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Old 12-09-2007, 01:25 PM   #21
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I was 40 when I started really planning. I set up a spreadsheet to track my net worth and had a goal of retireing at 55. I retired this year at 50.
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:50 PM   #22
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I was 40 when I started really planning. I set up a spreadsheet to track my net worth and had a goal of retireing at 55. I retired this year at 50.
Similar story. DW and I were 43, talked it over, realized we both wanted to get out ASAP, developed a 7 year plan, pulled it off in better financial shape then we would have dreamed possible. Best thing we ever did!
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Old 12-09-2007, 01:52 PM   #23
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I would say 43. I did leave local government at 35 and did not touch the pension. But I returned 3 months later in a different position. I always watched my spending. But really started paying attention in my mid forties. I read Your Money Or Your Life. I began to think that having extra money besides the pension might be a good thing!
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:26 PM   #24
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I didn't do or know a thing about retirement and woke up at 47. Retired at 57 but gave too much money to brokers until I found this forum 4 years ago.
Pretty much the same deal here. I saved earlier but got serious about it in my mid forties. Used a broker to buy funds until about the time I retired and stumbled on this forum at age 56.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:44 PM   #25
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Wow! I'm impressed at how young some of you guys were when you started thinking about ER! When I was 48, I read a book from the library by Charles Schwab "You're 50--Now what?" It motivated me to add up all the money DH and I had saved until then. We both had retirement accounts, but never put too much into them. We were so clueless we never even did anything with them, just invested in some stock mutual funds and forgot about them for 25 years... We changed jobs a lot, but always left the money alone in the various 401(k),403(b), and 457 plans. We didn't think there was enough money in those accounts to bother with.
Well, lucky for us that was the correct strategy and we ended up with a lot more money than I thought we'd have.
Then, when I was 49, my Mom died and left us money we used to pay off our mortgage. At age 51, we learned that DH was vested in AK PERS, tier one (from a bunch of summers working in AK) which would provide fully covered health insurance and drug coverage starting at age 50. We still didn't think we'd be able to RE, but then I discovered this forum.
Well, to cut the story short, I'm retiring at the end of the year (at age 52), and DH is retiring at the end of Feb, 2008 (at age 51).
Thank you, ER Forum!
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:20 PM   #26
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Wow! I'm impressed at how young some of you guys were when you started thinking about ER! When I was 48, I read a book from the library by Charles Schwab "You're 50--Now what?" It motivated me to add up all the money DH and I had saved until then. We both had retirement accounts, but never put too much into them. We were so clueless we never even did anything with them, just invested in some stock mutual funds and forgot about them for 25 years... We changed jobs a lot, but always left the money alone in the various 401(k),403(b), and 457 plans. We didn't think there was enough money in those accounts to bother with.
Well, lucky for us that was the correct strategy and we ended up with a lot more money than I thought we'd have.
Then, when I was 49, my Mom died and left us money we used to pay off our mortgage. At age 51, we learned that DH was vested in AK PERS, tier one (from a bunch of summers working in AK) which would provide fully covered health insurance and drug coverage starting at age 50. We still didn't think we'd be able to RE, but then I discovered this forum.
Well, to cut the story short, I'm retiring at the end of the year (at age 52), and DH is retiring at the end of Feb, 2008 (at age 51).
Thank you, ER Forum!
Very nice story and CONGRATULATIONS!!
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:50 PM   #27
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I started saving at 10 from paper route money, for college, etc. Dad was alwaysra big saver...still is, even in retirement, an taught me well. In college at 22, I set a goal to be able to FIRE at 45. Got married, sidetracked a bit, and life got in the way a few times, but still met the original goal early this year. However, a few things keep me chomping at the bit: we have more expensive tastes than we did 10 years ago, built a large home with higher prop tax a few years back (McMansion...), DD is in a private HS here in asia where we live (we would like her to graduate from there), and I have a very shiny pair of handcuffs made out of a yellowish looking metal that I can't seem to bring myself to shake off. Anyway, 12 months to the handcuffs being removed and melted down into something useful (read$$$), and 18 months +/- a few days to DD's HS graduation. We'll pull the pin ariound that time, but it may take a few more months to ensure that my replacement is fully in place.

I digressed a little... we did get more serious about the planning about 4 years ago, and when I accepted those pretty little bracelets a couple years ago, we go even more serious about timing, planning, etc.r

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Old 12-09-2007, 08:13 PM   #28
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I didn't do or know a thing about retirement and woke up at 47. Retired at 57 but gave too much money to brokers until I found this forum 4 years ago.
You did it all in 10 years? That's awesome............
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:05 PM   #29
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I would say for me, I've always been serious about money and always had a financial goal 3 - 5 years out. When I lived at home and started working I focused on getting a 25% downpayment on a home. Omce I had a home I focused on paying it off within 6 years, now that the home is paid for my focus is to get to 300K in retirement $ within the next 3 years. After that it will be 500K, etc etc. My parents were not that well off and at times it was not clear if we had enough $ to buy food...because of that I've always been very money conscious.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:15 PM   #30
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We did not have much, if any, of a quantified plan during my 30's with the exception that we lived within our means (as a result of lean upbringings from rural communities), always met my employer's 5% match in a employee savings plan, and focused on paying off the mortgage as quickly as possible (mortgage interest is not deductible in Canada on a principal residence).

We fortunately got rid of the mortgage when I turned 40 (circa 1989) and then focused on building our net worth from there. We were also fortunate to be investing (initially in actively managed mutual funds) during the '90s bull market. It was only when I discovered forums like this one aka 2000 that we took investing into our own hands on a DIY basis with a discount broker. This allowed me to retire comfortably at age 57 some 19 months ago.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:43 PM   #31
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My wife and I became serious about saving for retirement in our early 40s after a series of job losses occasioned by the bust in the oil economy in the 1980s. Fortunately, I landed reasonably well but maxed out the 401(k)'s and put every penny of my bonuses (and fees from outside consulting projects) into savings. That was a good move. My only real worry about retirement is health insurance.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:16 PM   #32
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You did it all in 10 years? That's awesome............
Yeah, it's amazing what you can do when your done paying for private schools, College's, Grad schools, Weddings, Cars, helping with kids homes.

Then it's easy to save for retirement.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:11 PM   #33
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Right around 29 or 30. Got started before getting married and before kids. And we were married five years before our first kid, and both of us worked, so we got a good head start. Then was able to start funding a college fund as each kid was born, and boy are those paying off now while I am in ER! And the wife went ER the day the first kid was born (she came a month early, so my wife never went back to work--I mean to her paid job).
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:18 AM   #34
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I told my mom I was going to retired before I turned 40 when I was about 15 or 16. I started contributing to IRA my first year out of college, joined an investment club my second year, and maxed out my 401K the first time I was eligible. So I think that qualifies me as starting early
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:01 AM   #35
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I've always been a saver and LBYMer. Threw a few dollars into a TIRA in my 20's when I was working on and off, mostly at the insistence of my mom. When I became a permanent Fed in my 30's I invested in TSP. But it wasn't until my mid 40's when my husband died and I sat down with a FA that I really took control and started planning. What I found out was that our AA was way off, likely due to my DIY DH being ill for the last two years of his life. So I immediately reallocated what we had, started living on my salary and investing his pension and SS towards my retirement and our kids college.

I was very lucky to have a good paying job and a DH that looked out for us financially even after his death. That's why I feel a strong need to teach my kids to be financially responsible and independent early on. Thus, Roth IRA's as soon as they earned substantial money and the guided use of credit cards in HS.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:50 PM   #36
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Hmmm..cant say that I have fully committed to it yet but I am also 26. I started a 401(k) as soon as I was eligible, chose a very conservative fund, watched it lose money straight for 3 years, cashed it out (very tiny and at the time they wouldn't let me leave it) and started over with a much more aggressive Roth IRA 2050 Retirement fund. No one can force me to cash this out and its doing a lot better. Best lesson I ever learned, conservative just means no growth not no risk.

I actually came here because I knew that dh and I were going to have to figure out the next step after paying off the credit cards so that we didn't waste it. I like the idea of being financially independent so that is my real goal at the moment. Both dh and I are currently workaholics so retiring early isn't a high priority but maybe later we will change our mind.
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:24 PM   #37
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Currently age 33, started saving seriously after we got married (22/23), but assumed ER was more of a pipe dream because the amount you had to save seemed impossible.

Made a good/lucky real estate investment when we were 26/27, which will end up being a key factor in FIRE. Realized this at age 30, when I was reassessing our finances to figure out what to do with DH's upcoming raise.

So we'd been savers, but I'd say that age 30 was when we got really serious about saving for FIRE. Then found this board about a year and a half ago, which has been invaluable.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:35 PM   #38
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Started thinking when I was 27...got serious at 30....am 33 now and on track to semi-retire at 45.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:52 PM   #39
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Started saving with first job at age 16 ...more with an eye on buying first car, then down payment on house rather than on retirement. After I married at age 25, I took on the financial planning in our marriage and have been handling it since (31 years now). Have always contributed to pension plans, IRAs, 401(k), etc., and put any after tax cash into index mutual funds. Got semi-serious about looking toward retirement in early 40s -- wanted to be out by age 57 at the latest. Hit our financial goals by age 50, but DH wasn't ready to retire, so I left MegaCorp for a less stressful (or so I thought) job for another five years. Finally pulled the trigger at age 55 (and DH is STILL working!!)
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