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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-27-2005, 03:09 PM   #21
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Re: FIREd people we have met

We have some very good friends that we met in 1996. They 'retired from corporate life' hehe when he was 44 and moved to the beach. He has dabbled in real estate and furniture since then. Only recently have I convinced him to slow down. He just turned 59 and his wife is 53. They have now basically sold all there rentals at the beach and purchased one Arby's in Ohio that pays them $12,000 per month absolute triple net...not to shabby! They have a net worth of about $5mil (I finally convinced him that was enough, but they are high maintenance )

I think another good topic would be 'how did they do it'.

Beachbumz 8)
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-27-2005, 04:19 PM   #22
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Re: FIREd people we have met

Hello Beachbumz! Yep, that would be a good topic.
Everyone has a story.

JG
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-27-2005, 09:12 PM   #23
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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I think another good topic would be 'how did they do it'
Here's a theoretical example of how easy it could be for some people to retire early:

A professional couple earning $100K each starting at age 25. $50K goes for taxes. They live on $50K a year. They bank $100K a year which is eqivalent to about $8,333 a month. Assuming a 6.5% average rate of return for 10 years, they will have about $1.4mil at age 35. Using a 4% SWR gives them $56K in income per year. If they need to work until age 40, they will have $2.5mil at 4% giving them $100K in income per year.
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-27-2005, 09:29 PM   #24
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Re: FIREd people we have met

Hi Retire@40!

That's a good theory, the only problem I see with it is there are VERY few 25 yr old couples (or older for that matter) earning 200K a year! But if they did, that certainly would be a plan.

Beachbumz 8)
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-27-2005, 09:52 PM   #25
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Re: FIREd people we have met

I know lots of people who *could* retire, but they just keep on working. Work is all they know. Some of these guys are insanely rich -- a few of them worth in excess of $100M. I guess it's just a whole different ballgame at that level. I think at that level you need to prove to yourself that your wealth wasn't a fluke, so you look for a repeat performance.

A few of my neighbors are ERs. One retired around 40 as a submariner. He just got recalled -- poor guy.

Another was a naval architect who retired at 50 and immediately started working on a remodel of their house. He just fell off his ladder the other day and now has a huge bump on his head -- poor guy.

Yet another made a pretty good killing in the stock market and retired as a live-aboard docked at a nearby island. He continued to hold his stock as it tanked in 2000-2002. I met him just as he left retirement to give me sailing lessons -- poor guy.

I guess the moral of my story is that ER is hazardous. Keep working!
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 06:01 AM   #26
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Re: FIREd people we have met

I know a number of FI people who are entrepreneur types and odds are they will work until they can't anymore. Work is their life and they love every minute of it. They include real estate developers and a number of owners of businesses like grocery stores, banks, hotels, ski resorts, airplane manufacturers and more. They took big risks and made big money. RE is not something on their radar.

I also know some "old money" people who never worked so they never retired.

Don't personally know any of the working stiff types like those of us that frequent this board. Those who worked, saved their money, don't live extravagant lifestyles, invested well, and said good bye to work when they thought they could make it. Oh, and there is John Galt too.
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 06:41 AM   #27
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Re: FIREd people we have met

Can't say I really know anyone who retired real early. The only one I can think of is my MIL, who retired last year at 61. She put in many years working for state and county agencies in public health and walked away with a humongously fat COLA'd pension plus subsidized healthcare.

Let's just say I am hoping to break the mold in my family. Mt dad could have retired several times in the past 15 years. He was a multimillionaire entrepreneur in the 80s, but lost his business in the early 90's recession. Once again, he could have retired any time in the past 5 years with a big stash, but continues to work at his current business. Since I help my parents manage their money, I know for a fact that they have enough to retire. However, he apparently enjoys working and doesn't have a whole lot of hobbies or other interests in life (aside from gambling and fishing). Since he hasn't spent a day in a cube in his life and never will, I suppose that he may rightly have a different view of work than I.
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 07:10 AM   #28
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Re: FIREd people we have met

Friend whose parents died in his early adulthood, leaving him with several rental properties...Wakes up at 2pm every day, organizes cruises for groups a couple of times a year (his pay is the free trip). The properties require some maintenance, but most of the time he works out at the gym or visits friends (invaluable help setting up for our wedding).

Neurosurgeon who worked for about 3 years after residency, then with lots of hoopla, retired to a fishing boat. Bored after 1 year of that; went back to neurosurgery PT.

IT entrepreneur, sold his business in his mid forties (@15 y ago), and has since worked as a missionary (self supported).
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 08:15 AM   #29
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Re: FIREd people we have met

Martha_M. wrote: "Don't personally know any of the working stiff types like those of us that frequent this board. Those who worked, saved their money, don't live extravagant lifestyles, invested well, and said good bye to work when they thought they could make it. Oh, and there is John Galt too."

We've never met any FIRE'd people either. If you are the type that Martha referred to above (DH and I are those folks), chances are you would not tell anyone. When I went part time in 1999, I encountered jealousy and envy ("how can you afford to do that??!!).

Based on those experiences, we keep RE a secret. When, inevitably, someone asks what do we do, we answer that we both work part time out of our homes and that is the end of that conversation. Just not sexy.

This is why, if I met Martha in the part walking our dogs, she wouldn't ask and I wouldn't tell. We must protect ourselves, after all. People have killed for less. Just watch Court TV.

Sparky

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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 12:40 PM   #30
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Re: FIREd people we have met

A ton of people from my old company that quit well before 65 and seeped back into the ground. A couple that did "look at me! look at me!" for a couple of years with company newsletter stories and local paper articles about their 3 houses, airplanes and fine dining habits.

Bet the latter are back at work in a few years.

Plus my dad and his oldest brother. My dad quit at 59 (technically early?) which surprised me because he could never, and still cant, sit still for 5 seconds. After a flirtation with the stock market in the late 60's/early 70's, he worked a million hours a week and put all his extra money into EE bonds, and got into buying 2-family homes, fixing them up and selling them after renting them for a few years. I figured he'd climb the walls asap. Decided to take up gardening. His yard looks like the model backyards in the home fashion magazines. Takes him a couple of hours a day to fiddle with it. I dont have that gene...at my house the bushes get trimmed every 2 years whether they need it or not and the lawn gets cut right about the time I'm sure the neighbors are concerned that I've died. My dad comes by to visit and I can see him twitching and wanting to grab up a set of pruning shears.

My dads oldest brother is a paragon for LYBM and simple living. Married the first woman he dated, right out of high school. Worked the first job he got for his entire life. Lived in the first house they bought their entire lives. No kids. Small weekend place on cape cod that they're going to move to 'someday'. Kept almost every penny he made. Whenever someone would talk about buying something or taking a lavish vacation he and his wife would look truly mystified and sometimes say "why do you want/need that??". Retired at 54, fishes his brains out, and every few years buys some old wrecked car and fishes the junkyards for parts, putting about $10 of parts and unlimited labor into fixing them up. Knocked out a pickup truck from the 30's and a 60's corvette. Both looked brand new when he was done. Working on a dune buggy now that he's going to keep at the house on the cape when he's done.

So I guess ER is in the family genes...our family has a 'rep' for hard working, self motivated people. I remember getting some of my first jobs in the same small town we had grown up in for generations and having business owners say "oh you're a xxxxxx...you're all good workers, you're hired".
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 06:55 PM   #31
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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We've never met any FIRE'd people either. *If you are the type that Martha referred to above (DH and I are those folks), chances are you would not tell anyone. *When I went part time in 1999, I encountered jealousy and envy ("how can you afford to do that??!!). *

Based on those experiences, we keep RE a secret. *When, inevitably, someone asks what do we do, we answer that we both work part time out of our homes and that is the end of that conversation. *Just not sexy.
Come to think of it, I'm in the same boat. Nobody knows that I am semi-ERd. Except on this board, I don't discuss it. In fact, many people think I'm living paycheck to paycheck because I live in a simple house, drive a regular car, wear regular clothes, and never talk about my net worth to anyone. Not that I consider myself rich, but I know I have more than the average person and I know I have a plan. Telling someone who has less than you how much you have is like telling someone with cancer how healthy you are. It really serves no purpose. When I do see friends and relatives spending foolishly beyond what they afford, I do tell them it's important to save for the future, but it mostly ends there. I did have a couple of people who are a little suspicious and curious tell me that I'm one of the few people they know that never complains about money and how expensive things are.
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 08:12 PM   #32
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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Oops! *I forgot one. *My ex. *She retired real early.
Back workin' now though. *Poetic justice? *

JG *
LOL JG! I can relate to that.

Lance
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 08:18 PM   #33
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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Lancelot (he he - keep thinking Monthy PHYTON *and the holy grails...), I am in contact with them too - and will try to meet up next time I am in Thailand! Cheers!
Ben,

U bet! I'll look forward to sharing a couple of Changs with you in Thailand. Just let me know when you are here.

Lance
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-28-2005, 08:37 PM   #34
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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I'm interested in the Terhorsts. *How are they really, or is there anything to tell?
Hi Eagle,

The Terhorsts are very nice folks, completely down to earth and unassuming. Both are extremely intelligent, but never in a "I know it all/I told you so" vein. They are good conversationalists and take an interest in others, not the self-absorbed, vain prats that some successful people become.

Anyway, they are great folks, period!

Lance
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-29-2005, 06:56 AM   #35
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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Come to think of it, I'm in the same boat. *Nobody knows that I am semi-ERd. *Except on this board, I don't discuss it. *In fact, many people think I'm living paycheck to paycheck because I live in a simple house, drive a regular car, wear regular clothes, and never talk about my net worth to anyone. *Not that I consider myself rich, but I know I have more than the average person and I know I have a plan. *Telling someone who has less than you how much you have is like telling someone with cancer how healthy you are. *It really serves no purpose. *When I do see friends and relatives spending foolishly beyond what they afford, I do tell them it's important to save for the future, but it mostly ends there. *I did have a couple of people who are a little suspicious and curious tell me that I'm one of the few people they know that never complains about money and how expensive things are.
Interesting observation. I don't really know what our friends and neighbors think of us. Some know that we are better off than the average and even swap investment ideas with us. Others don't show any outward signs of suspecting us of being affluent, but must have some clue based on what I do for a living. We pretty much live a normal, middle class suburban life, so its not like we are sporting a McMansion and two Lexi or anything.
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-29-2005, 10:54 AM   #36
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Re: FIREd people we have met

I have never had anyone ask me anything about how to do anything. Except my oldest son once asked me how to make my patented SuperBowl Chili Colorado Con Carne. But in general, I think people feel that I am lucky to be able to keep my fly zippered. If anyone knows that I am fixed, she probably assumes that it was sheer luck.

Sometimes clerks and grocery checkers who are mostly accustomed to seeing me in the evening, or the middle of the night will ask why I am suddenly in the store at 2 pm. Usually with a worried look, like "I hope you are not laid off, Honey." Even when I try to dress well, I look working class. Stealth is easy for me.

About the original topic, ERs we have known; I have known quite a few. My wife had friends, an older couple, who served in Army Intelligence in WW2 with the Balkans as their focus. After the war they taught a course at an Ivy League school in counter-intelligence, for one term each year. When that sort of thing became politically impossible they did sporadic "consulting" with foreign groups. But mostly they had parties, rode horses, traveled and acted rich in Bucks County. Their wealth was herditary. It looked very posh and interesting to me. They had no children.

In the early 70s I knew a couple that had taken a company public in the 1968 IPO garbage fest. Totally upset my working class morals, because they were rich and their "company" didn't even have a real product. But they were living the good and fashionably drugged life in Malibu. Again, no kids.

Another couple from the same era seemed to be doing OK and never working. However, when I ran into the woman a few years later in Vancouver, she told me her man was in prison in California for his part in some kind of credit card scam. I tried to fade from any thing criminal because I didn't approve of it, and I didn't want to be around when things blew up. However, if you are marginally employed or idle, you naturally tend to run into criminals.

Another ER I knew back then was a 45 yo diet doctor who made his pile, bought a house in the Hollywood Hills and devoted himself to some Indian Guru. He used to give meditation parties that were really mellow. He had kind of a thing for my wife, so it got less comfortable going there. But I always missed his pool and all the incense.

The late 60s early 70s were similar to today in that many young people wanted to drop out. What was it that Tim Leary said? "Tune in, turn on, and drop out!"

I wish I understood these mass psychological trends. Probably a lot of it had to do with Viet Nam.

Mikey
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-29-2005, 03:53 PM   #37
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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Nords: In 25 yrs of service I attended a lot of 'retirements', they ALL had follow on jobs OR were looking for them in a panic. I know of NO other ERs directly from military service...
Same here. The first few years after DESERT STORM were particularly brutal-- I must've been standing in formation two or three times a week to wish farewell to ol' whatsisname.

One of my old bosses retired last year as a 30-year O-6 with crippling rheumatoid arthritis. He's already on his second pair of artificial hips and he no longer has the use of his wrists or his fingers. His pension is about $75K minus his SBP premiums, although of course his main concern is healthcare.

Even he griped about being unable to find a job. By this time I didn't have the heart to tell him that it wasn't his health, it was the fact that he was such a mean & vindictive SOB. (Not that I'm carrying a grudge!) All of his former coworkers (me included) suspect that the arthritis is his body's way of dealing with his crabby outlook and his Machiavellian supervisory lack of conscience.

I met a different old boss in a restaurant last night. He was yet another one of those 30-year O-6s who'd sacrificed everything (marriage & kids included) for 70-hour workweeks and perpetual self-imposed crises. He actually requested SECNAV permission to stay beyond 30 so that he could wrap up his "important projects" and, when the request was turned down, immediately returned to contractor work on those same projects. His net worth exceeded $3M in the 1990s and he's getting that same $75K pension plus contractor pay ($85K? $100K?) but it's all irrelevant to him as long as he's working something on deadline.

Anyway at the restaurant I realized that he'd forgotten that we'd ever worked together. Or maybe he didn't recognize me with a ponytail. Either way it was sweet, and a potent "There but for the grace of God" reminder of how much progress I've made in the last three years.
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-30-2005, 05:55 AM   #38
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Re: FIREd people we have met

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Nords: Not sure how you do the 'pony tail' thing. I just went 6+months without a haircut and it was driving me nuts.
It started as adolescent rebellion-- first time in my life that I'm in charge of my own hair length. (Hey, uniform regs say my wife can have a ponytail-- why not me!?!)

Then it became a metaphor for ER. "When you start looking for a job that'll be the first thing to go!"

The first two years were the hardest. Besides I was the only human in our house without a ponytail. Now that I have one, anything that embarrasses a 12-year-old can't be all bad. And she finally understands who George Carlin is.

It's been three years now; I'm going to have to braid it or clamp it back for tae kwon do. And I've been cleaning a lot more hairballs out of the household plumbing. But when I floated the idea of shorter hair to my spouse, I was informed that it has other attractions-- must be a Sampson & Delilah kind of thing. (Or maybe it's her adolescent rebellion now.) So I've decided not to act hastily.

The beard only lasted seven weeks. It was a lot easier to have one of those under the NORPAC icepack but it wasn't much fun at the beach. Not one of my better ideas...
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-30-2005, 10:19 AM   #39
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Re: FIREd people we have met

I used to have a beard. Started growing it back two years ago as a "what the heck, why not" until I noticed it was going to come in with those little gray parts at the corners of my mouth.

I dont think so.
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Re: FIREd people we have met
Old 03-30-2005, 02:39 PM   #40
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Re: FIREd people we have met

Oh, no Nords!

Tellus it ain't so man!

A pony tail?

Ya gotta be kiddin'?
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