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25 And I Never Want To Retire
Old 11-21-2010, 06:43 AM   #1
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25 And I Never Want To Retire

Hi Everyone,

The title of the post reflects my view after 25 years of knowing myself. I could never really sit still.

BUT, I plan my financial future as if I was going to have a traditional retirement one day. Financial freedom is my top priority.

A little about myself:

After graduating from college 2 years ago (debt free) I took up a job as a personal trainer. This was not my original plan. Coming from a family of lawyers, my original intent was to go to law school. I went so far as to sit for the LSAT my junior year.

Fall semester of my senior year in college is when I had an epiphany. The amount of material I consumed for fun on the topics of health, nutrition, mind set, fitness, exercises, etc. could be equivalent to earning double majors in exercise science/nutrition.

So, I decided to take a risk. I aspired to try "following my passion."

I got myself connected with one of the top fitness business owners/personal trainers in my area. I spent the first 7 months of my career being mentored by him and the last year and a half building up my own fitness business.

The last 2 years of my life have been a rapid fire blur. I am proud to say that every month my own personal fitness business has been growing and as of now, I have someone running half of my operation for me while I undertake my next fitness business projects.

I'm fortunate enough to say I am happy with my career choice thus far. I love business building/marketing aspect of fitness and I like the actual personal training/athletic training and working with clients.

Anyway, I hope that wasn't too long. Here's the financial bit.

Currently I have 25k in assets invested evenly amongst:

The Growth Fund of America
The Bond Fund of America

And through First Investors,
Blue Chip Fund
Global Fund
International Fund
Opportunity Fund
Special Situation Fund

Additionally, I have maxed out my ROTH IRA for the 2009 and 2010 year.

I prefer very low maintenance living. I am a minimalist at heart. I live like I'm still in college but I don't deprive myself entirely.

As of now, 20% of my income (Income will be 95k by the end of 2010. Income was 32k in 2009) covers all of my living expenses. I continue to live as if I was making as much money as I did in 2009.

My goal with investing is for the sense of security and confidence. I have no intention of children. I do not want a large home, I do want to get married.

Instead of retiring, I want to reach a point where I can work one month, then take 2 weeks off to travel/vacation and not worry about money at all. So I'd wind up working 7.5 months out of the year.

Besides those mutual funds and my bond fund, is there anything else I should be considering? I'm new to investing. I've just been a disciplined saver.

Is the even distribution of my income amongst the investments ok? Or should I be feeding one more than another.

Any other advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Doug Corbett
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:04 AM   #2
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Welcome Doug, glad you have found a field that can offer you the flexibility to build a business while saving significantly toward your future (non)retirement plans.

In a way, I'm heading for the same idea as you as far as not retiring, but there's no way I'd want my trips to only be for 2 weeks at a time--you can't get anywhere good and get settled in that short a time! I'm looking to take off for 4-6 weeks two or maybe three times a year and work the rest of the time, somewhat indefinitely. That offers enough time to really experience a place you want to go without being so long that you disconnect from home.

One issue our personal trainer has is that (like lawyers, in a sense) if he's not there, he's not earning revenue. Unless he creates a business where he's got other trainers working for him, videos or supplements to sell, memberships, etc, it is all on him to get paid. How do you get around this?

Again, welcome! And as for your investments, I don't like the sound of that First Investors, but until you are comfortable managing your own investments, something like that may be useful. And it will give you something in common with the folks around here who found out how much they were paying Ameriprise when they finally got wise to them!
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:07 AM   #3
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I was never interested in retiring, either, until I got really old. Work is important to well-being. But looking way down the road, when you're 70 or so and start to be concerned about life extension, I think you're going to be in a great position, being a fitness expert and all.

I (being a novice at investing) have only one reservation about your investing so far. It might be good to look for more diversification. The underlying securities in your funds are presumably quite diverse, but they all seem to be handled by just two financial firms, and they are all based on securities. How about buying a house?
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:19 AM   #4
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Welcome Doug.

Many of us said the same thing (or thought it) at your age.

But it sure is good to have the option to FIRE is one decides they want to later...

Here are 4 pieces of advice as you begin your career:
  1. LBYM and Manage your spending
  2. Do not buy more home than you need.
  3. Do not buy fancy cars.... buy a nice dependable vehicle and drive it for at least 10 to 12 years before replacing it.
  4. Educate yourself on investing and Retirement and develop a Financial Plan as if you are going to FIRE at some age (e.g., 55) and save and invest using conventional and proven strategies (i.e., do not take on too much risk or invest in things you do not understand)
Number 4 is the most complex to master in terms of knowledge. Study up!

Numbers 1 - 3 are mainly lifestyle control and self-discipline. Just like the comment about "never wanting to stop working".... Most become aware (after they age a bit) that they spent a lot of money over the years on expensive things that really do not add much to happiness and certainly not quality of life (i.e., fancy cars and McMansions)
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:49 AM   #5
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Choose wisely

Your most important life decision involves who you marry. Take great care in choosing someone who has the same goals in life as you do. A thrifty woman is the best tool in your portfolio. Without one, your spending can easily exceed your earnings.
2fer
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:09 AM   #6
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Your most important life decision involves who you marry. Take great care in choosing someone who has the same goals in life as you do. A thrifty woman is the best tool in your portfolio. Without one, your spending can easily exceed your earnings.
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· A successful marriage depends on two things: 1) finding the right person and 2) being the right person.
· Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come ninety percent of all your happiness or misery.
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Old 11-21-2010, 08:42 AM   #7
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Welcome!
It sounds like you're well on your way to eventual financial independence. Congratulations.

But I'd give more thought to this assumption . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougC View Post
The title of the post reflects my view after 25 years of knowing myself. I could never really sit still.
"Retiring" doesn't necessarily mean "sitting still." It means not having someone else dictate your priorities (whether bosses, or customers). What you do with that freedom is entirely up to you. If you choose to 'sit still', that is your choice. But you could just as easily decide to join the Peace Corp, write a book, study cooking in Provence, join archeological digs relevant to your faith, refurbish vintage cars . . .

What 'retirement' means is limited only by your imagination. And I can't imagine 'sitting still.'
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DougC View Post
Hi Everyone,

The title of the post reflects my view after 25 years of knowing myself. I could never really sit still.

BUT, I plan my financial future as if I was going to have a traditional retirement one day. Financial freedom is my top priority.
Good thinking. Few people start out expecting or wanting to retire early. But minds change. And circumstances can force it on you unbidden. Financial independence give you options.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:09 PM   #9
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I think its already been said a few times, but wait until you are 40, 50 or 60 and see how you feel about retirement.

On the other hand, it sounds like you are living your dreams. That's ind of what retirement is. Most of us aren't as lucky to have the opportunity to make a radical life change (mortgage, kids, etc.) and do what we really want. What that 16 or 17 year old kids we used to be chose isn't always what we really want. Most careers are so much more interesting in the brochure than in real life. Since you are following your dream, you may never want to retire in the traditional sense.

You're pretty young at 25 (This coming from a 44 year old. I expect many on here consider me a little wet behind the ears and are now rolling their eyes). Your outlook on life changes. What once was a passion, becomes a job. A favorite hobby gets old. It's good you're planning for a traditional retirement. You never now how that 40 or 50 year old self will view the decisions you make today.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:30 PM   #10
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As I mentioned before, my father in law has always said that retirement is for lazy people. He himself never planned on retiring and, as a consequence, did not prepare adequately for his own (unexpected) retirement. Now in his mid 60's, he is struggling financially. He was let go from his high-paying job in 2007 and has struggled to make any money at all over the past 3 years. The little money he had in retirement accounts has already been spent on bills. But he "forgot" to pay taxes on the withdrawals and now owes a huge amount of back taxes to the IRS and no way to pay for them. And he still has a large mortgage on his house.


When I started my career, I personally thought I'd work 30-40 years and retire in my 60's like everyone else. I enjoyed my work, so working for a few decades did not seem unreasonable. But I had no idea that the stress from the job would actually start negatively impacting my health so early in my career. That pretty much took all the fun out of working.


My advice is: whether you plan on retiring or not, plan for retirement all the same. Life has a way to throw curve balls when you least expect it.
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:12 PM   #11
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Welcome Doug. When I was your age, I never suspected that I would live long enough to have to concern myself with retirement. But somehow, I woke up one day and I was already 50. It was shocking, really. Be open to the possibility that you will think differently in another 25 years.

Perhaps the smartest thing I ever did was decide when I was your age that it wouldn't hurt to be financially secure even if I never thought I would retire. So I saved assiduously and invested wisely (after I learned a thing or two) and now I have a cushion, which makes life so much easier, whether retired or not.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:05 AM   #12
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Hi Doug: Welcome to the forum and congratulations on starting early for financial independence. You asked about what else you should be doing. I recommend learning more about the investing side. Looking at 1 of the funds you have described:
First Investors Global Fund: You have a choice between a 5.75% front end load (Class A) or a 4% back end load (Class B). What's listed as the 'total annual operating expenses' is 1.93% for Class A, and 2.63% for Class B. These funds are very expensive to buy and to own. You can learn a lot about investing over on Bogleheads.org . I'd also recommend 'A Random Walk Down Wall Street' and 'The Four Pillars of Investing' as good books to read to get you started in investing. Good luck!

Steve
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
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My advice is: whether you plan on retiring or not, plan for retirement all the same. Life has a way to throw curve balls when you least expect it.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:09 PM   #14
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Good thinking. Few people start out expecting or wanting to retire early. But minds change. And circumstances can force it on you unbidden. Financial independence give you options.
Quote:
Your outlook on life changes. What once was a passion, becomes a job. A favorite hobby gets old.
Quoted for truth. Live in the present, but prepare yourself for the future. Have a "get out of jail free" card ready so you can bail whenever you want or you'll be trapped in your prison for a LONG time.
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:00 PM   #15
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Congrats, you are off to a great start. If you wanted to ER at your age I would really wonder about your work ethic. Agree that FI may be a better goal than ER. Once you have FI the rest is easy.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:40 PM   #16
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Welcome Doug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougC View Post
I have no intention of children. I do not want a large home, I do want to get married.
Are you in a relationship now, and if so how does your intended spouse feel about these issues?

From a purely financial perspective, having children is definitely a bad idea (at least in contemporary Western society). However, many people have other motives and feel very strongly about their desire to reproduce. You need to ensure that you are both on the same page, as a half-way compromise on this issue is not really possible.

I second the comments of two4theroad and Midpack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
As I mentioned before, my father in law has always said that retirement is for lazy people.
Well, I guess some might say that "working is for stupid people".

Wouldn't it be great if everyone was free to make their own decisions and choices without being judged and labled? In a perfect world!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
He himself never planned on retiring and, as a consequence, did not prepare adequately for his own (unexpected) retirement. Now in his mid 60's, he is struggling financially. He was let go from his high-paying job in 2007 and has struggled to make any money at all over the past 3 years. The little money he had in retirement accounts has already been spent on bills. But he "forgot" to pay taxes on the withdrawals and now owes a huge amount of back taxes to the IRS and no way to pay for them. And he still has a large mortgage on his house.
I don't know the entire picture, but on the basis of what you've related I can't feel sorry for him; he was the author of his own misforture. I hope he doesn't hit you up for financial support.

Quote:
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When I started my career, I personally thought I'd work 30-40 years and retire in my 60's like everyone else. I enjoyed my work, so working for a few decades did not seem unreasonable. But I had no idea that the stress from the job would actually start negatively impacting my health so early in my career. That pretty much took all the fun out of working. My advice is: whether you plan on retiring or not, plan for retirement all the same. Life has a way to throw curve balls when you least expect it.
Amen.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:02 PM   #17
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Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:34 PM   #18
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Or:
When I was young it was more important.
Pain more painful,
Laughter much louder, yeah.
When I was young
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:01 PM   #19
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Hi Everyone,

The title of the post reflects my view after 25 years of knowing myself. I could never really sit still.

BUT, I plan my financial future as if I was going to have a traditional retirement one day. Financial freedom is my top priority.

...

Any other advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Doug Corbett
Well Doug, all I can say is that you should continue down the path you're traveling until it either changes with/without your choice.
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