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February 10, 2014

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Congratulations, you're doing very well indeed!
I'm 79 and retired at age 58 and had BS and MS degrees in aeronautical engineering.

You have balanced the factors in life very well indeed. Happiness in your job and your marriage is absolutely paramount in my opinion. I also used to look forward to going into work every day and thoroughly enjoyed working in a small group of software developers, developing products that increased productivity throughout the missile systems division and that also made the company's products better and better as time went by.

When I was 43 I made a decision that turned out very well for us and one that I have never regretted. At that time we had been living in our first ever home that we had bought new for $26,950, in Silicon Valley, when I was 29. We sold it for $90,000 and moved about a mile away into a development of new custom homes far superior to the one we had. We paid $107,000 for it and could easily sell it today for upwards of $1.5M. Later on we also had a ski cabin built at Lake Tahoe for $17K and when the children were much older we sold it for $90K and bought a condo, 25 miles away, at the beach that would now sell for $600K. Our son lives in it rent free and it becomes his when we pass away. Our two girls are also taken care of equally well.

We were also savers like yourself and looking back I can see that our wealth came from two major sources which were real estate and the financial markets. My advice would be to learn all you can about the financial markets and invest agressively in the fastest growing sectors that are primarily hi-tech. Our net worth is about 30% in real estate and 70% in muni & corporate bonds.

My wife went back to work when our 3 children were old enough to be left and had a nice career as a pre-school teacher for the school district resulting in us both having pensions to go along with our SS checks.

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