Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Shallowpockets
Posts: 519
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:26 am

Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri May 20, 2016 9:16 am

So many here are doing well. High net worth with problems related to how to diversify and manage all of that. Many people thinking of working until 70.
Are there any blue collar workers in BH land? People whose jobs are probably not much fun when you reach your sixties. When the physical demands are maybe more than you want. Where the job is not in the fun or easy category.
I would like to hear if there are any people who made it up to BH territory from that realm of society. As the 'middle class' shrinks, it moves both ways. Some into the upper part and more into the lower. How goes it for retirement plans for them?

User avatar
David Jay
Posts: 4699
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:54 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by David Jay » Fri May 20, 2016 9:27 am

I am sure there are plenty of blue-collar types here. We are not the ones starting the threads asking: "I am 59 years old and have 2.5M in my 401K and IRAs, do I have enough to retire?"

I have a blue collar income (although I now have a desk job). I have never had a marginal tax rate of 25%, although this year I got close - I had to add $300 to my tIRA to stay out of the 25% bracket. I estimate that my retirement expenses will be about $50,000 per year (in 2016 dollars).
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

snarlyjack
Posts: 620
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Montana

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by snarlyjack » Fri May 20, 2016 9:34 am

Your talking about me!

I'm trying to set myself free... by dollar cost averaging
as much as possible every month.

I have my goals, I have a plan & I'm going for it!

Good luck to you...make a plan & go for it :sharebeer

mcraepat9
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:46 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by mcraepat9 » Fri May 20, 2016 9:39 am

I think if you were to search many of the "portfolio reviews", you'll find a lot of posters with modest incomes and blue collar jobs. However, you are probably correct in that I think this forum skews toward higher income and white collar jobs.

Those with modest incomes and blue collar jobs probably have the most to gain from sound financial advice and a Boglehead approach to investing. I genuinely hope nobody is turned off by the fact that so many threads focus on problems for the top 5-10%. That would be a shame.
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 3735
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri May 20, 2016 9:46 am

However you define blue-collar worker - the answer is yes. There a numerous low to moderate income bogleheads; and numerous bogleheads without college educations. Here are the results from last year's boglehead survey:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

User avatar
TheTimeLord
Posts: 4933
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri May 20, 2016 9:58 am

Personally, I would like to hear more from the Blue Collar BH. I think their issues are more relatable and applicable to the majority here.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

User avatar
saltycaper
Posts: 2635
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:47 pm
Location: The Tower

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by saltycaper » Fri May 20, 2016 10:04 am

DaftInvestor wrote:However you define blue-collar worker - the answer is yes. There a numerous low to moderate income bogleheads; and numerous bogleheads without college educations. Here are the results from last year's boglehead survey:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
Lol. That spreadsheet... I don't think it shows what you think it shows. :D But yes, I too believe there are numerous "blue collar" Bogleheads, whatever that means these days. Perhaps they even constitute the "silent" or at least "quieter" majority.
Quod vitae sectabor iter?

dh
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by dh » Fri May 20, 2016 10:08 am

TheTimeLord wrote:Personally, I would like to hear more from the Blue Collar BH. I think their issues are more relatable and applicable to the majority here.
Me too. I do not have a high income; however, I do have a job that does not require a strong back. So my plan is to continue to work until I am 70 (as long as my mind holds out). I am positive that many jobs, due to their physical demands, are impossible to do into one's 70s. Would like to learn from others on ways to work around physical challenges. :sharebeer

Perkunas
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 7:24 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Perkunas » Fri May 20, 2016 10:10 am

TheTimeLord wrote:Personally, I would like to hear more from the Blue Collar BH. I think their issues are more relatable and applicable to the majority here.
Same here - I'd love to hear more. I came across these forums just a week or two ago thinking that my wife and I were totally kick ass and taking names in terms of our situation at age 34... then I start reading and every other thread seems to be from doctors or a 25 year old trying to determine whether he should choose the 150k job or the 160k job. It definitely took a little bit of wind out my sails but I also realize having a 6 figure net worth puts my wife in probably the 90+ percentile for all Americans and likely higher than that relative to people our own age.

Sorry, edit to add I guess I am actually white collar but my salary is nothing special.

yellowgirl
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:12 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by yellowgirl » Fri May 20, 2016 10:17 am

Yes, right here. Office clerk and sales associate mid 30's.

User avatar
linenfort
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:22 am
Location: #96151D

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by linenfort » Fri May 20, 2016 10:31 am

yellowgirl wrote:Yes, right here. Office clerk and sales associate mid 30's.
I think that may be pink collar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink-coll ... ccupations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-collar_worker
Is it too early for an all-bond-portfolio thread?

User avatar
TheTimeLord
Posts: 4933
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri May 20, 2016 10:32 am

Perkunas wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:Personally, I would like to hear more from the Blue Collar BH. I think their issues are more relatable and applicable to the majority here.
Same here - I'd love to hear more. I came across these forums just a week or two ago thinking that my wife and I were totally kick ass and taking names in terms of our situation at age 34... then I start reading and every other thread seems to be from doctors or a 25 year old trying to determine whether he should choose the 150k job or the 160k job. It definitely took a little bit of wind out my sails but I also realize having a 6 figure net worth puts my wife in probably the 90+ percentile for all Americans and likely higher than that relative to people our own age.

Sorry, edit to add I guess I am actually white collar but my salary is nothing special.
This is probably the better measuring stick than posts in the forum as to how you are doing relative to others in the country.
Image
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

User avatar
Rob5TCP
Posts: 3018
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Rob5TCP » Fri May 20, 2016 10:45 am

When I was young and went to my Grandfather's "group" I thought almost everyone was rich.
Learned later on they were the exception. But you get the viewpoint that 6 figure jobs, mid 6 figure net worth at 25 are the norm.
In reality, of course, they are far far from the norm.
This site is a superb resource, but like my Grandfather's group, they tend towards a high net worth "norm".

User avatar
David Jay
Posts: 4699
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:54 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by David Jay » Fri May 20, 2016 10:51 am

TheTimeLord wrote: This is probably the better measuring stick than posts in the forum as to how you are doing relative to others in the country.
But that is net worth, not blue collar income/lifestyle. As a married, single-income household for the last 30 years, we have never grossed six figures, so we are very middle-middle class.

With careful lifestyle choices and aggressive savings, I find myself way above that chart's "Top 25%" at age 59. Probably in the top 15% or so, interpolating between the 10% and 25% levels.
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius

Levett
Posts: 4177
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: upper Midwest

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Levett » Fri May 20, 2016 10:56 am

TimeLord wrote:

"Personally, I would like to hear more from the Blue Collar BH. I think their issues are more relatable and applicable to the majority here."

I'm with you 110%.

Lev

User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 7406
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by cheese_breath » Fri May 20, 2016 10:57 am

I don't qualify since I was middle income before I retired. But I think being a Boglehead is more a state of mind than measure of financial worth. Those who have less to invest will end with less in the long run. But they will end up with more than non-Bogleheads of the same income level.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

User avatar
Uncle Pennybags
Posts: 1836
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:05 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri May 20, 2016 11:01 am

Shallowpockets wrote:Are there any blue collar workers in BH land? People whose jobs are probably not much fun when you reach your sixties. When the physical demands are maybe more than you want. Where the job is not in the fun or easy category.
I worked for Ma Bell for 35 years in installation and repair. I worked outside every day rain, snow, ice or shine and miss it, I was golden parachuted. Of course there aren't many "blue collar" jobs like that any more. Today it's much more difficult to be "the millionaire next door".

User avatar
pennstater2005
Posts: 2440
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:50 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by pennstater2005 » Fri May 20, 2016 11:28 am

I used to do landscaping/excavating until I was about 25. After an aching low back and various joints I knew I couldn't do that type of work for another forty years. So, back to school I went. I obtained a two year degree for physical therapist assistant.

It's not physical labor by any means but it will never be a high earning profession. I'll probably never make much more than 45k a year but what's crazy to some is that to me it's enough. I work 38 hours a week and no weekends.

Because of student loans incurred in order to go to college though it has limited my ability to save. They'll be paid off in about four years and I'm hoping to bump up the savings rate drastically. I probably save between 7-10% of income currently. I see the 30-50% saving rates on here and am just bewildered. A little jealous too :wink:
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

furnace
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:38 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by furnace » Fri May 20, 2016 11:29 am

Shallowpockets wrote:So many here are doing well. High net worth with problems related to how to diversify and manage all of that. Many people thinking of working until 70.
Are there any blue collar workers in BH land? People whose jobs are probably not much fun when you reach your sixties. When the physical demands are maybe more than you want. Where the job is not in the fun or easy category.
I would like to hear if there are any people who made it up to BH territory from that realm of society. As the 'middle class' shrinks, it moves both ways. Some into the upper part and more into the lower. How goes it for retirement plans for them?
Everybody retires whether they can afford it or not. Some retired people have to move to a lower cost location -- like a mobile home in FLA or rural America. Some even move overseas -- although I doubt it is any less expensive. Instead of traveling to Disney for your vacation, you go fishing nearby. The day still passes wherever you are. :beer

User avatar
6miths
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:55 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by 6miths » Fri May 20, 2016 11:30 am

Definitely! It's a way of thinking not a number
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

flyingbison
Posts: 1363
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:52 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by flyingbison » Fri May 20, 2016 11:35 am

White-collar job for me, but blue-collar income and net worth.

My father was a truck driver with a GED, and my brother was a correctional officer with a HS diploma. Both made a lot more than I ever will, and were retired at 55 and 53, respectively.

In my experience, blue-collar and even middle-class perspectives are not often welcomed on this site. The assumption from many posters seems to be that anyone who is smart and hard-working should be wealthy, and those who are not wealthy are lacking something.

rgs92
Posts: 1766
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:00 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by rgs92 » Fri May 20, 2016 11:36 am

Computer programming has become blue collar. Most of the jobs are paid by the hour and you often get let go when your work is not needed. All my friends who do programming go on and off unemployment regularly. It was considered very low level assembly line work that could be done by inexperienced imported workers easily so they just look for the cheapest rate person who is under 40.
It used to be a dignified profession where you got quite a lot of respect.
(Of course, it takes a lot of brains and skills, but the upper levels who don't even grasp what it is don't get that.)

User avatar
BTDT
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:40 am
Location: Grand Lake OK

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by BTDT » Fri May 20, 2016 12:19 pm

In today's world I'm confused as to what exactly constitutes a 'blue collar' position? Is it someone who works outdoors? works with their hands? operates equipment? Is paid by the hour or unit completed? Is paid a maximum amount per day/month/year?

Is a pro-football player blue-collar? Paramedic? Mechanic? Nurse? Fireman? Farmer? Jockey? Model? pro-golfer? Physical therapist? Dentist? Chef? Waiter? :oops:
If past history was all that is needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians.

User avatar
Abe
Posts: 1731
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:24 pm
Location: Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Abe » Fri May 20, 2016 12:58 pm

I don't know if I would be classified as blue-collar since I never worked for a salary, but my life was probably very different than most Bogleheads. I attended college but because of a learning disability, I dropped out my second year. I just never had enough time to do the work required. My father had a small business but because of a long illness it was about to go under. After my father died, I started running the business and over time, I was able to start making a small profit. I think the most I ever made was around $65k a year. Still, I saved a big part of what I earned and invested it. I didn't know much about stocks so most of my investments were in rental property and later buying mortgages at a discount. Over time my investments starting producing more money than I made working. My net worth is now several million dollars, a number that I never dreamed I would reach. When I read post here about people making $300k a year or more, and they worry about having enough to retire, I can't believe it. I know from experience, you don't have to make a lot of money to become financially independent.
:sharebeer
Last edited by Abe on Sat May 21, 2016 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Slow and steady wins the race.

User avatar
linenfort
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:22 am
Location: #96151D

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by linenfort » Fri May 20, 2016 1:24 pm

BTDT wrote:In today's world I'm confused as to what exactly constitutes a 'blue collar' position?"
I went by the wikipage but more importantly, by the OP's guideline:
When the physical demands are maybe more than you want.
I'm blue-collar income, too, but I don't think I could face firefighters and plumbers and say that I'm blue collar.
Is it too early for an all-bond-portfolio thread?

Rainmaker41
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:34 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Rainmaker41 » Fri May 20, 2016 1:32 pm

I made $22k in 2015, which is the year I started my IRA and Roth IRA. This year I expect to make more but at the most $30k and probably a good deal less.

I have a BA and currently do accounting for a nonprofit, so I'm not blue collar, but don't feel like you're the only low-ish income person at Vanguard / on Bogleheads. :)
My username is not about money, but is my old online gaming username. I can't say that I make a great deal of money; I just hate spending it. Married the most loving woman in the world October 2017.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 12653
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Toons » Fri May 20, 2016 1:46 pm

Yes.
Me :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

User avatar
akblizzard
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by akblizzard » Fri May 20, 2016 1:59 pm

Blue collar (and I guess redneck), that's me. I spent some years working in underground mines in the western USA, then some years in oil & gas in Alaska. Worked hard, raised a family, tried to save some money along the way. Only out of work for one week in 39 years and counting. Never made a bunch of money but certainly blessed with enough. The trick is just save some money every month each year...it adds up.

S&L1940
Posts: 1552
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by S&L1940 » Fri May 20, 2016 2:04 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:However you define blue-collar worker - the answer is yes. There a numerous low to moderate income bogleheads; and numerous bogleheads without college educations. Here are the results from last year's boglehead survey:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
quick look,appears to be possibly 40-50% 7 figure BH members
We are from group B or C, over 70, a mix of white and blue collar, no pension, no $x,xxx,xxx asset or portfolio value, yet, thanks to this forum, doing just fine thank you
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

island
Posts: 1720
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by island » Fri May 20, 2016 2:16 pm

flyingbison wrote: In my experience, blue-collar and even middle-class perspectives are not often welcomed on this site. The assumption from many posters seems to be that anyone who is smart and hard-working should be wealthy, and those who are not wealthy are lacking something.
How so? I've never felt that, but maybe we read different threads.

I'm not even sure what "blue collar" means anymore. No formal education required is what first comes to mind, but that can still be lucrative. Or are you referring to wealth alone?

As an aside...
I know many smart, hard working and highly educated who may never see a high 5 figure or 6 figure paycheck in their occupation of choice.
I know many in high stress, fast pace, low and high paying health care fields whose backs, necks and hands will probably give out before the reach their full earning potential in their field or full retirement age.

User avatar
simplesimon
Posts: 3089
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:53 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by simplesimon » Fri May 20, 2016 2:20 pm

My parents moved to the U.S. in their 20's and don't speak English. My father worked two full time jobs since 1989, when my younger brother was born, so we only got to see him on weekends. Each of his jobs paid about $40k-$45k/year in today's dollars. One job was hardware QA at a semiconductor manufacturing company and the other was the graveyard shift stocking shelves at a big grocery store. My mother was a SAHM then eventually went to work as an office administrator 15 years ago for $35k/year in today's dollars. They sent both sons to college (one public, one private).

Their retirement savings are modest by the standards set by BH's here, I expect to surpass them in the next few years, but they own their home. They are in their early 60's and will retire comfortably because of pensions, social security, and most important of all: low expenses. Their total expenses per month is about $3k. Their retirement portfolio is just gravy. They don't know what "Boglehead" means but LBYM is the only way they know how to live.

JoinToday
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:59 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by JoinToday » Fri May 20, 2016 2:29 pm

flyingbison wrote:In my experience, blue-collar and even middle-class perspectives are not often welcomed on this site. The assumption from many posters seems to be that anyone who is smart and hard-working should be wealthy, and those who are not wealthy are lacking something.
I am very surprised to read this. I find this site to be one of the best on the web in terms of helpfulness and respect.

Due in large part to the work of the moderators, I rarely see discussions get out of hand. I am very grateful for the generosity of the contributors.
I wish I had learned about index funds 25 years ago

User avatar
HueyLD
Posts: 5637
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:30 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by HueyLD » Fri May 20, 2016 2:36 pm

flyingbison wrote:In my experience, blue-collar and even middle-class perspectives are not often welcomed on this site. The assumption from many posters seems to be that anyone who is smart and hard-working should be wealthy, and those who are not wealthy are lacking something.
I got the same impression, too.

For example, a poster asked what to do with an extra $10k, and some responses would indicate that It was only $10k and not worth worrying about.

LadyIJ
Posts: 488
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:00 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by LadyIJ » Fri May 20, 2016 2:50 pm

me too - Pink Collar (I think - legal assistant - under $100K per year) and hubby was contractor. We've reached our financial goals, lived below our means; husband retired and I will be retiring early this year. BTW, I always loved investing and the stock market - finances, learned it from my dad - watched a man who never made much money accrue a very secure nest egg. Bogleheads is a real source of information and food for thought. Welcome!

User avatar
Uncle Pennybags
Posts: 1836
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:05 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri May 20, 2016 3:22 pm

OP remember this is the Interweb; this forum is better than most but all posters are not what they purport to be.

Image

linenfort wrote:
BTDT wrote:When the physical demands are maybe more than you want.
A prize fighter must be the bluest of the blue.

User avatar
carorun
Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:53 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by carorun » Fri May 20, 2016 3:25 pm

HueyLD wrote:
flyingbison wrote:In my experience, blue-collar and even middle-class perspectives are not often welcomed on this site. The assumption from many posters seems to be that anyone who is smart and hard-working should be wealthy, and those who are not wealthy are lacking something.
I got the same impression, too.

For example, a poster asked what to do with an extra $10k, and some responses would indicate that It was only $10k and not worth worrying about.
Agree. I think the mods keep people from getting nasty but there's a clear class divide here. I see so many posts saying "I'm 22 and just got a job making $150k what do I do" or "if you're not maxing your 401k and Roth then you aren't saving". Then people jump on the guy making $900k who feels middle class.
Last edited by carorun on Fri May 20, 2016 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 12750
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by ruralavalon » Fri May 20, 2016 3:25 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:So many here are doing well. High net worth with problems related to how to diversify and manage all of that. Many people thinking of working until 70.
Are there any blue collar workers in BH land? People whose jobs are probably not much fun when you reach your sixties. When the physical demands are maybe more than you want. Where the job is not in the fun or easy category.
I would like to hear if there are any people who made it up to BH territory from that realm of society. As the 'middle class' shrinks, it moves both ways. Some into the upper part and more into the lower. How goes it for retirement plans for them?
Yes there are blue collar Bogleheads.

It's quite common on this forum to see individuals and couples in the 15% tax bracket, over 42 million American households fall into the 15% bracket making it the most common tax bracket, and that bracket would probably include most blue collar jobs.

Tax Foundation, "How Many Taxpayers Fall Into Each Income Tax Bracket?".
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
Uncle Pennybags
Posts: 1836
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:05 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri May 20, 2016 3:36 pm

ruralavalon wrote:It's quite common on this forum to see individuals and couples in the 15% tax bracket, over 42 million American households fall into the 15% bracket making it the most common tax bracket, and that bracket would probably include most blue collar jobs.
And the very wealthy who have accountants with sharp pencils.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 12750
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by ruralavalon » Fri May 20, 2016 3:45 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:It's quite common on this forum to see individuals and couples in the 15% tax bracket, over 42 million American households fall into the 15% bracket making it the most common tax bracket, and that bracket would probably include most blue collar jobs.
And the very wealthy who have accountants with sharp pencils.
Those would need to be very sharp pencils.

Also in the 15% or lower brackets, retirees without pensions who live on Social Security and their hard-earned savings.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

invst65
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:04 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by invst65 » Fri May 20, 2016 3:53 pm

rgs92 wrote:Computer programming has become blue collar. Most of the jobs are paid by the hour and you often get let go when your work is not needed. All my friends who do programming go on and off unemployment regularly. It was considered very low level assembly line work that could be done by inexperienced imported workers easily so they just look for the cheapest rate person who is under 40.
It used to be a dignified profession where you got quite a lot of respect.
(Of course, it takes a lot of brains and skills, but the upper levels who don't even grasp what it is don't get that.)
if rgs92 is right, then I'm a blue collar worker. I've been programming for 40 years (and my fingers are really tired).

I don't think he is right, however. I sit in a cubicle and earn a six-figure salary so that hardly makes me a blue-collar worker.

But still, I don't live in the rarefied air of a lot of the posters here. Like somebody else said I get a kick out of the posters who ask if they can retire at age 59 with only 2.5 millions saved, no debt, and a pension or annuity that will pay all of the bills.

I'll be retiring next year at age 68 with slightly north of a million dollars, a mortgage still to pay and an adopted granddaughter just graduating from high school. Fortunately, my wife is 17 years younger, plans to work another 10 years, and her salary pays almost half of the bills.

It can get very depressing comparing your situation to others on social media. I read a news story lately about how a lot of people find Facebook depressing when their friends post pictures of their expensive vacations when they aren't doing so well themselves.

But there is always somebody doing worse or better than you. If you had an IQ of 140 you could join the Mensa society but you would soon get depressed because everyone else would be smarter. On the other end of the spectrum, you can visit a third world country and realize how truly rich even a blue-collar worker in America is when compared with the majority of the rest of the world's population.

Day9
Posts: 605
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:22 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Day9 » Fri May 20, 2016 3:54 pm

I know some blue collar folk who are also small business owners who have high income and net worth but drive their white pick up trucks and work with their hands
I'm just a fan of the person I got my user name from

User avatar
Uncle Pennybags
Posts: 1836
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:05 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri May 20, 2016 3:55 pm

ruralavalon wrote:Also in the 15% or lower brackets, retirees without pensions who live on Social Security and their hard-earned savings.
For many on Social Security the 15% bracket is really 30% because of the additional amount of Social Security that is taxed for every dollar acquired. Even "tax free" investments count making them 15% taxable in reality. :annoyed
invst65 wrote:Fortunately, my wife is 17 years younger,
:sharebeer

Theseus
Posts: 364
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Theseus » Fri May 20, 2016 4:04 pm

+ 1.
cheese_breath wrote:I don't qualify since I was middle income before I retired. But I think being a Boglehead is more a state of mind than measure of financial worth. Those who have less to invest will end with less in the long run. But they will end up with more than non-Bogleheads of the same income level.

spencer99
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:17 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by spencer99 » Fri May 20, 2016 4:24 pm

Shallowpockets wrote: Are there any blue collar workers in BH land?
Yeah, and I really enjoy reading posts from those with modest circumstances similar to my own. I'm not exactly blue collar now but have spent a good part of my life in that kind of job and certainly that fits my family, educational, and cultural experience. It's a good part of the reason that I didn't find and become a BH until my mid-fifties.

That said, I think there are relatively few issues discussed around here that aren't relevant, at least in part, to people of any means.

User avatar
linenfort
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:22 am
Location: #96151D

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by linenfort » Fri May 20, 2016 4:25 pm

invst65 wrote:It can get very depressing comparing your situation to others on social media. I read a news story lately about how a lot of people find Facebook depressing when their friends post pictures of their expensive vacations when they aren't doing so well themselves.

But there is always somebody doing worse or better than you. If you had an IQ of 140 you could join the Mensa society but you would soon get depressed because everyone else would be smarter. On the other end of the spectrum, you can visit a third world country and realize how truly rich even a blue-collar worker in America is when compared with the majority of the rest of the world's population.
So true.

For what it's worth, I mostly see helpful responses to questions. No one is ever asked to supply $ amounts in the first place, but when people volunteer them, they get answers, whether they're small investors or a twentysomething with a tech job and an annual salary that beats what some of us will ever see in a lifetime.

Yes, there are some snide comments here and there, but there are also a lot of members. And those snide comments (not to even mention healthy debates) aren't generally directed at those with small savings or incomes. Spendthrifts? Maybe. Overwhelmingly, the same sensible messages get repeated. At least, that's what I see.
Is it too early for an all-bond-portfolio thread?

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 12750
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by ruralavalon » Fri May 20, 2016 4:27 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Also in the 15% or lower brackets, retirees without pensions who live on Social Security and their hard-earned savings.
For many on Social Security the 15% bracket is really 30% because of the additional amount of Social Security that is taxed for every dollar acquired. Even "tax free" investments count making them 15% taxable in reality. :annoyed
invst65 wrote:Fortunately, my wife is 17 years younger,
:sharebeer
So far in retirement we are have been in the 00% bracket :D . But RMDs started this year, so we will see what bracket is next.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

Silence Dogood
Posts: 704
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Silence Dogood » Fri May 20, 2016 4:29 pm

carorun wrote:
HueyLD wrote:
flyingbison wrote:In my experience, blue-collar and even middle-class perspectives are not often welcomed on this site. The assumption from many posters seems to be that anyone who is smart and hard-working should be wealthy, and those who are not wealthy are lacking something.
I got the same impression, too.

For example, a poster asked what to do with an extra $10k, and some responses would indicate that It was only $10k and not worth worrying about.
Agree. I think the mods keep people from getting nasty but there's a clear class divide here. I see so many posts saying "I'm 22 and just got a job making $150k what do I do" or "if you're not maxing your 401k and Roth then you aren't saving". Then people jump on the guy making $900k who feels middle class.
My favorite is the "What age did you reach $100,000K networth?" thread.

Aside from the fact that most people didn't adjust for inflation (rendering the data useless), what is the purpose of that thread?

You may as well ask, "Which Boglehead has the biggest hands?"

peppers
Posts: 1317
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by peppers » Fri May 20, 2016 4:31 pm

Going through my wardrobe I find I don't have a lot of collared shirts.
deleted link
Last edited by peppers on Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

plumberboy
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:25 am
Location: Northern Indiana

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by plumberboy » Fri May 20, 2016 4:35 pm

I find this question to be some what surprising.I have never thought of the Bogleheads forum as being mostly white collar.To me,Bogleheads are those who are trying to learn and seek advice in sound investing over the long term .
You asked to hear from blue collar Bogleheads,I am one. Only 2 yrs. of high school, never salaried and retired after 52 yrs. of working with a net worth of well over a million and absolutely no debt. I have self educated myself over the years especially in regards to investing of which the Bogleheads forum has been very helpful.
My point in all this is that a college degree and a high income white collar job does not automatically translate to wealth. In fact, I have seen many of these people to busy trying to keep up with the Jones. On the surface they look well to do but are in debt up to their necks.

DoTheMath
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:11 pm
Location: The Plains

Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by DoTheMath » Fri May 20, 2016 4:48 pm

HueyLD wrote:
flyingbison wrote:In my experience, blue-collar and even middle-class perspectives are not often welcomed on this site. The assumption from many posters seems to be that anyone who is smart and hard-working should be wealthy, and those who are not wealthy are lacking something.
I got the same impression, too.

For example, a poster asked what to do with an extra $10k, and some responses would indicate that It was only $10k and not worth worrying about.
This is something about which we need to be ever vigilant. Folks need to be mindful of posters' circumstances and give credit where credit is due. For many people saving, say, a few hundred a month is a real accomplishment (and much harder than someone else's maxing of their 401k) and that should be applauded and encouraged. The forum is at its best when it helps people where they are. I am a big believer in Bogleheads being a "big tent" kind of place where everyone should be able to find useful information.

That said, this is the internet and there will always be knuckleheads. It's the job of our fellow BHers to say something when another poster needs reminding to be compassionate.
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains...” -- John Muir

Post Reply