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Old 11-19-2013, 05:35 PM
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From Riches to Rags to Nicer Rags...

The essay linked below is part of the story of David Raether.

I've excerpted here the opening two paragraphs of his essay.

Clicking the link below and reading the rest of the story -- at least so far as it has been written -- is well worth your time.

Quote:
On Christmas Day, 2001, I sat down at my Yamaha G2 grand piano, set up my metronome, and opened up a book of Shostakovich’s “Preludes.” It was late afternoon, and the warm, orange light of the fading day poured into my five-bedroom house — paid for by my $300,000 a year income as a Hollywood comedy writer — in San Marino, California, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles. My wife, Marina, was cooking dinner for me and our eight children, and it was as happy a Christmas afternoon as I would ever have.

****

On Christmas morning, 2008, I woke up on the floor of the 1997 Chrysler minivan I lived in, parked behind the Kinko’s just two miles from my old house in San Marino. It was raining, and I was cold, even though I had slept in three layers of clothes. It was one of those blustery storms that regularly whoosh down from the Gulf of Alaska and pummel Los Angeles during the winter. I climbed out of the van and walked to a Starbucks five blocks away. Although I didn’t have any money, I had scavenged the Sunday Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle from another coffeehouse a couple days before. The baristas didn’t mind me sitting quietly for several hours every day to warm up and kill time.

I was neither a drug addict nor an alcoholic, nor was I a criminal. But I had committed one of the more basic of American sins: I had failed. In eight years, my career had vanished, then my savings, and then our home. My family broke apart. I was alone, hungry, and defeated.


What It's Like to Fail

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Old 11-19-2013, 05:56 PM
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I can sympathize with him but only to a certain degree as he openly admitted that it was his own doing that got him into the trouble in the first place (Refinancing his house etc etc)

However I will give him points for openly admitting this and not entirely blaming the outside world. I will also give a round of applause for his tenacity in not giving up and constantly crawling forward.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:08 PM
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So he likely had a million and a half of equity ($500k saved + the value of the house) lying around and didn't invest it in anything productive?
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:16 PM
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This proves Newhart's Corollary which was stated by Bob Newhart as that in show business you don't meet the same people on the way down that you do on the way up. You meet an entirely different class of people and all those you met on the way up are no longer returning your calls.

Last edited by Idle; 11-19-2013 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:05 PM
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Poked around his website. His book looks interesting, I might pick it up.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:43 PM
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Nice perspective, but making a lifetime's living as a writer is high risk. I used to be one and I changed professions early. Now he knows.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POS View Post
Nice perspective, but making a lifetime's living as a writer is high risk. I used to be one and I changed professions early. Now he knows.
But if he was pulling in $300k/yr and had a mil and a half in assets, he could have invested it conservatively to be comfortable for life. Not rich, but invested at 5% it's still $75k/yr.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
But if he was pulling in $300k/yr and had a mil and a half in assets, he could have invested it conservatively to be comfortable for life. Not rich, but invested at 5% it's still $75k/yr.
He was an idiot to have E I G H T kids. What is the matter with people like that?

Your advice is prescient but he couldn't follow it with all those little milksuckers to take care of.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:07 PM
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Buy farm in far Nor Cal or rural Michigan. He'd have had eight little farmhands
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:42 PM
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I can see how it could happen. I've only got 4 kids, my wife was a stay-at-home mom by choice (she just recently started working a few hours a day at one of the schools) and we had/have a very modest lifestyle and things got very precarious for awhile. I wasn't making $300K a year but I did make a fair amount more than most people would have assumed. I also didn't feel the need to live up to a particular lifestyle or send my kids to a particular school. The daily expenses of feeding, clothing and providing some level of comfort adds up fast. Kids are expensive if you don't spoil them. Exponentially more if you do. Especially if you have 8!

Fortunately my work-life balance was (and is) damn good and that's likely the difference in the whole equation. That sounds like it was the beginning of the end or their marriage. If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Yes, no one forces you to put them in the latest clothes and give them the latest technology. OTOH I can see how one can get wrapped up in that once that level of expectations has been already been set. Male pride/ego can be b!tch sometimes. It got me into the hole before it got me out.
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POS View Post
Nice perspective, but making a lifetime's living as a writer is high risk. I used to be one and I changed professions early. Now he knows.
Well, he did well enough for long enough that he's set once he hits 65. It's just getting there that is the trick.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:58 PM
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The part that stood out for me was when it all went wrong. The insanity of pulling equity out of your house with roulette wheel refinancing ponzi schemes.

The advice which was supposedly so impressive and "everyone" was doing it. Right there is a succinct description of how you flush an economy down the toilet.

I remember when all that was happening thinking whats wrong with these people? Do they really not see what's happening? But apparently they didn't.

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Old 11-20-2013, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Can't Know View Post
Well, he did well enough for long enough that he's set once he hits 65. It's just getting there that is the trick.
What happens when he hits 65?
He'll be wallowing stinking rich in his Social Security payments?
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:45 PM
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Life can be rough

Quote:
Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
What happens when he hits 65?
He'll be wallowing stinking rich in his Social Security payments?
Caviar Helper.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
What happens when he hits 65?
He'll be wallowing stinking rich in his Social Security payments?
If you aren't going to read the article, why participate in the thread and make smart-alek comments about the things being discussed?

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