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I'm new to the board. I'm currently 42 and started investing about 1980. In 1990 I set set the goal for myself of retiring at 50 (2005) with an income of $50,000 in 1990 dollars. Now at 42, where most other people my age are thinking about how they're going to save for retirement, I'm thinking about retirement itself.

I have always put the maximum amount into my 401K (usually 15%) and have twice rolled over 401K money into my IRA. I have almost always put the full $2,000 into both my wife's and my IRA's whether they were deduductible or not. Compounding does work. We now have about half a million now in our IRA's. All of this has been done while (still) raising three kids and with a maximum combined income of $65,000. Currently our combined income is just $50,000.

The money we've invested has been 100% invested in stocks, most often with the T. Rowe Price mutual fund group. Now, I've gone more into the self directed IRA's with about 10-15 individual stock holdings most often in technology stocks. A bumpy ride but like a roller coaster, you feel good when you get off.

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