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Old 02-19-2014, 01:02 AM   #41
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Agree 100%! We cannot choose the place or the time in history in which we are born, we cannot choose our parents. This is where pure luck comes into play. But we do choose almost everything else. I am so thankful for being born here and with opportunities presented by having parents that instilled in me the value of morality, good education and hard work. This was my luck. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but as you I am so thankful that I appreciated and took advantage of some of the many opportunities that were presented by the fortune of my birth.

One time when I worked as a programmer at the University of California we had a program that hired disadvantaged kids for summer jobs. It was no cost for us, so we hired a few. For any kid that had the desire, it was a tremendous opportunity to learn new things, make contacts, and participate in some very interesting and amazing projects. It was the beginning of the microprocessor era, and we had them working there, not junk work, but potentially really interesting stuff. I recall how surprised I was that to a person, they had absolutely NO interest in anything except getting paid, and spending all their money on the latest records, clothes, expensive frivolities for their car, etc.

I contrasted this with some kids of the professors. When they came it, we could not get them off the computers, they were interested in everything. Both of these kids had access to some amazing possibilities, but only one group could see it.

I always wondered what happened to those kids we hired so long ago, they probably did get what they wanted to get. Buying the latest fad music, and shiny things for their cars. I wonder if they ever got anything more.

It was so sad for me to see at the time. I guess I had optimistic images of the big effect we would have on these kids future. Was the beginning of my conversion to cynicism. These kids just didn't have a chance, they were born in the US, had access to education, but unfortunately were not born to parents who would encourage their curiosity and industriousness.
Don't be too sad - a lot more of us "disadvantaged" kids did succeed, you just rarely hear about us because it doesn't sell ads or suit someone's fund raising purposes . Sometimes just being in that atmosphere you described might not seem that it made a difference at the time but a seed can be planted that grows into something worthwhile later. Been there, learned it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:34 AM   #42
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I've read a few Yahoo Finance articles and most offer very general advice that seems to be rehashed over and over. I think many of these Yahoo Finance authors spend more time thinking up creative titles for their columns that will generate the most clicks, and very little time actually researching and writing the column
+1
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:56 AM   #43
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This article is written for the majority of people who didn't plan and save; written to make them feel good about themselves, at the expense of leaving out all of the good stuff about RE.
That pretty much sums it up. I think if you can't save any money and won't live below your means but hate your cruddy job and don't do something about it, (like teaching yourself self control or how to invest off the internet, even)...You can't retire early or even retire. Whose fault is that?

And my idea of retiring early is not 55 or 60. It's more like 45! And that's not someone born with a silver spoon.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:51 PM   #44
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That pretty much sums it up. I think if you can't save any money and won't live below your means but hate your cruddy job and don't do something about it, (like teaching yourself self control or how to invest off the internet, even)...You can't retire early or even retire. Whose fault is that?

And my idea of retiring early is not 55 or 60. It's more like 45! And that's not someone born with a silver spoon.
Amen, brother!
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:12 PM   #45
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The author of the article retired at 50?
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:14 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Forrest View Post
I've read a few Yahoo Finance articles and most offer very general advice that seems to be rehashed over and over. I think many of these Yahoo Finance authors spend more time thinking up creative titles for their columns that will generate the most clicks, and very little time actually researching and writing the column
They call 'em link farms. When I google stuff, I just plain do not go to low quality sites (like yahoo) because there's never anything insightful there. Another is ask.com and that ilk. If you look up changing a tire, it will have a five step process, starting with stop the car, get out, and the last step will be "change the tire" without any detail. Written by someone who googled tire changing, but has never done it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:43 PM   #47
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Studies vary, but after a certain point saving extra money isn't going to buy any additional financial security or happiness:

"Good news! Apparently, happiness is on sale for the new, low price of $50,000."

"So it seems the sweet spot is somewhere between $50,000 and $75,000. If you make under $50,000, you might be stressed about your financial situation. If you make over $75,000, the additional returns on working longer hours might not be worth it anymore. "

The Salary That Will Make You Happy (Hint: It's Less Than $75,000) - Forbes

In the article they focused on longer hours but additional work years in an ER context might be a logical substitution.
There was also like a Princeton study which showed that more money does make you happy (because a lot of problems result from not having enough) but after like $85k, people aren't happier.

That is, the person earning tens of millions isn't happier than the guy making $100k.

Unless I guess having exotic cars, staying at 5 star hotels and flying first class (or on a private jet) truly makes one happier.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:10 PM   #48
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There was also like a Princeton study which showed that more money does make you happy (because a lot of problems result from not having enough) but after like $85k, people aren't happier.

That is, the person earning tens of millions isn't happier than the guy making $100k.

Unless I guess having exotic cars, staying at 5 star hotels and flying first class (or on a private jet) truly makes one happier.
Some of it is also just what you are used to. In the book the The High Beta Rich, is was hard for some families to go back to flying commercial when the recession hit. In one of the stories, a little girl asked her mom what were all these strangers doing on their plane?

The Wild Ride of the Wealthiest 1% - WSJ.com

One woman was sad because she couldn't afford to finish her 90,000 square foot mansion, and had to stay in the 26,000 square foot mansion, even though in the old house when they have "parties with, like, 400 people, it gets too crowded."
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:07 PM   #49
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After my wife and I have died, I hope we leave just enough behind in our bank accounts to pay for the urns our ashes go into.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:13 PM   #50
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I was really "lucky" when I spent hours banging my head through calculus and various engineering courses instead of smoking dope all day.

I was twice as "lucky " then as I banged my head through Calculus (and even Differential Equations) AND smoked dope all day to eventually be a successful Engineer who will ER before 55!
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:32 PM   #51
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Some of it is also just what you are used to. In the book the The High Beta Rich, is was hard for some families to go back to flying commercial when the recession hit. In one of the stories, a little girl asked her mom what were all these strangers doing on their plane?

The Wild Ride of the Wealthiest 1% - WSJ.com

One woman was sad because she couldn't afford to finish her 90,000 square foot mansion, and had to stay in the 26,000 square foot mansion, even though in the old house when they have "parties with, like, 400 people, it gets too crowded."
That sounds like the family in Queen of Versailles.

They had to take commercial and when she rented a car, she wanted to know where the driver is.

And they're known for building the biggest home in the US. He made his fortune in time shares.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:32 AM   #52
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They call 'em link farms. When I google stuff, I just plain do not go to low quality sites (like yahoo) because there's never anything insightful there. Another is ask.com and that ilk. If you look up changing a tire, it will have a five step process, starting with stop the car, get out, and the last step will be "change the tire" without any detail. Written by someone who googled tire changing, but has never done it.
Sorry to go off on a tangent, but how about watching a "how to" video and it's nothing more than an ad to have you purchase a product? If a link gives you the idea they're going to give you something of value, and don't produce, I dismiss them ASAP.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:31 AM   #53
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The cost of early retirement may be high, but its d@@! good value for the money.

Thanks for posting. While there is plenty of truth in the article, there is just as much truth in the omissions.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:52 AM   #54
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That sounds like the family in Queen of Versailles.

They had to take commercial and when she rented a car, she wanted to know where the driver is.

And they're known for building the biggest home in the US. He made his fortune in time shares.
Couldn't she just hail a cab?
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:03 AM   #55
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That sounds like the family in Queen of Versailles.

They had to take commercial and when she rented a car, she wanted to know where the driver is.

And they're known for building the biggest home in the US. He made his fortune in time shares.
I looked up Queen of Versailles and see it is a documentary on one of the more egregious families in the High Beta Rich book. I will have to watch it.

I think one interesting take away is that people often get happy or sad based on changes in individual circumstances which can be fleeting. There is a cute Ted Talks on Netflix by Shawn Anchor that goes into this in depth. One example he used was that he was thrilled to get into Harvard, but after two weeks everyone there was used to being at Harvard and the initial thrill of being admitted had worn off.

His research points are that the happiest people are happy because of their internal outlook, not external circumstances. Obviously if you are going to bed hungry or are worried about paying the rent, this is going to make you unhappy, which I think is the point of the annual income for happiness research papers.

But after a certain point how happy you are depends more on your internal outlook than outward circumstances. Anchor says you actually can make yourself more happy by developing a more positive filter on life, i.e. less watching horrific crimes on the nightly news and more gratitude journaling and performing acts of kindness.
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:58 PM   #56
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Wow! That's a terrible article. Basically - If you retire early, you will have less money than if you don't. Talk about stating the obvious.....
If you retire early you get more time to enjoy retirement. Since as the saying goes, time is money, depending on the "exchange rate" I may be making more money by retiring early. At least that's how it feels 6 months in.

Agree, terrible article.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:53 AM   #57
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I think that the author overstates the costs. We found that our lifestyle has changed in retirement. Yes, we have less income. But our cost of living has gone down, as has our tax burden. Our travel costs have increased significantly and we are very happy about that. The other question is lifestyle. We like to travel. Retiring at 59 and gaining these extra healthy years is a huge increase in the amount of anticipated post retirement 'travel' years for us. My father retired at 58 many years ago. He was plagued with health problems and stress. After two years of retirement, and golf three times a week or more, his health completely turned around. He was able to enjoy 30 years of active retirement (and DB pension). This is an individual decision...one size does not fit everyone.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:47 PM   #58
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I'm a little surprised at the push-back because the article is absolutely on the money in terms of the costs of ER.
It's aimed at the average person without a plan but a desire to retire, not the FIRE crowd, or I'm 98% certain of that.

So while most (or maybe all) of the critiques here are to some degree right, they're kind of beyond the point. It's pretty much look before you leap.
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