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37 year old finally focused on FIRE
Old 09-04-2007, 08:36 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
save4aFIREyday's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 9
37 year old finally focused on FIRE

Hi! I have been lurking for a couple of weeks now, and I have really enjoyed reading these boards. I am so happy to have found people who understand that there are so many better options in life than going to w*rk every day.

So, a little about me: I am a 37 year old female, and I have always been a believer in LBYM, so I have saved money over the years, but it wasn’t until fairly recently (about a year ago) that I really got serious about ER. For the first time, I looked at my asset allocation and started paying much closer attention to what I am saving/spending and where it is going. Currently, I have about $430k saved with approximately the following allocation:

37% Large Market
9% Mid
13% Small
8% Other – primarily a health care fund – not sure what to do with this
10% International
16% Money Market

I would like to increase my international and small-cap holdings, but other than that, I am not sure if I will/should make big changes.

Currently, I make $82k per year and save about 30% of my income. Last year I spent about $30k and expect this year to be about the same. Also, my salary was about $72k last year, and I saved 36% of that. So, I really should be able to save more than 30% this year since my salary is higher, but we shall see. I will not get a pension or retiree health care, so I am thinking I will semi-retire at some point and work enough to get health care and cover basic expenses while letting my savings continue to grow. I’m not sure when I will be able to make that switch, but it is nice to think about reducing my work hours at some point.

Other relevant info: I live in Atlanta and own a house with about $80k of equity. I am single with no kids.

Also, I have taken two sabbaticals in my life, one for 2 ˝ months in 2000 and the other for 4 months in 2003, and those tastes of retirement (Freedom!!) have made me very eager to get FIRE’d permanently. I know I am mentally ready for it; I’ve just got to get the finances there, as well!

Anyway, thank you for reading my really long post! Any thoughts or comments you have are welcome! I look forward to getting to know everyone!

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Old 09-04-2007, 08:58 AM   #2
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Congratulations and welcome to the board

You have done well. My question is about the Money market allocation. Is that pretax or posttax. I am assuming that is your emergency fund.

As you have picked up, this group is not typical of most people financially. There is even a thread about dealing with your cow-orkers who can't deal with the LBYM philosophy.

Look around and enjoy yourself. We look forward to your contributions.

Angels danced on the day that you were born.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:37 AM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta suburbs
Posts: 881

Welcome to the board,
I think financially you are doing great.
Do you have an emergency fund covered?
I'm assuming that since you are single and no kids you don't really need life insurance.

sailor (also in Atlanta)

PS: You forgot to post your picture, so you could attract some single Atlanta LBYMers (NinjaPigeon - are you listening?)
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:19 AM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
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Posts: 9
Thanks for the replies!

Yes, the money market is the emergency fund, so it is in a regular taxable account rather than 401k/IRA. Actually, the majority of my savings is in taxable accounts since I foolishly/strangely did not contribute much to 401k's at prior jobs but instead saved outside of them. Clearly not the best approach!

bssc, thanks, I will check out that thread about the co-workers. Luckily my current office environment is lower-key than previous jobs, so there aren't as many people who seem to spend all their money on clothes, but I'm sure the thread will be useful anyway.

sailor, so, you are saying I can get FIRE tips and a dating service all-in-one? Excellent! Actually, I have dated guys who spent money like there was no tomorrow, and it made me very uncomfortable. I definitely can only date guys who share my cheapness frugality.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:36 AM   #5
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Save4, welcome! Tell us about your sabbaticals! We took 3 months in 2003 to go sailing in the Bahamas and it ruined us for "regular life", too!

You are doing great! Congrats on being much further along at 37 than me!
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

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Old 09-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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Welcome! This board is awesome...advice you are looking for....and then some!

(also a single 37 yo female planning like mad to fire!)
Make no mistake, my friend, it takes more than money to make men rich. - A. P. Gouthey
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Old 09-04-2007, 01:19 PM   #7
Confused about dryer sheets
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 9
Hi Sarah,

You really hit the nail on the head about sabbaticals ruining you for regular life! I could not agree more!! I have found that sabbaticals are so helpful for getting perspective on my life and figuring out which aspects of it I want to continue and which I don't. Even if I can't get rid of something like w*rk right away, at least I can strive to get rid of it sooner rather than later.

Sailing in the Bahamas for 3 months sounds incredible! Did you get to explore all the islands? Did you rent a sailboat or go with others? That seems like it would be so relaxing!

My first sabbatical was primarily to write my masters thesis as well as just to get away from work for a while. It was a great time even though I didn't do anything earth shattering. I would exercise in the morning, then work on my thesis for a couple of hours, then maybe go meet my parents for lunch, then work some more in the afternoon, then call it a day. Or if there was something else I wanted to do in the afternoon, I could do that and then work on my thesis in the evening. It was a wonderful schedule, and I loved having the freedom to decide what I was going to do each day. I definitely want that freedom again.

During my second sabbatical, I spent about a month out west going to national parks and other sights primarily in Colorado and Utah but also spending some time in Arizona and New Mexico. It is amazing out there. It is such a different world compared to the east coast. The landscapes are like being in another world. After that I visited friends in Nashville, Raleigh, and New York, and then the holidays were coming up, so it seemed like I might as well enjoy them without the burden of a j*b.

After the first of the year, reality intruded, and it was back to the grind. However, I do usually find that the grind is a bit more tolerable when I believe that I will not have to do it forever. Do you agree?

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