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Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-19-2007, 08:54 PM   #1
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Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Please share your experiences for the freshmen.
In retrospect. What you wish you had or hadn't done on the road to ER or early in ER?
Money or time drains or just laughable?

You have/not bought a boat.
A had/not 2nd home. (frozen pipes?)
You got into a hell job just for the money.
You did/didn't have kids.
Adopted those five mastiffs
...
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-19-2007, 09:21 PM   #2
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Oh, where to start with my stupid mistakes...

o Bought a Lexus once. Great car, cost a fortune. Every routine service was $500 or better. Mileage lousy. Thrills: none. Image boost: none. Didn't feel like a good fit - I stepped out of my own skin on this one. Traded it in for a Prius. The Prius is my favorite car ever.

o This one's tricker because it is partly my mistake, and partly the DW: over a succession of career moves, we have tended to live in expensive areas and have steadily bought "up" in our choice of houses. We are now mortgage-free but have way too much (in my opinion) tied up in our 3200 sf fancy neighborhood brick colonial house. I could downsize tomorrow without slumming one bit. She prefers to stay here. Retirement timing hinges on this. We discuss it alot. I would/should have put up a better front to resist this that the time the decisions were made. OTOH, I love where we live and maybe she was right??

Those are just for starters on the $$ side.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-19-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Got married

Got divorced
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-19-2007, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Rich...get the lexus up on a long downhill grade, take your foot off the gas and enjoy the 99MPG...
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-19-2007, 10:06 PM   #5
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Got so involved in the work thing that I forgot to take the me time for education. After husband passed and I was single with 2 little ones it was all I could do to keep up with the chores of a home and work like a mad woman. So, I guess we should have downsized housing. All my mistake and I can blame no one else. Financially it finally worked out just fine but I wish the education had been accomplished. I may start school this fall though! I just wish the school of hard knocks degree program was more recognized and appreciated.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-19-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Stupid/Expensive = Got engaged (she was a money pit)

Smart/Financially Sound = Got DIS-engaged!!!
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-19-2007, 10:36 PM   #7
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie
Stupid/Expensive = Got engaged (she was a money pit)

Smart/Financially Sound = Got DIS-engaged!!!
It's better to have loved and lost.

It's also cheaper.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 12:40 AM   #8
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

i guess this was a mistake but i don't know if i could have done any better. even though i don't have to work anymore, i still feel a little odd that i never found anything i really wanted to do for a living. the only career advice i ever got from my parents was: "find something you enjoy doing that you can make you some money." so i tried to find middle ground. something i didn't mind doing that would keep me above water.

in hindsight, knowing what i know today (that i would inherit) i should have taken a job i really enjoyed without regard to how much money it made, like volunteer work with animals in africa. or i should have taken the quickest path to the most money without regard as to whether or not i enjoyed the job. this is not normally good advice. but i found that even the job which i didn't mind doing became awful after time. and that wasn't even a job that made a lot of money. it was just a job i once liked before re-design turned it to a crap job which still only kept me above water.

i was never all that comfortable in this world and so i played it safe. my advice to younger others would be stay off the middle ground. follow your heart if you can afford it and if you can not then follow your wallet. or if you do take the middle ground, prepare yourself to jump off to one side or the other when the ground below you turns soggy.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 01:08 AM   #9
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Seemingly stupid: Got caught with my hand in the real estate jar. Until the Phoenix market turns around, my early retirement is on hold. Of course, a year from now it may become a brilliant move. Me hopes, anyway.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 05:55 AM   #10
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Following investment advice from brokers, investment counselors 10 to 15 years ago - didn't understand their cost. Bought a whole life insurance policy 30 years ago, what a waste of money that was until I stopped it.

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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 07:50 AM   #11
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wich you didn't

Worst mistake ever and I knew better. During the 2000-2003 recession I was disciplined for the first six months but then the pain got too much for me. I reduced my equity allocation to somewhere around 15 to 20%. But this was AFTER the market had already tanked. Then I was slow getting back in. The net result was I captured most of the downturn and only part of the upturn.

Second worse mistake: Just didn't know how much of a difference diversification in various asset classes could make. During this time, the lion's share of my money was invested in only two funds - an S&P 500 index fund and a cash account paying 5%. (but mostly the cash a/c) I rolled back into equities in 2004 but again only went into large domestic caps (S&P 500) Finally in 2005, I got wise to REITS, small caps, and Int'l stocks and diversified properly. But by then I had really taken a bath. my actual return for 2000 to 2006: 2.75%. The return for one of the simplest "set it and forget it" portfolios for this same period (i.e. Coffeehouse Portfolio): 9%. Actual lost opportunities for portfolio growth: approximately $300K... a number which would feather my nest quite nicely later this year when I actually bail.

What have I learned? Diversify, Diversify, Diversify. And oh yes, stay disciplined. My only consolation is that I learned these lessons while I was still working.







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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 09:17 AM   #12
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Worst mistake - fell for a very expensive broker's sales pitch (should have listened to my parents!) and kept our money with them way too long.

Good decision - at least we didn't buy their whole life policy as well!
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 09:20 AM   #13
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Worst mistake? Not buying a particular house (a two-family home) whose price tripled over the last 6 years, all because of minor disagreements with the seller. I was (am) a stubborn SOB. So were they.

I didn't lose anything, but the opportunity lost still hurts.

To cheer myself I imagine all sorts of nasty tenant problems that I could have gotten into ...
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 09:27 AM   #14
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Worst mistake - living with a money-sucking unemployed bum. To be more generous one might say perpetual grad student/entrepreneur - same thing, really. Best move - finally kicking him out and finding a mate that thinks like I do about FIRE.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 10:18 AM   #15
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Waiting to "complete" my education, which led to all sorts of sub-optimal outcomes, like "underemployment", sticking around a $hithole town, marrying the wrong person, etc.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 10:45 AM   #16
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

The two biggest mistakes I made was not insisting that dh sell his house sooner, he missed the big run up in the early 80's by being stubborn and I didn't feel I could push hard being just the g/f. The other was not getting my hands on the two accident settlements he received and stashing them away where he couldn't touch them. He blew through over 40k having fun and again, I didn't feel I could push because I was, only the girlfriend. I did the best I could to "suggest" but Mr Bigtimejustdivorcedwannahavefunguy didn't/wouldn't listen.

On a good note, he regrets both of those situations now. If he had listened to me he would have sold the house for $125k instead of 65k and he'd still have a good chunk of that 40k. He now lets me handle all financial decisions

The only personal mistake I made was not going to college right away but waited for 10 years to get my degree. It wasn't too much of a mistake because by then I knew what I wanted to do and the company I was working for paid for 80%.
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 11:09 AM   #17
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
Waiting to "complete" my education, which led to all sorts of sub-optimal outcomes, like "underemployment", sticking around a $hithole town, marrying the wrong person, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Worst mistake - living with a money-sucking unemployed bum. To be more generous one might say perpetual grad student/entrepreneur - same thing, really. Best move - finally kicking him out and finding a mate that thinks like I do about FIRE.
Nice juxtaposition! Any chance you two were together at one point?
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 11:22 AM   #18
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

Hey, I was never a grad student...
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 03:48 PM   #19
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

One of my worst was making financial decisions while I was still grieving .Second one is going on ebay while drinking wine ( you can end up with some strange stuff ).
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't
Old 03-20-2007, 03:58 PM   #20
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Re: Expensive or just plainly Stupid mistakes you made and wish you didn't

My two biggest regrets are for things that I wish I would have bought.

Both were farms that are now worth several times what I could have bought them for.

I had the downpayment, and could make it cash flow. My biggest mistake was not finding the right bank to work with that would loan me what the land was worth. At the time I was young and didn't know you could shop around for loans, I worked with the small town banker in my little home town and didn't even think of checking around for another one.
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