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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 01-30-2004, 03:25 PM   #41
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Hello all,

I just joined the forum after having been an interested reader for a couple weeks now. I am 44 and look forward to retiring in 3 1/2 years. I am fortunate to have a wife who works and is supportive in my desire to retire early as long as I don't just "lie around the house".

I find the discussion "how much do you need to retire early" a fascinating one as you can see how a person's personaility fits into answering this question.

Personally I am a reasonable risk taker and will retire with about $500,000 (not counting home equity) at age 48 (currently have nearly $400 M and am contributing heavily in 401K). Home equity would add an additional ~ $150,000. Of course with my wife desiring to work until normal retirement it takes much of the risk out of it, however, the risk really comes into having the entire family adjust to a more modest lifestyle. I have young chidren at home and my current salary is $125,000/yr (my wife's salary is less than $30,000). This is my only reservation in that I feel somewhat guilty in "depriving my children". I balance that by reassuring myself with what most of you already know: "money is less important than hapiness".

I know I probably did not post this under the right heading but I was inspired by the topic. I am always interested in how those who retired early with children dealt with that aspect.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 01-30-2004, 04:08 PM   #42
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Quote:
I cut my dryer sheets in half to make the box last longer
Ha ha...I thought I was the only guy that did that. I even reuse the half sheets twice sometimes, they still work.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 01-30-2004, 04:59 PM   #43
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Quote:
I am always interested in how those who retired early with children dealt with that aspect.
I retired about 19 months ago, and we've got a 10 month old daughter, so I figure we probably got pregnant on the day I quit my job. At first, I thought this was probably the dumbest thing you could do at the onset of retirement, but it's turned out great. I get to see the kid grow up, she gets a kick out of having me around, and mom gets a live-in nanny.

Of course, it put a major ding in my travel plans. But I'll have my revenge after I've trained her to mow the lawn.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 01-31-2004, 08:15 PM   #44
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Quote:

Ha ha...I thought I was the only guy that did that. *I even reuse the half sheets twice sometimes, they still work.
Yeah, my friends and family get a kick out of the fact that I do this. They regularly bring it up to poke fun at my frugality. Funny thing is... they all come to me when they want money advise because they all figure "you'd know what to do."

I haven't used the sheets more than once yet but I feel it coming soon...

-Jay
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Re:  Hiss, get out while the getting is good!
Old 02-01-2004, 09:27 PM   #45
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Re:  Hiss, get out while the getting is good!

Welcome, Hiss,

I retired nearly two years ago with a 9-year-old and a working spouse, living off my pension and the part-time income. Spouse pension starts in 2021 so the burn rate until then is pretty high but quite manageable.

My kid has spent a lifetime in daycare from the time maternity leave ended. It was never a problem-- good (expensive!) childcare providers and a kid who really loves school. We parents loved working (at the time) and wouldn't have done it any other way. However, those days when the kid awakes with a sniffle or keeps you up all night teething-- I'm glad I never had to operate heavy equipment in my workplace. School vacations could also be a nightmare without a cooperative employer. Overall the years from birth to six are still a haze of sleep deprivation. We could also tell by the end of fourth grade that the after-school programs were getting boring. I can't imagine leaving our now 11-year-old alone after school for three hours. The kid is responsible, but also very creative at inventing new ways to get into trouble. (It can't have come from MY genes.) I see many more sleepless nights ahead in the "danger years"!

The only thing you can deprive your children of is your time. They'll never care whether you shower them with huge allowances or possessions or fantasy vacations, but they'll never forgive you for missing their big life events. Our kid complains ceaselessly about our eternal presence but is secretly proud to have the parents always at arms' length for advice, help, chauffering, etc. There's also a lot of pride in knowing how to sniff out great clothing bargains at thrift stores, being able to do plumbing & carpentry repairs-- all of the things I rarely had time to do, let alone teach, during my working days. School breaks have been particularly fun, especially surfing our first parent-child wave last Christmas. I think it's also a valuable life lesson to set the example that work is great if you love it but retirement is even better. I know my kid sees a parent who's enjoying life instead of coping with work.

There are many at-home parent websites-- most of them directed at moms but a few for dads. Stretcher.com and Bankrate.com also have many tips on downshifting to a more frugal (not deprived!) lifestyle.

We could have upshifted to a higher-paying (more stressful) job and the spouse could have retired this year instead of 2021, but as we approached my retirement we realized that no amount of money could put a stress-broke family back together again. We've never regretted the $750K of lost income (*sob*). I think that if we had chased it, we never would have learned to make effective use of what we have now-- and what we have now is more than enough.

BTW, if you're concerned about boredom in retirement-- don't worry, you won't have the time to think about it and you'll be too tired to care. I thought one child is a handful but I can't imagine being tag-teamed!

I think that retirement is wasted on the old, and my only regret in waiting until I was 42... is that we waited as long as we did. Follow your heart.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-02-2004, 08:31 AM   #46
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Hiss - I would agree with Nord's view - as she says, time spent with family can be more important than money. I certainly have enjoyed being around after school when the kids come home and being able to go to their school activities. The youngest is 7 this week.

To get a handle on your finances, I would advise setting your takehome pay equal to your future retired spending target. This would help see if you can live within that budget, and would also help the savings for a few years. In any event, the decreased spending would then not be tied to your retirement, but a chosen lifestyle. You will also know more if you want to live within that budget; retiring to a lifestyle you don't enjoy would not be desireable. It's easy to test!

Wayne
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-02-2004, 08:38 AM   #47
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Nords/WZD:

Thanks for the advice and encouragment. I am not so concerned about the lifestyle adjustment for me as I know I will quickly adapt. It is the financial adjustment for the kids that I have been more concerned with as they will be teens when I retire in 3 1/2 years and like all teens will want the latest of everything.

I agree with you Nords, though, and know that it is the giving of time that will be more valued today and also in future years as we all look back on it.

It's good to have other people validate the things we already know. Thanks again.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-02-2004, 08:40 AM   #48
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Exactly, so have them start adjusting now!

Wayne
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-02-2004, 08:45 AM   #49
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Wayne,

Yes. I agree. It will also tell me what my tolerance level is for their complaints prior to my taking the plunge! Thanks.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-02-2004, 10:42 AM   #50
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

One other comment on teenagers: When each of our girls entered high school (9th grade), we raised their allowance by $100. They also became completely responsible for all their purchases including ALL clothes, makeup, etc. as well as entertainment. We do pay car costs, as they use our cars at times, but have not bought them a seperate car. My wife and I both feel it is important to have them learning to manage their own money.

Wayne
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-02-2004, 02:46 PM   #51
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Thanks Wayne, Great idea. We had already started this with our older daughter (my wife's idea) and it has worked very well. It's such a relief now that she understands how to work with a budget and stops coming to us for every little thing. It also saves us money in the long run.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-06-2004, 07:22 PM   #52
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

After you guys get done cutting the dryer sheet in half, then using it again....use it as a dusting cloth-works great.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-07-2004, 03:21 AM   #53
 
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Re. those dryer sheets. Yep, cut 'em in half, use 'em
twice, dust the table and then stack 'em in the bathroom
for toilet paper. Martha Stewart would love this stuff.
Heloise too

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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-07-2004, 05:08 AM   #54
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Use 'em for TP? That's beyond my level of comfort but I'll be happy to fwd my stack to you.....
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-07-2004, 05:23 AM   #55
 
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

BusyMom.............I appredciate your offer to send me
your used
dryer sheets for TP. Alas, it would make me the butt
of jokes here, and I suffer enough cracks already.
Sorry if I come off a bit cheeky.

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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-07-2004, 09:20 AM   #56
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Ah dammit. Once again one of my cost savings ideas gets a bum rap. More anguish that I'll have to wipe away. Just another crappy situation.

Although I dont use them for dusting. I have one of those washable microfiber cloths for that. Dusting is a lot quicker.
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-09-2004, 06:25 PM   #57
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

I don't dust...I just roll tinkertoys on the floor and my 3 y.o. chases 'em....with wood floors, I save TONS of time. I'm willing to rent him out to fund his ROTH...

John - let me know if you change your mind....your next venture may be 101 uses for dryer sheets...
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Re: I would like to see more people posting
Old 02-10-2004, 05:08 AM   #58
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Re: I would like to see more people posting

Quote:
your next venture may be 101 uses for dryer sheets...
You could also use them as doilies before converting them to TP. Then bury them in the back yard to fertilize the vegetable garden.

This way you have plump vegetables with the fresh scent of Seabreeze.... it could happen...

-Jay
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