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Old 09-08-2016, 04:55 PM   #61
Recycles dryer sheets
 
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Catching up on this thread and enjoying it immensely. My parents grew up poor and lived a frugal yet resourceful lifestyle out of necessity. Dad's earnings as a laborer were very meager and Mom did most work on our small farm to provide milk, meat, eggs, etc. and canned lots of vegetables and fruit. They were great examples and very unusual in their spend, spend, spend families. I chose to be an educator which is a career I loved and provided a stable, but not lucrative income. I was always curious and picked up a book at the public library about personal finance. I continued to read and those books put me on the right path. I did many things right and didn't make many costly mistakes. I am very grateful that my parents were extremely good role models. When I joined this site, I didn't know what a megacorp was. LOL. Severance pay and exit packages are practically unheard of in public education. Count my blessings for my pension and the savings I accumulated. I did read lots of recent threads and some archived ones as well trying to soak up the collective wisdom. Thankful for all those who responded when I asked for advice. Great site!
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:32 PM   #62
Recycles dryer sheets
 
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Originally Posted by healthyandfun View Post
Catching up on this thread and enjoying it immensely. My parents grew up poor and lived a frugal yet resourceful lifestyle out of necessity. Dad's earnings as a laborer were very meager and Mom did most work on our small farm to provide milk, meat, eggs, etc. and canned lots of vegetables and fruit. They were great examples and very unusual in their spend, spend, spend families. I chose to be an educator which is a career I loved and provided a stable, but not lucrative income. I was always curious and picked up a book at the public library about personal finance. I continued to read and those books put me on the right path. I did many things right and didn't make many costly mistakes. I am very grateful that my parents were extremely good role models. When I joined this site, I didn't know what a megacorp was. LOL. Severance pay and exit packages are practically unheard of in public education. Count my blessings for my pension and the savings I accumulated. I did read lots of recent threads and some archived ones as well trying to soak up the collective wisdom. Thankful for all those who responded when I asked for advice. Great site!
Very good post and I share a great deal of your learnings from very similar circumstances. I discovered this site after I retired but I agree it is a great site!!
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:26 AM   #63
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Aren't there several retired enlisted military that post? Definitely bc to me.
.
Yes, I am a retired E7, Navy Chief Petty Officer. I was semi-retired for a few years, as I like to call it, now working full time and part time due to changing financial goals. In high school and 6 months after I was a busboy/dishwasher (I loved that job!) and helped my father with his small engine repair business (side gig for him although really full time). Joined the Navy to become a nuclear trained electronics technician. Did plenty of time with needle guns, grinders, and paint. Plus all that cleaning! That wasn't in the brochure. Saved right from the start and started seriously investing after finishing my military schools. But I did college most of my career as well. Left with an AS, BS, BA, and an MBA (I didn't have a good education plan).
My parents had no college education, but 4 of their 5 children do - two with a masters, and one with a doctorate. The one with the doctorate earns less than at least 3 of his siblings. Two my siblings borrowed some money from me for some college expenses and repaid it. Other than that we all worked our way to an education (although I'm not sure about the doctorate, didn't ask). Oh, and not to forget, my DW was prior enlisted, now a Navy nurse, and she has 3 Bachelor degrees. I guess we both had a problem with the education planning.
Interestingly, most of the people I enjoy being around don't have any or much college education. On my 3rd boat (submarines), I became close friends with another E7, who at first seemed to be the stereotype of the dumb southern redneck. I quickly learned he was actually quite smart, but with no college education. One day I was talking about going to school on shore duty. He said I was wasting my time, that I should buy broken houses, fix them up and rent them. He did that on two shore duties. He had 40 houses! Really retired after 24 years of service with the pension and the rental income. Not sure if he managed them all or if he hired someone. Which one of us was smarter? Please don't answer.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:01 PM   #64
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Blue collar guy here. I spent 22 years of my life in the grocery business and am now a route salesman. I've never made over 55k/yr but I've been smart with my money. SO is in transportation brokerage and makes quite a bit more than me but she wasn't always making good money and has only been into the "good" money for around 5 years.

We have a paid off house, zero debt, 250k in tax advantaged investments, and another 30k in cash. Life is pretty easy right now. I'm 43 years old and she is 40. We don't have kids. Live a pretty simple and inexpensive LBYM life style besides some travel once a year, a few addictive hobbies, and a love for good food and red wine. Our goal is to retire within 10 years. So far the investment calculators are looking positive for us. We're now able to invest around 60k/yr. and save 15-20k/yr for cars, toys, repairs, and travel. We're looking to start some taxable investments soon to balance everything out in preparation for our early retirement.

Right now everything is in Vanguard Total Stock and Bond, Wellington, and LS Growth, Roth and Trad. Had a 7 year stint with Ameriprise(oops), and my first few years with Janus. Both of us are in new jobs so we're still waiting on 401k. Both companies will be matching 25 and 35% up to 5 and 8 percent respectively. Partial pension for me when I turn 62 so we plan on living off taxable and/or 72t until the pension and SS kick in. There is a good possibility that we will sell our home and relocate for a majority of the time to a state with lower COL and with no state income tax and traveling quite a bit when we do finally ER.

It's been nearly impossible to find other like-minded people our age. Most of the friends I talk finance with are much older and retired. Most of our peers are busy raising children and are probably planning on working until full retirement age. This and the BH board have been nice for me to lurk and learn. I was in my early twenties when I first read David Bach's Young Couples Finish Rich. That really set things in motion once I really understood compound interest over time. Now this last decade is all about keeping up the momentum and keep learning as much as I can about investments, taxes, SS, and how to most efficiently put it all together to maximize our capital and reach our goals.

We both love to travel and I have lots of hobbies, so the earlier I can get out of the grind, the better.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:25 PM   #65
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I was happy to see this thread as well. This is my very first post but I have been reading and learning for some time and have been looking for others like us, trying to get enough accumulated to retire early...if 55 is still considered early. Regular jobs(blue collar & office work) with no pensions and none of the mega corp buy outs that seem to happen. We do have a 401K where we work but it came with no instructions. We have been plugging along by contributing to what we hope are good choices and above all LBYM.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:19 PM   #66
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Welcome to the site WB!
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:47 AM   #67
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Great topic...
I have worked in manufacturing for 42 years, and 21 of those with my own machine shop. Blue collar as it gets.....$6.2 mil later retiring at 60 and not looking back. I have tremendous respect for the skilled guys and gals out there that make it happen!!!


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Old 09-30-2016, 06:53 AM   #68
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My family was 100% blue collar. Truck drivers, warehousemen, mostly. I have the utmost respect for these generally hardworking people. Likewise for me when I started out. My father actively discouraged any higher education for me but for some reason I rebelled and became the first in our extended family to go to university. All courses taken at night as I continued my warehouse job during the day. One of my first courses was Accounting 101. I was attending in my blue jeans and jean jacket and I couldn't figure out why many of the students were dressed up in suits. Turns out they were CPA students. I had never even heard of CPA's. When I finally got the nerve to speak to one of these guys, I asked them how much a new CPA made. Response was $11,000 per year (it was 1973) and this seemed like a fortune to me. Developed a plan based on that, but never lost the respect for "blue collar" workers. I was one for quite a while.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:52 PM   #69
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Family roots also 100% blue collar. Mostly around construction trades in chicago. Dad was an insulator with the trade union, who later founded a company with a couple of fellow workers that ended up doing very well. They had a piece of virtually every power generating station (nuclear, coal, natural gas) built in the US, including many around the world. That company was sold to Waste Management corp in the nineties. I was the first one to get a college degree, then later a masters degree. Those roots still run strong in me.
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:55 PM   #70
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Husband is definitely blue collar- he is a forester and frequently comes home in stained and torn clothing thanks to his treks in the woods appraising timber. In the Alabama summer heat, this is not a glamorous or comfortable job. He has also owned his own company and has frequently out-earned me during our marriage. He has also out saved me on occasion. We would not be in a position to retire without him. DH grew up in much different circumstances than I did and his perspective has been invaluable.

Once DH dropped by my office while I was meeting with a business-suit wearing colleague- the colleague had never met him and was clearly surprised when I introduced him as my husband. What that colleague doesn't know is that we don't appear to match 8-5 but the rest of the time we do, because I'm usually barefoot with my hair in a ponytail after work and on weekends!
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:35 PM   #71
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Husband is definitely blue collar- he is a forester and frequently comes home in stained and torn clothing thanks to his treks in the woods appraising timber. In the Alabama summer heat, this is not a glamorous or comfortable job. He has also owned his own company and has frequently out-earned me during our marriage. He has also out saved me on occasion. We would not be in a position to retire without him. DH grew up in much different circumstances than I did and his perspective has been invaluable.

Once DH dropped by my office while I was meeting with a business-suit wearing colleague- the colleague had never met him and was clearly surprised when I introduced him as my husband. What that colleague doesn't know is that we don't appear to match 8-5 but the rest of the time we do, because I'm usually barefoot with my hair in a ponytail after work and on weekends!
Thank you for your story. Walking timber in cooler places isn't fun sometimes but when I've been in Alabama it's been too hot.

Spent the first 10 years w*rking either logging or in a mill. Those were interesting days.
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