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Old 01-27-2009, 12:04 PM   #21
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I can identify with you intent.....heck, I left a good job in corporate to go back to school to become a massage therapist. I am living off my savings while working part time as well. It is a scary time, but I would not trade my decision for all the money in the bank.
I used to be intimidated by the people on this board too, but it all boils down to one thing.....it's not how much you make, it's how much you keep.
I have found out that I can really live with less and that money is a tool.....it is not the end all and be all.
You are in really good shape.....just don't forget to enjoy the journey....tomorrow is never promised to any of us.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:27 PM   #22
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Thanks for the encouragement, and I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my discomfort.

Logically, I recognize that we're on the right track and doing the right things. I think my anxiety stems from the times we're living/investing in more than anything. Eight years of putting in and really no growth to show for it.

Someone earlier posted a projection where my wife and I will end up with 1.1 mil, or somewhere thereabouts in 15 years, based on a 10% annual growth rate. Where do I sign up?

We'll keep trusting in prudence and stay the course. From the sounds of those who know of where they speak here on the forums, it sounds like we're doing OK.

And instead of night terrors, I'll try to dream happy dreams ... dreams of 10% annual growth for 15 years.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:01 PM   #23
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Thanks for the encouragement, and I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my discomfort.

Logically, I recognize that we're on the right track and doing the right things. I think my anxiety stems from the times we're living/investing in more than anything. Eight years of putting in and really no growth to show for it.

Someone earlier posted a projection where my wife and I will end up with 1.1 mil, or somewhere thereabouts in 15 years, based on a 10% annual growth rate. Where do I sign up?

We'll keep trusting in prudence and stay the course. From the sounds of those who know of where they speak here on the forums, it sounds like we're doing OK.

And instead of night terrors, I'll try to dream happy dreams ... dreams of 10% annual growth for 15 years.
I wouldn't worry about it to much. I think the most anyone can do is make the right decisions (i.e. invest, LBYM, diversify). No one can control the future.

Assuming you have diversified your assets correctly, why not just check your portfollio once a month or so. That way, you can still do the necessary rebalancing but not worry about short-term fluctuations. You know what they say about a watched pot....it never boils
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:05 PM   #24
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Hi, been lurking awhile and thought I'd jump into the waters (they look fine).
...The good news is, rather than purchase the books as I would have several months ago, I checked them out from the local library ... so I'm well on my way I hope
...Looking forward to participating more in this community. The group as a whole is quite impressive.
Ah, flattery will get you everywhere.
Welcome, and you are very well on your way by using the library for the books. Good cheapskate skills!
I buy my books at Amazon, months or years after they come out and I need to get the total up for free shipping on something else I am ordering. My local library is pathetic.
There is much to learn from the financial Borg (collective) here. Someday I might even be able to "talk the talk" vs being a "read only" member for the heavy duty $ discussions.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:43 PM   #25
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[quote=freebird5825;777368]
I buy my books at Amazon, months or years after they come out and I need to get the total up for free shipping on something else I am ordering. quote]



The funny thing is you are probably buying your books from Cuppa Joe , Ha , or Me . Maybe you should ask if there is a forum discount ?
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:49 PM   #26
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Good Intent, I think most of us have had night terrors from time to time. Admittedly I'm one of those who make the relatively big bucks, but when you see several years of salary and bonuses (not expenses, which are way less than half of sal+bonuses, so more like 12-15 years' expenses) evaporate in a short, several month period, ya gets the night terrors. We had been hoping to pull the FIRE plug this coming summer, but now with less than 25 years expenses set aside (4% SWR) we are not comfortable with it at all, and have resigned ourselves to the "one (or two, or three) more year(s)" syndrome. At our age (47) we had been planning to have 30-33 years worth of expenses set aside. If everything had flatlined from June 2007, we would be sitting at 35x expenses right now. So yeah, it causes night terrors.

But, it would appear to me that you are younger than we are, and still have a long way to go to get to our age. Remember this: The first million is the hardest, and it becomes easier with each one progressively. Same with hundred-thousands...the first one is the hardest. Your salary will rise, your mortgage will be paid off (our savings really took off when the house was done and paid for), you may have nice promotions, etc., which will all make saving progressively easier.

One thing to remember is: LBYM, and be yourself. There is no need to keep up with the Jones's. We were visiting some friends the other night. My DW was oooohing and aahhhing about their home, and I said to her that I just could not live in a place like that...too fancy for my tastes. She said back to me "that's why no one knows you are a CEO...you are a simpleton, these things don't matter to you". Now, these folks were probably living within their means, but not necessarily below their means. For them, it seems to me anyway, more stuff makes them happy. For me, enjoying time with my family is what makes me happy. I suspect that if you keep that in mind, and don't let the Jones's mindset overcome you, then you will probably make it. In any case, you came to this site, where you will get a plethora of information, and some good tips. Welcome to the club!

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Old 01-28-2009, 06:24 AM   #27
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Thanks for the encouragement, and I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my discomfort.

Logically, I recognize that we're on the right track and doing the right things. I think my anxiety stems from the times we're living/investing in more than anything. Eight years of putting in and really no growth to show for it.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, we have been contributing since 1999 and this last year has almost wiped out all of our growth. However, at least we haven't lost what we have put in! Prior to this market downturn, out net worth was growing by leaps and bounds. It is what it is. We are truly learning what it feels like to live through a down period in the market. We didn't have a bunch of money in 2000-2002 downturn, so we didn't really fully comprehend what it would feel like to lose $.

I think we are on the right track, and so are you.
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:08 PM   #28
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.

All in all, I feel pretty good about all of that ... until I began reading this board. Most who post here seem to be in much better shape, and though I'm still trying to figure out the ins and outs of FIREcalc, I just can't see how we're going to get to that mystical place where we can withdraw 4% each year and live comfortably (if modestly) until we're both happily old and decrepit...


Those of you who have done it; did you ever feel like I do now? Those who are in the accumulation phase; are you as concerned as I am?

Or, alternatively, will a little more reading and learning make all the fears (and the associated night terrors) go away?
I think of it as climbing a mountain. You take little steps, thousands and thousands of them, and not until you are almost at the top do you even see the top of the mountain. Then, suddenly, you're there and it's amazing.

Learn all you can, save all you can, and max out those tax-deferred accounts. Figure out your plan -- what trail are you going to take to the top? Then, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

One thing I notice when I'm hiking is that there is **always** someone who passes me on the trail, looking like the hike is as easy as walking to the corner for a latte. It's hard to keep trudging at my slow pace, but we both get there in the end. You'll get there too.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:55 PM   #29
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Intent,
One other way to look at your holdings: Have you sold any of the stocks/MFs/ETF shares that you bought? If not, despite the reduction in their value, you still own everything you bought. You purchased shares in companies, and you still have just as many shares as you ever did. The value of each one of these shares will fluctuate over time, but you still own the same number of them. If, instead of looking at the "value" column on your statements, you look at the "number of shares" column, you haven't lost a thing. When the value of these shares goes back up (and they always have in the past), then the value of your portfolio will rise, too. Keep buying, you've got a long time horizon and stocks are on sale!
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:31 PM   #30
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Intent, one thing I look at is that I want to hang out with people whose status (as good money managers) I admire. So I figure that, even if I'm not really in the club because I'm a long way from retirement, at least I'll learn from their wisdom.
You know that old saying about laying down with dogs and waking up with fleas? Well, I hope to get some frugal and money-wise fleas on me from hanging around here!

You are doing fine, just keep on watching those expenses--those of us without the big incomes have far less latitude on that part.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:22 PM   #31
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One thing that I realized recently is that its only money and things. This is America and I could make it all back if I had to. As long as I have my health and education, I'm good. Sure I'd have to work longer than I planned to, but I may have to anyways.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:48 AM   #32
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Well, if it makes you feel any better, we have been contributing since 1999 and this last year has almost wiped out all of our growth. However, at least we haven't lost what we have put in! Prior to this market downturn, out net worth was growing by leaps and bounds. It is what it is. We are truly learning what it feels like to live through a down period in the market. We didn't have a bunch of money in 2000-2002 downturn, so we didn't really fully comprehend what it would feel like to lose $.

I think we are on the right track, and so are you.
Simple girl and Intent,

I think I have actually lost money by investing as opposed to not making any. This is depressing, at this point I would have been better off putting everything into an ING savings account, especially since I have to pay income tax on the money I pull out.

I keep reminding myself I won't be tapping into the 401k money for another 10 years or more, so hopefully the market will turn around before then. In the meantime, I'm paying much less for my stocks now then I was a few years ago.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:16 AM   #33
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Simple girl and Intent,

I think I have actually lost money by investing as opposed to not making any. This is depressing, at this point I would have been better off putting everything into an ING savings account, especially since I have to pay income tax on the money I pull out.
Well, if I look at just the last year or so, we've definitely lost money. However, looking at it over the long term (last 9 yrs) shows just a loss of much of the gain (not all of it, thankfully). It was a sobering exercise to say the least.

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I keep reminding myself I won't be tapping into the 401k money for another 10 years or more, so hopefully the market will turn around before then. In the meantime, I'm paying much less for my stocks now then I was a few years ago.
That's what we keep telling ourselves, too! Trying to keep the faith
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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