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Old 07-06-2014, 09:30 PM   #81
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Ditto the business route and a conservative wife. Beyond that I think that being slow to make decisions has paid dividends, no pun intended. I pushed the risk button only when I knew that I could cover it. My business partners may have a different viewpoint of this however.
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:40 PM   #82
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1. Got an undergraduate and graduate degree without going into debt. This was critical for me as I chose a career field with epic karmic pay but little actual financial benefit (public health). No debt meant I could choose a job I loved, and freed us up to buy a home shortly after we married.

2. Lbym. In fact, #2 made #1possible.

3. Watching my parents model good money skills. Heaven knows where else I would have learned them.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:07 AM   #83
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1. Knowing that I didn't want to live the life my parents did: Struggling with trying to support 7 kids, on & off work for Dad, Mom having to cook at a truck-stop later in life, renting the cheapest homes on the outskirts of town (no inside plumbing, and this is in the early 60's), and retirement was simply SS.

2. Getting a college education 'free' while working full time. Took full advantage of employer-paid education allowances and scholarships, as I took a full load at night.

3. Marrying someone who was LBYM (more than I at the time). Funny how the roles have somehow reversed since he took early retirement.

Just a note of appreciation for my parents: Despite the very tough times they endured while we were growing up, we were fed and sheltered, and, while we didn't have much, we felt loved and I know they sacrificed so much for us.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:10 AM   #84
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1. Luck
2. Wife from same socio-economic background (blue collar stressing self-reliance and continuous improvement)
3. Rarely (not never) succumbing to the adage that "He who dies with the most toys wins."
4. Learning early the wisdom of another piece of advice: Never be the one that makes your boss look bad. That allowed me to grow and prosper at the job I RE from with a good pension and considerable savings.
5. Deciding to be a tall, devilishly handsome male growing up in the USA! (Insert winking smiley here) See #1 above.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:36 AM   #85
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In 41 years of marriage, we have never paid a penny of interest--except for mortgage and one car loan just after college.

And (I know this will ruffle some feathers on this forum) I turned my retirement nest egg over to a Morgan Stanley FA (he is a friend) 35 years ago. He has worked my money into a nest egg much larger than i could have done. (2 of the 3 suggestions I've made over the years went bankrupt!).
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:40 AM   #86
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... I turned my retirement nest egg over to a Morgan Stanley FA (he is a friend) 35 years ago.
You really are a man of faith.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:56 AM   #87
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After the first decision I made ended up being a Ponzi scheme, I figured I needed to trust someone who actually had some training and experience in finance. We've done really well over the years.

During those crashes in 2002 and 2008, I'd call him up in a panic and he would talk me off the ledge and concince me to ride out the storm. It worked.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:03 AM   #88
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It worked.
That's what counts.

While many (most?) of us here are DIY advocates, some people are not wired to manage their own investments. For those people, professional help is a good thing - provided the professional is a pro, not a con.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:07 AM   #89
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1. Deciding to max my 401k contribution in the 1980's
2. Buying partnership into business in the early 1990's
3. Paying off the house
4. Buying a partnership share of our office building (not so good when we 1031'd the proceeds into Florida condos)
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:41 AM   #90
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What was the most important financial decision during your life? Decision / choice which fundamentally contributed to your financial success.
Hmmm... I was doing good until I read the last part ... On the first part... Decision... to retire with what we had.
The reason?
cancer scare...
So far it's worked, for 24 years of happy retirement...
Financial success? ...maybe not so much .
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:52 AM   #91
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Being childfree for me wasn't so much about saving money (although that was certainly a beneficial side effect), as it was not growing up and being exposed to other kids, and seeing one of my sisters go through a couple divorces in which kids were involved, and it was a mess.

Even though I have sisters, I'm several years younger than the youngest one, and we didn't grow up together, except when I was a toddler. Starting from the age of about 5, I was pretty much an only child, and my parents didn't socialize that much (visit other people, have them over, have other kids around, etc) so didn't get any exposure to other little kids.

That, and seeing my sister's horrible divorces and the effect it had on her kids, and also my Mother get overly controlling and overprotective of me after my Dad died, probably all combined to make me not want kids. It also probably had a lot to do with me not wanting a relationship for most of my life because I didn't want to be controlled by another person.

I guess it all boils down to... I really like my freedom, and the fact that at least in my personal life, nobody tells me what to do, and I'm not responsible for any other person. That's one of the things that's factoring into my deep desire to quit the working world - I'm just tired of being controlled and having to compromise with a boss and job. Once I eliminate that controlling aspect from my life, I'll be totally free and finally able to enjoy all of life, not just part of it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:21 AM   #92
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I guess it all boils down to... I really like my freedom, and the fact that at least in my personal life, nobody tells me what to do, and I'm not responsible for any other person. That's one of the things that's factoring into my deep desire to quit the working world - I'm just tired of being controlled and having to compromise with a boss and job. Once I eliminate that controlling aspect from my life, I'll be totally free and finally able to enjoy all of life, not just part of it.

I feel the same way. You stated that really well.

Mike
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:36 AM   #93
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Got married and have kids. Both got me grounded and gave me reasons to save money. Before that I was a spendthrift.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:55 PM   #94
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No intended criticism of the no kids posters, by the way. Agree with Scrabbler that those of us with kids could do it anyway, although having two sons and recognizing the expenses implied increased my willingness to save. In my early 20s in grad school, I'd spend most of the excess on books and records.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:18 PM   #95
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What Lone Aspen said.

...And that part about luck.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #96
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Index Funds - Bogle was right, has been right all along and still is right.

However being male and incurable(it's da hormones) still have a few good stocks and watch football in season.

heh heh heh - current lead sled dog is VG Target Retirement 2015. I don't even rebalance - full auto.

Geaux Saints!
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:09 PM   #97
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1. Waiting to marry only when I was ready for a family life at 44. By then I had lived in Europe, established a career, had fun.
2. Had kids at 46 and 48, retired at 50. Earned my stash, now time to enjoy boys and the reason for working, to provide independence. Wouldn't change a thing.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:51 PM   #98
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  1. Selecting great genetics. This "choice" dominates all the others combined in importance.
  2. Selecting great parents.
  3. Picking the right spouse.
  4. Having one child.
  5. LBYM.
  6. Starting my own business.
  7. Having "the knack."
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:34 PM   #99
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What was the most important financial decision during your life? Decision / choice which fundamentally contributed to your financial success.

For me it is 2 things: Education and DW.
Living below our means.
My last yr. at wo$% we were banking 3 out of 4 pay checks.

Education def. paid off. after getting a degree I went back and took computer
classes for 2 semesters back in 1980-1981. Was a huge payoff
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:52 AM   #100
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Picking the right spouse who has similar financial values and staying married to her...

Bar none, that had been key ...

The rest is easy by comparison.


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