Farmstead By The Sea

Back in the day, my brother would lament that we weren’t born into a money-smart family.

It’s not that our parents were financially reckless – quite the contrary. They were careful and conservative and as a result we were well taken care of all the while we were growing up.

But we were not marinating in entrepreneur sauce.

My brother imagined that under different circumstances, we might have absorbed some business smarts from a line of savvy patriarchs who could have shared their collected wisdom regarding investments, promoted the expectation that fortunes would be made, and somehow transmitted to us a knack for being in the right place at the right time with the right connections to make a killing on emerging market trends.

Whenever he offered up some fresh regret over this unfulfilled scenario, I agreed in order to avoid an argument. But secretly I was glad I hadn’t turned out to be that guy who is always counting the money and scanning the horizon for some way to gain an advantage over everyone else. Life is too short.

But now with new evidence seeming to emerge every day that climate change will cause a rise in the sea level coupled with the news that humans are living longer than ever and the first person destined to reach age 150 is already breathing air on the planet today, I’m wondering if life will ultimately be too long.

And in my most ambitious moments I’m thinking maybe I should fire up my latent market-cornering urges and invest in future beachfront property located considerably back from the shore. Some observers believe it’s not too late to alter your financial strategy to make the best of a global environment that will be water-rich and ice cap-poor. Apparently there’s opportunity there because the market hasn’t adjusted yet for a coming coastal calamity.

In other words, rich people are still buying expensive places with water views. According to the Forbes article linked above, “… billionaires like Larry Ellison are purchasing beachfront property rather aggressively.”

In a world where everyone accepted that climate change is really real, the advantage-takers of Wall Street would be buying farmland, life jackets and pontoons. They’d be crunching the numbers to locate the new waterfront building a Riviera in Ohio. With so much wealth at stake, why don’t they act quickly and aggressively on the conclusions of an overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists?

Unless being money smart is not exactly the same thing as being really smart.

What’s the best financial advice you didn’t follow?

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31 thoughts on “Farmstead By The Sea”

  1. never touch your savings is the best advice i didnt follow. i have saved a bunch over the course of my life but i have diped into it and borrowed against the future witht e promise i would repay. if i had left it it would have been inconvienient , hard and maybe i owuld have had different outcomes on some of the stuff ive done in financila planning but the truth is that it does add up if you put it in and leave it alone.
    h well. i hope to make one more run at aquiring my fortune and i think i will start tomorrow,
    are there any studies on where the costal shores wil be in 25 yers with the water levels up 2 feet? ill be that would be interesting to look at. lake superior or florida, the mediterranean or st thomas…. retirement could be interesting yet

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Other than getting an allowance and being ordered to save for college, there was no financial advice–just hysteria about money. So needless to say, I just did not understand anything about money for a very long time. Then an advisor told me to listen to “Sound Money.” Well that was boring and repetitive after a while. Buy No-load mutual funds–with what money? So then discovering I am kind of an entrepreneur was a shock. But this has been a very rough financial year–I was socked with taxes after Lou retired and the balance of income changed.

    Maybe hysteria is in order.

    I want my gravatar back.

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  3. Good morning. I was told by a guy, who is a very good farmer, that I should put my saving into the stock market because that is the best way to make money. However, I’m glad I didn’t count on making money by investing in stocks as he advised considering the way the market has preformed during the time I have had some money to invest. That farmer claims he is always able to find good ways to invest in the market. He is a smart guy and might even have figured out that he should invest in the new beach front land that Dale talked about.

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  4. Well, you know, people haven’t given me a lot of financial advice because I haven’t had a lot of money and you don’t advise a street person on where he should lodge his 401K, which he doesn’t have anyways. But there was this one time. I’m at a pool party at my girlfriend’s house and this drunk wobbles up to me, got breath that would knock the feathers offa buzzard, and he says just one word: “Plastics,” meaning I should invest in that. But I went and got a crush on my girlfriend’s daughter. Her and I ended up eloping and getting hitched. Biggest mistake of my life. That chick has a mouth on her and she’s ragging on me all the time because my job in the stockroom at Target doesn’t pay much and she’s used to a nice life, so she’s got to work at this salon where she washes people’s stinky feet and paints their nails. And I keep thinking, “Damn! I shoulda put money in plastics.” But other than that, no, nobody ever told me what I should of done with my money, which I never had.

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  5. Afternoon all. In an ironic twist, I do actually have a financial guy despite the fact that I don’t have any financials. But I invested some 401K rollover years ago and voila, I got a guy. I meet w/ him once a year, we spend more time talking about our kids and our connection to the northwoods than we do about finances, he gives me advice which usually involves plunking down more money for something and then I ignore said advice, since I don’t ever have any plunking money. To be fair, he does occasionally say “make this part of your portfolio 15% instead fo 20%” and I do follow that advice.

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  6. Pay yourself first, was the sage advice I ignored for the first fifteen years of my working life. Of course, I didn’t earn much, but I spent every dime I did, and then some. I had a car loan, credit car debt, and was frittering away money on silly little stuff. I was renting an apartment in a lovely old mansion, and I loved living there. Didn’t have a care in the world. Then one evening my landlord knocked on my door and told me that I’d have to move; he intended to renovate the house and turn it back into a one-family home. He was kind enough to give me three months notice, but I was devastated.

    My boss at the time, a CPA, told me, PJ, you have to buy a house. I replied, Dick, you know what I’m being paid; I can’t afford it. He said, you can’t afford not to. He sat me down and showed me how in the long term building equity and tax benefits would make up for any belt-tightening I’d have to do in the short term. So I started looking for a cheap house to buy. Smartest thing I ever did.

    I’ve never had a financial guy, but perhaps it’s time to look into getting one.

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  7. We found something priceless today. My father is in the Taj Mahal of facilities. The Luverne Hospice Cottage is beautiful and the care is wonderful. Tomorrow the Last Man’s Club is coming to the cottage for coffee. The nurse on duty baked homemade cookies for them. There is a large living room for them to meet in. My dad is relieved and comfortable.

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    1. Last Man’s Club. I love it. I’m going to tell my mom about it. She is not in hospice (she may last quite a while yet), but she does get kinda depressed sometimes.

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      1. They are a group of Second World War veterans who meet every weekday for coffee at the local grocery store. There were 24 to begin with. Now they are down to about 8. My dad is one of the younger ones. He is 93. The last man alive gets a half gallon jug of whiskey.

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  8. The financial advice I didn’t follow: first, to refinance my house, since the assumption has been that interest rates were not going to go any lower, so you should lock in this low rate. I never did, and rates have kept going lower and lower and stayed at the bottom. I have about three and a half years left on an adjustable rate mortgage, and it is now at 2.875%, and has seldom been above 4% in the 26 years I’ve held it.

    The other advice I didn’t follow was to pay off the mortgage early. I put money into a tax-deferred retirement account instead. As recently as a couple of years ago I was complaining bitterly about the sluggish performance of the market, but now the tide has turned and I’m in serious danger of becoming smug about it.

    Nobody ever advised me to get into plastics, thank heavens.

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  9. We took out a 15 year mortgage so that we would be mortgage free when son started college. It was our idea. We knew that we lacked the discipline to pay off a longer mortgage early. Best move we ever made.

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  10. My Dad had some trouble getting his money back when he invested in a tax shelter. After that my mother wouldn’t let him invest in stocks that were a little risky. That turned out to be a good things because the bonds that he put his money into are locked in at an interest rate that is higher than almost anything that is currently available.

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  11. After 2-1/2 years of teaching in the public school system, I had a little bit accumulated in a “pension” account, which I emptied when I left California. I don’t remember if anyone advised me to keep it in, but I’m sure my dad would have if he’d been aware of it. I sometimes wonder how much it would have been worth 40 years later if I had left it in there… Probably spent it on the trip cross country from Calif. to New York.

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  12. Once my dad was greeted warmly by his local banker. Dad told him, “I don’t know why you are happy to see me. I’m killing your business. You are holding a 30-year mortgage on my home, for which I pay a little less than 3 percent. And then I have all my savings with you, for which you are paying me close to 7 percent. A few more customers like me and you’d be broke.”

    Liked by 1 person

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