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For those over the age of 50

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  • For those over the age of 50

    What do you wish you would have known 20 years ago as it pertains to your financial life/planning for retirement? If you could go back and start your path over, is there anything you would change this go around?

    Thought it would be interesting to hear thoughts from the group that are well on their way (or have reached) FI.

  • #2
    I wish I had not saved as much when I lived in England and instead traveled the whole continent with that money. But I had no crystal ball to tell me my future.

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    • #3
      I wouldn't ask for a mulligan regarding any financial decisions, but there were a few romantic miscues.
      Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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      • #4
        •The value of diversification.
        Fundamental analysis was the holy grail. Diversification was 10 to 40 individual stocks in different industries.
        The key to returns was either you, your broker, or mural fund manager skillfully picked the winners.
        The Dow 30 were the easiest to find data and analysis (limited to ratio analysis of financial statements.
        • That I should have bought 3x S&P 500 in 3/09.

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        • #5
          I would have taken more time over the years to understand and express my appreciation for the incredible role my wife played in allowing us to get so far beyond FI, both directly (work contribution, budgeting, office management, etc.) and indirectly (managing the household, encouragement, etc). Marry well is a heck of an understatement, and we happen to have married just under 20 years ago (we're mid 40's). 20 years later, this is what I know and blessed to plan for a future retirement together, regardless of financial circumstances.

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          • #6
            I'm not close to 50 but 10 years ago for many years I was making good money as a 1099 consultant for a company. I knew about retirement vehicles such as 401k, Roth IRA, etc. I contributed the max to the Roth IRA but that's it because I didn't have access to a 401k and didn't know about i401ks. I really wish I had because I would have been able to invest a lot back in 2007-2009 through an i401k and our net worth would be at least $250k more today had I done that. Due to compounding, that # of missed opportunities will only grow over time (I'm not dwelling, we're doing fine, but you asked what we wish we had known)

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            • #7
              Not sure.  I ended up ok.

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              • #8
                Almost 50. I wish I didn't buy MCI and other individual stocks in the late 90's and early 2000's. Also wish I didn't so a whole life policy, which I canceled 5-6 years later.

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                • #9
                  Saved more early on.  Rented instead of buying house with 1st job.  Bought less house.  Not hired a financial adviser.  Educated myself about finances much sooner than at 49 (currently 51).  Found out about WCI 10 yrs ago or earlier.

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                  • #10
                    all the mistakes were enormously educational for my life.

                    there will always be missed opportunities.

                    good judgement comes from experience.  experience comes from bad judgement.



                    the only thing i would try to say is slow down and enjoy the journey more.

                     

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                    • #11
                      As a retired 52yo talking to my 32yo self I would not have any different financial advice to give other than say stay the course, compounding will seem like magic.

                      There could be other non finance life lessons but who knows if 20 years from now that advise would be right.

                      I agree with q, enjoy the ride.

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                      • #12
                        I imagine my future self would tell me to exercise more and eat better.

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                        • #13
                          Not invested money with a "great friend" to buy a few non-medical businesses. I was young and making more money than I knew what to do with. It seemed I could invest a lot of money with this friend, just let the business grow, and never look back. Instead, I lost a friend (who I wish was in jail now) and I ended up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

                           

                          My wife always wanted a large dream house, so we purchased one. I wish I'd stayed in our first "starter" home instead. We had it paid off. I can afford the house I'm in but it is much more house than we need. Plus, I hate seeing that we've already paid off $700,000 of the mortgage and thinking "wow, I've already paid off enough to be equivalent to a really nice house".  The older I get, the more I realize I have zero desire to "keep up with the Joneses".

                           

                          Family should always be number one. I spent time studying for exams, or building a practice, and I sometimes missed out on family events. Nowadays, I no longer do that. Luckily, my practice is mature (and secure) enough to weather any pissed off referring docs. I take all of my vacation and have started reducing my weekly schedule. Time is much more important than money now.

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                          • #14
                            Some great thoughts here

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                            • #15
                              For me .... money equates to security.  I wanted my family to be financially covered for the unexpected happenings in life.  Knowing when to stop is the hard part.

                              Live to work vs. work to live.... there is a lot of real estate between the two.

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