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Old 04-27-2010, 11:48 AM   #41
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Married someone who has the same money-management style .

Moved back to Canada from the States in 2001 when the exchange rate was 1.5. This allowed us to buy our home outright in Canada and we were mortgage-free by the time I was 29 and DH was 31 .
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:54 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by VaCollector View Post

PS....and I must be the only one here startled by the NO KIDS remarks as I
wouldn't trade any on my 3 for ER!!
Have to agree: I wouldn't trade our two girls for anything (including ER)!
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:57 AM   #43
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It is interesting the spin on not having kids and early retirement. We have 2 grown children and 1 grandchild. There is no doubt about it that we have spent quite a bit of money on our children over the years. However, I was thinking back to what our lifestyle was like before we had kids. We spent quite a bit of money on clothing, partying, eating out and entertainment. When we had our first child, our lifestyle changed completely. I realized for the first time (okay, I was a slow learner) that I needed to get serious about some things, because I was responsible for a new person and his life was literally in my hands. We stayed home more and played with him. He became more of our entertainment and we partied with him (seeing life through the eyes of a child is great). We cooked most of our food at home. Having the latest fashions did not seem so important anymore. So, even though we spent a lot of money on our children, I think that they also saved us a lot of money. I would not trade my 2 for any amount of early retirement. I realize that other people feel completely the opposite. I am not trying to start any having kids or not wars, just trying to look at did our children really cost us that much money.
Same here. We got the travel-bug out of our systems BEFORE the girls came along . I think kids are only as expensive as you make them .
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:59 AM   #44
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PS....and I must be the only one here startled by the NO KIDS remarks as I wouldn't trade any on my 3 for ER!!
If I were a parent, I'm sure I wouldn't either. As I said, in my case the decision to not have children was not at all driven by finances or the desire to retire early -- it was just a lifestyle choice we made. For the first few years of our marriage we assumed we'd have the usual 2-3 kidlets, but over the years we never got around to it and eventually came to the conclusion by the time I was about 35 that we liked our family life just the way it was. That it likely moved up our "financial independence day" by a few years was an added bonus, but not the reason for our decision.

I know you weren't insinuating we went kidless for "selfish" reasons, but we hear that one quite a lot in some circles so it's a little of a hot button sometimes.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:01 PM   #45
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Sorry folks, I was just answering a question. I didn't realize my decision not to have children would cause other people to get upset....
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:06 PM   #46
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1: Most important by far (because she convinced me of the importance of the second one): Married the right woman

2: Went to college

3: Took jobs with good insurance (medical and disability)

4: Had no children
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:08 PM   #47
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Tried to put aside 15% of my salary towards retirement.

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Old 04-27-2010, 01:10 PM   #48
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Made the decision very early to set goals and work very hard to achieve them. And it IS a decision one makes as nobody just falls into that work style.
+1 Also, work smart and ensure you have the education required for your career choice. LBYM but more importantly increase your means through hard work.
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Old 04-27-2010, 01:52 PM   #49
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Have to agree: I wouldn't trade our two girls for anything (including ER)!
I'm not married, no kids of my own, but plenty of nieces and nephews. I too agree that there is no value (not even ER) that can be traded for the joy children.

I got a brother one year older than me. We were always really close, and am til this day. As kids we did everything together (many considered us twins). As we got older, we took different paths. He got married, 4 beautiful daughters, got divoriced, remarried. With all the child support payments he'll probably work his entire life or until he just can't work anymore. On the otherhand, I've (so far at least ) remained a bachelor, no kids, house paid off, had a good job, been able to ER.

Yet, in the end...who has had a better life? The joy of kicking back and treating everyday like Saturday or the joy of knowing four beautiful daughters of his own and a stepdaughter that think the world of their dad?
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:24 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
Tough to choose between these three -

1) Dogs instead of kids

2) Selection of a career (programming) that was easy, low stress, well paid, easy to get a new job if necessary (at least from 1979-2006)

3) Always saved, learned how to invest it
Kimber,

As you can see so far...different strokes for different folks.

So to me Cyclings choice for top thing is easily 3. I have a great dog and two great kids, comparing the two is like comparing shoelaces to computers. I am a tech guy, did some programming...boring and now much of it done offshore (don't talk to me about the elegance and simplicity of a particular code sequence...still boring).

But even the first part of 3 is questionable. The way I see it, you can reduce expenditures or increase income. You can only save so much, but no real top to increasing income!

So I guess what I'm saying is that you don't need to work a boring secure job and save save save. You can actually live a very good life, make $ and FIRE.

My top 3,

-1 My wife
-2 Kids
-3 Starting my own businesses

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:34 PM   #51
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First thing has to be dumb luck.

Going to college, unlike my siblings.

Dogs instead of cats (just kidding!).

Kids (because DH and I are idiots and would not have socked away a single dollar we might have saved by not having kids, but we did sock it away once we did).
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:37 PM   #52
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Went to medical school, married a (frugal) doctor, 30 years as a federal employee, and so many other things...
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:48 PM   #53
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1) Dumb luck
  • Born at the beginning of the BB
  • Stumbled into a new (and lucrative) field DP/CS/IT
  • Awarded mega-corp stock options which did nothing as I accumulated a lot and increased by a factor of 8 just as they were about to expire.

2) Under our control
  • Never spent more than we earned
  • Never, well almost never, borrowed
  • Small house, junky cars etc
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:18 PM   #54
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Dogs instead of cats (just kidding!).
Just kidding!?!? You knew darn well these were fighting words, Madam!




Just kidding.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:34 PM   #55
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1) Chose the right parents. ;-) Got some real estate from them. Sold it at the right (?) time.
2) Went to college (inexpensive in my country)
3) Switched to better paid careers whenever I could, never stopped learning new skills
4) Never married, no kids
5) LBYM, no debt
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #56
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I picked careers that allowed me to save, and provided a cola'd pension. I knew the military would not make me rich, but I would always have a pay check. We lived within this paycheck and saved.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:47 PM   #57
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Sorry folks, I was just answering a question. I didn't realize my decision not to have children would cause other people to get upset....
I'm not upset. No kids either.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:50 PM   #58
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Well, I personally do not care if people have no kids in order to ER.

We can ER even with our two children. Wouldn't that make our financial management skills superior?
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #59
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Taking a long sabbatical 20 years ago. During that sabbatical I came to realize that what I enjoyed the most was being on sabbatical i.e. Permanent ER. I then did the financial research, set the $ goals and got my wife's buy in to accomplish FI/ER 12 years latter.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:11 PM   #60
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[QUOTE=Tigger;930626]1) Chose the right parents. ;-)

My parents were the major influence in every good thing that has come my way in life...I won the lottery here and didn't even know it until it was too late.

Stuck it out in marriage through all the ups and downs...more ups than downs if the truth be told

Education, and willingness to stay with my latest job, which has good benefits and pension plan

Lived below my means most of the time. Emphasis on "most"

Miraculously had a studious, thrifty and hardworking kid(now 27) who won a merit scholarship to college and segued out of school into a lucrative career
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