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View Poll Results: How many years did it take you to save for FIRE once you began to seriously plan for it
< 10 years 15 14.29%
10-15 years 24 22.86%
15-20 years 20 19.05%
20-25 years 26 24.76%
> 25 years 20 19.05%
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Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 02:20 PM   #1
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Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Just curious how long it took people to reach their FIRE goals. People who have a plan in place but not yet FIRE'd can vote on how many years they anticipate it will take.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I answered 10 - 15 but that's not the full story. We always LBYM. We had no debt except a small ($63K) mortgage and we made extra payments of principle such that the mortgage would be paid off by the time I was 53. The college funds for the 2 kids were fully funded but we had saved very little towards retirement. DW went back to work full time once kids were out of elementary school. She then worked for 15 years before retiring. Since all other savings needs were covered, we saved all of her earnings and a portion of mine toward FIRE. 15 years was plenty of time to save enough for FIRE since we were living on approximtely half of total income and saving the rest.

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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 03:21 PM   #3
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

25 years. We married at age 25, $1,500 net worth. Always LBYM, lived off DW's paycheck and saved mine. Retired FI 25 years later at age 50.

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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I first decided on FIRE at 18, but didn't actually start working towards it until I was 23. Now 29, I've already reached my first milestones and still think I'll be FIRE by 40 though the current numbers don't add up. (Basically, at my current income I'll probably FIRE by 50 instead of 40, so I need multiple streams of income to reach my goals).

Not quite the answer you were looking for since I'm not FIRE yet, but still topically relevant.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 03:25 PM   #5
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

as Grumpy suggests, it actually starts sooner than it starts! keeping debt down early on was key for me, and that started about the time i received my first paycheck.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
it actually starts sooner than it starts!
d,

I like that! Wish I had thought of expressing it that way.

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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 04:17 PM   #7
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Took me 20 ... spent the first 10 spinning my wheels (recession in the early 90's put me in the hole - negative NW) then finally got some traction in the second decade.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 04:21 PM   #8
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I had to think through life events to remember when we started planning.

Married at 22/23 after grad school. bought used car to share, got apartment, got job, started 401k.

First, we had to pay off 30,000 student loans and save up for our house down payment. That took 2 years. Then we had to pay back parents for half the downpament. That took 1 year. (Still living like students, no new furniture to go with house, etc.)
Then we finished paying the mortgage off. That took 6 1/2 more years. At that point, our 401k and other savings may have totalled an unstable six figures with the market problems then, but we did buy some stocks on sale.
Then we really got started putting away 60% of our after tax income and 6 yrs. later we are 2/3s of the way to FI. (We still have the same garage sale furniture, 1380sf house, have 10 and 7 year old cars.) (I totalled our household gross income for those 15 years [from the SS statement] and while it was quite low to start and higher now, the average per year was just under 100k combined.)

So it should be another 2-3 years and we'll be where we want to be (thinking 1.2) somewhere between ages 40-42.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 04:32 PM   #9
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I answered 25+ but I'm not sure the real answer. Started working full time at 17 in 1967. Dropped to part time for a few years to complete my degree. Got a job with pension plan in 1974, that is the start date I guess. Save a bit but not a lot. Payed mortgage on house in 1980. Saved some more, not a lot, DC pension funds grew. Educated kids by 2000, DC pension fund grew, quit saving, probably near FI but didn't really think about it. 2004-2005, options from mega-corp went from near zero to 40% of net worth. Today, certainly FI, and will probably ER in 07 (if I can just bring myself to do it).
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 04:51 PM   #10
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Almost exactly 15 years. Started saving at age 14 and reached "FIRE status" at age 29. Accomplished via LBYM, a decent income, constantly saving and marrying a like-minded (although not wealthy) spouse. As my dad likes to say "Live like no one else today so you can live like no one else tomorrow." (A Dave Ramsey paraphrase, I believe.)
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 04:53 PM   #11
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Two years.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:05 PM   #12
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I had always been LBYM and putting money into the TSP. Then in 2000 I turned 50 , which made me eligible for early retirement.

I also ran across REHP/Motley Fool and realized it could be done.

Went into serious frugal mode and started saving about 50%.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:09 PM   #13
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

23 years - not that bad...the first 17-18 were fun..... then my BS threshhold started running out
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:12 PM   #14
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Quote:
Two years.
... there should be a law!
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:16 PM   #15
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I started on a 30 year plan in 1984, I'm just starting year 23 and am right on track to pull the pin on 12/31/2014.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:17 PM   #16
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
... there should be a law!
a law? against finding a working spouse so you can stay at home posting on the internet?….I know…CFB was a big earner…
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:19 PM   #17
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
... there should be a law!
There is, its called the federal tax law. Otherwise I could have done it in one year.

Gee whilickers Maddy, you're awful funny.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:25 PM   #18
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I chose less than 10 years only because more than 50% of my ET will be funded by my lump sum retirement from Megacorp. There was no real planning on our part other than having no debt other than our mortgage.

Actually, it was only 5-6 years ago that I became aware that I might get a lump sum retirement distribution. So we've been preparing for this for the last 5-6 years.
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 05:48 PM   #19
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

Quote:
Originally Posted by terminator
As my dad likes to say "Live like no one else today so you can live like no one else tomorrow." (A Dave Ramsey paraphrase, I believe.)
"Live like no one else will for 5 years and then live like everyone else wants to for the rest of your life" Robert Allen
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE
Old 01-23-2007, 07:34 PM   #20
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Re: Poll: How long did it take you to save for FIRE

I got serious about FIRE in the late 90's when my stock options were going through the roof and suddenly it looked like it might be possible any day. I remember a period where my net worth was increasing about 5% per day for more than a couple of weeks. Then of course there was the period where I lost quite a bit in the crash. That was quite a roller coaster. It took me until about a year ago to diversify, muddle through the declines, cash out tax efficiently, and wait for everything to be vested.

I've always had a LBYM approach and that is why I'm now free and my coworkers who literally had the same options are still working to pay for the Mercedes and Armani.

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