I understand you accurately, and precisely. It is you, for whatever reason, who seems to lack comprehension.
I have never knowingly disparaged you, or what you are doing, nor have I said that investing in the markets in the way you describe is unadvisable. All I am saying is that it is distinctly sub-optimal when compared with my own investment strategy, given my options.
I have also said that yours is the strategy recommended to the everyman--the guy who has to pay for a home, go to work, buy/maintain a car, buy health insurance, care for family, etc. This is inarguable, as it is industry standard advice, sold as being best-suited for the average joe, or everyman.
You seem easily offended when your articles of faith are questioned. You include at least one in every post, one of the most recent being "it's a safe, effective way to take money you don't need today and turn it into decent income in retirement."
Do you understand how this is an article of faith? You seem a bit low on comprehension, given your last post; either that or I'm being inarticulate. With my 1950's reference I was likening your mentality to the lock-step conformity that was emblematic of the 1950's, which relied upon universal understanding and acceptance of social norms and values.
If you really understood any of this, you would also understand how I am, by your standards, ALREADY where you want to be at 55 or 60, in my mid/late 40's. I achieved this by being unlike you. Yes, for every me, there is somebody who has to wait until 75 to be in that position, and it is that outcome that you focus on, to the essential exclusion of my own outcome.
Flagpole, 55 or 60 is old. You might not think it is, but it is. By the time you are 60, you are no longer middle-aged. I spend my time "investing", exercising, traveling, and spending time with family, and have for a while now, while I am middle-aged. Yours is the type of exactly standard outcome that I have always found horrifying, if only for its standardization and utter psychological predictability, if not predictability of outcome. I almost hope for your sake that it doesn't go for you as planned.
For you, that standard outcome is "good enough", for me, it is not, never has been, and never will be. Between today and the time I am 60, I will have lived another entire life compared to you.
I encourage others to do what they know, to invest in themselves, to really understand risk, to get intimate understanding of a particular market or markets, and especially to take power for themselves and, unlike you, not cede it to nameless and faceless organizations and institutions. I encourage people to be self-reliant, to the extent that makes sense.
I'm not "rich", but I'm 10-15 years ahead of your declared schedule, which makes us completely different. 10-15 years is a LONG time, especially when the transition from your 40's to 60 is concerned.
The thing about your situation is that you will never achieve more than you expect to, and you have a fair chance of achieving less, through mechanisms entirely not in your control.
Good luck Flagpole. Why don't you just change, to posting one update every 5 years for the next 15 years?
DJIA down around 56 so far today to 16,387, SP500 off around 7 to 1913. Again, these numbers mean very little, other than that essentially nothing is happening.
Meanwhile, I have considered investing in Russia. Yes, it's a dangerous place, you have to know how to conduct yourself--but if there is one place in the world that has the history, culture, and outright balls to tell the blowhard Americans to shove it, it is Russia.
They have many weaknesses, too, which will ultimately keep them integrated in the larger world, but it is plain to see that America is on the wane. With instability comes opportunity, and instability is manifesting in Russia not through the demoralizingly grinding process that it does here, but in a very direct, understandable way, by articulated decision. They are not wasting time like America is doing.
Here again, I can invest differently than you can--I have options that you don't have. I am not American, and need not fear financial detriment as a result of anything their government might do regarding American investors. Are you beginning to understand what I'm talking about when I say that I have many options that the everyman (including yourself) does not?
Russia is "down", and I would like to see it fall further yet, and things are shaping up interestingly. As capital looks for return, it will go, and it will be up to the investor to seek protection for the added risk that comes with the added potential of return. You may be dabbling in that stuff to some limited extent, in a secondary way. If you are, good luck.