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 ago...you 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?