Today I received a PM (Private Message) from a remarkable 24 year-old Boglehead named Peter who has given me permission to post his message (slightly altered for anonymity).
Thank you for your inspiring message.Mr. Larimore,
I just wanted to say thanks for everything you and the Bogleheads have done for ordinary people like me. You probably have no idea just how much you have helped so many people so that is why I'm writing this message to you. Your constant messages of simplicity and staying the course are always very encouraging.
A little over four years ago I was lucky enough to discover this forum when I was 20 years old. I discovered it after reading Jack Bogle's "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing."
When I look back on the past four years I am very happy with the accomplishments I have made. I had never been taught how to take care of my finances growing up and I picked up Jack Bogle's book after going to the library because I wanted to find out how I could live a life without always having to worry about money.
My dad lost his job during the recession and my family was in a very bad financial position (I live with just my dad only). I dropped out of college after one year because I was worried about family finances and paying the debt for school.
Since 2011, I have been able to pay off my student loan debt (which was around $10,000), max out my Roth IRA each year, and contribute to my company's 401k plan. During this entire time I worked at a grocery store, originally making $10 and hour, now $11.50.
Four years later, at the age of 24, I now have an emergency fund saved up, and about $62,000 in retirement savings (all in a Vanguard target retirement fund - which my employer also offers in the 401k plan). I even contacted and convinced my company's 401k team to make changes to the 401k plan.
I also started going to a community college in the fall of 2012 and graduated in the summer of 2014 and paid as I went. I'm now working on getting my bachelor's degree.
The point I'm trying to make is people like you, and Jack Bogle, and the Bogleheads, really do make a huge difference in people's lives.
If I'm so lucky to reach your age some day, I'll still remember that I owe a great deal of my success to the Boglehead Forum and those who contribute.