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I guess I'm not alone
Old 12-29-2006, 04:01 PM   #1
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I guess I'm not alone

I thought I was the only person who wanted to retire at 50. Glad to see I'm wrong. I found this forum yesterday and I'm very impressed, talking to others about money isn't something that people do here in the midwest. It's refreshing to see people talk openly about their personal financial situations.

I hope I fit in, in a nutshell here's where I am:

Currently 41, planning on retiring on 12/31/2014 at age 49 1/2.

I began working at a small business on 12/31/1984 at age 19. Three years later I bought it, and I am still here. The business nets me about $140,000. I live on about $40,000 (including health ins. & small mortgage). I pay about $40,000 in income taxes, Federal, Self Employment & State, and I invest the remaining $60,000 in the investments shown below.

To date here's the big picture today:

SEP/IRA - $405,000
Roth IRA's - $52,000
Taxable investments - $170,000 (mostly index funds)
VUL's - $275,000 (don't laugh, more on these later)
529's for two kids - $60,000

I own my house ($125,000), just a few months left on a $505 mortgage. NO other debt. I drive a '99 Chevrolet Silverado. DW drives a used GM car.

I also own the small business with no debt, book value $375,000 with a cost base of $150,000.

I think I share similar values to most on this board, but let me go out on a limb here right away. I use a Financial Planner I started with a broker and ended up with a churned up mess. Then I went to Charles Schwabb and did better on my own, but I didn't have the time to dedicate to overseeing everything. I underperformed the major indexes and it bothered me. I interviewed some planners and chose one in 1997 and I've been happy. More on all that later.

Anyways, I'll have my share of questions from your experiences and I look forward to participating if I have anything helpful to share. I also know when to keep quiet.

Favorite book I've read is probably "The Wealthy Barber" Another good one is "Money and the People You Love".

Hope everyone has had a good 2006 and a great 2007 to come.

"Watch your topknot"
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Re: I guess I'm not alone
Old 12-29-2006, 05:05 PM   #2
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Re: I guess I'm not alone

Well done. You are on track for FIRE at 50 with room to spare.

Nothing wrong with using a financial planner, many here do. But even if you do, everyone is better off if you have a sense of how you want to invest and save, how much you are comfortable paying in commissions, and how much control you wish to maintain over your investments. Personal decision, and you sound like you have been fine on the current road.

Welcome to the board.
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: I guess I'm not alone
Old 12-29-2006, 05:20 PM   #3
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Re: I guess I'm not alone

Empty, you're doing great! Maybe you need to change your name......
Welcome to the board.

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Re: I guess I'm not alone
Old 12-29-2006, 07:49 PM   #4
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Re: I guess I'm not alone

Welcome EP. I agree about the name. Doesn't seem to fit based on your information.

I'm new to the board too and am enjoying reading and learning. The idea of "I guess I'm not alone" is how I felt when I first came across this forum. Based on the people I associate with, I truly thought I was the only one around who was not really interested in working forever. Not true, so it turns out.

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Re: I guess I'm not alone
Old 01-01-2007, 05:14 PM   #5
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Re: I guess I'm not alone

Originally Posted by Empty Pockets
I thought I was the only person who wanted to retire at 50. Glad to see I'm wrong.
So glad you are here!

When I tell people that I am going to RE, they laugh at me.
People I work with are continually making fun of the way I live and the choices I've made (inexpensive house in the city, inexpensive car, shopping at Save-A-Lot, watching how much I eat out, etc.). It has gotten to the point that I stopped telling anyone - and keep it to myself.

But this is a board where you dont have to worry about that!
Everyone here is working toward the same goal(s) as you. There are many encouraging stories, and alot of great information.


"It is not how much money you make - it is how you spend it."
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Re: I guess I'm not alone
Old 01-01-2007, 06:04 PM   #6
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Re: I guess I'm not alone

Welcome aboard. You'll find lots of kindred spirits here. As you've already identified, many here would question the VUL investments and your decision to "invest" in an FP, but you seem to be well on your way to reaching your goal. Thanks for joinng in, we all learn from everybody, one way or another.
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Re: I guess I'm not alone
Old 01-02-2007, 07:48 AM   #7
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Re: I guess I'm not alone

Thanks for the welcome everyone. I just spent a 3 day weekend over New Years in the area where I plan on retiring in 8 years. I was snooping around the real estate in the area.

Now I think I'll pick your brains for some advise on another post. Please be patient with me as I learn my way around the site. Thanks.

"Watch your topknot"
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