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View Poll Results: How much of your current or future ability to FIRE is/will be due to luck?
All of it. (I won the lottery, was born rich, found a suitcase full of cash by the side of the road, etc.) 4 2.90%
None of it. (I worked hard, practiced LBYM, darned my socks, counted my dryer sheets, and finally made it.) 43 31.16%
Some of both. (I was working at it, but a lucky break pushed me the rest of the way.) 46 33.33%
You make your own luck. (I got lucky, but it was only useful because I had already spent years accumulating knowledge and assets that let me take advantage of it.) 45 32.61%
Voters: 138. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:07 AM   #101
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I voted a combination of hard work and luck. Yes, my wife and I worked hard, raised a big family (7 kids), both got a Ph.D., both worked hard at the university, and both enjoyed successful careers with good benefits.

But we had ONE HUGE LUCKY BREAK that made the difference financially: In 1989 we got a call from a new start-up company asking us to write a book for them. The company was working out of the garage of one of the two founders. Very long story made very short: That company became the largest publisher of computer textbooks in the world and to this date have sold 2.2 million of our books. Sure we worked our butts off writing books in the evenings and weekends, but there is no denying that we got a once-in-a-lifetime almost-like-winning-the-lottery break with that one phone call.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:25 AM   #102
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Hello Jacob - you write in your post that "(your) pay was pathetic" but your signature says you became financially independent at 30. How did you manage that ? Just curious...

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Originally Posted by jacob View Post
On one hand the pay was pathetic compared to the hours, on the other hand, the hours and the fascination with the work
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:08 AM   #103
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Luck: Having parents who believed in reading, education, and frugality
Hard Work: Saving 20%+ our whole lives
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:47 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
Hello Jacob - you write in your post that "(your) pay was pathetic" but your signature says you became financially independent at 30. How did you manage that ? Just curious...
gotta buy his book...., I'm way past 30 but there is so much valuable info in there that it's a good read at any age.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:25 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post

I like to think of human lives as being worthy more than that of lower animals, but what reasoning can I supply to make that case? Can someone help me out, without resorting to religious beliefs?
Using "animals" in the non-human sense, we know that many animals feel pain. Some animals might, just might, have some self awareness, a theory of the mind. Some animals exhibit empathetic behavior. Would you eat a chimpanzee mother cuddling her child? An elephant that cries when its mate dies? Your dog? Probably not, they are too much like us.

I eat meat. I pick and chose what I eat. I really, really am offended by meat production that amounts to torture and suffering of animals. For example, I am picky about the chicken I eat after reading about chicken processing where chickens which amounted to death by torture. Have you read the Omnivore's Dilemma? I recommend it.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:09 AM   #106
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Dumb luck:
* Bought gold for all the wrong reasons at $251 early in 1979, sold it a few months later after it passed the peak of about $800
* While unemployed was hired by a company who's owner knew my dad through a sport they had in common, though both later said they didn't discuss it before the hire or while I worked at the firm.

Part luck, part knowledge:
* During the internet/tech boom which I believed was a classic bubble, I read about asset allocation. Sold off my tech/growth oriented stuff and over-weighed on value stocks 9 months before the bubble burst.
* While researching my impending FIRE I realized how devastating a big drop in value can be during the first few years of retirement. I was 90% in stocks, had planned to drop the percentage somewhat, but got scared and bought the safest bond funds I could find to the tune of about 55% of my retirement funds about a year before the global economic meltdown.

Hard work: LBYM, maximum contributions to IRA, 401k and additional savings, worked harder than most in college and grad school, worked my way up in the world of software development.

Born with it: Parents led by example on the value of education, LBYM, the value of a dollar and discipline. And like Yogi, I'm smarter than the average bear.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:58 PM   #107
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Ted Talk on wealth psychology:
...
PIFF: And here's what I think was really, really interesting - is that at the end of the 15 minutes, we asked the players to talk about their experience during the game. And when the rich players talked about why they'd inevitably won in this rigged game of monopoly, they talked about what they'd done to buy those different properties and earned their success in the game.

....

RAZ: OK, but how does that happen? I mean, how does money change you? Like, say you come into a lot of it when you're like, you know, 50, what would happen?
PIFF: Well, it would, for one, mean that you can afford a different kind of home. Maybe it means you can afford a bigger home where the people in your family would all occupy separate bedrooms. You'll have a bigger yard, potentially, or more space between your house and other people's homes.

Does Money Make You Mean? : NPR

I like my space. I never thought of it as a manifestation of wealth, however.

"Know thyself"
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:24 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Using "animals" in the non-human sense, we know that many animals feel pain. Some animals might, just might, have some self awareness, a theory of the mind. Some animals exhibit empathetic behavior. Would you eat a chimpanzee mother cuddling her child? An elephant that cries when its mate dies? Your dog? Probably not, they are too much like us.

I eat meat. I pick and chose what I eat. I really, really am offended by meat production that amounts to torture and suffering of animals. For example, I am picky about the chicken I eat after reading about chicken processing where chickens which amounted to death by torture. Have you read the Omnivore's Dilemma? I recommend it.
Could you give more background on "death by torture"? I have visited a lot of poultry slaughter plants and have not observed the situation as you describe it.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:01 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanfanciscotreat View Post
Could you give more background on "death by torture"? I have visited a lot of poultry slaughter plants and have not observed the situation as you describe it.
Do a search on Youtube for "egg factory".
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:02 PM   #110
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Humans have the ability to think in complex ways, to be aware of themselves and their relationships, to plan ahead, to anticipate and shape the future and learn from the past, and to purposely choose to act against their instincts. Even if born with certain tendencies humans can decide to change many things about themselves so as not to simply be determined. I'm currently on a diet and have to suppress impulses to eat food when I know I shouldn't have it. It is hard but manageable. That's a simple example but what animal can do that?
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