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Could you retire at 38?
Old 04-19-2010, 10:36 AM   #21
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Could you retire at 38?

No, but my EW did...
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:03 AM   #22
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We also didn't have children. That definitely made it possible at the time.
Audrey
That was a big reason...........
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:18 AM   #23
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I had no loans to pay off, but I still couldn't do it. At age 38 (1995) I had no debt. I had not yet started to calculate NW, but I estimate it was ~$250K. That would have given me a SWR of $10K.
Similar scenario, for me. Except I was 38 in year 1993. No way I could have done it.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:36 AM   #24
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That was a big reason...........
It sure was! For a couple of reasons:

1) Our annual expenses stayed low. We didn't need to upgrade house, etc., and we didn't. We were able to save a great deal (although retirement really was facilitate through stock options - but still we had limited expenses going forward).

and

2) If we had had kids in school when I was able to retire, I'm not sure I we would have, because my main motivation for retiring was so we could travel a lot, and I think I would have wanted to wait until the kids were college age.

Now, I know several people of on this forum retired in spite of 2. I just remember that was my feeling at the time.

Audrey
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:43 AM   #25
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I think the firm rule in these kinds of threads should be that you guys who answer 'yes' need to reveal your occupations. For me the answer is 'no'; for the record, I am a government schmoe. But maybe if I moonlight...
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:44 AM   #26
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It sure was! For a couple of reasons:

1) Our annual expenses stayed low. We didn't need to upgrade house, etc. We were able to save a great deal (although retirement really was facilitate through stock options - but still we had limited expenses going forward).

and

2) If we had had kids in school when I was able to retire, I'm not sure I we would have, because my main motivation for retiring was so we could travel a lot, and I think I would have wanted to wait until the kids were college age.
I'd add (3) -- we didn't have to pay a lot more for our house just to get into the "right" school district. In some areas just being in the right school district can add $100K or more to the price of an otherwise identical home.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:58 AM   #27
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I'd add (3) -- we didn't have to pay a lot more for our house just to get into the "right" school district. In some areas just being in the right school district can add $100K or more to the price of an otherwise identical home.
...but at least Johnny can read.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:08 PM   #28
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I think the firm rule in these kinds of threads should be that you guys who answer 'yes' need to reveal your occupations. For me the answer is 'no'; for the record, I am a government schmoe. But maybe if I moonlight...
Well, just like Audrey, no kids + stock options helps a lot. Our occupations are fairly mundane (science-related). But, even if we live in a low cost of living area, our salaries are indexed on salaries paid in an area with a much higher cost of living which makes our current employment situation a very sweet deal indeed.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:12 PM   #29
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But we live in a low cost of living area, yet our salaries are indexed on salaries paid in an area with a much higher cost of living which makes our current employment situation a very sweet deal indeed.
Same here, which is what keeps the FIRE dream alive. My current gig with Megacorp2 began in Silicon Valley, but I was able to get a lateral transfer, move to the boonies and telecommute in a low-cost area off of a Silicon Valley engineer's pay scale. So I'm quite blessed in that sense, though I'm determined to save and invest as much of it as possible because if this gig dries up, there's almost nothing around here as an alternative.

My wife may be entering the ministry soon, and as long as I can hold on to this gig long enough for that to happen (assuming it does), we'll be in good shape and I'd be in position to "semi-retire" sooner rather than later. For sure I'd feel the "golden handcuffs" loosening their grip.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:14 PM   #30
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I think the firm rule in these kinds of threads should be that you guys who answer 'yes' need to reveal your occupations. For me the answer is 'no'; for the record, I am a government schmoe. But maybe if I moonlight...
I'm in one of the lower paid engineering professions. Nothing techie. But in the private side, not government work. DW started entry level at an investment bank 4.5 years ago, and has worked her way up a few notches, but still not making a ton. She does back office stuff away from the traders, not the $500,000 a year jobs that "investment bank" connotes. Our total salaries (not counting fringe benefits) just barely pushes our earned income into six figures (and that first happened in 2008 IIRC).

We are both law school grads, and have the full student loans from that as well. Neither of us receives an income from practicing law, and it has helped very little in terms of compensation at either of our jobs. So factor in that we have a bunch of student loan debt, and "wasted" three years not working, and not getting experience in our current careers.

But we have been focused on wealth building all along. We bought a small (by today's standards) 4 bedroom house in a working class/gentrifying neighborhood that will meet our family raising needs. We drive 10 year old well maintained cars. We make some sacrifices here and there, but nothing that really matters much to us. We could always buy a nicer house in a better neighborhood, and nicer cars, and more/nicer things for our kids. But we chose not to since what we have is "good enough".

Our net worth has grown due to keeping costs of living contained and saving about 1/2 our income (and saving big time on taxes as a result). Overall, I think the kid expenses are almost a wash. Not to understate the expenses involved with kids (which may be higher in the future), but our spending is different now, not necessarily just higher. Through 2010, we saved a bunch on taxes, and 2011 forward we will continue to do so, to a lesser extent.

Edit to add: we are in a low cost of living area also (as far as urban areas in the US go).
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:35 PM   #31
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... I'm determined to save and invest as much of it as possible because if this gig dries up, there's almost nothing around here as an alternative.
Same here. If this gig lasts another 3 years, we'll be in the clear... Fingers crossed.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:27 PM   #32
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At age 38 I had just realized that if I wanted to retire in 20 years I'd better get my act together.

We also had 2 kids aged 11 and 12 so even if, at age 22, I'd wanted to RE at 38 I would never have made it. However, no regrets, we did lots of fantastic "adventuring" during that period
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:42 PM   #33
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I have read about the Kalderlis before and they are inspiring. I really like the way they have been able to explore other countries without it costing a fortune.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:51 PM   #34
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To my dismay CFB retired at 38, beating me by a year.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:28 PM   #35
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Guess I'll answer, because I really hope should be able to fully retire by 38. While my saving/investing habits are really good, that still assumes I am fairly successful in my career, 38 is 12 years away for me, I do not have a crystal ball, but I do have the right type of background and experience for it (EE patent law). EE patent law is very technically complex, but it it starts in the low six figures. I have moderate student loans, especially for going to law school at full price. I do not plan on having children. I am very healthy, mostly maintain a low stress level, and I am extremely careful about my health. When I say I am frugal, as some know from my other posts, I am extreme, I can comfortably live on $10k/year (e.g. my food budget is $100/month). I started making frugal decisions early, I have been a saver before I was even 18. I have moved about...25 times in the last 6 years, and I plan on making an out-of-state move when I do patent law full time. I will have to rent until I am near my mid 30s, when I will buy a smallish house and stay there for many years. Most of my hobbies are free, only a couple of my hobbies are in the $100-500/yr range. I hate traveling (yet I am always moving for work). I buy a car in good shape and drive it into the ground, my current car had 110k miles on it 7 years ago and I still am using it.

All these decisions add up, most of them have allowed me to have a lot more career and financial flexibility than most. Some of them, particularly my hobbies, are mostly a matter of luck, what you enjoy is what you enjoy.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:09 PM   #36
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But we have been focused on wealth building all along.
Bingo.

At 38 I was broke and unemployed. My bad.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:37 PM   #37
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To my dismay CFB retired at 38, beating me by a year.
So.he had more stock options that you?
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:05 PM   #38
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At 38 I just embarked ion a second career in the head office of a technology company, after a career in technology, sales and sales management. I would never had the enjoyment I got from influencing corporate direction.

At 49 I was given a golden handshake and immediate reduced pension. Ten years and an extra wife later, I finally retired.

I think the Kalderlis are a model for people who will take drastic action in order to reduce the risk of early retirement. They write books to sell them so, in a sense they just traded a 9 to 5 job for freelancing (granted for much less $). The nice thing is that they have gained some real experience that can help all those who follow.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:53 PM   #39
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Ten years and an extra wife later, I finally retired.
.
Can you tell us more about the extra wife? This might be an approach to ER that seems less self-denying.

Ha
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:00 PM   #40
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Can you tell us more about the extra wife? This might be an approach to ER that seems less self-denying.

Ha


I bought into (mentally, not monetarily) the idea of sticking with my State job to get the pension when I was 43 when I was 23. I already had five years in and was going to school at night to be an Engineer. I also started the in-house engineer program at my job and like the saying goes, "Back then I couldn't even spell engineer and now I are one".

My point is that you can retire at 43, 38 or even 28, if that is your goal. It didn't take long for me to forget the idea of quitting my job, spending untold thousands on an education, go into the job market, work 45 years of 60 hour weeks and then dropping dead with a gazillion dollars in the bank and begin planning and dreaming about not working. Not that I didn't climb the ladder and work hard and give my all for King and country, but I never took it too seriously and never feel to deeply into the trap of keeping up with the Joneses. A really committed person could keep out of debt, save like crazy and do it. Unfortunately, most of us don't find ER religion until later and 38 is out of reach.

I could have done it if I would have joined the Highway Patrol academy or become a fire fighter. Hindsight!
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