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Old 12-23-2014, 10:51 AM   #21
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When I graduated college I had two financial goals - buy a house and save enough to retire someday. I bought my first house in 1988 (age 26). Retirement then became the goal. Over the next 4 years we saved a very high portion of our salaries. At age 30 the goal changed from "retirement" to early retirement - with a target age of 50.
"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." ~
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by truenorth418 View Post
Was attracted to the general idea at 21 but prepared a detailed plan at 36.

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same here
All that glitters is not gold. -G. Chaucer, W. Shakespeare
All that is gold does not glitter. -J.R.R. Tolkien
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:23 AM   #23
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DH and I have always led a LBYM lifestyle with an eye towards building up the savings account balance. I'm not sure we had any idea of being FI or RE, but financial security has always been important to us. In our early 40's we started seriously thinking about FI and 50 is when we seriously started planning for RE with a target of 2016.
I (56) pulled the trigger a bit early and retired in August this year to spend time with my Mom before she passed away. DH is still on target for 2016 and counting the days!
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
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Age FIRE became a priority
Old 12-23-2014, 11:34 AM   #24
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Age FIRE became a priority

I've been saving for retirement since after graduation, starting at 22. ER became an interest at 35, after my dad's Cancer diagnosis just 18mos after his retirement. Now 37, I have my plan to be FI by 42 including military pension. Whether or not I (we) RE remains to be seen. We might work longer for those first class tickets to Europe... (oh the shame!!). Either way, we will retire well before SS retirement age.
"So we beat to our own drummer in the sun;
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Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:56 AM   #25
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Probably about age 50, we realized that neither my husband or I could continue to work until 66 or later due to stressful jobs. So even though we won't be terribly early, it's a few years earlier than we thought we could.
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:58 AM   #26
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I grew up in a house where my dad was always planning to retire after my sister and I left the nest. He did, at 57. Sometime in my teens, I started forming the idea that I'd want to retire at least when he did, if not earlier.

I maxed out my 401(k) starting with the day I got my first real job. I didn't start my first RE spreadsheet until I was 34, though (I am 45 now). I plan to retire at 57, but mostly due to federal health benefits rules; otherwise, I could probably do it earlier.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by...
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #27
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Did not really think about FI or RE till about age 55. Fortunately me and DW have always maxed out our pension and profit sharing, 401Ks etc.. so we are pretty much FI but by just enough that OMY syndrome is still in effect. Now at 58 I think about RE every day as work is a grind. If not for the costs of healthcare I would have probably pulled the plug already.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:35 PM   #28
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I was 36.
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:46 PM   #29
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FIRE became a priority shortly after getting my first real job and realizing I am not cut out to be a worker drone (about age 25). It isn't that I don't want to work, its the monotony of the routine.

I don't like being required to go to work every day, for the same number of hours, *everyday for decades*. I just can't take it.

My goal is not FIRE, but early semi-retirement. I want to switch to part-time work or working full time for half of the year, or some combination.

My plan is to build up dividend income in my taxable account so that it covers 50% of my living expenses. At that point I will look for new employment, maybe even a new line of work.

I'm roughly 70% of the way there now. I should be about 80% there by the end of next year. I turn 39 next year. My goal was to be 100% there by 40 and it looks like I will be very close to hitting my numbers. My guess is I'll be 90% there by 40.

I work in IT and the "new" thing now is "cloud computing" which is really not that different than time sharing if you go back a ways... Anyway this will play to my advantage as "cloud" is all about running things remotely which lends itself to consulting work.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:53 PM   #30
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I started saving for retirement when I was 23 and had access to my first 401k plan, but I didn't get really serious about FIRE until I was 25 and found the retire early forum on the Motley Fool website. I was saving 10% in my 401k, and didn't know until I started reading that forum that that wasn't sufficient to build up the sort of investments I wanted to fund my retirement.

Even then, it took a while before I hit being able to max my 401k and Roth IRA contributions every year. If we go by when did I start maxing out both of those and still saving money additional money, that was only 6 years ago, when I was 36.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:00 PM   #31
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FI - Priority as much as possible from an early age, always LBYM type.
RE - Became a priority in 2009 after the big downturn and doing the corporate monkey dance with HR to keep my job.
Thanks to the FI part, the RE part can happen at anytime now. Perhaps the sooner the better for all concerned.
Took SS at 62 and hope I live long enough to regret the decision.
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59...seriously...and thank goodness so late
Old 12-23-2014, 02:09 PM   #32
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59...seriously...and thank goodness so late

Didn't start tracking my net worth until I was 59 and found

Thank goodness, because it's already driving me crazy. Well, MORE crazy.

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Old 12-23-2014, 02:25 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by dallas27 View Post
For me, more importantly, I learned to lived debt free from my first job. If I did have the cash in the bank, I didn't buy it, simple as that (bought a new car for first job as current car kept breaking down, but paid off within a year)

This lack of debt has always allow me to save something. But really in my mid thirties and the post-2009 stock rise has the numbers started getting big enough that it has my FULL attention now, and I really have become religious about tending to my retirements needs.
I had some guidelines, or rules, about debt. One was to never have more than one of the "big 3" of debts: student loans, car loans, and mortgage loans. I paid off my student loans 18 months after the 6-month grace period (after college graduation) ended. I never had a car loan, paying cash each of the 3 cars I have owned in my lifetime. I did not take on a mortgage until 2 years after I paid off the student loans. And, of course, I always paid my credit cards in full each month, and still do.

I paid off the mortgage in 9 years, just after I turned 35 in 1998, so I have been totally debt-free for the last 16 years. This accelerated my personal savings rate in the late 1990s (one biweekly paycheck easily covered my expenses for a few years) and made working part-time possible with the greatly reduced expenses.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:25 PM   #34
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DH and I were around 50 or so and he realized he had been at his county job for long enough that retiring with the pension could be a reality, he needed another 8 years so he planned on staying in his job. We made a plan to pay back 5 years that he had cashed out a long time ago to pay for graduate school in the 80's.

Soon after we completed buying back that 5 years his job started looking not so secure. I had always been frugal and a big saver but feeling insecure about his job made him get serious about saving and controlling expenses. We kicked into gear and paid off all debt by the time he lost his job at 55.

Pension > expenses = comfy enough retirement
Married, both 66. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:03 PM   #35
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Around age 46, when my last startup was bought out by a gigacorporation. I had to hang around for the transition, but, damn, that place was bureaucratic and almost moribund. Fortunately, the startup's CEO and C-suite team managed to capture the CEO and C-suite positions of the gigacorp, and things improved rapidly, both from a work perspective and for my retirement portfolio.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:06 PM   #36
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About age 43 in 1999 - with my daughter off to college and the house paid off, and after some disciplined LBYM and saving and less disciplined but fortunate riding the tide investment in technology stocks in the 90s - I started paying attention and focusing on the end game of FI and RE. Got beat up a bit in the tech wreck and the 2008 financial mess, but stayed the course and retired at 56.
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:14 PM   #37
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For me, it was two different occasions. The first was when I got my first paycheck from w*rking at a pizza place. I really worked hard, but the $$$ was just a pi**er. Once I got married, went off the tracks. Once that tribulation was over and I realized how much the military pension was worth, I buckled down to make sure that when I wrapped up with the Air Force, I would be FI and if I wanted, I would be RE. This fruition came about when I was about 28 years old (10 year point in AF). I actually w*rked a couple of years past the 20 years required for the pension but for a while, I had myself fooled that I had a j*b that I enjoyed. Now that I have been FIREd for a little over a month, the ONLY thing I miss about w*rk was SOME of the people, but that certainly does not outweigh the cons of w*rk.
FIRE'd in 2014 @ 40 Years Old
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:29 PM   #38
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59 for me. I was just going down life's lane enjoying the ride. DW was over 10 years my junior and had goals she wanted to fulfill. Retirement was out there somewhere, but not a priority.

When DD was born, I decided it was time to get serious about saving for college. I was not comfortable putting a bunch of money in a child's name and I would turn 59.5 the year she started college. I maxed out the 401(k) and kept it that way until I retired. It turned out that our income increased substantially and we would not need that money to fund college for the kids.

Deciding to retire happened a few days after DW suddenly died. Sometimes God can speak very loudly. I was to move to the mountains and for as long as I am capable I will help out at the kid's camp close to the house I am building. The timing for this move took a lot of soul searching. I wanted to retire and move right away, but DD had just completed her first year of college and DS was starting his first year. I decided I would retire at the time the DS finished college. Little did I know at that time that the rigors of working a constantly changing night shift would take such a toll as I got older. DS transferred to a larger school and would not graduate at 4 years. I first planned to put off retirement, but after a month in the Colorado mountains, when I tried to do a night shift again, I knew that I just couldn't continue. I put in my papers to retire the next day which was right on the original schedule.

Living comfortably on DW's SS and pension. Will move to my SS at 70. (BTW, DS is still going strong in college. Doesn't look like he will graduate until his seventh year!)
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:33 PM   #39
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Wife and I have always been savers, and planned to retire in our 50s. Started actively planning when I was about 32. Precipitated by a serious, ongoing health issue.
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But you can hit'em upside the head a few times to make sure they are really out...
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:01 PM   #40
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Always planned on retiring early, but did not become a priority until age 45, when I joined this forum . ER at 53.
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