[Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
User avatar
corwin
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:45 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by corwin » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:30 pm

MMM is a lifestyle blog espousing a philosophy, namely Stoicism. The main message is don't spend money on things that won't make you happy and a lot of things that you think will make you happy probably won't. MMM says that freedom, self-sufficiency, good relationships and helping others will make you happy. It makes him happy but it might not work for everyone. Some people find freedom scary.

I like reading MMM because it is good to have my assumptions challenged even if I don't join the "cult". (MMM calls it a cult tongue-in-cheek.)

Bogleheads is an investing forum focused on the formula identified by Bogle and others. It tells you how to build a nest egg but not how to find happiness. If Bogleheads has a philosophy then it is, "Nobody knows everything." The last thing a Boglehead would do is tell you how to be happy.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:47 pm

avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:41 am
The Wizard wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:37 am
frugalecon wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:16 pm

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?
I think it's quite important to completely separate the average adherents to the MMM approach from the owner of that blog, MMM himself.

Continued focus on MMM himself will get this thread locked, like all the previous ones...
+1
Many a wonderful post/thread has been locked once input becomes argumentative and/or opinionated.
Bickering is not actionable or constructive per forum guidelines.

Onward:
There's a lot to be gained In comparing and contrasting the MMM and Boglehead approach to financial management.

MMM tends to focus primarily on the accumulation phase (with perhaps more input from entrepreneurs and lst time businessman) while the Boglehead concepts carry well beyond that into estate planning, retirement, and beyond (senior care and post death issues).
As has been said earlier, same goal, slightly different demographic perspective.
The problem is not argumentativeness or opinionatedness. This is a discussion forum where people should express their opinions and argue their points.

The problem is that people don't follow the rules of logic and raise false arguments.

In my opinion:
The MMM's philosophy is highly beneficial for the environment and a powerful force against mindless consumerism. MMM is a force for the good. The more followers he has, the more good they will create and more "bad" they will avoid. Even if MMM himself does not follow his own principles, it does not matter. What matters is the impact his followers will create on cleaning up the human act.

The BH philosophy is selfish in comparison. The Bogleheads have found a system for maximizing their investment returns and minimizing their fees.
Note: Jack Bogle is NOT selfish. Jack is a force for good; he has foregone large income potential to implement a system that benefits small investors. We, the BHs, are benefiting from the Jack's struggle but are not contributing to a greater good.

The MMM and BH philosophies have some overlap:
- MMM is using BH investment principles.
- BH are cutting consumption to have greater investible assets.

But ultimately, the MMM and BH aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
See this is where I really disagree (and I don't think we will go too deep into why on this forum because, well this forum isn't about debating philosophies of life after all and is well moderated to avoid that).
I used the word "philosophy" because it's in the modified title of this thread used by the moderators. I am also comfortable with using the words "ultimate purpose" of MMM and BHs.
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
I don't think his philosophy is ultimately a force for good (or for the environment) or a force against mindless consumerism (just because what his followers are now mindlessly consuming is different then others doesn't make it not consumerism) and I think that he is sometimes disingenuous in how he frames his own experiences to support selling the philosophy is a big problem as it tries to paper over addressing some of the challenges to the philosophy head-on (including the true degree of riskiness, the free-rider problems it has, the sustainability of the lifestyle for most people, etc.).
As I understand it, MMM's followers consume information rather than hard goods. If my understanding is correct, then the MMM philosophy must be better for the environment than consumption of natural resources.

It's conceivable that MMM is disingenuous in his revisionist claims of how he's started out or his own lack of adherence to his philosophy. But from the utilitarianist perspective, his philosophy, through his followers, creates 'the greatest amount of good for the greatest number.'

avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
II also don't buy that boglehead 'philosophy' is selfish (in comparison or in an absolute sense). It is agnostic as to what one does with the frameworks whether to the benefit of themselves or others - if a charity were to invest its endowment using a boglehead approach are the increased returns and lower fees not contributing to the greater good?
Jack Bogle has created the BH framework selflessly and through much of sacrifice.
The framework itself is selfish: The principle definition of Bogleheadism is saving investment costs.
The savings accumulated by the adherents to the BH philosophy can be put to good, bad and neutral ends. Charities are force for good. Bogleheads leaving money to charities are force for good. But the asset disposition is not a defining characteristic of being a Boglehead.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

avalpert
Posts: 6313
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by avalpert » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:49 pm

btenny wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:27 pm
People have been talking about living frugally and the road to riches for centuries or longer.
Yeah, in philosophy at this point there is rarely anything new under the sun - most of what could be called philosophy of MMM can find parallels in Epicurus

corwin wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:30 pm
MMM is a lifestyle blog espousing a philosophy, namely Stoicism. The main message is don't spend money on things that won't make you happy and a lot of things that you think will make you happy probably won't.
That definitely isn't the main message of Stoicism.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:19 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm

But ultimately, MMM's and BH's aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
This conclusion could certainly be debated. If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income there wouldn't be enough tax generation to put kids through public schools, pay law enforcement, pay for public infrastructure, etc.
Of course if we use the actual MMMs method of retirement versus the retirement definition found in the dictionary - we would all be making hundreds of thousands so there wouldn't be a problem.
I have distinguished between MMM's own practices and practices he promotes in my earlier messages. As for your other point:

If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.

We are not close to a critical mass of Mustacheans yet to start modifying the laws.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

avalpert
Posts: 6313
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by avalpert » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:22 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:47 pm
I used the word "philosophy" because it's in the modified title of this thread used by the moderators. I am also comfortable with using the words "ultimate purpose" of MMM and BHs.
I don't think changing the words will change much in the discussion.
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
I don't think his philosophy is ultimately a force for good (or for the environment) or a force against mindless consumerism (just because what his followers are now mindlessly consuming is different then others doesn't make it not consumerism) and I think that he is sometimes disingenuous in how he frames his own experiences to support selling the philosophy is a big problem as it tries to paper over addressing some of the challenges to the philosophy head-on (including the true degree of riskiness, the free-rider problems it has, the sustainability of the lifestyle for most people, etc.).
As I understand it, MMM's followers consume information rather than hard goods. If my understanding is correct, then the MMM philosophy must be better for the environment than consumption of natural resources.
They consume things other than information - though that may be the main thing they consume directly from him. And whether it has any material impact on natural resource consumption can be argued - I would suggest not really. In fact, at this point I would suggest any one's whose ultimate purpose isn't directly helping emerging economies skip ahead technologically to a post-resource intensive growth state isn't doing anything significant for the environment overall and certain nothing that lands on a measure of creating greater amounts of good.
It's conceivable that MMM is disingenuous in his revisionist claims of how he's started out or his own lack of adherence to his philosophy. But from the utilitarianist perspective, his philosophy, through his followers, creates 'the greatest amount of good for the greatest number.'
And again, I disagree that his philosophy is creating greater good for nearly anyone, let alone the greatest number when compared to say an investment approach that could reduce frictional cost for every endeavor.
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
II also don't buy that boglehead 'philosophy' is selfish (in comparison or in an absolute sense). It is agnostic as to what one does with the frameworks whether to the benefit of themselves or others - if a charity were to invest its endowment using a boglehead approach are the increased returns and lower fees not contributing to the greater good?
Jack Bogle has created the BH framework selflessly and through much of sacrifice.
The framework itself is selfish: The principle definition of Bogleheadism is saving investment costs.
Can you define what you mean by 'selfish'? While I would never say saving investment costs is inherently selfless, I also wouldn't call it selfish and am having trouble coming with a definition that would fit it but wouldn't also include an approach that seeks to reduce costs generally as is core to MMM.

ThriftyPhD
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:43 am

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by ThriftyPhD » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:28 pm

phisher4 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:18 am
Is there a forum that represents the polar opposite of MMM/Bogleheads? I would be greatly interested in reading a spend-all-you-can/seize the day/go into debt forum.

If not, perhaps it's a good business idea. :twisted:
Facebook/Instagram.

Curlyq
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:39 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm
If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.
I think robotics and AI will do more to create substantive changes in society for larger numbers of people who become "retired" at younger ages. For the foreseeable future, I feel that those who "retire" at 30 and live off modest/poverty-level income will be more of a drain on society in terms of subsidized health and human services, etc. and if required to do public service, are in some kind of work-for-welfare program, rather than doing the most good for the greater number. Good or bad, living in the U.S. is expensive and although I have read and enjoyed the MMM blog for it's anti-blind consumerism slant, cutting too close in terms of income/net worth/expenses, etc. will not end well.

Castamere
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:34 am

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Castamere » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:46 pm

6bquick wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
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.
If the government wasn't involved in regulating what could be sold as insurance young, healthy MMMer's with no pre-existing conditions would be able to buy cheap catastrophic insurance (unsubsidized) and just negotiate in cash for common/maintenance type healthcare. Certainly they could set aside some amount to invest in a rainy day fund for their own costs going up eventually.

While I would rather have the above I'll take a subsidized premium over a high-cost premium due being forced to subsidize other, higher risk people.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:05 pm

avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:22 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
I don't think his philosophy is ultimately a force for good (or for the environment) or a force against mindless consumerism (just because what his followers are now mindlessly consuming is different then others doesn't make it not consumerism) and I think that he is sometimes disingenuous in how he frames his own experiences to support selling the philosophy is a big problem as it tries to paper over addressing some of the challenges to the philosophy head-on (including the true degree of riskiness, the free-rider problems it has, the sustainability of the lifestyle for most people, etc.).
As I understand it, MMM's followers consume information rather than hard goods. If my understanding is correct, then the MMM philosophy must be better for the environment than consumption of natural resources.
They consume things other than information - though that may be the main thing they consume directly from him. And whether it has any material impact on natural resource consumption can be argued - I would suggest not really. In fact, at this point I would suggest any one's whose ultimate purpose isn't directly helping emerging economies skip ahead technologically to a post-resource intensive growth state isn't doing anything significant for the environment overall and certain nothing that lands on a measure of creating greater amounts of good.
I've read MMM's blog several years ago and have not reviewed it recently. And so my arguments are mainly based on reading this thread. I'll also confess to a halo effect bias. A person I know well and respect is an adherent to MMM's philosophy and is planning to retire early. With these disclaimers out of the way:

There are two sides of the spectrum of protecting the environment: (1) helping emerging economies to skip resource-intensive growth and (2) motivating members of advanced economies to reduce their consumption. I agree with you that MMM is not doing anything for (1) directly. His philosophy affects (2). Having said that, in the Internet era, social constructs spread fast. If it's fashionable to drive SUVs in America, the Chinese seek prestige by buying SUVs. If it becomes fashionable to walk in America, hopefully the Chinese will walk for prestige.

You may find these speculations naive. But I have a precedent: When I lived in the Soviet Union in the 1970s, prestige was derived from wearing Levi's jeans.
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:22 pm
VictoriaF wrote: It's conceivable that MMM is disingenuous in his revisionist claims of how he's started out or his own lack of adherence to his philosophy. But from the utilitarianist perspective, his philosophy, through his followers, creates 'the greatest amount of good for the greatest number.'
And again, I disagree that his philosophy is creating greater good for nearly anyone, let alone the greatest number when compared to say an investment approach that could reduce frictional cost for every endeavor.
I don't think it's either-or. MMM does his thing; Investments reducing frictional cost do theirs.

avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:22 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
II also don't buy that boglehead 'philosophy' is selfish (in comparison or in an absolute sense). It is agnostic as to what one does with the frameworks whether to the benefit of themselves or others - if a charity were to invest its endowment using a boglehead approach are the increased returns and lower fees not contributing to the greater good?
Jack Bogle has created the BH framework selflessly and through much of sacrifice.
The framework itself is selfish: The principle definition of Bogleheadism is saving investment costs.
Can you define what you mean by 'selfish'? While I would never say saving investment costs is inherently selfless, I also wouldn't call it selfish and am having trouble coming with a definition that would fit it but wouldn't also include an approach that seeks to reduce costs generally as is core to MMM.
I use the word "selfish" literally, i.e., for one's own benefit.
I do not use "selfish" moralistically, i.e., I don't imply that there is something immoral in pursuing self-interest.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:12 pm

ThriftyPhD wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:28 pm
phisher4 wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:18 am
Is there a forum that represents the polar opposite of MMM/Bogleheads? I would be greatly interested in reading a spend-all-you-can/seize the day/go into debt forum.

If not, perhaps it's a good business idea. :twisted:
Facebook/Instagram.
You don't have to go that far. Check out BH threads about second houses, luxury travel, Teslas, electronics, mattresses, and cappuccino machines.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
bligh
Posts: 898
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:13 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by bligh » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:19 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm

But ultimately, MMM's and BH's aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
This conclusion could certainly be debated. If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income there wouldn't be enough tax generation to put kids through public schools, pay law enforcement, pay for public infrastructure, etc.
Of course if we use the actual MMMs method of retirement versus the retirement definition found in the dictionary - we would all be making hundreds of thousands so there wouldn't be a problem.
I have distinguished between MMM's own practices and practices he promotes in my earlier messages. As for your other point:

If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.

We are not close to a critical mass of Mustacheans yet to start modifying the laws.

Victoria
So if Mustachianism takes hold, we get to pick between a poor society or a communist one for those above 35 where the state gets to direct our labor? No thanks! Doesn't sound like much a retirement any more.

There are countries where there are not enough doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, firefighters, engineers, lawyers, etc. They are referred to as developing nations.. aka poor. If you lived in a country where you have to wait 2.5 years for a surgery because the doctor to patient ratio is bad, or had your kid attend school where there are 50 students per teacher, because the teacher to student ratio is bad you would change your mind.

Where would this modest poverty level income come from? Your portfolio? How do you think your portfolio would look if everyone in the country started living a modest poverty level existence and quit working around 35?

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:37 pm

bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:19 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm

But ultimately, MMM's and BH's aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
This conclusion could certainly be debated. If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income there wouldn't be enough tax generation to put kids through public schools, pay law enforcement, pay for public infrastructure, etc.
Of course if we use the actual MMMs method of retirement versus the retirement definition found in the dictionary - we would all be making hundreds of thousands so there wouldn't be a problem.
I have distinguished between MMM's own practices and practices he promotes in my earlier messages. As for your other point:

If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.

We are not close to a critical mass of Mustacheans yet to start modifying the laws.

Victoria
So if Mustachianism takes hold, we get to pick between a poor society or a communist one for those above 35 where the state gets our labor? No thanks!
Your argument is similar to saying that if everybody buys index funds there will be no price discovery. The response to both arguments is:
1. We are very far from that point.
2. When people are free to chose, they choose whatever maximizes their happiness (utility, pleasure, etc.).

"Communism" is a label. Communism has never existed. The failed state of the USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; note: "Socialist," not "Communist." By contrast, the "socialism" of the Northern Europe and Canada is quite appealing.

bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm
There are countries where there are not enough doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, firefighters, engineers, lawyers, etc. They are referred to as developing nations.. aka poor. If you lived in a country where you have to wait 2.5 years for a surgery because the doctor to patient ratio is bad, or had your kid attend school where there are 50 students per teacher, because the teacher to student ratio is bad you would change your mind.
Developing nations have shortage of professionals and services for a variety of reasons, including colonialism, wars, and environmental factors. Poor countries are not poor because people are retiring en masse at the age of 31.

As a side remark, I have received excellent primary education in classrooms with 40 pupils per teacher. My teachers had authority, and my peers were motivated to learn. I think the same is true in the modern China.
bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm
Where would this modest poverty level income come from? Your portfolio? How do you think your portfolio would look if everyone in the country started living a modest poverty level existence and quit working around 35?
Incomes, investments, portfolios, and alike are abstracts, are models used to understand how the society works and where it is heading. People's well-being, by contrast, depends on physical factors. If you are Robinson Crusoe, your portfolio performance is irrelevant.

Some years ago, we were discussing that the gains in productivity will enable people to work less and have more time for self-actualization. I think MMM and his followers are implementing this vision.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

EasilyConfused
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:04 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by EasilyConfused » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:12 pm

bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm
So if Mustachianism takes hold, we get to pick between a poor society or a communist one for those above 35 where the state gets to direct our labor? No thanks! Doesn't sound like much a retirement any more.

There are countries where there are not enough doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, firefighters, engineers, lawyers, etc. They are referred to as developing nations.. aka poor. If you lived in a country where you have to wait 2.5 years for a surgery because the doctor to patient ratio is bad, or had your kid attend school where there are 50 students per teacher, because the teacher to student ratio is bad you would change your mind.

Where would this modest poverty level income come from? Your portfolio? How do you think your portfolio would look if everyone in the country started living a modest poverty level existence and quit working around 35?
If Boglehead-ism "takes hold" in the same way you're talking about MMM the entire stock market ceases to function because everyone has stopped buying individual stocks. Honestly, that seems at least as likely as an entire nation retiring at 35 and living in mud huts. Does every conversation on the Internet really need to degenerate to the most absurd possible extreme?

Whakamole
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Whakamole » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:17 pm

The only way a society could even work if everyone retired at 35 and did what they liked would be if we had robots doing all the unpleasant/difficult work that people retired to get away from (then we might need to worry about the robot revolt... ps I for one welcome our new robot overlords), or if we imported labor to do said work (In which case not everyone would be retired.)

User avatar
bligh
Posts: 898
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:13 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by bligh » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:26 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:37 pm
bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:19 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm

But ultimately, MMM's and BH's aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
This conclusion could certainly be debated. If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income there wouldn't be enough tax generation to put kids through public schools, pay law enforcement, pay for public infrastructure, etc.
Of course if we use the actual MMMs method of retirement versus the retirement definition found in the dictionary - we would all be making hundreds of thousands so there wouldn't be a problem.
I have distinguished between MMM's own practices and practices he promotes in my earlier messages. As for your other point:

If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.

We are not close to a critical mass of Mustacheans yet to start modifying the laws.

Victoria
So if Mustachianism takes hold, we get to pick between a poor society or a communist one for those above 35 where the state gets our labor? No thanks!
Your argument is similar to saying that if everybody buys index funds there will be no price discovery. The response to both arguments is:
1. We are very far from that point.
2. When people are free to chose, they choose whatever maximizes their happiness (utility, pleasure, etc.).

"Communism" is a label. Communism has never existed. The failed state of the USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; note: "Socialist," not "Communist." By contrast, the "socialism" of the Northern Europe and Canada is quite appealing.

bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm
There are countries where there are not enough doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, firefighters, engineers, lawyers, etc. They are referred to as developing nations.. aka poor. If you lived in a country where you have to wait 2.5 years for a surgery because the doctor to patient ratio is bad, or had your kid attend school where there are 50 students per teacher, because the teacher to student ratio is bad you would change your mind.
Developing nations have shortage of professionals and services for a variety of reasons, including colonialism, wars, and environmental factors. Poor countries are not poor because people are retiring en masse at the age of 31.

As a side remark, I have received excellent primary education in classrooms with 40 pupils per teacher. My teachers had authority, and my peers were motivated to learn. I think the same is true in the modern China.
bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:13 pm
Where would this modest poverty level income come from? Your portfolio? How do you think your portfolio would look if everyone in the country started living a modest poverty level existence and quit working around 35?
Incomes, investments, portfolios, and alike are abstracts, are models used to understand how the society works and where it is heading. People's well-being, by contrast, depends on physical factors. If you are Robinson Crusoe, your portfolio performance is irrelevant.

Some years ago, we were discussing that the gains in productivity will enable people to work less and have more time for self-actualization. I think MMM and his followers are implementing this vision.

Victoria
1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communist_society . Compare that with what you described above and tell me if it sounds all that different? Now add in your suggestion for forced public service after 35. :)

2- There is no purely Socialistic society, if it existed .. you would find it hard to be able to differentiate it from a communist economic system. There is no purely capitalistic society either. They are both ideologies, with varying degrees of implementation. The fact that a purely communist society does not exist, is irrelevant. The differences between socialism and communism as far as economic system is concerned is one of degree.

3- I wasn't bringing up poor nations as examples of what happens when people retire en masse. For the sake of the point I was making, it doesn't matter why they do not have enough professionals. I was bringing them up as examples of societies that for, one reason or another, do not have enough professionals in their work force. I am stating, that if people retired at 31 en masse, you would have a shortage of professionals with consequences similar to the ones in developing countries.

4- You happened to be a bright student who could excel even when your teacher's attention was divided between 40 peers. What about kids like me who are not very bright, and need more of the teacher's attention? Do you not think having a 20:1 teacher ratio would give me more time with the teacher, and therefore a better chance at learning, than a 50:1 ratio?

5- Being "required to perform public service" as you suggested after Age 35 is the opposite, in my opinion, of "having people be free to choose". In fact, if you are being required to do public server after you're retired, you are back where you started. Working, you're just doing it for "society" instead of yourself.

The argument for such a society where people work out of the goodness of their heart, from each according to their ability, providing to society according to its need, all sounds good in theory, it hasn't worked out well in practice in any implementation of it so far.

Anyway. I will now self moderate and close my own discussion in this thread. :sharebeer

RadAudit
Posts: 3026
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Second star on the right and straight on 'til morning

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by RadAudit » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:37 pm

supersecretname wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:14 am
queso wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:10 am
working a bunch of side jobs isn't "early retirement"
ah, yes. The internet retirement police. Please read the article below.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/ ... nt-police/

Thanks for the link. Enjoyed the discussion concerning the term retired / financially independent and who is or isn't. The answer to the question as to which term to use in case you are still doing an activity for which you are being paid, according to MMM,
is that you theoretically must have sufficient savings (or other assets) that you could live indefinitely off the passive income they provide, and these savings must give you the freedom to realize that any work you do is totally optional.  You don’t actually have to live off the income, it just has to be there.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

Teague
Posts: 1144
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Teague » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:46 pm

is that you theoretically must have sufficient savings (or other assets) that you could live indefinitely off the passive income they provide, and these savings must give you the freedom to realize that any work you do is totally optional.  You don’t actually have to live off the income, it just has to be there.
Well, heck, since we get to define "retirement" however we please, do we get to define "theoretically sufficient savings" as well?
Semper Augustus

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:50 pm

bligh wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:26 pm
Anyway. I will now self moderate and close my own discussion in this thread. :sharebeer
I've read your counter-arguments, and I could have tried to respond line-by-line with the help of Google, Wikipedia, and my own colorful anecdotes. Instead, I'll follow your lead to self-moderate and exit this discussion.

Cheers,
Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Curlyq
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:53 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:37 pm
Some years ago, we were discussing that the gains in productivity will enable people to work less and have more time for self-actualization. I think MMM and his followers are implementing this vision.
I think Victoria is correct that MMM's followers are implementing this vision to quit work at 30-35 and have more time for self-actualization. That's great for the first 40 years of one's life. What about the last 40 or 50 years?

I have just searched the MMM blog for any posting related to affording assisted-living, disability, becoming disabled, having a heart attack or stroke, nursing home expenses, college expenses, affording children, etc. and could not find one post. In contrast, these types of posts are reasonably frequent on the BH site (how do I afford nursing home, how do I take care of disabled son, how do I handle expenses for family member who has had a stroke, I've recently become disabled, how do I stabilize finances, etc). Thus, I would say to use the info in the MMM site (and the BH site) to get to a better financial position by 30 years old, then use the info on the BH site (there was nothing on the MMM site) to get to the middle and end stages of life without becoming a burden on society.

By the way, I also noticed that MMM himself, frequently starts his posts "As a retiree...," which is not accurate, given he also now has a family business with $200,000 of personal and business spending in a given year. I know we are supposed to be ignoring this dichotomy, but I find it difficult to do so.

RadAudit
Posts: 3026
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Second star on the right and straight on 'til morning

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by RadAudit » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:53 pm

Teague wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:46 pm
Well, heck, since we get to define "retirement" however we please, do we get to define "theoretically sufficient savings" as well?
According to the article on MMM, if you meet the criteria, I guess you can if you want to.
Last edited by RadAudit on Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

lostdog
Posts: 1178
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by lostdog » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:54 pm

If you don't want to be shackled to a job follow the MMM philosophy. Instead of saying the word "money", use the word "freedom".
Last edited by lostdog on Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 4036
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:54 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:19 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm

But ultimately, MMM's and BH's aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
This conclusion could certainly be debated. If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income there wouldn't be enough tax generation to put kids through public schools, pay law enforcement, pay for public infrastructure, etc.
Of course if we use the actual MMMs method of retirement versus the retirement definition found in the dictionary - we would all be making hundreds of thousands so there wouldn't be a problem.
I have distinguished between MMM's own practices and practices he promotes in my earlier messages. As for your other point:

If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.

We are not close to a critical mass of Mustacheans yet to start modifying the laws.

Victoria
But if everyone has to do some public service then we aren't really retired at all are we? My point is - it would NOT be good for everyone to become MMMs and retire at 30 - society would not be supportable. People have to work to sustain society - whether that is keep working for a dollar - or - as you suggest - start public-work programs.

KnowNth
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by KnowNth » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:09 pm

Applause. You capture the essence of lots of Bogleheads posters.

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.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:12 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:54 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:19 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm

But ultimately, MMM's and BH's aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
This conclusion could certainly be debated. If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income there wouldn't be enough tax generation to put kids through public schools, pay law enforcement, pay for public infrastructure, etc.
Of course if we use the actual MMMs method of retirement versus the retirement definition found in the dictionary - we would all be making hundreds of thousands so there wouldn't be a problem.
I have distinguished between MMM's own practices and practices he promotes in my earlier messages. As for your other point:

If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.

We are not close to a critical mass of Mustacheans yet to start modifying the laws.

Victoria
But if everyone has to do some public service then we aren't really retired at all are we? My point is - it would NOT be good for everyone to become MMMs and retire at 30 - society would not be supportable. People have to work to sustain society - whether that is keep working for a dollar - or - as you suggest - start public-work programs.
I promised to bligh that I'll quit. But as you and he are making a similar argument, I'll respond.

The model for my statement was Bogleheads retirees. Most of us volunteer in the ways consistent with our personalities, desires, and abilities. A retired BH doctor works in developing countries, another doctor is helping in hospices, a retired BH engineer teaches mathematics in schools, various BH professionals works with disadvantaged children, etc. Taylor and Mel volunteered in their retirements to create this community.

I used the word "required" which implies compulsion. But I was thinking of it more loosely as a volunteer project. There is an organizer, there is a list of tasks, there is a group of volunteers, and volunteers are "required" to select among the available tasks aiming for the best fit. Importantly, volunteers can select among available projects so that the probability of a good match would be maximized.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

avalpert
Posts: 6313
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by avalpert » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:20 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:05 pm
I use the word "selfish" literally, i.e., for one's own benefit.
I do not use "selfish" moralistically, i.e., I don't imply that there is something immoral in pursuing self-interest.

Victoria
I'm sorry but I don't see how 'reducing investing cost' is 'for one's own benefit' in a way different from MMM frugality and early retirement is being recommended to be done 'for one's own benefit'.

This seems like far more than a reach.

I would also add again that nothing in the boglehead framework requires that it be applied for one's own benefit - someone could be using it to advise others, someone could be donating all savings from expense ratios to charity etc. - it is at worst agnostic.

avalpert
Posts: 6313
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by avalpert » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:23 pm

lostdog wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:54 pm
If you don't want to be shackled to a job follow the MMM philosophy. Instead of saying the word "money", use the word "freedom".
As long as everything goes right for you and you can continue to persist on spartan expenditures. Some may in fact not consider that freedom at all - being shackled to a tight budget can be just as imprisoning as being shackled to a job.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:33 pm

avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:20 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:05 pm
I use the word "selfish" literally, i.e., for one's own benefit.
I do not use "selfish" moralistically, i.e., I don't imply that there is something immoral in pursuing self-interest.

Victoria
I'm sorry but I don't see how 'reducing investing cost' is 'for one's own benefit' in a way different from MMM frugality and early retirement is being recommended to be done 'for one's own benefit'.

This seems like far more than a reach.

I would also add again that nothing in the boglehead framework requires that it be applied for one's own benefit - someone could be using it to advise others, someone could be donating all savings from expense ratios to charity etc. - it is at worst agnostic.
Here is an example of what I mean:

I am a Boglehead, and I am not claiming a moral high ground. As a Boglehead, I save money on investment costs and use my funds for my pleasure. For example, I may use some of these funds to fly to Prague. When I am flying I am generating carbon emissions. When I am staying in a hotel in Prague, I am claming two places at once. It's not all bad. I am also using my money to support worthy causes, and so my net impact on the planet may be positive. But the essence of being a Boglehead is that I save money by prudent investing.

A MMM follower, let's call him John, is saving money to retire early. John is living in a small home. John does not have a car; he is biking instead of driving. John is not buying stuff. The essence of being a MMMer is that John saves money by not polluting. After John retires at an early age, he may start using his time for something environmentally damaging. Or he may work on environmentally beneficial causes. But what he does with his freedom does not define him as a MMMer. He is defined by his lifestyle leading to his early retirement.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

avalpert
Posts: 6313
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by avalpert » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:41 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:33 pm
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:20 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:05 pm
I use the word "selfish" literally, i.e., for one's own benefit.
I do not use "selfish" moralistically, i.e., I don't imply that there is something immoral in pursuing self-interest.

Victoria
I'm sorry but I don't see how 'reducing investing cost' is 'for one's own benefit' in a way different from MMM frugality and early retirement is being recommended to be done 'for one's own benefit'.

This seems like far more than a reach.

I would also add again that nothing in the boglehead framework requires that it be applied for one's own benefit - someone could be using it to advise others, someone could be donating all savings from expense ratios to charity etc. - it is at worst agnostic.
Here is an example of what I mean:

I am a Boglehead, and I am not claiming a moral high ground. As a Boglehead, I save money on investment costs, and then use some of these savings to fly to Prague. When I am flying I am generating carbon emissions. When I am staying in a hotel in Prague, I am occupying two places at once. I am also using my money to support worthy causes, and so my net impact on the planet may be positive. But the essence of being a Boglehead is that I save money by prudent investing.

A MMM follower, let's call him John, is saving money to retire early. John is living in a small home. John does not have a car; he is biking instead of driving. John is not buying stuff. The essence of being a MMMer is that John saves money by not polluting.

Victoria
Okay, except the first example isn't anything inherently about Boglehead investing - you could just as easily be saving on investment costs and using those savings to support the local orphanage where you also live on premises in a self-sustaining eco-cabin.

And as for the MMM follower, I don' think the essence of being one is that he saves by not polluting - it is simply that he saves. Do you have any evidence to support the notion that, when confronted with an option to reduce costs in a way that increases pollution MMMers would consider the 'Moustachian' thing to do to spend more?

You seem to be doing a lot of projecting here and not in a very charitable or even-handed way.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 pm

avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:41 pm
Okay, except the first example isn't anything inherently about Boglehead investing - you could just as easily be saving on investment costs and using those savings to support the local orphanage where you also live on premises in a self-sustaining eco-cabin.

And as for the MMM follower, I don' think the essence of being one is that he saves by not polluting - it is simply that he saves. Do you have any evidence to support the notion that, when confronted with an option to reduce costs in a way that increases pollution MMMers would consider the 'Moustachian' thing to do to spend more?

You seem to be doing a lot of projecting here and not in a very charitable or even-handed way.
I have slightly edited my post while you were writing yours, but you have captured the essence of what I am saying.

I was projecting in my examples, because it made it easier for me to explain what I meant. I apologize for repeating myself, but my main point is that:
- A BH is defined by saving money by saving investing costs.
- A MMMer is defined by saving money by living on a small footprint.

A BH may use his money for the most worthy causes. And a MMMer may use his retirement freedom for the most awful activities. But a BH and a MMMer are not defined by what they do with what they've got, but by how they've arrived there.

As you point out, a BH may live on a small footprint. That will make him both, a BH in the context of his investing and a MMMer in the context of his lifestyle. Likewise, a MMMer may invest according to the BH principles and thus be both a MMMer and a BH.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Curlyq
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:06 pm

Here's a post by MMM, on reducing one's carbon footprint via smaller living: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/03/ ... footprint/

I'm not sure someone who is "retired" on 4% SWR of $500,000 at 30-35 can afford to purchase solar panels, or an electric car. or subscribe to a wind-power program or purchase carbon offset certificates as the blog writer proposes or has done. Giving up the car and bicycling or walking, not going on vacations that you can't bicycle to (as MMM did early after his "retirement") and other small living aspects are certainly lower in carbon footprint, however.

Whakamole
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Whakamole » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:13 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 pm
- A MMMer is defined by saving money by living on a small footprint.
MMM stated he flew to multiple conferences last year (excluded in his budget.) One of those conferences was in Ecuador, which is a long flight away for most people. None of that seems like "living on a small footprint" especially considering nearly all attendees at the latter conference would have been flying in, occupied two places at once, etc.

avalpert
Posts: 6313
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by avalpert » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:15 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 pm
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:41 pm
Okay, except the first example isn't anything inherently about Boglehead investing - you could just as easily be saving on investment costs and using those savings to support the local orphanage where you also live on premises in a self-sustaining eco-cabin.

And as for the MMM follower, I don' think the essence of being one is that he saves by not polluting - it is simply that he saves. Do you have any evidence to support the notion that, when confronted with an option to reduce costs in a way that increases pollution MMMers would consider the 'Moustachian' thing to do to spend more?

You seem to be doing a lot of projecting here and not in a very charitable or even-handed way.
I have slightly edited my post while you were writing yours, but you have captured the essence of what I am saying.

I was projecting in my examples, because it made it easier for me to explain what I meant. I apologize for repeating myself, but my main point is that:
- A BH is defined by saving money by saving investing costs.
- A MMMer is defined by saving money by living on a small footprint.
So saving money by saving investing costs is 'for one's own benefit' and saving money by living on a small footprint isn't?

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 4036
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:25 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:12 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:54 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:19 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:53 pm

But ultimately, MMM's and BH's aims are different, and MMM's are better for the humanity.

Victoria, a BH
This conclusion could certainly be debated. If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income there wouldn't be enough tax generation to put kids through public schools, pay law enforcement, pay for public infrastructure, etc.
Of course if we use the actual MMMs method of retirement versus the retirement definition found in the dictionary - we would all be making hundreds of thousands so there wouldn't be a problem.
I have distinguished between MMM's own practices and practices he promotes in my earlier messages. As for your other point:

If we all retired at 30 and lived off very modest poverty-level income, the laws would catch up. Perhaps, 30-year old retired people would be required to do some public service. Athletic ones would do some of their exercise by building roads. Intellectual ones would flesh out their ideas by teaching and public lecturing.

We are not close to a critical mass of Mustacheans yet to start modifying the laws.

Victoria
But if everyone has to do some public service then we aren't really retired at all are we? My point is - it would NOT be good for everyone to become MMMs and retire at 30 - society would not be supportable. People have to work to sustain society - whether that is keep working for a dollar - or - as you suggest - start public-work programs.
I promised to bligh that I'll quit. But as you and he are making a similar argument, I'll respond.

The model for my statement was Bogleheads retirees. Most of us volunteer in the ways consistent with our personalities, desires, and abilities. A retired BH doctor works in developing countries, another doctor is helping in hospices, a retired BH engineer teaches mathematics in schools, various BH professionals works with disadvantaged children, etc. Taylor and Mel volunteered in their retirements to create this community.

I used the word "required" which implies compulsion. But I was thinking of it more loosely as a volunteer project. There is an organizer, there is a list of tasks, there is a group of volunteers, and volunteers are "required" to select among the available tasks aiming for the best fit. Importantly, volunteers can select among available projects so that the probability of a good match would be maximized.

Victoria
You started this debate by stating that MMM aims are better for humanity and now you are describing how many retired Bogleheads spend their time. It the humanity benefit comment that threw me. My point was simply that I don't believe the MMM way better for humanity. Who benefits humanity more - the hard working Boglehead who works until he is 60 and pays over $100K per year in taxes for many of those years or the MMM who retires at 30 and is more of a drag on society (benefitting from the taxes of Bogleheads) than a contributor to it since he is no longer paying much to taxes for his remaining life?

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:32 pm

Curlyq wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:06 pm
Here's a post by MMM, on reducing one's carbon footprint via smaller living: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/03/ ... footprint/

I'm not sure someone who is "retired" on 4% SWR of $500,000 at 30-35 can afford to purchase solar panels, or an electric car. or subscribe to a wind-power program or purchase carbon offset certificates as the blog writer proposes or has done. Giving up the car and bicycling or walking, not going on vacations that you can't bicycle to (as MMM did early after his "retirement") and other small living aspects are certainly lower in carbon footprint, however.
Curlyq,

Thank you for the link. I wrote about MMM's footprint before I've read this blogpost. I am pleased that I have represented MMM's philosophy reasonably accurately.

As for the solar panels and electric cars, I think you would purchase them while still working, in preparation for retirement. Alternatively, you don't need to take out exactly 4% SWR every year. In year-1 you may take out 5% and invest in environmental efficiencies. In year-2, 3, etc., your annual expenses will be lower and you will withdraw less from your assets.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:35 pm

Whakamole wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:13 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 pm
- A MMMer is defined by saving money by living on a small footprint.
MMM stated he flew to multiple conferences last year (excluded in his budget.) One of those conferences was in Ecuador, which is a long flight away for most people. None of that seems like "living on a small footprint" especially considering nearly all attendees at the latter conference would have been flying in, occupied two places at once, etc.
MMM discusses this in the blog post linked by Curlyq (see above). He decided to stop flying to Ecuador and declined several trips to Europe, China and other places for exactly these reasons.

But, once again, my point is that MMM may be wasteful and hypocritical, BUT: If he has thousands of followers, and if these followers are biking instead of driving or flying, the net result is a cleaner environment.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

6bquick
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:56 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by 6bquick » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:37 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:25 am
mnnice wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:06 pm
6bquick wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
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.
Who exactly “pays their own way” with regards to healthcare in this country? Just curious?
A lot of us in the US do (MMM is Canadian - different story up there - but many of his followers who have now made him wealthy are American). I work a full time job and work hard and in return - my employer pays me a salary plus benefits which includes health insurance. I am paying my own way by working in return for having a private company pay my insurance. No government sponsorship or subsidies. I also pay a lot in taxes which in turn pays for public school for my kids, local and federal law enforcement, public transportation infrastructure, etc. I am proudly paying my own way through life. Someone who retires at 30 with kids and near poverty level payouts from an investment account is relying on the rest of us hard-working folk to subsidize his living. I guess they would call the rest of us suckers - but I don't see it that way.
Daftinvestor beat me to it. couldn't have said it better myself. And therein lies the rub with the whole MMM philosophy IMO (at least for his plebeian followers not making a cool half mil a year bloogging, regardless of what he does with it). Say at age 42 the wheels fall off of your hare-brained scheme to retire at 32 with $625k in the bank. I'd have much less issue with the entire exercise if at that point, your chickens came home to roost. but, alas, they won't. with no income to speak of and no job marketability because you haven't been in the workforce for 10 years, here comes Uncle Sugar who will proceed to feed you, house you, medicate you, educate you, etc. There are no real consequences should this foolhardy financial advice fail, save for maybe not living quite as lavishly as you'd have preferred, but hell, isnt that the point of this whole exercise anyway? so do you actually win the MMM game if you lose?

Maybe all the MMMers are good, honest self-reliant people at heart, but i see a way of life, financially speaking, that makes it ridiculously easy to milk the government for all your 'staples' because you show no real earned, appreciably taxable income every year. I can honestly say i'm not familiar with the qualification process, maybe its based on overall assets for certain benefits like wic/snap/medicaid/housing assistance/utility assistance/etc.etc.etc. but i'm betting, more often than not, its earned income relative to some multiple of the poverty line.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:39 pm

avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:15 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 pm
avalpert wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:41 pm
Okay, except the first example isn't anything inherently about Boglehead investing - you could just as easily be saving on investment costs and using those savings to support the local orphanage where you also live on premises in a self-sustaining eco-cabin.

And as for the MMM follower, I don' think the essence of being one is that he saves by not polluting - it is simply that he saves. Do you have any evidence to support the notion that, when confronted with an option to reduce costs in a way that increases pollution MMMers would consider the 'Moustachian' thing to do to spend more?

You seem to be doing a lot of projecting here and not in a very charitable or even-handed way.
I have slightly edited my post while you were writing yours, but you have captured the essence of what I am saying.

I was projecting in my examples, because it made it easier for me to explain what I meant. I apologize for repeating myself, but my main point is that:
- A BH is defined by saving money by saving investing costs.
- A MMMer is defined by saving money by living on a small footprint.
So saving money by saving investing costs is 'for one's own benefit' and saving money by living on a small footprint isn't?
Both are for one's benefit. But a selfish living on a small footprint is tightly coupled with an environmental good.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Curlyq
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:58 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:32 pm
As for the solar panels and electric cars, I think you would purchase them while still working, in preparation for retirement. Alternatively, you don't need to take out exactly 4% SWR every year. In year-1 you may take out 5% and invest in environmental efficiencies. In year-2, 3, etc., your annual expenses will be lower and you will withdraw less from your assets.

Victoria
Hi Victoria,

This is where separating the writer of the blog and his followers for sake of the discussion is problematic. Having read most of the posts on MMM, especially in the early years (until I got sick of the "face punching" and profanity) and reading the more recent posts are insightful. Saving so heavily for retirement generally precludes the purchasing of solar panels and electric vehicles.

Even MMM, in his early retirement could not have afforded to purchase these carbon-friendly technologies. He is now making $300,000-$400,000 annually and spending a couple of hundred thousand of this and affordability is no longer an issue. Whether his followers can and will think ahead and purchase these technologies and/or carbon offsets is another aspect entirely. MMM suggested that these younger workers move into a small apartment as close to their workplace as possible and ride their bikes, walk, or take the bus to work. This is fine while these folks are working, but most of what I read on the forums is that they do not want to stay near their employer when they "retire." Thus, purchasing solar panels while working is not an option, for example.

I'm hoping that these followers act as you think they might, that is to say, that they do purchase these technologies before "retiring." However, since I cannot find any evidence on the blog about thinking or planning for future large expenditures, such as replacing that electric vehicle (yes, if working side jobs) or paying for assisted-living as I mentioned in my earlier post, I don't think the MMM philosophy, as it currently stands, is as optimistic as one might want. Let's hope that when these folks "retire" and start their small businesses, that they are successful as MMM himself, and are able to reduce their carbon footprint sufficiently to make a difference. However, if they are just subsisting on meager income, they'll have a lower carbon footprint due to poverty, but a much higher drain on society in terms of health and human services.

As for variable withdrawals from one's nest egg, I can't speak to that because I have recently "retired" myself. In other words, I was laid off from my job and now work part-time and withdraw part of my portfolio. :happy

CurlyQ

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:25 pm
You started this debate by stating that MMM aims are better for humanity and now you are describing how many retired Bogleheads spend their time. It the humanity benefit comment that threw me. My point was simply that I don't believe the MMM way better for humanity. Who benefits humanity more - the hard working Boglehead who works until he is 60 and pays over $100K per year in taxes for many of those years or the MMM who retires at 30 and is more of a drag on society (benefitting from the taxes of Bogleheads) than a contributor to it since he is no longer paying much to taxes for his remaining life?
Let's get back to the basics.
- The Bogleheads are named for Jack Bogle.
- Jack's major accomplishment is the implementation of low-cost funds.
- In all presentations, papers, and books Jack emphasizes that cost matters.
- THUS, the defining characteristic of the Bogleheads is low-cost investing.
- As you read this Forum, you find all kinds of discussions including those about income, taxes, savings, houses, purchases, education, etc. Some of these discussions are very similar to MMM's topics. Nevertheless, our primary unifying characteristic is low-cost investing.

- The MMM movement is named for MMM.
- MMM's major accomplishments are (1) very frugal living and (2) retiring very early.
- THUS, the defining characteristic of the MMMers is very frugal living (and for some, very early retirement).
- Very frugal living, by definition, is minimum spending: not buying, not driving, not flying--and thus, having a minimum footprint.
- THUS, a minimum footprint is an integral characteristic of a MMMer, which is good for the environment and the humanity.

You are saying that the value of one's life is measured in the taxes he pays over his lifetime. I am not an economist, and cannot construct a solid argument, but that does not sound right to me. First, if one is highly productive, the products of his work during his short career may contribute to the society more than his taxes. Second, when people retire they don't disappear. They do something. And that something can be more beneficial for the humanity than the taxes they would have been paying. In the 19th century major scientific discoveries were made by financially independent gentlemen seeking challenge and fame.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 4036
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:09 pm

mnnice wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:23 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:25 am
mnnice wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:06 pm
6bquick wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm
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.
Who exactly “pays their own way” with regards to healthcare in this country? Just curious?
A lot of us in the US do (MMM is Canadian - different story up there - but many of his followers who have now made him wealthy are American). I work a full time job and work hard and in return - my employer pays me a salary plus benefits which includes health insurance. I am paying my own way by working in return for having a private company pay my insurance. No government sponsorship or subsidies. I also pay a lot in taxes which in turn pays for public school for my kids, local and federal law enforcement, public transportation infrastructure, etc. I am proudly paying my own way through life. Someone who retires at 30 with kids and near poverty level payouts from an investment account is relying on the rest of us hard-working folk to subsidize his living. I guess they would call the rest of us suckers - but I don't see it that way.
I am not going to have much response to this that would pass the moderation process. :annoyed I would point out that your employer writes off (gets a subsidy for providing you health coverage). As someone who has chosen to semi-retire way later than 30 and way younger than 65, the people I have encountered in real life that have negative stuff to say are always the people that have never saved a dime. I would question why you would care if someone in his or her 30s would retire, semi-retired, or take a sabbatical regardless of if they were someone in your real life or a random internet stranger?
I'm not sure why you asking me about my cares about when people retire- I don't. I am also not being negative. I was simply answering your question (pointing out that I pay for my own healthcare) and pointing out the fact that if you follow the philosophical differnces to their cores you will see that a Typical Boglehead will subsidize a Typical MMM - pure and simple.

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 4036
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:15 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:25 pm
You started this debate by stating that MMM aims are better for humanity and now you are describing how many retired Bogleheads spend their time. It the humanity benefit comment that threw me. My point was simply that I don't believe the MMM way better for humanity. Who benefits humanity more - the hard working Boglehead who works until he is 60 and pays over $100K per year in taxes for many of those years or the MMM who retires at 30 and is more of a drag on society (benefitting from the taxes of Bogleheads) than a contributor to it since he is no longer paying much to taxes for his remaining life?
Let's get back to the basics.
- The Bogleheads are named for Jack Bogle.
- Jack's major accomplishment is the implementation of low-cost funds.
- In all presentations, papers, and books Jack emphasizes that cost matters.
- THUS, the defining characteristic of the Bogleheads is low-cost investing.
- As you read this Forum, you find all kinds of discussions including those about income, taxes, savings, houses, purchases, education, etc. Some of these discussions are very similar to MMM's topics. Nevertheless, our primary unifying characteristic is low-cost investing.

- The MMM movement is named for MMM.
- MMM's major accomplishments are (1) very frugal living and (2) retiring very early.
- THUS, the defining characteristic of the MMMers is very frugal living (and for some, very early retirement).
- Very frugal living, by definition, is minimum spending: not buying, not driving, not flying--and thus, having a minimum footprint.
- THUS, a minimum footprint is an integral characteristic of a MMMer, which is good for the environment and the humanity.

You are saying that the value of one's life is measured in the taxes he pays over his lifetime. I am not an economist, and cannot construct a solid argument, but that does not sound right to me. First, if one is highly productive, the products of his work during his short career may contribute to the society more than his taxes. Second, when people retire they don't disappear. They do something. And that something can be more beneficial for the humanity than the taxes they would have been paying. In the 19th century major scientific discoveries were made by financially independent gentlemen seeking challenge and fame.

Victoria
My point about taxes was an illustration of how working through life contributes to society (and therefore humanity).
I now see your point Victoria - you are equating that the person with the smaller environmental footprint must be better for humanity. My point is the person that lives their life working productively in contribution to society is better for humanity. I guess we can agree to disagree on which is more important :)

bhough
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:53 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by bhough » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:17 pm

I think reading everyone's replies has made me a little smarter. Thank you for your lively debate.

Whakamole
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Whakamole » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:20 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:35 pm
Whakamole wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:13 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 pm
- A MMMer is defined by saving money by living on a small footprint.
MMM stated he flew to multiple conferences last year (excluded in his budget.) One of those conferences was in Ecuador, which is a long flight away for most people. None of that seems like "living on a small footprint" especially considering nearly all attendees at the latter conference would have been flying in, occupied two places at once, etc.
MMM discusses this in the blog post linked by Curlyq (see above). He decided to stop flying to Ecuador and declined several trips to Europe, China and other places for exactly these reasons.

But, once again, my point is that MMM may be wasteful and hypocritical, BUT: If he has thousands of followers, and if these followers are biking instead of driving or flying, the net result is a cleaner environment.

Victoria
Did he? I see this quote in that link:
Similarly, I’d save a shitload of pollution by just canceling the annual Ecuador retreat. But those weeks have been some of the best experiences of my life. To me, it was worth the pollution I created.
And his 2017 budget says he flew to Ecuador in 2016. So it doesn't seem like he stopped. Maybe he really likes Ecuador and/or the amount of money he presumably receives as an organizer/speaker.

Curlyq
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:27 pm

Hi Victoria,
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 pm

- The MMM movement is named for MMM.
- MMM's major accomplishments are (1) very frugal living and (2) retiring very early (Me: not he's not, he has a few small businesses).
- THUS, the defining characteristic of the MMMers is very frugal living (and for some, very early retirement).
- Very frugal living, by definition, is minimum spending: not buying, not driving, not flying--and thus, having a minimum footprint.
- THUS, a minimum footprint is an integral characteristic of a MMMer, which is good for the environment and the humanity.(Me: I do believe that this group, by way of meager income, will have less to spend and less to travel and, as such, smaller footprint, but I don't think they are striving for a smaller footprint. But, we can hope.)

In the 19th century major scientific discoveries were made by financially independent gentlemen seeking challenge and fame (Me: Well, MMM "retired" to work in construction and is now running his blog. I don't read in his blogs that he is seeking any type of challenge, but he is seeking fame. Otherwise, he would not be a regular on the "how to make money in blogging" circuit. As I mentioned in an earlier somewhat snarky post on this thread, MMM and some of his followers live where they live and work how they work in order to be free from certain corporate constraints so that they can smoke their weed. I doubt there will be any major scientific discoveries from this crowd.) :happy
CurlyQ

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:30 pm

Curlyq wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:58 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:32 pm
As for the solar panels and electric cars, I think you would purchase them while still working, in preparation for retirement. Alternatively, you don't need to take out exactly 4% SWR every year. In year-1 you may take out 5% and invest in environmental efficiencies. In year-2, 3, etc., your annual expenses will be lower and you will withdraw less from your assets.

Victoria
Hi Victoria,

This is where separating the writer of the blog and his followers for sake of the discussion is problematic. Having read most of the posts on MMM, especially in the early years (until I got sick of the "face punching" and profanity) and reading the more recent posts are insightful. Saving so heavily for retirement generally precludes the purchasing of solar panels and electric vehicles.
Hi CurlyQ,

Thank you for insights. I, too, have noticed MMM's profanity and thought it was unnecessary and distracting from his message.
Curlyq wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:58 pm
Even MMM, in his early retirement could not have afforded to purchase these carbon-friendly technologies. He is now making $300,000-$400,000 annually and spending a couple of hundred thousand of this and affordability is no longer an issue. Whether his followers can and will think ahead and purchase these technologies and/or carbon offsets is another aspect entirely. MMM suggested that these younger workers move into a small apartment as close to their workplace as possible and ride their bikes, walk, or take the bus to work. This is fine while these folks are working, but most of what I read on the forums is that they do not want to stay near their employer when they "retire." Thus, purchasing solar panels while working is not an option, for example.
Let's consider MMM a trailblazer. "Trailblazer" is an overused label, but I think it fits here. The one who first defines the trail provides an important difficult service. He provides a proof of the concept that there is something at the end of the trail, and that it's possible to get there. Those who come later have the benefit of seeing the trail outline and make their own improvements.

Perhaps, MMM did not think of solar panels and electric cars when he was retiring. But the readers of his blog who are still working can start thinking now of satisfying their future energy needs.

Curlyq wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:58 pm
I'm hoping that these followers act as you think they might, that is to say, that they do purchase these technologies before "retiring." However, since I cannot find any evidence on the blog about thinking or planning for future large expenditures, such as replacing that electric vehicle (yes, if working side jobs) or paying for assisted-living as I mentioned in my earlier post, I don't think the MMM philosophy, as it currently stands, is as optimistic as one might want. Let's hope that when these folks "retire" and start their small businesses, that they are successful as MMM himself, and are able to reduce their carbon footprint sufficiently to make a difference. However, if they are just subsisting on meager income, they'll have a lower carbon footprint due to poverty, but a much higher drain on society in terms of health and human services.
The information about MMM followers would probably come from the comments in his blog, and many people may not want to bother writing. I also expect that some people may be retiring at a more advanced age than MMM, with more money.

Your point about the eventual assisted living is valid. But it's more troubling on the individual level than across a population. As individuals we, Bogleheads, worry about our final care and its costs. 30 year old MMMers don't think about it yet. Many individual MMMers will never need assisted living. For those who will, the solutions will be similar to those of poor Americans.

Curlyq wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:58 pm
As for variable withdrawals from one's nest egg, I can't speak to that because I have recently "retired" myself. In other words, I was laid off from my job and now work part-time and withdraw part of my portfolio. :happy

CurlyQ
I am sorry about your lay-off. Best wishes for making the best of the situation,

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:31 pm

I don't see how a "smaller footprint" can possibly be better for humanity, I would call it selfishness.

Benefits of working to your highest potential:
(vs trying to get out of the workforce ASAP and live a Spartan existence)
- Generosity to others (charity)
- You can take care of yourself while you're still healthy
- Save for your own retirement
- Help your elderly family members
- Help pay for kids' school
- Hopefully give your kids an inheritance

Can MMM acolytes do all that while living in a tiny house and their $25k/year 'retirement'?

The value of human life shouldn't be measured in carbon atoms. And if you want to feel good about your 'footprint', plant a few trees! They _eat_ carbon :D

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 11696
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by HomerJ » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:36 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:31 pm
And if you want to feel good about your 'footprint', plant a few trees! They _eat_ carbon :D
You need money to buy land and seedlings. :)

Me, I feel good about my "footprint" by buying a jetski that has 99% less emissions than (I'm guessing) the original jetski invented in the 70s.

To paraphrase MMM
But those weeks I've spent in Ecuador on my jetski at the lake with my kids have been some of the best experiences of my life. To me, it was worth the pollution I created.
That justification will let you do ANYTHING, by the way...

Seriously, I noticed that "99% less emissions" blurb in my owner's manual recently (I didn't really care when I bought it). I wonder if the jetski it's compared to put out black smoke like a locomotive.
Last edited by HomerJ on Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18551
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:47 pm

Curlyq wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:27 pm
Hi Victoria,
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 pm

- The MMM movement is named for MMM.
- MMM's major accomplishments are (1) very frugal living and (2) retiring very early (Me: not he's not, he has a few small businesses).
- THUS, the defining characteristic of the MMMers is very frugal living (and for some, very early retirement).
- Very frugal living, by definition, is minimum spending: not buying, not driving, not flying--and thus, having a minimum footprint.
- THUS, a minimum footprint is an integral characteristic of a MMMer, which is good for the environment and the humanity.(Me: I do believe that this group, by way of meager income, will have less to spend and less to travel and, as such, smaller footprint, but I don't think they are striving for a smaller footprint. But, we can hope.)
Hi CurlyQ,

I defer to you as you know much more about MMM than I do.
- Did MMM live very frugally while he was working?
- At the time of retirement, did MMM know that he would run profitable businesses?

As for MMM's followers, they may not strive to have a small footprint, but they don't have a choice, and that's what ultimately matters.
Curlyq wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:27 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 pm
In the 19th century major scientific discoveries were made by financially independent gentlemen seeking challenge and fame (Me: Well, MMM "retired" to work in construction and is now running his blog. I don't read in his blogs that he is seeking any type of challenge, but he is seeking fame. Otherwise, he would not be a regular on the "how to make money in blogging" circuit. As I mentioned in an earlier somewhat snarky post on this thread, MMM and some of his followers live where they live and work how they work in order to be free from certain corporate constraints so that they can smoke their weed. I doubt there will be any major scientific discoveries from this crowd.) :happy
CurlyQ
So, it's all just a pipe dream?!

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Curlyq
Posts: 788
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by Curlyq » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:51 pm

Hi Victoria,

I agree that the best of the MMM movement is to wake up the average consumer to realize that spending is a choice and that there are alternatives to building a nest egg or even that one can build a nest egg. I used to teach and was always amazed at how "programmed" my students seemed to be in regards to their spending habits. They "had" to have certain designer items and could not/would not eat at home, spending what I considered excessively on restaurants and take-out for their income level. I think this issue still plagues many people today. I hope that MMM's ideas give young people, who are facing higher costs of housing and other expenses, a way to carve out some savings and start building their net worth. Where I differ and where others on this thread are commenting, is that voluntarily living, at or close to the poverty line, is, in my words, a very dangerous thing to do in this expensive country in which we live and may push people to end up relying on social services and thus, be a drag on society. I also own property and spend time in two states that have legalized pot and I can see that for some people, having easy access to getting high, is not helping them with having the desire, enthusiasm, or energy to work very hard or at all.
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:30 pm
I am sorry about your lay-off. Best wishes for making the best of the situation, Thanks, fortunately, I lived the frugal MMM lifestyle for many years, but am more of a BH'er, both in age (58) and in nest egg.

Victoria

mnnice
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

Post by mnnice » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:52 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:09 pm
mnnice wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:23 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:25 am
mnnice wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:06 pm
6bquick wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:48 pm


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.
Who exactly “pays their own way” with regards to healthcare in this country? Just curious?
A lot of us in the US do (MMM is Canadian - different story up there - but many of his followers who have now made him wealthy are American). I work a full time job and work hard and in return - my employer pays me a salary plus benefits which includes health insurance. I am paying my own way by working in return for having a private company pay my insurance. No government sponsorship or subsidies. I also pay a lot in taxes which in turn pays for public school for my kids, local and federal law enforcement, public transportation infrastructure, etc. I am proudly paying my own way through life. Someone who retires at 30 with kids and near poverty level payouts from an investment account is relying on the rest of us hard-working folk to subsidize his living. I guess they would call the rest of us suckers - but I don't see it that way.
I am not going to have much response to this that would pass the moderation process. :annoyed I would point out that your employer writes off (gets a subsidy for providing you health coverage). As someone who has chosen to semi-retire way later than 30 and way younger than 65, the people I have encountered in real life that have negative stuff to say are always the people that have never saved a dime. I would question why you would care if someone in his or her 30s would retire, semi-retired, or take a sabbatical regardless of if they were someone in your real life or a random internet stranger?
I'm not sure why you asking me about my cares about when people retire- I don't. I am also not being negative. I was simply answering your question (pointing out that I pay for my own healthcare) and pointing out the fact that if you follow the philosophical differnces to their cores you will see that a Typical Boglehead will subsidize a Typical MMM - pure and simple.
My point is it is all subsidized at some level. Imo self-employed people earning 401% of poverty get the worst deal but they still get to deduct 100% of it off their income taxes. I suspect maybe the MMM crowd will be subsidized the poor physical and mental health conditions of some of the Boglehead sorts that stayed chained too long to a corporate desk. :wink:

Locked