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2 Months in, Contemplating Life.
Old 10-26-2011, 03:22 PM   #1
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2 Months in, Contemplating Life.

So, at the tender age of 47, I decided to retire early. Some of you helped me with my decision. Thank you.

I put my budget together to maintain the same spending level after I left w*rk. My budget is = 2.8% WR (net of debt free property worth 750K today). I'm happy to report that I've spent less than my budget, so it shouldn't be too difficult to maintain something reasonable.

I've spent the first two months cleaning up financial situation (trust titling, HC insurance, accounts). All the stuff I never had time to do before that should have been done. I also decided to clean out the house. Made it through the upstairs and a portion of the 1st floor. Started in the Basement and started to EBay all the stuff I've accumulated. Now THATS w*rk.

I also have been trying to structure assets appropriately to get the allocations set up.

Finally, I've had sometime to do some reading for "fun," and spend some time contemplating long term investing given my age. One of the books I read is "Living without Oil." http://www.amazon.com/Life-Without-O.../dp/1616144017

Wow. I've been learning about issues in the Middle East, Global Debt issues and Peak Oil. I'm really concerned that between debt/spending issues and declining oil production, we are in for BIG trouble. Finally last night I was watching a survivalist show that showed some people that are preparing for the worst...guns, manual wells, food stores, even a truck that runs on wood!

I've worked myself into a bit of a ....er... anxiety state.

If we have a prolonged depression due to debt/spending & Oil issues, how will I survive? What will happen to my kids future? How do I protect my assets? Can I protect them?

Now I'm thinking about selling everything and fantasizing about buying property that I can cultivate food with enough forest to be able to cook and heat a diminutive well insulated house with manual pumps and handguns pointed in every direction.

So much for reading for "fun."

Anyone else concerned? What actions if any are you taking? If I were 60, I might think about it differently, but while my financial state is certainly not tenuous, I have enough of my German mother [who lived through the depression] in me to start preparing.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:36 PM   #2
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Anyone else concerned? What actions if any are you taking? If I were 60, I might think about it differently, but while my financial state is certainly not tenuous, I have enough of my German mother [who lived through the depression] in me to start preparing.

Thoughts?
Yipes, I think you need to pause and rearrange your socks drawer or something.

Concerned? Yes, mightily, but major decline in our way of life is a whole new thread.
From the investment standpoint, adjustment is what it has always been about, so I'm constantly trying get positioned in front of the next bull.
I will say, that given my outlook for the future, I have removed my "I'm Spending My Kid's Inheritance" bumper sticker. This out of concern for their future.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:37 PM   #3
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Buy some equity in oil and gas exploration & production companies to hedge your exposure to higher fuel prices. Problem solved. Go play.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:14 PM   #4
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The thing is, in retirement we have SO much more time than the average working person. So, it's a lot easier to get in a state of overload when it comes to certain shows, books, and so on that are trying to get more readers/listeners for higher ratings, and are using scare tactics to do it (IMO).

A few days ago I decided to change my habits and watch HGTV when there is nothing on TV, instead of going to Fox News or CNN. I also stopped listening to political podcasts for the time being. It has made a big difference in my sense of well being. Other than voting in elections I don't think there is a whole lot that I can personally do to prevent any impending doom (I'm just a 63 year old female retiree, not the Incredible Hulk, after all). I refuse to allow this kind of fear/terror ruin what is otherwise a wonderful retirement and the best time in my life.

When I was a little girl, my mother wouldn't allow me to watch horror movies because I would have nightmares. Now that I am 63 and she is gone, I need to take care of myself and mother myself as she did back then. The type of input that you are talking about is healthy, to a point, but when it gets beyond that we need to shut it off.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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W2R ...... + 1....... Well put !!!
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:44 PM   #6
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A few days ago I decided to change my habits and watch HGTV when there is nothing on TV, instead of going to Fox News or CNN. I also stopped listening to political podcasts for the time being. It has made a big difference in my sense of well being. Other than voting in elections I don't think there is a whole lot that I can personally do to prevent any impending doom
I came to the same conclusions you did and tuned out for a couple of presidential elections. I knew how I was going to vote so I decided not to get all worked up about it. It saved me a lot of turmoil.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:52 PM   #7
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I came to the same conclusions you did and tuned out for a couple of presidential elections. I knew how I was going to vote so I decided not to get all worked up about it. It saved me a lot of turmoil.
Believe me, I understand that, for sure! Even if one doesn't completely tune out, it really helps. Most of these shows/books/etc have very little new that isn't repeated on a thousand other shows or books or news websites, so it is unlikely that someone wouldn't hear about the same things (just not over and over).

At any rate, I am sleeping a lot better and not worrying so much about things I cannot change.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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Human being are terrible at predicting the future. Why worry about stuff that probably won't happen only to get blindsided by a black swan event?

If that is not enough to cure you of your fears, just remember that most of this stuff is just made up by people who are trying to scare you while making money on the deal. It's like paying to go to a haunted house - it's all good clean fun as long as you remember that the zombies are just actors. When you start believing it is when you have a problem, and it ain't a zombie problem.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:23 PM   #9
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It certainly doesn't hurt to be prepared for a disaster, be it natural or economic.

There's a quote from Aristotle that I've always liked, and I think that it applies well here..."It's best to rise from life like a banquet, neither thirsty or drunken"

How about a "preparedness lite" program. Go buy a few ounces of gold, some silver coins, case or two of whisky, extra toilet paper, some freeze dried food, seeds for gardening, a little generator, safely store a gun and ammo, or go practice with a slingshot.

All that stuff can come in handy, isn't going to break the bank, would be considered responsible by most, and would place you far ahead of the general population in terms of preparedness. When you start digging bomb shelters, putting all your money in gold, or hiding in the woods with an unhealthy amount of paranoia and firearms, the end result isn't likely to be positive.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:31 PM   #10
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While I am aware of the potential problems we may face in the future, I remain optimistic (which doesn't mean I am not prepared).
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:31 PM   #11
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Change your reading habits...

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Old 10-26-2011, 09:43 PM   #12
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You could probably go back centuries and find books and forecasts about how the world would be a horrible place and you better grab your guns and learn to grow stuff. Apart from the Great Depression, the last century has been pretty good. I choose not to worry about things I can't control. I also figure we'll get a little heads up before oil runs out, but in the meantime we have solar power...and shares in alternative energy and oil stocks.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:39 PM   #13
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Wow. I've been learning about issues in the Middle East, Global Debt issues and Peak Oil. I'm really concerned that between debt/spending issues and declining oil production, we are in for BIG trouble. Finally last night I was watching a survivalist show that showed some people that are preparing for the worst...guns, manual wells, food stores, even a truck that runs on wood!

Now I'm thinking about selling everything and fantasizing about buying property that I can cultivate food with enough forest to be able to cook and heat a diminutive well insulated house with manual pumps and handguns pointed in every direction.

Anyone else concerned? What actions if any are you taking? If I were 60, I might think about it differently, but while my financial state is certainly not tenuous, I have enough of my German mother [who lived through the depression] in me to start preparing.
Good thing you're retired so that you have the time to do something about the problem.

If you're truly concerned about the future you perceive, then why not do something constructive about it? You appear to own your home, so what about a photovoltaic array and perhaps getting off the grid? Maybe starting a garden? Making your house more energy efficient?

If you're scared by "peak oil" then head over to EarlyRetirementExtreme.com to discuss the topic with those guys. Personally I think that we're kinda overconfident in our ability to predict what's down there, especially if we offer incentives like $150/barrel. And if there really is a peak oil phenomenon then I hope I live long enough to see it...
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Old 10-27-2011, 03:50 AM   #14
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I am concerned about the future also. If it does come to the worst and we have a major economic collapse with all banks closing down, I can live in Guatemala or El Salvador. I have established a couple of mobile clinics in these countries and go there a few times a year to see patients. I could continue to see patients free of charge and they could give me food in exchange !
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\Anyone else concerned? What actions if any are you taking? If I were 60, I might think about it differently, but while my financial state is certainly not tenuous, I have enough of my German mother [who lived through the depression] in me to start preparing.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:50 AM   #15
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It certainly doesn't hurt to be prepared for a disaster, be it natural or economic.

There's a quote from Aristotle that I've always liked, and I think that it applies well here..."It's best to rise from life like a banquet, neither thirsty or drunken"

How about a "preparedness lite" program. Go buy a few ounces of gold, some silver coins, case or two of whisky, extra toilet paper, some freeze dried food, seeds for gardening, a little generator, safely store a gun and ammo, or go practice with a slingshot.

All that stuff can come in handy, isn't going to break the bank, would be considered responsible by most, and would place you far ahead of the general population in terms of preparedness. When you start digging bomb shelters, putting all your money in gold, or hiding in the woods with an unhealthy amount of paranoia and firearms, the end result isn't likely to be positive.
Emergency preparedness is always wise. That said, that's all it is. No man is an island.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:07 AM   #16
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Things will change, people will adapt. Like W2R, I've been paying less attention to news and more to what's going on around us and made the amazing discovery that I think less about stuff I can't do anything about anyway.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:13 AM   #17
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It certainly doesn't hurt to be prepared for a disaster, be it natural or economic.

<snip>

How about a "preparedness lite" program. Go buy a few ounces of gold, some silver coins, case or two of whisky, extra toilet paper, some freeze dried food, seeds for gardening, a little generator, safely store a gun and ammo, or go practice with a slingshot.

All that stuff can come in handy, isn't going to break the bank, would be considered responsible by most, and would place you far ahead of the general population in terms of preparedness. When you start digging bomb shelters, putting all your money in gold, or hiding in the woods with an unhealthy amount of paranoia and firearms, the end result isn't likely to be positive.
+1

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Change your reading habits...

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I second the Dave Berry recommendation.

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Personally I think that we're kinda overconfident in our ability to predict what's down there, especially if we offer incentives like $150/barrel.
Not sure what $150 oil does for exploration, but it sure does dampen demand...

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Emergency preparedness is always wise. That said, that's all it is. No man is an island.
"Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face." - Mike Tyson
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:36 AM   #18
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+1
Not sure what $150 oil does for exploration, but it sure does dampen demand...
$150 oil and $7 nat gas means I laugh until I wet my pants and then go buy some champagne.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:48 AM   #19
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None of this matters anyway. Didn't the world end last week?
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:13 AM   #20
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I'm concerned, but only to a point. I really can't do much to change what's going on directly. Yeah, I can vote, occupy my local post office, write letter to my Senator, etc, but really I am powerless as an individual to change any of this.

So, I just live my life. I heard Sean Hannity tell a caller once who was frantically concerned about some issue and how the country was going the hell ans so on, that even though things aren't going well in the world/country/etc., you just gotta enjoy your life and put things in perspective. No matter what happens you have to find a way to be happy. If that means building a cabin the woods and living off the land when the government collapses, so be it.
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