Like the OP we started with nothing, worked very hard, got transfered around, struggled at times, but we feel very lucky. We aren't particularly smart or talented but we were in the right place at the right time many times, and coupled with the sacrifices and hard work it paid off. I actually tell people that we have been very lucky. There are many folks who worked just as hard, made even greater sacrifices and it didn't pay off as well as it did for us. Enjoy what you have and don't worry what others think.
Maybe its easy for someone that might equate or reduces success to only dollars and cents, maybe they don’t have the sense to recognize luck for what it is…
Or maybe what most know as luck could or should be replaced with a more impressive word…
But my life began with LUCK… I was lucky to have been born to loving parents… parents that never gave up on me through my rebellious years, and taught me what’s important in life and instilled in me a good work ethic…
Parents that never got to retire themselves or take the time to enjoy the good life, but gave me the tools and with them a better life for myself and my family… I was also unlucky and lost them far to soon and as I often do I sit on the beach listening to the waves crash and I think how I would trade all the material things I have for the chance to spend one more day with them…
That luck continued and afforded me with a wonderful and loving family of my own and now a large extended family that I love dearly…
Still I haven’t even mentioned income or money, but I was lucky there to… I worked from a very early age starting before I was a teen and retired at a very early age… I was lucky enough to have never be unemployed, always found good jobs, usually working more than one job or for myself…
Early retirement was always in the plan, but it came about ten years earlier than planned, largely due to some bad luck… that and several major back surgeries that weren‘t planned…
No I never went to college, and I never got filthy rich and I have made more than my share of bad decisions (maybe enough of them for several of us)…
I survived some good times and some bad times as well as some war time (and yes sometime you even have to survive in good times), but no one can convince me that luck played no role in my life, because if there is one thing I know, it is that I have been a very lucky man indeed… luck beyond measure…
But still unlucky with the lottery…
But if I do win I am going to tell everyone that was skill and a good decision making process…
Love my mass produced, entry level, built by Lazy American Workers, Hornet
[quote=OldGreaser]You want what I got; do what I did.
This would be great if it worked that way....
I had a good career...Loved my career and what I was doing..(which by the way is something less than 1% of the population in our country is willing to voluntarily do). Have my DW and children that supported my career 100%, followed me all over the country and the world with very little complaint. It involved MANY sacrifices, but retirement pay was decent and included medical coverage.
Found out a few months ago I am the LUCKY part of the group to get downsized and out I go as of Oct of this year, without so much as a handshake, much less anything else.
And all this is after 16 yrs, including 56 total months in combat zones in the middle east, numerous other months spent in other countries for other missions, total of not sure how many years away from my family for training, schooling and anything else I needed to go do because it was my job. All courtesy of the U.S. Army.
So yes the OP is lucky in my opinion. Lucky that he is able to have his health. Be in the financial position due to his choices that worked out for him. And all the other things that have come together over the years for him, to be able to enjoy himself the way he wants to.
Luck is not always a bad thing, and it does not mean you didnt work hard to make yourself have the "Luck" that you have. BUT one turn of events beyond your control, could have turned it all into "Bad Luck".
So if someone says you are lucky, it is not an insult in any way. Nor does it mean they are lazy, and unwilling to work, to get where you are, just means they may not be there yet and they see you as lucky for having reached that point in your life and are happy for you.
I will still get there in my life, dont know if I will ever be able to fully retire or when it will happen, BUT I will work my buns off to do the best I can after switching careers at the age of 36, due to having one pulled out from under me due to something that is beyond my control.
last person that called us "lucky" had six credit cards in his wallet, all with balances. He told us this after letting us know how silly we were for not getting points and miles for using credit cards
we carry one for emergencies and pay it off monthly.
so I guess we're lucky that we follow Dave Ramsey's advice
2013 Voltage 3905
2012 Ford 350 King Ranch DRW 4x4
3 Lacy Dogs, Kayaks, Polaris Ranger, Fly rods, kitchen sink
We feel VERY lucky. Lucky that we were smart enough to live below our means, save our money for retirement. Lucky that family or life emergencies did not drain our savings. And very lucky to be on the road again (even though we are sitting in a repair shop right now- fuel pump maybe). Lucky to be alive and enjoying this beautiful sunrise in Amish country with our beloved dogs.
ArmyEng, thank you for your service! The tone of my post was meant for a certain group of people who feel entitled and can't understand why their slack lifestyle doesn't shower them with rewards.
I agree that a whole lot of people work very hard & live frugally and it doesn't leave them fortunate enough to retire before their health issues take over.
If somebody called us lucky we'd say "Absolutely!"
There's a great deal of luck or good fortune or whatever you want to call it in play when a person gets to live their dream (or even a little bit of the dream). I've known way too many people who worked their butts off, lived within their means, made good decisions and still struggled for reasons completely beyond their control to ever be so arrogant as to attribute it all to hard work and good decisions.
Me and the DH
Two boys and two dogs (and two cats who prefer to stay home)
2008 Forest River Georgetown 350DS (bunkhouse model)
2001 Honda CR-V
I keep thinking about this thread. There's no question many of us have been deeply fortunate with our health, choices, life accidents. We all know people who've worked hard all their lives and bad things have happened to them--accidents, health issues.
But we all probably also know healthy people who have spent a lot of money for years on big houses, cars, clothes, toys, boats, RVs, suites on cruise ships, second homes and everything else they or their kids want for entertainment, and now are worrying about college tuition. Meanwhile, mom and dad aren't saving for retirement.
This is going to sound like old geezerism... I was very lucky to grow up in a home with values and discpline but just enough money to get by. All four of us worked our way through college and paid off our student loans quickly.
Dad helped me find my first job and told me, "always get in before your boss does." I did, worked hard and followed an interesting career path that I wanted for 40 years. A former co-worker once said with a touch of sour grapes, "You just fall into these fabulous jobs." She liked to putter around her apartment and come in to work about 9:30 a.m...and had blown through a large inheritance with an ex-husband by the time she was 25.
Yes, I understand those who say, "things are different now, we'll never have the chances you did." They're wrong. In the early 1980s, interest rates were astronomical,and we scraped up enough to buy our first old home in a so-so neighborhood with a large down payment and never missed a monthly payment. We've done a lot of the work ourselves on every home we've ever bought.
Back in the 80s, everyone we knew agreed there would be no Social Security by 2010 when we retired, so both of us started saving a little each year in IRAs. We almost always paid off our credit card bills the day they arrived. When we got raises, we increased our 401K contributions. Neither one of us has a pension and we've never had six figure salaries.
We didn't live like monks but we went into retirement without a mortgage or any debt. We paid cash from our savings for a used motorhome, and are having the time of our lives. We're not wealthy but we are used to living modestly and don't worry about money.
I had great parents and I never stop giving thinks for them, my spouse, and the affluent country we live in. My life could have been a whole lot different.
Every generation has its challenges. I know a people in their 30s and 40s (nieces and nephews) who have big corporate titles, company cars, make huge salaries, far more than we ever did, but are still borrowing from their folks to pay their credit card bills. Living in large houses in expensive neighborhoods. Buying the latest electronics the day they come out. Eating out a lot in very expensive restaurants but never picking up a check when they visit if they can leave it for their retired father to pay. Still have unpaid student loans. Not sure if they have saved anything but I doubt it.
I think they were not told "no" very often, and that's a crippling handicap. Yes, they probably won't be as lucky as we are by the time they retire.