Your Money Or Your Life

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snarlyjack
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Your Money Or Your Life

Post by snarlyjack » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:40 pm

I was scrolling through the internet today & found a article
that the Bogleheads should really enjoy.

Your Money Or Your Life & All The Flavors Of Fire.
(Financial Independence Retire Early).

This is what started it all for me. I hope you enjoy the article.
Your looking at the future....

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirem ... spartandhp

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:57 pm

I know it is just me, but I can't understand all those people living very parsimoniously, only to finance a long (and a lot less secure) even more parsimonious retirement.

livesoft
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by livesoft » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:13 pm

A few articles coming out recently on the book.

See also: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/busi ... money.html
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PFInterest
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by PFInterest » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:16 pm


minimalistmarc
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by minimalistmarc » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:20 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:57 pm
I know it is just me, but I can't understand all those people living very parsimoniously, only to finance a long (and a lot less secure) even more parsimonious retirement.
It is out of a strong desire to be free to do what you want.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:27 pm

minimalistmarc wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:20 pm
It is out of a strong desire to be free to do what you want.
I find it gets harder the less money I have.

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bengal22
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by bengal22 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:28 pm

As Jack Benny said, "I'm thinking."
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

minimalistmarc
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by minimalistmarc » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:40 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:27 pm
minimalistmarc wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:20 pm
It is out of a strong desire to be free to do what you want.
I find it gets harder the less money I have.
Either want less or earn more :)

Mike Scott
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Mike Scott » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:43 pm

I found the general concept of the original YMYL book interesting but the "method" was no longer relevant. It sounds like they are updating that part. It is also interesting how much it overlaps with some of the "back to the land" philosophy as well as the lifestyle of many of our ancestors eking out survival on small farms and businesses. It's definitely not the lifestyle for everyone but I know several people who are trying to make it work either by choice or necessity.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:44 pm

Our ancestors tended to die a lot younger.
True "happiness is the maximum agreement of aspirations and reality", in the words of a XX Century philosopher. I try not to aspire to too little, though...

InMyDreams
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by InMyDreams » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:26 am

My take away when I read Your Money or Your Life years ago:
* Figure out what your real wage is (your paycheck minus all the costs of doing your work [gas, commute time, childcare, things you buy because you don't have time to do it yourself])

* When you're buying something, stop and think if it's really worth the real wages (and the hours they represent) to buy it.

If you choose to buy costly items, at least make conscious decisions to do that.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by AlohaJoe » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:59 am

I thought that was actually a really good article that, in a relatively brief space, covered a lot of ground on FIRE.
  • redefining career & retirement
  • the early proponents of FIRE
  • changes in the investing landscape since those early days
  • the increased exposure to long-term inflation as an early retiree
  • the varieties of early retirement: "leanFIRE/baristaFIRE" and "fatFIRE"
  • Mr Money Mustache
  • Roth IRA conversion laddering (briefly)
  • dealing with downtime in early retirement
  • the community being overwhelming male (and white (and high income (and a bit oblivious to their entitled lives)))
  • possible uncharted risks like earlier mortality for early retirees
  • burning out on leisure time per se and returning to paid work or giving back to the community

IlliniDave
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:02 am

Thesaints wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:57 pm
I know it is just me, but I can't understand all those people living very parsimoniously, only to finance a long (and a lot less secure) even more parsimonious retirement.
Like someone else alluded to, it's hard to put a price tag on freedom. It's a very personal thing and a function of a person's values. Part of YMOYL is being aware of what you value and funneling your resources (both money and energy) to those things and avoiding to the extent possible sinking energy and money into things that run counter. So by definition "parsimonious" won't come into it if done right.

I read YMOYL about 7-8 years ago and that was the big takeaway I got from it. If you look at my own situation I'm laughably extravagant in my spending compared to the examples in the book (even counting inflation). But I also get the occasional raised eyebrow among the Bogleheads for being laughably conservative in my stash/planned spending ratio (plan projects to a withdrawal rate < 2%).

Best case, if I work to full retirement age (12 years beyond when I'm planning to retire), I might accumulate an additional $1M. But that clips my retirement by about 40% even if I live beyond expectations. More importantly, those 12 years will be the youngest, most physically capable years of my retirement (I'm not a golf, bingo, and shuffleboard kind of guy). So the question I ask myself is what are those 12 years worth? They are costing me about $83,000/year + living expenses and I am happy with that as it aligns with my best understanding of what makes me tick, and to me that's not particularly parsimonious. It's possible I'll lay on my deathbed regretting that I never leased a top-of-the-line German car or did a lot of 5-star dining of whatever else I'm foregoing by aligning my finances with my values. But risk and reward are inextricably linked.

The great thing about it is someone else can repeat the process that I did, wind up with a far more expensive lifestyle and possibly longer career/work life (or the converse) and the result will be equally valid. More so than the numerical "answer", it's the alignment of your money and your life that counts.
Don't do something. Just stand there!

gd
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by gd » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:32 am

Skimmed the article, seemed better than usual in these things. For me frugality was a hobby, a lifestyle choice. It requires great time and effort, basically directing your time directly to basic tasks of life, rather than to earning money to pay other people to do stuff for you. It is more a philosophy of living than an economic technique. It does not propose you live the rest of your life parsimoniously teetering on ruin, quite the opposite-- it advocates making "security" not strictly financial. 2nd gen hippies, I suppose. The book was partly aimed at people who had gotten into debt or otherwise had lack of perspective on their relationship with money, wealth and possessions, suggesting they adopt the trappings of that lifestyle to free them from their debt-focused lifestyle. Some took it to heart, some more superficially.

There was an internet "Simple Living" forum focused on the book years ago that got overrun by debtors during one of the financial downturns. They utterly missed the concept, decided this was their (next) silver bullet, claiming "simple living" meant "make my life easy", and it justified continuing their spendthrift lifestyles of McDonalds, housecleaners and other expensive conveniences. I concluded "Basic Living" would have been a much better phrase for the book and movement.

Their investment advice was entirely government bond ladders, which was great (for a while) for people who actually did it, not so much if you were late to the party. Most people nowadays dismiss the book out of hand for that reason. The whole thing was pretty innovative, and deserves respect for at least its historical contribution. I will be curious to see the revision, and suspect it'll parallel many things discussed hereabouts.

As a totally irrelevant aside, pretty funny that MMM "camps" charge $425. 3rd gen hippies.

indexonlyplease
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by indexonlyplease » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:51 am

I think the idea of early retirement is another hype for articles and writing books. The idea of retirement for me was always to retire and maintain the same lifestyle. So I beleive someone will have to work at least 25-30 years to get there. And be a great saver, investor along the way. And hope the markets work with you.

I beleive the FI is giving to many the idea that you can retire and 30-40 yrs old. With health care and cost of living out of control why would someone put themselves in that position.

Yes, some may be luck that family left them a nice lump sum of money or 2 highly paid married couple are saving 50% of salary for 20 years but this is the small % of people.

I think better to find the career you like and plan to work for a long time. Then maybe one day when ready you can retire. Many of the bloggers that retire early don't tell you about the other ways they are making money (like money on blogging).

I just finished watching ManHunt on Nexfix. The Unabomber live off of $400 a year in a shack in the woods. I guess he was FI also.

RadAudit
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by RadAudit » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:11 am

Thesaints wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:57 pm
I know it is just me, but I can't understand all those people living very parsimoniously, only to finance a long (and a lot less secure) even more parsimonious retirement.
What I get from glancing at this forum is that a number of posts are concerned with how soon can I get to an amount of money that will allow me to live like I want to live as long as I can.

YMOYL seems to answer those questions for folks who want a less cushy lifestyle than some of us aspire to.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

cherijoh
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by cherijoh » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:24 am

snarlyjack wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:40 pm
I was scrolling through the internet today & found a article
that the Bogleheads should really enjoy.

Your Money Or Your Life & All The Flavors Of Fire.
(Financial Independence Retire Early).

This is what started it all for me. I hope you enjoy the article.
Your looking at the future....

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/retirem ... spartandhp

This quote rang true for me. If not for the Bogleheads, I would definitely feel like an oddball:
Despite their different strains, FIRE walkers have more in common than not. “You’re kind of an oddball in our society if you make a lot of money and choose not to spend it,” says Darrow Kirkpatrick, a former software engineer who retired early at the relatively ripe age of 50.
I am recently retired and the primary reaction I received from my colleagues was surprise and quite a bit of envy. It sounds like most of my contemporaries will be lucky to retire at 65! The primary roadblock to early retirement seems to be kids still at home and looming college expenses.

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Top99%
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Top99% » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:32 am

InMyDreams wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:26 am
My take away when I read Your Money or Your Life years ago:
* Figure out what your real wage is (your paycheck minus all the costs of doing your work [gas, commute time, childcare, things you buy because you don't have time to do it yourself])

* When you're buying something, stop and think if it's really worth the real wages (and the hours they represent) to buy it.

If you choose to buy costly items, at least make conscious decisions to do that.
I had this exact same take away from this book. DW and I now think deeply about spending money to maximize the happiness/utility per dollar spent. We are especially vigilant about big ticket items like cars and monthy expenditures like cell phone service. Cable TV and Mercedes Benz got punted from our lives and we now spend that money things that bring far more enjoyment per dollar.
Adapt or perish

alfaspider
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by alfaspider » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:49 am

indexonlyplease wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:51 am

I beleive the FI is giving to many the idea that you can retire and 30-40 yrs old. With health care and cost of living out of control why would someone put themselves in that position.

I think a lot of the very young FI types aren't necessarily retiring in the sense that they never plan on earning another cent working again. It's more of a retirement from the traditional wage employment rat race.

mbasherp
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by mbasherp » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:00 am

I agree 100% with the main premise of the book. And in general I'm on board with the whole FIRE concept and community. HOWEVER, I have one big issue with what I perceive to be most of the people that pursue it:

Why live like a slave, doing something you hate, just looking forward to the time you can quit and do nothing? Or finally do the thing you like but can't seem to lower your lifestyle to afford?

Find something you enjoy, or better, LOVE, and do it always. Good financial habits are the weapon that keeps life's storms at bay. I don't save and invest to retire, I save and invest in case I'm forced to retire. Make the changes you want in your life now. YMOYL offers a good way of looking at money so that the concept of needs is reduced and freedom is increased. But to me, there's no reason to wait.

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Pajamas
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:37 am

It seems that some of the posters criticizing the book either haven't read it or else haven't understood it if they have read it. The path it suggested is not for everyone but it did not suggest living a substandard, miserable, cheap life, just the opposite. The key word was "frugal".

I read the original version when the specific investment advice was already out of date, but I believe there was an update prior to this 2018 update that addressed that. The basic principles were still applicable, however.

winterfan
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by winterfan » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:16 am

I read YMOYL back in the 90s when I was out of college and it resonated with me. I really liked the message of voluntary simplicity and the idea of getting my expenses as low as possible. I have a whole collection of other voluntary simplicity/simple living books from years ago. I always liked reading the case studies and seeing how people cut out the junk. It served me and and my husband well when we married and were a DINK couple.

I don't consider myself terribly frugal these days, but we are also kind of maxed out as far as possessions go, so we don't need to spend a lot of money on excess stuff. We only have X amount of square footage and closet space, so we don't spend money on things we can't store anywhere. Plus, our investments from our younger days have grown substantially and there is less of a need to put such a large percentage of money away. I also think there are things I was willing to put up with when I was younger that I wouldn't do today. When traveling, I don't think I would be willing to sleep in the car anymore. I also have no intention of dropping my hairstylist and going back to cutting/dyeing my hair myself. I'd also rather buy a few items of clothes at full price that fit well than scrounge for things at the thrift store. Unlike some people, I never seem to have much luck finding things I like secondhand.

Socially, I think things were easier back then. Expectations were lower it seemed like. My friends and I would look for drink specials and I could never imagine paying so much for cocktails and craft beer. Although I like eating out, it was mostly off our radar back then. I remember eating a lot of rice and beans and simple meals. We also did a lot of weekend camping. That was pretty inexpensive.

I'd be curious how the new book is updated. It seems like more young people live in or near cities where the COL is so much higher. I wonder if that is addressed.

indexonlyplease
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by indexonlyplease » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:35 am

For many that are older I think it has always been the same.

Live debt free
save for rainy day (now called emergency fund)
save a good amount of your savings
little by little max out your 401k (lately we learned about index investing so it has got better for the 401k)
max out Roth if you can (new for most people)

I read zero books about investing until I was in my 40s. But I took my parents advice above.

The books are sucessful because to many want to live above their means and save very little. Years ago when I read the Millionaire next Door, I understood better and was able to teach my kids the proper way to save and live debt free and modest.

Really easy process. Unless you are trying to live a lifesytle you can't afford.

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DWesterb2iz2
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by DWesterb2iz2 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:09 am

My wife and I bought the cassette series of Joe Dominguez's and Vickie's Robin's "Your Money or Your Life" back in the late 80s early 90's, and it was a big deal for us. At the time, we also subscribed to Amy Dacyczyn’s Tightwad Gazette( https://www.thesimpledollar.com/an-inte ... d-gazette/ ) for rethinking spending, and William Spitz's book on indexing Get Rich Slowly for rethinking investing. All three had a profound affect on us.

I was very moved recently when listening to this podcast interview with Vickie Robin. ( https://www.madfientist.com/vicki-robin-interview/ ) As someone who has been motivated by her thinking for 30 years, it was striking to hear the turmoil and mixed (healthy and unhealthy) motivations that were going on in her at the time. It was also interesting to hear about her growth as a person and her challenges since I had first encountered her work.

My wife and I owe her and Joe and Amy and William a lot. I wish her only the best.
Last edited by DWesterb2iz2 on Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:22 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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kenyan
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by kenyan » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:56 am

I've been undergoing a psychological transition from 'frugal Boglehead who'd like to retire early, likely late 50s' to more of a true FIRE pursuer.

In my mind, at least to those of us who live above the poverty line, money is freedom. You can choose to spend that freedom largely in three different ways: spending now, spending later, or time. FIRE is prioritizing time over consumption.

As far as living parsimoniously, I think we all have our own perceptions of that, much of which has been shaped by our hedonic adaptation over the years; I'm not so sure that my friends who started in the same place that we did but now are spending 3-4 times (albeit on 10-15 times the income) what we spend are that much happier than we are. If all goes according to our current plans, we'll be retiring around 45 in a moderate COLA, with a spending level at perhaps $50-60k, in addition to a paid off house (equivalent to another $20-25k in imputed rent). Maybe $75k in spending is parsimonious to some, but that's quite a bit more than then median household income in this country, so I don't consider it to be so.
Retirement investing is a marathon.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:28 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:37 am
It seems that some of the posters criticizing the book either haven't read it or else haven't understood it if they have read it. The path it suggested is not for everyone but it did not suggest living a substandard, miserable, cheap life, just the opposite. The key word was "frugal".

I read the original version when the specific investment advice was already out of date, but I believe there was an update prior to this 2018 update that addressed that. The basic principles were still applicable, however.
Yeah, if you look up “frugal” on the dictionary, you’ll find “substandard, miserable, cheap” essentially.
The (horror) stories one reads online are about couples in their late 30’s who don’t own a car, live in a studio, never eat out and buy groceries of dubious quality. Finally, they manage to amass “one million dollars” and can retire and travel the world. Well, let me break it to you: they ain’t travelling in first class.

From a more financially oriented point of view, retiring “frugally” is dangerous. If you retire “plush” and something goes wrong, you can downgrade to “frugal”, but if you retire “frugal” the next step down is “destitute”,
Retiring early dramatically increases the chances of something going wrong. Therefore, retiring early and frugally is generally a huge mistake.
Last edited by Thesaints on Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:32 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:28 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:37 am
It seems that some of the posters criticizing the book either haven't read it or else haven't understood it if they have read it. The path it suggested is not for everyone but it did not suggest living a substandard, miserable, cheap life, just the opposite. The key word was "frugal".

I read the original version when the specific investment advice was already out of date, but I believe there was an update prior to this 2018 update that addressed that. The basic principles were still applicable, however.
Yeah, if you look up “frugal” on the dictionary, you’ll find “substandard, miserable, cheap” essentially.
Thanks, you have just proved my point that the people criticizing it haven't read it or else don't understand it. Read the definition and discussion of "frugal" in the book being discussed instead of relying on your preconceptions or your misinterpretation of the dictionary definition.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:35 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:32 pm
Thanks, you have just proved my point that the people criticizing it haven't read it or else don't understand it. Read the definition and discussion of "frugal" in the book being discussed instead of relying on your preconceptions or your misinterpretation of the dictionary definition.
You don’t get jokes much, do you ?

zwzhang
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by zwzhang » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:06 pm

I read the original edition of the book few years ago. Basically, live frugally, save as much as possible, when the saving generates enough to cover expense, hang up.

How "frugal"? There is an example in the book of a young guy working for Cisco at the time, he lived in his car, then retired to a low cost living area after 5 years (I remember it said 5 years or so, but I do not remember).

Their recommendation at that time is holding government bonds, which yield like 7-8%. That is not relevant to current era. But the book is worth reading.
Last edited by zwzhang on Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HomerJ
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by HomerJ » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:15 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:28 pm
From a more financially oriented point of view, retiring “frugally” is dangerous. If you retire “plush” and something goes wrong, you can downgrade to “frugal”, but if you retire “frugal” the next step down is “destitute”
This is a good point. As a conservative person, I like to build a buffer into everything.

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greg24
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by greg24 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:43 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:35 pm
You don’t get jokes much, do you ?
Only if they're funny.

mak1277
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by mak1277 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:52 pm

mbasherp wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:00 am
Why live like a slave, doing something you hate, just looking forward to the time you can quit and do nothing? Or finally do the thing you like but can't seem to lower your lifestyle to afford?

Find something you enjoy, or better, LOVE, and do it always. Good financial habits are the weapon that keeps life's storms at bay. I don't save and invest to retire, I save and invest in case I'm forced to retire. Make the changes you want in your life now. YMOYL offers a good way of looking at money so that the concept of needs is reduced and freedom is increased. But to me, there's no reason to wait.

Some people (me, at least) just don't want to be forced to work at all. The things I love doing I would quickly start to hate if I *had* to do them for a job. I pursue FIRE so I can do whatever I want without the obligations associated with a job.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:50 pm

I'm sure cavemen saw people felling trees and building huts as not free. What's the point of all that extra toil if one can adjust himself to live in a cave ?

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JamesSFO
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by JamesSFO » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:06 pm

Amusingly a friend just picked up this book to read the new edition and mentioned we read it ten-plus years ago. I don't recall it but her older emphasis on bonds, bonds, bonds, seems very odd today.

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HomerJ
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by HomerJ » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:32 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:52 pm
Some people (me, at least) just don't want to be forced to work at all. The things I love doing I would quickly start to hate if I *had* to do them for a job. I pursue FIRE so I can do whatever I want without the obligations associated with a job.
I hear you, but the point still remains. You can't do "whatever you want" if you don't have enough money. And retiring super early means you've saved less, and you have to pull less to be sure it lasts longer than the standard 30-year retirement.

It's a fine balance between those three things. Wants, Nest-egg, withdrawal percentage.

Now if "doing whatever you want" is ALWAYS low-cost, then that does make it easier.

I was happy with low-cost activities too when I was in my 20s. I'm not sure I'd be as happy with them in my 60s. I rather enjoy the comforts money can buy now. But maybe I could have stuck with the low-cost activities my entire life.

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Pajamas
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:44 pm

JamesSFO wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:06 pm
Amusingly a friend just picked up this book to read the new edition and mentioned we read it ten-plus years ago. I don't recall it but her older emphasis on bonds, bonds, bonds, seems very odd today.
The basis for that was absolute safety and predictability and simplicity. T-Bills were the recommended investment and they were paying well over 6% during the period in which she was writing and had been paying significantly more, 10% when her husband retired. She did acknowledge the inflation rate.

The emphasis on frugality was not a call for deprivation. There was certainly a focus on reducing expenses to get out of debt and to be able to have a surplus, but that was not the ultimate goal or a necessary component of the path to financial independence. There was also a more important focus on appreciating what is important and ultimately, on fulfillment. Here's an excerpt from the 2008 edition:
Taking Fulfillment Through the Ceiling

Returning to the Fulfillment Curve, we can see that at the point of maximum fulfillment you have a choice. You can continue to work for your own needs and desires, to buy more possessions or experiences, or you can work for something larger than yourself that gives to others and the world. You can consume or you can create. As we said earlier, once you have enough, it’s the commitment to giving that takes that fulfillment line straight up off the top of the chart. That’s what volunteering brings to your life.
As I said before, it seems some posters who are criticizing the book either haven't read it or else didn't understand it if they did read it.

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by aristotelian » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:56 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:35 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:32 pm
Thanks, you have just proved my point that the people criticizing it haven't read it or else don't understand it. Read the definition and discussion of "frugal" in the book being discussed instead of relying on your preconceptions or your misinterpretation of the dictionary definition.
You don’t get jokes much, do you ?
They need to be funny to be gotten.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:57 pm

I'm criticizing mixing philosophy with finance. In finance we set goals denominated in USD. Then, what one chooses to do with their money is not our business. Yet, we say that a path which leads you to less USD is inferior to one that leads you to more, provided they have the same length and same tortuosity.

3funder
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by 3funder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:39 pm

I'm all for frugality, but the savings rates of some FIRE converts are quite unreasonable. My only debt is a mortgage that an infant could deal with (currently $50,000 @3.5%), but my wife and I would be eating sand if we saved 75% of our income. Frugal = great. Eating leaves off trees and condensing your entire life into a spreadsheet = potentially unhealthy.
Last edited by 3funder on Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:44 pm

3funder wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:39 pm
I'm all for frugality, but some of the savings rates of FIRE converts is quite unreasonable. My only debt is a mortgage that an infant could deal with (currently $50,000 @3.5%), and my wife and I would be eating sand if we saved 75% of our income. Frugal = great. Eating leaves off trees and condensing your entire life into a spreadsheet = unhealthy.
and one can certainly defer consumption in order to obtain a future return (capitalism is based on that), but deferring consumption in order to transition earlier to a phase of even lesser, and less secure, consumption seems rather foolish, even if it were healthy.

IlliniDave
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:02 pm

Thesaints wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:57 pm
I'm criticizing mixing philosophy with finance. In finance we set goals denominated in USD. Then, what one chooses to do with their money is not our business. Yet, we say that a path which leads you to less USD is inferior to one that leads you to more, provided they have the same length and same tortuosity.
(emphasis mine)
I don't think anyone is saying that. The primary trade space is how much you want to spend vs the number of years you don't have to work to earn the money to spend. They are inversely proportional. So as individuals we have to decide for ourselves how we want to optimize between the two. When comparing one person to another, there is no better or worse. The only judgement is internal: is this right for me or is it not right for me.
Don't do something. Just stand there!

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Solo Prosperity » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:26 pm

FIRE is a bit of a mirage imo. Most people that FIRE really just want to Retire Early form their current job. Most people who FIRE still seem to do some level of work that produces income. I think the Financial Independence portion is a great goal, but the emphasis on Retiring Early seems to be more like pivoting to a more desirable work situation (A lot of times these seems to be self employment).

Savings is important, but if you can save a ton of your income, chances are you could pivot to a more desirable work situation that gives your life more meaning, even if it means you make less. Maybe you only save 25% of your income instead of 50, but now you can do work that is more enjoyable.

At the end of the day, I think we are all trying to come-up with some life that we think will make us content. The problem we seem to run into is that we adapt quickly to change. I know a number of people that have retired at a young age (30s and 40s) only to return to working after a number of years later out of boredom/lack of purpose in life.

I think striving to create a life of meaning, whether that means with work or no work (I will say that I do think some level of work helps contribute to a meaningful life) is the goal. Some people think FIRE will bring that, other's are more content with the longer road of semi-retirement.

Think hard about your values and choose a path that you think works for you...just don't get too upset if it doesn't feel the way you thought it would once you get to the destination.

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by veindoc » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:04 pm

I am excited to read this new book. I bought the original one and I don’t think I made it past the first chapter despite numerous attempts. It was so dry and so very boring. Thank god for blogs and forums like this to summarize the main points for me. It seems like a book worth reading so I will definitely give this reboot a try, but I will probably borrow it from the library...just in case.

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by gd » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:08 am

This discussion is reminding me of something I noticed back in those days-- I cannot think of a single time it was productive to recommend the book to someone I thought it might stir useful self-examination in. I stopped when someone gently suggested I was propagating a cult, leaving me gobsmacked. People don't like you messing with their cultural imperatives.

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by mak1277 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:27 am

HomerJ wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:32 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:52 pm
Some people (me, at least) just don't want to be forced to work at all. The things I love doing I would quickly start to hate if I *had* to do them for a job. I pursue FIRE so I can do whatever I want without the obligations associated with a job.
I hear you, but the point still remains. You can't do "whatever you want" if you don't have enough money. And retiring super early means you've saved less, and you have to pull less to be sure it lasts longer than the standard 30-year retirement.

It's a fine balance between those three things. Wants, Nest-egg, withdrawal percentage.

Now if "doing whatever you want" is ALWAYS low-cost, then that does make it easier.

I was happy with low-cost activities too when I was in my 20s. I'm not sure I'd be as happy with them in my 60s. I rather enjoy the comforts money can buy now. But maybe I could have stuck with the low-cost activities my entire life.
I'm not advocating hyper-frugality or living like I was 22 again. I was only responding to the comment about "finding a job you love". For me, there is no such thing.

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by 12345 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:56 am

This book tell to us, always think: «Does I really need this thing?». I think, it is very boring to save money all the time. Maybe, that's the right way, but very complicated for me.

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Scooter57 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:21 am

You can live frugally and very comfortably if you do the following:

1. Move out of a huge city with insane housing prices.

Life is so much more pleasant when you aren't in a high stress environment that you will find a lot of necessities, aren't. There are plenty of smaller cities and tows scattered around the country that offer cultural activities, restaurants, opportunities to contribute to community life, and art scenes.

2. Learn how to cook from scratch.

I'm talking Joy of Cooking/Betty Crocker Cookbook, not the silly things you see made on TV with ridiculous ingredients. Most people can learn how to cook delicious food for 1/5 of what the same meal would cost in a restaurant. It's fun, getting your kids involved makes mealtime much more of a family event, and your food will be far, far healthier.

3. Discover that there is more pleasure in creating than there is in consuming and in doing rather than observing.


We moved to a quiet rural town in one of the state's best school districts which did not offer cable. What happened? Both of us ended up putting all that time we might have wasted on consuming media into creating. Twenty years later were are earning more from our creative endeavors than we ever would have earned from a corporate job. And still living in a quiet rural community with low stress and no commute. The psychological benefits of earning your living doing what it is you love to do are inestimable. You will never get there unless you are willing to spend some years living VERY frugally while you learn how to do the thing you are meant to do and master its skills.

So many people think they will start writing that novel when they retire, or make that furniture, or whatever else it is they dream of doing, but now that I'm almost 70 I see none of my friends doing that. Those of us who are writing those novels in our later years started writing years ago. We didn't sell in many cases until decades had passed, but we were doing the work every day, and preparing for our future success. Ditto with craftsmen.

4. Realize that the only person you are impressing with expensive purchases is yourself. No one else cares.

If your self esteem is so low that you need to buy some overpriced mass market object to feel like you are someone, consider using the money you would have wasted on that junk to pay for the therapy that will help you discover why you have so little respect for yourself and what you can do to feel like you are a worthwhile person. You'll know you have truly arrived when you can go to a business meeting in NYC dressed in jeans and a shirt from Walmart and feel totally confident because the people you are meeting are trying to impress YOU.

5. Decide to live in a way where you won't ever want to or have to retire.

The elders who made me understand what a good life really was were elders who worked well into their 90s not because they needed money, but because they loved what they did. As they aged, they changed how they used their professional skills, but whatever it took, they kept using them.

The elders who scared me into doing what I really wanted to do from my 40s on were the professionals who retired and did nothing but travel. Month to month you could see their metal capacities declining. They talked of nothing but the people they had met on trips. They never did a single one of the other things they had said they would do after retirement, like volunteer, take courses, write books, or learn a new language, because there was always a new trip to plan for.

I had a high paying job that I did not love in my late 30s, it was a major financial sacrifice to give it up. It was also the smartest thing I ever did because a decade later my job and thousands like it got off-shored. I'll be 70 in a few months and I still love what I do professionally. Some years I'm very successful, some years it looks like my career is dead, but I keep at it because I love what I do, and over time I've discovered that if I keep on working, that "dead" career has a funny way of rising from the grave and taking off again.

I also had several close friends who worried greatly about their retirements because they had given up cushy jobs to live the lives they really wanted, but weren't earning enough in their early 50s to save. Two of them died, suddenly and very unexpectedly, before they reached 62. They left behind the creative works they would have wanted to be remembered for. If they had stayed in those cushy jobs waiting for retirement to devote themselves to doing what they loved, it would never have happened.

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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by praxis » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:50 am

I shaped my early financial path reading Your Money Or Your Life, Charles Givens, Howard Ruff, Mark Skousen, Archie Richards and others in the 70's and 80's. Many of their suggestions are outdated, but I give them credit for guiding me well before I had my feet on the ground with their conservative tips on managing money and living carefully.

I no longer follow suggestions from them like using bonds exclusively, putting my savings in gold and silver, buying their financial products or excessive fund trading. I don't share any of their politics. But I picked up a wary approach to financial decisions from them that has served me well. My approach expanded as I read books, articles, blogs, and of course, embraced Diehards and Bogleheads forums. Dominguez and Robin had great ideas in their book.

Thesaints
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by Thesaints » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:53 am

Scooter57’s post reminded me of what I don’t remember who said during the days of the occupy wall street movement. Paraphrasing a little: “If the 99% knew how the 1% lives there would be a revolution”.

IlliniDave
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Re: Your Money Or Your Life

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:12 pm

Unfortunately perhaps one of the things I truly love is not working. :beer Haven't found anyone to pay me to do that so I'll have to do it myself.

I'm more of a Mike Rowe philosophically. The purpose of a job to me is to make money so I might as well continue optimizing occupation with respect to pay. Things I love are reserved for outside of work hours and after my work life has ceased. In other words, life is about more than work. My passions/dreams serve me, not the other way around.
Don't do something. Just stand there!

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