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Old 11-14-2011, 08:01 PM   #21
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"Your Money or Your Life", which came out right around the same time as our daughter...

We also noticed that our investment portfolio was growing as though we had the income of a third lieutenant in our house. It dawned on me that if this other lieutenant could keep it up, then my income could be deemed superfluous.


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Old 11-14-2011, 08:24 PM   #22
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I read "Cashing in on the American Dream" when it first came out which gave me the idea. It got me thinking, but I do enjoy my work (most of the time) so was not motivated. Still working, by the way; no RE here. It is still enjoyable (most of the time). The best part is the people I get to know. I work around the world, which also has its attractions. Now when I get debt-free, we can talk again.

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Old 11-14-2011, 09:58 PM   #23
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Dad passed away in the late 80's when I was a teenager and I needed to help Mom with some essential bills.

Never really thought about FI until about a year ago. Still saving and hoping to reach FI soon.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:10 AM   #24
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I started working at 7 and was very thrifty even then. I was about 13 when a millionaire show was on TV and that was my first thought of retirement. The bank was paying 4% interest if I remember right and I remember thinking you could put it in the bank and never work again. Everyone else was planning everything they would buy if they had a million I wanted to save it.
At 18 I moved to a cheap apartment in Chicago and met the old women who didn't save for retirement. Like me they lived a couple of rooms with no car and had to share a bathroom with everyone on the same floor. They had been married and had a husband to take care of them when they were housewives. I vowed never to let that happen to me. I was a housewife but talked my husband into letting me go to college and get a job.
I got serious about saving after my divorce when I was 35, it was easier without the anchor.
Now I have enough to retire and am working one or two more years just for the cushion and because I like my job well enough. We have plenty of work so should get good bonuses and profit sharing the next two years. I like knowing I can quit if I want to but not in a hurry to retire.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:35 AM   #25
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My answer is similar to Meadbh's. It seems that the thought of being financially independent has always been part of me. The only difference is that I was not taught about coumpound interest as a young child, instead I realized its potential on my own very early - not sure why.
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
There have been many influences, but the earliest was the fact that I have had a bank account since I was a baby and was taught about compound interest as a young child.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:42 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
We also noticed that our investment portfolio was growing as though we had the income of a third lieutenant in our house. It dawned on me that if this other lieutenant could keep it up, then my income could be deemed superfluous.
And here's a picture of that young lieutenant hard at work constructing a CD ladder.

I met him once, back in the day, at one of those liberty spot bars in Barrio Barretto outside 'Po City along National Highway (The Midnight Rambler Bar I think, or maybe the Wet Spot). No fancy calculators or computers for this fellow. Nope, he's old school navy - wooden ships and iron men. He does his financial work using them old navy tools; a slide rule, windlass, a number two pencil (sharpened by a saber) and lots of grog.
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it. - Andrew Jackson
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:57 AM   #27
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An arbitrary statement in my 20s. I was in college (after my tour of duty in the service) and during a conversation about career opportunities, I stated that I would like to retire at 55. I don't remember why I even said it. My best guess (to try to remember) was when I was in the service, many of the career military guys often talked about early retirement. It must have had an impression on me.

It stuck with me, but just as an idea. It was not until I was in my early 30's that I started actually working toward that goal. But I laid the foundation for it by getting an education and skills in a marketable and high paying field.

While I will take my credit for bringing about some of it... part of it was been due to the preparation by the government and employers. SS/Medicare and employer retirement plans. Plus a little luck in spite of mistakes I made along the way.

While we have saved a lot of money just by LBYM and making the effort to do it. If those other plans (employer plans) were not laid out for us... I am not so sure I would have been able to FIRE.... maybe even retire at all. It was part of the compensation... but still, who can take credit for that? Not us... maybe our grandparents and parents generations.

We can all pat ourselves on the back all we want... but the fact is, that capability was only available to a very few number of people prior to some of the modern mechanisms being created and maintained. Those mechanisms have mainly been fostered by government and a very small number of leaders in our history... and against great opposition!

Don't forget to tip your hat to them!
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:59 AM   #28
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From a very early age I observed and learned to save and live below my means. Since all my peers were in the same boat we didn't know about the high life. I got my first job cleaning the school cafeteria during lunch. Another kid and I picked up the trash and straightened out chairs for a free lunch. Took some ribbing from the other kids for being the principals slave but it didn't bother me. My mom said that I showed initiative and I could keep the lunch money she gave me each day. I believe it was about $.35. Talk about a slow start!
"What's the worst thing that could happen - I keep my job."
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:23 AM   #29
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I've been on a roller coaster with our company. About 8 years ago we really hit hard times with it and it was a really scary time. Time felt like my enemy. We crawled our way out by paying down debt as quickly as possible and putting a savings plan into place. I was worried about not being able to pay the kids college or have a big enough savings account or enough being put away for retirement. Once we got those 4 things either paid off or going at a good clip I started contemplating what it would actually take to retire. We aren't there yet. We always thought we'd sell our company, but I never wanted to rely on that. We work our plan as if we won't be able to sell, but selling will allow us to retire immediately.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:02 AM   #30
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Three key things, I think. First, I have to credit my parents who taught me the value of work. I grew up on a farm and had daily chores - feeding chickens, milking cows - those things have to be done daily (no sick days!). Second, in college I took a computer programming course & had to create a program (remember Basic?). I constructed one showing compound interest over time. Wow! I knew then I needed to start saving & investing immediately. Lastly, married a girl who shared my values and wanted to work; it's much easier to become FI with 2 incomes!
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:09 AM   #31
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Dad. Dad came from a family that struggled (my grandfather declared bankruptcy more than once I have heard), got his education in the school of hard knocks, worked hard and smart and LBYM and provided an nice upper middle class life for his wife and children. For some wierd reason, I felt a need to do as good or better and not regress the family history.

When I first started out after college I remember struggling to pay bills and having to make choices as to who got paid that month and later got into a bit of credit card debt and those two experiences convinced me that I didn't want to live in either of those situations again (my school of hard knocks I suppose).

So the above, a frugal bride who grew up where money was tight and inspiration from Money magazine to routinely save, invest and LBYM.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:41 AM   #32
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My parents were always frugal and saved for retirement. So I had pretty good mentors. I didn't totally start out that way after I graduated from college as I bought a couple of toys, but it kicked in by my early 30's.
Full time wuss............
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #33
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When I started job hunting after college I focused on the public sector partially because it offered the potential to retire with a pension at 55 which would free me up to do anything or nothing. That concept always appealed to me.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:53 AM   #34
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In a way, I think it was my Granddad who got me turned on to the idea. When I was younger, he told me that I should look into putting my money into something that was more profitable than just saving/checking accounts, CD's, etc. and that I should start looking into stocks.

Although oddly, he never did any investing himself. But, he had a gov't pension, retired at the age of 55, a paid-off house, and he and Grandmom still managed to save up a decent amount with just CD's and such.

Even though he only had a 6th grade education, he had a lot more real-world knowledge than many so-called college graduates. He was probably at that age, and had the security with retirement, good health insurance, etc, that he knew he was comfortable. But he realized that my generation probably wouldn't have it so easy.

Well, about a year and a half after he passed away, I finally made my first investment, into a mutual fund. My other Granddad had a money magazine that I was reading through, and it recommended 20th Century (now American Century) Ultra. It had posted something like a 20% return over the past 12 months. Being naive, I thought it would be able to do that consistently. Well, I goofed up when I placed the order (this was August 1991, in those dark, dim, pre-internet days) and bought Growth instead of Ultra. Still, it managed to do well, and as time went by, I bought some Ultra as well.

I also remember running a calculation. If I invested $1,000, and it returned 20% every year, in 39 years I'd have $1M! Now, realistically, I knew that would never happen, because that rate wouldn't sustain itself, plus there's taxes on capital gains and such. But, I figured that if I kept investing, it really wouldn't be that hard to become a millionaire at a relatively young age and be able to retire early.

So, if that unrealistic calculation actually worked out, I'd be a millionaire by the age of 60. I was 21 in 1991. Well, now it's roughly 20 years and 3 months since I made that first investment. And I'm around the $640K mark. So, barring catastrophes, hopefully I'll hit $1M ahead of schedule!
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:12 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
"Your Money or Your Life", which came out right around the same time as our daughter...
This was it for me, as well. We had dreams that needed time to accomplish, and to a lesser degree, money. I think I read the book about 12 years ago.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

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Old 11-15-2011, 08:29 AM   #36
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Hard to say where it started, but pivotal factors (in order):
  • Naturally LBYM,
  • Reading Your Money or Your Life,
  • Reading The Millionaire Next Door,
  • Reading The Four Pillars of Investing,
  • And I was fortunate during my career (though no pension or health care).
Probably the biggest factors.
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Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:07 AM   #37
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As far as I am concerned, there's more to life than work and I don't want to be too old or too jaded by corporate life to enjoy the simple life that ER offers. I just know that I had to get the finances, satisfy some self-achievement in my career, work with DH on this and I did make good on my decision to ER when the time was ripe.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:17 AM   #38
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Seeing an ad in a magazine many years ago featuring an old man wistfully looking at a cruise ship pulling away. The ad message was something about working your entire life and not saving a thing for your old age.

Reading Your Money or Your Life

Learning about how IRAs worked when I was in my 30s and making the decision to invest in Vanguard. It surprised me how many of my work colleagues did not know that a 401k is NOT the only way to save, that you can and should save in an IRA also.

Living hand-to-mouth when I was in my 20s.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:08 AM   #39
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My parents.

Scottish Presbyterian work ethic that included never have consumer debt and always spend less than you earn.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #40
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Had always been frugal out of neccesity - paying for college an graduate school tuition, books and housing didn't leave much room to do anything besides LBYM, but the light-bulb really came on after I signed on with a Mega-corp. When I first arrived, the "old-timers" in their late 40's and early 50's had worked with the paradigm that "you put in your time, and you can retire with a nice pension" their entire carreers. I had already worked part-time for two small companies that went belly-up, so hadn't quite bought into that philosophy, although it was very comforting. Then the layoffs started. First to go were the early 50's guys who had almost, but not quite, become vested in the entire retirement package. Saw what happened when you depended on outside sources for your security, and had it reinforced that no one else had my best interests front and center. During the next 20 years and 18 rounds of layoffs (all 10% or higher), it was STRONGLY reinforced that I had better become FIRE ASAP, because next Monday could be my last.

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