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« Retiree Interviews 2 | Main | Six Figure Interviews 9 »

December 13, 2013


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No vacations after that initial 6 weeks??

Sounds like you really love your job but it begs the question....are you working because the love it or are you trying to build you net worth to meet specific goals? Contrary, you could retire now and then do kayak and other things with your husband while you're younger, no?

Your life sounds great! Congrats on accomplishing so much in your worklife, that is a very difficult field because you are faced with both technical issues and people issues. Like your focus on your goals (not comparing those goals to the standards of others). Admire your ability to overcome bumps-in-the road, and your focus on your own happiness. Continued success to you!

It's really interesting that so many of these millionaires have right around $2.5 million.

It would be interesting to see a few with $10+ million and see how they differ from those with $1-3m.

I'm 79, my wife is 80 and if I include our two pieces of real estate that have been debt free since 1992, our total net worth is about $9M and our income from all sources such as Bonds, CDs, Mutual funds, Pensions, and Social Security is $398K/annum. We're also Democrats and have been married for 57 years.

Today was not very exciting but quite typical for us at this age and time of the year. We went shopping at the supermarket & mailed some Christmas cards in the morning. In the afternoon we watched a Netflix movie. I also found time to clean out our gutters all around so that we're prepared for when the rain finally arrives here in Silicon Valley. After a nice dinner of steamed clams in wine sauce with a Caesar salad and a loaf of a San Francisco artisan bread, in front of the fire, while watching a previously recorded program (either a Nature or a Nova) we will hit the sack at about 10pm.

@Limey Junior

I didn't interpret the 6 week comment that way. I think it was that maternity leave was limited to 6 weeks to minimize time out of the work force . . .

Old Limey,
Where is your Millionaire Interview? I catch snippets in your comments but it would be nice to read the whole story.

Excellent advice in your last comment. I wish I had started sooner.

For someone my age I believe my life experiences would be very difficult to duplicate so an interview would be of very little use to a young person. My period in North America started in 1956. The defense industry in which I worked couldn't satisfy its demand for engineers until about 1992 when I retired (with a Golden Handshake to boot). Thus I always had full employment with great raises and many promotions. What brought the defense industry down to earth was the collapse of the Cold War and the huge cutbacks in weapon programs. Soon after I retired the Internet started to appear and it brought forth a prosperous period for hi-tech companies of all kinds and led into the DOT.COM bubble which made a lot of people wealthy, myself included. Prior to that in the 60's real estate prices were very low and good loans were easy to get - this led to a real estate bubble that made it easy to buy very nice new homes in California for $25,000 and up, those homes today sell for $1,000,000 and up. When I look at most of the tools that I bought as a young man they have "Made in the USA" stamped on them. That is no longer the case as a great many of our industries have been replaced by Chinese products.

Even society has changed greatly, my children used to walk to grade school - today parents drive them to school for safety reasons. School shootings never happened when we were raising our kids, now it seems to be a common occurence. In my early years, before the Internet the stockmarket had very low volume indeed and we didn't have large investment banks manipulating the markets in their favor by the use of very sophisticated trading programs running on supercomputers as is commonplace today. It also wasn't very expensive to get a good degree at a state university, now however so many students graduate with a huge student loan debt. My education up to an MS degree in engineering cost me next to nothing other than buying books.

Old Limey -
Times were different, but they always are for each and every demographic cohort. Give yourself credit for navigating through the challenges of YOUR time, for there are many others that lived through those same tailwinds without half the success that you have had.

From your comment through the years, I think of you as the uber millionaire next door type: same wife and house for many years; conscious about where you spend your money; dedicated to getting to work on time and doing a good job each and every day.

There are many readers on this site in their late 20s and 30s who are just comparatively starting out on a long journey. If you were willing, it would be great to hear what you were doing around the same age....maybe few young kids, mortgage, been working 10 or so years. How did you manage to save? What kept your faith in moving forward at the same company, perhaps when folks were getting rich in the valley on PCs? Did you consider hopping jobs, etc?

Best Regards.

I was very happy at my job, and once the 3 children were old enough to be left my wife became certified in Early Childhood Education and got a 6 hour/day job, with a pension, that she really liked a lot. In fact she was named "Employee of the Year" one time and stayed there until I retired.

I had two opportunities for a major promotion in my job. The first was when my division manager accepted a promotion to my company's division in Burbank, CA and offered me a promotion if I joined him. However we were so happy in the Santa Clara Valley that we didn't want to move our family down south to the Los Angeles area. I had a second opportunity for advancement when my manager transferred from the Missile Systems division to the Space Systems division and offered me a promotion to come and work for him. I agreed to take the job but my division manager vetoed it because it would have been hard to find someone to take over the classified work I was doing.

The DOT.COM bubble and the opportunities it created in the PC related companies didn't start happening until about the time I retired but my expertise was not in that field. I had been working for 32 years on the structural analysis of the re-entry vehicles for submarine launched ballistic missiles and had no background at all in electronics.

As for saving my wife and I would sit down at the kitchen table every week and discuss our finances. The #1 Priority was to pay ourself first, so we happily wrote out the check that went into savings. We both came from very working class families in England so our expectations were not great and we never did get caught up in the American lifestyle but because we had no family to fall back on if times got tough we lived modestly and saved hard the whole time we were working. It wasn't until after I had retired, learned all I could about investing, and the DOT.COM bubble created a huge rise in the NASDAQ stocks that I made a lot of money. Then by the time the NASDAQ was looking very "Toppy" the time to get out of the market became very obvious and I bailed completely out ovr 4 trading days and saved myself from losing everything I had gained since the bubble started.

Thanks for the comments! I just realized this had been posted. Two responses to specific questions: yes, the 6 weeks after my son was born were the usual disability leave. I went back to work after that but have always taken the vacation days my employer(s) provided.

I'm still working because I do love my job and because people in my family tend to live into their 90s. (Parents are in their early 80s and still independent.) If I get old and frail, I want the best of whatever I need to keep life interesting: hearing aids, help around the house, a good continuing care retirement community. I think my husband and I balance living for today and planning for tomorrow pretty well- as noted in the interview, we make it a point to travel now because my husband may not be up for it in 5 years. I sure hope he is, though!

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