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Old 06-18-2014, 08:17 PM   #121
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How is celebrating life bad karma?
Mostly joking, but remember, pride goeth before a fall, and pride is one of the seven deadly sins.

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Old 06-18-2014, 08:59 PM   #122
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I still have the mindset of some 25 years ago when I had a portfolio a bit below $100K, thinking it would take forever to amass anything to retire on, and that I'd probably work into my 70s.

But my putting a lot of my wages into savings, with the wonderful power of compounding over time, I was able to ER in 2010 at age 55 with a nice little nest egg that should keep me going from here on out--per FIRECalc & other retirement calculators. (I'm still kinda chintzy, even on the little things, although I shouldn't be anymore. I could sell or giveaway everything I own today, and still be able to replace what I truly cherish.)

BTW: Do folks here separate the difference between a (married) couple and single person with $1M?

Also, as I mentioned in previous posts here, I'm in the process of decluttering while I find a new place to live, after 32 years renting here. I created a thread about whether I should store my stuff while I travel Europe for some time--while I'm still healthy and relatively "young." I'm also considering an "urban" apartment with a great amenities.

A nice nest egg provides opportunities.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:00 PM   #123
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What kind of snake oil are you selling here ?
Being accredited is the only actual thing you do get (that I know about) for passing 1 million NW and nobody had mentioned it. Otherwise, it's just "attaboy" time.

I'll give one example that's pretty common in real estate investment. An investor that's not accredited pretty much has to go it alone. Maybe they buy a 4-6 unit apartment or a couple houses. This means location risk, more tenant risk, and less predictable cashflow so more financial risk in that way. An accredited investor can pump the same 200k into a syndication owning 1000s of units. They get more diversity, probably more professional management, and probably better ROI since 1000s of units brings good economies of scale and buying power. Obviously, one doesn't hand tons of money over to any investment without some thinking first. That's what "accredited" is supposed to mean after all.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:13 PM   #124
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This is probably just a coincidence... 9 months after hitting the $1M mark, we had our first child. Shortly after hitting the $2M mark we had our second. We stopped having kids, but saving/compounding continues to increase the NW.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:18 AM   #125
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Just checked and my Vanguard retirement acct passed $2M for the first time today! Whoopee! Okay, now that I've celebrated I can get back to what I had been doing. It is all pre-tax money though, so it's really worth less than face value to me.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:49 AM   #126
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Being accredited is the only actual thing you do get (that I know about) for passing 1 million NW and nobody had mentioned it.
If you have that $1 million at Vanguard, you get Flagship status. Along with that, you get a "personal" representative. I've had a series of them. I've never talked to any of them.

Every few years, I want to talk to someone at Vanguard. Yesterday was one of those occasions. Because I have Flagship status, I couldn't actually get to talk to a representative. I just repeatedly got shuttled to the answering machine of my "personal" representative who was too busy to talk to me.

A few years ago, when I had my last question, I at least got "Your representative is not available, how can I help you?". I tried a couple of different ways to get help. I thought about telling them I wasn't a client. Maybe that would have worked.

So, getting ignored can be one of the other things you get with $1 million net worth.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:05 AM   #127
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If you have that $1 million at Vanguard, you get Flagship status. Along with that, you get a "personal" representative. I've had a series of them. I've never talked to any of them.

Every few years, I want to talk to someone at Vanguard. Yesterday was one of those occasions. Because I have Flagship status, I couldn't actually get to talk to a representative. I just repeatedly got shuttled to the answering machine of my "personal" representative who was too busy to talk to me.

A few years ago, when I had my last question, I at least got "Your representative is not available, how can I help you?". I tried a couple of different ways to get help. I thought about telling them I wasn't a client. Maybe that would have worked.

So, getting ignored can be one of the other things you get with $1 million net worth.

I've found that my vanguard flagship rep does respond to emails quickly and thoroughly.... So sending one demanding "call me" might work!
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:40 AM   #128
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I've found that my vanguard flagship rep does respond to emails quickly and thoroughly.... So sending one demanding "call me" might work!
Thanks. Perhaps this will work. But, jumping through extra hoops still makes me a second class client. I don't want any special treatment. At least in the past, I've not had this extra hassle for being a Flagship client.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:42 AM   #129
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For the millionaires, did you do anything special to celebrate when you realized you were a millionaire?

For those not yet there, do you have any plans for how you will celebrate?
I didn't do anything special when $1mm reached. It's just a number, and a number that doesn't mean much anymore.

Millionaire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to Wiki, if I want to be equal to a millionaire in 1959, about when I was born, I'd need over $8mm of today's QE bucks.
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Old 06-19-2014, 08:59 AM   #130
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I didn't do anything special when $1mm reached. It's just a number, and a number that doesn't mean much anymore.

Millionaire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to Wiki, if I want to be equal to a millionaire in 1959, about when I was born, I'd need over $8mm of today's QE bucks.
This could be cross posited to the 'What is inflation?" thread. The US has not been a country unusually beset by inflation, but look at how much life difference is produced by inflation that is moderate at worst.

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Old 06-19-2014, 09:06 AM   #131
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So, in 1959, you'd only need about $125,000, to be in the same position as a millionaire today. Somehow though, that number just doesn't seem as magical....even though it was probably as hard to attain back then, maybe even harder than $1M is today.

I don't think people took as many risks back in those days, with the stock market, as they do today. At least, I know my family never did. They would just do checking, savings, CDs, savings bonds, etc. And, in my family at least, everybody got jobs with the government, railroad, or whatever, so they would get a pension, so there wasn't as much need to invest on your own.

Plus, unless my family is the exception, it seems like in those days paying off your home and owning it free and clear was a major goal, where nowadays people will often raid home equity. So I'd imagine more people had wealth tied to their home, rather than easily investible assets.

So, it might actually be easier to get to $1M today, than $125K back in 1959.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:47 AM   #132
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Crossed that point awhile ago like many on this site. I purchased a small bottle of champagne and marked the date on it. The real celebration, for me, is when we hit the annual 4% level to meet our living expenses. Having reached that I am going to be celebrated by telling my boss next month that I am going to part time with benefits or resigning!

Then hiking the VT Long Trail this August.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:48 AM   #133
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So, in 1959, you'd only need about $125,000, to be in the same position as a millionaire today. Somehow though, that number just doesn't seem as magical....even though it was probably as hard to attain back then, maybe even harder than $1M is today.

I don't think people took as many risks back in those days, with the stock market, as they do today. At least, I know my family never did. They would just do checking, savings, CDs, savings bonds, etc. And, in my family at least, everybody got jobs with the government, railroad, or whatever, so they would get a pension, so there wasn't as much need to invest on your own.

Plus, unless my family is the exception, it seems like in those days paying off your home and owning it free and clear was a major goal, where nowadays people will often raid home equity. So I'd imagine more people had wealth tied to their home, rather than easily investible assets.

So, it might actually be easier to get to $1M today, than $125K back in 1959.

$125,000 was a LOT of money back then for reference:

How Much things cost in 1959
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.01%
Average Cost of new house $12,400.00 Average Yearly Wages $5,010.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 25 cents Average Cost of a new car $2,200.00 Movie Ticket $1.00 Loaf of Bread 20 cents Kodak Movie camera $67.50 Ladies Stockings $1.00
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:03 PM   #134
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If you watch Mad Men, in the mid '60s, Don Draper as partner was getting mid 5-figure salary as partner.

Other guys were hoping to make $30k.

There are a lot of homes around Santa Clara Valley, which originally sold for about $30k in the early '70s. These are big ranch style homes on big lots in places like Los Altos.

Those homes are worth at least $2 million these days, maybe double that.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #135
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If you watch Mad Men, in the mid '60s, Don Draper as partner was getting mid 5-figure salary as partner.

Other guys were hoping to make $30k.
Heck, my Granddad was only making $6/hour when he retired from the railroad in 1974, with 34 years of service in!
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:56 PM   #136
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$125,000 was a LOT of money back then for reference:


Average Yearly Wages $5,010.00

$125,000 x 4% = $5,000
$1,000,000 x 4% = $40,000

A different perspective, but based on this simple calc, it looks like $125k back then got you a lot further than one million today.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:20 PM   #137
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$125,000 x 4% = $5,000
$1,000,000 x 4% = $40,000

A different perspective, but based on this simple calc, it looks like $125k back then got you a lot further than one million today.
I think one major difference is that real estate was a lot cheaper back then. At least, around these parts it was. My grandparents sold a house in 1958 for $5800. Now granted, it was just a small Sears & Roebuck kit home style, maybe 900 square feet or so, and it needed a lot of work. But, just two years ago, another house of almost the same layout, and also a Sears & Roebuck, went on the market and sold for $152,000. And it was a total gut job, barely inhabitable.

Real estate might be hard to gauge though, because the newer houses they build today are much nicer than the ones back then. And the old houses from back then, if they're still around today, are often either in a state of horrible neglect, or they've been extensively remodeled.

But, by 1962 at least, in Bowie, the next town over, you could get a base 4br/2ba cape cod, around 1500 square feet with a central air, a 1 car garage, and roughly a quarter acre lot for about $12,000. Nowadays, those same houses are usually asking around $250-300k, sometimes more if they're really nice.

So in 1962, buying one of those houses would have only taken about 10% of your $125K nest egg. Today, it would take 25-30%, if not more, of your $1M nest egg.

Property taxes have gone up too, and faster than the rate of inflation I think. I found an old tax bill for my house awhile back, from 1961, and I think it was $200. Well, my last bill was about $3100, or a little over 15X.

And, things like gasoline have outpaced inflation, too. Cars, oddly enough, are one of the few things that HAVEN'T outpaced inflation, if you can believe that. $2200 wasn't going to get you much of a brand-new car in 1959. You might be able to get a full-sized Ford, Chevy, or Plymouth, but it would be a stripper model. My granddad bought a '57 Ford Fairlane 500, a '61 Galaxie 500, and then a '63 Monterrey, and each of those was around $3500 out the door with tax, tags etc. There was so much that was optional in those days...automatic, heater, backup lights, power steering/brakes, whitewall tires, two-tone paint (pretty passe by '61-63 though), AM radio, extra chrome trim, bigger engines, etc, that it didn't take much to jack up the price of a car. I think the base price of a '57 Fairlane 500 4-door hardtop was around $2400, so it didn't take much to jack it to $3500. Want air conditioning? It was around $400-500 back then...one reason that hardtops and convertibles were so popular. It was actually cheaper to buy a convertible without a/c, than a closed coupe with it!

Anyway, one of those $3500 cars would be about $28000 today. But today's $28K car would have air conditioning, power windows, locks, ABS, a nice stereo system, probably remote entry, air bags, and all sorts of safety and convenience equipment that hadn't even been dreamt of back in the late 50's/early 60's.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:45 PM   #138
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I have a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label that I've been saving for something special, maybe that will be it. BTW currently about 3/4 of the way there.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:03 PM   #139
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$125,000 x 4% = $5,000
$1,000,000 x 4% = $40,000

A different perspective, but based on this simple calc, it looks like $125k back then got you a lot further than one million today.
No money back then could get you a flat-screen TV, iPhone, cable TV. Homes were smaller then, and without the fancy kitchen and bathrooms we take for granted now. The typical car did not have A/C back then too.

Life is a lot more comfortable now even for people in the lower income range.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:10 PM   #140
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No money back then could get you a flat-screen TV, iPhone, cable TV. Homes were smaller then, and without the fancy kitchen and bathrooms we take for granted now. The typical car did not have A/C back then too.

Life is a lot more comfortable now even for people in the lower income range.
+1 My life right out of college was infinitely more luxurious than any of the Founding Fathers.
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