Staring down the barrel

I overheard my co-worker on the phone a couple of days ago talking to her dad.

Money is running tight, his wife has been sick on and off again and his social security and retirement isn’t quite going far enough. Oh sure, he saved for retirement. He invested and did the right things and they don’t live in an extravagant house.

His investments took a hit after 9/11 and housing crash and with food and energy prices going up, he’s back on the job hunt. He’s 71 years old.

It’s stories like him and that of my childhood neighbor that make me think we’re living in a fantasy land of doom. For those of us “lucky” enough to be able to invest, if we think our 401(k)s/mutual funds/insert corrupt investment tool here is going to be enough to care for us when we’re older then we might be fooling ourselves.

For those who can’t afford any of that retirement planning, you might be better off (if the lack of health care doesn’t do you in first).

Quite honestly, I don’t want all that when I’m older. I want it now while I can still pull up my pants without needing help and can walk two blocks and still remember who I am.

I’m in a weird place right now. Beliefs are being challenged. Black is white, up is down, passivity has turned to rage.

I’m OK with all of that. At least I’m not complacent.

One thought on “Staring down the barrel

  1. Greg K

    Don’t know where you live, but I just bought two nearly livable, but run down duplexes in Indianapolis for $28k and $19k each. With about 2-3 weeks of hard work and maybe another $10k invested into both I’ll have 4 units renting at $550 or so per month. Not something that most of us can just put on a credit card, but certainly something that many can choose to save up for and have paid off completely in a few years. What’s the net? Well even at $400/mo after possible costs and vacancies, that’s $1600/month or $19k/yr on top of anything I might earn or receive from anywhere else for a grand total of $55-60k. In 3 years it pays for itself. In 10 years and eventual unavoidable rebound of real estate prices (they always go up eventually if you manage to weather the storm). I think these two beauties can pay for my kids college meanwhile having paid for a private school, and teaching them some good personal investment habits.

    Real Estate is not for everyone, but pick what it is that IS for you, and invest into something! The name of the game is inflation: increase in amount of money in the system through exponential (%) growth, and if you’re not receiving a % on even a part of what you have, you’re going to end up behind the 8-ball by default… It’s not an IF it’s a WHEN.


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