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Sure, you have trappings. You have a 2nd home next to a river. How many average people have that? You'll also retire before social security age. Early retirement seems important to you so you'd have to say money is important to you.

I don't consider ER a thing, but OK. The riverhouse is our retirement home, which was bought out of pre-foreclosure for a song, and are fixing up. Sure, we bought three years early, but only after looking for a place for 11 years. What can I say...I'm a planner!

And on top of that, I have had two properties at three different times in my life, starting at 25 when I moved up from my starter home before I could sell it, and again when I married DH who had a house of his own. I've never let existing real estate stand in my way of moving up to what I want, even when the goal is to sell the property I left behind later. I am getting our primary residence ready for sale now, albeit slowly. So having a second house now is the same lifestyle I had decades ago. We've also been "homeless," living in corporate housing. We are flexible

I hear that all the time but what I think many people imply is that they didn't buy McMansions and luxury cars. But I would guess that your standard of living did change. I'm guessing over the 20+ years you may have bought cell phones, internet service, one or more computers or other stuff that is in the many average homes that was there 20+ years ago.

I read the above, and thought "that sounds reasonable," but I had a few hours to think about it as I power washed the patio. Technology does change, and we have evolved with it, though the cost of such technology often is lower than what came before it. Sure we have cell phones now, but when is the last time you tried to find a pay phone? And I did have work related car phones in the mid 80's, so no, that didn't change for me other than I'm now paying for some of our cells instead of work, and no longer paying for a land line. Work again required we get the internet, and provided my first laptop as I worked from Dr mandated total bed rest in my last trimester of pregnancy rather than take full pay disability. These days good luck raising a kid without the internet. The schools are constantly giving them homework on line. And what kind of professional work does not require constant access to you? It's a different world than 20 years ago, but I can say with confidence that with the exclusion of college costs, I'm not paying more for it now than I did then.

If there was a time machine where you could go back to your 20s and take lower paying less stressful jobs, earn median family income, not have a vacation home and rental properties, and work until 67 for full SS, would you take that trip?

Lol. Never claimed to advocate such a thing, though I did personally quit the rat race about 6 months after Eldest was born, and have since been enabling DH to be his workaholic self by taking responsibility for almost all but bringing home the paycheck. Had some brief forays back into the work world, including teaching middle school math, but each time the family discussion was the same...not worth the net paycheck.

Hate to burst your bubble, but I realize that ER is a "luxury," and frankly it's one that we've earned by hard work and long term planning. Throw in a bit of luck there that we've had no debilitating illnesses or significant tragedy.

...until there is a 100% tax, I have not been encouraged yet to be less productive.

Heh. Maybe you just don't have enough imagination, but it is evident that you are good at exaggeration. ;-)

more than happy you desire to work and pay taxes endlessly
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