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Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....
Old 03-14-2006, 06:54 PM   #1
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Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....

Hi y'all! First of all, I think this site has given newbies like myself plenty of guidance and help regarding some of your personal life stories on achieving FIRE. I too wish to be FI and find something more interesting and fun than what I'm currently doing. Since I'm posting in this public forum, all comments are welcome, but please be gentle...?

So, here are our financial info:

Me: 27 yo, engineer (wishing of quiting every other day)
DH: 28 yo, engineer
No debts, no mortgage, renting apartment, no kids (yet... 5-year plan)
Assets: $350k
45% in overseas equities (2005: 5% dividend, ~7% increase in paper value)
25% in cash (for future real estate / self-employed business if/when opportunity arises)
(~3% interest)
17% DH's 401k (~10% increase)
13% my 457 Plan (~8% increase)

No plans to withdraw anything yet for 10-20 years in order to achieve a 6 figure amount. We will continue to LBOM and maybe not oversave but instead spend a little bit more..? I have been labeled cheapskate numerous times.

What I really feel like doing is to quit my monotonous job, take a few months leave, learn a foreign language in a foreign place. BUT.... I don't know what to do after all that. Of course, I could live off DH's income (currently, we are spending about 1/2 of his income).... But DH doesn't want me to slack off and wither away my 'self-esteem' (while he's working hard). Sigh.... So, I have started polishing my resume, and asking customers (from my moonlighting waitressing but fun job) for any leads. Keep telling myself that having a cut in paycheck is alright (yeah.. right); and, as long as the work is fun and may lead to something bigger, I am ok with it.

There are times when I just want to fly and not worry where to land. Sadly, I am the cautious and responsible type.

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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....
Old 03-14-2006, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....

Sounds to me like you are financially WAY ahead of where I was at your age, both in actual assets and in acumen as well.

Also sounds to me like you need to add something fun to your life.* Exercise, book club, flying lessons, scuba diving, making sarcastic remarks on message boards, ....
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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....
Old 03-14-2006, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....

Rock on, lady!

You guys are in very good shape. Congratulate yourselves. Your asset classes look good to me, from a distance.

5-year plan, eh? We had our first kid when we were 38. #2 at 40. (Sweated the amnio, we did.) Did a lot of travel, ate at a lot of restaurants, went to a lot of parties first. Now we just travel and eat out a lot.

Foreign lands? Me too. Try a little constructive escape reading. Escapeartist, People's Guide to Mexico, whatsupmaz, Loney Planet's Thorn Tree, South America for Visitors, Mexico Connect's Forums (gotta pay--but good value). Hit the library for travel books--Lonely Planet, Footprint, Arthur Frommers, etc. Buy travel books at the book store. Buy Budget Travel magazine. I am into South America, but my wife likes Italy. It is all good background for a real trip.

One secret is that you can work overseas today. Chile is hot right now ( ). Native English-speaking engineers? Teach English to Chilean engineers. Chile is a NAFTA country. E-Z for 'Merican engineers to get work there.

How about Canada? (Many of them could benefit from English lessons, but I mean, work there--here, that is; I am in Alberta--as an engineer.) Try Quebec/Montreal. (Remember, I am a globe-trotting engineer-contractor. Definitely a corrupting influence. 8) I am doing my best to lure my old buddies away to come and take jobs away from Canadians. ) Go to workopolis.com

I understand there are two of you, so maybe you can't jump ship right now. Plan vacations!

Warning on self-employed businesses. Engineers' minds run in tracks. It is damned hard to be a self-employed engineer. I am a successful independent contractor, which is pretty good for the average schlub, but I am twice your age with experience you can't buy today. I live out of a suitcase. Tough on family. Better to own a couple of duplexes or fix up and flip houses.

I have looked for alternative jobs for years, but have never found anything that pays as well for a minimum of effort as working as an engineer for someone else. A cynical friend says, "You just have to show up and they pay you!" He has a carpentry shop on the side and he works very hard on his day job, in spite of his jokes.

Forget restaurants. An old and dear friend, another road-warrior, told me once, "Engineering is the most fun a man [apologies, ma'am] can have--if he can afford it." (Immigrant, BS from Purdue, MS from MIT.) This old bud once owned two restaurants. Had a good run, but eventually they went under and he is still digging out from the debt. And he knew the business. A fellow I know back home has a successful family enterprise restaurant. When interviewed in the local paper and asked, what would you tell a friend who wanted to go into the restaruant business? he replied that he would knock him to the ground and kick him until he came to his senses.

Suggest you hang around this watering hole. Some of these guys/ladies really know their stuff. Some of us don't. See if you can tell the difference.

Cheers,

Ed The Gypsy
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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....
Old 03-15-2006, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....

Thanks for the great replies, guys!

DH is into scuba diving (but somehow I have fishes-with-big-teeth and jellyfish phobias - I will be the last swimmer to get out and may turn out to be fish food instead* *).* Sky-diving is another sport that we recently got interested in - if I can part the few hundred bucks (cheapskate-mode kicks in* ).* Exercise?* Well, my PT job in a Japanese sushi place is my workout.* Plus, I get to practice the foreign language since I plan to make Japan my first destination.*

Ed, thanks for the info.* Currently, I am into Asia.* After Japan, I may head out to China/Taiwan and pick up the Chinese language.* I did take some short Spanish classes ($99 for 1 semester), but dropped out since I couldn't catch up in the Beginner class* :P* Blame it on my lack of motivation - I was not planning to go to S. America nor Spain at that time.*

Finding work overseas sound great - but DH will have to uproot from his comfortable-paying job.* Of course, I can leave him here and enjoy myself.....?* * Therefore, vacation is the plan for now.* If only we can get as many vacation days as the Europeans do.....

As for the SE businesses, we are taking the wait-and-see approach.* If something interesting pops up, we may go in slowly.* Sounds great in theory, doesn't it?* Hopefully it will be soon so that I can have the experts in this 'watering hole' dissect it thoroughly.*

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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....
Old 03-15-2006, 10:24 AM   #5
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Re: Finally decided to step out from my turtle shell (lurker mode).....

She's pretty new to the group; stop looking at her a$$ets, you pervert... :P

I second the opinion that you're ahead of most at your age. Hell, your about even with me, and I'm 51 (and a half). IMO, one woman's cheapskate is another woman's "frugal". Given the prevailing consumerism, just living within your means makes you a cheapskate.

It's worth remembering/reiterating that you need to plan for the future, but live well in the meantime!
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