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Old 12-24-2007, 07:43 PM   #81
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For all of you that are "young dreamers", you have my utmost respect. Just the fact that you are on this website talking about investing and FIRE is commendable. All of you seem to have the right idea, you just need to keep saving, DCA, and set up an AA that will continue to beat inflation and more.
When I was your age (31), my salary was $29,700. I was 4 years into a career with Megacorp and was maxing out my savings plan which was after tax and not a 401K. I was in debt with house note and car note. I had a negative net worth but always had emergency savings in credit union.
We got our 401K somewhere around my age 35 and at that time my contributions which had been going into after tax savings plan were diverted into the 401K with two investment choices, equities or thrift.
Now at 56 in same Megacorp, have it made and am running up the score.
What can I say.....still like the job for now.
You young dreamers can be proud of yourselves.....and stay the course.
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Old 12-24-2007, 08:45 PM   #82
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Strickly from memory - we had just begun saving after paying off student loans and begun contributing to the 401k at the rate of about 800/YR . New job with a 20% raise a year of two before enabled us to make ends meet while eating balanced meals and heating the whole house . (previous salary I later found out would have qualified us for food stamps - I knew things were tight - but did not realise we were food stamp eligible - just thought we were just young and poor with two kids ! )

20 yrs later house is payed off NW about 1.5MM kids now done with college . No debt . On the way to ER
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Old 12-25-2007, 01:34 AM   #83
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[quote=beebers;592833]I laugh at all the differing NW's. I think many are not mentioning inheritance and other sources that were handed down... but maybe not.
quote]

Nope, no inheritance here...not even a penny. We may get an inheritance from my parents but hopefully not for a LONG time...parents are still young at 58 and 56. My parents should be okay in retirement but we'll be lucky if we don't have to support DH's mother who hasn't saved a dime .
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Old 12-25-2007, 04:25 AM   #84
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I consider myself "average" . At 31 I just started accumulating seriously, I probably had about 40K in today's dollar or less than that.

My brother is 28, with 78K as of december 07. Single, rent+utilities averages 750/mo in a 4bdr house(house sitting I said), no car note(in fact is an 8 year old car, 150miles). I envy him, he envies me for having so much more than him. The grass is greener on the neighboor's. :-)

Looking back, I have to admit I'm impressed at myself for being able to gain so much in short years but that doesn't make me feel like spending! I guess I read this forum too much.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:04 AM   #85
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Started investing in 403B at 29 - left the job two years later with about $15K in 403B and only $1500 from pension (only 20% vested!). Also had $45K or so in equity in house. Sold house, reinvested money into another house in CA. Fast forward 12 years and have a lot of home equity and decent net worth. Key - save a lot and keep lifetsyle costs down. However, enjoy life onthe way, too. Also have two pensions coming, one at 60, one at 65; and SS (if I get to see it!). Plan on retiring at 50 at latest, possibly in two years at 45. Terhorst was my hero at 35, with the Kaderli's a close second. Didn't make it at 30s, but hey, 45-50 isn't too bad......for those in their 20s or in their early 30s with the net worths being bandied about here, they are very much well on their way - I am amazed at how much money I did waste early on.
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:59 AM   #86
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At 31 my stock options were starting to get pretty valuable. At either 31 or 32 I paid off my my mortgage.
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:38 AM   #87
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I couldn't say what our net worth was, because my DW was doing the finances and all I had was a vague idea. My guess is about -$30k. Fast forward six years (it took another three years before we took control of our finances) and our net worth, not including our house is roughly 60k. The real story is when we took control of our finances in 2004 our net worth was roughly -$50k.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:24 AM   #88
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At 31, I had just finished grad school, started a new job, newly married, and just bought a very small 3 bedroom house. I had no student loans (thank you GI bill) or credit card debt (didn't even own a credit card). In fact, except for the mortgage, I had no debt. I think I had less than $1000 saved. We did have two cars, but both were very used, a trend we have mostly continued throught the years. Then congress passed a little law that allowed companies to offer 401K accounts. My company matched intially 6%-to-6%. Looked like free money to me! ( They later reduced it to 6/3%)

The market and compound interest did the rest. Oh, that little 3 bedroom house was the start of a string of investment real estate ventures that so far have paid off very well also.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:23 AM   #89
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I don't think that I'm eligible to respond to this thread since I won't turn 31 until 2012.

However, I would like to thank many of those who did respond as it has helped me realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm amazed at how some of those who responded did not have much financially at the young age of 31, and were still able to RE in their 40s and 50s.

To the OP, as many others have posted in this thread, LBYM and saving a little along the way will almost guarantee you RE. Good Luck.

ed
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:05 AM   #90
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At 31 my stock options were starting to get pretty valuable. At either 31 or 32 I paid off my my mortgage.
Are any of you "young dreamers" doing this on a modest income of say under $60K. At an income that is nearly maxed out at $44K I feel on the outside of the group. Although at age 28 I do have $78K but still renting.
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:23 PM   #91
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At 31 I was married three years, had a gross income of about $28K, wife the same, we bought a house two years earlier, had a NW of -$75,000 (the house) and things were more or less looking good, I was optimistic. We had two older cars and a take-home car from my job. However, wife was a shopper, I was constant trying to get "ahead of the curve" on credit cards that were never maxed out but the fact that there was always an outstanding balance bothered me. I'm a "cash 'n carry" guy. Wife was one of those who thinks it's okay to be late on the house payment because the late penalty didn't start for 10 days. Sigh, it doesn't work that way....

She said I was tense & irritated - yeah, I get that way when I have to "play the float" to make house & utility payments on time. Never any money in savings for when something broke, as things inevitably do, it was like she couldn't stand to see any money in the bank - I would have settled for paying off credit cards and $2K in savings at the time, the cost of a new roof (shingles were starting to curl) or furnace. The coup de grâce on the marriage was when we finally had the $2k in savings, her family decided to have a big gathering at Disney World - two took out loans for it - and I was furious. Almost told her that if she went don't come back, but last gasp I tried to keep it together and went. Six months later she bailed when I refused to take a loan for a trip when we were already flat broke.

Lesson learned: NEVER, NEVER marry someone with a bad credit rating! It's not about money; it's about responsibility, accountability, and resource management skills.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:11 PM   #92
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At 31, had recently married and started career in my late 20's. Had negative NW around -$50K, due to student loans, credit cards, etc. Now at mid-40's, I measure NW in mid-seven-figures. Wish I'd had a nice jump start on saving like some of you, but at least I play a pretty mean game of catch up.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:41 PM   #93
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At 31, I was in the middle of getting my MBA at an inexpensive school, so that I would not be an illegal alien.

My retirement stash was less than $1,000 because I kept changing jobs and lost out on pensions, vesting, higher matching %s.

My net worth consisted of my paid-for 7-year old car, clothes, books, CDs, some furniture. (I was happy when I got money from hailstorm damage on the car so that I could use the money to finance my credit-card bills while going for more edumencation.)

I started seriously saving when I was 39 after I bought a house. I still don't know if I can/will ER although my spreadsheet says I am 45% of the way there at age 45.
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:02 PM   #94
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Are any of you "young dreamers" doing this on a modest income of say under $60K. At an income that is nearly maxed out at $44K I feel on the outside of the group.
Yup! Plenty of us here make less than $60/yr! (though I do not have a family to support) I share a house with two other women (seldom see each other, but good times when our schedules collide!) which saves on expenses. Just keep saving/investing, but don't forget to smell the roses along the way! I personally keep tossing $$$ into my vacation fund so I can smell the roses when the right ski trip comes along!
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:01 PM   #95
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I'll let you know in exactly 1 month!
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:33 PM   #96
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Are any of you "young dreamers" doing this on a modest income of say under $60K.
Yes, and the "under 60k" includes all sources of income (W-2 job, self-employment, and gifts from family members).
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:47 PM   #97
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At 31 I was working full time as a cytotechnologist and going to law school nights/part time year round. Retirement was not part of my vocabulary at that point!
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:42 PM   #98
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Currently 32...same as 31...totally broke....in fact...broker!
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:46 PM   #99
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Hi,
I'm getting milestone envy.

When you were 31 - how big was your retirement stash? When did you start?

I'm 31 and at about $60k and all the calcs say i will be ok if i keep throwing in the $ as well as save more after tax...but just want some verification it can be done!

Not sure exactly, I am 34 yo, and have 140k in my accounts, plus 20k in wife's accounts at present time. All signs suggest retirement at age 60 is a forgone conclusion (with 2 M account value). This assumes we contribute nothing from this point forward.

Adding to the accounts increases probability of FIRE.

Current goal is 360k by age 39 (5 years to get there). 360k by age 39 suggest we reach the 2 M goal at age 52, not age 60.

I have a spreadsheet which I use to track milestones. Uses rule of 72 and goes like this

list age you want to retire in one column. List amount needed next to it in adjacent column. Using rule of 72, divide return rate into 72 (8% return=9, 10% return =7.2 etc...)
in cell below age, subtract age by number above, and divide the goal in half. in next row repeat. in next row repeat.

might look like this:

age 60 goal $2,000,000
age 52 goal $1,000,000
age 44 goal $500,000
age 36 goal $250,000
age 28 goal $125,000

this is assuming a 9% return (money doubles every 8 years)

you could also reverse the chart

age 31 amount 60k
age 38 amount 120k
age 45 amount 240k
age 52 amount 480k
age 59 amount 960k
age 66 amount 1,920k
this assumes a 10% return (money doubles every 7 years)


These charts serves 3 purposes
1) shows me when compounding will give me money needed
2) shows me if current actions are in line with goals- allocation wise-meaning make sure I have an allocation which can reach the goal.
3) shows me if return can be ratched downward and allocation adjusted to more conservative position

You could also set the goal of 240k invested by age 38, which suggests you reach 1.920 M goal at age 59 (7 years sooner).

On the chart I reference, I have columns for 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 11% and 12% returns. The retirement age is the same, the difference is seeing which age ranges I need a 9-11% return, and when I can ramp allocation down to something resembling a 7% return.
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Uhhhh.....
Old 12-27-2007, 10:58 PM   #100
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Uhhhh.....

O.K. That made my head hurt.
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