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Old 08-07-2018, 11:33 PM   #101
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Retired just 3 years at the time. We had moved to HI the year before and were in the middle of a major RENO. I had an inkling that we were in bubble territory on lots of things - especially housing. Always the financially nervous type, I had already begun to take some (more) defensive steps in the Port. Already had my PM allocation taken care of (back in the early(er) 00's). I horded cash - just in case (even some rolls of clad quarters, heh, heh.) When it all went sideways, I wasn't aware of just how close we had come until later. The good news was that the Port just sort of went sideways for a while - not down. This good fortune was due to my low commitment to stocks as well as my commitment to PMs.

Looking back, my biggest mistake at the time was not to dump more cash into stocks. I'd be even better off now than I am. Still, sleeping soundly every night (even back then) was worth the sacrifice. In any case, we have enough. YMMV
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:07 AM   #102
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^ PM’s .... precious metals?

My parents are from Kailua, still have fam in Honolulu
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:10 AM   #103
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(Sigh) I was so young then. We were still in our first house and just about every third house in our north san diego neighborhood was foreclosed. Total bloodbath. We moved to our second house in 2009 when things looked a little more stable. No where near retirement so just putting everything we had into the market....still doing the same....still not retired!
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:49 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by 97guns View Post
^ PM’s .... precious metals?

My parents are from Kailua, still have fam in Honolulu
Yes, PMs = Precious Metals.

I really like Kailua. One thing that kept us from looking for house/condo there was its low-lying land (for miles and miles.) Escape from a tsunami would be problematic. Where we live now (leeward) is not only up quite a bit, but an easy walk or (easier) drive to very high ground. Do you still get back to the Islands occasionally?
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:36 PM   #105
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I was exhausted fighting for my disability pension and did nothing except worrying a bit reading the headlines. But worries over my health and that I might lose my flat took precedence.

The good part was that I did not panic sell. The bad part was not rebalancing. But I finally got my pension. And I learned enough to avoid panic selling the next time. And to rebalance!
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:43 PM   #106
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I was working at Megacorp, who had had a layoff a few months earlier, and keeping my fingers crossed that I could make it to 2009 when I would be eligible for retirement. I remember getting a note from a Megacorp worker who had been laid off and who sent a note out to the entire company, pleading for someone to hire her for six more months, willing to do anything and to live anywhere, so that she could get retirement benefits. That really shook me.

Our cash + investments were just over a third of what they are today. They fell by another 20% by March 9, 2009. But we gritted our teeth and kept our investment contributions the same.
FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - "This Happy Feeling, Going Round and Round!" (GQ)
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:48 PM   #107
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I had gotten laid off like a month or so ahead the crash. I was in the middle of rolling over my company 401k into my own personal IRA. So I got a check in the mail for the full amount. When things went from bad to worse, I had the check in my hands. In other words, I was in cash. I did deposit the check and eventually did get back into the market. So what was initially bad luck became good luck when you consider that although I had losses, it was not as bad as it could have been.
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:34 AM   #108
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I was working for the consulting practice of one of the big Four accounting firms in M&A.

In an earlier job I had had some dealings with the CFO of Bear Stearns and was happy to see him get his just deserts. I was spending a lot of time in NYC and frequently walked by the Lehman building. AIG was a client of the firm (not one that I worked with) and I recall landing in Atlanta to receive a message on my Blackberry (remember those) that TSHTF for them.

I felt secure in my job. We didn't have any layoffs as I recall... in fact one of the smart things that the firm did was to keep staff (other firms had layoffs) and when the recovery came we had the resources to take on a lot of projects (even turned away some, whihc was rare).

Investment-wise I was paralyzed like a deer in the headlights... I stayed the course but did not have the courage to sell bonds and buy stocks as my AA was literally screaming for me to do.
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:42 AM   #109
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I was working for an Insurance Company in the Midwest doing both training and claims handling. I was putting as much money as possible into my 401K and never even looked at the results. I was invested with index funds where possible and bonds at 65/35. I also did not sell bonds to re-balance as I honestly never looked. Sometimes being busy can be a positive for investing.
Retired May 13th(Friday) 2016 at age 61.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:07 PM   #110
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Hard to believe that that was 10 years ago. I remember going from being a millionaire to not being one overnight. Took no actions though and just rode it out. I remember predicting that would return in 3 years. Took a bit longer than that but we survived it.

No FIRE'ed, and the AA is shifted more conservative, but still do not relish the thought of having to survive such a crash again. I do believe however that lessons were learned and it is highly, highly unlikely that I will see such a crash again in my lifetime. JMO
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:36 PM   #111
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Glad I still had a high paying job. I remember being in the chair of the hiring committee and got 300 applications for 1 job. Then tons of applications just keep pourin in.
My 401k was 50-50 stock/bonds. After the humungous discounts in stocks ... sold bonds and held almost 95% stock ...I still have 90% of my portfolio in stock. It was a great decision. I was very conservative before the crash. And after, Im like ... bet everything on equity, forget bonds.
No to consumerism, Living a simple life, enjoying the experience - not the material stuff
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:55 PM   #112
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I was working and DW and I were at peak earning years putting 60-70% of earnings into retirement funds (stocks). I was reading a lot of discussions on this retirement forum too. The media loves a catastrophe so they lead with their ‘blood in the streets’ headlines and stories of how it could be the end of capitalism, but the calm heads were here in the Early Retirement Forum with props to the Boglehead forum too for maintaining sanity. I had told DW that a good down market would really help our retirement plans and Sept 2008-March 2009 was a whopper of a bear market. In my office, you could hear people on the phone’s down HOW MUCH?!?

It was a crazy time for sure!
Retire date Jan. 10, 2018
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:39 PM   #113
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I was working for a publicly traded mortgage REIT whose business model was investing in the equity tranche of MBS CDOs and Bank TruPS. You all can guess how that went.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:33 PM   #114
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I was laid off for hopefully the last time when Toyota T series truck sales collapsed and GKN project cancelled. FI and ER at the bottom. Seven year slog to repair/sell house and escape condo lawsuit.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:49 PM   #115
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I was two and a half years into my RE and pretty much in an 'ignorance is bliss' mindset. I didn't know or care all that much about what was going on. We were in the process of planning a return to Europe for a few weeks IIRC.

This forum cured me of much of that ignorance; not sure if that's a positive sometimes. Time fades the memory but it seems to me that the worst hadn't hit yet until around January '09.
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:45 PM   #116
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I was by my eldest brother’s hospital bed for two weeks before he died of cancer at 51 years old. Obviously really wasn’t aware of anything else at that time.

Now ten years later, at age 54, that memory is part of the reason I’m getting ready to 🔥. Never know when the man upstairs is going to call your number. Life is too short not to FIRE when you can.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:45 AM   #117
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Was with BearS. at the time.
Saw the world as I know it crumble.
Against every instinct, I bought into the market and picked up real estate in the crushed areas.
Survived the 'merger' with 80% attrition rate, lived to tell the tale.
Between this and the two bombings at the WTC, I've burned through 3 lives already.
Not FIRE'd yet, but loving what I'm doing now.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:21 PM   #118
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I was 36 and w*rking at Megacorp. Watching events unfurl scared the crap out me. I was already a saver but after Sept 2008 I really became a planner and started reading and mapping the road to FIRE. Stayed put in my 401k as I had time on my side to ride it out, which I did. Condo value fell way underwater and took a few years to recover, but eventually did. Now 10 years later I am looking forward to FIRE in the next 5-9 years.

Great thread! Fascinating reading these experiences.
FIRE'd since January 21st 2022 at age 49
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:00 PM   #119
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I was at work, my late husband really was the investment guru of the family so I had no idea what was really happening. I didn't make any changes in anything just kept plugging along. Had small kids
My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being "normal" is not necessarily a virtue? it sometimes rather denotes a lack of courage~Aunt Francis
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:16 PM   #120
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2008? I can't remember that far back. Nor do I want to. I likely was a recent retiree.
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
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