Author Topic: The Middle Stage of ERE - Starting the marathon  (Read 6345 times)

Lars

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The Middle Stage of ERE - Starting the marathon
« on: March 16, 2012, 12:01:30 AM »
I've made through the initial sprint of paying all bad debt and ramping up saving into retirement accounts. I've got a respectable savings rate, a whole list of accounts with names I hadn't heard of a few years ago like ROTH, 457, HSA, etc slowly building in value, and good decade left before I get close to ERE.

For those of you a few years (at least) down this path, what were your experiences once you've made all the easy changes and got into the accumulation phase? Did you find yourself continuing to make tweaks to become more frugal? Get into autopilot? Have any trouble staying on course?

Thanks for answering a few questions from a fellow traveler looking at the road ahead.

herisff

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Re: The Middle Stage of ERE - Starting the marathon
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 08:39:07 AM »
I'm in the long slog also - house is paid off and no debt. What I've been doing is slowly increasing how much goes to my retirement fund (a 457) every 6-8 months or so. Once I adjust to the new status quo, I start looking at where else I can trim expenses under the new reality until I can increase what is taken out of my paycheck. As you can guess, this is a long and slow process. I am currently putting 40% of my salary into retirement at work, funding my Roth IRA (outside work) to the max each year, and I still have enough income to enjoy life. I invest outside of work on a sporadic basis, which makes me much more comfortable than depending entirely upon an employer to "take care" of me.

Mind you, I do have a reputation at work of being the cheap (er, "frugal") one. I always bring lunch to work and definitely do not have the latest toys and gadgets. Eating out is a rare occasion. I also am willing to pull overtime when needed and take call when asked, so it's fairly easy for me to pull extra money during a pay period. Of course, when it's slow, I also get sent home early, so many weeks it all balances out.

I'm over 50, so this won't be extremely early for me, but I'll be able to retire comfortably before 65. Over time I've found my wants and needs have drastically changed and I've moved here and there, so I'm always refining the budget. Good luck on your journey.

velocistar237

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Re: The Middle Stage of ERE - Starting the marathon
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 09:04:15 AM »
Some posts you might like:
http://skillsfire.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/mind-the-gap/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/14/are-you-obsessed-with-early-retirement/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/dealing-with-long-term-financial-goals/

We are close to done with the initial phase of establishing a financial base, cutting expenses, paying off high-interest debt, and setting up our investment system. We continue to make tweaks, but they are getting more and more minor. This phase is only the start, though. I like to think of the next phase as preparing for retirement. I want to build some skills that will help with my safety margin, and I want to explore some options about what to do during retirement. It will take effort to have a fulfilling retirement, and I might as well start experimenting to figure that out. I have a lot of reading to do. Eventually, I'll get to the point where I actually try out retirement by switching to a part-time schedule, but that's a ways off for me.

arebelspy

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Re: The Middle Stage of ERE - Starting the marathon
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 09:04:35 AM »
I'm there too, in autopilot mode.

Have the budget trimmed, saving ~70% of our take home pay, etc.

Still lots of fun adventures because I'm accumulating rental property.

But just in the autopilot accumulate phase, tracking the net worth, spending, and income every month, playing with projections on spreadsheets, and preparing.  About 5 years to go, for me.

I don't really worry about trying to get more frugal.  If we want something, we buy it.  We just rarely want anything.

We're just happy and enjoying this stage of life.  The next one will come soon enough.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Lars

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Re: The Middle Stage of ERE - Starting the marathon
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 11:31:29 PM »
Thank you for the thoughtful responses and good links.