Personally, I'd say that having a 3 year cushion makes your family more financially stable and responsible than most.Link+Zelda wrote: ↑Tue Mar 15, 2022 8:52 pmThanks for the clarification. I like your newer list better (note: I read it at the time but didn't have the opportunity to comment until now, so I didn't remember your first bullet was changed/removed).
I do think "financially stable" is still a tough classification that might be difficult to acquire for many. An example--I work a job with very poor job security, does that mean we aren't financially stable? We have built up a roughly 3-yr emergency fund to help combat this, but I'm sure that wouldn't be sufficient to satisfy some (and others would say we're being irresponsible not having the majority of that emergency fund invested in VTWAX).
I definitely agree with the heart of this. Avoiding the "stick" is the main goal of my questioning above. I just think it's tough to get a bulleted list like this to not be a stick when each of us is coming from our specific viewpoint and background. I think many of us look through a late 20th-21st middle-class American lens.Ultimately, I think I’m trying to produce a fairly good measuring stick that one could use to evaluate his own growth over time, not a stick to measure someone else or to beat them up with.
As an example and related to the above, I am always shocked by the amount of traveling/vacationing that I read people here (and other places) doing. It's not something I grew up with, not something we've lived out as a family. I'm sure there are people that would consider me, as a husband, to be failing because I don't take my family traveling more, especially given what our savings rate is (we could "afford" it).
I'll admit that my own upbringing and experience is likely influencing my take on things. In the early 2000s, we went through a period of financial instability that culminated in losing a house to foreclosure and filing bankruptcy. I consider those events, and the seriously flawed decision making on my part, to be my biggest failure as a husband and father. In fact, I consider it a major blessing from God that I could even still call myself a husband. I certainly wouldn't have tried to claim "competent" at that time in our marriage.
Also, my middle class, American background absolutely affects how I think about the role of provider/protector. Like most men in my experience, my feelings of self respect, are tied to what I do. I'm just not sure how to word that without referencing work ethic in some direct way.