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Three years of ER
Old 05-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
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Three years of ER

The 3rd anniversary of our early retirement passed without us noticing!

We quit our jobs on April 30th, 2008. Since then, we've learned a lot about being flexible. In 2009, we slashed our spending because of the drop in our portfolio. In 2010, we went back to work part time to replenish the portfolio a bit. That income & the market upswing has enabled our portfolio to recover. It is now almost at the inflation adjusted value on 5/1/08.

We put our house in expensive NJ on the market & have a buyer with a close date later this month. We are moving to Denver where we have leased a town home for a year. We chose Denver after looking closely at Portland and Seattle. We are both avid hikers and chose the sunny Denver weather & central (though isolated) location over the northwest.

Our 2010 expenses were about the same as 2009. 2008 was higher.

We're excited and nervous about the changes to come, but we've learned to sway with the wind & still enjoy ourselves.

Edit: In Nov 2010, we stopped working part time & are fully ER'd again. But we're ready to go back if needed.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #2
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Happy #3 Anniversary. Hope your relocation goes well and many sunny days ahead.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
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How exciting!

I can't imagine how awful it must have been to retire just before the market crash. Even so, it sounds like things are coming together and you have some great adventures ahead.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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Sounds like you are settled in well. Congrats. I doubt I'll ever forget my ER anniversary, July 4th, 2010. Plus I get a fireworks show to celebrate every year!
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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Happy 3rd Anniversary, walkinwood!!! I just had my 4th the first week of April, and it sipped right by me! I guess I was enjoying retirement too much to slow down and celebrate!
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:27 AM   #6
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Congratulations, walkinwood.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:00 AM   #7
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You're in the Class of 2008! Looks like adjustments and flexibility are keys to your success. I retired in March 08 and have not made big adjustments (like going back to work) but have kept an eye on things financial. Portfolio has recovered, actually a new high. Life is good although the market certainly got my attention in the fall of 2008.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:29 AM   #8
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Welcome to Denver, walkinwood. I have been living here for nearly 20 years and just love it. The sun, mountains, and outdoor activities here are fantastic. It's the "thinnest" state in the country.

It must have been tough to retire into a bear market. I'm taking the plunge at the end of this month, so hopefully the market doesn't have another great recession anytime soon.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:36 AM   #9
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Congrats, walkinwood. Hard earned success, but sometimes it is sweeter that way.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:37 AM   #10
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My third anniversary of ER is a matter of weeks away. At first, I wasn't sure what to do with all my free time, even contemplating going back to work at least part-time. In the interim, however, I've learned to relax, to slow down and to enjoy what I'm doing. If I get bored, a nap always seems in order.

The market crash hurt but we're surviving well. Portfolio is about 80% back to where it was (I still own a lot of my former company stock which has not fully recovered). Living below one's means for 40 years has paid off. All in all, I sense the Class of 2008 is doing reasonably well.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:02 PM   #11
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Glad to hear that, Playaman. Congratulations in advance.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:03 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the kind words and the welcome to Denver.

While it was a rough start, it has given us a confidence in our plan that we could never have had without going through the experience.
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #13
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Welcome to Denver. Have lived here 22 years and also lived in Portland the first 21 years of my life. Wise choice coming here....much nicer climate. Snow is hit and miss and mostly stays in the mountains where it belongs. Only shoveled two or three times this year (now will get two feet next week...just watch).

Bring your sunscreen and never plant flowers before mother's day!
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Old 05-06-2011, 12:44 PM   #14
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Gosh walkinwood if you can live through that market crash, you can live through (almost) anything. As Robin Williams said in "The World According To Garp", you're pre-disastered now.

Congratulations, and here's to the next 3 years, and the 3 after that, and the 3 after that........
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:14 PM   #15
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I am only 6 months behind you, walkinwood. I was working only 2 days a week at the time so it was not a big change to my everyday life to reduce that the prized ZERO. No relocation here, just the loss of my lousy commute.

Congrats to you and good luck with your big changes.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:07 AM   #16
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Congratulations, Walkinwood on your third anniversary of ER. Your careful planning has paid off. We went through Denver in October and thought it was a beautiful area. The Rockies are a fun place to RV.
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:35 PM   #17
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Walkinwood, you made a good choice. Denver is a great place.

I want to be able to stick my toes into salty water, even if the water is always very cold and it is usually raining, thus I am in Seattle. But I would never try to defend this climate compared to Denver or Salt Lake!

Ha
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:34 PM   #18
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Congrats, and a good example for all . . . bend, but don't break.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:11 PM   #19
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Thanks for posting. I enjoy reading these kinds of posts that talk about what happened, and how it worked out.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Walkinwood, you made a good choice. Denver is a great place.

I want to be able to stick my toes into salty water, even if the water is always very cold and it is usually raining, thus I am in Seattle. But I would never try to defend this climate compared to Denver or Salt Lake!

Ha
Couldn't agree more, Denver is fantastic. I don't like snow, and like ha I prefer the sand and salt, so I'll be heading elsewhere, but I do have family in Denver and appreciate what it offers. Congratulations!
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