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Old 12-12-2007, 04:56 PM   #21
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I think I got that "perseverance" trait perhaps through having absorbed it by osmosis. Perseverance, it served me well too. I was able to retire younger than my dad did, with fewer years in, and with more wealth than they had.
Same here. He did 39 years at his last j*b, and I did just a tad more than 30. He retired at 62 with a cola'd pension, health & life ins, and was quite FI. I ER'd at 50 with a cola'd pension, health & life ins, and am also quite FI. Perseverance paid off....THANKS Dad!!!!
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:44 PM   #22
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Sure something was imparted: Folks homesteaded in Alaska, moved to Oregon when i was 3, Dad worked as a machinist, had his own shop, they sold everything in '59 and did about a 5 month tour of the US, Canada, Cuba and Central America with VW van, tent trailer, and 10, 7, and 1 YO kids. Got back to Oregon with nothing, Dad worked as a machinist to support raising us kids in the country as we moved from a rental to bigger and bigger places, all bought for the land, not the house. He often worked two jobs as well as working the places as we tried to raise Herefords on pretty desperate poorly fenced properties. Remember getting calls at the house from Beneficial Finance dunning for loan payments. Mom would do property searches the old fashioned way - drive out and look. She would also get up way too early to transport us out to bean fields to pick so we could make our money for school clothes and would shop railroad salvage sales for food. Growing up it was nothing to have 300# of pancake flour or 60 boxes of shattered chocolate Easter bunnies or a pallet of unlabled assorted canned goods. Made for interesting dinners. They borrowed money from me at one point - a small amount, but it made me interested in the concept of "interest". Remember my Dad hocking his gun collection several Christmasses to cover Christmas debt - one year it put two donkeys (Sam and Waldo) in our livingroom. They stretched hard, they paid what they owed, they were competent. Dad died before he was 50 after fighting lymphoma for almost 10 years and doing his best to set up the family. Pretty much makes me feel like small potatos in comparison, though our net worth is more substantial.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:31 PM   #23
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Growing up in my family taught me to strive for financial security and taught me how to be frugal for sure.

Grew up in a 3 bedroom trailer. There were 6 kids in my family. Early on, we all were young enough that we all had to squeeze in there. Three girls in one bedroom and three boys in the other (parents in the third bdrm). These bedrooms were small. Probably no more than 6' by 10'. We had bunkbeds in our room, and at night we pulled out a trundle bed from under the bottom bunk bed. That's where I slept (I was the youngest).

Of course we had more space as the older kids grew up and moved out, and I was so thrilled to have my own bedroom!

I lived on hand-me downs and never had brand-name clothes. My mom made me some of my clothes, and when I was old enough I baby sat and paid for my own school clothes. To this day, I'm not a big shopper. I probably buy new clothes maybe twice a year, and never spend over a $100 or so when I go. DH loves this about me

My father worked on the railroad as a conductor, Mom was stay-at-home. Used to go with my Mom and use those little "clickers" in the grocery store so we didn't go over budget. I never asked for anything extra, as I could see how everything added up, and I knew we just didn't have any "extra". Talk about learning the value of money!

Mom taught me how to use a checkbook and live on a tight budget. Neither parent knew nothing about investing, etc., so I learned all that many years later (late 20's/early 30's) on my own.

Due to our low income, we qualified to buy reduced priced meal tickets at school. I remember one year Dad got laid off, and we had to go on welfare. Those were really tough times. I remember lots of powdered milk, and also those big chunks of velveeta type cheese. We also couldn't afford school pictures that year.

So although my parents couldn't teach me about investing, they sure did teach me how to get by on little money and budget carefully. And although they couldn't contribute to college for me, my Mom filled out all my grant and loan paperwork for me to make sure it could happen.
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:38 PM   #24
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What a fascinating thread. I enjoyed reading every one of your stories. Thanks to the OP for starting it.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:02 PM   #25
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My parents were often poor; mostly as a result of my brother being sick most of his (and my) life. My father was self-employed and there was no health insurance.

I grew up on and around farms so we ate well. I started doing farm work at a young age and was proud to be useful. Coaxing a living from the land is not easy.

I learned early not to ask for anything as there was no spare money to buy non-essentials. As a result, I never got into the habit of shopping, especially for anything not 'useful'.

All of the above imbued me with a deep loathing for waste and junk.

I have to discipline myself not to be 'penny wise and pound foolish'; to spend money up front on preventive maintenance and on items that will last.

I'm getting better at spending money on things that increase my comfort/well being, but there's a lot of stuff I just don't want.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:48 PM   #26
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We were a typical family of 6 kids, father working, mom staying home. All of the kids had chores that did not result in $$ for us. We grew vegetables and my mom canned them. We raised chickens for food. We raised cows and butchered one when we needed meat for the freezer. We ate a lot of "gravy steaks" with rice and homegrown vegetables.
My first financial advice from dad was that I had to save up my own money to buy a car for myself. I went to work at 16 and the day after graduation, he and I went out and I paid cash for my first used car. I have been saving from that time forward and of course still do. He is in his 80's now and I don't dare tell him what I am worth because he might think differently about me. He never invested and did not like to bother with money. He once inherited a commercial piece of property and complained about having to go each month to get the rent check. Then he complained because he had to pay taxes on it. So he sold it gave it away to my uncle so he didn't have those "money headaches".
He raised 6 great kids though and we still all get along and will get together soon for christmas but will not discuss $$ or finances for sure.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:05 PM   #27
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I learned early not to ask for anything as there was no spare money to buy non-essentials. As a result, I never got into the habit of shopping, especially for anything not 'useful'.

All of the above imbued me with a deep loathing for waste and junk.

I have to discipline myself not to be 'penny wise and pound foolish'; to spend money up front on preventive maintenance and on items that will last.

I'm getting better at spending money on things that increase my comfort/well being, but there's a lot of stuff I just don't want.
Hard to break that which is so ingrained, isn't it? I'm much, much better now about spending money than I used to, especially since we've built up a nest egg, and I feel more financially secure. However, I still always look for the very best deal...it's like a game to me.

Still, I have the reputation with my girlfriends as the "least materialistic woman I know"...LOL This was after I made a comment that I didn't understand the need for china, especially if you didn't use it. Oh well, they still love me even though I'm a little different!
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:06 PM   #28
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my parents (mom & stepdad) worked until death. uninvolved biodad was from wealthy entertainment family (no idea if he is still alive). mom was child of a merchant and the wife he kept at home. stepdad, the child of wealthy construction blood, left family early on to become a financially self-made man. he probably would have liked to have retired early and could afford it but mom was a workaholic and so they kept the biz running until his scotch & cigarette-damaged heart, liver & kidney failed and her alzheimer's later prevented her from working as well. brother works & owns the biz today.

my early youth saw my bioparents rise from middle to upper middle class and included three days per week of hebrew school on top of regular school from ages 8-13, music lessons earlier than that, horseback riding, etc., country club weekends and 8 weeks of summer camp between grades. in my mid teens stepdad introduced us to boating. i have lived a very lucky life as far as all that goes.

mom brought me to the bank as a child for me to open a savings account. while always a saver (i recall stuffing envelops with gift money before i had a savings account), i never considered retirement during work and it was only six months before quitting that i first learned about early retirement. it is just by the force of that circumstance that i now learn about investing. my stepdad often told me i did things half-assed backwards but as luck would have it--and often to the amusement of anyone casually watching--i usually wind up rightside up.

my parents played by the pay as you go plan. they made the money to support their lifestyle, neither borrowing nor investing for it. mom taught me about agreements utilizing contracts in my upbringing. my allowance was earned with household chores. they rewarded me for good grades and i paid financial penalties for bad ones.

they taught me some very good things that took me a long time to hear. and not to discount their good lessons, but they probably taught me a few wrong things that i acted upon right away. my learning likely had less to do with their lessons and more to do with my listening. less to do with what anyone ever tried to teach me and more to do with my taking responsibility for my own decisions and actions. just in living their own life as they pleased they taught me much, but it was up to me to learn it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:47 PM   #29
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You folks have great stories... I don't think my DD or her generation will have these stories to tell because they just have access to so much.

My parents were immigrants, so they struggled w/language, culture, etc., and this was back in the 40's and 50's. They ended up opening their own business but didn't make a lot of money. We always had food and a place to live, but I barely had clothes and shoes to wear (I remember 3 pairs of pants to rotate for a week at school and 1 pair of shoes at a time). It was a combination of money and time (they both worked 14-16 hours at the business). I'm a pretty good saver because I'm not a spender (had to hoard the money whenever I could get it). They never really talked about how to save, retirement planning, or anything like that... but they did well enough to ensure that I'll be taken care of, but I wished they were happier together and spent more it together... ya know we won't be making that mistake!

When my husband, then-boyfriend, told my mom that he was going to marry me, my mom started telling him all my good points... <sigh> the best one she could come up with is "she's really frugal!"
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