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Old 10-30-2007, 08:27 AM   #21
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My DW and I are taking a calculated view also. We have saved in our tax deferred accounts pretty aggressively and if continued would be able to retire with extra in 12 years or so.
But...we recently decided to save for just a few more years and then one of us RE (ME) to have a stay-at-home parent for our kids (16 month-old and one on the way). Our accounts will have enough that even without contributions we should still have enough growth to retire before I hit 55.
She is 11 years younger than I, so I will probably become the house-hubby while she explores her career further. Any retirement savings we get from her future employment will just be extra. Thus I will be FIRED in less than 5 years when we pay off our retirement house, and are debt-free. She will follow in 5-10 years or so depending on other variables.
If necessary, once the kids are in school, I may return to w*rk for a while to bump things up....BUT PROBABLY WON'T!!!
Family First.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:49 PM   #22
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It's probably best not to deny yourself....I think sometimes people confuse LBYM with eating ramen noodles...
Hey, I *like* ramen noodles. I add beaten eggs and sesame oil to them after cooking. Makes a good weekend lunch.

My fave:
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:04 PM   #23
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I used to go out with a guy who wore a T-shirt: "He who dies with the most toys wins". I think that's a common feeling. I don't know your situation so I'm not saying that's you.. but I think it's a good example of an anti-FIRE mentality.

In contrast, I think your XC trip is an awesome idea and here's to 2013!
I do have a list of things I want to do when I have time. Most are for the experience such as hiking the appalachian trail, XC motorcycle trail, taking my boys backpacking through Europe, etc. And I am certainly not the "He who has the most toys wins" person but I do have nice toys. As for LYBM we basically live as we want and don't skimp, but really don't make impulse decisions. The reality is I could just about RE today but am waiting another couple of years til I have 20 yrs of military service completed. What I am running into now is the possibility of staying a little longer (aka the just one more year syndrome). Economist by trade so its hard to leave stuff on the table. OTOH you can't turn back time. For me it has never really been about the FI part of FIRE but the thought process and mental decisions. Of course it all works out in the end and worrying is a lot of wasted energy.

I think of the things I want to do and experience as does my buddy and lately I have been thinking about alternatives but still in the lane of the origional intent. That seems like a good compromise at least it does right now. So for me until I make some definitive decisions it status quo, stay within the broad lanes to keep going forward and try to avoid the big mistake decisions.

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Old 10-30-2007, 02:27 PM   #24
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When I first found this site, I was aggresively pursuing FIRE by 45. DW and I were doing maximum legal limit on all retirement vehicles. Then we had kids, and while we could have done the daycare thing and both continued to work full time and continued mega-savings, we decided DW would stay home, I'd dial back the contributions, and we'd save a lot less but live a little. I made the decision to push off FIRE to 55, a huge difference. But that early money has made 55 a no brainer and not only is DW home, we are enjoying life a little more.

DW surprised me with a Nintendo Wii yesterday, and Tori picked up her first spare in bowling with Wii sports that night! Priceless!
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:28 PM   #25
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When I first found this site, I was aggresively pursuing FIRE by 45. DW and I were doing maximum legal limit on all retirement vehicles. Then we had kids...
Kids can make a huge difference. So can other things, like age. With every passing year my tastes change. Activities I thought I would always love no longer hold my attention. New interests have come up that I would never have imagined I would like. I think it is great that some posters achieve FIRE in their 30s or 40s. I suspect many others who were interested in doing so may find their goals morphing as their life changes - nothing wrong with that.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:56 PM   #26
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I sacrificed almost everything from 18-30.
I'll second that thought - as well as everything else in your post

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To me it is well worth it being able to retire at 30. Was it rough? yep.

I have the rest of my life to catch up though.

Now if I had just woken up at 30, then I think it would be much harder.
Unfortunately for me, I won't be calling it quits at 30....but will be in the next few years (partly depending on whom I end up marrying-assuming things go as I hope down the road) .
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Old 10-30-2007, 04:57 PM   #27
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With every passing year my tastes change. Activities I thought I would always love no longer hold my attention. New interests have come up that I would never have imagined I would like. I think it is great that some posters achieve FIRE in their 30s or 40s. I suspect many others who were interested in doing so may find their goals morphing as their life changes - nothing wrong with that.
This is true, and also sort of a bummer.

I always swore that as soon as I could, I would buy a Ferrari 308 (the kind Magnum PI drove), even if I had to take out a big, stupid loan to do it. That was my solemn promise to myself, from about ages 10 through 25. It motivated me to study for countless law school exams, and helped me through many long nights writing unpleasant research papers. Then, as soon as I could qualify for the loan, I thought, well, I should just wait a little while, and save up a little more. Then, once I had enough money to buy the car with cash, I thought, well, maybe I'll buy the car after I've moved up to a nicer house. And now, although I still want the car, I'm fixating on how it's really a waste of money. In a few years, I'll probably reach a point where I don't even want the car anymore.

Basically, my priorities have changed with age, and as a result, I'm missing out on something that used to be really important to me. It's unfortunate I've broken the promise I made to myself, but at least I still have my money!
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:09 PM   #28
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This is true, and also sort of a bummer.

...And now, although I still want the car, I'm fixating on how it's really a waste of money. In a few years, I'll probably reach a point where I don't even want the car anymore.

Basically, my priorities have changed with age, and as a result, I'm missing out on something that used to be really important to me. It's unfortunate I've broken the promise I made to myself, but at least I still have my money!
Is it really unfortunate? You put off some immediate gratification awhile back and now your tastes have changed or are changing. Are you doing things that seem more important now (like the new house)? If so, no harm, no foul.

Now, if you are looking back wistfully at all the things you wish you had done, that is another issue. Then, maybe you are failing to stop and smell the roses.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:09 PM   #29
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My buddy was about 27 when he got a used Ferrari 308 in the mid 80s. I am pretty sure he paid cash for it. The first thing that happened is he had to replace the engine to the tune of more than 25K. (He did get the 17 year old kid who he bought it from to split the cost. As side note the kid was on his 2nd Ferrari, parents don't do this!!)

Now my friend, was good looking, smart, nice French-Canadian, but painfully shy around women. He hope that the Ferrari would change his image and luck with woman.
It didn't happen that way, in fact around Silicon Valley, Ferrari's hardly rated a second look. As far as a sport car goes, I was underwhelmed, I prefered my RX7 or my roommates Toyota Supra (circa 86) to his Ferrari.

So I think you are better off, you still have the money, you didn't have to deal with car being in the shop all the time, and you still have the fantasy of how cool it would be to have one...
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:08 PM   #30
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I'll probably reach a point where I don't even want the car anymore.
Tortfeasor, you're "growing up"!!

Maybe you could schedule a vacation around renting one somewhere where it'd be fun to drive it..
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:09 AM   #31
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Brewer wrote the excellent statement:

"Once your portfolio is up to a certain size, the returns it generates over time far outweigh the effects of your additional contributions. To me, in my current situation, this is a big deal. It means that if I dialled back my efforts in my career and spent more time sniffing roses with my wife and kids, it would make only a small difference in when I get to check out for good."

At 51 I've reached the same realization. I'm estimating about 3 more years to FIRE depending upon where the market goes. The other thing that added to my perspective was getting very seriously ill with my life in danger in September (see my post in the Health forum).

Getting way too close to checking out, along with realizing that even if I save my max 401k it's not going to make a big difference in the timing, has caused me to reassess priorities. I booked a trip for the whole family to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico for the holidays! You need to have some fun now, you might not make it to enjoy all of those savings.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:08 AM   #32
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I agree with some of the sentiments expressed here about taking the time to smell the roses. Presently, I'm torn between pursuing a significantly higher paying job (which in turn would require more hours) and keeping the one I have (which has very reasonable hours). Because of my LBYM lifestyle, I don't really need the money, nor does my DW (since she earns more than I do). That said, more money is always nice to have, especially if it provides the ability to ER and do what I really want to do much sooner than life would normally permit.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:25 AM   #33
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SLC said: "I always swore that as soon as I could, I would buy a Ferrari 308 (the kind Magnum PI drove), even if I had to take out a big, stupid loan to do it. That was my solemn promise to myself, from about ages 10 through 25."

Sounds like me. As kid, I always wanted a Porsche 911 convertible. When I hit 33, I realized that my LBYM mentality would never actually allow me to buy one. So I bought a Honda S2000 instead. Used! But 5 years later I still have it and I love it. It satisfied my desire for a convertible without blowing the budget.

More on topic, I save about 30% of my income but still do things I like - travel, go out with friends, etc. I have found a good balance while still reaching for my FIRE goal of 52. Next stop - Alaska in July 2008.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:35 AM   #34
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Tomcat - great though provoking thread - and great answers, too.

I understand your 1 more year syndrome - it's like wanting a bit more insurance just in case. As other posters have mentioned, balance is the key, but it has to be your balance. I've found that my experiences have been the most important to me in my life. My husband and I were just remarking at how many of our friends and family marvel at our lives - we travel to neat places and try to enjoy what is around us. This year it was South America as well as hiking in Bryce Canyon and the PCT. Previous years it was hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc and Via Ferrate - we also like to snow ski. The key to all of that was planning and follow-through. I've found that you can have these experiences if you do some research and make that decision regarding price point, then you will find something that meets you needs and possibly exceeds them.

Why am I going through all of that - it's because I believe that setting goals and researching how to get to those goals helps refine them as well as your expectations about the goals and your life. However, one also needs to take into account the emotional aspect - I had a great boss (now friend) who said that when needing to make a lifestyle/career/personal decision set up a matrix of variables important to you and weight them. Then rank the different options and crank out the calculation - if the highest (or lowest based on how you make your weighting work) score matches your gut feeling, then go with it. If it doesn't, then look at your weightings and re-evaluate/calculate - if it still doesn't match your gut, then go with your gut feeling. I was surprised at this from him - however, it made sense. Make yourself and your brain go through with the analytical exercise so that at least those physiological pathways are engaged in some sense with the decision - however, let your emotions weigh in, too. Just by forcing the analytical process, you are tempering the emotional weighting of the decision.

Off the soapbox.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:00 PM   #35
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I agree with some of the sentiments expressed here about taking the time to smell the roses. Presently, I'm torn between pursuing a significantly higher paying job (which in turn would require more hours) and keeping the one I have (which has very reasonable hours). Because of my LBYM lifestyle, I don't really need the money, nor does my DW (since she earns more than I do). That said, more money is always nice to have, especially if it provides the ability to ER and do what I really want to do much sooner than life would normally permit.
I have done this. In part I needed to do so to get good experience and build up the port, but it comes at a large cost. Assuming I didn't need the money and experience, I probably would not do it again.

YMMV, of course.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:22 PM   #36
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I have done this. In part I needed to do so to get good experience and build up the port, but it comes at a large cost. Assuming I didn't need the money and experience, I probably would not do it again.

YMMV, of course.
On a much lower level, I did the same thing, did two years in the high stress, high performance, higher pay arena and am now looking to escape to a manager position back in my low stress area. The experience was needed for me to climb, as I'm early in my career. But Jay, if you are just looking to shave a year or so off of RE with this move, I would be wary. This move, if it works out, will land me in a low stress job making 50% more than when I started this adventure, and I still question my wisdom.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:33 PM   #37
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Sounds like me. As kid, I always wanted a Porsche 911 convertible. When I hit 33, I realized that my LBYM mentality would never actually allow me to buy one.
I was gassing up our 14-year-old station wagon at Costco Tuesday night when a Porsche snarled up to the next pump. Out popped a guy who should've had "WARNING: MID-LIFE CRISIS!" tattooed on his forehead. Balding on top & in back, shoulder-length flyaway Gallagher hair with no ponytail, old dirty white tank top, sagging chest & arm muscles, 12-pack beer belly, old torn up shorts, beat-up slippers. He caught my stare and gave me a head nod that said "Howzit, brah, cool car eh?" Definitely a chick magnet.

The scary thing is that while he didn't look too much different than me, he appeared to be at least a decade older. Yet the lack of reading glasses made me suspect that he was barely out of his 30s.

The car was in nice shape. He'd either just had it detailed or he'd been spending a lot of time on it. By the time I left the pump, though, I'd lost interest in high-performance sports cars. It'd be tough to haul a longboard around in that one, anyway...
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:25 PM   #38
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SLC said: "I always swore that as soon as I could, I would buy a Ferrari 308 (the kind Magnum PI drove), even if I had to take out a big, stupid loan to do it. That was my solemn promise to myself, from about ages 10 through 25."

Sounds like me. As kid, I always wanted a Porsche 911 convertible. When I hit 33, I realized that my LBYM mentality would never actually allow me to buy one. So I bought a Honda S2000 instead. Used! But 5 years later I still have it and I love it. It satisfied my desire for a convertible without blowing the budget.

More on topic, I save about 30% of my income but still do things I like - travel, go out with friends, etc. I have found a good balance while still reaching for my FIRE goal of 52. Next stop - Alaska in July 2008.
And you sound like me as well. I should've mentioned that when I hit 29, instead of buying my dream Ferrari, I bought a Nissan 350Z. Used! It's easy to maintain and I can actually drive it around town and leave it parked at the grocery store.

And it blows the doors off of S2000s.
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:29 PM   #39
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Next stop - Alaska in July 2008.

By the way, I grew up in Alaska, and I try to get back up there whenever I can. There are few places in the world as beautiful. I'd like to buy a summer place in Homer someday. Have fun on your trip.
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:37 PM   #40
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Used 1967 XKE 2+2 coupe - paint redone in deep metalflake candyapple red. 1970 -1974. Had a 1961 Pontiac Bonneville to use when the Jag didn't run/fighting over insurance(single in Denver) and a 1954 Chevy Suburban for the mountains - backpacking and fishing destinations.

Do it while you're young - yes they really are chick magnets and the cops really do watch for red sports cars.

The cure - some day calculate what that sports car costs you just sitting parked at the curb, not running. If that doesn't get you thinking cheap bastard frugal - you are beyond help.

Get a steady girlfriend and a good used car.

heh heh heh - or Pssst Wellesley via autodeposit and party on the rest . On second thought - Target Retirement for your age - I just love to say pssst Wellesley.
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