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Inspiration
Old 08-20-2004, 11:09 PM   #1
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Inspiration

I naturally stay on budget in the sense that I have virtually no debt. *But I need to go to the next "level" to save enough to retire early and that's where I'm struggling. *What kept you guys motivated and inspired when you didn't seem to have the inner strength to do what you needed to do to save seriously and invest seriously?

Fear works pretty well: *"Do you want to be working when you're 75 and eating dogfood at 85?" *And setting goals works pretty well as well as I'm naturally goal-oriented - I've got quite a few spreadsheets to prove it. *But I feel I need something more.

For example, one thing I've realized is that the things that I enjoy most in life: *friends, "spirituality", music, hiking, etc. are free or very close. * And, don't ask me why, but that was a big breakthrough.

Anyway, just wondering if any of you have certain thoughts, ideas, philosophies, books that kept you committed to saving through good times and bad?
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 05:30 AM   #2
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Re: Inspiration

Mine was purely goal oriented. Simply put my wife and I were going to ER when I returned 50 and we did when I turned 49. But there again we did not skimp and scrape, we "owned" (passed tense) a medium size property in a nice part of SoCAL., and enjoyed new cars for many years.

SWR
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 06:01 AM   #3
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Re: Inspiration

Step outside the box - in Colorado, Once a year I went backpacking with freinds - 1-2 wks every year - lived on what was in our backpack - reaked of the woods when we got back.

Get rid of your car, shut off the electricity - run a hot water heater timer one hour a day for showers, eat a modified red beans and rice diet. Get some Thoreau or read old issues of Mother Earth News at the library. No guts, no glory.

Remember this - the earliest dollars are the best dollars - time in the market, not market timing.

Have faith in De Gaul and the Norwegian widow.

My favorite book was: The Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing who retired to Vermont in the 1930's. Published 1954 by Rodale press.

And then of course - there's autodeduction into balanced index or value fund and then ignoring it until ready to retire.
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Inspiration

I like "radical" ideas.

DeGaul and the Norwegian widow? Would it shock you to know I have no idea what you're talking about?
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 07:16 AM   #5
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Re: Inspiration

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Mine was purely goal oriented. *Simply put my wife and I were going to ER when I returned 50 and we did when I turned 49. But there again we did not skimp and scrape, we "owned" (passed tense) a medium size property in a nice part of SoCAL., and enjoyed new cars for many years.

SWR
I've got a good "middle class" income. *Sometimes I think the answer to all my problems is to find a good woman with the same. *But I know that it's so hard to find someone like-minded in this area!

Two can live more cheaply than one - but only if BOTH want to...
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: Inspiration

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Two can live more cheaply than one - but only if BOTH want to...
Two people of different sex have a disconcerting tendency to become three, four, five. From experience I can assure you that this is not cheaper than one, no matter what the two may want.

Come back in a year and ask our own TH, who is now learning about this aspect of life.

Mikey
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 06:50 PM   #7
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Re: Inspiration

Veering back to inspiration and away from the costs of kids, for a moment. . . (they ARE expensive!)

I think the single most helpful thing people can do to alter their behavior is to hang with like-minded people. That is, of course, the best reason to hang out here. But you may be able to find others who realize that friendship, free walks in the woods, camping vacations, and the like, are worth more than all the shiny toys in the store. Spending time with people who care about similar things can inspire one to greater frugality, and perhaps to new ideas and new values. Particularly when our culture seems devoted to turning us into mindless TV-watching, consuming zombies.

I'd also add gardening (including learning to propagate plants from cuttings, seeds, etc.), making soup, living close to where you work (if that can be done cheaply), and doing volunteer work in your community as cheap or free, fun, inspirational ways to spend your time. If you're vulnerable to consumer mania, avoiding the malls and stores is extremely helpful.

If I'm busy in the garden or hiking, I don't have any time (or inclination) to bemoan the fact that I'm not buying expensive clothes or riding in a new SUV. If I invite the book club to meet at my house, we share cookies and talk about ideas. We're having too much fun to miss $8 drinks at the club.

Of course, my biggest discretionary expense is an expensive sport, ice hockey. But there are ways to cut costs in hockey, too! Buying used equipment (or ordering it from Canada), volunteering at the rink to get free ice at public skate, and taking advantage of every cold-enough day at the pond. Socializing with my team in the parking lot after the game (we bring chairs and coolers and snacks) is much cheaper than going out! Nobody would let us go out after a game, anyway, we smell too awful.

Anne
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 08:36 PM   #8
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Re: Inspiration

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Two people of different sex have a disconcerting tendency to become three, four, five.
Lol! I've already got a little guy - I know what you're talking about. But I wouldn't trade him for anything: he's one of the delights of my life.
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-21-2004, 08:41 PM   #9
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Re: Inspiration

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Veering back to inspiration and away from the costs of kids, for a moment. . . (they ARE expensive!)

I think the single most helpful thing people can do to alter their behavior is to hang with like-minded people. *
Anne
Thx for the ideas. *I'm already doing some of these. *What you said above is difficult for me as I work in a middle class job and, for the most part, everyone around me is into the typical consumerism and hedonism. *

I've actually wondered - and I don't want to offend anyone - if it would help if I tried to merge in with a little lower socioeconomic class. *But that seems kind of contrived...I don't know - it's a tough issue. *It's just hard cuzz everyone talks about relatively expensive cars, vacations and toys almost endlessly. *I've never heard anyone talk about camping for example...

Oh well, I'll just keep my ears open. *I can't be the only one!
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 08:42 AM   #10
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Re: Inspiration

Look for a hiking club? Go camping and see who you meet? My church once had a discussion group around one of the simplify-your-life books - a one-time discussion would be easy to pull off and could certainly draw some people who are at least considering these issues. At mine, there were a half-dozen nearing-retirement types who were wondering how to get rid of all the stuff in their homes before they moved into the RV, retirement home, boat. And there were a few who just wanted ideas about how to clean out the cellar. But there were a few people who had given this a great deal of thought - one woman had gotten herself out of $15K credit card debt and had thought very deeply about the "meaning" of all that stuff she'd bought on credit. Of course, this was a UU church. But many people are hungry for some meaning in life (I think that's why they're mindlessly consuming - out of a sense of lack of meaning.)

Good luck. These are important ideas.
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 09:23 AM   #11
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Re: Inspiration

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What you said above is difficult for me as I work in a middle class job and, for the most part, everyone around me is into the typical consumerism and hedonism.
I don't think it matters what economic stratum you are in. Most of the people in every stratum are deeply involved in the consumer lifestyle. I work in Silicon Valley and make quite a nice income but most of the people around me blow theirs on toys, eating out, more house than they'll ever need, etc. All the higher income means is that they spend the money on fancier restaurants and more expensive toys. If you want to become truly wealthy and FIRE then you need to ignore them and go your own way.
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: Inspiration

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Look for a hiking club?
Try the Sierra Club. I've got a friend who's a serious hiker and a Sierra Club member. They provide more hikes per weekend than you could ever go on of many different lengths and difficulty levels and you'll discover interesting places nearby that you didn't even know existed. My friend has met quite a lot of nice people on those hikes and dated a few.
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 10:14 AM   #13
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Re: Inspiration

Quote:

Two people of different sex have a disconcerting tendency to become three, four, five. From experience I can assure you that this is not cheaper than one, no matter what the two may want.

Come back in a year and ask our own TH, who is now learning about this aspect of life.

Mikey
Children?!? Is THAT what all these short people are waddling around in here?

At least the good news is that mom frequently outdoes dad in the frugal area. And she has a job too!

Not to mention we might have one more after this, but then SOMETHINGS getting snipped or tied off.

We talked about this last night. Two might be more fun than one. With just one we'd miss the hilarity of "Mommmmmm! Bobby just put a booger on me!"
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 11:03 AM   #14
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Re: Inspiration

As most readers of these boards (bored?) will attest, I adore my kid. But I like the fact that, as I ease into my 50's, she is 15 and on her way to independence. Not financially, of course, she's a bigger drain now than ever, not to mention college coming up. But now that I've got some free time, I actually enjoy having some of it to myself.

I had this kid late (36 when she was born), and I'm just as glad not to have dealt with the booger issue, and kind of glad that the starting-to-live-without-you stage is coming on.

Maybe that's just today. You will all have to put up with tears and gnashing of teeth on 9/12, when she leaves for boarding school!

Anne
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 01:38 PM   #15
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Re: Inspiration

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Two people of different sex have a disconcerting tendency to become three, four, five.

Mikey
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 01:48 PM   #16
 
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We talked about this last night. Two might be more fun than one. With just one we'd miss the hilarity of "Mommmmmm! Bobby just put a booger on me!"
TH,

You're hilarious
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 05:31 PM   #17
 
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Re: Inspiration

Yep, TH has a nose for a good one-liner.

John Galt
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-22-2004, 09:35 PM   #18
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Re: Inspiration

Ok, just finished cleaning up from the week-later wedding reception dinner...which went wonderfully.

Marshac - try milk, it works better, and its possible to self generate it after a while.

Cut-throat, that new logo is going to force me to take some dramamine before reading the forum.

John - I'll see if I cant sniff out any more of your puns.

Now...the really funny part? The first time the kid runs in and tells me the other kid put a booger on 'em? I'm gonna put a booger on 'em and then swear to Wendy that I didnt do it.

I plan to have twisted children. Interesting, but twisted.
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-23-2004, 08:22 AM   #19
 
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Re: Inspiration

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Cut-throat, that new logo is going to force me to take some dramamine before reading the forum.
TH,

How's this ? - All you need is a Martini now.
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Re: Inspiration
Old 08-23-2004, 10:00 AM   #20
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Re: Inspiration

At 10am? Well, if I must. Can I tell the wife it was doctor prescribed?
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