Rantings and tirades of a frustrated economist.
Cap, you're a treasure. But I'm a typical blog troller too dim witted to have a blog of interest of my own. I do not have the atention span to follow vblogs so I delete them. I can skim the paragraphs of your text blogs to see if I want to dive in. Tell that "stares at whatever" guy too.
In the olden days my first boss had his tenants pay for his retirement plan.In forty years he never sold a house. He would rent his old one out and buy a new one. By the time he retired he had seven homes, five of which were free and clear.He controlled his retirement rather than trust the crooks on Wall Street.
Cappy, please allow me to witness: About a dozen years ago, I had built up a sizable chunk of change in my employer-matched 401(k). At one point, our CEO had a bit of a spat with the fund's management when said fund downgraded their outlook on our company's stock. Without prior announcement, he switched to different managers. Overnight (and I mean that - in a period of less than 24 hours) mine and everyone elses' accounts lost half their value.I still contributed to it because THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO but when I changed jobs a couple years later, I decided not to convert it to my new employer's Simple IRA and instead sat on it for a year. After watching the violent swings in its value post internet bubble, I decided that I'd had enough and cashed out. It was a serious pain-in-the-ass going through the motions to obtain MY MONEY THAT I EARNED. After penalties and taxes, I ended up with about the same amount of money that I would have otherwise had if I'd simply put those same contributions into savings. Doing my taxes that year damn near gave me an aneurism - not because of the penalties (which I expected) but in trying to faithfully complete the 1040. I used the money to build and restore a (still) very nice 4x4 truck and to buy tools - both of which I still use and rely on.Flash forward: at my current job, one of my older co-workers has had to delay retirement for several years, now, because of how much his 401(k) had lost in value post 2008. He had originally planned to leave in 2010 and only decided to leave at this point because his SS entitlements finally kicked in. As you say in the video, he is at the leading edge of millions more retirees in the same situation.This is the hard lesson that I have learned: when you hand over your money to government bureaucrats and the fund managers that collude with them, it is defacto no longer yours. You are at the mercy of their indifference and incompetence. The artificially inflated stock market value will only go down at this point and I have no doubt that when push comes to shove, they will in some manner nationalize the retirement funds just as surely as they have already stolen a great deal from these funds in the form of currency inflation.Learn new, useful skills and improve the ones you have, take on no new debt and retire what debt you have as soon as possible, live within your means, and stay mobile.
Nuts on. It's a hell of a world where the sane thing is to avoid conventional saving and investing. At least by owning physical things gov thugs have to come pry it out of your hands instead of clicking a mouse or calling a banker.
Any advice for the lucky ones with a good job and no debts?
This does not mean they shouldn't SAVE.In the 1930's your great grandparents put any spare change in a tin or a jar because that was how you dealt with a rainy day.The gov't is going out of that 'rainy day insurance' racket sooner rather than later - and you will want to be prepared as best you can.
Hiya Capn,found some charty goodness for you that I thought you'd like, showing that "college degrees are the modern-day equivalent of very, very expensive snake oil".http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-19/sorry-poor-kids-road-rags-riches-no-longer-goes-through-college
Related to some of your other posts about how liberal arts degrees are worthless--I have to disagree a bit. I'm studying Political Science and Legal Studies at a state university right now, and am near the finish line. I won't have more than 3k debt when I finish at most. Looking at stuff I'm interested in--most of the paralegal job openings on monster.com, the ones that list education requirements, say "bachelor's degree required and/or paralegal certificate." So with a Bachelor's, I can get a job as a paralegal, and those make an average of 40k or so. Also, with my four year degree, I get a job with the Atlanta Police Department, making 44k or so starting, once I make it through police academy. So while I agree it's insanity to spend 30k or more a year at college (one of my cousins is doing that)there looks to be a big advantage of having a 4 year degree, as long as you go to a cheaper school, like 6k a year. Going to a 3k a year junior college for the first two years would also be smart. That, and not ALL liberal arts degrees are a waste. Political Science has plenty of openings.
If you can save, you should. The only question is whether you should squirrel your savings away in dozens of secret hiding places, or put it all in one place and be ready to defend it, like this fellow:http://www.flickr.com/photos/teddyllovet/3327247005/
If your company has a 401K with a match, just save the % that maxes the match. No sense in passing up on free money. If they match in stock, screw it. I have friends who worked for citigroup and citi matched in company stock. Didnt end well.
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