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Old 09-11-2017, 01:04 PM   #21
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Overall you've done great! Bask in the glory of your financial independence, and keep posting on how well you do in the future.
+1 yeah what he said
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:06 PM   #22
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Not buying Apple stock back in the late 90's when it was under $10/share.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:10 PM   #23
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I don't think that it is useful to dwell on the past, so I rarely do. You made the best decision you could at the time. Now that the house is sold, there is little you can do to change the outcome. So beating yourself up over this is pointless and a waste of energy.

Therefore the only question is rent vs. buy... And we all have our opinions on that. Depending on the situation, one could make more sense than the other.
+1. We've all made mistakes, it's only human. If you've made your first big mistake at age 59, you're way smarter than most! For sentimental reasons I invested $10K in an IPO that literally went to ZERO. Not a lot of money, but I learned a good lesson.

Buy vs rent is not a slam dunk, depends on where among many other factors. Interest rates are still low which makes buying more compelling than high interest rate periods, but home ownership is a financial commitment too.

Sounds like you're in good shape financially, you enjoy your job and you avoided a relationship that wouldn't have worked out. It is too bad about losing the home your parents left but I'd say you're discounting what you've done right and got going for way you too much...
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:11 PM   #24
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To the OP - I do not think anyone who has gotten into the position of being able to RE has done that without making mistakes along the way. The key, I believe, is that we tried to learn from them - look at it as the cost of "education".

Your losses could have been worse. What if you had married or made a stronger commitment to your ex-GF? You might have lost half of that $2M.

My MIL is very well off, but DW will miss out on a six figure inheritance. We never accepted MIL's "generosity" when we were younger, which upset her... but we had realized it was one of her control mechanisms that over time DW was able to free herself of. Now DW's siblings are circling around MIL waiting for her to die and fight over her estate - but DW is going to walk way from it. A mistake? Maybe, we are sure it will not be worth it.

Stocks I held onto that I should have sold, Stocks I sold at a loss that I should have held onto longer, selecting the wrong items to keep from the previous owner when we bought our house, letting one of our sons go to a college that was 3x as expensive as his other choices and him not taking advantage of it... I could go on and on, but in the end I am still in great financial shape, FI and on the verge of RE, and those "mistakes" are now just "lessons" to learn from and move on.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:14 PM   #25
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Has anyone ever (a) made a stupid financial mistake that has haunted them, even if only in their own mind, and (b) how did you get past it ?
Hmmm, let's see.....

Worked for Megacorp whose CEO had a big mouth bragging about his planned major change in revenue over a 5 year period, and was stupid enough to convert most of retirement at that time. Long story short, company was sued (asbestos) and started dropping. This was a brick and mortar company, it has to come back, right? Bought more, dropped more, bought more.... company goes bankrupt, shares worthless. Of course, the company is still around, even under the same name, but 90% of my retirement gone. That was 17 years ago. Now I am 1/2 way where you are, and feeling pretty good about it. I had to move on. Either that, or go to prison...
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:19 PM   #26
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(b) how did you get past it ?

Thanks very much.
I missed part B), this is what I did. I no longer tried to hit home runs with dot coms, I dont buy junk bonds. and decided to be happy to run with the crowd(I buy total market now). I worked 5 extra years to make up for those perceived(real) losses. That was another mistake, but its what I did.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:25 PM   #27
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.......... Kiss the girlfriend's loan good bye, its just a source of aggravation that is behind you, move on. ..........
+1 It isn't gonna happen, so forget about it now and chock it up as tuition in the school of foolish love.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:28 PM   #28
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We are make bad choices in our lifetime. Think about the good side of it; you didn't marry her!
Amen.

That's the mistake I made, and it cost me everything I earned for five years, but I learned some valuable lessons. (Tuition at the School Of Hard Knocks is frequently very expensive.) And frankly, if I hadn't been through that experience first I wouldn't appreciate DW of 29 years as much as I do.

Based on your post you're doing very well even if you don't have a pension or it is paltry.

As for selling the house, as others have noted that is only a mistake with the advantage of hindsight. I'd wager virtually everyone has made costly mistakes in hindsight.

Re renting vs. buying, that depends wholly on what you want, where you're headed, and what the local real estate conditions are and what you think they will be. If all this stuff in your life is fairly recent, as in the last year or so, I'd suggest continuing to rent until you have a firm idea of where you want to be in the next five to ten years or longer.
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:55 PM   #29
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I've always held that guilt over a mistake means I haven't really learned my lesson to prevent making that mistake again. For example:

Mistake #1 - selling the house: I may realize from this that I cherish the bequests from my parents more than I realized. I would take a look at all the other things they left me, and decide which ones would get put out and displayed nicely, so that I could enjoy my memories, which ones get stored, and which ones, yes, could be disposed of in the future if/when space restrictions become an issue.

Mistake #2 - moving in with GF and giving her money: I may look honestly at the relationship, identify the red flags that I had ignored, and swear to go into relationships with my eyes more open in the future. I would also set up some rules for myself as to how much money I would give anyone, and whether or how quickly I would merge households or finances in the future. Thinking about these things and setting rules for the future while I'm not deep in New Love would help me keep my wits about me.

So, what can you learn from these? Can you give yourself permission to let it go once you've clarified how to not make the same mistakes twice? I strongly recommend that you try - guilt can eat you alive and strip all the joy from your life.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:51 PM   #30
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I foolishly -- VERY foolishly -- sold my deceased parents' small home (which I owned free and clear and was where I was living), several years ago because I was in a relationship with a woman, moved into her home, and didn't want to be a landlord or have to otherwise worry about my home. Plan was to get married. Well, as you probably guessed, the relationship didn't work out and, the next thing I knew, I'm moving into an apartment at the age of 58. Now, a year later, I can't get this mistake out of my head. .
This may or may not help, but I know two men who inherited their childhood homes, and were absolutely miserable living in them. The houses never really felt like "theirs". So who knows, you may have not liked it, or had bad neighbors, or the basement wall may have caved in... Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:45 PM   #31
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I think we have all made financial mistakes. I have confidence, though, in my financial decisions. I don't demand that I am perfect (nobody is) but I trust that most if my decisions will work out. So when I make mistakes ( and have made many) , I ask myself if there is anything I can learn from it and move on. And if helps to know that capital losses can reduce my taxes.
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:59 PM   #32
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Making the right decision doesn't guarantee a good outcome. You probably did your best at the time, so don't worry about it that much.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:52 PM   #33
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Congratulations! You got away without giving up half of everything [and more]. Consider it a big win, and a cheap lesson you'll never forget.



Well done sir!
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:57 PM   #34
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(assuming you're in the USA) Compare your situation (I mean finances) to others, you're doing better than at least 95% of the population...

So I wouldn't go fretting too much about decisions that appear to be poor in hindsight...

And you have a job you enjoy? I can't even fathom that! I ER'd the moment the finances showed that I could.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:58 PM   #35
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Another example of how you could have done worse: my first husband inherited $300K from his late mother in 1983, mostly in Comcast stock. I had been buying Comcast around that time; my basis, adjusted for splits, was about $2.25/share. We put 1/3 of the inheritance down on the house, which was one of the real estate deals that DID work out when we sold it 13 years later during the divorce. The rest: pissed away. A new Camaro. A $6,000 sound system. He lost his job in 1986 and consulted successfully for awhile, then that fizzled out. He applied sporadically for jobs, but none suited his exalted credentials and he would demand twice what the job was worth and then tactlessly tell them all the things they were doing wrong. The rest of the inheritance went to pay his share of the expenses, till nothing was left.

Comcast has been as high as $50 a share; right now it's at $38. Do the math.

And he never recovered. His alcohol abuse was one of the reasons I divorced him and 7 years ago it killed him. Don't be like my ex-husband.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:15 PM   #36
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OK, I am curious, so did the math. Or rather, I looked it up.

From 1983 till now, Comcask went up 144x, compared to S&P500 which went up 33x.

It's better than what your records show.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:20 PM   #37
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OK, I am curious, so did the math. Or rather, I looked it up.

From 1983 till now, Comcask went up 144x, compared to S&P500 which went up 33x.

It's better than what your records show.
Well, maybe I was wrong years ago when I calculated the basis- they seemed to split every year for awhile. In my case, I either donated mine and just took the current market value as a charitable deduction, or sold it and declared a huge capital gain. If the real basis was something less than $2.25/share I doubt it would have had big effect on my tax liability so I didn't get too precise.

Wow- my Ex really DID make a mistake. So did I with my holdings, of course, but the amount of money involved was much smaller.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:25 PM   #38
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I met this woman and oh man, was she bayewteefool. She knocked my socks off. She was 11 yrs my senior but acted 11 yrs my jr. OMG, let me tell you.

So, I'd been working hard for years, getting my things in order and saving. But what the hell, I thought. I'm going to loosen up the purse strings.

Bought her a nice ring, spent lots of money and had loads of fun. It lasted an eternity for me. I think that'd be ~3 months.

Oh, the ring. Yeah, not even happening.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:33 PM   #39
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Oddly enough, my largest financial mistake was probably leaving my job as an engineer at a nuclear plant and going to law school when I was 30, in 1989. The tuition (which I paid in cash, in full - no financial aid), plus not working for 3 years, put me back to zero net worth at 33. I missed most of the the big market run-up of the 90's. I was making some serious coin as an engineer and it's likely that I would have more net worth today if I had stayed put.

Another big mistake was taking my 1999 year end bonus ($15,000 IIRC) and buying tech stocks instead of paying off my car loan.

How do you get over a serious financial mistake? Realize that it's a sunk cost.
You can't change the past, you can only focus on what you do going forward.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:34 PM   #40
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... Wow- my Ex really DID make a mistake. So did I with my holdings, of course, but the amount of money involved was much smaller.
I would be glad to get the S&P 33x gain since 1983. But no, I had to keep lots of money in CDs and money markets.

Not being astute in investment matters, is it not amazing that I still managed to retire early with a 7-figure portfolio? But, but, but it could have been 8 figures, darn it.
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