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Hey, it's my Fool balloon day, when I used to go through FIRE updates here. The previous was here, five years ago:

I guess I haven't posted about FIRE lately because it hasn't been on my mind, pretty much running on autopilot. I haven't had any need to budget for several years. I've made out really well on income as a software developer, changing jobs once and then getting a different offer that induced a counteroffer, which all together bumped me up by $30k in total compensation. And since my spending hasn't gone up, that's all going right into savings, nearly 50k per year now. (Okay, I splurged on an iPad.)

I'd prefer to be circumspect about precise numbers, but my total investments are now 4x my gross salary and over 10 years worth of expenses. It's a pretty good feeling knowing that I could walk away from work for 10+ years if I so chose. It's all in a Coffeehouse type portfolio of assorted mutual fund sectors, no individual stocks. I make $500 a month from dividends alone now, even without any principal gains.

I do still rent an apartment (discussed in my last thread above) and have never regretted that choice. I'd prefer to keep my life simple rather than taking on the work and expenses of owning. Real estate can result in highly leveraged gains ("Rich Dad"), but it can also stay as flat as anything else, and the market bottom is long past.

Still targeting $1M by age 40, and I'll get there if this stock market rally keeps rolling. Or on the other hand, "Sell in May and walk away" looks really tempting right now. But yet again, the economic fundamentals still look solid, the earnings are actually there to back up the Dow being at 15,000 unlike all the previous times. Eh, what do I care, leave the funds on autopilot, if there's a dip there'll be another rise before I do retire.

- Erik
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