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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Bayou Rouge, Sep 3, 2017.
Heh. Here I was thinking "we all have the same opportunity in this country". If someone has to get a job while in college to not get in debt via student loans and someone doesn't - how is that the same opportunity?
A lot of people propagating this bull*it about working through college have no clue what that means. I had to work full time through my college education and I ended up debt free but I also ended up squandering 40 hours per week on a bull*it, meaningless job when someone else was spending 40 hours reading advanced material in a class we were taking together. Who do you think ended up a better expert in the subject?
When you are in college, you are supposed to dedicate ALL your time to academic pursuits - this is WHY you are in college. Not spend it delivering pizza or cleaning toilets.
You are the one who said we all have equal opportunity in this country. We don't. Not even close. You going to community college and working 40 hours per week while in college is not the same opportunity as someone else who coasts through college with their parents paying tuition. You will start out with debt or miss out on a bunch of things (including academic pursuits) that your financially better off competitor will not have to contend with. BTW, people with college education make 95% more on average than people without college education. Now, people with a degree from Harvard probably make 200% or 300% more than the people without a degree.
You getting "night education" implies foregoing other pursuits by itself (time with family, other interests, exercise, whatever). Also, the quality of your "night education" may not be the same as someone who went to school full time when they should have. Not saying that going to night school is a bad thing, improving one self is always a noble pursuit but it sure is not the same level playing field you are trying to paint. Saying that is like saying "We can all be astronauts". Well, yeah, in theory. In practice there are only a few that make it to that job.
This whole idea of adult colleges and nights schools is in fact a result of not having same opportunities in life. These people try to persuade you that a degree from University of Phoenix is just as good as the degree from Harvard. Like a degree from a community college is the same as a degree from Stanford. It "ain't".
As for banks being evil, well, they are in bed with government via lobbying and other links. Sometimes the government forces them to do something they don't like, but the same government bailed the banks out too. In fact I don't see them doing poorly today. I also don't remember a whole lot of bankers losing their homes in foreclosures. Heck, the likes of Wells F are doing criminal stuff to this day (like fake accounts) and all they get is a slap on the wrist like the CEO having to retire with a big golden parachute. Boo hoo.
(Financial adviser, what's that?) Last time I checked the statistics most money managers did as poorly (or as well) in money management outcomes as people with no professional money management experience. The difference is, money managers play with other people's money. Financial advisers sit down and look at a guy and their net worth and goals and try to get them there. You gave out advice at the beginning of this thread as "spend less than you make or make more than you spend". If this is all there is to it, well, why have a job and charge money for it? Hang a piece of paper on the door that says the above motto and you can go to Bahamas for a permanent vacation. You know, from the 10 years in banking...
I worked my way through school. Mopped a lot of floors, cleaned a lot of toilets, worked in a sawmill, papermill, and for a pipeline company. Worked at least 32 hours/week.
Been awhile, but I can still tell you most of what I took...
Inorganic Chemistry/lab - 10 hours
Zoo/ lab -10 hours
English - 6 hours
Algebra and Trig - 6 hours
American History - 6 hours
Religion - 3 hours
Organic and Biochemistry/lab - 10 hours
Microbiology and Comparative Anatomy/lab - 10 hours
Sociology - 3 hours
PE - 2 hours
Health - 1 hour
British Writers - 3 hours
Religion (New Testament) - 3 hours
Quantitative Analysis/lab - 4 hours
Physics/lab - 10 hours
Religion - 3 hours
Histology and Immunology/lab - 10 hours
Instrumental Analysis/lab - 4 hours
PE - 2 hours
Research - 3 hours
I CLEP'ed a few hours and have forgotten a few hours of junk stuff, but that's pretty much the gist of my degree in Biology. I can understand the frustration of working vs. not working. Not working, you have more time to study and can probably jack the GPA a bit.
But, it can be done. I went to a private liberal arts college, I would think tuition would be a ton cheaper going the community college/public college route.
But, you say, I'm ancient. The world has changed. Well, I guess I am ancient. OTOH, my daughter graduated from a four year public university with a BS about 7 years ago...She put herself through school stocking grocery store shelves, decorating cakes at Walmart and frying chicken. Graduated in 4 years. Magna cum laude.
But the fact remains, I did it, my daughter did it and you did it. So do a bunch of other guys, every semester. You just have to want it. Bad.
I worked as a retirement advisor (IAR) for awhile. I carried a Series 6, 63 and 65. Did not have a 7, but that would have been next. Those are not easy tests, check out some of the free practice stuff online.
I can't tell you how to get rich. I don't think anybody can tell you that. But I can tell you how not to be poor, barring serious illness or unforeseen circumstances. So can the other gentleman. I wasn't quite as successful as he has been, but a lot of our story is kinda similar.
It's not easy to do ok, but it ain't rocket surgery.
Concerning CFP's...After talking with a few thousand people, I've come to the conclusion that many people, perhaps a majority of people, need one desperately. Mostly just to tell them "No". Many people do not have enough self control to handle money well.
Boy do i feel bad for you being such a bitter person and incorrect on so many of your assumptions. We all have equal opportunities in this country regardless of your excuses.
1) Thank you for assuming "taking night classes" is some how inferior. Nothing wrong with attending classes between the hours of 6-10pm and weekends. I find it's a better alternative to the bullsh!t "college experience" they push on you consisting of partying and football games. Oh by the way, my inferior night education you mentioned was from the 2nd largest university in the nation and i graduated Magna Cum Laude.
2) Working during school will allow you to graduate with experience while your peers won't understand or be able to pronounce "Work Ethic" or "Experience". I was 1/4 way up the proverbial "job ladder" by the time i graduated. You know what my peers did after graduation, non-paid or minimum wage internships consisting of grunt work.
3) You think what you want of my profession but look up the difference between someone working with a Financial Advisor/RIA and a "Self Directed" investor. The average annualized 10yr return for a Self Directed investor is 2.6%. Take that out 30yrs and it drops to 1.9%. So even with the statistics of underperforming the market, it still beats the at home returns. Why, because we think with our heads NOT our hearts. Most people get emotional with their money and buy high, sell low (talk to anyone bitter about 2008, of which i loved)
But that's such a small portion of what we do as FAs/RIAs: don't forget estate/trust planning & settlement, trust admin, LTC planning, end of life planning, retirement income planning, college/family planning, business succession planning, tax elusion (legal), etc.
By the way, what was your advice for the OP again??
Get off the couch and unplug the tv.
1.25 acres is more than enough to make a good legal living cultivating a crop for a specialized niche market.
Choose a crop that the experts claim is impossible to raise commercially.
Work your butt off and figure out how to raise your crop.
Develop your market and provide a product that is far superior to the wild version.
There are plenty of wild animal and plant species waiting to reward ambition, skill, and hard work with a unique, interesting, and profitable farm business.
Did anyone else read the title as "help with my retirement GOATS. " ?
You're so ba-ah-ah-ah-ahd.
(Sorry, couldn't lay off of the hanging curve ball.)
You are the one with the Magna Cum Laude, I hope you took statistics 'cause statistics say we don't all have the same opportunities.
Maybe if you are in college to run a pizza place or a public toilet (or be a financial adviser?). I was in college to get a science education and while I was working my behind off to avoid starvation and live in a shady part of town and taking a full credit load at the same time, my peers were reading advanced textbooks and papers. So, yeah, that is a disadvantage.
The "bullpoop college experience"? Well, that depends on what you did in college. I read and read and read and read and read and read..... Some chose to drink and screw but that's all about choices. However, I see, "your kind" decided that the college experience is all bull*it.
Oh boy. I was in money management for years (and no, ours wasn't bull*it like "my knee hurts this morning, let's advise everyone to buy Microsoft", it was based on post-graduate level mathematics and statistics (you know, the kind you need a STEM degree for, not the schmoozer degree you get from a business school at night). Even the birds on the trees knew that a professional money managers had the same chances of success with YOUR money as you did.
It was just as yours, spend less, make more. And I don't even get paid for it.
I worked 40 hours per week with a full credit load so yeah, we are similar.
It is not just the GPA. If you are in college, your purpose is to LEARN. Learning means going past the basic textbook. For me it meant nights at the library reading advanced stuff because I wanted to be the best. You can't do that when tomorrow you have to put in 8 hours in addition to all lectures and homework. Something's got to give.
Community college is an inferior school compared to a real university. It is sold as being the same but it isn't. In a real college you get to learn from the best and you have opportunities to be noticed by a professor and plugged into their research labs.
Sure. However, that was not the point of what I was trying to say . The point was that someone here is trying to push the theory that we all have the same opportunities. We don't. If you and are were in an upper level math class and you had all the time to read all the advanced papers while I was stocking shelves 'cause your parents have paid your tuition and I am trying to avoid starvation, well, we are not at the same starting point, not even close....
I am already doing a-ok. I just get irked when I hear this "we all have equal opportunity in this country" BS. We don't. Many people don't have enough basic financial and mathematical knowledge to handle their finances. They go through high school without a basic "managing household finances" class. Many of them don't understand compound interest. Worst of all, most don't know how to figure out alternative scenarios and follow their long term repercussions on paper as exercise. This can all be taught and there would be no need for people to be told "no".
Do you know what the #1 reason is for people rotting in their boring and underpaid jobs? It is the fear that if they strike out on their own - they would not have medical insurance for themselves and their families. When you know that you may be one injury or illness from total financial devastation, you are more likely to stick to your sh*tty job that at least provides medical insurance. How sad is that? Country to country it is even worse - for example, you have no such fear if you are in Canada...
Nobody holds a gun to anybody's head and makes them fail. There is still room in this country to succeed, if you want it bad enough. For those who wish to fall in the mud and stay there simply because they would not arm themselves with basic financial knowledge, I think Clint hits the nail on the head...
There is a lot of space between having a gun to your heard and a golden spoon in your mouth.
Don't get me wrong I think success can be achieved in this country but it's a combination of a lot of things , hard work, luck,ruthlessness , insight, and ambition.
Lots of different combinations of those work.
Do we have equal opportunity in this country? No, not really. Poor areas tend to equal poor schools which tends to equal poorer education etc. That is from kindergarden on and does not even take into account race, gender, orientation, age, or whatever.
BUT! Compared to the country my grandfather was from it is incredible. Because he was born a peasant he would have died a peasant, REGARDLESS of what he did, and possibly he would have died pretty quickly because WW1 was on and only young lower class men were being sent. And he had reason to believe he was next to be drafted.
So, compared to "if born a peasant you die a peasant", or at least a lower class laborer, America really is the land of opportunity. No, we are not perfect, but a determined person does not necessarily need perfect. Of course it would HELP if opportunity truly was equal, but, compared to "born a peasant die a peasant", Americans have got it made.
It is a shame the OP never came back: he got some pretty good answers. Hopefully he got a chance to read them
A lot of people came here from western Europe poor etc. for a new life. They had opportunity simply because there was so much land and low hanging fruit to pick. These days the low hanging fruit is long gone, all the free money has been arbitraged out of the markets and the countries people came from are doing the same or better than us. A simple example would be being able to make a living by driving a truck - how long before they are all driven by computers? The low hanging fruit gets less and less low and to pick it, you have to have a high, expensive ladder....
There are all sorts of studies being done today on the concept of "upward mobility" (what we are discussing here as "opportunity"). United States is sliding down that scale where just 50 years ago it was the top (funny enough, Canada now ranks higher than us). It turns out that in the new economy the major impediments to growth are expensive healthcare, expensive education, cheap or free access to internet etc. This is why an educated guy coming from a place where education is free will always have an advantage over someone here who had to deliver pizza through community college. Compare a guy or gal coming from a good (and free) eastern European university (or India or China or...) where they spent four years hitting the books and doing nothing else but study, to a guy here who scraped through some joke of a dumbed down community college while mopping floors. Who will have more expertise hitting the ground running in their profession? By the way, the guy from eastern Europe will be comparable to the kid here whose parents paid all of their tuition for 'cause that kid had the time to do the only thing expected of him in college - study. They will also both start our debt free. And I am not talking MBAs and BS psychology or anthropology degrees here, I am talking STEM etc. - the stuff that drives the world today (and the stuff that is less and less appreciated here in the States).
A hundred years ago you could invent something basic and make it (low hanging fruit). Today most inventions require assimilation of a lot of scientific knowledge, technology etc. They are in the realm of PhD kind of grasp on things. Go and invent a gut micro-biome test for a disease today (without a PhD in microbiology) or an AI that does some chore for you (without a PhD in computer science or math). Just like a hundred years ago you weren't taught basic calculus in college but today it is expected of kids in (better, richer?) high schools to learn it.
Then there is "ownership of means of production". The barrier to entry into a certain field (besides education) is also expensive equipment and regulation designed to protect large conglomerates with powerful lobbies from new entrants into the field. Ever tried to start your own cable company and compete with Comcast?
Then there is the attitude of the nouveau riches classes; way back when I worked in a very posh place. My boss had a salary probably 10x higher than me. He used to give me all sorts of advice about how I should be investing, saving etc. I always found that advice so out of touch - one day I finally had it and I told him that if he REALLY wanted to help me, he should push for me to become a partner in the firm and increase my income dramatically enough to allow me to make the jump and save and invest like he does. After all, I ran all the daily stuff for him and managed employees for him so... He replied that "believe me, you don't want to make partner, the taxes get so complicated, you have to file quarterly etc. etc." (what a nice way to say "no"). Suffice it to say, I never made partner and had to jump ship to improve my life. The point is - 50 years ago there was plenty of space to get ahead and people gave you space because they knew there was plenty for everyone - that was the whole growth/opportunity attitude we had going. Today, people in power (and I don't mean politicians only, I mean people in upper management in different companies etc.) see that space is decreasing and things overall are dwindling and they are doing everything to prevent you from getting a share because it means that their share has to get smaller for yours to get larger...
We are on a homesteading forum. Most people need a job to live and have health insurance and save for retirement, unless they retired rich already or found a way to have a job from home. So, if they want to homestead, they will look for land within 30-40 minute commute radius to where most jobs are - large cities. But, that land is often out of reach financially due to pressure from other people living there - which will mean a mortgage, only this time they will be toiling to pay that mortgage AND run a homestead with animals and gardens at the same time - this is actually a step in the wrong direction compared to city dwellers. You can find somewhat cheap land in the middle of Kentucky, I suppose, but you will most likely not have fast internet (which most people working from home need these days), if you want to be a farm your clientele will not be what you really want (you want to sell to educated and well to do city dwellers at prices they can afford, not to the rural locals who are most often poor, have no education and they eat McDonalds as basic diet). So, you are scre*ed out of luck. Ever notice how most of the "back to the land" stories/books/magazine articles NEVER provide financials? Why? 'Cause most of the people writing that baloney worked for 20 years in some corporate environment in a large city, they banked and banked and banked and then they sold their super expensive city real estate to buy their "dream farm" in the boonies. So, here you are, bringing a multi-million dollar bank account to some poor place in the middle of New Mexico or North Carolina and you have your pick of the best land with plenty left in the bank. What is the next step? Have someone build you a passive solar home that is off the grid while you submit your first story of off-grid small homestead survival to Mother Earth News, debating the finer points of solar inverter X vs solar inverter Y. 'Cause when you have that kind of money, you can spend the time shopping around for the best one...
Then again quite a few people inherit the land from parents - a MAJOR gift these days, seeing how expensive land has become.
This whole thing with "all I see is excuses, we have equal opportunity" is getting old. If you look around America today is powered by cheap Chinese junk and thank God for Walmart or most of rural people would not survive. After all only 2% of America farms and out of those most are large operations/mono-croppers. Everywhere we lived rural most locals bought groceries in town and their physical shape left a lot to be desired...
I was going to respond and debate the above long winded post, but it wore me out reading all of the excuses as to why one can't be successful. Pretty depressing to go through life with the attitude that everything is out of reach.
Their are rags to riches stories happening in America on a daily basis if you just look around.
Actually, my Grandfather sold himself as a bond servant to pay for his passage. There was no easy money. I do not know if selling yourself was legal back then or not, but it is what he did. At the time there was a labor shortage.
And, I never said he was a financially successful man: he did not know how to be. But his children were comfortably middle class, as they learned growing up that the trick is to SPEND LESS THAN YOU EARN, and then do something profitable with the extra. What my Father did was to buy a home for $25,000 and build onto it, and because he lives in California where an average house is now worth half a million, his big house has been appraised at $1,000,000
Personally, I thought I had success figured out, as I had a good plan, but the very week I put a down payment on what was supposed to be my long-awaited farm I got sick, and I have never been well again. And, I had counted on my wages and sweat equity to develop the land well enough to raise crops. And my illness cost me both.
There is nothing guaranteed in life. Not even if you know what you are doing. I kept the land but I was never able to buy the equipment to work it or have a culvert put in.
In order to learn my attempted trade of farming I took classes, some of them at night school, got a nursing degree as it was needed to earn money, went to seminars, and then I was told by someone who knows marketing that the way to learn how to sell my farm products was to get a job selling anything. So, I sold baked goods on weekends at the Farmer's MArket. At 48 I put down a good down payment on land, and that very week I got a major illness, so my efforts were wasted.
But, it was not through lack of opportunity. Opportunity is not equal, but it is still present. and in many countries that is not true.
Was I discriminated against, as a city girl female going into a field where almost every person was a male in their 50's to 70's? At a time when ambitious women were expected to be secretaries and nurses? CERTAINLY I was!
I dealt with it.
It made me angry but I did not let it stop me. And, I appreciated that I *COULD* go to night school and COULD get a decent job so that I COULD finance my dreams. Because, as the daughter of an engineer and the grand daughter of an immigrant who had to sell himself to pay for his passage, I KNEW HOW IT WAS DONE!
I repeat: I knew how it was done.
I could not get a job in my chosen field so I saved my pennies and I was well on my way to making my own position. I had land, basic equipment (a high quality tiller), a market (farmer's market), and a chosen product (berries). I did get sick, and that derailed me.
Equal opportunity is not needed, and if there is a country on earth that has equal opportunity I do not know what it is. Fortunately, it is not equal opportunity that is needed it is SOME opportunity. and if you have that you can learn how to get around the lack of equality. Do you know who the first Black millionaire was? It was the Black woman who invented AND MARKETED the process of straightening hair. At about the same time the paper clip was invented, but the white man who invented them did NOT! become a millionaire. Because it is not so much equal opportunity that counts, it is ecognizing opportunity when it arises and being in a position to take advantage of it.
As a woman who was setting out to work during a time when ambitious women could hope to be high ranking secretaries I did not enjoy equality. What I did know was how to use some of the opportunities that were there, as I knew what my relatives had done and how they dd it.
And, EVERY back to the land book that I bought had financials in it or I read it and returned it to the library. I have a wonderful library of ag or gardening books, complete with financials.
Ognend, you sound as angry as I was when I was told I could not take the classes I wanted because I am female. Are you feeling frustrated regarding an ag business? If so, PM me. I have learned a great deal on the subject. I would be most pleased to share what I have learned.
Seriously. What kind of business would you like to start? Truck farming? Livestock?
A funny thing about sales...the advice you got about sales was right. Selling is selling. Doesn't matter if it is pints of blueberries or a million dollar annuity. If you know your product, are sincere, honest and try to build some kind of rapport with your customer, once the customer perceives value for his money and trusts you, he will buy. And once he finds out that your product does what he was told it would do, it opens the door for additional sales dialogue.
Those are not excuses, those are facts and a lot of them are supported by science. Rags to riches stories happen every day (really?). Sure, so do stories of riches to rags due to illness. Question is - is anyone counting these? Are there more going one direction than the other? Or is the majority just stagnating (like average American salaries are over the last how many decades?). Does it work on a country level as opposed to individual level? You can measure things like upward mobility (opportunity) in a society in a scientific way today. Talking about this stuff is like people who say "I am cold today, there is no global warming". Or the people who say "I ate today, I solved world hunger". A measure of a system is how good it is for the majority of the people, not how good it is for a privileged few. Two hundred years ago it was good for the majority because there was plenty of space, plenty of resources/land, no laws and not many people. Two hundred years ago when someone kept 500 cows, they may have done damage to their own ranch but today you have a chemical plant or oil wells that do things to a whole lot than the acreage they are on. Two hundred years ago you could claim a piece of land as yours and work it and never leave it. Today, average home ownership is what, 5 years? Lobbying was a great idea in 1786 when you could walk into your representative's office and complain about something. Today you are busy surviving while Monsanto is paying an army of lawyers to bribe your representative (still legal lobbying). See, people keep on transferring concepts from "way back when" to "today" but they don't question the contexts of these concepts. How about a family two hundred years ago? A husband and wife most likely barely literate and a bunch of children working the farm and barely leaving to the next town. Today 50% divorce rate yet we harp on this rate not questioning why this is happening. Two hundred years ago a few people were addicted to morphine, today it is half the country in a drug epidemic. Two hundred years ago you would be a fur trapper and make a living, today Wisconsin is paying a corporation $3 billion to find it in their mercy to open a factory so they can employ a few people to swing hammers to build the buildings and a few more to supervise the robots afterwards. So on and so on. Then someone comes and says how it is all the same like it always was, everyone has the same opportunity (as if everyone just came off the ship and has acreage available to claim?). In reality, it is very far from that...However, this is not the forum, I think, to be debating this stuff. I hear you on the personal responsibility part, that is still there....BTW, I am doing fine in every aspect, however, it does not preclude me from recognizing things - there is such a thing as being scientifically curious and trying to understand things without being emotionally invested . I will admit my writing style is dry but that's what we call a professional deformity