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when i married my wife of 30 years i wished i knew she was a manic depressive spind thrift with control issues. after 20 years of marriage
she became house bound from a work accident. i knew i would never leave her to a “facility”. i worked, she spent, and no amount of placating was ever enough. she died in her sleep on christmas day 4 years ago.
I wish I knew that my wife did not want me to solve her problems. She just wanted me to listen and care about them. That knowledge would have changed many, many life decisions. Still we had a wonderful marriage for 44 years until she passed in 2019.
The benefits of contributing more to my 401k than to just get the max company match. Although now in retirement I see the benefit of being diversified across taxable and tax deferred accounts, to be able to better control my tax bill.
That he wasn’t actually immortal or omniscient.
I had no idea about the importance of the US Federal Reserve Bank and the effect of its’ policies on the world. I had no clue about how the Fed triggered recessions through interest rate hikes and especially the impact of Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan. After I read everything I could about the Bretton Woods conference and the destabilizing effect of the 1971 Nixon Gold window, Volcker raised interest rates to the moon, which caused the value of the dollar to soar which killed US exports. I remember when many large manufacturers in the US closed and those jobs were exported for good.
When I was in high school, I considered becoming a chemist, thinking that all kinds of great things would come from chemical engineering. It never occurred to me, in even my wildest dreams, that the career of the future was to be in financial engineering. When the Fed finally gives us a digital version of the dollar, huge gains will be made by those that enable digital dollar security.
OMG, don’t sell that starter home. Keep it as a rental. Worst financial mistake we ever made, and it was an unforced error. We live in a college town with very low rental vacancies. Keeping our little place rented to good tenants would never have been a problem, and we could have easily covered the mortgage with the rent.
We’d already bought our “move-up” home, so we didn’t need to sell the little guy just to get into a bigger house. Why did we sell? We felt lazy about being landlords—we both had demanding careers and two young children and it just felt like a complication we didn’t need—and we were ignorant about personal finance.
That house has more than tripled in value and we could have put both kids through college just from that little house. Sighhhhh
I think your college town market was key, DrLefty, as what I would have told my younger self was “don’t buy in a neighborhood that you don’t really want to live in just to own a house – rent in a neighborhood you do want to live in until you can buy in that area.” After 10 years owning and living in a second tier neighborhood with no real equity to show for it, my young self learned that lesson the hard way.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff, it is all small stuff”…not sure who coined that phrase, but it has stuck with me for years and has helped me navigate through life’s many challenges, so I feel blessed.
The importance of savings and compound interest.
What a Roth IRA was.
That it’s all going to be okay.
That it would be more profitable—and with a lot less hassle—to invest in the stock market instead of rent houses.
I agree, Andrew. When I’m asked why I invest in stocks and not rental properties, I reply “because stocks don’t rip the toilets out of the walls when you get rid of them.”
How effective compounding is in building wealth.