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December 09, 2013


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You are a shining example of the millionaire next door. It is impressive that you know your NW down to the nearest dollar. This is approximately 50 times your current annual spending levels so you should feel very secure indeed.

Do you miss California? I'm a couple of decades behind you, I came to silicon valley to execute pretty much the same plan that you followed. I could be done with work right now if I move (looking at west coast Florida), but retiring in place would mean working a few more years. I really like living here, but the idea of a few extra years of freedom at the front end is mighty tempting.

Given you retired at age 55 I am curious if you lived off retirement, or non-retirement, savings and pension prior to claiming Social Security and at what age you claimed (i.e. did you claim right away or wait to claim until say, 65)?

I've run various projections with respect to defering social security at various payouts (e.g. 100%, 75%, 50%) and ages and impact to the retirement and estimated non-retirement savings. So I would be curious about a real life example and outcome.

Love this bio. Goes to show it doesn't take anything fancy to become a millionaire. Just wise moves and lifestyle control over a long period of time. Congratulations!

Now that you're retired and your social security & pension support your living expenses: What is the purpose of your wealth? I mean, what are you going to do with it? Leave it to relavies? Give it to charity? I'm just curious. You may want to consider whether or not accumulating more money is better than giving some away now. Or you want to splurge on yourself some.

Thank you for sharing your bio! Your path is impressive, and the story about the woman working as a secretary in her 70's is a power one for both women and men to consider. I am a woman in my mid-30's, married, with one child, and the chief breadwinner in our family. I am proud of my ability to earn, save, and invest. I know where my security in retirement is coming from.

Really great interview. Thank you for sharing.

Living on $29k/ year? Wow.

I would love to know how that breaks down.

Thanks again for taking the time to tell your story.

I am inspired.

Great bio. But I don't see it as rewarding as it should be to save if you don't do anything with it. You have no kids and no dependents, most likely "someone" will spend your money when you go. IMO you shou;d enjoy more life. :)

I swear people, don't you folks know how to read????

She said she's going to use the $$ for a continuing care community, which will be more expensive than her current lifestyle. She also mentioned she get a pension from her job. If it was a government job, it most likely started paying out at 55.

Hats off to you on your success! I'm looking forward to the time when I have the option to stop working, if I choose to do so, and am planning to have that option in my mid 50s.

It's so interesting to hear about the early influences, specifically the woman in her 70s who spoke to you. Much success and happiness in your future!

things that strike me through all these:

1) if you are single, never married or childless you invariably end up becoming a millionaire next door

2) all said and done, are you happy with your life?.

3) i would rather be dirt poor in $ but rich with friends and family surrounding me. may be i am nuts

Wow, how judgmental can you get, moronbuffet and a few other thinly veiled comments of the same vain?

Perhaps marriage and children are for you. And perhaps that makes you happy. Why do you assume it makes everyone else happy as well? I know several people who are happy being single and childless.

You live the way you want and let others live the way they want. The world is big enough to accommodate everyone, regardless of their lifestyle choices.

Live in peace.

To the original poster: I am impressed at what you have accomplished. That too with a salary that never came close to six figures. It shows that saving reasonably throughout one's career can enable one to become financially independent.

Thank you for taking the time to tell your story. Hope it inspires many other women to take steps to be financially independent.

To freebird from Mill # 14:

What I miss about California is the wonderful weather, low humidity and low pollution. I also miss being surrounded by politically liberal people.

What I love about North Carolina is the dramatically reduced cost of living in housing, food, most things. I also appreciate the slower pace and deep friendliness of a smaller town. I'm glad I chose a much more affordable area in retirement.

To getagrip from Mill. # 14:

How did I finance ages 55-62? I bought 7 bonds of 20K each from my taxable account. And lived on the 20K plus the previous years earnings in the taxable account. This amounted to about 28K each year. The bonds were laddered maturing one a year.
I chose to start Social Security at age 62 because that had been my original plan. And I hit 62 in early 2009, with the seriously tanking stock markets, and I did not want to remove any more money from my hard won assets!!

To Jim from Mill. # 14:

What do I plan to do with my wealth? I have been sitting on it because I plan to enter a continuing care community in 8-9 years. Today's price there is 213K entrance fee plus 2700 per month rental. This amount to 32,400 annual rental at current prices. Their prices rise at varying amounts each year. I assume I would spend this 32, 400 plus the same 35K I currently spend if I went in this year.. And a good bit more 8-9 years from now.

My estate plan leaves 1/2 of assets to family and 1/2 to charity----If there is anything left.

Happily I am a very active volunteer at several excellent non-profits each week. Plus I get to donate 15% of my income to charity each year. This strikes me as enough.

I have an 12 year old car ---which runs great, but I want plenty of cash saved for when it dies.

I have splurged on several things in last 4 years---paid double rent for 6 months in order to get a much better rental condo, bought a new Mac laptop, a Tempurpedic mattress, and a Dyson vacuum. So when I want or need something nice, I arrange to get it.

Thank you for your comments, Pam. You eloquently wrote much of what I was thinking about some comments to #14's post. I am inspired to read about financially independent women who have shaped their own lives, and go beyond the model of the "right spouse" who isn't spendthrift. Thank you #14, and thank you FMF for bringing us a variety of millionaires.

To Lutz from Mill.#14

How am I enjoying my life? I live in a small beautiful city with many art galleries, music performances (all types), and lectures. These are readily accessible to public. I volunteer twice per week and love our wonderfully full county library with all the latest books and AV materials (plus open programs many days per week).
There are many retirees my age so I have many friends to visit and attend events with. I workout daily at a terrific , well supplied and very friendly gym.
These keep me nicely busy.

To JNEW from Mill. # 14

How does my spending break down?

My income is 35682 per year= 2973 per month.

Income tax 141 (per month)
Health insurance premiums 147
Insurance for car, house etc 125
savings 500 (per month)
charity 500 per month
medical out of pocket175 (monthly)
car 100
food 170
housing (rent 675, utilities 100, phone j25)
Others (internet, clothes books, volunteer expense etc about 300 per month

Hope this gives you an idea.

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