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Old 05-12-2013, 01:00 PM   #81
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Yeah, it's always best to measure yourself against yourself -- your past self, that is -- not against other people. "Run your own race," as they say. As long as I feel like I'm doing better than I was a few years ago or a decade ago, I'm okay. Sometimes, if I want to boost my spirits, I'll reflect on what life was like for me when I was a teenager or early 20's (hint: miserable, depressed, lost). I've had a lot of ups and downs, but as long as my life is on an upward trajectory overall, I can feel okay.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:19 PM   #82
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Hi everyone. A lot of truisms in the threads. Some people want a lot of stuff so they work go into debt to get more stuff, many having then to work forever. Not the mentality is see on this site. One thing I did, gosh years ago 1990?, is after struggling with Quicken back then because I could not forecast cash flow (don't need to now) with out a lot of effort, is to create a simple balance sheet in excel and in the same spreadsheet, put another a tab for portfolio allocation, which fills some balance sheet numbers. Then: 1) chart balance sheet growth in bar chart x1 per year. What I want to communicate is that besides net increase, where I can usually say 'yes made money this year', I pay much more attention asset allocations that went down. What happened? What did I do wrong? What do I need to do now? Don't want to delude myself.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:26 PM   #83
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A little luxury, but with lots of room for my stuff when heading out of town on hurricane evacuations.
Thankfully, that's not on my list of features...
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:51 PM   #84
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There will always be those who have "more" than you do and there will always be those who have less. I was reminded just yesterday during a conversation with a pilot friend who has done a lot of charter flying and he spoke of being amazed at the level of poverty in south american countries.

Again I was reminded that a very large percentage of the world's population would be thrilled to have the storage shed in our back yard as a home.
Forget South America - right across the border, here in North America. My family has been involved in house-building weekends down in Tijuana and Ensenada. The family, at the end of the weekend, has a 2 room house - one is the bedroom, one is the other room., a kitchen sink, a water tank (water is delivered by truck in these neighborhoods). Water is collected after dishes etc, in buckets and used to water the yard. No indoor plumbing other than a connection from the water tank to the sink. (No toilet, etc.) It has a light fixture in either room - so there is electricity. And this is a BIG improvement over what they have at the beginning of the weekend.

My kids come home feeling a little less entitlement. And it's scary to think this is happening less than 100 miles from where I live.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:45 PM   #85
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A friend of my in architecture says that no matter how big someone's house is, they generally only live in 2500 square ft of it.
Our house (including a 2-car garage) is 2,500 and I think it's way too large especially when we need to clean it. When we're only two of us, we'll need a very small house or just rent an apartment.

To OP: I think your capability of saving 15% is great considering an expensive hobby of your DW.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #86
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15% is a great place to start. There will always be somebody that saves more because they earn more, live cheaper or both. I found myself often re-reading things like the millionaire next door to keep reminding myself I was doing okay.

You get to decide things like "do I want to retire early?" or "How many umbrella drinks do I need per day to be happy at my beach house?" or "Do I even want to retire ever". Saving your butt off just gives you more options. But how little are you willing to have today in order to be flush tomorrow? Maybe 15% is more than you need to do based on where you plan to go. Maybe it's not enough.

My step father is a serious train-nut. In the late '70s we met one of the guys that drove the train ride around Disney World in FL. He was a retired millionaire working a near minimum wage job. I'm just assuming the pay, he might have been doing it for free. Point being, wealth allowed him to do something he considered fun instead of punching a clock. That was his dream. I was 12, this was the first time I really gave serious thought to hoarding money instead of buying baseball cards. It didn't stick. That came later.

I started investing 9% of my families gross income in 1987 and increased every year until I reached a number higher than most people ever hit by 2002. Basically I am competitive by nature and am somewhat the math geek. So I started a race against my investments. I wanted to contribute more to my net worth every year than my investment could earn. Eventually compounding returns began to crush me in any year that the market doesn't tank.

It's a very good way to be crushed.
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:47 AM   #87
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I used to pat myself on the back for putting 15%+ away each year, but on this site it seems like most sock away 25% +.....there is just no way to do that on just over $100,000 a year, with a wife that likes horses, among other things. I
Look a little harder at finding "leaks" and plug them. IMO, people waste a LOT of money on things that really aren't necessary (haircuts, dry cleaning, movies/restaurant, latest greatest electronics, cable TV, etc. etc. etc.) - If you can track your spending - it might give you the opportunity to figure out where you can cut back and save even more!! You and the wife need to be on the same page for financial spending/retirement goals. It's an ongoing thing - and learning to live below your means now will help you achieve FI even earlier.

Hang in there - sounds like you are doing well that this point!
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #88
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Thanks for expressing what I’ve sometimes felt since discovering this site a few weeks ago. I have found it very difficult not to engage in comparisons, whether with the fancy cars that pass me on the highway, the net worth statistics in the Survey of Consumer Finances, or with other individuals on sites like this one. When I find myself succumbing to comparisons, I try to challenge myself to press harder with my own financial goals. It’s difficult however, with not wanting to change some of the choices I’ve made, like paying for an expensive apartment so I can walk to work instead of take the bus. And having gotten married 1 ˝ years ago, it’s no longer just me that’s making the decisions. What I like about this forum is the support that I see for the other posters and the different things that I have learned just by hanging around.
Be honest with yourself, some of the folks you see driving around in flashy cars really can't afford them - remember, some (if not most) have very little, if any savings. So many are living a lifestyle that they cannot afford. To continually turn on the TV or open up a magazine and having it thrown in your face that you "MUST" own this or that....it's crazy! When you buy all that crap, you can view it as hooking up a hose from your bank account to the "label designer's" bank account - you are siphoning from yours and giving it to them.

You know, we retired early and are the millionaires next door - you would NEVER guess we have what we do. Because we are happy living simply, and we worked hard (BOTH of us) at our financial goals. We look at neighbors who have spiffy cars in their driveways and chuckle, knowing we could buy the who damn car lot if we wanted. And they are taking on MORE debt to have that car (and everything else they keep buying). I'd imagine they are sweating bullets when it comes time to pay the bills. Much left over for savings? Probably not.

So talk it over with your spouse and get on the same page. And quit comparing yourselves to others - most of them are pulling around a load of debt! The choices you make today will affect your retirement.

When you know better, you do better! It's all about balance and making the right choices for you. Sounds like you are headed in the right direction!
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:52 AM   #89
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I can completely relate to the OP. I am hoping (perhaps naively) that once we reach a certain point we will no longer feel so far behind our personal goals (we have about 5.6 times yearly expenses saved at 32 and 30). I do really enjoy hearing everyone's stories on here, but there is definitely a tug-of-war of emotions going on when I spend time on the forum between motivation and depression. Maybe at 9 times or 10 times yearly expenses I will be able to feel like I have made real progress. My interest in FI has always been about not having the pressure to work or the worry of losing my job. It would be nice to stop stressing so much…
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:14 AM   #90
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I can completely relate to the OP. I am hoping (perhaps naively) that once we reach a certain point we will no longer feel so far behind our personal goals (we have about 5.6 times yearly expenses saved at 32 and 30). I do really enjoy hearing everyone's stories on here, but there is definitely a tug-of-war of emotions going on when I spend time on the forum between motivation and depression. Maybe at 9 times or 10 times yearly expenses I will be able to feel like I have made real progress. My interest in FI has always been about not having the pressure to work or the worry of losing my job. It would be nice to stop stressing so much…
FWIW at least in my case my saving/investments had a steeper slope in my late 40s and early 50s so if you have 5-6 times annual expenses in your early 30s then I think you are doing well.

You may feel better if you use Quicken Lifetime Planner to take your current situation and project your savings/investment growth from now until FIRE based on various savings scenarios. I suspect that you will be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:16 AM   #91
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Like everyone else has pointed out...you are ahead of the curve.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said... "with a wife that likes horses, among other things."

You know what brings happiness to your wife and if you want to be "happy" you will figure out how to make it work.



“Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.” Groucho Marx
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:25 PM   #92
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Maybe this sums up some of the advise provided ?

"It's a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
And you think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all, you won't be free"

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me

When you want more than you have, you think you need
And when you think more than you want, your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
Cause when you have more than you think, you need more space...

There's those thinking more or less, less is more
But if less is more, how you keepin score?
Means for every point you make your level drops
Kinda like you're startin' from the top
And you can't do that"

"Society" written by Jerry Hannan (Complete lyrics not posted)
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:24 AM   #93
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If one is feeling poor, here's a calculator to make you feel better. It calculates your relative income/wealth compared to the rest of the world:

Global Rich List

Feel better now?
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #94
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Hi Walt, Interesting stats from the calc. link. I know I'm financially independent for a while now, just keep on working (56), because the money is good and 59.5 is nice age as is 62. But sure won't be working to 62. Maybe early next year taking steps now and almost complete. One mistake is thought I could 'put it all together in a month or so'. Now been working on it since Feb. 2013 and know Jan. 2014 is coming quick. I play around on the tech. side with some speculative funds (less than 1%). Truth is made most of my wealth by saving cash with interest, not investing, and living frugally (not to be confused with cheaply). I used 0% growth in net worth when ER and can make it to about 90, guess that is extremely conservative. Money will very likely outlive me. Continued good returns to you. Last, if I could make 5% return per year could live off just that.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:24 PM   #95
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If one is feeling poor, here's a calculator to make you feel better. It calculates your relative income/wealth compared to the rest of the world:

Global Rich List

Feel better now?

Wow - that was eye opening, and really puts things in perspective.

I was awakened this morning by the sound of a transformer exploding down the road, and realized that I might have to do without electricity for a good part of the day on this holiday weekend. For a split second I felt sorry for myself - heaven forbid I might have to do without my electronic gadgets for even a moment. (No ER.org!) Then I thought of the folks in Moore, OK, who have much bigger problems to deal with than I can even imagine, and the millions of people around the world whose daily struggles far exceed anything I will ever know.

The power came back on after only 45 minutes this morning - long enough to remind me to be grateful for all the comforts I take for granted.

Thanks for posting that link - I needed to see that today.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:42 AM   #96
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Wow - that was eye opening, and really puts things in perspective.
It does, doesn't it? DW and I often "take stock" and realize how fortunate we are. Private jets and the like are not in our future but we don't foresee having to forage for food either. And we're living better and have more options than our respective parents did.

We're semi-seriously discussing where to take a trip to within the next several months, what we'd like to see, etc. Growing up we didn't even think of doing that - we didn't have the money to even consider it.

So by our lights, we're wealthy.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:09 AM   #97
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If one is feeling poor, here's a calculator to make you feel better. It calculates your relative income/wealth compared to the rest of the world:

Global Rich List

Feel better now?
+1

Everything is a matter of perspective.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:50 PM   #98
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It does, doesn't it? DW and I often "take stock" and realize how fortunate we are. Private jets and the like are not in our future but we don't foresee having to forage for food either. And we're living better and have more options than our respective parents did.

We're semi-seriously discussing where to take a trip to within the next several months, what we'd like to see, etc. Growing up we didn't even think of doing that - we didn't have the money to even consider it.

So by our lights, we're wealthy.

I couldn't agree more. I too fall in that middle ground between private jets and foraging for food - and I am perfectly content!

I have my health (knock wood) and my family members do too - that alone makes me feel wealthy, by my definition. Everything else is gravy.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:14 PM   #99
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I was awakened this morning by the sound of a transformer exploding down the road, and realized that I might have to do without electricity for a good part of the day on this holiday weekend. For a split second I felt sorry for myself - heaven forbid I might have to do without my electronic gadgets for even a moment. (No ER.org!)
I would definitely be terrified if that happened. I work completely online for clients I've never spoken to, so my whole career depends on having my gadgets.

I can't imagine being in a large scale disaster like what's been going on, having your whole workplace torn apart in a storm, your business completely gone forever. I can get a new laptop, someone working for a local business that got totaled is probably going to be down for a while.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:14 AM   #100
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If one is feeling poor, here's a calculator to make you feel better. It calculates your relative income/wealth compared to the rest of the world:

Global Rich List

Feel better now?
Thanks for sharing.

I worry about money all the time and it seems silly when you look at numbers like that. This morning I had to move my BMW and my Porsche out of the way to get one of the motorcycles out of the garage because I wanted to ride to work. What a pain, having only a two car garage for my toys.........first world problems.
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