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BigMoneyJim is Back
Old 02-08-2003, 02:04 PM   #1
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BigMoneyJim is Back

Hi all,

I probably wasn't one of the more well known MF REHP posters, but I posted a fair bit from mid 2000 through the time they went pay.

I tried the Yahoo groups board, but it didn't feel comfortable to use and most of the regulars weren't there. I don't know if I ever tried the MSN board, but this one looks real nice, Dory36, and I see a lot of familiar names. I haven't read much yet, but I'm willing to bet the signal-to-noise ratio is high.

I admit I miss a "rec" or moderation-type system, but the way the topics are separated looks like it will be better than the MF boards. (Besides, the "rec" or moderation systems tend to result in voting for opinions more than substance and some posters--me included--might sometimes thing about what might get more points than what they really want to say.)

Oh yeah, I'm also long-winded at the keyboard. I hadn't tested in years and thought I was slipping, but a coworker had installed Mavis Beacon and I took the test and clocked at 69wpm. I had no idea I was that fast, and I didn't think I did well on the test. Maybe Mavis was being generous.

I'm single and 32, have a comfortable amount in my 401(k) (although it's only half as comfortable as it was about 3 years know what I mean) but also have credit card debt. I don't have a retirement date in mind yet; I'm more focused on eliminating the debt, cranking the 401(k) and IRA contribs to max, building a cash cushion and then saving for a down payment and "nonretirement" investing--that is, outside of a tax-deferred account.

I was smart and/or lucky enough to start contributing 15% of my gross income to my 401(k) since age 21 but didn't have it invested intelligently, and I had a few thousand in credit card debt. About 6 years ago I read a couple of finance books, adjusted my investments and started working on the debt.

I always seemed to be 5 years away from paying it off. In March 2000 I bigheadedly quit my 11-year job and joined a startup company with stock options. They promptly went under and I stupidly "took a few months off" because I had some cash. During those months the economy and job market crashed and I was racking up more debt while looking for work. I finally took a desperation job for a couple of months to keep my head afloat before I got back into my industry at a lower-than-hoped-for-but-thankful-to-have salary. That company announced layoffs, and I didn't get laid off but I was scared.

I got back with my 11-year company in mid-2001 at a much better salary. In mid-2002 I consolidated my debt with the help of a relative's low-interest credit card, sold my fancy truck and bought a cheaper (but reliable) car from a relative. After all that I seemed 3 years away from being debt free.

However in this new year I started looking at what I had and rethinking. I could pay it all off in 2 1/2 years, or I could reduce my 401(k) contributions and/or take a loan from my 401(k) and pay off the credit card debt possibly as soon as December this year leaving just the interest-free payments to my relative for the car. (I'm leaving out a bunch of details and will probably post this in more detail in one of the other forums and request advice.)

So I'm in a position in my finances where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel where I will emerge debt free and relatively financially independent--not to the point of retiring but being able to support myself on minimum wage if necessary and still have retirement investments.

I will do a loud and raucous MF-LBYM-style Happy Dance when that happens. (When I'm independent, not necessarily when/if I'm making minimum wage!)

After that I can start thinking about when my retirement will be and what form it will take. I see Dory36 was in Fort Lauderdale 3 days ago. How big is that boat, Dory36?

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Re: BigMoneyJim is Back
Old 02-08-2003, 02:09 PM   #2
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Re: BigMoneyJim is Back

Oops, I guess that was West Palm Beach, not Fort Lauderdale.

By the way, I'm not coming on to Dory36, but it was 6 degrees here this morning and I expect the weather is a bit better where his/her boat is.

[Edited "her" boat to "his/her" boat because I'm not sure if Dory36 is Mr. Dory36 or Mrs. Dory36. Sorry Dory36!]

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Re: BigMoneyJim is Back
Old 02-09-2003, 01:18 AM   #3 Founder
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Re: BigMoneyJim is Back

Thanks for the narrative -- I bet many of us went through something similar!

BTW, Dory is the name the boat had when we bought her. That name was taken when I tried to register it on TMF, so I added the length (36 feet) to get Dory36.

Dory36, aka Capn Bill, traveling with Admiral Sue
Often uninformed, seldom undecided.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. Mark Twain
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Re: BigMoneyJim is Back
Old 02-13-2003, 10:01 AM   #4
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Re: BigMoneyJim is Back

I probably wasn't one of the more well known MF REHP posters, but I posted a fair bit from mid 2000 through the time they went pay.
So, does this mean I should take you off my TMF Favorites list

Anyway - welcome aboard. The more the merrier, I think we're reaching a critical mass, and this is an interesting bunch of people.

I miss the rec system, too. When he's not partying with other boaters or recovering from a hangover, Dory36 has promised to think about recs. I think it is technically a difficult think to do.

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Old 01-01-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
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Old Thread Warning
This Thread is more than 2879 days old. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
Well on you vBulleting warning!

I saw DRiP Guy's update and felt like copycatting compelled to update. I come and go on the boards, so I was scarce here for a while.

Anyhoo, I paid off my CC debt in June 2004 and paid off the car shortly after.

I quit my job again in 2006 to move back to TX to be closer to my niece and nephew(s). (Then one, now two.) Less-than-optimally I quit and moved without having a job lined up and then dragged my feet on going back to work, so I had a little debt again. Then I updated my car when it started having several more serious problems. I paid all that off again, in 2008 I think, and have maintained being debt free and building my savings.

Currently I am looking at buying a house since rates and prices are low, and I don't see being compelled to move in the next several years. I am contributing to a 401(k) and after-tax savings. My investments are largely on autopilot, and although I'm making progress I may not be able to retire until age 55 or so. I'm 40 now.

After working so hard and long to get out of debt I found it hard to start spending again, but I want to enjoy life now as well as when I retire. It took a while to figure out my balance between saving and spending.

I also find that sometimes I fretting too much about my savings and my job security. When I was in debt it was easier to make decisions on what to do with the money: pay down the debt. Now I have more freedom and sometimes worry too much about whether I'm making the best decisions. I have to remind myself that I am much better off with no debt and a few months of emergency funds than I was when I owed $30k and had only the 401(k) to fall back on if it came to that.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:15 PM   #6
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Another update, and I'm (maybe) back again.

I did buy a house in 2011, and then I got a job with a financial services company and went very low profile here. I had also slowed down here because my finances were on auto-pilot, and the topic of early retirement was no longer of immediate interest to me.

Now I'm getting laid off. It's a sad, sad story...they re giving me money and releasing me into a hot job market with lots of glowing references. Ok, not that sad; I'm almost over it.

The original plan was to find work immediately, most likely with another financial services company because they seem to be hiring for my skillsócloud and automationóright now.

But the savings milestones keep piling up for me. I'm not near my inflation-adjusted year-2000 retirement target of then-$1mil, but it first occurred to me that I could conceivably quit saving, work to cover expenses for 5-10 years and still retire early.

I am also realizing that I am now closer to drawing early SS than I am to when I first started thinking about early retirement. I guess I'm not a young dreamer anymore.

So now, for the third time in my career I may take multiple months off and burn through some severance and savings. But this time I'm going to test the waters of early semi-retirement. (Although since I'm not planning on taking withdrawals, maybe it isn't truly semi-retirement.) I'm going to see what alternative income streams I can come up with, and if I can cover expenses.

I'll probably have to start looking for work again, but it's worth a try.

And if getting laid off isn't enough of a change, my niece graduated high school, and my sister and nephews might move to another state, so I might take the opportunity to follow them depending on where they go.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:28 PM   #7
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Welcome back again, BMJ. Sorry to hear about the layoff, but it sounds like you have several attractive possibilities in mind. I never tried being semi-retired, but many here say that they love it.
5/17/2018: Retired a second time, this time from my volunteer Admin duties. After 10 years of being on the team, and 40,000+ posts, the time just seemed right. It has been such fun to work with all of our Mods and Admins and I plan to stick around as a regular member.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:30 AM   #8
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I highly recommend semi-retirement with w*rk you enjoy and the flexibility to travel, etc.

Might be a winner for you....
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:08 AM   #9
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Welcome back...again. Good luck with all your decisions.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:37 PM   #10
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Welcome back! A few years before I FIRED I took time off between j*bs with severance and then went part time when I returned to w*rk. I recommend both if the opportunities arise and finances allow it. It was a nice transition prior to FIRE.

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Old 08-22-2017, 01:54 PM   #11
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I went part time (consulting engineering) for about two years and it worked out fine. But now I am done with it.
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:07 PM   #12
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BigMoneyJim is Back

For me the key to "semi" is control - I love saying no to boring projects and lousy people and enjoy saying the occasional yes to interesting problems and good people. If the cause is good enough I'm happy to do it for free or for equity (and it looks like one of these might even pay off this month!); if the cause is purely commercial I keep my rates very high to discourage jerks and ensure working a few days a month is enough. But the key is control. As soon as you do it because you have to, it feels like a job again I think.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:44 PM   #13
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Welcome back, Jim. Every time I see your name, I'm reminded of the Day of Jennifer. Sounds like you are well on your way -- older, wiser and richer.
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:45 PM   #14
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<sarcasm>Sorry about the layoff. That sucks!</sarcasm>

edit: crap, the html tags didn't render correctly. Internet must be broken today.
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (6, 11, and 13).
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:05 PM   #15
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I hope the layoff is the start of a new, interesting time for you. I saw your post at MMM and hope to follow your journey.

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