Just to add a bit more perspective, I’m 62 and even though I started investing as early as 1983, my career as a freelancer (along with a divorce in my mid-forties) left me quite behind the curve. With that said, I’ve been incredibly lucky in many areas of my life, including two wonderful daughters and fifteen years in a great second marriage. I also changed careers in my late fifties and love what I do for a living.
I enjoy reading a wide range of financial blogs, and although they would be a great reason for me to beat myself up, I have internalized the belief that what counts is not what you did nor did not do in the past, but what you plan on doing TODAY! I read a great deal in the bogleheads forums and my net is a fraction of most of the regular posters there, but I can’t dwell on that. I live a happy fulfilled life, and I am making steady progress with my finances.
Don’t overthink things would be one of my rules of thumb. And be consistent in your financial strategies. I take much inspiration from many sources. I’ve always loved a challenge, and building my net up from close to zero about seven years ago has been, well, dare I say it, fun?
There won’t be early retirement for me, but if I were retired, I would probably find something as intellectually engaging as what I currently do. I have no complaints. Other than the fact that there should be a 60+ sub-section of the forum!
Thank you all for your contributions! I take heart from and share your enthusiasms for the different approaches you all espouse. And for you 40-ish folks out there … just stay focused! You have the time to accomplish great things!