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Old 01-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #81
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I am lucky that a co-worker came to me and explained the 401K and when it didn't sink in, he basically took me by the ear to HR and had me sign on the dotted line. I'm lucky that I found the Terhorst book, Your Money or Your Life and Tightwad Gazette before the Internet, found them interesting and worth following the advice in them.

I am lucky that I was open to the ideas and going against the 'then' flow to be where I am today...there have been some unlucky bumps on the road, but the general trend has been upward since I started down this learning path. It's amazing how quickly it starts to compound when you repeat the behaviors for wealth building. It's also amazing how much more stress-less your life can be not having to worry about money.....
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:00 AM   #82
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Well, luck is certainly a factor but one has to combine it with good planning and realistic expectation of life after retirement. It's the latter that still puzzles me. I must admit I'm still hesitated giving up my career and standard of living if I go ahead to retire in 2013 as planned. I'm afraid of getting bored after a couple of month but too late to go back to the job I love. Worst of all, my daughters will already have graduated and on their own by then. I just hate being alone and doing nothing.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:13 AM   #83
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Have you heard this one? Now that I am telling people of my plans to retire before 65, I keep hearing how 'lucky' I am to be able to do this. Maybe there is some part of luck involved. But, the last time I checked the Good Fairy had not bopped me on the head with her magic wand and caused money to flow into my bank accounts like flood water flowing into the Gulf.
I get more of the "wish I could"
Until I did retire I use to wish I could too!
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:33 AM   #84
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Going back to the basics, here is a definition of luck (courtesy of Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com)
1. the force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities: With my luck I'll probably get pneumonia.
2. good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance: He had no luck finding work.
3. a combination of circumstances, events, etc., operating by chance to bring good or ill to a person: She's had nothing but bad luck all year.
4. some object on which good fortune is supposed to depend: This rabbit's foot is my luck.

Good luck, bad luck...it seems that the definitions do not include the influence of a person's own actions or decisions.

I believe it is a person's initiative and effort that makes for financial success, decisions to save and invest versus chronic uncontrolled spending, and the resultant ability to retire early.

Outside forces and events cannot be controlled, but a person always has control on how they react and adapt to good and bad "luck".
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:23 AM   #85
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I think you nailed it. On the one hand, DH and I have worked damn hard to get on track for ER. We started saving when our friends were buying new cars and toys. We spend our free time budgeting and planning. We chose to live below our means and work in higher paying, higher stress jobs. We choose to share a car and to clip coupons.

There has been opportunity too. We were lucky to find high paying jobs we like. We were lucky to avoid layoffs the last few years. We were lucky that we sold our house before the market tanked.

If people want to call me lucky that is ok. I feel pretty lucky.

SiS
This is a very interesting discussion. What I believe that in each life, a little rain falls and a little sun shines. I have pointed out to my kids that you need to be positioned to take advantage of opportunities when presented and willing to act. I have been maxing 401k for about 15 years have have very little gains, ie, bad luck. However, due to living below my means, and having cash in the bank, I have been able to take advantage of the historic opportunity with the housing bust.

So, for some folks the house bust is bad luck, but for me good luck. Some folks got super duper market returns during the 90s, some folks got great pensions, etc. All in all, I think it balances out.

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:36 AM   #86
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This is a very interesting discussion. What I believe that in each life, a little rain falls and a little sun shines. ... All in all, I think it balances out.

Steel
If you're lucky.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:09 AM   #87
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Nobody told me I was "lucky". Most people who knew me well could look at my job title, my house, and a few lunchtime comments about spending money, and guess that we had a LBYM lifestyle.

But, I was lucky to the extent I was born with the genes to do some well paid work in our economy. And, I just happened to attend the right university and start my career just the right time for my talents.

OTOH, I worked hard, and we saved money. It was much easier to save because I earned 3x the median wage, but we still had to have the discipline to actually do the saving.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #88
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This is a very interesting discussion. What I believe that in each life, a little rain falls and a little sun shines.
I'd agree that almost everybody has some good and some bad luck. But I wouldn't say that it always balances out. I'd guess that financial luck, like height or IQ test scores, probably falls on some sort of bell shaped curve*. Lots of people are within one std deviation of the middle, but there are lots of people in the left and right sections, too.

I'd also agree that two people can have exactly the same good luck, and one person can use the results to live well today, while the other decides to be more thrifty today in hopes of living better tomorrow.


*I picture the financial bell shaped curve with a very long, skinny tail on the right end.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #89
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Interesting conversation. Not there yet, but I think I'd try to conjure up a twinkle in my eye and say something like "yes, I suppose so." Like I never really thought about it.

I guess it would depend how it was offered to me (with praise or veiled contempt).
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #90
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You could try this thread.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:30 PM   #91
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You could try this thread.
I couldn't get the page to load. Maybe it's just my computer.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:52 AM   #92
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I couldn't get the page to load. Maybe it's just my computer.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:35 AM   #93
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I couldn't get the page to load. Maybe it's just my computer.
Try this:

How many are simply lucky?

(FIFY, kumquat... the URL was just a little messed up somehow)
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:45 AM   #94
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Try this:

How many are simply lucky?

(FIFY, kumquat... the URL was just a little messed up somehow)
Thanks W2R. It worked.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:57 AM   #95
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I retired early at 59. I would say that I had three helpings of very good fortune.

The first was having parents who taught me, among other things, how to handle money, the perils of consumer debt, the virtue of spending less than you make, and finally getting an education or trade that provided steady employment, enjoyment, and mobility. The second was marrying someone who had the same attitude towards life and finances and who always supported my career choices. The third was being ready, able, and extremely willing (with a lawyer lined up to represent me) when my employer of 25 years gave me a golden handshake.

I cannot over estimate the impact that each of these had on my ability to retire early and to be financially secure.

The rest was down to recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities when they appeared, hard work, and a willingness to be very flexible and very selective in my career options. How smart you work is just as important as how hard you work-maybe more important.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:45 PM   #96
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People who care count.People who don"t care don"t count.In a nutshell I really don"t care what most folks think about my E.R. amongst other things.Life is short and I try to be happy most of the time,reguardless if someone does"nt like it or not.
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