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Old 09-26-2007, 04:12 PM   #21
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:19 PM   #22
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1. Living in a home with Depression Era parents with a frugal mentality.
2. Divorcing a wife that spent 10X what we made and had no concept of saving for college expenses or retirement.
3. Had the drive to take a lot of crappy jobs in a lot of out of the way places so I could climb the Mega Corp. ladder as high as I could stand it and reaped the financial rewards for sticking to it for over 33 years.
4. Read as much as I could on the stock market and investing and after the divorce, started saving and investing. I learned a lot the hard way and I had some great years and some disasters.
5. Kept my spending lower than my take home income.
6. Learned to pay myself first with each check and keep increasing my savings percentage both inside my 401k and in my after tax accounts.
7. Married a woman who shared my dream of FIRE and helped make it happen.
8. Did my job well and exited my career under my own terms and when I wanted to do so.
9. Found John Greaney's Early Retirement site (Thanks a Ton John!!!)The Retire Early Home Page.
10. Had the guts to save when every one else was spending; to invest when everyone else was leaving the market; to stay in a high pressure low esteem job to gain more $$ so I could retire early.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:31 PM   #23
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1) Being born in the US
2) Pretty good genes
3) Good school with access to lots of computers at the start of the PC revolution
4) Riding the tech boom
5) Selling before the tech bust
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:49 PM   #24
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1. Not divorcing. Or, in other words, modifying my fun loving ways to incorporate the appropriate "family values" so that DW didn't throw my sorry a$$ out on the street. 37 years and I still have her fooled!

2. Maintaining a stoic attitude about jobs that allowed me to press on through decades of inner city factory night shift work, dangerous surroundings, long commutes, etc., with a big smile on my blue collar face..... Eventually, I wound up with a day shift gig in the plush suburbs. What a relief!

3. Being too busy working to blow my whole paycheck....... at least not all at once.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:21 PM   #25
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Are there one, two, or three ideas or things you did on your specific path that significantly helped you, changed your experiences for the better?
1. LBYM.
2. Marrying a like-minded spouse and saving/investing from two paychecks for two decades.
3. Being forced to mature (temporarily) by parenthood.
4. Spending months on self-assessment and career-interest surveys & diagnostic exams. When they said that I'd make either an excellent nuclear engineer or a mid-level manager, perhaps both, then I knew it was time to ER.
5. FinancialEngines.com and, later, FIRECalc.
6. Bernstein's "Four Pillars", and for the very masochistic curious, "Intelligent Asset Allocator".
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:34 PM   #26
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1. Avoiding the temptation to go for the home run in the market (and suffering big losses), instead being content with slow but sure accumulation at 6-8%, 10% in good years.

2. Cultivating a serious hobby (sailing), friends, and family relationships that reassured me there was a better life out there to prepare for.

3. Running FIRE and umpteen other retirement calculators, including my own.
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:42 PM   #27
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  1. Listening (albeit reluctantly at the time) to my father when he insisted that I begin saving 15% of my take home pay...I was 16 and making a whopping $1.37 an hour at the time. Continued saving 15% after tax for remainder of my working life -- and NEVER missed it from my paychecks.
  2. Signing up for contributory pension plan and maxing out the 401(k) as soon as I was eligible -- again mostly due to parents' advice (thank you, thank you!) -- and staying the course for 39 years.
  3. Getting a good education that enabled me to get higher paying positions than my lesser educated friends/family -- and developing lots of outside interests/hobbies that are engaging my mind now!
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:38 PM   #28
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Three Things

1. Saving 15% of my income every year (tax-sheltered or not)
2. Acknowledging that buying things does not bring happiness -- leading to LBYM.
3. Learning everything about how to invest and spend MY money.

Result: FI now, just planning the RE 'date' -- and still surprised it all worked out.

-- Rita
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:27 PM   #29
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Conquering my fear of leaving my home town, family, friends and everything familiar to me for a more prosperous life.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:58 AM   #30
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1. Purchasing my first income property, a fourplex in So Cal, in 1996.
2. Purchasing additional multi-unit income properties in '96-'97.
3. Selling and exchanging first group of properties into larger income properties.
4. In some instances, repeating step 3.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:33 AM   #31
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2. Acknowledging that buying things does not bring happiness -- leading to LBYM.

-- Rita
The real secret of it all.
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:41 AM   #32
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  • Marry right
  • Do as much travel & crazy stuff as you can before you marry
  • Pay yourself first, to wit, 15% of gross; invest for average return for the long haul
  • Forget the Jones’s. Make ‘em think you wish YOU could buy the new cars, big house & STUFF. (By the time they figure you out, it’ll by too late for them. Then give them a copy of The Millionaire Next Door.)
  • Don’t take vacations (Nah. I don’t recommend anyone do like me on this one)
  • Buy first house on GI Bill, nothing down, grow your income producing RE holdings from that for infinite return, if you’re masochistic.
  • Get paid more than you are worth
  • Marry right
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:42 PM   #33
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Don’t take vacations (Nah. I don’t recommend anyone do like me on this one)
Perhaps a like-minded soul? I believe in vacations but not in travelling while working; three weeks would not do anyplace justice. I would add: live where you would want to be on vacation.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:20 PM   #34
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cuppajoe,

That works for me. Of course my problem is that there have always been a lot of places I would like to vacation/live, at least for awhile. Now what will I do with all the pets ...
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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."
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:30 PM   #35
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cuppajoe,

That works for me. Of course my problem is that there have always been a lot of places I would like to vacation/live, at least for awhile. Now what will I do with all the pets ...
Drum, Exactly! Fluffy does not cotton to travel. While standing still I met someone who REed from a long-term career in the Bahamas and set out to travel accross the county living in a few places along the way. I believe she rented an apt. here for a couple of years and then disappeared. That's one way. I wonder how many here have those kinds of plans?
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:32 PM   #36
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Life it what you make of it. If you don't get out there and live life it will pass you by.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:37 PM   #37
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dragging my mother away from her desk five years before alzheimer's killed her and thinking to myself that could be me in 20 years: i want 20 fun years without working.

finding this forum, learning that my cheap habits are actually a good thing and finally learning about finance should keep me unemployed forever just in case that 20 years turns into 40.

edit: i also like cuppajoe's idea of live where you want to vacation and intend to travel as such into my future. that is also why i did not replace my irreplaceable wolfpuppy. no parents, no kids, no pets, no clients, no boss, someday soon maybe even no home, nothing owed, everything paid: no encumberances. isn't early retirement all about freedom.
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:19 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
dragging my mother away from her desk five years before alzheimer's killed her and thinking to myself that could be me in 20 years: i want 20 fun years without working.

finding this forum, learning that my cheap habits are actually a good thing and finally learning about finance should keep me unemployed forever just in case that 20 years turns into 40.

edit: i also like cuppajoe's idea of live where you want to vacation and intend to travel as such into my future. that is also why i did not replace my irreplaceable wolfpuppy. no parents, no kids, no pets, no clients, no boss, someday soon maybe even no home, nothing owed, everything paid: no encumberances. isn't early retirement all about freedom.
I'm moving that way myself. No parents, kids, clients, boss; still have a cat and a house.
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Old 09-30-2007, 03:03 PM   #39
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>Are there one, two, or three ideas or things you did on your specific path that significantly helped you, changed your experiences for the better?

1. Realizing that a nicer car, bigger house, and more stuff wouldn't make me happier.

2. Going to the ER and getting an EKG after several stressful years of work made me reproritize my work goals. The pay cut hurt a bit, but we could afford it because of #1, and I'm sure I bought quite a few extra years.

3. A short cancer scare made me realize that, if we stuck to our plan, I'd be free before I was 45. Re-evaluating that now, it might be worth working until I'm 55 if i work less and live more in the meantime.
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