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Old 03-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #41
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1. Learn about asset allocation
2. Learn the basics of investing but dont try and be a broker !
3. Keep saving and living below your means even when you think you're on track to ER
4. Spend time with friends and family. Take vacations together - a simple weekend away is well worth the spend !
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:31 PM   #42
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Lots of great advice... thanks everyone!
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:58 PM   #43
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Don't date Mount Holyoke women, concentrate on the Wellesley women.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:14 PM   #44
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  • Save all you can, that you've already figured out. Many don't even grasp this...
  • Read The Millionaire Next Door and The Four Pillars of Investing, and take them both to heart.
  • Understand that you'll be different than your peers and mainstream western culture, especially the USA. You'll have the last and best laugh.
  • Make your goal FI, ER is a separate decision you can consider later.
  • Enjoy your life every day in the meantime. Relationships and experiences are much more valuable than "things."
  • Best of luck.
YES!!!!! THIS!!!!!! Right on Midpack!!
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The only thing I'd ad is to educate yourself and don't be afraid to make you own moves.

Learn why things are done the way they are, the motives behind them and how you can use that to leverage yourself.

People work hard and either forget, get lazy, or get scared about truly doing the most to leverage forward what they just worked so hard for.

Every single day your money is out in the market tangible or intangible, you're losing money one way or another (outright losing or getting left behind) so don't ever let that keep you caged. Let the fear of others be your tool as to why you make the moves you make because the real money is making moves around the herd, not inside of it. The minute you get over that, is the minute you've opened the door to FI.

When moving your money around or making money find as many ways as possible to release the handcuffs!!! - everyone has their own definition, find yours and grow it.

Find a mentor.. It takes a little asking around and little work but please don't let excuses write your future. =) That one alone was my problem (and still is in some cases) for a while if I can be completely honest. You'll find that people that have been there and done that (especially if they've come from a humble background) are happy to share their experiences because they don't want anyone else to live out the rough side of what they did to get there.. Not only that you'll find that for some people they look at it as a way to "pass on their legacy" so to speak... Finding quality is the fun part.

Probably the biggest for me personally is that depending on how you chose to set up your future - setting yourself up with fixed payments for an uncertain future can be disastrous and has been for many. For those that are doing well... AMEN!! =) If you can set something up where money keeps coming then you're a lot better off then having something fixed and whether it's an intangible or tangible source/asset that's true diversification.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:40 PM   #45
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I agree with a lot written here, but at 25 I knew everything so wouldn't have listened anyway.

And if I had the ability to change anything I did, I don't think I would.

If I did go back in time for a do-over I might not be where I am today with a loving husband (2nd marriage going on 22 years), most of the way to FIRE and an ability to know how to live for the now and to save for the future (former spendthrifts can be reformed but I will not sacrifice enjoying life today for the hope of enjoying it at some future point).
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:55 PM   #46
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Note to my 18 year old self: Don't sell the '68 Camaro

Lots of great advice from the other posters. I would emphasize the avoidance of debt to buy depreciating items. Paying interest on something going down in value was a terrible mistake I made in the early years.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:26 PM   #47
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I agree with a lot written here, but at 25 I knew everything so wouldn't have listened anyway.
Me too, but this OP is asking so he's a lot smarter than I was/am. I wouldn't have even asked when I was 25...
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #48
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Don't buy that @!#$%^! truck that was waaay to expensive for a college student to own! Take out as few student loans as possible. Be patient, things will all be OK.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:23 PM   #49
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Note to my 18 year old self: Don't sell the '68 Camaro

Lots of great advice from the other posters. I would emphasize the avoidance of debt to buy depreciating items. Paying interest on something going down in value was a terrible mistake I made in the early years.
Let's see? I sold the 68 Camaro and a year later sold the 69 Camaro. The MUCH larger mistake was not buying that new 1970 Ferrari Daytona I was actually lusting after.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:48 PM   #50
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Note to my 18 year old self: Don't sell the '68 Camaro
Ditto on the 57 Chevy for me. Darn car bought it for $500 sold it for $1500 and spoiled me for life thinking cars went up in value.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #51
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1. Everything is going to work out even better than you think, so relax and enjoy the ride.
2. Don't put off learning and exploring. You're going to spend a lot of your life not w*rking, so you need something to live for beyond w*rk.
3. Don't let other people know how well you're doing financially. Envy and competitiveness will ruin otherwise good relationships.
4. Stay fit. Eat right. No excuses.
5. Don't try to beat the market by trading frequently. Buy and hold.
6. You can accomplish just about anything you set your mind to, so choose your challenges wisely. Don't short-sell your abilities by aiming too low, or over-extend yourself by choosing something so difficult there's no time or energy for anything else.
7. Take more vacations. And sometimes, visit places outside of your comfort zone.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #52
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Me too, but this OP is asking so he's a lot smarter than I was/am. I wouldn't have even asked when I was 25...
Wow, I didn't pick up on the fact that the OP is 25...that puts a whole different light on the question...and good for him!
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:44 PM   #53
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The car thing is a great point... even after reading the Millionaire Next Door and deciding that I was never going to buy new, DW and I managed to convince ourselves that because we are keeping it for 12+ years we might as well get something nice that we really like. Saving 15-25% buying used wasn't too appealing since there is always the risk of a lemon, and we would lose extra years off the end since we plan to keep this a VERY long time.

Two months ago my Integra died at 238,000 miles so I took over our 5 year old Accord and we went out and bought a 2012 Odyssey. I did my homework and we ended up driving out of state to get a really good deal (below Invoice... or $2,500 less than the lowest we could haggle for local at 5 dealerships)

although... I'm questioning now if we really should have gotten the Touring Elite model ($15,000 more than cheapest trim). I certainly got caught up in the whole "well we're going to have this for a long time and for MANY family trips"... which is true. Leather, Duel TV screens for kids, sound, navigation, bluetooth everything, oh and +1 MPG from being 6 speed - that's gotta be worth a few thousand $ in savings over 150,000 miles . Though spending $40,000 on a minivan is a bit insane, even if we get 12-15 years out of it.

I guess we're doing ok though... most of our neighbors are driving a brand new car every 2 years on a lease. That can sting a lot more than $40,000 every decade or so. I like the Accord, and its only at 80,000 miles... at my current mileage rate, it'll take me 15 more years to get it near that 250,000 mile mark I was so close to (guess we'll see if I make it this time ).

Short term is seems like a bad choice... but looking ahead a decade or so, I'm sure we'll be happy that we got a few of the bells and whistles.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #54
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Kudos on your cars, I think you're on the money! Long term you come out way ahead.

And IMO there's nothing wrong with getting something decent when you do buy every 10 years or so. We'd never buy a Lexus, but that doesn't mean we buy a stripped Toyota Yaris either. My wife drives a loaded Camry Hybrid with every option we'd ever want, but we'll keep it 10 years or so like you. I'm driving a 9 yo Honda with 125K miles, when it starts to act up considerably, I'll get rid of it.

Like you, we're so far ahead of the 'lease a new BMW every 2 years crowd,' it's comical no contest. To each his/her own...
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:32 PM   #55
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As I pose this question to myself, a number of responses come to mind. I have two kids (both just over 25), and I have given both of them this advice.

When you buy your first home, do not, under any circumstances finance it longer than 15 years. The same advice applies to 2nd, 3rd, 4th,.....home as well.

The freedom that comes with a home that you own free and clear is worth a lot.

See all above advice about 401k's, Roth's, etc....

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Old 03-23-2012, 11:35 PM   #56
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Well said. I was still studying at the age of 25. I would add : pay attention to your health, keep a good BMI, avoid drugs and promiscuous sex. Give more of your time to help others.
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Life is more than money. The great thing is that you can put the money part on autopilot. Wind it up and let it go, then focus on the important stuff.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:10 AM   #57
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Don't wait until you are pushing 40 to do much other than work, commute, study and chase kids.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:52 AM   #58
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Age 25 for me back in 1988 was a fun time. But I would have done a few things differently, some of which would have have a significant effect on me, had I known then what I know now.

(1) I would have stayed in my current rental apartment for another year. The real estate market dropped a lot from 1989 to 1990, so another year of savings along with lower RE prices would have enabled me to buy a better apartment than the one I live in now (not that it is a lousy place) at the same price. Also, interest rates had dropped a lot so my ability to save more would not have been hampered. And I would have opted for a shorter ARM than the 5-year ARM I got (even if I bought my current place in 1989), enabling me to take advantage of dropping interest rates instead of having to go the trouble of refinancing the loan in 1992.

(2) I would have visited the dentist more often, saving me some grief in that area both then and years later.

(3) and......I would have put more moves on that woman I briefly dated LOL!
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #59
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1. Read "The Millionaire Next Door".
2. Never stop getting an education. Go to school every year of your life (you can take a break when you reach FI if you want). Learn to do your job better and also learn some totally unrelated field. The field you are now working in and making good money may not even exist 10 years from now. If your field/job does still exist there is a very good chance that someone will figure a way to do your job cheaper. Like moving it overseas maybe.
3. Never hire a yardman or a tax preparer. Those things you can and should do for yourself. Only hire a plumber for very big problems. Leaky or stopped drains or leaky faucets you should fix yourself. Do at least some of your own auto maintenance.
4. Take care of your health including your teeth.
5. Marry the right person.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:21 PM   #60
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5. Marry the right person.
His DW might have a say...
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