Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

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Nova1967
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Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Nova1967 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:02 am

PhysicsTeacher wrote:DH is a journeyman electrician, albeit one with a math degree and a non blue collar background. (His parents are a pharmacist and an attorney.) Nonetheless, his job involves heavy physical labor for $20/hour, so I suppose he qualifies. As others in this thread have mentioned, that sort of job isn't sustainable forever, and we have thus spent the past year cutting expenses and getting serious about investing. We're saving over 40% of our take home pay, which enables us to max out our Roth contributions, gradually increase our emergency fund to twelve months living expenses, and save aggressively for a house down payment. I'm cautiously optimistic about our being able to retire by fifty.

I have always found board members to be helpful and considerate. However, I do occasionally feel a smidgen out of place on Bogleheads.
Yes there do seem to be a lot of people who exaggerate or brag about their wealth but overall the site is very informative. Saving, compound interest and cutting expenses are the key to a solid retirement

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

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:31 am

PhysicsTeacher wrote:I have always found board members to be helpful and considerate. However, I do occasionally feel a smidgen out of place on Bogleheads.
Don't feel out of place; the investing is a snap, just keep it simple with index funds and an asset allocation. Avoiding paying more tax than is necessary is the hard part. :?
mule wrote: I do look up more at a 8 figure person different because I know the hard work it took to get there but I don't see that person any different then me or a person that will never have a million bucks in the bank.
How much money do you need to be "happy?" A study from Princeton found after $75,000 a year in income money doesn't make people any happier. Below that basic needs can be a worry but above that it is all shiny things we get board with.

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

Post by SeeMoe » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:21 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
anoop wrote:
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.
Image
Where can one find updated data for this?
It is from the Dallas Fed. I got it off Fidelity I think. I don't know that it is done annually.
A person in their mid 70's with a net worth of $1.6 million is in the top 10% per the chart. If they generate about $160,000.00 per year from other sources such as pensions and medical benefits, wouldn't that boost their net worth accordingly? At 4% that would require about $4 million bucks to maintain the $160k yearly payout, am I right? If so, then this puts the retiree near the top 3%~4% number!

SeeMoe.. :greedy
"By gnawing through a dike, even a Rat can destroy a nation ." {Edmund Burke}

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

Post by resurgemus » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:23 pm

I've got a high school diploma, a job with my name on my shirt, and physically -- at age 42 -- I've reached the end of the line in a young man's (or woman's) career field. I just can't do this stuff much longer, so I'll give them my "two-weeks notice" before too long. Probably Winter 2017/18.

I'm probably going to go to college and figure out a new line of work, although if the right desk job presents itself, I might see how much I can bank for a year or two (at the most). I've been fortunately to stay out of bad debt, save a bit each month, and never let my lifestyle get too out of hand. The ex-wife used to spend a little too much, and I overpaid to expedite the divorce process... But after all is said and done, I really only wish I had an extra $30-40k in the bank. I'm in much better shape than most of my peers at work. Very few of them can even consider going to college full-time.

I'm very grateful to the BH philosophy. Budgeting, saving, and not trying to win the lottery help me S.W.A.N.
Domestic 42%, Int'l 21%, REIT 7%, Fixed 30%

TMCD75
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Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by TMCD75 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:02 pm

I'm 41 and have been a house painter for about 18 years straight. I'm going to start an exercise program to lose weight. At 6-5 and 300lbs, climbing 24ft ladders, climbing 8ft step ladders, picking up 5 gallon buckets of paint, etc., has finally caught up with me. This summer has been very humid, with many day time heat indexes of 100+ degrees. I'm soaked in sweat everyday in this heat.

I'm self employed though, and basically stuck. I love the flexibility, making my own hours, and still love to paint. The money used to be much better pre 08', I was grossing 125k a year. Since then, it's been between 55k-70k gross.

We also get to go to Florida for 6 weeks in the winter because of our schedule. I just need to lose 50 lbs to stay in the game for another 15 years. I can't stay in the game unless I lose weight.

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

Post by Shallowpockets » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:02 pm

I encourage you to lose that weight. Think of it as debt. Lose it.
Health is wealth. Many cannot equate that thought until they spend countless hours and dollars for ill health from a preventable lifestyle. No fun retirement in that.
Start now. Start walking.

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

Post by SouthernCPA » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:13 am

Day9 wrote: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 do as well. The wealthiest clients of my firm are blue collar business owners. Many of the blue collar types that own businesses make great money - in many cases much more than lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc. The older gentleman in the cloth seat, white F150 usually has much more money than the guy who drives the brand new S-Class mercedes. I see it everyday.

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

Post by Setafix » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:49 am

I am package car driver for UPS and Im a boglehead. Married and in my mid 30s. Been at UPS since I was in my teens. My pay and benifits are good. But I didnt start saving until I was 30. But because of the community on here I have learned the saving and investing philosophy. We live below our means. The work is hard and right now I can do it. But every year corporate is always pushing their numbers and trying to find ways shave off time so they can add morw stops. My savings aren't much now but I still have time to save, plus it gives me hope to know that their is a desent size pension waiting for me in 15 years at age 49 when I am eligible to retire.

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

Post by laughlinlvr » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:22 pm

Don’t beat yourself up for not saving before your 30s if you have already learned to lbym. That’s the hard lifting.
My career was in projects, so had to live with boom and bust cycle. Retired on 62nd birthday. Best thing about employment was becoming wealthier than supervisors. It made for interesting dynamic, but friendship wasn’t included. Still, they’re working and I’m not.
Worst thing about employment is that I noticed that as machines and algorithms became more human like, workers were being asked to behave more like machines. I saw what were originally best practices become standard practices. Then required practices, then compliant practices and now surveilled practices.
I am glad I got out ahead of this by the BH lifestyle. Heard so many times from colleagues that they only live once and they might get hit by a bus. One or two I asked what their plan B was in case they didn’t get run over by a bus. It didn’t go well. As I wrote, the workplace wasn’t a source of friends for me.
Stay the course. It is sublimely satisfying to come from behind. First the supervisors, then the bosses, then the fancy neighbors and - this could happen - finally the trustafarians.
Investing - The hardest way to make an easy living.

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

Post by mlebuf » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:05 am

Being white collar or blue collar has nothing to do with accumulating wealth. The ability to save and knowing the simple basics of investing are infinitely more important.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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

Post by blw87 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:55 am

A dear friend of ours began working for UPS as a teenager. He worked hard, climbed the ladder into management, and retired comfortably in his mid-50s. I suppose you could argue that he began blue collar and ended with a white collar.

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

Post by wolf359 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:33 am

dots45 wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:32 pm
New poster here, but I've lurked for a while. I'm not a blue collar worker, though I work an office job with a mid 40k salary and feel as if I can identify with the blue collar type boglehead. This thread piqued my interest and hit me close to home, and made me happy to know that I am not alone in that it can feel overwhelming when reading about some of the incredibly high salaries and net worth of others on the board. And that there are others like me who see $10,000 as a large amount of money. I see comments about maxing 401k's and Roth IRAs as if its no big thing or an expectation, which is shocking to me. I can't relate to that, at least right now.

For me its important, however, to take a step back and take a deep breath. I end up talking to people at my work about retirement contributions to the 457 and most people don't even contribute, which gives me a bit of a reality check that maybe I am doing ok. A lot of this comes down to perspective, and in the end it is likely a small amount of the overall population that has very high income combined with boglehead philosophies. It just doesn't seem like that on here. I'm on a career path that allows me a great work/life balance and security (government). I didn't put the enormous amounts of time it can take to become a doctor, lawyer, or other high earning profession. There are tradeoffs and at the end of the day, I'm OK with not having that type of salary. I also don't have any debt outside of a mortgage. It does make it more challenging, however, but not impossible to save.

I put off starting to contribute to my 457 for a while, but eventually i decided to at least get the ball rolling. For me getting started was the hardest part a couple years back, and now I'm upping my contributions whenever possible. I was able to max my Roth IRA for 2015 and 2016 and am on track to contribute a bit more than $9,000 pre-tax to my 457 plan for this year. I don't see myself being able to max both at the same time for a while, but I am doing everything I can to get closer to that goal.

I remember reading about the habits of millionaires and billionaires, and how so many are avid readers. I've taken this advice to heart. I read a lot and am constantly looking for ways to improve. I've learned a ton from the Bogleheads forum and it has been an incredible resource for me, but I also read a lot of other forums and try to take bits and pieces to add to my own knowledge. I know a lot about Credit Card rewards and airline stuff, keeping my expenses low and living frugally, and basically living below your means and trying to take advantage of opportunities that come up. All things that are helpful in helping me save to invest more in a Boglehead way,though not necessarily the primary topic of this forum. I have a great appreciation for those who contribute here and think the knowledge is useful for people on all ends of the income spectrum.
You also have to keep in mind that the laws have changed in the last 30 years that I have been working. I maxed out my 401k and IRA when I first got a job. The limits were much lower then, and there was no such thing as a Roth IRA. I also had to define "maxing" as "the maximum they would let me contribute" since I made so little that I was actually hitting the other contribution limit - a certain percentage of your salary. My first income goal was to get my income high enough that I could max out the 401-k by hitting the dollar amount limit.

Today the absolute dollar limits are higher for both IRA and 401-k, and I'm not sure maxing them out is possible the same way I did it. It requires more of your income than it did in my day.

I can't believe that now I sound like an old man.

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

Post by DesertDiva » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:40 am

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.
That’s what a true Boglehead would do, regardless of income level. It’s more about what you keep than what you make.

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

Post by Slov » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:15 am

I think a boglehead who simply follows John Bogles Philosophy of investing and personal finance to a certain extent. Im a SPC in the Army and I don't make much, but I have a fully funded emergency fund, Max my Roth IRA, Im working towards maxing my TSP by career advances, and I live below my means and live on 50 percent pay.

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

Post by Setafix » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:31 am

I would be classified as blue collar but technically brown collar :wink:

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

Post by Kalo » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:36 pm

Day9 wrote:
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
This is a good point. Reminds me of the book The Millionaire Next Door. It points out that some white collar jobs require a high cost lifestyle. And many of the millionaires they interviewed were blue collar types (mentality) even if they were actually small business owners.

I rarely even hear the terms blue collar and white collar any more. And as far as education, I've known some brilliant people who were informally educated, and some real duds with PhDs. In fact I think formal education hits its peak for earning at Masters and then declines at PhD because so many teach and MBAs often go into corporate jobs.

Rules of thumb or stereotypes don't work very well. I learned a long time ago that you can't judge a person by the clothes they wear. Remember Bernie Madoff. He was a very flashy dresser.

Kalo
"When people say they have a high risk tolerance, what they really mean is that they are willing to make a lot of money." -- Ben Stein/Phil DeMuth - The Little Book of Bullet Proof Investing.

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

Post by Abe » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:38 pm

mlebuf wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:05 am
Being white collar or blue collar has nothing to do with accumulating wealth. The ability to save and knowing the simple basics of investing are infinitely more important.
+1 Save, Invest and Compound (SIC)
Slow and steady wins the race.

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

Post by Shikoku » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:05 pm

Kalo wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:36 pm
In fact I think formal education hits its peak for earning at Masters and then declines at PhD because so many teach and MBAs often go into corporate jobs.
Any data to support this? We should compare apples to apples such as Masters and PhD in the same discipline.

Many people go for PhD just for lifestyle.
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett

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

Post by invst65 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:06 pm

I'm a no-collar Boglehead - meaning I'm retired.

While working I was a computer programmer cranking out code at my desk. I never thought of myself as white-collar or blue-collar. Somewhere in between, I guess.

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

Post by dharrythomas » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:43 am

I can't ever claim to have been blue collar. But I had a number of years where I was making about the median wage at my primary job. 6 months between jobs, went to school at night several times. And I guess the work I did performing environmental field sampling in superfund sites is not different from blue collar labor. Have a spouse that when she worked was low earning with a long commute, I worked a second job in the Army Reserve. I spent years saving 5% of my primary salary, funding two IRAs, then Roths plus a little into taxable, sometimes very little, paid down the house(s) early. Raised two kids.

I've never put more than 15% in 401(K) and have now settled on 12% ( thousands under a max before you count that I'm eligible for catch-up contributions) move money from taxable to fund Roths, wife no longer works. I let her spend what I can put in savings.

I've been blessed, have had some high earning years since the financial crisis, didn't get killed or seriously injured in the Army. Looked up when they made me retire from the Army Reserve (52) and realized that we had the house paid for, would have most retirement costs covered by pensions (eventually), and that we were on track to reach or surpass all our financial goals.

In a country where the median family income is just under $60K, a vouple over 50, has easily $61K of tax deferred space.

It's easy for median and lower earners to get lost in the noise. Live below your means, save as much as you can without depriving your family, severely limit debt, pick the right spouse, and with a little luck you'll be OK. Live a disciplined lifestyle.

Don't benchmark on what you read here. If you must benchmark, use the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finance. Then pick a stretch goal looking at the means, not the medians. Your goal will be pulled up by the outliers.

I've been blessed but focused on a long term goal of financial security helped.

Good luck.

Harry

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

Post by sschullo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:16 am

island wrote:
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.
I agree. Smart, highly educated and high-net-worth income white collar professionals are especially nice and helpful on this site.
I identify with blue-collar more than white-collar because I was raised on a farm and worked various dead-end jobs before getting an education later than most and having a so-called "white collar" profession for my career, elementary teacher. Despite starting late, I retired with a 7 figure nest egg.

I agree with OP. ALL workers should have access to objective financial information and learn the investing process so they can do this without hiring an expensive financial adviser.
2 cents
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

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

Post by theshovel » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:53 am

I decided to stop lurking and registered to add my two cents to this.

I don't consider myself to be "blue collar." I always felt that the term meant "disposable" or "less" when I was in school, so I don't use it. I am a skilled tradesperson. Skills I gained through an apprenticeship roughly equivalent to an undergrad degree. I'm a working professional. I just work outside, often at odd hours, at different places everyday.

As such, my skillset (and Union) earn me a wage that gives me a "coupla extra bucks." I make 100-130k depending on overtime/shift diff etc. Have a pension and annuity. Sadly, no match on my maxed 401k due to municipal employer. Have a Roth IRA and a private brokerage.

I came around to the Boglehead way of thinking because I think critically on the job, which leads me to think critically about my finances, and my future.

I think these forums offer a tremendous wealth of information, no matter what someone's perceived income is. A big question for me was rather to go for a traditional or Roth IRA. The answer I found here was clear and concise, and it is what bookmarked the page for me!

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

Post by QuercusRubra » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:39 am

We are a Blue Collar household (Excavating = him, landscaping = her). Mid - $40k/yr both of us. Not rich, but not poor. No pensions, but in the last few years we've been trying to save 15% or more towards retirement.

I feel there is a strong bias on this site towards higher incomes. Perhaps that is because 'Bogleheads' are more fiscally conscious to begin with... Perhaps also, it is much more enjoyable to respond to posts with higher surplus income.

My first and only post was a turnoff for me. Although, I still enjoy the site and the investing principles espoused here.

I posted about a $36k gift trust with details regarding our financial background. A significant amount of money to us. I was hoping for responses similar to "since you've maxed out your IRA, put in in a xxx account" or "put a portion of it towards your mortgage, and a portion towards...xxx" The responses weren't forthcoming, but lots of people viewed the topic. Perhaps it was the way I asked the question, or maybe the answer was so obvious that it wasn't worth spelling out. Either way... I couldn't help but feel that my fellow board members were much more interested in responding to the 25 year old with a million dollar windfall, the 20 year old who won the bitcoin jackpot, or other 'sexier' topics.

Just my (biased too) impressions and 2 cents.

-S

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

Post by ruralavalon » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:20 am

It's good to see this thread resurrected, to counter the erroneous impression that this site is only for high income investors.

Shikoku wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:05 pm
Kalo wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:36 pm
In fact I think formal education hits its peak for earning at Masters and then declines at PhD because so many teach and MBAs often go into corporate jobs.
Any data to support this? We should compare apples to apples such as Masters and PhD in the same discipline.

Many people go for PhD just for lifestyle.
I was once told that earning a PhD was an indication of persistence, more than an indication of knowledge or intelligence.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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

Post by Shikoku » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:25 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:20 am
Shikoku wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:05 pm
Kalo wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:36 pm
In fact I think formal education hits its peak for earning at Masters and then declines at PhD because so many teach and MBAs often go into corporate jobs.
Any data to support this? We should compare apples to apples such as Masters and PhD in the same discipline.

Many people go for PhD just for lifestyle.
I was once told that earning a PhD was an indication of persistence, more than an indication of knowledge or intelligence.
ruralavalon,
I agree. Those who achieve the highest level of education in their respective fields are willing to sacrifice in some other areas of their life. They probably have some specific traits such as delayed gratification. Remember the Stanford marshmallow experiment from the late 1960s?
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett

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

Post by GCD » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:50 am

QuercusRubra wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:39 am
We are a Blue Collar household (Excavating = him, landscaping = her). Mid - $40k/yr both of us. Not rich, but not poor. No pensions, but in the last few years we've been trying to save 15% or more towards retirement.

I feel there is a strong bias on this site towards higher incomes. Perhaps that is because 'Bogleheads' are more fiscally conscious to begin with... Perhaps also, it is much more enjoyable to respond to posts with higher surplus income.

My first and only post was a turnoff for me. Although, I still enjoy the site and the investing principles espoused here.

I posted about a $36k gift trust with details regarding our financial background. A significant amount of money to us. I was hoping for responses similar to "since you've maxed out your IRA, put in in a xxx account" or "put a portion of it towards your mortgage, and a portion towards...xxx" The responses weren't forthcoming, but lots of people viewed the topic. Perhaps it was the way I asked the question, or maybe the answer was so obvious that it wasn't worth spelling out. Either way... I couldn't help but feel that my fellow board members were much more interested in responding to the 25 year old with a million dollar windfall, the 20 year old who won the bitcoin jackpot, or other 'sexier' topics.

Just my (biased too) impressions and 2 cents.

-S
It's not you. Here's a thread discussing the general problem of people giving specific financial advice and portfolio reviews.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=238897

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

Post by stoptothink » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:57 am

Shikoku wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:25 am
ruralavalon wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:20 am
Shikoku wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:05 pm
Kalo wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:36 pm
In fact I think formal education hits its peak for earning at Masters and then declines at PhD because so many teach and MBAs often go into corporate jobs.
Any data to support this? We should compare apples to apples such as Masters and PhD in the same discipline.

Many people go for PhD just for lifestyle.
I was once told that earning a PhD was an indication of persistence, more than an indication of knowledge or intelligence.
ruralavalon,
I agree. Those who achieve the highest level of education in their respective fields are willing to sacrifice in some other areas of their life. They probably have some specific traits such as delayed gratification. Remember the Stanford marshmallow experiment from the late 1960s?
As someone with a PhD, I absolutely agree. The process was difficult, but it was more about perseverance than intellectual capacity. I think, at absolute minimum, that half the general population has the intellectual capacity to complete a PhD. The ROI has absolutely been there for me, without a doctorate degree there is no chance I would have even been considered for my current private industry job, but overall I think it may be a hindrance in the workforce as opposed to a benefit and I pursued it knowing full well that it may ultimately cost me financially.

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

Post by GCD » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:02 pm

I think there are probably more white than blue collar posters because finance is usually learned in college. Law, taxes, macro-economics, etc. are things that a CPA, lawyer or economist is likely to have training in. Even if you aren't professionally one of those, you probably pick up a bit more knowledge in these areas in college than you do in an OTJ apprenticeship program for a trade.

To be clear though, white and blue collar doesn't necessarily equate to income. I think welders have the same rough salary progression as college professors, but they don't spend a decade in college. Who's smart now? And I say that as a guy with multiple advanced degrees who is passionate about education...

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

Post by FiveK » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:10 pm

QuercusRubra wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:39 am
I posted about a $36k gift trust with details regarding our financial background. A significant amount of money to us. I was hoping for responses similar to "since you've maxed out your IRA, put in in a xxx account" or "put a portion of it towards your mortgage, and a portion towards...xxx" The responses weren't forthcoming, but lots of people viewed the topic. Perhaps it was the way I asked the question, or maybe the answer was so obvious that it wasn't worth spelling out.
Or perhaps many people (e.g., me) have no idea what special rules might be attached to a "gift trust" and didn't want to provide usual suggestions in case they would not apply?

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

Post by UpstateNY86 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:37 pm

Glad to see fellow blue collar bogleheads :) I am in the skilled trades, and work mostly in basements. Not your typical boglehead. I do save a decent amount, limited debt, and feel I have tremendous job security.

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

Post by Oak&Elm » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:04 pm

I’m a blue collar Boglehead. Licensed electrician by trade, worked as an installer, electrical inspector and project manager. I love the last comment about "skilled trade" inside joke in the trades. I’m not sure people on this site realize the money you can make in the higher paid trades such as, Elevator Mechanic, Plumber, Electrcian, Sheet Metal or Pipe Fitter. As for learning how to invest, most of what I learned was from my mother who was a waitress. My parents were the classic millionaires next door.
Last edited by Oak&Elm on Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Post by livesoft » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:09 pm

QuercusRubra wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:39 am
I posted about a $36k gift trust with details regarding our financial background. A significant amount of money to us.
I responded to your post, but you did not continue any discussion, so I can see perhaps why everyone thought you were satisfied. :beer
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Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:20 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:09 pm
QuercusRubra wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:39 am
I posted about a $36k gift trust with details regarding our financial background. A significant amount of money to us.
I responded to your post, but you did not continue any discussion, so I can see perhaps why everyone thought you were satisfied. :beer
Yeah, that was a pretty thorough reponse with no follow-up, not even a thanks. Talk about things that turn off helpers here, it's that kind of thing not low incomes.

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

Post by marcopolo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:22 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:57 am
Shikoku wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:25 am
ruralavalon wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:20 am
Shikoku wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:05 pm
Kalo wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:36 pm
In fact I think formal education hits its peak for earning at Masters and then declines at PhD because so many teach and MBAs often go into corporate jobs.
Any data to support this? We should compare apples to apples such as Masters and PhD in the same discipline.

Many people go for PhD just for lifestyle.
I was once told that earning a PhD was an indication of persistence, more than an indication of knowledge or intelligence.
ruralavalon,
I agree. Those who achieve the highest level of education in their respective fields are willing to sacrifice in some other areas of their life. They probably have some specific traits such as delayed gratification. Remember the Stanford marshmallow experiment from the late 1960s?
As someone with a PhD, I absolutely agree. The process was difficult, but it was more about perseverance than intellectual capacity. I think, at absolute minimum, that half the general population has the intellectual capacity to complete a PhD. The ROI has absolutely been there for me, without a doctorate degree there is no chance I would have even been considered for my current private industry job, but overall I think it may be a hindrance in the workforce as opposed to a benefit and I pursued it knowing full well that it may ultimately cost me financially.
+1

This has been my experience as well. Lot of perseverance; several of the people that left my program were just as intellectually capable as me, but eventually gave up for various reasons and left with a terminal Master's degree (usually to high paying jobs). Helps to have a passion for the field. While, it turned out to be financially beneficial for me as well, for the same reason stated above, i went into it fully expecting that it might not pay off.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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

Post by livesoft » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:26 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:20 pm
Yeah, that was a pretty thorough reponse with no follow-up, ....
Well, not really because in that thread, we only learned today that the OP probably wanted a full analysis of their savings and investments even though the thread title was about Giftrust. The Internet is a Harsh Mistress.
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Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by marcopolo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:38 pm

To answer the topic of the thread. The principles behind being a Boglehead seem indifferent to the color of ones color, or to income, or to net worth.
Live below your means, Save a portion of your income as is comfortable, use low cost products to invest in diversified portfolio, be smart about taxes, etc. I don't see how any of those are affected by income level/net worth, color of collar.

As to whether posters are sensitive, and responsive, to a wider range of circumstances, I think many people are more comfortable answering questions on topics with which they are familiar, or have an expertise. Perhaps that does result in an unconscious bias. I see a lot helpful threads across all income/asset levels, and don't perceive a bias.

But, I also have to acknowledge that I have also noticed a number of threads where people have expressed that they clearly see such a bias. So, I believe there may be something to it. Much like society in general, if you are not the subject of the bias, it is sometimes difficult to see that it even exists, even though it can be very real for those on the receiving end.

So, let's assume for a moment that there is such a bias, what are some suggestions for how the forum could be more inclusive. I, for one, strongly believe we would all benefit from the widest possible spectrum of ideas. I suspect many others feel the same way.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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

Post by marcopolo » Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:41 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:26 pm
The Internet is a Harsh Mistress.
The Internet indeed is. But, at least in my experience, this board is one of the most cordial discussion forums i have seen.
For people who feel offended here, i would caution them to tread lightly in the rest of cyberspace...
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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

Post by QuercusRubra » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:09 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:26 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:20 pm
Yeah, that was a pretty thorough reponse with no follow-up, ....
Well, not really because in that thread, we only learned today that the OP probably wanted a full analysis of their savings and investments even though the thread title was about Giftrust. The Internet is a Harsh Mistress.
Livesoft, I appreciated your response. And thank you for that. I will be better about follow up next time. And hopefully clearer with my questions.

The point I was trying to make was my post was quickly drowned out by other posts... most of which were windfalls or individuals who had obtained (what I would call) high net worth. I am not trying to suggest that my post was more important than any other posts (or deserving of greater attention). Simply, there seemed to be a strong partiality towards where most of the attention on the board was directed. I fully realize that my perspective is subjective, but impressions are important, and those were my impressions.

It may be intimidating for lower income individuals to join a community where they don't feel they fit in.

-S

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

Post by GCD » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:55 pm

QuercusRubra wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:09 pm
It may be intimidating for lower income individuals to join a community where they don't feel they fit in.
To repeat myself, blue collar is not necessarily lower income than white collar. Also, you may not have noticed, but there are a great many people in this world who have acquired a skill that gives them a good salary, but who know nothing about finance or even the simple concept of LBYM. I and others have posted about people with salaries in the 6 and 7 figures whose net worth is abysmally low. You may not be in a position to meet these people in real life, but rest assured you have nothing to be initimidated about. I guarantee you I personally know people with SEVEN figure incomes who would be better off at Mr. Money Mustache or Dave Ramsey than at Bogleheads.

There's a similar thing going on in the college threads. Nobody ever posts "Should my kid go to community college or Western Kikapoo State". It's all "my daughter (who won a Pulitzer for her high school newspaper reporting) can't decide between Harvard and MIT. Despite her excellent writing skills she is on the verge of inventing cold fusion in the garage so I really think MIT would be better. Oh me oh my, what shall we do?" That doesn't stop me from posing questions about my fairly ordinary children who will not be attending Ivy league schools.

Quit worrying about what some nerd with too many degrees thinks and jump in. :happy

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

Post by trav867 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:27 pm

I'm a 32 year old fireman.. base pay is $26/ hr in a HCOL.

I haven't read this entire thread so not sure if it's been mentioned but there's a good book called "Shop Class as Soul craft: an inquiry into the value of work." Great discussion about the taboo our society has created around blue collar jobs and the inherent value of having a trade.

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

Post by MJW » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:39 pm

GCD wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:55 pm
There's a similar thing going on in the college threads. Nobody ever posts "Should my kid go to community college or Western Kikapoo State". It's all "my daughter (who won a Pulitzer for her high school newspaper reporting) can't decide between Harvard and MIT. Despite her excellent writing skills she is on the verge of inventing cold fusion in the garage so I really think MIT would be better. Oh me oh my, what shall we do?" That doesn't stop me from posing questions about my fairly ordinary children who will not be attending Ivy league schools.

Quit worrying about what some nerd with too many degrees thinks and jump in. :happy
This is one of the better responses to anything I've read in a while and made me genuinely laugh out loud. Bravo.

BTW, some of us nerds with too many degrees grew up in blue collar households. :)

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

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:28 am

QuercusRubra wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:09 pm
The point I was trying to make was my post was quickly drowned out by other posts... most of which were windfalls or individuals who had obtained (what I would call) high net worth.
Posts being drowned out is a fact of life on a high-traffic site. However, I think you are mischaractizing the general flow of messages. It's also a fact that just because someone has what you consider to be high net worth doesn't mean that they have no problems.

What is the solution? Prohibit people from posting? I just don't know what the actual criticism is.

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

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:46 am

Here’s another way of looking at the problem

Rencently there was a thread of a lady who was trying to improve her cash flow after going through divorce. Half of the responses were people berating her to move out of her HCOL area, sell her car, etc. This despite the fact that she clearly stated that she was willing to sacrifice to keep her kids in a good school district, and that without a reliable car she would not be able to make the household function.

The issue here is not just empathy, it is that most HNW individuals (no matter how well meaning and through no fault of their own) simply do not have the same lived experience as the lower middle class, and so the advice they give is often irrelevant, unrealistic, or just flat out wrong for the lower income context.

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

Post by GCD » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:05 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:46 am
Here’s another way of looking at the problem

Rencently there was a thread of a lady who was trying to improve her cash flow after going through divorce. Half of the responses were people berating her to move out of her HCOL area, sell her car, etc. This despite the fact that she clearly stated that she was willing to sacrifice to keep her kids in a good school district, and that without a reliable car she would not be able to make the household function.

The issue here is not just empathy, it is that most HNW individuals (no matter how well meaning and through no fault of their own) simply do not have the same lived experience as the lower middle class, and so the advice they give is often irrelevant, unrealistic, or just flat out wrong for the lower income context.
I'm not so sure about that. Perhaps the memories get foggy with time though. 17 years ago I had a negative net worth somewhere south of -$50,000. I lived underneath a parking slab that had plywood slapped up around it so the homeowner could call it an "in-law" apt. The "roof" (where the homeowner parked their cars) leaked in 3 places. I had to sleep on the floor when it rained because the apt wasn't big enough for my bed to be positioned where it wasn't underneath a leak. So I slept on the floor and pots and pans slept in my bed during rainstorms.

I could go on and on with more examples of deprivation and the low income life. I am now 52 and a retired multi-millionaire.

The truth is math is math. LBYM is an absolute requirement to grow net worth. People with high net worth know this as truth. Sometimes the truth is harsh. There's no magic to improving cash flow. Cut expenses or increase income. Otherwise the math will crush you. Addition and subtraction are real things whether you like them or not.

There are any number of studies that show most wealth in America is earned, not inherited. I admit I could be biased because of my own background, but I think most HNW people made their money themselves and know a thing or two about delayed gratification.
Last edited by GCD on Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:22 am

I agree LBYM is applicable regardless of income. But the context of how one goes about LBYM has changed quite a bit over the past 15 years.

I’m guessing most BHs know the 401k contribution limits by heart. How many can say the same about Earned Income Tax Credit qualifications? Or the best way to navigate the Obamacare marketplace?

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

Post by livesoft » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:29 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:46 am
Here’s another way of looking at the problem

Rencently there was a thread of a lady who was trying to improve her cash flow after going through divorce.
Ah, but that thread was not drowned out because the OP responded to many posts. It was a discussion!

I was told this story many years ago: A discussion is like playing "catch": Somebody throws the ball and catches it. If they don't throw it back for the other person to catch it, then that is the end of the game.
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Re: Is there a such thing as a blue collar Boglehead?

Post by GCD » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:30 am

I think most posters are pretty good about restraining themselves to topics they know about. When someone opines out of their lane they seem to be corrected quite quickly by others.

But the critical thing, for this thread at least, is remembering that HNW vs. LNW is not the same as Blue vs. White collar. Plenty of tradespeople make more in salary than college professors with PhDs.

I think those blue collar tradesmen, if they have HNW, know about creating wealth. Maybe they are all posting in the investing sub-forum on Plumbers.com though.

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

Post by stoptothink » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:28 pm

GCD wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:30 am
I think most posters are pretty good about restraining themselves to topics they know about. When someone opines out of their lane they seem to be corrected quite quickly by others.

But the critical thing, for this thread at least, is remembering that HNW vs. LNW is not the same as Blue vs. White collar. Plenty of tradespeople make more in salary than college professors with PhDs.

I think those blue collar tradesmen, if they have HNW, know about creating wealth. Maybe they are all posting in the investing sub-forum on Plumbers.com though.
Yup. I am pretty well compensated, even for having a PhD, but my brother (who doesn't even have a traditional high school diploma) makes significantly more than I do working as an oil & gas contractor.

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

Post by haban01 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:33 pm

Oak&Elm wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:04 pm
I’m a blue collar Boglehead. Licensed electrician by trade, worked as an installer, electrical inspector and project manager. I love the last comment about "skilled trade" inside joke in the trades. I’m not sure people on this site realize the money you can make in the higher paid trades such as, Elevator Mechanic, Plumber, Electrcian, Sheet Metal or Pipe Fitter. As for learning how to invest, most of what I learned was from my mother who was a waitress. My parents were the classic millionaires next door.
Very well stated. As a person in the skilled trades serving on state and local advisory boards and hiring Youth Apprentices, We do not have enough young men and woman going into any of the skilled trades. Many institutions keep pushing four year general degrees that do not provide career skills needed for the real world jobs today.
Eric | | "Stay the Course" | "Press on Regardless"

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

Post by haban01 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:55 pm

Robconoclast wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:02 am
35 years old, Bottling Line Operator for a microbrewery making $32,000 a year not counting optional overtime during our busy season. I tried taking classes at a community college (wanted to be a history teacher) and was an honor student...except for math. Gave up after failing Probably & Statistics.
I started investing 6% of my income a decade ago when I made $9.25/hr as a cook. It wasn't until 5 years ago when I learned the importance of Investing at least 12% of my income (thank you Edward Jones for never teaching me that) and enrolled in my 401k (They match 25% of the 6% maximum I contribute, and the full profit sharing contributes 7.5% of my income for the previous year. Our 401k options include some great Vanguard funds. We also have free access to financial advisors who also come in annually to teach employees about compound interest and the importance of Investing at least 12% of our income ). My wife has a white collar job working for the county currently making $52,000 a year with a pension matching 13% of the 10% she puts in.

Do I have a real job ? Well, our bills and mortgage are quite real. Our 401ks, Roth Iras, and son's 529 are quite real. I bite my tongue when people tell me that I don't have a real job, but know that we are doing well at our age investing 13% of my income and 14% of my wife's. I've read several books recommended on this Web page (and have a stack of even more to read) and haven't read anything bashing blue collar folks. I have watched several interviews with Mr Bogle on youtube as well as attend our local Bogglehead chapter's meeting and haven't heard anything frowning upon us blue collar workers.

Aren't we all in this philosophy together with the same goal to retire comfortably with dignity ? :beer
Nice job Rob! You should be proud. You guys are doing a great job!
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