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Old 07-12-2021, 11:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Telly View Post
So... who is raising those "2 young kids" with you working 70 hours a week?

Years from now, when it is far far too late, they may wish that you would have spent more of your time, and less of your money, on them. They only grow up once. Don't miss it. You can't get it back. Money, and power, although nice, are not end-alls of life.
Also sprach Zarathustra Telly.
I heard once : "Money doesn't buy happiness, but it's a great downpayment".

I guess I kind of agree. Certainly - back in my 'hayday' making very good business profits, we'd be on vacations at 5 diamond resorts where the average room was easily $1500 per night. And honestly- while everyone looked pretty, so many seemed buried in their phones, and really just not happy.

Daily me and DW would walk the beach....and within 10 minutes would be hotels charging, say $500 per night and honestly -- the people staying there seemed honestly more happy.

I have, and am making some lifestyle adjustments, I think it's a great trade and I don't have to be on the freaking treadmill each day, trying to make sales and deal with all the crap. BUT certain things - I want to hold on to. And yeah, I've accepted (sadly) that I can't leave my kids with a nice security blanket. Cripes, my main mentor (he's 70), has succeeded in similar businesses -- but well beyond what I ever did. His 2 girls....will have a guaranteed $60,000 per year for their whole lives....and I sadly won't have that for my kids.

I have a son who is ADHD and yeah, I wanna keep eyes on him to catch any stench of hanging with the wrong crowd as he gets to teens. DD is a great student but I want to keep working on her grit, and street-smarts because in our upscale schools - it's filled with NorthFaceBarbies and BMWs and I'd *love* to have a family business for them to gain those skills.....I had that as a child. But yes, also advantages to no more 70 hours per week.

So my travels won't be as top shelf, but I still want travels - somewhat nice.

My kids won't have the fanciest of this or that, but I want them to have *some*

Maybe this describes it in a nutshell, lifestyle-wise in ALL categories:

*Came from a K-mart world. My parents were fresh immigrants, saved every dime to buy a business.

*My adult life was a Neiman Marcus life.

*Me and DW never made that our identity. Cripes, we still gobble down Olive Garden to the last crumb and love us a nice drive-thru meal

*So Neiman is gone. Ok, great. BUT - I don't want the Kmart life. I want to at least cling to a Macy's life, with niblets of Nordstroms tossed in now and then.

So yeah a pitiful 9% return, with 70 hours per week business would really be a nice top off to insure that. BUT - - the $400k loss I think id' incur if I fail....is a lump that would really just have me hoping to feed my wife, and hope that we croak earlier. Not a good way to live.

JHence, here I am. No 2nd hurrah on business - -- just hoping for sound stock and physical real estate investments, that earn me returns that are considerably *less* than historical averages.
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:31 PM   #22
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I'mma kinda Target guy when it comes to clothes. Wife has to drag me kicking and screaming to Nordstrom. Biggest hotel room was the Cyrill Magnin suite at the Mark Hopkins when we got married. Only $800/day.

And I only started spending that kind of dough after I retired. Yes, my spending increased after I quit working.
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Old 07-13-2021, 05:01 AM   #23
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It was probably only a few years into my post-college working life when it hit me that I wanted work to only be a means to an end, not the end itself. Yeah, I have to be interested in what I do, otherwise it's just a slog to the finish line. And some days work has been quite the adrenalin rush when things go well. Other days, not so much.

I'm sitting less than a year from retirement (maybe even closer depending on a lot of things) and I can say that when I pull the ripcord I'm done, at least in the industry I've been in for 37+ years. After that, I suppose anything is possible, but a 40 hour grind is highly unlikely.

Cheers.
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Old 07-13-2021, 06:04 AM   #24
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Others have touched on it... 1) the cost of kids (planned and unplanned) may surprise you through and beyond the college years. I have 4 grown self-sufficient kids at this point (24 - 31), but they are not always fully "off the books" and there have been plenty of unplanned financial obstacles along the way. As an example, I grew up very middle class and when my kids were young, made certain assumptions for "raising kid costs" and one thing I promised myself/wife "we will NEVER have 6 cars in our driveway"... well guess what, I had 6 cars in my driveway. One example of many other unplanned expenses which followed. Talk to as many people as you can who have raised their kids to get the war stories on their kid expenses and plan according.

2) At 46, it sounds like you have some gas in the tank and have at least experienced some of the finer things in life... nothing wrong with that. I would suggest by your posts that you are not quite ready to punt at 47 and truly settle on Macys vs Nordstrom's? I moved the goal posts many times as my DW and I tried to find our sweet spot as it relates to our desired retirement spend (FatFire). My plan was to retire at 55 when the last kid was out on her own and all systems were a go. BUT, I chickened out, not having something on the other side to sink my A personality teeth into. My solution... slowly unwind my business, which i expect to be completed at the end of this year (57). This slow unwind has really helped me take baby steps and unwind some of my natural "warrior" mentality. Maybe explore a roll that does not require capital (i.e. 1099 sales guy?) that helps you fulfill your drive?

Personally, I think it's harder for people who are more driven, accustomed to higher lifestyles, have had success in accumulating a high level of assets, to retire super early (before say 55). Unless your health or work experience has you so beaten down, settling in on your sweet spot of desired spend/lifestyle can take a min, and prematurely shutting down the financial engine without a good plan that can truly sustain many years of this lifestyle, can perhaps create some remorse if it doesn't work out. I found that once my heavy lifting with the kids was (mostly) done, the picture was MUCH clearer and both DW and I are in a good place as it relates how we are going to spend our 2nd half playing/living and funding it.

Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2021, 06:52 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by MichealKnight View Post
I'm almost 46. Wife, 2 young kids. I've never been to college even a day so no 'fallback' job as a doctor lawyer Indian Chief or plumber or dog catcher.

Anyhow, I had a mostly successful small business career....mostly set records, mostly did well - - until the very end where some things were my fault, and certainly a lot of it was bigger better competitors, and market forces that cut my run more prematurely than I'd have liked.

Basically, I have $3.4mm in liquid cash-stocks plus, own personal residence outright that easily is worth $1.0mm. I've been kicking back for 5 months now, plotting my overall strategy to stay retired ie asset allocation, possible real estate buys, etc.

<SNIP>
Had the above been the extent of your post, I think I would have suggested the following:

Invest your 3.4mm in something like 40/60 bond/stock to 60/40 bond stock in Vanguard or Fidelity index mutual funds with very low investment costs. You can get them "off the shelf" with little hassle.

Run FIRECalc on your situation and determine if your current spend rate is sustainable. I don't know how FIRECalc will come out for you, but let's just use the so-called "4% rule" and say 4% of 3.4mm = $136K per year. Could you live on that (upping for inflation as needed)?

If not, would you consider downsizing the house or even moving to a lower cost of living area? Honestly, with your assets, most folks could live "comfortably" on roughly 4%.

I left out the remainder of your post because I simply have no feel for it. I grew up with parents who depended on a small business and I had no interest in it (Ironically, DW ended up running the "family" business as the "kids" inherited it from my parents.) It all went quite well but DW was very glad to sell the business (at a deep discount) to the third generation who are making a "go" of it.

I personally never "missed" the thrill of the business - nor the thrill of w*rking for Megacorp (as it turned out for me.) When DW and I each ended up no longer enjoying what we were doing, we retired and never looked back.

SO... Only you can decide (hopefully with input from your DW) whether taking the chance to get back into the "game" is worth the risk. Honestly, if it were me with your assets, I'd say "game over" and enjoy the time God grants you to raise your family and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

As always, YMMV so good luck in your decisions. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-13-2021, 07:27 AM   #26
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DawgMan....thanks for the post.

*IF* my average annual nominal returns are 5.5% or close..... with average yearly inflation of 3.1%, here's what is my hope, and. my "budget plan" for kids after age 18: (No way in heck they'll be told about it. I want them to work summer jobs, pay some, etc). Of course, I know I can totally plan and control my kids future so here is my hope and budget:

For each child
***********
*College: $410,000 (That isn't quite Wharton money. Saddens me. But....it's 4 years at $60k per year, and 2 years Masters for $160,000 total.

*Wedding: $70,000. (High for some, low for others. We're NOT status symbol people - BUT - if kids go to good schools, consort with kids from well to do families, I sort of figured what I think is an above -average expense)

My dream is they get degrees, then live AT home and work a year or two, bank a chunk of the money, then go for Masters.

*$25,000 some form of study abroad, I feel this generation must be well versed abroad

*$15,000 "start-up" costs. Help with initial costs be it furniture or whatever.

*$30,000 6 month emergency fund.

*$75,000 put aside either for investments or savings, OR 20% down on a 1st house, with hopes of saving PMI and building equity.

After that....I feel if a 26 year old has been (hopefully) raised in strong school districts, been given some home-education vis a vis wise spending, cutting coupons, saving and managing money, traveling, people skills, persuasion skills, AND been allowed unto Master's Level in education with. NO debt, PLUS an emergency fund, PLUS around $75k towards house, or retirement savings..........*then*, well, if it doesn't;t work out then it's either stupidity, or bad luck - neither of which one can do too much about. I *try* to do good things. Neither is in sports, but both are in karate, 13yo DD hit black belt after 7 years so at least there's some "stick to it". ALSO, once kids are "gone", my hope is to buy a much smaller house, BUT A HOUSE WITH 2 extra bedrooms, 2 extra bathrooms, should one or both kids have a need later in life. (Lower cost of house areas of course)

13 yo did zoom 7th grade full year. NO help from us. multiple honors classes and worst grade a B.

7 yo DS is ADHD and a challenge with meds after meds after meds, but shows lots of personality, people skills, and does "good enough" in school.

Both get allowances for chores, and have to keep a weekly log about money in, money out, and savings. Both have to watch things like "Shark Tank", DS seems to get off on watching CNBC when its on and he's money obsessed lol. When we go for walks he tells me to buy stock in FedEx or Amazon because he saw a truck doing a delivery and "that means Mr Bezos made lots of money today". Both do. a weekly 60-second oral presentation for me and DW on any topic and even though I'm lounging now, I've showed them all my plaques and news articles from my business days and reminded them of the 70 hour weeks and how that is the norm, and that expectation. When DD comes out to eat with me, I show her the 'deal' we're using, and how that money can go towards something else, etc.

My *one* bad decision in life I feel (other than ignoring stocks all my life till now) : The big house. Yes I paid cash so it's not like a stretched each month to pay. But darnit, the property taxes and upkeep costs : Killer. At this point it's a heartbreak to leave. DS gets TONS of special-ed in one of the best districts in the country for that. My ultimate hope is to stay 11 years till DS is 18. My *reality* plan....is to move when DD is 18, and DS has 4 years of high school left. It's in a rather exclusive neighborhood, well rated schools, in PA - and quick access to I-95 or trains....many in the neighborhood are Wall Street hotshots who commute to NYC so I'm hoping at very least the home doesn't go *down* in value.

Anyhow thanks for bringing up the 'off the books' factor with kids.

I wonder if people think my 'set asides' for kids will be too low, too high? I guess its many opinions, none right, none wrong.
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Old 07-13-2021, 07:37 AM   #27
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I over spend what I have (according to the 4% thing) and I have more dough than ever.

Yeah, I want more! A boat and a slip -


To each their own. A boat and a slip sound nice but I donít want the responsibility. Iíd rather be an international nomad and take long interesting cruises instead.
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Old 07-13-2021, 07:43 AM   #28
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Koolau...

Thanks very much for the post.

My plan - - and I know it's afoul of the 4% rule..... is based on 5.5% withdrawals....for the next 5 years. Then, move to smaller house and use additional cash flow towards college costs. And yes, my principal REDUCES each year, using an ROI of nominal 5%, and 3.1% inflation.

Then, after college and kid stuff is done..... it's going to a smaller home and using a SWR of about 3.8% per year. I've totally ignored Social Security and figured, 100% of what I get, will go towards health care. (It it's a net if $18k per year, I just feel that medicare, plus $18k out of pocket for 2 adults should do it)

Your 40/60 60/40 comment is well taken. I'm only 5 months into this and all my life I wrote off the stock market as bullcrap. But now when I look back I can't deny: People who stayed in, prospered. So yes, for now....I have money invested in funds and stocks and a rental home, BUT $1.4mm is still sitting in CASH as I evaluate what to do.

Long term my feel is something like this:

58 % into equities, MOSTLY via funds like Vanguard Wellsley, other mainstream value/dividend/growth funds, and a few individual blue-chips.

30% into either net-leased commercial real estate (7-11, Wendys, Dollar General), OR just buying a few 3bed/2bath rental homes in areas like Atlanta or Raleigh or Austin with conservative expectations (total 4.6% returns including rent and appreciation and expenses)

When I put all that into "how long will my money last" calculators, I'm getting to around age 86, and the kids only inheriting maybe $200k each.

Of course, as is life - maybe I'll be treated to a decades long doldrums and my 5.5% ROI dreams will be dumped on. OR maybe I'll get a surprise and it'll work. I see historical stuff for Vanguard Wellsley@ 9.5%. I see state teacher pension funds anticipating 6.42%. And while things do go up and down, I still see an increasing population, and I feel the large millennial generation is in debt, and has longer life expectancies. Despite what we've been told they WANT cars, SUVs, kids, and homes. I think they will have no choice but to be into the stock market for all these reasons. So they'll help keep equities propped up in value. So all of that taken in, knowing full well that some bad years and some great years will happen, I'm hoping my 5.5% nominal ROI is a realistic dream.
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:02 AM   #29
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Regarding whether 5.5% norminal ROI is realistic, no one knows. However, our money manager models our investments based on 5.65% annual returns, randomized using Monte Carlo. ROI does not equate to withdrawal. I do not believe withdrawal rate should be more than 4% in the long run. Obviously the past few years the stock market has gone up very fast but like what they say, what goes up must come down, hopefully by not more than 20-30%.
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Old 07-13-2021, 10:27 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Telly View Post
So... who is raising those "2 young kids" with you working 70 hours a week?

Years from now, when it is far far too late, they may wish that you would have spent more of your time, and less of your money, on them. They only grow up once. Don't miss it. You can't get it back. Money, and power, although nice, are not end-alls of life.

+1, my thoughts exactly. Your kids need your time when they are young.
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Old 07-13-2021, 11:06 AM   #31
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DawgMan....thanks for the post.

*IF* my average annual nominal returns are 5.5% or close..... with average yearly inflation of 3.1%, here's what is my hope, and. my "budget plan" for kids after age 18: (No way in heck they'll be told about it. I want them to work summer jobs, pay some, etc). Of course, I know I can totally plan and control my kids future so here is my hope and budget:

For each child
***********
*College: $410,000 (That isn't quite Wharton money. Saddens me. But....it's 4 years at $60k per year, and 2 years Masters for $160,000 total.

*Wedding: $70,000. (High for some, low for others. We're NOT status symbol people - BUT - if kids go to good schools, consort with kids from well to do families, I sort of figured what I think is an above -average expense)

My dream is they get degrees, then live AT home and work a year or two, bank a chunk of the money, then go for Masters.

*$25,000 some form of study abroad, I feel this generation must be well versed abroad

*$15,000 "start-up" costs. Help with initial costs be it furniture or whatever.

*$30,000 6 month emergency fund.

*$75,000 put aside either for investments or savings, OR 20% down on a 1st house, with hopes of saving PMI and building equity.

After that....I feel if a 26 year old has been (hopefully) raised in strong school districts, been given some home-education vis a vis wise spending, cutting coupons, saving and managing money, traveling, people skills, persuasion skills, AND been allowed unto Master's Level in education with. NO debt, PLUS an emergency fund, PLUS around $75k towards house, or retirement savings..........*then*, well, if it doesn't;t work out then it's either stupidity, or bad luck - neither of which one can do too much about. I *try* to do good things. Neither is in sports, but both are in karate, 13yo DD hit black belt after 7 years so at least there's some "stick to it". ALSO, once kids are "gone", my hope is to buy a much smaller house, BUT A HOUSE WITH 2 extra bedrooms, 2 extra bathrooms, should one or both kids have a need later in life. (Lower cost of house areas of course)

13 yo did zoom 7th grade full year. NO help from us. multiple honors classes and worst grade a B.

7 yo DS is ADHD and a challenge with meds after meds after meds, but shows lots of personality, people skills, and does "good enough" in school.

Both get allowances for chores, and have to keep a weekly log about money in, money out, and savings. Both have to watch things like "Shark Tank", DS seems to get off on watching CNBC when its on and he's money obsessed lol. When we go for walks he tells me to buy stock in FedEx or Amazon because he saw a truck doing a delivery and "that means Mr Bezos made lots of money today". Both do. a weekly 60-second oral presentation for me and DW on any topic and even though I'm lounging now, I've showed them all my plaques and news articles from my business days and reminded them of the 70 hour weeks and how that is the norm, and that expectation. When DD comes out to eat with me, I show her the 'deal' we're using, and how that money can go towards something else, etc.

My *one* bad decision in life I feel (other than ignoring stocks all my life till now) : The big house. Yes I paid cash so it's not like a stretched each month to pay. But darnit, the property taxes and upkeep costs : Killer. At this point it's a heartbreak to leave. DS gets TONS of special-ed in one of the best districts in the country for that. My ultimate hope is to stay 11 years till DS is 18. My *reality* plan....is to move when DD is 18, and DS has 4 years of high school left. It's in a rather exclusive neighborhood, well rated schools, in PA - and quick access to I-95 or trains....many in the neighborhood are Wall Street hotshots who commute to NYC so I'm hoping at very least the home doesn't go *down* in value.

Anyhow thanks for bringing up the 'off the books' factor with kids.

I wonder if people think my 'set asides' for kids will be too low, too high? I guess its many opinions, none right, none wrong.
Well, I will give you credit for trying to think up every potential cost!

Maybe I missed it, but what were you underwriting as your annual spend should you close shop? And, are the big nuts you have noted above in this number? When I was your age, I used the 4% rule as my guide post as to when I had enough. Then I started to add more discretionary to my desired spend and the goal posts moved. Then I started thinking maybe I should be more conservative and use a 3%-something WR... goal posts moved again. Fast forward to today, my almost additional 2 years of PT work, a strong market, has basically put me closer to a low 2% WR. More conservative than most here, but I have plans to strategically give it away at appropriate times (i.e. kids, grandkids, charity). If I heard correctly at 47 you would start with a 5%-something WR? That feels pretty aggressive at your age. Also, you may want to careful about letting your work skills aka superpowers go dormant to long as they may not be as effective if you have to jump back in after a few years.

We are all different in our risk tolerance so no one size fits all!
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Old 07-13-2021, 11:29 AM   #32
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@MichealKnight, I think the problem here is more fundamental than most posts are addressing.

One useful thing I have learned in life that that the concept of "enough" is the key to personal happiness. The Heller/Vonnegut story is the is the situation in a nutshell. All you need is to internalize the concept.

By most people's standards DW and I are rich in money but more importantly we have enough. We do not, however, have a home in Vail nor do we have a private jet. If we lusted after that kind of living, our money would not be enough and we would not be happy. There are many here who also have "enough," just maybe not quite so much money. You have almost as much money as we do. Plenty enough, I can assure you. You just need to figure this out and internalize it.

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... something to be thankful for and satisfied with. ...
Believe it.
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Old 07-13-2021, 01:10 PM   #33
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I know who I am. I'm a simple guy who doesn't have much of a taste for luxury. For many years my ex-wife and I enjoyed a top 1% income but we always had a middle class lifestyle because that's what felt right to us. The simple life that I have now is just about perfect and what would make it truly perfect can't be purchased for any amount of money. I don't want more, especially more stuff. And I feel grateful for what I already have.
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Old 07-13-2021, 02:43 PM   #34
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I don't want more, especially more stuff. And I feel grateful for what I already have.
I am with you 100%. As a matter of fact, we have too much STUFF and I would love to pare down. I am quite thrilled that I was able to retire as young as I did. I am ever aware that our days on this earth are limited so I want to enjoy those days to the best of my ability.
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Old 07-13-2021, 03:12 PM   #35
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Coming in too hot. 2 mil is way too much of your treasure.

Something way less money, less problems.

Use that treasure to feed your family and your future, not to feed that ego.

Wisdom takes longer to acquire, but has value.
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Old 07-13-2021, 04:39 PM   #36
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Guided my brother thru the potential sale of his business ... easily would provide for him, wife and 5 kids forever. He's running the numbers and I would ask "what are you going to do with yourself after the sale." I stayed on that message. Closing day, he walked away from the table when the buyer kept uping the anty ... So I asked him "why did you walk". He said "the buyers are a$$holes, and I asked myself 'what will I do if I sell'"

Little more related, I got out of mega corp at 45. But never stopped chasing foreclosers and real estate deals. Some would call it work. To me, it's fun. Find what's "fun" for you.
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Old 07-23-2021, 04:57 PM   #37
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Scratch that itch by starting a smaller venture with low risk. Fewer or no employees will also lower the stress.

I am 66 and still run some side businesses that keep me in the game and in touch with my favorite customers. I donít need the money but it does make it easier to splurge on occasion.
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Old 07-24-2021, 06:47 AM   #38
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You don't need permission to work till death, double down on risk, abandon family and friends for ego, dominance, control. The tax man, the lawyers, and the larger empire will happily monetize your need for action. Put it all on red seven and spin that wheel.

I don't expect to see much of you around these parts though.

What's it worth to you? Upside and downside?
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Old 07-24-2021, 06:55 AM   #39
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If you still have the fire in your belly and desire to accumulate and live the so called good life, go for it. The only thing you are really sacrificing is the finite commodity of time. Your choice.
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A Different Challenge
Old 07-26-2021, 07:43 AM   #40
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A Different Challenge

You've already proven you can be successful in business. Now you have the opportunity to realize that you are more than what you do (did).

Presumably there are people in your life you care about. Now is the time to pour yourself into your relationships. Romance your wife. Spend time with your kids.

You've accumulated enough stuff. What about your spiritual life? Are there questions about "life, the universe and everything" that are churning in your heart and mind? You have the freedom to explore that now without the tyranny of needing to earn a living.

Travel. Experiment with creative outlets. Take up a different challenge. Make friends with yourself. Give yourself credit for being more than a paycheck generator.

Have some fun, for Pete's sake! You've earned it!
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