@ellabella I think you are tapping into this guy's real worries. I could also be described as "Jake's Kid" which is great, but means I really sympathize with the stress this guy has. Being a well-off provider/parent puts pressure on "Jake" not just to get his kids through college but beyond. He has great savings, but is still worried about collapse of the system, about paying for college, about his kids being teachers and not making as much money as he does."Jake" has done great but clearly wants to provide the cushion needed to ensure that his kids can do whatever they want as adults, and never see their lifestyle drop below what they had as children. And that is crazy stressful, and also not really a bad goal. The commenters here always love a good "trust fund" story, and appreciate the sacrifice it means that parents/grandparents made. Jake comes across to me like Logan's dad, the guy who is going to agonize if his kids aren't financially secure, feel obligated to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to bail them out when they fail financially, and never feel like he has quite enough to ensure that they, plus him, his wife/possibly parents are guaranteed this kind of life for as long as they need it. More so than a critique on Jake, I think this interview points out just how much disconnect there is between "wealth" and "family financial security."
@dj pomegranate Baaaah, not just his kids! What about parents?! (This is a thing that truly terrifies me: parental care.) To all: To clarify my stance, I do think this guy is rich in terms of the $$ (and the life plan) compared to me; however, I don't think he's wrong or somehow has less right to feel this way. I mean, I feel very "you brought this upon yourself!" on here whenever someone posts about how they just can't give up their lattes/yoga class/apartment in Manhattan/whatever thing that costs money they could be saving (but don't comment on it, because... um... so what if you like having little luxuries sometimes?). I feel that way about myself and how I managed to put myself into deep credit card debt/move to an expensive big city from a farm town/go to a private grad school. There are costs associated with every class of living, and we all make decisions like humans. It'd be cheaper for me to move in with my mom, but I don't feel like that's an option that brings me forward in life. Dude's got three young adults who he is personally responsible for, and he's also 20 years ahead of most of us in life, so of course he has a ton more money and an established career and he's found places in his life where he prefers to pay extra to save himself time/pain. He probably also has a more realistic view of what happens when you have an emergency and he probably also has to worry about things like possibly adding 0-4 dependents in parent form for the rest of his life if anyone has any medical issues at all. I don't think being older and wealthier or reaching a certain income threshold means that you get to stop worrying about money -- that's how you end up with nothing for retirement. I'd be obsessive about this stuff if I were him too. In fact, I am -- that's why I spend so much time on this website for people who obsess about their money situation (okay, and because I love you guys in my heart parts and it's fun here).
Wow, guys. Wow. Okay, I'm clearly not on the same page as a lot of other commenters here (except in that I found this to be a really interesting interview). It sounds to me like Jake's got his head on straight and is trying to do as much as he can for himself and his family. I was glad to read a perspective that we don't normally hear much here. This guy is way ahead of me on the life path, and I'm definitely more in the "wealthy is a state of mind" camp than most, but... when you have so many financial things to worry about, I am certain that it's pretty hard to avoid worrying about your finances. A lot of us are just at a different life stage than Jake. Having kids who depend on you and a marriage and strong roots in a town make a huuuuuuge difference. If I had kids, I would never ever feel comfortable in my financial situation, no matter how objectively great it was. Plus, the economy is pretty bad still, and 40s are the time when mortgages and kids' tuition and retirement planning can all come to a head, so that's a pretty huge problem, especially for someone who still has $90k in student loans. Don't get me wrong, I wish everyone could stress less about money. However, I think going "no, trust me; you're rich" to anyone who makes more than you doesn't really help anything. This is a community for discussing financial issues/fears, right? If you can afford to hang out on the 'net (or go to yoga/live in a big city/choose to try and wait out your dream field/go to the bar with your friends or eat out on the regular, like a lot of us do), you're richer than a lot of people too. You don't see them going, "boo hiss get off The Billfold and call a wahmbulance." < / rant >
@the rat lady Yes. When he said the goal should be not feeling rich, but feeling happy, I thought Yes please buddy go down that road!
Sounds like this dude has some underlying anxiety problems that just happen to have manifested themselves in his attitude towards money. But why half-ass things? If he's really worried about the imminent collapse of the world economy, he should start saving up for an addition to his basement in which to store his gold krugerrands.
By chic noir on Babies As Luxuries
@dj pomegranate - Let me guess..."Why do you need a kid, what's so fabulous about you" or " The world is already over populated" or " Only have a child if you can afford it" or wait for it... "Darwin wins"
@ShermMcCoy In most countries health care--especially basic maternal health care--is considered a human right, not an optional service available on the market to those who can afford it. Keeping its citizens alive is also generally considered to the fundamental responsibility of a sovereign state.
I like to read MMM but the way he ignores structural problems like maternity leave and the pay gap kind of rankles. Though he is Canadian and has said the US should have socialized healthcare. I think he practices what he preaches and enjoys it but the MY WAY IS THE BEST stuff is all persona. I love the 'there are many paths to enlightenment' ethos of The Billfold and I really LOVE LOVE the way Logan in particular has been examining power relationships in our economy. That is why The Billfold is a daily read for me and MMM is something I catch up on once a month or so.
@KayleighS If he's going to describe the typical middle class household as an "exploding volcano of wastefulness" then yes, I think he's telling half the story about the problems they're experiencing.
1. I like lattes. 2. Mike, you da bomb. Doctors say you're the illest, cause you're sufferin' from REALNESS.