February 28, 2012, 5:00 am

You Waste What Is The Most Precious

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous
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Some people waste talent like Kurt Cobain (nebulous death at 27), Jimmy Hendrix (nebulous death at 27) and Ben Affleck (we all wish he would have died in nebulous circumstances at 27).

 

Some people waste money like Sean Parker (bought a $23M house), Jeff Bezos (built a $42M clock!) and Meg Whitman (former president of eBay who spent $144M to run for Governor ofCalifornia…and lost!).

 

Some people waste their health like Barry Bonds (who took steroids and made my kid’s dream baseball hero turn become a shame), Lindsay Lohan (we all wish that she would join Ben Affleck) and Ronald McDonald (who eats solely at McDonalds).

 

Is it because we have so much that we don’t even care?

 

Is it because we don’t realize that we are wasting it?

 

Is it because we think we can always get it back whenever we want since it’s easy for us to have?

 

No matter what, we all waste what we is the most precious in our lives.

 

I don’t know if you have seen the movie “In Time” with Justin Timberlake. The movie is okay but there was one interesting thing about it: people who could afford buying time and become eternal were wasting it big time! Lately, I’ve been wasting a lot of what I have too. And what I have (for one of the first times in my life!) is TIME!

 

I’ve been on paternity leave since Feb 2nd (yup, my 3rd one, Caleb, was born at the beginning of the month!) and I’ve been pretty quiet wandering around in my house lately. One thing I did most is to go from one blog to another to read and comment. I’m not saying it was a total waste of time (‘cause there was some great reads out there and it’s good to interact with bloggers once in a while), but I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time on some articles. 2 of them were big time eaters last week:

 

How to Retire and Never Have to Work Again @ Financial Samurai

I went on a merely epic debate with Sam, the author, about his non-sense retirement projections. Sam likes to call out my gross revenue vs my spendings from my blog income report. He’s right since it’s important to be accurate with numbers (if not, you can have them support whatever you say). This is probably why I went on and on with his article to claim that his early retirement plan didn’t make sense. Whether I was right or wrong, I’ve spent a lot of time commenting, analyzing and researching (now I know how a 401(k) works vs our RRSP J ). Was it worth it? Definitely not! On top of that, I probably annoyed the hell out of him but I still think that his charts are bogus and I couldn’t let people think that they could retire at 40 after working only 18 years! It turns out that if you work only 18 years and retire at 40, chances are that you will be almost living like a homeless person (less than $1,000 net per month) for the rest of your life.

 

 

Is blogging a bubble @ Financial Uproar

This is another example but from another context. I didn’t spent much time arguing with Nelson’s point of view on my business model, the fact that the blogging industry was about to burst its bubble or his befouled hatred for the Yakezie group. In fact, I couldn’t care less about the reason why he dislikes the group so much. But I had a crazy time reading all the comments going back and forth from members and non-members. It was better than a reality show! I applaud Nelson’s guts (or naivety) to publicly make a stand but it wasn’t done in the most fashionable way. But then again, regardless if you agree with him or not, there was not much value added to my life vs a lot of time wasted stupidly smiling at my screen.

 

And Then I Woke Up Because of the Picture I Have on My Board

 

After 2 days of being in hard core competition with people on welfare for the time wasting Olympics, I finally woke up. What woke me up? A 4”x2” picture on my board right beside my home office (where all the magical posts get written by Santa’s laid-off elves).

 

This isn’t a picture of my wife (sorry honey!).

 

This isn’t a picture of my 2 big kids (sorry William and Amy!)

 

This isn’t a picture of my latest toddler (sorry Caleb!)

 

This is a picture of a little girl I’ve never met.  I’ll call her V to protect her identity (Veronique is my sister-in-law’s name, no connections J ). V is a little girl that goes to my daughter’s daycare. Back in December, the daycare hosted their Xmas party where all the kids and parents were invited to eat together, sing and play some games.

 

All kids and parents were there but V and her parents. They weren’t there because V has some sort of cancer and is being treated at the moment. When I heard about the story, it ripped my heart apart. The following Monday, I went to see the daycare’s director and asked her if I could make a direct donation to V’s family in order to help them supporting this unsupportable burden. Each year, my partner and I give a part of our online profits to charity. We had established an amount of $100 each back in 2009 with the goal of doubling this amount each year. So I told the director that I needed a receipt to take the money out of my company. Since an individual (V’s parents) can’t write me a receipt, the director suggested that I give to an organism that was currently helping the family. Without meeting V or her parents, I followed the director’s suggestion and made my donation accordingly. Not so long ago, V’s parents sent me that 4”x2” picture of their daughter with a thank you note. As I am writing this paragraph, my eyes are flooded once again.

 

Sorry to be so dramatic this morning but I wanted to make a kick ass point out of this post:

YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE TIME ON STUPID THINGS!!!!

 

Let go of unnecessary frustrations, let go of annoyance in your life. Concentrate on what is good and live the moment.  Because someone, somewhere, just can’t afford to lose the time you are wasting. Since you can’t transfer a few years to a sick child, you might want to use your time to make something out of your life.

 

I rarely waste my time and I’ll make sure to use it to do something from now on. Have you wasted your time lately? What’s your excuse?

 

 

 

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Comments

After reading this post, i had to go over to Financial Samurai, and read the post, and I can see why you wanted to post. Personally, I think it’s scary that someone could say that sort of garbage online, and it appears that people believe it. There is no way that their income progression is possible, or normal in the slightest. Writing articles like that are pipe dreams and give false expentations.

And beyond that, why would anyone want to give up a 150k job and retire at 40, and live an extremely simple lifestyle that borders on poverty?

by: The Financial Blogger | February 28th, 2012 (2:45 pm)

@DanP,

well said. In fact, if I was going to present such retirement to a client, I would probably get sued 😉 hahaha!

As you get old(er) you start to realize how valuable time is. There is an “old” saying that goes something like this, “youth is wasted on the young”. I think the implication is young people waste a lot of their youth.

Gosh, why am I finding myself at the center of attention so much recently! 🙂

Any tips on how I can keep a lower profile? For some reason, people just keep coming back to comment and read my writing. I don’t do any marketing and I hardly every guest post unless it’s for a Member who needs help eg on maternity leave, sick etc.

I can tell you guys straight up I can retire right now after 13 years of saving and do nothing for the rest of my life. Give me another 5-6 years and retire in my early 40s, even more so.

by: The Financial Blogger | February 28th, 2012 (6:15 pm)

Hey Sam,
Don’t tell me you wanted to keep a low profile by writing controversial posts? It was obvious that you would get some attention 😉

Kuddos to you if you can retire at 40 or 45 or 50 but this article was not about you or your situation. If you want to do retirement plans, you can’t stop your charts at the age of 40 and you must include all variables. if not, you are missing a huge part (like the 401(k) contributions and projections).

I really don’t think the post is controversial at all. I highlight 3 people who’ve done it and myself. The only non believers tend to be younger people who haven’t had the discipline to save eg 27 year old making $65,000 and been spending 90% of what s/he makes.

FS isn’t a “retire early blog”. It has a full range of articles and is pretty balanced IMO.

Seriously, why do you think there are so many comments and objections even though I’m speaking from real life experience?

Thx

Hey Sam!

You were lucky enough to find 3 people from different states having different jobs in different fields all making round figures salary, saving the exact same % of their income during 18 years (without having ANY situations that would prevent them from doing so even for a year (like buying a house, a car that breaks, having a kid, etc) and getting their salary jump at the same time? wow! that’s an awesome coincidence! That is hard to believe…

Non believers? that’s a fun argument I usually hear from people who can’t back up their statement with numbers. Don’t tell me you can’t back-up your post with solid numbers. Forget about your comments, show me the 401(k) contributions and withdrawals in your charts. Locust (one of your commentator), wasn’t able to answer that question either… but he is a believer and I’m a guy who believes in real numbers. I don’t care about how much % you save or I save from my income, I just don’t see the savings in the 401(k) and that bothers me a lot.

I think that there are a lot of objections and comments because you don’t post good numbers. That’s obvious. And if you are telling me that you are right, run to any financial companies and sell your plan. You’ll make millions in no time if you can sell retirement at 40.

I Never said that FS was a retire early blog. I actually like your blog, but I can’t get around the numbers in that specific post, that’s all.

No prob. Would be great to see a post from you with the ny
Numbers then!

Do you want me to privately email you how much is in my 401k and CDs? I know it’s tough to believe and understand, especially from those who think they aren’t doing great financially and can’t make my numbers work, so I’m happy to show you. Just let me know.

From “those who think they ARE doing great financially” I meant to write.

by: The Financial Blogger | February 28th, 2012 (7:56 pm)

once again, I’m not talking about your situation, if you saved and going to retire early good for, but don’t tell me that you did it in 18 years with one of your 3 charts. I will stop working at the age of 55 and I’ll be making over 50K/year (before taxes) in today’s dollar (so way more than 50K in nominal value) and I’m not saving nearly 55% of my income so I really don’t take this article personal 😉

But I’ll try to get enough info on taxation and everything and start with your average Jane’s number to show you what I mean.

Seriously, did you really met 3 people in 3 different states doing all this?

Yes, I know these three people. We’ve been in touch since 1998-1999, and we aren’t living like beggars. I started off as the average Jane, and when through all three stages to right now.

The 401k is an easy calculation since the max contribution has been $15,000-17,000 pretax for the past 13 years. Everybody who has maxed out have roughly similar amounts +/- 25%.

This is why I introduced my three examples with real incomes.

Believe in yourself Mike! Do me a favor and just TRY saving 55% of your after tax income for one year and get rid of your debt to your parents. You will be amazed at what you will have in 12 months!

I’ve already paid my parents more than a year ago ;-), I’ll go for the hunt of real numbers from NY 😉

by: The Financial Blogger | February 28th, 2012 (9:38 pm)

Hey Sam,
I don’t think I’ll go for a full post. Here’s what I have found using calculator.net:
Gross income: 100,000$
Monthly deduction: $1416 (this is the $17,000 contribution in your 401(k)
Effective tax rate: 25% (this is the number I took from your “Average Jane Chart”.
Final monthly paycheck (minus taxes, social security tax, medicare tax) is $3749 (I used monthly to make it easier to understand)
Save 55% of that ($2061) and you are left with $1687 per month.
Take off $700 per month for rent, $50 for a cell phone bill, $104 for transportation (the cost of an unlimited metrocard for NYC), $160 for food (so $40/week) and you are left with $673 per month to buy clothe, go to the restaurant, go to any activities, buy gifts, travel, save money for a down payment on a house, save for tuition fees for kids, pay for everything related to a kid, buy a car, etc, etc, etc.

$673/month for everything else you want to do beside sleeping, eating and going to work. We are definitely covering only the basic needs here.

All that to put 17K * 18 years = $306,000 aside in your 401(k) in addition to your 55% savings that will be taken away from year 40 to year 60. Since you don’t want to use inflation and interest in your calculation, this is what you get at the age of 60. So at the age of 60, you have that 306K (according to you inflation and investment returns would not make a different in your chart – and I disagree big time on that assumption -). So assuming you live until the age of 85, you have a big fat 12K per year + Social Benefits… As I mentioned on your own post; you could have lived with a similar lifestyle all your life on welfare doing nothing… and starting this “welfare career” at the age of 18.

And those 3 people got the exact same life? (e.g. get tons of promotions with roughly the same impact on their salary during the approximately same period of time, didn’t run into any situation that would prevent them 1 second to not save 55% of their income and make round numbers as income). Wow, I get that coincidences are amazing! None of my 7 friends that all finished with the same bachelor degree in the same field couldn’t even have their salary raise at the same time over only a 9 years span! I wonder how 3 people from different states, with different background, different talents in different fields can follow the same income trend so perfectly… unless it’s pure projection based on assumptions.

It’s really efficient if you don’t your waste time on something you do not need. Apparently, the things that are unnecessary and time killing. Our time is really short, we should spend it for planning for the future or those happenings in our lives that we need to attend to. Life is hard now, with all the poverty and everything. We should be practical and avoid those things that will cause us more problems. Wise time spending + money saving = balanced life.

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