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Question about the crowd here
Old 10-22-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
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Question about the crowd here

I've been a member for, jeez, its gotta be close to 36 hours now. I've noticed a goodly number of ex-military types here. I'm curious -

- is it pure coincidence? (i.e. who I've happened to run into in my short time here)

- is it sample bias? (are there just a handful of ex-military who happen to be heavy posters)

- or are ex-military folks just more likely to FIRE? (after all, that pension plan is pretty remarkable - its as if you saved $1MM+ by your 40th birthday)

- or is there some other reason?
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:53 PM   #2
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Career military get a pension at 20 years of service plus full medical expenses for life.

Those career military types earn it all in my opinion however that is hard to match as a civilian.

We get these types as well as 30/40 somethings who have dedicated their soul to wall street or to building a business and saved mucho along the way.

We get 40/50 somethings who were moderately well paid and who saved mucho along the way.

Civilian government employees also seem to be able to bail around 45-55 years old with full medical and (often) generous pensions. It is probably easier if they have saved a bit along the way.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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Makes sense - FWIW, I'm type 2 - maybe it should be part of peoples sig line?

1 = retired miltary

2 = wall street guy

3 = white collar uber-saver in his late 40s early 50s

4 = other government pension plan


does that cover it?
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:08 PM   #4
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eh, there are a few of us of the female gender on this forum, too.

I guess I'd be in category 3 (worked 30+ years in mgmt at MegaCorp, plus five heading up a non-profit org, retired last December)
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:10 PM   #5
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And some of us started out in the military when we were young and foolish, and then moved on to something else.

One common denominator of people who have reached the point where they can retire early is a modicum of self discipline (either to get into the j*b that makes the necessary income or to save and invest the money we do get - or both). The military has brought self discipline to many an otherwise aimless young person.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:17 PM   #6
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What Gumby said...
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Achiever51 View Post
eh, there are a few of us of the female gender on this forum, too.


Sorry for the gender-specific pronouns (I blame the English language...)

Anyway, glad to know its not just guys here!
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
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does that cover it?
Nope, we've got a few tech options millionaires, a few business owners who cashed out, a few investors who played the market just right, a few who inherited their money, etc.

The only common thread is that we're sick of the rat race.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:33 PM   #9
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Female, 24 yrs in megacorp mgmt, retired in August at age 60. Not early for this forum but early as compared to anyone else I know. My circle of friends and colleagues are "work til you drop types".

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Old 10-22-2007, 07:34 PM   #10
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It seems pretty diverse to me.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:38 PM   #11
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One of those goverment types - sort of. Spent more than half the career in low paying social service, with no pension - only my own deferred salary. Now with goverment, a bit better paying (but still low by the standards of many here). I will have a pension but expect to bail with less than 15 years of service. The funds will be small, and not available until 62, so I don't figure them into my FIRE plans.

Also of the female persuasion.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:45 PM   #12
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Maybe we need some new canned avatars:





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Old 10-22-2007, 07:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice View Post
I've been a member for, jeez, its gotta be close to 36 hours now. I've noticed a goodly number of ex-military types here. I'm curious -
- is it pure coincidence? (i.e. who I've happened to run into in my short time here)
- is it sample bias? (are there just a handful of ex-military who happen to be heavy posters)
- or are ex-military folks just more likely to FIRE? (after all, that pension plan is pretty remarkable - its as if you saved $1MM+ by your 40th birthday)
- or is there some other reason?
There's at least 50 veterans on the board, a few of whom are retired from active duty and others at various points along the way. We have just about every combination of active/Reserve service and even a military couple who ER'dd after about a decade of active duty (no pension or healthcare).

None of us seem to be very shy and a few of us are outspoken. I suspect most of us are quite comfortable communicating this way.

Despite the COLA pension & cheap healthcare, military folks are unlikely to FIRE. One retiree collected survey data indicating that 85% of retired O-4s/O-5s went right out and started second careers. He thought the numbers were even higher among the higher ranks, and not much different among E-6 through E-9. Although some of it is undoubtedly a sense of service and a cultural work ethic, I'm sure a big part of it is ignorance. It certainly was in my case.

I've looked for the ERs on just about every popular military board. The response has generally been accusations of being everything from an idiot to a liar and a spammer. One board, composed of Navy active-duty surface warfare officers, was generally supportive but skeptical. My favorite was the GruntsMilitary.com board where I was also branded as a no-load whiner and banned on my first post...
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:53 PM   #14
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It's a very diverse group. Pensions make the ex-military or ex-gov't types more conspicuous than their absolute numbers would do. Pretty savvy overall, pretty contentious, too.

Group reacts adversely to financial advisors, silver-spooners, know-it-alls, preachy types. Likes do-it-yourselfers, cheap bastards live-beneath-your means types.

Jump in - the water's fine.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:44 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Group reacts adversely to financial advisors, silver-spooners, know-it-alls, preachy types. Likes do-it-yourselfers, cheap bastards live-beneath-your means types.

Jump in - the water's fine.


Sounds like my kind of crowd. While I do work on Wall Street its in an area far removed from personal finance - so any knowledge I have acquired in the area is through my many mistakes DIY experience.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:31 AM   #16
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Oorah!
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:18 AM   #17
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I've always felt that 'cheap bastard' had more cachet than plain old frugal.

Ho - hum civilian DCA into 401k over a long period here.

Time in the market. Balanced index. Auto pilot. Yawn!

heh heh heh - boring as paint drying so I try to make quirky remarks when I post by way of apologizing for such a boring path to ER.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:30 AM   #18
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Non-military, non-tech option, non-sensical here...

Light-blue collar, cheap bastard, lucky astute investments...

Where's the icon for slacker, dude?
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:55 AM   #19
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Like Nords said there are a few of us on the board. I am in the last assignment before I can retire after 20 yrs. I know of only a handful of military that actually retired when the left the service. Most started work the day after they retired doing the same thing as a contractor.

I find that the closer I get to being able I go back and forth as to definately retiring or "just one more year." Yesterday was one more year. Today it is leaning towards hanging it up.

Tomcat98
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:54 AM   #20
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Hmmm....female - Almost have military reserve pension wrapped up (2008), white collar government-worker-uber-saver in late 30's. Many of us do not fit neatly into one of your listed categories. Welcome to the group!
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