I had a 23-year career working as an editor in newspapers and in new media. When I was laid off in 2009, I rolled over my 401K into my IRA happy that, at last, I was now going to have more control over my retirement investing. Little did I know at that time that being axed was going to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me, especially from an investment standpoint. A big reason why I decided to focus on dividend investing is because I wanted to compensate via dividend reinvestment the contributions I wasn't going to be able to make to my retirement account. I was assuming the worst, that I would not work in the news business ever again in the same capacity. Thus, in no way would I be able to sock away the maximum contributions per year as I had done in the past. I have been a prodigious saver in the tax-advantaged accounts through my jobs (when available) and in my personal retirement account, thanks to advice from my dad when I first began my news career in 1986. I remember laughing at his claim that investing $2K a year in an IRA could mean so much down the road! I'm glad I listened, though. I have learned a lot here at SA, first stumbling onto one of David Crosetti's great dividend-growth investing columns in late 2010. He really got me inspired. I believe I found SA through a Google search. I have also learned tons from Chowder, Archman Investor, Bob Wells, Chuck Carnavale, David Van Knapp, David Fish, Eddie Herring, Mike Nadel, Tim McAleenan Jr., Brad Thomas, as well as others. I have also learned a lot from the MPT folks, such as Dale Roberts. I have slowly dissolved most of my mutual funds and and have been extremely tickled with the results. I have made several mistakes on the way and have learned a lot from them. I took an investing course and just finished one on accounting. I will start Excel 2013 in the next month or so, as well as another accounting course. I have read a couple of books, including "The Single Best Investment." "The Intelligent Investor" is next. I realize I still have a lot to learn. Like many others on this site, I wish I had started the dividend journey a long, long time ago. Maybe I could've been retired by now. Heh. My portfolio consists of mostly dividend growth stocks, spiced with REITs, pipelines, BDCs, CEF and several Canadian holdings. My big goal is that, come retirement time (anywhere from 10-12 years from now) I would be able to generate the final salary (via dividends, SS and a very small pension) that I would have earned had I stayed on with my former employer. I have created spreadsheets and have been able to calculate a decent guesstimate as to what my salary would have been from now through past age 65. This would be a much more meaningful measuring stick for me than beating the S&P, for example. So many middle-aged people lose their jobs and never rebound financially. Amazingly, at least to me, it does seem that I am well on my way to accomplishing my goal and then some. This, despite having been unemployed for 15 months and then taking a job outside my field at less than half my former pay. This year (2014) could be the first that I won't be able to max out on my Roth IRA. I am considering taking my pension early and investing it in my Roth. I find my current job in the health field extremely rewarding and much, much less weird politically so I would ideally like this to be the last job I would need for income. My husband, when told about the strong likelihood I would reach my retirement income goal, responded dryly, "Maybe you should have (been axed) sooner." It would be great to be able to look back on that statement and realize that he had a point. Life's twists and turns.