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How did everyone do - good year fro me.

Everyone is healthy, we had lots of fun, and to top it off the FI fund is up almost 15%. Woohoo!

V
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Volucris
How did everyone do - good year fro me.

Everyone is healthy, we had lots of fun, and to top it off the FI fund is up almost 15%. Woohoo!

V


Nice Volucris! Good year for my family. Was able to contribute almost 40k to FI funds thanks to DW's 1st full time job. Before that, she worked part time and before that was a SAHM.

Return was about 18%, mainly because of 28% gain on one stock and then an 8% gain on a stock I bought right after the election.

In 2013, we will be an empty nester. Child #3 graduates from HS and will be off to college. She is having a good senior year and will have 30 college credits thanks to duel credit courses. She also finished her HS Volleyball career, recieved dozens of awards, including a nomination for the Texas HS Allstar game in summer 2013 and a retirement of her jersey that will be displayed at a local restaurant.

DW and I did a lot of hiking, mountain biking and kayaking in 2012. This year we will be doing more survivalist type activities including getting our CHL's.

And more golf. Always more golf!

metaldecathlete
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It was a decent year. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to FIRE. For now, DH and I are maxing out our 401ks and Roth IRAs. We have a 6 month efund and are at 25% of the desired 'car fund' to replace both our cars when the need arises (cars are eight and nine years old). The only debt is the mortgage (3.25%) and I'm hoping to have that paid off in seven years (we're six years into a 30 yr mortgage).

#1 concern is the age old question - invest or pay extra to the mortgage. #2 is what is the FIRE plan - right now, it's only an idea with no details. I'm thinking payoff the house then semi-retire meaning working part-time or in more interesting/lower paying jobs. With no mortgage, we would be able to keep the same standard of living with less income. However, we would still need to save something for retirement and get cheap health insurance. After 10 years, dial back even more when the pensions kick in (assuming our current employer doesn't get rid of it before then).

-Steph
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We had a great year as well.

Everyone is healthy; I'm learning to play a new instrument; work continues to go well.

Total net worth: +73.6%
Total vested net worth: +46.9%
Return on existing investments: +11.2%
Net worth / Annual Spending: 1.83

Some would argue that the vested number is the only one you should look at, not the number including non-vested amounts. I think it's useful to show both.

This is the first year my wife and I have gained real traction since we were married 6 years ago. She brought considerable student loan debt to the marriage, so that set us back a few years. Things seem to be heading in the right direction now. My wife and I are still finalizing our goals for this year. Here's to a great 2013!

-Agg97
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How did everyone do - good year fro me.

Hey, V, good year for me and my family as well.

Everyone is healthy, we had lots of fun, and to top it off the FI fund is up almost 15%. Woohoo!

We are all healthy as well. My oldest is now in his 2nd year at the US Coast Guard Academy. Free education with a guaranteed job is pretty cool. Youngest is doing even better than the oldest at the same age, so hopefully free college for him in a few years. SO is working and doing okay. I'm still working, but am about 5 years from FIRE.

I retired as an E-7 from the Navy Reserves, so I have to hang on a while longer to age 60 for that pension to kick in. With my current job, in 5 years I can take early retirement and get a pension for life, hopefully.

As well, I'm a member of Stock Advisor and since doing so, I'm averaging about 11% over the past 7 years or so of being a member.

Everyone reading this, keep plugging away with all aspects of life. Life, as well as FIRE, isn't a race, so just hang in there and take it one day at a time.
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SRenaeP
#1 concern is the age old question - invest or pay extra to the mortgage. #2 is what is the FIRE plan - right now, it's only an idea with no details. I'm thinking payoff the house then semi-retire meaning working part-time or in more interesting/lower paying jobs. With no mortgage, we would be able to keep the same standard of living with less income. However, we would still need to save something for retirement and get cheap health insurance. After 10 years, dial back even more when the pensions kick in (assuming our current employer doesn't get rid of it before then).

-Steph


I've gone back and forth on this myself. A few years I'll pay down on the mortgage. Then a few years I'll put more towards investments.

As of now, I have it timed so that it looks like I'll have the mortgage retired pretty close to the time I think I can Fire. Which is about 6 years for me.

DW and I almost had our 1st home paid off. We were one year away from being mortgage debt free at the age of 34. It was only worth about $100k back in 1996 but it was in the country with 1 acre and suited us well. Then DW got the new home bug and we got into debt, big time with a 3000 squ foot home on 5 acres with pool, 3 car garage, expensive furniture and other nonsense. Then another move after a job change to a slightly smaller home with the end result being I got little traction on mortgage debt reduction from 1996 to 2006.

So now I try to max out our 401k's at work with a combo of regular and roth 401ks and put the rest towards the mortgage. Then make occasional adjustments here and there so they'll both be done around FIRE time.

MetalDecathlete
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#1 concern is the age old question - invest or pay extra to the mortgage. #2 is what is the FIRE plan - right now, it's only an idea with no details. I'm thinking payoff the house then semi-retire meaning working part-time or in more interesting/lower paying jobs.

I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer to your first concern. You have a low mortgage interest rate, so some out there may don't pay any extra on it as you can make more by investing. However, for peace of mind, I fall into the side that says pay some extra on your mortgage to pay it off quicker so it's not hanging over you.

Personally, since I now have the extra bucks to do so, I'm both paying quite a bit more on my mortgage to pay it off, roughly 2 years left on it, and also investing more into stocks each month.

I debated putting all of the extra bucks into my mortgage, 5% rate, but wanted to invest. I debated putting all the extra bucks into my investing, but wanted to get my mortgage paid off.

So, I sort of split it down the middle.

FIRE plan. What do you enjoy doing? If you can pay your house off, can you work PT and make enough to save enough to build up your pot large enough that it will last you?

I'm about 5 years away from FIRE. I'm figuring out what it is I enjoy doing and weighing some of my options. Do I work PT? Do I go to a tropical country for the winters and perhaps try to tutor English while there. Do I volunteer locally? Do I try to get a FT job that I can keep for a few years to really maximize my investments?

All of us are different. We all have to figure out for ourselves what works best for us.

I wish you the best in figuring out your plan.
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#1 concern is the age old question - invest or pay extra to the mortgage. #2 is what is the FIRE plan - right now, it's only an idea with no details

It looks like Decath and I do the same thing. Sometimes I pay the mortgage early, sometimes not. The interest rate is so low that paying it off isn't worth it from a mathematical point of view. But having it payed off would be relaxing.

I also don't know what FIRE means. In 3 years I should have enough to be FI. It will be a pretty lean FI, but FI all the same. Three years after that I will have enough to RE and be reasonably comfortable - but then what? I have to figure that out. My kids are young, my wife is younger than me . . . . .and health care is always a conundrum, or a 500 pound gorilla.

Man plans and God laughs.
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Managed to make about a 14% return last year, but that included holding a larger than normal cash balance through the year in preparation for retiring at the end of this year. If you remove the cash not working, the return would be something above 15% (hard to determine since cash varied through the year). I hit my IRA goal about 2 years ago, so right now I'm just adding to the safety net.

I originally planned to pay off the mortgage 4-5 years after retirement to manage income (payoff from IRA), but with my last refinance, the rate is at a point where I'll likely let it go closer to term. The retirement plan does super well when the mortgage is paid off, but if I can eke out a percent or two above the mortgage rate, it's worth letting it run. I'll revisit it as I approach the standard deduction.
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I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer to your first concern. You have a low mortgage interest rate, so some out there may don't pay any extra on it as you can make more by investing. However, for peace of mind, I fall into the side that says pay some extra on your mortgage to pay it off quicker so it's not hanging over you.

I'm leaning toward putting everything I can into paying off the mortgage early. I think no debt = freedom and will feel way better than having $XX mortgage debt but $XX in investments.

FIRE plan. What do you enjoy doing? If you can pay your house off, can you work PT and make enough to save enough to build up your pot large enough that it will last you?

That's the $64,000 question. I know what I like to do but I don't know how to get paid for it. My main two interests are travel and personal finance. The biggest driver for wanting to FIRE is to have more time to travel. I only get 3 wks/yr vacation and that's really not enough for me. At one point I thought about becoming a CFP but a) I don't like trying to 'sell' to people and b) any job would have to allow for the flexibility to travel a lot. I figure if I can make ~$50K/yr, that would be enough to live and continue to build the pot. Note this is contingent on my employer continuing to utilize our pension plan (I'm expecting that to be a decent chunk of retirement income). If the pension changes or goes away, I would need to stay in my current job longer.

I'm about 5 years away from FIRE. I'm figuring out what it is I enjoy doing and weighing some of my options. Do I work PT? Do I go to a tropical country for the winters and perhaps try to tutor English while there. Do I volunteer locally? Do I try to get a FT job that I can keep for a few years to really maximize my investments?

All of us are different. We all have to figure out for ourselves what works best for us.

I wish you the best in figuring out your plan.


I've thought about all of those things too. Thanks!

-Steph
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