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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-14-2003, 01:35 PM   #61
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi Gib,

Yes you explained yourself well. I was also in the computer industry. Mfg Software Developer. And my take on work is basically the same as yours.

I do still work at home about 20 hours per month on average. But, I view this as an interruption more and more. You do tend to fill up your days with more hobby related activities.

Now that I have been retired for 2 years, it's very odd how fast time flies. The freedom is wonderful, but it made me a bit uncomfortable the first year. Not being 'on task' all of a sudden is very different and every one that I know of that has retired goes through a certain period of restlessness the first year.

I always recommend seeing the Jack Nicholson Movie 'About Schmidt' just to see how people with no passion for life handle retirement. There are a lot of people in the U.S. that when work ends, life ends.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-14-2003, 02:25 PM   #62
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
. . .I always recommend seeing the Jack Nicholson Movie 'About Schmidt' just to see how people with no passion for life handle retirement. There are a lot of people in the U.S. that when work ends, life ends.
Now that's just mean. I don't hate anyone enough to put them through that awful, boring movie.

Actually, my wife and I went to see that movie right after I retired and just before she took the plunge. As we walked out of the theatre, I commented that anyone who didn't find that movie boring should probably avoid retirement.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-14-2003, 05:33 PM   #63
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

SG,

If you thought 'About Schmidt' was boring, don't go see the new Bill Murray movie 'Lost in Translation' a message about 'Loss' which is what 'About Schmidt' was also.

The Bill Murray is truly boring.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-21-2003, 01:50 PM   #64
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Howdy all,

Enjoy reading your posts and thought I'd come out of the shadows for a moment to introduce myself.
I'm TW and am still a wage slave/salaryman (actually public school teacher), but see the light about 6 years down the tunnel.
I really enjoy personal finance and investing activities and am very active in planning in this area.
Fortunately, most of our ducks are in a row and, short of some nasty catastrophe, my wife and I will retire early. We aren't in any particular rush, though, as life right now is actually quite enjoyable.
Sorry, don't have any questions or new topic to post.
I look forward to listening to all your various discussions, and maybe tossing in my few cent's worth on rare occasions.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-21-2003, 02:22 PM   #65
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi TW,

Welcome to the board!

- Actually a lot of my friends are education type folk. Principals and School Teachers. With their pensions they did not have to plan quite as much as myself.

I assume you're in the same boat, and a good boat to be in these days!
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-23-2003, 12:21 PM   #66
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hello Cut-Throat,

Thanks for the welcome. I hope your user name refers to the fish and not some darker side! Just kidding.

Most of my friends are not teachers, as they never seem to have much to going on besides their jobs and I leave mine at the office when I leave each day. Seriously, teachers are the worst to be around at parties, especially elementary (I teach high school and adult). Get a life!

As for the pension, yes, the State Teacher's Retirement System is an excellent benefit. Hard to imagine anyone doing this 30 years if they didn't really enjoy the work, but knowing there's income for life (with a COLA) is great. My wife's a teacher as well and has even more coming than me as far as pension benefits go. Luckily for her, her side of the family tends to live upwards of 100 yrs. So retirement could be an awfully long time.

What did you do before retiring, if you don't mind me asking?
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-23-2003, 05:42 PM   #67
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi Tw,

Yes the moniker refers to one of my favorite fish. But I to those who don't know this, it may make them think twice


I was in the Computer Software Buisness for around 27 years. Mostly Manufacturing Systems - Software Development. I retired 2 years ago at 50, when my boss decided that he was going to change my position. He had not anticipated my move and it was fun seeing the expression on his face.

I had planned on ER since turning age 30, so I saved and Invested consistently. Did not eat rice and beans and lived very nicely, but always saved 30%. Invested in stocks but stuck to companies that actually made money and were not overvalued.

Wife still works as she is 8 years younger than I. For medical coverage and before my SS kicks in. We're still stashing over 30 G's a year and we have no debt. Mortgage is also paid.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-24-2003, 10:21 AM   #68
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hey Cut-Throat,

Hopefully, nobody's going to get too steamed if we chat a while longer in this particular thread, since it's in the vein of getting acquainted. Don't mean to exclude anyone else.

Never caught a sea run cut, though I tried a couple of times, up in Oregon. Did get lucky and landed a steelie once. Mostly, used to go out in the ocean. Don't fish anymore (just one of those things, no major reason). Still go in the ocean regularly, but for the waves.

Sounds like your ER is doing very well indeed! That's great. We can ER at 55 in the Calif. STRS. Probably go 2 years more than that due to some incentives for having 30yrs. We also have no mortgage or other debt and sock away approx 40% at this time.
Just leased a half acre of my backyard to a wholesale nursery guy for $600 a month, so that should be pretty nice (plus I don't have to deal with the weeds!).

Hopefully, the Soc Sec windfall provision will change, as I qualify for benefits from a dozen or so years in the private sector and am presently going to get screwed (pardon my value judgement) out of most of it.

We allocate at 70/30 (stk/bds) right now. We use 403b and IRAs, as well as a taxable account. Try to keep very little in cash, just enough to get through the summer months when the paychecks disappear. Have a couple months emergency $ as well. Seems to be a reasonable approach for us.


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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-25-2003, 12:45 PM   #69
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Dumb question - is a 'Harvest Trout' local slang for a cut-throat - seems to me that's what we caught coming up the Columbia as a kid in late summer/fall?
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-25-2003, 01:46 PM   #70
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

unclemick,

A 'Harvest Trout' is any trout that has been stocked to a stream or lake and is intended to be 'Harvested' by an angler to eat. They could rainbows, cut-throats or brown trout.

They also call these 'put and take' fisheries.

I am totally against these stocking efforts however, because the hatchery trout cause disease in the natural wild populations. Infringe on wild trout habitat and contaminate the wild gene pool.

Much better efforts are in habitat improvement, Catch and Release fishing and tough environmental regulations. Wild Trout don't think much of poluted water.

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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-25-2003, 04:47 PM   #71
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi Cut-Throat! IMHO most of man's tinkering with
nature ends up being a mistake, and this includes
planting trout. However, just like in most areas of
life, mankind seems unable to learn from past mistakes.
Someone said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-25-2003, 05:51 PM   #72
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

I shall remain semi-silent - especially herein the land of sports verus commercial fishing - shall we say heated discussions - not to mention imported seafoood. I will say this - growing up in the Pacific NW you could sure tell the difference when you hooked a 'native' verus a stocked fish.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-08-2003, 05:20 PM   #73
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Greetings all!

I am a perhaps one of the younger ones of the group here, but as I've read in a few posts regarding what some would do financially if they could go back 30 years, I feel fortunate to have found this site, but more so to have found this mentality at my age. I look at people in their 20's now and give the same advice that a few gave me at their age, which was be smart with your money early in life. I'm not sure what it is exactly that triggers someone into this intelligent thought process, and perhaps it's something we're not supposed to know. I say this as I now do try to help those "youngsters", and have trouble understanding their (and most likely what was my) confused look on their faces as I tell them they could be set for life if they just started now. I'm 32, just married last month to my beautiful wife of age 34, and quite proud to say we're doing fairly well. We're eliminating the last of our small credit card debt, paying off her car within the next 2 years, own our own home with a very modest mortgage payment (didn't buy what we could afford, but what suit our needs and we liked), and within 4 years will be close to debt free aside from that mortgage. We both agreed that investing early and being debt free is far more attractive than paying $400 or more per month on fancy cars could ever be, and with the hope of children in a few years we're working on the plan for early retirement now. My job allows me to travel around our city quite a bit, absorbing the interesting thought process of many individuals my age and what they value as important. For instance, I arrived at a particular apartment complex I needed to visit the other day, only to see a gentleman in his early 30's pulling up his brand new $70K Hummer...while unlocking the key to his apartment which rented for no less than $900 a month.
I could only count my blessings as I had read The Millionaire Next Door about 9 months prior, and focused my attention on designing our lives instead of making a living. I look forward to learning from all of you, and appreciate everyone's feedback of what they would have done differently, and especially of how good life is retired, and doing what we should be....that is living!
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-09-2003, 03:54 PM   #74
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hello! Wish I had all this figured out at your age.
Alas, I never gave retirment a thought until very late
in life. Still makin' it work, but it would have been a
hell of a lot easier had I started earlier. BTW,
nice sign-on name.

John Galt
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-12-2003, 01:57 AM   #75
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

This is for Howard_Roark.

To show where I was before the ER bug bit, about 10 years ago I pulled up in front of my $1750 per
month apartment in my Cadillac Seville, so I've been
there/done that. Seems really stupid now. Older
people tell us our whole lives how fast the time will
fly by. Alas, most don't "get it" until they are the
"older people". Now I am faced with trying to
squeeze in all that I can before my demise, or at least
before I am too old to do it. No regrets though, as
at least I finally woke up and
smelled the coffee.

John Galt
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-12-2003, 06:37 AM   #76
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi,
My first posting - and here's our financial story.

I'm 42, my wife's 47. We've been thinking about FIRE since being married 14 years ago, as we both enjoy many outdoor activities and traveling, and working simply gets in the way of those pleasures.

I have done some fairly neat work and have travelled to many unique places (Aleutian Islands, Japan, Mexico, Antarctica, etc.) during my engineering career, but have always bristled at being under the scrutiny and whim of the "Company" (I've been at several now). At this point I've about had it with full-time work, but still like getting paid for my skills. Am thinking about doing short-term engineering contracts with companies of my chosing. My wife is a bit more able to deal with the Big Brother thing with her long-term employer. She's thinking about going part-time in 2-3 years so we can both have more free time to pursue/develop other interests that we simply lack time for now.

In my first year of work after college, I decided that NOT working is the way to go (though the reality of paying the bills kept me going). Thus, my relatively frugal habits and lifestyle quickly became established as I began to save as much of my paycheck as possible.

I've never made more than $60K/yr (started at $25K in 1985, inched upward from there), and have managed to save anywhere from 20%-50% of it each year - and never missed it! My wife happens to also be of the same ilk and pay scale, and has saved similarly. I think financial compatibility and similar long-term goals have proven to be very powerful components in our strong marriage.

We have no children (by design), live in a small log home in the country (mortgage paid off 5 years ago), have no debt (by being thoughtful and frugal about purchases (i.e. used cars, sale prices, no excess/frivolous stuff), and generally try to avoid the "consumeritis" disease that seems to afflict so many in the US. We sometimes have lapses in purchasing judgement or willpower, but usually (luckily) it's on inexpensive things.

Despite the stock market burp of the past 3 years or so, we've managed to accumulate about $700K in our combined retirement portfolio (qualified and unqualified accounts, savings, checking, ect.). As a very conservative financial approach, we don't count on S.S., inheritance, or any other windfalls, and we don't count life insurance or her (small) pension in our possible future income streams. What we have is what we've got! The only other assets are our house (now worth ~ $250K), 2 used cars (~$15K total), and all the usual household stuff and sports equipment (biking, skiing, backpacking, etc.) that we don't even count because we probably wouldn't sell them anyways.

We've never made a ton of money working (though our middle-class salaries are nothing to sneeze at, I guess), but certainly found sage advice in the concept of saving and investing early and regularly - it's been our saving grace on getting ahead. For me, saving 20-50% of my income (and the same for my wife) for the past 18 years really hasn't been a burden at all. We've found we've never missed that set-aside money - we just make things work with what's left.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-12-2003, 06:38 AM   #77
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

more stuff:

Our investments have always been a mixed allocation of mutual funds (small/mid/large cap stocks, int'l stocks, bonds) and money market/CDs. We played with a few individual stocks early on, but never made any money as we didn't really know what we were doing nor did we invest much time in research.

We currently have the bulk of the money being managed by a highly reputable management firm that charged 1% annually, and only uses the lowest-cost (0.2%-0.7%), best performing, highest-regarded no-load funds. So far, so good.

Our total yearly expenses are about $40K, which includes absolutely everything, right down to the $.50 newspaper I buy occasioanllay (I usually read it at the library or some other free place). We don't budget, but we do track everything! $40K/yr has always seemed high to us, and wonder if we are way out of line on that, what with no kids and no mortgage.

We've thoroughly enjoyed reading Your Money Or Your Life (we followed some of the 9 steps, but not all), Getting A Life (Blix and Heitmiller), and have read several down-shifter and voluntary simplicity books. I think we had enough of the basics already wired into our brains so we never felt we had to (or wanted to) go whole hog into any of these programs or ways of life. We seem to be living a hybrid version of many lifestyle/financial themes.

Insurance will be a big topic of discussion and research effort for us over the next few years, as we ditch our disability insurance and add LTC insurance instead, and also as we try to find the lowest-cost health ins. plan on our own.

So that's the overall picture. The trick now is to know when we have "enough" to feel comfortable about jumping ship. What is that magic $ number? We have long thought $1-1.5 million would be perfect, and if we can leave the nest egg alone long enough it will get there on its own.

In that vein, we are thinking of working part-time for a couple/few years as a bridge to FIRE. The goal would be to make enough to cover our yearly $40K expenses and not dig into our stash quite yet. After all, we may very well have 40-50 years of FIRE, and certainly don't want to be flipping burgers at McD's when we're 92!

Any advice or comments would be great - we always feel like we're missing something in our plan!

It's been great to read all the other stories out there!
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-12-2003, 06:51 AM   #78
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

welcome CFCF!

Your formula sounds like alot here. It works! Save a high Percentage - I say at least 30% and be disciplined about it.

Have you ran FIRECALC yet? - This will give you a number that you will feel comfortable with. I also recommend the Quicken Retirement Planner. I also do all my tracking and budgeting with Quicken. Once it's set up, it's no work. I just download the transactions from the bank and they are categorized automatically.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-12-2003, 07:01 AM   #79
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hello! It's still me. I changed e-mail address and
so have reregistered as Mr. John Galt, as befits my advanced years .

How much is enough? Everyone wants to know
and the answer is different for everyone. It's like
asking "What is love?".

Members know my story (maybe too well), but I did it
with a net worth well under $200,000, and still had one child at home. It's over 10 years now. My net worth is way up and I have not
flipped any burgers yet (although I have eaten quite a
few).

John Galt
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 11-12-2003, 11:41 AM   #80
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Well John Galt, It appears you've gone formal on us! Love your name as well, you performed brilliantly in Atlas (my favorite book of all time).

CFCF, your story is very inspiring. It sounds like you and your wife have a great system down. My newlywed wife and I are sitting down this weekend to discuss the "joint checking" idea, and if it's best for us. It sounds like you and your wife have very similar money goals, as we do. I'm not so sure a joint account will fit our needs as well as two, and we're toying with the idea of having one joint with 2 separate. Any thoughts from anyone on this? I realize everyone's situation is different, just wondering.
By the way, we hope to own a long home in the woods ourselves one day! In fact on our first date I told her I was going to build a log home one day, and she said "Well i'm going to live in it with you!". The great thing is she's willing to work as hard as I am to get it.

Have a great day all! Off to work I go....not for long though!
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