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Old 03-24-2012, 12:45 PM   #61
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:56 PM   #62
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Everything's gonna be OK. Stop stressing about it!
Exactly. Everything did in fact work out just great.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:01 PM   #63
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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...
Sure but if you can afford it BMW's are great cars.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:23 PM   #64
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1994. I gave my nephew (newly married, military academy grad) Bogle on Mutual Funds.

When prompted I did my best imitation of Dustin Hoffman - 'Psssst Index Funds.'

The rest as they say is history. He done good - both in the marriage and index funds and is still career military.

heh heh heh - betcha some here thought it was 'pssst Wellesley' . Nope .
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #65
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Sure but if you can afford it BMW's are great cars.
Lots of folks here can afford a BMW, most choose not to...
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #66
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Lots of folks here can afford a BMW, most choose not to though...
i know, but to each their own. I really enjoy mine especially the M's.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:33 PM   #67
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I agree with so many of the above. I would add that I think one of the biggest regrets of my life, was smoking. Not only did my money go up in smoke, but I could have died from it. I am glad that I gave it up in 1985.

I also would not have stressed about money so much in our early lives. I made too big of a deal about some things. Enjoy your life as you go along. I definitely agree that experiences are way better than things.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:32 AM   #68
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Good thread, and I want to add my advice.

I am 30 now, but as I look back there are a few things I would have told my 25 year-old self. I didnt listen to much advice then, so I would be pretty harsh and to the point...

1. Quit smoking before you become additcted to it! Its a huge waste of money, Girls hate it, and people judge you for it. But most importantly its terrible for your health, and having experienced trying to quit once, its going to take a massive effort to quit in the future. Also, its probably going to bankrupt you in retirement, and lead to a painful death!

2. Go to the dentist. Your teeth are rotting out of your stupid head even though they dont hurt right now. And your dental insurance is only going to cover a fraction of the work you need in 2012-13-14-15 and so on, so fix it now!

3. How did investing in those penny stocks work out for you? What? you lost everything? How about investing in an index fund right now, and never investing in penny stocks again?!

4. Please dont play loan shark. You are going to lose. Also, please stop gambling. You are going to lose, and it will make sports no fun to watch if you dont have money on the outcome.

5. Maximize time with family and friends. Soon you will move away, and your friends will drift apart, and you will only see family a few times a year.

6. Enjoy everything right now. You may have more money/comforts in the future, but you can never go back in time.


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Old 03-25-2012, 03:04 AM   #69
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it's different giving self advice because you already know the outcome. Giving advice to someone else without the advantage of hindsight becomes a lot more difficult. Probably why it is usually more generic and less useful.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:39 AM   #70
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it's different giving self advice because you already know the outcome. Giving advice to someone else without the advantage of hindsight becomes a lot more difficult. Probably why it is usually more generic and less useful.
I disagree. To me that's the whole reason for this thread, to give those without the hindsight the benefit of your hindsight. I think this is invaluable because most people here are financially consciencious and you have many, many years and ranges of experience here - again invaluable. What's your alternative - either take a limited/narrow poll of all your older friends and relatives or tell 25 year old to go pick up a book that does give generic advice? What you're getting here is the best pieces of real life advice out of everyones experiences. The objective is to let those younger folks who do happen to pass through that wisdom, or for others to pick up on it and give to our younger ones.

My own advice to younger self - don't be in such a rush to buy/own the first house/condo/townhouse, even if it appears to be cost effective. Younger self was 20 years before this latest bubble, and the advice would/should have been the same...because people were acting the same.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #71
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howie. yes I got the point of the thread. My point was that regular advice(ie when you don't know the outcome) is more generic and less useful -and that the post facto advice in this thread is really much better if perhaps easier to give. Sorry for the confusion I should have been clearer.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:25 AM   #72
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I think I'd tell my 25-year-old self that she didn't do too badly and that God looks out for fools.

What I really wish is that my future 86-year-old self would tell me some things! Maybe she'd say the same thing.

I am sure she would tell me that, if I really wanted a BMW, to go ahead and get it and forego something else if need be.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:50 AM   #73
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But what I'd really like to do is talk to my parents back when I was five, and tell them to make me take piano lessons. Then I could avoid my current hellish struggle to get better at sight-reading.
Hay Trombone... I was forced to take piano lessons as a child. As soon as I could escape the torture, I quit.

Fast forward maybe 30 years and I took up guitar on my own terms. Probably would have picked it up earlier if I hadn't been forced into Piano.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:06 PM   #74
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My point was that regular advice(ie when you don't know the outcome) is more generic and less useful -and that the post facto advice in this thread is really much better if perhaps easier to give. Sorry for the confusion I should have been clearer.
Agreed 100%
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:00 PM   #75
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I sold the 68 Camaro and a year later sold the 69 Camaro.
My first car was a '69 Camaro (in '78). I Loved that car. It was a bit light ended though and I had some heart thumping moments driving it in the Michigan winters.

For my 25 year old self, I would say to start saving with the first paycheck, even a few bucks. And, stay away from penny stocks. But alas, I did well but it was mostly due to good fortune.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:10 PM   #76
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I would try to convert the 25 year old me to the Indexing investing strategy. I bought mutual funds at that age, but they were all actively managed. As a result, I am down in the several tens of thousands, perhaps even more. Also, I would emphasize to make sure to fund the IRA EVERY YEAR. I missed several and have missed out on the wealth that compounded interest would have generated.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #77
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If you had a time machine and could go back to talk to your younger self, what piece(s) of financial advice would you give in hopes of achieving FIRE more easily and/or living a better life.
Become a fee-based financial adviser...
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #78
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If you had a time machine and could go back to talk to your younger self, what piece(s) of financial advice would you give in hopes of achieving FIRE more easily and/or living a better life. Or more specifically, what mistakes would you avoid if you had a mulligan.
Obviously, "save more!" is the easy answer... but I was looking for something more detailed.
I'm not much past that age myself (just turned 30) and am always looking for an opportunity to learn from others much wiser than me.
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Lots of great advice... thanks everyone!
Oh, horsefeathers.

Let's turn this thought experiment around to a more practical aspect of life.

Those of you with kids: how successful have you been at delivering this advice to your 25-year-old young adults?

So why in the world would we think that we'd listen to some curmudgeonly version of ourselves lecturing us on how we should live our lives? In fact, seeing who they'll become may inspire them to run screaming for the opposite lifestyle!

I was 25 years old in late 1985. I spent seven months of that year aboard a submarine, almost six months of it underwater. I was nearly qualified to wear dolphins, I was defending democracy (and MAD) against the Evil Empire, and I had an incredibly hot girlfriend waiting for me in the Azores. I was overworked, overstressed, overweight, and hypercaffeinated.

If a balding ponytailed dude had appeared in my stateroom one evening, wearing surf shorts and a tank top and flashing a shaka sign, I would've been incredulous. If he'd said "I'm from the future to warn you that someday you'll be living in Hawaii with two hot chicks, retired on a military pension with more money than you'll ever need, earning royalties from your book, and surfing your butt off! Oh, and you'll be a second-degree black belt but you won't be drinking anymore."... well, I'll let you imagine the rest of that dialogue.

So maybe the question we should ask here is: "What advice do you think your kids will listen to and maybe even follow?"

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Everything's gonna be OK. Stop stressing about it!
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Oh...and I'd add....'quit your b*tchin', you're only 25!'
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More sex. More drugs. More rock & roll.
Well, I guess this advice is always worth listening to...
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:06 PM   #79
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My advise other than invest in Vanguard Indexes, maxing out your IRA's and 401...and living below your means...is to get a job doing something you LIKE.

There's nothing worse than wasting your time and life doing something you hate. If the job does suck...at least I hope you can put enough money away to ER from it and not have to work again. Doing something that you are passionate about means that you may not even want to retire and the money will come easy.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:57 PM   #80
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My advise other than invest in Vanguard Indexes, maxing out your IRA's and 401...and living below your means...is to get a job doing something you LIKE.

There's nothing worse than wasting your time and life doing something you hate. If the job does suck...at least I hope you can put enough money away to ER from it and not have to work again. Doing something that you are passionate about means that you may not even want to retire and the money will come easy.
Really? Nothing worse?

How about a job you love that doesn't pay enough to make ends meet and put away any savings. And then one day, you find that you either can't do that job anymore, or no one will pay you. And you have not developed other skills, because you were so happy doing what you loved.

That's pretty bleak also.

I'd say that if doing what you love doesn't more than pay the bills, get a real job and do the thing you love as a hobby. Or take your chances, but don't come whining if/when your dream falls apart, and expect a handout from those of us who kept our nose to the grindstone instead of 'following our dream'.


I think if you applied 'survivor bias' to the 'follow your dream' advice, you'd see a lot less of that advice. It's sooooo easy for the few winners to say 'I stuck with it, and my dreams came true!' Now interview the losers, flipping burgers.

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