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Old 02-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #61
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The one mistake I made was to buy a large house in my 50's.Financially it has been a good decision since I bought before the huge run up . The problem is that now I am in my mid sixties and the thought of fixing up & packing a large house is daunting .

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:33 AM   #62
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Please share your mistakes...

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Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:28 AM   #63
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I have been quite lucky - I stayed the course during the 08-09 market drop and even threw money in on the way down.
I would say my biggest mistake was changing my AA early. As soon as I was back to where I was pre-crash I went to a more conservative allocation and I missed some upside movement. I again changed my AA when we were at 13,800 DOW...again to soon....But, of course had the market tanked after the AA changes I would have felt pretty good about myself .I am at about 50/50 now and plan to stay at this allocation. I don't want the dark days of 08-09 ever again - I like another poster here would require copious amounts of "meds".

As far as tax deferred vs taxable accounts: I am about 55 deferred and 45 taxable. I plan to start drawing from IRAs and 401Ks at 59 1/2. I will take out as much as I can w/o tripping a large tax bite and use taxable for the rest of my expenses. I will pay my dues to the tax man at age 70 and up when the 10% draw comes into play. I have enjoyed having the deferred money grow freely and being able to move it around w/o tax hits over the decades so I am comfortable with paying up when the time comes.....sort of
Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:45 PM   #64
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Have arrived to the discussion late, but do appreciate the question.

DH and I retired as soon as we were convinced it was financially feasible, with guaranteed retiree health care. What also helped financially was that my husband immediately qualified for SS Disability, eventhough he was only 62. (SSDI increased his monthly SS check.)

While hindsight is 20/20, we now wish we could have ER'd sooner. We both love to travel; but due to his health, travel is now too difficult for him. He has serious physical limitations due to his disability; so he regrets the last 3-5 years when he and I were working long hours with little free time to enjoy life.

If we could have taken the time during those years to find a website like this (and learn that we could retire sooner than anticipated), maybe he could have retired when he still had the physical capacity to travel and pursue more of his favorite hobbies.

But we just didn't have the time to pursue more retirement planning, beyond what we were doing then. Work just ate up too many hours and so much energy.

So, yes, there is wisdom in the advice, "Retire when you can still enjoy it!"

Despite this regret, ER is still a great joy.

So, I guess the mistake to avoid is this: if your SO or spouse is ill or has a chronic condition, take that into account very seriously in your planning. The sooner you can quite work, the more time you will have fun with that person you love.
"Everything becomes more itself." --C.S. Lewis
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:50 PM   #65
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Please make that "quit work," not "quite work"!

"Everything becomes more itself." --C.S. Lewis
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:43 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by cinman2000 View Post
At this point it looks like I will leave my high paying megacorp job in the Fall of 2013 and look for something less stressful/parttime. Focus on keeping the taxable income at 15% or less and selling stocks with high capital gains to cover the rest of living expenses. It's starting to feel real
Quoting myself here just to give an update. I bagged the part time idea, just don't like the idea of being on someone else's schedule. The window now is Jan 2014 to August 2015.
I had not visited this thread in quite a while. Thanks to everyone for sharing these are really helpful!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:47 AM   #67
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my biggest regret is not convincing DW i could do this 2 years ago when she turned 65(me 60). my goal was always to get her to medicare then i would only have to get myself covered. under Romneycare(like it or not) which i have now i could have easily done it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:43 AM   #68
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I used a financial planner to help me invest a large chunk of money. In retrospect, it probably would've been better to have educated myself about investing and then put the money into a Vanguard account. As it was, I was charged a 5% "buy in" fee and pay about 2% a year in annual fees. I had no clue about investing and needed some help, so I consider it a lesson learned. And to be fair, she was no shark -- she never pressured me to invest, and her returns have outperformed my own investment in Vanguard funds, even with the fees. She has also been good about providing references for educating myself about investing (including books that warned specifically about being involved with financial planners). I'm sticking with her for the time being.

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