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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 03-16-2013, 09:13 PM   #61
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We've always been good savers, but this forum has helped me become more educated as an investor (book recommendations & so forth), inspired me to reduce my expenses while increasing savings even more, and given me a more realistic view of the challenges of ER and FI. I'd also say this forum has made me a bit more cautious about pulling the plug on work, but all things considered this is good.

I enjoy the optimists here and also the "realists" who remind me that 4% withdrawal rates are not a guarantee and that life has a way of making our best laid plans obsolete.


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Old 03-16-2013, 10:04 PM   #62
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This is my 5th year on the ER Forum. As a rule I do not enjoy financial websites. However, I was feeling frustrated at work, went home, plugged "retirement" into a search engine, found a guy's blog about early retirement (Phil something or other) and a link to this forum.

First, I played around with Firecalc, and then started reading the posts. Voila, here were "my people" - practical, careful, thoughtful, irreverent, and often downright silly. Many were sharing detailed stories of their personal situations. I gained a great deal from reading those.

Unlike most folks in my everyday life, the forum members do not think it is weird to look for ways to save, or to track every penny spent - they have long discussions of the best way to do it! I started keeping a detailed expense spreadsheet, which I refine each year.

This forum taught me about "tax-loss harvesting," which I'd heard about, but was afraid to try. We have since dumped a number of bad stock purchases, saving $$ on our taxes. The forum also encouraged us to think more analytically about asset allocation.


If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:35 PM   #63
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Appears that I am in the most popular category! Not yet ER, but close. Learned a lot here about both financial & (perhaps more importantly) non-financial stuff.

BTW Lisa- Your 1st poll has been rather popular. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:20 PM   #64
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I found the ER sit just last fall and it has been very helpful if confirming my decision to retire early next year.
The FIRE calculator is helpful and the discussion boards are a hoot to read.
I think I read about the site over at the Bogleheads site which is also very informative.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:22 AM   #65
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I was well on my way when I found the forum 5 years ago but didn't realize it. I thought we would be OK once we were both retired but that would probably be in our late 60s. With information here and on suggested links a few changes were made so when my wife came home one day and said she was retiring from her teaching job I wasn't concerned. A couple of years later at 63 I decided it was time too. I enjoyed my career as a college professor and wouldn't have minded staying a few more years but the money had been saved, some medical issues gave me a scare that made me wonder if all our plans for retirement would go up in smoke, and we wanted to enjoy life while we still had the time.

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Old 03-29-2013, 09:29 AM   #66
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Had been retired for two years before I found this forum.
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:50 AM   #67
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I lurked on this forum (or an earlier proto-version with some of the same people) for many years before I actually joined. Originally, if I recall correctly, it was on the Motley Fool message board. Then they wanted to charge to read it, so I stopped. Some time after that, I found that most of the same crowd had migrated to Greaney's board, and I lurked there for a while. Then I discovered that Dory36 had started this forum, so I came and lurked here until I had something to say.

As far as helping with FIRE, I would say that I had the desire and vision, and had formulated my essential spending, savings and investment plan by the mid 1980s, well before there was such a thing as an internet forum. I'm still more or less on the same path I set way back then. That said, I have learned many new things here and I truly enjoy interacting with all of you.
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:25 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by smurray5991 View Post
As others have already said, I have always unwittingly been preparing myself to be FI with aggressive saving, LBYM approach to spending, and basic familiarity with investment approaches, etc. – but (a bit surprisingly) had not ever made a decision about when specifically to stop working, much less thought about RE.

However, when my job was eliminated late last year, and my BS bucket was full enough that the thought of another full time job wasn’t too appealing, I started searching the internet for ‘early retirement’ to see what came up. Finding this forum was an enormous gift from the first day I started exploring it, and has provided multiple values as I have rapidly passed through ‘stages of ER’:

- First, just through reading back posts I learned that FIRE was an actual real choice/possibility, and many had been there before (I had never considered it before!);
- Second because of the confidence immediately provided about my financial ability to RE based on FireCALC and member reassurance on my specific circumstances posted in an introductory post;
- Third because of the tons and tons of excellent, practical, concrete advice about financially managing the numerous dimensions of living in RE (many of which I have already acted on, and many more that I plan to);
- Fourth because of the terrific balance of the ‘practical’ and the ‘emotional’/’lifestyle’ aspects of FIRE – it is wonderful hearing about people’s personal journeys from all sorts of starting points. I can already see that this is a place where you can always find something relevant to whatever ‘stage’ of FIRE you are at.
- Fifth because of the very high caliber of members – smart, engaged, experienced, funny, -- and the very positive, constructive tone of the site overall (thank you moderators!).

And I’m sure there are sixth, seventh, and umpteenth more examples of what this site has given to me already, and will no doubt continue to give. I have come to the forum virtually every day since I began considering ‘retirement’ four months ago and have always taken something valuable away with me from every visit. My final day at full-time work was last Friday , and I very much look forward to continuing to grow with all of you as I further define my form of ER going forward. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!
Bang on, and you've saved me an awful lot of typing

Back in early 07 after 41 years in the workforce I recognised that my BS Bucket [perfect metaphor] had reached 'terminal velocity' and that if I continued much longer there could be blood-on-walls did my wife and, because of the family stress engendered my j*b the blood concerned might be mine!

I'd been tracking daily expenses for a couple of years.....combined with the invaluable financial and psychological advice this site contributed, there was enough 'oomph' for us to pull the grenade-pin and jump off the FIRE cliff. It has worked out OK

The financial journey has been.....errmmmm....volatile...over the last few years, but in overall terms we have endured and found retirement life far preferable to the two alternatives.....w*rking or dieing, so we count our blessings constantly

Whilst is definitely Ameri-centric, there is enough general principles advice and opinion to keep this Aussie member coming back each day, but boy, your constant discussion of health-care costs and IRA's keep us furriners in a state of perpetual bewilderment.....just sort it out dudes, there's more to life than health.....errmmmm, wait a minute!

Anyways, this site for me is a daily must, despite our different senses-of-humour [the correct spelling], I'm sure we can get along OK

Nice poll Lisa......don't do it again!
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:43 AM   #69
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After participating to this website over the last couple of years, I have become aware that I am an outlier from an investment perspective. Too conservative. This is my own perception about my actual feelings about money and security. It is not related to the actual calculated WR. The truth is that I may feel insecure about money - not sure why. "Over cautious" comes to mind.
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post

Why do you need to work on it? In your later posts, I think you shared that your WR will be low enough that it doesn't matter what your AA is.

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 03-30-2013, 05:57 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
After participating to this website over the last couple of years, I have become aware that I am an outlier from an investment perspective. Too conservative. This is my own perception about my actual feelings about money and security. It is not related to the actual calculated WR. The truth is that I may feel insecure money - not sure why. "Over cautious" comes to mind.
Obgyn, you may be conservative compared to most North Americans, but you would not be an outlier in Europe, where many if not most people invest as you do. I am also from Europe and my father, a career civil servant, never invested in equities. But when I was a child, my mother inherited a portfolio of equities from a close family member in the US. She educated herself about equities and managed the portfolio well over the years, eventually leaving it in trust for me. The DJIA was a regular topic of conversation in our house.
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Discovered the Last Week I Worked
Old 03-30-2013, 07:30 AM   #71
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Discovered the Last Week I Worked

It was final exam week, June '12, and I had informed all who cared that I would be retiring after turning in my grades. One morning when I had a late exam to give (so had some extra time to kill), I started wondering about what others might have to say about retirement.

DH and I had already done all the requisite research and planning; he had ER'd for health reasons the previous Jan. So all of our "nuts and bolts" were in place. Now, though, I was SO CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED that I could finally allow myself to fantasize about future fun, beyond the world of grading essays.

So I googled "early retirement," and guess what popped up? I joined, started reading, and have been entertained, educated, and grateful ever since. I'm not part of any other on-line forums, don't do Facebook, etc. But, as I've told DH, this site is like walking into a local VFW or Moose lodge, except everyone in this "club" simply has ER interests in common (and is ready to talk/share from their own experiences and research). What fun!

And, whenever I have an ER question and want to know the "local collective knowledge" on that question, I simply log on, look for a thread, or just ask the question myself.

For example, thanks to, I now know how to rent a car to tour the Loire Valley this September..........and the advice came from folks in Colorado, Texas, the UK, etc.

Thanks to all!!

(This June, I will have been ER'd for a year. This site has only re-affirmed the wisdom of that decision.)
"Everything becomes more itself." --C.S. Lewis
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:39 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
After participating to this website over the last couple of years, I have become aware that I am an outlier from an investment perspective. Too conservative. This is my own perception about my actual feelings about money and security. It is not related to the actual calculated WR. The truth is that I may feel insecure about money - not sure why. "Over cautious" comes to mind.
Don't worry about being 'too conservative'. When I first started investing in the early 90s (pooled funds w/ brother and sisters), it was only in 5-year T-notes. About 6 months later, I waded into individual equities, where I spent the next 6 years seesawing between losses of 30% and break-even. Had I merely stayed the course in gov't bonds (or an index/low cost mutual fund), I would have had a decent overall return!

Then in the early 2000s, went into Munis and REITs. Gradually spent the next 8 years adding more to equities, as I realized that - despite the fluctuations - they do offer more inflation-protected growth over the long run.

Your first step with Vanguard was a great first step! Don't worry, you'll hopefully take a few more baby steps as you add a dash of equities here and there.

Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
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