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Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-27-2006, 07:51 PM   #1
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Hello from wagemonkey

Hello Everyone,
I have been a lurker for longer than I care to admit and have finally decided to jump on in.
First, I would like to thank you all for your valuable posts. I have learned so, so much from them.
This forum has helped immensely to show me that ER can indeed be a part of my future.
My situation:
I am a 45 year-old single guy living near Milwaukee and working for a small tech firm in a growth industry. My income varies widely* but should be in the $100,000-$200,000 range this year.
My goal is to ER before I get downsized/outsourced/canned or* fed-up.
Any or all of these could happen soon because of the high rate of burn-out and fast paced nature of my business.* I am OK with hanging on for a while longer to help pad my safety net but* Iím also excited to put to work all the great ideas Iíve pick up on this board ! Part-time work is a realistic possibility for me* and probably the smartest choice at this point.
In the early nineties I read Your Money or Your Life without much effect-- it just didnít sink in. I picked it up again a few years ago and ÖÖwham! It made complete and total sense to me. I then began to take a hard look at my habits and to research FI. My research led me to this site and the seed was planted.
Since then, I have read most of the books frequently recommended* on this site and have shifted some assets to a new Vanguard account.
More and more I value time and freedom over material wealth and things. I find that I no longer need many of the distractions that I once did. I know that I will do just fine in a simpler ER mode with about $50-60K/yr and I look forward to giving it a shot!

I am not new to investing/saving. Along the way I have had a few successes and many investment mistakes and failures. Iíll take an occasional flyer but now concentrate mostly on slow, steady growth.*
I* was lucky to have had a father who was a wonderful LBYM and amateur investor role model(he even got me started in Fidelity Magellan in about 1984).
ER Vitals:
Home- $400,000 Equity, $250,000 Mortgage (my only debt) Taxes are high(about $8000/yr).* I could rent out an apartment to defray costs if necessary during ER.
Regular IRA-* * $375,000 Mostly in diversified mutual funds. Some actively managed equity and managed futures( yes, I pay fees higher that most on this site would approve of).
Cash/Muni.Bonds-$150,000
Indiv. Stocks-$100,000
Real Est.Partnerships-$250,000
Restricted Stock in Company- Aprox.$900,000--I hope to diversify out of this over the next couple of years* into something that throws off some income.
I have no pension at all and will also be paying for my own insurance coverage.
S-Security says Iím eligible. Weíll see whatís left when I get there.
I also own a small lake-house in northern Wisconsin where the liviní is cheap and easy but a bit cold and dark in the winter months.
My dream is to trade the current high-cost residence for some warm weather digs* and split the year between that place and Wisconsin. I have spent lots of time researching Hawaii, Panama and plan to check out* the Texas Gulf Coast, Austin* and Bend, Oregon soon. I whiffed on a place in Kona about three years ago and have since watched the price triple to the point where itís now too rich for my ER blood. I hope to not repeat this mistake.

My main concerns are the timing of my exit, keeping expenses low, insurance, inflation and generating income since I donít have a colaíd pension. I am also a little worried about* getting hit* by taxes when I cash-out and convert some of these assets.

I truly enjoy this board and I am glad to be here.
I hope I am able to make some worthwhile contributions!

Cheers
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-27-2006, 08:02 PM   #2
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey

Welcome to the board, Wagemonkey! Looks like you're set. Unlike many from last millenium's Silicon-Valley era, you seem to understand that the higher salary comes with a higher unemployment risk.

The restricted stock is worth a discussion with a CPA over how to minimize taxes while diversifying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagemonkey
I whiffed on a place in Kona about three years ago and have since watched the price triple to the point where itís now too rich for my ER blood. I hope to not repeat this mistake.
Don't sweat it. The explosive growth of that area has made it a less-nice place to live, and it even has traffic jams now. Unless you're planning to be a full-time resident, you can do far better with vacation rentals while seeing all that the islands have to offer.
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-27-2006, 08:21 PM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey

Thanks Nords, You're the best!
I appreciate you trying to make me feel better about missing Kona.
Coincedentally, I'm listening to WBEZ in Chicago right now and this weeks Friday night show is all Hawaiian music. A bit of Hawaii in the middle of winter in Chicago helps a little.
www.chicagopublicradio.org
w-monkey
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-28-2006, 06:03 PM   #4
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagemonkey
I appreciate you trying to make me feel better about missing Kona.
I haven't been there in over a decade.* Even if you've skipped the past couple years you'll still be amazed at the growth & crowding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagemonkey
Coincedentally, I'm listening to WBEZ in Chicago right now and this weeks Friday night show is all Hawaiian music. A bit of Hawaii in the middle of winter in Chicago helps a little.
I keep forgetting how big Mainland radio is.* I can auto-program our car radio to every station on the island and still have a half-dozen vacant slots. When classic rock returned to our airwaves I thought I'd died & gone to heaven.

You can torture yourself with Hawaiian 105 over the web now...
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-28-2006, 06:36 PM   #5
 
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey

That's interesting that you read YMOYL once, and it didn't take, but it did the second time. We often talk about how some people get it and other's don't, but I guess sometimes it just has to come at the right time.
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-29-2006, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey

wagemonkey,

You are single. With that pot, you could bail now.

When you say that 'insurance' is one of your concerns, may we assume that you mean health insurance, not life insurance? If you have no dependents, you do not need life insurance, and with your pot, you will not need it even if you do acquire one or two. Health insurance is another problem--make that your prime focus until you have srted it out.

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Re: Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-30-2006, 03:55 PM   #7
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey

Ed,
Yes, you are right to assume that health insurance is one of my concerns.
Mostly , I am concerned about availability and high cost in years 55-65 since I am mostly healthy* now and was blessed with decent genes.
I see coverage in those years simply as one variable that I won't be able to completely control and, as such, will have to address regularly and inteligently.
Now, as far as life insurance goes:
I* haven't been that inteligent about it and I do have coverage, way too much of it.* I am in the process of paring it down and have some questions.
Perhaps I'll start a new thread at "Other Topics".
Cheers,
wm
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey
Old 01-30-2006, 04:00 PM   #8
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Re: Hello from wagemonkey

Quote:
Originally Posted by wagemonkey

Now, as far as life insurance goes:
I haven't been that inteligent about it and I do have coverage, way too much of it. I am in the process of paring it down and have some questions.
Perhaps I'll start a new thread at "Other Topics".
Cheers,
wm
You might want to look here:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=5010.0

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