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Old 11-17-2020, 05:20 AM   #61
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It's funny (and kinda sad), where I work that the folks my age (55) don't seem too concerned with savings, or anything financially related, and would rather talk about their latest whim purchase.

I did find one guy who shares my passions (fast cars, and investments) but he is only 28 years old. I took on more of a father figure/tutoring role, but still have a lot of good back, and forth banter.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:35 AM   #62
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I’ve also enjoyed the comments/discussions over at seekingalpha.com.
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Do you subscribe? Almost everything is behind the paywall in the latest iteration of SA, especially the comments so they recognize the value of the comments/dialogue. I can’t justify $30/ mo.
Free account only for me. For $30 per month you get to read the deep financial porn. But I get by with just the mildly titillating pages.

I usually skip lengthy articles after the intro, and get to the comments.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:48 AM   #63
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I have not visited the college I graduated from in over 30 years. When talking with a alumni director of my school she suggested I come in for a talk on how I early retired and give some advice to the college students. It's something I am thinking about.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:55 AM   #64
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Whoa! I think the next question should be, “what’s the percentage of engineers on ER??”
Seems to be a great correlation going....

Another retired engineer here.
Of all my coworkers who retired early or somewhat early several were engineers as well.
I was in the lifelong engineer camp, never moved on to any management type role or struck out on my own.
Guess I was too conservative for that.
Not complaining since I semi retired at 48 and fully at 54. Had a good income but never made the big bucks. It certainly helped that my wife was an RN and we had no kids and she is as frugal or more so than me.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:55 AM   #65
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Engineers in general, at least from my era (ages in the 60’s) never had a problem finding a job, and did start and advanced salary wise usually faster than the non-engineering types I’ve know. I’ve never known an Ivy League finance graduate, for instance. My school (small private expensive) basically only cranked out engineers, and the sport’s teams had the creative name “Engineers”. But unless they had the aptitude for management, they plateaued while management made $250, 300, 400k/yr. In my company, plenty of management were engineers. The Dilbert stereotypes are valid and there is a wide range of aptitude and natural abilities that come in to play. Also it can be as simple as who you know or sometimes even how low you are willing to push your morals for profit.

Most engineers I know have a practical intelligence. Most also, like Dilbert, are lacking in social and interpersonal skillsets. And everywhere in between. I suspect that a lot of FIREs are engineers because it is a practical solution to a practical problem. Delusions of grandeur and power are not your typical engineers pursuit. Comfort, toys, free time to pursue hobbies and fun, with stability and less stress are often an engineers MO. FIRE makes that all achievable.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:46 PM   #66
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I never discussed finances at work. As the financial guy it was a bit too close to pay level discussions and those usually were unsatisfying at some level.

None of my friends are retired or near it. I have a buddy I discuss stock ideas and personal finance. He has told me his net worth and I'm sure he has an idea of mine. He is mostly trading oriented so little overlap but discussions still interesting.

My SIL manages a family office and we sometimes have some pretty good personal finance and market discussions, some tied to retirement strategies. She is trying to figure out how to generate an income in retirement. Those are very enjoyable. We do not discuss net worth with family.

Since my ER a few casual friends have asked some nipping around the edges questions like "Do you have a pension?" I don't so that tends to slightly unnerve some folks.

I do enjoy discussing personal finance and investing with my son. He is becoming a pretty good investor.

And here is always interesting.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:51 PM   #67
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You never worked as an engineer, so no, you don't get to say that you "think like one". If only because the shallow stereotype of "thinks like an engineer" is meaningless and kinda insulting.

Case in point: I am almost 35 years into my engineering career. I've met with many financial planners over the years, looking for a good fit. The conversation always goes like this:

FP: Our proprietary approach will analyze your situation in detail and guarantee your success.

Me: I don't want to waste your time. I know my non-discretionary expenses are X and my wish-list expenses are Y and my investments are currently worth A and they produce income of about B and I'd like to retire at age C. Let's talk about thought processes and look for areas that I need to address.

FP: First you need to fill out our Free Financial Analysis so we can run our Proprietary Software.

Me: (sigh) OK, here are all my spreadsheets that support the high-level numbers I just quoted to you. Can't we have a high-level conversation?

FP: Oh, you're an engineer.

Me: Good bye.



That's not a sign of an 'engineer'. Actually that's a poor engineer, but it might also be a poor teacher or doctor or any other occupation. Anyone can fill out a spreadsheet and obsess to the third decimal point. But it's the good engineer (financial planner, doctor, etc.) who can 'eyeball' a set of numbers and know the approximations and rules-of-thumb to apply.

Generally I find that people who criticize 'engineers' are people who are unable/unwilling to apply basic math to the problems of everyday life. They just want answers to questions but don't want to "show your work" to know where the answer came from.
Actually I find your comments insulting. I had the same training as any other engineer, and I was an engineering technician that worked with engineers on research and development of engines for 12 years. My opinion of engineers and the way they think is not insulting, I think quite highly of an engineering approach and I'm PROUD that I think like one.

I was not criticizing any engineer (except you in this regard). And I never said that the sign of an engineer is someone who gets down in the weeds...what I said was that the engineers I talked with and worked with usually wanted to do that...and that is a FACT.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:18 PM   #68
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One of the guys I used to talk finances with (mostly, I explained, without details, that I was FI but was still enjoying the j*b - he explained that he planned to die at w*rk!) just sent me an email - from our old Megacorp. He's still there after I've been gone 15 years. He must be 66 or 67. He was telling me all about the new remodel projects he has going in his house.

I like the guy, but we couldn't be further apart on our financial goals. He thinks he will die young, so why not spend now (I no longer remind him that mid 60s isn't really young, but...). He's the first guy I knew who bought a large-screen plasma TV. His house is in the best neighborhood in town and is huge. I doubt he has much savings - even 401(k). I hope he has good insurance for his DW.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:19 PM   #69
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I earmed a Masters in Process Engineering many decades ago. I interviewed with a major department store and he offered me a job as their warehouse manager in a large city. I asked him why and he said that I was the only one that explained in simple English what I had learned!

I ended up taking a job to automate a refinery and then, after three years, escaped into sales.

I talk to anyone who expresses interest how I manage finances but only after they answer some questions honestly. Mostly they decline.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:46 PM   #70
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I earmed a Masters in Process Engineering many decades ago. I interviewed with a major department store and he offered me a job as their warehouse manager in a large city. I asked him why and he said that I was the only one that explained in simple English what I had learned!

I ended up taking a job to automate a refinery and then, after three years, escaped into sales.

I talk to anyone who expresses interest how I manage finances but only after they answer some questions honestly. Mostly they decline.
Good point. Why waste time talking to folks who won't listen to you - the one who actually has credentials and experience.

When I first discovered the concepts surrounding FIRE, I became sort of a zealot, but soon realized most folks had no real interest in changing their financial habits. Sort of sad, but now I'm used to it. Heh, heh, I think of my friend mentioned above and my dear friend who is half a $Mil in debt at 77.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:37 PM   #71
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I've never had anyone to talk money and finance with except for my mom who is gone now over a decade. I've tried many times to talk to co-workers and friends but they have no interest and no understanding. I had hoped that I could help someone with knowledge of the power of investing, but gave up trying not long ago. This is my only way of "talking" about it at the moment. I share, others share and it's nice. I have no advice on how to find people. Unfortunately, I think the percentage of people that invest, especially in the average working world, is low. Isn't it something like 70 % almost living paycheck to paycheck? I'm very passionate about money and investing so i just keep myself occupied doing what I love by reading, learning and staying abreast of the market.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:43 PM   #72
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I never talked about finances at work (medical) or with family. We were LBOM and doing mostly passive investing. We spent more than other family members but they probably would have been surprised by the saving rate. Colleagues saw us taking domestic vacations including camping and driving fuel efficient cars but I think they attributed that to preferences which was partially true. They were surprised when I announced I was retiring. Early 60s shouldn't be too surprising.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:25 PM   #73
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I would have loved to have found some people with who I could discuss personal finances.

The local real estate investors' group is cagey and reluctant to share. That's their preference so I just stopped participating.

Now I listen to lots of podcasts and watch YouTube videos sharing info about personal finance, trusts, real estate investing, etc. I now have a few favorites after years of reading / listening. They talk, I listen. That's the discussion group.

I read books and internet info voraciously and, through a fluke, found a message board based in Texas, run by Christians, with some people who like to discuss finances. There are some highly sophisticated people on the board who have been happy to answer questions so I have learned lots from this group. (I am not in TX nor am I Christian plus the group is closed so I will not pass along info on it.)

In 2021 I will create my own online and telephone discussion group. After specific charities, they are my heirs and nephews.

Rather than naming my nephews in my Will, I have decided to create sub-trusts for each within my trust. I will make specific investments into the trusts. For them to become co-trustees to any degree, they must demonstrate they have learned the principals I name by reading specific books, consulting fee-only based planners I will hire, and following specific podcasts.

While they are learning, we will have discussions. I will probably find them fascinating. Nephews might be bored. But to gain control of the trusts, they must learn. After they have conquered some specific arenas of knowledge, I will give them equal control of the trust and absolute control when I pass.

A do-it-yourself personal finance discussion group. Manipulative? Yes. But I want the nephews to maximize the benefits of my legacy to them.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:31 PM   #74
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Retired Engineer here and I learned a lot about investing from other engineers. The two biggest lessons:

(1) You learned very little from passive investing but a lot more from active investing so I was advised by older and more experienced engineers to keep 90% in passive investments while 10% in active investments. This reduced my risk during my learning curve. My accumulative knowledge and experience in active investing paid off in my 50's and 60's and this allowed me to make better financial decisions. Knowledge is power. You acquire knowledge by experience.

(2) Just before retirement, I was also advised to consider re-allocating my portfolio to increase liquidity since I will be withdrawing. The bond portion should be separate for liquidity while the equity portion should also be separate for long term growth in retirement. You should avoid comingling your equity and bond assets in balanced funds because withdrawing money from a balanced fund may mean you are withdrawing from equities which may be relatively low in value at the time. By keeping your assets in separate asset classes, you have more options on which funds to withdraw. I have a friend who insisted that having a minimum of 10 separate assets classes is the way to go during retirement: Treasuries, Investment grade bonds, municipal bonds, junk bonds, value equities, high growth equities, health equities, energy equities, foreign investments, gold, etc.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:53 PM   #75
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I'm an engineer and I have "some guys" handle my finances.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:55 PM   #76
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Consider the Morningstar Community Forums.
Some pretty sharp folks on there.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:15 PM   #77
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Although the vast majority of postings are from those retired, as a professional I too enjoy talking finance with my colleagues/friends. Might I suggest you look at joining a local FPA (Financial Planning Assoc.) chapter or AAII (American Assoc. Individual Investor). With everything virtual, you can get a taste of the topics, and eventually get your fill of all thing financial when we get back in-person. No selling going on, just collaborating.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:54 PM   #78
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Here's some things you could try:
1) See if there is a local chapter of AAII. They may not be meeting in person right now but may have Zoom meetings (I listen in on one monthly meeting in San Diego).
2) If you are on Facebook, join one of the many groups for finance/financial independence. Maybe you'll be one of the "elders" helping those still on the journey.
3) See if there are any finance related Meetup groups in your area.
4) Some organizations may have a "side group" of people interested in investing/finance. I saw one of those in my area as a side group of a retired military officers organization.
5) Consider taking free courses online via coursera about finance, investing and real estate. You may "meet" other students and develop long distance relationships there.
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:33 AM   #79
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I think there's meetup.com. You can certainly try reddit to see if you can find some like minded people who want to talk about finances and investing . This forum is a wonderful resource itself.
+1 Reddit can be like the wild wild west but if you find the right sub you can have some great conversation. Just don't have thin skin or take some of the comments personally...
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Old 11-18-2020, 08:41 AM   #80
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+1 Reddit can be like the wild wild west but if you find the right sub you can have some great conversation. Just don't have thin skin or take some of the comments personally...
Also, you haven't really lived and experienced Reddit until you've been downvoted into oblivion at least once.

I made an innocent post on a TV show subreddit, and got about -90 karma in 1 hour. Gotta thicken the skin.
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