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Ending Rat Race at 30
Old 06-13-2007, 11:34 AM   #1
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Ending Rat Race at 30

Wow, I am so glad that I found this site. For about my entire life of 30 years I have kinda felt that I was swimming in a ocean alone, and almost felt like a alien on a planet I should not be on.

I am getting ready to turn 30 next month, and will hopefully be retired by August or September of this year.

If you all would not mind, I would like to share my story, as I finally feel like I have found some people that would understand it, and not think I am nuts, and if you are so inlined I would appreciate, any wisdom that you all would be kind enough to impart upon me.

Even as a young child, I think my biggest fear at 5-10 years old was wearing a suit to work everyday. I never understood the "go to school, make good grades, spend 100k or more on college, so you can get a job and work for someone and make them rich".

My first adventure was starting a lawn mower business when I was around 10 or so, and I actually got it to the point where I was making 40 dollars a hour all during the mowing season. When not mowing I got a almost full time job working at a restaurant, while attending school, playing sports.

When I was a kid I worked my rear end off, because my goal was to be self-employed and open my own store one day, by the time I was 18 I had saved around 80k. I had scholarships to the US Naval Academy and the Citadel, but at the time I was not sure if I would be mature enough to do as well as I should, and the long commitment to the military scared me also.

Eventually I got the USMC bug, and decided with all my expenses paid I could join the Marines, get some discipline, learn leadership skills, and save the rest of the money.

Everything went great until I shattered my back in a rollover in a 5 ton. I am still able to walk, but have lived with pretty intense pain for the last decade. Which being on my feet 10 hours a day on concrete floors hasn't helped.

But even that was a good expierence, because I knew that I would not be able to work the length that most people could, due to my injuries getting worse as I got older.

After I got out of the Marines I opened my own national franchisee restaurant (don't wanna say which atm, due to hard feelings with franchisor).

As a young kid, I had always felt if I gave everything for a couple of decades then I could goof off the rest of my life. This was really reinforced, by watching my father in law, bust his ass, retire at 61 and then die of a heart attack 6 months into retirement.

The restaurant business while it has been profitable, has utterly felt like it has been sucking my wife and my soul away. It is so sad how people in America (not all people but alot) have become so incredible rude, and dumbed down. Employee's either stole from me, or ran my customer off or were lazy, and my wife and I got to the point where, we would not hire people and just worked our ass off and did it ourselves. No vacations for a decade, working on our anniversary, sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.

I never really had a desire to be super wealthy, I just wanted to make a million bucks, and be done with it.

We live very frugally, about the only thing I will purchase for myself is a video game every now and then.

Our living expenses with some screw off money will be around 600 dollars per month at most, and we have zero debt. We will never go into debt again. Debt to me = slavery.

What I was planning to start my retirement, was having around 1 million in cash in CD's (at a 6.11 rate atm), and my income will also be suplemented by my disability, which at 100% from the service, and SSDI, is around 3600 or so a month tax free with COLA going up every year with inflation or close to it.

We plan on just living off my disability and letting our nest egg grow and grow, so we can leave our children (when we have them eventually) a huge nest egg to start their lives with when they are mature enough. Will most likely re-invest most of my disability also, as my wife and I can live of 24k a year and live as happy as we can be. We see money as nothing more then a tool, like a hammer or something. To us it is all about the freedom.

Our dreams are to travel, and to be able to raise children with BOTH of us being home. I dream of teaching my son at 5 years old the things wise people taught my in my late teenage years on how to build wealth. ( Drives me nuts that they do not teach these things in school, but I guess that is to keep people in the system)

My dream "job" is to wake up in the morning on some tropical island, walk down to the beach, and report to the wife, that the ocean is still there that morning .

My wife and I have basically just become disgusted with the American dream of self-employment and dealing with idiots all day, and we want to enjoy life and do everything together. I got to the point where I would rather go help at a zoo and shovel lion poop then deal with one more moron.

But anyways, that is part of my story, and just wanted to share that, and pick your brains.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:07 PM   #2
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Even as a young child, I think my biggest fear at 5-10 years old was wearing a suit to work everyday. I never understood the "go to school, make good grades, spend 100k or more on college, so you can get a job and work for someone and make them rich".
This is something you are born with. I also had the same feeling at a very young age that brought me to the same self-employed conclusion it brought you.

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As a young kid, I had always felt if I gave everything for a couple of decades then I could goof off the rest of my life.
Been there, done that too.

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I never really had a desire to be super wealthy, I just wanted to make a million bucks, and be done with it.
Ditto

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Our living expenses with some screw off money will be around 600 dollars per month at most
$600 a month? Maybe you meant $6000 a month. With $3600 of that coming from COLA'd income streams, it leaves $2400 to be generated from your investments which is very doable.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:54 PM   #3
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What I meant was my month bills would be around 600 including some blow cash.

I wonder what makes people born like that? I have many times wondered if it is in my blood, as most the family on my father's side were self-made millionaires, many of whom dropped outa school.
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:03 PM   #4
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Can you itemize that $600/month so that we can understand it?

For example, we pay $350/month on groceries and $400/month on health insurance, so that's $750 right there..
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:17 PM   #5
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Hi Bigritchie - congrats on your FI!

I just wanted to comment on your zoo comment - I volunteer at the zoo here in DC, recording elephant and sloth bear behavior, among other things. I really enjoy it.

Of course, I am still working...
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:41 PM   #6
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My property tax is around 500 a year.

Internet/tv/phone around 100

Insurance is about 60 a month.

Medical = veteran's hospital (which I guess may be another consideration of finding a VA kinda close wherever I land in case something major happens) Will have to think about insurance for wife possible, but not a big fan of medical insurance, because you could make payments on a bill alot cheaper then insurance many times. Also I think I can go to any US base for care outside the US, and being 100% they may even cover out of country medical bills (can any vets here answer that?)

We grow alot of our own food, and do not eat out much.

We live very frugally, and we plan to travel, so I am sure our monthly bills will go up and down depending where we are at the time. I will never go into debt again, so my monthly bills will be mostly utilities/food silly stuff.

It just makes me sad with out technologically advanced world we have to worry about all these silly monthly bills, insane medical, property tax etc etc. What ever happened to the days of living on your property, growing your crops, and giving the doctor some chicken eggs?
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Old 06-13-2007, 01:55 PM   #7
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Something doesn't sound right. You are 30 years old, getting a COLAd $3600 per month tax free stream of income, you have $1,000,000 in the bank, and your total living expenses are $600 per month?

What part about being able to retire is hard to figure out?
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:05 PM   #8
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Something doesn't sound right. You are 30 years old, getting a COLAd $3600 per month tax free stream of income, you have $1,000,000 in the bank, and your total living expenses are $600 per month?

What part about being able to retire is hard to figure out?
Nothing is hard to figure out about it, I just wanted to share my story, and take advice from people who have done this already, travel advices, good places to go, live etc etc
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:21 PM   #9
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Nothing is hard to figure out about it, I just wanted to share my story, and take advice from people who have done this already, travel advices, good places to go, live etc etc
Almost unbelievable story. Congratulations. I think you're the one who should be giving advices. How to accumulate that much at such a young age? How to live on that little with so much wealth?
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:56 PM   #10
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Almost unbelievable story. Congratulations. I think you're the one who should be giving advices. How to accumulate that much at such a young age? How to live on that little with so much wealth?
I am a cheap cheap bastard And thankfully my wife is too
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:58 PM   #11
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Bigritchie,

It would appear to me that your goal should be to find some sucker buyer, for your business, and retire ASAP!
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:11 AM   #12
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Sounds great man. I retired last year at 35. I don't have near as much $$ as most here so I had to leave the States to FIRE.

I know what you mean about watching your FIL dying shortly after retirement. Both my parents died in their 60's and enjoyed no retirement. When my mom passed that was what triggered me to call it quits.

Sounds like with your healthy nest egg you're good to go, so enjoy!
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:32 AM   #13
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hi bigrichie,

what a dramatic story!

how are you covering your housing costs? that is usually big concern/ chunk about whether/when one can retire.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:56 PM   #14
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House is paid off.

I may just eventually sell it if we travel alot.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:44 PM   #15
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How does one get disability and run a restaurant?
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:07 PM   #16
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My wife runs most of the day to day operations. There are guys in the NFL that are disabled vets (mike anderson comes to mind). Getting disability through the VA, although still a pain, is MUCH easier then getting SSDI, and my SSDI will not actually kick in until I sell my store.

With VA disability though, there is no limit on how much you can earn or what you can do for a living.
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:32 PM   #17
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Thanks for the quick reply. I learn something new every day.
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:51 PM   #18
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Thanks for the quick reply. I learn something new every day.
THink of VA disability as compensation for getting hurt on the job. Instead of getting a massive settlement like you would in a "normal" corporate job, you get a "pension"
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:32 PM   #19
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Bigritchie.....it's refreshing to see you here. We don't feel quite so alone.....we, also are in the position of having the seven figure portfolio, but not even remotely spending up to what we could "safely" spend, according to our broker.

We "dropped out" fifteen years ago, when we were 42 and 50, and traveled around the U.S., Mexico and Central America nomadically, working occasionally when fun projects presented themselves, lived really cheaply, didn't touch our retirement savings and reinvested most all of our dividends and interest because our part time gigs were keeping our little ship afloat just fine. Then my mother died, and left us even more money, and that, plus the great market through the nineties brought us where we are today, and fully retired.

Like you, what appeals to us about our life is the freedom. We've never had any big desire to accumulate, although because of our natural frugality, we were always awesome savers. It seems almost a joke that we ended up with what most people spend their lives chasing, and don't even really care about it.

If 90% of our money disappeared tomorrow, our lives would not change all that much. If 50% of it disappeared, we wouldn't even notice it. That's a hard concept for most to understand, but it's clear that you would.

Good for you.....glad to see you here, and we look forward to seeing your posts in the future.

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Old 06-14-2007, 10:30 PM   #20
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The contrarian that I am says that you need to loosen up and start enjoying life. It is one thing to be frugal (good) but take some time to smell the roses and then think about some leverage in your life to enjoy it.
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