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Old 07-13-2008, 01:46 PM   #81
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I get the impression that the first years of ER are fantastic for many people. After all, they've escaped their dreaded jobs.

But, I really wonder how things work out towards the later years when making due with less and less could have a major effect on a person's lifestyle. Despite what I read from some people on this forum, when I see older Americans on extremely tight budgets, I don't get the impression of the sheer joy they experienced during their initial retirement years.

Then again, it's not like financial security alone buys happiness. There are many other factors. Given the choice, though...
I don't think there are many on these boards who are cash constrained enough for it to be a big burden. I took a post retirement divorce in stride; many others have had this or other financial challenges that they overcame.

I do feel that more money is always better than less money. Even if the best things in life are free, they are often several un-free tankfuls of gasoline from your door. There is a lot of brave rhetoric that may or may not reflect the true feelings of the writer, but would often not agree with the appraisal of some uncommitted outsider. Regarding happiness, ask around here- I think money does enable happiness, if not necessarily delivering it to your doorstep.

Still the ability to make virtue out of necessity is to be admired. If one should choose to put himself into this necessitous position is a more difficult question. I tend to agree with Rich- if circumstances or your own struggles or situation force you out, make do and hang in there. But if you like your job well enough, are making good money, and just want more time for hobbies- maybe think this one over before making the leap.

Ha
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:50 PM   #82
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From what I can see, the economy just isn't all that bad. It will probably get worse from here, and it could get dramatically worse, but I don't see that as anything near a certainty.

The job market is weak, but not disastrous. We're losing 50-60k jobs a month. In a real downturn, that goes to hundreds of thousands.

Financial companies are taking huge writedowns for foolish loans. Some of them will go bankrupt. So far, it isn't even close to as bad as the 80s S&L crisis. Fannie and Freddie may have their equity wiped out if we get into a real recession. The Feds will probably have to bail the bondholders out if we have a massive recession. It shouldn't cost us more than $200-$300 billion tops.

The housing market isn't great, but if you look at the country as a whole, it doesn't look like the end of the world. Houses are still selling. It just takes longer and the prices are lower. Foreclosures are up from last year, but they appear to have leveled off, at least in the Midwest.

Outside of bad financials and homebuilders, companies seem to be doing ok. GE posted ok earnings. The big retailers have modest declines in same store sales.

I just don't see anything that makes me think that this is going to bring the collapse of this country.

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Originally Posted by barbarus View Post
From the way people post about the market, I get the impression most here have little comprehension of how bad off the economy really is. Very few investors can accurate time the rise and fall of equities prices, especially day-by-day, but even a simple barbarian, (vis. moi), can see that there are unprecedented dislocations occurring and there is little in the short term to change the situation for the better.
Normally, buy&hold is about the best we ordinary folk can do, but the financial world is grievously threatened right now.
Down is a heckofvalot more likely than up and for some time as well

I'm intensely interested in the perceptions of ya'll. What do you guys think is going on? I just can not grasp how anyone can see good times just down the road. What forces that will counter the fundamental problems? Why are things really not that awful?

The world is certainly not ending. The sun's gonna rise in the morning. Flowers will still bloom and kittens frolic in the meadow, but economically, dark clouds gather.

I'd appreciate some enlightenment on what my fellow readers are perceiving.
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:13 PM   #83
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I'm not morally opposed to working. I've read the "Do what you want and the money will follow" books and articles. I know a few people who love their jobs, who go home from work and do the same thing for fun and would do the job for free (they say). And I envy them that. You sound like you may be there too.
My problem is, I don't have anything like that. No idea what it would even be. I'm hoping that as I poke around here and there during my FIRE time, I might stumble on something that I love to do. But I suspect that even if I find a way to turn reading for pleasure or hiking into a paying proposition, I won't want to be tied into it for a career. It will be interesting to see. if anything comes along.
FIRE is my avocation...
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:07 PM   #84
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FIRE is my avocation...
My avocation, my life, my quest, my search for meaning; I'll sell a kidney rather than go back to the fluorescent/4x4 cubicle/loud/bright/cretinous yahoo infested office.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:24 PM   #85
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I'll sell a kidney rather than go back to the fluorescent/4x4 cubicle/loud/bright/cretinous yahoo infested office.
While you won't find me back at mega-corp, there are some income producing things I might enjoy. Trouble is, they'd probably interfere with my afternoon naps.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:40 PM   #86
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there are some income producing things I might enjoy. Trouble is, they'd probably interfere with my afternoon naps.
Just tell her to leave the money on the nightstand and leave when she's done... you can sleep through it.
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:24 AM   #87
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I'll bet very few of the older folks you see scraping by ever paid attention to the things we discuss here. Sure, a few FIRE types will be sorry, but their number will be dwarfed by those who stumbled along and never consciously examined the road ahead, never built a plan, just figured things would "work out".
So far, two years into RE and despite the challenging investment environment, I have more second thoughts that I should have RE'd earlier than I do that I should have waited and done additional nest feathering. Time flies and it's truly sad to see folks who aren't enjoying their professional lives continue to work, often held by golden handcuffs.

Most of the older folks I see scraping by also worked past RE due to their inability to afford to retire early. I'm not seeing many folks who RE'd with well thought out, conservative plans regretting it, despite the financial markets these days.

If you do enjoy your career, that's a whole different kettle of fish and, of course you should continue doing what you like to do!
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:39 AM   #88
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Hmmm - let's look at this from a different angle - age 49, 1993, a low enough nest egg to be a really cheap bastard - BUT! - I did live in New Orleans - never too poor to party or live to eat!

Fast forward to now - bigger nest egg(time in the market and all that rot) all praise to Mr Bogle and balanced index - in year 15 it's getting the body going to match the resources availible. I mean market wise Viagra and phys ed can only do so much.

They don't say ER for nothing.

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Old 07-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #89
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I did live in New Orleans - never too poor to party or live to eat!

They don't say ER for nothing.

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"You can live well whether you are rich or poor. But when you are poor, it costs less". Andrew Tobias.

I have to paraphrase, not remembering the exact wording, but I learn that from Tobias, and have to give credit.
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:40 PM   #90
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I don't think there are many on these boards who are cash constrained enough for it to be a big burden. I took a post retirement divorce in stride; many others have had this or other financial challenges that they overcame...
Interesting point. I wonder how it's possible to overcome financial shortages, though, with only a fixed amount of income coming in, and that fixed amount being small enough to create "financial challenges" in the first place

There are really only a few answers:

1. Going into more consumer debt.
2. Using one's home equity as a cash machine.
3. Nibbling at investment principle.
4. Cutting "quality of life" expenditures even further.

Still, I do understand the point being made, which is that for many people virtually no matter how much financial stress one deals with, it is outweighed by the joy of not having to work. No cubicles, no bad boss, no rush-hour. No problems. Just the sheer enjoyment of life.

I do understand what people are saying. I just don't buy it. But to each his own...
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:25 PM   #91
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Interesting point. I wonder how it's possible to overcome financial shortages, though, with only a fixed amount of income coming in, and that fixed amount being small enough to create "financial challenges" in the first place

There are really only a few answers:

1. Going into more consumer debt.
2. Using one's home equity as a cash machine.
3. Nibbling at investment principle.
4. Cutting "quality of life" expenditures even further.

Still, I do understand the point being made, which is that for many people virtually no matter how much financial stress one deals with, it is outweighed by the joy of not having to work. No cubicles, no bad boss, no rush-hour. No problems. Just the sheer enjoyment of life.

I do understand what people are saying. I just don't buy it. But to each his own...
You forgot-improve your returns!

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