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No. of Recommendations: 23
It's my balloon day. I've had a handle here for a long time, though I got active only after a few years of a fallow account. It took being a single parent, in debt, and trying to find my way into actual adult life that got me here. I've learned a lot. The debt numbers have long since gone to zero, first the post-separation and custody battle debt, and then the mortgage. DH's mortgage got wiped out along the way too, though I never really mentioned that here.

Now that the debt is paid off and DD's college fund is well-stocked, finances are no longer a significant issue for me. We have enough to do the things we want to do, and I have enough extra to meet my personal definition of wealth: I can afford as many books as I want.

I've learned that I don't love investing enough to learn to be really good at it. As near as I can tell, that means I will do better investing in index funds than trying to invest in individual stocks. After that realization a few years ago, I've been working to unwind all the individual stocks that I bought as I was learning that I'm not really all that good at it. I've sold probably a dozen holding in the last couple of years and still have a bunch to go. The ones in my retirement accounts are easy. I'm cautious about taxes implications so am slower with my taxable stocks.

DH and I no longer have to work at living below our means because our lives are so much simpler than they were. One house instead of two, no more 365 mile drives, three out of four kids out of the house and living on their own. We can indulge in things that make us happy and healthy. Nutrition coaching and weight training programs to build our bodies, piano lessons to build new skills, a lady to clean the house better than we would, regular massages to keep our bodies functioning. And for me, a commitment to helping others make the same transition to health that I struggled so hard to make, which has meant a new series of certifications and the opportunity to fill every waking hour with a side hustle that I like enough that I would do it for free. (But I don't because people commit harder to things they are paying for.)

I've learned in my life that I can get to the top 1 to 3 percent of a variety of things relatively easily, just by being consistent, working hard, and applying my relatively decent brain. It frustrates me that that does not get me to elite-level performance. One of these days I will learn to crack that code in something, maybe. A lot of the knowledge for all this progress came from the Fool, and the idea of setting a goal and then doggedly working toward it definitely came from here.

So -- thanks to everyone who is here, and all those who have been here in the past. I appreciate all the help over the years, and hope to continue to help those who are looking to level up their own games. I can't get you all the way to elite, but I can help get you from failing to a B+.

ThyPeace, in at least a couple of subjects.
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