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Old 02-02-2012, 08:05 PM   #9661
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Yesterday was "opening day" for AARP free tax preparation. My normal volunteer hours will be 9:30-2 on Fridays but all the seats weren't filled for Wednesday and they were expecting a crowd. I came in early to help set up and worked 10-4.

I did 15 returns and didn't get busted for any mistakes by the Quality Review folks. I am much younger than the other preparers and this is my first year with AARP. I think the site lead was wary of making me part of his crew (told AARP I would only work at this site because so close to home) but I think I've won him over with my performance and my willingness to come 30 min early to set up.

Our clients are all ages but a large percentage are older, retired folks. Everyone was relatively low income. It really hits home how close to the edge so many people live. We have done our part to save for our future but I'm still very thankful for the relative ease of our lives.

From 5-11 pm I made $60 babysitting two girls (6 & 4). A local contact developed through SitterCity.com.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #9662
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Last day or w*rk today. A bit surreal. Went to the office and turned in my laptop, work id, etc. Feels good/strange.

Now sorting out insurance, cell phone, etc that was previously provided by my employer.
Wow. A big congrats to you!

I'd very much like to hear how it's going for you via occasional posts.

Hoping to join you shortly.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:24 PM   #9663
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Wow. A big congrats to you!

I'd very much like to hear how it's going for you via occasional posts.

Hoping to join you shortly.
Will do. So far, so good, but DW thinks I am spending too much time on ER.org. I showed the the "Full time employment: Posting here" and responded that she spends too much time sewing - so there!
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:54 PM   #9664
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Visited the doctor a couple of days ago to get the results of my blood test. I was pretty sure it would be "face the music time" and it was. My cholesterol is high - LDL high and HDL low On the good side, my blood sugar level and triglycerides are good

Luckily, it's an easy fix. I am given to repetitive behavior, and have been consuming a rather non-varied diet high in refined carbs and very low in fruit and veggies in the name of saving money. Silly me. It's time to place more importance on my future health than saving money.

Today was the first day of the new diet. No huge changes, but cutting out most of the refined carbs and replacing them with smaller portions of complex carbs. Also adding lots of veggies and fruit. It was interesting, because I felt hungry more often - I guess my tummy needs time to adjust to not being packed full of rice and pasta. However, when I became hungry before, I would also get irritable and sometimes experience a mild headache and loss of energy. That didn't happen today - when I got hungry, it was the kind of hunger I could live with. There was no loss of energy, no irritability and no headache. I guess all those heavily-processed carbs were putting me on a sugar roller-coaster. I feel so silly for not figuring it out sooner.

I'm surprised that I've noticed these changes after just one day. Can't wait to see how it goes when I'm weeks and months into this.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:13 PM   #9665
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Nice that you have finally met the real Woodie! We get infrequent visits from him every summer, and it is always a highlight of our week to observe his beauty.
OK, come on. Do you expect me to resist this?
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:37 PM   #9666
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OK, come on. Do you expect me to resist this?
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:58 PM   #9667
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Last day or w*rk today. A bit surreal. Went to the office and turned in my laptop, work id, etc. Feels good/strange.

Now sorting out insurance, cell phone, etc that was previously provided by my employer.
Iíd like to know how a guy like you got to retire. I donít get it. Iím older than you, Iíve worked longer than you, probably made more money than you and Iím not retired. You must be one really lucky and/or really fortunate guy to be able to retire at your age. Did you inherit a bunch of money? Donít get me wrong, Iím not envious or jealous (well, maybe a little bit of both). And, just so you know, nobody on this board is envious or jealous of you, but many of us have co-workers, neighbors and relatives who are (envious and jealous). Good for you, but how did you really do it? I mean, cancelling an occasional dentist appointment couldnít have sped up your retirement by more than a couple of days. But, if thatís the answer, my dentist is going to be really p*ssed off at me for the next few months.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:22 AM   #9668
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Iíd like to know how a guy like you got to retire. I donít get it. Iím older than you, Iíve worked longer than you, probably made more money than you and Iím not retired. You must be one really lucky and/or really fortunate guy to be able to retire at your age. Did you inherit a bunch of money? Donít get me wrong, Iím not envious or jealous (well, maybe a little bit of both). And, just so you know, nobody on this board is envious or jealous of you, but many of us have co-workers, neighbors and relatives who are (envious and jealous). Good for you, but how did you really do it? I mean, cancelling an occasional dentist appointment couldnít have sped up your retirement by more than a couple of days. But, if thatís the answer, my dentist is going to be really p*ssed off at me for the next few months.
I have been waiting for the same questions from my BILs.

At 56, I'm a piker compared to many on this board who retire even earlier. Part of it is that I didn't live in Hollywood Hills, CA so I'm guessing that my cost of living was lower. (just kidding) I inherited a good work ethic, glass half full attitude and a sense of humor from my parents and an education (no school debt), but the rest of it was me and DW.

Beyond that it was just a lot of hard work, better than average earnings, LBYM, consistent saving and investing in no-load equity index funds long before it was fashionable, prudent tax avoidance, no divorces and a smidgen of luck.

We drive a Chevy, Hyundai and Subaru even though on paper we could afford a Porsche, BMW or Mercedes. Beautiful vehicles that I yearn for as a bit of a car guy but the LBYM in my blood just couldn't do it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:47 AM   #9669
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.....I do hope to take a picture of the sunrise in the morning a la the Prudential Financial commercials.
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I see you were up early enough to get it, did you?
Follow up - As I posted yesterday, it was overcast so I deferred until this morning. I'm glad that I did. There was a bit of flurries on the horizon so the sunrise was very unusual.

But how do I insert a jpg picture that is on my desktop? When I click on the Insert Image button it asks for a URL.

For now, I made it my new avatar. Hope this works.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #9670
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But how do I insert a jpg picture that is on my desktop? When I click on the Insert Image button it asks for a URL.
The way I do it is to upload the picture to an external site and link to it. After cutting and pasting the url, I have to add the .jpg extension - not sure if you'll need to do that with the site you use.

I use a site called PBase that requires a subscription fee, but one of the free sites like Flickr would most likely work. Perhaps someone else can say what free site(s) they use.

Good work with that sunrise!
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #9671
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Follow up - As I posted yesterday, it was overcast so I deferred until this morning. I'm glad that I did. There was a bit of flurries on the horizon so the sunrise was very unusual.

But how do I insert a jpg picture that is on my desktop? When I click on the Insert Image button it asks for a URL.

For now, I made it my new avatar. Hope this works.
I don't think you can insert a pic with the "Quick Reply" post. You have to click on the "Post Reply" that is on the left hand side of the page at the end of the replies; there is an insert function there that will let you browse to the file on your computer.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:44 AM   #9672
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Iíd like to know how a guy like you got to retire. I donít get it. Iím older than you, Iíve worked longer than you, probably made more money than you and Iím not retired. You must be one really lucky and/or really fortunate guy to be able to retire at your age. Did you inherit a bunch of money? Donít get me wrong, Iím not envious or jealous (well, maybe a little bit of both). And, just so you know, nobody on this board is envious or jealous of you, but many of us have co-workers, neighbors and relatives who are (envious and jealous). Good for you, but how did you really do it?
I'm sure you will get 100 answers on this board, but it really comes down to three things IMO:

1. Living below your means for a period of time.
2. Doing the math - calculating how much you have versus how much you need in the future and determining the savings/returns on investments needed to get there.
3. Pulling the trigger.

Some people don't want to make the sacrifices needed in 1. Some people do 1 but don't/can't figure out 2. Lots of people have enough money to RE but can't/won't pull the trigger.

We did 1. Once I told DW that I wanted to RE, she was not in favor until I demonstrated (and had our financial advisor confirm) that we were FI. Then, it was a matter of pulling the ripcord. I leave in 26 days. For us, the entire process took nearly three years.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #9673
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But how do I insert a jpg picture that is on my desktop? When I click on the Insert Image button it asks for a URL.
How to add photos to a post
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #9674
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Fail!

My attempt at replacing the screen on my sister's laptop didn't work. I returned the screen for what I hope will be a credit - minus delivery costs and a re-stocking fee. It was worth a try I suppose.

Now she wants me to buy a new computer for her and get it all set up so that she only has to turn it on. Hope I'm more successful with that task than repairs...
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:11 PM   #9675
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Follow up - As I posted yesterday, it was overcast so I deferred until this morning. I'm glad that I did. There was a bit of flurries on the horizon so the sunrise was very unusual. .....
Check this out. Is that cool or what!!
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File Type: jpg Feb 3 2012 sunrise.jpg (211.6 KB, 11 views)
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #9676
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Yes, I definitely agree that's cool - and the sunrise is nice, too!
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #9677
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What a beautiful photo, pb4uski!

REWahoo, I have complete confidence in your ability to do that very nicely. Take $400, go to Office Depot and get the cheapest laptop that says "Intel Inside" on it. She will tell everyone that you're a genius.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:58 PM   #9678
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Off to the dentist to get a broken filling replaced. "Gas?" "Yes, please!". I know. What a wimp.

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I've got a prostate biopsy lined up for Monday.
And the results are in! Negative! No cancer, just a prostate the size of a grapefruit. OK, more like a big walnut. This, I can deal with. Funny sounding drugs, a little roto-rooter... :-)
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:15 PM   #9679
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And the results are in! Negative! No cancer
I asked some friends to join me....



The best news I've heard in a long time!
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:18 PM   #9680
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Today I burned my brush pile. Nothing like the smell of that. When it died down a little, around lunch, I dug out the hot dogs and roasted a couple. Then I mowed the lawn, strapped on the backpack leaf blower and cleaned up the outside a bit after the winter we had a couple weeks ago. (Looks like winter was only 2 weeks long this year.) Temps in the 60's and just beautiful to be out doors all day.

My new cast iron pan came in the mail and DW is baking a cake for me in it tonight.



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