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What would you have done differently?
Old 05-21-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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What would you have done differently?

Hi, all,

I know there's another thread about regrets and disappointments, but...

Another question begs to be asked : Looking back at your journey to FIRE; what would you have done differently? And would you have planned anything differently now that you've retired?

Spent more? Less? Put assets in different places? (Hindsight's always 20/20)

Thanks for any insights....

-WH
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #2
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I would have invested more time in deja vu research.

What Retirees Would Have Done Differently

What Would You Have Done Differently?
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:03 PM   #3
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I think I'll start doing things differently by using the search function!

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:31 PM   #4
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I was too conservative with long term investments. If I can go back in time, I would be more aggressive and long term focused.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #5
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I would have moved all my 401k into Roth in 2008.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:24 PM   #6
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I would have done a better job picking a spouse 35 years ago (the first pick).
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:41 PM   #7
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I wish I'd gotten a clue before age 38. That would have saved me a lot of pain and scrambling.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:52 PM   #8
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I would have done a better job picking a spouse 35 years ago (the first pick).

Me too. I'm fortunate to have made a much better second pick.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:06 AM   #9
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I would have done a better job picking a spouse 35 years ago (the first pick).
A lot of us, me included, had to learn the hard way. Tuition at the School of Hard Knocks can be very expensive.
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:41 AM   #10
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Two changes that would've impacted my savings today:

1) Skip buying the "toy" car when I was 26. I had a perfectly good, paid off, 50k miles car that I traded for a new one for fun. I paid cash, but that was probably $20k that could've been invested ten years ago and have doubled by now, a 8% increase in my total invested assets.

2) Rent for two years in Charleston. I lost $30k in a short-term RE deal (after making $60k in two years prior). I knew the market wasn't great, and I had a "feeling" about my RE agent that I should've listened to... and just rented.

Between those two, that's $50k in my 20s which would've made a substantial difference in where I am today. I'm still on track, but I wish I'd listened to instincts.

I'm wondering if we didn't make a (smaller) mistake buying our current home. It's appreciated quite a bit, and we've got more than 50% equity after only 3 years, but still. Maybe could increase savings rate or use the down payment to boost invested assets...

None of these are going to derail ER for us, thankfully, but I could've done better. Live and learn.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:49 PM   #11
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I had always wanted a pool. We refinanced and put it in 11 years ago. Two years later DS no longer was playing outside much- he got very academic in his teen years. I like the pool but it's more work than it's worth.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:33 PM   #12
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Definitely not work longer!
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:07 AM   #13
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Tough question.

First of all-- find a job with a pension plan-- which I did. Best move I ever made.

It's a balance. Ya gotta live, ya gotta contribute for your retirement, ya gotta save for your first house. The first years are tough. Try to do all three. Oh, and then there is the college for the kids. Yeah, lots of expenses over the years.

Now that the market is at a peak, I long for the crashes. Remember, the crashes are where you can make the most money. When everyone else is scared and selling, buy on discount. It only really matters when you sell. And if you sell on UP, you win.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:18 AM   #14
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The world has changed so much that I would hesitate to change anything. My first marriage produced 2 sons and 5 grandchildren, giving me joy into my golden years.

My current marriage of 19 years is giving me untold joy.

Yes there were some investments that would have done well in hindsight. But who has the benefit of that? The ones I made did well.

Had my first wife not stopped me, I could have been $2 million richer. But what the hell is money anyway?
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:27 AM   #15
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The world has changed so much that I would hesitate to change anything. My first marriage produced 2 sons and 5 grandchildren, giving me joy into my golden years.

My current marriage of 19 years is giving me untold joy.

Yes there were some investments that would have done well in hindsight. But who has the benefit of that? The ones I made did well.

Had my first wife not stopped me, I could have been $2 million richer. But what the hell is money anyway?
I applaud your success, but without money, neither one of us would be posting here.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:38 AM   #16
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I wish I had focused on keeping in touch with more friends I have met in my earlier years so that they can still be retirement pals.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:00 PM   #17
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Not much but there're a few:

1. Getting out of the stock market after a crash many years ago. I was young and scared.

2. Buying tech stocks I didn't understand.

3. Buying Enron!!!! ouch.

4. Buying a 3rd vehicle which we really didn't need. We decided to give it away to my daughter and now we're down to two.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #18
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1. I would never have darkened the doors of A.G. Edwards back in 1999.
2. I would not have bought so many houses and cars.
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Old 06-08-2014, 07:31 PM   #19
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When we were in the accumulation phase we really were too strict with our spending such that we just did not see the forest for the trees. My DH moved into my house, I had one teenager, and he had 2 teen girls who came every other w/e. The house was perfect for 2 people - it was just too small. 6 years later his job was moved and we were able to buy a big house (for the same price as the one we were in) and it made a huge difference in our overall happiness and marriage. We now had air conditioning, garage, large yard for the dog, no noise from neighbors.

Our marriage became shaky from the stress of working long hours, small space, noise, clearing snow from cars, no air con, etc. We both say it was a huge mistake not to trade up to more space when we married. HUGE. We are lucky we were both stubborn and stayed married.
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Old 06-08-2014, 10:26 PM   #20
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