Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday 1/22/2012

So, 10% of my gross income.
At least.
That's the statements of financial guru's that are talking about getting a late start on saving for retirement.

Yes, I frequently visit this issue because, well, I'm there.  It's past do-or-die time, there are no more excuses.
Not that, in recent times, I have been making any. Retire broke or retire at least comfortably enough to be able to enjoy the "Golden Years".

Upon checking my Prudential 401k retirement account - which is a dismal thing to look at sometimes simply because of the low account balance - I am saving at a rate of about 13% of my gross income.  That's pre-tax income, in other words.  On top of that, the money I am having taken out weekly for emergency savings fund - though it IS a savings account.

I guess, realistically, I should not count that towards retirement, though.  A broken washing machine; busted water heater; broken down car; this that and the other thing.  That's what that's for.  If it gets beyond that, great.  It's also saving for a new (well not brand new) vehicle.  I am tired of making auto payments.  As if it's some sort of thing that you HAVE to live with ALL of your life.  No.  It's something like 2 more years and the car I am currently driving is paid off.

So, there is a goal that I have determined to set for myself, starting today, actually.  No more car payments after this one is paid off.  I don't CARE if I am driving around an old car, as long as it is dependable and not breaking down every other day, I'm good with it.  I really want a pickup truck, though and that is what I am going to save for.  Eliminating a monthly auto payment and putting that towards retirement - or even investment - would do wonders.

The other monthly payment that I hate paying but have no choice is the monthly child support.  The money I am paying now is going to the settlement made at the time of the divorce for the house and the 401k account which was cashed out.  That's a couple of more years, actually and unfortunately.  Nothing to do but live with it.  One of the reasons I will probably never get married again, or if I do, there is definitely going to be pre-nuptial agreement and if the "mate" doesn't want to agree to it, then no marriage.

This idea that marriage is sanctimonious - well it is, really but that's a different story - and is life - binding - which it also is, but also a different story - has turned into a pipe dream.  There are no guarantees that your partner and you are going to stay married the rest of your life and if not, then what?  You lose half of everything, all over again, and start from Ground Zero!  Screw that!  Been there, done that and not desirous of going there again.

Whatever the case, there is at least one thing I can eliminate in the not-too-terribly-distant-future: a car payment.  In 2 years, I am going to be 50 years old and I want to see that retirement fund at the very least, doubled by then.  Actually, at the rate I am saving, it should be tripled - that is, of course, if the doom and gloomers are wrong (which I hope they are ) about their prediction that 2012 is going to see a recession or depression worse than the one we already went through ( or are going through, depending on your perspective).

Another factor that is somewhat of a game-changer is the fact that I am posting more hours on each paycheck.  I have no idea whether that is going to be sustained for any length of time, but I did get almost 87 hours on the current pay period, versus the 3 years of 70 hours.  401k deductions are pre-tax, so the OT is good for that, at least (however, why the government thinks it's entitled to 40% of any OT hours is beyond me, I worked just as hard for that OT as I did the regular hours, it's not like it's "free money" to me or something).

I'm not the best at saving, but I am at least trying at this point.  It's not that terribly difficult: save now and in 20 years you will probably have something to draw on that is sizable enough to sustain you for a while.

In other news, lol, well I finally got back up on the top of that trailer yesterday and went to town cleaning off the junk where the new vent will go.  It took forever because that grinder I bought is a very cheap one and the motor heats up quickly.  I had to keep stopping and let the thing cool down.  I might have bought a more expensive one, but how often do I use the thing?  It's only for this project on the roof and after that, I don't even see a use for it.  If it will finish the 3 projects on the roof, I am happy with it and it can melt down and disappear into thin, blue air if it lasts that long.  It was like an $11 grinder, lol.

The cleaning is done on the one vent, so only one more larger vent to go and a much smaller one after that.  There is also another area that probably should be taken down to the metal and re-done - but I will call that shot when I get to it.

4 more payments on one of the travel trailers and it is paid off.  The other one is already paid off. I think when I pay off the one I am making payments on, I will probably try to sell it.  Not sure yet - 4 more months to decide on that one, but I am thinking I would rather have the money in a bank account instead of sitting on 4 wheels out in my driveway.  But, life is never really a constant, things change and so do circumstances.  Who knows what might be going on in 4 months that the use of that thing might be needed for something?  I dunno, but it's in pretty good shape, needs some things fixed on the inside but nothing that would make it unsellable.

Enough for one entry.



Cafe World Tips 34: Low Buzz Rating Glitch - Cafe World

I'm getting hits on an old article I wrote about buzz rating.  I am guessing that is because people are experiencing buzz rating drops or even having it go down to 4 or 5, apparently while you are not even in your cafe.

The way the game normally works is that buzz rating stays at whatever point it is when you exit your cafe.  However, there is yet another glitch now which has nothing to do with the layout of your cafe or whether your waiters can get to all the food on your counters or not.

You're going to have to ride this one out until Zynga fixes the problem, there is nothing anyone can do.  Just wanted to throw that out there because of the hits my blog is receiving for buzz rating issues that I have posted in the past.

PS: One more thing: YES, this current situation is one of a seemingly endless line of glitches with Zynga's Cafe World game. If you leave your cafe at 105 and come back to find it at 4 or 5 or whatever much lower number, you are not alone! Many players are experiencing this glitch! Why doesn't it affect ALL players? As with almost all glitches with Cafe World, the glitches affect one or more servers, but not all of them (usually, anyway). I have no idea how many servers are used by Zynga for this game, but there are undoubtedly a large bank of them. Not all servers are affected by these glitches, hence, not all players experience the glitch. I added this comment to this thread but decided to post it in the thread itself.  
 past. Further Update: Zynga has officially announced it knowledge of the problem and is "working to fix it": The Wedding Table is causing my Buzz to drop
Updated 01/22/2012 at 05:41
Greetings chef,

A small number of our fellow chefs are reporting that after placing the Wedding Table into their cafe, the Buzz rating drops. As a temporary workaround, may we suggest that you place the table back into your inventory.

Meanwhile, we have notified our engineering department and they are currently working on a fix. We hope to have this resolved shortly. There is no need to submit an email for this issue.  Instead, click the Please Fix button below to help us keep track of the number of players affected.

If you decide to report a ticket, place the keywords "Wedding Buzz" at the start of your message and reference: CAFE-26287.

For immediate support and the most up-to-date information, click here to visit our Technical Support Forums.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

.........I somehow doub it's a "small" number of chefs, but whatever the case, at least they know about it and hopefully will have a fix for it soon.  

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...