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Friday, 12 September 2014

Parents Shouldn't Use Kids As Their Retirement Plan

I didn't ask to be born. No one does. When my parents had me they had to assume the responsibility of taking care of me and the costs that went along with it. In return, they didn't expect anything. The tide is turned and now I'm a mother. I have a daughter who I provide for. I'll teach her the best I can and how to manage money when the time comes.

She's not my retirement plan. I didn't have her so that she could care for me in my old age. It's not tit for tat, I take care of her and she takes care of me. That's simply not how it works. However, for some people, it is. Some families believe in having more kids so that they can support them. I've even heard parents telling their grown kids that since they had to feed and clothe them for 18, 20, or more years, they have to do the same.  I found that in Peru, grown adults often had to provide for their retired parents. I speak Spanish and had no qualms giving my opinion. If you don't speak Spanish, now's the time to learn. It'll help you assimilate to the culture,and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Synergy Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Fluent in 3 Months.

That's wrong and it's not fair. People need to plan and organise their own finances. They need to budget and save. You need to have a variety of options available: stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds, saving accounts, property, etc. Not kids. Kids should not factor into your retirement planning. Research shows that it costs over a quarter million dollars to raise a kid from birth to age 18. If you really want to save money then don't have kids. It's as simple as that.

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Friday, 22 August 2014

Sorry Peruvians, You're Not Americans

I first had this argument over 10 years ago and I was flabbergasted. I wasn't trying to be mean or rude or look down on Peruvians, I just simply couldn't understand what they were getting at. Let's do a quick exercise.
  • Britons are from. . . . Britain
  • Chinese are from . . . . China
  • Danes are from . . . . Denmark
  • Latvians are from . . . . Latvia
  • Russians are from . . . Russia

What would you say if I told you:
  • Americans are from . . . . Peru
If this were on a test I'd mark it as wrong. Americans aren't from Peru. They're from America. Peruvians are from Peru.

The issue that some Peruvians have with this is that they say that there are only five continents: the Americas, Antarctica, Asia, Australasia, and Europe. Due to this anyone from the Americas is American. Now depending on who you talk to you'll find out that there are 4-7 continents in the world.

The issue I have with this is that people don't refer to the continent they're from. Peruvians are proud to call themselves Peruvians, until of course they can call themselves Americans. Blame it on their culture. They refer to the country they're from. They might tell you what continent their country is on, but they're not going to use that adjective to describe themselves. For example, a Kenyan isn't going to say, "I'm African". They're going to say, "I'm Kenyan". Or they might take it a step further and refer to the city they're from, stating that they're from London or New York.

Peruvians also have another issue with this and that's due to language. You see, in Spanish Americans are called "norteamericanos/as" if you want to translate it directly it would be North American. However, there are three countries in North America: Canada, the USA, and Mexico. In Spanish, Canadians are called "canadienses" and Mexicans are called "mexicanos/as". For that matter in Spanish, Peruvians are called "peruanos". If you don't speak Spanish, you should start. It'll help you assimilate to the culture and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Synergy Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Fluent in 3 Months.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, but to the Peruvians who insist that they're "American" I tell them to go to the USA with no visa or no green card and to tell the immigration officer to let them in, because after all, "they're American".


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