Author Topic: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?  (Read 3949 times)

NewDay1

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Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« on: July 25, 2017, 04:16:23 PM »
Looking for moral support/connection to those of us starting the savings/investing thing "late" in life.  What helps you move forward and let go of the time you "lost"?  What helps you let go of fear of entering this bull market and maintaining a positive attitude about what you can do now?

Many of us have different upbringings and backgrounds that have influenced how we relate to money, how we were educated around money (or not), how we experienced money (or its lack), and for some of us, those experiences may have been pretty traumatic and left their mark. 

As a former middle school teacher, my dream is to get mmm education in public schools. I'm in the Bay Area, CA and especially here, in this weird bubble, I so want young folks who don't have parents, guardians, or money mentors, to at least get this education in school.

Some books that have are helping me are:
Overcoming Underearning - Barbara Stanny
The Art of Money - Bari Tessler

Look forward to hearing what helps you. Thanks for sharing!


Uturn

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 05:05:29 PM »
What helps you move forward and let go of the time you "lost"? 

I can either focus on the past, or focus on the now and future.   For me, it's really that simple.  Besides, no matter how dumb I was in my younger days, I do have some good memories.

What helps you let go of fear of entering this bull market and maintaining a positive attitude about what you can do now?

All of the studies that say the key is time in the market, not timing the market.  Plus it helps me to track net worth and see it climbing.  That's DAMN motivating. 

birdiegirl

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 07:57:22 PM »
I understand how you feel, I definitely wish I had learned some of these financial lessons earlier.  It is hard to think of all the opportunity I wasted on "stuff" that doesn't mean anything.  For me it wasn't until I started hating my job a couple years ago that I started looking for alternatives and I finally learned about the concept of financial independence and realized it was a real option. 

Unfortunately, there's nothing i can do about the time lost, so I've tried to stay focused on appreciating my successes.  I've gotten out of credit card debt, lowered auto & student loan debt, and gotten out of a house I was upside down in.  We've also gotten a good start on retirement savings and have started a small taxable investment account.  I try to think about where I was a few years ago and appreciate how far I've come....had I not made changes I have to think I would have been in an even bigger debt hole. 

Because it was a late start, I'm focusing on FI not necessarily RE.  My goal is for my husband and I to be able to go to part time work or at least to be able to get jobs we enjoy or are meaningful to us,  even if they don't pay well.  We've decided that rather than pushing hard at FT jobs we dislike for many more years just to get to full retirement, it's better for us to find ways to improve our happiness on the journey.   It means overall we'll work longer but we can put ourselves in a position to find a better balance and more fulfillment while we are working. 

ixtap

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 08:06:57 PM »
I have done a lot of stupid things over the years. All I can do is learn and move on.

Everything my former self did contributed to the person I am now.

kenaces

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 09:16:54 PM »
What helps you let go of fear of entering this bull market and maintaining a positive attitude about what you can do now?

If you are really starting late(i.e. have small investment account) you should want to the market to go down so you can buy more shares cheaper while you "catch-up"

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 11:20:23 PM »
I tried to make up for lost time by going super frugal (especially in housing costs), slashing investment fees, and accessing any investment that offered a match. I'm happy with the results. I also gaze at real estate prices in lower COLAs, and remind myself I can move to one of those, which would largely even things out.

surfhb

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 12:01:40 AM »
For me, I don't look at this blog and forum as an early retirement tool at this point in my life.    However, it has helped create the life Ive always wanted:   living simply and not sweating the small stuff.

Laura33

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 06:54:38 AM »
I think of this Dear Abby column:

"DEAR ABBY: I am a 36-year-old college dropout whose lifelong ambition was to be a physician. I have a very good job selling pharmaceutical supplies, but my heart is still in the practice of medicine. I do volunteer work at the local hospital on my time off, and people tell me I would have made a wonderful doctor.

If I go back to college and get my degree, then go to medical school, do my internship and finally get into the actual practice of medicine, it will take me seven years! But, Abby, in seven years I will be 43 years old. What do you think? -- UNFULFILLED IN PHILLY

DEAR UNFULFILLED: And how old will you be in seven years if you don't go to medical school?"

sisto

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 10:50:33 AM »
I stay motivated by watching my money grow. I'm not doing any actual work, yet I'm earning money. Now granted I also contribute to accounts, but watching them grow keeps me motivated. I love your idea of teaching this stuff in school. One of the things I want to do after FIRE is to provide this advice to people that want it.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 03:12:18 PM »
We've all done lots of stupid things, made lots of stupid decisions. That's part of life. When I was teaching (software), I used to tell the students that the people who screwed things up every day invariably did far better on the exams. They've learned all the things that can wrong and how to fix them. The students who sailed through were usually taken out by a small error that they didn't know how to fix. I think the same thing applies to life - all those stupid decisions we've made are lessons. Don't undervalue them.

moof

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 03:42:57 PM »
Eye on the prize.  Focus on what you can control, which does not include the past.

From a pure financial point of view I should not have taken a voluntary lay-off from my second job.   But I went on an awesome 10 month road trip, and met my wife at the third place I worked.

Similarly I could have put the screws to my wife to get her to go back to work quickly after our kid arrived and sent my kid to daycare, but he has had over 4 years of close family time and I enjoy the pace of life that comes from having a SAH wife.

Decisions were made, a few I would not make again in hindsight, whatever.  I CAN control spending and savings NOW.  I CAN control what I pay in fees on investments NOW.  etc.

I just turned 40, and I have half my "number".  My strategy is to save everything that is not bolted down, and keep ratcheting down spending as we go.  If I had ZERO in the bank my strategy would be the same, only with more desperation on the spending/savings fronts.  It is like chess, your strategy is based on what is on the board now, not how you got there.

Owassogirl1

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2017, 11:54:24 AM »
I really liked 'The Wealthy Barber' by David Chilton. I think kids could relate to it.

Also, something my dad used to tell me that has stuck is 'having a 401k match is like having a rich uncle who gives you $1 for every $1 you put in.' It is simple and it works.

As for 'starting late' I ask you when is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago...when is the 2nd best time? right now.

Fire2025

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Re: Over 40, starting "late" - what is helping you?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2017, 12:03:28 PM »
I think of this Dear Abby column:

"DEAR ABBY: I am a 36-year-old college dropout whose lifelong ambition was to be a physician. I have a very good job selling pharmaceutical supplies, but my heart is still in the practice of medicine. I do volunteer work at the local hospital on my time off, and people tell me I would have made a wonderful doctor.

If I go back to college and get my degree, then go to medical school, do my internship and finally get into the actual practice of medicine, it will take me seven years! But, Abby, in seven years I will be 43 years old. What do you think? -- UNFULFILLED IN PHILLY

DEAR UNFULFILLED: And how old will you be in seven years if you don't go to medical school?"
This exactly.  Time is matching forward no matter what, you can either use the time well or let it drift by, and start at 50, or 60, or 70.  I plan to live a long life so my time horizon is still 50 years, at least.