What major luck have you had?


Recycles dryer sheets
Jan 5, 2007
Los Angeles area
Inspired by the "Stupid Mistakes" thread:

What lucky things/events have most contributed to your ability to FIRE?

For me: stumbling into a career in IT near the beginning of the 90's tech boom. Having a friend spreadsheet-demonstrate the power of compounding just as I began having money to invest.
Stumbling onto this board.

Growing up in the "big city" instead of out in the sticks.

Losing big in the stock market when "big" was still relatively little.
- J*bs always fall out of the sky and land in my lap.
- Marrying a woman who truly is not concerned with most material things, and particularly not expensive material things.
- Having a financially wise father who I have learned much from and can frankly discuss financial matters with.
- No major financial crisis ever (yet?)
Going along with my post in the "Pensioners v Do-it Yourself'ers" thread.....major luck pretty much would have been taking a so-so paying job with really good bennies when I was fresh out of high school, instead of a good paying job with lousy bennies! I think I got the flip of the coin right that time, at least for me!!!

Other than that.....I guess I've been lucky that I haven't made any REALLY STUPID mistakes or choices!!! (notice I said REALLY STUPID!!!) :LOL:
-Frugal parents who taught me the value of money and self-reliance.
-Lucked into a lucrative career in computer sales in the late 1970's
-Married a man who has always done well career-wise, but knows how to enjoy life
-Was an aggressive mutual fund and stock investor in the 80's and 90's during a great bull market.

It wasn't all roses, as we made some poor real-estate investments in rental homes that drained us for a number of years, but they were a minor blip in retrospect. The good luck by far outweighed the bad...
I found Mrs. Zipper in 1968.............or she found me. ;)

We got married in '69 and the rest is history.

I would say she is the best move I've made in my life.
Peaceful_Warrior said:
- J*bs always fall out of the sky and land in my lap.
- Marrying a woman who truly is not concerned with most material things, and particularly not expensive material things.
- Having a financially wise father who I have learned much from and can frankly discuss financial matters with.
- No major financial crisis ever (yet?)
Ditto. Wife makes more than me too and can fix things around the house.
My awesome wife. 1st times a charm I feel so lucky from the stories I have heard from others.
Figuring in high school "Well I'm good at math, guess I'll become an engineer" and getting the resulting good salary.

Inheritting my dad's mechanical ability. In the 20 years I've been out of college, have never needed to call anyone to fix anything around the house.

Getting the marriage thing right the second time around, winding up with someone that has common sense, doesn't want to control me, and isn't into shopping (yeah she was an engineer too !)

being born with a body that doesn't want to explode upwards in weight.

Biggest one of all though: Being born in a free country.
runchman said:
Biggest one of all though: Being born in a free country.
And all that follows from that - other major lucky things are:
Getting fired from jobs (3 times) - each time I found a replacement job, for more money, more interest, and better advancement.
Having the best woman in the world, find me, and drag me kicking and screaming to the altar (not really) - best wife ever - and I still love her
Turning down a promotion for higher pay, higher responsibility, higher power, because it would force me to start the adoption process over again, and I would have missed out on a fantastic daughter, and now a great grandson.
Making bad decisions to follow brokers advice on making some investment decisions, which led me to distrust brokers/financial planners/etc, and learn to do it myself.
Finding Kim Snider investment methodology to invest in covered call options trading for income, rather then value investing (okay no flames, we've had this discussion before, and it works for me)
Finding this board for a wealth of sounding board and experiences in areas that I needed additional wisdom in.
I was wrong in my earlier post. It is important to have a great job,and have a spouse with a good career and have the luck of timing in the stock market, but I was really fortunate in that I found my best friend and true partner early in my life and that we were able to build a wonderful life together. We've been together for over 35 years and a having a great partner has made all the difference...
Getting obsessive about real estate investing in So Cal in the mid-90s. I had been through a tough financial patch in the early 90s and was on a serious search for a path to financial independence. Subsequently moving a good deal of the built up equity out of CA and into other states turned out well too.
Being with this company when the owner decided to sell and having that LBYM lifestye that let me have the money/equity to come up with enough to buy my share. This was/is like hitting the lottery.

Finding the right man and marrying him.
Getting through the late 60s early 70s' sexual revolution, drug era and Viet Nam (as a grunt) pretty much unscathed and with most brain cells still intacted.
Great Parents
Great Wife
Great kids
And, to paraphrase Peaceful Warrior, "sh*t falls into my bag."

So far :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
Being born into a middle-income USA family, which must have been in the top 1% of family incomes world-wide.
A college education funded by my Grandfather.
Four year college draft deferment, then graduation just after the draft ended.
Surviving a lot of foolish youthful excesses.

Luckiest thing: Getting married to my wife of 31 years.
Also lucky: stumbling into college and then into Comp Sci at the right time.
Health: Getting a kidney/pancreas transplant before I died on the waiting list

Mike D.
Met my wife in a bar 35 years ago. She was bartending at the tender age of 21 and I was a bar bum who performed on the weekends in a raunchy band. She stuck with me through the very thin until I got some smarts and looked for a real job.

Getting a low level job with the State of California and being able to find my way to a programming job. Getting my wife to apply for a typist job with the state and her getting hired even though she failed the test. She's now getting ready to follow me into retirement after 25 years of steady promotions.

Rejoining my old bar buddies for a band reunion a couple years back that has gotten us gigs all over the U.S. and even Hungary. A great way to travel with the wife for half the price and beer money on the side.
Married 35 years, 2 great kids doing well and 2 beautiful grand kids.

Both DW and I are healthy and Fired.

The only thing missing is a COLA pension, you can't have everything but we're close.
1. Parents who taught me the basics of money.... saving, compounding and the difference between want and need.
2. Starting a job while still young with a new company who had cheap stock, a 401 K and pension plan.
3. Good health, good marriage and 25 years of a uninterrupted work and saving.
4. Company stock that is now worth over 10 times what I paid for it!!!
Add all that up and you get early retirement at 48.
I am now setting up the transfer from 401K to Vanguard and will have questions after their phone call.
Spouse who didn't care about material things but liked to have fun and we made it through the rough patches everyone has
Two good incomes with good work ethics
Lived in the USA and all the opportunities it offers
Started saving from the beginning regardless of what our income or outgo was
never got sucked into the collecting of junk or material possessions

walked away from illegal drug path many of our friends walked down in the 60's and early 70's

Born to white middle-class parents in a town with good public schools and a state with good public colleges and state scholarships.
Pretty much everything. I'd play the lottery, but I'm giving some poor sucker a break.
Same here with the good parents, good schools, etc.

The luck I "made on my own" was finishing college and getting hired ahead of other engineers, so I beat them getting my P.E. license, therefore getting promoted before them, etc.

Born in the US

Parents who installed independence and education as primary values

Very early realization that I liked dogs better than kids

Natural skills (math, logic, fast reading) that made a profitable profession
(programming) very easy, and a corresponding lack of skills (anything
involving other people) that ruled out most other professions
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