of your income into savings and you can move tomorrow if you want....to another 1 bedroom apt where you will be all alone

what a life!!

enjoy all that savings that when you're 80 and all alone

HAMDINGER said...

I have 5 young sons. someone had to do something to improve the gene pool!!!!!! With all the comments by less than educated people I read on these sites it is apparent that something be done by the bold, and yes I homeschool them all. As for the guy with the 485K house that he says he owns and the new suv that he says he owns and the 20K private schooling. How much debt ya got big guy...do you really own anything??? betcha don't OWN squat. I retired at 29, thirteen years ago. there are many ways of not going into debt...try them

Cheers

Anonymous said...

>> Success advice to others - LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS . . .we always lived in our least expensive condo, and drove a 10 year old car, and took public transit to work. . .now it has all paid off.

So...NOW you can drive that fancy new car. But guess what? You'll NEVER get back those years you drove that 10 year old beater. Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news, but delayed happiness is denied happiness. Damn - years of driving pleasure just pissed away because NOT owning something made you happy. Dope...

ApleAnee said...

Anonymous said...

so not only are you morons bitter renters now you are bitter single, childless people as well

now please tell me how wonderful life is living in a 1 bedroom apt, all by yourself but you get to put 60% of your income into savings and you can move tomorrow if you want....to another 1 bedroom apt where you will be all alone

what a life!!

enjoy all that savings that when you're 80 and all alone

It is really scary when everything you hold dear about your status in life is laughed at or brushed aside as unimportant isn't it? You are what is ruining America. If you don't agree with what is written here why do you keep coming back to throw out your insults? Go buy a house or a new car or just go spend some money and tell everyone about it. That is what you are. A status junkie. You have nothing of value to add here.

Anonymous said...

A million comments on this thread and almost all of you are single/childless and/or cube-slaves.

I don't think we need more examples of how NOT to beat the system. How about a few more posters who actually have lives where they pulled off freedom without drinking all the kool-aide for 30 years first.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother had 6 kids. She died surrounded by her loved ones.

One of my aunts had 8 (yes eight) kids and throughout her ordeal with cancer she was cared for and had somebody keeping her company every day. She didn't die an anonymous patient in a factory hospital.

txchic57 will die sad and alone. Nobody will care. Nobody will even notice... until the smell starts bothering the neighbors.

But hey, because she never had kids, she'll be the richest resident of the local cemetery. Quite an accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

I work for the G in a pretty intersting technical job and make enough to live on and pull our weight with a wife and two children. I bought a plain old 3 bd 2 ba rancher in what was once country because it is all I wanted. Wife hasn't had to work in 14 years and this house is worth 2.5 times what I paid since this became N. Virginia McMansion alley. Will be paid off in the near future, too. I am not too concerned about making/not making money on my humble home because I got it to live in and was damn grateful to get it and worked hard to pay for it when things were not so flush. I am from New York and would have loved to stay there but it is just NG for working folks anymore - even the nice places are expensive and loaded with these crummy hip-hop wannabees. I am just trying to live quietly and enjoy the family life - I had kids because I like them and came from a largish family that didn't have a pot to whiz in and still liked it - wish I could have had more - they are good children. Don't even want the world to know we exist. Just trying to chill and retire before I get sick so I can have a few beers and watch TV in my shorts. I have gotten to see a large part of the world and US still works for me.

Anonymous said...

As for the guy with the 485K house that he says he owns and the new suv that he says he owns and the 20K private schooling. How much debt ya got big guy...do you really own anything??? betcha don't OWN squat. I retired at 29, thirteen years ago. there are many ways of not going into debt...try them

Cheers

October 09, 2007 7:44 PM

==========

Moron:

That was the family the Democrats used as a prop to show why "poor" people need CHIP. The family, the Frosts own a $485K home, send their kids to private school and own a new SUV.

That is the definition of "poor" in today's America.

Read a newspaper sometime

Anonymous said...

most of thw stupid ignorant people have lots of kids-

smart people actually consider the cost and impact to the world.

not PC but true

Lost Cause said...

Kids were the best thing in my life. The net result was even more motivation and accomplishment. Every family is different, we certainly don't go to fast food much and don't really have any debt (once we sold the house.) It is not a bad idea to delay kids, but that is just due to social factors.

Rhymes with Shunt said...

Anonotwerp 7:58 PM said...
“So...NOW you can drive that fancy new car. But guess what? You'll NEVER get back those years you drove that 10 year old beater.”
-----------------
Has it ever occurred to you that many people just do not see any value in owning & driving a new vehicle?

Did you know that if you have a good vehicle and keep it well-maintained, that it will be just as reliable as a new one?

Are you an insecure person who believes that he is better than other people just because he drives a flashy new car, and that those who drive older vehicles are bums?

Man, you are shallow!

Anonymous said...

It is really scary when everything you hold dear about your status in life is laughed at or brushed aside as unimportant isn't it? You are what is ruining America. If you don't agree with what is written here why do you keep coming back to throw out your insults?

=======

dude living alone at 80 in a 1 bedroom apartment is NOT something anyone should aspire to

get a grip

FORECLOSUREBOY said...

homeschool is child abuse

OMG i cant imagine if my parents homeschooled me. im already weird.

Lost Cause said...

Whoever thinks that they need a car to make them happy is watching too many tv commercials. Driving around a 10 year old car is not my idea of suffering. Do yourself a favor, and wrestle yourself away from your consumerist teet.

Frank@NeverColdCall.com said...

I stopped working for the man in 2003. I was fed up with corporate life and working for monkeys and started an online business which took off almost immediately. I quit my job two months later and never looked back. My business is outsourced with no direct employees. It's all handled by third party fulfillment centers, call centers, etc. I am mobile and can live anywhere I want in the world. An author friend of mine in the same situation is living in Auckland, NZ and can up and go whenever he pleases.

I currently rent because we moved to a new city earlier this year and only an idiot buys in a strange city without getting to know it. We want to make sure we want to stay before making that commitment. And with the market crashing only a monkey would buy now anyway.

While I think being an entrepreneur is the way to go, I certainly do not look down on people with jobs and in fact I now do speaking and consulting for corporate America.

However having a business that you're responsible for makes you realize how SILLY it is to consider your house to be an investment vehicle or try to make money on it or any of that nonsense. That's what business is for. Your house is for shelter, living, and raising a family.

Anonymous said...

Putting aside the rent vs. own discussion for a second;

Why would you want to move so often? OK renting gives you the freedom to do it. But shit I have the freedom to jump off a building, doesn't mean I'll do it.

All this moving at the drop of a hat indicates you people have no friends or family around you and that's sad. I don't care how nice a house I have or how much money I have. If am all by myself in a new city every year what's the point?

And sure you meet people. But after a certain age, you don't make friends anymore, you make acquaintances. And your family sure as hell isn't going to follow you everywhere you go. If you are content to live your life without anyone close to you, all the power to you. Personally all the money in the world isn't worth it.

Anonymous said...

>>>We no longer need to have kids in order to ensure the survival of the human species.<<<

Well SOMEONE, or more preciseley, a LOT of SOMEONE's better have kids, or in about 75 yrs there won't be any people left.

Anonymous said...

dow sets new record

boy oh boy i sure wish I had put my money under my bed like you idiots

Anonymous said...

HOLY SHIT!!!

FRANK WENT MORE THAN 5 WORDS WITHOUT MENTIONING SCOTTSDALE!!

Is the end near?

Anonymous said...

Lost Cause said...

Whoever thinks that they need a car to make them happy is watching too many tv commercials. Driving around a 10 year old car is not my idea of suffering. Do yourself a favor, and wrestle yourself away from your consumerist teet.

October 09, 2007 9:36 PM

=========

BULLSHIT

A 10 year old car has 10 year old technology. 10 year old safety features. 10 year old options. 10 year old wear on everything.

The difference between owning a 5 year old car and 10 year old car is practically $0 when taking into account the extra repairs a 10 year old car needs.

A lot of you drive 10 year+ cars for the status symbol. Look at me I am so NOT concerned about status that I purposely shout it out loud.

Edgar said...

Well SOMEONE, or more preciseley, a LOT of SOMEONE's better have kids, or in about 75 yrs there won't be any people left.

And you think this would be a bad thing? Face it "loosers®", your progeny will live a pitiful existence, starving, slaving, being assaulted on all sides by a fascist gubbermint. People with no children win. The rest of you will die with gray hair, if you have any, and ulcers, if you give a damn. Bwahaha!!

PR1 said...

TX chick loves to make generalized comments/accusations. The more astute readers on other blogs roll their eyes as she often simply recapitulates opinions/resources found on other sites (i.e. nothing much original is ever provided). She had everyone on pins and needles couple years back about her "starting her own blog", but as original content was tough to come by, that never really took off. Her market calls/predictions/magic 8 ball posts are always good entertainment. She will provide just enough of an opinion to portray conviction, yet not enough to actually be held accountable at a later date.

Meanwhile, back in Texas….

ApleAnee said...

Anonymous said...

Keith,

I don't recall seeing/reading/hearing *anything* about how this RE crash is affecting property tax collection rates in all the counties throughout the US. I live in a mid-west county where the property taxes are recalculated every 3 years. Ours were re-calced 2 years ago, so we're getting close to new valuations.

We got the recalc notice this year. The entire neighborhood got it. Old established neighborhood of smaller brick homes. Woods, winding roads. Paid $85,000 in 1995. Appraised 2 years ago for $140,000. Rest of houses in neighborhood about the same. Notice this year that our house has jumped in value to $189,000, because of the plywood McMansions they built a few blocks away. The house across the street sold for $135,000 6 months ago and the buyers are now being told it appraises for $190,000 hahahaha. Thats some pretty quick equity. That house took 6 months to sell. Taxes have gone up $500 a year to $1400 which is nothing compared to Calif but still is bogus. Yea the tax man cometh....

PS: Bitter Renter? Not me. House will be paid for in 5 years in time for husband to retire. Then we get to fly in our little baby airplane over far off exotic lands like Scottsdale and pour stale cokes out the window on all the status junkies, Don't forget your umbrellas.

Anonymous said...

I am so incredibly sick of working for the man. Right now I have a 6 month plan to save up then move to Thailand. Pay is shit in Thailand but cost of living is dirt cheap and the women are beautiful and fun. I also have been studying Thai for several years so I can more easily blend in though I don't expect to ever be counted as a local. I have to say my cubical years haven't been totally bad, I did manage to save enough to fund this dream at the age of 32. Unfortunately I screwed around most of my life or I could have done this 5 years ago.

Working for someone else your whole life is glorified slavery you will always be underpayed and under appreciated. Most of what you produce for the company will go to the executives at the top who are ready to replace you at the first tick down in the GDP.

Anonymous said...

not terribly stoked about living in one place for the rest of my life. Actually kind of glad I'm renting , as I can get up and go whenever. I do live in hawaii, and surf pretty much whenever I have free time, so life could be worse. I could be in detroit.Living the Hp'er dream!

Anonymous said...

We drive around in 10 year old cars. We also have 2 boys 9 and 13. We also race motocross bikes together(all paid for in cash) Let me tell you that the feeling of having my 13 yr old pass me for the 1st time, and my 9 year old winning his first race, far surpasses any feeling of a new car or being all about myself and never having kids. We all have our own ways of making ourselves happy. If I am reading the topic of this thread correctly this all has NOTHING to do about the topic. Let's get a grip. I am interested in reading about the topic, not about whether or not to have kids, and debating about new 5 or 10 year old cars.
Bottom Feeder in Philly

Anonymous said...

hey Ignacio in Chile,

take a chill pill, bro. as long as your country keeps exporting natural resources to China your long term outlook is good.

Macaca.

Anonymous said...

Is that the same Txchick who was so chuffed at that "broke is the new black" line of hers? I never thought it clever, and was baffled at her incessant chatter about it. Sad, really, she is obviously quite miserable to lash out as she did about children. I suppose she has similar disdain for puppies and sunny days.

Anonymous said...

txchic57, is married to a lawyer, no wonder she is so bitter. lol

I retired at 26, now i'm 48, moved out of florida in 05 after selling my 4 pieces of RE. In dec we will go to florida for the winter,then go on a 4 month cross country trip in may.

We have an awesome piece of property on the third cleanest lake in the country. Which went up 200k since aug of 05, it might come down 50k, who cares its' paid for. RE has made it easy for me to retire, not everyone got killed in the RE bubble. I wasn't greedy like most of the population, took my profits and ran.

Anonymous said...

Pr1, you are dead on about TxChick.

A few weeks back she made some very negative statements about the IPO of VM Ware on another board. I bought the stock that day with no hesitation and it has made me a lot of money in a very short amount of time. Turns out she is good for something - a contrarian indicator. Do the opposite of whatever she says and you'll be okay.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
My grandmother had 6 kids. She died surrounded by her loved ones.

One of my aunts had 8 (yes eight) kids and throughout her ordeal with cancer she was cared for and had somebody keeping her company every day. She didn't die an anonymous patient in a factory hospital.

txchic57 will die sad and alone. Nobody will care. Nobody will even notice... until the smell starts bothering the neighbors.
___________________________
Anyone of you that thinks having kids will guarantee you an audience of devoted, adoring onlookers at that last second before you meet your maker are in for a rude awakening.
My aunt works as a social director at a retirement home. You know, the place where you buy an apartment, give them your SS check every month until you die, and your heirs get to sell it back to the retirement company when you croak.
Of the approximately 120 elderly in her care, she says that she can count on one hand the number who have received a call, or letter, in a year, from a loved one down the generational chain. That's not including birthdays or Christmas of course, but the rest of the year, nothing.
Open your eyes people, the old question…..who's going to care for you when you are old and gray…..doesn't have the same answer that it used to. That's a terrible reason to have kids in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"Why would you want to move so often? OK renting gives you the freedom to do it. But shit I have the freedom to jump off a building, doesn't mean I'll do it."

------------------

No instead, you've chosen to have your ass cemented in concrete for the rest of your days.

B-O-R-I-N-G !

You get to have the same people, the same situations around from grade school to the time they put you six feet under. I think I'd kill myself at 25 and just get it over with.

Didn't you ever want to do, or see, or be more than you were when you were 18 ? No ?

Well, congratulations then - a entire life lived stuck in amber like those Jurassic mosquitoes.

Yuck.

formosan80 said...

Why does everyone assume that it is a bad thing to uproot your children and move to a different place? One of the best things you can do to a child is to show them that the world is not all the same. Visiting new places is nice, but it is nothing like living in a new place. My parents moved me across the world and now I speak fluent Mandarin Chinese and I have the ability to see my own country in a different light. Kids adapted very quickly... change their surroundings and you'll help them deal with their future: an ever changing global world.

Anonymous said...

Having a child was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was 20 and still in college and it wasn't planned. It forced me to work much harder than I would have otherwise and to start making better financial decisions and life goals. So while my friends were blowing their cash on cars, electronics and clothes, I was establishing good saving habits, good credit and a solid resume.

Hard work is second nature to me now. A lot of people my age have Peter Pan syndrome and still can't accept the fact that the world doesn't revolve around them. They can't seem to shake their lazy habits or make the connection that success almost always requires serious effort.

I run a business with 30% margins and almost unlimited profit potential (though I stick to 7 figures now because I like to keep things relatively simple).

I travel the globe with my son. We'll be spending 2 weeks at Disney World with him and his best friend next month, then on to Tibet for a 30 day hike (yes, he's homeschooled and it is the exact opposite of child abuse). He has brought so much joy into my world. I never would have started this business and nor would I have been motivated to work as hard as possible in those years that many people simply waste. I know it doesn't work out that way for everyone, but I wanted to give a different, more balanced perspective.

Societies that value children tend to have the highest quality of life. America is going down hill in part because children are increasingly seen either as an inconvenience or merely miniature consumers.

99% of the wealthy people I've met in my life have children, so the idea that they are somehow an anathema to success is entirely without merit.

Joe said...

There's nothing wrong with working for other people. Where people go wrong is when they spend so much of their income that they become dependant on a particular job.

I save most of my income because the freedom to leave my job (which, incidentally, I love) is more important to me than any material thing I could buy with it. If I were not financially independant, I would be afraid to take risks. If I were afraid to take risks, I wouldn't be paid more and work less than most of the other people my age in my field.

As for the global living... I've wandered a bit, but I've found that scenery doesn't matter much to me. I'd rather stay in the dumpy city I was born in with my friends and family. Of course, that's merely a personal choice and I wouldn't begrudge anyone who'd rather leave for somewhere nicer.

Anonymous said...

Author of two novels. Co-author of an autobiography. Finishing third novel, and signed to write one more after that. GenX/slacker type: 37 years-old and haven't had a day job in 11 years. Then again, I was a public relations consultant prior to this book thing - how GenX is that?

Rent a 3bd, 3ba condo unit with sweeping views of the bay. Stay up working (sort of) until 6am, then sleep most of the day. Drive a 17 year-old Honda (it's in great shape!).

Have loads of money in cash and investments, but watching the dollar disintegrate is no picnic. I get paid in British pounds and Euros sometimes - beginning to wonder if I can open an account in Europe somewhere, and leave the money as is, rather than converting it to dollars?

Used to travel quite a lot, but acquired powerful phobia of airplanes in the past few years - haven't been on a plane since a Peru trip two years ago, and that was a white-knuckler.

Maybe I'll buy a house one day, if the prices come down a lot. I can't really justify it to myself at current levels.

Anonymous said...

txchic57 said...

It is far more selfish to continue to populate this already oversubscribed world with more average hyperconsumers who will contribute nothing and take much.

Well, I can think of at least one way that you could stop using up the planetary resources that you're so very concerned about other people using.

Anonymous said...

txchic57 -

I agree with you to the extent that kids are the biggest mistake for people who can't afford them or can't have one parent -- mom or dad -- stay home with them.

Our society tends to make people feel like they have no legacy if they have no kids. The book, The Selfish Gene, gave me a new perspective. The genetic legacy fades pretty quickly since your gene contribution halves every generation. The real legacies are "memes" or ideas. Think about it. Do you know much about Mozart's kids or Ben Franklin's kids? Probably not. I don't even know if Washington had biological kids. It's their memes or intellectual contributions that made the legacy, not their genes.

To each his or her own with respect to having kids.

This thread, in general, is the best one I've read so far. It's really nice to see how people get out of the rat race.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

"
Moron:

That was the family the Democrats used as a prop to show why "poor" people need CHIP. The family, the Frosts own a $485K home, send their kids to private school and own a new SUV.

That is the definition of "poor" in today's America.

Read a newspaper sometime"

If you would read a newspaper rather than listening to Rush and Free Republic fools, you would know that the Frost's home is worth nowhere near the made up 485K figure (they bought it for 50K) and the children go to private school on scholarships which pay for all but $500 a year.

The family makes a combined 45K a year. Hardly welfare queens.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your perspective, formosan80. I'm the one taking my son to Tibet in a couple of months. He also speaks and writes fluent Cantonese and Mandarin thanks to our time in Hong Kong and friendships he's maintained since then (along with a little tutoring). I love seeing this young white boy speak perfect Chinese, and I've never encountered people more appreciative of foreigners speaking their language. I can take my son to China Town in NYC, SF or Chicago, and their eyes light up when he converses with them.

I think the best gift I've given him is travel. Don't get me wrong, it is good to have a place to come home to, but we try to travel 6 months out of every year. I know those experiences have really opened his eyes to some of the possibilities and even many of the problems in the world. He is a better person for it.

Anonymous said...

When I was young my parents moved a lot. I went to 6 schools between 1st and 8th grades. Every year or two I had to make a whole new set of friends in a strage school and a strange city.

It sucked ass. I don't have any kids now but if and when I do, I will not do subject them to that kind of life.

Those of you who think you are giving your kids a view onto the world, bullshit. Take them on trips all over the world if you wan. Send them on student exchanges. Send them to college internationally. But don't uproot them every year to fulfill your desires of renting and seeing the world.

Anonymous said...

>> Are you an insecure person who believes that he is better than other people just because he drives a flashy new car, and that those who drive older vehicles are bums? Man, you are shallow!

Another classic empty argument.

Anyway...

I'm neither insecure nor shallow - just better than all of you, that's all.

Anonymous said...

It's a different world than when you were a kid. My children have made friends all over the country and world, and they keep most of those friends. One plays and chats online with his good friend in the UAE every day. He met his best friend in Kindergarten, and even though they live in different cities, they still see each other at least 4 times a year. Daughter texts her pals in Japan and is planning to spend a holiday with them soon. At age 9, She's been to 4 different schools and has made friends in each that she stays in contact with. Uprooting a child no longer means destroying relationships or having to start from scratch. Family is what grounds you.

Anonymous said...

Moron:

That was the family the Democrats used as a prop to show why "poor" people need CHIP. The family, the Frosts own a $485K home, send their kids to private school and own a new SUV.

That is the definition of "poor" in today's America.

Read a newspaper sometime"

If you would read a newspaper rather than listening to Rush and Free Republic fools, you would know that the Frost's home is worth nowhere near the made up 485K figure (they bought it for 50K) and the children go to private school on scholarships which pay for all but $500 a year.

The family makes a combined 45K a year. Hardly welfare queens.

October 10, 2007 8:24 AM


=========

Again, I say moron:

Their home is valued at $485K. They own a brand new full sized SUV. Thhey also own a building worth $165K free and clear.

But I suppose to a socialis piece of filth like you that qualifies as poor.

Now you may return to your dailykos/Michael Moore idiocy.

Frank@NeverColdCall.com said...

The House is scheduled to vote on this legislation that would repeal the IRS’s authority to use private debt collection companies, to delay implementation of withholding taxes on government contractors, and to revise the tax rules on expatriation.

I wonder if it will help or hurt expats ... the tax rules now on expats are so horrific I wouldn't even think of leaving the US. As for repealing private debt collectors, if I were behind on taxes, I'd rather have a debt collector since they have no real power vs. the IRS who has the power to destroy your life.

now please tell me how wonderful life is living in a 1 bedroom apt, all by yourself but you get to put 60% of your income into savings and you can move tomorrow if you want....to another 1 bedroom apt where you will be all alone

Where do you clowns get the idea that renters live in 1-br apartments? We (meaing I'm not alone) rent a beautiful McMansion in Newport Coast (the most beautiful and pregistious part of Newport Beach) for pennies on the dollar ... about 40% of what it would cost to "own" to be exact, and prices are still falling here. Those of us who rent in the community at a deep discount LAUGH at the "owners" who bought post-2002 and have to eat ramen just to make the house payments.

Would I love to own? YES! I'd like to customize my house, do whatever I want with it, etc., but only a STUPID IDIOT would buy a depreciating asset, on credit to boot, when the price will be lower next year.

Would you buy a new car knowing the price will be dropped substantially next year? Me thinks not....

PS: Scottsdale sucks and is and always will be a haven for hard-luck losers, shysters and phonies looking for cheap banal living and super-dork loser clubgoers who can't get past the velvet ropes in any other cities. Is that better ? LOL

Anonymous said...

"To each his or her own with respect to having kids."

Finally, a reasonable conclusion to an age old question.

Anonymous said...

I get my information from journalists, not biaserd blowhards like Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh. I think it would do your brain (and your blood pressure) a lot of good to do the same. Just the facts, ma'am.

"The blogs were "pretty insulting stuff, and really just low," Halsey Frost, Graeme's father, said Tuesday.

Bloggers said the house was worth more than $400,000. It turns out it was bought for $55,000 in 1991 in a Baltimore neighborhood where "there were drug dealers and prostitutes on our street," Bonnie Frost said. Halsey Frost, a woodworker, did most of the renovations, which are "still not done," Bonnie said.

Bloggers said Graeme and Gemma go to private Park School, where tuition costs about $20,000. Graeme gets a scholarship, while Gemma's brain injuries were so severe that the city pays to educate her at a school for children with disabilities, the couple say.

The commercial property, which bloggers noted was bought for $160,000 in 1999, was intended to house Frostworks, Halsey's business. It folded soon after, he said — partly because of the cost of health insurance.

He has worked for small companies and is trying to restart his own business. She works part time for a consulting firm. The couple — who have four children in all —earned about $45,000 last year, well below the $55,220 limit for a family of six set under the original SCHIP program. Maryland's program goes higher, to nearly $83,000 for a family of six. "We are struggling," Bonnie Frost said. "We live paycheck to paycheck. "

Bloggers who helped circulate financial information about the family over the weekend backed off a bit Tuesday. "It's the difference between Google and journalism," said Rick Moran, who penned a piece for The American Thinker. "It's been proven that the family was means-eligible." His editor, Thomas Lifson, said, "It's just more complicated than might have appeared in the first round of investigation."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-10-09-schip_N.htm

Anonymous said...

txchic...

"LOL. Whatever. Feel sorry for me all you want. I'll think about all of you in your little cubes or maybe on your 2 hour commute to your drywall palace followed by dinner at Taco Bell and dragging the brats to soccer practice when the market closes and I'm off for a 2 hour bike ride.

We've all got issues, bro. Thankfully, mine don't involve being a debt slave like you all."

You're the partially the reason why I continue to "populate the world"...gotta neutralize the bad with the good...now off for MY 2 hour mountain bike ride while the spouse gets some quality time with the kiddos.

Alex said...

I'm 70 now, my wife is 66.
We live in the UK, I took early retirement at 55 because I was being being bored out of my skull, my wife and I bought a stone cottage in the country with the money from our town flat. No mortgage, A modest company pension keeps us in essentials,
I suspect things are going to get tougher with the depletion of fossil fuels and the worsening economic situation so we try to rely as little as possible on stuff that could get scarce/expensive
We have 12 acres of woodland so free fuel for heating,
We grow a lot of vegetables and have planted fruit trees and bushes, We have a good stream so we have no water costs and drains are via a septic tank.
I am planning to use the flow in the stream for electricity generation
I have a workshop attached to the house and I have just made a new glazed front door which actually fits to my amazement, New windows next.
No flash cars, we run an ancient Corolla which is no status symbol, but it is paid for.
In short we don't owe anyone anything. we are moderately self supporting and we intend to do it as long as our health and strength last out, because we are as happy as pigs in shit

D. said...

"When I was young my parents moved a lot. I went to 6 schools between 1st and 8th grades. Every year or two I had to make a whole new set of friends in a strage school and a strange city.

It sucked ass. I don't have any kids now but if and when I do, I will not do subject them to that kind of life."

I like the way people project their life experiences onto everybody else.

I went to 7 schools from kindergarten to 7th grade and loved the experience.

I've always loved change and meeting new people. I remember my youth vividly because I have easy unmistakable points of reference. For a long time, I thought it was because of these moves that I am comfortable with change but I guess you're just born with itchy feet.

Anonymous said...

d, you go ahead and move your kids ever 2 weeks if you want...as a therapist all I can tell you is you are hurting them and hurting them badly.

There are literally thousands of pages that have been written about this. Almost with no exception, kids in a stable environment have fewer issues when they are adults