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Old 05-13-2014, 04:51 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
I know EXACTLY how you feel. I'm obsessed too.
I'm still a bit torn sometimes. RE at 42, or keep working for a little while longer for a few more luxuries. I mean 45 is still pretty dang early, as is 50... I have OMY syndrome like five years early.

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Old 05-13-2014, 05:50 PM   #42
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 23
I was 30 years old in a new job and my boss told me about the 401K and he said "I don't care how much you put in but just start" so I starte at $25 a pay period and when I got a raise I would add a little more. I knew very little about money management at the time but slowly educated myself and 13 years later when I changed jobs I rolled the money over to the new plan. One of the options to where you could put your money was Vanguard so that's where the money went and I chose my own funds. Luckily like many others DW was onboard with the plan. I will be retiring at the end of the year at 63. I know that's not early but we agreed to enjoy a few things over the years not knowing what lay ahead otherwise I probably could have retired earlier. I often think about the advice my boss gave me many years ago and how much it means to me now.

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Old 05-13-2014, 09:45 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Travelwanted View Post
Funny thing, the more I think about ER the stronger the desire has become to the point I feel a bit obsessed with it. Anyone else feel that way?
Back in 2008 in the months leading up to my ER, I would think to myself several times a day, especially on the 2 days I had to go to work each week, "Why am I still working here?" Between that and checking my (proposed) ER budget spreadsheet I was definitely nearing the point of being obsessed with it.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:05 AM   #44
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I never realty planned for early retirement, but I've always had a philosophy of "save as much as you can while having a little fun along the way". I'm an actuary so it's easy to obsess over variables like inflation rates, out of pocket medical/dental/vision/hearing costs (already I've got 4 dental implants), etc. About 15 years ago (age 46) I started a simple spreadsheet projecting my assets at age 65 under some reasonable assumptions about future savings and investment returns. That really helped because now I had a plan. Investment returns didn't always follow plan, but my savings did!

When my employer was acquired in 2006 I realized that, unlike many coworkers, I didn't need to jump ship in a panic because we had resources. I ended up staying another 6 years there and had some good jobs and great travel (London, Zurich and Bangalore) on the company dime. When I could no longer find good opportunities there without moving to a HCOL area, I left for a local firm. At the time, Plan B would have been to just retire if I couldn't find anything.

I got fed up with that job 2 weeks ago and quit. I'm 61.5, so earlier than expected, but I'd always known that might happen and I'd read too many sad stories about 50- and 60-soemthings losing jobs and being unable to find another. I'm grateful I had that option.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:02 AM   #45
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I was around 36 years old, miserable in my job, and I was aimlessly surfing the interwebs when I stumbled across a site called Free at 45 - a quick look and something CLICKED. I wanted to retire early... unusually early... and I wanted this BADLY. I have been somewhat obsessed with this goal for the past 9 years.

Fast forward to now, I am 42 and ready to pull the plug - 3 years ahead of schedule. Just need to grow a pair and actually DO IT. 1.3 million portfolio, handful of paid off, wonderful west coast properties that take our NW north of 2M. Wife still wants to work for a bit yet, making a great six figure salary. No kids. No debt. We live quite frugally (around 2k monthly). Likely large inheritance down the road. Yet I am nervous to take the leap.

OMY syndrome is awful.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:14 AM   #46
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What made me decide?

Reading this thread.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:26 AM   #47
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Frugal parents instilled frugal values and habits in me. So LBYM and maxing out my 401(k) soon after starting my first job after college were no-brainers. DW did the same, and both of us had generous matching contributions from our employers. As a result we managed to save a nice chunk in our retirement accounts after working for 10 years or so.

Starting at around 10 years of working at a computer all day, it began to dawn on us that we were gradually compromising our health with a sedentary lifestyle. I think that was the initial impetus that got us thinking about switching gears. At first the focus was on a career change rather than ER.

Somewhere between years 10-15 of working, some other life circumstances caused us to start thinking harder about an exit strategy from the 9-5 routine. After we started having kids, we noticed it was difficult to carve out enough quality family time. And even when we did have time, we were often mentally drained from work. I looked at our still-working parents and realized that, like them, we'd probably be working well into our 60's and beyond unless we did something to break out.

So a few years ago we started brainstorming to figure out how we might be able to escape. DW switched to a part-time career that was much less stressful; we doubled down on debt reduction; we focused on LBYM; and eventually I came across sites like this one while researching ways to downshift. From this site, bogleheads, and others, I got some good ideas and inspiration on how to focus our ER dreams into practical actions.

With the help of tools like Firecalc, we gained some confidence that we might actually be able to RE in our 40's. We chose 45 as a target age to enter ESR, and we've been following that plan for the last 2-3 years. So far, so good. Currently we think that downshifting to part-time work (same career/jobs we have now) when the mortgage is paid off is the right approach. There's a light at the end of the tunnel in about 6 years, and that's made a big difference in our outlook and ability to cope with the daily grind. Still gotta work on the sedentary part though!
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:58 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
I was never obsessed with it, but I was always thinking about how much I could put away each year and looking for extra opportunities to save and invest. I've always liked doing simple math on bits of paper, and I would often do back-of-napkin calculations to figure out how much I would have when I was older, based on different savings rates and different assumed interest rates.

When the time did come, I had some money stashed away, so the years of saving and scribbling sums on bits of paper must have helped.
I try and figure out how much I will have in the future all the time.Even though I know it is not based on any accuracy,it keeps me motivated trying to actually make it happen .
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #49
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For me the decisions has always been more philosophical. To be frank, life is to short not to. I will not allow myself to get stuck in a hamster wheel, and one day look back and realize I spent my life trying to accumulate stuff, working for the weekend, stressed and unhappy.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:36 PM   #50
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My husband is a type 1 diabetic, so has a shorter lifespan, with potentially physically limiting complications. This is motivating us to retire as soon as possible so we have as many good retirement years as possible. This is also a major reason that I am going to stay in the Army until retirement. We are planning on retiring when I hit 22 years, he will be 54, and myself 50.

We are also motivated because my husband's parents both died in their early 60s. Like many have said, life is too short.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:51 PM   #51
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I am still in the process of deciding when I will retire. Until 5 years or so ago I loved my job. The thought of retiring never crossed my mind. Then the environment at work deteriorated greatly. Presently I am involved in a project that will either revive my work environment or crash and burn. If it crashes my decision is easy and if the project succeeds it will likely allow me to enjoy w*rking a couple more years if I still want to. Either way based on all the usual calculations I should be good to FIRE. Why wait? Padding the cushion I suppose. More than that it is the challange of the current project and feelings of responsibility to my co-workers who are not in a position to FIRE. It is the right thing to do and should only take a few more months to play out.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:37 PM   #52
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We decided to retire by ages 55 and 60. 55 for my dear husband because with rule of 85 he can retire from his company. 60 for me just because I wanted to. Health issues are our reasons ( so far we are healthy it is the longevity of our family is not that great). We paid off our primary residence 2 years ago. With His will, one of two rentals in Las Vegas would be paid off in 5 years while we cashflow our son's college.
We have a 7-year old daughter but we started her 529 plan early. 500k on our retirement accounts and 85k on liquid cash. It may sound small compared to other people in this forum but we believe we could retire. Current ages 41 and 42.

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