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Old 11-01-2008, 07:28 PM   #41
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... The condo that she allegedly sold at market peak likely would have been in the Midwest where she claims to live; this was not a bubble area, so we can't assume that this accounted for much gain. Of course, all of this is like flying blindfolded, since we don't have any real data. But even a novice would have at least raised some red flags.
--
In a thread she started, Madison told us her last day at work was 9/18/08; in all fairness, she did not use the word retirement.

Im not one of the real estate experts on this board but I lived in Madison, Wi back in the 60s and early 70s and believe it might be somewhat expensive by Midwestern standards. A google search on condo sales brought this up:

533 W Main St #305, Madison, WI - similar homes on Trulia

IIRC, all those locations are very near the downtown/Capitol/Square area. As EagleEye says, figuring this out is "like flying blindfolded." For all we know the condo may have been a wedding gift and it's sale, pure profit. But we don't have the numbers.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:50 PM   #42
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Hi guys,

I responded on my site to many of the questions here and elsewhere (no link since it is frowned upon). For example how much we made off the condo ($110,000), how much we usually saved (50%-75% of our combined income), why I don't disclose our net worth (my blog is NOT anonymous to many family and friends) and if I would feel comfortable with both my husband and I leaving our jobs and providing health care with maternity benefits (no).

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Yeah, it can be done if your parents have already invested enough in mutual funds in your name that you have to pay taxes on your income at 16 ("throwing off capital gains right and left" per "Madison" blog).... So advise the neighbor kids to pick their parents more carefully next time--that's what I told my kids!
For what it's worth the term "throwing off capital gains right and left" was written from a 16 year old perspective when your friends all get their entire taxes refunded and you don't. Even if it only amounts to the price of a shirt -- at 16 it's a pretty big deal. My parents gave me $2,500 that went 100% towards my wedding, not our portfolio.

Anyways, I remember when everyone ran MMND out (one of the reasons I never even mentioned my site here - but post only as a regular forum member (and also because I know it's just a general rule of thumb that you don't promote yourself)) so I appreciate those of you that have been supportive (like free4now).

PS Fuego - if you saw an error in anything I've written about, like the life insurance amount, please let me know. I'd love to make an edit and correct it! I'm human and always still learning!
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:48 PM   #43
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PS Fuego - if you saw an error in anything I've written about, like the life insurance amount, please let me know. I'd love to make an edit and correct it! I'm human and always still learning!
Well, I don't really have much time to QA/QC your blog for you. You could retain me on an hourly basis if you would like, but based on what you have disclosed in terms of your budget and cash flow, paying me would send you back to work!

My point about the life insurance calculations is that you were making a mistake that virtually every "calculate your life insurance needs" news article/advice makes. Mention of the social security survivor's benefits are hardly ever made. For folks like you and I with two young kids and what I assume to be above average incomes, the SS survivor's benefits work out to be more than $30,000 per year until the kids turn 18. I don't know about you, but this amount covers a substantial portion of my expenses. Now this benefit pays off the most to those with two to three kids that are very young. To overlook this would leave you purchasing a lot more term insurance than you probably need, all things considered. Not a biggie for the typical 20- or 30-something with dirt cheap term life insurance premiums, but throw in a health issue or add a decade or two, and you might be wasting thousands per year for coverage you don't really need (and could be saving towards your retirement, or enjoying it today!).

Other than that, from what I have seen your blog is very good in terms of personal finance blogs. You can quote me on that, for what it is worth (I would suggest nothing!). I did notice another area or two where I had questions about how you discussed tax treatment of certain things, but I probably won't spend the time to research the issues any more (in fact I have already forgotten what those issues were).

In any event, best of luck developing yourself as a personal finance guru. It could potentially pay off in a big way. I think you have more substance (and accuracy) than Kiyosaki and Suze Orman, among others. But sometimes the truth doesn't sell very well (see the yahoo finance editors' sensationalist semi-truthful headline of the story featuring you, for example).

Assuming you continue to pursue this career path (or non-career path, if you don't consider freelancing and blogging work), expect to be challenged on the veracity of your claims and the facts and details of your past. I think the group at this forum takes people to task about whom amazing claims are made. I suppose we are just a bunch of skeptics! But that natural curiosity for the truth is what exposes pundits like Kiyosaki and Suze Orman for what they are (and what they are not).
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:17 PM   #44
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I'm Laura Rowley. I write the Money and Happiness column on Yahoo!Finance. I was genuinely surprised by the bitter response to the story about Madison DuPaix (especially on a forum like this one).
What you are seeing here is not a bitter response; what you see here is skepticism. I would expect a professional writer to choose her words more carefully.

Most of us are reasonably rich and have been from a reasonably young age. We didn't get this way by being credulous.

Madison DuPaix may be the best thing since sliced bread. But the odds against are long.

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Go Madison go!

Nords and CFB are two big posters on this board who seem to consider themselves early retired, yet both have or had spouses working full time and providing health insurance. I haven't seen anyone on this board challenge them on their early retirement status. They are male, while Madison is female. I hope that SAHM sterotypes aren't a part of why Madison is being picked on here.
You haven't been around long enough. There were long threads about these guys. Eventually people know the context of what others say. These posters have given a lot of helpful information on many topics. Do you keep ragging on them for being impure?
Maybe Madison will tell us which laptops to buy, or how to fix stuff or what to have for dinner and how to prepare it. But she hasn't yet.

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Anyways, I remember when everyone ran MMND out (one of the reasons I never even mentioned my site here - but post only as a regular forum member
That is so fantastically egalitarian!

Ha
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:38 PM   #45
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In any event, best of luck developing yourself as a personal finance guru. It could potentially pay off in a big way. I think you have more substance (and accuracy) than Kiyosaki and Suze Orman, among others. But sometimes the truth doesn't sell very well (see the yahoo finance editors' sensationalist semi-truthful headline of the story featuring you, for example).

Assuming you continue to pursue this career path (or non-career path, if you don't consider freelancing and blogging work), expect to be challenged on the veracity of your claims and the facts and details of your past. I think the group at this forum takes people to task about whom amazing claims are made. I suppose we are just a bunch of skeptics! But that natural curiosity for the truth is what exposes pundits like Kiyosaki and Suze Orman for what they are (and what they are not).
Yeah, I think its time I became a personal finance guru...........
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:15 AM   #46
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Nords and CFB are two big posters on this board who seem to consider themselves early retired, yet both have or had spouses working full time and providing health insurance. I haven't seen anyone on this board challenge them on their early retirement status. They are male, while Madison is female. I hope that SAHM sterotypes aren't a part of why Madison is being picked on here.
Dude, let me help you get your facts straight.

My health insurance is the military's Tricare Prime for retirees, in my name, and I'm providing healthcare insurance for the family.

Spouse resigned from active duty in March of 2001. She drilled with the Navy Reserve until July 2008 with approx five of those years being in a pay status. Drilling consisted of the "traditional" one weekend a month and two weeks per year, although one year she managed to string together a whole 28 days. She's retired now awaiting retired pay which starts in 2022. Her pay often funded her Thrift Savings Plan account up to the limit ($15,500 now, used to be less), sometimes her IRA, and occasionally mine.

Our ER plans were built on my 20 years of active duty, her ~18 years of active duty, my pension, and her pension. Her Reserve money is not part of our FIRECalc calculations nor counted as part of our ER portfolio.

I've also learned not to point out to her that our gains in Berkshire Hathaway and some other stocks far exceed anything she earned in the Reserves. I especially learned not to point that out during the first week of her two-week active-duty stints.

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I hope that SAHM sterotypes aren't a part of why Madison is being picked on here.
She gets just as much credit for her facts as you do for yours. Gender isn't relevant, any more than religion or political party or skin color.

I'll also point out that MMND quickly played her own gender card and has a history of doing so on more than one discussion board. At the time she was marketing a book and had made a TV appearance... don't even get me started on Montel Williams.

I'll let CFB speak for himself, but he was ER'd before he married and also does not include her income in his ER budget. I'm not sure that she's working full time-- she's been part-time for months-- but I believe that her employer does provide their health insurance.

I think that most Cubicleville residents would have a difficult time getting excited about "ERing" to Madison's lifestyle. And Laura's choice of words (from someone who presumably has built a large inventory of words among which to choose) confirms my opinion of that magazine. We'll have to see if she decides to mine any of the experiences of this board's ERs.
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:49 AM   #47
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....
I think that most Cubicleville residents would have a difficult time getting excited about "ERing" to Madison's lifestyle....
--
I had an office with a door and view, such as it was, and see no excitement there. Seems like more w*rk than volunteer mod. But again, I'm glad she's able to do it.

Let's here it from the Cubicleville residents.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:29 AM   #48
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There isn't enough money in the world for me to stay home with children. Cubicleville is heaven by comparison.

Skepticism is good, and this article was a good one to bring to the attention of our members, but to Madison's credit, she isn't the one who posted it. She really didn't ask (at least originally) for input from us. I'm inclined not to put a whole lot of invective into the issue. Whether she is or isn't retired, at least her info is somewhat more legit than some touts like Kiyosaki and Orman. If asked, I'd say the credit card arbitrage is the most dangerous thing to advocate.

I suspect there are a lot of moms out there who'd like to figure out how to be a SAHMs instead. If her blog/info helps inspire them to get there, hey, that's okay with me. I don't think the article was presented as high finance, it was a fluff piece of the kind we denigrate regularly here at ER.org. I don't think Madison is on our forum to promote herself like MMND, a point surely in her favor.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:35 AM   #49
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Madison, I apologize for reading between the lines about the mutual funds your parents set up in your name when you were young. Good thing you got a scholarship as $2500 would not have funded your education at Wisconsin--that is not much of a college fund.

I'm sorry for being hard on you. I think the article was unfortunate in posing you as someone unusual (I guess that is Yahoo and Laura Rowley's fault for presenting you thus) in being a SAHM mom who, with her husband, saved money while she worked and now works part time, in your case by blogging, to generate some income and also uses some of those savings to be able to afford to stay home while her husband works, like thousands and thousands of other families (mine, for one, for several years).

Good luck with your blog and I also hope you continue to post here on other threads with helpful information in response to others' questions.
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Old 11-02-2008, 02:29 PM   #50
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As much as I reject the 9 - 5 rat race I would never want to be a SAHM.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:04 PM   #51
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As much as I reject the 9 - 5 rat race I would never want to be a SAHM.
Mom was a saint.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:41 PM   #52
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As much as I reject the 9 - 5 rat race I would never want to be a SAHM.
I wonder that anyone survives adolescence.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:00 PM   #53
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If asked, I'd say the credit card arbitrage is the most dangerous thing to advocate.
No kidding. I'm thinking that this is over with in the new credit environment (I certainly hope so anyway). Another symptom of the madness that went on.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:26 PM   #54
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So we are back to square one.............
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:56 PM   #55
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So we are back to square one.............
Yeah, except that a bunch of Money readers are beginning to reconsider their subscriptions...
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Old 11-03-2008, 08:57 AM   #56
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Yeah, except that a bunch of Money readers are beginning to reconsider their subscriptions...


I still find it interesting that the writer of the Yahoo coumn came on here to defend Madison. Of course, we can't prove it was her anyways, so that's why the Internet makes everyone an "expert".......
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:50 AM   #57
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Since I post here, does that make me an expert?
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:32 AM   #58
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Since I post here, does that make me an expert?
On the Internet, EVERYONE'S an expert, EVERYONE...........
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:36 AM   #59
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What a 29 year old who lives off her husband has to teach anybody about retirement is beyond me.
Ha
it is very rare for me to comment like this, but i have to agree with Ha.
i myself am a self made woman, so i can assure you all that no real or perceived sexism will come from this direction.

FIRE - being retired early RE is all about being financially independent FI, is it not? and FIRE refers to an individual's status? for example, I am FIREd but dh2b is not ?

i don't recall FIRE including using another person's income or benefits to define one's OWN retirement or did i also miss something?
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:39 AM   #60
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There are a couple of things I don't really comprehend, however they apply to many more than Madison.

First, if you are part of a committed couple and one spouse is working and the other isn't, why draw on your retirement savings? Why not just live off what the working spouse is bringing in rather than leaving your 401k to grow for another 30 years?

Being a SAHM to me doesn't automatically qualify Madison as a FIREd. I can't recall the full contents of the article but didn't it state they could afford to both retire? If so, would that mean they could only do so if they withdraw from their retirement accounts as that is what Madison is doing now?
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