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Old 02-04-2014, 12:37 PM   #21
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I have a 7YO and a 9YO, so my kids are a lot younger than yours by the sounds of it.

In addition to holding down an aggravating job, I had a lot of things to do or figure out by the time I was ready to split. I had to get a vasectomy done, I had to deconcentrate our portfolio (lots of large individual equity positions), I had to figure out the intricacies of Obamacare and make sure we could get decent coverage at a price we could afford, I had to come up with a retirement budget, I had to connect the dots on how the part time self employment thing would work out (part of our retirement financial plan), I had to figure out what I was retiring too rather than from, etc. There was a truckload to do in between working, chasing kids, etc.
Yikes! You are way braver than we are! Going part time was never an option, though. DH tends to be an all or nothing kind of guy, putting in way more hours than he is paid for...if that is possible when salaried. We definitely need to get a better handle on ACA, though I think that will have evolved some by the time we are done, and his company does offer retiree health care at this time. I suspect that will be a casualty of ACA, however. Could have been pulled at any time anyway, causing us to budget an extra 20K /year just in case. Our FP took care of the change in portfolio, which is now much less high octane. Our last hurdle is getting Youngest out of high school so we can move out of this high cost of living area to our county house, assuming by then I have finished the punch list that is required to get our primary residence on the market and sold.

I think we have a decent handle on what we are retiring to, having bought a river front home in the boonies out of preforeclosure a couple of years ago. I've been modifying it from a 1br/1.5ba, in the process of adding two more bedrooms, a bunk house and having a shower added to the half bath, basically converting the lower level workshop/garage to the first level of the home. It took me a while to realize a 1 br house would not work when the kids were home from school, but it is coming along nicely: riverhse's uploaded images - Imgur The real trick is going to be DH's transition from 12 hour days at work to working hard at fishing, hiking, and kayaking! That's work worth doing!

IP
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:43 PM   #22
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There's nothing "urban" about our neck of the woods unless you drive 45+ miles into Victoria, or close to 90 minutes to San Antonio if you need something really urban!
Oooh, sorry. Had you confused with another poster at REHP that shares your (real) first name and lives in Pittsburgh.

Did consider some of the rivers in your general neck of the woods, particularly when we almost took a transfer down there. Definitely look forward to checking out that area better, being already fond of Austin and San Antonio. There is only so much one can pick up about an area on line.

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Old 02-04-2014, 12:52 PM   #23
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Welcome InParadise. I was very active in REHP TMF forum from 2000 until about 2007. Did you post under the same username? I used the same name.

It is sad what has happened to the Motley Fool. My mom (and I) seem to be permanently on their mailing list, and mom also reads their stuff in her local Sunday paper.

She is convinced that they are some type of stock gurus. I've tried explaining that 15 years ago they were, big proponents of index funds, do it yourself investing and sharing of ideas among members. However, they quickly discovered their was no money in that. So they switched 180 degrees and now push, managed funds, newsletters and expert advice.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:54 PM   #24
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She is convinced that they are some type of stock gurus. I've tried explaining that 15 years ago they were, big proponents of index funds, do it yourself investing and sharing of ideas among members. However, they quickly discovered their was no money in that. So they switched 180 degrees and now push, managed funds, newsletters and expert advice.
Yep, I've said that for years about TMF. They have become almost exactly "The Wise" they used to dismiss as money-suck who didn't know any more than a well-informed individual investor.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:02 PM   #25
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The house is lovely, IP.

Part time is actually not a big deal. DW has been part time self employed for years and now that I am free I can see so many low effort ways to pick up a few shekels here and there. Our budget is pretty modest (5k/month) and I figure we will cover 2 to 3k/month for the first few years to mitigate sequence of returns risk and hedge the fact that W and I are pulling the plug at age 40.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:04 PM   #26
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I was an avid follower of TMF and especially the REHP board. I bailed out on both over a decade ago, for much of the same reasons mentioned in the posts above. I recognize some of the usernames here from the olden days.

I recently took a look at TMF. Good grief!
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Yep, I've said that for years about TMF. They have become almost exactly "The Wise" they used to dismiss as money-suck who didn't know any more than a well-informed individual investor.
Precisely.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:24 PM   #27
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Welcome InParadise. I was very active in REHP TMF forum from 2000 until about 2007. Did you post under the same username? I used the same name.

It is sad what has happened to the Motley Fool. My mom (and I) seem to be permanently on their mailing list, and mom also reads their stuff in her local Sunday paper.

She is convinced that they are some type of stock gurus. I've tried explaining that 15 years ago they were, big proponents of index funds, do it yourself investing and sharing of ideas among members. However, they quickly discovered their was no money in that. So they switched 180 degrees and now push, managed funds, newsletters and expert advice.
Yes, same name, since 1999. The only value to TMF is some of their boards. I found great support in dealing with my elderly parents during their decline and beyond on the Taking Care of Parents board, tax help on Tax Strategies, wonderful feedback for my various projects on Building and Maintaining a Home board, and enjoy the Buying/Selling a Home board. None of the boards I frequent there are political, and there are many wonderful posters who are great and generous resources.

I have to receive their emails touting their special "deals" in order to receive private emails from other posters, or I would have ditched those. They sold out long ago, and sadly even their articles have very little merit, at least to me, acting mostly as selling teases for their services. You should be able to unsubscribe from their emails if you don't want to receive them.

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Old 02-04-2014, 01:44 PM   #28
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The house is lovely, IP.

Part time is actually not a big deal. DW has been part time self employed for years and now that I am free I can see so many low effort ways to pick up a few shekels here and there. Our budget is pretty modest (5k/month) and I figure we will cover 2 to 3k/month for the first few years to mitigate sequence of returns risk and hedge the fact that W and I are pulling the plug at age 40.
What a fabulous success to retire at 40! Are you still in the same area? IIRC, that's a darned high COL!

It's funny how everyone has a different definition of "retirement," and what counts is satisfying your requirements. When Eldest came along and we decided a two career family meant someone else raising our kids, I quit my career and became Family Facilitator. No outside pay, but never considered myself retired, and frankly had some months where I made more than DH with my investing returns. It was well paid work, but frankly I am now more than happy to pay someone to do it.

With having kids, there were times when our desire to RE were in conflict with their desires. We are not high maintenance people, and we do not drive the BMWs or Acuras that our kids' friends parents do. Heck, some of the kids drive Mercedes to school, albeit no doubt a cast off 3 year old model that was replaced with a new one. When Youngest asked why we didn't have an expensive car, I explained that I was more interested in getting DH out from behind his desk before he died there, than driving an expensive car that did no better than the basic one we had. And I've had to explain to him that just because we were heading on to the next phase of our life, it didn't mean he was being excluded. He too would be heading to his college stage, and would definitely have a room to come back to at the cabin. Your kids will probably have a leg up on all this, since you will have scaled back when they were so young, but it is important to discuss with them the joy of choice that comes from financial independence, and the trade offs that requires. I am the youngest of my siblings, by far, and for many years felt I was being pushed out of the nest in pursuit of my parents early retirement, full time RVing. I won't do that to our kids, but unless you start the dialog, it probably won't happen.

OK, off the soapbox!

IP
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:02 PM   #29
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Actually a bit over 2.5 years ago we relocated to the Denver area with my employer doing a transfer and paying for the move. DW grew up here, most of her family is here, and this is the area we had always planned on ERing. Cost of living is way lower and basically makes what we are doing possible. We also hugely traded up in school districts and lifestyle.

We started teaching the kids about money at an early age, so its not challenging to explain things about lifestyle choices to them. We never had the big lifestyle and always avoided communities that had a ton of conspicuous consumption, so its never really been an issue with the kids.

I consider myself ESRd or ERd. I don't necessarily not want to work or earn money, its just that the days of me showing up at someone's beck and call every day for money are over. Among other things, I have started writing stuff for Seeking Alpha and I am open to opportunities that are interesting, sufficiently lucrative and have a minimum amount of BS.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:16 PM   #30
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It is sad what has happened to the Motley Fool. My mom (and I) seem to be permanently on their mailing list, and mom also reads their stuff in her local Sunday paper.
I subscribe to their Rule Breakers newsletter simply because I have a small amount invested in RB stocks and have quite enjoyed following their fortunes. However, I plan to sell those stocks and stop my subscription in the next few years, when my entire portfolio will be index funds. The regular price for the newsletter subscription is much more than I'm willing to pay so when it expires, I don't renew, and they end up giving it me way cheaper after a month or two. I hate these kinds of games but if that's the way they want to play it...........

As a result of this subscription, I have to endure the excessive stream of "This is your last chance to sign up for this exclusive opportunity" type of e-mails. They drive me barmy. Sometimes, they offer me "one final chance" many times in a row, only to start doing it again once the initial "final deadline" has passed. What kind of idiot do they think I am?

It's a real shame.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #31
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It is amazing, the power of lowering one's cost of living. Your move to Denver makes much more sense. I could not imagine a budget of $5K/mo where you used to live!

We don't expect to need near that much, though that is our budget too, net of college costs which have already been accounted for. It actually will be interesting to see what the schools expect us to pay in retirement. I recently found out that if our AGI is under $50K, (today's requirement,) "then the family qualifies for the Simplified Needs Test which disregards assets when determining the expected family contribution." FinAid | Financial Aid Applications | Maximizing Your Aid Eligibility So we would file a different FAFSA that ignores our savings. That will be interesting to see how it affects our expected family contribution, particularly if they do not then just throw loans at us. It pays to do research and think outside the box.

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Old 02-04-2014, 02:27 PM   #32
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We don't expect to need near that much, though that is our budget too, net of college costs which have already been accounted for. It actually will be interesting to see what the schools expect us to pay in retirement. I recently found out that if our AGI is under $50K, (today's requirement,) "then the family qualifies for the Simplified Needs Test which disregards assets when determining the expected family contribution." FinAid | Financial Aid Applications | Maximizing Your Aid Eligibility So we would file a different FAFSA that ignores our savings. That will be interesting to see how it affects our expected family contribution, particularly if they do not then just throw loans at us. It pays to do research and think outside the box.

IP
We will bring in MAGI just under 35k this year in order to maximize Obamacare goodies. We cannot do that every year, but since I think the subsidies will eventually go away for people like me I am trying to maximize it while I can.
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:49 PM   #33
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When Eldest came along and we decided a two career family meant someone else raising our kids, I quit my career and became Family Facilitator.
I guess it just depends on the situation. In our family, DH and I both worked full-time and we never felt that meant someone else raising our kids. And, I don't think our kids (our youngest are in college now) ever felt that anyone raised them other than DH and I. While we did both work, we prioritized our out of work lives in family related activities. Perhaps that made the difference.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #34
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Katsmeow, I never meant to imply that others should do what we did. DH works 12+ hour days and I had put in long days as well, in addition to being on the road 25% of the time. No family lived near us, and we were talking Au Pair. It was also the time when the Nanny Cam scandles were all over the news, showing one abusive nanny after another. By the time my maternity leave was over, I couldn't face handing Eldest over to someone else. Actually tried working part time from home for three months, but we had the choice to be a one income family so we took it. It is wonderful having options.

For the most part, I don't regret giving up my career, though I am fortunate nothing happened to him, making me the primary bread winner. I have not found that the kids need me less now than when younger. I tried going back to work a couple of times, but it was always too much a strain on the family, and simply not worth it after taxes and expenses. Plus, my returns on investments definitely fell when I didn't pay enough attention to them, so staying at home was the best option for the family. Got to give lots of credit to DH, though. He never made me feel as though I was not pulling my full weight by not bringing a paycheck home. He filled in a couple of times during those first three months when I was still working and had to go in for a meeting, and was stunned at how little he got done that day compared to my normal schedule. Got to confess that was pretty darned validating.

I also wonder if having only the one salary, albeit a very good one, helped to cement the desire to save raises and bonuses rather than increase our standard of living, which has remained essentially the same since we married. It probably always was in us, but I found it motivational.

YMMV. It almost always does. :-)

IP
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:36 PM   #35
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REHP by John P. Greaney, my patron saint, from whom with the Terhorsts and the Kaderlies I learned that it was possible to leave the game before I die.
John Greaney was the first person to enlighten me as to the possibility of retiring early. That lit a fire under me and we started getting very serious about saving and investing.

I visited the REHP and LBYM boards, but got tired of wading through the crap about a decade ago. Also, the buy and hold philosophy that the MF pushed cost me dearly during the high tech bust.

I very rarely go over to the MF anymore. This website is in my top 3 favorite websites.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:05 PM   #36
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Another who has given up on TMF REHP

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The mods here do an excellent job nipping that stuff in the bud and I am grateful for their efforts.

True! I was a moderator briefly last year - don't even think I lasted a month after I saw how hard they work (something a typical member never sees) - and I asked them to return me to sender.

All their decisions are group, so don't ever think there's some "renegade moderator" that has it in for you (that's a generic "you", not to brewer12345). Better yet, just behave. That's not so hard.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:45 PM   #37
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Oh I don't know...unless Brewer tells me the top secret drinking spots in the Denver area before our trip through there later this year, he's a marked man!!
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:51 PM   #38
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Oh I don't know...unless Brewer tells me the top secret drinking spots in the Denver area before our trip through there later this year, he's a marked man!!

I've visited Denver a lot but not to drinking spots. Boulder's Pearl Street is a different story. It's just a little way up the road.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:11 PM   #39
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Oh I don't know...unless Brewer tells me the top secret drinking spots in the Denver area before our trip through there later this year, he's a marked man!!
Damned if I know. Have you seen how much bars charge for a pint? Mostly I head for (or send eldest for) the taps in my basement.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #40
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Katsmeow, I never meant to imply that others should do what we did. DH works 12+ hour days and I had put in long days as well, in addition to being on the road 25% of the time. No family lived near us, and we were talking Au Pair. It was also the time when the Nanny Cam scandles were all over the news, showing one abusive nanny after another. By the time my maternity leave was over, I couldn't face handing Eldest over to someone else. Actually tried working part time from home for three months, but we had the choice to be a one income family so we took it. It is wonderful having options.
I certainly can understand the choice to be a one income family and to have one parent be the stay at home parent. I have no problem with that choice at all. When I semi-retired a few years ago began working very part-time and DH retired fully that allowed us to homeschool our daughter for high school which was to the benefit of all of us. I've cherished that experience.

The only thing that bothered me in the initial post was solely the phrase
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we decided a two career family meant someone else raising our kids
which certainly seemed to me to imply that having a 2 career family somehow means the parents aren't raising their children and have chosen to kind of frivolously have others raise their children. I just felt that phrase was sort of a loaded phrase that might come across hurtful to those of us who made a different choice. In any event, I personally think that either choice can be a good choice for the specific family and that, regardless of the choice made, one can be a 2 career family and still be raising one's children.

Anyway...I've digressed so back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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