Archive for June, 2007

Yet another fun music video

June 28, 2007

We can only postulate at how many hours this video took.

P.S. I love Daft Punk.

Why I’m passionate about saving for retirement

June 28, 2007

My friend celebrated her new employment with a company for whom she’d been temping the last few months. She now receives benefits, and my first question to my close friends with good jobs is, “Do they match?” If you feel this is too personal or are offended talking about finances, please let me know, and I’ll drop the subject. But, the more I ask this question the more I realize how few people take advantage of the situation they’re in. My friend didn’t understand what a 401K was, and after I explained it in a general-sense, she continued to distrust it, asking if it was really her money or if it was like Social Security. It just shocked me, and more-so it saddened me.

I care about my friends. Information about investing and saving is not hard to come by or hard to understand, but it’s never been introduced to us as a need. I want my friends to know what their options are, so they’re not in the dark and working until they’re 75. My dad’s in a precarious position with his retirement fund, and I see the worry in his face when we talk about it. He’ll definitely be working past 65, and he pulls in a six-figure income. Doesn’t add up, right? I don’t want this for the people I know.

I want my friends to retire at a normal age and not worry that they’ll run out of savings. I want them to feel confident that they can become financially stable even if they don’t really make a whole lot. If your company has matching, take advantage of it now, because it’s basically like earning double interest on your money. 10% is great, but after matching, 20% will rock your retirement savings and your peace-of-mind. To put it another way, it saves you the first 10 years of compounding, because you’ve already doubled your money that first time.

If that last paragraph confused you, don’t worry – here are the facts. Hypothetically, you put away $2000 this year. Assuming you’re 25, your money will compound more than 4 times in the stock market at 10%. I calculate that after 40 years at 10% that original $2000 you sacrificed this year plus the $2000 you’re matched will be worth $90,518.11. Not too shabby. This means that if you saved like this for the first eleven years out of college, you’d be a millionaire when you retire.

For those of us that don’t have matching, don’t despair – that money will still be worth $45,259.26! Ask me if you want more resources or have questions :-).

Added: As I finished this post, my Dad walked in, and we started talking about the rates of return on his mutual funds. I’ll have to write another post confirming or dis-confirming the assumption that you will earn 10% on your money. Regardless, start saving now!

Blog launch update

June 26, 2007

This is the only thing I can think about blogging today, and I don’t want to keep you waiting as I’m sure you’re hanging on every word.

I’m working the design and writing material. I have a title actually. I’m trying to decide between two focuses: Christian Basic Money Concepts and Articles for Christian Men. The latter would include but not be limited to articles about money. I actually prefer the latter, but all the post ideas I have tend to be related to money. Regardless, I’ve been incredibly busy with wedding planning and work to spend enough time on this project, though it’s something that I really really want to do and do well, which is the reason for the delay. I’m hoping to launch the blog in August sometime, I’m guessing. I’ll probably write the first 5 posts before launch, so I’m not scrambling every week for content and posting half-baked articles.

Most creative video ever. ever.

June 22, 2007

Check this video out. It blows my mind.

Now THESE guys are dorks

June 19, 2007

I mean *psst* they used real drums. Helloooo. Just give up, and get a job, if you can’t go all the way.

Dorks.

[ thanks to Nate – and it looks like Karin also – for this link ]

The not-iTunes shuffle

June 19, 2007

This is in regards to Karl’s post.

  1. I do not have iTunes installed. *GASP* And, I don’t really want to install it. *BLASPHEMY!*
  2. I don’t really have any music on my computer, so I went into Windows Media Player and hit something random. I have 15 songs that I saw on that screen. Your best guess is probably better than mine as to how I got them.
  3. What’s the ratio of said lost points to Schrute bucks?

Without further ado, the list:

 

“Lifesong” by Casting Crowns
🙂
“I will follow you into the dark” by Death Cab for Cutie
I’m pretty sure this is a remake. It is SO catchy.
“Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters” by Elton John
Again, SO catchy. One of his older goodies, so you’re not sick of hearing it on the radio.
“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley
Sometimes I wish I could sing like a black man.
“P.D.A.” by John Legend
I love chill music down to my core.
“What Goes Around…Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake
Smooth and soulful
“Is It Any Wonder?” by Keane
How do they possibly sound so full with half a band?
“Feels Like Home” by Randy Newman sung by Bonnie Raitt
Yeah, I like this one enough
“08 Track8” by Artist Unknown
This is either a Brand New song or a Dave Matthews song. Either way, two thumbs up.
“Candyman” by Christina Aguilera
Watch out, if you go to listen to it. The lyrics are…racy.
“Cookie Jar” by Jack Johnson
Did I say I like chill music? This one makes me think of Brian in Hetzel.
“Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” by Jay-Z
I think I’m a gangster…
“Polaris” by Jimmy Eat World
Bring back the bassline.
“Ho” by Ludacris
This one rivals the Christina Aguilera song.
“Runaway Love” by Ludacris
Another Ludacris song? This one is sweet, though. Definitely get this one.

My Mom is selling the house

June 18, 2007

It’s been almost two years now since Dan passed away, and the kiddies are all out flying solo. While the house is beautiful, and we all grew up there, it’s important that my Mom moves closer to her job and her friends. She’s been juggling the dogs (not literally) and becoming involved in town for a while now. It’s time to cut out the half hour commute.

While my mom signed the real estate documents, I walked around the house. It was almost as if I wanted to catalog every detail, and the most familiar, mundane things became rich with sentiment. We still have an upside-down water cooler jug filled with change for vacations. The floors and kitchen were redone when we were still young and damaging them, but somehow I remember the excitement of slowly upgrading the house’s decorum piece by piece – the scratches in the wood floors from previous pets were still there. I remembered throwing old batteries against the cement walls in the basement with my younger step-brother. Those walls were gone, too, though, replaced by almost a decade of superbowl parties, storytelling by the bar, and Thursday night NBC line-ups with my step-dad in the now finished basement.

Wow, Greg and I really did break a lot.

Alas, times change, and I’m really excited to see what my mom eventually finds. She and I meet the realtor tonight to look at some places. I don’t expect to see an overwhelming feeling of home or a beacon of light above the right house, because it’s true: home is where the heart is. But, I do think that we’ll find something that fits her needs, and we’ll have many a Christmas gathering, baby-showering, and Graduation celebrating there to break it in (the grammar of that last part is questionable, I know).

Tiny New Post

June 18, 2007

1) KEEP PRAYING FOR RYAN! Do it now please :-).

2) If you don’t read Tony Morgan’s blog, that’s fine, but this post really made me laugh. This is not a shameless plug to rank higher in a search engine. I genuinely loved this post and wanted to share it.

Pray for Ryan!

June 14, 2007

Pray for my friend Ryan – it could be the most important thing you do today. Check this out:

After work I escaped to the back porch with my brother and our neighbor Ryan. They like to talk politics, which I know nothing about, but was having a good time nonetheless. Suddenly, while inside grabbing burgers to throw on the grill, a few phrases almost paralyze me: “…I just don’t believe you go anywhere after you die. It just doesn’t make sense.”

I grabbed my burgers and headed outside. To another conversation about politics.

Ryan then directed several questions towards me. It seems he looks up to me, perhaps because I did well in high school, though probably just because I’m older than him. Anyway, he asked me about my views on the war in Iraq, abortion, gay marriage, etc. He informed me that I was a Republican even though I had previously said I didn’t have enough information to label myself yet. A short pause ensued. I seized the opportunity with the oh so subtle, “So, you don’t believe you go anywhere after you die?” I’m so clever.

Anthony had left at this point, so conversation was very intimate. We had exchanged a few questions and brief opinions when he finally admitted that he hates his life right now and that he’d like to believe that there’s a God.

“How often do you pray?”, I asked.
“Never.”
“You should pray that God shows Himself to you. He’s there. He will.”
“Wow, I guess I never thought of that.”

I’m pretty sure he said “wow” there, but it was definitely a word along those lines (I feel the need to defend the word “wow,” because the written dialog sounds like a 90s Christian TV Special). This conversation made my week. Hopefully, this will open the door to other conversations throughout the summer.

Final request: does anyone know of a solid verse along the lines of God revealing Himself especially through prayer?

Help me launch a blog

June 14, 2007

The cat’s out of the bag: I like to discuss finance from a Christian perspective.

I’ve been toying with the idea of either launching a new blog to discuss this topic or merely taking this blog in that direction (I mean, more so), especially since I like “Kings Pray” so much. Admit it – that kid praying is cute. I have, finally, decided to launch a new blog, and I need some help casting the vision for it.

Often times I go from talking about God and money to talking about money. I don’t want to do this. Rather, I want practical and biblical advice relating to money to point readers towards Jesus. There can still be a few posts here and there with practical advice relating to money, but I’d like to see the vast majority of post pulling scripture and pointing people to Christ. Also, I envision weekly rather than daily posts to keep workload lighter on me and to create development time for stronger posts.

So, here’s my questions to the blogging public:

  • How has your experience (or AN experience) with money drawn you closer to Jesus?
  • What are your favorite parables or stories pertaining to money, and why?
  • Do you have any ideas for an overarching theme verse/parable/quote/catch phrase/… for such a blog?
  • Thanks for your help, and I’m excited to read your comments! (Acts 2:42-45)