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Managed to do it
Old 04-23-2004, 05:46 PM   #1
 
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Managed to do it

Hello,

I'm John, am 38 years old, and managed to semi-retire early. I worked my butt-off in high tech jobs for around 15 years. I made very good money, I saved regularly, invested aggressively and conservatively, and managed to take advantage of a few lucky breaks.

My tips/philosophy (no order):
- save, save, save and invest
- don't waste your money on things you don't really want or need
- don't buy fancy cars or houses - buy a Honda or Toyota and drive it 15 years.
- save on insurance whenever possible
- invest aggressively and conservatively
- pay attention to taxes
- diversify
- look at your investments/portfolio in the aggregate, never focus on individual stocks, funds, or sectors.
- buy 'things' that you enjoy. Find hobbies and activities that are not very expensive.

Recommended financial authors:
William Bernstein
Benjamin Graham

Goals:
- enjoy all the things I like to do, and never had time to do when I was working 60 hours a week.
- read and learn
- work in areas that make a difference to people and society
- preserve and grow my portfolio so that I'm never a slave to money

What I'm hoping to learn here:
- investment tips
- livestyle tips
- spending tips

What I can contribute
- investment advice
- lifestyle tips
- spending tips

Biggest gripe:

* Health insurance is an issue for me. I'm finding that decent insurance is very expensive, and extremely limiting. The medical/insurance situation in this country is very broken. The quality and number of policies available to you depend on a) your employer, and b) the state you live in. If you are a young retiree, it's very difficult (sometimes impossible) to benefit from group rate insurance policies.


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Re: Managed to do it
Old 04-23-2004, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: Managed to do it

John, GREAT POST.

I'm hoping to learn from you!
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Re: Managed to do it
Old 04-23-2004, 06:38 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Re: Managed to do it

Ditto

Good post John - including your gripe. I've gone 11 yrs without health insurance - a risk and a minor worry. Keep posting.
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Re: Managed to do it
Old 04-28-2004, 03:17 PM   #4
 
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Re: Managed to do it

Quote:
Hello,

My tips/philosophy (no order):
- save, save, save and invest
- don't waste your money on things you don't really want or need
- don't buy fancy cars or houses - buy a Honda or Toyota and drive it 15 years. *
- save on insurance whenever possible
- invest aggressively and conservatively
- pay attention to taxes
- diversify
- look at your investments/portfolio in the aggregate, never focus on individual stocks, funds, or sectors.
- buy 'things' that you enjoy. *Find hobbies and activities that are not very expensive.
I failed to mention what is probably the most important TIPS of all:

- Take advantage of those rare opportunities that knock.
and
- Don't be greedy

I've been very fortunate to be 'in the right place at the right time'. But what's just as important, is that I took advantage of the opportunity.

Did you just get a inheritence? Don't buy a fancy car, pay off your debt instead.

Is your net worth tied up in your company's stock? If so, DIVERSIFY.

What goes up fast, can come down even faster.

Some people that know me say that I've been very lucky. To a certain extent, they are right. Interestingly, it turns out that there are multiple paths in my professional and financial life that lead to financial independence. I just happen to choose one of them. Other choices would have lead to the same result.

I know many people that were in the 'same place at the same time' that I was, but did not manage to take advantage of the 'lucky situation'. As a friend of mine used to tell me 'You make your own luck'.

That said, good luck :-)
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Re: Managed to do it
Old 04-28-2004, 04:12 PM   #5
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Posts: 27
Re: Managed to do it

Hey John,

Congratulations!

I also like to think that I am semi-retired because I only need to work approx. 20 hours a week.

Some things to possibly look into for health insurance: start your own business and for only two employees (possibly you and your wife-if there is one) you can get a small business HMO policy. We have my husband with the kids on one and I am on a separate policy. Mine is $260 monthly and his is $460, we are with Aetna. I know its not inexpensive, but its manageable.

You can join your local Chamber of Commerce (again you'd probably need your own business), they offer their members health insurance. I don't know how good the rates are.

You can also join an association or club that offers group insurance, an example would be something like the Graphic Artists Guild (www.gag.org). I think the least expensive fee to join is something like $100 but it may be worth it for the insurance.

Starting and running your own business doesn't have to be very time consuming. Just do something you enjoy and would do anyway. If you make some money, great. If it breaks even and your insurance is covered and other incidentals/supplies that you would buy anyway are a deduction, even better.


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Re: Managed to do it
Old 04-29-2004, 03:26 AM   #6
 
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Re: Managed to do it

Just a "quickie" re. unclemick going without health
insurance. I've been tempted, but never had the guts.
Even with a few chronic problems, I'd be miles ahead
if I had just skipped it since I retired (hindsight).
But, we still pay (not much) for some pretty basic
coverage. We also carry cancer insurance through
an organization I belong to. It pays direct to you
on a per diagnosis basis a flat fee. Not much coverage there either but the premiums are low. We've opted
for minimal coverage all around, but have never gone
without. My wife did go without for quite a while before we got married, but her situation was that she had
little to lose. Together, we have a lot "at risk".

John Galt
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Re: Managed to do it
Old 04-29-2004, 12:08 PM   #7
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Posts: 7,318
Re: Managed to do it

John

My 87 year old mom recently was in the hospital for a bad case of shingles and my SO is experiencing higher co-pay(Union provided Aetna plan) and getting bills that insurance refuses to cover. Sooo-
it looks like an area to go on the warpath/research and will probably ruin 'my' health looking into it. This is one messy area that has no elegant solutions and will never go away. Will probably start looking for myself also. Judging from previous posts on the subject - the variations are many and mind bogling. The medicare plus suppl. and the union health plan for the women aren't working like they used to and I expect it will get worse as medical costs rise in the future. Looks like some ER $ and time/agrivation lay ahead.
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Re: Managed to do it
Old 04-29-2004, 03:24 PM   #8
 
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Re: Managed to do it

Hi unclemick! It has gotten so complex that I now
am willing to accept less coverage (forget the cost)
as long as I can tell what I am getting for my money.
In other words, comprehensibility and simplicity
are more important to me than the net monetary benefit
I "might" receive from the insurance.

John Galt
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