Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An Indian Restaurant

Yes, yesterday I was not so frugal, because I went to a restaurant. We'd been planning this dinner with my friends for a long time, and finally we were free and could make it. So my week of frugal living couldn't be an excuse to skip it. And besides I really wanted to go, because I had never tried an Indian meal before. I was really curious.

We were three: N., (my roommate), T., (a girl from the room next to ours) and me. While we were waiting for our orders, I got a possibility to talk about personal finance. I don't remember how it happened, but we started to talk about retirement. T. said when she retired she would very likely be poor and miserable, because "our country doesn't care about the old people." I asked what she knew about her future retirement. I figured out she didn't even know how Russian retirement system works. For example, she thought that a person gets some money after retirement only if he or she has spent years working for the government, while working at privately held enterprises doesn't count at all. That's complete rubbish. So I spent several minutes explaining the system to her, talking about saving, encouraging her to take care about her money. She didn't seem to be very much excited or even interested in the subject. It really amazes me. She just knows that she will be poor and the government won't give her much money, and I can't change her opinion, because she doesn't want to hear about all the possibilities she has. Maybe she thinks she is too young to think about such things, I don't know.

So I stopped talking and concentrated on my order. I had a butter chicken, potatoes and a garlic naan. It was so delicious, I really did like Indian cuisine! I felt like I really was in India, because there were a lot of Indians in that restaurant and there was a singer performing songs in Hindi. Even though I left $17 there, I don't regret that dinner. :)


Krystal said...

Yeah I too find it frustrating talking to friends about finances because they generally don't want to hear what their bad spending habits will do to them in the long run. :(

Also...YUM! I adore Indian food. Glad you had a good dinner!

GoldnSilver said...

I am curious, how does retirement savings work in Russia? I mean is there something similiar to U.S 401K or IRA? Or Russia's citizen receive pension from the gov't upon retirement age?

Yes, you can't help someone that doesn't want to be helped.

matt said...

Talking to people about financial resonsibility is pointless.

My roommates were complaining about how I don't party enough. I said that I was saving my money. They asked what I was saving to buy. I said I was saving for a comfortable retirement. Never mind how confused they were at my response. Focus on the question. In this world, you don't save money for a secure future--you save to satisfy an immediate want. Tut Tut.

Elaine said...

I agree that most people our age (I'm in a university in the U.S.) don't want to think about finance. I once said something about not wanting to go shopping for new clothing with friends because I preferred to save the money. They asked what I was saving for and then looked at me like I was crazy when I mentioned a down payment for a house. They didn't understand why I would deny myself today for something perhaps a decade in the future.

Olga said...

GoldnSilver, I'm sorry for the late answer.

In fact, I probably shouldn't blame T. much, because our retirement system is now in a transitional period, and few people know exactly how it works. Admittedly, I don't know some details either. Maybe I should run a post about it. It could be a good opportunity to research about these details.
In short, our current system divides people into three age ranges:

1. Those who are already retired. They probably worked in soviet times or in "wild nineties" and haven't saved much. They usually get a fixed monthly amount, or pension.

2. Those who still work and were born before 1967. When they are retired they will get a small fixed monthly pension and money like Social Security. The amount of the latter depends of how much the person has worked and his or her salary.

3. Those who were born after 1967 get a lot of possibilities. First, they will get this Social Security analogue. Second, they have about 4% of their salary (I haven't figured yet if it is after- or before-tax) subtracted and moved into retirement account. Then he or she can choose the investment company that will manage this money. It's possible to subtract more money. It is now said that the government is going to match 100% of the money contributed to a retirement account, but it doesn't do this yet.

GoldnSilver said...

Thanks Olga for the explanation. Hey, at least you know more about Russia's retirement system than me.

Kelila said...

Keep up the good work.