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View Poll Results: If you are FI and thinking ER, how did it happen
Careful planning, frugal lifestyle 164 71.93%
Windfall Inheritance 6 2.63%
Just plain lucky 22 9.65%
Other 36 15.79%
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-27-2006, 05:42 PM   #81
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Had bad luck all my life, that started with my parents.

I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

When my old man wanted sex, my mother would show him a picture of me.

I remember the time I was kidnapped, and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He demanded more proof.

My father carried around the picture of the kid that came with the wallet.

Rodney
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-27-2006, 10:59 PM   #82
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
No luck here. Got where I am through brainpower and willpower. That, and Hosucanomics.

Ha
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-28-2006, 12:37 AM   #83
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Great posts All!

I would have to say that I made some good choices, and that was the basis of my ER. I stuck with mining as my core profession, and there were times when it was on the verge of economic collapse over my carreer track. It suddenly got better, and I was one of the few who had my skill set, so I arbitraged this into ER. I still own private positions in several mines, and they have made more for me as a somwhat 'passive" owner than I made when I was the busy hamster driving the wheel in my corporate cage.

I could have left the mining business when it was down and out, and that would have been a true roll of the dice. I may have made even more, or still be an unhappy rodent in the rat race. 8)
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:04 PM   #84
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LUCK. Labouring Under Correct (or Calculated) Knowledge
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:45 PM   #85
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I put down careful planning and frugal lifestyle.

Though early on I didn't really have a plan and say I'm gonna be FI and ER at a certain point. Moreso, the planning and LBYM was more my common sense approach. It just didn't make sense to me to spend more than what I was taking in. Nor did it make sense, for example, to spend and not keep track of my spending.

I guess, another way to put it, I sorta evolved into FI and ER and not really having a plan from the start.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:28 PM   #86
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Combination, IMO. Planning and frugality but also being blessed. Bad stuff happens to anyone and the best laid plans often don't work out. I can't pick any one option.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #87
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Some good lifestyle choices combined with some good luck.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:41 AM   #88
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I put down frugal living and planning....both shown to me by my Dad. In my teens and twenties, I hated the lectures he would give about compound interest, Traditional Roth, and Roth IRA, mutual funds, and living below your means.
I am so glad I listened to him!
Luck, because Dad has done the same things and was able to save money. My brother and I both got a certain amount for our weddings...he spent his, I used mine to buy a house, do renovations, and have a wedding.
God....he helped me find my future husband who has the smarts, ambition, and a work ethic to help save and fund for our retirement. Luck for him...his mom was able to leave a small inheritance and help jump start more savings.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:48 AM   #89
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It's a combination of luck, in that I didn't get seriously sick or injured so I was able to work. That alone stops a lot of people.

Lucky I picked a career and agency that had a good retirement plan (DB pension with COLAs, medical and prescription coverage after retirement). Admittedly at age 22 I didn't give retirement a thought. And hard work in that although there were days I wished I'd stayed fixing refrigerators instead of law enforcement I stayed with it and ended up in a job I enjoyed and looked forward to.

Early on I had a setback and married a spendarina who couldn't stand the thought of a dollar in the bank and thought the solution to every "I wanna..." is charge it or take out a loan. When the dust settled I came out of that with $7k, a paid-for 13 year old car and some furniture. I haven't paid a dime in credit card interest since then.

Some more luck came when a niece called and said "There's a girl I work with you should meet." She's more financially conservative than I am. Bought a house and had it paid off in 14 years. The only loans were for the house, one new pickup truck that I kept for 18 years and one car for DW that we kept for 14 years.

So my perspective is that while I didn't do anything at the genius level, I didn't do anything terribly stupid either.

Unlike one BIL, who has a good job with a six-figure income, but is in his mid 50's and has $300k in debt and not a nickel saved. But they have their new cars, cabinets of "collectibles" and $3k vacation every summer. They talk about retiring to Sarasota, FL and what they'll do there. I think they're in for a very rude awakening.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:07 AM   #90
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Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:18 AM   #91
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It's alive!

No posts since 06 and now ...

For me it is a combination of some luck, like investing in 80's to 90 for the initial push and having a DB job indexed to inflation. LBYM didn't hurt either and a DW that was not a spender during those times. Not that we did without but ... you know what I mean.

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #92
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We are not exactly a humble lot, are we?


(As some have mentioned, there are many who have been at least as "virtuous" as the posters on this thread, but cannot ER due to circumstances beyond their control. Avoiding bad luck is good luck also, Corporate Bankruptcy, Injury, Health, Malfeasance / Crime can all derail ER. I also assume a roll-back on Gov employee benefits will change the plans of many in the next several years)
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:39 AM   #93
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A combination.

Luck: I was born with the genes for an job that paid 3x the median income. I had good enough parents and schools to have a chance to use the genes. I happened to be in the right place at the right time to find out about the job. My employers had DB pensions and 401ks even when those things weren't important to me.

Work: I put the time and effort in to prepare for the job, even when it meant night school, and to do a decent job while I was at work (though I never worked much overtime).

Planning: My folks were median income, my DW's folks were well below. We didn't let the high income go to our heads. In some years, we saved as much as we spent.

If I had to weight them, I'd say that luck was more important to me than any extraordinary effort.


Although it worked for me, I have less hope for my kids. They all had decent plans for the economy that they grew up in. They are all willing to work hard. But, they are all struggling with things they couldn't control (economy and health) today.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:46 AM   #94
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I said other, and would attribute it to a combination of hard work and taking advantage of the opportunities presented to me.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:53 PM   #95
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Ditto on the hard work and grabbing opportunities as they passed by,

Plus a little conservatism. The old market saying 'pigs get slaughtered' led me to sell my 15 and 20 dollar options between $43 and $53 to secure our FIRE. Stock is now trading at $18-20. Also did not succcumb to Megacorps offer 12 years ago to convert from DB to DC.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:15 PM   #96
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I'm wondering how much luck has changed since 04-28-2006?

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:40 PM   #97
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Quote:
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I'm wondering how much luck has changed since 04-28-2006?
I think a lot. At least our perception of luck. Since then it's become more obvious that bad things happen to good people.

People who may have felt like everything they accomplished was *only* because of their hard work and dedication may think otherwise starting from late 2008 onward. Because I suspect if you look at a lot of people, OUTSIDE of this board, you'd find a lot of people "on track" in 2006 who got slammed by the "new normal".
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 09-20-2012, 03:56 AM   #98
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In some ways, one's fate is like a chess game. More specifically, a single move early on can have a huge impact on the outcome. When it comes to luck (or a planned move), it's like in chess early on I may move a pawn up one which at first seems like such an insignificant move but turn out to make all the difference.

A more real life experience, for me, in my junior year in high school, while meeting with my dean, she said a course you want to take is typing. At that time, the class seemed unimportant compared to other classes. But in the end typing was a very helpful class -- think...college term papers, punched computer cards, resumes, computer programing. Had I not taken typing, might the outcome have been different? Was I lucky? Or was that like a small planned move in a chess game? The choice could have been either.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:54 PM   #99
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I think a lot. At least our perception of luck. Since then it's become more obvious that bad things happen to good people.

People who may have felt like everything they accomplished was *only* because of their hard work and dedication may think otherwise starting from late 2008 onward. Because I suspect if you look at a lot of people, OUTSIDE of this board, you'd find a lot of people "on track" in 2006 who got slammed by the "new normal".
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:02 PM   #100
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I'd say for me it's 80% planning and 20% luck. I have always been frugal and a planner with respect to finances, even making budgets when I was 18 or 19. The lucky part was buying my home for about 190K ten years ago and it is now worth about 400K here in Alberta as housing has taken off in the last decade.
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