FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

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aristotelian
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by aristotelian » Mon May 20, 2019 9:02 am

lostdog wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 9:20 am

Why don't most of these bloggers communicate this? the SEPP and 72t.
They do but OP is reacting more to the news stories on Yahoo and Marketwatch etc.

aristotelian
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by aristotelian » Mon May 20, 2019 9:03 am

I find most of the FIRE "personalities" to be irritating. However, I do aspire to retire early and have learned a lot from them, in particular about techniques for accessing retirement funds, such as Roth conversion ladder.

nguy44
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by nguy44 » Mon May 20, 2019 9:33 am

I consider myself FIREd, though later than many. I did it at age 60. In theory I could have done it as early as 51, when my pension become vested with Megacorp. However, my definition of FIRE was to "retire and do anything I desired without money being a factor". Note the key word is "desired". So I worked until I knew that would be completely possible. In addition, if one wants to do something and happens to get paid for it, even though they do not need the money, that is fine. Some folks with money do like working at places like Starbucks not for the money but because they enjoy interacting with people. But there are those who claim they are FIRE but are working to still earn money - perhaps they think they are FIRE because it is something they enjoy doing. I still think even if they enjoy doing it, if they still need the money they are not truly FIREd.

During my working years, were we frugal? Yes, but not excessively so. I was fortunate to have a job that I enjoyed, that paid very well, and that we did not have expensive desires. For example, we bought our current house almost 30 years ago. It is not a hovel, it is large, 3000+ square feet, 1+ acre of land. But we never had a desire for anything more, even though things did get to where we could afford more. Instead,m we became (according to a chart posted earlier on this thread) "super savers" as my salary increased. There were years we were saving close to 40% of our income but still living at the level we desired. In truth our ability to save that a bigger factor for my FIRE than what the market did.

I am fine with folks wanting to FIRE, but I do wonder about those who set that goal to achieve that in their 30s or 40s... unless you are making and saving a whole bunch I think that might be too early and aggressive. More likely you might be FIREd in the sense of "leaving a job I do not like that pays well to work at something I like that does not pay as well"... which to me is different than choosing to not have to work or work regardless of what money you might make. However, I would not discourage one not to try... it may still put you in a better position for FIRE in your 50s or early 60s. But do it with a balance - do not be so focused on FIRE that you forget to enjoy your current life.

scrabbler1
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by scrabbler1 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:14 am

SRenaeP wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 8:57 am
scrabbler1 wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:12 pm
As someone who FIREd 11 years ago at age 45, I often get a chuckle from reading these news stories. Often, these FIREees simply downsized to work in other lower-paying but perhaps more enjoyable fields instead of their higher-stress, higher-paying jobs. Others have spouses who work while declaring themselves "FIREd" which to me is not really different from SAHMs or SAHDs. Or they packed it in and greatly downsized their lifestyles compared to what they had before, to the point of not being able to enjoy anything any more.

As for the money one needs, I had 2/3 of just under a $1M portfolio in a 401k and company stock, with 1/3 in taxable. I cashed out the company stock at low tax rates using NUA and reversed the ratio to 2/3 taxable, 1/3 rollover IRA. As long as my taxable gets me to age ~60 intact (only 4 years from now), my "reinforcements" will arrive in the form of the IRA, SS, and my frozen company pension.

I also worked part-time for the last 7 years of my career, gently easing me into a full retirement 11 years ago. I made sure my day-to-day lifestyle was unchanged, an unbreakable condition to FIRE. I doubt my story of someone single with no kids would be of any real interest to the media.
Out of curiosity, how have you spent your time over the past 11 years? I will be FI around the same age and am contemplating the RE part.
Switching from FT to PT 18 years ago caused a bigger change to my day-to-day life than fully retiring 11 years ago. Back in 2001, I added some activities to my daily life such as volunteer work and resurrecting an old hobby. I was also able to do my personal errands on the less busy weekdays than on the busier weekends, another big benefit.

Being fully retired was also crucial 4 years ago when I developed some health issues. I was able to devote 100% of my time and effort toward getting well again, not having to worry about work, even PT work.

ohai
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by ohai » Mon May 20, 2019 10:31 am

Most of the guys who write blogs are not really retired. The guy who writes RetireBy40 has a working spouse. If not, it is questionable if he would have taken that risk. Money Moustache did odd contracting work, and I think his wife might have had some job for insurance. Financial Samurai is probably the best of these blogs, and the guy now openly represents that his job is managing his website, and this clearly takes a lot of time. So, whatever amount these guys had at "retirement", they apparently did not think that it was really enough. They also all have obvious successful online businesses.

As for those FIRE guys on Reddit or wherever, few have financial histories from age 30 something to retirement age. Most of them (10y retirement or less) haven't been in a non-bull market. Their experiences are skewed and incomplete. Even if someone has lasted a long time, they don't have a control case (what their life would have been like without retirement). So, they have not proven that their choice to live on $30k a year while sitting on the couch was the right one.

People believe in the stories of retire by saving $1 million and living frugally, as this gives people hope and something to look forward to. However, reality is usually more complicated.

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DanMahowny
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by DanMahowny » Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am

Seems to me that most of the young, FIRE types are just hippies mooching off others and calling it retirement.

Sleeping on someone else's couch isn't financial independence.
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RollTide31457
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by RollTide31457 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am

Annual expenses above $40k are usually for lavish lifestyles.

lostdog
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by lostdog » Mon May 20, 2019 10:47 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Seems to me that most of the young, FIRE types are just hippies mooching off others and calling it retirement.

Sleeping on someone else's couch isn't financial independence.
Can you provide any examples of mooching?
I don't invest looking in the rear view mirror and I know absolutely nothing about the future.

GCD
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by GCD » Mon May 20, 2019 10:51 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Seems to me that most of the young, FIRE types are just hippies mooching off others and calling it retirement.
Ha ha. Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel. I like your blunt posts.

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am
Annual expenses above $40k are usually for lavish lifestyles.

Median household income was approx. $61,000 in 2017. You picked a pretty low number to set the lavish line at. What's your reasoning for picking that number?

lostdog
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by lostdog » Mon May 20, 2019 10:58 am

GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:51 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Seems to me that most of the young, FIRE types are just hippies mooching off others and calling it retirement.
Ha ha. Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel. I like your blunt posts.

RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am
Annual expenses above $40k are usually for lavish lifestyles.

Median household income was approx. $61,000 in 2017. You picked a pretty low number to set the lavish line at. What's your reasoning for picking that number?
40K take home in a LCOL area you can live really good.
I don't invest looking in the rear view mirror and I know absolutely nothing about the future.

GCD
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by GCD » Mon May 20, 2019 11:14 am

lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:58 am
GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:51 am
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am
Annual expenses above $40k are usually for lavish lifestyles.

Median household income was approx. $61,000 in 2017. You picked a pretty low number to set the lavish line at. What's your reasoning for picking that number?
40K take home in a LCOL area you can live really good.
I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I wouldn't consider $40K really good living anywhere in the US, let alone being the point at which "lavish" starts. I guess I'm out of touch or something.

Zecht
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Zecht » Mon May 20, 2019 11:21 am

I think the cost really varies on what a "reasonable" income is. For example, most FIRE stuff I read is more focused on doing things to push you into a LCOL area, and last on a subsistence budget until the IRA/401k option opens up. There is also the factor that "lavish" is true when you don't have certain payments, such as a mortgage and insurance. If I did not have these things, I would be able to save almost 60% of my annual salary (HCOL area obv).

It's not that anyone is really "wrong" about how it all shakes out, but you really have to question what's important to you and if you're willing to move to LCOL areas to achieve that.

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DanMahowny
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by DanMahowny » Mon May 20, 2019 11:25 am

lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:47 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Seems to me that most of the young, FIRE types are just hippies mooching off others and calling it retirement.

Sleeping on someone else's couch isn't financial independence.
Can you provide any examples of mooching?
Yes. I can. Here's a good example of what I mean.

I just finished a book from the library, titled "Playing with FIRE."

The author, his wife, and daughter were living with the author's parents. Rent free. Free food. Free childcare. Mooching, big time.

At one point in the book the author actually wrote, [not exact quote but pretty close]
"I wanted to have private time at breakfast with my wife and daughter, but I couldn't because my parents were there. I resented them being there."

He resented them being there??? It's their house!!! C'mon man!
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HomerJ
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by HomerJ » Mon May 20, 2019 11:30 am

GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:14 am
lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:58 am
GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:51 am
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am
Annual expenses above $40k are usually for lavish lifestyles.

Median household income was approx. $61,000 in 2017. You picked a pretty low number to set the lavish line at. What's your reasoning for picking that number?
40K take home in a LCOL area you can live really good.
I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I wouldn't consider $40K really good living anywhere in the US, let alone being the point at which "lavish" starts. I guess I'm out of touch or something.
40k with a paid off house can absolutely be good living in many places in the U.S.

But the paid-off house in LCOL area is a pretty important caveat. Without the paid-off house, $40k would indeed be a lot tighter.

And, of course, health care is always the big unknown (although currently with low income, one can get mostly free health care through the ACA)
The J stands for Jay

lostdog
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by lostdog » Mon May 20, 2019 11:33 am

GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:14 am
lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:58 am
GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:51 am
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am
Annual expenses above $40k are usually for lavish lifestyles.

Median household income was approx. $61,000 in 2017. You picked a pretty low number to set the lavish line at. What's your reasoning for picking that number?
40K take home in a LCOL area you can live really good.
I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I wouldn't consider $40K really good living anywhere in the US, let alone being the point at which "lavish" starts. I guess I'm out of touch or something.
Possibly. We have a paid off home and no kids. We take 1 nice vacation a year and then spend Spring , Summer and Fall fishing, kayaking, biking, time by the lakes etc.. in northern Wisconsin quite a few weeks and weekends.
I don't invest looking in the rear view mirror and I know absolutely nothing about the future.

IntangibleAssets
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by IntangibleAssets » Mon May 20, 2019 11:53 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:25 am
lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:47 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Seems to me that most of the young, FIRE types are just hippies mooching off others and calling it retirement.

Sleeping on someone else's couch isn't financial independence.
Can you provide any examples of mooching?
Yes. I can. Here's a good example of what I mean.

I just finished a book from the library, titled "Playing with FIRE."

The author, his wife, and daughter were living with the author's parents. Rent free. Free food. Free childcare. Mooching, big time.

At one point in the book the author actually wrote, [not exact quote but pretty close]
"I wanted to have private time at breakfast with my wife and daughter, but I couldn't because my parents were there. I resented them being there."

He resented them being there??? It's their house!!! C'mon man!
Amazing, I wonder what the parents thought reading that passage :)

randomguy
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by randomguy » Mon May 20, 2019 12:04 pm

GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:14 am
lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:58 am
GCD wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:51 am
RollTide31457 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:42 am
Annual expenses above $40k are usually for lavish lifestyles.

Median household income was approx. $61,000 in 2017. You picked a pretty low number to set the lavish line at. What's your reasoning for picking that number?
40K take home in a LCOL area you can live really good.
I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I wouldn't consider $40K really good living anywhere in the US, let alone being the point at which "lavish" starts. I guess I'm out of touch or something.
Its a framing issue. Call something lavish and you can justify on not having it a lot more than if you consider it a basic necessity. Very few of the FIRE crowd is willing to go without the lavish luxuries of running water and electricity for example.:)

In the end extremism is rarely the right choice. Your options aren't between retiring at 70 and 35. You can do the more normal save 20-25% and retire at more normal 50-55. But it is tough to built a lifestyle business around it.

GTBuzz
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by GTBuzz » Mon May 20, 2019 12:10 pm

If a FIRE proponent retires to the woods and no one is around to read his blog, is he really FIRE'ed?

Coltrane75
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Coltrane75 » Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm

FIRE is a source of attention grabbing headlines; makes good clickbait.

But I am also very intrigued by the subject; its a creative way to break from things and look for more independence.

michaeljc70
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon May 20, 2019 12:19 pm

There are more FIRE stories considering the number of people doing it compared to the general population. I think because the stories with their enticing headlines make good click bait. As someone above said, a lot of the articles have caveats (they work part time, spouse works, run a business/blog, move to cheap countries, etc.) To retire really early, it also usually requires a relatively high paying job and unlike what some of the articles/FIRE people say, not anyone can do it. Chances are if you make anywhere around the median salary in the US it won't work (at least not retiring in your 30s or 40s). Though I never made big bucks, I did make between 2-3x the average and was an aggressive saver.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Miguelito » Mon May 20, 2019 12:29 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:36 pm
If you were 100% retired now, you could be 100% on vacation. It is an easier problem than figuring out how to get employed.
Sure, but I don't know that I would want to be 100% on vacation indefinitely. That's how I feel right now at least.

Presintense
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Presintense » Mon May 20, 2019 12:30 pm

Coltrane75 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm
FIRE is a source of attention grabbing headlines; makes good clickbait.
Yep. I retired at 49 and there was a shock effect. People wanted to find out how. Then they were bored by my story and were no longer interested. People want to hear that you hit the lottery or something. They are disappointed by stories of hard work and long term savings/investing.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

Presintense
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Presintense » Mon May 20, 2019 12:34 pm

Miguelito wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:29 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:36 pm
If you were 100% retired now, you could be 100% on vacation. It is an easier problem than figuring out how to get employed.
Sure, but I don't know that I would want to be 100% on vacation indefinitely. That's how I feel right now at least.
I probably wouldn’t call it vacation. It’s more like a constant weekend where you do yard work, tinker, etc. all the time, not like vacation ( unless those are the things you do on vacation... not me).
Performance = Potential - Distraction

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Psyayeayeduck
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Mon May 20, 2019 12:37 pm

Wiggums wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 9:01 am
k3vb0t wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:36 am

I’ll imagine if we have a significant downturn you’ll start seeing articles about people who “caught on FIRE” and had to go back to work, their lives are ruined, etc.
:sharebeer I like that one...
I don't. It' rooting people to fail so one can feel smug about it.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Sam1 » Mon May 20, 2019 12:43 pm

Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:34 pm
Miguelito wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:29 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:36 pm
If you were 100% retired now, you could be 100% on vacation. It is an easier problem than figuring out how to get employed.
Sure, but I don't know that I would want to be 100% on vacation indefinitely. That's how I feel right now at least.
I probably wouldn’t call it vacation. It’s more like a constant weekend where you do yard work, tinker, etc. all the time, not like vacation ( unless those are the things you do on vacation... not me).
Seriously. Seems like some of these FIRE folks have a different standard as to what constitutes not working / vacation.

I can think of things I like to do on vacation such as:
1. Ski - expensive sport. Lift tickets start at $80 a day. No I don’t want to ski someplace with few trails or without lifts.
2. Go to the beach and have some serve me drinks - frozen drinks add up
3. Spend time in a big city visiting museums, dining out and shopping. More $$$$

Thing is I can work and still do the above a decent amount of time each year AND earn 200k plus each year. I also can have someone clean my house weekly, take a taxi when there is bad weather, order takeout when I’m tired, buy something overpriced because I like it, etc.

I’ve had “staycations” in recent years and while I’ve enioyed my time, there is no way I’d want to that every day AND have to watch my money so closely to avoid working.

I recognize I have a few comfortable job, great vacation and flexibility, and a high earning spouse.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Presintense » Mon May 20, 2019 12:46 pm

+1... Economic downturn doesn’t only effect early retirees. It effects all retirees. Hopefully you will be one someday and your retirement will be without financial trouble.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

k3vb0t
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by k3vb0t » Mon May 20, 2019 12:48 pm

Psyayeayeduck wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:37 pm
Wiggums wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 9:01 am
k3vb0t wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:36 am

I’ll imagine if we have a significant downturn you’ll start seeing articles about people who “caught on FIRE” and had to go back to work, their lives are ruined, etc.
:sharebeer I like that one...
I don't. It' rooting people to fail so one can feel smug about it.
Overall I think FIRE is way overblown because it makes for interesting news which leads to eyeballs on ads. I think when the inevitable downturn hits and people who left good jobs with bare minimum funds find themselves trying to re-enter the workforce after many years not working will find it difficult, thus you will inevitably see more articles about how FIRE ruined their lives. Again, all about eyeballs.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Presintense » Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm

Psyayeayeduck wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:37 pm
Wiggums wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 9:01 am
k3vb0t wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:36 am

I’ll imagine if we have a significant downturn you’ll start seeing articles about people who “caught on FIRE” and had to go back to work, their lives are ruined, etc.
:sharebeer I like that one...
I don't. It' rooting people to fail so one can feel smug about it.
+1... Economic downturn doesn’t only effect early retirees. It effects all retirees. Hopefully you will be one someday and your retirement will be without financial trouble.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

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HomerJ
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by HomerJ » Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm

IntangibleAssets wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:53 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 11:25 am
lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:47 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Seems to me that most of the young, FIRE types are just hippies mooching off others and calling it retirement.

Sleeping on someone else's couch isn't financial independence.
Can you provide any examples of mooching?
Yes. I can. Here's a good example of what I mean.

I just finished a book from the library, titled "Playing with FIRE."

The author, his wife, and daughter were living with the author's parents. Rent free. Free food. Free childcare. Mooching, big time.

At one point in the book the author actually wrote, [not exact quote but pretty close]
"I wanted to have private time at breakfast with my wife and daughter, but I couldn't because my parents were there. I resented them being there."

He resented them being there??? It's their house!!! C'mon man!
Amazing, I wonder what the parents thought reading that passage :)
I would have kicked him out of my house the next day.
The J stands for Jay

scrabbler1
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by scrabbler1 » Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm

Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:30 pm
Coltrane75 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm
FIRE is a source of attention grabbing headlines; makes good clickbait.
Yep. I retired at 49 and there was a shock effect. People wanted to find out how. Then they were bored by my story and were no longer interested. People want to hear that you hit the lottery or something. They are disappointed by stories of hard work and long term savings/investing.
This was my point in some earlier posts. Even though I kinda hit a lottery by cashing out $300k from company stock, my short answer of "no kids, no debts" quickly bored most people I told about my early retirement.

michaeljc70
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm

Sam1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:43 pm
Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:34 pm
Miguelito wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:29 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:36 pm
If you were 100% retired now, you could be 100% on vacation. It is an easier problem than figuring out how to get employed.
Sure, but I don't know that I would want to be 100% on vacation indefinitely. That's how I feel right now at least.
I probably wouldn’t call it vacation. It’s more like a constant weekend where you do yard work, tinker, etc. all the time, not like vacation ( unless those are the things you do on vacation... not me).
Seriously. Seems like some of these FIRE folks have a different standard as to what constitutes not working / vacation.

I can think of things I like to do on vacation such as:
1. Ski - expensive sport. Lift tickets start at $80 a day. No I don’t want to ski someplace with few trails or without lifts.
2. Go to the beach and have some serve me drinks - frozen drinks add up
3. Spend time in a big city visiting museums, dining out and shopping. More $$$$

Thing is I can work and still do the above a decent amount of time each year AND earn 200k plus each year. I also can have someone clean my house weekly, take a taxi when there is bad weather, order takeout when I’m tired, buy something overpriced because I like it, etc.

I’ve had “staycations” in recent years and while I’ve enioyed my time, there is no way I’d want to that every day AND have to watch my money so closely to avoid working.

I recognize I have a few comfortable job, great vacation and flexibility, and a high earning spouse.
I wouldn't paint them all with the same brush. Some do travel and everything else they want to. Some are scrimping to get by. Most aren't FIREing because they have a cushy, easy, interesting job. Many have high stress jobs or jobs they hate or are somewhat forced out due to ageism (particularly in tech).

BTW...a season pass for skiing saves a lot of money and if you are retired, you presumably have the time to use it.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Presintense » Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm

scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm
Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:30 pm
Coltrane75 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:17 pm
FIRE is a source of attention grabbing headlines; makes good clickbait.
Yep. I retired at 49 and there was a shock effect. People wanted to find out how. Then they were bored by my story and were no longer interested. People want to hear that you hit the lottery or something. They are disappointed by stories of hard work and long term savings/investing.
This was my point in some earlier posts. Even though I kinda hit a lottery by cashing out $300k from company stock, my short answer of "no kids, no debts" quickly bored most people I told about my early retirement.
Exactly. No one wants to hear about the routine choices and sacrifices you made that they could also make. Instead, they want to hear about some elaborate luck that they never had.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

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AerialWombat
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by AerialWombat » Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 10:37 am
Sleeping on someone else's couch isn't financial independence.
No, but it's certainly a great way to help you get to financial independence. I know Arnold Schwarzenegger would certainly say so. He crashed on friend's couches early in his acting/modeling career while acquiring rental properties with that early money he made (before he was making blockbusters and millions per film).
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by an_asker » Mon May 20, 2019 12:57 pm

drk wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:53 am
KandT wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:10 am
Many say they have retired from their software engineering position and now make coffee at Starbucks. That's not retired.
That is literally retired. We apply the same concept to people who retire from the military, or from sports or other activities. Retiring simply does not mean "never again doing anything for money."
By that logic, I retired from Civil Engineering 20 years ago; since then, I write software for money ;-)

Though I turned in my resignation letter not retirement notice.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Miguelito » Mon May 20, 2019 1:01 pm

Sam1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:43 pm
Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:34 pm
Miguelito wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:29 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:36 pm
If you were 100% retired now, you could be 100% on vacation. It is an easier problem than figuring out how to get employed.
Sure, but I don't know that I would want to be 100% on vacation indefinitely. That's how I feel right now at least.
I probably wouldn’t call it vacation. It’s more like a constant weekend where you do yard work, tinker, etc. all the time, not like vacation ( unless those are the things you do on vacation... not me).
Seriously. Seems like some of these FIRE folks have a different standard as to what constitutes not working / vacation.

I can think of things I like to do on vacation such as:
1. Ski - expensive sport. Lift tickets start at $80 a day. No I don’t want to ski someplace with few trails or without lifts.
2. Go to the beach and have some serve me drinks - frozen drinks add up
3. Spend time in a big city visiting museums, dining out and shopping. More $$$$

Thing is I can work and still do the above a decent amount of time each year AND earn 200k plus each year. I also can have someone clean my house weekly, take a taxi when there is bad weather, order takeout when I’m tired, buy something overpriced because I like it, etc.

I’ve had “staycations” in recent years and while I’ve enioyed my time, there is no way I’d want to that every day AND have to watch my money so closely to avoid working.

I recognize I have a few comfortable job, great vacation and flexibility, and a high earning spouse.
Right. My point about longer vacations was that I'd be happy with 6-8 weeks of vacation (maybe even 10) instead of 4. But that doesn't mean I'd want 52 weeks of vacation.

I'd love 4-day work weeks all year round plus 2-3 weeks vacation (that works out to about 10 weeks of vacation). I'd take a commensurate cut in pay too, of course. That would be great. I still would not want to fully retire now or for the foreseeable future.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Presintense » Mon May 20, 2019 1:11 pm

Miguelito wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:01 pm
[quote=Sam1 post_id=4553381 time=<a href="tel:1558374190">1558374190</a> user_id=133356]
[quote=Presintense post_id=4553357 time=<a href="tel:1558373653">1558373653</a> user_id=57761]
[quote=Miguelito post_id=4553351 time=<a href="tel:1558373365">1558373365</a> user_id=51798]
[quote=flyingaway post_id=4552453 time=<a href="tel:1558312584">1558312584</a> user_id=50598]If you were 100% retired now, you could be 100% on vacation. It is an easier problem than figuring out how to get employed.
Sure, but I don't know that I would want to be 100% on vacation indefinitely. That's how I feel right now at least.
[/quote]

I probably wouldn’t call it vacation. It’s more like a constant weekend where you do yard work, tinker, etc. all the time, not like vacation ( unless those are the things you do on vacation... not me).
[/quote]

Seriously. Seems like some of these FIRE folks have a different standard as to what constitutes not working / vacation.

I can think of things I like to do on vacation such as:
1. Ski - expensive sport. Lift tickets start at $80 a day. No I don’t want to ski someplace with few trails or without lifts.
2. Go to the beach and have some serve me drinks - frozen drinks add up
3. Spend time in a big city visiting museums, dining out and shopping. More $$$$

Thing is I can work and still do the above a decent amount of time each year AND earn 200k plus each year. I also can have someone clean my house weekly, take a taxi when there is bad weather, order takeout when I’m tired, buy something overpriced because I like it, etc.

I’ve had “staycations” in recent years and while I’ve enioyed my time, there is no way I’d want to that every day AND have to watch my money so closely to avoid working.

I recognize I have a few comfortable job, great vacation and flexibility, and a high earning spouse.
[/quote]

Right. My point about longer vacations was that I'd be happy with 6-8 weeks of vacation (maybe even 10) instead of 4. But that doesn't mean I'd want 52 weeks of vacation.

I'd love 4-day work weeks all year round plus 2-3 weeks vacation (that works out to about 10 weeks of vacation). I'd take a commensurate cut in pay too, of course. That would be great. I still would not want to fully retire now or for the foreseeable future.
[/quote]

I agree. If I could’ve gotten those terms I’d still be working.
Performance = Potential - Distraction

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Cycle » Mon May 20, 2019 1:24 pm

visualguy wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:16 pm
drk wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:13 pm
If people want to incorrectly take retirement to imply total retirement, then that's on them.
If I still work for money, that's not retirement from my perspective.
Most people never retire then. My father no longer does surgery, but he does mow the lawn at a building he rents to the hospital. I guess he's not retired...

My 70 year old coworker "retired" but sells honey from his bee keeping business and comes into megacorp one day a week, despite probably being a decamillionaire.

I know one person who FIREd from chemical engineering in his 30s. He still owns and manages his 4-plex and his wife makes and sells art.

These are all folks that most would consider retired, despite working for money.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by visualguy » Mon May 20, 2019 1:25 pm

Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm
This was my point in some earlier posts. Even though I kinda hit a lottery by cashing out $300k from company stock, my short answer of "no kids, no debts" quickly bored most people I told about my early retirement.
Exactly. No one wants to hear about the routine choices and sacrifices you made that they could also make. Instead, they want to hear about some elaborate luck that they never had.
"no kids" is hardly a routine choice or sacrifice, though... That's a seriously life-altering one. I don't think you'll find many people who can relate to missing that part of life as a positive thing to enable retiring earlier.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Mon May 20, 2019 1:27 pm

k3vb0t wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:48 pm
Psyayeayeduck wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:37 pm
Wiggums wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 9:01 am
k3vb0t wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:36 am

I’ll imagine if we have a significant downturn you’ll start seeing articles about people who “caught on FIRE” and had to go back to work, their lives are ruined, etc.
:sharebeer I like that one...
I don't. It' rooting people to fail so one can feel smug about it.
Overall I think FIRE is way overblown because it makes for interesting news which leads to eyeballs on ads. I think when the inevitable downturn hits and people who left good jobs with bare minimum funds find themselves trying to re-enter the workforce after many years not working will find it difficult, thus you will inevitably see more articles about how FIRE ruined their lives. Again, all about eyeballs.
If it all comes down to eyeballs on ads, then any interesting story that crosses your path is guilty of this whether it's financial, political, or otherwise.

In addition, if anyone is doing the bare minimum, they are exposing themselves for failure pointed out by the FIRE community multiple times in multiple websites. It is why people who typically pursue FIRE will 1) work more years to develop a financial cushion when the inevitable downturn kicks in, 2) invest towards more conservative funds/allocation when they get closer to their early retirement date, and 3) work on maintaining or lowering their spending/expenses (instead of 4% of their NW, some will try to achieve 2%-3.5% instead).

Honestly, I am convinced that there are so many users on this website that root for failure for the sole reason to feel high and mighty and say "I told you so!" to the ones who don't want to end up in their mid-60s in corporate America on (borrowing a Fight Club quote) spending on things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't like.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Meaty » Mon May 20, 2019 1:27 pm

visualguy wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:25 pm
Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm
This was my point in some earlier posts. Even though I kinda hit a lottery by cashing out $300k from company stock, my short answer of "no kids, no debts" quickly bored most people I told about my early retirement.
Exactly. No one wants to hear about the routine choices and sacrifices you made that they could also make. Instead, they want to hear about some elaborate luck that they never had.
"no kids" is hardly a routine choice or sacrifice, though... That's a seriously life-altering one. I don't think you'll find many people who can relate to missing that part of life as a positive thing to enable retiring earlier.
100% agree. Having my son was easily the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s cliche but true - no amount of money could replace the joy I’ve gleaned from that experience
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

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CyclingDuo
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by CyclingDuo » Mon May 20, 2019 1:33 pm

Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm
Exactly. No one wants to hear about the routine choices and sacrifices you made that they could also make. Instead, they want to hear about some elaborate luck that they never had.
Quite true! Nobody wants to hear about the longer term, slow accumulation that is required.

It's like making a good brisket and everyone you serve it to wants to know the secret. After you mention the prep work and days of marinating required, then the Low and slow for 8 hours or so in the smoker - it just bores the heck out of most who are used to fast food, eating out, and cooking things that take at most 30 minutes of their time.

It is interesting to read about the variety of FIRE types no matter how much buzz on blogs or in the media the terminology creates...

https://www.budgetsaresexy.com/4-types- ... etirement/

He came up with the following framework based on his research and polling of the space to help pinpoint the version that fits you best:

Lean FIRE: living off $0 – $40k yearly income (<$1,000,000 needed)
Regular FIRE: living off $40k – $100k yearly income ($1,000,000 – $2,500,000 needed)
Fat FIRE: living off $100k+ yearly income ($2,500,000+ needed)
Barista FIRE: the above range that fits you best, minus estimated insurance/perks?

The number “needed” to hit these goals is based on the Trinity Study that many of us follow, which basically says you can live off 4% of your investments or calculated another way: 25x your yearly expenses. So if you plan on only needing $40,000 a year to live off, then you’d need $1,000,000 banked which is 25 x $40,000 and drops you in Lean FIRE range.


Original article that Budget Sexy used is here:

https://minafi.com/fire-meaning
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by visualguy » Mon May 20, 2019 1:35 pm

Cycle wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:24 pm
visualguy wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:16 pm
drk wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 6:13 pm
If people want to incorrectly take retirement to imply total retirement, then that's on them.
If I still work for money, that's not retirement from my perspective.
Most people never retire then. My father no longer does surgery, but he does mow the lawn at a building he rents to the hospital. I guess he's not retired...

My 70 year old coworker "retired" but sells honey from his bee keeping business and comes into megacorp one day a week, despite probably being a decamillionaire.

I know one person who FIREd from chemical engineering in his 30s. He still owns and manages his 4-plex and his wife makes and sells art.

These are all folks that most would consider retired, despite working for money.
They retired from their original occupation, but they now have a different paying occupation (even if low-paying or part-time), so they are not "retired from work", just "retired from surgery" or "retired from chemical engineering". They still do some work for money. Like I said, for me retirement means not working a job or business for money. If I still hustle some job for money like mowing lawns or selling art, I'm not retired.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by benjamen » Mon May 20, 2019 1:40 pm

1) To get access to your pre tax accounts early, you have several choices:
*Pay the 10% penalty; since your tax rate drops when you retire, the net cost to pull your money out isn't that bad
*Use the 72t IRS rule to pull the money out without penalty
*Use a Roth conversion latter to pull the money out early

2) Healthcare is a big issue with retiring early, but there are a few choices:
*Move to another country where healthcare isn't insanely expensive
*Buy insurance on the government market; oddly you will get a discount to your premiums if you have a low income, despite a high net worth (i assume this loop hole wont last long)
*Save more prior to retirement and utilize catastrophic policies
*Take up a part time job that provides medical coverage as part of a semi retired lifestyle

3) How to determine how much you need to safely save is a big topic. It comes down to two parts:
*How much will you spend per year once retired. This will be impacted by where you live, have you paid off your debt, and generally what kind of life style you want. This becomes a balance between how fast do you want to be work optional and how nice of a lifestyle you want.
*What multiple of yearly expenses do you want to save up to? 25x your expenses is a general rule of thumb, but something closer to 30x may be more appropriate
26 part series examining this topic: https://earlyretirementnow.com/2018/06/ ... u-to-know/

4) I am surprised by how many people who can not actually stop working. While some have the personality that will enjoy a full time lifestyle of travel/grand-kids/volunteering/hobbies, I have met many people who go back to work despite not needing the money. Personally, I am more in pursuit of the financial independence side of the FIRE acronym. I want to be work optional.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by mak1277 » Mon May 20, 2019 1:55 pm

Sam1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:43 pm
I also can have someone clean my house weekly, take a taxi when there is bad weather, order takeout when I’m tired, buy something overpriced because I like it, etc.
I'm planning to FIRE and still be able to do all of those things comfortably. It's not always an either/or choice.

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Hub
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Hub » Mon May 20, 2019 1:56 pm

I like and prescribe to the FIRE philosophy though I'm still working. As a natural boglehead type this "new" plan (5 years in now) has served me well to ramp up savings, fight off lifestyle creep, and have a goal to work toward. I find it psychologically satisfying because I'm getting closer and closer to having the option to pull the plug at any moment of my choosing. That helps me manage the stress and pressures of a fairly demanding job. I don't hate my job at all, but I have a need for freedom, options, and self-reliance.

In reality I expect that I will quit and move my family somewhere desirable to take a job that is much easier, but that still covers our expenses. I expect to do that no later than age 45, but as soon as age 40. Invested assets will be in the range of $900k-$1,600k depending on whether that's age 40 or age 45. Under all scenarios, I expect that my wife will be able to do contract work remotely to the tune of $30k/yr without geographic limitation or excessive time commitment.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by lostdog » Mon May 20, 2019 2:00 pm

Meaty wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:27 pm
visualguy wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:25 pm
Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm
This was my point in some earlier posts. Even though I kinda hit a lottery by cashing out $300k from company stock, my short answer of "no kids, no debts" quickly bored most people I told about my early retirement.
Exactly. No one wants to hear about the routine choices and sacrifices you made that they could also make. Instead, they want to hear about some elaborate luck that they never had.
"no kids" is hardly a routine choice or sacrifice, though... That's a seriously life-altering one. I don't think you'll find many people who can relate to missing that part of life as a positive thing to enable retiring earlier.
100% agree. Having my son was easily the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s cliche but true - no amount of money could replace the joy I’ve gleaned from that experience
Child free was the best decision we've ever made and we have zero regret. We do enjoy our nieces and nephews but at the end of the day the parents can have them back.
I don't invest looking in the rear view mirror and I know absolutely nothing about the future.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by deikel » Mon May 20, 2019 2:03 pm

I find all this really funny....

...The FIRE community rallies to defend the FIRE idea against 'criticism' (both the folks who live from it - aka bloggers/writers and the ones who made the decision to follow the gospel)...

...Critics shoot at the FIRE idea because it questions their decision not to go that way, not to save more and whatever else they might feel threatened about...

...and the news circle is perfect because it can be run like this till the end of time...

I find the FI part much more important then the RE part. I could not care less what other people think my work status is (working, retired, semi-retired, still working something for money or just laying on the beach all day and any combination of the same).

What is much more important and worth discussing IMO is the independence part - where you truly choose what you do every day of your life vs being the battery in the matrix....that aspect of the FIRE movement seems to be the really threatening part in the land of the free despite it being so very much the core of America.....maybe its highlighting the deficiency of the American Dream for so many ? Or maybe it highlights that we determine our personal version of the American Dream by our own (poor?) choices and no one else is to be blamed but us ? Ugly thought, that.

I guess that's why FIRE brings out quite strong reactions.
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Meaty
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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Meaty » Mon May 20, 2019 2:03 pm

lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:00 pm
Meaty wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:27 pm
visualguy wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:25 pm
Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm
This was my point in some earlier posts. Even though I kinda hit a lottery by cashing out $300k from company stock, my short answer of "no kids, no debts" quickly bored most people I told about my early retirement.
Exactly. No one wants to hear about the routine choices and sacrifices you made that they could also make. Instead, they want to hear about some elaborate luck that they never had.
"no kids" is hardly a routine choice or sacrifice, though... That's a seriously life-altering one. I don't think you'll find many people who can relate to missing that part of life as a positive thing to enable retiring earlier.
100% agree. Having my son was easily the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s cliche but true - no amount of money could replace the joy I’ve gleaned from that experience
Child free was the best decision we've ever made and we have zero regret. We do enjoy our nieces and nephews but at the end of the day the parents can have them back.
Fair enough - it’s not for everybody. I can just understand a Luke warm reaction when explaining (in my quotes thread) part of FIRE was being child free. Most don’t take that route and wouldn’t be able to relate
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Calli114 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:05 pm

JeepDaze wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:33 pm
KandT wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 8:10 am
I guess they think there isn't any stress in low paying jobs but I would argue quite the reverse. Oddly, it seems low paying jobs frequently have lots of stress. It seems they need a class in stress management not a new job bagging groceries.

I am confused. :shock: :shock:
Low paying jobs are stressful for people who don't have a lot of money. For people who have a lot of money, there is little stress over getting laid off or making ends meet with a low paying job.

I hear some stories from people in low paying jobs - maybe this is not the typical experience, but many of them seem to have to put up with middle school antics, such as bullying, cliques, hazing, gossip and backstabbing. This sort of stuff would leave me worse for wear and glad that my FU money would allow me to leave the situation. Volunteer jobs, maybe. But even there one can run into people on power trips, or doing it for the status.

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Re: FIRE - What am I missing in the News Stories

Post by Sam1 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:10 pm

lostdog wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:00 pm
Meaty wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:27 pm
visualguy wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:25 pm
Presintense wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm
scrabbler1 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:50 pm
This was my point in some earlier posts. Even though I kinda hit a lottery by cashing out $300k from company stock, my short answer of "no kids, no debts" quickly bored most people I told about my early retirement.
Exactly. No one wants to hear about the routine choices and sacrifices you made that they could also make. Instead, they want to hear about some elaborate luck that they never had.
"no kids" is hardly a routine choice or sacrifice, though... That's a seriously life-altering one. I don't think you'll find many people who can relate to missing that part of life as a positive thing to enable retiring earlier.
100% agree. Having my son was easily the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s cliche but true - no amount of money could replace the joy I’ve gleaned from that experience
Child free was the best decision we've ever made and we have zero regret. We do enjoy our nieces and nephews but at the end of the day the parents can have them back.
It’s cliche, but you don’t understand it until you have kids.

No one wants someone else’s kids so it’s not unusual you don’t mind returning your nieces and nephews.

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