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Old 07-23-2016, 08:33 AM   #21
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I recall several years in a row where my investments were making significantly more than my well-paying c@reer. Those were good days indeed. I took a lot of money off the table to preserve my gains. in the great scheme of things, that allowed me to retire when I decided to. On the downside, it lost me some potential earnings (which it turns out I don't need.) YMMV
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Pilot2013 View Post
Then I come in here and look around, see someone that is asking "should I retire" that has seemingly twice what I have and all of the "you're not ready, have you considered..., I would go another few years, etc responses, and I go into depression mode again.
There are quite a few folks that call it quits at your level. Large variances in risk appetite and spend levels are found here.

It can be amusing (or bemusing) to see one set reacting in one thread "keep on trucking" and another set "you're there, congratz!" in another thread with pretty much the same profile.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Pilot2013 View Post
I often times feel good when I look at my spreadsheet with total realized and unrealized balances, and as they approach the $1 million mark (still a ways to go).

Then I come in here and look around, see someone that is asking "should I retire" that has seemingly twice what I have and all of the "you're not ready, have you considered..., I would go another few years, etc responses, and I go into depression mode again.

You could try being among the young and fearless on the Mr. Money Mustache boards. . MMM shows in convincing detail how they live well on $25K/year in their 30s. I'd probably go for it myself with our 1.25M saved at 50, except that I have a loving spouse I want to keep, who earned and saved a third of our stash and who is not, shall we say, intrigued by the MMM lifestyle. Therefore, Hi Ho, Hi Ho, for a few more OMYs.


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Old 07-23-2016, 04:45 PM   #24
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Sound very intriguing, If you don't mind to share your story Sunset. We need some inspiration story once in awhile.

thanks

+1 if you're willing to share your story. That sounds like a best seller, honestly. Congratulations.


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Old 07-23-2016, 07:14 PM   #25
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Seems like OP is a little dismayed at the lack of excitement at the big growth he's experiencing. About 12 years ago I had a passive business that generated between $200k - $300k PER MONTH. And I remember having the thought, "gee this is so easy. Where's the excitement??" Suffice it to say, I'd give my right arm to get back to those glory days.

Portfolio growth is about freedom, not excitement.


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Old 07-23-2016, 07:41 PM   #26
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Back in the late 1990s, I had the dual fortunes of being in my peak earnings years at my old job and peak investment gains in both my 401k and taxable accounts. I was also getting most of the shares in my company stock (ESOP) program and those shares would explode in value in the mid-2000s, enabling me to ER at the end of 2008.


Refinancing my mortgage back in 1992 helped put me on a path to being able to save an extra $200 per month and that, combined with the beginning of the 1990s boom soon gave me enough savings to take some of those market gains and pay off my mortgage by early 1998. Even though my non-retirement savings took a small hit, the huge market gains at the time more than offset the hit to my portfolio. I had just hit the $100k mark in my non-retirement portfolio but dropped below it temporarily before going back over that mark within a few months.


For the next few years, I was living on 1 biweekly paycheck and saving/investing the other one. Wow, that was pretty awesome! It took only 3 years to go from $100k to $200k in my non-retirement portfolio. My 401k was slightly lower but its value had also doubled in that time.


The seeds to achieving an ER had been planted.


Greatly reducing my monthly expenses along with my nice portfolio allowed me to switch to working PT by mid-2001. I was already living on one paycheck, so reducing my net pay by 40% still allowed me to save while easily covering my expenses.


The stock market slowed for a few years in the early 2000s but then my ESOP took off, so by the middle of 2004 the 401k had overtaken my non-retirement portfolio. It was rising 20%-25% and the next seed for my ER was being planted. I would cash out the stock a few years later (at favorable tax rates) when its value had grown by 3,000% (yes, three THOUSAND) compared to 1997.


I took a hit in 2008 like everyone else did but I also used the down market to buy in at some bargain basement prices, further enhancing the start of my ER. So even falling asset prices turned out well for me.


These days, in my 8th year of ER, even earning zero in wages I have seen increases in my portfolio despite pulling out nearly $30k each year in (unreinvested) dividends.


Life is good.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:26 PM   #27
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:21 AM   #28
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I made a lotta dough last month so we ate $600 worth of seafood in 2 days at home.
Gotta love it. 30 years ago we had boomers bragging about doing $600 of blow in 2 days. Now, we have boomers bragging about doing $600 of seafood.

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It's healthier to eat $600 worth of seafood than $600 worth of steak.

Even when indulging, one must think of the long-term health issue.
Now, we have boomers worrying about what this will do to your blood vessels. 30 years ago, $600 of blow wasn't as much of a concern.

Personally, I'm sure $600 of blow would kill me. But, since I'm allergic to seafood, I'll take my odds on the nose candy.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:26 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by RenoJay View Post
Seems like OP is a little dismayed at the lack of excitement at the big growth he's experiencing. About 12 years ago I had a passive business that generated between $200k - $300k PER MONTH. And I remember having the thought, "gee this is so easy. Where's the excitement??" Suffice it to say, I'd give my right arm to get back to those glory days.

Portfolio growth is about freedom, not excitement.


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I/we NEVER made that kind of money ever! Even with 2 incomes. A lowly Engineer and an Administrator can only make so much. However, we still managed to accumulate ~$3m by the time we finally retired at 58 for me in 2012 and 57 for DW in 2015. We retired a few times before that for just a few years to do things like Travel and Go Sailing. But we got lured back to the w*orking worlds by previous employers.

Now we are very comfortable living off our stash, taking what we need when we need it. No lavish risky investments for us. No Company Pensions, No SS for a few years, that will only make things better. Sleeping well with little to no stress.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:49 AM   #30
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After a good day in the market, I will often tell my DW. " we made $xxx,xxx" today, She always asks " is it new money?" Ie have we been at this level before. I almost always have to respond "yes, we have made this money many times before". Still better it goes up than down.

I do the same thing, because it's fun and I call it "funny money". It's not real until it's in the checking account.

In 2013 I started tracking the NW in a spreadsheet. I calculated the % change each month. When NW jumped $600K that year and most of the increase was not from w***ing, I questioned the need to work starting in early 2014. I found this forum, found Firecalc, and realized I could retire and still watch the NW go north.

It is an amazing feeling of freedom.


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Old 07-24-2016, 06:28 AM   #31
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Hmmmm ....

I tend to keep my mouth shut and say nothing when our finances have a good month and let DW know when we have a bad month - it helps keep our feet on the ground and DW's credit card in her purse.

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Old 07-24-2016, 06:37 AM   #32
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Hmmmm ....

I tend to keep my mouth shut and say nothing when our finances have a good month and let DW know when we have a bad month - it helps keep our feet on the ground and DW's credit card in her purse.

I see your point. My problem is that my DW has her own portfolio that she tracks. Also, has joint access to all our accounts and checks them several times a week. Can't get away with nothin' 'round here.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:51 AM   #33
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One advantage of keeping a summary sheet is that you can enter a benchmark or statistic, to temper your measurement of rising assets.
I have a column for PE10. Always record it at months end. It sits at 26.96 today, or 10 points above the mean. Rising assets could quickly become declining ones.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:53 AM   #34
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I use quicken reports.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:03 AM   #35
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So unfortunately in the last 3 years I suffered some serious lost. My husband, my little brother and my best friend all pasted away so I have been made brutally aware that money does NOT bring me contentment. That being said I keep an eye on my investment without stressing. Debt free was not a major biggie for me. I retired with a mortgage and I'm considering buying an investment property. Basically I'm proud of my accomplishments but all my friends are equally minded so I don't know a bunch of folks like the horror stories Yahoo, motely fool and other internet sites love to hawk.
In general if I had to put an emotion to savings and investments it would be "stress-free"

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Old 07-24-2016, 09:46 AM   #36
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We do the portfolio and NW assessment twice a year. Been doing it for 20 years. So I have experienced the 2000 and 2008 corrections. The runup since 2008 has encouraged us to try to spend the inheritance but so far without success! A major upgrade of our apartment is underway but that will be one time. We travel to Europe in the front of the plane. But otherwise still on budget.

It is fun to reinforce that we are A-OK though. It also helps us plan for lump sum donations/transfers.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:59 AM   #37
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I have hung around this forum and I still feel like the low man on the totem pole
Me too! But I followed my plan and now I am happily retired. I am still probably lower on the totem pole than many of our members. But you know what? I don't care if I am. I am happy, I am retired, I feel like I have more than enough, and that's what matters.

Remember that this is the internet, and it is possible that some members here may post in a slightly misleading way. Either way, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you are making progress towards your own goals. If you are not getting there fast enough to please yourself, then you always have the option of kicking up the LBYM.

The accumulation phase is an exciting journey. Good luck to you as you make your way towards your retirement.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:21 AM   #38
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I think the hedonic treadmill can definitely apply to net worth and the size of your portfolio as well as the more common example of spending. However, we've noticed that after a certain amount, it goes from "money" to "numbers", because it's just more than either one of us even imagined when we were growing up, and we just can't quite grok that much moolah.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:28 AM   #39
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When in my 40s, I did not think I would have today's net worth.

So, why am I cool and not excited, and still want more?

It's because I also learned about the SWR of 3.5% or less. The amount that I can spend is much less than what I made while working. So, I am exchanging the hassle of work for the worry of prolonged market downturns.

And as time goes on, my monetary concern subsides, to be replaced by health and aging worries.

"If it's not one thing, it's 'nother" -- Gilda Radner
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:50 AM   #40
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My reaction is to do nothing:

Doubling Your Money With Passive Investing | ETF.com

Quote:
...what would happen if you had a time machine? What's the most valuable thing you could do if you could go back 30 years one time and meet your 30-year-younger self? What's the most profitable investment advice that you could give?

I give the example of “Back to the Future,” when Biff goes back and meets his teenage self and gives him a sports almanac. What if you're given an economic history book when all the recessions would have occurred? I show definitively that having that knowledge and acting specifically on that knowledge actually wouldn't help you gain any edge over the market.

The most valuable thing you could do would be to go back in time, open up a brokerage account, put the money in there and then not allow anyone to touch it for 30 years. Because just riding out all the bull and bear markets that happened in between and allowing your money to compound for that amount of time would be far more profitable than knowing when a recession is around the corner. People find that surprising, but it's absolutely true.
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