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I grew up with parents who were stingy (never got anything from them) and lived beyond their means. Both of them are nearing retirement without a pot to pi$$ in. I learned a lot from their mistakes, but went on to make several HUGE mistakes of my own. The biggest mistake I made was marrying someone who didn't give a da*n about FI or saving for the future, etc. I always knew in the back of my mind that we wouldn't stay together so I never saved anything. I didn't want her to take half (or more) of what I'd worked so hard for. Looking back, maybe I should have saved. Half of something is better than half of nothing. After 10 years of unhappy marriage, we divorced in 1999. I was 30 then. My biggest regret is marrying so young and not deliberately thinking through the ramifications of marriage. We also had four (yes- 4) children from the marriage. Now I pay an unGodly amount of child support (willingly- it's for my kids) each month, which greatly hinders the ability to save/invest/pay off debt.

Some of you may have read my post which described my current situation. Here's the link if you care/haven't read:

I remarried to yet another unFoolish person. To her credit, she IS coming around and thinking more along the lines of a Fool. As of this post, my net worth is around ZERO. Am I happy with that? Of course not. But I do spend a lot of time educating myself. Within a month, I expect a large lump sum bonus from my employer, which will fully fund our retirement accounts this year, pay off all debt, and fully fund both an efund and a freedom fund.

Over the next 5 years, I expect about a 25% increase in salary from today's level. My wife is aware that we will be taking all of this increase and applying it toward retirement accounts and investments.

I'm not happy with where I stand, but I am thankful that I (re)discovered the Fool at this critical point in life. (Believe it or not, I originally registered with the Fool back in 1999!)

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