Here's one put forward by Bill2975 in January 2001:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid= ... t=postdate
Bill2975: "I started reading this board in April, 2000. It's been a wonderful experience, and I wanted to note some of the lessons I learned this year as a result of participating in this community. Maybe you learned some of these, too.
"Thanks to intercst, TheBadger, dory36, NowInMaui, ariechert, hocus, galeno, eurotrash01, arÃƒÂªte, ptsurmr, wanderer0692, SeattlePioneer, and the rest of the regulars on this board, I learned that:
Early Retirement (RE or ER, depending on context) does not necessarily mean actually retiring to a passive lifestyle, but rather achieving enough financial independence so that you can make decisions about your own life without worrying about what your employer wants from you.
"Thanks to intercst, TheBadger, ariechert, dory36, and galeno, I learned that:
"Your possible RE date may be lots closer than you think, once you really look at your assets, expected costs, efficient frontiers, and safe withdrawal rates for your expected/desired survivability period; and that an appropriate asset allocation strategy for your situation including fixed asset ladders can enable you to maintain your lifestyle even during sad times in the markets.
"Thanks to intercst, TheBadger and hocus, I learned that:
If you've done a good job of saving and investing in tax-deferred accounts, there are ways to get your money out earlier than 59 Ã‚Â½ without penalty, so that you can retire early, tell your employer to take a hike, or just take a year (or more) off.
"Thanks to The Motley Fool's very existence, and all those who enthusiastically participate in intercst's REHP community (people like ariechert, arrete, luvmylife, dory36, ready4retirement, catlovr, intercst, TheBadger, SeattlePioneer, telegraph, InParadise, ptsurmr, SavageGrace, Draggon, BiggerGrey, tngirl74, and ResNullius), I learned that:
It's possible to make friends over the Internet (the modern equivalent of "pen pals"), finding people that you can communicate with and share your dreams with even if you haven't met them in person. People you don't know and have never met can be amazingly kind and helpful.
"People you don't know and have never met can be amazingly caustic and closed-minded. People have many facets - they can be funny, helpful, annoying, closed-minded, open-minded, supportive, inspiring, gracious, obnoxious - sometimes many of these in the same message.
"Thanks to TMFPixy and the other TMF staff, I learned that:
"There's help for us out there in figuring out what to do about health care insurance, long term care insurance, investment education, financial planning and dealing with all the other issues that one needs to think about to have a successful life rather than just a mere existence.
"Thanks to ChocoKitty, golfwaymore, my wife Linda, and others here too numerous to mention, I re-learned that you can:
"Enjoy every day you have on this earth, whether you've reached RE or not, because happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road.
"Thanks to mpkear, Off2Explore, AmazingJason, and EditorialWe, I learned that:
"Many of our young REHP board members are just as interested in RE as we older ones are, and have gotten started a lot earlier than most of us ever did. There's a lot to admire in those who make up our next generations.
"Thanks to ariechert and tngirl74, I've even learned that:
People can have fun living in places like "Possum Hollow"Â or "Possum Valley"Â. <grin>
"The REHP board has now become so valuable to my every day life that I even manage to keep up with the incredible volume of posts, and I would like to say thanks to all who participate in this community. I'm sure I have forgotten to name some who have inspired me as I read their post, but through all of you I have learned that:
"There are many ways to look at things. Exposure to this community has given me a chance to see things through the eyes of others. Hopefully that has made me a better and happier person - and it has certainly made me into one who is going to RE no later than 03/01/2002 - maybe sooner.
"bill2975, who's looking forward to another wonderful year on the REHP board, this time without national elections or chads"