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Old 09-09-2016, 01:49 PM   #21
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I can say that I even learned from my ex-wife - she taught me what NOT to do. She always had credit card debt, and when I pointed out that while the monthly interest charge might seem small the total over that 5 years was enough to take a cruise, which she would have loved to do. But she wanted to have her cake and eat it too.... Not always of course but the deal-killer was her refusal to sit down and discuss a budget, a pretty basic thing to do in a marriage. At least I thought so. The end came when I flat-out refused to even consider taking out a loan for a trip. I just didn't see any future going down that road.
Oh man...I think we had the same ex-wife! Those almost 10 years were the worst of my life. I will never forget her saying, "Well, if we can pay the minimum due, what's the big deal?!?" We divorced about 11 years ago and we loaded up all the crap in the house and took it to her Mom's garage. As far as I know, she *still* lives with her Mom.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:58 PM   #22
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I'd always been one to save up my paper route money for something big (eventually, my first car), etc. But I know one thing that got me thinking about the power of compounding and value of "paying myself first" was a sales pitch I got in 1985 from someone hustling the A.L. Williams multilevel marketing program that encouraged customers to dump their whole life insurance and instead buy term insurance and invest the difference in mutual funds. Lots of illustrations showing how a little money squirreled away every month could turn into a big pile of money. I didn't join up (the MFs were very pricey, and the insurance wasn't a good deal, either), but it got me thinking hard about the long-term rewards of LBYM.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:23 PM   #23
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I remember al williams, I went to one of their "rah-rah" sessions. They were like amway people, a bit crazed for me.
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:04 PM   #24
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My dad. He started me investing in stocks when I was 16, and taught me how to read the financial pages.
He was more into dividend paying stocks, and we would joke about getting a dividend from National Gypsum as a "piece of plasterboard"
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:08 PM   #25
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Yes I would have to say my father and mother and my depression seasoned maternal grandmother. Many lessons on frugality, LBYM and saving while living a good and happy life.
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:17 PM   #26
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Parents were frugal in part because they were poor, so I stretched my Halloween candy for the entire year.
So largely I credit them with the LBYM's attitude.

The investment part came from a Gym teacher in high school, back then they also had to teach health class.
Somehow he decided that household budgeting, investing and mortgages were more interesting to us than more sex classes.

I always wonder why home finances and investing are not part of all high school mandatory classes.
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:49 PM   #27
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I always wonder why home finances and investing are not part of all high school mandatory classes.
Me too. There are a lot of things I learned in high school I have never used, but nearly everyone needs a basic knowledge of home finances and investing for their entire lives. I volunteer to help teach those at my kids' schools- through Jr Achievement, and I am going to try to teach personal finance classes at the local colleges when I retire
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:06 PM   #28
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Self taught. While I had some well off relatives all of them retired and lived off the interest. Funny after nursing homes and other costs it all faded away. I might mention a very long life. GM and her sister both made the 100 mark.
My frugality goes back to third grade, saving half my lunch money and selling bait to fishermen. From there it was always saving part of my paycheck. The biggest factor was marrying my wife of 38 years who brought a new perspective. While liking the good times she will not let a perishable go to waste. With both of us on the same page the plan is easy to implement.
After being invested heavily in a 401k even before they existed I was able to retire this year just shy of the 60th birthday. My only regret is that I should have done it a little earlier. In retrospect I guess I should thank my old Pennsylvania German ancestors for a little frugality and a willingness to take a positive approach and invest.
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:08 PM   #29
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My grandparents for sure, they raised a dozen kids and dozens of grandkids on their 90 acre farm, they never made for than $12k a year, they grew 50-75% of what they ate, kept cars for decades, never borrowed money, saved every dime they could get their hands on and invested in CDs. I remember sitting on the front porch with them breaking beans out of their huge garden, I also remember my granddad straightening bent nails in his part time that were gave to him.
My dad got a lot of that frugal mentality from grandparents and took an early retirement at 48, and his lived very well and never made over $35k a year.
Me I'm 46 and will be fire at 50-52 and live comfortably, could have been fire at 40 if I would have took more advice from dad and granddad.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:55 PM   #30
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Yes. Although DH and I have always been savers, I learned about my employer's 401k from a temporary supervisor when I was 25 and pregnant with our daughter (1983).
He thoroughly explained the program and encouraged me to sign up.


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Good one. You must've worked for an enlightened employer. 1983 was very early to have 401k available. I'm impressed your boss actually understood the program, or maybe they were just trying to transition from a more costly plan.

One of my heros is the older secretary at megacorp who signed me up for the optional pension plan. When I had 6 months on the job she put some papers on my desk and ordered me to "sign these!" 15 yrs later I had colleagues ask me "what optional pension plan?"


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Old 09-09-2016, 07:56 PM   #31
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I had a professor in graduate school who on the last day, told us all to have a when the SHTF or escape fund, which was in essence an emergency fund. Next, I had a boss who sold me on a job with a pension. That was the best choice I made.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:23 PM   #32
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Poor parents with no education, just got by. All grandparents dead from black lung and bad choices. I swore I would not end up like them so I went in the military and learned discipline and saving money. Went to college on my own dime after Viet Nam and then worked, saved and got here by researching investing and LBYM.

No mentors, no freebies, no inheritances, no marrying into money. Somehow, I (we) made it (so far).
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:56 AM   #33
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I don't have one major mentor, but I had several people over the years point me in the right direction.

When I worked at the Volkswagen parts counter (my second career after being a cashier at the 7-11 store after graduating college), my manager said to me, "That mechanic, Walter, now he really knows how to make his money work for him." He did not elaborate, but the concept was planted.

The guy who lived next to me in the dorm got a job in an insurance company HR department. He told me, "You would make a good computer programmer. If you go to one of those six month schools, I can get you a job." Not exactly financial advice, but his getting me into the IT business is probably the single largest factor in my being able to FIRE last month.

When I was involved with starting up a company to sell computers to dentists, our first beta customer was a fatherly dentist close to retirement. He said, "Joe, you know, money invested in a good mutual fund will grow over time and you will be surprised how fast you will have a nice amount."

An older woman that I worked with who was divorced from a seriously rich guy told me, "Joe, you're foolish to be wanting to buy a Porsche when you don't even have a garage to keep it in."

After I got toasted in the dot.com bubble collapse I found this forum that recommended reading "The Four Pillars of Investing" . . . :-)
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:13 AM   #34
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When our son was a baby, we opened a small savings account with a local savings and loan. A year later, they were going public and were offering stock to their account holders first. I had a cousin who (in his thirties) lived solely off of investments. He told me to "buy as many stocks as you can afford and never touch them." Great advise. He was right. That original $650 investment grew, split, was bought out, etc. and eventually put two kids through college and weddings!

Later, a friend (who was a very successful stock broker) used the same advise on me every time the market took a downturn--"don't touch it. Leave it alone. It will come back."
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:00 AM   #35
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The unhappy customer that took out all his frustrations on me until I finally proved that I could resolve his issues including the ones not related to my product, took me into his confidence, and told me a smart guy like me should put everything into gold coins and bullion.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:28 AM   #36
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No big heroes, but I had a few people who helped point me in the right direction.


My uncle (dad's brother-in-law), who was a huge help to my dad in finding a good career, bought me one share of Ford Motor Company when I was born. I would receive a small dividend check every 3 months as I was growing up. It often was for a dollar or less, but it showed me how to make money without doing anything for it, akin to interest in my bank's savings account. I would also check the value of the share in the Sunday New York Times business pages (we had a subscription to it) just for kicks. I later sold the share.


My mother, who in 1990 pointed me toward Fidelity's triple-tax-free muni bond funds so I could earn some investment income without having to pay any income taxes on it. My mother also suggested I stop renting an apartment and buy one instead, explaining to me how the tax deductibility of the mortgage interest and property taxes would offset the added gross payments of mortgage+maintenance over the rent, while building up equity. I was able to shed the mortgage in 1998, 3 years after she died.


Fred Flintstone, the lovable "Yabba Dabba Doo!" cartoon character. In one Flintstones episode, Fred pretended to be some upper-class rich man. When asked for advice on how he made his "millions," he replied, "Buy low, sell high!" Impressionable words to live by when I was 9 years old (and owning that one share of Ford).


My mother and my paternal grandfather were very organized people. I recall helping my mom process the monthly bills which she listed in a spiral notebook back in the 1970s. My dad's dad was very organized with his filing system, too, something I replicated when I got older and had to maintain my own filing system. I know where everything is and can find important papers pretty easily, thanks to them, and this began in the late 1980s well before I bought my first PC.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:34 PM   #37
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in the early 80's, some nameless lady in HR. I was a new hire at Megacorp, which had very generous full pensions back then. She suggested I would be stupid not to sign up for the 401K & match that went with it. Said I would never miss it if I never saw the cash. Fast forward 33 years, and the pension went belly up in 2009, but I was still able to retire recently just because that HR lady said I would be stupid not to sign up.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:44 PM   #38
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Oh man...I think we had the same ex-wife! Those almost 10 years were the worst of my life. I will never forget her saying, "Well, if we can pay the minimum due, what's the big deal?!?" We divorced about 11 years ago and we loaded up all the crap in the house and took it to her Mom's garage. As far as I know, she *still* lives with her Mom.
What happened with the money left from selling the house is illustrative. When the dust settled we each ended up with a little over $7k - $7.4k I think. She took a six-week trip to England with her sister. I put it in the bank and 18 months later I was living under my own (albeit heavily mortgaged) roof. She found a sugar daddy to take care of that little detail.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:12 PM   #39
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Good one. You must've worked for an enlightened employer. 1983 was very early to have 401k available. I'm impressed your boss actually understood the program, or maybe they were just trying to transition from a more costly plan.

One of my heros is the older secretary at megacorp who signed me up for the optional pension plan. When I had 6 months on the job she put some papers on my desk and ordered me to "sign these!" 15 yrs later I had colleagues ask me "what optional pension plan?"


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Yes Jazzcash. I worked for GTE before it became Verizon. They had a full tuition-aid program (including books), ESOP, 401k and a good pension program. Had a training center and a very nice Marketing Management Development Program. I took advantage of all programs!


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Old 09-10-2016, 09:58 PM   #40
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Father became disabled when I was 10. If he had not contributed to SS we would have been stuck trying to live off of maybe $200 or $300 per month cash income my mother made in her small business and whatever was already in the bank, which might have been a few thousand. . . . and some people want the ability to opt out of SS . . . I don't get it. Mother died 10 years later but I was 20 by then. First year was the worst. I was highly motivated to never live that life again. So . . . . all that.
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