Posted Date: : Oct 1, 2007 10:39 AM
Because so many of them make you go "Huh?". I started getting the paper about a month ago and so now I've been reading it for about a month. Mistake. Lucky whoever decided to read this because I'm going to spew my opinions and tell you why I don't feel sorry for people. Muahahaha……
Ok, first story. A marine who went to Iraq I believe, comes back with psychological war type issues. Ok. Has an extramarital affair with another marine and is lucky enough to be not discharged dishonorably but somewhat honorably. The difference being he still can access military "stuff". Ok. He gets $4,330 a month in disability for life. The problem? He has a $5,700 mortgage he can't pay and doesn't want to sell his house (ok, may be tough right now, but 6 months ago he could have sold it). Isn't there an inherent understanding that BEING A MARINE IS A DANGEROUS PROFESSION? You may get injured and they tell you if you care to know what the deal is in such a case. Right now nobody makes you be a Marine. You choose to be one. The article states he used to make $100,000 a year and could afford $5,700 a month in housing. I don't know what his tax paying situation is but $68,400 out of $100,000 in housing expenses seems steep. Oh….he also has an ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE!!!!!! Who doesn't know that you get those and then SIX TO TWELVE MONTHS LATER GET OUT OF IT!!!!!!! Yeah it's a pain in the butt and cost you a bit but then 2-3 years down the road you don't have to be crying about losing your house. It doesn't say but I would suspect that a large part of the reason he can't afford the mortgage is because of the income lost when his wife left him after the affair and don't have the standard picture of the two of them and their kids sitting on the couch. Anyway, I do feel for his mental situation but if he can't do it himself maybe the Military should step in and line up his finances for what he has rather than what he wants. $51,999 a year is not too shabby for spending "much of his days hoisting weights and thwacking a punching bag in the dimness of his garage" (btw….maybe if he opened the garage and got some sunlight it would help with the depression, but that's another topic). I guess my point is who decides how much money is right (because no amount will cover lack of health), and since it is a reasonable amount (his healthcare is covered) take it and deal with it. I've never retired so I'm not sure, but aren't most retirement plans set up to be a lesser amount than you got when you worked? Aren't you supposed to take some of the income you make (say some of that $100,000) and put it aside and invest it ect so you can live how you like after retirement? (He's retired btw) I'm not picking on this guy in particular but geesh, people live their lives not thinking about what they're going to do if something goes wrong and then have their sob story put in the paper or on the news.
Next, people complaining about putting the expense on the backs of the poor smokers for funding the healthcare program for all the little kiddies who have no insurance (healthcare for all is SCARY but again, another topic). Ok…..so how I understand the article, the low income folk are by and large the ones who smoke. These are the people they want to pay another .60 a pack for that right. These are also the folks without healthcare. These are also the folks who are creating many healthcare problems in their children by smoking. So basically isn't it the plan that the ones who cause some of the problem and benefit from the solution are asked to throw .60 – 1.20 a day in to the healthcare pot? If they can't afford .60 – 1.20 a day THEN THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO SMOKE EITHER. You can find affordable coverage, if I felt like it I'd go look some up but I'll do that later. It may not be fully covered luxury insurance but enough to keep you from whining when something goes wrong.
Ahhhh….School loans. For pete's sake…. You took the loan, fully disclosed, presumably a sane intelligent, responsible um…young adult. NOW PAY IT BACK!!! I read this thing (first off it really annoys when they say the cost of a public college is $12,796 a year, they don't say that the majority of that is HOUSING. You have to be housed anyway so how is that a school expense?). Does this make you cry in pity? "Many in the next generation of workers will be so debt-burdened that they will have to delay home purchases, limit vacations, or eat out less to payoff loans on time." or "A legal aid worker Cole said she may need to get a job at a law firm, "doing something that I'm not real dedicated to, just for the sake of being able to live"". Um….HUH?!!?!?!?!?!! If it weren't so scary I just may bust a gut laughing. I don't know, but I wasn't real dedicated to the grocery cashier job and food service job I held through college, 32 hours and 16 hours a week, I wasn't really dedicated to the newspaper route I took when my hubby lost another job when I was 3 months preggo….but it did pay for the HEALTH INSURANCE. I definitely wasn't dedicated to the custodial crap job, which I kept long enough to ensure I could keep my money in the system till retirement age for a bit more at retirement instead of taking the money, I took at night so I could take care of the result of the aforementioned preggo episode. Don't most people have jobs they aren't "real dedicated" to? Good Lord, if dedication were required before a job was filled who would be sorting recycle? Emptying port-a-potties? Making hot dogs? Don't most people take jobs "just for the sake of being able to live"? Oh, and who would peel eggs in pickled egg factories? And as for having to limit vacations and eat out less????????? Um, oh the travesty.?.?.? The pity isn't flowing. I'm trying, just can't work up an out pouring of grief.
Ok……home loans. Basically READ WHAT YOU SIGN!!!!!! Here's a sad story about a couple (scarily enough they are college and almost college educated) who are in a mortgage pickle. Two years ago they wanted out of their ARM (bravo) and sought to replace it with an interest only loan (huh? Major step back? About the only thing worse than an ARM but not quite). "Brigham said instructions to their loan officer were clear: they didn't want another ARM; they didn't want a penalty for paying the loan off early; and they didn't want a "negative amortization" loan which allows people to add onto the principle each month. They were shocked later to find the new loan included all three features." Um…..how can you be shocked about what's in your mortgage terms? HOW??????? When you get the paper work YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO READ IT! When they sit down at the table with you YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO READ IT!!!!!! And when you sit at the table with them you ASK QUESTIONS AND ASK THEM TO SHOW YOU WHERE IF YOU ARE FUZZY. If you know enough to ask not to have a certain type of loan you are not an ignoramous being taken for a ride, you are STUPID for not reading your contract. Yeah, they're boring, yeah they're confusing, but when you see key terms like ADJUSTABLE and PENALTY and INTEREST RATE you focus and start paying attention.
I know life is hard, I know situations are different and my opinions are based on my experiences, but I don't feel like I need to feel sorry for people who make kooky decisions. One of my favorite quotes goes something like "lack of planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on mine". I'm more than willing to help someone out (Right Randal dear?), but so often they just keep on with the kooky so what's the point? I'm going through the military-war-on-terror-injury process with hubby, the Army is very clear on their policies and we are planning now for however things may end up, there are some really good possibilities and some not so good, but we know what they are and plan accordingly. I have a really good mortgage….and have refinanced 3 times on the same house to get there (once to get rid of the ARM at 6 months, once to go from 8% to 6% and add a second (at a whopping 15%), and once to get the ex off and get the 6% to 5.5% and the 15% to 8%). All the information is presented, really, if you don't read it how do feel justified complaining when you get screwed? And school loans….it is possible to say no. Get a job, get a roommate or 3, move home (if you're lucky enough to be able lol). But good golly, IF YOU TAKE THE LOAN, DER….YOU HAVE TO PAY IT BACK (I'm 36 and down to $11,000….WOOHOO). Just say no if you don't want to but I don't feel sorry because you have to cut back on vacations and eating out or you have to take a job just for the sake of living. Still scratching my head on that one….work just for the sake of living? How cruel. Ok, I'm done…..I'll stay away from the time the City Council is wasting on discussing "lap dance regulations".