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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 11:15 AM   #21
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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It's sometimes difficult to tell exactly what some faceless other on the other side of the message board means. *So, what do people mean by taking more risk? *Yes, you must take some risk to get any reward but how much do they mean when they say "take more risk"? *I certainly hope that they're not saying to put the life savings of a 60 year old down on a single number on the roulette wheel. *If any are posting here who've done that (or similar) successfully there are then likely to be many more who've done it and lost - none of those are posting here.


Hyperborea:
Totally agree with you, and for young posters that are aspiring to retire early someday, very good advice. My personal opinion is that competance on your job and whoever you happen to be responsible to, (clients, corp. etc.) will generally make both parties a winner.
Also wanted to take a minute to clear the air a little on comments that we both made.
First off, I'm neither religeous, or a zealot. I will admit to having a little bit of zeal when it comes to a 3 llb. trout taken with light tackle on a feeder stream.
Secondly, my comments about Terrohists retireing early and hauling -ss were related to the fact that it was a no brainer to them because they had no children, and no one else to be responsible for. (Much easier for them).
Lastly, my comments to you about your remarks about the U. S. in your recent posts, had nothing to do with your right to do so, mainly I just felt that it was counter-productive to do so. (My old school training).
In any case, I have found most of your postings to be very helpful, and from a value added perspective, I hope you will continue to post on this board.
Regards, Jarhead
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 01:06 PM   #22
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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The other was from an out-of-state company that paid a lower salary, but lots of stock options. * I mentally assigned the options a value of zero because I had no way to value them, and I took the local job. * *The rejected offer was from Microsoft in 1987. * Whoops.
Oh, I don't think you should be so hard on yourself, Wab.

You valued the options at zero, but if you factor in the psychological/emotional/mental costs of having to co-exist with Bill Gates (and I didn't say "peacefully") then those options might still be underwater. I noticed there aren't too many Microsoft Millionaires still showing up at One Microsoft Way.

I've passed up a few glorious opportunities myself, and they would have paid off handsomely in terms of career & net worth-- but I'm even happier that I escaped paying the "collateral costs".
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 01:54 PM   #23
 
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Re: So, how did you do it?

To answer the original question which I assume is the Financial aspect of how we did it. I still feel that we (my wife and I ) have not done it yet, because she is still working. She probably will for about 5 years or so. She has some stock options and purchase plans that are enticing her to stay. Also she likes her job and is not burned out like I was. Maybe because she is 8 years my junior and she has expensive tastes.

What permitted us to live on 1 income and still stash 30% of it was basically get out of debt and LBYM for around 25 years and save 30% or more in Tax deferred plans like 401K and IRAs. And Invest. Watch the monthly bills especially (they never end). Pay cash for everything.

One of the better moves we made is to live in an apartment for 12 years from the mid-80's to the late 90's and poured all of our Savings into the Stock Market. - All of our friends thought we were nuts by throwing away all of our money on rent. Real estate prices in our area were flat for most of that time period. We did buy a place much nicer than these friends in 1998. They still have a mortgage and we don't.
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 04:27 PM   #24
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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In any case, I have found most of your postings to be very helpful, and from a value added perspective, I hope you will continue to post on this board.
Regards, Jarhead
Thanks, it's good to have some of that whole mess cleared up. I don't expect to agree with everyone that posts nor do I expect everyone to agree with me but only to respect my right to say it - if they do want to disagree with me then keep to the issues.

I'm not planning to go anywhere - at least not for the next 6-8 years until I FIRE and become a PT (unless lightning strikes and I hit the stock option lottery )
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 04:49 PM   #25
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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The rejected offer was from Microsoft in 1987. Whoops.
The problem is that you don't know that it will turn out like it did. What if it was the late 80's equivalent of WebVan or Pets.com? Or even if it was a decent company that hasn't gone bust but whose stock performance has been crappy over the last n years (where n is usually the length of time that you've been employed by them) such as say Cisco, Nortel, or Sun?

As ESRBob pointed out the largest groups of recruits to a startup are the youngsters with nothing to lose and the oldsters with enough cushion behind them. I did the startup path when I was young and had nothing to lose (twice actually) and I lost or only got a small amount that nowhere near compensated me for the 80 hour weeks. I'm financially able to weather it again now but why would I? I'm 6-8 years from retirement in my mid-40's using reasonably conservative numbers.

If I go to a startup what are the costs - probably 1.5x my regular working hours and more during the crunch; probably reduced pay (and that reduction will come directly from the amount that I save/invest); and higher risks of being unemployed and not bringing in an income. What do I stand to gain - a chance at more total income. Will the total expected income (the sum of all the possible total incomes - salary + stock - multiplied by the odds of the outcome) be higher than my current salary + benefits (stock options, ESPP, etc.)? Or are people focusing only on the small percentage of good outcomes? That still doesn't take into account the damage to my health and family relationships from the constant long hours. The last time I worked at a startup I burned out bad.

So, for a a potential FIREee it might make sense to try it at the start of the career but maybe not at the end. How high would the payoff have to be and how likely to make me delay FIRE by 2-3 years? If the "high risk" path got me there at the same time as the "low risk" path and only had an extra $100K to show for it and was badly burned out would that be worth it?
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 05:19 PM   #26
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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I noticed there aren't too many Microsoft Millionaires still showing up at One Microsoft Way.
Actually, a walk through the parking garage will demonstrate that while many do leave, plenty ricos stay on. In fact, for the right kind of guy, Gates in a good boss. He is pretty good at differentiating face time from production.

Mikey
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 05:45 PM   #27
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Re: So, how did you do it?

Calgary_Girl.

Firstly, congratulations on the spelling.

We are in a similar position to you, mid-thirties (35) but with a 10 month old child. Current net is 1.4m including family residence, 0.88mill without.

In common with yourselves, we still have a way to go before we reach our targets. This board is full of intelligent posters with a lot of experience, we can learn a lot here. I do not agree with some of what is said and done but that has more to do with age, location and position on the wealth accumulation curve that the relative merits of the individual strategies. Most are investing to maintain their retirement rather than accumulating to achieve it, thus the considerations and variables often differ from mine. What does impress me is the intellectual scrutiny and insights, which lie behind the strategies and positions taken by some posters, along with the altruism in sharing it.

How did we arrive at our current position? By doing the simple things well. Live a low consumption lifestyle (comparative to income), we saved heavily and invested intelligently. This has been aided by living and working in low tax environments, which I realise is not an option available to everyone. On the other hand, it has also lead to the loss of any employer pension provisions and loss of future government/state benefits, social security etc, for my wife and I in our respective states or origin. Overall, though, I am happy with our decision.

One thing that has certainly boosted our wealth accumulation is often considered a four letter word on this board.....debt. Or more specifically, leverage. With two good incomes (albeit that my wife chose to downsize jobs after our child was born) and in our thirties, I personally feel that leverage is a tool to be maximised. The ways, means and arenas in which leverage may be employed is a matter for other posts/threads, but I do firmly believe that whilst one is young, working and not dependant upon a portfolio for income, leverage against real assets is one of the best ways of boosting ones overall net worth. Some are not comfortable with this I know, but I am and have benefited greatly over recent years. (NB: This has not been used to ride the US real estate bubble)

Unlike some, we have no stock option windfalls, no Silicon Valley''Gold Rush'' gains, no hi-tech skills, no inheritance, no lottery wins, no Government or military pensions (and never will).

Just worked hard, improved our incomes, lived well below those incomes, have never followed the latest ''fad'' (never ever owned a ''tech'' stock), invested well for the long term (mostly) and sensibly used leverage as a friend.

As for children, one thing I am very gald we did is set up a seperate account into which we invest continuously the equivalent of current school fees. We started this immediately after getting married and long before our child was born, as we always had the intent of starting a family. It gives us the comfort of knowing that we are well ahead in paying for our child's education, which is important as we will be retired whilst she is still at school.

Good luck.

Simon888
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 07:40 PM   #28
 
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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The rejected offer was from Microsoft in 1987. Whoops.
Me too, but mine was in 1992. They offered very generous options in those days. I would have done very well, if I could stand working there. At the time I found them to be incredibly arrogant, not a place I'd want to work.

I ended up going the start-up route instead.
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 07:54 PM   #29
 
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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If I go to a startup what are the costs - probably 1.5x my regular working hours and more during the crunch;
...
...
I've worked at three different start-ups/small companies. In my experience the differences are exaggerated in the posts above. People talk of long hours but in reality many of the top performers work a solid 50 hours a week. The folks that put in more end up playing fooseball in the lounge. I don't think there is a significant difference in salary (although the environment may have changed.) Startups need top notch talent to succeed, and they have to pay near the market rate to get it. If you work with experienced top notch people the downside risks are minimized. If your skills are in demand, you'll have no problem finding work if the venture fails.

I find the work to be significantly more interesting and challenging at smaller companies. Once the place gets above 500 employees, politics tend to trump good business and technical decisions. In these situations, I end up getting frustrated and leave.
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 09:35 PM   #30
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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I've worked at three different start-ups/small companies. *In my experience the differences are exaggerated in the posts above.
Well, the numbers I gave above weren't just made up. Those were the hours that I and most of the others worked at the small or startup companies where I've been. At one of them the hours were regular 50-60 hours / week, rising to 60-80 4-5 months before product ship with the last month being pretty much as long as you could stay awake. That was about 12 years ago.

The last small company I worked for where I was the lead engineer for a significant section of a larger project was routinely expecting 60+ hours / week from the engineering staff. It was interesting when they went "lifeboat" and severely downsized all of the teams that were meeting schedule for the next release. The teams that were behind schedule were generally kept intact. The only person left on my old team was one intermediate level engineer. The best thing I got out of that company was the sign on bonus and severance package.

In my current job at a larger tech company I'm essentially an architect who still writes code. I'm only working 40-45 hours, I'm paid better, and my stock options are actually worth something.

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I find the work to be significantly more interesting and challenging at smaller companies.
My experience has been that the small companies are so intent on shoving something, anything out the door that quality and "interesting-ness" vanish.

Quote:
Once the place gets above 500 employees, politics tend to trump good business and technical decisions. In these situations, *I end up getting frustrated and leave.
I've found that small teams or projects in larger companies give you the best of both world.
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-08-2004, 10:56 PM   #31
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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I've found that small teams or projects in larger companies give you the best of both world.
Yeah, that's what most wonks want -- unlimited resources, unlimited autonomy, and a small group of great people to work with. Nice work if you can get it. Or you can start your own company, get 2 out of 3, and unlimited upside to boot. Even if you go down in flames, you'll have had a good time. Even better if you're burning other people's money
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-09-2004, 04:35 AM   #32
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Re: So, how did you do it?

When my husband and I were 35 and 32 as I recall we had little if any net worth. Now at 52 and 49 my husband has retired and I am working part time only.

My husband did it by becoming frugal with our dollars, marrying a wife who got a well paying job, investing money into apartment buildings and selling them off.

I haven't retired and only just have started working part time. We probably have enough assets for me to retire but uncertainties worry me---from inflation in the costs of health insurance to what is going to happen in the stock market. I plan to go ahead with the part time thing for a while and see how it all works out.

I am not much of a risk taker. If I was, I would have bought and sold businesses like John Galt and jumped into retirement with no safety net. On one hand, my conservative attitude has helped us become financially independant, but it also is making it hard to walk away from the regular income labor creates.
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-09-2004, 04:43 AM   #33
 
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Re: So, how did you do it?

Hi Martha. I find this site endlessly fascinating, and I think what adds to this is my ER experience being so far out of sync with most everyone else. Oh, everyone has their story but many are quite similar. I am an anomaly
which may be a metaphor for my life

JG
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-09-2004, 06:07 AM   #34
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Re: So, how did you do it?

I haven't done it yet, but I'd like to think I'm well on my way. Unfortunately, I don't think that I am having read some of the numbers I've seen posted here.
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-09-2004, 06:40 AM   #35
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Re: So, how did you do it?

Plunka,plunka - DCA into index fund/GIC's - ala Ben Graham 50/50, 1976-1992. Boring as paint drying.
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-09-2004, 06:59 AM   #36
 
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Re: So, how did you do it?

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Plunka,plunka - DCA into index fund/GIC's - ala Ben Graham 50/50, 1976-1992. Boring as paint drying.

What happened to Uncklemick1 ? - Forget your password?
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Re: So, how did you do it?
Old 12-09-2004, 07:10 AM   #37
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Re: So, how did you do it?

Unclemick is gonna die - along with with his webtv - as soon as I get the hang of AOL. Christmas came early: IBM Thinkpad and trial AOL.

I could have signed on as unclemickalso. Still have a month left on unclemick - on webtv - plan to dual post to get my money's worth - for this month.
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