Just Out Of The Shower

It’s very comfortable in our bedroom right now. Maybe I’m onto something with this write immediately after taking a shower thing. Although our son is finding out that there’s no hot water at this moment because his mom and I used it all. Bad timing. I just heard him tell his mother, “All the hot water is gone.”

He and I have gone around about this type of thing before. I’ve attempted to explain that he could get up earlier, but to be fair, it’s Saturday. Saturday is the day he gets up and jumps in the shower and then is off to karate. He’s been at it for almost 5 years. Can that be right? He’s a brown belt. I think there are levels within the brown belt at his dojo. He says he’s two years away from a black belt, so they really do make them work for it in his group. Some places will get you to black belt in two years, but I don’t think you’ve really got the skills at that point.

He told me a while ago that I just didn’t understand what it is to be under 6 feet tall. I guess he’s right. It’s been a long time since I was and when I was, most of the people around me were shorter than me because I was probably a freshman in high school. Height is something many of us take for granted. I am sure that over my lifetime there have been times that I didn’t notice situations being different because I’m not small. In many cases – how could I notice? If I was ever in a place that had some danger, I might have been oblivious or it simply might not have been as dangerous for me. I’m pretty sure a lot of people who are out to do no good will look at their options. If they saw me and lots of others who were smaller, my guess is they would decide that bothering me was not an option.

How many of us have never thought about these ways that a height advantage benefits us. As well as being a male. A white male at that.

I don’t have the experience of being a little old lady. My guess is that the world is objectively more dangerous for a little old lady than it is for me. One of the few benefits she might get is from a boy scout helping her across the road. Do they do that anymore?

Might can protect you from danger, but might doesn’t make right.

People forget that our government is there to help those who can’t stand up against mightier forces. I think a lot of people have forgotten that over the last 30 years or so or they don’t believe it. What’s even worse is that some people have DECIDED that they don’t believe that any more.

Out government is there to help the little “guy”. It’s not just there for national defense, collecting some taxes and building roads.

I didn’t actually start out with this line of thought in mind. I do think that more of us need to wake up to the deep problems that many of us choose to ignore.
People see extreme weather patterns and they think it’s just all part of a pattern of what normally happens on Earth?

Come on. I believe that just like people don’t want to see the things that government can do for people that are good, they don’t want to see things like climate change because it’s inconvenient.

They’re like alcoholics who might be regretting their behavior on their deathbed. Right now you can’t get them to admit they have a problem with alcohol, but when they’re about to leave this world they’ll figure it out. Maybe.

Lots of people say we don’t cause climate change and many (though not all) will repent of their behavior on their deathbed or when they don’t have much time left.

But that won’t do the world any good. Their “I’m sorry. I was wrong” may be good for their souls, but there won’t be anything they can do to take back the damage that their intransigence contributed to.

Can it really be about some set of beliefs that they cannot possibly alter before they are on their way out or reach the other side?

For how many is it about money? How much do you really need? Some of you will be shocked at how much I think is ok for people to have.

$50 Million. I think everyone could deserve about $50 Million. There, I said it. But above that, do you really need yachts that cost $75 Million?

By the way, I’ve heard it said that there is enough wealth on the planet for everyone to have $4 Billion. Given the growth in the population and the financial setbacks over the last decade or so, maybe there’s only $3 Billion in wealth available for every man, woman and child on the planet.

Even so, my wife and I, along with our son, live in a slightly less than 1600 sq. ft. home in San Marcos, California. We are pretty happy here. I would like to get back to the coast where I feel most at home. But let’s say hypothetically that I live the rest of my days here in this house in San Marcos. If I had to do that, I could. It’s a pretty decent neighborhood.

So how much wealth does someone need? How much do my wife and I need? How much do we need to build up to let our son inherit?

I do think it’s important for everyone to put away a large sum of money away for retirement. Why?

Just in case the government doesn’t make good on its moral obligation to pay out social security.

That reminds me – I don’t think the government has a legal obligation to pay out social security benefits. Only a moral one. Did you know that? I’m pretty sure I’m correct.
You can look it up.

Why else do you and I need money in retirement? Well, what if we find ourselves in a position where we can’t work to bring in income?

That’s another reason to have a BIG nest egg that lets you gain interest income.

Most people don’t really know what that is.

I would suggest that it’s probably at least $1,500,000. Does that number surprise you?

If you have that much money invested at 7% tax free, you’ll get $105,000 a year.

Some of you will say that’s too much, but we don’t know the future. What will inflation be like in 20 years? 30 years? During my lifetime inflation was pretty high under Ford, Carter and some of the Reagan years. Inflation has actually been underestimated for decades.

The way that the government accounts for inflation almost always understates it. Again, you can research that if you like.

But, let’s say that inflation has averaged 5% per year for the last 40 years. That might be slightly high, but accounting for the governments UNDERstating inflation, that is probably in the ballpark.

Are you good at math? Is this conversation boring you? That can really work against you.

If you are too bored with this conversation to every delve into it, it remains unsolved. Do you just hope?

There’s nothing wrong with hope IF there is something that you’re doing or that SOMEONE is doing to warrant that hope.

That’s fundamental to Christianity, but I won’t go into that here today.

If you account for a 5% inflation rate, then how long does it take your money to be worth 1/2 what it is now? You got that?

That’s one of the central questions that we have to answer to understand how much money we’ll need to live in the future.

If you have a 5% inflation rate, then every 14.4 years or so, the REAL value of your money decreases by 1/2. If you do that TWICE, your money will be worth 1/2 of 1/2 of what it is now, so that would be 1/4. I hope you’re good at math or you’re really going to have to hope I’m right here. Or maybe you’re really hoping that I’m wrong. But THAT hope is really just based on convenience, isn’t it?

I have a cousin, who I love, and years ago I was asking him about retirement and his answer was, “I’ll just dig a hole and jump in.”

The question was, “What are you going to do if you run out of money and you’re too old or too broken down to work?”

I HOPE that your answer is not, “I’ll just dig a hole and jump in.”

So if you have $26,250 today, then in 29 years you will need to have $105,000 to have the same amount in REAL dollars.

If inflation is 5%.

Now I am NOT a conspiracy theorist (though I saw something on the History Channel that was pretty compelling about JFK being killed by the mafia…anyway…) but, I do believe that the government has been UNDERstating inflation for decades. I’m not even saying that they are doing it on purpose. It could simply be happening through the momentum of the methodology. I advise you to research it if you don’t believe me.

What if inflation was only 4%? Then, you would need less than the #105,000 I mentioned 29 years from now, but not a lot less.

Let’s get back to a more basic question.

Today. Is $26,250 enough money for you to live on?


3 responses

  1. I’m a woman who’s 5’2″ tall. I also have a youthful face which means that I frequently get mistaken for 16 or 18 years old (I’m in my mid 20s). It hard having to constantly look up at people, especially if they’re your subordinates. I also work with teenagers, and it gets weird when you’re standing eye-to-eye with a 12 year old who could probably beat the crap out of you. Thank goodness for 5′ stilettos, though.

    $26,250 could be enough to live on, depending on where you live. $26k goes a lot farther in rural Arkansas than it does in Washington, D.C….

    1. Thanks for your input. Does that $26,250 cover all you need for medical and putting money away for retirement? Does it allow you to thrive or merely survive? Plus, what if that’s the amount for a couple? These are sincere questions as I’m a Southern California native and it’s more expensive to live here.

      1. A single person could live fairly comfortably on $26k in a location where the cost of living is relatively low. For a couple, it would be more of a challenge, for sure. I’m a D.C. native and single person needs a bare minimum of $35-40k to live with any kind of financial security, and even then you’d have to rely on your employer for stuff like medical insurance and retirement plans.

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