My Update

by James Jack 30 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Jazzbo

    Never bought in to the 'don't prepare" BS and neither did my parents. I retired a millionaire and I am glad I did, I knew quite a few others that made reasonable provisions for retirement. I don't have much sympathy for those that preferred to live like grasshoppers, they can't blame their circumstance entirely on the organization.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Happy birthday, James Jack! Glad you had a nice celebratory dinner. That's generally all I do for myself and it suits me just fine. Sometimes if you tell the waitress, they'll give you a complimentary slice of cake. Sometimes they also sing, but that's really annoying to me.

    So awesome to hear that you created that community event. When my son was little, he lived for stuff like that. Getting to poke around a fire truck was the highlight of his little life. Once he got to clamber around in the state police trauma flight helicopter which was heaven for him. Not bad for myself, either! People really appreciate those events. Thank you.

    Please don't mire yourself in regret over your employment history. You did the best you could with the information you had at the time. You shouldn't be denigrated for making what you thought was a mature spiritual decision. In some areas the advice to pursue "kingdom interests first" ( in reality it was pursuing poverty) was taken more seriously than in other areas. I believe you when you said you felt that was the truly spiritual way. But, I never knew an elder that was also a pioneer, they all worked fulltime and had families, so it definitely varied.

    Also, when people talk about retiring wealthy, please don't think it's just somebody bragging. With some basic financial information, it's not difficult to "get rich slow." You just have to start saving for retirement as soon as you start working.

    If you can talk a young person into start saving $250 a month from the beginning of their working life, after 40 years they can have about $375,000. If they work an additional 5 years, it will compound to $500,000! So, going to work at age 20 and retiring at 65 will make you a half millionaire as well as Social Security and Medicare eligible. Note how much that additional 5 years gets you. The longer the investment horizon, the more valuable each additional year. The key is getting started early.

    Play around with an online compound interest calculator. There are dozens, just Google it. Change the interest rate, change the number of years and watch how the balance changes. Every teenager should be required to play around on one of these. Hell, every adult should play around on one of these.

    I learned this info as a young adult and we started saving $250 a month when we were in our early 20s. We were just starting out, were not making much money and our (nonJW) friends thought we were crazy. That would have been a nice car payment 30 years ago. We just automatically put it away and it was like we didn't even have it. We are on track to have a nice lump sum when we retire and it's never felt difficult for that reason.

    I'll stop now. But, I'm really passionate about this subject. The power of compound interest over time is one of the greatest forces in the world. I hope you have a decent financial advisor or at least have been able to learn about it on your own. People generally need to constantly tend to financial planning even through retirement and estate planning.

    Take care,


  • James Jack
    James Jack


    I lived in Miami FL from 1980-85, Stuart FL 1985-1990. Fort Payne, AL 1990 to present.

  • Diogenesister
    First, I reminded her how some Elders can be mean and uncaring, like when she was in the hospital for 30 days recovering from breast cancer, on her first meeting back at the hall, the Service Committee deleted her as a regular pioneer( she was on year 24 as a regular pioneer).

    That's just...really, really despicable ,James. Your poor wife! I'm so very glad she made it, though! You are both here to live and love and enjoy each others company!

    By the way I think it's a wonderful thing what you did with the "hands on" day for kids my boys still talk about the day they got to get in a fire engine and clamber all over the fire station! Kids love the real thing more than make believe.

    PS Great teacher Thanks for the tip I've just opened teen saving accounts for my boys and I'll encourage them to have a look at this thing you suggest. They will not be making the mistake their mum did.

    They're far more money minded than I was ..they call me the "Empath" and say I need to be more self centred but you can't teach an old dog .....we all go to the grave and you can't take it with you. I only wish I had more to give the ones I love is all...😥

  • James Jack
    James Jack


    Great financial advice, which as a young man I never got.

    I drive a School Bus, which provides my insurance and I tell every senior about to graduate that all of us have an expiration date. Don’t be like me and playing catch-up in your latter years, start planning early in life.

  • Diogenesister

    WT wizard I couldn't agree with you more.

  • LongHairGal


    Yes, it certainly was ‘pursuing poverty’ but the poverty being pushed by some was certainly not for them..just some other fool.

    Interesting that you say you didn’t know any elders that pioneered, but they had families and ‘FULL TIME JOBS’! But yet I was knocked for having a full time job!!! So, I can honestly say this was total hypocrisy that I experienced. They thought young women were going to be targeted to pursue poverty and do favors for affluent old ladies and other assorted Users in the congregation..Meanwhile, ALL the older people I saw were either collecting their pensions or on their way.

    I’m GLAD I never listened to any of the foolishness there because it would have ruined my life.

    So what if Witnesses didn’t like me back then? So what if I missed out on invitations to dinners and gatherings? Older JWs with cushy lives (now passed away) would tell gullible younger pioneers pursuing poverty how ‘blessed’ they were. This would mean absolutely zero today and I’m glad I missed out on it.

  • GrreatTeacher

    Never underestimate the effect a school bus driver can have on kids.

    My son's favorite school bus driver was assigned to his cousins' route as well. When he passed away with cancer suddenly, they were devastated! As were all the other kids he had shepherded safely for years. The school counselor had to get involved to help the kids deal with the loss.

    He just made their first contact with the school system in the morning happy and exciting and cared about any sadness they might take home after the school day as well. He made the kids feel safe and special.

    RIP, Mr. Bonds! You were well loved. You made a difference.

  • GrreatTeacher

    LHG, they were sexist as well as hypocrites.

    It was always the unmarried women they targeted the most because it burnt their ass, among other reasons, that an unmarried woman could support herself and live alone without a man, also known as a "head."

    They thought they were entitled to that control.

    In your case, they thought wrong.

    And they punished you by isolating you, by not inviting you anywhere, so that your heretical lifestyle didn't spread.

    Nasty people. Nasty behavior. Glad you're doing well!

  • GrreatTeacher

    Diogenesister, I am excited you might tell your kids about my financial advice!

    If I recall correctly, you are in the UK?

    Change the amounts! Tell your kids to start saving £175 per month starting at age 20 or whenever they start their working life. After 45 years they should have a nice nest egg of around £350,000.

    This is assuming an annual return of 5% interest. All of this can vary, that's why they need to Google "compound interest calculator" and play with the inputs. I don't even have a favorite one saved. I just Google it each time and quickly pick through the multiple options for one that looks user friendly to me.

    Give them the task of figuring out how much they would have to save/invest monthly to be a half millionaire. Could they save more? Work longer? Invest more riskily for a greater rate of return?

    Ask them how much money they would need to EARN to be able to put that amount away in an investment and forget about it until retirement. £175 per month is £2100 a year. Could they find a job making an annual salary of £25,000 a year? That's less than 10%! What if they found a better job? They could either put more away or have a greater amount to live on.

    What kind of schooling will they need in order to get the job they want? This is what every young teen should think about! Are you taking the right classes? Are you studying hard enough the pass the exams you need to get the job you want? How is your schooling going? Have you tried, failed and learned something about yourself and your learning abilities? What else can you do that plays to your strengths?

    This is what teachers call "backward mapping." There is an end result that you want your students to master. So, you back up through all of the previous skills you need to master in order to get there, and you start teaching at the beginning.

    Ask your kids to backward map retiring a half millionaire. Start out by telling them it's not impossible or even particularly difficult at all given they are able to hold onto a modest paying job. Let them dig into the subject on their own. Ask the questions above to keep them going. Good teachers ask, not tell.

    If they love the subject, give them a bonus/extra credit question: what if you want to retire a millionaire? How much harder would that be?

    The key to keeping kids interested is making it applicable to their lives. Ultimately, it should come down to their schooling right now. Are they studying the right things to help them get the job they ultimately want? How is their studying going? It's okay if becoming a doctor is not in the plans. I knew way before high school my son would not be able to handle that academically or emotionally. The end of each term gave us more information, though. His passions and hobbies gave us more information. He loves mechanical things, did well enough at community college to know he could handle university level work and had the work ethic. He's now going to the University of Maryland in the autumn to study engineering. If he had struggled in community college, we would have stopped with an Associate's degree and found a career path for that amount of training.

    Oh dear. I'm going to shut up now. I guess I miss teaching and find myself creating curriculum in my head. I have loved raising my son and still enjoy steering him academically. I can tell you love your kiddos, too, and want the best for them. You're doing great. You aren't raising them JW and neither am I! These kids will have great lives, I know it!

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