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View Poll Results: For retirees - How many years did it take you to gather your nest egg?
0-5 yrs (Whaddya do - win the lottery??) 3 3.06%
6-10 7 7.14%
11-20 49 50.00%
21-30 22 22.45%
30+ (what's ER??) 17 17.35%
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How long did it take?
Old 02-07-2007, 01:55 PM   #1
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How long did it take?

I started working at a 'real' job and saving rather late (i.e stopped filling out the 1040-EZ 7yrs ago). We do OK when it comes to savings (~30K/yr) but the pot o'gold at the end of the rainbow still seems far away.

How long did it take you to stop being a working stiff and start being a lucky stiff?

:-)
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-07-2007, 02:11 PM   #2
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Re: How long did it take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefipius
I started working at a 'real' job and saving rather late (i.e stopped filling out the 1040-EZ 7yrs ago). We do OK when it comes to savings (~30K/yr) but the pot o'gold at the end of the rainbow still seems far away.

How long did it take you to stop being a working stiff and start being a lucky stiff?

:-)
Me, too (started late). It can be done, though, as you probably really do know by now. LBYM ruthlessly and believe.

In my case, I started over with nothing but debt, a temporary job, a cheap, ugly sofa, and a junker car at age 50 after my divorce in 1998. That was scary, so I made some plans in Excel. Since then, pushing myself in the LBYM aspects has been like a game for me. I plan to retire in 2010, which will be 12 years. So far, I'm making progress faster than projected and I'm having a lot of fun watching my dreams become my reality.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-07-2007, 02:42 PM   #3
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Re: How long did it take?

The correct answer is you are never done. As long as you or your better half (if you have one) is alive you will still need to manage your nest egg. However, I understand you are asking how long it took to get one large enough to retire.

In my case about 10 years but I have also been feathering it over the past couple of years.

I went from >$100k in debt to being FI in about 10 years. It can be done; even with the market losses in 1999-2001 that took away 30%.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-07-2007, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: How long did it take?

I had several so-so jobs while in college and for a short time after graduating. Got my "career" job in 1983 and retired in 2006..so for me it took 23 years. But, knowing what I do now - I could have bailed 2-3 years ago - so in reality 20 years would have gotten the job done.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-07-2007, 07:11 PM   #5
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Re: How long did it take?

My target retirement age is 38.

So 38 years.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-07-2007, 08:10 PM   #6
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Re: How long did it take?

I interpreted the question as "years from start of first real job till you quit".
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: How long did it take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3 Yrs to Go
My target retirement age is 38.

So 38 years.
:-)
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 11:20 AM   #8
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Re: How long did it take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent
I interpreted the question as "years from start of first real job till you quit".
This is what I meant - or maybe even more specifically - from when you started actively planning and saving for FIRE.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 01:16 PM   #9
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Re: How long did it take?

I started actively planning about 5 years ago. I'm not there yet, but I'm hoping to be there in the next 10-15 years.... so I guess my answer would be somewhere between 15-20 years. But who knows what the future holds, so I could be all wet with my plans...
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 02:15 PM   #10
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Re: How long did it take?

In 1988 my company started offering a 401K plan with a 6% match. In 19 years I have accumulated roughly $625K and I plan on retireing in Octobor of this year at 55.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 02:47 PM   #11
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Re: How long did it take?

We haven't gotten to FIRE yet, but I project that my DW and I will reach that point sometime in the next 3-5 years. When we do, I'll be 39-41 years old and she'll be 34-36 years old. In terms of the time required, it will have taken approximately 14-16 years for me, and 9-11 years for her. Needless to say, we're both earning high incomes and LBYM aggressively. FIRE is going to be oh so sweet, but I don't expect either of us is going to retire at that point.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 02:54 PM   #12
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Re: How long did it take?

I've been putting together my nest egg since I was a kid, though I really didn't start "retirement planning" until a couple years ago. I had always figured I would have to w*rk untill I was 62, like the folks.

But then one day I started checking things out, and found I could bail out at 55, under our pension plan rules (with full bennies). Then I found out that my employer (under the rules of the pension plan) could offer an Early Retirement Incentive......which they did!!! I grabbed on to that with both hands!!!

I started saving my money in grade school, and have continued up until the present (and will continue into ER.....so far about 40 years of building the egg!

I'm going to be FIRE'd 8 weeks from tomorrow!!! (I turn 50 just after that)
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 03:08 PM   #13
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Re: How long did it take?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie
I'm going to be FIRE'd 8 weeks from tomorrow!!! (I turn 50 just after that)
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That's wonderful news.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 03:32 PM   #14
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Re: How long did it take?

I was cleaning out some files the other day and found a piece of paper that had the projections for savings that I had made when I was 24 and about to finish law school. It is amazing how much different things have turned out.

So, even though we've been savers since childhood, I guess I'd say it took 13 years to get from the initial plan to the point where both DH and I would feel comfortable quitting.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 04:31 PM   #15
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Re: How long did it take?

I wrote out my first plan when I was 22 years old in 1987 working for $8 an hour. I planned on retiring at 49 1/2, now that's less than 8 years away and I'm right on track.

My numbers have increased, but so has the cost of living.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-08-2007, 11:02 PM   #16
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Re: How long did it take?

I voted 30+. I started my first full time job before I finished high school. I took over the family farm the spring of grade 12 (age 17). Left in April to seed the crop & returned in June to write final exams, did fine. Over the next 7 years, I farmed in the summer and managed to get my BSc. Handed the farm to my brother and headed to Megacorp.

18 years (and a couple of Megacorps) later, DW & I had a mortgage free house, 2 kids and 1 income. No savings to mention. Yet another Megacorp to the rescue. Finally started serious savings, got stock options. Options were worthless for years as stock price didn't move, some expired worthless. Then, about 4 years ago, Megacorp became stock market darling. Sold ~50% for mid 6 figures, selling slowly since. In the meantime I built up ~1KK in DC pension. Certainly FI and ready to RE with a SWR of ~125K at 57. 40 years exactly, but I was LUCKY.

Disclaimer: DW is expensive. It may be possible to have a SWR the same as ours but not require the same nest egg.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-09-2007, 07:43 PM   #17
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Re: How long did it take?

At age 38 I wrote a plan and started tracking progress in detail. Net worth including home equity at 38 was $75K. 14 years on (52 tomorrow 8)) I have a net worth of $1.2M (sold house and now renting) and can RE if I wish. However I am waiting 3 years to get final salary pension plus health insurance.

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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-10-2007, 10:47 AM   #18
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Re: How long did it take?

It will take my partner and I 20 years to hit our magic number. We started saving for retirement around age 35. I worked for 10 years without saving a cent and had no mortgage.

Had I realized I could bail from the workplace before age 65 I would have started saving much sooner. Without having a goal it was hard for me to be motivated.

Fortunately I never had a problem with debt, I just wasn't a saver. I was also lucky to have steady employment and no major health problems.
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Re: How long did it take?
Old 02-10-2007, 08:40 PM   #19
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Re: How long did it take?

I started aggressively saving at age 41. After a few years I made projections as to the net worth at several dates. As the years went by the rate of increase increased dramatically. No small thanks to some stock options. We had a big drop in stock value a couple of years ago. I hadexercised as much as I could in the $45 to $54 range. If if gets to $40 again the approximately 14000 shares at an aveage of $10 per share will put us in pretty good shape.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:52 AM   #20
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I joined a 401k at work 11 years ago, but just put in the 10% my boss recommended. Rolled that over when I went to work for the city 5 years later. Then I started PERS and the 401k at 10% for a few more years. A couple of years ago started a 457b at 8%, but still thought I'd be here 19 more years (forever).
This year I stumbled on this web site and seriously considered FIRE and began running numbers and found that I can FIRE in just 5 more years!! Wow! Of course I increased the contributions and started LBYMing and learning how to manage better. This forum has been a large help!
So, 16ish years.
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