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The wife and I always worked hard and maxed out our 401K's.
I have stayed with my jobs a minimum of 12-15 years each.
One job will give me a company pension. Rolled over another 401K to an annuity.
Hopefully between the pension, annuity, 2 401K's and our social security we will make it.
We stayed in our "starter house" now paid off.
Helped put both sons through college, they are both self sufficient.
Never took expensive vacations and kept our cars for 10-15 years.
Now we are starting to travel more and enjoy being empty nesters
 

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. . . I live modestly and I now owe nothing to nobody with retirement planned for 12/31/20. Paid for pickup truck and RV is our travel plans and we explore our own backyard which most people do not. We know more places to go camping and hiking than most of the locals do. I won't have a million dollars in retirement but, we will be comfortable and content. We feel like we have everything we need and then some.

@forester58, that’s us in a nutshell. 14yo pickup truck, 15yo RV, no debt, spending is a joint decision, more likely to spend on experiences than on things, and we pay off our card balance every month. We’ve traveled and lived in our RV all over USA & Canada for over 12 years so far. Our truck and RV are depreciating assets so property tax goes down every year. No problem, man.

We’re comfortable, we can move when we don’t like the weather, we can stay anywhere as long as we want. BLM stays are mostly free, state forest camping is usually very low cost, and many small towns have very low cost municipal park RV sites. Our average nightly site cost is under $20 over the past 12 years and no added utilities or fees. YMMV but we’re still loving the untethered lifestyle and don’t mind spending well less than we would have with a house and jobs.
 

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I don't blame you, I don't like that particular part of Wyoming either. The goals for our retirement location were: Cheap taxes, gun freedom,no tourist attractions, no colleges, no traffic, no ski hill or large lakes, no deep snows and for certain no towns on the interstates. We are close to Montana in the north. If you prefer large cities our location would suck though.
What general area of Wyoming have you settled in (or what town, if you are willing to say)? Sounds like an area I might want to visit. We are always looking for places that might be candidates for retirement locales. When we want to take a road trip, that is what we do a lot... "check out" other areas... Sounds right up my alley!
 

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I spent my fortune on Christmas cards...:santaclaus:
 
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I had very little savings when I retired from the military at 39. I landed a decent job and packed away the income like a squirrel sensing a hard winter. It wasn't hard as I still had more income than my mil pay and had two kids in college to boot. My wife and I get along fine on our SS and my mil retirement and don't touch the "savings" except for major projects, like a much needed bathroom renovation. My financial adviser says I did it right.
Ditto, although I was a few years older when I retired from the Navy. I landed a great job as a consultant with some of the best benefit packages in existence. I was able to bluff my way through 20 years as an "expert" while continuing to live well within our means (no exotic foreign vacations, no new car every 2-3 years) while socking away as much retirement income as allowed by the tax code. We moved to TN to a larger house, cheaper cost of living, and no state income tax. When I have to start withdrawing retirement funds in a few years when I turn 70 1/2, I envision most of those funds will simply go into my brokerage accounts and CDs as our rainy day fund should a health catastrophe arise.

I considered paying off my house, but my adviser pointed out that at this point, I'm paying so little interest it would have insignificant impact.
I paid off my house as with the new tax code (compliments of the Trump presidency) the standard deduction exceeds any itemized deductions I'd get from a principle house mortgage and the mortgage on a second home I own. My investment returns far exceed the mortgage interest deduction I would have gotten. I prefer to be as debt free as makes sense with the current tax code.

Others' mileage may vary.
 
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I paid off my house as with the new tax code (compliments of the Trump presidency) the standard deduction exceeds any itemized deductions I'd get from a principle house mortgage and the mortgage on a second home I own.
I never owned a house until 1986 when I came back from Alaska, and in that time I could claim itemized deductions only twice. I always got more of a break with the standard deductions.
 

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Rent/buy and keeping vs paying off mortgage are both “it depends” decisions (as are so many we face like, “which gun should my friend buy for plinking?”). There’s no right answer without looking at all the variables involved. My brother can afford a new mortgage after selling his house but at his age is happier with the renter flexibility and freedom from worry. He isn’t trying to or doesn’t need to build equity at his ancient age. He can buy out the remainder of his lease or leave at the end of lease term and move further from me or his kids when he wants, for example.

Saving a million bucks? It’s more about the time value of money than it is how much you can make as your wage or business improve. There’s no replacement for socking away some savings in your twenties or thirties in earnings accounts or investments. Time compounds the interest earned and the stuff just silently increases. The time value of money is something my parents never taught me, darn it, and I was too slow to figure it out on my own. This was exacerbated by my ex-wife’s determined recklessness in spending because she didn’t think she’d live long enough to enjoy savings anyhow. Luckily, my wife is frugal and a prodigious saver. She’s not a cheapskate, she knows how quality pays. I guess that’s how she consented to pick me up a couple of decades ago. Anyhow, getting to a million requires consistent savings of sums into interest bearing instruments and it requires time.

So yeah, it’s difficult for someone my age to rack up a fresh million from zero. A young person without a student loan debt, with a good job, given the current financial markets, and with the grit to do it can easily accrue a million dollars over their earning lifetime.
No one easily accrues a million bucks over their earning lifetime. Doing so requires a level of discipline that sacrifices everyday "wants" in favor of long-term "needs", and very few people ever develop that level of discipline.

My former wife could never understand why they wouldn't allow her to make the minimum payment on her Visa card with her MasterCard. No financial discipline at all. When she left I was upside down in debt (including a second mortgage on my house that she forged my signature on). Took me the better part of 10 years to get rightside up again.

My wife of the past 25 years is a very intelligent woman, always saving and investing. Never a problem dealing with such issues; we always knew we were working toward a comfortable retirement. Consequently we were able to go from little-or-nothing to a respectable investment portfolio over those years. While others were taking the fantastic vacations and constantly refinancing their houses to pay off the credit card debt, buying new cars every other year while we were driving our vehicles for 8 or 10 years between changes, we kept at the program of saving and investment.

I took early retirement from law enforcement, vested my pension and allowed it to continue growing, and started a business. I purchased 6 residential lots, built one house for cash (and credit cards) and sold it for a significant profit, which I used to build the next house. Then I continued as long as the residential housing market was at its peak, ending up with a new house for us built debt-free. Meanwhile, I also ran a roofing company, putting every dime over our (minimal) living expenses into long-term investments. Spent a few years doing claims investigations for insurance companies, for which I was well paid, and put every dollar away. As the economy started circling the toilet tank (2007-2008) I started an on-line business offering my hand-made leather goods for sale, which resulted in another 10 years of excellent income from customers in all 50 US states and 33 other countries. We continued living at a modest level and investing every spare dollar.

At 65 I was winding down physically (after over 10 years of working 7 days per week, no weekends, no holidays, no vacations), some health problems to deal with. I sold the business for enough to purchase our retirement home for cash, sold the old house and invested the proceeds. So I entered final retirement with a net worth of $1.6 million and a debt-free home.

It isn't easy, and not everyone is willing to work hard enough to make it happen, but it can be done if you make up your mind to do it. There are risks that many would never take, but those who are willing can make substantial profits.

What it is all about is suppressing the desire for immediate gratification so that you can build a secure future. It takes self-discipline and a long-term plan along with the willingness to accept responsibility for your own future.

Further musings of a retired millionaire.
 

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In 2009, I was in my late 50's and the recession hit us hard. We nearly had to declare bankruptcy, we were up to our eyeballs in debt and our credit ratings were in the crapper. We clawed our way back over 10 years. Now our only debt is our mortgage. Two fairly new cars and a motorcycle, all paid off. No revolving debt. We have great healthcare. And we were just able to retire this year. Our retirement portfolio and strategy is pretty much recession and inflation proof. We will soon be insured for just about anything that could happen.

We aren't rich, but comfortable and we could downsize our budget if we had to. We tried semi-retirement for a while and realized most employers are getting to be complete jerks, especially to older people and we said we'd rather have less money and more freedom. We're lovin' it!

The reason I bring this up is to encourage people that you don't need as much runway to save for retirement as people think. You don't need a million dollars to retire. One thing I'd suggest is to find a really good financial planner who specializes in retirement, but not just retirement investing, but also retirement distributions. These folks are rare. Most financial planners don't get that or don't want to tell you. We went through some real dud planners before we found that one we have. And we ran into a lot of hucksters out there. Learn about the 4% Rule, the pros and cons of annuities and stuff like that.
What he said. Our guy did us 14% on overall & 22 % on mine ytd
 

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@retired badge 1, You’re right, I overstated the “ease” of conserving earnings. It’s not easy but, as you proved, it’s how one can get from there to here. Without the discipline, vision, and desire, one is unlikely to become a prodigious saver. Congratulations on your solid results, you worked really hard and long and made it happen. I know it wasn’t easy for you. Wouldn’t it have been a heck of a lot easier if you could have begun the “plan” fifteen or twenty years earlier?

My ex seems to have been somewhat like yours. For twenty-two years we were out of money before payday every month despite two reasonably good salaries. She left me over twenty years ago and suddenly my cash drain disappeared. I was then supporting two children, a house, and two pets on my income alone and still somehow had money on hand at the end of the month. The ex quit her job (I think to avoid paying child support) so I’m glad I figured out how to get by on one income. And fortunately I was responsible for only half the debt we’d racked, mostly credit cards, and I worked hard paying it down.
 
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