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20 years ago today was my last day working for someone else. At that time I decided to try it on my own and live off the results of managing my own investments. I'd been investing since my college days and had a nice 401k plus a decent nest egg in taxable accounts. I was 54 1/2.

The early years I had to watch my expenses but the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted was wonderful. I took 72t withdrawals from the IRA for 5 years until I was 59 1/2 and the limits came off. Still cautious until I could take SS at 62. In those days I was single and traveled 6 or 7 weeks a year on a limited budget. I made it through the tech bubble, some other market crises and the great recession. Only during the great recession did I ever have less in liquid assets than when I retired.

I've had some major expenses in the last 5 years as my college love and I got back together. My old house was too small and we bought a larger house and totally remodeled it. Even so, I still have over 40% more in my portfolio than when I retired. Without the house it would be about 65% more. I'm now 74 1/2 and have higher annual expenses but I expect to easily make it financially to at least age 100. And leave a nice estate.

Retirement from the corporate world is one of the best things I ever did.
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