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@ age 25 I had no clue what "retire" even meant
Old 06-24-2006, 11:32 AM   #1
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@ age 25 I had no clue what "retire" even meant

I was recently out of the army in 1970,* just married, and freshly moved back to my home state of Flordia. I went to work for an insurance company who had a pension plan (DB), as most companies had in those days, and they also had a* "thrift savings plan" that allowed employees to contribute up to 10% of after tax dollars as well as varied employer contribuitiuons to a plan that grew tax deferred. The plan later morfed into a 401(k) plan that the employer matched.

I had no real concept at age 25 of what retirement was. As I lived on Florida, I was quite aware of the many "yankees" that moved to FL after retirement to live in a mobile home and die after a few years. That was my idea of what retirement was. This vision of retirement did not seem very appealing to me, but I was realistic enough to figure out that when I retired at some date after the turn of the century, I was not planning on retiring as I saw these folks doing.* I did not know what I would do, but I knew what I was not going to do.

The only way that I could see to put distance between us and the rest of humanity was to stash away as much as possible until it hurt and then, stash away a little more. I used the Thrift Savings Plan/401(k) to max out my savings at work and saved even more at a local Credit Union.*

We never lost sight of the fact that my wife and I had to be doing the savings ourself regardless of what the pension plans and social security said that they were going to pay when it came time to buy white shoes and learn the rules of shuffleboard.

We can now predict pretty well what retirement will look like, and it is not much different from the way that we have been* living all along. I am not planning on buying white shoes and do not care at all what the rules of shuffleboard are as I have little interest in the game. We will not be moving to Florida to live out our golden year in a trailer with a white picket fence around the bottom.

As I mentioned earlier, we had absolutely no idea what we were really saving/investring for 35+ years ago. We just were aware* that noone we knew that was our age was doing it, but they did have fancier homes and a new car evey few years. We were ok with what we had, but we had a vision and foresight to look down the road 35+ years and spend less in the 70s, 80s, 90's and 00's than we garnered in income.

So far our plan is working and many boomer friends are realizing that the third leg of their retirement plan is not personal savings, but WORK. Our plan will now work while we take it easy.
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Re: @ age 25 I had no clue what "retire" even meant
Old 06-24-2006, 12:26 PM   #2
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Re: @ age 25 I had no clue what "retire" even meant

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
I had no real concept at age 25 of what retrirement was. As I lived on Florida, I was quite aware of the many "yankees" that moved to FL after retirement to live in a mobile home and die after a few years. That was my idea of what retirement was. This vision of retirement did not seem very appealing to me, but I was realistic enough to figure out that when I retired at some date after the turn of the century, I was not planning on retiring as I saw these folks doing.* I did not know what I would do, but I knew what I was not going to do.
Same here.* Spouse and I were good at LBYM & socking it away but we had no idea what retirement could be.* I can't even remember how my grandparents retired (probably at the traditional age 65), and I suspect that one grandmother was still giving piano lessons in her 80s to pay for gas & entertainment.

Then in 1987 my dad pulled off an ESRBob semi-retirement at age 53.* After three or four years of consulting, which occasionally grew to 40-hour weeks and caused violent recoils, he went full-time ER and has been so for nearly 20 years.* I was 27 years old, freshly married, and on shore duty-- it didn't make much of an impression.

Next my FIL retired at 59 with the Great CBS Employee Buyout.* Didn't make much of an impression on us either, but by then I'd started looking at T.Rowe Price's retirement-calculation software.* I can't even remember thinking about ER, just thinking about a follow-on career and trying to avoid cat-food territory.*

But around 1997, when it became possible to retire early from the service, I realized that I'd have to get a real job.* Shortly afterward I stumbled across Joe Dominguez' "Your Money or Your Life", "The Millionaire Next Door", and Financial Engines.* We started learning about no-load investing, asset allocation, and diversification.*

In 2000 I was grousing to my dad about not seeing any careers I'd enjoy and he asked "Why do you want to work?* Won't the military give you a pension to go with your savings?"* Shortly afterward I found the studies & books on Greaney's site.* By 2001 we knew we were close and when I retired in 2002 I knew I wasn't interested in chasing another job.*

I didn't even find FIRECalc and this board until nearly two years later...
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