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Old 03-05-2010, 12:48 PM   #21
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<snip> I just couldn't believe that anyone could be both so incompetent and still so evil. <snip>
I think worked for his brother. Can't decide if he was more incompetent or mean -- it's a tossup. He might have gotten it from his boss.

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<snip> I actually felt sorry for the guy. He spent most of his time hiding in his office ...
There are at least two or three of them out there.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:01 PM   #22
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Nice post.

I was always one to go against the grain, whether it was being childfree, an atheist, or having interests not generally associated with people my age.

One good thing about LBYM was that I knew if I ever needed something badly enough I could just go ahead and buy it without worrying about how I would pay for it. When my old fridge busted 9 years ago, I just went out and bought a new one. Same for my old bed, a PC which could not be made to work better due to its hardware constraints, and my old car of 15 years which became far too costly to repair and maintain. When I needed to fly to Florida following my only remaining grandfather's death 6 years ago, I did not have to worry about the total cost of the trip.

I feel bad for people who, when they are faced with these things, have to worry about how they will pay for these things or even ponder whether to move ahead with these purchases.

Even now, as I am ER and only 46, I can still go out and do any of these somewhat costly things if I need to, without worrying about the cost. (The car is only 3 years old so it won't incur any big expenses for a while.) Any possible negative effect from a reduced income is not present while only the positive effect of not working is present each and every day.
Similar situation here. When the car wore out at 18 years, bought a new one with cash; when washing machine died at 17 years, bought a new one...

Recall while w*rking, women would talk about jewelry and fashion and would suggest there was something wrong with me for not wanting such. I live in a small (paid for) house in a blue collar neighborhood and drive a small car and I've been retired for 5+ years.
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There is a difference
Old 03-05-2010, 01:08 PM   #23
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There is a difference

One difference I notice after hanging out here (and a couple of other places) is that people who are FIRE or have this as an objective are much more introspective. Theirs is a dream deconstructed with a well designed roadmap and solid measurements. Lots of peer review as well. Folks stuck on a financial treadmill with big mortgages have just drifted along, never really questioning the feasibility or reality of their goals, as YTG pointed out. Many still don’t get it.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:30 PM   #24
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I know a few people who live below their means, but even they don't understand early retirement at all. They see it as crazy, risky, lazy, you name it. Not a single positive thing to say about it. For many, even the concept of financial independence is foreign. "Financial independence" simply means not living from paycheck to paycheck. When we ESR and quit our well-paying jobs in 2013 at the age of 39 (at least that's the plan), I am sure people will assume we have lost our minds and we will have to listen to all the naysayers trying to dissuade us to give in to our folly.

I think most people would be absolutely shocked to know how much money we have and how much we make. We hide our game pretty well. We live in a middle class neighborhood (mixture of blue and white collar workers), we drive 2 non-luxury Japanese cars (newer but basic models with few upgrades), we rarely eat out unless it's a celebration, we wear nice clothes but no designer labels either and we don't go on exotic vacations. The other day, my nosy sister tried to guess how much we made based on what she knows about us and how we spend our money. Her guess was 5 times lower than our actual income (I never acknowledged that she was so far off though). When we changed the roof on our house 2 years ago, one of our neighbors seemed shocked we could afford such a repair. And when we bought two new cars earlier this year (cash), MIL wondered where all that money was coming from. I told her that we had been saving for years to replace our older cars and she looked at me like I was crazy (who does that?). Imagine her reaction if I had told her the truth...

I like to keep people in the dark about our financial situation. Nobody has ever asked money from us. I guess we look too broke.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:15 PM   #25
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I know a few people who live below their means, but even they don't understand early retirement at all. They see it as crazy, risky, lazy, you name it. Not a single positive thing to say about it. For many, even the concept of financial independence is foreign. "Financial independence" simply means not living from paycheck to paycheck. When we ESR and quit our well-paying jobs in 2013 at the age of 39 (at least that's the plan), I am sure people will assume we have lost our minds and we will have to listen to all the naysayers trying to dissuade us to give in to our folly.

I think most people would be absolutely shocked to know how much money we have and how much we make. We hide our game pretty well. We live in a middle class neighborhood (mixture of blue and white collar workers), we drive 2 non-luxury Japanese cars (newer but basic models with few upgrades), we rarely eat out unless it's a celebration, we wear nice clothes but no designer labels either and we don't go on exotic vacations. The other day, my nosy sister tried to guess how much we made based on what she knows about us and how we spend our money. Her guess was 5 times lower than our actual income (I never acknowledged that she was so far off though). When we changed the roof on our house 2 years ago, one of our neighbors seemed shocked we could afford such a repair. And when we bought two new cars earlier this year (cash), MIL wondered where all that money was coming from. I told her that we had been saving for years to replace our older cars and she looked at me like I was crazy (who does that?). Imagine her reaction if I had told her the truth...

I like to keep people in the dark about our financial situation. Nobody has ever asked money from us. I guess we look too broke.
Managing expectations (one's own and those of others) is key to successful LBYM.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:07 PM   #26
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After I recovered from the flash of terror at the thought of a 5k monthly mortgage payment, I was struck by how different the FIRE tribe is from the populace.
I nearly died when my neighbour confided in me that they were trying to refinance their mortgage but having problems getting the deal over the line. Their monthly mortgage payments were $9k a month which scared the crap out of me. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing I had that amount coming due on a monthly basis.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:34 PM   #27
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My 2200SF 1950 house on a regular city lot may not look like much. But my $700 monthly mortgage is to die for!
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:06 AM   #28
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I nearly died when my neighbour confided in me that they were trying to refinance their mortgage but having problems getting the deal over the line. Their monthly mortgage payments were $9k a month which scared the crap out of me. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing I had that amount coming due on a monthly basis.
Acquaintances of ours overhauled a Coronado home and ended up with a one million dollar mortgage. Their home is worth more than that, but they're still paying principal & interest on a seven-figure balance.

Heck, even if it's a 6% jumbo 30-year fixed that's still $6000/month in P&I, before PMI & escrow. They're both getting military pensions and they both have full-time jobs, and they're both running just as fast as they can.

Every time I think about it the amount of that mortgage, Dr. Evil fires up in my brain... one m-m-M-MILLION dollars!!
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:36 AM   #29
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BTW, how are we bred to be self-destructive consumers? Who would the hot girl with the tantalizing, child-bearing hips rather go out with: the guy in the Porsche, or the guy in the '91 Civic?
The one with the Porsche gets her. And he can have her.

During my divorce my 15-year-old car finally gave it up and I bought a brand-new '85 Chevy 4WD pickup truck, partly because I did need a replacement vehicle, partly because it was a neat toy, and partly just to get something nice for myself without having to consult with anyone else.

One of the guys at work was surprised at my choice of vehicle, asking "You're going to go out on dates in a pickup truck?"

I said "Yeah. And if some girl won't go out with me because I drive a pickup truck that's fine. It'll save us both a whole lot of bother."

DW2B liked the pickup truck. It had air conditioning and her car didn't.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:54 AM   #30
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This is quite common in Westchester, even worse in parts of Conn. With home prices in the “nicer areas” averaging more that 750K and taxes at 2.3%, lots of folks had $5K monthly and thought they were lucky. For a while, at least. Now all they need to do is keep their $250k jobs – for the next 20 years or so...
As a resident of the Nutmeg State, I can certainly confirm this little nugget. It's a fine place to live, but very expensive.

We bought our home during my first year out of law school, and we didn't overextend ourselves to do it. As my legal career progressed, we avoided the urge to "upgrade" to a bigger, more expensive house, like all of my peers at the firm did. (An interesting aside -- very early in my career, a wizened old partner told me "the firm likes you to have a large mortgage; it keeps you focused on the job"). That one choice has made a world of difference in our finances.

Like Nords, I also had an incompetent sociopath as a CO in the Navy (my very first CO). While I can't say it was the only reason I left the Navy, or even the main one, the desire to never again be in a job I could not quit (for whatever reason) surely played a part in my departure.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #31
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Our net worth will cross 1 mill before my 40th birthday in two years, and of course nobody that knows us will have a clue because we lack so many of the "status" items they feel they must have.
Good goal - I had the same goal but missed by a few years (46 y.o.). The 1st million in net worth is the hardest to achieve and the 2nd and 3rd are a piece of cake. Achieved that at 49 and 52. Once you reach that point your portfolio is earning a third of a million a year and you start wondering why you are working.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:22 AM   #32
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Good goal - I had the same goal but missed by a few years (46 y.o.). The 1st million in net worth is the hardest to achieve and the 2nd and 3rd are a piece of cake. Achieved that at 49 and 52. Once you reach that point your portfolio is earning a third of a million a year and you start wondering why you are working.
10% returns? What AA will get you there? And how did it do in 2008-09?
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:19 PM   #33
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Once again a thread turns into a KDWTJ love fest. Many folks here are working hard to keep down with the Jonesers.

We need a thread where posters have so much money that it doesn't matter that we drive our Lexuses, live in 3000+ sq ft homes, go out to eat many times a week, and work at great jobs that we love with reduced hours and high pay.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:38 PM   #34
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I am not by nature frugal but I have become more thoughtful about the value that I get for my money. By which I mean, I don't have a love of money per se, but I can see the correlation between having the income to live as you want vs. being forever beholden to an employer who largely controls your life. Money equals freedom. How much you need is very individual. I have cut the spending to only what has meaning for me. I am also taking a good hard look at who makes money off me and whether or not it represents a value investment. Most times it doesn't. You have to look out for yourself because for d*mned sure nobody else will.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #35
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Once again a thread turns into a KDWTJ love fest. Many folks here are working hard to keep down with the Jonesers.

We need a thread where posters have so much money that it doesn't matter that we drive our Lexuses, live in 3000+ sq ft homes, go out to eat many times a week, and work at great jobs that we love with reduced hours and high pay.
Don't hold your breath.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:48 PM   #36
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Once again a thread turns into a KDWTJ love fest. Many folks here are working hard to keep down with the Jonesers.

We need a thread where posters have so much money that it doesn't matter that we drive our Lexuses, live in 3000+ sq ft homes, go out to eat many times a week, and work at great jobs that we love with reduced hours and high pay.
Ok, I confess...I confess...I went out to Denny's today and ordered pancakes I could have made at home.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:09 PM   #37
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.

Here on the ER Forum, I am pretty sure our priorities are different. No quantity of designer clothes, blackberries/iPhones, expensive hair salons,
Corvettes, home renovations, or travel could possibly even begin to replace the joy and satisfaction I have felt in the past few months.
Not so fast with the Corvettes
It's an investment
And it is going UP in value
No kidding--Really
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:19 PM   #38
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Not so fast with the Corvettes
It's an investment
And it is going UP in value
No kidding--Really
You could offer me every Corvette in existence - - new, classic, grungy, modified, whatever - - and if getting all of them was contingent on me going back to work until the end of 2010 I wouldn't take them no matter what their present or future value. I really do value my retirement that much.

Life is SO good.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:53 PM   #39
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Once again a thread turns into a KDWTJ love fest. Many folks here are working hard to keep down with the Jonesers.

We need a thread where posters have so much money that it doesn't matter that we drive our Lexuses, live in 3000+ sq ft homes, go out to eat many times a week, and work at great jobs that we love with reduced hours and high pay.
These folks exist. At one point I worked for an extremely bright guy who had a net worth in the $50MM range. Personally, I would have hung up my spurs and lived a full life at well short of that figure. Instead, he was quite happy working 12+ hour days and trying to grow his business and his net worth. It takes all kinds, I guess.

As for me, I realized tonight that all of the regrets I have in life are directly related to my career. What more incentive does one need to try hard to get to FIRE?
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:05 PM   #40
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I guess some people find happiness in their work. Many forum members here don't. To each his own.

I have been vacillating back and forth, although I will never have the luxury of getting bored sitting on $50M and want to work to get out of ennui. It is possible that one can get bored with international travel, yachting, ballooning, safari hunting, etc, etc... Oh well, I will never find out.
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