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  1. #21
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    When I went to Detroit a couple years ago, everyone my age already owned their own house. My friend bought a really nice 3 bedroom for like $20,000 or something ridiculous. My mom's childhood home that my grandparents lived in for 30 years had been bought by a 21 year old waitress.

    I'd move there if it didnt entail me actually living in Detroit.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Why, he's not saying he wants to retire early.
    That's not the only reason to start saving since you are young.

    Moreover, property appreciating in value? Depends on where you live, in the last 20 years properties have taken some strong hits.
    Yes, it definitely depends on where you live. Where I live, with suburbs branching out further and further from the city's core, property is a very hot investment right now.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qrious View Post
    That's not the only reason to start saving since you are young.
    True.

    What happens if you become disabled and can't work? What happens if you're fired?

    The only certainty is uncertainty. People are living longer (and will continue to do so) and as such spend more years unable to work because of old age.

    Many people say they just wont retire, but age frequently forces our hand on the issue.

    How about if you have a family? Wouldn't you want to pass on a legacy to them?

    How would they survive if you were unable to work? How are the kids going to afford college tuition?

    As long as you aren't in an over valued real estate market, I would definitely recommend investing in rental properties.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    True.
    Then, there's also the benefit of compound interest, which is only realized if you're saving your money for a long time (squirreling it away into investments, even low/med risks). Which is not a luxury one can optimally benefit from, if they start saving later, rather than earlier, in the game.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptoGypsy View Post
    Does anyone here have experience in working in Management?
    You're not going to hit these positions, as a fresh graduate, or even with a few years working in the field. You gotta climb. Climb that ladder.

    If this is your ultimate game plan:

    Market Research Analyst -> Senior Manager -> Director and above, especially in the corporate world of marketing, will take a lot of unpaid overtime, some parts viciousness/ruthlessness, and need to keep fighting to climb. You are going to go against a lot of other hungry dogs who are wanting the same bone. You will call them your colleagues, your co-workers.

    One of my friends is in marketing, and she has just hit her 30s, and she's already exhausted. Their salaries are pretty good, and there's a lot of incentives, bonuses, more frequent raises than in the non-profit sector, but she's done. She wants out. Even if it means a substantial pay cut. For her sanity.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qrious View Post
    You're not going to hit these positions, as a fresh graduate, or even with a few years working in the field. You gotta climb. Climb that ladder.

    If this is your ultimate game plan:

    Market Research Analyst -> Senior Manager -> Director and above, especially in the corporate world of marketing, will take a lot of unpaid overtime, some parts viciousness/ruthlessness, and need to keep fighting to climb. You are going to go against a lot of other hungry dogs who are wanting the same bone. You will call them your colleagues, your co-workers.

    One of my friends is in marketing, and she has just hit her 30s, and she's already exhausted. Their salaries are pretty good, and there's a lot of incentives, bonuses, more frequent raises than in the non-profit sector, but she's done. She wants out. Even if it means a substantial pay cut. For her sanity.
    Very true.

    Though, I was never able to convince myself to really climb the ladder in the first place...couldn't sell myself on the benefits, nor responsibilities and time sink. It never suited my concerns/values. [Though, this is not to say there aren't people who thrive in that, and who find some sort of fulfillment in it - especially if the company is aligned with their interests/passions]
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  7. #27
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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  8. #28
    Member maybetmp's Avatar
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    It would depend primarily on the local cost of living (calculated by a variety of factors. Do you have kids, what are your transportation costs, etc.) and your desired standard of living, I would think. There's a lot of subjective factors involved, among many complex and likely hidden objective factors. Have you considered calculating it for your own wants?

  9. #29
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    As much as you want, or as little as you want. A single man can be homeless and dumpster diving, or doing coke and renting a penthouse. Comfort is very subjective, most presume a norm that just isn't justified (eg: references to 80k, or specific needs down to makes)

    For a single person, I'd say the general thresholds are around 30-(50)-70k based on the US median city and you can scale that by your local COL. Below the 30 point you have failed hurdles that would make it uncomfortable (although I'd still question that, since it could result in community living and such which tends to be net positive, seen in places like Mexico). Over 70k results in nicer stuff, but it scales down very quickly at that point.

    Having said that, it doesn't give you apples to apples. Living in the downtown core of San Fran is not the same as driving to work in Boston, or New Jersey to NY. The way money is spent is really different, with really different returns on QOL (comfort). It's less about what you spend on and more about what you get. Paying affordable rent but driving an hour to work because of traffic is not equivalent to transferring the cost to rent and walking to work. Some places can't pay enough to justify the prices (see China + smog, or Eastern Europe and crime, or many places + political security). There is no comfortable wage in these places (until you reach top 10% of local population).

    I live in Vancouver (Canada), so I'm skewed towards best cities in the world. I pay ~1700 in rent for 800 sq ft... and that's on the low end of the area (~$3/sq ft average). But I don't own a car (walk to work, rent sometimes, car share the rest). It's one of the most expensive cities in the world to work/live in.

    But the QOL transfer far outweighs price. I could cut my rent by 30-40% but I'd be driving to work everyday. It takes me ~50 min a day (my wife ~15 min), walking. Moving would move it up to a net of about 2h driving for both (back when we were doing it, it was about 2h20 min, since we ended up waiting for each other). It was about 3h using transit. Not only did we lose the stress of traffic and gain the exercise, we also saved about 20h/month. 20h! I consider the whole time saved since I should be doing at least that much cardio.

    The "comfortable" wage in Vancouver is very high, but even with a lower wage ("uncomfortable", your QOL is better than most cities in the world.

    My wife and I also spend about ~1400 on food. Probably more these days. There is no real reason to. We enjoy it, sure, and we eat well... but is it equivalent of the family making dinner together and eating together? Cost is not the same kind of enjoyment. Us, a couple, enjoy the date. The family is probably less stressed eating at home than packing up and going out. Singles could go out with friends, co-workers or romantic restaurants instead, for instance. But what is uncomfortable for one is beneficial for another.

    So very different definitions of "comfortable".

    ---

    I guess what I'm trying to say is... no one needs 80k+ to be comfortable. 80k is "comfortable" for single parents with more than one kid. Yes, seriously. It's not good that it is but it's well above the median. You can be secure there, although always at higher risk.

    What you probably want to know are the minimum hurdles. Kids in households that are sub-40k will have a harder life (depending on your social systems, but certainly true in the states). Resource starvation is a real social problem.

    You generally don't gain comfort or happiness from having a comfortable salary (again, minimum hurdle), but rather from social connections and meaningful efforts. So you can be pretty comfortable with surprisingly low wages because spending money may not be required for your particular needs... or require high wages to ever be comfortable (if you ever could be) because of social needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think this is a pretty good calculator. Seems pretty accurate for my area and family, at least.

    Edit: It assumes you have a kid, so it might not be that great for a lot of folks here. Sorry.
    I can't believe how much is taken up by medical insurance for you (US) guys. The total tax burden and relative housing seems kind of low but it is just my gut feeling.

    The car costs - eventually you'll need a new car, so you could be "saving" for it now anyway. It's probably still fair and seems about right. (The better way to say it is that your current car is depreciating in value all the time, so it "costs" you regardless.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Qrious View Post
    Save. Save! Start as young as you can. And don't just save it in a piggy bank. Look into investing. Owning your own property is a good investment too, if you buy right. You don't need to live in it. Rent it out.
    Saving is important but very different than investing.

    Saving is for risk absorption (eg: variance in income or expenses). Most people should save between 3-12 months (depending on sources of income, variances in expenses, etc.) This is money that could be withdrawn quickly and without variance. Insurance is complementary to savings (lowering variance). The more insurance you carry, the lower your savings need to be. It is better to not insure the contents of your house if you have sufficient savings to replace the contents of your house, and so on.

    Investments is about deferring consumption for increased consumption in the future. It's sub-optimal in more cases than you'd think. A normally overlooked cost comes from anything that would pay dividends, such as a degree. A typical example would be to spend more on your kids (money comes from somewhere!), vs leaving a legacy to them at the end. There is an entire other group that involves experiences now vs later. The marginal difference between them is actually very small for the amount deferred. Travel, for instance, because age makes it harder and less enjoyable, and has to be discounted for expected lifespan. Many are unable to travel; discount your future value by 20-25% (some 5-10% chance of it being 0, and the sliding scale for the rest) and suddenly it seems much less appealing.

    Hence, it's not a good idea to mix "saving for travelling" and "investing for travelling" (retirement). The same applies for a great deal (majority?) of things.

    But, seriously, save. And except for big investments, that appreciate in value (like property), avoid having a debt.
    FWIW, property (land) only increases at inflation (on average) and property (buildings) depreciate in value. Using debt to finance them is only superior because of the amount of leverage available and relative stability, hence not having the debt called on you. That causes the property to rise at inflation and the debt to decrease at inflation, along with the income stream increasing at inflation for the life of the property (building).

    Almost like buying bank stocks. Where the banking system is stable, anyway.

    Debt is not inherently negative, but is situationally bad simply because needing debt means you do not have the equivalent in cash. For most people means that you bought something you couldn't afford (property included). It doesn't mean that it is sub-optimal to use debt. I'd mortgage myself as much as I could right this moment if someone was willing to do it. I just don't count as security for a loan, sadly.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    @ptgatsby - Thanks so much. It was incredibly helpful. The more you know....

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