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Major milestone hit today
Old 08-04-2013, 05:21 PM   #1
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Major milestone hit today

Thanks to this forum 2 years and 364 days after joining E-R my husband and I are financially independent.

Three years ago tomorrow (August 5, 2010) I posted that we were with Ameriprise and after reading a bit on this forum I was disgusted with myself for being so gullible.

You gave us guidance and we actually followed it. And because we followed your advice, as of today we can now decide when we're going to retire (this is 6 years earlier than we were planning while with Ameriprise).

We have a few things to complete before we can retire including checking out ACA health insurance rates to make sure I've budgeted enough for HC, buying our retirement house and moving.

To celebrate today I bought us a good bottle of wine. DH is having problems with his manager so I put the wine in a nice gift bag and put a message on it so he could keep the bag on his desk for when the days get rough.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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Congratulations.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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Yay! Such great news to share!
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #4
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Wonderful news; congratulations !!
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:32 PM   #5
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That is quite an accomplishment for both of you. Congratulations!!
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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Cheers!
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #7
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Congratulations! That is truly one of life's great milestones!
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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Lisa, you are a sweet person ... I can tell. That is a nice thing to do for DH.

This forum is a great resource.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lisa99 View Post

To celebrate today I bought us a good bottle of wine. DH is having problems with his manager so I put the wine in a nice gift bag and put a message on it so he could keep the bag on his desk for when the days get rough.
What a story, and such a creative way to celebrate. That is a great message and bound to help deal with tougher times at w*rk. So, when someone asks what it means, does he just smile?
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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What a story, and such a creative way to celebrate. That is a great message and bound to help deal with tougher times at w*rk. So, when someone asks what it means, does he just smile?
Thank you everyone for the well wishes.

Both DH and I work from home so only DH sees the red gift bag which is unfortunate because I'm sure it could make for some interesting conversation starters.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:07 PM   #11
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Thanks to this forum 2 years and 364 days after joining E-R my husband and I are financially independent. ..
That is GREAT!
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:41 PM   #12
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What an inspirational post. Congratulations!!!
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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Congratulations! What a great way to celebrate.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:06 PM   #14
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Awesome....congratulations!
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:27 AM   #15
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Congratulations! That is great news. Feels good, doesn't it?

Once I was FI, my capacity for bureaucratic BS declined - I actually had a nice talk with the boss and he agreed to change some of my responsibilities so I could avoid some of the BS stuff and he provided some admin support for any BS that remained. It helped a lot and probably extended my career a couple years.

What are the key things that you did differently that you think made a difference? I imagine that the good market results were a contributing factor too.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:38 AM   #16
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Excellent!
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:44 AM   #17
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Congratulations! It is definitely a nice feeling. I would be interested in some of the key things that you did to make a difference also.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:13 PM   #18
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Sorry for my delay in responding. It's been a crazy week at w*rk.

There were several things that we did that made a difference.

While with Ameriprise I was reluctant to plow as much into our acct as we're doing today as DIY. We were with Ameriprise when the market dropped in 2008 and during the run-up in 2009 and 2010 our accts weren't recovering because of the crappy funds we were in (in hindsight I understand this, at the time I didn't). I knew our accts should have been recovering so I stopped putting money into Ameriprise in mid-2009 and started stockpiling cash.

Another problem we had while with Ameriprise was we didn't have a logical asset allocation. The adviser only looked at our acct and never asked what we had in our 401ks, and we didn't know to question. AND the fees were astronomical (again we didn't understand this.)

In August 2010, when we left Ameriprise and switched to DIY, I first learned about AA and got us into a 70/30 split across all of our accts. We then put all of our after tax investments into super low fee Vanguard index funds and our 401k accts into low cost funds as well.

But this last part is the most important. Since we were DIY, and I finally understood what we were doing, it made me comfortable enough to start putting 50% of our annual income into our retirement account.

Our net worth has quadrupled since 2010, in part because the market has gone gangbusters, but mostly because we are putting so much into our retirement account and are comfortable doing so.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:41 PM   #19
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Congrats!

One crucial question: How do you define FI?

And since you have 70% in stocks, if the market goes down considerably (heaven forbid), will you still feel FI?

Truly, I'm not trying to throw cold water on your achievement. These are the questions I ask myself, so I'm curious to get your take.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:09 PM   #20
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Congrats!

One crucial question: How do you define FI?

And since you have 70% in stocks, if the market goes down considerably (heaven forbid), will you still feel FI?
We define FI as having FireCalc, i-ORP, and Quicken telling us that if we were to retire today we have at least a 95% chance of having enough money/investments to meet our yearly expenses to the end of our life.

And our AA is no longer 70/30. In the last 18 months I've shifted it to 60/40 and we have two years of cash in the bank to weather a down turn. I know that with our current asset allocation if equities were to drop 40% we know what the hit would be to our nest egg and we know we could weather it without freaking out and cashing out of the market.
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