I was born during the Second World War and have had the benefit of surfing the Baby Boom. As Boomers bought houses and saved for retirement, I was slightly ahead of them, getting in before they drove up prices. When I first started investing in individual stocks in the early 80s, I had a get rich quick mentality, but little money. So when I lost money in stocks like Xebec and Pan Am, it wasn't very much money and I thought of the losses as tuition in investing. Now I try to be conservative. By the mid 90's, all my bills and my mortgage were paid off and I started to invest 40% of my income. I had a lot of stock and options in an employer that went bust in the dot com crash, and lost about one third of the value of my portfolio. Then I tried to buy stocks that are not much over book value, under 15 times earnings, pay a dividend over 3% with earnings twice the dividend. I did not get hurt too much in the 2008 crash, and am well up since then. I bought in lots of 500 to 1000 shares at a time to write covered calls in lots of 5 to 10 to enhance earnings. I buy individual stocks so that I do not have to pay management fees on mutual funds. My cash flow is strong enough that I am always looking for investment ideas. I try to buy once and hold forever, but occasionally get a stock called away from me on a covered call. I have recently switched to a Bogleheads approach now that Minimum Required Distributions have pushed me into higher tax brackets. With MRD, I pay taxes on my deferred account withdrawals as ordinary income. Then I pay the same rate on my non-qualified (mostly foreign) dividends. Qualified dividend are better, but not by much. The best rate is when I sell long term capital gains. My gains are taxed at the same rate as qualified dividends, but a substantial part of that income is the original investment, which is not taxed at all. So I am now investing all my surplus in tax efficient index funds. I live on social security and two pensions from previous careers, but I am still working full time at a professional wage, and my portfolio is also yielding more than my pensions. Non-pension income is mostly invested or used to pay taxes. I will probably retire around the age of 75 unless my wife or I have health problems before that. I had two colleagues who retired at the end of 2013 at the age of 80. I like to travel and usually vacation in Europe.