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When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 12:47 PM   #1
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When you're on autopilot

Back in November, I posted this about the then-current job situation: http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...?topic=10376.0

As it turns out, DH's company has gotten enough contracts to keep it going for the foreseeable future, so we're breathing a lot of sighs of relief at our house.

What it means is that we're on autopilot -- just keep saving (about 20% of gross), investing, and watching it grow. We've had to make a few adjustments to our strategy since for the first time our AGI topped $150,000 in 2006, but overall, everything's set up to invest via automatic payroll deduction and automatic transfers from the bank.

According to statistics I found on the web, we're in the top 5% of income earnings and the top 15% of wealthy households in the U.S.

We're sitting pretty, right?

So why do I feel like I should be doing more than I am, even though the path we're on WILL get us to ER on target (assuming no major market meltdowns in the interim)?

Am I just impatient -- or seriously envious of all y'all that have already ER'd?

How do y'all deal with this autopilot situation?
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: When you're on autopilot

i only er'd when i lost my very favorite person on the planet after losing my two other most intimate friends who had also already died. so i'm not quite sure as to what drives your envy, but it sure ain't my retirement.
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: When you're on autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by peggy
How do y'all deal with this autopilot situation?
Do you think that this might be a control situation? I know that people who have problems not "taking charge" of the situation and end up making lots of trades, like selling when a stock goes up 20% to "capture the profit".
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 01:28 PM   #4
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Re: When you're on autopilot

We're told that hard work equals results. So, we think the more work/time we put into something, then the more we'll get out of it.

When it comes to investing, the opposite is true. The more thought you put into it, and more trading you do... then the more likely you're shooting yourself in the foot.

Pick a wild hobby if you need excitement. Autopilot is all it takes when it comes to investing. ...or it can be all it takes, if you just let it/leave it alone.

Reserve some 'mad money' to play with. Put 5% of your taxable into something "fun" or something you spend a lot of time researching.

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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 08:26 PM   #5
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Re: When you're on autopilot

Maybe it's got to do with just wanting to get to your destination (ER) now rather than having to wait for however long you have projected it will take.
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 08:38 PM   #6
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Re: When you're on autopilot

We were on autopilot, so we had kids. Highly interesting and highly recommended.
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 08:42 PM   #7
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Re: When you're on autopilot

" It can't be that simple! - Or can it?"

Yes. Unfortunately the urge to putz (aka da hormones) is incurable.

An exciting hobby is recommended(WITH BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT). I on the other hand had rental RE for 15 years. Lots of night time or wait till you go on vacation entertainment. Toilets, A/C, and garbage disposals could always be counted on.

heh heh heh .

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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 09:20 PM   #8
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Re: When you're on autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by bssc
Do you think that this might be a control situation? I know that people who have problems not "taking charge" of the situation and end up making lots of trades, like selling when a stock goes up 20% to "capture the profit".
Maybe in a way. I feel like I should be DOING something. Thankfully, I haven't yet succumbed to the urge to capture the profits.
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-03-2007, 09:22 PM   #9
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Re: When you're on autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
We were on autopilot, so we had kids. Highly interesting and highly recommended.
Ah, no.

The plumbing is non-functional that way, thanks.

Interesting thought, though.
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-04-2007, 03:15 AM   #10
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Re: When you're on autopilot

Just a thought. IMHO, if the company almost closed it doors, it is on thin ice still. You got a reprieve, consider it to be temporary. Use the opportunity to find another job now. That way your ER plans are less likely to be derailed.


By the way, your DH has nothing to lose by looking to see what jobs are available. He might consider dipping his hook in the water to see what opportunities come along. Better to take control and be proactive than get an ugly surprise that disrupts your lives.

Consider the job hunt like doing fundamental analysis for a long-term investment. Target strong companies that have staying power.

Sorry for the pontification... but I would not sit idle and hope the current company can work it out. Small companies are often not able to survive once weakened.
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-04-2007, 08:43 AM   #11
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Re: When you're on autopilot

I've been on autopilot since '99, when, after a screwing lay off, I went back to work for same MegaCorp, since they were offering a pretty nice pile 'o' money to come back. Alas, in September '07, the jig is up...

Considering the probable alternatives, though, I've made much more moolah floating along than I would have otherwise. Been stuffing the piggybank and LBYM. So, in Sept., when the ax falls, I'm reasonably prepared, maybe even ready, for the "Work Less, Live More" lifestyle. I'll have 31 wks. of severence pay, then be "bridged" to retirement at 55yo (about 15mos). This allows me to retain the only reward left dangling out there for my stupidity longevity: subsidized health insurance!! Plus, I have a year's worth of cash for expenses safely tucked away in VMMXX. And, if necessary, at 55 I'll be able to tap the 401k penalty free.

I was hoping for maybe 2-3 more years on the gravy train, but, alas, that is not to be. Still pondering the future; I can't go cold turkey just yet, 'cause the pile ain't big enough. But I don't really have to take just any $hit job. Time to decide what to be when I grow up...

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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-04-2007, 09:48 AM   #12
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Re: When you're on autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse
Maybe it's got to do with just wanting to get to your destination (ER) now rather than having to wait for however long you have projected it will take.
This is the problem is for me. The plan is moving along nicely. But now that developed this notion of FIRE, I'm ready to get on with it and move to that stage. Unfortunately, I still have about 5 years. I sometimes think that if I "did more" I could move faster, but there is no more to do except live and monitor the plan.
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Re: When you're on autopilot
Old 04-04-2007, 09:53 AM   #13
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Re: When you're on autopilot

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
Time to decide what to be when I grow up...
I haven't even decided whether or not I'm going to grow up yet.

As for what to be, my brother found that college was the best eight years of his life and he's spent another two decades at various McJobs while he's putting together his R&B guitar career. So maybe it's the process, not the product...
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