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Old 11-16-2011, 05:10 AM   #61
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1. Learned LBYM from my parents and grandparents
2. Cut grass, worked at a bait shop and library through high school
3. Started working 55+ hour weeks at 18, eventually becoming part owner
4. Maxing 401k every year
5. Built our 1st house,sold for profit that I used to build 2nd house, and then paid off mtge

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Old 11-16-2011, 05:37 AM   #62
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Our story is a little different.

DH fell into a really good paying job and luckily he from the start saved in a 401K. I didn't see the need but humored him. We had lots of toys, sail and motor boat, five motorcycles, four cars, and two teenagers when two dear friends of ours died of Cancer a few months apart. We started to really question what we were doing and made a complete turn around in our spending and saving.
Divested ourselves of most of our stuff, started cultivating relationships and experiences and paid off all our debt. I was working as well and we put every penny towards debt paydown and savings. Helped the kids get through University as much as we could and they graduated, got good jobs, married nice hardworking spouses. Lucky for us we had a nice base in the 401 the years the stock market was wildly going up.
DH had a chance to get out with medical at 55 and he jumped at the chance. I had already cut down to part time. He had been having some medical problems and we wanted to enjoy life. Which we do. The biggest pleasure for us is we are able to help so many other people. One DIL is raising money for a charity Triathalon and I have lots of time to help her. I have custom made all the drapes and quilts for the grandkids and with a phone call I can be in the car on the way to help out when they need me. We are able to help our one surviving parent whenever she needs us. We help our neighbors and friends in time of need. We get lots of thank you dinners and help when we need it. And I spend lots of time helping the library fundraising.

So we are incredibly lucky to be here, and very appreciative of our circumstances. Along the way, the one DIL who came from a family that spends every last penny and borrows more has told us we are her role models. She has learned to be debt free, save in a 401 and have an emergency fund. She has influenced her mom who never thought she could retire at 65 even, now she is thinking she might make it before 65. Life is good when money is not a stressor. We have far less than many people but a wonderful life filled with wonderful people.

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Old 11-16-2011, 06:04 AM   #63
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I was motivated by Zhuangzi's saying: "Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.". The sooner I reach that stage, the better.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:04 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by 52andout View Post
Along the way, the one DIL who came from a family that spends every last penny and borrows more has told us we are her role models.
+1 Our DiL says the same thing and we have heard it from a lot of our kids' friends. They see DW and me enjoying life while their parents and other acquaintances our age complain about the impossibility of retirement. That leads a few to re-think their assumptions.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:33 AM   #65
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First my dad died 3 weeks after I graduated from high school. Last thing I wanted was to work like a dog and then die without having time to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

2nd in my first year after graduating from college one of my close friends told me about a meeting with a financial planner that his father in law (a banker) set up for him. He told me the financial planner showed him how investing a few $k's per year starting now would make allow him to retire as a millionare. I had never heard anthing like that before and suddenly I realized there was an area of financial management knowledge that was out there and valuable. I set off to read everything I could on the topic. 26 years later of LBYM and voila....
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:42 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by ratto View Post
I was motivated by Zhuangzi's saying: "Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness."
+1. I'm working on it too, but it doesn't seem to be encouraged in mainstream Western culture...
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
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 11-16-2011, 12:47 PM   #67
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I've pondered this subject myself. Here's what I've come up with.

Both mom and dad grew up on farms during the depression. Money was a serious thing for them. Must have beat it into my head.

My dad worked me very hard growing up. Therefore working became second nature for me. To not be working seems weird even to this day.

When I was about eight I misplaced my piano lesson money browsing the music outside the store where I took lessons. This led to the worst whipping
I ever got... For losing $5.00! But it sure taught me the value money.

After seeing how quickly a 401K fund could grow in a few years, I increased contributions threefold. When a good raise came along, I just rolled it into additional contributions. I'm still watching grow, most of the time.

I married a women who was smart and almost as careful with money as me. (I view this one as critically important to FI.)

Started buying rental properties during the sixth year of marriage. Dad always said to never depend on always having a good job. It could end without warning, and it did. I've seen this happen so many times to so many people. But when it happens after 55, it can really be tough.

All of this resulted in a define benefit pension, rental income, investments and SS eventually when I elect to start it.

Read many books on investing. (I saw myself in The Millionaire Next Door.) We lived below our income, and ignored the lifestyle of friends and neighbors. Didn't take enough family vacations though . Didn't really set particular goals. One day it just seemed to all work out after over thirty years of trying.

I certainly didn't do everything right, but I did enough. I'm still married to a great lady, and have one brilliant DD who has my frugal ways. It's worked out well so far.
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:06 PM   #68
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In 1962 (I was 9) my father took me to my first drive in movie (Dr. No), I was already enthralled with the collectors edition (Gilt edged Bonds) my father had and had decided that was the lifestyle for me! In 1964, I fell in love with the DB4 from (Goldfinger) and it was 20 years later before I had my own. Beautiful young women and fast cars, was always what motivated me to succeed! Nowadays, I have a beautiful young (family), could care less about money and do not own a car!
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:03 PM   #69
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I have the two extremes in my father lives below his means and mother loves to spend money. I grew up promising myself that I would always make enough to take care of myself and would never depend on a man to do so. I started investing at age 20 and really started getting into the LBYM by the age of 25.
Currently, my mother is annoyed that I took half of my wedding money to buy and renovate a house rather than spend it on a lavish wedding. I plan on using the other half to sock away in funds and go to the Justice of the Peace!
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:18 PM   #70
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Things were tough for me growing up. I was born at an early age. I wasn't good looking. At birth, the doc looked at me and slapped my mother. We had no toys. Only the boys in the family had anything to play with. The dog got nervous every year at Thanksgiving.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:37 PM   #71
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You think you had it tough growing up...

Numbers is hard

Although rare, it is possible to read something on this forum you don't agree with and simply move on with your life

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:07 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by ratto View Post
I was motivated by Zhuangzi's saying: "Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.". The sooner I reach that stage, the better.
That sort of reminds me of a saying I used to like - "Patience is the art of concealing your impatience"
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:03 AM   #73
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Back in the late 1980's, a mentor gave me a copy of a book titled "The Wealthy Barber". The book was a great story of a modest income-earning barber who used and explained the concepts of LBYM, pay yourself first, invest in low-fee index funds, dollar-cost averaging, asset allocation, compounding, etc. Although I had heard of these concepts previously, it all clicked when I read the book. I have been a consistently simple hands-off investor for the past 20 plus years.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:33 PM   #74
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Grew up in a family where my parents constantly argued about money. So I've always been concerned with "security" (works for me and against me). Started a FT job right out of high school and practice LBYM without knowing it. Thankfully it was a good company with benefits (hell - what did I know at 18?). Later, I had a supervisor that explained the "new" 401k to me when I was 24. I started paying attention to the annual benefit statements sent to me about the same time - and it clicked. Earned my BS while working (tuition reimbursement from work) and moved up into better paying positions. Read lots of books - leveraged an early retirement in 2003 (with extra perks) and then went right to work for another company. Was blessed that I married a solid man that has the same goals. We both plan to pull the trigger in May 2016 (we will be 58).
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Old 11-20-2011, 03:10 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Keim View Post
I was born thrifty, and married similar.
Very helpful, I agree!

First, I never desired to spend my life only seeking financial goals - just didn't interest me.

Second, I decided early never to depend on anyone else for my support. Especially not the government (SS, or the like). My folks taught me that by living in America I was given a unique opportunity not to need that, if I worked hard, saved and made good financial decisions.

Third, calculating early on that automating everything concerning savings, mortgage payment calculated to pay off by a certain date, etc. and not thinking much about the deductions, was the best way to go.

Lastly, when I hit my 40's and actually started thinking that someday I could be retired, I learned much from seeing needless excesses of my neighbors.

I think that much trouble in the near future will be from those who did none of the above and are now looking for a government bailout of something that is each of our own responsibility. 'Lets tax everyone else (the rich) more now so the government can give me money since I didn't look after myself..' Sound familiar?

It is the journey!
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:57 AM   #76
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I see a common element is having a spouse (if there is one) of sharing the value of LBYM. For me the wake-up came after a divorce from "Spenderina" after I refused to take out a loan to go on a trip. To where, I don't know. The conversation never got that far. I simply didn't see any future going down that road. When would the borrowing stop?

Another common element I see here is either no debt or so little debt compared to income/assets that the debt doesn't matter much. No one here is living paycheck-to-paycheck, although many have in the past.

So 18 months later at age 36 I had a steady job (police officer) my own (albeit empty) home, a new pickup truck, and on an income of just under $40k/year I was just over six figures in debt between the house and the truck. Two years later the truck was paid off, I was engaged to DW, who is even more "value oriented" (i.e., frugal) than I am. Two years later we had actual furniture in the living room. What luxury!

At the time I really didn't care about the furniture. I had my own home and the the only spaces I used were the bedroom, bath, kitchen and workshop area. The rest was wasted space to me. I have a photo somewhere of DW-to-be sitting on the living room floor reading a book next to a table lamp, also on the floor. But ladies do sometimes have a civilizing influence on men.

In 14 years the house was paid off and I was eligible for a COLA'd pension that would provide an income. I stayed at work for a few more years because I enjoyed the job and was right where I wanted to be.

So for now I stumbled into a job that is okay, and the unplanned-for income lets us do some things that we wouldn't otherwise be comfortable doing although the bulk of it goes to savings/investments, and DW has the free time to look after her elderly father which is what matters most to her now.

While I don't share the aversion to work as much as some here, I'm not compelled to it and if things turn ugly there I'll leave. For example, right now there is much angst about some proposed changes that would make daily life there difficult and my response is that "Nope. I'm not gonna do that. I'll just turn in the gear and try something else."

Having the freedom to be in that position is great!
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:41 PM   #77
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Like many, parents were not well off and saw my mom have to scrimp and save and stretch a dollar. That led me to LBYM.

Years back, I remember picking up this book called "How to Make Your Money Grow", published by Changing Times (before they became Kiplingers). It was sort of a Personal Finances for Dummies book before the Dummies books were around. It was a book that was great for beginners with topics like how to balance a checkbook, how to shop for car insurance, what is a mutual fund, etc. This was one of the first books that gave me an "Aha" moment that being FI is possible.
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:45 AM   #78
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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. YMOYL changed everything for me.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:05 AM   #79
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i have always wanted to retire by the time i was 55 but my revelation didn't happen until I spent 45 days in Antarctica in 1999-2000... with lots of time to think I made some changes:

1. started paying double principals on the house (paid off in less than 5 yrs later)
2. started funding fully our ROTH's
3. tax deferred every dollar I could until we maxed it out

retired at 55 and enjoying life since....
I am FIRE'd... :)
contract on the house, bought an RV and now traveling across America
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:29 AM   #80
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Dear dad taught me a few things about the "financial" in FI that I hadn't realized til years later. (Hubby will tell you that I've always had the "independent" part of FI down pretty well)
First, dad owned his own business and in lean years he paid his mortgage while in good years he doubled or tripled his payments. Second, after 37 years (the vast majority very successful) he sold out to his fairly new business partner. Within two years, and after watching the guy squander his money on whatever money could buy, he lost the business. When the bank called dad and asked him if he wanted to buy the business back he said "No thanks" and proceeded to enjoy life immensely! Especially the 5 or so days each week at the golf course. He was 55 at the time. He was able to enjoy his retirement along with mom for the next 30 years. I often think of the fantastic years they had together, along with family, and think "Now that was cool"!!

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