The Average American's Financial Condition

Skull Pilot

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Americans are abysmally stupid when it comes to finances.

Maybe instead of teaching high school kids how to put condoms on bananas we should be teaching them finance.
 
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Americans are abysmally stupid when it comes to finances.

Maybe instead of teaching high school kids how to put condoms on bananas we should be teaching them finance.
Its not just Americans.

I was a stock broker in Canada shortly after I left university. I was shocked at how little people saved. I remember having a conversation with this couple in their mid-50s who had $9000 in the bank, and they wanted me to turn that into enough for them to retire on. Stunning.
 

Skull Pilot

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Americans are abysmally stupid when it comes to finances.

Maybe instead of teaching high school kids how to put condoms on bananas we should be teaching them finance.
Its not just Americans.

I was a stock broker in Canada shortly after I left university. I was shocked at how little people saved. I remember having a conversation with this couple in their mid-50s who had $9000 in the bank, and they wanted me to turn that into enough for them to retire on. Stunning.
True.

Funny but is it only people who were in the finance business for a period in their lives that save?

My wife and i are compulsive savers and i see none of our friends saving. I hate when people ask me advice when they know I used to be a financial adviser. I no longer give any advice because it has actually created friction between some of my friends and me.

I've found that it's easier to ask a client or friend if his wife is good in bed than it is to have an honest dialogue about their finances.
 

midcan5

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Is the cup half full half empty or .....

Every time I dive into history I get the sense we have no clue how well we have it, and if we could just adjust things a bit we could all see the cup as at least a bit full. There should be universal law that everyone starts poor, appreciates the simple things, and then grows gradually into adulthood cognizant of real life. ;)


Life has never been so good for our species - Los Angeles Times

"Given these facts, and many more quantitative measures, it would be perfectly sane to decline a trip in a time machine to any point in the past if you had to actually live out your life there. These are the good old days, and without neglecting problems that still need solving, it's high time we recognized that it is a better life for more people in more places more of the time."
 
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Britain is pretty much the same. Most people in the UK are 2 months from financial disaster. In other words, if they lost their job, they could survive for only 2 months before they were seriously in the shit. Pathetic.
 
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No savings, no retirement account, no this, no that..

Yet, the average American family seems to have 2-3 mortgages on ther house, has an ATV, big screen TVs, takes vacations every 6 months, throws parties, and has not a care in the world.

Coincidence?
 
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Sarah G

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I think managing money is easy but investing is hard. If it were simply a matter of saving your money and earning decent interest, it wouldn't be so bad but you have to learn so much about what, where, when, why to invest and earn well from it.

I have savings and a 401k that I keep up with and always wanted to learn to better invest but never enough time.

Maybe that's an American problem, I don't know...
 

Skull Pilot

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The no time excuse has never held water for me.

I bet if you really tried, you could find time to read a few books on investing or to even take a class.

Hell if you wanted to, you could look up Warren Buffets portfolio on line and just copy his choices
 
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True.

Funny but is it only people who were in the finance business for a period in their lives that save?

My wife and i are compulsive savers and i see none of our friends saving. I hate when people ask me advice when they know I used to be a financial adviser. I no longer give any advice because it has actually created friction between some of my friends and me.

I've found that it's easier to ask a client or friend if his wife is good in bed than it is to have an honest dialogue about their finances.
When people find out what I do, they sometimes ask for stock tips. I tell them "don't take tips from strangers."

I'm happy to give out financial advice. Its always the same. "Save more. Spend less."
 

Mr Clean

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Sad indeed.

The trouble is, most people don't realize that true freedom is not some perceived government intrusion into their lives but rather financial independence.

The ability to tell your boss to "shove it" is way more liberating than the government taking a few extra bucks out of your pay check each week in a tax hike.
 

Skull Pilot

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Sad indeed.

The trouble is, most people don't realize that true freedom is not some perceived government intrusion into their lives but rather financial independence.

The ability to tell your boss to "shove it" is way more liberating than the government taking a few extra bucks out of your pay check each week in a tax hike.
But the more the government takes, the less choice you have.
 

mudwhistle

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Americans are abysmally stupid when it comes to finances.

Maybe instead of teaching high school kids how to put condoms on bananas we should be teaching them finance.
Kind of hard to pull the wool over the youth of America's eyes if they're well informed.

Teaching them finance would destroy a favorite liberal myth that all rich people are evil.

That means Oprah, George Sorros, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barrack Obama are evil bastards.....yet they get a pass.

After all.....being rich and a Democrat is not the same thing as being rich and a member of another party.
 

Mr Clean

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Sad indeed.

The trouble is, most people don't realize that true freedom is not some perceived government intrusion into their lives but rather financial independence.

The ability to tell your boss to "shove it" is way more liberating than the government taking a few extra bucks out of your pay check each week in a tax hike.
But the more the government takes, the less choice you have.
I've been around long enough to have seen my share of both tax cuts and tax hikes.

Not a one of them ever amounted to more than a hill of beans in the overall picture. A few bucks either way, never anything to get excited about.
 

code1211

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Sad indeed.

The trouble is, most people don't realize that true freedom is not some perceived government intrusion into their lives but rather financial independence.

The ability to tell your boss to "shove it" is way more liberating than the government taking a few extra bucks out of your pay check each week in a tax hike.

However, if you want to accomplish goals and the money paid from your boss allows those goals to be accomplished, discovering the ability to not say, "Shove it" to the boss is what provides freedom.

If you are free form the restraints of reporting to work daily but condemned to living in only those places where rent is a pitance, your prison is different, but it still exists.

It all comes down to asses. Which ones do you kick and which ones do you kiss? Which asses you are comfortable in kicking and kissing will define your freedom and your prison.
 

uscitizen

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Consider all that you have read in this thread and then yell that we do not have enough freedom ;)
 

KissMy

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Americans are abysmally stupid when it comes to finances.

Maybe instead of teaching high school kids how to put condoms on bananas we should be teaching them finance.
Its not just Americans.

I was a stock broker in Canada shortly after I left university. I was shocked at how little people saved. I remember having a conversation with this couple in their mid-50s who had $9000 in the bank, and they wanted me to turn that into enough for them to retire on. Stunning.
Stock brokers are likely the reason the couple only had $9000. I save like crazy & like everyone I know lost a mint in the stock market. I am down over $250,000 buying stocks that nearly bankrupted me. I now short the markets at key intervals & buy real assets & have never had my assets make me more, inflation & tax free to boot. Once people figure out the system is rigged & stop playing the game they make real wealth. Smart people finally get off the work hard, pay taxes, & save only to loose value tread mill.
 
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editec

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Americans are abysmally stupid when it comes to finances.

Maybe instead of teaching high school kids how to put condoms on bananas we should be teaching them finance.
Oh what conceited blame the victim bullshit, Skull.

You're a better person than that quip indicates..

If people never make enough money to save it for their retirements and so forth, then guess what?

They don't.

It isn't like they don't KNOW how to save, they just don't make enough TO SAVE.

The median per worker income in this nation is about between $20K-something and $30K-something in the USA depending on what state you live in.

source



Median household fell to $50,303 last year, from $52,163 in 2007. In 1998, median income was $51,295. All these numbers are adjusted for inflation.
source

YOU try saving for a rainy day with that level of income.

Unless you've got some kind of financial ace-in-the-hole, you're not going to be saving for a rainy day, either, making that kind of money.
 

Mr Clean

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If you can't live on 90% of your take home, then chances are you can't live on 100% of it.

So you may as well save 10%.
 

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