I've been a lurker for a while and decided that I would like to participate every now and then.
I've been obsessed with ER for a while now, especially since I'm currently working on a project that I can't stand now. I'm a self-employed software developer and currently have a contract with a company that has horrible management. I'm surprised that I've lasted as long as I have in this field considering that the pace of offshoring jobs to cheap foreign labor markets seems to be increasing, especially in my field. I can't wait to get out of this rat race.
I'm 38 and DW (still not entirely sure what that means - Dear Wife? Darling Wife? Dreadful Wife?) is 40. Great incomes, but mine is iffy (it could end tomorrow, but I guess you can say that about anyone, being that job security is a thing of the past). No pensions. Both DW and I contribute the max to our 401ks (since I'm self-employed and incorporated, an Individual 401k allows me to stash away $42K pre-tax) and I invest after-tax money as well - mostly via dollar cost averaging. I have a bunch (too many) mutual funds that I plan on switching over to Vanguard index funds (unfortunately, Vanguard doesn't offer an Individual 401k so my 401k money has to stay put). The only stock I have is Birkshire Hathaway. Some muni bonds.
Aside from our mortage, which we hope to have paid off in 10 years, we have no debt. I think we live below our means but we are not deprived. We go on vacations, dine out occassionally, go to a show every now and then, etc.
My goal is to ER in another 10 years, although I can't bare the thought of being in the rat race for another 10 years.
I look forward to chatting with you all.