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Early Retirement/Saving Money when Poor with Low Wages

 
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Jay Angler wrote:If someone is already struggling on minimum wage...



Your experience may be different from mine, but I have never seen anyone work for minimum wage permanently. Minimum wage is a brief probationary period when a person first begins working in a new job. New workers earn merit raises as they learn how to better perform their duties and improve their skills, as well as increase their ability to take on more responsibilities.
 
pollinator
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This is a seemingly impossible predicament in our modern society. I do wish I had better suggestions but this is what has worked for me. If you don't have the kind of savings for retirement accounts or even bank accounts, silver can be a great long term store of wealth. You can get ounces of bullion at pawn shops and the like for something around 15$ a piece. There is the issue of storing them safely, but they are hard enough to spend that you aren't going to convert them back to cash for something petty, and there is a decent chance they will grow in value even in the short term. If you can keep them for the long term you can gain some real value.
 
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Your experience may be different from mine, but I have never seen anyone work for minimum wage permanently.

Technically you may be correct, as often people are given a nominal (often only $0.25 to $1) raise. But this is strictly for the bosses benefit to decrease the turn-over of staff, *not* to give the employee a living wage. In my geographical area, the "general" minimum wage is $12.65/hour (workers that get tips get less). The minimum "living wage" is considered to be just over $20/hour. Finding a roommate is not a choice, it's a necessity for anyone earning less. I would have to check, but I suspect anyone working in Fast Food would find that there's a *very* solid ceiling on what they can earn through "merit" regardless of how good they are. My sister worked briefly in Management Training for a large chain. That meant they could give her a "salary" and expect her to work extra hours for free. The only day off she got, was the one the company held the Management Trainee meeting, so she didn't even get all of that off. She quit and became an accountant, but with all the automation in that field, even that job didn't pay what she deserved and often expected unpaid overtime. She definitely did not get the pay she merited. I personally know of many similar situations.

A Financial Planner I knew once said, "the only people I know who made a lot of money either owned their own business (read: long hours in most cases), or bought land when it was cheap and sold it when it was in demand." I agree with Permies principles: do what you can to get out of the rat race both by not supporting it through unwise purchases, and by finding ways to personally produce the things one needs without using after-tax dollars to do so (read: grow your own food when possible, sew clothes from second hand materials, repair yourself what needs fixing,redevelop community so that you can barter and share etc).

The poorer you are, the harder it is to even get on the elevator (the old adage that it takes money to earn money fits). The people I know who succeeded against the odds, were those who for whatever reason, were able to ignore the societal norms that pushed so many that I knew into spending beyond their means, were able to think outside the box and who learned or taught themselves practical skills.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Jay Angler wrote:The people I know who succeeded against the odds, were those who for whatever reason, were able to ignore the societal norms that pushed so many that I knew into spending beyond their means, were able to think outside the box and who learned or taught themselves practical skills.



I did... but the odds were not against me. They were decisively in my favor because I wasn't educated by the government. This gave me a distinct advantage in that I escaped being conditioned to become an employee. I found that it is far more personally rewarding to captain my own tiny boat than to pull on an oar down in the galley of someone else's ship.
 
Jay Angler
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Actually, I'll add one more to my little list Greg quoted. Learn and teach your family/friends the benefits of "delayed gratification."  I've read studies that suggest it's a good predictor of success from even preschool-aged signs of it, and yet we've got a society which actively discourages it through software and media which pressure people to "have everything now". I'm inclined to believe that to at least a degree, it is a skill that can be taught and having read this thread, I think I should try harder to actively teach it to a couple of friends that might benefit - that fits under the "develop community" belief of mine!
 
Greg Mamishian
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Jay Angler wrote:Humans tend to puff themselves up by thinking/seeing that they are richer than those around them, and we're bombarded with technology that tells us that "richer" means "owns more stuff". That means there is huge inertia in the status quo! This is not a situation that will be solved easily.



Collective solutions are impossible... while individual solutions are easy. Just don't do what other folks do. ;  )
 
pollinator
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Jay Angler wrote:Actually, I'll add one more to my little list Greg quoted. Learn and teach your family/friends the benefits of "delayed gratification."  



I taught my daughter to handle her money from about 5 years old.  I told her to save 50% for college, put 25% towards saving up for a big purchase, and spend the other 25% on whatever she wanted.  I didn't get any say in the 25% she spent right away, though most of the time she ended up saving some of that too.
 
Timothy Markus
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And now for the rest of the story:

I guess it would have been helpful to also tell you that she's now 20 and very good with her money.  She's sat down a few of her friends and told them that she can afford to go for tea, but not dinners.  

She's also made money while she was in school (almost done) by selling commissions to people and even got a commission to do portraits for a book.  
 
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You do not have to smart or clever to save a lot of money.Never sleep and work hard will do it.
I am a person with no higher education,in my twenties I bought an old heavy truck and started hauling goods.I worked with this for fifteen years,I worked almost 24 hours a day,every day for fifteen years.I slept in my truck and I saved as much I could and that was a great deal of what I earned.I could buy my farm cash with no loans and now I have a real comfortable life.Of course I still work but not exactly for naking a living but more for the pleasure to do something good in my everyday.My tip is work hard and do not look so much what sakary you got per hour.The day has 24 hours.
 
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My money saving techniques are mentioned early in this thread. I sometimes stumble upon one of them and it reminds me to go and check one of my free sources of stuff or to do one of the other things I preach about. For the last month I've been living and working in a house that's had half a million dollars in renovations in the last decade. But it's not all sunshine and roses. There have been a lot of rhododendrons, which I've given to some friends. :-) there's also lots of hard work involved in what I do. But enough about that.
...........
Probably the most important financial decision most of us will make, is who we choose as a spouse. It doesn't matter how frugal, how cheap, how smart and crafty you are, if you marry a spendthrift who stays up at night thinking of newer and better ways of disposing of your income, that can threaten your financial survival. I know many people in this boat. Two of my brothers who are both hard-working, have at different times saddled themselves with non productive women or those who expected a much higher standard of living than they could afford. One came from a very wealthy family that had lost all of their money. Nothing he did was good enough... It's too late for many of us, but for some it's not and for some it's time to cut somebody loose. If it's pretty obvious, that this is you, do it today. Delaying the end of a relationship does not help you.

I have a fiance from a country with near zero safety net, who grew up in extreme poverty. Dead father, mother with mental problems and three siblings. She has a few scars on her legs and back, from getting caught in the wire, while stealing food as a child. She was working as a house slave at 8 years old. She is very tight with money, and I don't think that's ever going to change. Every day, I earn approximately three times her former monthly income. She knows this, but was still reluctant to spend money when we spent two months together in the Philippines. She kept a lot of greedy relatives from bugging me about money. She checked what I paid for everything, and scolded me if I paid too much. I gave her many opportunities to waste a little bit of money, but she did not. Money is the number one thing that couples fight about, so we also had a very wonderful time together..... We have disagreed about money. Because of growing up in poverty, she has what I call a poverty mindset. Afraid to invest in things for fear of losing money. Afraid to try some new things. Afraid of almost anything that entails Financial Risk. I understand that this was necessary for her, but now we will be starting a farm and building a small motel and we will start a plantation of some sort, along with several other business enterprises. All of these involve some risk. To alleviate her worries, I always tell her how much I plan to invest in each thing, and how many days I had to work in Canada to earn the amount we will invest. Because otherwise the numbers seem much too large for her to risk losing. So, she has to learn about taking some risk, for greater gain. But, mostly we are on side, since neither of us put any value on fancy vehicles or fancy restaurant meals. She thinks we should put everything into our home and business. So do I. Although we have many differences, that one is very important to have agreement upon.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I have a fiance from a country with near zero safety net, who grew up in extreme poverty. Dead father, mother with mental problems and three siblings. She has a few scars on her legs and back, from getting caught in the wire, while stealing food as a child. She was working as a house slave at 8 years old. She is very tight with money, and I don't think that's ever going to change. Every day, I earn approximately three times her former monthly income. She knows this, but was still reluctant to spend money when we spent two months together in the Philippines. She kept a lot of greedy relatives from bugging me about money. She checked what I paid for everything, and scolded me if I paid too much. I gave her many opportunities to waste a little bit of money, but she did not. Money is the number one thing that couples fight about, so we also had a very wonderful time together..... We have disagreed about money. Because of growing up in poverty, she has what I call a poverty mindset. Afraid to invest in things for fear of losing money. Afraid to try some new things. Afraid of almost anything that entails Financial Risk. I understand that this was necessary for her, but now we will be starting a farm and building a small motel and we will start a plantation of some sort, along with several other business enterprises. All of these involve some risk. To alleviate her worries, I always tell her how much I plan to invest in each thing, and how many days I had to work in Canada to earn the amount we will invest. Because otherwise the numbers seem much too large for her to risk losing. So, she has to learn about taking some risk, for greater gain. But, mostly we are on side, since neither of us put any value on fancy vehicles or fancy restaurant meals. She thinks we should put everything into our home and business. So do I. Although we have many differences, that one is very important to have agreement upon.



I'm happy to hear you have a frugal future spouse. :)
Women naturally tend to be more risk averse and home oriented than men who are more world oriented. My wife is as frugal as I am so we're a perfect "skinflint" match and we never argue over money. We have a loose division of labor in that she takes care of our home and garden, while I run my business and pay all our bills. This works really good because two people working together as a team can accomplish way more than each one ever could alone.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Don't accept obsolescence as a reason to get rid of things and get the new ones. Phone companies often tell young people that their phone is outdated and should be replaced. I have known people of relatively low means, who spend their hard-earned money getting the latest gadget that, does roughly what the old one did.

This happens with cars as well. I was at a McDonald's and I met a young person who had a $25,000 car sitting in the parking lot. Monthly payments. My 20 year old Toyota Tercel is still serving me well after 2.5 years. I paid $600, which is an amount I can earn in 2 days. I only buy the insurance I need for liability. The person with the expensive car must also buy collision and comprehensive insurance, to satisfy the company that loaned them the money for the car.

I have never once bought an extended warranty, because I believe it's just another money grab. Plus they don't sell extended warranties for shovels that cost $1 at a yard sale :-)

It's important to let everyone know that you are keen to have anything of value that is free. You can always redistribute the eccess if you get given too many things. I'm going to be the Santa Clause of shoes when I go to the Philippines in a couple months. All of them were free.
............
This isn't about saving money, but about how I intend to spend my retirement money. I will put about half of my assets into a tree plantation on some land that I intend to buy in the Philippines. My chief crops will be moringa, which produces pretty well after 1 year and giant luceana, a timber and pole wood crop that is ready to harvest after 5 years . Both are things that require input cost, but they can pay quite handsomely for those who are willing to wait and not draw income from them until they are ready. I will be surrounded by other farms where people make very short-term decisions, mostly on crops that have just a few months where any investment is tied up. The person who has some money and can afford to wait, has one crop to harvest every 5 years and doesn't spend a ton on labor and other costs, every few months, for highly perishable things that are in oversupply in the marketplace. With the trees I will have the option of harvesting some or all of them, when market conditions are right. I expect that that will mostly mean thinning, whenever there is a big sale and letting it stand otherwise. Money in the bank and growing.
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Greg Mamishian
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Music to my ears, Dale. :  )
Whenever you combine frugality with productivity you have it made. My wife and I practice both and we never have to worry about money for the rest of our lives. And owning a vehicle outright for a long time pays you back in so many ways. The two of the biggest are avoiding self inflicted slavery to debt and insurance. There is also the personal rewards of learning how to take care of things, and to use them without using them up.
 
Dale Hodgins
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This Thread started off talking about being poor with low wages. That's not me, but it was me when I was 16. I knew then that low paying jobs are for chumps. So I spent almost nothing, in order to save enough money that I could buy some equipment and get off that treadmill. By my the time I was 18, I had a truck and a chainsaw and some other tools that allowed me to earn considerably more than the minimum wage.

Not much has changed. There are still bottom of the barrel jobs and it's still very simple to leave them behind. The internet now offers free training and just about everything. So there's no reason to serve an employer.

My daughter was talking about some poverty issue that was mentioned in the newspaper the other day. She said that here in Canada, we have so many opportunities to advance ourselves, so much government help and organizations that will help you get a job or get training, that she just couldn't see why anyone would put their money into poverty relief in this country. Then she compared it to a bunch of other places in the world were even hard-working diligent people find it incredibly difficult to get ahead. I know a guy from Vietnam who managed to get a taxi company going, based on one nearly worn out second hand moped. Then he saved his money and he got another one and another one. For him it was a pretty simple trajectory. Make money and hold on to it at all cost. People who must consume every dime they make, aren't able to pull themselves off the bottom.

So I think for anyone who is struggling at the very bottom of Western Society, it's not going to be about how you can manage to save for retirement on low wages. The math just doesn't work. It's about managing to get off the low-wage treadmill.
 
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You can save for retirement on low wages if your needs are small, but not very fast. I have never made more than $15,000 a year. My average is probably around $8,000 since age 18. I worked before that and ran small “businesses,” but mostly for pocket money. I have $45,000-$50,000 in the bank that I have saved (it varies, as a portion is in stocks). I am 31. I need about $200,000 to be financially independent. I hate to work for money, so I tend to work at appealing low-paying jobs or a very small number of hours at high paying, flexible jobs or businesses. This is more of a choice than a necessity, although at some point it does become difficult to break into a “career” type job or trade without getting a new credential of some kind (which costs money).
 
Greg Mamishian
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Jennifer Richardson wrote:You can save for retirement on low wages if your needs are small, but not very fast. I have never made more than $15,000 a year. My average is probably around $8,000 since age 18. I worked before that and ran small “businesses,” but mostly for pocket money. I have $45,000-$50,000 in the bank that I have saved (it varies, as a portion is in stocks). I am 31. I need about $200,000 to be financially independent. I hate to work for money, so I tend to work at appealing low-paying jobs or a very small number of hours at high paying, flexible jobs or businesses. This is more of a choice than a necessity, although at some point it does become difficult to break into a “career” type job or trade without getting a new credential of some kind (which costs money).



You're right, Jennifer, saving is slow when you don't make a lot of money.
I was 50 before I had saved up enough money for us to buy land and build our house. But now that I'm 70, we're in a good position financially. Most people think about piling up lots of money for when they're old, or working at a company for a long time in order to get a pension. Instead, I focused on reducing expenses, and took an approach similar to yours by working in small businesses while avoiding debt. I have no pension except getting back a little Social Security that I paid into for over 40 years. However, being free of the burdens of debt and insurance, we're able to live very comfortably on practically nothing.
 
pollinator
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I'm loving this thread, thanks everyone.

I made just over $5,000 last year. I managed to save maybe about a third of that, and I carry no debt. I'm incredibly proud to say that. My partner makes about the same. We don't have kids. We may be impecunious, but for the most part we feel incredibly fortunate and wealthy. I really like the way Joseph Lofthouse said it at one point: We've taken vows of poverty. Or, we choose to live more with less. And we are incredibly fortunate to be able to make the choices we do and live the way we do.

I've been frugal my entire life (thanks, Mom!) and usually able to save at least something -- more when I made more, less when I made less. Sometimes, when I first started working on farms ("learning my trade" working for room and board), I not only wasn't able to save, I dipped into savings from more lavish times in order to do things like maintain health insurance (before insurance had to cover preexisting health conditions even when an insurance lapse had occurred). But immediately before joining my partner here, I had gone into debt for the first time in my life.

I'd gotten a college degree and bought my first car without any debt, had credit cards but paid them off every month except for once when I moved from AZ to NYC and it took me a few months to pay off the moving expenses and a couple weeks paying rent, etc. before I got my first paycheck in the city. I had the huge advantages of grandparents that were frugal and saved money not only for themselves but as a college fund for me, which I used so carefully that I actually still have some left (so my grandparents, although passed, are still giving); and parents that could occasionally help out, although I also always had a job, since before I was legal to work as a kid.

Anyway, the debt started when a relationship ended and left me without a home or a vehicle, and I bought a used car with a small loan. I was paying that off fine and managed to start my own farm business without accruing further debt, but then there was a health crisis in my family and I dropped everything and moved across the country to be a caregiver temporarily. Although that was temporary, I ended up not going back to my home and business for various reasons, but instead started over closer to my family. My family lives in a place where housing is expensive and what jobs are available pay very little (mostly service industry). I worked hard, several part-time jobs of different kinds at once, and lived as cheaply as I knew how to, but I gradually accrued debt. (I could have paid off the debt by liquidating the remainder of what my grandparents saved for me, but chose not to.) Finally I chose to move a little further away from my family, where I can live much more cheaply. There aren't many job opportunities here either, but I worked the nut harvest one winter and paid off all my debt (including the car loan).

Now I live on a little bit of land we own outright, off-grid, so no rent or mortgage and no utility bills. This is huge. We do have several vehicles in various states of (dis)repair and pay to keep three of them -- one relatively efficient four-wheeled vehicle, one truck for hauling, one very efficient two-wheeled vehicle -- insured to be road legal. We're lucky enough to qualify for government health insurance, at least for now. This is also huge, because for example recently, my partner injured himself while working (for himself, not that any jobs in this area carry workers' compensation insurance anyway) and had to go to the ER and a follow-up appointment. Without that assistance, our savings would be wiped out and we'd most likely still be in some amount of debt. This is why I'm critical of the perspective that you can do it all yourself if you work hard enough. Safety nets can be crucial, especially if you're not fortunate enough to start with a large nest egg, and certainly nothing to scoff at.

I also second what Dale said about choosing a partner. We may not agree about everything, but we're aligned well enough that we can thrive on much less than most and mostly enjoy the hell out of it. Having fun with it may be the most important part, in terms of maintaining sanity and conviction.

Others have written about the emotional and mental challenges of choosing to live a different way, as well as not victim blaming when others are not able or willing for whatever sets of reasons to make the choices we feel we would.

Since I started making "unusual" choices -- leaving my well-paid job in the city to start apprenticing on small farms, later downscaling a respectable in-town job from full-time to part-time so I could continue to work on farms as well as do volunteer work and learn new skills, choosing to leave behind my new business that I'd worked so hard for to help my family because I was the best able to do so, and now choosing to live off-grid in rattlesnake territory without a well or a paved road, etc. -- I've faced funny looks and shaken heads. Not usually a big deal because I'm happy with my choices and their consequences for the most part.

But lately I've increasingly been feeling angry at a couple of family members because it seems they're judging me for not choosing a life that would enable me to more easily drop everything (again) and drag my carefully-held-together car across state lines to help with their kids (whom I adore and would spend every day with if I could) because they've chosen something different: one of them a career with business trips, the other a job they don't need the income from in order to get out of the house more often. I want to be able to help more, and I love spending time with them, but spending more than two weeks away from the homestead in the height of monsoon and rattlesnake season -- whether I accept their kind offer of a car rental or risk my car -- is a hardship they don't seem to recognize or value.

I'm really struggling with this. Do others have thoughts on ways to communicate about these sorts of things with loved ones who've chosen different routes?
 
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"I'm really struggling with this. Do others have thoughts on ways to communicate about these sorts of things with loved ones who've chosen different routes?"

Suggestion: If you have the space (and time) invite them to stay for an extended weekend.


The ole saying, "doing is seeing for the first time"  might reveal to them that you do indeed have limited time as well, its just spent doing different things. I did the corporate thing, travel, hustle, etc in the past. It tends to get you wrapped up into yourself to see anything else. A shift in perspective might change their attitude.

Hope it works for you.
 
john mcginnis
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When life gives you an opportunity, well.....  cook it.

My dear wife stumbled across a deal at an estate sale this weekend. $7 for a never used crockpot still in the box. (easily $30 at Walmart)  Out comes a 4lb chicken from the freezer that was on sale, defrosted,  into the crockpot for roasting. Dinner. Deboned leftovers is two more meals. Bones are back in the crockpot, water, bayleaf cooked while we slept. Strained and defatted we have a gallon of stock. Enough for three soups with veggies from the garden. Pretty close to a weeks worth of eating for under $15.  Our neighbors will spend that much money just having McDonalds for two and they wonder why they have no money.

What you do with your $$$ is as important as how much of it you make.
 
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Beth, while my job is much different than yours, I have faced the same problem. I telework, and have found that sometimes people feel that I should be available for babysitting, etc., during my normal work hours, but that is not the case. I need to be in my home office, logged in, and working. I have to account for all of my time and my deadlines won't get met unless I am actually doing the work. Much like your homestead, which I'm sure requires work to be done when it needs to be done, and not put-off while you tend to someone else's needs. If you end up losing a full crop because of not being able to water or some other task, that places a financial burden on you. That can actually impact your annual "salary" as what you do there and produce to use or sell, drive or lower that number. That isn't something your family should take lightly. IMHO I'd explain as clearly and nicely as you can that you are not available for frequent "bailing out" because your homestead does indeed require daily work, but if you are comfortable make it known that you are available in a situation that is more of an emergency or unexpected situation. I would try to add in a brief explanation of what all it takes to run your homestead to clarify your time is taken and valuable.
 
Beth Wilder
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john mcginnis wrote:Suggestion: If you have the space (and time) invite them to stay for an extended weekend.

The ole saying, "doing is seeing for the first time"  might reveal to them that you do indeed have limited time as well, its just spent doing different things. I did the corporate thing, travel, hustle, etc in the past. It tends to get you wrapped up into yourself to see anything else. A shift in perspective might change their attitude.

Hope it works for you.


Thanks, John! Despite living in a tin shack without amenities , we have managed to get both sets of my parents to visit (one set stayed in an air bnb locally; the other braved camping on our land). These other family members are a different story because they have young kids who aren't used to keeping a close eye out for rattlesnakes, scorpions, etc. I wouldn't ask them to come out here, especially during the growing season when they'd see most about what our lives are like, because that's also snake season. But I'm really glad my folks could come out and see -- during winter and spring, before the snakes really crawl -- and they all got pretty excited about what we have going here. It's true, seeing first-hand makes a big difference.

Denise Kersting wrote:Beth, while my job is much different than yours, I have faced the same problem. I telework, and have found that sometimes people feel that I should be available for babysitting, etc., during my normal work hours, but that is not the case. I need to be in my home office, logged in, and working. I have to account for all of my time and my deadlines won't get met unless I am actually doing the work. Much like your homestead, which I'm sure requires work to be done when it needs to be done, and not put-off while you tend to someone else's needs. If you end up losing a full crop because of not being able to water or some other task, that places a financial burden on you. That can actually impact your annual "salary" as what you do there and produce to use or sell, drive or lower that number. That isn't something your family should take lightly. IMHO I'd explain as clearly and nicely as you can that you are not available for frequent "bailing out" because your homestead does indeed require daily work, but if you are comfortable make it known that you are available in a situation that is more of an emergency or unexpected situation. I would try to add in a brief explanation of what all it takes to run your homestead to clarify your time is taken and valuable.


Thanks, Denise! I was sort of vague about what I do because it's complex, but we both also do remote freelance work whenever we can get it and also have businesses selling our arts/crafts online and at market. But yes, like you and I'm sure everyone else here, we are always working! People confuse the comparative flexibility of working for ourselves with the luxury of not working at all. (I was going to say, "Wouldn't that be nice?!" but actually I don't think it would be! Maybe luxury is the wrong word after all.) I do try to clarify nicely, as you suggest, and they seem understanding, but it keeps coming up again and again, you know?

We all have our own struggles and challenges, and what John said about the "corporate thing" can be true of anything and anyone, I think. We all get wrapped up in our own lives and needs and decisions, and I think it's genuinely hard to keep trying to remember all the ins and outs of others' lives and not take their availability to help us for granted.

What I'm really feeling pained by is the perceived judgement that their lives are more important and successful than mine, even though I know better, even though I made my life choices for a reason, specifically because I didn't want the life they chose themselves. Arguably I'm judging them, too, see? I wouldn't want their lives if they were handed to me on a gilded platter (I'm not talking about the fact that they have kids -- that's a whole other can of worms, much more complex and nuanced -- but their jobs and house and budget). I've had just enough of it to know it doesn't make me feel happy and fulfilled, not to mention its effects on the planet and our communities. But also, fewer and fewer of us have the luxury to make the choices they've made.

It's a narrower and narrower tightrope we all walk, trying to love and be gentle with each other and ourselves while also doing our best to live lightly and give back. I think a lot of you have great perspectives on strategies for this, and I think it's deeply interconnected with the nuts and bolts of saving money and striving to celebrate the abundance we do have, all while impecunious.

I love the story of the crockpot, John! Once we can create that space for living frugally (if we are fortunate enough to be able to), the opportunities for saving sometimes just seem to line up at the door. Has anyone read MFK Fisher's How to Cook a Wolf? I love that book for tips on eating well when the wolf is at the door.

Thank you all!
 
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Beth Wilder wrote:
Thanks, Denise! I was sort of vague about what I do because it's complex, but we both also do remote freelance work whenever we can get it and also have businesses selling our arts/crafts online and at market. But yes, like you and I'm sure everyone else here, we are always working! People confuse the comparative flexibility of working for ourselves with the luxury of not working at all.
...

What I'm really feeling pained by is the perceived judgement that their lives are more important and successful than mine,



it's amazing how much people don't see, my mother stayed with us for three weeks and she decided I only worked part time (at peak season!) because she saw me in the house sitting down at midday for a couple of hours. what she didn't seem to notice is that I was up at 6am and working for 4 hours straight before breakfast, then a bit more until 1pm a couple of hours break and then back out until 7pm and dinner and then back out again at 10pm to shut everything up before it got dark. But because she only saw the breaks she didn't compute the 14 hour work day.

the second point is something one just has to get used to I think. We have a house and land with no mortgage (infact we have two at the moment, anyone want a house in Denmark?!) but because we don't "work" we're seem as somehow lesser beings.
 
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We are purchasing land and building a home on it so we can move to our own place with no mortgage.  We have begun really going through our budget and looking at expenses we can cut.  There are lots and lots of small things, it is the bigger ones that are more of a challenge.  We have done things like limit eating out to 1 time a month, sometimes none.  But by far the biggest things we have either eliminated or we are trying to reduce and eventually eliminate are the house rental payment (by building a mortgage free home), the cable bill, the post-paid phones (3 iPhones since we are paying for our granddaughter), credit card debt (gone hallelujah!), medical bills from 6 surgeries in 5 years between the 2 of us, and the car payment (only 8 more to go before we can start banking that payment).

It is amazing the things you can do to reduce the outflow of cash.  Most of it hasn't been incredibly painful.

One thing the I won't skimp on if at all possible is insurance.  We will continue to pay for full coverage insurance on the car once paid off, and I will continue to pay the $25/year for rental car coverage.  We both know people who didn't have homeowner's or renter's insurance and were devastated by fires and no insurance money to recover from them.  Also the annual dues to your volunteer fire department.  My wife has a co-worker whose home burned.  She didn't pay dues to the local volunteer FD because she didn't want to spend the money.  The bulk of her insurance money was paid directly to the FD by her insurance company, so she did not have money to rebuild the house or replace her belongings.  She is now renting a run down place for $200 more than her house payment!
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:

the second point is something one just has to get used to I think. We have a house and land with no mortgage (infact we have two at the moment, anyone want a house in Denmark?!) but because we don't "work" we're seem as somehow lesser beings.



I have two residences that I rent out. Finding qualified tennents, maintenance, yard work, legalities is all work! And Money.

What you observe is a clear indicator that many in this country have no concept of what self employment is. They think a commute, 9-5, 40hrs a week is WORK. Anything else is 'recreation'. Many are going to see an eyeful when the bad time roll in.
 
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Bob Gallamore wrote:One thing the I won't skimp on if at all possible is insurance.  We will continue to pay for full coverage insurance on the car once paid off, and I will continue to pay the $25/year for rental car coverage.



I am not so sure about this. One of my greatest savings has been in outwitting the insurance companies, and really it is not hard to do. They determine the insurance premium based upon averages, but as frugal people we can tip the scales in our favor by having better than average odds in our favor.

For instance, I have not had insurance on my houses for years. Part of that is because I have a farm, and they require farm insurance and not cheap homeowners’ insurance. For me, that farm insurance is $1400 a year. But I have (3) houses, so that cost would be $4500 per year. But because I own my homes, I am not obligated to have insurance on the homes.

Now in NOT having insurance on those homes, I have saved $45,000! That is not a small amount of money. (Even if I had homeowners insurance, I would have saved $12,000 thus far). And here, we can buy kit homes that cost $30,000. In short, if a home of mine burned to the ground, I could replace it with the money I have saved by NOT paying insurance. There was a danger in the first few years that I would experience a loss without significant savings, but that did not happen, so I am wayyyyyyyy further ahead. But again, I got (3) houses so for my family, if we lost one, we would just move into one of the other houses, and rebuild with the money we have saved by not having insurance the last few years.

But I can drastically increase my odds that a home will not burn, by putting in arc faults, installing a green switch, not burning firewood, really anything I can do to reduce the odds that I would have a fire., theft, or accident. Because I do not have insurance, those things have deeper significance for me, BUT those are the things most homeowners do not install, and so the insurance company has to cover more losses based upon national home averages.

This is the same thing with full coverage on cars. For me, because I pay cash for my cars, it would be silly for me to pay full coverage. The worst thing that could ever happen would be, I have an accident just after I buy a car. In that case I would be out a few thousand dollars, but what does it matter? I have saved so much money in insurance costs that it is meaningless. If I do not have an accident though, or have an accident when it is at the end of its life span, I have really saved some money, just like I have without having farm insurance.

Insurance companies thrive off people having fear, but I refuse to live my life like that. I use math, and carefully calculate out my odds, and decide if I can live with the chances of a loss or not. I am betting most people would be much better off without insurance then listening to insurance brokers bark about this fear or that. For years my insurance costs have been $34 a month, which is liability insurance on my cars because it is Maine law. What else do I need insurance on?

Ownership is a huge deal because when you own what you have, no one dictates what you have to do with it. That saves a lot of mone, and one of my biggest savings has been by sticking it to the insurance man. It is NOT a conspiracy, it is just how the system works, but I do not have to play.
 
Bob Gallamore
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I have liability only insurance on vehicles that I paid cash for.  I have full coverage on the vehicle we bought new.  My wife had 2 single vehicle accidents that were here fault, and 1 not her fault but with an uninsured motorist.  Our insurance company has paid out $11,000 fixing that car.  I've made out like a bandit on that deal!  Each time the car that she uses to get to and from work and is our primary means of family transportation has been in the body shop for around 30 days.  During each time, we have been provided a rental SUV to drive at no additional cost.  I've made out like a bandit on that deal as well.

Ideally I would self insure and put that insurance payment into the bank each month so that I have money to fall back on if needed.  Until then I protect myself from loss and inconvenience by having insurance.  I don't have the luxury of another home to move into if the one I'm in burns down, so I provide that peace of mind for my family by having insurance that will take care of us while we get back on our feet.  I'm less concerned about sticking it to the insurance company than I am about being able to take care of my family in a difficult, very stressful situation.  If I had liquid assets available to do that, then I probably wouldn't have the insurance.

Basically, its a matter of choice as to how you take care of catastrophic situations.  And you have to shop around and make sure you are only paying for coverage that you actually need.

The most important step we take in financial strategy is establishing and following a budget, to include paying ourselves by saving money as a part of that budget.  If you don't make saving a priority and budget it in from the get go, you won't do it.  That way when your wife smokes the motor in the van you just finished paying off you have the money available to replace the motor.  We stressed that with our kids, but they wouldn't listen.  Fortunately, our Granddaughter listened when we told her how important it was to make saving a priority.  She wasn't going to because she didn't have much money to spare.  She listened when we told her that if she just took $5 a week and put in savings she would develop that habit for when she makes more.  Now that she has graduated from nursing school and has that much better paying job she is already in the habit and is putting money away.
 
Travis Johnson
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There are two ways to retire:

1) Work hard and save up enough money so that you can live out the rest of your days spending ample amounts of money that you worked long and hard to save up
2) Live a lifestyle that does not take much money

To retire early, a person simply has to do one of those two things more aggressively.

To me, the latter makes much more sense because there is more effeciency in it. There is less work expelled to get to the net result.

You hear it all the time: "I will just work overtime and use the extra money to pay for it." Well all that is well and good, but working costs money. That extra day at work means commuting costs, wear and tear on the vegicle, lunch costs, taxes, etc. All that is eleminated, and 100% of the money is kept in your pocket if the item is not purchased at all.

Consider this: by just living in this Tiny House, my elecrity costs is $52 instead of $130 per month. In one years time, I have saved over $1200. But that is not cash in my pocket, that is money I do not have to earn, in order to spend. It is numerous little choices like that, that keep me from having to work. A minalmilist Lifestyle.



 
Travis Johnson
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My wife and I have gone around and around thinking about this, and we have just come to the conclusion that I cannot afford to work. That sounds like a oxymoron, but it really is the truth. here is the math on why I say that. I do not think I am in a different situation, just that I was able to see what the system was like, and planned a way to get out of it early enough to be effective in life.

But here is an example.

Five years ago, my wife and I wanted some more land, so we bought some land that happened to have a house on it. At the time, it had been vacant for 6 years. Well we let it stay vacant for 5 more...11 years in total. Naturally this house was not worth much, maybe $40,000.

So then, because I retired early, I decided to fix it up. So in 5 weeks time, by using logs from my farm, my sawmill, and doing the work myself, I rebuilt the house. This increased its value from vacant, unlivable status, to livable, and worth around $80,000. Because most of the building materials I made myself, I spent $1700 in cash in fixing it up. So my question is, where could I ever work...a high school educated guy, and make $7660 a week? ($40,000 increase in value, spending $1700, over 5 weeks time).

But I admit that is a $40,000 increase in net worth, not cash money that I can spend...or is it?

Because the house was now livable, we moved our family into that house, and put our other house up for sale. Since that house is worth $175,000, and I own it outright with no mortgage, when it does sell, that means fixing up the vacant house did give me cash, but not $7660 per week, but $35,000 per week, because it gave a place for my family to go, and sell our other home. Yes, we had to be humble and move to a house that was half the size, old, and still needs work, but no matter how I calculate it, working a real job just does not pay me as much money as staying home doing my own thing.

I still work, but the pay back for my time spent, is so much greater then working for a small paycheck.

It has never been about how much money you make, it is about how much money you spend. Staying home, doing my own thing, allows me to produce more for myself that has inherent value. Sometimes that value is in terms of net worth, and other times that value can be converted into cash.

But NOT ONE PERSON said we should do this...NOT ONE. Everyone though we were foolish for leaving a really nice home for this dilapataded old Tiny House. But that is how crazy the system is. People would rather have a nice house, then have $175,000 cash, just because they are not humble enough to put their family in a house that is not as good as what they had. They would rather work a traditional job for 5 years, then humble themselves and get $175,000 cash up front.

Screw that!

Do you know what 5 years means? It means I would be gone from home most of the time, and not get to be home with them until my daughters would be 11, 17, 18 and 19. Five years with family is priceless. I will glaldly give up a nice house to spend time with my four young daughters.
 
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Travis, A good move overall. I will point out however that merely holding cash means you are losing a minimum of 4% every year. Govt numbers, I think it is even higher.

The ole USD is merely a conduit but in itself holds no value. Productive assets will always be the better value.
 
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john mcginnis wrote:

Productive assets will always be the better value.

To put that in home-ec terms, money in the bank or invested often doesn't earn enough interest/gain to offset the increase in the cost of living. Whereas, my canning jars are still canning jars 5 years from now, and I can still fill them with homemade jam, pickles, tomato sauce which also doesn't loose value when the cost of living goes up. Having someone home full time who is a self-starter and committed to fill canning jars, mend clothing, care for animals, and repair housing means that you aren't using after tax dollars to pay someone else to do all those things. Women's lib encouraged women to get jobs, but that was when growing and storing your own vegetables was seen as menial work that the society at large did not appreciate - not unlike people looking down their noses at blue-collar workers at the same time. Society is beginning to see that is both short-sighted and down-right wrong, but only in isolated patches, and possibly after that horse has already bolted - now many young people are stuck in even "lower level" service jobs when plumbers earn darn decent wages.  
 
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john mcginnis wrote:Travis, A good move overall. I will point out however that merely holding cash means you are losing a minimum of 4% every year. Govt numbers, I think it is even higher.

The ole USD is merely a conduit but in itself holds no value. Productive assets will always be the better value.



But I do not think that is the case.

Take for instance the farm insurance on the house. I stated, and did the math upon what its cost was 10 years ago; or $1400 per year. It is probably more like $1800 now. But it does not matter...when you do not spend money for a certain thing, you get to keep whatever that value is because you are not paying it. $1400 a year? $1800 a year? $2200 a year...All that matters is, I have enough money to replace the home if something happens.

That is the beauty of NOT SPENDING, as something's annual cost goes up, and you are not paying for it, your savings stays right in tune with it.

This is where real and theortical comes into play. If a food shortage drives up the price of food in the store, it just makes my homestead produced food worth vastly more. I could care less if my Brocolli is worth $2.59 per jar down in the basement, all that matters is, my family does not go hungary. The real value of food is that it keeps us fed, it just happens to be that people will pay for that sustenance.

And a lot of assetts work that way as well.

My homes value goes up automatically with cost of living, as does heavy equipment, land, sheep, etc. A good example of this is my tractor. I bought it new in 1999 for $14,200. Today the same tractor would cost $18,000. Because I have used my tractor, it has depreciated, but not by much, it is worth $11,000 today, a loss of only $3200 in 20 years. Now try and calculate how much work that tractor has helped me accomplish in 20 years. It is a very sound investment. In fact, a tractor is one of the few things I would actually buy new. I would NEVER buy a new car...

My woodlot however did not go up in value. In fact 3 years ago I lost 1/3 of its value when paper mills in Maine started to close. It has never recovered, and why I have been clearing forest and putting it into field. We do not eat trees, and food is going up in price. Whereas forest was making me about $70 per acre per year, I can make $500 per acre per year with lamb. There is a lot more work because I must care for them daily, and not just let trees grow, but the profit per acre is immensly more too. I just have to pay to have stumps pulled, the soil graded, and rocks picked in order for that lands value to be fully realized.

But here is the kicker, I do not "lose" or "make" money until I actually do something. The value of my woodlot rises and falls, but it is not until I physically cut that wood, that I have realized a loss.It is the same thing with stocks. We recently changed a few to High Risk, and I like their worth right now, but I have not actually made any more money by the switch, until I sell the stocks. It is that way with sheep, hay, trees, etc.
 
john mcginnis
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Jay Angler wrote:john mcginnis wrote:

Productive assets will always be the better value.

To put that in home-ec terms, money in the bank or invested often doesn't earn enough interest/gain to offset the increase in the cost of living. Whereas, my canning jars are still canning jars 5 years from now, and I can still fill them with homemade jam, pickles, tomato sauce which also doesn't loose value when the cost of living goes up. Having someone home full time who is a self-starter and committed to fill canning jars, mend clothing, care for animals, and repair housing means that you aren't using after tax dollars to pay someone else to do all those things. Women's lib encouraged women to get jobs, but that was when growing and storing your own vegetables was seen as menial work that the society at large did not appreciate - not unlike people looking down their noses at blue-collar workers at the same time. Society is beginning to see that is both short-sighted and down-right wrong, but only in isolated patches, and possibly after that horse has already bolted - now many young people are stuck in even "lower level" service jobs when plumbers earn darn decent wages.  



One can magnify that canning value greatly by taking that .10c seed and growing the tomatoes to fill those jars.

Another item to consider is your time value of money vs the taxes extracted. What you do yourself for yourself cannot be taxed.

And to Jays point.... [Sorry ladies but I have seen this often enough to be true] Its many a partner who would rather marry a 3 time loser doctor than a successful 6 figure Fabio plumber with a successful company. Does not make sense, but observations bear me out.
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:

john mcginnis wrote:Travis, A good move overall. I will point out however that merely holding cash means you are losing a minimum of 4% every year. Govt numbers, I think it is even higher.

The ole USD is merely a conduit but in itself holds no value. Productive assets will always be the better value.



But I do not think that is the case.

Take for instance the farm insurance on the house. I stated, and did the math upon what its cost was 10 years ago; or $1400 per year. It is probably more like $1800 now. But it does not matter...when you do not spend money for a certain thing, you get to keep whatever that value is because you are not paying it. $1400 a year? $1800 a year? $2200 a year...All that matters is, I have enough money to replace the home if something happens.

That is the beauty of NOT SPENDING, as something's annual cost goes up, and you are not paying for it, your savings stays right in tune with it.

This is where real and theortical comes into play. If a food shortage drives up the price of food in the store, it just makes my homestead produced food worth vastly more. I could care less if my Brocolli is worth $2.59 per jar down in the basement, all that matters is, my family does not go hungary. The real value of food is that it keeps us fed, it just happens to be that people will pay for that sustenance.

And a lot of assetts work that way as well.

My homes value goes up automatically with cost of living, as does heavy equipment, land, sheep, etc. A good example of this is my tractor. I bought it new in 1999 for $14,200. Today the same tractor would cost $18,000. Because I have used my tractor, it has depreciated, but not by much, it is worth $11,000 today, a loss of only $3200 in 20 years. Now try and calculate how much work that tractor has helped me accomplish in 20 years. It is a very sound investment. In fact, a tractor is one of the few things I would actually buy new. I would NEVER buy a new car...

My woodlot however did not go up in value. In fact 3 years ago I lost 1/3 of its value when paper mills in Maine started to close. It has never recovered, and why I have been clearing forest and putting it into field. We do not eat trees, and food is going up in price. Whereas forest was making me about $70 per acre per year, I can make $500 per acre per year with lamb. There is a lot more work because I must care for them daily, and not just let trees grow, but the profit per acre is immensly more too. I just have to pay to have stumps pulled, the soil graded, and rocks picked in order for that lands value to be fully realized.

But here is the kicker, I do not "lose" or "make" money until I actually do something. The value of my woodlot rises and falls, but it is not until I physically cut that wood, that I have realized a loss.It is the same thing with stocks. We recently changed a few to High Risk, and I like their worth right now, but I have not actually made any more money by the switch, until I sell the stocks. It is that way with sheep, hay, trees, etc.



Ironically I think you proved me correct, not that I was looking for the affirmation.

"But here is the kicker, I do not "lose" or "make" money until I actually do something." Not correct. Holding cash is doing nothing and according to the govt you lose 4% per year thanks to inflation. Letting a tractor sit idle as an asset, you lose money as the model year falls in value every year. The velocity of your earnings is a critical factor as your reduction of woodlot indicates. You will increase your velocity converting to field that can support an annual yield in either animals or crops.

Not that is a investment consideration but I am getting more convinced that buying a new tractor is not wise. The damn things are getting so computerized that the simplest little glitch can disable them. The mfrs has embedded patents on the tech so your only recourse is to take it to a dealer for repair you won't be permitted to fix them yourselves as time goes on. One state is actually trying to pass a law to permit self repair!

"My homes value goes up automatically with cost of living" Generally yes but not always. Land generally has two factors that determine price. 1) location and/or use. 2) the cost of money to acquire it. Home ownership has those two factors plus another, 3) perception. What is a desirable home? One can be in a hot market that for rhyme or reason has no driver on price but a simple desire.

I agree that not spending is a net gain. However if the value of your holdings increase do to the simple impacts of inflation as a producer what have you gained? The next new ewe will cost more, their feed will cost more, medicines, etc. Simple fact is inflation is a way for the government to steal your savings and steal your income and you not have a single say in the matter.
 
Travis Johnson
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I am still not so sure I agree.

I can see where if a person has $500, in ten years time, it is possible that the $500 will not buy as much as it did, but that is not a hard and fast rule. It comes down to the law of supply and demand; everyone wants cold hard cash, and so few people have it, especially in the United States where 85% of people live pay check to paycheck. Therefore, people who do have cash, can negotiate for items pretty easily. Myself, by having a fistful of cash in my pocket, I was able to get 50% off a kitchen stove that my wife liked. While the percentage off was pretty high, getting reductions in price for paying in cash is not; like on such purchases as fuel, logging supplies, chainsaws, etc. Since those percentages are higher than 4%, I am beating inflation and these are every day, common purchases.

And some purchases just plain require cash. I was looking at a boiler for my house, and it would have been $7000, but I found a used one for $700, and bought that instead. Both make a cold house warm, but the used boiler was a private sale, and so having cash saved me 90%.

I have only described two cash purchases and yet I have managed to save $7000. One guy told me, he puts all his purchases on a credit card and gets 3% back...and was bagging about it. Why bother? He was making $1200 a year and THINKING the credit card companies were doing him a favor. That was silly, THEY were dictating to him that he would be getting 3% back, all the while he could have been using cash to save even more. It would take him 5 years at the credit card cash back rate, to get the same amount of money I did on only two purchases. And most retailers will give you a cash discount if you ask, because most people pay with a credit card anyway, so they raise prices by 3% to cover the transaction fee.

I would not call any of it a conspiracy, but the government does not advocate for cash because with cash, a lot can be hidden tax wise. And when you spend with cash, you feel it, you know you are parting with something, and thus spend less cash then you do with debit cards, or worse yet, credit cards which does not have that aspect to them. That does not exactly help fuel consumerism that the United States economy thrives upon.

But money is funny; only 15% of the population has any to speak of, but 99% of the people defend how they spend/waste their money to the death. This is not theory for me; I live it, but the great thing is, it is not some amazing feat that I did; anyone can do this. That is why I hope I encourage people in this regard.

Early retirement for the poor is possible. I am living proof of it. Using cash only is one of the ways I accomplish that.



 
Travis Johnson
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I do not have heart burn with buying a new tractor like I do with buying a new vehicle for several reasons. The first is that unlike a car, where you lose $5000 just for driving the car off the dealership lot, that does not happen with a tractor. They hold their new tractor value because their worth is based upon hours and condition. A real world situation would be, a Grandfather goes out and buys a new tractor, and then he has a heart attack and dies with a tractor having only a few hours on it. Because of that, the family sells the tractor and gets the same price that he bought it for because it is a new tractor. You just cannot do that with a new vehicle.

And a tractor does not always depreciate. My Grandfather bought a Ford 900 tractor in 1958 new for $1500, and we traded that same tractor in in 1999 for $1500. It did not lose one dollar in depreciation, yet consider all the work it did over the 41 years we had it. That is actually unheard of, but it can still be done today. My tractor now has depreciated a bit at $3200, but it is entirely possible that in 10 years from now, it will be worth $14,200; the same amount that I paid for it. Tractors just do not depreciate like cars do; and again, considering all the work that they do, they are a real help around the farm/homestead. (That last part is an incredible understatement by the way).

...

Just to be clear on repair though, the Supreme Court has already ruled that a person can fix their own tractor. What is getting peoples dander up, is that the Supreme Court did not rule that anyone can fix your tractor. John Deere asserted that it sold a tractor, but not the electronics in those tractors, and the Supreme Court ruled that it was not the case. John Deere has to sell diagnostic equipment to a tractor owner so they can fix their machine. However, they are not required to sell that diagnostic equipment to a non-dealership mechanic shop so they can fix your tractor. John Deere retaliated by simply changing the diagnostic equipment on every model they produce, so that a farmer cannot buy a John Deere testing gear and have it work on every John Deere tractor they own; instead they have to spend thousands of dollars for testing equipment for every new tractor they buy. Of course, the alternative is to just take it to them, but in an industry where 70% of the dealerships work is with warrantee work, they had to do something to get more service work. This was their attempt, but it really backfired on them.

And on emissions, keep in mind that they only apply to tractors above 26 HP. That is why you might see a glorified garden tractor that has a 26 hp engine, and yet a tractor that is quite a bit bigger in physical size, it has the same 26 hp engine.

It depends on what you feel is "required" for your farm, but you do not have to buy a tractor with complicated emmissions on it. You just cannot buy a big tractor without emissions.

But myself, I have always felt that people buy tractors way too big in size. I have a pretty big farm, and yet a 25 hp tractor serves me well.
 
john mcginnis
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Travis Johnson wrote:
And a tractor does not always depreciate. My Grandfather bought a Ford 900 tractor in 1958 new for $1500, and we traded that same tractor in in 1999 for $1500. It did not lose one dollar in depreciation, yet consider all the work it did over the 41 years we had it. That is actually unheard of, but it can still be done today. My tractor now has depreciated a bit at $3200, but it is entirely possible that in 10 years from now, it will be worth $14,200; the same amount that I paid for it. Tractors just do not depreciate like cars do; and again, considering all the work that they do, they are a real help around the farm/homestead. (That last part is an incredible understatement by the way).

$1500 in 1958 would be a comparative worth of $8647 in 1999. Highly likely your grandfather received > $7000 in use of the tractor, why else would he have it? But receiving the same $ value between the two dates without the personal use gain would be a loss. I certainly don't deny that the typical tractor depreciates far slower than a typical car.
...

Just to be clear on repair though, the Supreme Court has already ruled that a person can fix their own tractor. What is getting peoples dander up, is that the Supreme Court did not rule that anyone can fix your tractor. John Deere asserted that it sold a tractor, but not the electronics in those tractors, and the Supreme Court ruled that it was not the case. John Deere has to sell diagnostic equipment to a tractor owner so they can fix their machine. However, they are not required to sell that diagnostic equipment to a non-dealership mechanic shop so they can fix your tractor. John Deere retaliated by simply changing the diagnostic equipment on every model they produce, so that a farmer cannot buy a John Deere testing gear and have it work on every John Deere tractor they own; instead they have to spend thousands of dollars for testing equipment for every new tractor they buy. Of course, the alternative is to just take it to them, but in an industry where 70% of the dealerships work is with warrantee work, they had to do something to get more service work. This was their attempt, but it really backfired on them.

And on emissions, keep in mind that they only apply to tractors above 26 HP. That is why you might see a glorified garden tractor that has a 26 hp engine, and yet a tractor that is quite a bit bigger in physical size, it has the same 26 hp engine.

It depends on what you feel is "required" for your farm, but you do not have to buy a tractor with complicated emmissions on it. You just cannot buy a big tractor without emissions.

But myself, I have always felt that people buy tractors way too big in size. I have a pretty big farm, and yet a 25 hp tractor serves me well.

Two acquaintances, one with an LS the the Deere have had nothing but computer problems with the units. One actually took it back the dealer and got his money back.  

 
Travis Johnson
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That is not correct.

If I have 1500 in 1958, and then I was to fall asleep like Rip Van Winkle and not wake up until 2019, but still had my $1500 in my pocket, I would not have lost a single dollar.

It is true that my $1500 would have bought a lot more groceries in 1958 than in 2019, but I still have not lost one dollar.

This goes along with the concept of business that says, "If you are not growing, you are dying." Really? Then why have many, many farms in the area tried to grow into bigger dairy farms and went out of business, and yet my Grandfather's Dairy Farm, that was 125 cows in 1992, still has 125 cows in 2019, and he is still in business, still kicking milk out onto the national food chain?

I agree you can do better things with your $1500 to make it produce more money for you, but you have not lost a single dollar.

Try spending $1500 on a credit card, and falling asleep for 61 years. You would not get much of a nap. After 90 days of non-payment on the account, the Sheriff would be kicking down your door, waking you up, and serving you with papers to appear in court for non-payment. They would also hit you with a pretty big non-payment fee, and compound interest NOT in your favor.

When you compare the two foms of payment, cash suddenly looks a whole lot friendlier.
 
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