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FIREd 2 years ago, and still trying to figure it out
Old 06-24-2008, 02:49 PM   #1
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FIREd 2 years ago, and still trying to figure it out

Hi everyone,

My wife and I retired 2 years ago, at age 50, with enough money to last forever properly managed (and with no unforeseen holocausts). I have been working toward this for most of my adult life. I have a list of things to do that will last me 20-30 years at least, and have what I thought was a clear picture in my head of how I was going to handle our finances moving forward. I was the most prepared FIREd person I've met.

I'm seeing now that things aren't that simple. Life sure can get in the way. I'm not complaining, just a little baffled by it all.

We have built and moved into our dreamhouse on the Eastern shore of MD (that's my backyard view in the avatar), and just closed on our previous home in Northern VA last week. It only took 1 week to sell it, and thy wanted to close in less than a month - sweet! I'm going to learn to play golf properly (just hacking at it before), play my music, do some wood working (if I ever get the garage cleaned out), and work my way through my list. If I ever get enough spare time. The retiree's paradox.

I also have now wrested control of about 1/2 my assets back from our CFA, and intend to invest in various index funds and ETFs going forward, with regular re-allocations. I'll take the rest over as time and taxes allow, until I'm completely managing my own money. He's a really nice guy, but over the years he's convinced me to put too much money in investments I just don't understand, and that are hidden in insurance vehicles that I can't get information on from Morningstar. I want transparency, low costs, and tax flexibility, and I'm not going to get that with him. But it's funny how easy it is to decide how to invest your money, and how hard it is to actually pull the trigger with the big bucks on the line and only yourself to hold responsible.

One thing that has really changed things, my mom's husband just passed away (also last week), and left her in a god-awful financial situation. They were doing great together, with a $6K/month (after taxes) military pension, and another $2200/month in SS. That's nearly $100K/year! I have no idea what they spent it all on. But they assumed he would outlive her, and that he would be fine. Assuming in the face of statistics is a bad move. She is now left with only his SS income ($1300/month), no investments except a chunk in savings, and some small life insurance policies. Overall she has a net worth of about $250K (not counting her house, maybe another $200K), and will get his $1300/month from SS. I know many people have it worse, but if they had handled their money better she could have been worth at least a couple million. She'll be OK, and I'll help where I can (and she lets me), but it makes me mad to see people not take care of themselves and their loved ones properly.

That's enough for now. I'm hoping to be fairly active on the board, since I have a million questions, and maybe one or two pieces of good advice. I'll see you all around.

Harley
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board, Harley!
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:36 PM   #3
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Welcome to the board !
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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Hey congratulations on being able to retire early! Hope you have fun here.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:54 PM   #5
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Welcome Harley! I read your response to my question about house caretaking and now that I see your view... sign me up to be your house caretaker!

Good luck with managing your own investments. You're right, going from theory to actual application is a big step.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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just a little baffled by it all.
Harley, you seem to be all set. Congratulations. What are you baffled by?
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:56 PM   #7
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What are you baffled by?
Just the amazing amount of stuff involved in retired life. I was expecting to have an extra 10 or so hours a day to play music, read, learn a language, take a nap, exercise, spend a few hours/month monitoring my investments, and watching sunsets.

Instead, I can't figure out how I ever had time to work. I'm always busy, losing ground to the to-do list, and have barely scratched the surface of my hobbies. I do, however, find time for the sunsets.

Again, I'm not complaining. I'm very happy, and my stress level and blood pressure have dropped significantly compared my indentured days. It's just very different than my daydreams had it back when I was working toward FI.

Harley
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:17 AM   #8
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Instead, I can't figure out how I ever had time to work. I'm always busy, losing ground to the to-do list, and have barely scratched the surface of my hobbies. I do, however, find time for the sunsets.
Many people have noticed this phenomenon, including myself. Right now the "project" is finding FIL a halfway decent car for an affordable price, getting his house ready to sell and get him moved so he won't feel the need for a car. But when this is all done something else will come up.

Maybe because "work expands to fill the time alloted for it"?
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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I have to ask ... approximately where on the eastern shore. I just FIREd myself to Talbot County last December.
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Old 06-30-2008, 01:40 PM   #10
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I have to ask ... approximately where on the eastern shore. I just FIREd myself to Talbot County last December.
Worcester county, outside of Ocean City. That's the OC skyline you can see from my backyard in my avatar. I used to think a lot about Kent Island and St. Michael when I was working in Northern VA. Glad I'm not making that comute now, with gas prices where they are.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:00 PM   #11
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Kent Island is starting to look more and more like the western side -- a lot of traffic and strip malls. Not that Rt. 50 in Easton leaves a good impression either. It is still a lot quieter here than over the bridge. We parked in Severna Park for a year while I was commuting to Milwaukee to finish out my commitments there. What a mess that area is now.
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