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I'm trapped in the system

 
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*Looks around the thread and sees shiny moderating hat sitting in the corner.**Dons the sparkly thing*

Please remember that this is the financial strategy forum, not the politics or ethics section of the cider press. The Cider Press is a special place for people with enough apples to very nicely discuss hot button issues like politics and ethics.

If you would like to discuss the politics of how our system works, please make a thread in the Politics forum.

If you want to discuss the ethics of the system or of debt/bankruptcy, please make a thread in the Ethics and Philosophy forum.

If you have helpful suggestions on how to get out of the system, please post here!

If you want to tell someone that they're idea is bad, please don't. Just talk nicely about how marvelous your own idea is--you don't have to bash their idea (or even mention it) to do that.

I honestly really don't want to go back through this thread and move out all the posts about ethics and philosophy. I'd much rather make a cow bumper sticker or write a dailyish :-D. So, um, could you all help me out by staying on the topic?

Thank you so much!

*Takes off moderator hat and tosses it back in the corner, hoping it can grow some little cobwebs and its own merry little ecosystem there*

 
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Karen Donnachaidh wrote:E.Sedgwick, You originally posted this plea for advice nearly 3 years ago (Apr. 2013). Please give us an update.



It seems like people are dredging up old threads to make the place look more active. There can be no world domination with a dead forum.
 
pollinator
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Nicole, thank you.

John, rather than a sinister move to make permies look more active, what if Karen was genuinely curious about what had happened? Personally I've posted to some older threads because....
...they looked like an interesting topic that I wanted to put my own two cents into
...the topic was suddenly pertinent to my own issues currently going on with my homestead
...I was just downright curious for an update
...after dinner and a long hard day I like to do a bit of reading. Reading old permies posts is just as satisfying as reading a magazine or light novel. Hitting that reply button comes naturally no mater how old the OP's post is.

And sometimes it's just my mood for enjoyment, like posting to the Women Peeing Outdoors. Heck, that threads been around for years and folks still occasionally get a kick out of posting something. And I have to admit, even its fun to read, I've learned a few new things there.
 
pollinator
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Apprenticeship.

Go work with someone who is doing a trade you like, work for free if you have to, but learn the skills, then you will be job ready.


Get the book from your library "What color is your parachute".     It is excellent for helping choose a path for your life.


You have my prayers.


 
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Su Ba wrote:Personally I've posted to some older threads because....
...they looked like an interesting topic that I wanted to put my own two cents into
...the topic was suddenly pertinent to my own issues currently going on with my homestead
...I was just downright curious for an update
...after dinner and a long hard day I like to do a bit of reading. Reading old permies posts is just as satisfying as reading a magazine or light novel. Hitting that reply button comes naturally no mater how old the OP's post is.



Thanks for the encouragement to post in old threads, Su.

I read through lots of them because I haven't been here very long but have hesitated to add anything.

I love the 1970's "Mother Earth News" flavor of this place.



 
Greg Mamishian
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Mart Hale wrote:Apprenticeship.

Go work with someone who is doing a trade you like, work for free if you have to, but learn the skills, then you will be job ready.



...or even business ready.


Get the book from your library "What color is your parachute".     It is excellent for helping choose a path for your life.


You have my prayers.




Excellent advice, Mart.
Instead of going down the well trodden government school/student loan highway... take the road less travelled. In my opinion, a person is better off maturing by gaining direct firsthand personal experience dealing with the real world... outside the entitled "safe room" of academia.

 
Su Ba
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Mart, great suggestion.

Ya know, Dale Hodgins posts a lot on permies.com about how to live frugally and not spend your hard earned cash. His lifestyle isn't for everybody, but he does have some great ideas and firsthand experience. 30 years ago I wouldn't have embraced his ideas, but now they look really sensible to me.

When I was young and newly married, we gave our money away to everyone........rent, phone, excess use of electricity, new fashionable clothes, stereo system and all the music, TV, movies, vacations, entertainment, restaurants, new cars, other material goods, and our last 9 years in the rat race -- a mortgage.  30 years and almost nothing to show for it. Just about every penny we had earned had gone to somebody else. I now can look back and think, how crazy is that?

We broke out of the system, but it wasn't fun n games. It was living without. It was creating our own free entertainment. It was living in a plywood shack (we would have lived in a junk schoolbus if we didn't happen to have a shack already on the property). It was DIY for everything. It was abandoning keeping-up-with-the-Joneses. It was repurposing and re-using stuff from the thrift shops and rummage sales. It was taking baby steps to learn how not to spend money. Spending money when you don't have extra to throw away is like slowly bleeding to death. You don't pay much attention to the little trickle until it's a crisis and too late.

Between Dale's comments and suggestions posted here, a person has a lot to think about.
 
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Same here (old fashioned life) if I cannot afford something I either save for it or do without, never owned a credit card in my life and because of this attitude I have a very poor credit rating which is just fine by me, I'll stick with my "make do and mend" life.
 
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E. Sedgwick wrote: I'm stuck in the system, and I don't know how to get out.

If anyone has insight, advice, or other help to offer, I'd really appreciate it.



Be present first. The first thing you have to do is to confront your fears. That way you will have energy at your disposal. Find out what you are scared of, and then realize that fear is just a thought. When you think you are in a negative state. You want to spend more and more time in a positive state, a state of feeling. Then you start to recharge and the solutions will come.
 
pioneer
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At 17 I quit high school and joined the Navy. I was sent to Europe for 4 years while working in my chosen career field.
At my last command I was handed a box and told I was the closest thing to an IT guy as they could find. So, I suddenly was an tech. I retired at 20 years with a solid background in IT and computers.
At 40 years old I had a residual income for the rest of my life, medical, dental and a host of other bennies.
The IT field was wide open and I was in close to the ground floor. I leveraged my military experience and landed a job with a government contractor making twice what the Navy paid. I work from home, but do quit a bit of travel.
The point of this diatribe is, there are means to secure your future. The young man that started this thread needed to get out of debt to move ahead. Consider more than just 3 options.
Being careful with a like minded wife we paid all our debts, bought a house with acreage and got it paid for. We're building our forever home now and it's paid for. My land is paid for, my vehicles, everything. I'll go into retirement owing no man anything.
It can be done.
 
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The military retirement thing is how we’re going to be able to afford to “escape” too, especially dealing with a degenerative condition (I think I’ve seen some other Ehlers-Danlos folks on here!) and potential future rising private medical costs.

An interesting thing that some may not know about is the restructuring a few years back so people aren’t left with no retirement progress if they don’t stay the full 20. You still get the best stuff if you stick it out, but now there’s a 401k contribution and matching options that kick in like most other jobs and are yours to keep when you leave after just a couple of years. They also have loooots of resources for helping folks handle debt if they actually take the time to ask/explore.
 
Michael Dotson
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Jennifer Kowalski wrote:
especially dealing with a degenerative condition (I think I’ve seen some other Ehlers-Danlos folks on here!) and potential future rising private medical costs.


I'm dealing with a degenerative condition, as well, that might put me on those bloody opioids for pain. Either that or I'll smoke my pain meds. I figure it's all part of getting old, but it makes for a bleak future.
I don't worry about that. Right now, I'm healthy and strong so I'll enjoy it while I have it.
In Arkansas if one is 100% disabled from the military they pay no property taxes or no income taxes on retired pay. Lifetime hunting and fishing license is free. Tags for the vets vehicle are free. Each tag after that is $35 dollars, flat fee.
Additionally, with a 100% award letter from the VA there is no waiting period to apply for SSI benefits. Vets go to the head of the line, but that bennie applies everywhere.
Good luck to you and yours! BZ and a sharp hand salute  to the retir(ing/ed) vet! I know what you through and some of the s**t sandwiches you bit into. You'll come out clean ready for a fresh start!
 
Michael Dotson
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Michael Dotson wrote:

In Arkansas if one is 100% disabled from the military they pay no property taxes or no income taxes on retired pay. Lifetime hunting and fishing license is free. Tags for the vets vehicle are free. Each tag after that is $35 dollars, flat fee.


Forgot to add those state benefits extend to the widow if the vet dies first.
 
Jennifer Kowalski
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I’m really hoping that my servicemember doesn’t end up qualifying for those, but it’s good to know in case disability rears its head for him! He’s already in physical therapy, so they’re trying to be proactive, but it’s definitely not been easy going even as “just” a comm/cyber warfare guy.

People can see those physical and other long-term struggles and “nope” out of the life, which is fair, but hopefully the retirement benefit changes will make it more appealing for younger folks who just want to join for just a few years to get their legs under them while they’re sturdy enough to bounce back, and head back into the civilian world feeling a litttle less hopeless and unprepared.
 
Michael Dotson
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Jennifer Kowalski wrote:
“just” a comm/cyber warfare guy.


The company I work for is veteran owned and actively seeks veterans to hire. The job is mostly travel on full government perdiem CONUS and OUTCONUS. We have people from all over CONUS based from home so you can live where you want within reasonable distance from an airport. We're not interested if you live in Alaska or Hawaii (costs too much to send you places).
If interested, drop me a line at mdotson@gmail.com.
 
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Some observations since the last time I posted on this particular forum.

With a new administration coming in a new reality is settling in:

* Before this year is out the govt is intending to spend from $7-10Tn.
* Russian, China are not buying US Treasury notes any longer and stocking up on gold.
* Stock market is consistently now not interested in any bond offers public or private the yields are too low.
* The real inflation rate is at least 7% if not higher (see shadowstats.com). It will go higher still.
* Unable to sell T bonds on the market, the Fed will print $$ on a massive scale.

That appears to be where we are headed in the not too distant future.

Options? Rule #1 should be get out of the US Dollar. There are various ways to achieve that:

* Buy physical. Real Estate (land, acreage, home), precious metals, tradeable skills.
* If you have a 401k, talk to the administrator and see if there are options in the plan to avoid USD denominated assets. Do realize that if your plan is not yielding a minimum of 10% yearly you are losing money against inflation.
* Move money to foreign accts not pegged to USD. Probably not possible for most of us however and due to regulations extremely hard as many foreign banks don't want the hassle.
* Trade/barter in physical rather than dollars. Its a useful skill to develop, generally yields better results, is hard to tax on the small scale.
* Garden. One of the prime items that skyrocket is food. Grow more than you need and trade that excess for the things you do need.

[Usual disclaimer. Not financial advise, merely observations. YMMV. Make your own informed decisions and seek the counsel of others as appropriate.]



 
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E. Sedgwick wrote:I wasn't sure where to put this post, but this seems like the best place.

I'm a 19 year old young man, and I see only 3 options in front of me, and none are appealing. Option one, work a low pay unskilled job and live in a rented basement for the rest of my life. Option two, go back to college and spend the rest of my life paying off loan debt (or go into a higher salary career which I would hate every day of). Option three, which is the best, is to live some kind of permaculture lifestyle, but the problem here is that land is really expensive and I'd still be chained to a mortgage or loan for the rest of my life. Or most of it anyway.

I can't just quit my job and join an eco-village because I've already accrued debt which I have to keep paying. With the kinds of jobs I've been able to get, saving up money to buy land cash up front would take almost as long as paying off the mortgage. I'm stuck in the system, and I don't know how to get out.

If anyone has insight, advice, or other help to offer, I'd really appreciate it.



Here are some options to get lots of money quickly:
1. Get a CDL. Companies such as CR England will pay you for your training, then you get paid $70,000 and up a year to drive long haul semi trucks. Plus you can live in the truck so no housing costs. You get to see the whole country and save almost your whole paycheck.
2. Learn a construction trade such as drywall, framing, concrete, roofing, landscaping, carpet installation, flooring, painting, etc. and your pay will inevitably go up to about $25 an hour with experience (This varies by trade). The simple fact that you are good at your job makes you far more valuable to an employer than an entry-level employee who will work at close to minimum wage. Unlike retail which can be taught in a week, actual trades take months or years of experience for you to get good at it.
2B - get a contractor's license. It's a $10,000 bond, 1st months insurance, and only 16 hours of education (in business practices and ethics) in Oregon. Laws vary by state but it's not that hard to be a licensed contractor. That's actually the easy part, actually knowing what you're doing and keeping your customers happy is the hard part. Then you can bill people $100 an hour for your services.

Also consider getting married to that right lady (find her if you don't know who she is). Then you've got 2 incomes, but only one household of expenses to pay for. Almost all successful middle class people are married, every corporate executive, every president that I know of has always been married. It provides financial and emotional stability, go through a solid upper class neighborhood and you'll see that everyone living there that's ahead in life is married. They got ahead in life because they got married.

What you don't want to do is go to college. Everyone else is doing that, there's no money in it anymore, your Starbucks barista is probably a college graduate. Everyone thinks they'll get ahead working a desk job in a corporate environment. Anyone can go into debt to pay for college, and so many people have got useless degrees in psychology and things like that that you won't get paid anything extra for having a degree. Almost any college degree is useless and the debt is more of a burden than it's even worth to have a college degree. Also I tried for years to break into computers, everyone wanted experience and there was no way to get experience without already having experience. Not the easy way to big bucks people say it it.

These are my ideas as a 40 year old man who *thought* I knew everything at 20 years old and am only now really starting to figure out how to get ahead. Forget what you were told about college, every generation faces a different reality than the last generation.
 
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