Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Locked
User avatar
Topic Author
TheTimeLord
Posts: 8945
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Personally I don't get this guy or want his lifestyle and see no way this is going to end well when he is older. Am I missing something? That said if he and his family are happy then more power to them.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
nanosour
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 9:21 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by nanosour »

He appears to be smart and industrious, I'm sure he'll do fine when this run is all over.
KyleAAA
Posts: 8759
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by KyleAAA »

Neither. There are many roads to Jerusalem.
User avatar
carorun
Posts: 332
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:53 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by carorun »

I'm a huge fan, mainly because it gets me to think differently about consumerism. He earns a decent living from his "retirement" gigs, and has said that his family is not drawing down their nest egg. With a constant stream of income from paid-for real estate and his IRA (when he opts to draw from it), he should be fine. That said, if someone in his family comes down with a health condition, or his kid decides to go to college, it could be a struggle.
The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by The Wizard »

He makes decent income from advertising on his blog, though I've not visited or read it lately.
Neither hero nor foolish, just an industrious DIYer with a flair for selling concepts which are about 2/3 realistic.
Most MMM threads end up getting locked here for various reasons...
Attempted new signature...
TSR
Posts: 979
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:08 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by TSR »

I may not understand the problem you see occuring when he gets older. While I understand that a 4% withdrawal rate is somewhat questionable at his age, and he makes a few assumptions that are at the very least subject to dramatic change, I still think there's a very high percentage chance of success, and he shows every indication of someone who understands how to reduce his expenses and increase his income as needed to pad any shortfalls. Of all the people in this country who have questionable retirement plans, he's near the last on my list. If people are inspired by him to reduce their expenses, I say more power to them.

As for me, I've read his blog and taken some good advice here and there, and I've also ignored a lot of things (I don't personally aspire to extreme early retirement, so a lot of it is not relevant.) I think there's some danger if people take his advice 100% literally (i.e., people who do not have the same earning power and the discipline that he does assuming that they can make their lives exactly like his), but I think he's mostly a benign force in the universe.
User avatar
bogleblitz
Posts: 477
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:51 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by bogleblitz »

Neither. There are a few things I admire:

1. His annual spending is $25k. Mines is twice that and I thought I was frugal. This makes him like a boglehead since he lives below his means.
2. He has a passion to build and fix houses. I wish I did, but I hate fixing and building houses even though I own a few rental properties.
User avatar
Topic Author
TheTimeLord
Posts: 8945
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by TheTimeLord »

vachica wrote: That said, if someone in his family comes down with a health condition, or his kid decides to go to college, it could be a struggle.
That is exactly what I was wondering about.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
jasc15
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:36 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by jasc15 »

I follow him semi-regularly and his blog ultimately lead me to this forum. Frugality is something entirely different when you divorce your personal identity from the quantity and brands you consume. Once you can do this, frugality is no longer a sacrifice the way most view it, and my outlook on this idea was greatly shaped by reading his blog. I think he is very consistent, and I don't see any unstable or unsustainable in his lifestyle as he presents it.
User avatar
climber2020
Posts: 1705
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by climber2020 »

StarbuxInvestor wrote:
vachica wrote: That said, if someone in his family comes down with a health condition, or his kid decides to go to college, it could be a struggle.
That is exactly what I was wondering about.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/ ... aah-waaah/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/ ... education/
TSR
Posts: 979
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:08 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by TSR »

jasc15 wrote:I follow him semi-regularly and his blog ultimately lead me to this forum. Frugality is something entirely different when you divorce your personal identity from the quantity and brands you consume. Once you can do this, frugality is no longer a sacrifice the way most view it, and my outlook on this idea was greatly shaped by reading his blog. I think he is very consistent, and I don't see any unstable or unsustainable in his lifestyle as he presents it.
I should have added that his blog was the driving force in getting me here as well. I now tend to read this forum over his blog, but I'm still grateful for that.
Working2notWork
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:22 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Working2notWork »

I love the ideas that he implants. I'm not 100% sure they're appropriate for my wife and I, but I really like the idea of being in control of my future.
IlliniDave
Posts: 2358
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 7:09 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by IlliniDave »

I've not been a regular consumer of his blog, etc., but what I have seen I liked. I think there's a conservative streak in the boglehead community that overestimates financial needs. Nothing wrong with that, but the reality is that quite a number of people get by with relatively little financial resources, even in this country, without widespread woe and misery.

I assume from the context of the thread that he does not believe in health insurance(?). That's a bridge too far for me. But, I salute self-sufficiency and I wish I had more of it than I do.
Don't do something. Just stand there!
ieee488
Posts: 1989
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ieee488 »

He actually may be getting a sizeable chunk of money from his blog.
And also, maybe freebies that he doesn't tell his readers about.
I know of a semi-famous internet cat whose human received a free smartphone unsolicited.
You and I don't get that, but I am very sure MMM does.
Dell Optiplex 3020 (Win7 Pro), Dell Precision M6300 (Ubuntu Linux 12.04), Dell Precision M6300 (Win7 Pro), Dell Latitude D531 (Vista)
Working2notWork
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:22 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Working2notWork »

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/ ... aah-waaah/
IlliniDave wrote:I assume from the context of the thread that he does not believe in health insurance(?). That's a bridge too far for me. But, I salute self-sufficiency and I wish I had more of it than I do.
IMD801
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:26 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by IMD801 »

I think it's a great blog and, while I'll probably never build a house myself, I agree with 99% of everything on there.

One observation: the writing seems to be highly polished/stylized and I wonder if MMM himself contracts it out or has some serious editing help.
User avatar
Clever_Username
Posts: 1780
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:24 am
Location: Southern California

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Clever_Username »

vachica wrote:That said, if someone in his family comes down with a health condition, or his kid decides to go to college, it could be a struggle.
Health insurance has been addressed in this thread already; I won't rehash it. As for college, do you really see a kid raised by him wanting to go to a super-expensive college, especially when less expensive, good schools exist in his home state (in this case, Colorado)? Besides, even if the kid ends up getting student loans, the lifestyle he'll likely lead, coupled with personal finance habits, will make them a lot less of a burden than they are for the general population.
"What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it." -- XXXX, _Layer Cake_ | | I survived my first downturn and all I got was this signature line.
ConcernedKid
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:59 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ConcernedKid »

I wouldn't go so far as to call him a hero, but I am a big fan of his. Thanks to MMM I ditched cable, I jump on my bike for short trips and live in a reasonable apartment within walking distance to work. He helped expose some of the excesses that were weighing down my budget that I honestly no longer miss. I consider him to be a springboard to reaching my inner-Boglehead.
lhl12
Posts: 678
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 8:24 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by lhl12 »

I am a fan as well. I haven't implemented many of his suggestions, but I find his perspective refreshing as well as being a great reference point for the dangers (and seductions) of consumerism in our society.
NorCalDad
Posts: 767
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:14 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by NorCalDad »

Agree with others - his is a refreshing voice in a sea of consumerism. I take what I can use from his site, though I don't wish to live as frugally as he does nor leave my profession as early as he did. He uses his money not as a scorecard but as a means to enjoy life on his own terms.
TFinator
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:03 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by TFinator »

ieee488 wrote:He actually may be getting a sizeable chunk of money from his blog.
And also, maybe freebies that he doesn't tell his readers about.
I know of a semi-famous internet cat whose human received a free smartphone unsolicited.
You and I don't get that, but I am very sure MMM does.
At year end he itemizes his spending. He also discloses his income. He's gotten multiple free cell phones - and he writes a post about each one. I don't think this makes him any less valid. In fact - maybe more so as he's being extremely realistic?
Novine
Posts: 1240
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Novine »

OP - What exactly are your beefs with his financial views? I'm assuming that you're able to differentiate those from any personal differences you have with how the guy lives.
User avatar
englishgirl
Posts: 2491
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: FL

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by englishgirl »

I read his blog occasionally, but have never really delved into the forum. I think he's great for inspiration on frugal living, and on alternative lifestyles. I have gradually ratcheted up my frugalism over the years, and ratcheted down my lifestyle, but I'm still nowhere near where he is. I regard it as fun "aspirational" reading. [That seems totally the wrong use of aspirational though - aspiring to live more frugally seems like anti-aspiration!]

I don't see the problem for the future. If you can amass a lot of savings early, and invest them in the market and then stop saving but don't withdraw from it either, it will grow nicely. I think that's the difference between what he's doing and "real" retirement. He's still doing enough work to live off the proceeds without dipping into his savings. But it's work according to his schedule, and with spending only $25k a year, it's not like he has to slave away all the time.
Sarah
User avatar
Topic Author
TheTimeLord
Posts: 8945
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by TheTimeLord »

Novine wrote:OP - What exactly are your beefs with his financial views? I'm assuming that you're able to differentiate those from any personal differences you have with how the guy lives.
I don't know if I would call it a beef per se. I just do not find it terribly practical for the vast majority of individuals and as one who values balance I see his life lacking in that area. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have some very good point or isn't very happy with his decisions.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]
User avatar
carorun
Posts: 332
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:53 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by carorun »

englishgirl wrote:I read his blog occasionally, but have never really delved into the forum. I think he's great for inspiration on frugal living, and on alternative lifestyles.
I recommend NOT getting sucked in to the forum. It's like a mustachian one-upper contest in there. If you use toilet paper, shower daily, and use heat in your home, you're a loser. That said, I enjoy reading it because I learn something new every time I go in.
livesoft
Posts: 75173
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by livesoft »

I am happy for him.

Previous MMM threads have been locked because folks get too emotional about this. People get defensive about their own choices and actions for some reason and become haters. For instance, I started a couple of threads on how to keep one's taxes low. They got locked, too, even though all the advice was actionable and personal and really works.

Another instance of the same phenomenon is the 37-year-old who "retired". Folks found more negative things to write about than positive things. I think that folks like to justify their own choices, I know that I certainly do. :)
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
Working2notWork
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:22 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Working2notWork »

Care to share the links. I'm always interested in lowering my taxes!
livesoft wrote:For instance, I started a couple of threads on how to keep one's taxes low. They got locked, too, even though all the advice was actionable and personal and really works.
livesoft
Posts: 75173
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by livesoft »

Thanks for asking! (Wasn't that a neat trick I used to get you to ask?)

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=79510
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=87471
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
Working2notWork
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:22 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Working2notWork »

Sneaky, sneaky! :twisted:
livesoft wrote:Thanks for asking! (Wasn't that a neat trick I used to get you to ask?)

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=79510
http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=87471
ieee488
Posts: 1989
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ieee488 »

TFinator wrote:
ieee488 wrote:He actually may be getting a sizeable chunk of money from his blog.
And also, maybe freebies that he doesn't tell his readers about.
I know of a semi-famous internet cat whose human received a free smartphone unsolicited.
You and I don't get that, but I am very sure MMM does.
At year end he itemizes his spending. He also discloses his income. He's gotten multiple free cell phones - and he writes a post about each one. I don't think this makes him any less valid. In fact - maybe more so as he's being extremely realistic?
He writes about his free cell phones, because that is what his readers care about - best cell plans.
Are there other things he doesn't mention like free crockpot, whatever?

Like someone else wrote, he really isn't living off his savings anymore. That is what retirement means to me.
He has parlayed his retirement into self-employment.
So his followers on the blog are paying his retirement for him.
Dell Optiplex 3020 (Win7 Pro), Dell Precision M6300 (Ubuntu Linux 12.04), Dell Precision M6300 (Win7 Pro), Dell Latitude D531 (Vista)
bhsince87
Posts: 2700
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by bhsince87 »

I like him. He’s opened my mind to different viewpoints on some of the “big questions”. Things like, how much is “enough”, how much is “too much”, what does retirement mean, what’s really important in your life, etc. These are topics that are discussed and debated here over and over again.

And, he’s made his choices on the “big questions”, and he’s living it out. Hard for me to see what’s wrong with that.

I particularly like his observation about the “retirement police”, who are constantly telling him he’s not really retired. Folks who seem to think its binary, where one moment you go from accumulation mode, the next to withdraw mode. And once you make that choice, going back is some sort of failure.

I have to admit, I was in that camp before I started reading his blog. Now I understand the fuzziness aspect, and I can see myself “retiring” into a less stressful part time job much earlier than I had previously planned. My personal level of “enough” happens to be much higher than his, so I am sticking with my traditional job a decade longer than he did, but I feel no guilt nor remorse about that.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
staustin
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:36 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by staustin »

I like him as well. In my mind, any and all voices that speak to living more simply, being frugal, spending more time enjoying life by not participating in the relentless pursuit of more and great material things, are welcome and should be encouraged. His blog was my motivation to buy a bike.. "it's ludicrous to drive a massive, gas guzzling suv across town to work out on a treadmill, while watching. Get on your bike, walk, get moving."

Much truth there.
ieee488
Posts: 1989
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ieee488 »

staustin wrote:His blog was my motivation to buy a bike.. "it's ludicrous to drive a massive, gas guzzling suv across town to work out on a treadmill, while watching. Get on your bike, walk, get moving.
An ex-co-worker told me about a guy who rode his bicycle to work every day.
He was doing that one morning when someone parked on the side of the road in downtown area of business opened his/her car door without looking.
Boom. Dead.
Dell Optiplex 3020 (Win7 Pro), Dell Precision M6300 (Ubuntu Linux 12.04), Dell Precision M6300 (Win7 Pro), Dell Latitude D531 (Vista)
Savvy
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 3:09 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Savvy »

ieee488 wrote:
staustin wrote:His blog was my motivation to buy a bike.. "it's ludicrous to drive a massive, gas guzzling suv across town to work out on a treadmill, while watching. Get on your bike, walk, get moving.
An ex-co-worker told me about a guy who rode his bicycle to work every day.
He was doing that one morning when someone parked on the side of the road in downtown area of business opened his/her car door without looking.
Boom. Dead.
Interestingly...he posts about the dangers of biking vs. driving...http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/ ... portation/
ThatGuy
Posts: 998
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ThatGuy »

bhsince87 wrote:I particularly like his observation about the “retirement police”, who are constantly telling him he’s not really retired.
Words have meaning, and you have to use the proper word with the right meaning if you want to meaningfully communicate with other humans. Just because I call a rose a dog, doesn't mean it's a four legged mammal.
Dictionary.com wrote: retired
re·tired
[ri-tahyuhrd]
adjective
1. withdrawn from or no longer occupied with one's business or profession: a retired banker.
2. due or given a retired person: retired pay.
3. secluded or sequestered: a retired little village.
Nowhere in there does it say "you're retired if you don't work but your wife still does". Or, "you're retired if you no longer do one job, but now do a different one you like better".

I agree wholeheartedly with his message of living below your means, but the assumptions and numbers he uses have a TON of fuzzy math thrown in, coupled with the misuse of standard definitions.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 16032
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by HomerJ »

StarbuxInvestor wrote:Personally I don't get this guy or want his lifestyle and see no way this is going to end well when he is older. Am I missing something? That said if he and his family are happy then more power to them.
Oh, it's totally going to end well for him... He's doing great... making a ton of money off his blog..

My only beef with him is that he is in no way, or ever was, "retired".
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 16032
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by HomerJ »

englishgirl wrote:He's still doing enough work to live off the proceeds without dipping into his savings. But it's work according to his schedule, and with spending only $25k a year, it's not like he has to slave away all the time.
Right... And that is admirable... but he's not "retired".... He cut back his lifestyle enough so he can afford it working part-time... And he saved enough early on, that he doesn't need to save anymore... That nest-egg will grow on it's own.. That part he got exactly right, and it's a great message...

But I still don't like that he claims he only spends $25k a year when he spends more than that... He'll get free tickets to Hawaii and a place to stay for a week in exchange for some construction work, but he won't count that in his expenses... That trip will cost him $3k-$5k of work, but it won't show up on his list... He's not really living a 25k a year lifestyle. People living on 25k a year don't get to go to Hawaii for a week or two.
physicsgal
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:14 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by physicsgal »

ieee488 wrote:
staustin wrote:His blog was my motivation to buy a bike.. "it's ludicrous to drive a massive, gas guzzling suv across town to work out on a treadmill, while watching. Get on your bike, walk, get moving.
An ex-co-worker told me about a guy who rode his bicycle to work every day.
He was doing that one morning when someone parked on the side of the road in downtown area of business opened his/her car door without looking.
Boom. Dead.
Biking can be very dangerous and car doors are one of my biggest fears. I bike to work every day too and have had a bunch of close calls. However, the joy of spending the time in the sun, outside as I get myself to work where I have to sit inside all day is worth it to me. Also, it let's me think of new ideas for things to do and process my day easier than if I was in a car. Also, I seriously HATE driving even when there isn't traffic.

I suspect that in biking as in driving, a lot of the safety depends on the user. I have been riding for 11 years and I haven't been hit by a car once. I have friends who have been hit though. Same rule for biking as for riding a motorcycle "Ride like everyone is 16, drunk, and out to get you".

Personally, I would never take a job that means I would have to drive to work every day. I still drive occasionally, as in today when the wind was crazy strong. But if I had to do it daily I'd go crazy! I don't understand how people can waste 1-2 hours a day of their precious lives sitting in those cars in traffic, but maybe other people actually enjoy driving or at least don't despise it?
mnvalue
Posts: 1098
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 2:22 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by mnvalue »

There are some valid criticisms here, but overall, I firmly vote "hero". I like what bhsince87 said a lot, specifically about MMM helping you think about how much is "enough". Even if you're not as extreme as him, making your own decisions about "enough" in a society awash in consumerism is important. I'm also a fan of his approach towards optimism. It's really easy to complain. Obviously, it doesn't fix everything, but simply choosing to stop that behavior some of the time, to focus on positive thinking instead, helps a lot.

And I would like to add, I'm hearing all the time about people of normal retirement age doing semi-retirement and working part-time, and not always because they have to financially. Granted, I did just call that "semi-retirement", so I get the point about terminology.
bhsince87
Posts: 2700
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by bhsince87 »

Maybe this is why these threads get closed down. Too much pointless hair splitting......

But by the way I read that definition he's certainly retired.

Dictionary.com wrote: retired
re·tired
[ri-tahyuhrd]
adjective
1. withdrawn from or no longer occupied with one's business or profession: a retired banker.
2. due or given a retired person: retired pay.
3. secluded or sequestered: a retired little village.
He's withdrawn from and no longer occupied by his profession: a retired engineer. Now he's occupied with other stuff.

Or this example: Is Johnny Bench retired? I'd say yes. He hasn't played baseball in years. But I see him on TV doing advertisements for Blue Emu, so he's obviously still earning a paycheck doing something.

But really, what's the fuss about? Does it matter what we call them?
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
ThatGuy
Posts: 998
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ThatGuy »

Yes, because now he has a different profession. Namely, running a blog. He even had a construction company which built at least two houses, and probably did some remodels for money as well :D

Words have meaning, and perverting them makes it hard to communicate.

I used to work in a minimum wage food services job as a teenager, but now I'm an engineer. Am I retired because I am no longer in a food services profession?
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde
Random Poster
Posts: 2379
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Random Poster »

If his message helps people to live below their means, save, and plan for the future, then I am hard-pressed to say that what he is doing isn't at least somewhat helpful.

That said, and I don't know the guy, but I find his writing style to be grating and his cheerleading section to be obnoxious.

I'm probably not his target audience anyway, but I do wonder if his commentary, however well-intentioned it may be, is merely a con and based on a shell-game of sorts* and he is merely playing his readership for lesser fools.

* Some of his math (particularly in regard to how he achieved his financial success) simply doesn't add up in my mind. When someone plays a little loose with words, it shouldn't be too surprising that they might play a little loose with numbers too.
gerrym51
Posts: 1679
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:44 pm

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by gerrym51 »

i might be able to live like him-my wife no.
The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by The Wizard »

Random Poster wrote:
* Some of his math (particularly in regard to how he achieved his financial success) simply doesn't add up in my mind. When someone plays a little loose with words, it shouldn't be too surprising that they might play a little loose with numbers too.
It's been a year since I read MMM, but isn't some of his "income" due to non-cash barter?
If so, then more efficient due to less reported income and tax...
Attempted new signature...
User avatar
englishgirl
Posts: 2491
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: FL

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by englishgirl »

ThatGuy wrote:Yes, because now he has a different profession. Namely, running a blog. He even had a construction company which built at least two houses, and probably did some remodels for money as well :D

Words have meaning, and perverting them makes it hard to communicate.

I used to work in a minimum wage food services job as a teenager, but now I'm an engineer. Am I retired because I am no longer in a food services profession?
I do think there is a difference in there somewhere. Working at a professional job, and putting plenty of money away in retirement accounts, and THEN going to a lower paid, lower stress job while not touching your retirement accounts is not the same as just changing jobs. But yes, I'd agree, it doesn't fit the classical definition of retired. What does it fit though? We don't have the right words available. Downshifted? Semi-retired?
Sarah
User avatar
tfb
Posts: 8363
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 5:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by tfb »

ThatGuy wrote:Nowhere in there does it say "you're retired if you don't work but your wife still does". Or, "you're retired if you no longer do one job, but now do a different one you like better".
What do you think of couples in this article in New York Times Coping When Not Entering Retirement Together? One can't retire unless the other also retires?

Or this thread on Bogleheads: Do you work part time in retirement? It's contradictory by definition? You would tell all the posters in that thread they are not retired?
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.
The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by The Wizard »

If one has zero earned income for the year and is ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, then you're either retired or unemployed.
But I have no quibble with quitting the Organized Rat Race and carving a personal self-employment profile...
Attempted new signature...
User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 15157
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by White Coat Investor »

I firmly vote Hero. Let me tell you why.

1) Unlike most posting on this thread I've actually met the guy and shared a meal with him. He's a lot of fun and very down to Earth. So any "personal" attacks are completely inappropriate.

2) He has something like 2 million pageviews every month. That's about 8 times what my blog gets. A LOT of people are coming to his site and learning about all kinds of important personal finance topics.

3) He's absolutely right about the vast majority of what he is writing about. People spend too much money on stuff that doesn't make them happy. A bicycle IS a money-printing fountain of youth. You CAN live happily on far less money than most are living on. He also explores plenty of standard Boglehead concepts like passive investing, safe withdrawal rates, high savings rates etc.

4) Super high savings rate, like he had during his short "career" DO allow for financial freedom. No doubt about it. Just because his idea of retirement is different from yours and he actually generates money during his retirement doesn't mean he isn't experiencing a very high degree of financial freedom. Retirement? Maybe, maybe not. Spending his time doing what he loves? Absolutely.

5) His writing is better than that of 95% of bloggers out there. Good information is great, but if you can pare it with decent writing, so much the better.

6) Last I checked he had a plan for health insurance and for his children's college. Frankly, I think Bogleheads on average are saving and spending far too much on their children's educations. Last week I saw a thread where someone was planning on spending $150K for a fashion degree. I can't think of any undergraduate degree that I think is worth $150K.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
ThatGuy
Posts: 998
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by ThatGuy »

I want to reiterate that I agree with his message, I only have issues with the words and numbers he uses to broadcast his message.
tfb wrote:Or this thread on Bogleheads: Do you work part time in retirement? It's contradictory by definition? You would tell all the posters in that thread they are not retired?
Yes. It appears I'm not the only one, as from that thread:
livesoft wrote:Where does one draw the line between working part-time in retirement and working part-time and not being retired?
Ron wrote:If I was working (regardless of pay/hours), I would not be retired; I would have just changed jobs :oops: .
Rodc wrote:When you have a significant non-work income stream (ie you mostly work because you enjoy it, not because you need the money)

(still not a perfect definition, but best I could do in 30 seconds)

FWIW: I think semi-retired is a better term.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde
Downtown
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:48 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Mr. Money Mustache: Hero or Foolish?

Post by Downtown »

Lots of naysayers out there for what MMM espouses. Personally, I find his posts usually very thought provoking and a counter to what you normally see out there in the blogosphere. I won't be emulating all details of his uber frugal lifestyle, but he has certainly opened my eyes and for that I'm appreciative.
Locked