Author Topic: Long time saver, First time posting  (Read 890 times)

mikemustang

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Long time saver, First time posting
« on: January 26, 2019, 11:36:39 PM »
Hello everyone, I would like to introduce myself and try to briefly explain why after many years I have decided to join the forum and hopefully become a contributing member. I feel my lifestyle and spending habits have long been in alignment with the MMM philosophy although I am not quite an expert yet; still working but getting closer to retirement every day.

Since completing high school 15 years ago, I immediately began working full-time. I started working for a corporation that paid relatively well, at the time about $35k a year plus overtime which at 18-years-old seemed like a fortune. The company also paid for my Bachelorís degree so I avoided taking on any student loans. I began working and saving with the goal of moving out of the parentsí house which I ultimately did in 2007. In 2008, right before the housing market crashed, I bought my first house (bad timing). In 2010 I decided to cut ties with that property, take a loss, and purchase my second home for a substantial discount. I paid off my mortgage about 3 years ago, and plan to live mortgage free for the rest of my life.
 
Back in 2007, I bought a 2000 Toyota Camry with 120k miles for $5,500 cash. I drove that car for about 10 years till it accumulated 300K miles. Despite having the income to purchase a new vehicle, Iíve never been able to justify the cost and I have had the same relationship with pretty much every purchase of depreciating items. So, a couple years ago, when it was time for another car, I again bought a Toyota Camry, this time a 1998 with 140k miles. Iím planning on this being my last vehicle purchase. I should note that I grew up working on cars with my dad who taught me everything I needed to know to maintain and fix a car. Thus, I have never needed to rely on a mechanic for repairs or maintenance. Ultimately, I would like to live car free. I have no real desire to own a vehicle and only do so now due to my work commute.
 
I still work for the same corporation today and over the last 15 years I have consistently been able to save about 50% of my net income on average each year. At 33 years old, I have reached the point recently where I now have enough money saved to retire and maintain the same lifestyle I have now using the 4% rule.
 
While not a lavish lifestyle by any means, my reason for posting today is to share my story and tell others what it took for me to get here and reaffirm that it is possible with a dedicated effort. I plan to keep working and saving for at least the next couple of years but I have committed to retiring before the age of 40. 

   

kei te pai

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 11:52:25 PM »
Well done, you have achieved so much! How did you learn to save and invest? Were your parents great role models?
Now tell us about your dreams and hopes for the future!

mikemustang

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 12:36:23 AM »
My parents taught me a lot. My father is the type of guy that can fix anything. He was a carpenter for most of his life so when something broke, he fixed it. I learned a lot from him and honestly that education has been more valuable in my life than my college education was. Long before I came across this site I started saving. While in college I became more interested in finance and started reading books about money. I have never liked being indebted to anyone. My mother struggled with credit cards for years. She ruined her credit many times and was frequently thousands of dollars in debt and dealing with debt collectors.

To be honest, the biggest factor in my relationship with money is more psychological. Early on when I began working for my company the old-timers were always talking about layoffs and there was a general onerous sense of job security. At 23 with a mortgage, minimal job history, and a bad economy, I began to fear for the worst so I did everything I could to save as much as possible. That saving and way of living became habitual and I havenít deviated far from it since. I will admit it has not been an exciting or entertaining way to live so far. I have missed out on vacations and everyday luxuries for a long time but I feel fine knowing that itís for a worthy purpose. I have worked with individuals that have spent their entire lives working and are still unable to retire; it is very sad and I do not want to spend the rest of my life working 50-60 hour weeks if I do not have to.

When I leave my current job, I think initially I will work part-time close to home. There will be no pressure to make more than minimum wage as any income at that point is not required. I plan to sell my car and resort to biking/walking and when necessary using Uber or Lyft. I live within walking distance to everything I need. Aside from that, my free time will be spent fishing, hiking, reading, relaxing, and spending time with family and friends. I will likely take on some hobbies that I donít currently have the time for and maybe even potentially turn those hobbies into a small business.

kei te pai

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 01:01:59 AM »
You may not feel that you have had an exciting or entertaining life so far, but you have done all the ground work to ensure the next 50+years are just as exciting as you want them to be.

You also sound as though you  have a contentment with  simple things in life, wonderful skills and patience with repairing things, and great self motivation.

Best wishes, and please check back in here. It would be good to hear what you get up to in the next few years

Dicey

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 02:25:16 AM »
Congratulations!

happy

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 03:34:18 AM »
Well done! I've had 2 Camry's in my life, but am now using a 2nd hand prius. But I've a lot more years on the clock than you. I agree, being able to fix things is huge.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2019, 05:21:03 AM »
If I give you my two in College there phone numbers could you call them up and reiterated your experience with what I seemingly dont get through to them?? haha. Great to hear about your success! well done.  My father was so handy I wish I would of paid more attention to everything he fixed as I should be alot better at DIY than I am. He was a carpenter as well but could fix anything seemingly.

AlexMar

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2019, 07:26:23 AM »
Great job!  I personally like the idea of working as much as you can until 40 or so.  I know some like to retire even earlier, but 40 is still really young and those extra years of earning a full paycheck and saving will make a huge difference over your next 40 years.

Just try not to get caught in that mental trap, where we have all been before.  Once you decide to quit or decide to retire, all of a sudden the job you had no issue with is basically the worst place in the world and it's painful going to work.  Think about it like you have FU money and can just enjoy working with little stress.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2019, 08:07:46 AM »
Congrats! That's a kick ass story, and proves that the math works :)

mikemustang

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2019, 08:25:58 AM »
AlexMar, since paying off my house the stresses at work have all but disappeared. When there's rumors of layoffs I now feel ready and willing. While I won't quit just yet, if tomorrow they let me go I'll be walking out with a smile. I do like my job and it pays very well for the actual work that is required but I no longer have a passion for it and it consumes too much of my life. Mentally and physically it is not a healthy way to live. At this point I'm saving about 70% of my net income so I plan to take advantage of the position I'm in and keep padding the savings just to further reduce the chances that I will ever need to return to the rat race.

AlexMar

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Re: Long time saver, First time posting
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 09:43:13 AM »
AlexMar, since paying off my house the stresses at work have all but disappeared. When there's rumors of layoffs I now feel ready and willing. While I won't quit just yet, if tomorrow they let me go I'll be walking out with a smile. I do like my job and it pays very well for the actual work that is required but I no longer have a passion for it and it consumes too much of my life. Mentally and physically it is not a healthy way to live. At this point I'm saving about 70% of my net income so I plan to take advantage of the position I'm in and keep padding the savings just to further reduce the chances that I will ever need to return to the rat race.

I was the same way.  Paying off my house was a HUGE deal for me and it made a big difference in my happiness, anxiety, and stress.  I own a business, so I always had the worry about a bad week, or what if the business collapses, etc.  But once the house was paid off and retirement accounts funded - we realized we could not only FIRE in a smaller house but could even live quite well working a minimum wage job.  That takes a LOT of stress away.  And I find that I enjoy working more without that stress.  Hopefully you can find that same happiness.

You don't have a passion for your job. Most don't!  But you are still super young.  40 comes before you know it.  Read some more MMM - especially the articles about changing what makes you feel happy.  Maybe you'll find the job provides more happiness than you think.  Are you biking to work?  If not, try it (if possible).  Situations are complicated and only you know what you want to do.  But try and predict how you may feel 3 or 5 years down the road if you quit.  Would having smaller accounts adjust your happiness down?  Would you regret it? Maybe not.  I'd hate for you to regret quitting and losing the big salary that you maybe didn't hate as much as you thought you did.  Best of luck!