Things Fall Apart

All things fall apart is Curtis ‘50 cent’ Jackson’s Machinist. It's about a football player who gets cancer.

This post isn’t about that movie - it's about someone I know... a friend.

While my friend was working one day he felt sick, he thought he just needed something to eat. He ate a late lunch. He figured he should have stopped what he was doing and took the time to ear sooner. While still feeling bad he decided to go back to work. Which would turn out to be his last shift with his company.

You see later that day after he got home, he had a stroke, was rushed to the hospital, and was told he couldn’t go back to work for at least a year. He was lucky to be alive.

Recovery was steady he changed his diet, started going on walks, and he lost some weight.

There was just one problem…

He didn’t have a savings, he didn’t have any investments, he lost his job and was now living on unemployment. He lost his car, some of his furniture he was renting and if not for his kids he would have lost his home as well. I tried to help when I could.

It's not all doom and gloom - recently after three years of being jobless, he finally got a job working at the hospital here in town. He is paying down his debts, and he is getting his life back in order.

His ordeal could have ended very differently.

Every story doesn’t end with happiness. My friend was lucky, he had decent insurance, short term disability and a support system in place to help him get by. Most Americans do not have these things in place. Most Americans have less than $1000 in the bank.  - That is the 21st century version of playing Russian roulette.

It’s scary when you sit down and think about it. More than likely… You are one missed paycheck away from being in deep dog poop!

I don't want to scare you into extreme saving what I want to do is to illustrate the very real reality that you live in.

At any point you could wake up and things could fall apart. Cancer, stroke, heart attack, laid off, car accident any one of those things can derail your plan for your life.

Do yourself a favor:

  • Look at your monthly expenses.
  • Call up your major bills providers and see if you can negotiate lower fees.
  • Cut your stupid expenses ( eating out, cable, entertainment)
  • Start investing the surplus.  ( 5% of your total income in savings, invest the rest in a low cost index fund)

Doing the above will turbocharge your savings rate.  For my household, saving 50% of our total income is the goal, anything more is great.  Your savings rate will determine how long you will have to work before you can have F*** you money.

Set yourself up so you don't have to worry if things do fall apart.

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