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Old 07-17-2008, 07:55 PM   #41
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Frankly, having been here since 2004, I can't recall why I joined. I must have felt especially frustrated at work. I found FireCalc which told me I could retire in 5 years. Well, it's almost 5 years hence, and i can only say semi-retire, perhaps, but definitely not ER, surf, drink, post here full time, and remodel my house full time like some people.

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Old 07-17-2008, 08:10 PM   #42
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I lurked for a month or two, then there was a gap of three months between joining and making my first post.

My first contribution was to a subject I could relate to and speak on with some of REWahoo's infamous "Texas critters" threads.

Starting my first thread took several months more.

Looking back, the interesting thing about that extended time was that I was struggling with an increasing toxic w**k environment. I spent my evenings thinking about jumping overboard from my Megacorp job one way or another. Finding this forum with so many forward-thinking people helped steady my financial thinking while I stood at a career crossroads.

Yes, the topics can get a bit repetitive at times, but I can't overstate benefits that this noobie lurker got from learning about Firecalc, PenFed, individual health policies, 4% SWR, LBYM, asset allocation, etc. Without making a single post...

Now I check the board most every day to see what's new. Only posting once or twice a week, but still grateful for all of the good advice and bad jokes delivered by the many regulars.

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Old 07-17-2008, 11:52 PM   #43
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Had one of those countdown clocks on my computer ticking off the time till retirement, and one day, did a search to see if I could validate my assumptions about being able to retire at 65/66, with a slight thought about 62. Found this forum, and lurked for several months, then became somewhat frustrated as the topics kept getting close to what I wanted to know, but would veer off, when it got close. Started posting, questioning, and commenting, to get more granular information, and began to realize that I could even retire before 62, if I wanted to. When Mega-corp came along with an early out, I reran my calculations and stepped off the deep end.
Appreciate every ones answering my questions, and even some of the arguments, which just confirmed my resolve, and my plans. So far, the plan is working - did somebody say the market was down or something the last year or so? Didn't notice.
Back to the good life.
Mens ability to see the future is limited by their horizons of today!
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:17 AM   #44
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I found the Retire Early Home Page and devoured the content each month. Looking for more, I started reading the discussion boards some days, kept coming back again and again until it became a daily habit. I lurked for years before signing up as a member. What 'brought me out of the closet' was that I needed some financial advice and I felt I could trust this forum to provide balanced input on the question.

I don't post very much because work still sucks up too much of my time and energy. (woo hoo! I'm recently surpassed 200 posts, amazing!) Too often I can't even read all the posts I want too, much less take the time to compose a posting. I'm still on track for early retirement in 2009 or 2010 and can't wait to get there.

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Old 07-18-2008, 09:07 AM   #45
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i think this comment could become a classic:

Originally Posted by Khan View Post
back when mammoths roamed the web.
which when yahoo searched, just as suspected, i got "we did not find results". and when i google your quote, i found only your original. nice thinking. the community heard it here first.

i certainly can relate to the intimidation of coming out of a closet. when i came out in real life, my college roommate told me that i didn't just come out, i poured out. but even when you don't think you have a drop to contribute or when what you do cuts cross current, you'd be surprised how accommodating a body of water can be. so you drop in and test the waters. either the banks will burst, a little might splash out or the level will simply rise while the waters find new depth.

(waiting for hfwr's water closet remark--sorry, beat ya to it bud.)

there have been some really excellent responses here. i would also like to invite into the pool current lurkers who might even be reading this thread but haven't logged on. come out, come out wherever you are.
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:14 PM   #46
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i think this comment could become a classic:

Originally Posted by Khan
back when mammoths roamed the web.

which when yahoo searched, just as suspected, i got "we did not find results". and when i google your quote, i found only your original. nice thinking. the community heard it here first.
It was spontaneous. As I was typing I was thinking about my internet history and how it seemingly stretched back to the Pleistocene.
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:48 PM   #47
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When I first stumbled on the forum, I really didn't get much out of it. But as I got closer to retirement, I ran my numbers over and over through Firecalc. As a result, I became more interested. Also a good place to pick the brains of experienced early retirees.
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:34 PM   #48
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This is the one and only forum I participate in, so it must have something special to keep me coming back. Bacon? Texas Critters? More military lingo than I could possibly follow? T-Al's always interesting "projects"? Good suggestions about travel, RVs, Wiis, whatever....

Anyway, I found the site after finding FIRECalc -- which helped convince me that retiring early was something that I really could do! And after lurking for a few days, I wanted to be a part of this by posting.

I feel very comfortable here, even if I don't post for awhile because I'm trying to get more done around the house this summer. Whenever I return, though, it's easy to get back up to speed. Nice group of webfriends here.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:41 PM   #49
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By the way great thread Lazy !
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:30 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
so, was it a question you thought you’d have answered? a quality you thought you could contribute? a statement that rubbed you the wrong way? a desire to reach out for a like-minded poster? an opportunity to correct error on the internet?

what brought the lurking you out of the closet?
I think I lurked without signing up as a member for a few months in 2004. I found the way here from TMF's RE forum, the one founded by intercst. I had a question for Dory36 and was informed he was no longer posting there and had founded this board. It was about the same thing that unclemick mentioned--Dory 36's needing only 33% or 1/3 of gross to retire.

I like this board's being more organized as far as topics go than the TMF forum. It seemed there were less posts, too, and I could easily find what was of interest to me. I found the posters smart and funny, and there seemed to be a level of respect most of the time, like with friends in the real world.

Still, it took me a while to post because I didn't feel like I had much to contribute and was more on the taking side rather than the giving side, i.e., that of learning. But then, maybe words of support, friendship, and warmth are enough to offer once in a while, so that's what my posts are about.

My first post was to give someone advice about how to meet people to date (--how ironic, coming from someone who hasn't had much dating experience, one who had to ask a friend what it means when a guy friend brings you flowers when you invite them for supper at your house And I was over 30 at the time And I still can't be sure what it means without considering other clues and factors, the whole context of the friendship...)

My second post was to ask for more details about a home-theater set-up.

In addition to the other positives mentioned, the helpfulness of other posters made me comfortable to post more. This is the only board in which I actively participate.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:36 AM   #51
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I think I found this board in '04 either from the Retire Early Home Page or 'Googling' retirement. My situation has progressed from desperate to simply anxious since. I am still a contractor working outside the country, but the pay keeps getting better.

I went back to read my first post here. I had been hoping to retire in '06 and also have the kids pay for their own college. Neither happened. Can't retire until I pay off all my debts--basically paying for the kids' college.

This is one of several fora I frequent. The others are on the subject of living in other countries. (I am not sure I like the idea of retiring overseas anymore. There seem to be a lot of disgruntled, alienated Americans living off-shore. Who wants to socialize with them? Those who live in Mexico seem to be the happiest bunch, though.)

Actually, like Wally, I am here for the free coffee.
my bumpersticker:
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I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:00 PM   #52
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i had a friend who was being bamboozled by a slimy cousin to buy a vul plan...i found the responses caring, thoughtful and well informed. ironically i think i ended up with a clearer understanding of financial concepts/plans for myself then my friend.

i hung around and found an interesting combination of frugal, smart, funny, grumpy, and gourmet that is not easy to stumble upon on the net. so i stuck around.
If i think of something clever to say, i'll put it here...
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:38 PM   #53
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Soon after my divorce I stumbled upon FIRECALC and then began reading the forum to learn more about being smart with my finances. I stuck around because of the civility here. No one has responded to any of my posts in a disrespectful manner. In fact, everyone has been very helpful.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:46 PM   #54
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Great thread Lazy!

Khan, love the mammoth quote!

It's been almost 2 years to the day since my first post. I had had an inheritance and had been doing a lot of research on building and maintaining wealth. My financial adviser pointed out that the inheritance opened the door to ER if I wanted it. I started Googling.....found the Financial Webring and the old ER forum, and saw references to Firecalc on both. I soon became an avid reader and within a week or two felt compelled to open the closet door when I knew "the answer" to someone's question. My introductory post generated a ton of useful information in a welcoming tone, and the rest is history.

Watch out for mastodons......
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:50 AM   #55
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I found the forum from the old Greaney site and found FIRECalc helpful in my planning. I lurked for some months before de-cloaking.

The personalities on this board are very unique and most are interesting. I have learned a lot about FI and RE and learned how to spell FIRE here even if I was already there.

The flavor of the board has changed somewhat as old players move out and newer once come on board. Sometimes some of us are not a patient with newcomers as we should be. We were all new here once and had questions for those already here. Sometimes the more tenured posters have little patience for seeing the same question posted 2000 times a year. On the flip side, new members should take some time and look around before jumping with the same old questions.

The board is about people and like most everywhere else in life, most don't play well in the sandbox with others. When this happens the Moderators have to quickly and quietly "discuss" the matter with the offender and with the other Mods so we can be as consistent as we can be. We are all volunteers (everybody else too two steps back) and many of the Mods spend huge amounts of time reading and cleaning up behind the elephant parade started by a poster or two who can't seem to abide by the rules.

For the most part....the majority of posters contribute and keep the board alive and growing. The other 20 % create 80% of the board's problems. Spam control is a huge job. The boad is a natural target for spam because of the relative affluence of the members. Keep reporting it and we will keep a broom handy.

Enjoy the board for what it has to offer. Add suggestions on what you would like to see changed or added. Share what you have learned.

Stay civil to each other and don't let the trolls drag you into the mud to fight...after a while you learn they actually enjoy it.
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:11 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by SteveR View Post
For the most part....the majority of posters contribute and keep the board alive and growing. The other 20 % create 80% of the board's problems.
That's the Pareto Principle. It applies to every area of life!
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:29 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
That's the Pareto Principle. It applies to every area of life!
Well, 80% of life at least
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:12 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
The back and forth banter on a great variety of subjects, and the humor kept my interest. Still does. Even when it gets a bit edgy. Some of the edgy stuff is entertaining when viewed with some detachment.
I agree with this assessment. I have occasionally visited other retirement and investing sites. To me, most of them are deathly boring.

Yahoo Finance is mixed- a lot of outspoken and aggressive idiots, and some very experienced and intelligent people. Boards for different stocks have completely different personalities. I go there for info, not for socializing. I used to go to MF REIT board-lots of intelligent people, not much banter but also not boring. The posters are mostly experienced intermediate to long term swing traders of REITs, many whom are also retired. I don't go lately because I sold my REITs a few years ago. I will definitely go back when the time seems right.

But this board is best all around. It has made me think more about sustainability, and keeping watch on my portfolio risk levels which I previously didn't do very well. Also, this board is fun. If I am home, working on something, it is very easy to look at some thread here, and feel that I know the people-itís almost like getting a phone call from a friend. Last but not least, when I need information I get high quality helpful suggestions from so many people, even about embarrassing topics like housekeeping. (Embarrassing because I should know more about it by this time.)

"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:15 PM   #59
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IIRC I came across this site from the Retire Early Forum. I know I lurked while still at MegaCorp; in fact I lurked for a year after I retired. Why come out? I couldn't explain why it took me so long. I liked the banter and thought the posters were smart, and wanted to get in on the fun. Whatever I want to discuss or query, somebody here knows a lot more about it than I. People from around the world discussing travel, investments, food, even, ahem, politics.

Also, it gives me a quick reply to "What do you do all day?"
Resist much. Obey Little. . . . Ed Abbey

Disclaimer: My Posts are for my amusement only.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:12 PM   #60
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Think I was frustrated at work ca. 2003 and Googled or Yahoo'd on early retirement or some such. Basically, I was looking for calculators to see if I could pull the plug. Found the Greeny site and eventually found myself here. Lurked until retirement in 2005 since posting to discussion groups was one of the 7 deadly sins at my company. Continued to lurk from "borrowed" internet portals (e.g., library, sister, friend, etc.) I had no other internet source at that time, so never came out... until now. Finally got my own 'puter and HS cable so here I am. Feels like home!

Many of you got me through some tuff times back in those dark days. Thanks!


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