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29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 05:34 PM   #1
 
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29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Hey all,

I've been slacking at work all day today, dreaming of early retirement.*

I have a relatively fairly high income and low debt, but not much savings.* I really need all the encouragement I can get to avoid the temptation to keep buying more and more STUFF.* I figure by hanging around this board maybe some of you smarties will be a good influence on me.

I would just love to retire to a nice little cabin somewhere and take up wood working.* If I'm not careful though, I'll wake up one day, 50 years old, living in some unnecessarily expensive McMansion, trying to put kids through college, driving some luxury car to and from my 10 hour a day job to afford it all.* PLEASE GIVE ME THE SUPPORT TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING!

Thanks in advance!
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

OK. You have my support. Leave below your mean, save enough and exit.
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 07:27 PM   #3
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Just keep saying to yourself:

I don't own things; things own me.
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 07:29 PM   #4
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Sooooo, you want me to encourage a lawyer to retire eh?
OK, I'll do all I can to help
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Whats a feasor ? ... I myself am looking at ER at 50 next year, was going to go out at 55 BUT the more I thought about it, the more I read, the more I started Day dreaming, I have come to terms that sticking around for 5 more years wasn't worth the cost.

Continue trolling the boards , reading what you can. Start formulating a plan and watch your self slip into it. You can keep living for the week end, or start living for your self. Take a Zen approach to your stuff .. don't get asthetic about it , look for less, but look for quality in the few things you do get. Who needs a room full of furinture , when you can get a quality persin rug and a few pillows. Stuff bogs you down and forces you to buy bigger places to keep your stuff. Let it go, enjoy a few things , put the rest into savings and enjoy living for your self.
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Welcome to the board, SLC.

You might also want to try the Simple Living & Dollar Stretcher sites.

It's not because you need the money, it's because others have found ways to divest themselves of the urge to splurge & start saving for themselves.
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 09:18 PM   #7
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
I would just love to retire to a nice little cabin somewhere and take up wood working.* If I'm not careful though, I'll wake up one day, 50 years old, living in some unnecessarily expensive McMansion, trying to put kids through college, driving some luxury car to and from my 10 hour a day job to afford it all.* PLEASE GIVE ME THE SUPPORT TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING!

Thanks in advance!
Buy some condoms.* 8)
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 10:02 PM   #8
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
Hey all,

I would just love to retire to a nice little cabin somewhere and take up wood working. If I'm not careful though, I'll wake up one day, 50 years old, living in some unnecessarily expensive McMansion, trying to put kids through college, driving some luxury car to and from my 10 hour a day job to afford it all. PLEASE GIVE ME THE SUPPORT TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING!
Welcome SLC!

The first step I would suggest is to log EVERY SINGLE EXPENDITURE you make - whether it's for a $2 latte or a $15 lunch. While it sounds potentially neurotic to some people (mainly, to those that spend everything they make, because they might not want to see just where it goes), its goal is to show you where exactly it all goes. Without truly knowing where it all goes, it's difficult to help you make future spending decisions because it's difficult to keep a running total in your mind of all of those small, discrecionary expenditures that quickly add up.

Once you have it all tabulated into categories (meals out, entertainment, etc.), you can then start putting each and every decision in the context of an "either/or" choice: I can either have this lunch out now OR I can make myself healthier food at home and brown bag it, lowering my future healthcare costs and reaching FIRE earlier.

Sure, you will need to allocate some room in your budget for current extravagences, but by changing the focus on your spending decisions from a "I want this, therefore I buy it", you now view everything in a "do I want to be a wage slave for 20 more years just so I can have this now?" context (again, while at the same time, enjoying a modest budget for fun today).

Don't forget that you aren't a prisioner to your wants - truly desiring FIRE is more of a victory of your mental power over your body than anything else. Your body may say that you want to go to the nightclubs and live it up high on the hog with your friends, but that doesn't mean you have to....as long as your desire for FIRE is strong enough (use the force, Luke....)
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-15-2005, 10:15 PM   #9
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

* Good advice here ... and I'd suggest that if you decide to marry, make sure your prospective spouse is on the same page with you financially.* A spouse who wants stuff, and more stuff, and a McMansion will help guarantee your 10-hour days forever....
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 07:43 AM   #10
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Well my friend you decide your destiny. You have control over what you buy or at least 1/2 if you are married Either exit early and do what you really want to do or slave away at a job you don't lile until your 60 or more...tough choice

Smart people around the forum, post questions and design a plan.
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 08:01 AM   #11
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Counsellor, welcome.

You'll find that there are a number of attorneys who regularly frequent this board and are in the position that you want to be in.
They asked the same question that you are asking.

My advice. Listen to the above and read the other threads. There is a great deal of collective wisdom here. There are also a number of different ways to achieve the goal.

After you have decided how to go ---- then look in the mirror and make it happen.

Best of luck. Being on the other side of the journey I know that you have already asked the most important question: How to make it happen!

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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 08:13 AM   #12
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Quote:
Buy some condoms.
This may be one of the best shortcuts to ER!
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 08:26 AM   #13
 
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

SLC, you already seem to have the right attitude. *Just realizing that material STUFF is just that, stuff, puts you ahead of 80% of the population. *Buying things can be fun, but it's a sugar high. *It doesn't last. *

You mention that your income is relatively high. *Why use some of your slack time to work on a little project? *Pick the median income in your area. *Plan to ratchet down your expenses to live within that income. *Make a fetish out of playing with Quicken as others here have done. *Save the rest in some hard-to-get-to financial vehicle. *Stick to it and you will find yourself with pleasant options later on. *Good luck.

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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 11:51 AM   #14
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

I tried lawyering for awhile and discovered I was neither very good at it nor did I particularly like it -- despite the high income.

My advice: use that wonderful education and find something that benefits from legal training that you like to do, LBYM (as noted many times above), and enjoy life to the limit. In 20 years, or perhaps less, you will be in a position to FIRE.

I used to think I was going to be in a lousy financial position at 60 (I'm almost 58 now) because I had no defined pension plans, hence a lot more savings/ investments. Now I'm glad it has turned out this way. Could FIRE now but my wife and I have decided to wait until our youngest child graduates from college, then we're off to another state (less expensive) and a retired life.

Best of luck to you.

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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 03:21 PM   #15
 
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Thanks to all for the encouraging words!* I think I'm going to like it around here.

Here's a follow-up question for you:

How do you keep up the enthusiasm for frugal living and planning for ER over the course of numerous years?* It seems to me that constantly lurking on boards like this could eventually drive a person crazy.* Wouldn't it be better to just get into a comfortable (yet frugal) rut for several years, and not count down the years, months, days, and hours until you punch your last timecard?* I've read some posts of people who consider themselves to be in the "home stretch" with several more years to go, and they sound like they're in agony, literally counting every day.* That just doesn't seem very healthy to me.*

You have to live for the present, but plan for the future.
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 03:29 PM   #16
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
It seems to me that constantly lurking on boards like this could eventually drive a person crazy.
No way!! Just ask th and JG...
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 04:00 PM   #17
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
How do you keep up the enthusiasm for frugal living and planning for ER over the course of numerous years?* It seems to me that constantly lurking on boards like this could eventually drive a person crazy.* Wouldn't it be better to just get into a comfortable (yet frugal) rut for several years, and not count down the years, months, days, and hours until you punch your last timecard?* I've read some posts of people who consider themselves to be in the "home stretch" with several more years to go, and they sound like they're in agony, literally counting every day.* That just doesn't seem very healthy to me.*

You have to live for the present, but plan for the future.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. And you appear to be confusing "deprivation" with "frugality".

Frugality is what develops when you track your expenses and decide that some of them are wasting your time/money. It's a simple as cutting down on the utility bills by making sure the home is properly insulated and that the faucets don't drip. (You don't even need to slug a wrench-- your local utilities may come out to your house for a free audit.) You decide that you'd rather retire a few years early than to keep leasing expensive vehicles, so you buy used or at least bargain on new. You eliminate credit card debt or find a better card. You refinance a mortgage. Maybe you decide that you eat out too much or have a big Starbucks habit. Those sites (and this board) will help you find ways to cut out the expenses that YOU deem wasteful.

Or we could send over the Deprivation Drill Sergeant to take away all your credit cards and make you stick to the basic three-- eat, sleep, & work. That's not going to make you enthusiastic about FIRE!

Some are handcuffed to their jobs by pensions or medical insurance and feel that it's too late to change. It'd be a good idea for you to avoid duplicating that situation but it is survivable. The people with countdown counters are probably goal-oriented and motivated by knowing how many minutes are left to ER. (I know I was.) If you don't want to have a counter then set some other goal-- reducing expenses by 10%, maxing out tax-deferred savings, ER before 50, whatever.

This is your ER and there are no rules. There are no penalties, either, unless you feel penalized by working. You've identified the situation a decade earlier than me and you'll have plenty of time to make it work for you. Or not-- your choice.

As for lurking on the board, it's not all FIRE analysis. Much of the time it's not even on topic. With a few notable exceptions (you'll quickly identify them) it's pretty enjoyable around here...
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 05:11 PM   #18
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

SLC:

I am ER'd.* Had plenty of education, (Phd/JD) still licensed in three states and weaseled my way into a lucrative management job before bailing out into ER. Stock options and bonus money really helped offsett the first marriage fiasco and resulting pre-mortem estate distribution.* Your success is likely to hinge on the right partner, as previously stated.

There is alot this board can do for you, but its no panacea.* As you stated a high maintenance lifestyle can enslave you.

So, study for the ultimate bar...admission to which* allows you to walk away and take your life back.

Here's a link you should read by a pioneer in this area of life planning:

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/5315/

Best of Luck
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-16-2005, 09:04 PM   #19
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor

How do you keep up the enthusiasm for frugal living and planning for ER over the course of numerous years? It seems to me that constantly lurking on boards like this could eventually drive a person crazy. Wouldn't it be better to just get into a comfortable (yet frugal) rut for several years, and not count down the years, months, days, and hours until you punch your last timecard?
Well, I'm young enough so I'm not yet in the countdown phase (although I'd love to do it by 40). Rather, I know roughly what kind of a portfolio it will take, and I instead focus on that.

Sure, people might accuse me of being like a miser - but we all have those things that we love to dote on. I just happen to enjoy watching my portfolio grow, just as people enjoy watching trees grow, or get a kick out of spending money and watching their pile o useless junk grow.

So, rather than thinking of when you will call it quits - try focusing on growing your portfolio. Besides - depending on the market, your actual end date might change significantly, and if you keep focusing on just the date and the date ends up changing for the worse, it could be a big blow to your emotional level.
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!
Old 06-17-2005, 06:05 AM   #20
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Re: 29 year old lawyer, planning for ER!

Quote:
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You mention that your income is relatively high. Why use some of your slack time to work on a little project? Pick the median income in your area. Plan to ratchet down your expenses to live within that income. Make a fetish out of playing with Quicken as others here have done. Save the rest in some hard-to-get-to financial vehicle. Stick to it and you will find yourself with pleasant options later on. Good luck.

Tozz, I think that is a wonderful idea. We talk alot about what expenses we have and how it varies from person to person, but it is a rare person that can't easily live on the median income. After all half live below that amount.

Tortfeasor, one big advantage of not getting into stuff is that you learn other ways to enjoy life that aren't tied to stuff. I think this pays off whether or not you retire early.

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