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I retired at age 53 and would be delighted to discuss experiences. I think we still have quite a few who retired from the dot com boom.

Ask away.

Thanks Paul. I was just interested in sharing mostly so I'll drop this here and if anyone else wants to join in, please do. I'd love to hear it.

So I planned to retire early (saving, investing, frugality, etc.) but where as I originally planned to have a nice cushion before retiring, I decided instead to retire with the bare minimum, which basically meant maintaining the lifestyle I had while working (no frills). Not really the most fun option but I decided my sanity and health were worth it. So far it's been totally the right move for me. My portfolio has continued to grow despite taking money out of it every month. Blows my mind.

Some things I learned/did.

I was really really frugal the first couple of years. If I could go without it, I did.

I had a plan B to go back to work if things got bad. I guess if they had, right now I'd be an "essential worker" somewhere. Not sure that would have been the greatest but I was prepared to do it.

I've spent money on new hobbies which was a small unexpected/unplanned expense but....

I've saved money on gas, clothes, eating out, etc which was more than I had expected. Stress from work can be expensive.

I'm so glad I decided to retire early because I've had a few years to myself and now... not so much. I am caring for my elderly parents who aren't doing the greatest but I'm glad I am able to with no worries. Lots of trips to the grocery store and doctor for them. I could not have been in the position to help them if I had not planned to retire early.

And the investing part. I think I've gotten even better now that every dollar really matters to me. Most of my investments are long term winners but I have a small amount (10-20%) that I devote to new stuff now and then. The tax gains from being a seller rather than a buyer really puts a new spin on how you invest. I don't want to have to pay short term gains because I chose poorly. Basically I try to stick with things I know I can stick with.

Things have gone well lately but with a cash back up, a few bad years should be doable too. In a few years I'll be eligible for SS which I'll probably hold off on till full retirement age.

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