I thought I was the only person who wanted to retire at 50. Glad to see I'm wrong. I found this forum yesterday and I'm very impressed, talking to others about money isn't something that people do here in the midwest. It's refreshing to see people talk openly about their personal financial situations.
I hope I fit in, in a nutshell here's where I am:
Currently 41, planning on retiring on 12/31/2014 at age 49 1/2.
I began working at a small business on 12/31/1984 at age 19. Three years later I bought it, and I am still here. The business nets me about $140,000. I live on about $40,000 (including health ins. & small mortgage). I pay about $40,000 in income taxes, Federal, Self Employment & State, and I invest the remaining $60,000 in the investments shown below.
To date here's the big picture today:
SEP/IRA - $405,000
Roth IRA's - $52,000
Taxable investments - $170,000 (mostly index funds)
VUL's - $275,000
(don't laugh, more on these later)
529's for two kids - $60,000
I own my house ($125,000), just a few months left on a $505 mortgage. NO other debt. I drive a '99 Chevrolet Silverado. DW drives a used GM car.
I also own the small business with no debt, book value $375,000 with a cost base of $150,000.
I think I share similar values to most on this board, but let me go out on a limb here right away. I use a Financial Planner
I started with a broker and ended up with a churned up mess. Then I went to Charles Schwabb and did better on my own, but I didn't have the time to dedicate to overseeing everything. I underperformed the major indexes and it bothered me. I interviewed some planners and chose one in 1997 and I've been happy. More on all that later.
Anyways, I'll have my share of questions from your experiences and I look forward to participating if I have anything helpful to share. I also know when to keep quiet.
Favorite book I've read is probably "The Wealthy Barber" Another good one is "Money and the People You Love".
Hope everyone has had a good 2006 and a great 2007 to come.