Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Longtime lurker, first time poster
Old 10-31-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Where the West Begins
Posts: 9
Longtime lurker, first time poster

Hello all!

I suppose I should finally post here and introduce myself. I've apparently been lurking here for quite a long while... I forgot my exact join date, but it looks like it was over 5 years ago. How time flies.

I'm Dave, and I'll be 35 in a few weeks. I'm not sure exactly how I found this board, but I lurk around here because you all have views on finance and saving that largely mirror my own. Suffice it to say that unlike most of you I am here more for FI than RE, primarily due to some ongoing medical issues which preclude me from obtaining reasonably-priced individual health insurance, if it's even possible at all. Perhaps that will change in the future, but even if not I am extremely fortunate to have an uber-stable job as an IT systems administrator at a university. On the whole I love what I do and I work with some really fantastic people, so it's an awesome job.

I have a twin sister, and we were both fortunate in that our parents emphasized saving and investing at an early age. By the time we were 18 we both had IRAs and a small college fund. I've made some mistakes along the way, but I think I'm in pretty good shape. I have a 403b with my employer to which they contribute 11.5% of my gross income, and I'm also saving additional funds in an SRA such that my total retirement savings is currently 14% of my yearly gross. I've got about 100K saved so far, which is not too bad considering I just broke the $50k/yr income mark two years ago.

With that said, currently the bulk of my savings (30% of my net income), outside of a 6 month e-fund, is currently earmarked for debt reduction. I don't have a ton of debt - no CCs and a small mortgage (~73k), but I have a fair amount of student loan debt (18k) remaining. I'm within two months of paying that off (woohoo!) and after that I have nothing but the house loan left.

By my calculations I have about 7 years until the house is paid off, sometime in 2018. Once my final student loan is done I'll be able to sock away more cash to build up a "new car" fund, and to pay off the house. By 2015 I should be able to replace my current 2005 Elantra with a new one, and hopefully pay cash. I'll also be gradually increasing my retirement savings so I can at least match my employer's contribution.

Over the last few years I've developed something of a debt "phobia". It sounds great for LBYM, but it annoys me because I'm constantly agonizing over numbers, and I track every single penny. As best as I can anticipate, every large purchase decision gets researched, planned and budgeted for, and I pay cash for everything. This has earned me the reputation of "tightwad" among my friends, because if I decide to buy something it usually won't happen for at least 6 months.

I've only been doing serious short-term budgeting for 3 years (where short term is anything below 3 years), but it's definitely paid off. By my calculations I've paid off 30K of debt in 3 years including the remainder of my car loan, my student loans, and some house repairs (new roof, new HVAC, new dishwasher), and I've also built up a 6 month e-fund. I think once I have the house debt paid off I can relax a bit. I know it sounds paranoid, but I really don't have a choice not to be debt free ASAP. While I am very fortunate that my medical issues have not greatly impacted my life (perhaps the understatement of the century!), I've still had a fair number of issues to deal with. As a result I value stability above all else and being debt-free is part of that. At the very least when things go south again I'll be in a much better mental position to deal with issues as they arise.

Since this is getting long I'll cut it short and just say I look forward to chatting with you all!

Cheers!

Dave
__________________

__________________
DaveJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-31-2011, 11:43 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
arebelspy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 625
Wow, join Jan '06 and first post Oct '11. Wonder if that's a record.

Welcome.

Thanks for posting! Glad to hear you speak.

I think many here agree with you on the paid off house being a comfort.
__________________

__________________
arebelspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 12:11 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
Packman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 303
Welcome to the living, writing posters here. Don't worry about being called a tightwad. If it brings you piece of mind and contentment (as it does for me), it really doesn't matter what others think. In fact, I named one of my fastasy football teams - Tightwads.
__________________
Retired on 5/31/2011 at 54
Packman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 12:14 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
Nova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Welcome to the board!
__________________
Nova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 04:26 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
Welcome, Dave.
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 06:45 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Welcome.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 07:02 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,634
Welcome Dave. It sounds like you are off to a good start. Since you love your job you have some security for the present. You should probably know whether the US will offer reasonably secure, affordable universal access to health insurance within 5-10 years as the case law and politics sorts out. Then you can seriously think about the RE part of FIRE if you are interested. Maybe even look at alternative job opportunities. In the meantime, it sounds like you may be at risk for disability. You are wise to get the house paid off if that is the case. Does the university offer disability insurance and, if so, do you have it?
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 07:23 AM   #8
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,408
Hi Dave, welcome to the forum. That debt phobia will make you lots of friends around here. Good luck.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 07:35 AM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveJ View Post
Hello all!

Over the last few years I've developed something of a debt "phobia". It sounds great for LBYM, but it annoys me because I'm constantly agonizing over numbers, and I track every single penny. As best as I can anticipate, every large purchase decision gets researched, planned and budgeted for, and I pay cash for everything. This has earned me the reputation of "tightwad" among my friends, because if I decide to buy something it usually won't happen for at least 6 months.

Dave
It actually might not be that bad (debt phobia) there are a lot of people
I know that if they ever look back will wish they had it.
I use to count every penny but when I got married we decided that we would live off one salary and not worry about the details that has worked great for us
good luck sounds like you are doing pretty good
__________________
SJ1_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 07:30 PM   #10
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Where the West Begins
Posts: 9
Thank you all for the warm welcome! To clarify a few points...

Packman, I'm not worried at all about being called a tightwad, I wear it as a badge of honor.

Donheff, I do have LTD insurance through my employer that provides 70% of my salary which should be sufficient for my needs, especially if I get my debt paid off. Before that kicks in though I have generous vacation and sick leave benefits to go through (I currently have 6 weeks vacation and 3 months sick leave saved up), and after that my employer has a "sick leave bank" set up that I could draw from if needed. Based on previous experiences that should give me a sufficient cushion before disability would kick in.

I should also clarify that although I'm not looking at RE seriously, if the healthcare situation in the uS improves it could be an option. Based on my age and length of service (16 years, 12 of those fulltime) I would qualify for early retirement from my employer at 55 with health benefits provided at the same level I'm currently paying. If I were retiring today that would make RE viable, but a lot can change in 20 years so I'm not that concerned about it yet. I'll just keep plugging away at saving and see what happens.

SJ1_, yeah, I suspect you're right about the debt phobia. Wish I didn't have to obsess over numbers so much, but my brain just won't let it go, darnit. With less than a decade to go before being debt-free it does feel somewhat more attainable now than 3 or 5 years ago.
__________________
DaveJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 09:05 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
tightasadrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: athens
Posts: 802
Welcome out of the shadows, DaveJ,

Based on where you direct your money, and the velocity you're able to save, I'm guessing you are not married. I've often thought that being single would have simplified my FI. Good for you that you obviously are motivated and are making it work.
Other than becoming debt free though, what other goals do you have? Because at the rate you're going, if you can invest it intelligently, and get a little lucky, you will not be very old and be sitting on quite a pile of assets. What then? Have you thought about that?
My wife kept me from being too obsessed with money, because my natural tendency would be to hoard to the extreme. But looking back now, I wish I had taken a few more family vacations with DW and DD. Time moves too quickly.
__________________
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
tightasadrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2011, 09:34 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 702
Welcome. It is good to have a job that you like.
__________________
FreeAtLast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2011, 07:44 PM   #13
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Where the West Begins
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tightasadrum View Post
Welcome out of the shadows, DaveJ,

Based on where you direct your money, and the velocity you're able to save, I'm guessing you are not married. I've often thought that being single would have simplified my FI. Good for you that you obviously are motivated and are making it work.
Other than becoming debt free though, what other goals do you have? Because at the rate you're going, if you can invest it intelligently, and get a little lucky, you will not be very old and be sitting on quite a pile of assets. What then? Have you thought about that?
My wife kept me from being too obsessed with money, because my natural tendency would be to hoard to the extreme. But looking back now, I wish I had taken a few more family vacations with DW and DD. Time moves too quickly.
You are correct, I am single, and I have no plans to change that anytime soon. TBH though I do somewhat envy those of you who are married, because having both spouses work but only living on one salary and saving the rest would make FIRE that much easier to attain. That's just my internal accountant speaking though.

Besides becoming debt-free I really haven't looked into additional investment options, aside from possibly moving and renting out my current place.

I agree that it's good to maintain a balance between saving and "living", and I'm working on that. Because of potential medical issues that are out of my control I try to live life as simply as I can, and not get bogged down with "stuff". I'm not really big on travel, I'd rather relax with a good book or movie, or spend time chatting with friends.
__________________
DaveJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2011, 05:21 PM   #14
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 36
Hi Dave! I'm new around these parts as well. Given you being single, and having health concerns, I can completely understand the desire to get your house paid off asap. Years ago hubby and I lost everything, our house, all our savings, etc. The homeless guy on the street had more wealth than us. I never take security for granted.

Make sure you plan in a little fun into your life as well though. You need a break from toiling away your entire life to retire when maybe you won't be guaranteed the health you desire in 20 years.
__________________

__________________
marylandcrab is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Going to Part Time Employment with Government? FUEGO Other topics 2 10-25-2011 06:15 PM
My Part Time Job ended yesterday FreeAtLast Hi, I am... 8 09-22-2011 02:19 PM
It's Time for Me to Start! studbucket Young Dreamers 17 09-21-2011 10:22 PM
Poll:Not working vs. more free time? steelyman Life after FIRE 52 07-21-2011 06:51 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:40 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.