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May 22, 2017

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• Live in a $300K condo . . . pricy but at the very bottom of the market in La Jolla, CA.

• Own a pristine, used Toyota with only 12,000 miles. Waited a week after seeing it, wherein the owner dropped the price $1,000, and then purchased it.

• Invest online with Vanguard.com, which is easy and has very low fees and a terrific reputation, to stash funds in an S&P-based index fund with a "target retirement date" of 2030. The fund automatically adjusts its stock-bond ratio, growing more conservative (i.e., fewer stocks, more bonds), as one approaches the retirement date.

• Am aware of 'spending vs. earning' ratios and stay within a certain, rough range each month, i.e., am "frugal" in that outgo is far, far less than income.

• Use a 2% cash-back Citibank credit card; the refunds are applied to the balance.

• Live in a seaside resort town -- so never have to GO on vacation as am already there. Take "daycations" every other day, versus only two weeks a year.

It's not just about being "frugal," however:

• Additionally, I have a rental property that pays (the property tax and maintenance fees) for itself, the condo I live in, and two other homes. All four properties are appreciating in value currently.

• Also, I have royalty income of $3,000/year coming in from an Etsy-type site and am devloping this further as it's fun and basically pays for a free lunch each day.

• Most importantly for the long run: I look forward to the massive effects of 8% (guestimate) compounding of retirement investments in 20 or 30 years. Will quadruple my current net worth with no effort, barring a black swan event or twelve.

I do wonder how these people define the word "frugal," though. It's kind of like asking someone if they're a good driver; everyone will say yes, but we know what the truth is. ;)

Great goals to work towards achieving. I've got some of these down, but admittedly need to work on a few. The only one I think I might disagree with is vacations. I'm not a fan of overpriced Disney/Hawaii tourist traps, and one doesn't have to stay at the Ritz, but I think world travel is incredibly important. I could be much better off now if I hadn't traveled so much in my 20s/30s, but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.

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