Author Topic: I am realizing I am atypical here  (Read 22454 times)

coppertop

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I am realizing I am atypical here
« on: February 06, 2015, 12:13:26 PM »
In reading through and seeing that most people who post here are maxing their 401(k)'s at $18,000, I realize to my chagrin that I am an "old person" here (at age 59).  Are there no 'oldster' mustachians?  Are the Baby Boomers either so rich or so clueless that they don't need to learn and practice these principles too?  I look around at work and realize that we have people who have been slaving here for 40 years or more who are beyond full retirement age and still have to work to survive.  It's depressing.  I, myself, am hoping to be out of here by age 62 at the very latest.  I will do it sooner if I can.

seattlecyclone

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2015, 12:27:44 PM »
I think you're right that you're on the older end of this forum's audience, but I see quite a few people in your age group posting here. Many of us have focused on the benefits of frugality and saving from a young age, while others go through years or decades as typical consumers and don't see the light until later. Better late than never!

NoraLenderbee

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2015, 12:31:45 PM »
Welcome! You're not alone. I'm 52 and still working full-time, and there are a bunch of others in their 50s and a few in their 60s. Some of us only started seriously saving recently. I've been a saver, but not like the folks here. I won't be able to retire very soon, but being here has helped me realize that I'm not condemned to slave away until I'm 67 or 70. If the world doesn't turn upside down, I can cut back in a few years, and maybe be completely free by 60. Wish I had started years ago--but at least I'm on the way.

I have a sister age 57 who's very Mustachian, although she doesn't call it that. She could retire any time, but her husband has a sweet situation that he likes and pays really well, and so she works while he's working, but part-time.

Beric01

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2015, 12:34:53 PM »
Look at it this way - if you're here at least you've recognized the benefits of frugality! Now you know you don't need $5M to retire. You're already better off than the vast majority of Americans recognizing this. Keep saving and enjoy the rest of your life being in the know!

2ndTimer

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2015, 01:01:39 PM »
Hi Coppertop:

There are Boomers here, I'm 57, but I sure don't think we are the majority.  A nice change after having been part of a crowd my whole life.

2ndTimer

catccc

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2015, 01:19:02 PM »
In reading through and seeing that most people who post here are maxing their 401(k)'s at $18,000, I realize to my chagrin that I am an "old person" here (at age 59).  Are there no 'oldster' mustachians?  Are the Baby Boomers either so rich or so clueless that they don't need to learn and practice these principles too?  I look around at work and realize that we have people who have been slaving here for 40 years or more who are beyond full retirement age and still have to work to survive.  It's depressing.  I, myself, am hoping to be out of here by age 62 at the very latest.  I will do it sooner if I can.

Sorry if this is obvious to everyone else, but what is the point you are making about maxing out 401Ks and age?  Do "old people" not max out their 401Ks?

NoraLenderbee

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2015, 01:24:23 PM »
In reading through and seeing that most people who post here are maxing their 401(k)'s at $18,000, I realize to my chagrin that I am an "old person" here (at age 59).  Are there no 'oldster' mustachians?  Are the Baby Boomers either so rich or so clueless that they don't need to learn and practice these principles too?  I look around at work and realize that we have people who have been slaving here for 40 years or more who are beyond full retirement age and still have to work to survive.  It's depressing.  I, myself, am hoping to be out of here by age 62 at the very latest.  I will do it sooner if I can.

Sorry if this is obvious to everyone else, but what is the point you are making about maxing out 401Ks and age?  Do "old people" not max out their 401Ks?


Can't speak for the OP, but if I'd maxed my 401k when I was younger, I'd be a lot further ahead than I am now. Maxing it now doesn't have the same compounding effect.

Eric

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2015, 01:28:03 PM »
In reading through and seeing that most people who post here are maxing their 401(k)'s at $18,000, I realize to my chagrin that I am an "old person" here (at age 59).  Are there no 'oldster' mustachians?  Are the Baby Boomers either so rich or so clueless that they don't need to learn and practice these principles too?  I look around at work and realize that we have people who have been slaving here for 40 years or more who are beyond full retirement age and still have to work to survive.  It's depressing.  I, myself, am hoping to be out of here by age 62 at the very latest.  I will do it sooner if I can.

Sorry if this is obvious to everyone else, but what is the point you are making about maxing out 401Ks and age?  Do "old people" not max out their 401Ks?

The limit is higher.  $18K for us youngs, $24K for the olds.  The cutoff is age 50.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/2015-brings-higher-contribution-limits-for-401k-retirement-plans/

Capsu78

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2015, 01:30:51 PM »
I am in Coppertops demo too and have been in and out of this site for about a year.  While I don't consider it RE, I have basically let my consulting business achieve "0 customers" while providing "100% customer satisfaction".  My spouse has hit her stride in our high earning years and my accountant convinced me that by the time he gets done plugging in her W2, I basically need to make $2.50 to get another $1 to spend.  We also don't max out our 401K, but we never skipped contributing either.  What I have learned from MMM is that we probably have already hit a sustainable stache that coupled with SS and pensions from the first half of our careers, can see us through from 65 till the last train pulls out of the station.  Now our efforts are focused on having no debt, eliminatiing the mortgage and getting through about a decade of expenses without touching any principal.

The "common denominator" I enjoy on this thread is a sense of accountability and self reliance I find among the different age groups, incomes and net worths.  I thought, for a while, we would all share similar political viewpoints... however a stroll down some threads regarding "what is middle class", "Obamacare" or other hot topics indicates this board is peopled by social justice warriors and hedge fund managers, red state conservatives and blue state urban hipsters, evangelicals and religion deniers...but for the most part, people who I perceive try to "do no harm" in their day to day lives...

Jon_Snow

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2015, 01:33:43 PM »
I'm in a weird place. Sometimes I feel old here (42). The other FIRE-related board I post on (ER.org) I feel a little bit shunned because it skews older there.

Bartstache

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2015, 01:34:22 PM »
I'm soon to be 50 and know what you mean about feeling on the older side here.  It took me a bit of time to realize that I needed to change my focus to retiring in X years instead of retiring at a certain age.  Guess I am a wee bit jealous of the young pups!

catccc

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2015, 01:38:25 PM »

Sorry if this is obvious to everyone else, but what is the point you are making about maxing out 401Ks and age?  Do "old people" not max out their 401Ks?

The limit is higher.  $18K for us youngs, $24K for the olds.  The cutoff is age 50.



aha!  thanks for clarifying!

Mr.Chipper77

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2015, 02:08:48 PM »
I'm 50( last year of the boomers) and playing catch-up with the extra 5k a year maxing out my 401k along with the wife's. Got a lot smarter the last few years and you can catch up pretty quick by buckling down and following a lot of the things around the forums.

deborah

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2015, 03:04:47 PM »
Yes, there are a number of boomers here. Some, like me, did retire early (but not that early). Some have only recently understood frugality, and are working through their spending habits so that they will have a decent retirement, even if they don't retire early. We can all learn from everyone, and enjoy helping others no matter what their age.

To a certain extent I think it is more difficult to embrace frugality when you are older. You probably have a greater accumulation of stuff - whether it is physical (big house, big car...), or loans. You probably have teenage children who expect to have their college paid for, and expect the lifestyle you have created for them not to change materially. You may be more set in your ways, so it is more difficult to extract yourself from spendy habits. Your network of friendships might depend to a certain extent upon spendy habits. You are less able to develop different friendships, as you are a fixture - where you live, what you do...

Miss Prim

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2015, 04:34:27 PM »
Baby boomer here.  I'm 61 and no I have never maxed out my 401k (or in my case, 403B).  I never made enough money to, although I have lived pretty mustachian over the years.  I have put away 10% since my hospital first started one and then raised it over the years to 20%.  Also, my husband and I both had a house when we married so we sold mine to buy a bigger house and then kept his as a rental. 

I knew we never were going to retire very early, but I wanted to make sure when we did we would have enough to live comfortably on.  Thanks to this site, I realized that I can retire in April because I did the math.  I have enjoyed my career over the years, but I am ready to have time for other things. 

Glad to see other boomers as I was starting to feel like I was one of very few here.

                                                           Miss Prim

MsPeacock

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2015, 09:10:43 PM »
45 here, so although born in the sixties I am officially too young to be a boomer. I do see that there are a lot of youngish families here and people just starting out their careers - which is great! I wish I knew then what I am learning now.   I think the needs and focus do change some w/ age. I am looking at how do I pay off my house before my kids start college? How do I recover financially from divorce and the ridiculous ongoing legal costs? But fairly settled into career and not likely (gosh, I hope) to see much change there. I do not worry about what car will fit car seats. I do worry about what car will hold 6' tall children in the backseat. :P

If I retire "early" at 60 I will be surprised. Fortunately, I love my career. I just want to be in a place financially where I have more options than I have currently.


Malaysia41

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2015, 09:34:33 PM »
42, FIRED in 2014, never ever maxed out my 401k. I even knew I should but felt like I didn't want to lock away THAT much money. 

Cough(Idiot);

I did contribute - approx $10k per year ($14k w employer match). Yeah - if I had it to do all over again?  I'd max it out. So, you're not alone in that regard. 

Wildflame

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2015, 11:00:29 PM »
I'll speak only to my parents' experience (~60yo). They lack a big nest egg, and vacillate between (a) trusting the government to provide an old age pension and (b) freaking out that the government will not continue to provide the old age pension (or that its value will decline against inflation) and their own savings will not suffice, but not being willing to consider radical alternatives to their current middle-class spendiness.

They have a deep sense of shame over not being 'successful', defined as having the wealth of the wealthiest household in their peer group, and so paradoxically refuse to consider alternatives to their current course which would help them close the gap. Doing so would require them to confront those feelings of inadequacy and acknowledge poor decisions they have made in the past, which is a very daunting prospect.

This plus a very long habit of lifestyle inflation and hedonic adaptation make the kinds of changes MMM recommends very difficult to accept; thus, my parents would never consider joining this forum.

I, much younger, am more sceptical of government's ability to provide an acceptable standard of living in retirement, started with a shorter history of hedonic adaptation and carry less emotional baggage about my finances, all of which make mustachian ideas more agreeable to me than to my parents. I also have more to gain from early retirement - potentially as much as twenty or more years if I play my cards right.

If my experience as contrasted with my parents' experience can be generalised to the broader population, then those differences might explain why this board skews young. =)

Bateaux

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2015, 11:26:22 PM »
I'm 46 and I didn't max out my 401k and Roth IRA every year.  I'd say I have at least 15 of the last 20.  Focused on being debt free from an early age with a pay as you go mentality.  The last 3 years we've focused more on saving.  Now I'm somewhat addicted to saving.  I'm not sure when I'll quit working because, I'm really not sure I can spend the savings after wating them grow for decades. Kinda like eating a pet calf.  My target dste is 2018 and my target number is 2M.  We're at 1.2M +400k paid off real estate. I don't count the real estate since it doesn't produce money for me.  That puts me at needing to raise 800K in 3 years.  It's still possible depending on the market.  My goal is to save 100k this year plus whatever my investments return.  Those aren't Mustacian numbers I know, but I'm making sure I leave legacy funds to my favorite charity.   I'm planning a 3% withdrawl rate, so 60k a year from 2M.  I don't think I'll need more than that.  I'm living on less now with the savings I'm investing.

Little Nell

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2015, 12:21:04 AM »
54 and happy to see someone promoting what I (and my housemates) were doing instinctively thirty years ago.

Little Nell

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2015, 12:29:31 AM »
I should have added too, that I love my job, so will not retire until I feel incapable of doing it well. For those of you who are young, I want to say that saving and investing early is so very important. I know that I could walk away from my job if I needed to; I can pay for my kid's college no matter where he wants to go; hell, I can pay for my horse. A lot of this comes from being a one-car family for years, walking or biking to work, taking lunch, buying less house than we were approved to by, and maxing out 403b accounts--doing all the things MMM says to do.

vern

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2015, 01:18:40 AM »
I'm atypical here as well. 

Before posting a link, I will search the site to see if anyone else has already posted it.

Janie

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2015, 06:57:29 AM »
I'm atypical here as well. 

Before posting a link, I will search the site to see if anyone else has already posted it.

What link? The one on contribution limits is the only one I see in the thread. IMO there's no problem with posting links more than once on the forum.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 09:02:23 AM by Janie »

Elle 8

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2015, 08:32:06 AM »
Hi.  I'm 49, not quite a boomer.  Reading here has made me realize I do not need to wait until 65 to retire.  I'm hoping for 55, but it will be 59.5 at the latest.  Last year was the first year I maxed out my 403b at 17.5K and this year I'm eligible to contribute 24K!  But I don't think I'll be able to do it.  I started out the year on track but then got really nervous that my emergency fund is lacking so scaled the 403b contributions way back while I pump up the emergency fund.  Once that's at an acceptable level I'll try to catch up on the 403b and hopefully will be able to make it to 20K.

I so wish I had been maxing out my whole career, but have to look forward rather than back. 


Lian

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2015, 09:00:53 AM »
Iím old too!  Iím also atypical in that I didnít get a degree and a career until I was in my late 30ís Ė older than the retirement age for many people on this site. Sometimes, while reading in this forum, Iíll think I really screwed myself by not making better use of my resources when young. But thatís water under the bridge, and I know itís never too late to change. I expect to be done by the time Iím 62 also, although Iíd survive OK if I lost my job now. Other than the major age and career differences, I find that people on this site share a similar mindset with me, more so than my friends, family, and co-workers.


MandalayVA

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2015, 09:06:32 AM »
I'm 48, an early Generation Xer, but my husband is the OP's age.  He plans to retire at the usual 65.  What MMM has taught me is that I can retire with him at 54.  We paid off our mortgage in November and have begun aggressively saving to make this happen so that I don't have to touch my pension, 401k and Roth IRA until I hit the usual age for them.  I'm also tentatively starting to write professionally and hopefully I can grow that as well so I can avoid having to "work."

MrsK

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2015, 09:20:53 AM »
I just wanted to chime in that I love the diversity of ages on this forum.  Some of these young kids are so amazing on here--they make me proud.  Biking, building their own homes, and saving like mad.  And of course there are some older and wiser voices that take the time to explain the mistakes they have made and offer honest dialogues that I find very valuable.

I wish I had known about MMM sooner, but in the last year WOW what a difference.  I look at things differently now and am measuring success differently.  We had a family dinner last night with kids (ages 20 and 16) featuring a chicken I roasted myself and homemade bread.  No cell phones, no TV, fire in the fireplace.  This is success.  Learning to mend clothes and having my daughter get excited about wearing her grandmother's remade duds--this is success.  Riding my bike to the store and realizing that this is how I want to spend my days--a little more slowly, with less stuff and more time. 

EllieStan

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2015, 09:55:34 AM »
OP, it's my belief that many people of the ''boomers'' generation either struggle with their retirement OR have received generous contributions from their employers, if they were lucky. But this is starting to change. I guess it will bring more people of my generation (I'm 29) to depend on nobody else but ourselves to build our wealth and secure our retirement, since we can't aspire to get the same generous retirement funds and conditions that our parents had. The economy scared me enough that I decided to take full responsability for my future and remain frugal in my lifestyle. I've been living like this out of necessity for most of my 20s (student), and now that I've just recently started my career, I feel I might as well keep this lifestyle because I'm aware of all the benefits, freedom and happiness it can offer me (and that heavy consumerism wouldn't). It's really nice for me to read the good advices of experienced people,I set them as healthy financial models and inspiring examples of workers and investors -  overall, they're the kind of wise, responsible and fulfilled adult that I want to be, too.  :)

lexie2000

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2015, 10:07:49 AM »
Baby-boomer at age 57 here.  We planned for what we thought was early retirement when we were in our 20s, but early retirement for us meant 55 (the earliest that DH would be able to draw a pension and receive retiree medical).  We maxed out our profit sharing (which later became a 401k) as soon as we were eligible (a year after hire) and continued maxing until we realized that our retirement accounts were going to be tax-deferred top heavy; then we cut back to contributing enough to get the match.

Now we are in the process of doing Roth conversions every year.

I too love to read the posts from the younger crowd.  I would have loved a forum like this in our younger years as I really had no one to talk to/share with regarding frugal living.  Most of our friends/colleagues were "yuppies" that were very busy KUWJ.  We let them assume that we just could not KU (buying a lot less house than we could afford and buying gently used cars and driving them until they died). 

BlueHouse

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2015, 11:28:15 AM »
I'll be 50 in a couple years.  I think the thing that makes me atypical is that I'm pretty slow to adopt the more frugal ways.  But I keep trying.  This might be the year that I get back to really being frugal, as opposed to just thinking I am because I live within my means. 
I'm so impressed by the people who have made meaningful changes and realized the goals they've set for themselves.  For me, my goals have been so ill-defined that I never really know if I hit them.  I've known that I wanted to retire before I die, but now I'm starting to see that based on my current progress, I can probably retire at 60 and live very comfortably.  I'm trying to reduce that number and it should be easy because there is so much fat in my budget that I could reduce, but I haven't figured out yet what I want to cut out of my budget. 

henrysmom

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2015, 12:17:38 PM »
I have never posted here but have followed these boards for a long time.  Also atypical here.  I am 55, married with two young children, one of whom is disabled.  I wish that I'd have been more frugal during my life, but I certainly had a lot of fun, and also a lot of challenges.  However, we are now debt free and own our home in So. California outright (rare around here in the land of $600K homes).  So that's a  great and we have about $150K saved for retirement.  I work for the feds but no matter how long I work will never have much of a retirement pension. In fact, could retire in a few months but would only get $350 a month, not enough to factor into any equation.  My plan is to max out my tsp (4o1K for govt) this year and really get serious and badass about saving and cutting back.  There was a time I thought I'd have to work til 70, now I am seriously going to try and retire in 4 years, when I turn 60).  My husband wants to work until he's quite old, and due to the nature of his work, as long as his mind stays intact, he probably could, so that's a source of reliable income.  I just wanted to say hi, that there are a lot of people out in the MMM world who are not in their 20's, but for whom early retirement means in their 50s or 60's rather than never!  I was raised by very resourceful and frugal parents, so just need to return to my roots!

pachnik

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2015, 03:46:40 PM »
Well I like it here even if I am atypical.  I am 50 years old and found this forum almost  2 years ago.  This place has changed my life so I don't care if I am old here.  I am saving about 30% of my income and putting it into my RRSP.  I enjoy the forum cameraderie greatly and see that I have more choices than I thought I did.  I used to think I would have to work until 65 but it may be only 56.  Not great for an early retirement site but pretty good for a person with an average income getting a late start on things.

Cheers everybody!
Pachnik

clifp

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2015, 04:56:36 PM »
For those of you near or over 50. I think it would be worthwhile to checkout www.early-retirement.org.  The average age on the forum is about 50 and I think in many cases the discussion on the forum might be more relevant over there than on MMM. For example there is a lot of discussion about when to take social security, and when to take a lump sum vs annuity, and ACA subsidies.

I think MMM has a lot of great information about getting started in savings, ways of saving money, and changing your lifestyle.  I thing ER.org is better for those near retirement and 50 an older.

Cassie

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2015, 04:57:54 PM »
HI, I am 60 & my hubby 55. We retired almost 3 years ago.  I started my career late in life so was not sick of working but sick of the 9-5 gig & all the state rules. We both are semi-retired now working for ourselves. However, I have just contracted to work in my old position until they find someone qualified which means between that, teaching at the univ & my private work I am now working about 60 hours/week.  Usually I work between 10-20.  I also think it is awesome that many young people here are really taking charge of their destinies.  The only problem I see is that some of the young posters want to retire at a young age with very little $ & I think eventually they will be sorry & get sick of living a very stark lifestyle.  I find that as I get older I want to travel more, have more experiences, eat out more, etc but do not want very many material things.  We have downsized our home to a one level ranch (1400 sq ft) that we can age in place in.  I find more people my own age at Er forum.  However, I think it is more interesting when you have a forum with a variety of people.

KD

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2015, 05:27:54 PM »
Add another boomer to the mix.  What this means?  We got to see all the cool bands!!!  Woo!

ToughMother

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2015, 06:13:28 PM »
50ish also.  I've always been a saver (perhaps not frugal to the extreme) but was very very ill and out of work for several years during my mid 30s-mid 40s.  The good news is that (a) I recovered and (b) never had to declare bankruptcy due to medical bills or because I wasn't working.  I lived very frugally off of my savings when I was out of the workforce.  (Single and no family support, btw.)

I am back in the full-time workforce as of about 6.5 years ago.  I have A LOT of making up to do to build up my depleted savings and to hopefully gain financial independence in the next several years (dreaming of 6!!!).  I don't think I'll retire very early, but I'm so grateful that because of being a MMM'er as a young person and not even knowing it, I was able to survive a bad disease that crushes many physically and/or financially.

We all have our stories.  You aren't alone.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2015, 06:37:55 PM »
I'm atypical here as well. 

Before posting a link, I will search the site to see if anyone else has already posted it.


What are you, some kind of nut?

Metta

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2015, 09:05:48 PM »
OP, it's my belief that many people of the ''boomers'' generation either struggle with their retirement OR have received generous contributions from their employers, if they were lucky. But this is starting to change. I guess it will bring more people of my generation (I'm 29) to depend on nobody else but ourselves to build our wealth and secure our retirement, since we can't aspire to get the same generous retirement funds and conditions that our parents had.

The Baby Boom spans such a very, very long time that it is hard to generalize in the way you have. For example, my husband who just turned 50 a few months ago is part of the baby boom and so is his mother who recently turned 70. They are not part of the same generation so why are they both considered part of the baby boom with similar identities? They didn't have the same formative experiences. When we graduated high school it was into recession with bank failures, the S&L crisis, and threats to end social security and recommended cuts to just about every social safety net. We very much felt that we could never get the same generous retirement funds previous generations got and that we were on our own. By contrast, my husband's mother graduated into a time of great prosperity.

My husband and I will not struggle with our retirement. We straightened ourselves out in the 90s, got rid of mountains of debt, and began saving with a plan to retire when my husband hit 55. We have enough now to retire, five years early. And it's not because of generous employers. It is because we got the big things right, by living for years in small apartments with no car while investing 20% to 50% of what we made.

You may not realize that it used to be a lot more expensive to invest. Most people couldn't get 401K plans from employers. Getting information on mutual funds and putting enough of a stake together to get invested in one was hard, especially for those of us with low incomes. Investing in individual stocks was also expensive and difficult. All that has changed. You have a lot more going for you than we had when we started investing.

There has always been a movement toward simple living and frugality in the United States. It is part of the dialectic of our nation. Today there is MMM and ERE. When I poked my head out and looked around in the early 80s it was Voluntary Simplicity; in the 90s: Your Money or Your Life, and How to Survive Without a Salary (not to mention the Tightwad Gazette). In the 60s there was a massive DIY and simple living mass movement. We are all inheritors of the ideas from Walden Pond. The medium changes, but the message continues on. :)

Capsu78

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2015, 07:37:35 AM »
"You may not realize that it used to be a lot more expensive to invest. Most people couldn't get 401K plans from employers. Getting information on mutual funds and putting enough of a stake together to get invested in one was hard, especially for those of us with low incomes. Investing in individual stocks was also expensive and difficult. All that has changed. You have a lot more going for you than we had when we started investing."

I will add it was largely a paper based transaction as well.  Had to request the forms (initially anyway), wait till they came, fill them out, write a check, find an envelop and stamp (hey, I was 23 and single!) mail it off and wait for acknowledgement 10 days later!  I lost half my "nut" on one stock before I even got order acknowledgement!  Should have spent it on girls and booze!

Kansas Beachbum

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2015, 10:39:09 AM »
Hey Coppertop...another Boomer here, almost 54...sounds like there's a few of us graybeards on here :-).  We're pretty much FI now, just working a couple more years while youngest finishes school.  Keep up the effort.  Retiring comfortably at 62 is whole bunch better than most folks (not most folks on these boards, but most folks in general) can look forward to. 

KD

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2015, 11:09:04 AM »
Well said Metta.  Even hubs and I - he is 13 years older than I and on the leading edge of the boomers and I on the trailing end...we have vastly different life experiences.  As oldest child he caught more of the frugal 'poor is we' gene from middle income mfg. 1 working parent w/a family of 7 and I (youngest child) caught more aspirtational/educational influences from 2 college educated professionals income parents w/a family of 5.  One of the things I learned from him?  Being content with what you have.  Aspire to more or better?  Fine, but don't let that discolor the gorgeousness/blessings of what you already have accomplished.  What I did have going for me on one side of the parental units is a great-grandmother and grandmother that were strong independent business women who both had strong frugal genes. 

h2ogal

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2015, 11:21:53 AM »
I think there are MANY of us 50+ on this site!  I'm 51.  Early Retirement to me is 55-60 instead of 65.

To me, EXTREME Early Retirement is being fully retired before 50.  Many of the people on here that are below 50 are not fully retired, but do some type of home based part time work, intermittent contract gigs, real-estate management, house flipping, etc. 

ChrisLansing

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2015, 11:50:11 AM »
I'm 58.   Just got serious about frugality/saving/investing a bit over a year ago.    Can't retire until 67, but I can use the lessons learned here to live a better, more frugal, less stressed life.     If I play my cards right, I won't have to work at Walmart after I retire.   

mancityfan

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2015, 12:02:40 PM »
51. 1M in investments, 1.3 with paid off house NW. I plan on working until 60. Would love to go earlier but remain very concerned about healthcare costs in future. I want to see how that pans out.

MikeBear

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2015, 01:01:28 PM »
I'm 56 (December), and found MMM early last year when I was still 55. It was like getting a slap in the face, with a "WAKE UP"! yell.

I didn't get real serious until I read his entire blog, and started taking steps to prepare for retirement. I wish to heck I had started maximizing towards that goal a lot sooner, as I only have 1/2 the amount I would like to have set aside.

Now, it's a real source of mental anxiety and some generalized panic, even though I should be fine as long as I don't lose my job anytime soon. I haven't quite convinced my brain as of yet that we'll be OK, as there's not a whole lot of time left to get that money socked away.

southern granny

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2015, 02:01:07 PM »
I'm 58 and retired with a government pension at 47.  I enjoyed six months of retirement , then went back to work part time.  I dedicated most of that part time salary to retirement and part to vacations.  My husband and I have enjoyed several nice vacations and we feel we have enough in retirement accounts to allow him to retire this year at age 60.  I will continue to work my part time job (25 hours a week), as he will not be drawing any pension money until age 65.  Also, as long as I am working I can cover his health insurance for $250 dollars a month.  It would cost almost 700 to add him to my insurance If I am not working.  I am lucky to have fairly flexible hours with my job.  Its a little scary, that I could get laid off of get sick, right after he retires... but that is where the savings accounts will come into play. 

Cassie

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2015, 03:42:00 PM »
One guy on that site has a whole thread on how him & his wife retired on very little 35 years ago.  Some have extravagant lifestyles but I think quite a few are middle of the road people who want to spend $50-60,000 in retirement to enjoy doing things while they can.  This is where my hubby & I fit in because at our ages we want to travel & do experiences that cost $ while we are able. You just do not know what the future holds.  YOunger retirees don't need to worry about this as much.  Also I have a certain level of comfort that I want now versus when I was young.

clifp

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2015, 05:41:53 PM »
For those of you near or over 50. I think it would be worthwhile to checkout www.early-retirement.org.  The average age on the forum is about 50 and I think in many cases the discussion on the forum might be more relevant over there than on MMM. For example there is a lot of discussion about when to take social security, and when to take a lump sum vs annuity, and ACA subsidies.

I think MMM has a lot of great information about getting started in savings, ways of saving money, and changing your lifestyle.  I thing ER.org is better for those near retirement and 50 an older.
The problem with ER.org is that they are a very high spending group. Most seem to want and have expensive lifestyles that they plan to continue on in retirement. MMM, and especially ERE, both focus more on finding a nice life on less money and thus be able to retire younger with less money. ER.org seems the opposite to me. They seem to have high earnings and high asset levels and a belief that you need both in order to retire at even a normal age (65) because you'll have and want a more upscale lifestyle in retirement.

Not really true many member have retired early and are living on 15-25K, with assets well under $1 million.  It certainly true that ER.org has plenty of millionaires and don't have the need to watch every dollar.  But it is pretty rare ER member who hasn't been pretty frugal in their 20s. I bought my first house at 23, with co-owner and 3 roommates in order to save money.  I believe there was poll down a while ago and the average age of the car was about 12 years,and represented a few percent of peoples net worth.

Health insurance cost are huge expense for the 50+ crowd and generally not a big expense for the 25-40.  (Mine have gone from $1500-$4800 in 15 years) Maybe I've missed but I have not seen much discussion of ACA subsidies on MMM.

Lian

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2015, 06:05:39 PM »
For those of you near or over 50. I think it would be worthwhile to checkout www.early-retirement.org.  The average age on the forum is about 50 and I think in many cases the discussion on the forum might be more relevant over there than on MMM. For example there is a lot of discussion about when to take social security, and when to take a lump sum vs annuity, and ACA subsidies.

I think MMM has a lot of great information about getting started in savings, ways of saving money, and changing your lifestyle.  I thing ER.org is better for those near retirement and 50 an older.
The problem with ER.org is that they are a very high spending group. Most seem to want and have expensive lifestyles that they plan to continue on in retirement. MMM, and especially ERE, both focus more on finding a nice life on less money and thus be able to retire younger with less money. ER.org seems the opposite to me. They seem to have high earnings and high asset levels and a belief that you need both in order to retire at even a normal age (65) because you'll have and want a more upscale lifestyle in retirement.

I thought the same about ER.org.  It is certainly worth a look, but it's not a better fit based on age. My assets will fund a frugal retirement, which suits me because simple living is my preference.  No reason we can't read both.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 06:08:05 PM by Lian »

MustachianMD

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Re: I am realizing I am atypical here
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2015, 12:29:45 AM »
This is a great thread. I love hearing your guys advice. It really drives the point home. Especially the truth of compounding and maxing out your retirement accounts. It really helps us "younger" guys maintain the course.