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Whatís the most valuable knowledge youíve learned from ER Forum?
Old 07-08-2020, 06:28 AM   #1
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Whatís the most valuable knowledge youíve learned from ER Forum?

I wish I could credit the member but I think perhaps the most useful nugget Iíve gained here, or at least the foremost in my mind, is The Rule of 55. I was struggling with work a few years ago but assumed Iíd be still going at it until age 59.5. Someone posted that they were able to tap their workplace retirement plans penalty-free after they quit, because they were in or after the year in which they turned 55. I checked into my 403bís rules and for DWís TSP rules and, voila, we both semi-retired at 54. Itís hard to place a value on knowing that loophole.

What have you learned here that is life changing or at least darned helpful for your FIRE plans?
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:30 AM   #2
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Numbers is hard.
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Old 07-08-2020, 06:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Numbers is hard.
They sure is.
Numbers is hard

The key to understanding human behavior is realizing half the population is below average.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:02 AM   #4
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Expenses - know your expenses
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:17 AM   #5
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That there are no firm rules. No absolutes. You can do this, you don't have to be an expert. It's really hard to go wrong if you don't try too hard to be perfect. There's not much difference between 70/30 and 60/40 and even if you don't know what that means you can still start today. You don't have to thread the needle to score a financial touchdown. You don't need to study the market for years to do well with index funds. There's no mystery, it's mostly down to basics.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:42 AM   #6
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1. That early retirement is not unusual and that we donít have to stay on the work hamster wheel for validation.

2. Every post from imoldernu. I miss him.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:55 AM   #7
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Asset Allocation. In working/saving days I was 100% equities, but from knowledge on this site I came around to having an AA target of 70/30.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
You can't spend yourself to prosperity.

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now [4/24/17 changed to 80%]
Retired Aug 2, 2017; age 53
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:07 AM   #8
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What I learned was “what a blunder I’d made in 2006 when I allowed an Ameriprise financial advisor to sell me an a Variable Annuity inside my 403b account”. With the help & encouragement from Mickeyd, Brewer12345, 2B & others I was able to unwind the sale, ditch my Ameriprise connection, & run my $$ to Vanguard.
I am forever grateful to this forum for all that I’ve learned & in particular the 3 mentioned above who saved me from a very costly error.

Every step of the journey is the journey.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:19 AM   #9
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I am not alone. I am not a crackpot because I don't have a timeshare, motorhome, boat and well stocked wet bar all paid for with borrowed money. It's OK not to work.
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.

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Old 07-08-2020, 08:37 AM   #10
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That there are many answers to each question and to open up my thinking.
Retired in 2013 and we are living the dream!
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:43 AM   #11
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This forum offers a lot more than investing and ER advice. And the moderators do a great job keeping it civil.
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:44 AM   #12
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Psssssst, Wellesley.

And don’t sat the other “W” word that starts with WH when the markets are flyin’ high.
Chief Retirement Strategist
The AR Group
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:45 AM   #13
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Withdrawal rate
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:46 AM   #14
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Don't know who said it, "wanting more is easy, recognizing you have enough is hard"

Loved the ongoing frugal post from imoldernu--so much wisdom!

Folks sharing book titles and recommendations to read

I learn something new every day here on ER forum, thank you all!!
Give a Man a fish, he will eat for a day.
Teach a Man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.
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Old 07-08-2020, 08:50 AM   #15
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That is a good place to come for a wide range of information. Whatever the question, there is someone here who knows the answer or will help find it, and many who will commiserate and sympathize.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:03 AM   #16
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I don't need to work for health insurance.

I have suffered enough from the corporate world and it's OK to be ERed.

It's also OK to buy an some annuity products if you understand what they are.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:10 AM   #17
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Well I relearned at their core most people are kind and decent. Sometimes we have almost nasty disagreements one day and the next day are consoling someone over a loss or a family problem.

Due to our great mods we are often able to see the real person behind the posters, warts and all. and PS we all have warts...

Finance is almost secondary to me.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:38 AM   #18
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That, apparently, only I understand the exact perfect scheme for claiming social security.

Qualification: For myself.
Well it's all right, we're heading to the end of the line...
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:46 AM   #19
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Most useful nuggests for me:
(1) Confidence to run my own retirement analysis using Firecalc and I-ORP. This made early retirement quite easy to do confidently.

(2) understanding the ins / outs of Roth conversions and timing of taking Social Security - a lot of things I would have missed without the good conversations on this board.
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:03 AM   #20
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There are SO many wonderful, valuable tips that I have gotten here. Probably Katsmeow's advice on divorced spousal SS was the best, but there were many others. Here are three:

(1) I was in my early 60's and trying to wait until age 70 before claiming SS. Then, Katsmeow told me here (with a reference to prove it!) that if I waited until age 66 to apply, I could not only qualify for divorced spousal SS but also my own SS would continue to grow until I claimed it at age 70. I think this is one of those loopholes that is now closed. Anyway I did it and it yielded $56,094 total for me that I otherwise would not have received. Thank you, Katsmeow!

(2) Or how about this one: Just_Steve told me about "Reader View" in my Edge browser. This has helped me get a grip on sanity by eliminating most pop-ups and sounds so that I can actually read the information I want to read without interruption, when I am browsing unfamiliar websites. I use it more often than not.

(3) Here's another one: ERD50 told me about a wonderful way to create strong passwords that I can actually remember. Since I don't like password programs this has been very helpful to me. Also I can record the "core" of the password without recording the whole thing, which is helpful from a security standpoint.

And, there are many more. Thank you, everyone.
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities. - - H. Melville, 1851.
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