Five Years, Lord Willing

Where are you and where are you going?
suomalainen
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by suomalainen » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:06 am

Jason wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:57 am
...Even when I'm doing something I'm thinking about doing something else which is usually just about being someplace else and thinking about things...
...Change at this stage in our lives should be limited to mental adjustments...
...I am going to carry around my little fu in my hand like that Gollum dude in LOTR, stroking it, calling it precious, because I just can't get enough of telling people to go eff themselves;
All things I can relate to. Congrats again and keep us updated on your progress!

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:11 pm

Congrats achieving your goal brother. Now lets start 2018 fresh, killing it and with new challenges and goals (and of course, enjoying life and having fun in the meantime)

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:12 pm

Thank you and a big frugal Amen to that sentiment.

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Fish
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Fish » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:37 am

Jason wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:05 pm
I read somewhere here that 330K is halfway to a million. Looking back, we were at 240K two years ago, and it seems that 330K is about where money starts really working for you.
It’s true. Here’s the explanation:
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/benfo ... rdest.html

For a more technical discussion of Benford’s law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benford%27s_law

Jason
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:46 am

Thank you.

Overheated stock market aside, there has been a pedagogical moment here:

(1) At 330K, the transition from working for your money to your money working for you kicks in. I did not realize this at the time. I was just plowing every dime into savings. It's not a bad thing per se, but there should have been a re-adjustment on my behalf in terms of efficiency. Hypothetically speaking, if one's goal is 1 million, a transition or at least reevaluation should occur when one meets 330K i.e. how could I have gotten to 330K more expediently in order that I can get to 1 million more expediently. It's my first personal taste of the rich get richer. If you don't understand the basic mathematical laws, you cannot use them to your full advantage. The most valuable feature of saved money is time to think about better saving money i.e. how exactly is my money working for me and how can I make it work better. Warren Buffet essentially built a manufacturing plant made out of money that mass produces money so at this point the means of production and the product are indistinguishable. He's just floating on a raft on top of an ocean spontaneously generating money.

Also, one can reevaluate the very notion of needing one million. You can't live like a millionaire as you become one (if you do, it will take longer), so maybe the whole idea of living like one is kind of bullshit. That's probably a personal issue.

(2) Once again, I would prioritize behavior over investing acumen, at least initially. Even the annuity that I got screwed on made money over time. I made an idiotic choice in choosing a specific investment instrument, but the decision to invest was in itself a smart decision.

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Seppia
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Seppia » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:03 am

Jason wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:46 am
(2) Once again, I would prioritize behavior over investing acumen, at least initially. Even the annuity that I got screwed on made money over time. I made an idiotic choice in choosing a specific investment instrument, but the decision to invest was in itself a smart decision.
Great point.
I go insane when people agonize about a 0.05% difference in TER in an ETF, when if they just saved $50 more per month they would be better off with the more expensive ETF even if their holding amounted to $1M.

Reality is 99% of the population doesn't intuitively get math.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:38 am

This makes me think how little people actually know. The first day I invested there were certainly people who said "I'm pulling out, its overheated, its a bubble." I had no idea. I was just excited to start investing. And the ignorant questions I asked, which can now be described as "Does this overpriced investment instrument that I do not understand and which if your job had a fiduciary requirement you would not sell to me because you would lose your license contain these specific tech stocks that I do not understand which will be obsolete in five years?" Just as people today are saying the same thing, as someone is investing for the first time and is excited about it and has no clue about what they are doing or time to determine whether its a good time or not to start the process.

I do believe that between Robo investment websites and a general distaste of the established, paternal order, new investors will make better decisions than I did by moving more towards ETFing and Indexing. You can do your best to know things, including the extent of the unknowns, but there are always unknowns you have no knowledge about. In retrospect, if I had focused more on not making bad decisions as I did trying to make good decisions, I would have been better off.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Rouva » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:35 am

Jason wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:38 am
You can do your best to know things, including the extent of the unknowns, but there are always unknowns you have no knowledge about. In retrospect, if I had focused more on not making bad decisions as I did trying to make good decisions, I would have been better off.
That's excellent advice. I'm not a math person, and most calculations on this forum (especially the lengthy ones full of damned letters and numbers and whatever) make my eyes glaze over. When I started, I read several books on the topic, and decided to pick passive index funds because the theory sounded reasonable and they didn't require much effort. I set up an allocation, and spend few hours every November writing down how much of what I should buy next year.
My husband picked stocks.He likes selling and watching. His profits are much better than mine, but I'm better at saving money, so I win. I think my current investment balance is seven times larger than his.

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Family father
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Family father » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:00 am

Hi Jason!

I just wanted to thank you for your sharing: being also a pesimistic, I recognize myself in your "I usually make between X and Y, but since I have zero guaranteed, that's what I'll count on" and many of your day to day objectives and fails.
Control is an illusion. So its not even a consideration anymore. I get up. I'm alive. Period. I have no rights or entitlements on this earth.
I liked that: I feel I still must walk a long way in that path...

P.S: you even made me think about starting a journal!!! :?

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:55 pm

Rouva wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:35 am
My husband picked stocks.He likes selling and watching. His profits are much better than mine, but I'm better at saving money, so I win. I think my current investment balance is seven times larger than his.
You go girl.


@ FFN

You should start a journal. Writing memorializes and specifies. It's for yourself.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by jacob » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:49 pm

So, then ... Chapter 6 ... what about it? :mrgreen:

Extra credit if you can work in some references to Dante's Inferno about it.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:24 pm

This is embarrassing. Not in that erroneously congratulating a merely overweight woman for being pregnant way (people should really wear post-it reminders on that one), but in a "I'm just a fucked up kind of guy who can't get his shit in order" kind of way. So, well, no big surprise forthcoming.

Although I am sitting in an avalanche of unread purchased books, including a mystery written by some unknown New England writer who I'm sure is busy working his day job watering flowers at the garden center at this very moment, a book that I bought during an expresso bender during my summer vacation. I mean its got a painting of a fucking light house on the cover for Christ's sake, and I would make a really uncouth analogy about what I tend to buy during different type of benders depending on the substance abused during said bender but then you would put me in the cooler, which if nothing else, would bring an amusing level of irony to this whole exchange. In any event, I got in my head that I needed to McLuhan this and read a library copy of ERE. So my wife gets the book and gives me the dreaded "It's out of county and I can't renew it so you better read it quick" speech. Well, and please don't take this personally, it's not exactly a page turner and the content is such that I wanted to read a chapter at a time and then do that whole Kung Fu, walk the earth contemplation bit for a while. So one day I wake up and lo and behold, there's nothing green in my pile. I ask where it went and I get "I told you, you can't sit with it forever, I had to return it." So at this point, the only extreme earliness to this whole endeavor is the return of the book.

Upshot, I have to buy it and get back to my review. And I'm a sucker for extra credit, so Dante it is.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:46 pm

Like so many, I have blown past numbers (415K, primary residence not included) that I thought were once further down the road. I have nightmares of being a featured idiot in the PBS documentary that will be made about this time - "Shithole America" or whatever they eventually call it where I'll be all hollowed eyed, waxing about my past inflated retirement accounts while I take an uncompensated break from lugging shoe boxes at "Ivanka World" while everyone watching thinks "it was so obvious, why didn't he sell?" Which makes me think, with everything going on in the world, can men sell women's shoes anymore? I guess it's a good thing I don't know which means I haven't been in a mall recently. I knew 400K was a plateau, but I didn't realize how much. It's obviously not a huge number, but I feel at this number I have "assets" where before I just had savings. I also have guilt which is insane as I've been broke ass for the most of my adult life. I mean Warren Buffet once made $600 million in day when Gillette was bought and I greatly suspect he didn't feel a pang of guilt. But its weird just waking up and saying "Hold it, I'm the same basket case I've always been but I made over a grand yesterday because I finally decided not to blow through my money as soon as I got it and bought some dumb ass mutual funds instead?" I still feel poor and on the precipice of doom which is probably a good thing but now i'm thinking how did i live like that before. Then again I know a lot of much wealthier people who are fucking downright miserable because their wife got fat while they were busy getting rich which actually happened to my childhood's friends parents. It was incredibly sad seeing her sitting in her muumuu at the kitchen table, her husband saying he's divorcing her and on top of it we accidentally kicked in the basement window. What I'm saying was that if you told me two years ago I would have this I would have said where do I sign but now that I have it all I feel is worry that I'll lose it. I'm not complaining but it does not provide the peace I thought and I start to think well peace is "$800K" which well I'm reasonably certain is just fabricated nonsense manufactured in the bowels of Fidelity Investments. I didn't even know that I needed to care about money and now that I do its sucking the joy out of things. My wife says stop looking at the stocks but I'm like we made $100 on Cisco alone today. It's not materialism but I'm suspecting it might be identity and that is not good because I can see this like a golden fucking noose choking me to death as it does so many others. And the fact that the complete fucking racist lunatic/idiot running this country is having a flame war with his North Korean nuclear button doppleganger but because my shit is greener than Kermit's I'm kind of Ok with it.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:06 pm

What I'm saying was that if you told me two years ago I would have this I would have said where do I sign but now that I have it all I feel is worry that I'll lose it.

I have had the thought lately that “holy crap, I’ve got more money than any member of my slightly white trash family has ever had!” And then immediately start thinking; “should I transfer it all into a money market to protect it?” And then I have a flash of myself gently stroking my account and creepily whispering “My Precioussss” as my hair falls out.

And then I remember to thank god and the universe and fate and myself—all contributed, I think—and I send a check to the Union Mission and Heifer International And trust that the future will take care of itself.

slowtraveler
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:30 pm

@Jason

Congratulations on your success. I sometimes feel the same way, worried about a huge market crash. If I'd sold, I'd have missed out on so many gains. So now, I am simply adding to my conservative investment (Wellesley/Global) and letting my index funds run their course.

Wish you luck on growing your mid 6 figure assets.

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:01 pm

@Jason,

I have way less money than you, but I still check the stock market constantly and have the fear of losing everything in a near future. Sometimes, I also say "perhaps we need to stay and save like crazy one more year, just in case, it will be safer"...Screw it, we already won Jason, we developed habits and gained some skills that will always help us to stay afloat and excel among the others.

Keep it up, save and enjoy as much as you can. Set a goal and stick with it.

Cheers brother

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:29 pm

None of us will be safe when the oil peaks out. However, many of us may already be dead.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:31 am

@ EK

An attitude of gratitude (the cliche most favored by every recovering crackhead I ever met) is often the great emancipator, especially from anxiety. In light of your comment, I will donate money to the hospice that took care of my father during his final days. They were nice.

(@) ST

Good plan. Thank you.

(@) FC

The habit formation is a good point in that the gains are a result of stock market increases, but the initial principal is a result of behavior modification. In my younger years, drunken sailors would say I spent like a drunken sailor. The psychology, partly due to passing of time, partly due to not wanting to lose $, I guess is normal. Stock market opens in one minute!!!!

(@) 7W5

The thought of death does provide a form of relief.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:10 am

@Jason:

Well, my most challenging case scenario is something like I am 75 when SHTF and I am left with the care of one or more theoretical dependent descendants. I could write this responsibility off if I could honestly say that I don't want my kids to have kids, but since that is not true, I am stuck with dealing with SHTF as one of my possibility nodes. Otherwise, I could just accumulate large stash of morphine and Kevorkian machine.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:35 pm

What we and everyone shares in common is our own inevitable decline proceeding our departure from this great earthly ball of ever rotating and never ending bullshit. I will not have grandchildren to take care of or who will take care of me and I'm assuming if i did I wouldn't like them much in the same way my grandmother revealed that she did not like me (alzheimer's if anything is truth serum. I visited a woman I worked with who has dementia and she revealed so much shit that was obviously true I couldn't stop laughing all the way home. Dementia people can be quite interesting that way, if you can get over that whole cheating at board games shit they pull without even the slightest hint of compunction).

The difference between us is that I have no descendants that may be helpful/burdensome. I got windows down, Canned Heat blasting, open road as I Thelma and Louise my ass into the fucking beyond. I can actually see it now when I dare to look.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:07 pm

jacob wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:26 am

That's the problem with doing vs learning. Most people are in the doing-camp and the world seems to have been designed with the doing-camp in mind. Those are the ones who are conveniently comfortably doing the same couple of things for a lifetime. Maybe physics and playing the piano. I'm also in the learning camp, so I usually take a clockwise spin, starting with arousal at the top and then moving around until I hit boredom.

Image
I lifted this from another thread because it's stuck in my mind like those stories you hear of people having their lunches at McDonald's ruined because some construction idiot nail gunned a drill bit into the back of their heads right as they bite down on a Big Mac. I would actually prefer a concentration camp to a doing-camp because at least there's a lot of down time in the former. And the one time I did got to camp they made me learn how to steer a canoe which even at that early stage I knew was going to be as productive as teaching Ted Bundy Elizabethan courting rituals. But the issue I am struggling with is change and in order to change you can't just learn. You have to do. Or not do, which requires doing or not doing something else. The thing I enjoy doing the most is nothing so I don't need to learn that. I really don't love doing anything. Except, well, doing nothing. And the world is based on doing something with the exception being nothing which is kind of unfair to people like myself who love doing nothing. I do like learning but no one cares how learned you are especially those who don't value learning which seems to be the majority in a society where doing is prioritized. This very issue was discussed in Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in America where during the Jacksonian democracy intellectualism became equated with well, non-heterosexual activity and doing became revered and not just doing but doing in the sense that anyone can do it which set the stage for a democracy with doing as opposed to learning as the criteria for leadership which kind of explains current events.

I am still struggling with food bills. I read in Frugalchico's blog about Aldi's but the closest one to me is not close and difficult to get to and the cost would be offset by time and potential road rage incidents. I met with my tax guy yesterday and he is 71 but has more women than he ever had because he's alive. He is dating the head cheer leader now even thought its been over fifty years since she rooted for anything. These women are all destitute because they didn't plan and their dead husbands didn't care enough to leave them anything. It's sad except when I remember how the cheerleaders blew me off so I'm not crying for them.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:34 pm

Some actually learn through doing (trial and error). These two things are not in diametric opposition. Although Marcus Aurelius may take issue with a life based purely on learning without action, I certain feel the appeal of it. I tend to get the same end satisfaction in learning something as I do from doing something, but often the process is just as important as result. For me, the learning process is more enjoyable, particularly if doing means having to involve other people in the process.

I tend to agree that our society highly regards/rewards doer’s and have been putting some thought into this lately (ha). This tendency seems to lead to doing for the sake of doing and like most other extremes it provides very little rewards. Doing for its own sake rears its ugly head most obviously in entertainment. My GF is the epitome of this, she seems to think we always have to do something to be entertained. At least when doing is productive, something gets accomplished beyond time wasting. I can waste my time effectively without doing anything, thank you very much.

My mother always taught me “balance” was the key to a happy life, but I’m pretty sure she just used that as an excuse to have an extra serving of dessert. Now in her mid-60’s, her “balance" has led to obesity. Still, I think she was on to something.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:37 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:34 pm

I tend to agree that our society highly regards/rewards doer’s and have been putting some thought into this lately (ha).
I think there is also the notion of "doing" equating to working/occupation. My industry never fires anyone so you have guys literally falling down on the job. For ERE people doing exists outside the workforce but generally speaking "doing" is career long as opposed to learning which is life long. What I have noticed is that there is never a switch between the two and it rears its head as one gets older i.e. doers cannot become learners. If they weren't bit by the learning bug early, it's not going to happen later. These are the people who refuse to retire or when they are finally forced to, you see them hanging out at your local deli talking with people they used to work with or planning the next reunion or rehearsing in front of the mirror for next months condo board meeting.

All I know is that once I get this money problem solved, I am giving the middle finger to such concepts as "Its not what you know, its who you know" "You need to get along with others" etc. In all honesty, I enjoy people more when I am free not to get along with them because I think generally speaking, its the natural state of things. Civility is some enervating bullshit.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:21 pm

@Jason
I think there are a few separate phenomenon with regards to those hanger-on's. One may be not wanting to learn, but others are fear of change, social identity/status, loss aversion, and flat out just not giving a fuck.

My step father worked in essentially the same job for 35 years. He only "learned" when they upgraded equipment. He didn't want to learn beyond that because he was comfortable in his role, liked the social group, and feared change. At the same time, in his hobbies (someone who was ERE might call them projects); he learned to restore classic cars, landscaping, built an in ground pool and 4 season porch for my mother (no contractors), became an expert fisherman, etc. One might say he actually loved to learn, just not by reading. He retired at 60 and probably would have 10-15 years earlier if he had the means.

Those folks who refuse to retire are likely dealing with fear of change, loss aversion, and social issues. It may or may not be related to not learning in any fashion outside of job, having learned too much in job, or just wanting to do.

Maybe I should read the thread you are referencing, I have a feeling we may not be on the same page.

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Re: Five Years, Lord Willing

Post by Jason » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:59 am

You are making insightful points. I guess at some level this is merely the shop versus AP English debate in the context of retirement. Maybe I'm being judgmental and shouldn't demarcate types of learning.

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