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 08-09-2005, 08:11 Post: 114562
bnrhuffman



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

I never really had reason to think about it before but my wife and I do indeed live in a different universe than most people our age. I am 40 and she is 33. We both have good jobs, a house and all the toys we want. We go on trips whereever and whenever we want. We are responsible with money but dont hesitate to spend it.
We have no children and no plans to have children. I think this is what sets us apart from the masses.
The most recent example: Our dog tore its ACL in its rear leg last week. It requires surgery to repair or he limps the rest of his life. I was explaining to my coworkers that it's a $3000 surgery. They acted like I was on crack for paying that much to fix a dog. For me it was a no brainer. I have nothing more important to spend the money on, no braces to buy, no soccer teams to support, no school clothes or supplies, no college, no car when the kids turn 16. I may put off buying a new lift kit for my Jeep a few more months but thats the only financial sacrifice I'll see from this, and then again I may not put it off.
Another coworker of mine was planning on buying a trailer from me for $150. He asked me if I could hold it for a while because he needs tires for his car first and he couldnt come up with the money while I go out and pay $18000 cash for a truck on a whim. He makes roughly the same money that I do, as does his wife, but he has a couple kids that are getting to college age.
This isnt a rant or a brag, just a sudden realization of the differences in priorities. There arent many middle aged couples without kids out there. We must be seen as freaks.






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 08-09-2005, 08:25 Post: 114565
ncrunch32



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

Bnr - no two families are alike. Last week I was at the marina and a 50-60 year old man was pulling his "Black Cloud" race boat out of the water. He had twin 1300 HP engines and had just blown his tranny. He experiments with engines and speed continuously. A young couple on shore kept asking the old man who owned the boat. Finally the old man told the young couple he was old enough to own his own boat.

My "enemy" neighbor on my back line has told me that he KNOWS that I am broke because I can't possibly afford college for kids and the tractor and the boat, etc etc. I told him that I have no loans and am doing just fine but he refuses to believe it. And I don't consider myself to be in any way "rich". I have to still be concerned about retirement. There are many many people around me who have much more money than I do. Its all relative - but you are correct - most people in mid-life are struggling with the bills and kids. Financially its much easier if you don't have kids.






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 08-09-2005, 08:35 Post: 114566
Murf



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

Welcome to the club.......

I'm barely only a year or two older than you. I have an employee who is 15+ years my senior, he often needs an advance a few days before payday (1st & 15th monthly) and wonders out loud where he will live (he rents) and how he will get by when he retires. He is NOT the only one like that.

I have an old school chum who recently moved reasonably near to me, when we visit (couple times a month), both he & his wife have good jobs and drive nice (leased) cars. The fridge is always empty, his wife complains to mine that they have to eat at the in-laws for a few days before payday, and that all their credit cards are at (or over) the limit. She is amazed at how my wife doesn't work, I have taken several years off work, and we still have 3 homes and a cottage.

I too wouldn't hesitate to spend thousands on one of my dogs. They ARE my children.

In fact the more I see of some of the kids today, the more I like my dogs.....

Best of luck.






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 08-09-2005, 09:48 Post: 114580
AV8R



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

The wife and I are 32/34 respectively in the same "life" situation (no kids, no plan to have kids). Our current situation after me taking a year off work to finish my degree is all the doing of my wife's talent at budget management and our lack of frivilous spending.

We have the Harleys, Kubota, nice cars (well, not mine...) and are about to close on an 80 acre property and build a new home. In no way do I feel appologetic about being financially secure, and I have no respect for people who try and belittle me for that security (attempts happen often).

If people were more RESPONSIBLE for themselves and less focused on instant gratification, their finances would improve in most situations. (Having 5 kids with as many ex-wives doesn't help either!)

BTW: I would spend the $3000 on either of my cats if they needed it too.






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 08-09-2005, 10:20 Post: 114582
Chief



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

Being financially secure is a mutually sought after and commendable position to be in. All I can add to this conversation is that along with being fincancially secure "now" is just a small part of the puzzle. Planning for retirement with savings and investments is an ever increasingly strategic yet elusive goal. Those who neglect this aspect of their financial undertakings will find themselves jerked back into this universe in the blink of an eye. People live longer now and will more than likely spend nearly 1/4 to 1/3 of their life time in retirement. That pretty much correlates to the amount of income that must be saved/invested to build and successful and independent retirement. That in my opinion would be in addition to a retirement pension with benefits.






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 08-09-2005, 10:43 Post: 114585
ncrunch32



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

2ndhand, I agree about being concerned about retirement. Even if you aren't a world traveler and just want to stay at home (like wife and myself) you still have to plan for these damn exorbitant taxes on a constant income. I hope I can afford a wireless laptop so I can logon to tractorpoint while living in a cardboard box in New York City. Health is the other half of the equation.

With regard to cats - I love cats and have 4 of them. My favorite cat is 20 years old now - I think she is having difficulty with vision. But - no way I will spend $3000 on an animal. I hope I have the courage someday to go quietly myself - rather than spend tons of money try to pass it on to the younger generation.






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 08-09-2005, 11:18 Post: 114587
bnrhuffman



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

On the subject of retirement. Up until a couple of years ago I really didnt think too much about it. A couple CDs and IRAs here and there and a little into my 401k. Last year I realized that Im getting old. Now Im maxing out my 401k contribution and looking into some real estate investing. My goal is to semi retire in 10 years and let my wife support me. After all, shes younger, has a higher education and better medical benefits than I do anyway.
Another factor for us is that we both absolutely hate making payments. We dont buy new vehicles every other year like many of the people I know. The newest vehicle we own is 6 years old. Every so often we finance something just to keep our credit rating (latest was a Kubota for 0%). When its payed off next year, we will probably get a new car(gas prices are hurting us with our SUVs).






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 08-09-2005, 11:25 Post: 114588
bnrhuffman



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

ncrunch32,
I agree with you on going quietly but there really is a difference between letting an animal go quietly and fixing a torn ligament. I couldnt let an animal thats under my care live a life of lameness when I can afford to have it fixed.






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 08-09-2005, 12:23 Post: 114595
Iowafun

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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

My male lab tore his ACL about 4 years ago. It only cost me $900 for the surgery on it at the animal hospital at Iowa State U. I also footed the bill for 2 one week rehab sessions there as well. I have a picture of him in a doggy life jacket in a swimmer's endless training pool. They had him swim to strengthen the leg without the load of walking or running.

I'd spend money on my dogs. Until my kid showed up in May, they were my kids. Sure they've chewed the couches, ate the toilet plunger, etc. But they don't projectile vomit on my like the baby does.

As for the other discussion, I do spend money a tad more than I should. But my 401K is at it's max contribution, I have some IRA's and the only debt we have is the tractor (at 0%), one vehicle (due to the baby arrival) and the house. We don't eat out that often and don't try to keep up with the Jones's. My personal computer was bought in 2000. I drive a 5 year old pickup with 132,000 miles.

If we want something, we save up for it and pay cash. Although I did buy that big TV using credit. But they gave me 6 months same as cash. So I paid it off in 4 months. Didn't cost me any interest and I didn't tap savings.

People do need to do a better job of managing their money. I know many people that live very well, but couldn't handle any major emergencies because they are maxed out. Sad...






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 08-09-2005, 13:02 Post: 114600
Murf



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 I suddenly realize I live in a different universe

BNR, Iowa brings up a good point.

If there is a University near you that teaches vetrinary sciences they will probably do the surgery for about 1/3 the 'normal' cost as a way getting the final year students experience under supervision, and a demonstration for the younger students. I did this a few years back with one of my horses.

I added a little twist though, I saved about five grand going that way, so I figured what the heck, I had planned on spending that money anyways, so I made a donation of it (in materials & labour in my case) to the SPCA shelter near here.

Made both the horse & I feel better. ;->

Best of luck.






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