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It's always 1:11
Old 03-25-2017, 07:01 AM   #1
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It's always 1:11

I'm a bit tardy with this introduction, having joined in December 2008. Heard about E-R forum from the bogleheads. Grew tired of their message after implementing it in our portfolio.

I became aware of investing in 2005, due to starting my 1st 401k account at megamart (and now a 2nd, at minimart). Up until that milestone year, I was contributing solely to a SEP-IRA. I am mostly using index funds, and the growth from 2008 to now is spectacular, from my perspective. Plowing in 25% of income for 7 or 8 years, and re-starting from a trough, is the way to go. So lucky!

I've tried to keep things private, but haven't succeeded always. It's been a milestone week, and time to review a few things from down deep.

Last Sunday we were on our way to a winery in NJ, to throw down a few samples. On the way I had a missed call and message from sister-in-law, who was nearing the end of a 2-month snowbird thing with my brother, his children and grand-children.

I took my spouse and child (yes, over 21) into the tasting room, got things started, and went outside to retrieve the message from S-I-L. She asked for a callback. Her voice was calm. It was a nice day, and I took in the skies and nearby horse pastures.

She answered, and asked how things were. I mentioned our wine excursion, and so on. Sounding very concerned, she went on with, "I didn't want to ruin your day..."

On Saturday evening, my brother and all were in the FL rental house. Late in the evening he was standing up, fell over, and was not responsive. EMTs could not do much, and took him to the hospital. Sometime early Sunday, after midnight, they told my S-I-L that brother was brain dead, with no hope to come back. Family took some time, and then fulfilled his wishes. By the time we spoke, life support had been removed.

The next day, he died.

Their saga is still playing out. Died in a non-resident state, cremation, doctor on vacation (yeah, that too). I believe her son has gotten her back up the east coast to home. They needed to pack up car, and exit the rental lease early. Next week, I'd think, the cremation should get done, with ashes shipped back to S-I-L. Then there can be a service which she will work out with friends and family.

I think the lesson is pretty obvious. Most of us have no idea when the last breath will come. If you're FI, and on the fence with a job you really don't like, think about the things you want to do.

This morning I thought about the positive influence he had throughout our lives. He taught me about taxes, business, coaching, etc. Many significant decisions we made were due to his advice. He had a way of totally cutting you to pieces, I guess for effect. Picture a combination of Don Rickles and Burt Reynolds. Eventually you understood the advice was gold.

I gave back a lot. I was his on-demand IT person through the 90's and 00's. Always enjoyed answering with a house-call, and asking for his credit card so that I could buy another computer or printer. Each year as he got ready for tax season, something went wrong with the software install or update. Then he'd ask, "Will this break down during tax season?". I always answered with some evasive non-answer. "It should be ok." "We'll have to keep an eye on it." I had no idea!

He was generous, too. I'll truly miss him. Things I wanted to say...

*****

"It's always 1:11" -- where did that come from? We've noticed that a lot of emails and text messages between spouse and I are stamped 1:11 and 11:11.

This has been happening for many years. If you search on Chinese luck and 11/11 or similar, a lot has been written about these number combinations. I once tried to get my niece to hold back her baby delivery until 1/11. She had a lottery for her first born's birth day. Missed out on a nice winning pot cause her child arrived on 1/10. My pick was 1/11, of course.

Best wishes and Take care.
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Old 03-25-2017, 07:36 AM   #2
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I always have a hard time responding to these times. First sorry to hear that news and life can be short. The day we are born we start to die and never know when.

As far as 1:11 I'm not sure the meaning of it. I personally use numbers like 1,3,7 or a combination of them and consider them God's numbers. I always pay attention to these numbers. Like hotel room numbers and phone numbers etc. My cell number has all those numbers in it and it was a number given to me I couldn't pick the number. I couldn't of picked a better number if I would of tried.
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thank you for your heartfelt post.
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:55 AM   #4
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What a nice tribute to your brother--you have wonderful memories of him. So sorry for your loss.

My kids "kissed the clock" for luck when the hour and minutes matched on a digital clock and now I do too (kiss your fingertip and touch it to the clock), and that's what 1:11 made me think of.
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:32 AM   #5
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Sorry for your loss. Wonderful tribute to your brother. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:37 AM   #6
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I am very to hear of your loss, your brother sounds like he was a fantastic man. Life is indeed very short and we have no idea how long we will be around, so we all have to make it count.
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:38 AM   #7
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Best wishes as you move ahead. Thanks for the inside glimpse.
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Old 03-25-2017, 04:36 PM   #8
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Very sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing your story and reminding us we don't know how many grains of sand are left in the hourglass.
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:01 PM   #9
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Sorry for your loss. I've never had a brother but I know if something happened to one of my sisters that I would be out of sorts for a long time.... it sounds like you two had a great relationship. Godspeed.
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:12 PM   #10
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I am sorry for your loss. Please accept our sympathies.
I just got an e-mail from my former boss that the former GM of our division just died of a heart attack. He was younger than I am.
On a similar note, I found a website dedicated to alumni of a company I worked at for 14 years about 25 years ago. They had one page of the people who had passed. I was shocked at the number of them that I knew, especially ones that were younger than me.
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:39 PM   #11
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I am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds as though you have a lifetime of happy memories of your brother. I hope they will bring you comfort as you continue on your journey.
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:25 PM   #12
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May you find the strength to sustain you through the sadness.

I wish there were a "right" thing to say that would comfort grieving survivors, but there isn't. The more recent the loss of a loved one, the sharper the pain. I, too, have spent the past few days mourning, so i know how you must be suffering. I hope you find peace sooner than later.

Shocks like yours can blind us with sorrow, but sometimes they can spark a reassessment of our priorities, leading us to make positive changes in our lives. Behaviors and decisions that may have tumbled to the bottom of the list can get elevated in a hurry: Lose weight, exercise, save and invest more, renew contacts with friends and family, etc.

If you find yourself reevaluating your life goals, good job! Don't rush any decisions. In similar circumstances, I have reevaluated a few things and concluded I need to hurry ER quicker than I had appreciated. I don't know how many sunrises I have left, so I think it is time to bring ER forward a year earlier than i had previously estimated.

Godspeed, friend.
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Old 03-26-2017, 08:53 AM   #13
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Sorry for your loss. Great post!
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Old 03-26-2017, 09:24 AM   #14
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To ronstar , Mdlerth, and all others, thank you for the kind words.

It is likely that I won't early-retire. It's been a dream since joining here in 2008, but circumstance such as in-laws, layoffs, and younger spouse have prodded me to work in some capacity. The truth is, I felt retired for most of this career, being self-employed for a very long time.

I am more about going with the flow. After the final layoff from megamart I was feeling very retired. Enjoyed several new projects, vacations, and other experiences. But I was sought out by two companies. The first offered freelance money, and I was enjoying that for 4 or 5 months. As work trailed off, another small business called, I interviewed, and took the job for money. As it turns out, the current job has proven to be mildly challenging, lots of $$, with respect each day.

If life is like a lake, my vessel is not self-powered. I know that eventually I will reach the sandy beach by kicking a few times, relaxing, and paddling now and then.
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Brisk, but promising
Old 04-07-2017, 01:28 PM   #15
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Brisk, but promising

Went out at noon for lunch with a colleague from my megacorp job. After 10 years he is cutting the cord and moving to a job near my current work location.

Fortunate for him, it looks like plenty of telecommuting, but we'll get together to take in the sights as well as lunch as best we can.

He let me know that this move will increase his salary by the sum total of 10 years' worth of increases at megacorp. When I was cut, he was able to move up a rung, but of course the salary increase was limited.

Anyways, nice to hear something positive from a younger man. Taking the bull by the horns, etc.
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Old 03-26-2018, 05:51 AM   #16
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It has been about one year since my introductory post. April Fools day is around the corner. That always makes me think of my first day at megamart, 4/1/2006.

Near the end of 2017, F-I-L passed. What a guy. He also helped us tremendously over a long period, just like my oldest brother.

Then we received a significant blow on New Years Day. Future F-I-L of daughter died in his mid-fifties. This was the most pain I have felt and witnessed in my life. He was a businessman, and made a mistake or two. The business situation is complicated, with lawyers, challenges to will, and so on.

I was asked to help with business, meaning all of my free time is gone. This will break off mid-April, and we are going to HI to meet some friends. Woo-hoo!!

Even better, we have become very experienced snow shovelers, but won't miss it one bit. Please, Spring, do come back...

So much changes in a year.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:08 AM   #17
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It has been about one year since my introductory post. April Fools day is around the corner. That always makes me think of my first day at megamart, 4/1/2006.

Near the end of 2017, F-I-L passed. What a guy. He also helped us tremendously over a long period, just like my oldest brother.

Then we received a significant blow on New Years Day. Future F-I-L of daughter died in his mid-fifties. This was the most pain I have felt and witnessed in my life. He was a businessman, and made a mistake or two. The business situation is complicated, with lawyers, challenges to will, and so on.

I was asked to help with business, meaning all of my free time is gone. This will break off mid-April, and we are going to HI to meet some friends. Woo-hoo!!

Even better, we have become very experienced snow shovelers, but won't miss it one bit. Please, Spring, do come back...

So much changes in a year.
All our hearts are with you. All the best to you moving forward in your life.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:08 AM   #18
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A very respectful tribute to your brother.

Very nice of you to write an admonishment (albeit gentle) to FI fence sitters. I'll pile on. I was an FI fence sitter in 2016; two things happened...

I was travelling and DW had a moderately severe medical situation requiring me to fly home ASAP (all ended well). Several weeks later, a guy around my age died in his cube a few rows down from me. I realized that God was shouting at me to "Get The Hell Out of MegaC*rp!"

Notified my boss that Friday - - - gave ample notice since my job was unique, but got out mid 2017.

Best.
Decision.
Ever.
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:25 AM   #19
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Thank you for your story and your one year follow up. Your tribute to your brother was heart warming!
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Old 09-07-2018, 06:04 PM   #20
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Near the end of 2017, F-I-L passed. What a guy. He also helped us tremendously over a long period, just like my oldest brother.
Today M-I-L passed after a long bout with dementia with Lewy bodies. Hard to say exactly when this started, but it may have been 10-15 years that this disease progressed.
She was incredibly tough, having grown up in Texas in the 1925-1945 period. She climbed trees, caught bullfrogs, and skinned a lot of varmints (as she said). What a gal. Hope she finds her water skis and sling shot. Oh yeah, she taught all the grandkids how to make slingshots from a branch and piece of tourniquet rubber hose.
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