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March Madness

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Warrior13 Posted: 21:24 Mar23 2023 Post ID: 3459177
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Hope you find something! ;)
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Sanzano Posted: 02:42 Mar24 2023 Post ID: 3459178
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Thanks Warrior13, I appreciate that.

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Warrior13 Posted: 22:45 Mar24 2023 Post ID: 3459181
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Of course!

Yeah, my sister is looking for a change of pace too at the moment. She has been in medical admissions for like a decade now, but she would like something where she can move up the ladder. I think she has the potential for an office administrator. He is hoping.
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steelersrock01 Posted: 10:08 Mar25 2023 Post ID: 3459184
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Good luck Dennis, I'm sure you'll find something soon.

I started in IT support last May and got promoted to support desk supervisor in September with a big raise, so I'm pretty content for now. I like my job but I can feel myself stagnating a bit as I fix the same problems all day 95% of the time. I'd like to move out of directly supporting users by this time next year. The people I support are nice but it can be tiring being on the phone half the day and constantly having to be in customer support mode.
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Sanzano Posted: 14:17 Mar26 2023 Post ID: 3459193
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Thanks steelersrock01, not having much luck at the moment to be honest. I've got a couple of knocks against me. Number one I'm 54, companies want a young work force and number two my Spanish is terrible, and it doesn't help that I only know a couple of words of Catalan. Not sure if I want to continue working at home alone, it can get lonely. When I worked in the print in London nearly twenty years ago I had a laugh with the boys every day, I used to love the jovial banter. I kind of miss that...

My friends started off doing what you're doing now steelersrock01, he is now a self-employed installing the security systems in banks around the world earning a fortune.

I hope your sister lands the job she wants Warrior13.

« Last edited by Sanzano on Mar 26th 2023 »

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steelersrock01 Posted: 17:14 Mar26 2023 Post ID: 3459196
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You'll find something. It is harder the older you get though, especially if there's a language barrier. Good news is you've got 20 years helping run a successful video game website, I'm sure you can swing that into some kind of gig doing content for one of the current big sites, even if it's just freelancing for now. I'm not sure if you've got much experience writing content (or "journalism" or whatever you want to call that) but "content curation" and writing guides and stuff can still be profitable. Every time I google something in a game an article comes up and somebody's gotta be posting that stuff even if the actual content is partly AI generated.

Remote work is also easier to get into than ever, and since you've got the experience with it already that's a point in your favor. Getting into an entirely separate career new that also pays the bills might be tough at your age though. I'm not sure what you were making with SC, but most of the older guys I know of that aren't in a career or trained in the trades are kinda stuck in retail or odd jobs. I know a couple guys that work at hardware stores but they're doing it as something to do and are already semi-retired.

A lot of entry-level career stuff here pays around 40k which just isn't enough to get by comfortably here. I make 62k and would struggle in a mid-size city. I'm assuming salaries and cost of living are quite a bit higher here though.

Best of luck - it's definitely not fun to look for jobs. It took me years to find anything I could begin to call a career, and I was young.
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Sanzano Posted: 12:06 Mar30 2023 Post ID: 3459208
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Thanks steelersrock01, I appreciate it.

I'm just looking for a job that pays around 20K euros. It's a lot less than what I got at SuperCheats but it will be enough to pay the bills and get me through the month. Cost of living sounds like a nightmare in the US. Hardly anyone makes 62K here in Spain. If you have a job that pays 30K you can consider yourself lucky.

I just want to see out the last thirteen years before I retire. The pension rate here in Spain is good though, I worked on SuperCheats for eighteen years and from that alone I will get 1,200 euros a month pension. When you add on my sixteen years UK pension the amount I will get a month when I retire starts to look reasonably healthy.

How do the pensions work in the US. Do the government deduct from source each month? The more you contribute the more you get when you retire?

« Last edited by Sanzano on Mar 30th 2023 »

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steelersrock01 Posted: 19:05 Mar30 2023 Post ID: 3459209
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Wages seem much lower in Spain but on the other hand it seems like you've got a much more sturdy safety net in retirement.

Retirement in the US is really complicated. Your retirement funds are a mix of private and public funds. Every paycheck gets a small portion taken out for Medicare and for Social Security. Medicare is the public health insurance system for everyone 65 years or older. It's like the coverage you guys in Europe get. Social Security is the public pension fund. The amount you receive in retirement depends both on how much you put in (which is based on what you earn) and the age at which you choose to start receiving the benefits. You can start receiving Social Security at 62, but you receive a smaller amount of money. If you wait till you are 65, 68, or 70 to start receiving, you get a much larger amount per month. So if you continue working until a later age (or have enough money from private savings or investments to hold you over) you can make a lot more money when you do start taking the public funds. Also, once you retire and start taking Social Security, you're limited income per year you can earn from a job. You'll see a lot of people that work part time to supplement their social security income.

The other part of retirement is from private funds. Some companies have their own private pension plans, but most places these days have what's called a 401k plan where a % of your gross income gets taken out of your pay and put into a diversified investment fund. Your company then contributes a matching percentage for free - for example, 4% of my pay is invested in my company's fund, and my company adds in an extra 4% on top. If I ever change companies, I can take the money invested and roll it over into a new company's plan, or into a personal plan.

You can also invest on your own in mutual funds and stocks which have no limit, and in special funds called IRAs - Individual Retirement Accounts. With these accounts you can invest a set amount per year (this year it is $6500, but it usually goes up every year or so) and there are tax incentives for doing so.

So all in all it's quite a bit more complicated than just having a government-run public pension system but there's definitely the opportunity to make some money and set yourself up for a nice retirement. If I continue making the maximum IRA contribution every year until I retire at 65 (and never make a withdrawal), with an average rate of return of 5%, that account will have roughly 850k with me having contributed 260k.
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Sanzano Posted: 13:48 Mar31 2023 Post ID: 3459211
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That's interesting steelersrock01, I had no idea how the government ran pensions in the US.

The full amount for a UK government pension is 185 pounds and to qualify for that you need to have worked and contributed 35 years. It's not a lot when you consider the cost of living, I think it works out at 228 dollars a week. This means you get just over 1K a month to live on if you are a pensioner. People are advised to get private pensions but not everyone can afford.

Spain on the other hand is much more generous. The wages are low but the pension you get is a lot better, I don't know the exact rate for Spain but it appears to be a lot better than the UK.

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steelersrock01 Posted: 19:57 Apr01 2023 Post ID: 3459218
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That pension system doesn't seem so bad. Can't believe wages are so low there though. Here in my state if you make the minimum wage ($14.13 an hour) and work 40 hours a week, you'll make $23k after taxes.
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Sanzano Posted: 00:41 Apr03 2023 Post ID: 3459226
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Lol, I'd love to find a job that paid 23K a year in Spain. I'd be able to live comfortably.

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steelersrock01 Posted: 12:35 Apr03 2023 Post ID: 3459229
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Here you can walk into McDonalds and make that. Crazy to me, but cost of living must be quite a bit lower than I thought.
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Sanzano Posted: 16:33 Apr03 2023 Post ID: 3459231
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If you get a job at Burger King or McDonalds in Spain the wage is 800 euros a month. The only people who really take that job on are students. 700-1000 euros a month is the going rate for working in any kind of shop in Spain.

I'd gladly work in Spain at one of those fast food chains for 23k euros a year, the manager of a branch in Spain doesn't get that. They get 17K-21K depending on how busy the branch is.

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steelersrock01 Posted: 17:09 Apr03 2023 Post ID: 3459234
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Wild. What's the going rate for the necessities there? rent/mortgage, utilities, internet, cell phone bill, food? Here somebody making $1000 a month isn't paying rent anywhere decent, let alone everything else.
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Sanzano Posted: 06:07 Apr04 2023 Post ID: 3459236
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It all depends on what you want in regard to renting in Spain. Anything from 500 euros a month to several thousands. The average rent is around 700 - 1200 euros a month. 1200 euros will get you four bedrooms in a nice area.

My phone bill is 75 euros a month. For that I get TV, internet, landline, and one mobile.

Electric is about 125 euros every two months and gas depends on the time of year. During the winter months it is 250 euros every two months and during the summer 60 euros (obviously we don't use central heating then).

Food it the biggest problem for most people, the cost of food has gone up considerably. My food bill for four people is about 150 euros a week.

I take it things are considerably more in the states?

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steelersrock01 Posted: 17:07 Apr04 2023 Post ID: 3459239
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Oh yeah. That's pretty cheap. Anything less than $1000 is getting you a one bedroom or a studio in a not great area. Most near me is in the 1400-1800 range. Bigger cities you'll pay closer to 2200-2600 for a two bedroom. My brother was looking for a two bedroom in Boston or San Diego and stuff in the suburbs seemed to run around $3000. Downtown will be a bit more. Stuff is cheaper in the rural areas but there's not many people out there. One of my coworkers lives in West Virginia in a rural area, and has a 3000 square foot house on 11 acres of land with a barn and freestanding garage for $1100, so there are some cheaper areas. But by and large if you're paying less than $1500 you're doing well.

My phone bill is $85 a month, and it's just my cell phone. Internet and TV runs me another $220 a month.

Electric costs runs about $170 a month. My house's heating/hot water/air conditioning is natural gas, that bill is another $100 a month.

Food prices are pretty similar, maybe a little cheaper in the states.
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Sanzano Posted: 18:38 Apr04 2023 Post ID: 3459242
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I honestly didn't realize everything was so expensive in America. My food bill is so high because we like to eat quality healthy food which costs a bit more. We also like a nice steak at least once a week and we like to get the cooked chicken and chips in town. It's a restaurant where you can literally see rows of chickens cooking when you go to order.

How much is car insurance in the US?

I have a VW Polo TSI and I pay 380 euros a year fully comprehensive. Road tax sets me back another 60 euros a year and a car MOT stings me for another 50 euros a year.

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steelersrock01 Posted: 17:07 Apr05 2023 Post ID: 3459246
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Car insurance in NJ at least is about 400-800 a year for minimum coverage, 2000 ish a year for full coverage. Safer cars, students, and people with clean driving records can get discounts. Getting tickets and getting into accidents can drive your premiums way up.
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Sanzano Posted: 17:15 Apr05 2023 Post ID: 3459248
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In the UK you also get a 'No Claims Bonus', if you didn't make a claim the whole year of your insurance. This would be a substantial discount when you renewed. 2K fully compressive is crazy, you could insure a Porsche in the UK and Spain fully comprehensive for a lot less.

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