Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, July 19

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


jen / January 29, 2007 10:48 AM


i have a few hundred in an ING savings account, and just started contributing to my 401K @ work.

Shasta MacNasty / January 29, 2007 10:53 AM

20% of my pre-tax dollars goes to my company's 401k. I have a roth IRA that has a couple of bucks in it that I haven't contributed to in years. I have a savings account that I'm trying to get toss some money in for emergencies. That'll take forever, but hopefully with the help of Pear Budget and some discipline, it'll happen. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute to that roth again sooner rather than later.

Shasta MacNasty / January 29, 2007 10:55 AM

Chances are I won't be getting married anytime soon. That means I'll be a dirty old woman by the time I retire, and I need to save up for the cabana boys I plan to carry on with recklessly. So...

1. 20% of my pre-tax dollars goes to my company's 401k.

2. I have a roth IRA that has a couple of bucks in it that I haven't contributed to in years.

3. I have a savings account that I'm trying to get toss some money in for emergencies. That'll take forever, but hopefully with the help of Pear Budget and some discipline, it'll happen.

Hopefully I'll be able to contribute to that roth again sooner rather than later. 'Cuz I don't think cabana boys are gonna be cheap.

Dan R / January 29, 2007 11:02 AM

Well, I'm nothing like Shasta (which is clearly a pen-name for Suze Orman).

I really don't have much money to save. I have a coupld hundred dollars in a savings account, a couple hundred in a 401k and some maxed out credit cards.
Let's hope I don't lose my job!

Mikey / January 29, 2007 11:33 AM

Ditto. After rent, student loan payments, credit card payments, groceries, etc., there's not a whole lot left. The small amount that is left goes toward my modest social life...

I did recently start contributing to my company's 401(K), but certainly not the maximum...

I've decided that unless you are making very good money, which in my book is $60,000+ in the city of Chicago, it's really difficult to save much unless you are sharing basic living expenses with a significant other...

eep / January 29, 2007 11:35 AM

I wish. I have a Roth IRA with some money in it, but that's about it. There's both a 401(k) and a pension at work, but I honestly can't afford to put money into it right now -- I have too many bills to pay off.

How did this become my life? Ack.

loadzone / January 29, 2007 11:40 AM

20% 401K pre-tax? That means sustaining a city lifestyle on only 80% of a pre-tax salary? Sounds pretty comfortable if you ask me (which you didn't).

I save when I can and kick myself when I can't. I'd disclose the location of my assets, but who really needs to know where they are?

But I do know that Money Market accounts are good places to earn interest if you can handle the lag period.

I've also heard about this guy on TV with a crazy suit telling me there's money to had from the govt if you buy his book. That's like future savings in the money bank.

Dan R / January 29, 2007 11:42 AM

Not that I'm nosey or a creepy internets stalker but... according to Shasta MacNasty's "about me" section of her blog: "Fast forwarding again, I survive 13 years of Chicago Irish Catholic education, go to St. Louis for four years to get my degree in Management so that I can be an overeducated secretary. Because you need a college degree to use Power Point."

Not to be a creep, but... how does a secretary manage to throw 20% of her money into savings? Honestly, how? Unless you're eating food found in dumpsters and crashing on a friend's couch permanently and NEVER going out or eating out, I can't imagine that being possible.
Just curious.

madachode / January 29, 2007 11:46 AM

My parents don't pay my rent

JB / January 29, 2007 11:46 AM

Dan R.--I know two admin assts. (read: secretary to the Big Boss) that make 80+ grand a year.

That, btw, is quadruple my salary.

I have 300 pennies saved in a coffee mug.

Marilyn / January 29, 2007 11:50 AM

I am in the midst of comprehensive retirement planning right now, using my existing IRA (Calvert Funds), savings and checking, pension at work, and a sizable legacy left to me by my mother.

Be nice to me. I'm an heiress.

taJ / January 29, 2007 12:15 PM

it feels wierd planning for retirement..i mean who know how long we have...anyway.
i just met with a fin. planner.
i want to put some $ in Roth IRA but in a socially responsible investing...Calvert funds.

Penny Boy / January 29, 2007 12:17 PM

>I have 300 pennies saved in a coffee mug.

Hold on to those pennies! The price of copper & zinc is skyrocketing!

Blagg the Axman / January 29, 2007 12:26 PM

The location of a few treasure chests and hidden gold caches is known to me, and more than a few would-be bandits have met their ends attempting to coerce this information from my tongue. Had they but asked nicely, I may even have told them, were their motives pure; a life of errant wanderings and periodic dustups with the servants of the Dark Lord Kayne has left me little hope—or desire—to live out my autumn years in resplendent comfort, should I live to see those years at all.

Hal / January 29, 2007 12:33 PM

Was just working on cleaning up my IRAs for the new year. They're only rollovers of 401(k)'s from previous employers. So, yep, saving. Currently maxing out the contribution on my employer 401(k) as well. but worried that I'm not doing enough.

d. / January 29, 2007 12:49 PM

hi! i save. after hearing from my parents, who are immigrants, all my life, about how important that nest egg is, i set up a few things to get started.

i have a CD that matures in less than one year now, two mutual funds (not too big), and one of them takes money from my checking automatically before i get a chance to spend it like a dumbass. recently i found out my father secretly opened a fund in my name when i was a baby. secret money, who knew?!

at work we have simple IRA's that get taken out of our paychecks which get matched by my employer.

for those of you who don't have stuff set up yet, it's never too late to start. the trick, my dear, is to make sure you get that money put away before you get a chance to fritter it away.

i'm still a clown, though, because i managed to rack up a decent CC bill because i'm still learning to fight immediate gratification, and drunkification.

Marilyn / January 29, 2007 12:58 PM

About the pennies. I spent the weekend sorting through a large collection of them that my brother and I put in our "Judy" plastic elephant bank when we were kids. Can't sell them for copper bullion because they are mixed with other metals, so forget the metal value. I have more wheatear pennies (1939-1959) than Lincoln Memorial, which is strange. One steel penny from 1943 (if it were copper, I'd get maybe $100,000 for it). Not really worth much, any of them, but it was fun.

avantchicago / January 29, 2007 1:11 PM

i buy a 30 pack of Old Style for $12.99 - cheaper than most cases - put aside the 6 extras beers - come summer time it's enough to drink myself through the inevitable Cub June Swoon.

Non-heiress / January 29, 2007 1:16 PM

Ahhhh...penny investment advice from a trust-fund baby.

How on earth did you sign those heiress checks after you worked your fingers to the bone counting pennies?

Marilyn / January 29, 2007 1:21 PM

No trust fund baby here. I'm 51 and have earned my own living my entire adult life. My mom died and left a house and a zillion CDs from all the pennies she saved over the years buying store-brand soup and offbrand everything else. No inherited wealth or stock market raiding.

I just love saying I'm an heiress. It's fun.

Strawberry / January 29, 2007 1:29 PM

I've got a better-than-most headstart on retirement, in my oh-so-modest view. Only being 27 helps-- lots of time to watch my investments blossom.

All those with ING money markets, I have a tip: I just switched to which has a higher interest rate and the same set-up as ING (one day to withdraw, no maintanence fees, etc.). Good deal.

Strawberry / January 29, 2007 1:31 PM

Oh, and I make less than $40,000 a year and still manage to save about 10% a year for retirement without crimping my lifestyle. You can find something! I agree with d.-- put the money directly into an investment from your paycheck so you're not tempted to spend it. Best advise anyone ever gave me as far as investing.

kelly / January 29, 2007 1:42 PM

good tip on the emigrantdirect site, and ING. I have my savings with HSBC and their interest rate has risen steadily in the past year - right now new money is getting 6% interest!

Unfortunately I'm currently in grad school so I've got more money going out than coming in, but someday I'll be back on track.

Mo / January 29, 2007 2:19 PM

IRA from an old 401K, money market that is really just a savings account for my tuition, and i contribute a small amount to my work 403B, which my employer matches 2 to 1. However, I'm racking up a debt on my CC, so really, I'm probably spending more on interest on my CC than I am earning in my 403B. Maybe not. I'm fairly clueless when it comes to retirement issues.

skafiend / January 29, 2007 2:24 PM

I have several Felix Pie baseball cards that I am hoping will pay off someday...

ken / January 29, 2007 2:46 PM

I believe I will be one that works up to my death, no easy retirement here. What I do save is merely enough to relocate back to Florida for the second time. Well, that and all the shake that ends up at the bottom of a bag, ya know for any upcoming dry spells.

Emerson Dameron / January 29, 2007 3:02 PM

I'm foregoing minor indulgences, digging myself out of credit card debt and saving up for a vasectomy.

Andrew / January 29, 2007 3:40 PM

I'm in grad school and continuing saving. I pull 10% from the little that I do get paid for adjunct teaching for a 403b that I still have from my two years of full-time work. I bought a CD with my September fellowship check, so that matures in less than a year. Also just opened an ING savings account and will probably roll the CD into that (aiming for more freedom because that money is earmarked for a down payment). Someone suggesting taking out federal student loans to invest before paying them back come graduation -- I haven't taken the time to figure out if the hassle is worth the few % points I would make on that scheme. I do have >$70K in student debt (mostly from my MA program), and my goal for grad school was to not add to that -- I've been doing good so far, but it is hard!

p / January 29, 2007 3:41 PM

i'm a lover not a saver. i save fuck all. i'm marginally employed at best and spend most of my time flying around the globe making love. ok that is not all completely true. i've got mutual funds that are doing well w/o any additional deposits needed for now (UBS!!). and Roth is also at the party and i've been contibuting for a few years but it is not exciting to me, that. And ING Direct spent alot of money promoting ING Direct around town. They wouldn't be pleased w/ your not calling it ING Direct, but instead the incorrect ING, leaving off Direct. Correctly said, it's ING Direct. And they can fuck right off. Unless you want to set up a modest savings account w/ no fees and a favorable apy then ING are your people to see.

Oh, and change, i've got lots of coins. And i've got like 20 euros and 6 lbs. And baseball/football/basketball/yo mtv raps/hockey cards- not sure of exact present value but i got that going pretty early on. Rookie Cards presently in my posession- scottie "no tippin" pippen, john stockton, bryan piccolo, pat riley, sergei federov, jaromir jagr, eddie belfour, steve largent, david robinson, eric lindros, jerome walton, tim raines, oil can boyd, salt n pepa, gen. norman swartzkoff and many more..make me an offer on my 11 yr. old savings plan!! And a record collection and a sizable cassingle collection which may or may not include Ina Kamoze's "Here Come The HotStepper." All cassingles were shoplifted so that's all profit come profit-reaping day. Except for the ones expressly stolen in order to dub onto a mixtape because love is too too precious. Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" is a toss up.

Meems / January 29, 2007 4:22 PM

Funny you should ask. I've been "saving" for a move across the country with my boyfriend who got a job in San Diego. My best friend lives there so I'm rent free for about 3 months. However I have no car so I will be spending my days on a bicycle looking for something. We cashed in our coins for the move ($100) and I have 2 paychecks coming. I do have an IRA Roth I haven't touched in years. Thanks for reminding me. My boyfriend has some savings and the job so I'll be OK I guess.

Felix / January 29, 2007 4:23 PM

What the fuck is a 401(k)? The only savings I have are a result of the bills I don't pay.

C-Note / January 29, 2007 4:56 PM

Fuckin' A. Except at this point it's more like investing in myself than actually putting money into an account. Going all out. All in. Future's bright.

By the way, ladies, I'm single.

Tobermory / January 29, 2007 5:03 PM

I put away a hefty chunk in the 401k plan at work, I dividend re-invest in a handful of stocks, I have a Roth IRA and my husband has a SEP account that we contribute to every year. Between those and a few other investments - real estate (my house in Chicago and 4 acres in Wisconsin), oil well in Wyoming - yes, for real, and a teeny part of a restaurant in Evanston - I'm hoping to be able to retire by age 55.

I have to thank my dad for pointing me in the right direction for investing and getting me started early (in my young 20's) - even when I was just starting to collect a paycheck he was always nagging me to save up money to buy stocks.

jgs / January 29, 2007 5:14 PM

in the future water will be the most precious commodity... not dollars or euro. So i'm saving up my urine for the future... one pickle jar-full at a time.

Mikey / January 29, 2007 5:37 PM

jgs -

Amen, brother! The oil wars of today are nothing compared to what the water wars of tomorrow will be like...

But why not just start stockpiling water now when it's practically free, rather than urine?

Eamon / January 29, 2007 6:14 PM

Kind of. We max out our IRA every year and have a pretty big chunk of change sitting in our savings account, but the former hasn't added up to much and the latter is going to go poof as soon as we start makin' babies.

nocomment / January 29, 2007 6:25 PM

thank you one and all for your input - it is so nice to know there are others caught in this neverending cycle of spend n' save... word to the wise: put more money into your IRA rather than your 410K.

Miss M / January 29, 2007 6:25 PM

When I was growing up, my parents didn't have much money. Savings was pretty much nonexistent. When my brother and I went to a private school, my mom cleaned houses to help pay for it. So I know what the value of a dollar is.

I put 10% (soon to be 15%) of my pay into a 401k at work. I take another $100 out each paycheck and put it in my ING direct savings acct. I have one other savings account that I keep $500 as a base at my bank for those times when I need money in my checking account right away.

I still have bills and I still go out. I just like knowing that when I want to retire around 60, I will have money to live on. We all know we'll never get Social Security money. 34 years to go until retirement!

Mindy / January 29, 2007 7:22 PM

when i was 19 i started a roth ira, which i contribute to every month (i'm 21 now). i contributed the max amount for 2006. also each month, i have money taken from my checking account (which is interest-accruing) put into my savings account. i have a bit of money in a cd and just put a rather large chunk into a brokerage account/mutual fund. i hope i'm on the right track!

a / January 29, 2007 7:44 PM

I have a money market account and a 403(b) since my Chicago Public Schools pension is at this very moment being mismanaged. I am also one of the small percentage in the nation that doesn't pay into Social Security nor will I receive any if I retire from CPS, so I'm looking to expand my retirement savings options into an IRA and a couple of other very adult sounding things.
For the very near future, I am saving as much as I can since the a couple of alarmist articles cried "Strike!" for CPS teachers in 2007 AND a union meeting with our union president told teachers that the news articles were jumping the gun while at the same time telling us to save money while she held a thick packet entitled "On Strike!".

Kim / January 29, 2007 8:27 PM

I put 12% of my pre-tax salary a year into my company's 401(k). I doubled my monthly contribution this year. We also get %10 of our salary a year put into our 401(k)s as a profit sharing contribution, so I've got a decent chunk of change in there. I also have about $40K in a money market account - I've saved my bonus every year and that's what I have. I also own a condo that has about $50K in equity. I think I'm doing ok.

jon / January 29, 2007 10:25 PM

401k contributions, ING direct savings, and a fairly decent stock portfolio. and equity in my condo.

planning on starting an IRA with some extra money, but honestly it's not a high priority - i'm investing that potential IRA money into the stock market instead and making some good returns.

Faberge heiress / January 29, 2007 11:36 PM

I've just been living off of my inheritance...

kelly / January 30, 2007 9:00 AM

well, i'm 27. i have a roth ira that gets 8% of my salary, and my company matches. i am also entering grad school and will be able to begin contributing again at age 29, and would like to own a condo around approximately 30-32. realistic? probably.

kelly / January 30, 2007 9:02 AM

also- the field i'm going into pays approximately 100K salary, and up, so hopefully if I start contributing again at 30 I'll be on the right track to retire by 65 or so.

fluffy / January 30, 2007 9:12 AM

i like this question, but some of the answers make me uncomfortable. i guess people are just honestly answering, but i don't care to know how much $ you have. But I do appreciate the financial advise.
I've recently changed the way i think - i never planned for the future- i didn't think i'd make it this far. Now, I am starting to think about saving money just in case i'm around in 5 years. I just never think that far ahead. strange.

me / January 30, 2007 9:24 AM

in my late 20s making 34k. 5% pretax income going into a non-matching 401k. no car, $3,900 credit card debt but will have it paid off within 9 months with a low interest balance transfer. a roth ira with $2000 that i've never since contributed to. with only $200 in savings, i am still living paycheck to paycheck.

so while i am digging myself out of debt, i will need a considerable increase in salary to build any kind of real savings or the down payment on my own place.

robin.. / January 30, 2007 9:31 AM

Come on; didn't you read the contrarian article in the NYT last week? We can save less and spend more NOW, when we're young, and still get by later!

All the same, my 401K from my last job was generously matched, and I rolled it into an IRA (regular) after I left the company. My next job, which I think I'm going to get this week, also offers a generous match on its 401K and I'll max that out too. My IRA, meanwhile, will sit, and my recent matured trust from my grandmother is about to be banked with Pax (socially responsble investments) as money market or a Roth--haven't decided yet. I've tried to keep a bank savings account, to save for travel and tattoos, and every year I empty it out for either or both purposes. So I guess it's doing its job, really.

But I feel like I still live well now. Starting early (25 when I started my first 401K) helps a ton, I guess. But since the new jobs pays about 10K less than the prev. (and in a more expensive city than Chi--fiasco!), my savings for a while will likely go nowhere too fast.

leah / January 30, 2007 9:33 AM

I've been contributing to my 401(k) since the day I was old enough to. I have a condo that I stand to make a couple bucks on.

And a pack of unopened New Kids on the Block marbles.

Hullo early retirement!

carrie / January 30, 2007 9:49 AM

I contribute to my 401K.

I have a condo, too, so maybe one day when I sell it I can get some dollars and then throw them on the ground and roll around in them.

Also, a mini savings that I just can't manage not to dip into every month. I really need to put myself on a drinking budget. Savings shouldn't be for drinking it should be for well, saving I guess and then doing something really awesome with it.

Oketo! / January 30, 2007 10:02 AM

I find it challenging to save for something 30 years from now, but I suppose it's wise.

401k at work (should put in more than I do - take advantage of that match, but that would mean reducing the beer budget)

Roth IRA (thanks to my ex for forcing me into that)

Couple hundred into savings account that I've dipped into so many times the bank is pissed at me.

Trying to stay away from

Maybe student loans will be paid in time for retirement.

Spook / January 30, 2007 10:19 AM

fluffy your just sore that you don't have a yes, for real oil well!

Shylo / January 30, 2007 10:48 AM

Wow, those of you who are saving seem to be doing pretty well. how did you learn about finance stuff?

And those of you who aren't saving, is it more of a "there's no money to save" thing or a "I just don't get all the financial options" thing?

As for me, it's an ING acct (who doesnt' like orange?) an 401K, money markets, and a platinum grill.

kd / January 30, 2007 11:33 AM

Shylo, I'd recommend a book like David Bach's "Start Late Finish Rich". The concept of "The Latte Factor" is really important: pay attention to the little things (lattes, manicures) you spend your money on and see how much you could put away if you took some (or all) of that and put it in savings. It's amazing how that stuff adds up! I've also heard that Suze Ormans "Young, Fabulous, and Broke" is good.

shylo / January 30, 2007 12:03 PM

Yeah, it's amazing how $8 a day downtown lunches and after-work drinks add up. Let's hear it for tupperware and flasks!

Get Real / January 30, 2007 12:35 PM

I'm doing nothing.

With all th emoney being spent on education in this state, I am confident the current crop of young people will form into a generation of uber-geniuses that will lead us into a utopia where all concerns will be met, and all fears will be allayed.

jj / January 30, 2007 1:04 PM

For those of you who have questions about how/how much to save for retirement, has a very useful tool to help determine these things (click on myPlan). You might be shocked at how much you need to have stashed away in order to simply maintain your standard of living after retirement (like, $7 million). However, the tool will show you how this is an attainable goal, even if you're starting late. (Bottom line is you must max your 401K at minimum). It will also hammer home how important it is to save more, not less, when you're in your 20s, as every $100 saved at 10%/year when you're 28 should grow to $3600 when you're 60.

Marilyn / January 30, 2007 1:28 PM

JJ - I find that $7 million dollars alarmist at best. Admittedly, I'm closer to retirement than some people and I don't live extravagantly, nor do I expect to want THINGS when I retire. Still, with a net worth well under $1 million, my financial advisor assures me that I will have enough money, even with very modest investments (like CDs with a 5% annual growth rate) to take me to the end of my life, which could be 30 or more years from now.

jj / January 30, 2007 1:59 PM

Marilyn -- There's nothing alarmist about the $7 million figure. It's simple math. I'm 31, and plan to retire in 30 years. (I will be about 60 and my husband will be about 68). The worth of a dollar tends to double in 30 years due to inflation -- so $7 million when we retire is about $3.5 million in today's dollars. If we expect to live about another 30 years after retirement, then you must divide that number by 30 -- $3.5 million/30 = $115,000 per year in today's dollars. They say you can expect to need about 80% of your current salary after retirement, just to live in the same standard of living as you enjoy now. Nothing extravagant. (For one thing, you don't have to save for retirement anymore.) My husband and I currently have a combined income of $170,000. That's in our 30s -- so I would expect of course that our income would rise as we get older. So in order to live at our standard of living today, we would need $7 million dollars at retirement. If you've got only $1 million today and expect to retire fairly soon, and then live another 30 years, you'll have only $33,000 a year to live on. How is this alarmist? It's simple common sense.

Marilyn / January 30, 2007 2:05 PM

JJ - We're talking about standard of living. You probably live very well on $170,000 a year, so to maintain YOUR standard of living would require that amount. My standard of living is absolutely fine for me, but I'm sure it's nowhere near yours. I can live very comfortably on $40,000 a year in retirement.

jj / January 30, 2007 2:12 PM

Marilyn -- Believe me, I don't lead an extravagant lifestyle. No new clothes last year, beater car, brownbag lunch every day. (OK, I guess a lot of our income is going toward retirement savings and saving for a new place next year.) But I can tell you from my experience with my grandparents that $33,000 can get eaten up in a few months at a nursing home. I'm not trying to be alarmist, just realistic. Also, you're right that standards of living differ from person to person -- but nobody wants to have to take significant cuts in their lifestyles after retirement. The last thing I want to worry about after I retire is money and how I'm going to pay for healthcare and medication. My husband has a chronic disease which is bound to only get much worse as he becomes elderly. So I'm just saying that if you look at that retirement calculator on, it can tell you how much you'll need in order to live like you're living now.

Marilyn / January 30, 2007 2:32 PM

I've worked with my financial advisor with a Chase calculator that has much lower calculations (and yes, they are adjusted for inflation). My assumptions are that Medicare and Social Security will still exist--and contrary to the pessimism of people in their teens, 20s, and 30s, I'm absolutely confident they will exist. I'll be part of the fight to see they stay. My mother ran up $250,000 in healthcare bills in six month, entirely covered by Medicare and BCBS supplemental insurance. I also factor in the long-term care insurance I'm applying for and intend to get Medicare supplemental insurance when I retire. If you choose your companies right (Genworth and BCBS are good ones), your medical expenses shouldn't take you down the drain.

jj / January 30, 2007 2:39 PM

One of each of my sets of grandparents (i.e., paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather) lived the end of their lives at a nursing home. My grandmother relied on Medicare, while my grandfather used his own money. Let me tell you, the difference between those places was incredible. In fact, my grandmother was in the Medicare wing of a home that also had a private-money wing, and they were night and day different. Things are much, much, MUCH nicer in the non-Medicare wing. From what I understand, Marilyn, you seem to be a little closer to retirement than most readers of this board. You might be able to rely on Social Security -- at least at the beginning. But I wouldn't recommend it to those of us in our 20s and 30s. It's not pessimism, just like my earlier calculations weren't "alarmist". It's all based on math and common sense. That's what planning is all about.

Spook / January 30, 2007 2:43 PM

I get the idea that our current lil cyber chat is divided in two classes. The upper crust, who felt it might be gauche to brag about their loot in a forum like this, comprised of mostly working class minions, including teachers, artists, etc, even though they desperately wanted to brag when Andrew first began this nifty little game of class ware fare by asking “how much we made”. Now they feel this is the perfect opportunity to brag through the subterfuge of their “savings” or better put, their holdings.

Then there are the lumpen- jealous of the above- who need to shut up with their whining and GET YOURSELVES AN OIL WELL!!!!!

Marilyn / January 30, 2007 2:52 PM

I can understand the nervousness about SS, but I do think that SS will be around if people work to protect it and find a contribution formula that will keep it funded. Long-term care insurance pays for private-duty nurses, nursing homes, all sorts of things. Buy it in your 50s, and you'll be all right.

I've had my fill of nursing home shopping and use with my mom. There are some country club ones, like Presbyterian Home, but I haven't noted an appreciable difference in the various wings of most nursing homes.

The big factor in nursing home care from my perspective is WHO is doing the caring. That's a crisis I'm much more concerned about. Trying to line-up a live-in CNA for my mom was a nightmare. There just won't be enough people to take care of the elderly Baby Boomers, let alone the people who come after them. That industry needs a real shake-up!

printdude / January 30, 2007 2:56 PM

I am amazed that skafiend and I aren't friends.... perhaps we have met.

I was saving ten bucks to go to the track, but I spent it on lunch and some "BigGame" squares.

Perhaps tomorrow I will save that money.

kk / January 30, 2007 3:18 PM

I tried to post this earlier but it didn't go through. My savings is small and in a ING account as I am trying to pay off debt incurred through student loans and... drum roll please... NOT having enough of an emergency fund! Ah the vicious cycle. Anyway, ING is good because it takes you a day to transfer money so you can't really dip into it spur of the moment, but its there if you need it for a legit emergency (car accident deductable, medical bills, car repairs, all the stuff that got me into trouble).

I am horrible with math and don't make a lot of money, but I have learned a lot through reading MSN money, Suze Orman's book Young Fabulous and Broke, and personal finance bloggers like Young and Broke.

k / January 30, 2007 3:19 PM

Shylo, the main thing you need to know is start saving as soon as possible because compound interest is a beautiful thing. If you max out your IRA for the first 6 years after you graduate college and then stop contributing, you could actually have more money by retirement than someone who started contributing in year 7.

If you can't afford to save much the first thing you do is contribute the maximum amount your employer matches to your 401k. Otherwise you're just giving away money. Since it's pre-tax you probably won't miss it much. If you can set up your paycheck for direct deposit and have each area paid automatically it's much easier.

All this is pointless is you have credit card debt - pay that off first.

I save about 15-20% a year - I max out my Roth IRA every year, contribute the maximum matching amount to my 401k and put the remaining amount in a money market account. I make about $48,000, I have a nice one bedroom apartment and by no means do I live frugally - so it can definitely be done. I've been making the same % contribution since my salary was in the low 30's. So basically, Spook, you're full of crap. This isn't about class warfare, it's about making sure we don't have to work our bullshit jobs until the day we die.

printdude / January 30, 2007 4:07 PM

The main thing I am saving for the future is my sanity, and staying out of petty arguments over personal stashes of cash.

Spook / January 30, 2007 4:34 PM

K, lighten up mannnn, I was just tongue and cheek about Gaper Block starting class war, I mean how could they? It’s already here( but on the down low) Dude, way in time for the supper bowl. Matter of fact, I’m looking at my crystal ball right this very second, and Ta daaa! Bad news, you will have to work your bullshit jobs until the day you die! But the good news, is like that Whitney Houston song, you are not alone! The gap between rich and poor started growing before Ronald Reagan took office, continued to widen through the Clinton years and now with ma man Bush, its off the hook! Aint noth’n but a party up in he-ya! For the first time in history, way more growth is being siphoned off to a small, wealthy minority, while the hourly wage of the average American is lower, adjusted for inflation, than in the 1970’s. Meanwhile CEO pay has sky rocketed from less than thirty times the average wage to almost 400 times! p.s the average american. And when you advise them to pay off their credit card's first, then save. Good luck with that! The average per household c.c. debt is 17 thousand G's

So you sir, had better go get your self an Oil Well too

p.s c’mon no one found the oil well comment hilarious!

Sausage Mahoney / January 30, 2007 4:53 PM

c’mon no one found the oil well comment hilarious!

Personally? I thought it was hysterical.

skafiend / January 30, 2007 4:59 PM

I was saving ten bucks to go to the track, but I spent it on lunch and some "BigGame" squares.

You wasted money on lunch??? NOW how will you get beer?

Actually, I've investd in T-Bill's... T-Bill being the pimp who promised me he would take care of me for the future if I just provided certain, ahem, favors.

Shylo / January 30, 2007 5:03 PM

I'm just amazed that it's time to think about/plan for retirement/big expenses already. My $1-a-week allowance doesn't seem that long ago.

And remember, the future doesn't necessarily only mean retirement. You could also be saving for a new laptop, car, Real Doll, bitchin' bike or whatever.

s / January 30, 2007 5:23 PM

None of this is really going to matter following the zombie apocalypse.

the beverly hillbilly / January 30, 2007 6:29 PM

the question was are you saving for the future and how. I don't give a rats ass how much money you have in the bank, in an IRA, 401K, in a piggy bank or in a sock under your bed. I don't care how much money you make, either.

and you know where you can stick the oil well, spook.

Mikey / January 30, 2007 7:10 PM

s -
You are right on the money! And I, for one, cannot wait for the zombie apocalypse...

spook / January 30, 2007 7:36 PM

Fast of slow moving zombies????? I mean come on, chances of survival boils down to that equation!

Leelah / January 30, 2007 8:00 PM

My answer is, as usual, the same as a's!
(Thank God for the incoming National Board cash!)

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15