This afternoon I was thinking back to how things worked out for my step-dad, a self made millionaire, and how the things that happened to him over the years affected his judgement and values later in life, especially about money.
He was a kid during the Great Depression, but that affected him for the rest of his life. His mother abandoned all her 3 of her kids and took off, so he was raised by his grandmother. He dropped out of school after the fourth grade so he could earn money and help the family survive. He was driving his grandmother’s car when he was just 10 years old and glued pieces of lumber to the pedals so he could reach them.
He never trusted banks or the stock market after the big crash. The only investments he made were low risk cds and he never put more than $100,000 in any one bank account, as the FDIC only insures deposits up to $100,000.
When I tried to explain to him that a certificate of deposit is an option and that the maturity dates could be planned for maximum benefit and taxes, he would get upset and tell me that I didn’t know what was talking about. So I wasn’t able to help him much, but at least I tried.
Mom and dad have been talking for years about getting a place out on some land in Texas somewhere but we weren’t expecting them to call last week and say “We did it!” We thought there’d be a big family meeting like there always is and we’d have to make a Pros and Cons list but nope, they jumped in feet first this time! None of us have been out to see the place yet but mom assures me it’s huge and has plenty of space for all of us to visit. I talked with her about ways to conserve electricity because she was worried about the utilities but I think they’ll be fine since they both worked long and hard and saved up a lot of money to retire on. I can’t wait to see the place and find out what all the fuss is about and hopefully my kids will like to ride horses and get out and about as much as my husband and I do! Way to go mom and dad! You finally really did do it!
Recently a furnace maintenance man told us that we are going to need a new furnace. My brother said he thought it would only need a new control board, but the furnace is nineteen years old, and the maintenance man told us a year ago that we needed to be thinking about buying a new one. Naturally we have no way to pay for a new one, but that is a different post entirely.
So anyway, a couple of days ago the maintenance man told us that the heat exchanger was running too hot and that was a sure sign that the furnace was going to die at any moment. He gave us a quote on a replacement furnace and I told him that we would have to try to find ways to pay for it. I posted on Facebook to my friends that I’m unhappy because we need a new furnace. One of my FB friends told me that he would like to have his company submit a competitive quote on the price, and I said OK. So the appointment was set for 10am for his man to come out and chat with us. He did not leave until after 5pm. There were several hours where he was simply socializing with my husband and every time I tried to participate in the social conversation I was interrupted by one (or both of them.) It was obvious that they did not value my being there at all. And yet I am the one that has to make the decision to buy the furnace and come up with the money. I felt like I was being held hostage at the kitchen table trying to get down to business. I still don’t have the money to buy a furnace. I still NEED the furnace. I am not a happy camper.
A few years ago I was chatting online with a couple who were considering a move to Tennessee. They were in Southern California and they were all about how Tennessee is a big attraction to people in California for two reasons: You can buy six times the house plus acreage here for the same money as a cookie cutter house in the suburbs in California. There is no state income tax in Tennessee, so a paycheck in Tennessee gets an immediate boost of 6%, 8% or even 10%, depending upon the state tax brackets where you used to live and pay taxes.
The people moving into Tennessee from California are the second largest group of expats from another state. However, there are more people moving there from Michigan than from any other state. The difference is that the people from Michigan are typically young and middle aged blue collar workers chasing jobs in the automotive industry and the people from California are mature, white collar executives moving to corporate headquarters or starting their own businesses.
I always find it interesting to follow the trends and then learn exactly how they come up with the numbers that they do and for what reason. As we all know you can make numbers do anything you want with them. Life is nothing but a numbers game after all!
Couldn’t sleep last night, so I turned the TV onto CBS and watched some late night TV. Usually I fall asleep sometime during the Letterman Show, but last night I watched all of Craig Ferguson, too. I really like the Craig Ferguson show, I just can’t stay awake that late to watch it.
Yeah, I’m a wimp. Actually, the Craig Ferguson show comes on here at 11:30 and I have to get up every morning at 5:00, so do the math – that’s just not enough sleep. But last night – or this morning if you want to get technical – it’s after midnight and I can’t fall asleep. So this gawd-awful show comes on starring that snotty ex-model, Tyra Banks. OMG! What a crap show, no way could I even consider watching more than 5 minutes of that! I had to change the channel and listen to CNN for about 20 minutes until I fell asleep out of total boredom.
I don’t have very many channels on the TV in my bedroom. In an effort to cut back on some of the monthly expenses, so the TV set out in the living room has the DVR and gets the most channels of all, which still isn’t all that much