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View Poll Results: What influence has had on your ability to RE?
Retired - Info on E-R enabled me to retire early 21 10.14%
Retired - E-R helped, but I was planning to RE before I found the forum 60 28.99%
Retired - I was already retired when I found the forum 29 14.01%
Not retired - E-R info is why I'll be able to retire early 8 3.86%
Not retired - E-R has helped but it's not the main reason why I'll be able to retire early 79 38.16%
Not retired - I was already well on track. E-R has had no influence 9 4.35%
Not retired - Even with E-R info I won't be able to retire early 1 0.48%
Voters: 207. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-14-2013, 01:18 PM   #21
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Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
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I was always planning to ER, but the advice and camaraderie of people on this forum gave me the encouragement I needed to pull the trigger.

If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:35 PM   #22
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Location: midwestern city
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This website has helped me underhand how conservative I am and I need to work on this.

Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #23
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Front Range
Posts: 150
Until I found this forum, I thought something was wrong with me at work because I seemed to be the only one who had early retirement goals. Lot's of folks had "get rich" goals, but no one ever talked about early retirement.

Discovering this forum was like suddenly discovering a secret family. I love it. The sense of community is incredible given that we are an anonymous community. This forum gave me the courage to stop the "one more year" syndrome after exactly one more year. I reached FI prior to becoming a forum member, but this forum enabled me to take action to RE (1 Jun 13).
"Our lives are what our thoughts make them" - Marcus Aurellius
FIRE'd on 1 June, 2013 at age 48, DW FIRE'd with me on same day at age 47.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:52 PM   #24
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,401
The forum has helped me to implement what I already secretly hoped to do. The collective wisdom of so many bright people and the materials I've read have helped me to question assumptions and advisors, think outside the box, search for value, and have the courage to go against the "work till you die" culture so common in my profession. As a result I have my life back. Thank you one and all!

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Old 03-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #25
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Posts: 220
I am new to the site this year. If I had known about the calculator earlier I could have saved years of Excel time., but it was good to handle the numbers in Excel, as I better understand them.

My goal to be FI comes out of fear of running out of money. Don't want to be poor - no more.

Great place for me to learn about taxes and ACA. My investment have done well but I still trade to much.
I hope fill out the "known-unknown" and delight in learning the "unknown-unknowns" here.
Enjoy hearing stories of those on the same journey.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #26
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I came for the FIREcalc and stayed for the fun. I spent months reading virtually every thread, I found them that entertaining, even those dealing with detailed formulas to determine HVAC requirements . It was then and continues to be a diverse and smart(ass) crowd even as folks come and go, just as all Internet sites evolve.

Every calculator including FIREcalc that I could find showed that DH and I were in good shape to go so I bailed first; DH would never have left his job a few years later, though, if I hadn't been able to convince him with the FIREcalc data showing we would be fine.
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:43 PM   #27
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I was retired already and was surfing around and found FIRECALC which led me to the forum...kinda backwards...story of my life.

I have learned SO much here. If not for ER I still would never have heard of the ACA subsidies (potential of $10K/yr in my pocket), the easy use of TurboTax ($750/yr in my pocket), travel tips, LTC, and tons of other stuff.

Plus, just a great friendly group of knowledgeable, welcoming folks. On a rainy day, I'll just poke around and read just about anything here... it's like visiting with friends.

Sincere thanks to the Mods who keep it from turning into a b*tchfest.
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:57 PM   #28
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 660 is great at getting together smart, like-minded people who know that early retirement is possible but don't gloss over the need to precede it with aggressive savings, wise investing, and careful planning (plus the need to make critical non-financial lifestyle decisions). I know I could have safely retired a few years before I actually did, but I wasn't ready then. Now I am, and helped me get to my current mindset.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:03 PM   #29
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Location: Bossier City
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Not much influence on my basic retirement, because I will have a couple of pensions that when both are incoming, will cover all basic+ needs. has greatly increased my awareness of my non-pension resources, to include TSP, wife's 401k & our Roth IRA's. Also, I had never heard about the 4% rule, so that will govern our future withdrawals...more or less. I have learned & benefited a good deal from my association here.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:12 PM   #30
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Location: Peru
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Neat Poll... For me, a confessional...
It was almost a quarter century ago when DW and I left the w*rking world, and to tell the truth, If ER had been around then, we wouldn't have retired, "too scared"... But we did, and bumbled our way through by trial and error to a wonderful life, mostly by being cheap, and being lucky.
This is a great place to learn, share, and enjoy the online companionship of people who have a common interest.
Rather than building security to allow for satisfying dreams, we went at it backwards... by structuring our lives to fit what we have. As it turned out, retirement has been far beyond our fondest dreams, and as we age, our financial status seems more secure. (Much easier to plan for 10 years, than for 30.)

So, maybe not an effect on the retirement decision, but most certainly a very pleasant part of retirement, in sharing knowledge and experience.
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:16 PM   #31
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,582
I really appreciate the collective wisdom of the investment, tax and health insurance advice here. I will probably never 100% retire. I just like having different income streams that don't involve an 8 - 5 job in a cubicle.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:30 PM   #32
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I had just retired when I joined the forum, but I quickly realized that I was not alone in aspiring to be a lazy bum.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:39 PM   #33
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Location: Cooksburg,PA
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I was already retired when I found the forum but it has been a great help to me in ER.
Free to canoe
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #34
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Posts: 5,835 has definitely helped, though it's hard to say how much, partly because I don't remember what I knew before and what I learned here, and I don't know how much I'd have learned otherwise. For example, did I have an AA before, and did I learn that from here or from Vanguard? Likewise with a tIRA->Roth conversion plan. I think the forum at least drove home some concepts for me.

I think the forum also helped my confidence factor, though it may have delayed my ER a couple of years. I learned more about what kind of unexpected expenses people face in retirement and part of why I delayed ER is that I hadn't finalized my expected ER budget. When my budget finally stopped moving for a few months, I was ready to pull the trigger with confidence that I'd be ok. I might've continued "one more year" for longer without that confidence.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:03 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I had just retired when I joined the forum, but I quickly realized that I was not alone in aspiring to be a lazy bum.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #36
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Posts: 1,504
I had nebulous plans regarding retirement, but this site helped me put a better focus on them. It has also encouraged me to move up my target retirement date and take a little more "risk" in doing so.
Current target FIRE date: June 2018 - locked and loaded!
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:50 PM   #37
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I was already retired for some years before I came here. I had been living out in the country and could not get a high speed connection, so I only used internet for necessary things.

After moving to town and getting a better connection, I learned general attitudes toward spending less, and also some very specific helpful things, like the now gone payback SS and restart later method. I tended to spend more than i really needed to, and I am considerably more attentive to that now. Also learned about Pen Fed, and made some relationships on the board that are enjoyable and at times helpful in choosing investments.

I learned to choose the Medigap F plan from a former participant who was a life and health insurance broker, and also to buy it through a broker who then would at no cost to me be able to help with issues.

This is really the only forum I spend any considerable time on, though I did go to Bogleheads when I needed some specific help with a screwed up 1099 from the SS, and got some good suggestions there.

"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #38
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Almost 10 years ago, I had planned to retire early at the end of the next 10 years. I started to self-educate myself reading financial books, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, virtually anything I could put my hands on. I tried to figure out how I was doing versus the rest of my age group and the rest of the United States...etc. I became frustrated because none of my friends talked about this stuff. In fact, the minute I mention investments, retirement or money I could feel the mood shift. Thru an online search about retiring early I found this website. With it, I have found people with a common interest and that support has been priceless. It was great to get validation regarding my own thoughts on annuities, advice on a 2nd home purchase (which I have not done), recommended withdrawal rates, Firecalc, ...all enough to let me know I should feel confident retiring at the end of this year instead of wondering if I had enough. Thanks to everyone here.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:36 PM   #39
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I had the idea to retire early while I was in college. Once out I began investing and made plenty of mistakes early on, but learned a lot in the process. Didn't have a lot of money then so the mistakes didn't cost as much as they could have. I found the Retire Early Home Page and the associate Motely Fool forum back in 1997 (I think) and participated a bit there. That was closed and this opened and I've been here ever since (2002). I'm FI now and this forum has helped me learn what I did wrong long ago, and taught me several other things (backdoor roth, treasurydirect to name two). As much as this place is helpful, the idea was formed in my head before I found it, and lbym has always been a natural thing to do.
When you walk in the shadow of insanity, the presence of another mind that thinks and acts as yours does is something close to a blessed event. -Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #40
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I wasn't retired when I joined, but the plan was well under way. Still not retired, but I'm in the last year of a 10 year transition from 50 hrs a week to 0. This board has given me some great financial insight and glimpses of what retirement is like for younger retirees. The posts here have helped remove the mental obstacles I had in retiring.

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