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January 20, 2012


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Hi JM,

I really, really enjoyed reading your profile. It's funny because I've spent some time up in Maine (interesting and tough place to live), and I've also thought about living in Vancouver, WA to enjoy not paying state income tax while doing tax free shopping over the border in Oregon!

My question to you is how much investment income are you regularly earning each year and how does this (plus your pension) compare with your annual expenditures? Are you continuing to save money each year, and if so what % is that of income?

That seems like an important thing to understand before retiring.

Thanks again,


One more thing, I did notice income is $45K per year but that didn't seem right on a large portfolio hence the reason for the question above, and also I did want to know how that related to annual expenses...

Great Story

I guess your a natural salesman as making over 200K in sales back then is a feat not many could accomplish. Question-2.5 million X 3% should net you 75,000 in income annually. Why such a big difference between 75K and 45K? Is the difference being reinvested? Do you ever give to charity now that you are retired and can afford to?

Wow, that was a GREAT story. Best profile yet. It's very inspiring. Hey, no kids? Plan to remarry?

I enjoyed this profile very much.

What made you study business?

How did you choose your investments? Did your education in business help?

Great story. Got me fired up!

I loved the fact that you learned from those lessons you experienced as a child and actually saved money and went to college. In other words, you didn't give up. So many people who often feel like they've lived with less, throw caution to the wind and run up all kinds of debt and don't do much of anything of value with their lives except live paycheck to paycheck and spend more and more. This was a really inspiring story, thank you.

Hey folks, the "portfolio is VERY tax efficeient". Dividends are "maybe" $5K~ a year on the non-tax deferred portion. No capital gain distributions to report due to tax loss carryovers. I bonds are tax deferred and many earn in excess of 8% as I write. Almost $700K~ is in the annuity IRA so that's deferred too. Small benificiary IRA of $35K is deferred. Yields on cash are about 1%~ so the cash income is low. It once was about $40K~ annually four years ago! Really just the Air Force Force pension, taxable dividends, interest income, VA disability (50%) make up my "income". So taxable income is under $40K! Portfolio is over $2.5M+ again. More than enough for 1/2 a life of work and the years I plan to still live. Guess I gotta spend more? I give to charity. Primarily the USO, Red Cross and Humane Society. My expenditures? Modest; my biggest expenses are dating and travel! (Those are $1-2K a month). Lol but, it's true! My education DID help in business but, ya get out what you put in. I recommend for financial reasons a student today "cut their teeth" on community college, then find a state U that matches their interests and major. Get a minor too. Work never hurt anyone and puts money into perspective. It's NOT who I am, just a tool from what I've done. I'm lucky AND blessed. No kids. Marriage: gotta find the right lady who can keep up with me. Run, bike, hike, wall climb, travel, wine taste, craft beers, softball et all :) "Inquire within" with an email addy, I'll get back to ya:) Thanx FMF and readers for the opportunity to tell my story. All the best! "JM"

An interesting story. Congratulations on your financial success.

Did you sell insurance products? Seems you are savy on whole life and variable annuity and so I'm wondering if thats the kind of thing you sold.

You must be fairly sharp given that kind of job history and business success. But your 2.1 GPA in high school was below average even for 1978. I'm curious: Why do you feel your high school grades were below average? Did not not feel motivated or were you distracted by things going on in your life or something else?

Great success story!
It's sad but DIVORCE seems to be an epidemic that can often destroy the American Dream for an awful lot of people. I am thankful every day that I have avoided it and am just a few months away from being very happily married for 56 years. Now that we are 77 and 78 respectively and my wife recently gave up her driver's license we are more dependent upon each other than ever before.

Fortunately for JM he is a real go-getter and has overcome some major setbacks in his life. He reminds me somewhat of my son who was born in 1963 and is my complete opposite. He also was very active in baseball and football and played catcher and defensive back and led a very exciting life starting with his own heavy metal rock band, lots of hot women, skydiving, and car racing, before eventually filing for bankruptcy (unknown to me), but he bounced back without asking for any help, and is now doing well as a sales manager for a large international company and getting close to his first million.

Sounds like a true American story. Went in one direction full speed ahead until that path was closed off, then reinvented yourself to go full speed in another direction. Multiple times. And found some level of success every time. And after about 30 years, you have a nice chunk of wealth built up which gives you freedom to do what you want to do with the rest of your life.

Kudos to you.

And also a couple of great reminders to the rest of us:

* We must be aware that things change, what we do today to pay the bills may not be available due to changing circumstances in the macro or micro economy
* We must realize that when circumstances do change and we lose a job, it's not an end, it's a beginning, it's a chance to reinvent ourselves

Very well said Bad_Brad :-)

JM what was the best investment you ever made out of curiosity (besides lots of HARD work haha!)? Do you ever plan on working again (starting a business etc.)? Sounds like you are just living in the moment now and seeing what comes your way  And that sounds wonderful. Enjoy!

To the posters, I was licensed in various states to sell ALL types of insurance products. Investment wise also and a principal of the firm I contracted with. It is NOT as simple as buy term and invest. There are many scenarios where PERMANENT insurance is a cost effective tool. Not all the time nor for everybody. Been told I have an IQ just south of 130~ but, I guess the high school GPA was from lack of interest and outside activities (works, girls, sports, partying...)Old Limey is right, I AM a go getter. Now: hot women, swimming w/ the sting rays, driving NASCAR, jumpin outa airplanes, seeing the lavas of Etna, etc., is what I do. I'm blessed AND lucky. NO desire to go back to work (I've had 6 digit offers) nor start/run another business, that was my past, I'm "tired" :) and no time! Best investment was simply "starting EARLY"... compunding is THE best investment. Global stock owning mutual funds in the early-mid 80's and I bonds last century come to mind for products. Along with a variable annuity w/ guaranteed principal and a high (7%) LIFETIME w/d rate. Costs, sure all investments have them, often in life, you pay for what you get. Three great dates lined up this weekend and some sights to see. ....Godspeed!

I agree it was a testimony that if you work hard in life and make good decisions financially one can come out with a big healthy nest egg.

He also states that he is now enjoying his life after 52 years and "making up for lost time". Makes me think that perhaps one should try to balance life and work better. You may not end up with as big a nest egg in the end, but you may have saved half of it by avoiding divorce.


@J: Just balancing work and life might not be enough to avoid divorce.

I personally split up at a cost of $2 million (her half) and I can assure you it had nothing to do with work-life balance. Actually the opposite - if I had been working harder, perhaps I would not have noticed that my wife and I were no longer suited to each other. Many go-getters and hard workers remain married, blissfully ignorant of each other.


I can definitely see your point. As someone who has been with my wife for a total of 10 yrs (5 married) I am truly blessed to be with someone who shares my life goals and values.

It seems to me that most people don't realize that choosing your partner wisely is the SINGLE most important BUSINESS decision one can ever make.

Choose wisely my friends.

Great and wonderful and inspiring profile!

Who do you have to thank for the values of hard work, dedication, etc. instilled in you?

See! You weren't always in the third quintile :'p

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