Hi I am a longtime lurker. Sometimes this forum motivates me and other times the posters seem unrealistic - one way or another. It's still interesting and entertaining to read now and then.
I'm age 43, no desire to ever get married, no kids. However, have had an active social and family life, which is a whole other story too long for this forum.
I have been investing and planning for ER since my 20's.
I remember when my goal was to have $30K saved and when I was around 31 years old I hit that - it was such an accomplishment at the time.
I now have about $300,000, mostly in in Roth IRAs. A few thousand of that is in a HSA which I use as a retirement account. A few thousand is in taxable accounts. I invest in index funds and a few individual stocks, all held longterm and well diversified. I have averaged what the market has - 10 percent, sometimes 11 percent, over the past 15 years since I began investing.
I have over $50,000 in a work Roth 401K which was a good plan- but now loses money every year due to work changing providers to their family friend who does a horrible job "churning" our accounts. We can not access our money until age 59.5 unless we quit, take a hardship or loan up to 50% of the account value.
To lessen my 401K losses, I take the max loan and "hardship" (ex: upcoming major dental surgery) withdrawals out whenever possible, in order to invest the money in index funds which yield a much higher return. Unfortunately we have no choice in our investments within the pooled plan, so after much calculation, taking money out whenever possible makes the most sense. This sounds extreme but it is truly the best option, given the situation.
I make $90000 a year after expenses, plus another $10000 from a part time job. I don't have a commute as I work out of my home but it's a very mentally stressful job, dealing with a lot of things day in and day out.
All commission based on dealings with hundreds of clients I have built from scratch, over my 15 + year career in the industry.
I owe $99K on house which has 7 years left on a 3.1% 10-year loan.
Owe $40,000 in credit card debt - that was used for needed home repairs - all at 0 percent. I have excellent credit and will continue to rollover the credit card debt to new 0 percent cards, paying a 3% BT fee every 18 months on average, because it makes no sense to pay it off early. I keep careful track and never miss a payment. I see it as leverage because using my index funds to pay it off would make no sense with the debt costing so little to keep it.
Car is in good shape and paid off, I drive less than 6000 miles a year due to working out of my home, and have the low-mileage ins. discount.
I don't have a lot of expenses, maybe $2000 a month is a very high estimate not counting the mortgage payment that's $1400. Usually I spend far less than that, but every 2-3 years take a "fancy" vacation (trip to Alaska was $4000, but most of my vacations are a lot less fancy and far cheaper).
So 7 years from now after the mortgage is paid off, I'll be 50 years old and 0 percent $40,000 credit card debt will be paid off.
I will likely have over $800K at the rate I am saving (I save and invest all my excess above expenses in a Roth IRA and taxable index funds - now that our w*rk 401K is no longer a good option), that's a conservative estimate. Of course, if the stockmarket tanks the next few years or shoots way up that $800K estimate will vary.
Do not know that I will fully retire right away, because if I scale back to working 2 days a week I can still make $40K off residual income/dealing with longtime clients, and keep the free health insurance my company offers.
In order to keep making $100K + a year (on paper more, but I have to pay some business expenses so I subtracted that), I must put in a lot of stressful w*rk.
I am so sick of dealing with the baloney from work on a daily basis. If it's not one thing, it's another. People making promises, then lying and not following through. List goes on and on, it's always something.
The best way to tell if my boss is lying, is look to see if his mouth is moving. Same with many other people I deal with through work on a daily basis.
Am so burnt out.
However I feel like I am so close to being able to scale back and semi-retire - I almost could do it now but that would be cutting it close.
It's not if it's when....when will I quit working full time 5 days a week (plus several hours many weekends doing paperwork) - and how soon should I give myself more time to relax and hike and do things I enjoy.
I looked into getting another job - nothing that's different from what I'm currently doing will pay me close to what I'm making now - unless I work years to build up my salary. It makes the most sense financially to keep doing what I'm doing a few more years.
I give myself 3 weeks vacation a year but usually use 2 of those weeks playing catch up from things I did not get done at w*rk.
I have set goals I follow, so I force myself to work to get everything done.
If not, I make less money, so I am strict with my schedule despite working from home.
I plan on gradually increasing my vacation time each year based on goals I hit. Example, when I have $500K in investments I will add a week's vacation. When I have the house paid off, another week.
By that time, I may change that plan and decide to work 2-3 days a week.
The job is stressful enough that I know as I get older I won't want to keep doing it.
I do meaningful volunteer work now and then and easily could do more, and enjoy it, if I did not work so much. Finding things to do with my spare time will never be a problem for me.
Seems like if I had house paid off and $800,000 invested that would be enough to scale back and work 2-3 days a week.
Have run Firecalc with different scenarios.
The problem with my job is it's secure to a point but a few years from now they could change our pay so we make a lot less.
A lot can happen to lower my income, it is the nature of the industry I'm in.
So I may not make $100K a year forever.
It seems like I need to get it while I can, if I can make that much and invest a lot as I have been, for the next 5-7 years at least, my ER or Semi-ER plans would be a lot more anchored and likely to work.
Seems the best thing to do is put up with all this for a few more years.
Wish I had been able to do better.
Not sure how long I can keep working like I am, but when I think of scaling back and working less, and run the numbers, I see it will mean I will work longer, for more years overall.
If I don't work a lot now I will be working so much longer - investments won't compound as fast if I slow down my savings/investing.
It makes me sick to see the money the higher-ups at my company make and yet they still cut our pay/benefits in "small" ways every so often as of late - despite the fact without us bringing in clients they would make far less profits.
We do all the hard work while they plot ways to increase their profits at our expense. It is wrong. Especially after they lied to us many times saying they would not cut our pay/benefits and have done just that. Slowly but surely.
Yet if I leave and go elsewhere, I lose income.
Waiting 7 years til my house is paid off seems like the best plan even though it seems like a long time. If the stockmarket does really well I could maybe do it in 6 years.
Work 2-3 days a week. Would rather work 1 day a week - maybe can do that after trying the 2-3 days and see how it goes.
Wish I could just quit but no way does it make sense, with the income I get from years of hard work - residual - if I quit I lose that "free" income.
I have spent hours on end going round and round thinking of all my options.
Do not have any viable ideas other than keep doing what I'm doing.