Families tap 401(k)s to keep up with ...

Families tap 401(k)s to keep up with bills

There are 39 comments on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel story from Feb 20, 2008, titled Families tap 401(k)s to keep up with bills. In it, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that:

Trent Charlton knew the risks when he borrowed $10,000 from his 401 and cut his retirement savings in half.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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Chuck P

Huntington Station, NY

#1 Feb 21, 2008
Getting rid of the BMW is a good move. If Charlton would get on a plan to stop using credit cards and paying down the debt, he will be ok over the long term.

The key is to pay-off debt, live on less than you earn, stay out of the malls and do not stop 401k contributions and the employer match. Get a second job and exercise some self-control.

If he does not do all of the above, the future will be bleak indeed.

This is the voice of experience speaking.
Sympathy ran out

Houston, TX

#3 Feb 21, 2008
Poor poor pitiful me ...who lives WAY beyond my means - oh gosh what am I to do without the BMW? Quit trying to impress the neighbors with garage candy. It's a car and a depreciating asset that won't be worth its weight in scrap metal.

The sad thing is, I and others whom live responsibly will pay the price one way or another for those who have no discipline. I'm sick and tired of hearing all the doom and gloom stories. No one held a gun to people's heads and told them to go out and overextend themselves.

Since: Dec 06

United States

#4 Feb 21, 2008
What is happening is the down fall of this entire nation. We as a society are too concern about our material possesions. We must drive the best, most expensive, the gas hogger, to keep up with the neighbors, family and friends. Add the price increase on all commodities and you've got yourself in a bind.

But it does not matter as long as we look good. Very inmature and selfish. But I forgot that humanity has desensitized themselves and things like respect, moral values and compassion are no longer part of our daily lifes.
Stan

Spartanburg, SC

#5 Feb 21, 2008
Lady Justice wrote:
What is happening is the down fall of this entire nation. We as a society are too concern about our material possesions. We must drive the best, most expensive, the gas hogger, to keep up with the neighbors, family and friends. Add the price increase on all commodities and you've got yourself in a bind.
But it does not matter as long as we look good. Very inmature and selfish. But I forgot that humanity has desensitized themselves and things like respect, moral values and compassion are no longer part of our daily lifes.
geez, get control of yourself.
Joe

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#6 Feb 21, 2008
We spoiled Americans think we have to have a big house an expensive car and lots of travel and entertainment. Wake up folks! If you can't pay cash for the excessive wants than you shouldn't buy them. Yes, I once got caught up in the credit cards and lines of credit, but I woke up one day and stopped spending money that I did not have. I paid off all of my bills (it took years) and NEVER borrow money for anything. I save thousands on interest alone, giving me more spendable income. It really "hurt" when I was doing it, but today I have a real easy feeling about life. I have to watch my spending, but I owe nothing and pay NO interest. Yes, I still want the huge house and fancy car, but I am really quite happy without them.
Mr International

Miami, FL

#7 Feb 21, 2008
Arbitrator

Stuart, FL

#8 Feb 21, 2008
This guy is one of the lucky few. He has savings, he has a BMW, he has a 401(k), he has a diamond ring, he has expensive camera equipment and to top it off, his house is worth well in excess of $1M (look at the tile inlay on the floor and the custom lighting). And, to top it off, this guy is only 40 years old and an accounting executive and his wife works. I don't have half his wealth and, most likely, never will since I am much older than he. Is this story about the rich that have to make a few cutbacks and can no longer afford an extravagant lifestyle? Let me shed a single tear.
Just Me

Erlanger, KY

#9 Feb 21, 2008
At 40, this guy has $10K saved for retirement, lots of money flowing out every month ($550 a month for a BMW?!?), and apparently no savings (after withdrawing $7K to pay down cc debt).

Yet ol' Frowny Face has his picture taken in his big fancy kitchen with granite countertops. Hey, Einstein, if you have to take money out of your ridiculously meager 401K, you can't afford a BMW or granite counters. Scale back your lifestyle and live within your means...not everyone can live "the way they do on TV"!
concerned_citize n

United States

#10 Feb 21, 2008
Should I feel sorry for this person? He apparently was living a life style he couldn't afford. Somehow he thought it was okay to max out his credit cards and lease an expensive car. Well now he's paying the price. People are too caught up in having "things" today and not saving for the future. If that's his house in the picture, it looks a lot nicer than mine. The car is a lot nicer than what I have too. But I haven't maxed out my credit cars and I'm not having trouble paying my bills.
Kiley

Deerfield Beach, FL

#11 Feb 21, 2008
article wrote:
But Charlton, a 40-year-old account executive at an Irvine, Calif., trucking company, said he had little choice because he and his wife could not keep up with monthly expenses after American Express reduced the limits on three credit cards.
.
What an arse and typical of so many people--no clue what is being spent vs. what is coming in. Relying on credit to get by. This guy looks pretty mature and is an executive and should know better. He'll declare bankruptcy and get away with it.
Yeppers

Boca Raton, FL

#12 Feb 21, 2008
Joe wrote:
We spoiled Americans think we have to have a big house an expensive car and lots of travel and entertainment. Wake up folks! If you can't pay cash for the excessive wants than you shouldn't buy them. Yes, I once got caught up in the credit cards and lines of credit, but I woke up one day and stopped spending money that I did not have. I paid off all of my bills (it took years) and NEVER borrow money for anything. I save thousands on interest alone, giving me more spendable income. It really "hurt" when I was doing it, but today I have a real easy feeling about life. I have to watch my spending, but I owe nothing and pay NO interest. Yes, I still want the huge house and fancy car, but I am really quite happy without them.
I am right there with you my brotha from a different motha...its so nice to owe nothing except the mortgage on the condo. everything else is paid in full and NO credit card debt!!!
Yeppers

Boca Raton, FL

#13 Feb 21, 2008
concerned_citizen wrote:
Should I feel sorry for this person? He apparently was living a life style he couldn't afford. Somehow he thought it was okay to max out his credit cards and lease an expensive car. Well now he's paying the price. People are too caught up in having "things" today and not saving for the future. If that's his house in the picture, it looks a lot nicer than mine. The car is a lot nicer than what I have too. But I haven't maxed out my credit cars and I'm not having trouble paying my bills.
Amen dude!!!
SOH Must go

Pompano Beach, FL

#14 Feb 21, 2008
The 2 TIERED PROPERTY TAX system across this country is a apart of the HOUSING EMERGENCY.... In a lot of states people that have been in their house for 5-10-20 years are NOT PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE and being supplemented by people that bought in the last 5 years.

The FED GOV should BAN this 2 Teired tax system.

That would help a lot.

BTW:
The first house flipper was a Long time SOH person.
The next house flipper will be a Long Time SOH person after 1,000's of people that bought in the last 5 years GIVE THEIR HOMES BACK TO THE BANK and or LEAVE THE STATE.

The GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB of FL wins.

Oh, wait, what about those COURT CASES, is SOH and PORTABILITY in jeopardy....?
Because SOH in part was put in to KEEP PEOPLE In their same homes for good towns, was PORTABILITY the straw that broke the camel back ???

Where are the #'s on the rising vacant houses in South Florida, please post here if ya know.
joh

West Palm Beach, FL

#15 Feb 21, 2008
At least this guy is willing to embarrass himself in the paper to show others the error of their ways. I commend him for that. Too many Americans live beyond their means with credit cards and expensive cars. Time for financial sensibility
BJ but no bear

Miami, FL

#16 Feb 21, 2008
Kiley wrote:
<quoted text>
What an arse and typical of so many people--no clue what is being spent vs. what is coming in. Relying on credit to get by. This guy looks pretty mature and is an executive and should know better. He'll declare bankruptcy and get away with it.
He's an executive my arse. The guy's an "account executive" for a trucking company, meaning he's a salesman selling trucking services to business customers. I used to do that for a short while, trust me it's no "executive" job going wharehouse to wharehouse with a box of donughts in your hand trying to get business. And in most cases you'd make more money being a cop or a school teacher. But typical salesman, he spends all what he makes and beyond. It always baffles me how people in the job field with perhaps the most income uncertainty and least job stability seem to save the least.
Dashing Dave

Jupiter, FL

#17 Feb 21, 2008
Putting food on the table? I love this line. It's from the 30s. Most people spend $100s of dollars a week - eating out. If he is 40 and only had 20K saved for retirement, that's bad anyway. I am 39, drive 2 1996 cars and have 157K saved and I think I am in bad shape.
BJ but no bear

Miami, FL

#18 Feb 21, 2008
SOH Must go wrote:
The 2 TIERED PROPERTY TAX system across this country is a apart of the HOUSING EMERGENCY.... In a lot of states people that have been in their house for 5-10-20 years are NOT PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE and being supplemented by people that bought in the last 5 years.
The FED GOV should BAN this 2 Teired tax system.
That would help a lot.
BTW:
The first house flipper was a Long time SOH person.
The next house flipper will be a Long Time SOH person after 1,000's of people that bought in the last 5 years GIVE THEIR HOMES BACK TO THE BANK and or LEAVE THE STATE.
The GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB of FL wins.
Oh, wait, what about those COURT CASES, is SOH and PORTABILITY in jeopardy....?
Because SOH in part was put in to KEEP PEOPLE In their same homes for good towns, was PORTABILITY the straw that broke the camel back ???
Where are the #'s on the rising vacant houses in South Florida, please post here if ya know.
Next time you buy, find out what the tax milage is on the place and figure out your tax BEFORE you buy.

"The first house flipper was a Long time SOH person." HUH?#@! By definition, a flipper is not a long term owner of the property being flipped.

Since: Dec 06

United States

#19 Feb 21, 2008
Stan wrote:
<quoted text>
geez, get control of yourself.
I guess reality hurts...
Victim of Society

Davenport, IA

#20 Feb 21, 2008
Don't make this Charlton guy sound like a victim...this guy looks like he spends without any sefl control, over extended on his credit card, a $550/month lease payment. Don't tell me he didn't know he was in dire financial position when he bought the lease. Just because at the time he had available credit on his credit cards. How about trying this...if you can't pay the credit card off each month for "luxuries" don't buy it! I will probably have to give him welfare when he retires.
FrmrSnowbird

United States

#21 Feb 21, 2008
BJ but no bear wrote:
<quoted text>
Next time you buy, find out what the tax milage is on the place and figure out your tax BEFORE you buy.
"The first house flipper was a Long time SOH person." HUH?#@! By definition, a flipper is not a long term owner of the property being flipped.
The flipper who bought from me in 2005 was a resident. He was flipping other properties, not his SOH protected one.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) he is STILL holding my old place despite many asking price drops.

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