[Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

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jfave33
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by jfave33 »

The biggest difference is that Bogleheads usually want to work for longer. Probably not because they necessarily like working but because they consider it a necessity. They want to keep investing those earnings. It is mostly about maximizing investments. Many Bogleheads will be worried about retirement with several million dollars.

MM followers want to reach a position of FI as soon as possible eg in their 20-40s. They want to use their money to do whatever they want to do. It is not that they don't like working - it is just they want to work on something they really enjoy doing and get the maximum out of it. They value time over money. They won't usually have as much money as bogleheads and won't be worried about retirement once they hit their FI number(usually around a million). So work on reducing consumption and waste as well as maximizing investments.

Both can follow the same principles of investing.
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Re: Hope I'm not unwittingly wading into anything here...

Post by lostdog »

cutterinnj wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:45 pm Bogleheads: Folks who wish to optimize their financial portfolios by removing waste

MMM: Hippies who also follow Bogle.
I guess I am a boglehead hippie. :sharebeer
WhyNotUs
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by WhyNotUs »

This thread is a tempest in a teapot. What is the point?

Everything one needs to know about BH "philosophy" is in the Wiki and MMM's philosophy is probably similarly accessible.
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Re: Hope I'm not unwittingly wading into anything here...

Post by Mr.BB »

monkey_business wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:49 pm There is a lot of general overlap but MMM is more the 40 year old that retires on a very modest budget, whereas the Boglehead is the 60 year old that retires very comfortably. The two communities have a different tilt in terms of overall goals and lifestyle.
+1
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Mr.BB »

I think you'll find in the final analysis mmm is more about the expenses part of the equation.
Bogleheads as you know do work on expensive, but also really focus on the technical part of savings.

You do need both parts of the equation to have a successful outcome. But let's face it, it's more fun to have more money to spend on things you want to do in life/retirement then to have to limit your spending because you're limited on how much you saved.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by soupcxan »

Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
There is a difference.

The MMM early retiree will be riding his bicycle in a blizzard to pick up his 6 pack of Oktober-extraspecial beer on sale, saving $1.63 and be hit and killed by a guy in a Tesla Model S because he was letting it auto drive.

The Boglehead doctor was texting his wife when he felt some kind of bump, assumed it was a pothole and let his Model S get him to the hospital to look at charts for an hour, collecting $4000 for his trouble.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Sandtrap »

Which of the two are more prone to encourage entrepreneurship? :?:

Which of the two have a greater number of mmbers that are or were entrepreneurs or business-people? :?:

That may contribute to the some of the variations in point of view and approach to Financial Independence.
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Teague
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Teague »

This thread made me curious, so I took a look around over there.

One thing stood out to me. There is a forum category labeled thus:

Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy
Sometimes the world just needs to be mocked. What have you seen in real life, in the mainstream media, or on other blogs, that is just so Antimustachian that you need to share it with us, your friends on the Inside?


This seems to be a dedicated space to mock those who are not "with the program." I've never seen that sort of category before in forums I visit, thankfully.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by JupiterJones »

sunny_socal wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:57 pm At least you didn't start a Dave Ramsey thread, then you'd really get a black eye! :wink:
Actually, you could probably do a passable Venn diagram of all three philosophies. At the center would be "live below your means and realize that whole life is for suckers"

At the intersection of just MMM & DR would be "All debt is bad and should pretty much be avoided always". (The majority of the BH crowd, on the other hand, would tend to hang on to a low-interest mortgage or zero-interest car loan.)

At the intersection of just BH & MMM would be an emphasis on low-cost investing, primarily index-based. (No need to reiterate that DR's investing advice is different from that.)

At the intersection of just BH & DR would be the emphasis on a lower/moderate standard of living now so that you can enjoy a relatively more lavish standard of living later. (MMM's goal is to find joy and fulfillment at a less consumerist standard of living, such that you wouldn't feel the need to raise it later.)

An, of course, there would things unique to each circle, such as MMM's focus on DIY and active transit, DR's Evangelical angle and pathological hatred of credit cards. Not sure what would be uniquely BH...
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by KlangFool »

Folks,

So, where does my philosophy falls in the spectrum of Boglehead versus MMM?

1) Save 1/3, spend 1/3, pay 1/3 in tax. Aka, save one year of expense every year and spend the rest. You will reach your number in 20+ years even with 0% real return.

2) Focus on the big items: House, college education, and car. Don't worry about small expenses.

3) Value-conscious. Spend on experience versus stuff. Buy but get the best deal if you can.

4) Take only enough risk to get you there.

5) Be prepared so that you can survive and thrive in multiple recessions and economic crisis.

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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by BogleFanGal »

It also seems more people on BH are cautious, pessimistic...worriers - however one labels it...and thus feel a bigger stash is needed to counter all those horrible black swan-like events: (A) dementia for 10+ years or other life altering health issues (B) prolonged market crash of epic proportions, (C) no kids or younger family to care for them...whatever individual demons they fear.

When I visit MMM, they all seem so darn carefree & sure of themselves over there! It's all about building that FIRE stash, then home free for the rest of their life to live like the independent free spirits they deserve to be. They'll figure out a way to survive, no matter what life throws at them.

I really envy that, but as a lifelong worrier, that will NEVER be me. I'll probably be perpetually in the "wish I had just $XXX more than I have right now to feel extra safe" camp - no matter how much I save.
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FiveK
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by FiveK »

JupiterJones wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:20 am At the intersection of just MMM & DR would be "All debt is bad and should pretty much be avoided always". (The majority of the BH crowd, on the other hand, would tend to hang on to a low-interest mortgage or zero-interest car loan.)
You may have the wrong impression of "official" MMM advice. Seems replacing BH with MMM in the parenthetical sentence would be correct: there is the occasional "pay off all debt" advice in both MMM and BH, but the majority look at the interest rates before deciding. E.g., the suggested prioritization of investments from the MMM forum and Bogleheads wiki are similar in this regard:
Investment Order and Prioritizing investments - Bogleheads.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by bligh »

BogleFanGal wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 am It also seems more people on BH are cautious, pessimistic...worriers - however one labels it...and thus feel a bigger stash is needed to counter all those horrible black swan-like events: (A) dementia for 10+ years or other life altering health issues (B) prolonged market crash of epic proportions, (C) no kids or younger family to care for them...whatever individual demons they fear.

When I visit MMM, they all seem so darn carefree & sure of themselves over there! It's all about building that FIRE stash, then home free for the rest of their life to live like the independent free spirits they deserve to be. They'll figure out a way to survive, no matter what life throws at them.

I really envy that, but as a lifelong worrier, that will NEVER be me. I'll probably be perpetually in the "wish I had just $XXX more than I have right now to feel extra safe" camp - no matter how much I save.
I think a lot of that has to do with Age. I think there is a big difference in the average age of the BH forum member vs the average MMM forum member. A 55 year old about to pull the plug and go into retirement knows that he has little hope of getting a decent job in 10 years if things don't work out as planned, and little hope of recovering from the financial hit. A 35 year old about to pull the plug knows that there will still be time to work and repair his financial situation if he needs to return to work 10 years from now.

Personally, as I've gotten older and seen what life can throw at you, I've learned to become more cautious.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by EasilyConfused »

BogleFanGal wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 am It also seems more people on BH are cautious, pessimistic...worriers - however one labels it...and thus feel a bigger stash is needed to counter all those horrible black swan-like events: (A) dementia for 10+ years or other life altering health issues (B) prolonged market crash of epic proportions, (C) no kids or younger family to care for them...whatever individual demons they fear.

When I visit MMM, they all seem so darn carefree & sure of themselves over there! It's all about building that FIRE stash, then home free for the rest of their life to live like the independent free spirits they deserve to be. They'll figure out a way to survive, no matter what life throws at them.

I really envy that, but as a lifelong worrier, that will NEVER be me. I'll probably be perpetually in the "wish I had just $XXX more than I have right now to feel extra safe" camp - no matter how much I save.
Yes. Every popular lifestyle site has its dopes who take a good idea too far. MMM has people who tell folks making $500K that they're irresponsibly wasteful if they own more than 2 pairs of underwear. There are some on BH who will tell you to keep working in your Dilbert job until you're 85 because $8 million in savings isn't enough to withstand seven consecutive Biblical plagues.

Hopefully the other 95% of the people who visit these sites are able to take the good ideas and ignore the extremists, because the core philosophy at both BH and MMM is sound.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by supersecretname »

I kicked my MMM-ness into high gear a few years ago when I saw an incredibly well-liked coworker in his 50s leave work on Fri and very quickly pass away over the weekend due to some type of infection. Devastated the whole company. I'm sure he had lots of plans about things to do when retired.

After that, it really put in perspective that you only get one shot and you never know when your time is up. I'll be damned if I'm going to spend one day longer in my office than I have to.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by dave_k »

In my area we have local meetings of both Bogleheads and MMM followers. I've been to several of each over the last couple years.

I feel a bit out of place at the MMM meetings because my high savings rate is due more to a high income than frugal living, and I have a gas guzzling car and a boat, but they are a good group of people and don't seem as preachy or dogmatic as some people have suggested. We have enough in common that I don't feel like it's uncomfortable or a waste of time - I'm more interested in real estate and DIY than the average Boglehead, and want to retire early-ish. A lot of them are younger, but there's a variety of both age and frugality, with at least one other person who like me is more of a typical Boglehead than a typical MMM type.

I'm on the younger end of the local Bogleheads group (although I'm mid 40s), but I fit in a bit better there. As expected, they are more focused on a comfortable retirement than an early one, and on investing and financial planning than frugality. They are not as "high energy" as the MMM group, but that may be as much due to age as anything else.

I have recommended the Bogleheads meetings to the MMM group, but not the other way around. I would recommend MMM to a younger Boglehead that was interested in early retirement though. My take on it is that the MMM philosophy is basically the Bogleheads philosophy (on the higher risk side) plus environmentalism plus extra frugality to achieve earlier retirement.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by randomizer »

I think Bogleheads tend to be more conservative. An MMM-er may decide to pull the trigger and retire at 30 years old as soon as they hit 25x their annual expenses. On this forum you'll see people arguing for much more than that, even when retiring at a more "normal" age like 65.

The MMM approach looks pretty reckless on the surface, but they are counting on their ability to pick up income on the side and get back into the work force if markets go pear-shaped. Many of them are engineer types (MMM himself is), so this may be true (if they keep their skills up to date).
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by sunny_socal »

I think when you're young you must be more of an MMM in order to get by. I can't even imagine how my kids are going to get started without being very thrifty and watching every penny. When my wife and I bought our first house it was "only" 250k, now that same house is 500 k :| Talked to a friend who's daughter goes to college in San Francisco. Daughter rents a house with 5 roommates, their monthly rent is $6500! :shock:

Once you have your education, your bills are paid and you're in a decent career the MMM mentality can safely morph into BH. Even MMM himself is likely to come to the dark side now that he's making the big bucks! :D
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF »

soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
When MMM retired he did not have $400k/year in his wildest dreams.
When a Boglhead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year.

MMM provides an invaluable role model for 30-somethings away from the culture of consumption.
A Boglehead doctor is a very smart successful individual, an exception rather than a rule.

MMM took risks and has unexpectedly caught a positive Black Swan.
A Boglehead doctor was playing it safe and is watching out for negative Black Swans of healthcare policies, insurance constraints, and litigation.

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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Sandtrap »

bligh wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:24 am
BogleFanGal wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 am It also seems more people on BH are cautious, pessimistic...worriers - however one labels it...and thus feel a bigger stash is needed to counter all those horrible black swan-like events: (A) dementia for 10+ years or other life altering health issues (B) prolonged market crash of epic proportions, (C) no kids or younger family to care for them...whatever individual demons they fear.

When I visit MMM, they all seem so darn carefree & sure of themselves over there! It's all about building that FIRE stash, then home free for the rest of their life to live like the independent free spirits they deserve to be. They'll figure out a way to survive, no matter what life throws at them.

I really envy that, but as a lifelong worrier, that will NEVER be me. I'll probably be perpetually in the "wish I had just $XXX more than I have right now to feel extra safe" camp - no matter how much I save.
I think a lot of that has to do with Age. I think there is a big difference in the average age of the BH forum member vs the average MMM forum member. A 55 year old about to pull the plug and go into retirement knows that he has little hope of getting a decent job in 10 years if things don't work out as planned, and little hope of recovering from the financial hit. A 35 year old about to pull the plug knows that there will still be time to work and repair his financial situation if he needs to return to work 10 years from now.

Personally, as I've gotten older and seen what life can throw at you, I've learned to become more cautious.
+1
Difference in demographics. (if not biological then perhaps thinking level or stage -- there are very mature thinking 30 year olds, and vs vs)
Generation gap?
perhaps.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by dcabler »

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:57 pm
bligh wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:24 am
BogleFanGal wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 am It also seems more people on BH are cautious, pessimistic...worriers - however one labels it...and thus feel a bigger stash is needed to counter all those horrible black swan-like events: (A) dementia for 10+ years or other life altering health issues (B) prolonged market crash of epic proportions, (C) no kids or younger family to care for them...whatever individual demons they fear.

When I visit MMM, they all seem so darn carefree & sure of themselves over there! It's all about building that FIRE stash, then home free for the rest of their life to live like the independent free spirits they deserve to be. They'll figure out a way to survive, no matter what life throws at them.

I really envy that, but as a lifelong worrier, that will NEVER be me. I'll probably be perpetually in the "wish I had just $XXX more than I have right now to feel extra safe" camp - no matter how much I save.
I think a lot of that has to do with Age. I think there is a big difference in the average age of the BH forum member vs the average MMM forum member. A 55 year old about to pull the plug and go into retirement knows that he has little hope of getting a decent job in 10 years if things don't work out as planned, and little hope of recovering from the financial hit. A 35 year old about to pull the plug knows that there will still be time to work and repair his financial situation if he needs to return to work 10 years from now.

Personally, as I've gotten older and seen what life can throw at you, I've learned to become more cautious.
+1
Difference in demographics. (if not biological then perhaps thinking level or stage -- there are very mature thinking 30 year olds, and vs vs)
Generation gap?
perhaps.
Also +1 re demographics based on when I used to read MMM.
It might be interesting to see how an MMM poster might respond to the same question if posted on the MMM blog. :D
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by FiveK »

dcabler wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:07 pm It might be interesting to see how an MMM poster might respond to the same question if posted on the MMM blog. :D
Most are from a few years ago, so take them for what they're worth:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welco ... msg1515605
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welco ... /#msg77350
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antim ... #msg361725
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antim ... #msg552777
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antim ... #msg103381
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by queso »

stan1 wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:20 pmMMM:
Tell everyone you retired early but start secret businesses repairing/flipping houses and selling soap on etsy.
This. I used to read quite a bit of MMM before I found BH and I have recommended it to a few 20 somethings I work with as an alternative to a high consumption lifestyle. That being said, I came to think I either misunderstood the MMM philosophy from the beginning or it morphed over time into something else. I originally thought the idea was to be uber frugal and then retire early. More and more what it seems to me is that MMM is more of an entrepreneurial mindset that you work a serf type job (any 8-5 working for the man qualifies), but save as much as possible so you can quickly exit stage left and live off your stored up serf wages while you start a bunch of gigs/blogs/part-time jobs, etc. rather than working for megacorp. Stan1's post pretty much sums up how I have come to view MMM. Not sure if it was always that way, but that's what I definitely think it trends toward now. I don't honestly see how you can call what they do over there "early retirement".
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

dcabler wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:07 pm
It might be interesting to see how an MMM poster might respond to the same question if posted on the MMM blog. :D
This happens at least once a week. Add Reddit/pf to this too. I've reverted to ignoring repeated questions cross posted between forums. What I responded to the lottery winner here would hold to his exact same question on MMM or on Reddit PF.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Rupert »

BogleFanGal wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 am It also seems more people on BH are cautious, pessimistic...worriers - however one labels it...and thus feel a bigger stash is needed to counter all those horrible black swan-like events: (A) dementia for 10+ years or other life altering health issues (B) prolonged market crash of epic proportions, (C) no kids or younger family to care for them...whatever individual demons they fear.

When I visit MMM, they all seem so darn carefree & sure of themselves over there! It's all about building that FIRE stash, then home free for the rest of their life to live like the independent free spirits they deserve to be. They'll figure out a way to survive, no matter what life throws at them.

I really envy that, but as a lifelong worrier, that will NEVER be me. I'll probably be perpetually in the "wish I had just $XXX more than I have right now to feel extra safe" camp - no matter how much I save.
I'd be willing to bet these differences in outlook can be explained by the average age of Bogleheaders vs. MMMers. Even young Bogleheaders are old souls.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Riley15 »

I really think Mr Money Mustache is being disingenuous when it comes to early retirement. He seems to be really active generating income from someone who is supposedly retired. Without his blog income and affiliate revenues, he would really be in a bad place. There is no logical way for someone to retire at 30ish with 1 million for a Family of 3. That's possibly a withdrawal phase of 40-50 years on 1 million. And probably minimal social security when you reach 65 since you only worked what 8-10 years.

You cannot live on 25k for a family of three and be able to afford full health insurance without subsidies or fund a college education. You can opt out of insurance or not pay for your kids education which is a huge risk and a bad idea for most people.

I think most of the MM readers are younger Millenials who just take everything he says at face value and lured by the idea of "early retirement" and 7% annual returns who don't understand the full reality and complexities. The only thing I applaud is the anti-consumerism stance but that alone is not enough for early retirement.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by livesoft »

BogleFanGal wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 am It also seems more people on BH are cautious, pessimistic...worriers - however one labels it...
Maybe not when weighted by post-count?
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by bligh »

Riley15 wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:06 pm I really think Mr Money Mustache is being disingenuous when it comes to early retirement. He seems to be really active generating income from someone who is supposedly retired. Without his blog income and affiliate revenues, he would really be in a bad place. There is no logical way for someone to retire at 30ish with 1 million for a Family of 3. That's possibly a withdrawal phase of 40-50 years on 1 million. And probably minimal social security when you reach 65 since you only worked what 8-10 years.

You cannot live on 25k for a family of three and be able to afford full health insurance without subsidies or fund a college education. You can opt out of insurance or not pay for your kids education which is a huge risk and a bad idea for most people.

I think most of the MM readers are younger Millenials who just take everything he says at face value and lured by the idea of "early retirement" and 7% annual returns who don't understand the full reality and complexities. The only thing I applaud is the anti-consumerism stance but that alone is not enough for early retirement.
I always felt like MMM was more about attaining enough financial freedom to not be chained to a desk. ie. Once your basics are taken care of, you can now work out of passion and interest, versus the "gotta pay the bills" 9-6 routine. Put another way, you lower your consumption and get your savings to the point where you can now work, because you want to... not because you have to. That is a great goal to be striving towards.

Also keep in mind MMM has grown in popularity over a pretty long and generous bull market. I imagine an equally long and brutal bear market will shake the confidence of a lot of those who believe $1 million is enough to retire on in your mid thirties.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Mr.BB »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:03 am
soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
There is a difference.

The MMM early retiree will be riding his bicycle in a blizzard to pick up his 6 pack of Oktober-extraspecial beer on sale, saving $1.63 and be hit and killed by a guy in a Tesla Model S because he was letting it auto drive.

The Boglehead doctor was texting his wife when he felt some kind of bump, assumed it was a pothole and let his Model S get him to the hospital to look at charts for an hour, collecting $4000 for his trouble.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by TheAncientOne »

Notwithstanding MMM's idiosyncracies, there's a powerful message there that should resonate with BHers. Spending much less than you make is possible and does not necessarily mean diminishing the quality of your life. Saving 30% of your after tax income (MMM advocates for 50% or more) will have a far greater impact on FI goals than using a low cost index fund in lieu of a T. Rowe Price fund with 1% annual fees while saving 10-15%. To the extent that he encourages people to do more things for themselves rather than paying others, there's an implicit recognition that any goods or services you purchase must be done with after tax dollars from which 35-40% is first extracted in federal and state taxes.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Maya1234 »

freebeer wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:39 pm
supersecretname wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:26 pm ... if you do, and you realize you don't have to be an economic serf your whole life, it's incredibly liberating.
This. MMM (and followers) seem to consider traditional employment, i.e. having a job, to be "economic serfdom". And for those who hate or at least don't particularly like their jobs, the idea of financial independence is, naturally, liberating. But for those who love or at least like their work and feeling a calling to do it, this is kind of weird and IMHO it's bad advice to nudge folks to withdraw from economically efficient contributions to society towards what is basically the modern equivalent of smallholder subsistence. If you are a doctor, teacher, skilled mechanic, or whatever - and LOVE it - then why should you prioritize engaging in ultra frugality (like using one bath towel, without washing it for weeks) and extreme DIY (at the expense of time pursuing your chosen profession), just in order to have enough assets to not have to do the work you love?

OTOH the corresponding tragic flaw of Bogleheads seems to be passivity as the order of the day. People here tend to be punching the clock en route to a delayed (until uber safe) affluent retirement. You will see little on this forum about entrepreneurship and individual initiative. Much more of that on MMM mainly because MMM himself is very entrepreneurial.
I think that's a very fair asssement. I really enjoy my work as an attorney. Thanks to a windfall inheritance combined with already having been on my way to a well funded " normal" age retirement I could retire now several years before I am 60. But I love my job. I have no interest in stopping yet.

I also have no interest in being super frugal. The person who I got my windfall inheritance was super frugal. She really seemed miserable. Spending money made her miserable. It was a sad and joyless way to live. My husband and I try to enjoy spending on things that give us pleasure. We aren't buying fancy cars or a huge home, super pricy clothes or jewelry because none of that would add to our pleasure.

What does?

*Traveling well when we do it 1st Class Airlines, luxury accommodations)
*Paying for others to do things we don't like...lawn care, snow plow service,
*Goods that improve our lives ( a nice model clothes dryer that steams clothes, a thermapen for cooking )
*Giving more to Charity ( for example, my birthday this year I asked each of my friends to name a charity they liked and donated $1,000 for each in honor of our friendship)
*Not worrying about expenses ( need a new roof, a new water heater etc...no worries)
Bigbonds
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Bigbonds »

How much do I need to retire?

Bogleheads: 5 million, minimum!

MMM: $500,000

That pretty much sums up the difference
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by grettman »

VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:48 pm
soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
When MMM retired he did not have $400k/year in his wildest dreams.
When a Boglhead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year.

MMM provides an invaluable role model for 30-somethings away from the culture of consumption.
A Boglehead doctor is a very smart successful individual, an exception rather than a rule.

MMM took risks and has unexpectedly caught a positive Black Swan.
A Boglehead doctor was playing it safe and is watching out for negative Black Swans of healthcare policies, insurance constraints, and litigation.

Victoria
He might not have had the 400K a year figure in his mind but he had a number. A blog is a business. He built his blog in a very smart way and it grew. He knew at the time general what other Personal Finance sites were making and he monetized his blog to achieve greater financial success. There is nothing wrong with this but all those young folks on his site need to think about extra revenue streams before they commit to a life of riding a bike forever. It’s one thing to chose to live a certain way but is far different if you are forced to because you pulled the plug too soon.
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Riley15
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Riley15 »

bligh wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:33 pm
Riley15 wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:06 pm I really think Mr Money Mustache is being disingenuous when it comes to early retirement. He seems to be really active generating income from someone who is supposedly retired. Without his blog income and affiliate revenues, he would really be in a bad place. There is no logical way for someone to retire at 30ish with 1 million for a Family of 3. That's possibly a withdrawal phase of 40-50 years on 1 million. And probably minimal social security when you reach 65 since you only worked what 8-10 years.

You cannot live on 25k for a family of three and be able to afford full health insurance without subsidies or fund a college education. You can opt out of insurance or not pay for your kids education which is a huge risk and a bad idea for most people.

I think most of the MM readers are younger Millenials who just take everything he says at face value and lured by the idea of "early retirement" and 7% annual returns who don't understand the full reality and complexities. The only thing I applaud is the anti-consumerism stance but that alone is not enough for early retirement.
I always felt like MMM was more about attaining enough financial freedom to not be chained to a desk. ie. Once your basics are taken care of, you can now work out of passion and interest, versus the "gotta pay the bills" 9-6 routine. Put another way, you lower your consumption and get your savings to the point where you can now work, because you want to... not because you have to. That is a great goal to be striving towards.

Also keep in mind MMM has grown in popularity over a pretty long and generous bull market. I imagine an equally long and brutal bear market will shake the confidence of a lot of those who believe $1 million is enough to retire on in your mid thirties.

What you're describing is having that greater flexibility in your career the closer you reach to your FI goal. That is absolutely something to be striving towards. Even if someone enjoys what they do no one likes the 9-6 routine but that comes with the territory when your work for someone else.

The closer you get to FI, you may indeed have more flexibility of choosing your own hours, working part-time, taking sabbatical or working for yourself, etc. But MM sometimes makes it seem like what you spend years training for and making a career of is always going to be dreadful. Maybe that was your passion and interest at some point and just has to be rekindled. Unless you truly hate what you do I don't think there is a need to switch gears completely. For some people the big difference can be the satisfaction of working for yourself rather than working for someone else which could just be as liberating as actual retirement.
Last edited by Riley15 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF »

grettman wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:04 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:48 pm
soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
When MMM retired he did not have $400k/year in his wildest dreams.
When a Boglhead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year.

MMM provides an invaluable role model for 30-somethings away from the culture of consumption.
A Boglehead doctor is a very smart successful individual, an exception rather than a rule.

MMM took risks and has unexpectedly caught a positive Black Swan.
A Boglehead doctor was playing it safe and is watching out for negative Black Swans of healthcare policies, insurance constraints, and litigation.

Victoria
He might not have had the 400K a year figure in his mind but he had a number. A blog is a business. He built his blog in a very smart way and it grew. He knew at the time general what other Personal Finance sites were making and he monetized his blog to achieve greater financial success. There is nothing wrong with this but all those young folks on his site need to think about extra revenue streams before they commit to a life of riding a bike forever. It’s one thing to chose to live a certain way but is far different if you are forced to because you pulled the plug too soon.
MMM may have planned to turn his blog into a business, but there was no certainty. Starting a blog has a low barrier to entry, and thousands of people get into blogging every day. We notice successful bloggers and count their money, but they represent a tremendous survivorship bias. We are oblivious to the silent evidence of wanna-be bloggers who have tried, failed, and disappeared.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by TheNightsToCome »

VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:48 pm
soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
When MMM retired he did not have $400k/year in his wildest dreams.
When a Boglhead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year.

MMM provides an invaluable role model for 30-somethings away from the culture of consumption.
A Boglehead doctor is a very smart successful individual, an exception rather than a rule.

MMM took risks and has unexpectedly caught a positive Black Swan.
A Boglehead doctor was playing it safe and is watching out for negative Black Swans of healthcare policies, insurance constraints, and litigation.

Victoria
"When a Boglehead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year."

I'm a physician.

When I entered medical school (1982) I had never devoted one second to the thought of money. I had no idea what doctors earned. None of my classmates ever talked about money either.

When I applied for residency positions as a senior, someone told me that I would make $120,000 per year when I finished. I still remember where I was (parking lot in front of my apartment) when I heard that. My only thought was, "What in the hell am I going to do with all that money?"

I do think about money now. (I'd like to quit taking call sometime before death.) In true boglehead fashion my chief concern is saving enough to withstand 7 consecutive biblical plagues.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF »

TheNightsToCome wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:49 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:48 pm
soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
When MMM retired he did not have $400k/year in his wildest dreams.
When a Boglhead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year.

MMM provides an invaluable role model for 30-somethings away from the culture of consumption.
A Boglehead doctor is a very smart successful individual, an exception rather than a rule.

MMM took risks and has unexpectedly caught a positive Black Swan.
A Boglehead doctor was playing it safe and is watching out for negative Black Swans of healthcare policies, insurance constraints, and litigation.

Victoria
"When a Boglehead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year."

I'm a physician.

When I entered medical school (1982) I had never devoted one second to the thought of money. I had no idea what doctors earned. None of my classmates ever talked about money either.

When I applied for residency positions as a senior, someone told me that I would make $120,000 per year when I finished. I still remember where I was (parking lot in front of my apartment) when I heard that. My only thought was, "What in the hell am I going to do with all that money?"

I do think about money now. (I'd like to quit taking call sometime before death.) In true boglehead fashion my chief concern is saving enough to withstand 7 consecutive biblical plagues.
TheNightsToCome,

I certainly did not want to offend you or any other Bogleheads physicians, several of whom are my friends and think similarly to you. I have propensity for facetious comments and was provoked by soupcxan's "Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor."

Best wishes for having to withstand only 5 consecutive biblical plagues, and leaving the remaining 2 plagues' resources to worthy people and causes.

Cheers,
Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Whakamole »

VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:16 pm
grettman wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:04 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:48 pm
soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
When MMM retired he did not have $400k/year in his wildest dreams.
When a Boglhead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year.

MMM provides an invaluable role model for 30-somethings away from the culture of consumption.
A Boglehead doctor is a very smart successful individual, an exception rather than a rule.

MMM took risks and has unexpectedly caught a positive Black Swan.
A Boglehead doctor was playing it safe and is watching out for negative Black Swans of healthcare policies, insurance constraints, and litigation.

Victoria
He might not have had the 400K a year figure in his mind but he had a number. A blog is a business. He built his blog in a very smart way and it grew. He knew at the time general what other Personal Finance sites were making and he monetized his blog to achieve greater financial success. There is nothing wrong with this but all those young folks on his site need to think about extra revenue streams before they commit to a life of riding a bike forever. It’s one thing to chose to live a certain way but is far different if you are forced to because you pulled the plug too soon.
MMM may have planned to turn his blog into a business, but there was no certainty. Starting a blog has a low barrier to entry, and thousands of people get into blogging every day. We notice successful bloggers and count their money, but they represent a tremendous survivorship bias. We are oblivious to the silent evidence of wanna-be bloggers who have tried, failed, and disappeared.

Victoria
I think this is part of the problem. MMM, because of his success, has a lot of followers. But his life is made much easier by his followers who support him though ad and referral revenue. Without that, where would he be? I recall someone who retired on a very similar amount of money, also with a family, but who did not get as lucky with their blog and books. The main financial difference between these two individuals is that one has people paying for his life and the other does not. For every MMM there will be thousands of people who hope, perhaps even assume, that they will be able to turn a blog or hobby into sufficient income to make it possible to retire early on a relatively small amount of money, because they see successes like MMM (and other very popular bloggers like him) but haven't seen the failures; after all, nobody is reading their blogs.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by TheNightsToCome »

VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:57 pm
TheNightsToCome wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:49 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:48 pm
soupcxan wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:57 am Really not much difference from my perspective.

MMM: 35 year old making $400k/year from his blog

Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor
When MMM retired he did not have $400k/year in his wildest dreams.
When a Boglhead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year.

MMM provides an invaluable role model for 30-somethings away from the culture of consumption.
A Boglehead doctor is a very smart successful individual, an exception rather than a rule.

MMM took risks and has unexpectedly caught a positive Black Swan.
A Boglehead doctor was playing it safe and is watching out for negative Black Swans of healthcare policies, insurance constraints, and litigation.

Victoria
"When a Boglehead doctor went to a medical school he expected to (eventually) make at least $400k/year."

I'm a physician.

When I entered medical school (1982) I had never devoted one second to the thought of money. I had no idea what doctors earned. None of my classmates ever talked about money either.

When I applied for residency positions as a senior, someone told me that I would make $120,000 per year when I finished. I still remember where I was (parking lot in front of my apartment) when I heard that. My only thought was, "What in the hell am I going to do with all that money?"

I do think about money now. (I'd like to quit taking call sometime before death.) In true boglehead fashion my chief concern is saving enough to withstand 7 consecutive biblical plagues.
TheNightsToCome,

I certainly did not want to offend you or any other Bogleheads physicians, several of whom are my friends and think similarly to you. I have propensity for facetious comments and was provoked by soupcxan's "Boglehead: 35 year old making $400k/year as a doctor."

Best wishes for having to withstand only 5 consecutive biblical plagues, and leaving the remaining 2 plagues' resources to worthy people and causes.

Cheers,
Victoria
You didn't offend, Victoria. Not at all. I enjoy your posts.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by lakpr »

KlangFool wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:25 am Folks,

So, where does my philosophy falls in the spectrum of Boglehead versus MMM?

1) Save 1/3, spend 1/3, pay 1/3 in tax. Aka, save one year of expense every year and spend the rest. You will reach your number in 20+ years even with 0% real return.

2) Focus on the big items: House, college education, and car. Don't worry about small expenses.

3) Value-conscious. Spend on experience versus stuff. Buy but get the best deal if you can.

4) Take only enough risk to get you there.

5) Be prepared so that you can survive and thrive in multiple recessions and economic crisis.

KlangFool
KF,

I posit that you are a Boglehead truly but no traits of mustachianism.

From this post and some of your earlier ones, I gather that your philosophy is to save what needs to be saved first, then spend the rest. No budgeting of specific amounts for specific purposes. Mustachianiam on the other hand calls for a laser like focus on every penny being spent and looking to drive the expenses down to the minimum. Without budgeting how can we do that?

If you own a car, then also you are a non-mustachian. You are using a "mobile La-Z-Boy" in MMM's words. If you choose to live in the suburbs and commute to work more than 30 minutes each way, you have surrendered yourself to the consumption culture.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by rr2 »

dave_k wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:04 pm In my area we have local meetings of both Bogleheads and MMM followers. I've been to several of each over the last couple years.

I feel a bit out of place at the MMM meetings because my high savings rate is due more to a high income than frugal living, and I have a gas guzzling car and a boat, but they are a good group of people and don't seem as preachy or dogmatic as some people have suggested. We have enough in common that I don't feel like it's uncomfortable or a waste of time - I'm more interested in real estate and DIY than the average Boglehead, and want to retire early-ish. A lot of them are younger, but there's a variety of both age and frugality, with at least one other person who like me is more of a typical Boglehead than a typical MMM type.

I'm on the younger end of the local Bogleheads group (although I'm mid 40s), but I fit in a bit better there. As expected, they are more focused on a comfortable retirement than an early one, and on investing and financial planning than frugality. They are not as "high energy" as the MMM group, but that may be as much due to age as anything else.

I have recommended the Bogleheads meetings to the MMM group, but not the other way around. I would recommend MMM to a younger Boglehead that was interested in early retirement though. My take on it is that the MMM philosophy is basically the Bogleheads philosophy (on the higher risk side) plus environmentalism plus extra frugality to achieve earlier retirement.
Very balanced view and I'm very much in agreement.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by 6bquick »

Riley15 wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:06 pm You cannot live on 25k for a family of three and be able to afford full health insurance without subsidies or fund a college education. You can opt out of insurance or not pay for your kids education which is a huge risk and a bad idea for most people.
This is one of my biggest questions in the MMM philosophy. Are they all paying their own way with regards to ever-increasing health insurance costs? and if the answer is no, should we be encouraging a lifestyle (albeit a niche lifestyle) that is completely dependent on the government tit for healthcare? Can one honestly say they're free from 'economic serfdom' when one is being subsidized directly in one aspect or another? inquiring minds want to know.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by HomerJ »

mhalley wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:58 pm I would say bogleheads desire to live a “normal” lifestyle, ie, car, own their own home, desire to live a middle class to upper middle class lifestyle, expect to retire a Little early (say 50-60) with a very substantial nest egg. Savings rate in the 15-30% range. Mustachians live extremely modest lifestyle with substantial savings rate 50% or more, extreme early retirement 40 or earlier, modest nest egg to support modest lifestyle, lots of diy to decrease expenses. Perhaps will move to very locol area in retirement.
Of course being one does not rule out being the other.
Lots of excellent answers in this thread. This one seems to sum it up pretty well.

I only have two problems with MMM.
(1) He appears to think he's morally superior for living a bare essentials lifestyle.
(2) He doesn't really live that bare essentials lifestyle all the time. Most of the time yes, but he does enjoy some extra luxuries by working on the side (remodeling homes for free travel lodging and activities related to his blog)

His followers may discover that 50 years of a bare essentials lifestyle (without extra blog income) is not exactly what they thought it would be.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Raymond »

stan1 wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:20 pm Bogleheads:
Can't retire if you have less than $5M because you need to spend $100K/year and you might end up in a Alzheimer's care unit for more than 10 years.

MMM:
Tell everyone you retired early but start secret businesses repairing/flipping houses and selling soap on etsy.
Excellent! :sharebeer
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by chrismj »

I find the MMM idea to be helpful, and is a great complement to the Boglehead approach, but what keeps me from buying into MMM himself is I feel like he's a false prophet of sorts. Or while his overall message is positive and helpful, I find his actual keys to success are overlooked, and apply to a very small group of people.

All you have to do is graduate with no student debt, have an upper-middle class job, marry another debt-free upper-middle class person, make sure both those jobs are located in a low cost of living area, and spend your 20's riding a credit/stock/housing bubble to just a few years before the crash. Oh yeah, and don't go out to eat or go on fancy vacations.

The other thing that I questioned was his plan. Retiring at 30 with less than $1,000,000 and living off 3-4%? How much $25,000 get you in 20 years when the cost of living has doubled?

Like I said, I find the MMM ideology helpful but for a guy who graduated in 2008 when the economy was turning down, with student loans, and had to move to one of the most expensive cities in the country to find a job, and who married someone who had to do the exact same thing, I just don't find MMM to be much of an inspiration.

I would tell a younger me to not spend so much money at the bars and don't buy new motorcycles, but I still like going out to eat once in a while, and if all the starbucks my wife and I drink now means I have to work an extra month or two decades down the road before retiring I think I'll be fine with that.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by frugalecon »

chrismj wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:05 pm I find the MMM idea to be helpful, and is a great complement to the Boglehead approach, but what keeps me from buying into MMM himself is I feel like he's a false prophet of sorts. Or while his overall message is positive and helpful, I find his actual keys to success are overlooked, and apply to a very small group of people.

All you have to do is graduate with no student debt, have an upper-middle class job, marry another debt-free upper-middle class person, make sure both those jobs are located in a low cost of living area, and spend your 20's riding a credit/stock/housing bubble to just a few years before the crash. Oh yeah, and don't go out to eat or go on fancy vacations.

The other thing that I questioned was his plan. Retiring at 30 with less than $1,000,000 and living off 3-4%? How much $25,000 get you in 20 years when the cost of living has doubled?

Like I said, I find the MMM ideology helpful but for a guy who graduated in 2008 when the economy was turning down, with student loans, and had to move to one of the most expensive cities in the country to find a job, and who married someone who had to do the exact same thing, I just don't find MMM to be much of an inspiration.

I would tell a younger me to not spend so much money at the bars and don't buy new motorcycles, but I still like going out to eat once in a while, and if all the starbucks my wife and I drink now means I have to work an extra month or two decades down the road before retiring I think I'll be fine with that.
I think that in MMM’s application of the 4% SWR rule, he allows for inflation increase. That said, I think his adherents do not sufficiently take into account the possibility that they will be locked out of future real increases in the standard of living. He won’t be, because he will have millions stashed away from the blog, but many of his followers will be. If he really wanted to stick to his principles, why didn’t he put ownership of the blog into a charitable foundation he couldn’t benefit from?
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Geneyus »

FrugalProfessor wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:13 pm MMM: Younger demographic. Less rich. Discussions about cell phone plans + DIY home & car repairs.

BH: Older demographic. Much richer (I'm amazed at the abundance of multi millionaires here). Discussions about tax optimization and index investing.
I might just be in the wrong place. 8-)
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Clever_Username »

I must be the wrong type of doctor. I'm nowhere near $400K/year. I'm happy if I get a third of that.
"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.
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Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Sandtrap »

Both the Boglehead forum and the Mr Money Mustache forum provide actionable financial and lifestyle information as long as one overlooks the differences of:

generation (uber vs groovy)
socio-economic background (video game vs checkers (analog meaning wood on cardboard)
average profession or career (app writer, blogger, uber tech vs young professional, retired corporate, businessman with a chain of laundromats or hotels, etc)
and general approach to the accumulation phase (creative, quick, easy, no "sleep factor" vs slow and steady and calculated)
and so forth.

:D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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