I started work in 1968 at Motorola...I was too busy paying off my college loan and car loan the first 2 years...and bought myself a Corvette the 3rd year (paid that off in 24 months - half down)...then I had to change jobs and wound up in VA working for GE.....I bought GE stock through the company plan.....I forget how much - 10-15%.....I dabbled in the market but it was a killer in the early 1970s...some of the worst returns were in 73 and 74 with 80% market drop in 2 years!..... I didn't make any money on the stocks I bought.... I don't think I made anything, and trading costs back then ate you up....not cheap...Stayed with GE for 12 years and accumulated a pile of GE stock. And a small pension that just about pays my real estate taxes here.... now....Then in 1983, my salary jumped by 40%.....and I started saving 35% or more of my paycheck.....50% some months...while buying my townhouse in Arlington.....Was buying individual stocks....bought and kept QCOM......and had some fidelity funds, including some ten thousand in Magellan....MCI had a pension plan...but it ended about 1990 when the tax laws changed and everyone got dumped into a 401K.....I put money into the index funds in the 401K......I put money into index fundsThen in the 1990s, I was saving 40% a month.....and of course, with the market going crazy in the 90s, it was hard not to 'win' and do very well. Well, now I got a bunch of utility stocks....got a bunch of oil stocks....got a bunch of telco/wireless stocks....in my individual account....And loads of Vanguard funds..... Rolled over my 401K to Vanguard....So I'm happily collecting lots of dividends....and some interest....and SS now....Life is good. Not many, though, could sock away 40% at mid life.......or did....That's how I retired at 52.5I doubt many other than some lucky business folks, entrepreneurs, internet whiz kids, and others will make the bucks and save them to retire early... maybe 1 in 50 could, maybe 1 in 100 will. Of course, with GenX not buying homes and cutting down living expenses,they could wind up with stashes of cash...if they can avoid being conspicuous consumers...with high maintenance spouses.....t
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