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Most important financial decision in your life
Old 06-30-2014, 04:24 AM   #1
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Most important financial decision in your life

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.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:36 AM   #2
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Deciding to work overseas since 1996 has contributed the most to my financial success.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:25 AM   #3
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IMHO

1. Who, if anyone, to marry

2. Chosing to LBYM
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:43 AM   #4
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Although I haven't attained all my financial goals yet, the financial successes I've had so far came from a combination of things:

1. Education
2. Hard work
3. Being deliberate with my career choices
4. Taking control of my personal finances early
5. Some luck / good timing
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:57 AM   #5
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Finding that lottery ticket in the gutter.
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Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B View Post
IMHO

1. Who, if anyone, to marry

2. Chosing to LBYM
I agree with these two and will add: Don't buy too much house.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eta2020 View Post

For me it is 2 things: Education and DW.

Dito.... Education came a little later in life for me as I had an extended "party phase". Met DW at school (she was my financial aid advisor). With an open window to my finances I am still trying to figure out what she saw in me. since then things have turned around dramatically.


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Old 06-30-2014, 07:37 AM   #8
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I agree with these two and will add: Don't buy too much house.
We really made a quantum leap towards ER when I changed jobs and we moved from NNJ to a LCOL area right after DH and I married. (He was 65 and retired except for some freelance work.) It wasn't deliberate; my job with a small, struggling consulting firm looked shaky in late 2001/early 2002 and this was the only opportunity I could find. I joined them in May, 2002 but worked from home for a year till DS finished HS.

DH and I sold our houses and that released about $300K in equity. We bought a McMansion that cost half what my previous house had sold for. We could have bought much more house and chose not to. It was a great decision; real estate in this area has been sort of stagnant and a house in a fancier neighborhood with a bigger lawn would have been a poor investment. In the meantime, our lower expenses meant we could save a lot of $$$ while still enjoying life along the way.

I'm just glad we did well on the houses in NJ. We'd had to stretch to buy those places because they were within commuting distance to NYC, thus a desirable area. It was a case where you had to commit to a high % of your income going to housing if you wanted anything decent. In my case, it was 50% of my take-home pay.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:16 AM   #9
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- No marriage, no kids
- Selling my real estate while the market was hot
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:04 AM   #10
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#1 - Spouse
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:25 AM   #11
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I agree with most of the points made in this thread. If I had to choose just one, however, it would be to start saving early.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:30 AM   #12
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:34 AM   #13
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Choice of wife of course but it all started when I was in HS. The government was giving a war to which I was certainly going to be invited. My plan was to join up and do the GI bill after. Out of the blue I was offered an ROTC scholarship which paid for everything. I was cash positive through four years of engineering and a separate military sponsored graduate program. I did get attend the government's war but at a significantly higher salary. That one thing changed everything ten years after HS I had savings, a discharge from the Army and two engineering degrees as well as very valuable personnel management experience.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:45 AM   #14
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While it was not intended to be a financial decision, it turned out to be the most important financial decision: being childfree

Runner-ups to the top choice: avoiding debt and paying off debt early

And of course, LBYM
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:51 AM   #15
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I think for me it was starting out young not caring too much what other people thought about my choices, and caring less and less as I got older. I wanted people to think I was a relatively decent person, and that I did good work. Other than that my goal was to not worry about what others thought about me.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:06 AM   #16
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After taking a high school job and doing coop in undergrad I realized structured work was not for me

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Old 06-30-2014, 10:11 AM   #17
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Like others, I'd say:
  • Choosing a spouse, I got lucky, DW not so much.
  • Choosing LBYM, thanks largely to both our parents habits.
  • Choosing to learn about investing early on, fortunately it was interesting to me before I had $ to invest.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:24 AM   #18
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1) Engineering education so I could get a good paying job that enabled me to have the std of living I want, be able to save money, and still have a bit left over for fun stuff.
2) LBYM, without that you are not saving
3) Spouse who is similar financial mindset
4) Just good overall economic and financial sense - spend money wisely
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:32 AM   #19
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Every house purchase was made so that the household could continue to run on only one one paycheck. This was our single best way to implement LBYM.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:38 AM   #20
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- Never married
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- Landed at a pre-IPO startup as a mid double-digit employee (now over 700 people) that has since IPO'd and has a great trajectory.
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