Tag Archives: Florida

Social Insecurity

Social Security Card

Social Security Card – And what a social INsecurity payment looks like (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

It’s all over the news how the government is “borrowing” against the Social Security fund in an attempt to avoid falling over the fiscal cliff.  What boggles my mind is how many people think they’ll be able to live on social security in their golden years.  What truly puzzles me is, they actually rely on a government that can’t even balance a budget to manage their “retirement savings” responsibly.

My husband has already gotten his W-2 for last year, and I took a look at all his withholdings.  Social Security made up just 4% of his total pay.  That’s equal to the rate of inflation.  A person with any kind of common sense would not choose to invest just 4% of their savings in retirement, and if they did, they darn sure would place it somewhere with a high rate of return and where the government couldn’t “borrow” it interest-free.

I have to laugh with a kind of sadness at the way the government overspends, then steals money from those who have worked for it, earned it and will need it the most.  What?  Oh, that’s right.  They say they’re going to “borrow” that money.  And I’m sure the government will pay that money back with 9% interest, or maybe even 21%, like most credit card companies charge.  (If you believe that, I have a nice plot of land in Florida I’ll sell you for cheap.)

This whole overspending-borrowing fiasco reminds me of this guy I knew one time.  He was fond of buying junk food, collectibles and DVDs on his lean retail salary, but then when it came time to pay his bills, he was short funds and had to take money out of his retirement account to do so.  Ouch!  He didn’t have a problem with saving money; he had a problem with overspending it (which made it impossible for him to save any).  I think I’d rather live without potato chips now so I won’t have to live on Alpo when I’m 70.

Your income is your biggest wealth-building tool.  There’s nothing magical about it.  Don’t rely on the government to protect your hard-earned money.  I don’t expect ever to see a dime of the 4-digit amount that Peter paid into Social InSecurity last year.  I do expect, though, to see the million-plus that we’re going to save and invest wisely between now and then.

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New Trend in Social Networking?

Friendship

Friendship (Photo credit: Iguanasan)

It starts simply enough.  You’re hanging out on Twitter or Facebook, responding to posts, chatting with people, and just enjoying connecting with people who may live across town or across the world.  The friendship starts online, but then develops to the point where you’d dare anyone to say it isn’t real.  Perhaps you can laugh with this person or even call them up in the middle of the night when things are going wrong.  You may call and end up speaking to their spouse or child, and vice versa.  The connection grows.  In some cases you may send a text meant just for your friend that gets intercepted by her teenage son and embarrasses the heck out of him.  (Oh, good times!)

Then you have an opportunity to meet.  This is especially valuable when your friends and you live states away from each other.  Last year, a friend from New York (we live in North Carolina) had to drive home at the last minute from her Florida vacation due to weather-related flight cancellations.  She needed a place to stop overnight, and without thinking, I offered her mom, son and her beds for the night.  Their visit was way too short, but I knew they were ready to get home.

When your online friends live in-state, then you have better opportunities to see each other on a more regular basis and become real-life friends.  This brings me to what I’m seeing as a new trend…

Once your online friends become your real-life friends, then you want to integrate them into your real life.  You want them to meet your family, and you want to meet theirs.  It reminds me of how, when we’re children, we’re so proud of both our parents and our friends that we want to introduce them.  We love them both, and we want our friends to meet our awesome, loving parents, and we want our parents to meet our way cool friends.  We want to know that part of our friends that exists away from just us.

I have a friend with whom I’ve been spending some time this Summer, and this friend happens to have a daughter the same age as my older daughter.  They’ve become great friends, and Bobby‘s daughter has even adopted my toddler as her baby sister.  Likewise, my toddler hears my friend’s name and says his daughter’s name.  (Got all that?  It’s confusing without names.)  He’s become like an uncle to my girls, especially since their blood uncle never contacts them.

The time has come for Bobby and his daughter to meet my family, and for my girls and me to meet his family.  Last Thursday, I met Bobby’s mom.  I was understandably nervous, but Bobby assured me his mom would love me.  I’m not sure I’d quite go that far after just one meet and a few posts back and forth on Facebook, but we do get along quite well and are already making plans to get together again, probably with my girls along.

Likewise, Bobby and his daughter may soon have the opportunity to meet my family.  Bobby’s not at all nervous about it, which surprises me, given he’ll be meeting a lot more of my family than I met of his.  Honestly, I’ll be a little nervous about it, too.  It’ll be fine, and we’re going to have a fun time.  We have reached the point where we’re saying, “You’re a special part of my life, and I want you to meet some other important people, too.”

Have you had an online friendship move toward real life?  What did that look like for you?