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Got FIRED at 30... my story
Old 06-27-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
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Got FIRED at 30... my story

While growing up my parents were among the working poor. They had low paying jobs with no health insurance and it was a constant struggle to get by. I remember my dad replacing our TV that worked perfectly fine with one of the most expensive/biggest ones you could buy. And then a week later we didn't have enough money to buy me new sneakers that I desperately needed for my growing feet. I realized then at the age of 10 that we were living above our means.

I got a job delivering newspapers when I was 12. I had a budget, saved half and spent the other half on stuff I needed/wanted. When I was 16 my Dad died unexpectedly of a heart attack. We were forced into bankruptcy and lost the house because we couldn't keep up with the debt and we moved into an apartment. I quit delivering papers and got a job at a grocery store making 25 cents above minimum wage. We also applied for welfare but were declined because between my mom and I we made $78/month too much above the income requirement. With budgeting and the occasional generosity of friends and family we managed to get by.

After graduating from HS I decided college wasn't for me. I started working an entry level position at megacorp making $12.75/hr. The corporate bureaucracy got old real quick and I decided that I didn't want to work till 65 like everyone else. I opened a 401k, IRA, and a brokerage account and contributed to all of them on a regular basis. Sometime along the way I came across this board and I've been lurking ever since. I managed to climb the corporate ladder in a company that I had grown to hate. In June 2009 I announced my intention to retire in November 2009.

For the first time in my life I am happy and stress free. Thank you to everyone on to this board as you've helped me and many others achieve their FIRE goals.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:14 PM   #2
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You're welcome & congratulations - you've earned it - enjoy.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:22 PM   #3
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I wonder how many people are/were just like gvillager, reading and learning from other's experience and discovering their own path to happiness along the way.

Not to say that FIRE is for everyone, but it is easy to drown in the sea of consumption and marketing when there are no other options in sight.

That said, congratulations and I hope you continue with your new found lease on life
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #4
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Congratulations! Well done. It's great to hear about people who actively pursue goals instead of adopting the victim mentality and complaining all the time.

Bravo gvillager.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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I'll echo everything that FreeAt30 said. It's very empowering when you realize that you can take control of your life.

Enjoy your freedom gvillager!
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:13 AM   #6
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A wonderful & inspirational life story!

Welcome to the board. Congratulations!
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #7
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Wow, awesome! Would you be able to explain some more of how you managed to FIRE?

No need to get into actual specifics. However, general stuff like "My savings rate was X% of pay, invested in a balanced portfolio of stock and bond mutual funds etc..." would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:42 AM   #8
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Are you still in NYC?
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:02 AM   #9
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Congrats! Yorur story is so encouraging. It must have taken a lot of determination to achieve this FIRE at such an early age. What are your plans now?
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:04 PM   #10
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I contributed 6% of my salary to my 401k and received my employers match (couldn't pass up free money). Every year I maxed out my IRA and by the time I was 24 I was saving 40% of my net income.

In the beginning I invested in individual stocks but never got comfortable with funds. As my portfolio grew and I was closer to my goal I started diversifying into bonds.

Last year I bought a building in Manhattan. The first floor is a commercial unit, second floor is residential and rented to a long term tenant, and I live on the 3rd floor.

Life is good!
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:40 PM   #11
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I'm a bit curious how you went from nothing to FIREd in 12 years (18 - 30) and being able to buy a building in Manhattan. You must have climbed that latter quicker than anyone ever has before.

Even maxing out 401k and IRA wouldn't amount to that much in the last 12 years unless you got super lucky.

Not trying to doubt you, I'd just like to figure out what I'm doing wrong!
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:16 PM   #12
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I'm a bit curious how you went from nothing to FIREd in 12 years (18 - 30) and being able to buy a building in Manhattan.
Leverage (aka OPM).
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:55 PM   #13
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Leverage (aka OPM).
OK, but buying a building (with OPM) is one thing.. being FIRE is another completely. Unless that building was the deal of a lifetime, the act of buying it with OPM does not immediately lead to being FIREd.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:54 PM   #14
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Well, you told a story of your 'rags' (early years), but what about the way 'to riches'? It sounded interesting, but very disappointing like reading 1-2 chapters of a book and then jumping straight to epilogue.
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