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Teach to be free
Old 02-04-2015, 10:46 PM   #1
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Teach to be free

I'm a 32 year old teacher in Oregon. I live on a small family farm with my husband and twelve year old daughter. I commute an hour to work through high desert. During the summer, I do everything from Teacher experiences to doing water and trapping gophers.
I grew up in an in-debt family hardly Living pay check to pay check on a mortgaged farm. I vowed to never live like that as an adult. I watched unnecessary spending for too many wants digging an even bigger hole. This was not just my family, but nearly everyone around me was doing the same thing. I thought there must be a better way than living to make a living then dying without really living. All my life I've been criticized for being a penny pincher (only in not so nice terms). Usually, it was in jest with serious underlying criticism. It was like walking along the blind. We're doomed to punch a time clock for others. I thought I must be wrong there is no way out. Then I met my husband who "retired" at 42 to work on what is now our Farm. We saved and paid off all bills including the mortgage. It helped that neither one of us believed in credit cards.
Here we don't need cable or internet, or other entertainment that costs. We use ancient dependable equipment and keep all costs low.
My ultimate goal is to retire early and work on the farm year round. I love teaching but the politics of it all is making teaching harder to do. It seems that our jobs have turned into passing the next government test. Farming and raising my animals are my ultimate passion. I love being away from the hustle and bustle.
I will admit that I know next to nothing about investing. I have a small amount invested in a Roth and a traditional IRA. I wonder if there is more/better options for my case? Index fund?
I'm going to show my students that it can be done and inspire them to do more than just work endlessly until their time is up.


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Old 02-05-2015, 03:20 AM   #2
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Congratulations for having a plan and a family that shares the plan.
It reminds me a bit of Amy Dacyczyn who wrote the Tightwad Gazette.
Welcome!
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:42 AM   #3
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Welcome.

There is a reading list somewhere around the site that is somewhat overwhelming in its size. For beginning investors, I recommend Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. My DW read this book and said she finally understood what I was doing. If you want to get more involved in index investing, read William Bernstein's Investor's Manifesto.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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Welcome. There are lots of reading recommendations here, but bottom line, invest in low cost index funds from a place like Vanguard and stay the course. You'll come out ahead of the pack.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:03 PM   #5
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Welcome.

There is a reading list somewhere around the site that is somewhat overwhelming in its size. For beginning investors, I recommend Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. My DW read this book and said she finally understood what I was doing. If you want to get more involved in index investing, read William Bernstein's Investor's Manifesto.
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Welcome. There are lots of reading recommendations here, but bottom line, invest in low cost index funds from a place like Vanguard and stay the course. You'll come out ahead of the pack.
Welcome to the forum, you'll fit in well here with lots of other outliers that avoid slavery to the money-lenders.

I cannot agree more on the reading suggestions. The Millionaire Teacher is a great introductory book on investing. I also liked How a Second Grader Beat Wall Street but admittedly it sort of parallels Teacher.

And there are threads about the reactions of others to frugality and financial independence. Your experiences are common.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:33 PM   #6
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Welcome Melodie!

There are lots of great resources here:

Early Retirement FAQs - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

and of course we'll do our best to answer your questions also. There are lots of likeminded folks who hang out here!
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:02 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone! I feel pumped and inspired already. I will take your suggestions. ☺


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Old 02-05-2015, 07:26 PM   #8
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I found The Bogleheads Guide to Investing to be a great guide to index style investing. For a quick read, The Coffeehouse Investor is also good. Four Pillars of Investing by Bernstein was great once I had the basics down. And The Millionaire Next Door is fantastic for when I get a case of the I Wants.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:30 PM   #9
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Welcome. We do not live on a farm but I have have become intrigued with sustainable living and inspired by sites like this on urban homesteading:

The Urban Homestead - A City Farm, Sustainable Living & Resource Center, A Path to Freedom towards Self-Sufficiency

We don't even have a vegetable garden but many of the low effort elements like reducing our utility bills and simple living ideas have helped us to be FI.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:42 PM   #10
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Welcome. Don't be discouraged by those who don't get what is means to be debt free and that you know that there is something better out there besides 9 to 5 until you die. If you haven't read it already you may want to check out Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin (the updated edition came out in 2008). Hopefully, you have a good 403(b) retirement plan through your teaching position that will help with your dreams in the future.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
Welcome. We do not live on a farm but I have have become intrigued with sustainable living and inspired by sites like this on urban homesteading:

The Urban Homestead - A City Farm, Sustainable Living & Resource Center, A Path to Freedom towards Self-Sufficiency

We don't even have a vegetable garden but many of the low effort elements like reducing our utility bills and simple living ideas have helped us to be FI.
When I hear about sustainable living, I wonder what is unsustainable living? Is that living without a website?

Ha
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:31 PM   #12
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When I hear about sustainable living, I wonder what is unsustainable living? Is that living without a website?

Ha
I guess not sustainable would be the opposite of these steps:

Sustainable living - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I think living in a condo without a car in a walkable area would have many attributes of sustainability. I don't think you necessarily have to chop your own firewood, live in a commune, make your own soap and raise goats unless it suits you to do so.

For us it means things like xeriscaping, making our own non-toxic cleaning supplies, cooking more from scratch, installing low flow shower heads, taking our own bags to the grocery store, reducing food waste, and reducing our gas and electricity consumption.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:59 PM   #13
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Another book I sent to my sister and nieces when they began teaching: "Teach And Retire Rich". and as most teachers have 403b plans and most of them are garbage get familiar with 403bwise.com
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:02 PM   #14
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Welcome. We do not live on a farm but I have have become intrigued with sustainable living and inspired by sites like this on urban homesteading:

The Urban Homestead - A City Farm, Sustainable Living & Resource Center, A Path to Freedom towards Self-Sufficiency

We don't even have a vegetable garden but many of the low effort elements like reducing our utility bills and simple living ideas have helped us to be FI.
We pick up a box of food from them every two weeks, great people. On an urban lot they get 10K pounds of produce, have ducks & chickens for eggs, raise goats and make biodiesel.
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