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I feel as if I'm way behind and way ahead at the same time!

DH and I are 47 and 45. We have four kids, two in college. The short story is that our net worth is about 9 x my annual salary.

The long story is much more involved than I'm willing to go into, but here is some of it.

DH has never worked for pay much; he's stayed home and raised the kids for most of the 24 years we've been married. When the kids got older, he went back to work as a home health care nurse. Then he started to get sick, and he rarely works now. So all the earning comes from my job and my very small business. I don't make a heck of a lot, but we live as far as possible below our means. This isn't easy, because DH is mentally as well as physically ill and sometimes blows what seems to me like an awful lot of money without even thinking about it. (We're working on that. I think we have a handle on it.) Plus we have a daughter who spends more than I'd like and I find it hard to check up on her.

We fully fund my 401(k), which comes to about 20% of my gross. We also fully fund our Roth IRAs, which is another 10% or so of my gross. One of my goals is for my small business to cover the IRAs, but it isn't quite there yet.

A lot of the story is that 13 years ago, DH and the oldest three kids got a windfall. Because of that, those kids don't have to worry about college and can go anywhere they want and have money left over if they're reasonably careful. DH leaves the investing to me, and even though we've spent some of the lump he got, we've also grown it quite a bit.

I calculate that if we can double our net worth every five years -- and I think we can -- we can retire in ten years. We will sell this house (which is appreciating well in a ridiculously overheated market), sell our cabin in WV, and buy a much cheaper place in the Shenandoah Valley for cash.

We still dip into our capital every year, because I save so much that I can't support the family on my income. But at least when I put money in tax-deferred ways, I know I can't touch it. So it's saved in the long run. And it's all growing -- oh, yeah, it's growing. :-)

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