Motivational stories

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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rocket354
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:31 pm

Motivational stories

Post by rocket354 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:50 am

I just hit a big (for me) financial goal, then thought to where I was just a few years ago, and realized I'd come a long way. I'm sure there are many other more impressive stories than mine, so please share!

For me, the 2008/9 financial crisis hit me hard. I lost a high-paying job, had just started investing heavily in stocks that then plunged ~50%, and had just bought a house not only at the peak, but in one of the peakiest markets. Suffice to say, in the span of three years (so, by 2011) I had gone from a late-20-something with a cushy job and a $250k net worth, to an early-30-something with aggravating and stressful part-time work and a -$150k net worth (a $400k drop).

My house dropped 60%, well below what I still owed on it, my investments dropped 50%, and my recurring expenses were so high I was piling on the CC debt each month. I even almost stopped my part-time work because it felt like I was just pissing into the wind, working my tail off to make hundreds while my monthly bills were in the thousands.

I changed my strategy and started my own small business. I got my feet under me and behaved smarter with my money. I got a roommate. I went through a loan-mod on my home to lower my payment (longer term, lower rate, no reduction in principal), and paid off the CC debt as quickly as I could. I did Roth conversions on my pre-tax retirement accounts while my income was low. As my business expanded (to nothing spectacular, maybe $60k/year income) I re-started Roth contributions.

I started believing my financial goals could be met, and, in fact, would be met. Eight years ago, my Roth balance was under $20k. A couple years ago I had a goal (hope/dream/what have you) of a $200k Roth by my 40th birthday. Today, a few weeks after turning 39, and after a year+ of spectacular market performance, I see that I have met that goal.

I still own my first home as a rental. It's rebounded, although is still worth 15-20% less than I paid. But it's cash flowing and it's been appreciating nicely, so I can't complain. I own another property that I live in and rent out a spare room. I'm back to working as an employee, but at a salary such that I can max out my 401k with a decent match, and max my HSA.

It's nothing to write home about, and I can't exactly share details with my friends and family, but I'm now over a $350k net worth, and I feel hopeful that I can not only have a comfortable retirement, but perhaps even an early retirement. I'm no longer setting $x by y age goals--there's no telling where the markets are going to go--but I would like to definitely retire by 60 and, if I really knock it out of the park, maybe even as early as 50.

So if anyone is reading this and caught in a downward financial spiral, it is possible to get out of it with some work, some brains, and some dedication. Thanks for reading, and I hope to read some others' motivational/inspirational stories.

NOLA
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: Motivational stories

Post by NOLA » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:24 am

Congrats and keep up the great job. These strories can be worth a lot more than finding out what year a poster hit the $1M benchmark.

akpataego
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:43 pm

Re: Motivational stories

Post by akpataego » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:26 am

Thank you for sharing this! You will do well.

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mlebuf
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Paradise Valley, Arizona

Re: Motivational stories

Post by mlebuf » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:59 am

Congratulations on that great comeback! Most people's peak earning years are from 45-55 so you have many good earning years ahead. The key to becoming financially independent lies in living beneath your level of income. The more you save and invest, the sooner you will become work optional. Good luck.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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rocket354
Posts: 190
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:31 pm

Re: Motivational stories

Post by rocket354 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:14 pm

Anybody else with success stories?

TonyUncleJohnny
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:02 pm

Re: Motivational stories

Post by TonyUncleJohnny » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:50 pm

Many congratulations, and thank you for sharing in such detail.

And I agree 100% with Nola.

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