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Financial successful beyond your wildest dreams??
Old 11-01-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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Financial successful beyond your wildest dreams??

How do you assess your financial success? I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams, even what I imagined when I started my first professional job (where most of us are very unrealistic).

I wonder how much correlation there is between financial success (self-measured) and the FI/RE personality we generally see on this site? In other words, does a predilection towards LBYM and FI/RE translate to a higher chance of financial success? I would assume it must.

I know that if I had not LBYM, I would not have saved the money to become self-employeed, which was at least 50% of my financial success.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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I'm better off than I expected but hardly beyond my wildest dreams. Beyond expectations would be more accurate. Given that I had to start over from scratch at age 35 (divorce) I'm quite pleased with our situation now.

We have Zero Debt, a nice home, reliable income, and other than the usual aches and pains that come with being north of 60 I have good health. And unlike a lot of guys I used to work with I can still walk across the room and get myself a glass of water without being in pain.

No complaints here.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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We have been more successful income-wise that I ever thought possible when we started working. But it would have all been for nothing without LBYM and saving a huge portion of that income.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Culture View Post
How do you access your financial success? I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams, even what I imagined when I started my first professional job (where most of us are very unrealistic).

I wonder how much correlation there is between financial success (self-measured) and the FI/RE personality we generally see on this site? In other words, does a predilection towards LBYM and FI/RE translate to a higher change of financial success? I would assume it must.

I know that if I had not LBYM, I would not have saved the money to become self-employeed, which was at least 50% of my financial success.
Very thought provoking. Many people here might have been much more successful financially had they not taken the ER path--so many seem to have forgone promotions into management, for example, and of course every year at work usually means more savings and one less year in retirement to finance. But many of us are financially successful enough to live life the way we want to, it seems.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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We have been more successful income-wise that I ever thought possible when we started working. But it would have all been for nothing without LBYM and saving a huge portion of that income.

+1
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #6
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How do you assess your financial success? I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams, even what I imagined when I started my first professional job (where most of us are very unrealistic).
.
I am going to say yes but with a caveat.

When I was 17 I told my mom I was going to retire by the time I was 40. Now this was mostly the impossible arrogance of a teenager. I had almost forgotten about it but my mom reminded me of it in my early 30s and became a goal. By then I was living in Silicon Valley and becoming rich wasn't all that far fetched a goal.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:09 PM   #7
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I am not at all financially successful beyond my wildest dreams.

But, there are advantages of wanting what you have, when you cannot have everything you think you want. So, I am pretty happy and content, and really don't have any great desires to live a grander lifestyle.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:32 PM   #8
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I can't say that I ever had specific expectations and I was never one for setting specific personal goals. I did, however, always have an underlying but unspoken interest in retiring early. I think that was because both my father and paternal grandfather died in their fifties.

My approach to work was always to apply myself 100%, keep the best interests of my employer and reports at heart, and be honest. I felt that adherence to that approach would result in my being appropriately rewarded, and it did. Because of my upbringing by parents who struggled with money it was in my nature to live beneath my means - and then there was always the thought of early retirement in the back of my mind. Fortunately, since my wife came from a similar background, we were naturally on the same page - no discussion required.

I retired at 50 and have now outlived both my father and grandfather. Beyond my wildest dreams? I can't honestly say that as I had no specific expectations. But I certainly feel very fortunate to have the life that I have and I think my parents would be very proud of my accomplishments.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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Financial successful beyond my wildest dream would be when one of the ventures that I was part of would go IPO and I became a decamillionaire overnight (they were small-niche businesses and would never be as big as FB or others that are well-known). Instead, they died.

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Many people here might have been much more successful financially had they not taken the ER path...
I am doing all right. I have enough to continue my LBYM lifestyle, which is already above that of many around me.

As it is now, I can only look at FIRECalc runs and say to myself that if I keep my WR low, and live long enough, I would have a chance to be a decamillionaire before 80, or perhaps 70.

But who the hell cares anymore? If I live to be 70, that itself is a cause for celebration.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:17 PM   #10
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I can see how LBYM/FIRE personality could well translate into better financial success. Some characteristics of typical LBYMer should be useful in business, like:
- Defined long-term goal (FIRE)
- Ongoing planning towards that goal (finances, post-ER activities, etc.)
- Working diligently towards the goal
- Budgeting discipline
- Maintaining real-world perspective
- Not wasting $$
- Getting the best bang for the buck

I'm sure there's more, but seems to me this LBYMer would tend to be more successful & productive than a rudderless soul who simply shows up for w#rk each morning.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Very thought provoking. Many people here might have been much more successful financially had they not taken the ER path--so many seem to have forgone promotions into management, for example, and of course every year at work usually means more savings and one less year in retirement to finance. But many of us are financially successful enough to live life the way we want to, it seems.
Interesting observation. I had not considered that the ER path could retard you financially, but I see your point. FI allows a work-life balance that allows one to stop grasping for the brass ring./
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:56 PM   #12
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Yes Culture, very happy with our financial success. DH and I graduated from high school and started full time work the very next day. He worked as a press operator (factory) and I worked as a telephone operator. We were thrilled to have jobs (mid-70's). I earned my business degree while working full time and worked my way up the ladder to a senior management position. He moved on to work at the post office and will retire in 2016. Like everyone else here we LBYM while planning and saving. We started dreaming about early retirement after DD became independent. We will retire with 0 debt, a comfortable home on water and a comfortable lifestyle. We still marvel at our progress when consider our very humble beginnings. :-)
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:30 PM   #13
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I would say yes as well. For a while I was chasing getting to the SS max, and then getting to the SS max so far into the year. I recall that during the first 5 years after college (early 80s) telling my aunt that I wanted to get the the point where I earned $50k a year. At the time, I was probably earning $17k or so and that seemed like it would be a lot of money and that I would be on easy street. Once I got there I noiticed that someone moved the street.

Today, our first-year associates out of college earn more than $50k a year! The last 5 or so years I worked I earned what I considered to be an outrageous amount of money for what I did but as long as mega and our clients were happy (and they were) I figured, what the heck - I'll just sit back and enjoy the ride.

So between earning a good income, consistently saving and investing in low cost, no load mutual funds long before it was fashionable (from the mid 1980s) and LBYM we were able to develop enough wealth to comfortably ER.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:44 PM   #14
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I can't say that we had any wild dreams as we never bought lottery tickets, had no rich relatives to inherit from, and I turned down 2 very credible opportunities to become self-employed as I was already married with 2 small children and chose the safe option.

However, I was fairly successful within Megacorp and took a couple of bold steps including the opportunity to relocate to the USA and join a Joint Venture company, that Megacorp was part of, cutting the links with Megacorp. (I had to write and sign a document explaining why I was doing this, leaving behind a solid career in Corporate Megacorp).

It all turned out very nicely, and we were able to RE at 55 on a very nice income.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #15
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Yes. When I was in college, I put together a manual spreadsheet to figure out how long it would take, starting at my expected starting salary and ability to save, and going from there, to get to a cool million, and be able to retire by 45.

The road we took was way different than plan (starting salary was half of what I expected, savings was smaller, but a larger percentage, etc) but we exceeded our million expectation a couple years earlier than plan. But, we bought a second property and built a new, big home with a pool and solar electric, and that ate up a lot of the savings. So, in reality, we could have retired by 45 or even earlier should we have stuck to the $1m and lived in our old house plan. My career was on fire though and I was outperforming target every year, which meant good bonuses and stock awards. Fast forward to age 51 when I actually did retire, and the kitty was significant multiples of the original goal, allowing us a generous budget while keeping our initial WR between 2.5-2.75%.

So, when considering my college days dream, we made it way beyond that.

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Old 11-02-2013, 10:36 AM   #16
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How do you assess your financial success? I have been successful beyond my wildest dreams
I haven't. While DW and I managed to FIRE a bit early (55 and 58) and lead a modest, middle class lifestyle in suburban Chicago, we earned everything with never a break. Raised in Chicago in lower middle class families. Worked our way through college. Married young and raised a family. We always both worked at demanding jobs. I spent years working night shift in an inner city factory, for example. No inheritance. (Just the opposite in fact. We have a special needs grandson and DW's elderly mom we help financially.) No big investment wins. No strokes of financial fortune. Just 30-some years of spending a bit less than we earned and investing the difference prudently.

We're happy for all the folks who were able to walk a path less steep. Ours wasn't a lot of fun. But we realize how much tougher it could have been.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:39 AM   #17
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We got married right out of high school. Our first financial goals were to make enough money for food, no joke. We ate brauwnschweiger for lunch every day. Most dinners were SOS.

Being poor was a great motivator. When I got an opportunity for more education I jumped at it. Worked full time, went to school full time at night. When Megacorp offered me a salaried position, they explained no overtime pay. My response was I'm already doing that to make a better life. Spent many 80 hour weeks there to get ahead.

Things work out, retired at 56. So yes, better than I ever dreamed.

But if I ever played the lottery and won, I wouldn't say no.

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Old 11-02-2013, 11:47 AM   #18
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Maybe more than I expected when I was in High School - I had a tough time figuring out how to scrape up enough money for a car back then. But I'm certainly not successful beyond my wildest dreams. My dreams involve jets, yachts, Bentleys, private islands, ranches, etc and I'm nowhere near that level.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:39 PM   #19
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When I was 20 years old, I did not know that being childfree would enable me to retire at age 45, five years ago. When I turned 35 and became debt-free (paying off my mortgage), I still did not know that I would be able to retire at 45 although I was pretty sure I'd be able to retire at some time in my 50s. But it was when the value of my company stock started quickly approaching the $300k mark in the mid-2000s, something which did not cost me anything to buy when the ESOP began in 1997, that I realized I could retire at 45. That was like winning the lottery, $300k of basically "found" money.

I always had a LBYM tendency and never lived a flamboyant lifestyle, so I had that part nailed from day one. But add to that some good lifestyle choices and the fat ESOP and that was a recipe for retiring at 45, far earlier than I thought I could.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:44 PM   #20
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Early in life my wildest dream was to be FI. I didn't have visions of extravagant living (yachts, horses, mansions, etc), just a middle class lifestyle with my own home. And that's what I've got.
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