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Class of 2013 : 2 year reunion :toast
Old 02-01-2015, 07:37 PM   #1
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Class of 2013 : 2 year reunion :toast

How are you class of 2013 cats doing?

Things are good here. I moved cross country to a new metro area. In retrospect this was a great idea all things considered except I miss my family who are all far away. It's easy for me to fly and see them with all of my free time but more on that below.

To keep this from becoming a livejournal type thread, I thought we could do +/- lists.

My class of 2013 - > year of 2015 +/- lists:

The pluses (+)

+I am never bored. The days are always full of something even if it is just taking the long / slow route to get groceries.

+For the first time since being a teenager I have time to play and enjoy video games.

+I have been able to slow down the passing of time and the days now feel like when you were a kid and those 2 months of summer felt like a year in between spring / fall. When I was a worker, consumer, junk spender, self gratifier I was always working for the weekend so looking forward to that made weekdays zoom by.

+My health has improved by removing much corporate stress. I almost feel too disengaged sometimes and try to put those spare cycles towards others business problems. I don't do meetings tho

+Haven't really worried about a great AA / autopilot portfolio. I watch the market news daily and log into the various accounts to look from time to time but nothing has come close to keeping me up at night. I am living below my means / budgeted cash only and have room to be flexible as needed to remain within the %. I have watched my colleagues however not do so well. Most have hired % FAs and were shocked at how well I did DIY compared to their FA that cost them and took hours of their time sending over complex documents to make it look like the FA was worth the $.

The minuses (-)

-it's cramped many of my personal relationships. Trying to force myself into a schedule that fits around friends with day jobs feels like when I was working and had to schedule every little thing. My health has also improved in retirement because I find myself staying out and drinking etc much less than when I was a businessman and always had a customer or colleague wanting an after hours dinner / drinks. I find most of my day worker colleagues only want to do stuff like that and it's hard for me to get them into other things. I guess time for new friends in some areas.

-Cramped family relationships : and before this I felt like I was already down to a small group of people I still kept in touch with. Some of them don't understand what I am doing and because so young thinking I am being selfish by just enjoying what I have worked for and earned. Some convince themselves thru a sense of entitlement that I should distribute everything I earned across the small family. First time I heard of this belief in the family sadly I have had to cut one of them off and from time to time I hear comments I don't like or expect from my close family. There is nothing I can do about the behavior of others sadly and their guilt will not make me deviate from my plan.

-People(friends and family) who would once give me normal updates about their life when we talked now only lay stories of woe on me. I noticed this right away. Now everyone's life is like some kind of torture dungeon and they will sometimes comment how I have it so easy. Since I worked hard for years where I didn't do much else with my life (no spouse, no kids) I am sickened by their comments and must distance myself. It's not a good energy and it seems my life now just reduces the quality of theirs. Coming from family is especially sad for me but I must go on.

-I can't take a job to save my life. People are right now constantly seeking me out, hoping I will get back into the game in their new venture. I try to just help pro bono so nobody has any expectations of me since I am not being paid anything. This could be a plus or minus I guess, but when daily freedoms of having no schedule at all start being violated I just don't care enough. The first time I just wanna lay in bed and read a book and someone is trying to rope me in with salary / stock when I have just been trying to casually help I want to eject. The thought of returning to calendar heavy corp life actually makes me kinda freak out. I realize I overdid it there a bit over the years.

I try to live really humble and average. I'm not flashy or blingy. I actually live on 1/4 the cash income I generated as an executive. I seek to reach a point where people don't think of me any differently.

FIRE is a mix of good and bad for me so far.

Goals moving forward : find a way to reunite my family and hope to see my friends more happy and content.

I get frustrated when people act jealous over what I have worked for while they wouldn't take a piece of good saving advise no matter how much I try to help.

So how are you 2013ers?
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:48 PM   #2
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I get frustrated when people act jealous over what I have worked for while they wouldn't take a piece of good saving advise no matter how much I try to help.
Somewhat sadly this is not uncommon for members of the forum to experience although I wouldn't go so far as to say it is the norm.

But stay the course and know that what you did was right for you.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
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Somewhat sadly this is not uncommon for members of the forum to experience although I wouldn't go so far as to say it is the norm.

But stay the course and know that what you did was right for you.
Yeah I can't imagine doing it any different and I still hypothetically have many years to go surviving all of them.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:27 AM   #4
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-it's cramped many of my personal relationships. Trying to force myself into a schedule that fits around friends with day jobs feels like when I was working and had to schedule every little thing. My health has also improved in retirement because I find myself staying out and drinking etc much less than when I was a businessman and always had a customer or colleague wanting an after hours dinner / drinks. I find most of my day worker colleagues only want to do stuff like that and it's hard for me to get them into other things. I guess time for new friends in some areas.
Good personal observations Shasta...I too FIRE'd in 2013 at age 44...although my wife is still working but will "retire" this summer with visions of days at the beach (she loves the ocean).

I've noticed that some of my w*rking friends still can't quite relate to me and how I can be retired at a fairly young age. While I haven't traced any sort of resentment from them, my golfing buddy laments the fact that he still needed to work...and it was a bummer when he had to go back to work after a brief time (maybe 7 months) in between a retirement from one job and the beginning of a new job...so no weekday tee times with him. Sucks having to play on weekends with a crowded course and slow play with that. I guess I have to get another golfing buddy who would be free on weekdays...until my wife retires then we can play together. I still try to have lunch with the old work crew once in a while just to catch up, but even that is getting to be few and far between.

My immediate family has been supportive and they think it is awesome that I/we can retire early and not have to go back to work...although my brother inquired, after my wife and I had an extended European vacation, if I had won the lottery or something. I didn't know how to react to that...take it as a compliment or take it as an insult that I wouldn't share some of my winnings with them had I won the lottery (which I freely would...with my immediate family and my wife's immediate family).

Oh, one negative, it seems certain relatives (not my side of the family) find it "easy" to "borrow" money from us knowing we are FIRE'd. We don't mind helping those in financial need...but I can see this being an issue my wife and I would have to address going forward.

Anyway, keep enjoying the FIRE'd life...I am.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:38 AM   #5
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Oh, one negative, it seems certain relatives (not my side of the family) find it "easy" to "borrow" money from us knowing we are FIRE'd. We don't mind helping those in financial need...but I can see this being an issue my wife and I would have to address going forward.
Happy Anniv Van-Guard23.

The family requests for 'loans' is really what I was getting at when I mentioned tales of woe above ^^. They set it up by first subjecting me to a string of stage setting stories or phone calls / emails. I find this particularly infuriating given my previous career and how I need people to be direct. I feel like i am jerked around by the set-up and then their expectations are a bit over the line. And its not even as convincing as pro sales jobs I saw back at MegaCorp so even sitting thru their stageshow makes me impatient haha.

What I proactively do is offer to help where I am as long as it fits within my personal WR% and I can afford it out of cash and don't expect / need it back. In fact when I made 4x the money working I was notorious for helping people in the family and not once have I received or expected any repayment.

Just recent years a family member had an unexpected medical event that caused them to lose most of their tech income. It was a surprise and devastating to them. I committed enough to afford me 2 nice vacations in an account that paid them monthly for 12 months. This could a.) allow me to help b.) fit within my WR% c.) Not over committing in case the next years rebalance didn't leave me with enough fruit to comfortably afford it. I think if I want to do this sort of thing and I can its fine as it doesn't endanger my plan.

Its when people don't even get investing or savings at all really. They think I am sitting over here like Scrooge McDuck in Ducktails swimming in an olympic sized pool filled with gold coins, or driving my Lamborghini to my helicopter which I ride to my private deck on the Death Star for 4:00 PM martinis with The Architect from the Matrix, John Madden and John Lennon. They expect that somehow my core life support capital might be available - want me to invest in their business plan or some nonsense.......buy some land because its a great investment and then they can live on it or something else that sounds simple but is actually quite complex, represents much risk and NO just NO because I said so hahah.

To set the stage a bit: I do love my family lots. Some have been terrible, some have been great. I am fortunate to have them. I moved away from home when I was 16 and was so far away, never saw anyone more than once a year and never asked for anything ever from them over the years. I basically moved away from home, worked silently while they did whatever and now just have more time to talk and visit with them and wish it could be more pleasant.

When I left home I had nothing. I rented a room from a few college kids and worked multiple low end jobs just to pay for car insurance etc... I am happy to help my family but feelings of entitlement from them and guilt feel inappropriate to me.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:50 AM   #6
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Interesting! I was just thinking of commenting at my one year anniversary of being FI and sorta RE'd. My disclaimer for "sorta" is that I saw my stepping out of the rat race as more of a trial run. I have not fully disengaged as I took on a few consulting gigs which paid nicely for limited time involved and gave me a little mental challenge to mix with the freedom. Is it a way to disengage gradually? Right now, I would say no, as I am looking forward to keeping it going.

Ok, with that said, here are my thoughts and comments.

Shasta, now that I have been out a year, I have had similar experiences especially the ones about being a kid again, the slowing of time and being in great health. Lost 30lbs and am right where I should be height and weight. Eat right and have much better stamina.

I have also had a few different ones like not being able to find the right mix of friends for a steady social life. Maybe that's why I like the part time consulting gig as my clients have similar interests and don't necessarily hold my quasi-retirement against me. And, I have a wife and kids, so I have those responsibilities which fill in the days. My wife works part-time and she wants to for the foreseeable future. She ran into the same problem I ran into when she was a SAHM whereby she struggled to have a consistent social life once the kids got out of elementary school. I guess you could say we reversed roles though she her income is well short of where I was.

Am I truly retired, I guess not, but I am enjoying spending more time with the kids, taking life at a slower pace and having the time to ease into it. Btw, I am in my mid-50's so unless I go "all in" soon, I guess I can't even say I retired early. Oh well, too each his own.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:42 PM   #7
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Great post! I've been reflecting about my retirement now in it's second year after retiring at age 54 1/2 in December 2013. The first year I just recovered from taking care of my mom for nine years, working full-time with a horrid manager, and then my mother's death. Never recover from your mom's death, I don't think, but physically it took a lot of our of me.

I started to feel like a sloth. I wasn't doing anything but just what I wanted to do and people were making noises about "What do you do all day?" My answer has always been "whatever I f*cking feel like!" Then I tried two scheduled exercise classes, therapy and volunteering.

Hated all three! But still felt that I wasn't fulfilling something I was supposed to be fulfilling. Activity in retirement.

Then realized - I am not a joiner, never have been, hate having a schedule. Hate HAVING to do anything. Not going to blame myself for not going to a class or wanting to volunteer several hours a week.

There are things I want to do but none of them are HAVE TO things. I will exercise by walking my dog and taking long personal walks myself, my journaling helps me with the questions in my mind, and I will volunteer but in more of an "event" way - one day events like cleaning the coast and things like that.

I don't want to feel pressure or guilty for not having the kind of retirement people expect from me. At 55, I think I know what I am capable of and I have to follow that.

Needless to say, retirement has been beyond my expectations and I love, love, love it. I'm finally taking care of my health like I need did before, I'm finally coming to terms with where I'm at right now and not some future me.

So wonderful to hear all your stories! Go Class of 2013!
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:36 PM   #8
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What I proactively do is offer to help where I am as long as it fits within my personal WR% and I can afford it out of cash and don't expect / need it back. In fact when I made 4x the money working I was notorious for helping people in the family and not once have I received or expected any repayment.
I admire your generosity. One of my biggest beef involves the BIL and his wife who borrowed money from DW/us on multiple occasions over the course of a year (on top of another loan that my wife just chalked up as a "gift" a year or so ago) to fix up their house prior to selling it and to finance a move to another state to be closer to and assist with the care of DW's aging parents. They filed for bankruptcy previously so I guess they figured it was "easier" just to borrow money from us instead of a bank...and since the end result would be beneficial for the family in the long run, I agreed with the loans. The "promise" was we would receive payment in full once the house was sold. Well, the house was sold and it wasn't until a couple of months after the house was sold did the issue of payment came up...and at DW's prodding (well, more like mine). Now, they've asked to pay the loan in monthly installments until it is paid up in over 4 years (since they would need the proceeds of the sale to fix up a fixer-upper they are buying closer to the in-laws)! No issues...except that something always comes up. I guess one should only loan money to family when they don't expect repayment...still a hard pill to swallow when the agreement was for a loan. I just have to work on my giving spirit, I suppose.

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Its when people don't even get investing or savings at all really. They think I am sitting over here like Scrooge McDuck in Ducktails swimming in an olympic sized pool filled with gold coins, or driving my Lamborghini to my helicopter which I ride to my private deck on the Death Star for 4:00 PM martinis with The Architect from the Matrix, John Madden and John Lennon.
So you mean you don't have an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with gold doubloons, Lamborghini Diablo, chopper...and a Death Star being FIRE?
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:04 PM   #9
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I FIRED (with Megacorp push) December 2013 at age 50. I am enjoying life and definitely agree with the more pastoral passing of time. DW still works and enjoys it, and none of my close friends are free during the day, so my social life is limited. I do volunteer about 5 hours a week and I've taken over the household duties my wife cheerfully performed for years. I've especially learned to enjoy cooking.

I would definitely like to travel more, but that will have to wait a few more years until DW retires as well. I do like signing up for non-credit online courses.

Still have the slight awkwardness of friends and family who can't understand what I do all day, but I have noticed very little hostility or being treated differently, so no real complaints.

My daughters are transitioning from college to the workforce, serious relationships, etc so this phase of life is still full of new things. Enjoying the ride.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:10 PM   #10
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'Fraid I fell off the wagon a bit. Wife's friend's hubby got me into doing some consulting & now I'm back up to w@rking 3+ days a week. I committed though at least next quarter.

Big blow to the ego to suddenly realize you've failed at retirement
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:09 AM   #11
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Retired at age 55 in Sept 2013.

- We did not travel as much as we wanted, partly due to health issues of DH and my mom

+ We exercise more
+ We could help my mom to relocate to assisted living
+ We do not miss work a bit
+ We are still waiting to be bored. Life is good.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:21 AM   #12
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Retired April 1, 2013, age 58. Can't believe almost 2 years gone by.

Still have a daughter now in 8th grade, so pretty tethered to her life. I try to fully appreciate this time with her, knowing she will be off on her own in a few brief years.

I still get high satisfaction from being immersed in a project: golf tournaments-assisting with Rules or scoring; staining the deck, or helping organize and drive to my daughters activities.

I do have my "bored" days where I do yard work, Costco, pay bills, watch TV, read or just visit the ER site and review my portfolio. It's not that I don't have anything to do, it just that those activities are not real stimulating.

So while overall I'm satisfied with retirement, and don't miss the corporate game playing, I would like to be more open to new, engaging activities.


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Old 02-03-2015, 06:52 AM   #13
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ER Dec 2013, DW still w*rking until end of year, class of 2015. With DW still grinding away, I have time to do some stuff, but can't wait until she is done. We love to do things together like travel and just spending time together.

I have taken on some of the chores, but we always have done them together and she gets bored if there isn't much to do around the house or yard.

I have had a lot of DR. appointments lately trying to get things fixed and to get back to better health, slow process that will take awhile since I didn't get this way overnight.

Don't have many close friends and w*rk mates are all back to w*rk after the business shutdown and they were laid off, we don't stay in touch all that much an email here or there at most. Some want to get together for a cook out or something, but usually doesn't go past the initial talking about it. Most of my contract work is done and not looking to take on anymore of that.

Well got to get things moving to go shopping, I do love that there are very few at the stores during the week, but I have to get there early b/c around noon most of the stay at home/ shift w*rking mothers and dads go shopping around here and then it can get pretty crowded.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:35 PM   #14
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Big blow to the ego to suddenly realize you've failed at retirement
That's okay, I fell off the wagon too on the first try. Persistence pays off though and I learned. Now there is a better chance of the sun rising in the west than there is of me going back to work.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:53 PM   #15
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That's okay, I fell off the wagon too on the first try. Persistence pays off though and I learned. Now there is a better chance of the sun rising in the west than there is of me going back to work.
So yer sayin' there's hope fer me yet?
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:07 AM   #16
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...So how are you 2013ers?
I can relate to a lot of what's been posted here, and I've been reflective lately as I approach the 2-year mark. I retired at 52 in July 2013. Lots of "pluses." We've traveled quite a bit. DW is still working OMY or two, mainly because she is unsure what to do all day if retired. So, hopefully we'll travel even more once she's retired. We have a long list of places we want to see and things to do.

We own a very large 50-year-old house on 2+ acres. We made lots of expensive improvements when we bought it 11 years ago, but not much since then. We had 2 teenagers at the time, so lots of wear and tear. My main activity since retiring has been working a long backlog of projects, some small like painting or updating light fixtures, others large like remodeling bathrooms. There's also a ton of outside work, from routine maintenance to rebuilding stone walls, drainage, etc. I enjoy this work tremendously, but I have a tendency to strain my back, which means everything goes very slowly, or I hire out the more physical tasks.

I also do woodworking as a hobby. Our garage is a fully-equipped woodworking shop. I've completed several projects since retiring, including a kitchen island for DD's house. I could spend every day in the shop, but I try to balance this with the more pressing need for home maintenance and improvements.

I've also spent quite a lot of time getting our financial affairs in order. As everyone knows, it's a big transition from accumulating money to retirement. The most important thing I discovered was how little I actually knew about the finer points of this transition. That led me to this forum, which has been a great resource to research and learn. I tend to over-analyze things, but I'm finally to the point where everything is where I want it, and more-or-less on autopilot.

Other hobbies include biking, cooking healthy foods, playing guitar, building PCs, tinkering with audio equipment and home theater setups, and listening to great music. I also take care of the in-laws who live 15 minutes away as they are increasingly dependent on us for almost everything. My two 20-something kids are out of college, married, and gainfully employed. No grand kids yet. They both live within an hour's drive, so I spend as much time with them as possible, which wasn't always the case in my former life as a Megacorp traveling workaholic. Life is good and full of many challenges to keep my mind and body active and healthy.

The only "minus" is that, except for immediate family, I don't have much interaction with people. I have 4 or 5 very close friends from Megacorp. In the beginning, we would meet for lunch fairly regularly, but that has phased down considerably. I have regular email interaction with people in Asia that I worked with over the years, which has been fun. And I'm a little more active on Facebook to keep in touch with extended family, and old college and high school friends. But at some point, I need to get involved in some local activities and make some new non-work friends.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:52 PM   #17
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Yesterday was my 2 year retirement anniversary. It's been a positive experience for the most part, I recommend it to everyone.

Sticking with the plus and minus format:
+ Retirement has let me have the time to help friends and family. My Mom broke her wrist and then her hip, it's was nice to be able to spend time with her in the rehab center and to bring her to doctor appointments. Also was able to spend a lot of time helping my friend who went through another round of chemo.
+ Looks like the market is going to give us a good sequence of returns (knock wood) and I have finally relaxed about drawing funds out of the retirement accounts. It was very odd to pull out that first withdrawal after 25 years of putting in.
+Cheap travel and no travel. I've done a train trip around the country and a month RV / rental car trip from NY to California and back, along with some 4 and 5 day trips. Finally saw so much of the beautiful country that was always just a fly over. Prices are way cheaper when you are very flexible. Also, I am more comfortable just staying home. No rush to travel - I can go next month.
+Health. I have way less colds and bugs not being locked in that airless environment. The stress level is way down. Oddly, I find myself hitting the gym and cycling less than when I was working. Partly due to more walking, but I think mostly because I'm not using the cycling to lower my stress levels. I have been making a conscious effort to spend more time at the gym these last few months though.
+DIY time. I had a kitchen cabinet refacing estimate that as over $9,000, and that's with the crappy non wood faces. I bought new drawer boxes and rails, sanded and varnished the faces all for $500 and 40 hours of my own labor. Looks way better than it would have.

-It's easy to get sucked into other peoples problems as I don't have the "I have to go to work" excuse. I've spent to much time on other peoples issues. I need to work on saying no some times.
- Procrastination. I just started the other day to get the house painted. And there's a few weeks of outdoors work that needs to be done when the weather breaks. I still haven't decided to rent the place or sell it. No deadlines and low time constraints are making it easy to not make decisions, but the taxes here are forcing a decision now.
- Others opinions. Well, not really a minus as it doesn't effect me directly but it gets annoying. I've had people tell me I'm to young and am wasting my life, that I will die early because I have no purpose, and even over heard someone saying that I now have money because I must have had a large insurance policy on my dearly departed wife.

I do wish I had found this site earlier and that I had planned the financials out a bit better, but it is what it is and I'm more than fine. The advice here has kept me from making any huge mistakes.

Looking forward to year three of my freedom.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:43 PM   #18
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Afraid I've fallen off the ER wagon a bit. Husband of good friend of DW convinced me to do some consulting last yr, and with hi cost (no subsidy) of HI I agreed. Now back up to w#rking 3-4 days/wk....inc a few weekends. Having flunked out of my Class of 2013, I may have to drop back to Class of 2016
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:10 PM   #19
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I think if any family members ask me for loans, I will offer to move in with them and manage their spending and investing. That should end the conversation rather quickly.
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Old 03-07-2015, 05:55 PM   #20
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The past two years have been great. We travel in the camper, hike, bike and paddle. We've watched a grizzly and her playful spring Cubs in Alaska, and paddled among a manatee herd in Florida. Got eaten alive by black flies in Maine...

This is what we worked and saved for. Home for a hiatus and to install a wood floor, then next month back on the road, again.


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