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Old 02-01-2015, 05:13 PM   #21
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Walt-34'. Off the topic , but was your plane called a "flying milk stool". A friend had one in AK that cost less than my used car and we would fly here and there, building up hours....
Back to it, I hope these young-uns plan to keep their skills sharp. What do they do if they need to go back to working, like their real estate empire crumbles or healthcare policy changes? Complete retirement at 40 would have been too scary for me.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:05 PM   #22
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I will retire young, by which point I will have had an interesting and fulfilling two decades worth of work. I have traveled a fair amount, enjoyed friendships and hobbies, made a difference at work, and have not felt that my life has suffered for a lack of consumer expenditures.

I certainly wouldn't dispute anyone's right to have an opinion, but honestly I don't need anyone's judgement or well-intentioned pity.

Time spent feeling sorry for me would be wasted time. Life is good.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:10 PM   #23
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As someone who first posted here at 23, I'll comment:

First, I don't personally know anybody who "loves" their work. People are happy to have a job, and they know their job could be worse, but they don't "love" it. In effect, I don't know anybody who dreads weekends or holidays, or feels excited on a Sunday evening at the thought of starting another work week. Did you? If not, are you sure you really loved it? If so, why did you ever retire early? Sounds like a contradiction.

Second, I think you are failing to imagine how other people have had different life experiences than your own. Maybe you did the "backpacking Europe" thing when you were 25, and then didn't start feeling satisfied with your professional accomplishments until much later. At 25 I was already four years (more if you count some education/training) into a deadly-serious and exhausting (albeit interesting) career, saddled with management responsibilities, while married and planning for kids. I don't think that's "missing out on life." By the time I'm 40+ I'm sure I'll feel more than ready for something less stressful, so I want to prepare things financially to have that option.

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Old 02-01-2015, 07:21 PM   #24
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Walt-34'. Off the topic , but was your plane called a "flying milk stool". A friend had one in AK that cost less than my used car and we would fly here and there, building up hours....
I've heard that label attached to the Tri-Pacer. The name came from short coupling of the landing gear. The original Pacer was a taildragger but with the main gear so close together it was a bit of a handful to land between the narrow main gear and the short distance to the tailwheel and a lot of pilots ground looped it. I never flew a Pacer so have no direct knowledge of that, just stories I heard.

Anyway, they moved the main gear back, put a nosewheel on it and called it the Tri-Pacer. When fully loaded I could push the tail down to the ground with one hand, the nose gear was that lightly loaded. With some squinting you could see the three legs of a milkstool in the layout of the landing gear, hence the name.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:13 AM   #25
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As someone who first posted here at 23, I'll comment:

First, I don't personally know anybody who "loves" their work. People are happy to have a job, and they know their job could be worse, but they don't "love" it. In effect, I don't know anybody who dreads weekends or holidays, or feels excited on a Sunday evening at the thought of starting another work week. Did you? If not, are you sure you really loved it? If so, why did you ever retire early? Sounds like a contradiction.
I'm glad that you're happy in your life. Really.

In my case, yes, I did love my job; every minute of it. I didn't dread the weekends because I worked seven days a week for 20+ years.

No contradiction: I retired early because we sold the company, my working years were (ahem) "rewarded" and I realized how much of life I had missed out on being away from home 200 days a year. Health problems began cropping up as well.

It was time to do something different.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:13 AM   #26
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I do not hate my job. But I need to be FI before I get the boot.

Not many people retire from my career at 'normal' retirement age - they get laid off at 45-55! We have 1-2 rounds of layoffs PER YEAR, and when my time has come, I plan to sit on a huge pile of money. I've seen too many 50 year olds losing their job, with negligible savings, being unable to find another one that pays nearly the same money. No one hires people that 'old' these days.

When that happens to me, I do not want to be stressed about unemployment pay, or job interviews, or how I will afford to send the kids to college. THIS is why I'm saving like crazy while I can.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:18 AM   #27
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[...] worked seven days a week for 20+ years. [...] away from home 200 days a year [...] Health problems [...]
Now I'm starting to feel sorry for YOU. Glad you made it out alive, and I hope you have a long, happy retirement.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:55 AM   #28
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Now I'm starting to feel sorry for YOU. Glad you made it out alive, and I hope you have a long, happy retirement.
Appreciate the sentiment, but don't feel bad for me. I'm more than good.
Got out alive as you say. Ten years into RE.

The 200 days away from home were compensated by some really fantastic experiences...stuff most people don't even know exists; but did miss out on too many weddings, birthdays etc.

Health issues are quite manageable and nothing life threatening, but if I were still travelling, (esp internationally) it would have been harder to do.

It was just time to hang it up.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:39 PM   #29
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What stands out to me from the OP is a lesson I try to pass on to my friends still in their 20s... spend your money on experiences, not things. You will never regret the fond opportunities and experiences you embraced in your 20s and 30s. Learning to balance that with intelligent saving/investing and you'll have less regrets on both sides of the fence (living and saving) when you are too old to do either anymore.

Ask yourself if what you're spending money on today will always seem as valuable to you. If the answer is yes, and it fits your plan to FIRE... go do it!
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:11 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by timwalsh300 View Post
As someone who first posted here at 23, I'll comment:

First, I don't personally know anybody who "loves" their work. People are happy to have a job, and they know their job could be worse, but they don't "love" it. In effect, I don't know anybody who dreads weekends or holidays, or feels excited on a Sunday evening at the thought of starting another work week. Did you? If not, are you sure you really loved it? If so, why did you ever retire early? Sounds like a contradiction.

Second, I think you are failing to imagine how other people have had different life experiences than your own. Maybe you did the "backpacking Europe" thing when you were 25, and then didn't start feeling satisfied with your professional accomplishments until much later. At 25 I was already four years (more if you count some education/training) into a deadly-serious and exhausting (albeit interesting) career, saddled with management responsibilities, while married and planning for kids. I don't think that's "missing out on life." By the time I'm 40+ I'm sure I'll feel more than ready for something less stressful, so I want to prepare things financially to have that option.

Tim
Very well put Tim. The whole find your passion/dream job meme is false for too many reasons to go into succinctly. However, reason in chief is that even if you are lucky enough to "love" your job, jobs, supervisors, co-workers, companies, circumstances change. I agree it's important to balance experiences with responsibility.

When I was as young as you I was never smart enough to even be on a board like this. I applaud/admire anyone in their 20's/30's thinking so long term. I didn't, and it cost me.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:35 PM   #31
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My view: There's a difference between being FI and RE. You SHOULD aim to be FI as soon as possible, but I feel bad for someone in their 20's who hates their job or just doesn't want to work.
I'm a young(er) forum member, joined at 35 now 37. I very much view it in this regard. We hope to be FI by Jan 1, 2020 (age 42 his, 39 hers) with enough to stop working then if we so choose. I doubt we will choose to do so, but we'd like to have that option. DW will likely work much longer as she loves what she does. I will likely seek a bridge career or take a year or two of "ER" to pursue a life dream, but a lot of that depends on other, non-financial stuff.

We'll see, but generally I agree. Aiming for FI at 40 is a great, worthy goal. I think I'd aim for FI then "do what I want" in terms of work. Being full-blown retired (as in never work for another dime) at 42 is probably not the route I'll take.

Bike mechanic, personal trainer, triathlon coach, sommelier - all on a part-time basis - appeal to me, but wouldn't pay nearly enough on their own without being FI.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:42 PM   #32
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I do agree with you that regardless of income and savings, we all realistically have to work for a long time to make it FI and retirement.
I, too, would encourage younger folks to enjoy life as it comes rather than put ALL their efforts into a faraway goal. That is the balance we all seek: how to live well today while planning to hopefully live well later.
There is, indeed, a balance. I made not-that-much in my 20s as a young officer, but still found a way to bank a good sum and spend a bit. We make more now in our 30s and are very fortunate. My wife shakes her head at our spending level until I reminder her what we spent on. It's not iPads and $200 dinners every week... it's travel, it's eye surgery, it's home improvements we want.

Two of the best expenditures I've ever made were also the two largest outside of houses and cars:

- I went to Super Bowl XLI spending $4500 on a game package including hotel, pre-game party, game tickets, NFL experience thing the day before... Believe it or not, totally worth it (once). Colts won too, so it was even better!

- DW and I took our 17-day honeymoon to Australia and Fiji. Cost us ~$17K when all was said and done and was worth every cent.

Might've made FI by 2020 tighter, but we'll never regret those choices. Not everyone has those opportunities, and we feel fortunate that we had them early enough in life to enjoy them!

So, to two overarching points here:

- Disagree that you can't RE unless you're saying no to $3000 vacations. You just have to have the means to do so and/or make the $3000 (or $5000 or $15000) vacation a special occurrence rather than an annual one. The key is LBYM. If a $15000 vacation is possible while still saving a good percentage of your pay, have at it. You don't have to save every cent to RE.

- Wholeheartedly agree with spending money on experiences. Those two extreme examples mean far more to me than my car or my iPad, and you only get to do this once.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:20 PM   #33
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First, I don't personally know anybody who "loves" their work. People are happy to have a job, and they know their job could be worse, but they don't "love" it. In effect, I don't know anybody who dreads weekends or holidays, or feels excited on a Sunday evening at the thought of starting another work week. Did you? If not, are you sure you really loved it? If so, why did you ever retire early? Sounds like a contradiction.
I love my work, I'm often actively looking forward to going in and getting to make things I enjoy. This is part of why when I first got involved in the FIRE community my focus was on the FI part, not the RE part.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:25 AM   #34
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As Rich4444 observed, money is only a tool. Most discussions on this forum have something to do with honing that tool and using it efficiently, not hiding it in a tool chest. A big part of that is figuring out what is truly important to you, personally, and spending only on that - not being swayed by popular thinking on how to spend your money.

Many consider financial independence an honorable goal all by itself. Others see it as a way out of a working life which, no matter how prestigious, is making them feel like a trapped animal ready to gnaw off its leg.

Amethyst
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:39 PM   #35
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We have always traveled as much as our vacation times allowed. Getting 3 weeks off a year was more of a limit than our budget. I just would look for bargain packages and half price hotel stays so travel was never a big enough budget item to make a difference in becoming FI either way. We don't live too far from Hawaii so that was always an economical choice for us with something like an Expedia package. For weekends we could either go car camping, river camping (pre-kids) or drive places like Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and San Diego so that didn't cost too much either. We often had annual passes to Disneyland, water parks, Six Flags and the state parks while the kids were growing up. The rest of the vacation time was spent on out of state or overseas family visits.

We had co-workers with the same household income who lived like jet setters, flying cross country for weekend trips regularly and they went broke. I would rather have had the more modest vacations like we did and financial security.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:18 PM   #36
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What stands out to me from the OP is a lesson I try to pass on to my friends still in their 20s... spend your money on experiences, not things. You will never regret the fond opportunities and experiences you embraced in your 20s and 30s. Learning to balance that with intelligent saving/investing and you'll have less regrets on both sides of the fence (living and saving) when you are too old to do either anymore.

Ask yourself if what you're spending money on today will always seem as valuable to you. If the answer is yes, and it fits your plan to FIRE... go do it!
+1

I will never regret any of my travels, and I have been traveling since I was in college. By myself, with friends, boyfriends, and husband. But we don't drive expensive cars, and have lived in the our townhouse for 15 years etc....we want to reach our FIRE goals but enjoy life now too!
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:52 PM   #37
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As Rich4444 observed, money is only a tool. Most discussions on this forum have something to do with honing that tool and using it efficiently, not hiding it in a tool chest. A big part of that is figuring out what is truly important to you, personally, and spending only on that - not being swayed by popular thinking on how to spend your money.

Many consider financial independence an honorable goal all by itself. Others see it as a way out of a working life which, no matter how prestigious, is making them feel like a trapped animal ready to gnaw off its leg.

Amethyst
I have always been jealous of those people who enjoy their jobs/careers. During my 35 or so years in the work force (several different types of jobs), probably 30 of them made me feel like a trapped animal.

It was quite difficult for us to "create experiences" when in our 20's and, I admit, much of it was our own fault. But when MegaOil gives you 2 weeks of vacation time for each of your first 10 years of work and there are grandparents to visit, just when do you fit in these experiential vacations?

That's when I tried teaching - and there were advantages to trading $ for time. I know that my family greatly appreciates the time that I had to spend with them in the summers. Put a dent in our ER plans, but still managed to get out at 55.

Find your passion - I did that. It's 18th Century music. But when you discover that at age 21, it's a little late to make a career of it.
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:00 PM   #38
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I've been pondering this thread for some time, because I was one of those young'uns who realized she wanted ER at 23 (I'm 40 now and 5 years away from the goal line).

Honestly, the OP gets my dander up. It reminds me of the acquaintances we had from Way Back When who tried to make us feel guilty for being frugal. I fondly remember having friends over for board games and hitting BW3 for 30-cent wing night. I remember taking a "stay-cation" and installing a new shower door at 3AM because the nearby Home Depot was open 24 hours, and why the hell not? My youth was filled with a lot of laughter and joy, and being frugal had no negative impact on that at all.

While there is a risk of 20-somethings becoming so focused on RE that they forget to live now, I think it's FAR overshadowed by the very real risk of them squandering their future by spending too much on stuff or experiences. I also think there's some character to be built by living on a shoestring when you're young. Learning how little you need to truly be happy is a lesson just as valuable as what you learn backpacking across Europe.
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:25 PM   #39
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While there is a risk of 20-somethings becoming so focused on RE that they forget to live now, .
THIS (quote above) was my main point coupled to the belief that, like investing, young people have the advantage of having the time to recover from somewhat (but not extremely) foolish expenses.

But if the proverbial "backpacking through Europe" 20 years ago prevented you from FI at 45, I'd say there's likely more variables at haven't been addressed.

How people choose to do that is up to each individual and each individual situation IMHO.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:50 PM   #40
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Learning how little you need to truly be happy is a lesson just as valuable as what you learn backpacking across Europe.
Not to belabor the point, but the "backpacking across Europe" seems to have hit a nerve among some. No intention to 'get up anyone's dander', but maybe we're not talking about the same thing.

Back in the mid 70's backpacking across Europe was a fairly common thing to do consisting of very low airfares, a student Eurail pass and sleeping (when you could) in youth hostels --versus some park bench for 2 or 3 weeks total.

In those days, it might cost about $1,000 give or take in 70's money, a good but not exorbitant amount. (A nephew did it last year for about $3000)

Now, had one taken that $1K and instead invested it at 10% with no losses, over 25 years, it would be worth....$10K.

My thinking is that if 25 years later, $10K now stands between you and being able to quit your job, you're likely skating on some very thin ice and having done this or not wouldn't have made any real difference.
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