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This economy ?

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Blog entry by Doug Scott posted 897 days ago 1166 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I”m sure most of you have had time to watch TV and what the news stories have been reporting,

New york city tested someone to TRY to live on 50.000 a year and now in Miami Fla, they are talking about someone that can’t live on 75,0000.
What kind of life style do these people expect to live on in this economy, Some of us have to cut back and do without luxuries. That means living like some of us poor people live all the time.
I have been brought up with this pounded into my head, This is the way Mother put it: Can we do without it, Can we afford it, and do we have to have it.
And I still live by that today, and most of the time I walk out of the store without buying a thing.

Some people need to live on what I have most of my life ,I have averaged only 18,00 to 22,000 for many years and only one year did I make over that , and as a supervisor for a small Company. I made 27,000 and lived comfortable I haven’t had a wife to help with expenses.

Take the Auto workers for an example , If they are not making 20 to 27 an hour , they claime they can’t make ends meet. OH ! Boo Hoo.

I wish I made 50,000 to 75,000 . I would be living like a king. But maybe here in Michigan where I live isn’t as costly as it is in N. Y. or Miami, It could be all in the way one budgets themselves. I’m just glad that back in the 80’s after I come home from the military I started buying woodworking equipment with the money I made on the side, I wanted to have everything I needed by the time retirement rolled around. I worked 12 years in a furniture factory and it closed in 1995, Then worked 3 years as a dept supervisor , until the owner dipped into the investers money and caused our payroll checks to bounce,. I quite before more things happened.
Then after 9/11 the job market went down hill and I think it hasn’t been good since. nd the Courprite greed hasn’t helped this country at all. AGREE !

-- Furniture By Douglas, Comstock Park, MI



29 comments so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1290 days


#1 posted 897 days ago

I don’t disagree with you but these cities are pretty extreme examples.

Cost of Living Comparison:
Detroit, Michigan – Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach is 51% more expensive than Detroit.
Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.
Housing is 311% more expensive in Miami Beach.
A salary of $50,000 in Detroit, Michigan should increase to $75,686 in Miami Beach, Florida

A salary of $50,000 in Detroit, Michigan should increase to $99,127 in New York, New York

A salary of $50,000 in Detroit, Michigan should increase to $115,212 in San Francisco, California

I was able to accept a much lower salary here in WV due to the cost of living.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15392 posts in 1463 days


#2 posted 897 days ago

If you include inflation into the calculations the average wage earner in this country is making less than the average wage earner was in 1970. So, for the person who has been in the work force for 40 years and has watched his pay rise essentially has gotten no where unless he has moved up the ladder to more responsible positions where the average is higher. Inflation is cause by the devaluation of our fiat currency. The cost of living is not really going up so much as the value of our money is going down. It takes more fiat dollars to buy everything every year. Some people think that it seems like they are going backwards. This is one of the reasons. Had it not been for women moving into the work force over the last forty years the American family would have had a much more difficult time financially than what it has had.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1290 days


#3 posted 897 days ago

I’m only 40 years old but I’m in a profession that requires a ridiculous amount of insurance. I’m still old enough to remember the price of gas when I was 16. It’s all pretty depressing.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4930 posts in 1905 days


#4 posted 897 days ago

I guess it all depends on what level a person set his or her standards of living. Some are content having just enough money to get by…planning only day by day and taking things as they come… and hopefully save a few dollars when possible.
Others take control of their own lives, set standards much higher and always have a plan for finiacial success and continually strive to do whatever is necessary to achieve their finincial goals.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2130 posts in 1705 days


#5 posted 897 days ago

The economy will obviously be a concern for many years to come. Calculations usually are in the form of gross income as adverse to net income. I worked as an IT analyst for a decade and had to take a lesser position recently due to a new company purchase which transferred my position to India. While my gross pay would put me in the middle class income, insurance, child support, and taxes puts me in the bottom 25%. If you look at retirement savings, it was more common for many to plan on a more comfortable and early retirement at the sacrifice of some luxuiries while working. I have been, more or less, planning on just a supplementary income to assist with the social security I may get in my 70s and any luxury spending has gone toward purchasing tools and materials now because I know such luxuries may not be available in the future. I find myself planning more for survival rather than those Carribean vacations :) Definitely no extravagant lifestyle here.

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3588 posts in 1964 days


#6 posted 897 days ago

One of my biggest concern is the loss of jobs due to outsourcing overseas. I still hold a grudge towards John McCain for getting tax breaks for those companies that outsource off shore. It just doesn’t make sense to take a job away from somebody here in the US, lose the taxes they, decrease their purchasing power (or remove it all together), put them on unemployment, and give the company a tax break. I think it should be reversed; companies that send jobs overseas should pay a penalty tax at least equivalent to those losses. If we didn’t send all those jobs overseas we probably have less unemployment here!

Then there is the issue of losing our technological expertise to countries that MAY not be friendly to US when we really need it. The number of IC fabs in this country is dwindling and obviously the expertise is going along with them. I was fortunate to work in a product line that was considered restricted technology and could not be sent overseas.

If we do outsource why can’t we do it in Mexico and build up their economy to make them a more viable place to live. The response to that is that they don’t have the technical expertise but that is sort of like what came first; the chicken or the egg.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15392 posts in 1463 days


#7 posted 897 days ago

I don’t reckon I will ever fully retire. The housing bubble pretty much fixed my little red wagon as far as that goes. We’re just hoping to be able to keep our molding business going.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1290 days


#8 posted 897 days ago

^I had to accept a job primarily based upon the retirement/pension plan. Although I’ve got many working years left ahead of me, my financial advisor was throwing out some scary numbers concerning what I’ll need to retire in 30 years. I’m not sure what else to do with my surplus because CDs yield about what savings accounts do, the real estate market is shot, and I’m too naive to trade responsibly. I’ve done reasonably well (by modern standards) with moneymarkets and metals but it’s not going to be enough. Doesn’t make sense to build a ton of home equity when my rate is 3%. I’m young enough to have to face the music about SS, etc. If I don’t have cash in my mattress when I retire, I’m not sure I’ll be able to.
.
It’s all really scary.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2031 days


#9 posted 897 days ago

Having lived through conditions in post war UK, I consider myself fortunate that I am more able to ride out the storm than any younger generation because they have never known how it is to struggle when everyone is in the same boat. It was over 10 years before the economy got back on it’s feet and even then there was a severe housing shortage and only basic goods were available.
People who went through the great depression and war aftermath managed to get through by sheer determination and sacrifice.
I still and have had the spirit of survival running through me all my life, never forgetting the important things in life and living. To this end, my wife and I have never got into debt for anything except a small car loan and a small mortgage which were paid off before their schedule.
So now in retirement we should be able to manage? – I think not.
Our IRA lost 60% in 2008, my SS check stayed the same for 3 years while everything became inflated way beyond any safety measures we installed or even imagined in our wildest dreams would be.
Our home which we own has lost 22% in value, but has increased in tax value almost 20% since 2008. My $12 new increase in my SS check has been hijacked by our water provider who has increased the standard monthly fee by $12.
There are so many instances where everything has gone up while our income has been reduced.
My wife needs a new washer, our 15 year old Monkey Ward washer is dying, but almost a $1000.00 sticker shock means it’s out of the question – it’s good that we remember how to do washing in the bathtub.

Vacations have been out for several years, the only ones we get nowadays are trips to the hospital, that is if we can buy enough gas to put in the 11 year old car.

What a mess.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15392 posts in 1463 days


#10 posted 897 days ago

By cash, Bertha, I hope that you mean gold, silver, platinum, etc. At the rate inflation is going I don’t think paper money is going to cut it.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2854 posts in 1084 days


#11 posted 897 days ago

Having a financial plan is all well and good… but as was once noted, the best layed plans *

Most of my life I owned and operated a semi truck as an owner operator. Later I owned and operated a small, (5 trucks and 15 trailers) trucking company. I also was a general contractor doing FHA home construction and major remodeling jobs in Atlanta, Nashville and Louisville.
I built my trucking company up to the point that I was trading tractors in every 2 years and trailers in every 5 years. My construction company was doing well, although not as well as some in the same areas.

Then in 2000 came the crash. Not the financial one… the physical one. One day I was tooling down the road, fat, dumb and happy, no problems. Then out of nowhere came this monster 4WD Chevy pickup down the side of a hill, (On the Oregon coast during a massive rainstorm). It was caught in a mudslide and landed on the roof of my shiny new KW W900 with me in the cab of the KW.
I was broken into little bits… both legs broken, shoulder broken, pelvis crushed, two ribs through the lungs.

At first I wasn’t too worried, I had Workman’s Comp, Right? NOT! The person in charge of paying bills had let the WCI lapse without telling me and I couldn’t sue the state of Oregon for an act of God. That was @ $700K.
Then I found out the same person who hadn’t paid the insurance hadn’t paid any of the taxes or truck and trailer notes for the previous six months.

Bummer.

I’m no longer married to her.

Two years after that, because I was disabled I was trying to make a bit of extra money doing diesel mechanic work on the side. While underneath a burned bus hulk removing the differential a jack broke and the bus slid sideways, crushing my pelvis for a second time.
That was the end of the disability pay.

Now I work as a manager at a campground, some days I can walk, some days I can’t, but I keep going.

The present wife is eligible for SSI this year, but I won’t be for a few more, and she doesn’t want to draw it until she’s fully invested. We make $12000/yr salary and have a place to live. Almost all our bills are paid off except life insurance and cell phones.

Over all, I am as happy as can be.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15392 posts in 1463 days


#12 posted 897 days ago

Roger, people who are on fixed incomes always get hurt the worst by inflation. Inflation is a hidden tax that almost everyone has to pay.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15392 posts in 1463 days


#13 posted 897 days ago

That’s quite a story, Dallas. It speaks volumes about your guts and determination and it takes character to be happy and content after all of that diversity. You and Roger have a lot in common because you’ve both been through a lot and keep on keeping on.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Sarit's profile

Sarit

466 posts in 1736 days


#14 posted 897 days ago

I’m a bit shocked on how little you can live on, but we probably live worlds apart. I live in the San Francisco bay area, which as Bertha mentions is one of the most expensive places you can live.

Would you mind giving us a breakdown of how your money is spent (like between housing/food/utilities/etc)?
If would also be helpful in the comparison to know if you have a family to feed and whether your employer provides health insurance or if you have to get it yourself.

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1290 days


#15 posted 897 days ago

^Yeah Sarit, San Fran is obscene in terms of cost of living. What you get is just expensive. There are those that accept the extreme cost of living because San Fran is such a beautiful place to live and work. I had a job offer there for more than twice what I make here in WV. It still didn’t make fiscal sense. I’m more of a redneck/hillbilly gun nut anyway, so San Fran probably wouldn’t have worked:). NYC I’ve just never understood:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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