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December 03, 2013


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Great list. I'll admit to many of these honestly. But I'm working on them for sure!

Great list!

The only comment I have is that I think that "investing in yourself" is #1.

You touched on this in your #2 "Working to Maximize your Career" and your comment on keeping physically fit.

But I think that working to improve my character is the most important thing I can do and it will be the foundation for a lot of the others.

By character, I mean integrity, work ethic, people skills, passion, faith, goal setting/time management, etc.

I love that you included finding a good spouse. My wife is wonderful and over the past few years we have gotten on the same page financially. It makes everything else so much easier.

All of these are mistakes we made or still make. Some of them can prove to be disastruos, while others not so. Really great article and advice, as usual ;)

All are really great statements. Marrying the wrong person....made me remember a comment my mother always made...."one spouse can throw more money out the front door with a teaspoon quicker than the other spouse can shovel in the back door with a scoop shovel." For some reason though, in her view the wasteful one was always the wife and the hard working one was always the husband. Not sure where that came from unless it was just the times when most women didn't work after marriage. I'll add one more that really got me beaten up on another site recently. Having more children than you can afford.

I totally agree that marrying the right person is of paramount importance. Meeting that person is very often a totally random event.

In 1952 when I was 16 I went to a dance with a male friend of mine. Who should I see when we walked in but an ex girl friend sitting with a friend I had never met. I spent most of the evening dancing with my ex and my friend did likewise with her friend.

A couple of days later he contacted me with the following request. "I made a date to go to the movies with the girl I met at the dance. I now find I won't be able to make it and since you live very close to the movie theater could you please show up on time and apologize for me."

I showed up and told her, "Geoff is unable to take you to the movie as planned but I would enjoy taking you instead." She consented so I took her to the movie and also saw that she got home safely. We started dating and soon found that we had a lot in common. In 1956 we got married and a few months later we set sail for Montreal, Canada with $450 between us, then on to Toronto, Canada where I had a job waiting for me. We have now been married for 62 years, retired in 1992, are as happy as it's possible for two people to be, have 3 children, 5 grandchildren, a very high net worth, and live in the beautiful Santa Clara Valley in California.

We have been married 57 years, not 62 years as I stated above.

I've made a lot of those mistakes but I'm definitely learning from them and doing better now. Marrying the wrong person was one I made but I ended that before it caused real damage - tho that relationship did cost me thousands I would have otherwise saved. Live and learn!

I wouldn't use the 6-10 times income estimate for life insurance. If you really want your family to continue at the same SOL and are young, you'll need a perpetual income created, and if you believe in the 4% safe withdraw rule, 10x income may not get you anywhere near that 25x expenses, so do the math...

Education should quickly pay for itself with gainful employment. A college degree is a waste of time and money if the real world has zero interest in anyone graduating from that particular field of study.

Nice article. I am 31 and still haven't invested. That is because I got my job when I was 30 yrs old (was completing PhD until then). I do have emergency fund and maxed out 401k, but I have no more than 5k in my savings/checking account for my monthly expenses.

I am thinking to invest in 2014 maybe start with 3k in a diversified index fund. Any further suggestions from the experts?

@Lurker Carl: Wall Str and industries want schools to crank out trained employees for them to exploit, so that companies dont have to spend money to train them.

No doubt that someone graduating from "that particular field" can land you a job. But dont confuse Education with apprenticing. You educate to learn how to learn, do analysis, to come to solutions, in your particular fields of interest. After you are educated, you can apply your education in any fields you later choose.

I firmly believe, if it is money you are after, you dont need a college degree, but it helps.

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