Weekend Reading: From Taco Bell to Mortgages

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Hazzard points out the story of a Taco Bell employee fired after 30 years of service, including two robberies and being shot once. Seems a bit like ageism to me. I see very little loyalty to companies these days… I wonder why?

Madame X explores if there is any connection between the amount you spend on food and obesity. Apparently at least one of her readers thinks spending $800 a month of food can’t be healthy.

Sun investigates some international dividend ETFs. Seems like ETF offerings are growing exponentially these days, I can’t even keep up.

Joseph Sangl made a graphical way to track his mortgage payoff process. Looks like so far he owns either his garage or living room. That’s one more room than me!

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  1. So what else is new? I’ve known people that missed the axe but sent home people with 10, 15, and 20 years experience with two weeks pay after the principals sold the engineering design firm to another that wanted to move the jobs to a new area.

    Then company MBA bean counters/managers wonder why there is no loyalty anymore.

  2. Our Debt Blog says

    I been out of school for 3 years and I’ve already had two employers. I expect to be fired, layed off or switching companies at least 5-6 times in my working career, when I leave each one I doubt I will get a taco…

  3. Thanks for the mention Jonathon,
    STH makes a valid point. Employers don’t employ you for their civic duty. You are a value to them. At the point you cease to be a value to them, they cut you lose. It’s the cold reality. I think it sucks, but it’s the cold reality.

    I guess that’s why I don’t feel an ounce of loyalty to the company I’ve spent the last 6 years at. Obviously I’m still creating value for them. I know that as soon as I stop, they’ll kick me to the curb. You can bet as soon as I find an opportunity that is better, I’ll consider kicking them to the curb. The days of lifetime employment are long gone. Globalization has guaranteed that. If you want lifetime job security, be a nurse, or a cop, or a street cleaner. No one in India or China can replace you. (Notice the 3 jobs I mentioned are all govt jobs)

  4. Chris in Boston says


    I’d hardly call Nursing a govt. job.

    I agree. Globalization has killed the concept of lifetime loyalty. In my 20’s and 30’s I worked my first job out of college for 5 years. I was laid off on my 5th year anniversary. To the day! I was pissed. But it was the best thing, I temped for about a year, then found a better job in IT back at the same company that previously laid me off.

    From there I lasted 7 more years while the company was acquired, changed hands twice, IPO’d, and then failed miserably and went our of business in 2001. After that I hopped aorund every 2 years.

    Now at 42, I am fearing I will continually find it more difficult to job hop as younger, CHEAPER talent is so readily available. I now need to focus on settling into my current job (with a huge SW company) and just seeing if I can make this last long enough to build my reserves to the point that I could survive an early retirement option in my early 50’s.

    Adaptability is critical. Keep learning, stay fresh, and change always. These are the things one must endure in order to remain competitive in todays work force. I for one am tired. But I still get up everyday and put my best foot forward. Seemed so much easier in my 20’s.

  5. Job security? Security is keeping your skills and credentials current. I started a new position with a great co just 3 mos ago and they just announced that my department only is moving to another state and threw us all 6 figure packages to move with them. Companies are the most generous out there. People just get lax and complacent and spoiled which is the problem. Look at Detroit 3 and how they offered 140K to some workers to quit. Many didn’t take that. Unbelievable.

  6. Thanks for the mention, Jonathan!

    Yeah, new ETFs are coming out almost every day and it’s almost impossible to track what have been offered. Last week, a new ETF even let investors profit from falling Chinese stocks. And that seems increasingly likely. Maybe I should sell my Chinese stocks and buy that ETF instead 🙂

  7. Digging Joseph Sangl’s Home pay off process. Got mine on the fridge right now. Looks like I own half my kitchen.

  8. It definitely sounds like she was “shoved out of the door”. However, the article doesn’t mention any legal action being taken. In most places 30 years should provide like 6 months+ of severance. Obviously they “fired her” to avoid the severance thing and ongoing benefits, but if she had a good review just 3 months ago, then Taco Bell doesn’t likely have much of a legal leg here.

    Now that the news is out, she should be pursuing legal action. We can make jokes about loyalty all we want, but this is clearly pretty shady. She can cry all that she wants but if she doesn’t file legal action then she’s letting herself down and she’s letting down all of the other taco bell workers.

    Companies break laws b/c they run the cost-benefit analysis and it’s cheaper this way. Unless people like Winnie start protecting their rights then they won’t be changing the equation.

    Now I tend to agree with Hazzard when it comes to “job security”, but this is still definitely a progressive way of thinking. In our case, Winnie definitely hasn’t caught on.

  9. Joseph Sangl says

    Thanks for the shout-out Jonathan! I can’t wait to color in the final square!

  10. Something is wrong with the way Joseph Sangl is paying off his house if he sends in the equivalent of 50 payments in a month and only knock off 15% of what is owed.

  11. What happened to the lady at Taco Bell sucks. If it happened to me after 2 years or 3 years I could deal with it, but to someone who has been there for 30 years? That’s some cold sh*t.

  12. I would argue that obesity is actually related to spending less money on food. The shoppers at whole foods seem pretty fit to me. It’s the poor who because of time constraint who buy cheap processed food that are more likely to be obese.

  13. Oh yeah, the foods thing, I’m with Dong on this one.

    While $800 may be excessive, a big chunk of that is her habit of eating out. Eating out is also entertainment and it’s not just paying for food, it’s also paying for someone to cook the food and do the dishes 🙂

    However, the higher quality foods that help to control weight also cost significantly more than low-quality foods. This is even true in an “eating-out” setting: compare the cost of the Big Mac Meal to that of the Grilled Chicken Salad meal.

    Around these parts, you can get the unhealthy McMeal of the day for Violent Acres has a great post on this one (disclaimer: may be offensive).

  14. In regards to paying off your mortgage early, the article above made me think about something…

    I’m in the camp that believes most wealthy people have 30 year mortgages because it is some of the cheapest money they can get. (Where else can you leverage 5 to 1 and the government will let you write off the interest…)

    I also believe that over a 30 year time horizon, money that would be put toward extra payments will probably earn more in a nice mixture of stocks and bonds. Heck, even in a money market, your income would probably offset the interest you are charged considering that interest is tax deductible.

    Here is my question… The real benefit of having a mortgage is that the interest is tax deductible. At the start of your amortization schedule, a much larger portion of your monthly payment is interest and thus fully tax deductible.

    As you approach the end of the 30 year loan, less of those payments are going towards interest, so there is less of a write off benefit.

    For example, on a 100K, 30 year loan, you get to write of $5718 in interest the first year, but you only get to write off $248 in year 30.

    At some point, the tax benefit of borrowing that money diminishes… I wonder at what point it makes sense to just pay off the house because the tax benefits are no longer valuable (Year 10? Year 20?)

    It’s something I’ve been thinking about, but can’t get my head around… Perhaps I’m misunderstanding something.

  15. @Maury: I made a post to my blog a while back that actually picks apart that situation. Look near the bottom for “effective interest rate” (4th chart). If you run a mortgage calculator and drop the data into a spreadsheet it’s pretty easy to figure out when the “effective” interest drops off the chart (see years 9 & 10)

    Of course, I’m Canadian, so we don’t get any tax benefit (which drastically alters the equation). But feel free to comment on the rest of the post 🙂

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