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If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 03:30 PM   #1
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If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

This is an interesting question that I'd be interested in seeing what responses are out there from the posters. Age generally produces wisdom and we can all learn from the experiences (mistakes)of each other. This doesn't just have to pertain to finances/money but it can be anything in life.

P.S. Hopefully this post hasn't been raised previously
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 03:35 PM   #2
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

I would have saved 20% of my income and worked harder at LBYM.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 03:37 PM   #3
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Bailed from active duty as soon as my five-year obligation was up and finished the rest of my Navy career in the Reserves.

It would've still been full-time work-- just at locations, times, and durations of my choosing.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
I would have saved 20% of my income and worked harder at LBYM.
Ditto.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 03:54 PM   #5
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

relive the last 20 years? yikes! what are you insane? i'd love to have my 29 & 11/12ths year old body back, but if you mean i get to watch all my loved ones die again? no thank you. besides, it took me the last 20 years just to learn how to live with the mistakes i'd made prior to that. how many times to you expect me to jump through this hoop?

"if i could do it all over again. i would have made a whole other set of mistakes"~~saying
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 03:54 PM   #6
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

I would have travelled more and lived a more care-free life while I could...I bought my first house at 21(and all that goes with it - mortgage, taxes, utilities maintenace) etc...basically became an adult too fast, or at least took on too many "grown up" responsibilities very early.

All that hard wok did let me ER at under 40, but even now in ER there is a lot of travelling that I could no longer do...backpacking across Europe, sailing around the world etc, visiting islands if very far off and remote places.

Too risky now to drag a whole family along on those trips, and by time they all fly the coop (another 15 years), I'll be 58 and suspect that sleeping in a tent won't be nearly as appealing.....

No regrets really...but besides instilling a "hard work" ethic in my kids, I'll also caution them to not "grow up too fast".

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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

I'd only change one thing - hang on to the 100 shares of Berkshire Hathaway I sold when the market tanked in October of 1987.

Just kidding...

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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 04:08 PM   #8
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Take better care of my physical self.

Take better care of house and yard.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 04:18 PM   #9
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

if you did something differently 20 years ago, there's a very good chance that it might have resulted in your being in a very different situation today -- different from what you might think, and perhaps not one that you would like.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Put all my money in Dell stock in 1987.

Sell all Dell stock in 1999 and retire early.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 04:42 PM   #11
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

I would lived much further below my means, and retired at 43 instead of 53.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 04:58 PM   #12
 
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

This is a question that I ponder occasionally. Especially when someone younger asks for advice. If indeed I would have done something different, I would not have learned the lessons that I did. I would have learned different lessons and hence my life would have been different.

But since I am completely contented in my life as it currently is, if I would have done something different, maybe my life would not have turned out the way it currently is.


Would I like to have a $100 Million? Sure! - Maybe would have sunk all my money into Microsoft when they went public - But even this would have changed my current life into something different than it is today.

It still is a gamble, any way you look at it. Interesting question However.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 05:06 PM   #13
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

As others have said, we might have been very different people if we had made different choices...

I would have dumped my ex about ten years sooner than I actually did.
I would have listened to my dad's financial advice sooner.
I would have traveled more.
I would have stessed less about my job.
I would have done a better job keeping up with friendships.
I would have spent more time with my mom.

Assuming I would still know what I know now,

I would have bought a lot more real estate before the market went crazy here, and bought a bunch of Microsoft and Starbucks stock.

But you know, given where I am right now, I'm not too unhappy about any of the choices, or where I have ended up am now.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 05:43 PM   #14
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Only two things would I change.

1 - I would NOT have had more than one credit card and NOT carried a balance. But then I'd never heard of LBYM. Madison Ave was talking loud and clear, and I was listening.

2 - I would never have left home seeking a promotion. In retrospect it was a bad move and I'd be even farther ahead than I am now.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 06:41 PM   #15
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Only one change I can think of immediately. I would retire at age 55 or earlier. I retired at 60, so 5 years of more ER would have been sweet. It never crossed my mind to retire earlier, so yeah, that would be what I would do differently. Great question.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 08:21 PM   #16
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

"What a long, strange trip it's been."

If you leave off the "buy Microsoft IPO" stuff ... 20 years ago, I was in grad school (after working for 8 years post bachelor's). In 1988 I grajimated and got divorced -- that's the low point. Since then, things have worked out pretty well. As it happens, my skill set (mathematical signal analysis and software) fits into the modern scientific research paradigm pretty well.

Long, strange trip -- we try to shape reality, and it shapes us right back at double strength. If I had to do something different -- I'd have tried to widen my learning horizon (especially in grad school), since everything I've learned has been useful at some point and at some level. Even theology -- and I'm not religious. Even abstract algebra -- and I don't like pure math.

Greater LBYM -- not practical with first wife (and she left at just about the time horizon specified). Since then, my general proclivities in that direction -- from my mother -- have worked without a lot of effort -- reinforced by second wife.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 08:32 PM   #17
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Ah! There is always the question about the one that got away - the woman I mean. I was younger and didn't know love when I had it - spent too much time putting on a tough face.
She didn't know to knock me to the floor, grab me by the collar and set me straight on what is important in life. So we parted.

Time adds a glow and to a time, person and place. It also adds a layer of what could have been...

I saw her twenty or more years after we parted. She had a tough life over the years (and even before I met her) but she did OK for herself considering. But when I looked at her I still saw the woman I knew, not the older one. There was the regret and sadness of the "what could have been". We may have made a good team. Then again we may have wound up like 50% of marriages in divorce.

There is more to the story but you get the idea.

When we are taking our last breath will it be our regrets we remember? Is that what hell is? An eternity of thinking of what could have been while we were alive? Or is the loss of memory really a blessing in disguise?


Cue Frank
And so I face the final curtain.
My friends, I'll say it clear;
I'll state my case of which I'm certain.

I've lived a life that's full -
I've travelled each and every highway.
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets? I've had a few,
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course -
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew,
When I bit off more than I could chew,
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

I've loved, I've laughed and cried,
I've had my fill - my share of losing.
But now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that,
And may I say, not in a shy way -
Oh no. Oh no, not me.
I did it my way.

For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself - Then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Yes, it was my way.
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 08:39 PM   #18
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

The saddest words of tongue or pen
May be perhaps, "It might have been,"
The sweetest words we know, by heck,
Are only these "Enclosed find check!"

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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 09:09 PM   #19
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

Over all, I wouldn't have changed much at all. Everything has worked out quite well for me. That said, I would have changed a couple of things:

1) Spent (a lot) Less....Saved (a lot) More!!!

2) Would have realized that my ex-fiancee had been divorced 2 times for a reason!!!


I would have spent way less on all that stupid sh*t that I didn't need or really want, and would have saved way MORE for my retirement!

As for the ex, her first ex was my best friend from high school (still a good friend). He always said she was one crazy b*tch......I should've listened....he was RIGHT!!! While she and I were engaged her second ex and I became very good friends (which p*ssed her off). Two of her kids lived with him and their step-mom, and I used to go out to their house to pick the girls up and drop them off, and go there for BD parties, etc, and sat with them at the girls sporting events. He's a really great guy. He found out she was wacko, and tried to work things out for the girls sake....but to no avail.....(this was all confirmed by the girls, and MANY of our mutual friends!)

Other than that....LIFE HAS BEEN (and IS) GOOD!!!
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................
Old 01-06-2007, 09:12 PM   #20
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Re: If I could go back 20 years this is what I'd do different................

About two years ago a very close friend of mine had an accident. He was the nicest guy you could ever hope to be friends with - only 19 years old when he died. Ever since then my take on life has relaxed a lot. I may make mistakes, in work, relationships, and life, but I'm still around at the end of every day, and that counts for something. I'm able to have experiences that he (and many other people) never had the opportunity to have. If I can make it past 60 having contributed something to the world then I'll have a great deal to be thankful for. I know this wasn't the intention of the thread but wanted to share it anyway. We're all ahead of the game and should realize that and be thankful, and not get too caught up with regrets!
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