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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-24-2007, 05:58 PM   #61
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

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Originally Posted by cj
Ditto for me on this one, except substitute "Mercedes" for "Lexus" and "Honda Accord" for "Prius". Traded the stinkin' money-pit-Mercedes for the Honda in 1994, and I'm still driving the Honda. On the Mercedes, every service was SO expensive (hole in muffler = $1000 replace-the-whole-exhaust-system repair). And the paint job went bad in about 3 years. It was a terror driving in snow. I still love the Honda, and have had NO problems in 13 years.

Second mistake: hiring a "friend" as a financial advisor... buying an Equity-indexed annuity (inside an IRA for crying out loud! :P) on his advice. Fired him soon after, bit the bullet on the surrender fees and dumped the EIA soon after.

CJ
Wow, complete oppostite. Had 2 new Camry's in 1992 and 1998 plus a bad back. New 1998 almost crippled me cuz the driver's seat stunk.

Bought 1996 LS400 with 45,000 miles on it in 1999 for the killer camry and $20k. Had a good mechanic did brakes at 60k and the timing belt, water pump at 90k and just usual oil and stuff.... At 180k I did a lot of work before ER (all ball joints, sway bar bushings,tranny out to fix exhaust leak, brakes, roters, basically told him make it new... $2800 parts (2 full pages) and $900 labor....

Also, great gas mileage for a V8. I have driven 900 miles to Myrtle beach from Boston with one stop for gas and avearged 26MPG at 75-80 MPH (occasional 100MPH burst if conditions allowed, ie 3 lanes and no one nearby....) :P Slowed down a bit in ER...

Now at about 190k or so, runs as good as the day I got it, 8 years next month. Mechanic says easily get another 100k and then dump it...

One of the best investments I have ever made. Would have bought another 2 camry's since. Even the newest top of the line one doesn't come close in comfort, speed, power (I test drove one late last year..)

Will do it over again when the time comes without hesitation.

W
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 02:46 PM   #62
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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I feel the same way. Not really that I "wasted" my 20's but that I could have taken a few years off to kick back and relax. Everything I've done in my 20's I could have done in my 30's. House, career, kids, etc.
Don't sweat this! This will turn around when you reach your fifties and your kids are grown and no longer a burden. You'll feel great as you watch your friends still going to PTA meetings and struggling with college tuition... Or an unfortunate few who are just finally dealing with diapers.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 03:14 PM   #63
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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Don't sweat this! This will turn around when you reach your fifties and your kids are grown and no longer a burden. You'll feel great as you watch your friends still going to PTA meetings and struggling with college tuition... Or an unfortunate few who are just finally dealing with diapers.
I'm already seeing this with 40-something coworkers having kids at the same time as me. Knowing they'll be 60+ before the kids are out of their hair while I'll still have a little life left in me in my 40's.

I've recently been in contact with some old high school buddies. 10 years after graduation almost, and many of them are still "in school" or doing the waiting tables in New York while rooming with 6 people in a 1 BR eating ramen for dinner every night. Or they are/have been travelling the world. I'm happy enough with my choices and current lifestyle, but when the wanderlust sets in now, there isn't a lot I can feasibly do given familial responsibilities. I guess it's called "being an adult".
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 03:26 PM   #64
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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I've recently been in contact with some old high school buddies. 10 years after graduation almost, and many of them are still "in school" or doing the waiting tables in New York while rooming with 6 people in a 1 BR eating ramen for dinner every night. Or they are/have been travelling the world. I'm happy enough with my choices and current lifestyle, but when the wanderlust sets in now, there isn't a lot I can feasibly do given familial responsibilities. I guess it's called "being an adult".
That's funny. I haven't been back recently, but when I went to my 10 year HS reunion it was like the overachievers' Grand Prix. Lawyers, Phd's, Bankers, Uber nerds, doctors, etc. But I was the only one with an attractive wife.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 03:48 PM   #65
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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Lawyers, Phd's, Bankers, Uber nerds, doctors, etc.
That's how most of my high school classmates ended up, too. But there are also a good many that, although they do have the grad/professional degrees from top tier schools (or are currently enrolled at said schools), are out doing "fun stuff" in some foreign land, or being a (starving) artist in Greenwich Village. I'm 9 years out from HS graduation, so I guess a lot of these wanderers are in between "getting educated" and "settling down". With no obligations, I guess they are free to do as they please before they grind out a few decades of hard work... Like you Brewer (and others on here), I did the school-->work nonstop trip.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 04:09 PM   #66
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

My 10 year HS renunion was a big bust. Only about 20% of the class showed up, and that was dominated by former BMOC who were now losers at the Budweiser factory, now married to their quickly going from tanned to leather ex-cheerleader or class president girlfriends, still acting like they were top dogs. One table of us formed who actually wanted to talk about what we were doing now, one was a freelance photographer who traveled the world. Another was a real rocket scientist - had a launch a week after the reunion! I seriously doubt I'll go to the 20 year.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 04:19 PM   #67
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

We haven't had a reunion yet, but about 1/3 of my class in on Myspace. That's where I've seen the updates of what folks have been up to over the last 9 years. Pretty neat stuff, this internets.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 04:26 PM   #68
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Laurence,

What you describe is pretty common. The 10-year-reunion syndrome is loaded with "look at me and what I'm doing" types and not very entertaining. Same thing happened at my 10th (a long, long time ago ).

I would encourage you to not rule out going to your 20th or 25th. About that point in time, many folks realize they are who and what they are (fat, balding, gray, frumpy, etc.) and decide to just enjoy themselves. Our class has a reunion every 5 years and I've thoroughly enjoyed myself at every one once we got past the 20 year mark.

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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 04:49 PM   #69
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

My curiosity will probably overcome my dread, so we'll see - hey, it's only 5 years off!
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 07:26 PM   #70
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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My curiosity will probably overcome my dread, so we'll see - hey, it's only 5 years off!
I second REW's advice.

Three-quarters of my high school class settled within an hour of Penn State (or the state pen) and our ten-year reunion was hilarious. Our class drunk was bigger, louder, and drunker. Our head cheerleader had reached her career & wardrobe nirvana as a head flight attendant (don't ask). A bit after midnight I even saw the former prom king sneaking out of the room with the former prom queen... Other people (including me) had pretty much reverted to the forecast captions under their yearbook photos.

But now that the vast majority have married, raised families, accumulated some life experience (and a divorce or two) and life perspectives, it's interesting to read about them on Classmates.com or one of the other reunion websites. I was pretty disappointed that I missed our 20th (work demands) and that no one stepped up for the 25th. There's talk of a 30th and I plan to be there!

I'll tell them that I'm on parole.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 07:40 PM   #71
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Neither DH and I went to 10th, basically because both of our reunions looked like they'd be much like what was described above. I talked to 2 of the 3 people whom I'd have had any interest in seeing, and neither planned on going. maybe 20th...who knows?
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 07:57 PM   #72
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

My 10 year was the same as has been described here - basically a "post HS reunion". I didn't go to the 20th as I was too far away and other responsibilities conflicted.

However, I co-chaired the 30th. We did an "All-70's Decade Reunion" in 2005. An all weekend affair with much planning and many events. There were over 500 total attendees. We thoroughly dug it.

We had a website with class message boards, photos, songs from the 70's, etc.

The great thing with having 10 classes represented was that you knew many folks from the other classes and hadn't seen any of them at previous reunions.

We agreed to hold at least 5 yr. anniversaries from now on.

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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-28-2007, 08:55 PM   #73
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

The biggest mistakes I ever made involved getting wiped out in shorting stocks that I 'knew' were doomed to fall. I was smart enough to know that they would fall, but too dumb to know that, as Keynes said, the market can stay irrational longer than I could stay solvent.

Since then I've done some genuinely smart things that more than made up for that stupidity, but I'm still embarrassed by that failure.

By far the smartest thing I did was make a decision four years ago to cash out of a big house, downsize into another property which I rehabbed and flipped, before finally moving into a very small condo that I was previously renting out. Simplifying my life gave me more free time, cut my monthly overhead drastically, and allowed me to accumulate enough money to actually throw off enough to do something with.


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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-29-2007, 10:00 PM   #74
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Went to my 10th and my 20th -enjoyed both - most people had grown up - some hadn't - what else is new.

Most embarassing moment - cringing when one of our classmates started to do a Las Vegas lounge act...... - cleared the room - she works in Vegas and always wanted to be a 'star.' She had been one of my friends in junior high school and then we'd moved on in high school - however, still knew each other, yada, yada. I still cringed for her - yikes!

Interesting how some of the most popular people didn't go as far as they or the rest of the class would have thought....also amazing how many had married fellow high alums - I was in the minority having moved away from the area and not married a local.

Will go to 30th if offered.

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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 04-01-2007, 10:27 PM   #75
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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Interesting how some of the most popular people didn't go as far as they or the rest of the class would have thought....also amazing how many had married fellow high alums - I was in the minority having moved away from the area and not married a local.
This is what may prevent me from going to my 20th. 20 years ago I was valedictorian, accepted at Stanford and Princeton, six figures of scholarships including full-ride Air Force and Navy ROTC scholarships, National Merit Scholar, etc. Today I have been divorced by my fellow high school alum, live 30 miles from the high school, own a little boring house, and go to my little boring job. Others in my class are doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, and most are still married. I think I am one of those that Deserat describes above, and I really don't need the embarrassment.

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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 04-02-2007, 12:12 AM   #76
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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I really don't need the embarrassment.
Embarrassment about what? Are valedictorians supposed to be millionaire former presidents? If that's the case then I'm glad I never made the cut...

What happens if you don't go to the reunion, but your alum ex does? Whose stories will the rest of the attendees believe?!?
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 04-02-2007, 09:50 AM   #77
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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Embarrassment about what? Are valedictorians supposed to be millionaire former presidents? If that's the case then I'm glad I never made the cut...

What happens if you don't go to the reunion, but your alum ex does? Whose stories will the rest of the attendees believe?!?
I would be embarrassed because I feel like I have not lived up to my potential and/or my classmates' expectations. They don't have to be millionaires or former presidents, but I guess I feel like I was given a brain and some talent and a good head start financially by my parents that I haven't really put to good enough use.

Interesting question about the ex. I'm not even sure what stories she would tell about me.

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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 04-02-2007, 11:52 AM   #78
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

SecondCor521,

Well, you're still on your way to retiring early, and tis better to be able to have a second chance with a partner who may end up being better for you in the end. As for reunions and expectations, who cares what they think? What's important is what you want to do and how you are progressing. Plus, perhaps you might be a bit more approachable now to those who might have thought you intimidating (speaking from experience on that).

What amazed me was that those who had experienced some life setbacks were more human, more friendly and frankly better people - that's what was the nice part of the reunion - I hung out with people who were shocked as it was a change from how I was in high school - I was like you - there was an assumption of what I'd done based on my class standing -while I don't think I've done poorly at all, I just didn't go the route everyone thought I would.

The whole point is to have fun.....at least it is to me - I hope that in the end you don't let those people's supposed opinions stop you from attending - who knows, you just might meet or re-meet some people who can end up being lifelong friends.

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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 04-02-2007, 11:55 AM   #79
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Went to my 25yr reunion, way back on '97. Glad I went (once), but it's doubtful I'll go again. I was happy to wave goodbye to HS, and have never looked back...

Was a commuter student in college, so no long-lasting friendships from those years.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 04-02-2007, 12:05 PM   #80
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

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SecondCor521,

Well, you're still on your way to retiring early, and tis better to be able to have a second chance with a partner who may end up being better for you in the end. As for reunions and expectations, who cares what they think? What's important is what you want to do and how you are progressing. Plus, perhaps you might be a bit more approachable now to those who might have thought you intimidating (speaking from experience on that).

What amazed me was that those who had experienced some life setbacks were more human, more friendly and frankly better people - that's what was the nice part of the reunion - I hung out with people who were shocked as it was a change from how I was in high school - I was like you - there was an assumption of what I'd done based on my class standing -while I don't think I've done poorly at all, I just didn't go the route everyone thought I would.

The whole point is to have fun.....at least it is to me - I hope that in the end you don't let those people's supposed opinions stop you from attending - who knows, you just might meet or re-meet some people who can end up being lifelong friends.

Deserat
Deserat,

Thanks for the encouraging words.

It's a little hard to explain, but as far as "what they think" goes, it would not be an issue of trying to conform in order to be accepted by others. It is more a notion that I had opportunities that others did not and that they would have liked to have had, so somehow I have the responsibility to take advantage of those opportunities.

I hope I am more approachable now. I have been told that I can be intimidating but I never meant to be that way.

I am collecting names and addresses of classmates for the reunion, and in doing so I've discovered that many people have changed from what I remembered them to be like in high school. The former crass jock seems really polite and respectful and nice, for example. Most do seem to have become more accepting that life can throw curve balls good and bad, and there is less of the insecure competitiveness that existed at the 10 year. Which I just realized as I type that that I am bringing some of that insecurity to the 20 year with me.

2Cor521
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