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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-17-2005, 08:42 PM   #21
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

I think its always been in the back of our minds as a vague notion, but it really got a kick in the pants last year when we were on vacation in Thailand. While there we met a young couple taking a one year hiatus from their careers to travel around the world.

We liked the idea of doing something similar, and although my freelance work allowed the flexibility to do it, my husband's military career did not (and he likes his job far too much to quit now).

But it got us thinking and so we started to look at the numbers, got some info from this board, and realized that with his early pension benefits, and a reasonable savings plan we might be able to have it all with an early retirement. So, we won't be able to take a one year vacation during our working years, but we'll retire by age 44, doing work we like along the way, and young enough to pursue most of the travel and adventure we want in ER. Not a bad deal if we can make it work.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-18-2005, 03:06 AM   #22
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Reading "Your money, your life" in 1996 or so.
Then I looked around and saw more and more colleagues of 50+ being forced to retire early or be made redundant by management, health, peer pressure etc.
I want to be free to say "yes" when the time comes without getting into financial troubles.
My husband is a teacher and we see a lot of his older colleagues suffering in front of a class. He would like to get out between 55 and 60, whenever he feels it is the right time.
We are on schedule, currently 46 / 52, still enjoying work but also looking forward to ER.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-18-2005, 08:09 AM   #23
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

In the late 90s I was going from one sucky job to the next and not being very happy. I finally ended up at a stable job that paid decently, but I still wasn't happy. I started thinking "is this it?" Sometime in '99 I stumbled across the REHP, and the rest is history. Since then I have realized that I will probably never be happy at a job, at least not for long.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-18-2005, 09:03 AM   #24
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

I posted this on another thread so please forgive
the redundancy.

In '69 my company had a layoff for the 1st time.
I was a young branch manager at the time and
had to meet a "quota" ..... and good people
got the ax. That experience made me realize
that corporations have no soul. I bought my
first laundromat that same year and started
my path to ER. Twenty years later in '89 we
had our 1st round of ER offers and, at age 55,
I was eligible. I was working on a special
project at the time and negotiated a consultant
job to finish the project ....... and took the ER
package. One thing led to another and the
consultant gig planned for 1 year stretched to 3.

Unfortunately, I started 72t withdrawals after 1 year
not knowing that the job would continue 2 more
years. At that time the "4% SWR" concept had
yet to be invented. The 72t rate was about 7.5%
and I was happy as a pig ..... we lived large for
a couple of years.

Thank God for the roaring 90"s ..... they saved my
financial bacon ..... and thanks to this forum for
helping me sharpen my investing skills. I was
still under the impression that a 7% was probably OK based on the historical return of about 11% with an
average inflation of 3%.

After studying Bogle, Bernstein and Swedroe and
with the help of the good people on this forum
I hope to avoid some of my past blunders and
continue a comfortable retirement as long as the
good Lord permits.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-18-2005, 11:15 AM   #25
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

In 1991 I took a position in the right company at the right time doing the right thing. It was even in the right place (less than one mile from my home). But I had taken a job for The Boss From Hell -- or Satan as I liked to refer to him.

I was too stubborn to leave for awhile and that led me to get serious about ER.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-18-2005, 12:13 PM   #26
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

I was living in the San Francisco Bay area in 1986, trapped in a terrible marriage (now happily divorced!) working for a brutal mega - corp. *I was watching TV and the local station out of SF did a short interview with Paul Terhorst to discuss his book. *The next day I went to a local book store, bought and read the Book. *I planned my escape from the perils of my situation with the end game being personal freedom from the economic slavery of both a bad marriage and corporate employment. *It took longer than I would have prefered but it happened. *The point of illumination for me was, at least at that point in 1986, that I was not the master of my own life. *I was working to fund a spouse that had become a drain, both financially and emotionally, for a company that was too busy re-engineering to consider that its employees might be an asset rather than the problem. *Once I got both of these negative forces out of my life, tending to my own simple needs was easy and ER was inevitable. * I have always been a free spirit, and know now that life of "quiet desperation" would have been far more personally destructive than the self imposed frugality and lifestyle discipline that resulted from my decision to ER. *
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-19-2005, 05:20 PM   #27
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

My current job triggered my ER desire.

Being a single parent for 17 years with 2 kids, I didn't think I would be able to retire much earlier than age 66 full SS benefit. My 401K investments were never terribly large since I was supporting 2 kids, daycare, sports, etc.

2 years ago I left the work environment where I had worked for 19.5 years to venture out to a much larger company with much more money.

Well, it didn't work out the way I had hoped, so I started looking for a way out. If things go as I hope, I'll either get laid off in Feb or March, or I will give notice around May 1. Can't wait.

My ER will not be as comfortable as many of you, but it will be an ER on a budget. And my time will be my own, for the most part (still have the 2 kids at home).

If the money gets too tight, I can always go back to work or sell my house. I will have 2 years expenses in the bank by May 1 and a HELOC available worth 4 years expenses. I'm sure I can make it work.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-19-2005, 05:51 PM   #28
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Quote:
I was layed off at age 49 and while looking for another - it dawned on me that I didn't need one.
Ditto, except in late 50's. An incredible realization.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-23-2005, 09:16 PM   #29
 
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-24-2005, 05:16 AM   #30
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Quote:
One day, I found a book at a tag sale that had compound tables in it that showed how much one would have to invest on a monthly basis in order to get to a million bucks. *It cost me 50-cents and made me more money than anything else before or since. *Once I saw that it was possible to become financially independent with a reasonable job, discipline and conservative investments I just kept on going. *Why don't they show you these tables in grade school? Or at least college?
I am convinced that schools are geared to put the masses on the road to work until they are dead. They don't want to teach you anything that promotes financial independence or early retirement. Why? Because the more people work, the more people pay in taxes. What would the world be like if mostly everyone retired early? What would the economy be like?
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-24-2005, 05:44 AM   #31
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Two random thoughts:

Retired in 1993 - with 250k in financial assets in IRA/401k - went untouched to 1 mil in 2000, dipped to maybe 850, and back to roughly 1 mil. Took us both almost 16 plus years of savings plus compounding to get the original nest egg. History and compounding ala Mr Market did the rest.

Ben Franklin might not fit our 'modern definition' of ER - but he managed a lot of interesting 'stuff' after he 'retired' from his printing business.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-24-2005, 08:53 AM   #32
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Hey, Uncle Mick --
I'd call Ben Franklin "Early semi-retired"!

btw, can I ask as a reminder how did you support yourselves during the 90s without dipping into the IRAs?

Semi-working Bob
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-24-2005, 01:04 PM   #33
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Duplex rental plus later sale and consumption of capital, severance pay, unemployment comp., some cash savings, one year as a temp for big bucks(for me), early pensions at 55(started at age 49) plus some odds and ends I've probably forgot. Would never put it on a spreadsheet - wouldn't know how.

And then my favorite - by being a really cheap SOB - 12k for one year being my all time best - never to be repeated under threat of bodily harm. I laugh at things like Tightwad Gazette - they aren't even remotely close to cheap. But I have an SO - she keeps me within the bounds of normal civilization.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-24-2005, 01:55 PM   #34
 
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Hi unclemick! Your 12K "personal best" keeps you firmly
ensconced on my all-time heroes list

I did not have an epiphany, but rather concluded that
I no longer wanted to earn and spend continuously, by
working very hard (which I did whether I worked for others or for myself). So, with me it was just getting older and wanting to do other things. That, plus
having lost a lot of friends and acquaintances at a younger age than I have reached as I write these words. I have
had epiphanies, but the ER decision was not one of them.

JG
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-25-2005, 03:47 AM   #35
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Quote:
One day, I found a book at a tag sale that had compound tables in it that showed how much one would have to invest on a monthly basis in order to get to a million bucks.
A graph in my job's benefit orientation training illustrating the power of compound interest inspired me to start contributing to my 401(k) at age 21. I was spending everything I made--as many 21-year-olds do--but the graph compared two hypothetical employees, one savings a fixed amount from age 25 to 35, and another saving the same fixed amount from age 35 to 60 and given the same returns the guy who saved from 25 to 35 had 2-3 times as much money at age 60 than the guy who saved from 35-60. I didn't really understand what I was saving for, but I knew I'd thank myself later. I am thanking myself.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-25-2005, 04:28 AM   #36
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Yep

The earliest $ are the best $ - thanks to time, De Gaul, and the power of compounding. 80-90% of our ER portfolio(depending on how you count our duplex).

Also - don't forget to credit plain old DCA - which often gets no respect.

To repeat - we broke the 1 mil barrier 7-8 years after ER - by doing nothing just standing there - to paraphase Bogle.

BTY - the mental aspect - when they became availible, a mysterious stranger took a cut(IRA/401k) before I got my paycheck - who would show up again when I got 'really old' say 63. I.e. maxed IRA/401k and told myself it wasn't my money(untouchable) until I got 'old enough' to deserve it. No Roth or loans against 401k when I started. In fact 1966-1976, didn't have have 401k.

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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-25-2005, 04:42 AM   #37
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Ben Franklin might not fit our 'modern definition' of ER

He fits mine. Franklin didn't retire from life at an early age, to be sure. Who would want to? But he retired from paycheck dependence and that allowed him to do more exciting things with his remaining years. I see that as a very cool thing to do. If I can't qualify for the Retire Early Club following in the footsteps of Franklin, the Retire Early Club will have to make do without me. I think that his approach made a lot more sense than the idea of spending the last five decades of my life looking at a television screen.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-25-2005, 04:49 AM   #38
 
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

Quote:
I think that his approach made a lot more sense than the idea of spending the last five decades of my life looking at a television screen.
No one here here fits that mold. This is the domain of the corporate drone that worked weekends and nights. Then waited until age 65 to be thrown out the door with his gold watch.
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-25-2005, 05:42 AM   #39
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

I tell ya, I'm so impressed by the articulation, intelligence and introspection of the people posting on this site. But anyway...

What triggered the need to pull the trigger? More than anything else for me, it was an insatiable desire to be free. And that doesn't encompass only the freedom to do what I want when I want, but to be free of the constraints of the workplace.

There's an old Stevie Wonder song with lyrics that go something like "when you say you're in it but not of it"...I think so many career-driven people define themselves by what they do: that's who they are. This is especially apparent in television production, where I still work. Once I got over (got sick and tired of) being "the producer", it was very liberating, very "freeing". You see any job for what it is: just a job.

Counting down the days to part-time work doing I don't know what. Moving to Arizona by June 1st. Anyone want a nice house in Sacramento? 8)
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?
Old 01-25-2005, 07:20 AM   #40
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Re: What (Mentally) Triggered your ER?

No one here here fits that mold.

I think that you are generally right about that, Cut-Throat.

I view the discussion that sometimes comes up as to whether those who "work" after "retirement" are really retired or not as a silly one. Some people choose to do non-work type stuff in retirement and some people choose to do work type stuff in retirement. It depends on the life goals of the particular early retiree. As UncleMick sometimes observes, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
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