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Who would have thought?
Old 07-09-2017, 07:15 PM   #1
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Who would have thought?

Not sure this goes here, but what the hell!

Just an observation after interacting on this site for the last couple of years... we have some real over achievers! It's amazing what happens when someone applies some level of planning/goal setting. Generally, at least I believe from my own personal experience and what I read here is we overachieve. I remember dreaming about being a " millionaire" in my early 20's. Then 1 became 2 and 2 became 5, .... using hind site, it's amazing how applying simple principles have multiplied wealth beyond my own personal expectations. Honestly, once you achieve a certain level of (1st gen) wealth, I think 1 of the challenges is maintaining humility. One of my go toos for that is cutting my own grass and doing all my own yard maintenance when EVERYONE else has a sevice! I love being outside, plugging in my music, the peace/tranquility, and pride that my yard looks great! How who you reconcile your wealth achievements and keep a humility perspective?
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:31 PM   #2
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I remind myself frequently that the reason I'm a multi (but not at your level) is that I didn't shell out big bucks for lawn mowing, cleaning ladies, professional manicures, the latest designer clothes and
expensive cars. So, I blend in with the rest of the population. I'm also aware, as I see my son and DIL nurture their two little girls, how much was the good fortune of being born into a family where children are cuddled, read to, talked to and taken places. I was also blessed with marketable skills and good health. So, part of it was luck and the grace of God. The rest was what I did with it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:33 PM   #3
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:44 PM   #4
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Maintaining humility is something that's very difficult for someone that's been moderately successful--or a little better off. REWahoo beat me to it, but Mac Davis, the songwriter, says:

Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way
I can't wait to look in the mirror
Cause I get better looking each day
To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
Oh Lord It's hard to be humble,
But I'm doing the best that I can
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
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If I had 5 million, I'd brag about it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:59 PM   #6
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He's playing an Ovation
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:57 AM   #7
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We live in an urban neighborhood where we regularly see people who are homeless or much worse off than we are. Helps to remind us to be grateful for our lifestyle and to be generous to others who are trying to better their situations. No one who isn't close to us would have any idea of our wealth. We drive 11 year old cars and usually wear workout clothes.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:34 AM   #8
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I'm not wealthy, but I had/have enough to FIRE. Don't give it much thought...
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:51 AM   #9
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If I had 5 million, I'd brag about it.
No way. Too many crazies out there, too many people who will ask you for a loan, too many people who equate wealth with evil and greed. I'll keep a low profile, thank you.

Or maybe I took your post too seriously!
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:54 AM   #10
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And he's standing.....I luv symbolism.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:55 AM   #11
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No way. Too many crazies out there, too many people who will ask you for a loan, too many people who equate wealth with evil and greed. I'll keep a low profile, thank you.

Or maybe I took your post too seriously!
LOL. If you have $5M, and it's mostly in real estate equity, you cannot even buy a cup of coffee.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:11 AM   #12
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IMHO, Wealth does not come as easily as the OP describes at a younger age. Time does most most of the heavy lifting, along with luck, timing, intelligence, risk tolerance, not getting divorced multiplie times, etc, etc. The harder it is to accumulate ones wealth, the easier it is to be average and not even wonder about humility. The first million can be long coming depending on your income, family, etc, etc. And it takes more than cutting your own lawn, driving old cars, doing all your home maintenance and renovations. packing a lunch to do that. I've done all that, and have a good paying solid low 6 figure salary. I will own my $450k home in 3 years. But at 59, I just reached my first, and likely last. DW and I both have decent pensions and I have max SS. The idea of ER, which I do not obsess over, didn't even occur to me until about 4 -5 years ago, when I realized that I will be able to replace my net income plus a decent contingency at 62 instead of 65. My parents were obsessed with early retirement, and after making a a decent amount in real estate retired at 52. And it basically wrecked their marriage, as they were unprepared for life without a goal. They did nothing once retired and boredom and frugalness took most of thr joy out of life. My father is and will be less well off than I am now. It turned out to be a smart decision for my mother as she died at 69. Personally, I have never dreaded going to work, being at work, or affected (too much) by work. I have handled the stress easily, and if it was a job I didn't care for, I left it after finding another. I've been in the same career all my life, have moved cross country twice, and worked for 6 different employers. But I have 26 years at this one, once I found my comfort niche. It was never worth it to me to sacrifice all for the mighty dollar so I could stop working ASAP. Sure, my income requirements for retirement are higher than average, but not $200 or 300k, with a 1-2 million dollar house ( based on 4% SWR of 5-6 million). If it happened, great, but it didn't and I am still, and plan to be top 10% or so. Good enough. I plan on spending most all of it. Dying with millions unspent, while living a frugal life, seems a great waste to me.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:37 AM   #13
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The last thing any of my old bosses would have called me was an overachiever. What they didn't know was that I was overachieving on retirement planning on my own time.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DawgMan View Post
How who you reconcile your wealth achievements and keep a humility perspective?
I remember how lucky I am:
- I was lucky to be brought up in a frugal household
- I was lucky to be able to fund my college education
- I was lucky to be good at a lucrative job field
- I was lucky to have enjoyed my profession and working hard
- I was lucky to be married to a wonderful spouse with similar values
- I was lucky to live in a country and at a time where I could get ahead financially
- I was lucky to have avoided the kinds of illnesses/accidents that could have debilitated us financially
- I was lucky to have survived the inevitable financial downturns in good shape
- I was lucky that the most recent financial crisis didn't completely melt down the global financial institutions

While I know that I have done some things right, I know that if I weren't so lucky, it might not have mattered.

That keeps me humble. It's not so hard for me.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:06 AM   #15
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I remember how lucky I am:
- I was lucky to be brought up in a frugal household
- I was lucky to be able to fund my college education
- I was lucky to be good at a lucrative job field
- I was lucky to have enjoyed my profession and working hard
- I was lucky to be married to a wonderful spouse with similar values
- I was lucky to live in a country and at a time where I could get ahead financially
- I was lucky to have avoided the kinds of illnesses/accidents that could have debilitated us financially
- I was lucky to have survived the inevitable financial downturns in good shape
- I was lucky that the most recent financial crisis didn't completely melt down the global financial institutions

While I know that I have done some things right, I know that if I weren't so lucky, it might not have mattered.

That keeps me humble. It's not so hard for me.


+1, well said!
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:16 AM   #16
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I remember how lucky I am:

- I was lucky to be married to a wonderful spouse with similar values
-
Agree with all of those but this is an often under appreciated one. A financially compatible spouse will make or break any FIRE plans.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:22 AM   #17
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Like some others here I have been poor for many years, and now I'm not. In my opinion life is pretty unpredictable. Sometimes things work out our way, and sometimes nothing works out right. All it would take is oh, say, double digit inflation, nuclear war, a crazy dictator, and/or total economic collapse, and I doubt any of us would be living a dream life or even a bearable life any more. Look around the world and you will see what I mean.

Good things and bad things happen. I have plenty for my needs right now, but I have never expected it to be permanent. There's a sort of built in humility for those of us who truly realize the evanescence of assets on a gut level, and live for the day.

I'm just so very, very thankful for the past eight years of retirement.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeea View Post
I remember how lucky I am:
- I was lucky to be brought up in a frugal household
- I was lucky to be able to fund my college education
- I was lucky to be good at a lucrative job field
- I was lucky to have enjoyed my profession and working hard
- I was lucky to be married to a wonderful spouse with similar values
- I was lucky to live in a country and at a time where I could get ahead financially
- I was lucky to have avoided the kinds of illnesses/accidents that could have debilitated us financially
- I was lucky to have survived the inevitable financial downturns in good shape
- I was lucky that the most recent financial crisis didn't completely melt down the global financial institutions

While I know that I have done some things right, I know that if I weren't so lucky, it might not have mattered.

That keeps me humble. It's not so hard for me.
For me all of the above plus:
- I was lucky that I had 2 healthy kids who learned well
- I was lucky that I made major changes to keep my personal leverage up along the way
- I was lucky that I am a DIY guy never shying away from any challenge
- I was lucky that my companies always succeeded
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:45 AM   #19
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Life has never been about money to me. I will probably never earn a million dollars on my own, but I still feel rich. We own our home free and clear, have zero debt, are saving for a nice (hopefully early) retirement, and enjoy multiple vacations each year.

We achieved a lot on a limited income by doing everything ourselves. We built our own house, we drive old cars that we fix ourselves, we build the majority of our own furniture, we do all home maintenance ourselves, etc.

Much of our success came down to luck and timing. We bought two acres for 20K back when this area was remote and undesirable. Now the area is filled with mini mansions. I received a small inheritance (under 15K) when we needed it most to get started on our property. And our parents helped out when I lost my job right after we got married (30+ years ago).

There's also the matter of life choices. We've never owned a new car, never had a home over 1500 sq/ft, never owned any expensive toys (boats, jet ski's, motorcycles, etc.), never wear expensive designer clothing or expensive jewelry, etc.

Of course, it has been a team effort for my wife and I. She was lucky enough to find a job with the county with good pay and benefits shortly after we were married. She supplied most of the money, I supplied most of the free labor. I doubt either of us would be where we are today without each other. I've also been lucky that she's no girly girl, she's happy to get her hands dirty and help out whenever possible.

Am I humble? I like to think so, but I'm sure I have my moments. Compared to the rest of society, we don't have much to gloat about. But we are happy, healthy, and enjoying life. What else do you need.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:54 AM   #20
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I am lucky that I've always purchased a good mirror, it makes me look slim and tall always.
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