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So who was responsible ?
Old 01-12-2009, 03:02 PM   #1
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So who was responsible ?

This is intended to be a slightly serious thread, but we can also keep it light-hearted with some good quotes from life lessons that were taught.

In a rare philosophical moment, I was sitting here relishing my FIRE state. A question popped into my head - who was responsible for this scrumptious state of being? In other words, besides myself, who is the main person in my life who taught me the values that lead to FIRE?

Easy answer for me - my Mom. She was born in 1927 and lived the typical "school of hard knocks" life of her generation. She taught me the traditional rules of money - you can't spend it if you don't have it, and you better save some for a rainy day if you do have it. Stick to a budget.
Classic quotes -
"Until the neighbors are paying my bills, they can't tell me how to live."
"They can never take your education away."

So, who was YOUR main influence in achieving FIRE ? Family, friend, neighbor, teacher, cow*rker, SO?
Have any good quotes to share?
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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I thought I'd work forever and then at age 47 finally figured that I couldn't.

Started to put everything into place and at 57 I was done.

Only quote is "Old too fast Schmart too late" It was on the side of a tape despenser my Mom had by the fridge. I wish I would've paid attention to it. I do still have the tape despenser.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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For me, if I make it, I don't know that I could point to any individual other than my gut feeling, even in my early 20s, that all the retirement goodies that my dad and granddad had wouldn't be around for me so I'd have to save to the point of deprivation to have a chance at it.

Had I not been so fortunately prescient, I'd probably never retire.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:36 PM   #4
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Guess I would have to credit my boss of 14 years. Those lousy raises (2-3%) forced me to "think outside the box" and venture into rental real estate. "Moon lighting" - as he would call it - put me on the path to FIRE. My last several years in megacorp, the real estate income and growth easily exceeded my megacorp salary.

Famous quotes include:

"Make it go away" refering to moon lighting in rental property

"If things were different in our group, I'ld fire you right now."
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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My father asked "Why do you want to work after you retire from the military? Didn't you save any money?"

He understood the "life is short" aspect. He gave notice for ER from his job to help care for my mother as she struggled with breast/bone cancer. She died a couple days before their 25th anniversary and the week before his ER started.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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Good idea for a thread Freebird. Thanks.

I would say both of my parents set the example and the kids (5 of us) just fell in line and did what they did. They lived through the Great Depression.

1. No fancy vacations.

2. One basic car. Keep it forever.

3. All kids go to college. Work your way through.

4. Purchase quality items that last a long time.

5. Stick together as a family.

6. You are responsible for your own well-being.

7. Be prepared for bad news. Deal with it when it arrives.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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If I had to say who...it would be my mom. She took what little money we had and made a home.

However, for me it was more of a situation. I had been poor for many years and decided there must be a better way. So I moved away from home for better paying jobs, saved and invested. My situation motivated me.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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My Dad. Both parents were depression graduates. LBYM was not taught, we just lived it. If we wanted a car, we had to pay for it. We paid our own way through college, 5 kids. It's not that they could not afford it, it was a state of mind. Things you work for and save for you value more than things given to you.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:01 PM   #9
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I can't say my outlook on saving/money can be definitively linked to any particular external influence. My parents didn't get into debt, but didn't talk to us much about money or saving for retirement. I've always saved up for what I wanted, and so I didn't need to change an "earn it--spend it" mindset.

I do remember a friend who tried to sign me up for the A.L. Williams' program (dropping whole life insurance, buying term insurance and investing the difference in mutual funds). That got me started on doing the math and crunching the numbers on the future value of each dollar I squirreled away every month. I didn't sign up with the A.L. Williams guy (the loads of the funds they were pushing were high), but their sales propaganda had a very beneficial impact on me.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:05 PM   #10
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Does negative role-modeling count?

My parents were wonderful and dedicated. But they were financially both naive and stubborn. One day at a get-together with friends, one of my dad's buddie told him that if he had $15K in savings, he could retire. This was in the mid- to late-1970s. That's about all the money the did have, and they did retire, but did not LBTM.

Fast forward, they ran out of money. My brother and I bailed them out at a time when both of us really needed to be saving that money for our own kids, but duty called.

When they passed on, I really focused on saving and catching up.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:16 PM   #11
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This is a great thread, Freebird. I would have to chalk ours up to the grace of God and dumb luck.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:25 PM   #12
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My step grandmother. She lived to be 97.

She had oatmeal every morning for 70+ years.

She raised her own veggies, rhubarb, and had an apple orchard.

She would walk around her neighborhood and harvest wild asparagus and serve it.

She made her own wine.

She died with $750,000 in CDs despite the fact she never made more than $15,000 in her working life.

She raised my stepmom and uncle by herself when her husband took off in the middle of the night and never came back, in the early 1950's. She never got one cent of child support.........
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:26 PM   #13
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One person? My mom. She was the CFO at our house.
"dont' buy anything on hire purchase"
"buy quality, you will get what you pay for"
etc.

I happened to be born in the anniversary year of a local bank, and received about $1 in a savings account at birth. So I got started early!
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
Easy answer for me - my Mom. She was born in 1927 and lived the typical "school of hard knocks" life of her generation. She taught me the traditional rules of money - you can't spend it if you don't have it, and you better save some for a rainy day if you do have it. Stick to a budget.......

......So, who was YOUR main influence in achieving FIRE?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
My Dad. Both parents were depression graduates. LBYM was not taught, we just lived it. If we wanted a car, we had to pay for it.........It's not that they could not afford it, it was a state of mind. Things you work for and save for you value more than things given to you.
For me it was my Folks, my Grandad, and my Great-Uncles/Aunts. As Rustic said they were all "depression graduates". They scraped and scrapped to make it through those leaner than lean years. There was quite a bit of 'boot-legging' going on during prohibition also.....it put food on their tables, and clothes on their backs (and that St. Louis beat-cop was rewarded generously as well ).

Those ancestors of mine set the example for me:

1) If you don't need something, don't buy it!

2) If you do need something, save your money 'til you can afford to pay cash for it.

3) If you can't afford to pay cash for it, you can't afford it, and probably don't really need it in the first place.

4) What you spend, you can't save.....and what you can't save, you won't have to buy what you need.

5) Always pay with cash....not with credit!

They always lived by those guidelines! They never took out loans for cars automobiles, and several never took out a mortgage to buy a house. They worked (many times at more than one job) to save up to pay for stuff, including automobiles and houses....even if it took years. They didn't relish the idea of paying banks money! They didn't buy big fancy houses, but rather older ones that needed a lot of work a little tender lovin' care, and fixed them up as time and money allowed. Same with automobiles....they bought them used but in half way decent condition, and fixed them up.

Eventually, they got to the point where they could afford to buy new automobiles instead of used ones....and paid for them with cash money. Their homes, though fairly modest, were all quite nice and respectable looking inside and out.

When I went into the dealership to buy my first brand spankin' new ride in 1977, a totally loaded Chevy Camaro (two days before my 20th BD), they asked how I'd planned to finance it. I didn't quite understand what they meant, so I asked for clarification. They asked if I was getting the loan from my CU, or if I wanted them to arrange to get one through the bank. I asked them what loan they were talking about, because I thought it was a 'given' that when you bought something you just paid cash for it. They were like "Huh??"....I wrote them out a check for the total amount I owed (after my trade-in), and they called my CU to see if I had that kind of money....I did. I'd saved up for it! DUH!
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:46 PM   #15
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I'd have to say my parents who taught us how to live simply and my grandfather who told me be a nurse you'll always have a job .
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:56 PM   #16
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Well, I guess you could say it was my parents who got me to see the light but not in the same way as many here. My parents were(are) so bad with LBYM that I new at a young age that i'd do whatever it took to not end up like that. They had(have) a 5 figure cc debt for several decades. They owe as much on their house now as they did when they bought it 29 years ago. I grew up going grocery shopping at the food pantry. They've been very good parents overall but they're horrible with money. I learned to basically just do the opposite of what they do financially. Now I make 45-50K/yr but save ~60% of that. I'll have my home paid off before I turn 32 and never have debt again and be FIRE'd before 50.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:00 PM   #17
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Mother born 1921. Grew up on a small farm in the Hudson Valley (NY). Parents and other relatives emigrated from Germany/Poland around 1900.

Father born 1927. Grew up on a small farm in Maine.

Grew up learning not to ask for stuff because I knew there was no excess money.

Didn't realize there was any other way to live.

Use it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Do without
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #18
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I have to give both my parents credit. Mom was a smart person financially. Dad was a spendthrift. Both provided examples I learned from. Watching Mom keeping Dad under control taught me the most, I think.

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Old 01-12-2009, 06:23 PM   #19
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My uncle never wanted to be a lawyer; he wanted to work with his hands, spent vacations helping farmers bring in the crops. His parents paid for his law school, and when he graduated he gave the diploma to his mother. After he practiced law for a few years, his mom gave the diploma back to him saying, “you earned it.” His fiancee broke off the engagement saying she didn’t want to live on a shoestring. He then married auntie who was happy to LBYM. He continued with the law practice for a while, they had two children, and then he decided to RE at age 36. They moved cross-country to a warmer climate, bought a duplex, rented out the other unit. No, he was isn’t named Calmloki or Martha but I loved the story. He was mom’s favorite sib. I always thought that maybe he knew he would be gone at 40 from lung cancer.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:31 PM   #20
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Parents and Grandparents. They taught me to refrain from buying things I couldn't afford or didn't need.
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