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Old 05-12-2010, 10:42 AM   #121
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All forms of "taking a special interest" and all take money. Most of Europe actually handles this very well.
Not a great place to look for ways we should handle our problems, particularly with regard to the next generation. Some indicators of how they "handle this very well:"

How happy and well adjusted are the next generation? An indicator: Suicide rates for 15-34 YO:
US: 9.9 per 100,000
Europe (incl Russia): 13 per 100,000 (30% greater)

Well, are the youngsters finding work and building productive lives?
Youth unemployment rate (Sep 2009):
US: 17.8%
EU countries: 19.8%

And maybe we shouldn't even talk about GDP and growth rates--very real measures of wealth and well being.

I wonder why, despite all the evidence, so many Americans want to emulate so many things about Europe. It's a beautiful place and we should copy what works there, but let's not assume all is well. It ain't.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:24 AM   #122
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Europe. It's a beautiful place and we should copy what works there, but let's not assume all is well. It ain't.
I disagree with most of your message, but on this I agree.

To get back on topic and having said what was the best thing that I did that got me where I am, I'll answer for my girlfriend:

She LOVES clothes and shoes, but thankfully buys them used. She found me and my interest in personal finance made her want to save too, so now she saves a large part of her income.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:36 AM   #123
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She LOVES clothes and shoes, but thankfully buys them used. She found me and my interest in personal finance made her want to save too, so now she saves a large part of her income.
Who you hang out with makes all the difference! My post on this thread facetiously said that the most important thing that got me here was "staying alive." When still young, I stopped hanging out with people who drove recklessly drunk and later improved the way I took care of my health, working no more overtime and dealing with health issues.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:02 PM   #124
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Back to the thread at hand... (We did raise a child if that matters...)

Gotta be picking the right Woman! Embarrassed to say it took both of us three tries to get it right!!!
Most of the rest was Fate (ok pure dumb luck) as both of us at the time of the union were vested, albeit early with a minimum of 13 years to go to an earliest retirement in a Local Gov DBP system. We were never overly good at LBYM other than by feeding the max we could into the equiv of a 401K (457) and having our employer yanking their cut for the future Pension (about 8%) in a sense we were already "practicing a form of LBYM in that our take home was always much much less than gross (which always seemed like some kind of fairy tale number anyway). The beauty of the gig was that over those years we were both successful in advancing into a relatively new field of endeavor that because of our experience within the Agency(s) we worked for allowed us insights into what was needed, what was required, and especially, who to know to get promoted up the chain. Unfortunately there were some speed bumps along the way, Life does have a funny way of throwing curves, and it became clear with 7 years to go before earliest retirement date, that we really should figure out how to get out of Dodge. One key was the timing of our House Payoff coincided with ER pretty close (COOL, but another piece of Fate/Luck), but more than anything it was back to picking the right spouse. It was our mutual agreement that we could and would make it on about 35% of our working world income. So in essence with live exactly within our means, but choice, and because we now have no choice. Works for us.

1. Picking the right spouse - like mind, same goals, and someone to share the FIRE life with forever.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:56 PM   #125
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The single biggest thing was in my opinion giving up consumerism, that is, equating living with buying stuff and living well with buying more stuff. Focusing on buying used, maintaining, repairing, and becoming more selfsufficient allowed me to save a lot of money. It was only much later that I realized that I could invest that money and cover a substantial part of my expenses already. After that I became much more focused on investing the money well.

I suspect if I had tried to increase investment income first and only later reduce the need to spend money that it would have been much less motivating both because the initial cash flows would have been small compared to what someone normally spends and because the normal budget (average for a family is $48,000 as far as I remember) is quite large which would have required million(s) to become FI.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:08 PM   #126
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:-) What you gave up was "conspicuous consumption" Consumerism is the promotion of the consumers interest as opposed to the producers. "consumptionism" is a better word for promotion of consumption rather than consumer's interests. :-)
The Melangerie: Consumerism and consumptionism
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:43 PM   #127
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:-) What you gave up was "conspicuous consumption" Consumerism is the promotion of the consumers interest as opposed to the producers. "consumptionism" is a better word for promotion of consumption rather than consumer's interests. :-)
The Melangerie: Consumerism and consumptionism
My Grandad died of consumption
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:47 PM   #128
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My Grandad died of consumption
Did he go quietly or was it a conspicuous death?
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:57 PM   #129
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Did he go quietly or was it a conspicuous death?


My other Grandad went quietly - not yelling and screaming like his passengers.

I also had a Great Grandfather who knew exactly when he was going to die - the judge told him.

... and another of my Great Grandfathers almost died in World War I but survived a mustard gas attack - he ended up a seasoned veteran.

Back on topic.... I guess the best thing I've done to get where I am today is to laugh through everything that life throws at me. Humor is the best medicine.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:21 PM   #130
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Back on topic.... I guess the best thing I've done to get where I am today is to laugh through everything that life throws at me. Humor is the best medicine.
But have you ever been in pain, and tried to laugh through it?
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #131
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But have you ever been in pain, and tried to laugh through it?
I don't know about Alan, but I got downright giddy at the dentist's office yesterday...'cause I said "Gas?...yes...fill 'er up!"
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:48 PM   #132
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When I was in the hospital (16 years ago) the nurse gave me a shot for pain, and believe me, once it took effect I laughed right through it.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:52 PM   #133
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But have you ever been in pain, and tried to laugh through it?
Most certainly, including the time a few years back when I was in hospital with meningitis and after a couple of days asked the nurse twice if I could be un-hooked and allowed to have a shower - each time she said she consulted the doctor who said 'no'.

A little later I fell out of bed ripping out the intravenous tube leaving the open the end of the, now banana shaped, needle shooting out long pulses of blood. I had to rip off the dressing and managed to take hold of the end of the needle and pull it out then clamp down with my hand and call the nurse. Of course, my accent is difficult, and she appeared with a bed-pan thinking I had said I was being sick again. When she came in and saw blood all over the walls and me, her mouth fell open in shock, and I said - "Now can I have that shower?" and started laughing, we both got a fit of the giggles

However, while I have been hospital several times for illnesses and surgeries I am blessed that I have always recovered and have not suffered the sort of chronic pain that goes on and on and on, and don't want to suggest that I could retain my sense of humor through everything.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:03 PM   #134
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I don't know about Alan, but I got downright giddy at the dentist's office yesterday...'cause I said "Gas?...yes...fill 'er up!"
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When I was in the hospital (16 years ago) the nurse gave me a shot for pain, and believe me, once it took effect I laughed right through it.


I've been in ER rooms several times in my soccer days with fractures, dislocations etc and have always made jokes with the doctors and nurses.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:06 PM   #135
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I guess the best thing I've done to get where I am today is to laugh through everything that life throws at me. Humor is the best medicine.
I have the same attitude.

Not only do I laugh through pain, I laugh when I'm angry. Now during some of those times I will say "I'm laughin', but I ain't exactly tickled."

Just the act of laughing soothes me.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #136
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. I guess the best thing I've done to get where I am today is to laugh through everything that life throws at me. Humor is the best medicine.
A few times I have started laughing when things got really screwed up. Usually it has been when a sequence of improbable events leads to a mess, or when the sheer mass of challenges and work is overwhelming. It can help to laugh at these situations, but it elicits some strange reactions from others (who may not see the situation as funny, and may suspect you've cracked).
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:34 PM   #137
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Not only do I laugh through pain, I laugh when I'm angry. Now during some of those times I will say "I'm laughin', but I ain't exactly tickled."
Years ago I had a very good friend who told me about what would happen when she and her husband were in the midst of a heated argument. One of them would start huffing and puffing, with nostrils flared, and snort like a bull. She said that would throw them into a fit of laughter and soften the argument quickly.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:51 PM   #138
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Years ago I had a very good friend who told me about what would happen when she and her husband were in the midst of a heated argument. One of them would start huffing and puffing, with nostrils flared, and snort like a bull. She said that would throw them into a fit of laughter and soften the argument quickly.
Now THAT is funny!

When DH and I get in an argument, we'll walk into different rooms to cool down. By the time we see each other again, we've forgotten what the argument was about.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:11 PM   #139
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My Dad died in December, aged 84, (in England) and my brother came over from Australia as well as myself from the USA. My Dad was well loved by everyone, particularly for his sense of humor so while it was sad that he'd died, his funeral and wake was full of laughter and good humor.

At one point my brother and 2 sisters were in Dad's house sorting through stuff when the phone rang. My brother answered and after a moment said, "I hope this isn't a sales call...... look, I'm at home, my wife is out of town staying with her mother and my girlfriend is in the bedroom. I'm about to have the best sex ... <click>" He then smiled and said, "That usually gets rid of them. Now, where were we..."
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:16 PM   #140
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My other Grandad went quietly - not yelling and screaming like his passengers.
I also had a Great Grandfather who knew exactly when he was going to die - the judge told him.
... and another of my Great Grandfathers almost died in World War I but survived a mustard gas attack - he ended up a seasoned veteran.
Back on topic.... I guess the best thing I've done to get where I am today is to laugh through everything that life throws at me. Humor is the best medicine.
Except, of course, for the people who used to hang out with your grandfathers!
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