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Old 07-05-2014, 04:36 PM   #21
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Have >$1 million but not sure if I qualify?

married for 21 years, in which we both worked fulltime and saved in 401K/IRA's. Had 2 kids now in their 20's.
Divorced 13 years ago and split all savings accounts right down the middle
Split all expenses for those kids including college tuition.

So even though there were two incomes at one time, all proceeds from those two incomes were split so I think I qualify for being a millionaire with one income??
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:42 PM   #22
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Single, 2 kids. started saving early (1st bank account open at age 8, 1st IRA at 15) and always LBYM. No significant inheritance, but I was lucky to have great support from my parents (e.g. They paid my college, and have been generous in many other ways). Had kids late, after saving the 1st $1M.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:04 PM   #23
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Two incomes, but now 1.6 in mill. in investable assets, after 19 years of investing in 401k/403b. I think you were asking about one income; if so my chunk is 850k.
The first 10 years my income was low to respectable (public sector), DW's better; last 5 years we've contributed close to the max to retirement.
I got lucky in my 403b investments, although not Buffett lucky. No inheritance.
2 kids that we sent to UC-Davis (out of state) and Carnegie-Mellon, otherwise the net worth would be higher but no regrets whatsoever; best investments ever (the kids).
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:06 PM   #24
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Only one income. Over the years started at age 27 contributing max to 401k. Everytime I got a raise, my lifestyle did not go up because I banked it in a non-qualified account and invested it. I took advantage of every megacorp savings or stock plans that I could. We always drove nice vehicles and I always had a nice boat that I would spend a lot of time fishing out of. I was lucky to have a great wife that was not a spendthrift, and she is my first and only wife. I agree that anyone can do it if they are disciplined and are thinking of the future.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:07 PM   #25
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Investable asset > 2 m - 2 incomes, for 25 years in Mega Corp working and living overseas - (no inheritance - had take care of my Parents till they passed, and still taking care of my DW parents.) 3 children all grown up.

Never been cheap, but a good well balance life. 2 paid for homes. Retired at 58 wife will retire at the end of year at 49

Can you really not afford doing some adventure - I think not.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:48 PM   #26
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Assets 2.5 M. Accumulated mainly by contribution to pension and profit sharing plan. Also increasingly LBYM over the years. Would be closer to 5M if I were as disciplined from 25-35 as I am now.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:57 PM   #27
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Single, no kids, >1.6 m liquid assets. Have pension but not included, nor residence. Parents still alive. Started saving early 40s. Mostly stock market and LBYM.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:40 AM   #28
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Single, 54, No kids. NW>1.9M (~1.2 in retirement accts, the rest in taxable accts) - FIRE'd at 51 from MegaCorp after 30yr career - lucky to also have DB pension of ~5k/month starting age 55. Always maxed tax deductible contributions, got 4% match, paid off mortgage in about 13 yrs then put pmts to extra investments, Did non-deductible IRAs and then converted to Roths when that became an option. Always invested raises - figured I didn't need the money since I had what I needed already. Everything was automated - never had to think about it except for regular rebalancing. Besides 401k, use Vanguard, Credit Unions, and Treasury Direct accts. Towards the end of my career, my income was distributed ~1/3 investments, 1/3 taxes, 1/3 spending.
Unfortunately, I did just receive today ~$140K check from an inherited 401k - my boyfriend recently passed but that amount is not counted above (and we did not live together/share expenses - so don't think he helped in the $ department - in fact just the opposite - I helped him!) Talk about women not being good with money just pisses me off!
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Breadwinner or single millionaires: Tell me your story
Old 07-06-2014, 06:24 AM   #29
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Breadwinner or single millionaires: Tell me your story

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
With the amounts of investable assets mentioned in this thread, there are probably several folks who made one million dollars in just one year with their investments alone in 2013. .

The killer is taxes and recent changes in the top marginal rate plus an additional 3.8% ACA tax on investment income - doesn't make it any easier.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:45 AM   #30
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Married, one income, no real estate (other than primary residence.) Freelancer, IT Consultant = high income / large SEP contribution for 10 years (mostly converted to Roth in 2010). One stock = High Risk (luckily high return.) All together = FIRE at 48 if I can divest enough in the next 4 months. DW is SAHM, youngest child enters college this fall.

My girlfriend and I are ready to party!
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:22 AM   #31
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I'm not sure the reason to differentiate between one or two incomes when one income may be more than combined. Our combined income (5 figures) was quite a bit less than most of our friends single income. We surpassed our goals by contributing the maximum to 401k, 403b, Roth, then more to a taxable account, while LBYM. We bought and drove used cars (a couple until they were almost 20 years old), bought and paid off early our small home (but in a nice location/neighborhood), and vacationed with tent camping trips that we enjoyed.

Now we can buy new cars/trucks, travel internationally, eat in restaurants other than fast food, not worry about costs, and donate to local animal charities. Keeping in mind that we still have that LBYM attitude, are still frugal and shop for value.

Cheers!
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:56 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingfooted View Post
The killer is taxes and recent changes in the top marginal rate plus an additional 3.8% ACA tax on investment income - doesn't make it any easier.
If one is paying much in the way of taxes on their investment gains, then they need to figure out how not to do that. We have seen over and over again that folks have figured out how to not pay taxes.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:52 PM   #33
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NW - $2.4mm, investable - $1.9. Married (same lady sahm) 41 years, 2 kids, both doing well. Single income, started saving the second year of my 35 year career by matching the company match. A few years later, my contribution was double the match, and the last five years of career, my contribution was 3 times the co match so that I was contributing the max. Took advantage of each ESOP offering. Two paid for rental units. Everything we own including home, cars, etc all paid for. Always lived below our income, and drove cars/trucks for ten + years. Never lived lavishly. We moved a lot following the paycheck. We lived nicely and comfortably, and always bought homes well under what we qualified for, which usually frustrated the realtors. And one of our first savings goals was an emergency fund, and term life to protect the family.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:26 PM   #34
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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40 years old, net worth about $2.1 million. Single, no kids.

I learned good frugal living and personal finance habits from my parents. I was taught to save money as a kid and did odd jobs like lawnmowing for extra money. I worked a part time job in high school. The key concepts of saving and spending less than I made were instilled very early.

I went to a state school about half-funded on scholarships, funding the rest with part time jobs, graduating with no debt. This was back in the early 90's when in-state tuition at state colleges was still cheap enough to swing this. It would be much harder to do the same thing now.

My first job out of college didn't pay much ($15,000 a year in 1994) but my boss there introduced me to a key concept: saving and investing for retirement through the magic of compound interest. He sat me down and showed me mathematically how this all worked, making it clear that small amounts could compound into very large amounts given enough time.

Since I was already a cheapskate and liked making money it didn't take that much convincing, and I started investing at around the age of 21. I made lots of mistakes along the way. For example, one of my first fund investments was in what was essentially an S&P 500 index fund with a 5% front end load. This was before the internet really took off and information was much harder to come by.

After some false starts with expensive, actively managed mutual funds, I graduated to low cost index fund investing (VFINX), then gradually over time learned the basics of value investing, company valuation, and how to invest properly in individual stocks and bonds. I studied Graham and Dodd, Lynch, Buffett, Klarman, Munger, Fisher, Greenblatt, Berkowitz, Damodaran. These men are quite generous with their knowledge, writing books and notes about their process even though any money they make (if any) from these books and notes pales in comparison to what they already make and have. if you have the time to study what they took the time to write down it's a goldmine.

At 23 I got a job offer for considerably more money, bumping my pay up from $23,000 to $55,000 in 1996. Over time that gradually rose to around $160,000 in the mid 2000's and has stayed there since as I've about topped out for what I do. With interest and dividends my realized income is now around $200,000. I didn't raise my standard of living too much even though I moved to a higher cost of living area. I was saving about 70% of my after tax income by the time I reached the upper range of my salary limit.

I invested heavily in the 2008/2009 downturn. I didn't perfectly time the bottom by any means but I was buying large amounts of shares of quality companies (Berkshire, Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, American Express) while they were selling at prices I estimated were at least half off relative to a conservative fair value estimate. Later in 2011 I started buying large positions in some of the big financial companies (Bank of America, AIG, Goldman), which were generally selling at prices like they were all going to go out of business. Those actions plus continual saving served as a springboard, quadrupling my portfolio value over the course of 5 years between 2008 and 2013.

It took about 17 years to make the first million but only took 3 years to make the second million due to a rapidly rising stock market creating double digit returns on a million dollar capital base, higher salary, and better investing technique than when I started way back in 1994. Given where the stock market is valued today I'd wager the third million will take longer than the second million took to build. There's just not much out there selling cheaply these days, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of these recent gains are given back in the next ebb.


Mike
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:31 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger View Post
I'm not sure the reason to differentiate between one or two incomes when one income may be more than combined. Our combined income (5 figures) was quite a bit less than most of our friends single income. We surpassed our goals by contributing the maximum to 401k, 403b, Roth, then more to a taxable account, while LBYM. We bought and drove used cars (a couple until they were almost 20 years old), bought and paid off early our small home (but in a nice location/neighborhood), and vacationed with tent camping trips that we enjoyed.

Now we can buy new cars/trucks, travel internationally, eat in restaurants other than fast food, not worry about costs, and donate to local animal charities. Keeping in mind that we still have that LBYM attitude, are still frugal and shop for value.

Cheers!
You have a good point. I wanted to differentiate because:

1. There is another thread that doesn't.
2. It reflects my current situation.
3. True, one person can make $200,000 and reached their FI sooner. But sometimes when I see "we reached $500,000 at age 32," I'm not sure if both partners contributed or not.

Nevertheless, awesome job on your current situation!
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:09 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjs111 View Post
40 years old, net worth about $2.1 million. Single, no kids.

I learned good frugal living and personal finance habits from my parents. I was taught to save money as a kid and did odd jobs like lawnmowing for extra money. I worked a part time job in high school. The key concepts of saving and spending less than I made were instilled very early.

I went to a state school about half-funded on scholarships, funding the rest with part time jobs, graduating with no debt. This was back in the early 90's when in-state tuition at state colleges was still cheap enough to swing this. It would be much harder to do the same thing now.

My first job out of college didn't pay much ($15,000 a year in 1994) but my boss there introduced me to a key concept: saving and investing for retirement through the magic of compound interest. He sat me down and showed me mathematically how this all worked, making it clear that small amounts could compound into very large amounts given enough time.

Since I was already a cheapskate and liked making money it didn't take that much convincing, and I started investing at around the age of 21. I made lots of mistakes along the way. For example, one of my first fund investments was in what was essentially an S&P 500 index fund with a 5% front end load. This was before the internet really took off and information was much harder to come by.

After some false starts with expensive, actively managed mutual funds, I graduated to low cost index fund investing (VFINX), then gradually over time learned the basics of value investing, company valuation, and how to invest properly in individual stocks and bonds. I studied Graham and Dodd, Lynch, Buffett, Klarman, Munger, Fisher, Greenblatt, Berkowitz, Damodaran. These men are quite generous with their knowledge, writing books and notes about their process even though any money they make (if any) from these books and notes pales in comparison to what they already make and have. if you have the time to study what they took the time to write down it's a goldmine.

At 23 I got a job offer for considerably more money, bumping my pay up from $23,000 to $55,000 in 1996. Over time that gradually rose to around $160,000 in the mid 2000's and has stayed there since as I've about topped out for what I do. With interest and dividends my realized income is now around $200,000. I didn't raise my standard of living too much even though I moved to a higher cost of living area. I was saving about 70% of my after tax income by the time I reached the upper range of my salary limit.

I invested heavily in the 2008/2009 downturn. I didn't perfectly time the bottom by any means but I was buying large amounts of shares of quality companies (Berkshire, Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, American Express) while they were selling at prices I estimated were at least half off relative to a conservative fair value estimate. Later in 2011 I started buying large positions in some of the big financial companies (Bank of America, AIG, Goldman), which were generally selling at prices like they were all going to go out of business. Those actions plus continual saving served as a springboard, quadrupling my portfolio value over the course of 5 years between 2008 and 2013.

It took about 17 years to make the first million but only took 3 years to make the second million due to a rapidly rising stock market creating double digit returns on a million dollar capital base, higher salary, and better investing technique than when I started way back in 1994. Given where the stock market is valued today I'd wager the third million will take longer than the second million took to build. There's just not much out there selling cheaply these days, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of these recent gains are given back in the next ebb.


Mike
Wow, cool story! Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:59 PM   #37
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Single, no kids, age 51, been ERed since late 2008 at age 45. NW is just over $1.3M. I got there thanks to LBYM, maxing out my 401k most years, and the $300k I cashed out of company stock, stock whose value grew by a factor of 30 (3000%) from 1997-2008. By cashing out the company stock, I went from 1/3 taxable and 2/3 tax-deferred to 2/3 taxable and 1/3 tax-deferred, a better ratio to retire at 45 because only the taxable account is providing monthly dividends to pay my expenses.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 07-06-2014, 09:01 PM   #38
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Each of my kids worth at least $1M, so if we did have 2, our net worth would be 2MM>
::wink::
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:22 PM   #39
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. . . Do not count a pension or real estate values. . .
Got there investing in real estate. But, by your rules, I cannot tell you about it.

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Old 07-08-2014, 05:52 PM   #40
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Single, no kids. NW conservatively $2.5M

$1M in investable assets. RE equity of ~$1.5M in RE, including 2 paid off duplexes, 1 paid off 4-plex, and my home. 4 other 4-plexes with ~125K equity each.

I have more income from my RE, than most will have in their jobs. Projected out to be ~$130K annually. Plus the $1M.

Whenever I write about this, I wonder why do I keep working?
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