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Subject:  Re: Letter to young couple (long) Date:  8/30/2003  4:38 PM
Author:  KennyO Number:  602 of 5232

Good stuff there, Monica.
I'm 53 and my father died three months ago but not before we'd had many years of conversations about finances and the generations. Dad was a union carpenter who relied on his union pension and social security. He never saved heavily except for some predictable purpose (his house, our college) nor did he get involved in investing. Despite Mom's spendthrift ways, he carried nearly no debt beyond house and car payments. He made sure he had an emergency fund, construction being seasonal, so he and Mom eventually built a modest portfolio (< 100K). Definitely no FIRE there.
He was a teen through the depression and as an adult he and his friends made every effort to see that things would be easier for their kids. They succeeded and as a result we've never done without necessities. So if we haven't seen real down times our kids surely haven't either. We and they are generally complacent, not having experienced any pressing need for serious financial planning.
Dad knew I have no union pension to rely on, being an independent engineer and small business owner. He was surprised at how much I've been saving toward retirement but the downside he didn't grasp was that I'd waited so long (my late 30's early 40's) before getting serious about it. Much thanks to Dad's values I'm going to be fine and I'm going to (semi-) retire early.
I hope that couple subscribes to the meaning of your letter and doesn't read just the words.

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