Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

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Material Guy
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Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by Material Guy »

A fascinating portrait of how President Jimmy Carter lives today in Plains, Georgia.

The un-celebrity president
Jimmy Carter shuns riches, lives modestly in his Georgia hometown

"With book income and the $210,700 annual pension all former presidents receive, the Carters live comfortably. But his books have never fetched the massive sums commanded by more recent presidents.

Carter has been an ex-president for 37 years, longer than anyone else in history. His simple lifestyle is increasingly rare in this era ....

Carter is the only president in the modern era to return full-time to the house he lived in before he entered politics — a two-bedroom rancher assessed at $167,000, less than the value of the armored Secret Service vehicles parked outside.

Ex-presidents often fly on private jets, sometimes lent by wealthy friends, but the Carters fly commercial. Stuckey says that on a recent flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Carter walked up and down the aisle greeting other passengers and taking selfies.

Carter costs U.S. taxpayers less than any other ex-president, according to the General Services Administration, with a total bill for him in the current fiscal year of $456,000, covering pensions, an office, staff and other expenses. That’s less than half the $952,000 budgeted for George H.W. Bush; the three other living ex-presidents — Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama — cost taxpayers more than $1 million each per year.

Carter doesn’t even have federal retirement health benefits because he worked for the government for four years — less than the five years needed to qualify, according to the GSA. He says he receives health benefits through Emory University, where he has taught for 36 years."
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unclescrooge
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by unclescrooge »

We need to increase the minimum age to be president to 65 immediately. :mrgreen:
BIGal
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by BIGal »

I thought politics was a no, no in this forum??
DesertDiva
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by DesertDiva »

Sounds like The Millionaire Next Door.
jminv
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by jminv »

It's nice to have examples of famous people who are frugal as it can be a good influence on people who equate success with spending. I suppose this is sort of a derivative of the millionaire next door.
Rupert
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by Rupert »

BIGal wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:31 pm I thought politics was a no, no in this forum??
I don't think the story is about politics. It's about how one former politician lives frugally. There have been hundreds of similar threads devoted to Warren Buffett, who lives a similar lifestyle (at least sometimes).
SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor »

Material Guy wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Carter doesn’t even have federal retirement health benefits because he worked for the government for four years — less than the five years needed to qualify, according to the GSA. He says he receives health benefits through Emory University, where he has taught for 36 years."
He was in the navy > 4 years, right ?
:?
frugalecon
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by frugalecon »

Rupert wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:42 pm
BIGal wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:31 pm I thought politics was a no, no in this forum??
I don't think the story is about politics. It's about how one former politician lives frugally. There have been hundreds of similar threads devoted to Warren Buffett, who lives a similar lifestyle (at least sometimes).
Warren Buffet definitely does not fly commercial, since Berkshire Hathaway owns Netjets. I once read an interview with him in which he said that is how people would know he was broke, if he were flying commercial. He discovered that having a private plane made him much more productive.
david1082b
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by david1082b »

I found this NYTimes article from 1976 about investments:
If he is elected President, Jimmy Carter says he plans to dispose of his stocks, divest himself of his peanut business and divert royalties from his popular autobiography to a philanthropic foundation.

Mr. Carter owns outright or shares an interest in more than 2,000 acres of land here in southwest Georgia, much of which is directly affected by decisions of the Department of Agriculture, an agency on which a President can exert significant influence.

Although he couched his uncertainty about separating himself from his land in terms of a sentimental attachment, the land is valued at $348,444, nearly half his total net worth https://www.nytimes.com/1976/09/01/arch ... mself.html
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dm200
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by dm200 »

Rupert wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:42 pm
BIGal wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:31 pm I thought politics was a no, no in this forum??
I don't think the story is about politics. It's about how one former politician lives frugally. There have been hundreds of similar threads devoted to Warren Buffett, who lives a similar lifestyle (at least sometimes).
Yes.
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dm200
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by dm200 »

SlowMovingInvestor wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:47 pm
Material Guy wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Carter doesn’t even have federal retirement health benefits because he worked for the government for four years — less than the five years needed to qualify, according to the GSA. He says he receives health benefits through Emory University, where he has taught for 36 years."
He was in the navy > 4 years, right ?
:?
As best I understand, you would not normally get health insurance into retirement for military service - even if it was more than 4 years.
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dm200
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by dm200 »

Apparently, he is not incurring several potential large major income needs - divorce payments for ex-wives and dating expenses.
asif408
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by asif408 »

I imagine he is in a very small minority when it comes to politicians and frugal lifestyles, but definitely good to see. And I do have a picture in front of the giant peanut. :mrgreen:

IIRC, he tried to influence the American people into more frugality by using less energy during the energy crisis of the late 1970s. For instance, telling people to keep their thermostats higher in the summer and lower in the winter and sticking to the 55 mph speed limit that was put in place in the early 1970s. All logical, rational ways to save money and conserve energy. Unfortunately, I don't think he made any long term permanent changes, because the 55 mph speed limit max didn't last more than a decade, and I'm pretty sure there aren't more people wearing sweaters inside in the winter and using more fans in the summer.
Rupert
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by Rupert »

dm200 wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:01 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:47 pm
Material Guy wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Carter doesn’t even have federal retirement health benefits because he worked for the government for four years — less than the five years needed to qualify, according to the GSA. He says he receives health benefits through Emory University, where he has taught for 36 years."
He was in the navy > 4 years, right ?
:?
As best I understand, you would not normally get health insurance into retirement for military service - even if it was more than 4 years.
But years of military service are typically added to your other years of federal service for purposes of calculating leave, benefits, etc.
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dm200
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by dm200 »

Rupert wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:07 pm
dm200 wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:01 pm
SlowMovingInvestor wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:47 pm
Material Guy wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:27 pm
Carter doesn’t even have federal retirement health benefits because he worked for the government for four years — less than the five years needed to qualify, according to the GSA. He says he receives health benefits through Emory University, where he has taught for 36 years."
He was in the navy > 4 years, right ?
:?
As best I understand, you would not normally get health insurance into retirement for military service - even if it was more than 4 years.
But years of military service are typically added to your other years of federal service for purposes of calculating leave, benefits, etc.
Yes - but maybe there were other factors.
pennywise
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by pennywise »

dm200 wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:59 pm
Rupert wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:42 pm
BIGal wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:31 pm I thought politics was a no, no in this forum??
I don't think the story is about politics. It's about how one former politician lives frugally. There have been hundreds of similar threads devoted to Warren Buffett, who lives a similar lifestyle (at least sometimes).
Yes.
I don't think frugality is the goal or motivator for him-it is about living a humble life of service in accordance with his spiritual values. Regardless of one's opinion of his performance as president, Jimmy Carter has certainly followed a true and clear path throughout his life. I find it admirable.
billy269
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by billy269 »

Completely agree with prior comments. No matter how you felt about him politically, he has been arguably the most generous and selfless former president we have ever had. I consider him a Boglehead, he lives well within his means and the money he has made and saved throughout his life is all going to amazing charitable causes. It is what all Bogleheads should aspire to do!
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dm200
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by dm200 »

I am sure most of us know friends, family members, neighbors, etc. who display financial and community responsibility in their older years. Most that I have known over the years seem to be happy with their lifestyle.
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greg24
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by greg24 »

Sounds like a Boglehead:

His farmhouse youth during the Great Depression made him unpretentious and frugal. His friends, maybe only half-joking, describe Carter as “tight as a tick.”
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

billy269 wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:39 pm Completely agree with prior comments. No matter how you felt about him politically, he has been arguably the most generous and selfless former president we have ever had. I consider him a Boglehead, he lives well within his means and the money he has made and saved throughout his life is all going to amazing charitable causes. It is what all Bogleheads should aspire to do!
Agree 100%. He definitely "walked the walk" in his activities when he returned from his political life.

Broken Man 1999
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bottlecap
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by bottlecap »

The Carters seem like fine people. Agree with his politics or not, they appear to be people worthy of admiration.

As such, they probably would be disappointed if people went on to use their example to cast dispersions on the lifestyles or beliefs of others.

JT
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UpsetRaptor
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by UpsetRaptor »

Alright Jimmy, the gig's up, so what's your BH username?
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triceratop
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Re: Is President Jimmy Carter a Boglehead?

Post by triceratop »

UpsetRaptor wrote: Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:07 pm Alright Jimmy, the gig's up, so what's your BH username?
You got me, hi everybody, Jimmy here. ;)

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