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Old 09-26-2013, 06:24 PM   #81
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I can't say that anyone has ever said "you're so lucky" to me. In a small town everyone knows everyone and the people that know me well know I grew up poor. Both parents passed away before my 29th birthday and left me an $8500 house with $6000 left to pay. After 40 years of work I'm doing OK. Right now if anyone said that to me I think I would adopt what the penguins in the movie "Madagascar" said "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave".
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:57 PM   #82
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I agree with you. Still, I am sometimes amazed at how many stupid decisions I have made over my lifetime, that didn't kill me or bankrupt me or make me paraplegic, but might have done.

A person cannot rely on luck to achieve success, as there just isn't that much luck in the whole world. Still, everyone needs luck, if only to account for being among the living by late middle age. For the logically inclined, luck is necessary but not sufficient to bring about good results.

Ha
I made many stupid decisions from 18-33 years old. I still make stupid decisions, but the ones in the early years could have definitely done me in.
When people talk about "scandalous" things that so and so are doing, I become very quiet and wonder what they would think of me if they knew some of the things that I did in my early years. I would still be the same person, but they would think a lot less of me.

My brother and I both smoked cigarettes. He died at 45 of lung cancer and I am still living at 60. I consider myself a very lucky person.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:34 PM   #83
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I think, being charitable, that some people say "you are lucky" as shorthand for "you are in a good spot", not "you achieved your present situation through chance."

I don't get many comments like this because I don't choose to let acquaintances know the details of my financial situation. And, like Travelover, I don't much care what folks think about it. (See the signature line--also by Heinlein.)

I feel very fortunate--I never thought, given my choice of vocation, that I would ever be in the position to consider retiring early. I did develop a retirement plan 15 years ago to retire at a normal age.
I might say that we were fortunate in our savings/investment plan turning out better than we had expected, if I thought it might be of use to the conversationalist in taking their planning more seriously, but that's a mine field.
And my fraternal twin inherited a fatal myclonic disease, so I never forget how lucky I am, on the most fundamental of levels. So the comment would strike home, although on a different level than that which was intended.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:14 PM   #84
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The friends and relatives that comment enviously on the (near) financial independence my wife and I enjoy almost invariably have kids whose financial demands make retirement an ever fading dream. We chose long ago not to have kids (for many reasons that had nothing to do with money) so whenever we encounter this kind of envy we just turn it around and say that the ones with kids are the lucky ones. They've invested in love rather than money and will reap the return in kids and grandkids as the years wear on, while child-free folk like us will just be old and alone.

Of course we don't really believe any of that, but it shuts down the "you're so lucky" routine quickly enough.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:45 AM   #85
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None of my friends or w*rk colleagues have ever suggested that I was lucky to be able to retire. I can easily explain the factors and circumstances that lead to my decision and ability to ER.

My view of "lucky" is along the lines of "making your own luck". You can lead a good life and get educated and prepare yourself for most anything that comes along. Exactly what opportunities will come my way I can't say. I can position myself to get maybe more opportunities rather than less. I can prepare myself to see and take advantage of the particular opportunities that come my way. Eventually, though, I make my own choices and I work hard to succeed based on those choices. Most of the luck in my life has been not having to face adversities that would be considered out of my control such as genetic health problems, natural disasters, being born and living at the wrong time and place.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:40 AM   #86
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The friends and relatives that comment enviously on the (near) financial independence my wife and I enjoy almost invariably have kids whose financial demands make retirement an ever fading dream. We chose long ago not to have kids (for many reasons that had nothing to do with money) so whenever we encounter this kind of envy we just turn it around and say that the ones with kids are the lucky ones. They've invested in love rather than money and will reap the return in kids and grandkids as the years wear on, while child-free folk like us will just be old and alone.

Of course we don't really believe any of that, but it shuts down the "you're so lucky" routine quickly enough.
This is a brilliant idea. I will implement it at my very next opportunity. And be totally sincere about it.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:40 AM   #87
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And be totally sincere about it.
As my mother told me, sincerity is the key to success. Once you can fake that, you've got it made.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:11 AM   #88
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What I note is that folks assume that the things you end up in that look fortunate are "luck". However, one doesn't know if one was put into that situation, if that would have the same (or better) results. For example, several posters mentioned how lucky they felt being born white and in the U.S.A. I am not white, and while I was born here my parents were immigrants and we grew up barely above the poverty line. I could look at the situation and say "I would be better off if I was born white". However, I'm glad I was not. Why? Because I don't know if, being born white, I would have had the same drive for achievement that has contributed to my "lucky" position today. Perhaps I would have assumed that everything would come my way, take things for granted, and not strive to be the best with my academics, athletics, and career. So yes, you can be born into situations that seem more fortunate than others. But ultimately one has to decide if they are going to do what they can with the hand that was dealt to them which doesn't guarantee but can improve the odds, or spend more time looking at others and wishing for the "luck" they see, which has more odds of failing.
+1. Well said. Color of one's character, coupled with the right dose of inner drive, and two good parents are the most important factors in the beginning.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #89
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The friends and relatives that comment enviously on the (near) financial independence my wife and I enjoy almost invariably have kids whose financial demands make retirement an ever fading dream. We chose long ago not to have kids (for many reasons that had nothing to do with money) so whenever we encounter this kind of envy we just turn it around and say that the ones with kids are the lucky ones. They've invested in love rather than money and will reap the return in kids and grandkids as the years wear on, while child-free folk like us will just be old and alone.

Of course we don't really believe any of that, but it shuts down the "you're so lucky" routine quickly enough.
That's a great reply! We have no kids either, and that's what I plan to say from now on. I had always used, "If we had kids, there's no way we would be in the shape we are in today".
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:33 AM   #90
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+1. Well said. Color of one's character, coupled with the right dose of inner drive, and two good parents are the most important factors in the beginning.
I agree, and while two good parents is ideal, not all are that fortunate. My fraternal grandfather died in 1929, leaving my grandmother alone with three children to raise. The start of the depression, she's on her own. Smart woman, she became moderatly successful. All three kids did OK in life and were successful. I have only a few memories of her, she was a kind, loving woman, that I swear was mentoring me on how to solve problems.

To Jollystomper:
You're correct it's not about race, or having a certain color. I've recently learned about the area of this country that my parents grew up in. There were issues between the 'new' immigrants vs. the 'old' immigrants. These people were European immigrants, many from the same country. They fought and discriminated against each other, based on when they arrived. How odd.

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Old 09-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #91
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I'm 41, live in my first home, and my vehicles are 10, 20, and 33 years old. I live a very low key life as regards consumerism.

I strongly suspect my relatives think they are lucky compared to me.

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Old 09-29-2013, 02:29 PM   #92
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Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:58 PM   #93
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Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
That's what Dan Rather said to The Who's Roger Daltrey in a TV interview I saw the other day.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:05 PM   #94
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Some of the luckiest people I know will never be able to ER. Some love what they do, and can hardly believe they get paid to do it. Some are very generous with their time and money and can always see someone or a cause that could use money more then they can.

But the luckiest of all are the few who live 100% in the present, make each day an adventure and most importantly, truly do not worry about the future. At all. They are happy & free believe it or not.

Sometimes the very traits that lead one to a LBYM / ER life are the seeds of worry & misery.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #95
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..........
Sometimes the very traits that lead one to a LBYM / ER life are the seeds of worry & misery.
Good point, we are a worrisome and miserable lot here.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:10 PM   #96
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Sometimes the very traits that lead one to a LBYM / ER life are the seeds of worry & misery.
Perhaps, for some. Those are some of the people who die with $10 million because they were afraid to spend it.

But I see little of that here on this forum. What I do see is personal responsibility and accountability ("Oh boy, did I screw that up!) and the ability to defer immediate gratification for long-term gain. Which, if one thinks about it, is being optimistic because it requires the faith that there will be a "later" to enjoy the fruits of the deferred gratification.

All of which is quite different from worry & misery.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #97
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Some of the luckiest people I know will never be able to ER. Some love what they do, and can hardly believe they get paid to do it. Some are very generous with their time and money and can always see someone or a cause that could use money more then they can.
The problem with that is, what if they can no longer do the job, or the job goes away, or to someone who will do it for less?

Then they have nothing to give.

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But the luckiest of all are the few who live 100% in the present, make each day an adventure and most importantly, truly do not worry about the future. At all. They are happy & free believe it or not.
Oh, I don't doubt that they are happy. But if they live in the present and don't plan for the future, and a scenario like the above happens - what do they do?

Do they turn to miserable worriers for help?

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Sometimes the very traits that lead one to a LBYM / ER life are the seeds of worry & misery.
Maybe sometimes. But I find having planned for my future to be very liberating. I saw a few of me co-workers having to scramble for a job, debating if they should up-root the family, or hang on for a local offer. Trust me, they were miserable and worried. I slept like a baby.

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Old 09-29-2013, 08:42 PM   #98
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But the luckiest of all are the few who live 100% in the present, make each day an adventure and most importantly, truly do not worry about the future. At all. They are happy & free believe it or not.
Most of us have favorite coal mine canaries to gauge how different life strategies are working out. The free as a bird types would deny that they are employing a strategy, but lack of recognition of what you are doing does not change what you are doing. I have known few to no men with this approach. Usually feckless men are heavy dopers and essentially have seceded from life. I tend not to meet them.

But it is common enough for women, as per the threads about difficulty of finding a responsible female mate. These women still seem like middle class ordinary people. But if you get to know them well enough you find out that except for the few who have government jobs they really have no plan. They usually are personally attractive enough, and boyfriend often gives some small subsidy, if only by picking up a lot of checks. These women generally have reasonable cash flow, once their children are out, and before they quit work for one reason or another. The big cliff is that they have generally made inadequate or no provisions to care for themselves one they must survive without a job. This is just part of their universe that is not yet mapped, perhaps because it is just too frightening.

Divorced women also are setups for their barely making it children, particularly their daughters. Most of us would want a pretty good cushion before we start handing out money that modest reflection would strongly suggest that we will never see again. But I have seen 50 year old office workers give away 25K out of total savings of 50k. And it is somewhat generous to call this savings, more likely it is what's left of a divorce settlement.

Ha
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:40 AM   #99
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We don't respond because there is no point to it. We just nod and acknowledge that we are very fortunate. Any other comment just invites more discussion. We keep our business to ourselves-even our children do not know the extent of it.
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