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Author: fredinseoul Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5056  
Subject: Discouragement Date: 9/9/2007 9:58 PM
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I'm gonna be a wannabee forever. :(

I've been running numbers on my savings rates. It looks like my goal to retire in 12 years is simply impossible, unless I find a significant raise or an explosive investment that ends up being a 10 bagger or more. Even saving for 20 years, just barely gets me to the place were I could retire comfortably. At that point I am not retiring early.

I am saving still. I do 13% of my gross salary in the 401K(it includes the company match) and another 12% of my net salary, currently into VFINX. I do have a healthy efund and am funding the normal expenditures, vacations, home/auto repairs, gifts, and so forth. But the numbers are not adding up to the point where I feel safe enough to retire. I actually push another 15% of my net salary to deal with those things.

What is slowing me down? My wife wants to move to a bigger house. I am not convinced, but still am setting cash aside. If we decide not to move, I'll be able to invest it. I also have a car note that I am aggresively paying down. Without these two outlays, I would be a bit closer, but still no where near the amount I've estimated I need.

I am discouraged.
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Author: JimKredux Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4339 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/9/2007 10:33 PM
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Hey Fred,


I just gotta ask. Is it possible you are over-estimating the amount you will need in retirement? The other possibility is you just started too late? Bear in mind the safe withdrawal rate oft quoted ( 4%) has been disputed by more than one competent source. IIRC there was a CFA from Wisconsin that did a real life study and found that the reality is that as we age, we spend less in the later years. This makes sense. How much are you spending when you are 85? So the point is that the inflation factor that most, if not all, scenarios have a built in inflation bump of 3% a year forever.
Don't get discouraged, we all take different paths to get there. Some work at least part-time. Some move to a lower cost of living part of the country or for that matter a different part of the world. There are always options.



Good Luck,



JK

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Author: fredinseoul Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4340 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/10/2007 12:10 AM
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JK,

I started saving in earnest late. I had done the 401K since age 23, but didn't really become fiscally responsible until aboug 13 years later. So, when I finally got to the point where saving was important, I'd missed out a good decade of growth.

I am looking mostly at getting through the early years, the 401K, even if I stopped contributing in 15 years would still produce enough money for the later years of my life. The key to the FIRE is the years prior to 59 1/2. Those are the years I am worried about.

fredinseoul

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Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4341 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/10/2007 1:56 PM
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fredinseoul:
I am discouraged.


Cheer up man! When I get down and out, letting life beat me down, I find it is usually because I'm focussing on the negatives instead of the positives.

Even if you don't FIRE before 59 1/2, think about what you have accomplished. More than likely, you will be well set for retirement on the (13% + 12% = 25%) of your net income you save. 59 is still young with many years of life to enjoy.

SeattlePioneer is famous for stating, and I believe he is correct on this, that RE'ing is a luxury and is difficult to do. Many things have to be going for you. Usually 2 or more of the following things must happen to get it done:

- spouse on board with you
- no kids or at least a disciplined approach to children's expenses
- high income
- LBYM
- a displined approach to investing
- plain luck (hitting that 10 bagger)
- inhertance
- no large medical expenditures

You could add to the list but that is the gyst of it. I'm not saying all of those things have to be in sync. For example, plenty of people on RECF have RE'd on a middle class income. But they LBYM, had no children or several other of the options above.

I initially had a spouse not on board with me to FIRE. She wanted to be a SAHM with our 3 kids until I hit normal retirement. We cussed and discussed it for years. When I was 40, I had calculated that if she began making an average salary of 30k, of which 20k was invested annually, we could both FIRE 8 years later when I hit my 48 birthday.

It was like trying to get blood from a rock. I was very discouraged and felt somewhat bitter about her freeloading off of me.

However 5 years later, she had a complete change of mind and is now working full-time and rapidly upping her salary. I won't FIRE when I'm 48, but 52-53 is very doable.

Why does your wife want a bigger house? FYI, we did the big house once. It had 3000 squ feet on 5 acres. I finally got tired of mowing and she got tired of cleaning 3000 squ ft and pulling weeds in the expensive landscaping. We downsized and are much happier now.

Perhaps a compromise is in order.

Respectfully,

decath

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Author: progmtl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4342 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/10/2007 4:53 PM
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Great post, decath. I love your general list of criteria that will help one succeed in achieving FIRE.

I think I will succeed in 5/8 of your stated criteria. Hopefully the long term outlook is good!

Fred, I don't know how disciplined your budget is, but you could always revisit your recurring expenses. As with everything, you have to place a relative value on your expenses versus your desire to FIRE, look at the tradeoffs, and try to make a decision that you and DW can live with. As a radical suggestion that may or may not be implementable, look at the income side of the equation. Is there any way you can get a big bump in income? I tend to prefer stability, but sometimes hopping companies results in much bigger "raises".

cheers,
-progmtl.

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4343 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/10/2007 9:44 PM
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Hi Fred,

I can empathize with your discouragement because I often feel the same way myself. I started saving in earnest very late (at about 45 yo). Then, at 50, the 2000 crash came. But I remind myself every day that the Federal guv (and most people) consider 62 yo 'early retirement', and that's when I'm hoping to retire, so I figure I'm still ahead of most.

For the past 7 years I've been stowing away 35% of my gross, or 50% of my net. If the markets are good to me, I might be able to pull the trigger at 61, but 60 is simply undoable, mainly because of the lack of SS and the cost of health care.

But again, I'll be happy if I can do it at 62, and really happy if at 61.

Please don't be discouraged. Focus on how much better off you'll be than most.

2old


(From my experience, buying a car is a big financial drain, what with the insurance, etc. I've been driving the same car now for 7 years, and will continue with it for at least another 5. )

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4344 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/11/2007 10:54 PM
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<<I'm gonna be a wannabee forever. :(

I've been running numbers on my savings rates. It looks like my goal to retire in 12 years is simply impossible, unless I find a significant raise or an explosive investment that ends up being a 10 bagger or more. Even saving for 20 years, just barely gets me to the place were I could retire comfortably. At that point I am not retiring early.

>>



I can understand being discouraged, but you can't let that stop you.

You really can't tell when that 10 bagger will develope, but there is a reasonable chance that it will. My best stock WM, has been a 35 bagger over the past 25 years. I had so much confidence in that stock when I bought it that when the broker executed the order twice, by mistake, I made him take back the extra shares and reimburse me!



For me, early retirement was not a goal until recent years. I merely saved and invested the money I didn't have a reasonable need to spend ---that averaged about 50% of my after tax income (no wife or kids, you see!)


<<What is slowing me down? My wife wants to move to a bigger house. >>



Ummm. Spending more than your reasonably need to on housing can be a reall killer on savings rates. While people often excuse buying bigger houses as "an investment" it's usually a poor investment compared to stocks or rental housing because you are consuming the rental value of the property. Furthermore, the added cost of maintaining and decorating a larger home adds to your costs.


Most Americans consume a luxurious amount of housing.


But the key to a high savings rate is not feeling deprived by not spending on stuff just because you have the money. For you, that means that you need to be satified that continued saving is worthwhile because it adds to the financial security of your family, rather than because you expect to be able to retire early. Your wife needs to be able to buy into that abstract goal willingly too, and may need to be WILLING to choose to do without the bigger home to achieve that goal of financial security.


If you can do those things and keep that financial discipline, then you are maximizing the probability that fortune will be able to smile upon you and retire, early we hope, at some point.


Even if that doesn't happen as soon as you would like, I would argue that you are giving your family a luxury that relatively few families have these day --- the luxury of financial security. In my view, that is a real luxury when the cold winds of financial hardship, layoff, injury or disability might threaten. Lots of families fold up under such stress ---yours would be a survivor under difficult circumstances. That and you get the possibility of early retirement as a bonus.


decath pointed out that I've suggested that early retirement is a luxury. If you can't afford it, keep working. But you have a reasonable probability of having two rare luxuries --- both financial security in the here and now, and early retirement as a reasonable poissibility at some time in the future. In my view, those are better luxuries to buy than the mess of pottage offered "consumers," although I am in the minority in believing and acting on those values.




The choice is yours. I can't even offer you the guarantee you ask for of being able to retire early. I can pretty much guarantee your family that financial security that is a REAL luxury, or at least a lot more of it than if you don't save and invest.


But as an American, you are free to choose. I wish you good luck and good fortune ---and in my experience there are more of those ten baggers out there than you might think. Can't promise you that, though.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4345 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/12/2007 10:16 AM
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>> But the key to a high savings rate is not feeling deprived by not spending on stuff just because you have the money. <<

I just thought this one sentence needed to be stated again.

#29

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4346 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/12/2007 4:11 PM
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I just had to comment on your personal quote--It's fabulous!

2old

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Author: fredinseoul Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4347 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 2:49 AM
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To all.

Thanks for the replies. I am still discouraged, but I will keep at my plan. As SP pointed out, I may yet find that 10 bagger.

A couple of the questions I wanted to respond to. My wife wants a bigger house. So far, I can't get past the emotional aspect of this. I've been trying and will keep trying to convince her that it is not the best way for us.

I've actually been working on her to buy a quad and rent the other parts out. She hasn't dismissed this, but is a bit worried at being a landlord. I agree, but if I am going to buy something, I want to buy something that will pay me some income.

I did start late. I had a bunch of debt in my 20s that I paid off in my 30s. Then, I bought the current house and paid it off. That is the one bright star here, I have no housing payment so I am able to save as much as 80% of my salary some months. Other months, I am at the 25% level. Life happens.

I will keep working on my plan and work with my wife to see if we can reach a compromise. I may have to kill the Joneses, but I'll try.

fredinseoul

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Author: StockGoddess Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4349 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 2:56 PM
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I may have to kill the Joneses, but I'll try.


LOL!

8D

You say that like there's something wrong with that....

Every once in awhile I wonder if DH and I aren't living TOO far below our means. We both work - but down the street is a single-income household. The husband works where I work, doing what I do (so I assume I can guess their income). DH and I have been living on the same old carpeting and vinyl for 15 years. The "Jonses" have

1.) Complete re-vamped their HVAC system to a dust-free unit (not that the old one didn't work, mind you).
2.) Replaced ALL the floors in the house with hardwood (tile in the baths). Then didn't like them and had them all re-finished. Also marbled their fireplace.
3.) Bought the mother of all flat-screened TV's
4.) Hired an interior decorator and bought all new furniture
5.) Put in an in-ground pool with patio
6.) Bought two new cars
7.) Hired a landscaper
8.) Maid-service twice a month ($125/per - I got a quote once).

On less than half our income. In the past 4 years.

By comparison, we've bought two cars after our old ones could no longer be fixed. No maid, no landscaper, no decorator, no pool, no hardwoods, no marble, no flat-screen. We're going to hardwood one room later this year because the vinyl is full of holes.

Unless they inherited buccu bucks from someone rich, though, I'd love to compare debt-loads...and retirement savings....our "shabby" house is 2 years from being paid-for. Mortgage is our only debt. We're stashing 17% pre-tax into 401-K accounts (from both paychecks) and three years ago we bought a rental property.

I say Eff the Jonses. They'll be living on cat-food in retirement or the poor DH will be working when he's 80 to support her spending. FIRE and "keeping up with the Jonses" are incompatible goals.

SG "Not keeping up with the Jonses, either."

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Author: oldengineer Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4350 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 4:13 PM
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Why do so many have the goal to retire "early". Are they not doing work that is useful and that needs to be done? I suspect that they are doing useful work and should place more value on their worth to society as workers.

Respectfuly,

OE

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4351 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 4:25 PM
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Why do so many have the goal to retire "early".

Can't speak for "so many," but I had the goal so I could do what I really wanted to do. There just wasn't any way to spend months abroad and go back to school for a new degree while still working.

I suspect that they are doing useful work and should place more value on their worth to society as workers.

That sounds a little collectivist to me. While I like to see others with this attitude so they go on working and consuming and paying taxes, all of which are good for my retirement, I have never thought of putting the state ahead of myself in this way.

--fleg

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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4352 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 4:35 PM
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>> I say Eff the Jonses. They'll be living on cat-food in retirement or the poor DH will be working when he's 80 to support her spending. FIRE and "keeping up with the Jonses" are incompatible goals. <<

Sounds familiar as I pointed out more than six years ago:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14346283

I'll let the rabid consumers "keep up with the Joneses" and work until they're 65 or worse. I'd rather buy leisure time, an early end to indentured servitude, and let the Joneses "win." We'll see who the winner is twenty years from now.

:-)

#29

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Author: progmtl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4353 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 4:43 PM
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Why do so many have the goal to retire "early".

I'll answer for myself: because I can think of literally hundreds of things I would rather do with my time for 9+ hours per day, 5 days per week, than go to work.

I am not a cog whose purpose is to prop up a company, a state, or a society. I am an individual who wants to bend his circumstances such that they provide the best possible life for myself (and family). And I can do this through legal, honest means and eventually free myself from the obligation to work.

Once freed, tremendous possibilities open up. Working a desirable job for little or no pay, hobbies, more time with family, friends - essentially more time for so many of the enjoyable aspects of life.

Instead of rushing through my morning workout to get to work, I can take my time. Instead of coming home and trying to throw together a decent meal quickly, I can spend more time and have the energy to cook different things. Instead of rushing through the supermarket in crowds on the weekend to get this "chore" done, I can take my time and go on a weekday when it is uncrowded. Quality of life opens up dramatically when all of your time is given back to you.

I do not envision retirement as sitting on the couch eating chips. I will be plenty active, both physically and mentally, except that I will structure (or not) my days and my time however I please and the rush-rush mentality that is forced upon the full-time worker (due to lack of time) will be replaced by a calmer, more relaxed mindset.

I truly do not understand the mindset of the person who says they will "never retire" with pride. Either this person defines himself by his career/occupation or this person truly loves his job, in which case I say more power to him (but remember that he may not love his job forever, and wouldn't it be nice to be financially independent in case circumstances change?).

-progmtl.

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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4354 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 4:43 PM
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>> Why do so many have the goal to retire "early". Are they not doing work that is useful and that needs to be done? I suspect that they are doing useful work and should place more value on their worth to society as workers. <<

Don't forget that we say "FIRE" and not just "RE." It's not all about retiring early, but rather the financial independence to be able to do so IF we choose.

I think it's more accurate to say the goal is usually to *be able* to retire early if we want. I'm sure a lot of us may continue to work beyond the date we COULD feasible afford to retire...but it will be because we *want* to and not because we *have* to. And that makes putting up with office BS a lot easier, knowing we don't HAVE to put up with it. I can only imagine it must be far less stressful when you can walk away from it if it really starts to stink instead of being held there by golden handcuffs because you don't have the resources to simply walk away from a craptastic work situation.

Plus, "not doing something useful" is not the only result of early retirement. Plenty of people have hobbies and interests they'd like to do which they find personally fulfilling. Many probably would also like to do more volunteering in their community which they just don't have the time to do while working. Frankly I hear this one a lot, and I think it's either shortsighted or insulting to insinuate that the only alternative to "work" as we know it is "wasting away" and being useless.

I'll be 42 next month. And frankly, I don't know what I'll want to do as soon as I'm able to comfortably retire early. I may want to keep my current job (if I still have it at the time). I may want to choose a new career that I enjoy more after I no longer need to worry about the pay cut. Maybe I'll devote myself to my hobbies. Maybe I'll volunteer a lot more. I don't know what I'll want to do when I reach FI and the ability to retire IF I WANT TO. But I do know that I very much want to have as many options as possible instead of spending at or above my means and being *forced* to work to an advanced age.

#29

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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4355 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 4:48 PM
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>> Why do so many have the goal to retire "early". Are they not doing work that is useful and that needs to be done? I suspect that they are doing useful work and should place more value on their worth to society as workers. <<

One final thought: If you look at it from the "good of the collective" standpoint, as you seem to be doing with your comment about "value" to society, then isn't it a good thing within a society for someone who no longer financially needs a job to voluntary vacate it and make it open for someone who does need a job? Wouldn't it be selfish, then, to hold onto a job you no longer need to make ends meet when others out there in this same "society" may desperately want and need your job?

Gotcha.

#29

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4356 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 4:54 PM
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<<Why do so many have the goal to retire "early". Are they not doing work that is useful and that needs to be done? I suspect that they are doing useful work and should place more value on their worth to society as workers.

Respectfuly,

OE
>>


That's a question everyone should answer for themselves beforew retirement.


In my case I became financially independent in 1999, at about age 49.

At the same time, the utility where I worked issued me a warning letter telling me that I would have to either close my independent repair business or be fired. After considering that option, I quit the utility and regular employment instead, in favor of my repair business. That cut down significantly on the number of hours I worked.

I then sold off some rental property which I managed and maintained as well, buying me more time for myself.


This past Memorial day, I sold off the repair business and retired at age 57, leaving me with one rental house to manage and maintain.


At one time I kept adding to my workload to maximize my income and savings. Since 1999 I've been doing the reverse.



Yes, the furnace repair work I was doing was useful and needed to be done. But I was done doing it, tired of being at the beck and call of people. And sorry to be writing out large checks to the taxman on every dollar I made. (I figure that retiring early will result in the government collecting at least $100,000 less in taxes)

In addition, in my experience working is an unhealthy lifestyle. People spend too much time working and not enough time caring for themsleves. These days I got out for a 4 mile walk daily and do a mile swim several times a week and go bicycling several times per week. That's more healthful and more rewarding than working.

After dumping full time employment I had more time to myself and went back to volunteering for the Boy Scouts, and am planning to do some turoring at a nearby school before long.


There are lots of ways to have a rewarding and healthful life that don't involve paid employment. However, for those who find working to be satisfying, I certainly wouldn't suggest that they "ought" to retire at some age. Do the things that are right for you and that you can afford.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: yttire Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4357 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 5:43 PM
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>Why do so many have the goal to retire "early".

Sadly, there are very few who have the goal to retire early.

1) A person who is investing aggressively is participating in capitalism- making money available for others to increase the productivity for all, rather than eliminating the capital through consumption. The reason the standard of living throughout the world has risen through the years is not because people have been consuming like crazy- but rather because others were willing to save their money, not consume it, and make it available for borrowing by others. This investment in infrastructure, capital, and risk is what has raised the standard of living throughout the world. Thus, high savers who invest in stock or bonds are contributing to the long term growth of the society as a whole.

2) A person who is in a stronger financial position is also in a stronger moral position. Someone who is on the edge financial, meeting their bills, can not take stronger moral stands in the workplace, and must bend their morals to ensure their financial position. However, someone financially independent is free to behave in a completely moral manner with regards to financial transactions, or in the workplace. Thus, being financially independent is a form of self actualization and self empowerment which will allow an individual to be a greater and better person than they were without financial independence.

3) A person who is financially independent can afford to perform better allocations of their time than pure capitalism allows. In pure capitalism, the greatest demand as defined by those with money is met through labor. However, there are many demands which are not represented, such as the needs of the poor, the disenfranchised, the mentally handicapped- these needs still need to be met, but can not be met through the purely capitalistic allocation of labor. However, someone who is financially independent can allocate their time to such demands independent of the money. Capitalism certainly allocates resources efficiently where the demands are properly represented with cash, but sadly not all deserving needs have the cash to provide market efficiency.

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Author: Mctripat One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4358 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/13/2007 7:43 PM
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If you must get another house... I would not get a bigger one unless your house is 1500 square feet or less. I would look for a more energy efficient house or one with more storage or build a green house (if I could afford one)

Also since your house is paid for almost... maybe you could buy a lot and go through one of those places that helps you act as your own contractor. Supposedly 2/3 of a house cost is labor. They help you figure out how to subcontract out the major house stuff plumbing, electrical, foundation etc.

Anyway if I am ever get another house that is what I plan to do.

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4359 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 3:57 AM
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slowing me down? My wife wants to move to a bigger house. I am not convinced, but still am setting cash aside.

Fred, if you're still in Seoul this may not apply...

but if you're in a populous part of the US where real estate has gone up a lot in the last 8 years or so, I recommend you sell your house (quickly, last year probably would be better) and put any net cash aside.

In a couple of years you'll probably be able to buy a bigger house for less.

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4360 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 4:03 AM
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should place more value on their worth to society as workers.

My sense of self is not based on what random anonymous strangers might think of the sacrifices I make for their benefit.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4362 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 8:56 AM
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I love my job (although months like this when I travel every week I reconsider). I don't really WANT to retire at 50. What I want is to be financially independent so I can choose exactly what I do. I'd still like to keep up some consulting, but not the 60-70 hours a week I am currently doing - just the "fun" projects and waaaaaaay less travel. And I'd like to be a barista. No kidding. I want to hang out at Peets and dispense coffee to my neighbors.

I am on track to do that in my early 50's at this point. If it happens great, but I am not too discouraged in any case if it gets delayed, because I really really do like what I do.

Societally valuable...ehhhhhhh...I don't know. I'm a construction PM with a narrow specialty in retail. I don't know that we NEED another store in a mall in any way. But I do have fun with it.

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Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4363 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 9:37 AM
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StockGoddess:
Unless they inherited buccu bucks from someone rich, though, I'd love to compare debt-loads...and retirement savings....our "shabby" house is 2 years from being paid-for. Mortgage is our only debt. We're stashing 17% pre-tax into 401-K accounts (from both paychecks) and three years ago we bought a rental property.

I'm often amazed at how much money people get from parents and grandparants either in the form of annual gifts or through inheritances. I do the same thing you do with people I work with, neighbors, go to church with etc.. and wonder how they do it. Most of these people have jobs at less pay then I do yet they often have nicer homes and cars, take cruizes, go snow skiing 1 or 2 times per season (I live in TX), vacation in the Caribean etc..

But once I get to know them, sooner or later it slips that they have received large gifts or inheritances to fund these items.

One family that I attend a Bible study with confided with us when they were having financial struggles (after the husband changed jobs) that they would "unfortunately" have to use their annual 20k gift from her dad to pay for normal expenses instead of spending it on fun like usual. This same couple gets a $100 bill from dad every time they make the 2 hour drive to visit them to pay for their gas. Oh ya, they are in their 40's. Not 20 something adults. Can you say "economic outpatient care for life"?

My next door neighbor has a rich uncle that gives them annual large cash gifts, has bought cars for them, gave them a 40k speed boat 3 years ago and has funded all 4 of their children's college educations to attend Texas A&M. That is what I know about. They live in a 400k house and drive very nice cars (all 4 kids got their own brand new car after they turned 16). He is a fireman and she is a school teacher so I doubt they can fund it all on their income alone.

I have 3 children, the oldest are 22 and 24. I made them both work to pay for their own cars. The majority of their friends had parents and/or grandparents that bought them cars and thus, did not have much incentive to work during HS and college.

Those are just recent examples. I have many more that I won't bother with.

But then again, perhaps your neighbor/co-worker is just steep in debt as you suggested or deals drugs on the side. ;)

decath

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Author: reallyalldone Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4364 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 9:39 AM
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One final thought: If you look at it from the "good of the collective" standpoint, as you seem to be doing with your comment about "value" to society, then isn't it a good thing within a society for someone who no longer financially needs a job to voluntary vacate it and make it open for someone who does need a job? Wouldn't it be selfish, then, to hold onto a job you no longer need to make ends meet when others out there in this same "society" may desperately want and need your job?

Depends on the job. My husband and I are each in fields where, because of years with no job openings, the pipeline really isn't there. We both like what we do and can retire at any point(I'm partially retired now) but the experienced people just aren't there to backfill the positions. In my case, the profession has been working on getting the training opportunities in place but there is still a gap.

rad

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Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4365 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 9:46 AM
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oldengineer:
Why do so many have the goal to retire "early". Are they not doing work that is useful and that needs to be done? I suspect that they are doing useful work and should place more value on their worth to society as workers.

Respectfuly,

OE


I agree with you that we should do good work that is fulfilling and contributing to society.

As a "software engineer" myself, I have a desire to create and build. However, as I near 50 and having been programming for 25 years now, I'm ready for a change. Being FIRE'd will give me flexibility to do what I want, when I want. After I FIRE, for example, I want to travel overseas for extended periods of time (like a month). I can't do that now.

I also would like to volunteer more time to pursuits that are more meaningful to me such as missions and promoting the sport of track & field to youth.

You can still contribute in many ways to society, and IMHO much more qualitatively and quantitatively than while you are working. But that also depends on what you do for a living.

decath

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Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4366 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 10:18 AM
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warrl
My sense of self is not based on what random anonymous strangers might think of the sacrifices I make for their benefit.

I agree. Well, now that is. Before my last layoff, I was a cog in a telecom machine and was proud of it. Worked my tail off, sacrificed for the "company" and actually slept on the floor in a sleeping bag in my office on occasion because I could not connect to the network from home (Long story - network was unrealiable).

Then one day after I finished working 60 hour weeks for several months on a project, my boss, who I thought was my friend, coldly fired me to make room for a less costly 20 something yo software developer.

Now I work for another company as a full time employee, but I view myself as a hired gun. I am not emotionally attached to my job. I still work hard and smart and contribute what I can, but I ain't my job.

I save 30% of my income, invest it in mutual funds and individual stocks and have started paying meticulous attention to my investments. I have begun the process of researching individual companies in detail for investing purposes and find that I enjoy it.

I expect to FIRE in 7 years and 3 months.

decath

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Author: yofluke Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4367 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 10:29 AM
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Ginko100: "And I'd like to be a barista. No kidding. I want to hang out at Peets and dispense coffee to my neighbors."

Wow, I've never heard (or read) someone with the same goal as me. I'd like to become financially independent and work as a barista at the Starbucks about ~0.5 mile from my house (I can walk there).

yofluke

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4368 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 10:34 AM
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<<One family that I attend a Bible study with confided with us when they were having financial struggles (after the husband changed jobs) that they would "unfortunately" have to use their annual 20k gift from her dad to pay for normal expenses instead of spending it on fun like usual. This same couple gets a $100 bill from dad every time they make the 2 hour drive to visit them to pay for their gas. Oh ya, they are in their 40's. Not 20 something adults. Can you say "economic outpatient care for life"?

My next door neighbor has a rich uncle that gives them annual large cash gifts, has bought cars for them, gave them a 40k speed boat 3 years ago and has funded all 4 of their children's college educations to attend Texas A&M. That is what I know about. They live in a 400k house and drive very nice cars (all 4 kids got their own brand new car after they turned 16). He is a fireman and she is a school teacher so I doubt they can fund it all on their income alone.

>>



Like a lot of things, giving gifts, especially gifts of cash, can be done well or poorly. Do it well, and it can enhance a person's life. Do it poorly and it can damage or destroy someone's life.


Republicans used to critisize welfare because we said it often destroyed a persons incentive to work and provide for themselves. Gifts of money from relatives can do the same thing if done poorly.


Funding college educations for children is pretty common, and can be a good way to spend money. Helping children fund the purchase of a home ---ditto, as long as you aren't creating financial problems by them buying too much house they can't afford even with the gift.


The $100 gift "for gas" isn't a bad strategy to encourage children to visit, in my opinion.

Buying cars and speedboats is a lot harder to defend. This is likely to build in a high lifestyle cost which may be hard for a family to afford unless there are yet more gifts which might discourage people from working and providing for themselves.

I have no objection to wealthy families using money to help other family members. But smart families will use care and wisdom in how they do that, so the money is a boon that creates a good life, and not a vice that creates dependence.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4369 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 10:44 AM
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<<Ginko100: "And I'd like to be a barista. No kidding. I want to hang out at Peets and dispense coffee to my neighbors."

Wow, I've never heard (or read) someone with the same goal as me. I'd like to become financially independent and work as a barista at the Starbucks about ~0.5 mile from my house (I can walk there).

yofluke
>>


The daughter of a friend worked as a barista at the Space Needle while she was in school. After a while, she became really conscious of her role as a drug pusher to caffeine addicts, as she characterized it.


I imagine that you are motivated to do this job for social reasons, but I wonder if you might not wind up seeing the job in the same way as this girl after being exposed to it for a while.

I'm not trying to discourage you from doing it, just curious about how it might work out after a while.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4370 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 11:03 AM
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SP:
I have no objection to wealthy families using money to help other family members. But smart families will use care and wisdom in how they do that, so the money is a boon that creates a good life, and not a vice that creates dependence.

I agree, and I hope I did not make it sound like it was a "bad thing" across the spectrum.

My original point was that I'm surprised at how many people receive so much help from their parents and grandparents.

In my case, I have never had that benefit. As early as 12 years old, I scoured the neighborhood for odd jobs because my parents were so tight they would often withhold basic items from me such as athletic shoes for school PE. 2 weeks after I turned 15, I got a job as a dishwasher at a local restaurant 5 miles away, in which I rode my bike to because my parents refused to drive me to and from work.

This was inspite of the fact that we were upper-middle class.

So perhaps that is why I'm amazed at such generosity.

decath

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Author: StockGoddess Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4371 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 11:31 AM
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Oh ya, they are in their 40's. Not 20 something adults. Can you say "economic outpatient care for life"?

You've obviously read "The Millionaire Next Door" 8)

Yeah, DH's brother is like that. Still asking daddy for money in his 40's. Had daddy cash in an insurance policy to get the downpayment on his McMansion. Now daddy is ill, and it'll be interesting to see if bro steps up to the plate after all the hand-outs, or not.

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Author: decath Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4373 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 12:04 PM
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StockGoddess:
You've obviously read "The Millionaire Next Door" 8)

Yeah, DH's brother is like that. Still asking daddy for money in his 40's. Had daddy cash in an insurance policy to get the downpayment on his McMansion. Now daddy is ill, and it'll be interesting to see if bro steps up to the plate after all the hand-outs, or not.


Unfortunately, and I'm going on personal experience without knowing your situation in detail, I would suspect it will be the fiscally responsible siblings such as you and your husband that will have to step up to the plate.

DW has 2 siblings that are like that. Always in financial trouble and asking MIL & FIL to bail them out. DW's parents are pushovers and always gave in. By the time they were 70, they finally fiqured it out and stopped the cash infusions.

Of course, both siblings are now bitter that the cash payments have stopped. They blame the other 3 siblings that pleaded with FIL & MIL for years to stop. There excuses to DW? Your spouse makes more money than mine does! Your luckier than we are! Our kids are more troublesome!

Never once admittance about their lazy work habits, substance abuse, addiction to debt or gambling problems as the possible source of the cause.

Now that FIL & MIL are elderly and unable to do a lot of the work around their acreage, guess which kids are their to pick up the slack? It ain't the 2 dipstick kids, thats for sure.

MIL told us she wrote them out of the will. I really hope so. Not for DW's sake. We are doing fine financially. I just hate to see irresponsible people (and in one siblings case a true "evil" person) be rewarded.

decath

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4374 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 12:55 PM
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And I'd like to be a barista. No kidding. I want to hang out at Peets and dispense coffee to my neighbors.

DW has a non-working acquaintance from yoga class who lives in a $2.5M house on the lake with her husband who is still working. This woman got a job at Starbuck's for the health care benefits--she didn't say anything about doing it for fun. We can't imagine being able to afford a place like they have and needing a job to save at most a $1200/mo expense. DW got a sense that she did it just to be shouldering some of the financial responsibilities of the household, not that it was critical to do so.

She didn't last long at the job--it turned out to be hard physical labor much of the time, doing the closings with all the cleaning that that entails. But if her motivation had been different, I'm sure her subjective experience would have been a lot more favorable.

--fleg

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4375 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 1:37 PM
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The daughter of a friend worked as a barista at the Space Needle while she was in school. After a while, she became really conscious of her role as a drug pusher to caffeine addicts, as she characterized it.
Hey, I'm not a hypocrite - I drink coffee! That plus a very occasional glass of wine is really my only vice. And not a bad one it is either...

I'm not trying to discourage you from doing it, just curious about how it might work out after a while.
If I got bored/disillusioned/sick of doing it I'd move on to something else. Because I'd be finncially independent...(like you!). But my brother was a barista for a while, and he thought it was pretty fun.

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Author: gubydala One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4377 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 1:43 PM
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Then one day after I finished working 60 hour weeks for several months on a project, my boss, who I thought was my friend, coldly fired me to make room for a less costly 20 something yo software developer.

At my previous job I was online all the time, practically lived there as well. So much so that when a person in another department (who was similarly conscientious) called her boss wanting to send the police to my house when I didn't answer email within 24 hours on a 3-day weekend.

New management came in with no sense of loyalty and, well, no sense. Eventually I had a "Johnny Paycheck" moment and gave 2 weeks notice without having another job lined up (for the first time in nearly 35 years of working).

I landed on my feet, started a new job 3 weeks after my last day. One of the guys I worked with wasn't so lucky. He died of a massive heart attack 9 months later. He hadn't been able to find another job and with a kid in college and a layoff a few years before didn't feel like he could leave without an offer.

When I was in a 60 hour a week job in my 30s, we used to say, "I don't need this lousy job. I can find another lousy job." Also used to say, "I was looking for a job when I found this one." But I think I've finally internalized both slogans. At this job I do my 40 hours and go home. I made the decision that I was not going to get as "invested" in the job as I had previously. I was a technical supervisor at the previous job and the manager job just opened up here but I have no interest in pursuing it. I'm content to be a worker bee, thanks very much.

FIRE is not very likely, I'm in my early 50s and just not that far along. But I'm happy to have enough resources so I don't have to hold on for dear life anymore when I find myself in a toxic job.

Guby

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4378 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 1:59 PM
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She didn't last long at the job--it turned out to be hard physical labor much of the time, doing the closings with all the cleaning that that entails. But if her motivation had been different, I'm sure her subjective experience would have been a lot more favorable.
I'm sure it is hard work. I've done a bit of work in commercial kitchens over the years (nothing as formal as being a professional cook) and I actually don't mind the hard work and cleaning. I find it kind of satisfying. I'm not sure if that would translate to coffee, but you never know.

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4379 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 2:06 PM
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MIL told us she wrote them out of the will. I really hope so.

Warning: certain people are pretty much entitled to be mentioned in a will. If they are omitted, they can challenge the will on that basis and probably win a piece of the estate - a more-or-less equal share, plus perhaps their legal costs for the challenge.

Note, however, that the slightest mention qualifies. The will can contain a "The following people get absolutely nothing" paragraph, and that does it.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4381 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 2:20 PM
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<<FIRE is not very likely, I'm in my early 50s and just not that far along. But I'm happy to have enough resources so I don't have to hold on for dear life anymore when I find myself in a toxic job.

Guby
>>


That sounds like a huge luxury by itself ----more important than retiring early, probably.


I like to make the point that while retiring early isn't guaranteed, added FINANCIAL SECURITY for yourself and your family is when you start reducing debt and increasing savings. That is a luxury a lot of people don't have, and one that is really worth having, in my opinion.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4382 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 3:44 PM
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Warning: certain people are pretty much entitled to be mentioned in a will.
Being mentioned doesn't mean they have to get anything. The standard way of dealing with this is to leave them $1. It shows you considered them, and decided against any bequest rather than just forgeting to leave them something. I had this happen to a family member a few years ago. Since the person was estranged from our family I don't think we felt the lack of the bequest, but it was a bit odd.

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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4383 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 9/14/2007 6:08 PM
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>> The daughter of a friend worked as a barista at the Space Needle while she was in school. After a while, she became really conscious of her role as a drug pusher to caffeine addicts, as she characterized it.

I imagine that you are motivated to do this job for social reasons, but I wonder if you might not wind up seeing the job in the same way as this girl after being exposed to it for a while.

I'm not trying to discourage you from doing it, just curious about how it might work out after a while.
<<

Maybe. But the beauty of financial independence is that if the job sucks, you don't have to stick with it. They don't have the golden handcuffs on you. It certainly makes it easier to take a job to see what it's like when you know you don't NEED the job.

#29

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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 4409 of 5056
Subject: Re: Discouragement Date: 10/4/2007 2:43 PM
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Ginko100: "And I'd like to be a barista. No kidding. I want to hang out at Peets and dispense coffee to my neighbors."

Wow, I've never heard (or read) someone with the same goal as me. I'd like to become financially independent and work as a barista at the Starbucks about ~0.5 mile from my house (I can walk there).

yofluke


My daughter Red wanted to be a barrista too. Starbucks and Peet's wouldn't hire her because she wasn't 16 yet. She convinced a locally-owned tea bar to hire her by downloading the labor law and highlighting the appropriate parts. Smart kid.

She was saving to buy a '67 Cadillac convertible in red, but decided to open a CD with her savings instead since she isn't old enough to drive yet anyway.

She's already on the road to FIRE.

Vickifool--proud mama

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