Monday, September 15, 2008

Child's Play Pays

To further look at retired people’s views on personal finance and to paint a balanced picture of how this family views personal finance, my next interview is with Teacher4Life’s husband- MustangMan (MM). MM is in his 50’s and a recent retiree. Like his wife, he shares the viewpoint that forethought and care with money can result in financial peace of mind. He emphasizes that they are not wealthy (for he perceives wealth more as a status rather than a state-of-mind). His prudent lessons from childhood have carried over into stable financial security for his retirement years.

SCS: When you were 26-years-old how did you view money?
MM: At 26, both my wife and I had jobs that allowed us to buy, recreate, and save within reason. I think we did better than a lot of other Dinks like us. We both came from families with 5 children and learned at an early age to be wise with what you had (waste not, want not). Money was necessary, but not craved.

SCS: When you were 26-years-old how did you view wealth?
MM: Financial wealth was something only a few people had and it wasn't us! Some people invented things, bought and sold land, buildings, stocks, etc. I didn't really think I would ever become wealthy in my lifetime. Both my wife and I had teaching jobs and didn't perceive that we would have several houses, personal jets, butlers, or maids.

SCS: How do you think of money now?
MM: Money now is something that comes in monthly retirement checks that for the time being serves us well. Our house is paid off and we have only 3 more car payments. An equity loan for various home renovations and a wedding is the only real outstanding loan that we have. Other investments such as stocks and tax shelters are there for emergencies and padding.

SCS: How do you think of wealth now?
MM: I now find myself (and wife) comfortably wealthy. We have both retired, we have money coming in that will support our conservative lifestyle- but yet allow us to travel, take short trips to the coast or mountains and pay what bills we have. Extremely wealthy we aren't. We don't own several houses, jets, butlers, maids or lots of cars. But what we have is relative financial security that should serve both of us for the rest of our lives.

SCS: What events in your life shaped your current beliefs about personal finances?
MM: When I was very young I was given a bank to save my money in. This was not a piggy bank, but a bank shaped like an old mailbox. You would open the little door and drop your change in just like a real mailbox. On the front of it was a chart showing you how much money you would have in one year depending on how much you put in every day. I was amazed at what one could amass with regular deposits. This lasting memory showed me that money should be governed with a goal in mind, having something for the future and not spending everything that you earn.

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