A lot of heavy hitters this morning

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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:38 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:01 am
fittan wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:11 am
Love this board but can't help to feel disconnected this morning when the first 3 posts are something like:

1) I will be making $350K, should I save for my kid's 529?

2) Should I buy a $1.2 million condo? My inlaws just gave me $235K.

3) I got a $600K windfall...should I pay off mortgage?

Feeling a bit disconnected y'all...just saying :?
If you had made this post *this* morning, you could have added

4) "I only made $390K as W2 income this year and I have to send IRS 17K check :-( How can it be??"
^^You missed the part about using a 1040-EZ to file.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

NextMil
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by NextMil » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am

I am guessing it’s not just docs, lawyers, tech etc. a plumbers hourly rate can often be higher than lawyers. Self employed types are also doing some of these higher numbers if not higher.

Not to sound preachy, but maybe focus less on what you don’t have or how it’s impossible for you to save these numbers and attack someone trying to help, and dust off your dream or idea instead and get to working it. The amount of people I come across that have made it just worked hard and pursued a dream with a financial goal as well. Most of them are also overly happy to share their story, knowledge etc because they are sort of giddy that they were successful and want to pass it on to others.

Parts of this thread feels like the monkey experiment. Instead of pulling people down, let’s cheer each other on and give a hand up.

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jadd806
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by jadd806 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:51 am

NextMil wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am
Not to sound preachy, but maybe focus less on what you don’t have or how it’s impossible for you to save these numbers and attack someone trying to help, and dust off your dream or idea instead and get to working it. The amount of people I come across that have made it just worked hard and pursued a dream with a financial goal as well. Most of them are also overly happy to share their story, knowledge etc because they are sort of giddy that they were successful and want to pass it on to others.
You're ignoring the inherent survivorship bias in this sample. Obviously everyone who's "made it" is going to have some story of how they worked hard and had a dream.

Most are unwilling to admit that luck played a role in their success, and consciously ignore that for every person like them that "made it" there were 3, 10, maybe even 100 people (depending on the field of employment) who had the same dream and worked just as hard but didn't make it.

I get that your advice is coming from the right place, but implying that anyone can achieve a mid 6-figure salary just by "dusting off their dreams" reveals a severe disconnect with reality.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:03 am

jadd806 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:51 am
NextMil wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am
Not to sound preachy, but maybe focus less on what you don’t have or how it’s impossible for you to save these numbers and attack someone trying to help, and dust off your dream or idea instead and get to working it. The amount of people I come across that have made it just worked hard and pursued a dream with a financial goal as well. Most of them are also overly happy to share their story, knowledge etc because they are sort of giddy that they were successful and want to pass it on to others.
You're ignoring the inherent survivorship bias in this sample. Obviously everyone who's "made it" is going to have some story of how they worked hard and had a dream.

Most are unwilling to admit that luck played a role in their success, and consciously ignore that for every person like them that "made it" there were 3, 10, maybe even 100 people (depending on the field of employment) who had the same dream and worked just as hard but didn't make it.

I get that your advice is coming from the right place, but implying that anyone can achieve a mid 6-figure salary just by "dusting off their dreams" reveals a severe disconnect with reality.
Yes - very lucky, I was born in this country. The luck stops there.

Most are unwilling to admit that their poor choices played a role too.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

Jags4186
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:03 am

Of course also every year it becomes easier to be a millionaire. People have had the goal of having a million dollars since the 1950s. My grandfather died in 1993 with $600,000 in his estate. That is equivalent to about $1,000,000 today but he certainly wasn’t a “millionaire” and didn’t live any sort of extravagent life.

If people see $1,000,000 as a huge unobtainable number they’ll make it a huge unobtainable number. I can’t wait to get there myself—but the reality is it won’t change my life one bit. Now $3,000,000...now we’re talking :sharebeer I bet there are far far fewer people on this board with $3 million than $1 million and far far fewer people in the country with $3 million than $1 million.

$3 million is the new “feeling” of $1 million IMO.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:10 am

Now $3,000,000...now we’re talking :sharebeer
When you have that number, I can guarantee you that you will be wishing for $5M.

It does NOT stop. Look around here, very very few have been able to say "I have Enough".

Cody
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Cody » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:20 am

On my lunchtime walk yesterday, I found a dime in the parking lot. When I got home, I showed my wife and told her all about it. It's why we'll be able to retire with 50X spending. :D
I had read somewhere that more backs are thrown out pick up coins than any other cause of back issues. So, speaking of small fortunes, picking up a coin can cost you lots of money to repair the damage. :happy

Cody

NextMil
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by NextMil » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:35 am

jadd806 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:51 am
NextMil wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am
Not to sound preachy, but maybe focus less on what you don’t have or how it’s impossible for you to save these numbers and attack someone trying to help, and dust off your dream or idea instead and get to working it. The amount of people I come across that have made it just worked hard and pursued a dream with a financial goal as well. Most of them are also overly happy to share their story, knowledge etc because they are sort of giddy that they were successful and want to pass it on to others.
You're ignoring the inherent survivorship bias in this sample. Obviously everyone who's "made it" is going to have some story of how they worked hard and had a dream.

Most are unwilling to admit that luck played a role in their success, and consciously ignore that for every person like them that "made it" there were 3, 10, maybe even 100 people (depending on the field of employment) who had the same dream and worked just as hard but didn't make it.

I get that your advice is coming from the right place, but implying that anyone can achieve a mid 6-figure salary just by "dusting off their dreams" reveals a severe disconnect with reality.
I would strongly recommend reading Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I really enjoyed those reads and they have helped me tremendously in my thinking. I think they might change your perspective regarding the luck factor. I see the luck argument often in these sorts of debates, and it pains me, as to me it paints a zero sum picture, which I think runs counter to reality of the U.S., and I think it clouds people's thinking and puts a ceiling on what they view as possible.

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David Jay
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by David Jay » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:43 am

livesoft wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:36 am
I am unconcerned about the number of posts from high income folks.

If some folks are concerned that there are a lot of posts from people with higher income than they have themselves, then they should post more in order to raise the financial awareness of folks with lesser income. Our household taxable income puts us in the 2017 15% marginal income tax bracket and I post more.
Down to 12% this year! Woot!
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by 2015 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:51 am

NextMil wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:35 am
jadd806 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:51 am
NextMil wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am
Not to sound preachy, but maybe focus less on what you don’t have or how it’s impossible for you to save these numbers and attack someone trying to help, and dust off your dream or idea instead and get to working it. The amount of people I come across that have made it just worked hard and pursued a dream with a financial goal as well. Most of them are also overly happy to share their story, knowledge etc because they are sort of giddy that they were successful and want to pass it on to others.
You're ignoring the inherent survivorship bias in this sample. Obviously everyone who's "made it" is going to have some story of how they worked hard and had a dream.

Most are unwilling to admit that luck played a role in their success, and consciously ignore that for every person like them that "made it" there were 3, 10, maybe even 100 people (depending on the field of employment) who had the same dream and worked just as hard but didn't make it.

I get that your advice is coming from the right place, but implying that anyone can achieve a mid 6-figure salary just by "dusting off their dreams" reveals a severe disconnect with reality.
I would strongly recommend reading Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I really enjoyed those reads and they have helped me tremendously in my thinking. I think they might change your perspective regarding the luck factor. I see the luck argument often in these sorts of debates, and it pains me, as to me it paints a zero sum picture, which I think runs counter to reality of the U.S., and I think it clouds people's thinking and puts a ceiling on what they view as possible.
This!
To which I might add: Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in the Age of Distraction. Applicable to other aspects of life when you give it consideration.

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jadd806
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by jadd806 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:58 am

jharkin wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:26 am
Krischi wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:59 pm
rr2 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:31 pm
@ davidsorensen32 -- This post of yours did come across as very disconnected. The fraction of couples (or households) earning 200K+ is fairly small. I would venture that it is likely to be less than 5% in the US.
Less than 7% to be exact. I think there is a significant danger of us losing sight of the fact that as a group we are quite extraordinarily fortunate to be here, with this level of financial education and successes in our careers. It always seems doable if you've been there done that, but it says nothing about whether the same thing is doable for others.

I value this forum for the advice and in depth financial education it has been providing. But make no mistake, I roll my eyes at those threads, too, that ask if retirement is possible with an income of 500k and 10M in the bank.

Exactly. I live outside of Boston and work in tech... While I dont make some of the stratospheric numbers the doctors lawyers and valley types here post I DO make a good number and know that I am still better off than the vast majority.

I look around my local social circle and I have a lot of friend with 6 figure jobs.... in the Boston suburbs a surface view you would think everybody makes big money from all the German cars on the road and big mcmansion developments going up...
BUT
My wife works in the public school system and sees first hand what a small percentage of residents us fortunate folk are.... its just easy to fall into the bubble and not notice whats right in front of your eyes.
Also outside Boston. I'm making a good living, although nothing impressive by the standards of this forum. I make 2-3X as much as most of my friends my age, which really helps to put into perspective how fortunate I am.

The keeping up with the Jones' out here is insane though. I honestly don't understand how people are able to acquire enough debt to accomplish it. The median home price in most towns in the Greater Boston Area is ~5X the median income. Half a mil for a home seems to be the norm within the commuting belt. Then you have the two cars in the driveway on top of that - a $50k SUV and a low-end Audi or BMW. When I first moved here I thought those families must be making like $300k. Then you find out that they're making half that or less. It's mind boggling.

We do genuinely struggle with things like feeling that we can't afford a house in this area, so I can't help but laugh when I open a "Can I Afford This House" on Bogleheads and it's someone who makes $400k asking if they can afford a house worth 1.5X their income.

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jadd806
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by jadd806 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:04 am

NextMil wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:35 am
jadd806 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:51 am
NextMil wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:54 am
Not to sound preachy, but maybe focus less on what you don’t have or how it’s impossible for you to save these numbers and attack someone trying to help, and dust off your dream or idea instead and get to working it. The amount of people I come across that have made it just worked hard and pursued a dream with a financial goal as well. Most of them are also overly happy to share their story, knowledge etc because they are sort of giddy that they were successful and want to pass it on to others.
You're ignoring the inherent survivorship bias in this sample. Obviously everyone who's "made it" is going to have some story of how they worked hard and had a dream.

Most are unwilling to admit that luck played a role in their success, and consciously ignore that for every person like them that "made it" there were 3, 10, maybe even 100 people (depending on the field of employment) who had the same dream and worked just as hard but didn't make it.

I get that your advice is coming from the right place, but implying that anyone can achieve a mid 6-figure salary just by "dusting off their dreams" reveals a severe disconnect with reality.
I would strongly recommend reading Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. I really enjoyed those reads and they have helped me tremendously in my thinking. I think they might change your perspective regarding the luck factor. I see the luck argument often in these sorts of debates, and it pains me, as to me it paints a zero sum picture, which I think runs counter to reality of the U.S., and I think it clouds people's thinking and puts a ceiling on what they view as possible.
There's an idea - if none of my other ideas stick, maybe I can make it by writing self-help books!

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Nestegg_User
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Nestegg_User » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:15 am

I’ll have to agree with some others that the recent posts where they report **significant** wages at early ages is surprising, to say the least. I suspect it’s “Bay Area Bias (tm) :P” (we were in the midwest) We certainly recognize that our position is not easily duplicated; the survivorship that made it to the corner office (although not “that” corner office) is vanishingly small and to think of making it early in ones career to put away for that period is nearly equivalent to both of those in a couple making it to 105!

minor points:
- if at 100k+, it’s very likely to be limited due to HCE rules (10% limit ) if in corporate positions, so putting in 18k into 401k isn’t possible unless you make the higher range. This means that the excess would have to go into taxable accounts and have a larger tax drag for compounding
- the 401k hasn’t even been around long enough nor was universally used in companies (perhaps for executives but not necessarily for lower tier). ditto for the HSA, if you could even use one
- the individual (or both of a couple) must pass the “marshmallow test”. we’ve seen some people who did make over $100k but barely had any savings
- the individuals making the high incomes must also be debt free so as to contribute to those levels- that likely precludes a fair number of physicians, especially those in lower compensating specialties. I suspect that it may apply to some in law and specialty careers like pilots
- if self employed, they also have to pay the other part of the SS/OASDI not to mention any additional costs from state and local jurisdictions.

(i could go on, but you can see that the hurdles are there, not to mention that they also need to find the site in the first place)

{while we don’t remember exactly when we hit the first mil (we only count investable assets) we do remember the second. It was also interesting to see when we got to the point where we saw that interesting “extra money” show up (no longer paying the full SS); we only got to July for that but it was before the bonuses and options hit...
We also remember early years when trying to save a couple hundred per month was difficult, so the few years being able to put over $160k towards retirement was nice... but not the $40k+ fed tax plus state income tax
We are well aware that many others never made it up the hump...we were one of the Lucky survivors}
Last edited by Nestegg_User on Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

NextMil
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by NextMil » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:23 am

jadd806 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:04 am

There's an idea - if none of my other ideas stick, maybe I can make it by writing self-help books!
I can't tell if this is in jest, but I am leaning in that direction. They are not self-help books - nothing like a Tony Robbins, Steven Covey etc.... More of an analytical study of successful people and how they got to where they are in being world class performers. I really think you would enjoy them if you gave them a chance. I will have to check out 2015's suggestion too. Have not read that one yet, but reviews look incredible.

That said, there are clearly people making a killing writing self-help books, but from what I understand you won't make it on the first one, its only after you become established as a subject matter expert and don't take a beating from the publisher.

NextMil
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by NextMil » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:34 am

Nestegg_User wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:15 am

We also remember early years when trying to save a couple hundred per month was difficult...
I think this is the case for everyone. When I first started out, my NW was well into the negative even before home ownership as I was saddled with CC debt and student loans. I kept thinking even a 10% increase in my salary would make a world of difference since I started at just above the poverty line for my HCOL area. My salaries increased much more dramatically in the outyears, but thinking back those first five years was rough, it was worse than being a college student. Then things started to slowly tick up in the right direction. Certainly was not overnight though - similar to paying off debt and investing.

I am only saying this because I think if you are starting out no matter the age, but especially if you are on the youngish side, some of the older folks posts seem absolutely overwhelming, and its hard not to think you will not get there. People need to remember this site is made up of people of all different ages.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by delamer » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:55 am

Momus wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:18 am
A lot of Bogleheads posts are people making 350k+/yr income. It's pretty much every other posts. I should've been in medicine/big law/tech lol... :oops:

The disconnect is real.
Maybe you should have.

Part of the disconnect that I don’t get is that it actually is pretty easy to figure out career paths that you should take if you want to be a high earner.

There are no guarantees is life but it is pretty certain that a heart surgeon or a practicing attorney out of Harvard Law is going to make more money than a social worker or an engineer working for the state highway department.

I am not implying that everyone has the intellectual skill for Harvard Law or the dexterity to be a heart surgeon. Nor I am implying that luck does not play a role; two of the highest paid people that I know each had a father who was a physician who paid for their Top 10 colleges and graduate school.

But there is no great mystery in how to make money. And even the guys with the physician fathers both work really long hours with lots of travel for work. I would not trade my time for their money.

But I know that is an option.

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HomerJ
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by HomerJ » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:56 am

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:22 pm
denovo wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:05 pm
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:05 pm
Ok. I apologize. I did not intend to demoralize rather illustrate that you don’t need to be a doctor or a google employee to make it FI. Slow and steady savings gets you there. Lots of $100,000 jobs around. As long as husband and spouse makes $100,000 each it should be doable.

Only 5 percent of households in the U.S. make more than 200k a year. Jeez.
There are 11-12M millionaires in the USA. With average household size of 3 that’s 33-36M American households. Which is 10% of the population. How did they get there if not by earning big saving big or inheritance ????
There were 10.7 million millionaire households (not 10.7 millionaires) in 2017 and 126 million households.

That's 8% of the population, some of which may not be working anymore, others became millionaires (single million counts) over a long period of time making far less than $200k. Plenty of millionaires on this board who never made $200k/year.

Top 5% has household income of $225,000 or higher. Only 30% of people in the U.S. have bachelor degrees or better. Yes, it's not unreasonable for two college-educated married partners to make $75,000 each in their 30s or 40s, and $100,000 each in their 40s and 50s.

And, if they're smart, to save a lot of money. Not unreasonable at all.

But it's not as common as you think.

It is indeed very tone-deaf to say "Just save $73,000 a year". Recognize how lucky and privileged many of us are. It's important.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am

Momus wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:18 am
A lot of Bogleheads posts are people making 350k+/yr income. It's pretty much every other posts. I should've been in medicine/big law/tech lol... :oops:

The disconnect is real.
Good example of money-shaming.

Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?

Why not, "Hey, congratulations on a nice income, how can I help you?" Or, "I'd like to have a $350K+ income, so I study those who have it. I'm curious what you do for a living?"

Besides, a surprisingly large chunk of folks with high incomes have a negative net worth, at least initially. I met a couple the other day with an income of $700K, and a net worth of -$600K.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by bubbadog » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:01 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:10 am
Now $3,000,000...now we’re talking :sharebeer
When you have that number, I can guarantee you that you will be wishing for $5M.

It does NOT stop. Look around here, very very few have been able to say "I have Enough".
+1 This is very true. Once you achieve your goal number, somehow it suddenly seems to no longer be enough.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by DippityDoo » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:06 am

snowman wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:59 am
there is a ton of useful information here, applicable to any income/asset bracket.
Well said! I appreciate the advice FREELY shared by heavy hitters here. If not for this forum and Taylor's book, I'd still be getting ripped off by Edward Jones. While I was figuring out how to disentangle from EJ, some of the most confidence-inspiring posts I found here were from those who "won the game" without having someone else manage their money.

I may never make the financial big league. But I'll still be in better financial position than if I'd never found this forum. There's great advice here from people of both modest and substantial means, and I consider myself the fortunate beneficiary.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:08 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am
Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?
I don't think many (if any) people are saying that. I think they're saying that those people shouldn't assume incomes like that are common.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:23 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am
Momus wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:18 am
A lot of Bogleheads posts are people making 350k+/yr income. It's pretty much every other posts. I should've been in medicine/big law/tech lol... :oops:

The disconnect is real.
Good example of money-shaming.

Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?

Why not, "Hey, congratulations on a nice income, how can I help you?" Or, "I'd like to have a $350K+ income, so I study those who have it. I'm curious what you do for a living?"

Besides, a surprisingly large chunk of folks with high incomes have a negative net worth, at least initially. I met a couple the other day with an income of $700K, and a net worth of -$600K.
Of course they should be able to discuss but it’s screams well beyond “1st world problems” for us normal folks to hear about problems we all wished we had. And many of these big earners give advice which doesn’t necessarily translate to smaller time earners.

As for your friends with a a $700k income and -$600k Net worth, they can pay off the $600k in 2 or 3 years while still live a nicer lifestyle than 95% of people.

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Taylor Larimore
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Old Clothes

Post by Taylor Larimore » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:43 am

Bogleheads:

When I was a boy my Dad was manager of the Miami Laundry. Once or twice a year he would take me to their "Service Department" where lost or unclaimed (cleaned) laundry and dry-cleaning were neatly placed according to size. I could take my choice of any garment I wanted (all used).

For many years I never wore new clothes or wanted any. I will not buy clothes with designer labels (which seem ostentatious and unnecessarily expensive to me).

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:01 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:23 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am
Momus wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:18 am
A lot of Bogleheads posts are people making 350k+/yr income. It's pretty much every other posts. I should've been in medicine/big law/tech lol... :oops:

The disconnect is real.
Good example of money-shaming.

Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?

Why not, "Hey, congratulations on a nice income, how can I help you?" Or, "I'd like to have a $350K+ income, so I study those who have it. I'm curious what you do for a living?"

Besides, a surprisingly large chunk of folks with high incomes have a negative net worth, at least initially. I met a couple the other day with an income of $700K, and a net worth of -$600K.
Of course they should be able to discuss but it’s screams well beyond “1st world problems” for us normal folks to hear about problems we all wished we had. And many of these big earners give advice which doesn’t necessarily translate to smaller time earners.

As for your friends with a a $700k income and -$600k Net worth, they can pay off the $600k in 2 or 3 years while still live a nicer lifestyle than 95% of people.
You just did it again. So people who make $350K+ aren't "normal folks." Really? Do they have two heads? Green skin? That's called "money-shaming" folks, and it drives people away and keeps them from asking questions and getting the help they need.

Of course, I agree with you that it's a first world problem and even high student loans can and should be rapidly paid off with a high income. I've got an entire website to help people with incomes of $150K+ stop doing dumb things with it. That said, most of them are still learning how to manage money well just like those making $50K or $100K.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Sandtrap
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Re: Old Clothes

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:04 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:43 am
Bogleheads:

When I was a boy my Dad was manager of the Miami Laundry. Once or twice a year he would take me to their "Service Department" where lost or unclaimed (cleaned) laundry and dry-cleaning were neatly placed according to size. I could take my choice of any garment I wanted (all used).

For many years I never wore new clothes or wanted any. I will not buy clothes with designer labels (which seem ostentatious and unnecessarily expensive to me).

Best wishes.
Taylor
Thanks for sharing.
You are inspiring.🌺

Grew up on a small family farm in Hawaii.
Shorts slippers work boots.
Also used clothes.
So much for “heavy hitters.”
Aloha
Jim🌺

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:05 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:08 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am
Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?
I don't think many (if any) people are saying that. I think they're saying that those people shouldn't assume incomes like that are common.
Aren't common where? Here? I don't think that's necessarily true.

viewtopic.php?t=163384

Back in 2015, 17% of Bogleheads had an income over $300K and 33% had incomes over $200K. I would argue incomes like that ARE common right here on Bogleheads.org.

Aren't common in the US? Sure. But guess what? If you just broaden your perspective a bit, you'll realize an income of $50K isn't very common in this world. The median annual household income in this world is $9,733. Every problem posted on this board is a first world problem.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

mak1277
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by mak1277 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:25 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:23 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am
Momus wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:18 am
A lot of Bogleheads posts are people making 350k+/yr income. It's pretty much every other posts. I should've been in medicine/big law/tech lol... :oops:

The disconnect is real.
Good example of money-shaming.

Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?

Why not, "Hey, congratulations on a nice income, how can I help you?" Or, "I'd like to have a $350K+ income, so I study those who have it. I'm curious what you do for a living?"

Besides, a surprisingly large chunk of folks with high incomes have a negative net worth, at least initially. I met a couple the other day with an income of $700K, and a net worth of -$600K.
Of course they should be able to discuss but it’s screams well beyond “1st world problems” for us normal folks to hear about problems we all wished we had. And many of these big earners give advice which doesn’t necessarily translate to smaller time earners.

As for your friends with a a $700k income and -$600k Net worth, they can pay off the $600k in 2 or 3 years while still live a nicer lifestyle than 95% of people.

Can we just create a "rich person" sub-forum so we don't have to worry about the delicate sensibilities of normal people?

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Darth Xanadu » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:31 pm

I don't understand all the angst. This is going nowhere.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

wrongfunds
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:05 pm

Can we just create a "rich person" sub-forum so we don't have to worry about the delicate sensibilities of normal people?
You just don't get it. If we created "rich person" sub-forum, nobody will contribute to it because nobody really believes they are "rich". We all think that the people who have at least twice as much as us are "rich".

Jags4186
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:19 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:05 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:08 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am
Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?
I don't think many (if any) people are saying that. I think they're saying that those people shouldn't assume incomes like that are common.
Aren't common where? Here? I don't think that's necessarily true.

viewtopic.php?t=163384

Back in 2015, 17% of Bogleheads had an income over $300K and 33% had incomes over $200K. I would argue incomes like that ARE common right here on Bogleheads.org.

Aren't common in the US? Sure. But guess what? If you just broaden your perspective a bit, you'll realize an income of $50K isn't very common in this world. The median annual household income in this world is $9,733. Every problem posted on this board is a first world problem.
WCI,

I'm sorry if you're offended by this, but whether you want to admit it or not $300k+ incomes are not common. Even on the post you cite, there were only 603 responses. There are over 70,000 registered users on this site. The majority of people who are regular posters and contributors are the more well off. It makes sense--usually very intelligent people who have lots of money to invest take an interest investing. Would it surprise you if the respondents to an income questionnaire would be the more regular members who also happen to be the more well off members?

The average Boglehead user, I'm sure of it, is better off than the average American. The average American doesn't have that much TBH. And we have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

It's not money shaming to roll your eyes at posters who post things like "what $5000+ watch should I buy next?", "I want to buy a $1.5 million house but I'll only have $500,000 emergency fund left over", "I make $500k a year should I put money in a 529 account for my children?" any more than it is food shaming when someone posts "we spend $1200/mo on organic, gmo free, free range fish every month for 2 people" and asks if thats reasonable.

Silk McCue
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Silk McCue » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:35 pm

This thread has run its course in my opinion. It had run its course after the initial woe is me declaration by the OP as it wasn’t intended to be actionable.

This is class envy/warfare looking for agreement.

Cheers.

Riley15
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Riley15 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:51 pm

A lot of posters are missing a simple fact that it's all relative. Yeah you can be making a $300k salary in HCOL area and feel very average and middle class. If all the board members only lived in that region, it would not be a cause for alarm. Now you take that $300k salary and move to a LCOL area and suddenly you're upper middle class compared to those around you just by changing coordinates. Now you take that $300k salary and move to second world country and you're suddenly the richest person in town relatively speaking. Further along and move to a third world country and you're insanely rich compared to your peers.

It's only by comparison to peers you can define where you belong. But if you're making $300k salary and your taxes and expenses are $290k you're not any better than someone making $100k with expenses at $90k with a very similar standard of living.

Since bogleheads come from every part of the country with huge differences in income and expenses that's the only reason we have a posts like this with disenchanted folks living same lives with different numbers. In the end, it's all relative.
Last edited by Riley15 on Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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bligh
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by bligh » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:53 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:19 pm

WCI,

I'm sorry if you're offended by this, but whether you want to admit it or not $300k+ incomes are not common. Even on the post you cite, there were only 603 responses. There are over 70,000 registered users on this site. The majority of people who are regular posters and contributors are the more well off. It makes sense--usually very intelligent people who have lots of money to invest take an interest investing. Would it surprise you if the respondents to an income questionnaire would be the more regular members who also happen to be the more well off members?

The average Boglehead user, I'm sure of it, is better off than the average American. The average American doesn't have that much TBH. And we have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

It's not money shaming to roll your eyes at posters who post things like "what $5000+ watch should I buy next?", "I want to buy a $1.5 million house but I'll only have $500,000 emergency fund left over", "I make $500k a year should I put money in a 529 account for my children?" any more than it is food shaming when someone posts "we spend $1200/mo on organic, gmo free, free range fish every month for 2 people" and asks if thats reasonable.
The problem with this way of looking at it is that anyone on a lower rung of the income ladder can roll his eyes at the person on the higher rungs.

So, there could be a household making $50K/year discussing the difficulty about saving for a 529 plan or buying a $150K house, while a person in say Bangladesh, is shaking his head and rolling his eyes because he is doing so well right now making $10k/year, he would be positively balling if he was making $15k/year.. let alone $50k/year!

Yes, it is unlikely the person in Bangladesh living happily on $10k/year has a large investment portfolio and visits boards such as these.

Remember .. 70% of all humanity lives on $10/day or less. So 70% of humanity is rolling its eyes at all the posters on this forum. :happy
Last edited by bligh on Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Mudpuppy
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Mudpuppy » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:56 pm

Darth Xanadu wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:40 pm
jminv wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:32 pm

I think BHers can probably be summed up as those who would exhibit self-control as children in the marshmallow experiment.
I just read about this experiment in this baby/parenting book I'm reading. The author suggests the best way to increase the likelihood of your kid getting into the college of their choice is to teach impulse control.
Impulse control and constructive ways of dealing with boredom (e.g. how to entertain yourself when there are no gadgets or toys nearby) are both good skills to learn. I just watched a video yesterday about a boredom experiment where people were left alone in a room for 30 minutes with just a prank shocking device that they knew going in was a shocking device. One person could only last two minutes with their boredom before they shocked themselves just to have something to do.
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:02 pm
Not book learned theory or spreadsheet desk jockeys. But, those who have accumulated wealth $1 at a time through work and savings -- diligence, perseverance, and patience -- real life in the real world.
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:03 am
Yes - very lucky, I was born in this country. The luck stops there.

Most are unwilling to admit that their poor choices played a role too.
I worry that Bogleheads are a dying breed not due to lack of desire by today's youth to be financially independent nor due to lack of ability for youth to be frugal and to save money, but due to larger financial obstacles in the path of today's youth, which means more luck is needed to overcome those obstacles. We may see more young doctors/lawyers/engineers/etc. and more young people with windfalls as time goes along because that is what is needed to overcome the obstacles in the current economy. And while some of those careers come through skills and good choices, luck is also a major factor in successfully finishing the education needed for those careers.

I also worry that there is a disconnect among older Americans, and that the disconnect continues here in the Boglehead forum, with just how much of a struggle it is for today's youth. Average wage growth has not kept up with inflation, and several normal "early career" costs, like college costs and house prices, have vastly outpaced inflation. It's not just a matter of working harder or being more frugal these days. Slow and steady does not always win the race, because the finish line has shifted drastically. And eventually that's going to come back and haunt those of us currently in our mid-careers, as the younger generation struggles to achieve what was normal when we were their age.

For example, I know part of my luck was going to college when Direct federal loans, Pell grants, CalGrants, and part-time on-campus work were sufficient to cover my expenses. I did not have to resort to predatory student loan lending to get through my education and I also went to college at a time when federal loans were variable interest rate, so I was able to consolidate them after graduation to lock in a low fixed rate. Today's youth does not even have that option, as all federal loans now have higher fixed interest rates. And federal loans, grants, and part-time work are no longer sufficient to cover the costs of even a state university education. It currently takes about 1.5 to 2 years of full-time, minimum wage work in California to afford 1 year of tuition and dorm fees at a University of California campus and slightly over 1 year of full-time, minimum wage work to afford 1 year of tuition and dorm fees at a California State University campus. And that doesn't account for other expenses like transportation to get to and from said job or getting sick and having to pay for medicine.

It's simple to say that today's youth can just work harder or make better choices or not keep up with the Joneses, but the reality of the financial circumstances of today's youth is much dimmer than it was when I was their age, and far dimmer than it was back in the Boomers generation. And that makes me worry about many things, from their general welfare to the overall health of the economy to how am I going to sell my starter home if most of today's youth have to delay home purchases due to their financial circumstances.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:06 pm

bligh wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:53 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:19 pm

WCI,

I'm sorry if you're offended by this, but whether you want to admit it or not $300k+ incomes are not common. Even on the post you cite, there were only 603 responses. There are over 70,000 registered users on this site. The majority of people who are regular posters and contributors are the more well off. It makes sense--usually very intelligent people who have lots of money to invest take an interest investing. Would it surprise you if the respondents to an income questionnaire would be the more regular members who also happen to be the more well off members?

The average Boglehead user, I'm sure of it, is better off than the average American. The average American doesn't have that much TBH. And we have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

It's not money shaming to roll your eyes at posters who post things like "what $5000+ watch should I buy next?", "I want to buy a $1.5 million house but I'll only have $500,000 emergency fund left over", "I make $500k a year should I put money in a 529 account for my children?" any more than it is food shaming when someone posts "we spend $1200/mo on organic, gmo free, free range fish every month for 2 people" and asks if thats reasonable.
The problem with this way of looking at it is that anyone on a lower rung of the income ladder can roll his eyes at the person on the higher rungs.

So, there could be a household making $50K/year discussing the difficulty about saving for a 529 plan or buying a $150K house, while a person in say Bangladesh, is shaking his head and rolling his eyes because he is doing so well right now making $10k/year, he would be positively balling if he was making $15k/year.. let alone $50k/year!

Yes, it is unlikely the person in Bangladesh living happily on $10k/year has a large investment portfolio and visits boards such as these.

Remember .. 70% of all humanity lives on $10/day or less. So 70% of humanity is rolling its eyes at all the posters on this forum. :happy
I’m just glad somoene rolls their eyes at me :wink:

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White Coat Investor
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:41 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:19 pm
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:05 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:08 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am
Are you saying that people making $350K+ don't have financial issues? That they shouldn't ask investing questions? That they shouldn't be able to discuss their finances on an internet forum?
I don't think many (if any) people are saying that. I think they're saying that those people shouldn't assume incomes like that are common.
Aren't common where? Here? I don't think that's necessarily true.

viewtopic.php?t=163384

Back in 2015, 17% of Bogleheads had an income over $300K and 33% had incomes over $200K. I would argue incomes like that ARE common right here on Bogleheads.org.

Aren't common in the US? Sure. But guess what? If you just broaden your perspective a bit, you'll realize an income of $50K isn't very common in this world. The median annual household income in this world is $9,733. Every problem posted on this board is a first world problem.
WCI,

I'm sorry if you're offended by this, but whether you want to admit it or not $300k+ incomes are not common. Even on the post you cite, there were only 603 responses. There are over 70,000 registered users on this site. The majority of people who are regular posters and contributors are the more well off. It makes sense--usually very intelligent people who have lots of money to invest take an interest investing. Would it surprise you if the respondents to an income questionnaire would be the more regular members who also happen to be the more well off members?

The average Boglehead user, I'm sure of it, is better off than the average American. The average American doesn't have that much TBH. And we have one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

It's not money shaming to roll your eyes at posters who post things like "what $5000+ watch should I buy next?", "I want to buy a $1.5 million house but I'll only have $500,000 emergency fund left over", "I make $500k a year should I put money in a 529 account for my children?" any more than it is food shaming when someone posts "we spend $1200/mo on organic, gmo free, free range fish every month for 2 people" and asks if thats reasonable.
I'm not offended in the least. Geez, if that sort of thing offended me I would have left the internet a long time ago. I'm pointing out why high earners don't always feel comfortable on this site, just like low earners. Best to realize everyone isn't exactly like you and avoid calling people who make less than you "lazy bums" and people who earn more than you "abnormal lucky SOBs."

I agree that $300K+ incomes are not common in the general population. However, I think the data demonstrates quite clearly that they are common enough on this website that nobody should be surprised to see a financial discussion regarding them. Common doesn't mean "the majority" or "average." It means the opposite of rare. While those definitions are a little subjective, I think of a common disease as one that more than 1 out of 1000 people has. So an income that 10%+ of people on a forum have is considered common in my book. Your opinion may vary and I wouldn't think you were insane.

In the time I've been posting on this site I've had an income as low as $37K and as high as 7 figures. That's one of the strengths of this site, not one of the weaknesses. I encourage members to try to be helpful and polite to both people who make less and make more than them. That doesn't mean it's wrong to politely point out their questions (I have $15 Million and spend $60K a year, can I retire?) are a little silly.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:45 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:05 pm
We all think that the people who have at least twice as much as us are "rich".
I have been amazed how stable that definition has been for me over the years. 2X what I currently have really is what I think of as rich.

Defining "enough" is amazingly empowering.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:51 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:56 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:40 pm
jminv wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:32 pm

I think BHers can probably be summed up as those who would exhibit self-control as children in the marshmallow experiment.
I just read about this experiment in this baby/parenting book I'm reading. The author suggests the best way to increase the likelihood of your kid getting into the college of their choice is to teach impulse control.
Impulse control and constructive ways of dealing with boredom (e.g. how to entertain yourself when there are no gadgets or toys nearby) are both good skills to learn. I just watched a video yesterday about a boredom experiment where people were left alone in a room for 30 minutes with just a prank shocking device that they knew going in was a shocking device. One person could only last two minutes with their boredom before they shocked themselves just to have something to do.
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:02 pm
Not book learned theory or spreadsheet desk jockeys. But, those who have accumulated wealth $1 at a time through work and savings -- diligence, perseverance, and patience -- real life in the real world.
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:03 am
Yes - very lucky, I was born in this country. The luck stops there.

Most are unwilling to admit that their poor choices played a role too.
I worry that Bogleheads are a dying breed not due to lack of desire by today's youth to be financially independent nor due to lack of ability for youth to be frugal and to save money, but due to larger financial obstacles in the path of today's youth, which means more luck is needed to overcome those obstacles. We may see more young doctors/lawyers/engineers/etc. and more young people with windfalls as time goes along because that is what is needed to overcome the obstacles in the current economy. And while some of those careers come through skills and good choices, luck is also a major factor in successfully finishing the education needed for those careers.

I also worry that there is a disconnect among older Americans, and that the disconnect continues here in the Boglehead forum, with just how much of a struggle it is for today's youth. Average wage growth has not kept up with inflation, and several normal "early career" costs, like college costs and house prices, have vastly outpaced inflation. It's not just a matter of working harder or being more frugal these days. Slow and steady does not always win the race, because the finish line has shifted drastically. And eventually that's going to come back and haunt those of us currently in our mid-careers, as the younger generation struggles to achieve what was normal when we were their age.

For example, I know part of my luck was going to college when Direct federal loans, Pell grants, CalGrants, and part-time on-campus work were sufficient to cover my expenses. I did not have to resort to predatory student loan lending to get through my education and I also went to college at a time when federal loans were variable interest rate, so I was able to consolidate them after graduation to lock in a low fixed rate. Today's youth does not even have that option, as all federal loans now have higher fixed interest rates. And federal loans, grants, and part-time work are no longer sufficient to cover the costs of even a state university education. It currently takes about 1.5 to 2 years of full-time, minimum wage work in California to afford 1 year of tuition and dorm fees at a University of California campus and slightly over 1 year of full-time, minimum wage work to afford 1 year of tuition and dorm fees at a California State University campus. And that doesn't account for other expenses like transportation to get to and from said job or getting sick and having to pay for medicine.

It's simple to say that today's youth can just work harder or make better choices or not keep up with the Joneses, but the reality of the financial circumstances of today's youth is much dimmer than it was when I was their age, and far dimmer than it was back in the Boomers generation. And that makes me worry about many things, from their general welfare to the overall health of the economy to how am I going to sell my starter home if most of today's youth have to delay home purchases due to their financial circumstances.
I think you're too pessimistic. I see lots of reasons to be optimistic when looking at the world, our economy, and our youth.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA672N

The average inflation-adjusted median household income level in the US has increased by 20% since the 80s and we're all walking around with a supercomputer in our pocket. Our kids are no longer hiding under their desks out of concern for nuclear war (I might be dating myself but we routinely had nuclear drills in elementary school in the 80s) and our biggest concerns are "microaggressions." How many generations of the world would have loved to only have to deal with microaggressions? Heck, the Korean War might soon be over!

Hard work and good decisions still pay off on average. Luck and privilege still play a role as they always have. We'll muddle through and come out better on the other side. Spend some time with our youth. They're going to be fine. I'm in awe at their ability, intelligence, and resilience.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by blackcat allie » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:02 pm

ksualum wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:03 pm
Watty wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:50 am
BogleMelon wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:33 am
Coming here always make me feel like I am the poorest creature on this planet with only $100K net worth at age of 38.
I have never gotten to really poor parts of the world but even in places like Mexico it is really eyeopening to get out of the tourist areas and see how other people live. There is of course a lot of poverty but even when you get into working class areas the lifestyle is pretty basic.

You are likely in the top couple of percent of people in the world especially when you consider your age.

Historically things have changed quite a lot too and it is easy to forget just how much the standard of living has improved. A hundred years ago household electricity was just being introduced and the existence of indoor plumbing was hit or miss. I live in the South and have seen someone of the old Plantation houses but other than being big and sometimes ornate I don't think actually living in one would have been all that pleasant. Compare that to an air conditioned suburban tract home with indoor bathrooms, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, cable, internet, two cars in the garage, big screen tv, telephone, and a medicine cabinet that is full of things to treat many ills.

Historically you almost certainly have a lifestyle in the top 1% of people that have ever lived.

Even after adjusting for inflation you also stand a good chance of having a million dollar net worth by the time you retire.
This is a fantastic thread! Maybe we should start doing this type of thread once a month . . . we could call it the "grateful" thread. Just list things we are all grateful/thankful for. Would do wonders for everyone's mental state :wink:
Very nicely stated! Another low earner here, and very grateful for all the wisdom & camaraderie of this site.
What you wrote about gratefulness is actually encouraging me to put check in the mail to support it.

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:51 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:51 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:56 pm
Darth Xanadu wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:40 pm
jminv wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:32 pm

I think BHers can probably be summed up as those who would exhibit self-control as children in the marshmallow experiment.
I just read about this experiment in this baby/parenting book I'm reading. The author suggests the best way to increase the likelihood of your kid getting into the college of their choice is to teach impulse control.
Impulse control and constructive ways of dealing with boredom (e.g. how to entertain yourself when there are no gadgets or toys nearby) are both good skills to learn. I just watched a video yesterday about a boredom experiment where people were left alone in a room for 30 minutes with just a prank shocking device that they knew going in was a shocking device. One person could only last two minutes with their boredom before they shocked themselves just to have something to do.
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:02 pm
Not book learned theory or spreadsheet desk jockeys. But, those who have accumulated wealth $1 at a time through work and savings -- diligence, perseverance, and patience -- real life in the real world.
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:03 am
Yes - very lucky, I was born in this country. The luck stops there.

Most are unwilling to admit that their poor choices played a role too.
I worry that Bogleheads are a dying breed not due to lack of desire by today's youth to be financially independent nor due to lack of ability for youth to be frugal and to save money, but due to larger financial obstacles in the path of today's youth, which means more luck is needed to overcome those obstacles. We may see more young doctors/lawyers/engineers/etc. and more young people with windfalls as time goes along because that is what is needed to overcome the obstacles in the current economy. And while some of those careers come through skills and good choices, luck is also a major factor in successfully finishing the education needed for those careers.

I also worry that there is a disconnect among older Americans, and that the disconnect continues here in the Boglehead forum, with just how much of a struggle it is for today's youth. Average wage growth has not kept up with inflation, and several normal "early career" costs, like college costs and house prices, have vastly outpaced inflation. It's not just a matter of working harder or being more frugal these days. Slow and steady does not always win the race, because the finish line has shifted drastically. And eventually that's going to come back and haunt those of us currently in our mid-careers, as the younger generation struggles to achieve what was normal when we were their age.

For example, I know part of my luck was going to college when Direct federal loans, Pell grants, CalGrants, and part-time on-campus work were sufficient to cover my expenses. I did not have to resort to predatory student loan lending to get through my education and I also went to college at a time when federal loans were variable interest rate, so I was able to consolidate them after graduation to lock in a low fixed rate. Today's youth does not even have that option, as all federal loans now have higher fixed interest rates. And federal loans, grants, and part-time work are no longer sufficient to cover the costs of even a state university education. It currently takes about 1.5 to 2 years of full-time, minimum wage work in California to afford 1 year of tuition and dorm fees at a University of California campus and slightly over 1 year of full-time, minimum wage work to afford 1 year of tuition and dorm fees at a California State University campus. And that doesn't account for other expenses like transportation to get to and from said job or getting sick and having to pay for medicine.

It's simple to say that today's youth can just work harder or make better choices or not keep up with the Joneses, but the reality of the financial circumstances of today's youth is much dimmer than it was when I was their age, and far dimmer than it was back in the Boomers generation. And that makes me worry about many things, from their general welfare to the overall health of the economy to how am I going to sell my starter home if most of today's youth have to delay home purchases due to their financial circumstances.
I think you're too pessimistic. I see lots of reasons to be optimistic when looking at the world, our economy, and our youth.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA672N

The average inflation-adjusted median household income level in the US has increased by 20% since the 80s and we're all walking around with a supercomputer in our pocket. Our kids are no longer hiding under their desks out of concern for nuclear war (I might be dating myself but we routinely had nuclear drills in elementary school in the 80s) and our biggest concerns are "microaggressions." How many generations of the world would have loved to only have to deal with microaggressions? Heck, the Korean War might soon be over!

Hard work and good decisions still pay off on average. Luck and privilege still play a role as they always have. We'll muddle through and come out better on the other side. Spend some time with our youth. They're going to be fine. I'm in awe at their ability, intelligence, and resilience.
+1
Well said as always, "doc".

I acknowledge the chasm between seniors that remember 1 black telephone on the wall (with a coil cord) and a Black n White Television that needed to warm up as the only "outside" electronic connection to the world, . . . . . and millennials with the world at their fingertips (iPhone) and often, more exposure, savvy, and maturity (good or bad) than older folk might have been at the same age where "world" exposure was the Sears Catalog and Ed Sullivan.. . . or a letter with a stamp.

Yes. There are the slackers, wino's, hobo's, jerks, in every generation. Yet, I have son's and nephews and relatives in their early 30's who have a solid grasp of frugality, industry, and adaptability to what it takes to survive and prosper today. Homes, mortgages, young families, paying off student loans, etc.
. . . and the older folks thought they would get "brain rot" on video games :shock: .

Perhaps due to technology, this generation has a solid grasp of what is "out there" for them, good and bad, and all the opportunities that they can take advantage of.

j :D

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Mudpuppy » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm

I do spend time with the youth of today. And I'm not talking about slackers or any of that nonsense. I'm talking about high-school educated teenagers from moderate to poor backgrounds who have to take out a large amount of student loan debt just to get a bachelor's degree in STEM because it's not possible to pay for a college education at either of the California public university systems through part-time or even full-time minimum wage work anymore. And if they try to work full-time while going to college for a STEM degree, they don't have enough time to adequately study for their degree program and risk falling behind or failing out. And that's not even talking about the thousands of fully qualified California high school graduates who were turned away from California public universities because the systems don't have enough funding to teach all of them.

These are hard working, talented, young individuals who are facing more obstacles than their parents or their grandparents faced. Some will overcome those obstacles, but that doesn't mean the obstacles do not exist. Call me pessimistic all you want, but I'd rather think of myself as a realist. I hope things will work out, but I fully acknowledge that today's youth face many obstacles and that many will try to overcome them, but fail in the process. That does not reflect poorly on them as people, as they are good people, but it is the natural, sad consequence of facing more obstacles than previous generations. Good people will fail despite their best efforts.

boglesmind
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by boglesmind » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:41 pm

NextMil wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:31 am
No matter what your position, if you are on this board, you are probably in the 1% of Americans. Comparison is the thief of joy I hear, but there is always someone who has more, and there are definitely a lot of folks who have a lot less. Be grateful, work hard, and invest early and often.
+1
The right comparisons can be beneficial: "I complained I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet." In one of our travels, a woman street vendor threw in something extra for my spouse, pinned it on the jacket, smiled a very happy smile and refused to accept payment. The vendor was, to our eyes, poor (compared to an average American) but was happier than a lot of "richer" folks we see all the time with frowns on their faces.

I consider this board providing a very valuable service in financial guidance whether you make $10/hour or $1000. I don't feel envious at those making more than me nor do I look down on those making less. Happiness doesn't depend on riches.

Boglesmind

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Sandtrap
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:46 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm
I do spend time with the youth of today. And I'm not talking about slackers or any of that nonsense. I'm talking about high-school educated teenagers from moderate to poor backgrounds who have to take out a large amount of student loan debt just to get a bachelor's degree in STEM because it's not possible to pay for a college education at either of the California public university systems through part-time or even full-time minimum wage work anymore. And if they try to work full-time while going to college for a STEM degree, they don't have enough time to adequately study for their degree program and risk falling behind or failing out. And that's not even talking about the thousands of fully qualified California high school graduates who were turned away from California public universities because the systems don't have enough funding to teach all of them.

These are hard working, talented, young individuals who are facing more obstacles than their parents or their grandparents faced. Some will overcome those obstacles, but that doesn't mean the obstacles do not exist. Call me pessimistic all you want, but I'd rather think of myself as a realist. I hope things will work out, but I fully acknowledge that today's youth face many obstacles and that many will try to overcome them, but fail in the process. That does not reflect poorly on them as people, as they are good people, but it is the natural, sad consequence of facing more obstacles than previous generations. Good people will fail despite their best efforts.
Well said.
I do notice an extraordinary degree of competition amongst millennials and younger in all areas that did not seem as overwhelming many decades ago.
j :D

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:17 pm

I see an elevated amount of job outsourcing to low cost foreign locales with an educated workforce. Competition is global in nature, those earnings your investments make?, well those obstacles you talk about are partially our fault. You don’t get higher stock prices without earnings growth, company managers feet are not being held to the fire to deliver the growth via the topline. Until that stops or slows down, there will continue to be this race to the bottom.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:30 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm
I do spend time with the youth of today. And I'm not talking about slackers or any of that nonsense. I'm talking about high-school educated teenagers from moderate to poor backgrounds who have to take out a large amount of student loan debt just to get a bachelor's degree in STEM because it's not possible to pay for a college education at either of the California public university systems through part-time or even full-time minimum wage work anymore. And if they try to work full-time while going to college for a STEM degree, they don't have enough time to adequately study for their degree program and risk falling behind or failing out. And that's not even talking about the thousands of fully qualified California high school graduates who were turned away from California public universities because the systems don't have enough funding to teach all of them.

These are hard working, talented, young individuals who are facing more obstacles than their parents or their grandparents faced. Some will overcome those obstacles, but that doesn't mean the obstacles do not exist. Call me pessimistic all you want, but I'd rather think of myself as a realist. I hope things will work out, but I fully acknowledge that today's youth face many obstacles and that many will try to overcome them, but fail in the process. That does not reflect poorly on them as people, as they are good people, but it is the natural, sad consequence of facing more obstacles than previous generations. Good people will fail despite their best efforts.
Leaving California helps too. Amazing how much of a difference that makes in all things financial. Taxes go down, tuition goes down, housing costs go down etc. I can see why someone living in California would have a pessimistic view of the world. I have no idea how a 20 year old today would ever think she could afford even the median house in the Bay Area.

I assure you there are still places where a student can work their way through school, even if they are becoming fewer and farther between.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by denovo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:56 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:58 am


Besides, a surprisingly large chunk of folks with high incomes have a negative net worth, at least initially. I met a couple the other day with an income of $700K, and a net worth of -$600K.
I am going to take a wild guess based on your profession, that the couple you ran into was two specialists who just finished residency/training and accrued student loans from medical school/undergrad. They'll be just fine.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:37 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:30 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm
I do spend time with the youth of today. And I'm not talking about slackers or any of that nonsense. I'm talking about high-school educated teenagers from moderate to poor backgrounds who have to take out a large amount of student loan debt just to get a bachelor's degree in STEM because it's not possible to pay for a college education at either of the California public university systems through part-time or even full-time minimum wage work anymore. And if they try to work full-time while going to college for a STEM degree, they don't have enough time to adequately study for their degree program and risk falling behind or failing out. And that's not even talking about the thousands of fully qualified California high school graduates who were turned away from California public universities because the systems don't have enough funding to teach all of them.

These are hard working, talented, young individuals who are facing more obstacles than their parents or their grandparents faced. Some will overcome those obstacles, but that doesn't mean the obstacles do not exist. Call me pessimistic all you want, but I'd rather think of myself as a realist. I hope things will work out, but I fully acknowledge that today's youth face many obstacles and that many will try to overcome them, but fail in the process. That does not reflect poorly on them as people, as they are good people, but it is the natural, sad consequence of facing more obstacles than previous generations. Good people will fail despite their best efforts.
Leaving California helps too. Amazing how much of a difference that makes in all things financial. Taxes go down, tuition goes down, housing costs go down etc. I can see why someone living in California would have a pessimistic view of the world. I have no idea how a 20 year old today would ever think she could afford even the median house in the Bay Area.

I assure you there are still places where a student can work their way through school, even if they are becoming fewer and farther between.
California is more than the Bay Area, much like New York is more than just Manhattan or Massachusetts is more than just Boston. For one to truly grasp the issues at hand they need to step out of their bubble. Surrounding yourself with others just like you creates groupthink where everyone believes the future is so bright they gotta wear shades or it’s the end of the world. There are pockets of opportunities but as noted before there are more and more obstacles in the way, some created by society, others by indifference or just plain ignorance.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

an_asker
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by an_asker » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:23 am

saltycaper wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:26 pm
davidsorensen32 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:17 pm
Don’t feel demoralized. Look at it this way - if husband and wife work for even just 20 years and just save normally, they would save

Husband 401(k) = 18,500
Husband match = 6,000
Wife 401(k) = 18,500
Wife match = 6,000
2x Backdoor Roth = 11,000
529 = 6,000 (say only $500 per month)
HSA = 6,900

Total = $73,000

Save for 20 years = $1.4M without any appreciation. As you can see it’s very doable. Throw in some market appreciation and you should easily cross $2.5-$3M. Not exactly bill gates style rich but enough for FI in 20 years for most of us.
Geez. Don't kick a man when he's already down. :D
+1!

stoptothink
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by stoptothink » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:30 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:30 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm
I do spend time with the youth of today. And I'm not talking about slackers or any of that nonsense. I'm talking about high-school educated teenagers from moderate to poor backgrounds who have to take out a large amount of student loan debt just to get a bachelor's degree in STEM because it's not possible to pay for a college education at either of the California public university systems through part-time or even full-time minimum wage work anymore. And if they try to work full-time while going to college for a STEM degree, they don't have enough time to adequately study for their degree program and risk falling behind or failing out. And that's not even talking about the thousands of fully qualified California high school graduates who were turned away from California public universities because the systems don't have enough funding to teach all of them.

These are hard working, talented, young individuals who are facing more obstacles than their parents or their grandparents faced. Some will overcome those obstacles, but that doesn't mean the obstacles do not exist. Call me pessimistic all you want, but I'd rather think of myself as a realist. I hope things will work out, but I fully acknowledge that today's youth face many obstacles and that many will try to overcome them, but fail in the process. That does not reflect poorly on them as people, as they are good people, but it is the natural, sad consequence of facing more obstacles than previous generations. Good people will fail despite their best efforts.
Leaving California helps too. Amazing how much of a difference that makes in all things financial. Taxes go down, tuition goes down, housing costs go down etc. I can see why someone living in California would have a pessimistic view of the world. I have no idea how a 20 year old today would ever think she could afford even the median house in the Bay Area.

I assure you there are still places where a student can work their way through school, even if they are becoming fewer and farther between.
Hey doc, don't tell more people that they can get a decent university education here in Utah for 1/4 the price they are paying in California. Living within 10 miles of two such universities, my area is already getting too congested. I can't tell you how many young people I know around here who are doing exactly what Mudpuppy says is impossible.

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Sandtrap
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Re: A lot of heavy hitters this morning

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:31 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:37 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:30 pm
Mudpuppy wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm
I do spend time with the youth of today. And I'm not talking about slackers or any of that nonsense. I'm talking about high-school educated teenagers from moderate to poor backgrounds who have to take out a large amount of student loan debt just to get a bachelor's degree in STEM because it's not possible to pay for a college education at either of the California public university systems through part-time or even full-time minimum wage work anymore. And if they try to work full-time while going to college for a STEM degree, they don't have enough time to adequately study for their degree program and risk falling behind or failing out. And that's not even talking about the thousands of fully qualified California high school graduates who were turned away from California public universities because the systems don't have enough funding to teach all of them.

These are hard working, talented, young individuals who are facing more obstacles than their parents or their grandparents faced. Some will overcome those obstacles, but that doesn't mean the obstacles do not exist. Call me pessimistic all you want, but I'd rather think of myself as a realist. I hope things will work out, but I fully acknowledge that today's youth face many obstacles and that many will try to overcome them, but fail in the process. That does not reflect poorly on them as people, as they are good people, but it is the natural, sad consequence of facing more obstacles than previous generations. Good people will fail despite their best efforts.
Leaving California helps too. Amazing how much of a difference that makes in all things financial. Taxes go down, tuition goes down, housing costs go down etc. I can see why someone living in California would have a pessimistic view of the world. I have no idea how a 20 year old today would ever think she could afford even the median house in the Bay Area.

I assure you there are still places where a student can work their way through school, even if they are becoming fewer and farther between.
California is more than the Bay Area, much like New York is more than just Manhattan or Massachusetts is more than just Boston. For one to truly grasp the issues at hand they need to step out of their bubble. Surrounding yourself with others just like you creates groupthink where everyone believes the future is so bright they gotta wear shades or it’s the end of the world. There are pockets of opportunities but as noted before there are more and more obstacles in the way, some created by society, others by indifference or just plain ignorance.
+1
Well said!

A close family friend grew up in a dirt village in Venezuela. Did beyond outstanding in school. Incredible drive despite what others told him was "reality". Sponsored to come to the USA. Worked is way up, step by step. Was a PhD Aeronautical Engineer for JPL and had a hand in computing the orbits for the Mars Lander.

Another close family friend grew up in a dirt village in Thailand. He and his wife worked their way up, step by step. Masters degree math schoolteachers.
Neither of the above folks succumbed to "groupthink" or lived in a "bubble".

Opportunities are as one finds and as one makes. Inspire others.
j

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