Are we at "Peak FI"?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
barnaclebob
Posts: 3777
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:20 am

sabtastic wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:17 am
One of the things that bothers me about the FI movement is the fact that a lot of these individuals are actually still working. Many rely on passive income or rental income, etc. but advertise that they "no longer work". While not needing a day job is no doubt an impressive feat, managing rental units, running a blog site or travelling around giving lectures is not my idea of "retired". Additionally, many of these individuals are chasing returns with things like lending club, etc. Why take the risk if you are FI?
Yeah I see a lot of mental gymnastics for some people claiming FIRE. One guy on Reddit got roasted for claiming to be FIRE even though he was dependent on his same aged wife's income. They had similar incomes when they were both working I think so it wasn't a situation where he was much older, separate finances, or a huge income disparity where it didn't make much sense for him to work. He was basically a stay at home dad claiming FIRE. After some rebukes he changed his story to say he was living a "FIRE lifestyle", whatever that means.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

delamer
Posts: 8450
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by delamer » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:24 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:41 pm
OP,

I live in a very affluent neighborhood. Annual median household income of 150K. Median house price of 500K to 600K. One of the top high school in Virginia. But, when I look under the cover, I see folks with little to no financial security.

A) Out of my kids' high school classmates, I am the small minority that pays my kids college education fully. Aka, without a student loan.

B) 30% of the students are on the free or reduced meal program.

C) My daughter was at a sports club. The parents need an installment plan to pay for the $600 annual fee of the sports club.

No, I do not believe that we are at "Peak FI".

KlangFool
As he often does, KlangFool made my point better than I did. We are in a similar neighborhood and see similar situations (minus the meal program; that level of usage surprises me).

I know 2 familes with parents our age with much “grander” houses than ours. But in both cases they actually have less home equity than we do. We’ll be fully retired in a year, but I expect the other 4 parents to still be working.

The actual size of the FIRE movement is proportionally much lower than the press it gets. What I see as much more common is “near retirees” burdened with mortgages and student loan payments that will keep them working.

Rupert
Posts: 4122
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Rupert » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:16 pm

delamer wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:24 am

The actual size of the FIRE movement is proportionally much lower than the press it gets.
+1000. I think there actually is no "FIRE movement" in most parts of the country. Personally, the only people I have ever met who "retired," as I define that term (and I realize there is debate over how to define it), super early retired from the military after putting in their 20 years. In fact, the only people I personally know who have "retired" prior to age 60 are either disabled, retired military, or retired federal law enforcement, the latter of whom are typically forced to retire at age 57. I obviously don't live on west coast.

2015
Posts: 2906
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by 2015 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:58 pm

cogito wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:58 am
I'd like to second Gibby's sentiments. I'm a millenial who has lurked here for about 5 years and learned very, very much, but I'm always a little amazed at the lack of empathy from the older crowd here. Most of the people in the FIRE "movement" are bogleheadish, frugile kids who want to handle their financial lives as responsibly as they can. Both my wife and I came from families that were utterly destroyed during the financial crisis (and still haven't recovered) and that has been what drove us to figure out a way to set ourselves up for as much success as possible. We have lived through a bear market, and it left it's scars. I work in the very volatile, stressful game industry, and can't wait to get out of the rat race and spend more time with my kids, wife, and hobbies, even though I enjoy my career. If we don't make it there by 35, then great, every step closer that we take is a step closer to my family having more financial independence than our own parents did.

I do not think we are close to Peak FIRE; On the contrary, I think that the FIRE community is the next generation of bogleheads, and will continue to grow and learn from the wisdom here, if not continually held at a distance and treated as some kind of a strange aberration, or a sign of the incoming great bubble crash of 2020.
Count me as one who has always had much empathy for generations following mine given the economic world they were born into. I'm also one who has great admiration for members of Gens Y and Z who are becoming more financially savvy. They are decades ahead of where I was at their age.

As a result of current and future technological revolutions, we are living in a winner takes all economy, winner takes all society (read Picketty and others). A bifurcated society has and will continue to lead some with no other choice but to escape. I have long been aware that artificial and augmented reality are the next big game changers in what it means to be human (along with artificial intelligence). Will something like the movie Ready Player One become the reality for Gen Z and the generations that follow?

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Cycle » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:02 pm

randomguy wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:25 pm
FIRE has always been here. The only thing remotely new is the acronym. What is new is that the internet allows small subsets of the population to connect easier and build a community. You get a 1000 people with a shared interest and you can get a lively message board going.

A 10-15 year period of low (think <2% real returns) would probably push people from stocks/bonds into things like real estate and the like. Not sure if it would change much else.
Yep, I have a great uncle who retired from firefighting at 35 with full pension. He had a few odd jobs after that, like volunteer firefighter, but was certainly FIRE. That pension paid out till his death at age 101.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

roamin survivor
Posts: 121
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:32 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by roamin survivor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:44 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:17 am
tim1999 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:44 pm
A couple of my observations:
-Seems like the majority FIRE proponents/candidates I read about on the internet seem to be California tech types with monster salaries and stock grants. Take away these people and I think the amount of today's 20-30somethings who have a chance at FIRE before age 40-45 is near nil unless they were born on third base and/or are committed to a lifestyle of basically spending no money whatsoever.
Yep, its relatively easy to FIRE when you started working at a FANG company about a decade ago.
I think that's the reason why FIRE tends to be heavily focused by the Bay Area techies. Considering the churn and turmoil of the past, they know that tech careers are like a pro-athlete's: short and early. Might as well make the most of it, set yourself up for the future, and get while the gettin's good.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:46 pm

Rupert wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:16 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:24 am

The actual size of the FIRE movement is proportionally much lower than the press it gets.
+1000. I think there actually is no "FIRE movement" in most parts of the country. Personally, the only people I have ever met who "retired," as I define that term (and I realize there is debate over how to define it), super early retired from the military after putting in their 20 years. In fact, the only people I personally know who have "retired" prior to age 60 are either disabled, retired military, or retired federal law enforcement, the latter of whom are typically forced to retire at age 57. I obviously don't live on west coast.
+2000. I don’t see anybody in my HCOL area. Maybe they have to sell their house and move to LCOL. I’m the youngest person I know who are retired. Everybody I talked to and thought should be already retired are working part time. Even some who I suspect are FI are not retired.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:51 pm

roamin survivor wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:44 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:17 am
tim1999 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:44 pm
A couple of my observations:
-Seems like the majority FIRE proponents/candidates I read about on the internet seem to be California tech types with monster salaries and stock grants. Take away these people and I think the amount of today's 20-30somethings who have a chance at FIRE before age 40-45 is near nil unless they were born on third base and/or are committed to a lifestyle of basically spending no money whatsoever.
Yep, its relatively easy to FIRE when you started working at a FANG company about a decade ago.
I think that's the reason why FIRE tends to be heavily focused by the Bay Area techies. Considering the churn and turmoil of the past, they know that tech careers are like a pro-athlete's: short and early. Might as well make the most of it, set yourself up for the future, and get while the gettin's good.
Maybe this is not as common as people project online. All of my cousins who are well in their 50s and 60s, as well as my neighbor(late 50s), who definitely have money to FI are still working in the Bay Area. They are super frugal people, they would laugh at your face if you think they are going to retire and pay for health insurance. Plus they get to build their stash, reduce pressure to depend on their job. Yes, they have been through lay offs. But they don’t quit or give up on jobs. These are reasonably healthy people. Certainly, not quitting so they can do more volunteer work, that’s crazy idea to some of them.

alfaspider
Posts: 2068
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:31 pm

I think one reason FIRE caught on over the last few years is the convergence of the bull market and the passage of the ACA. Prior to the ACA, going without employer health insurance prior to 65 was a risky gamble, as there was no guarantee you could maintain coverage after an illness. A particularly bad health problem could quickly drain even a very healthy retirement account. A lot of the FIRE bloggers talk quite a bit about gaming ACA subsidies and the like.

As an aside, a quasi-FIRE is somewhat common in my industry, where a lot of folks are with companies that have generous pensions and retiree medical benefits. Were aren't talking 35 year olds, but 55 is fairly common. Unfortunately, most younger folks have much less generous programs available to them as such plans have been phasing out.

visualguy
Posts: 1466
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:32 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by visualguy » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:38 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:51 pm
roamin survivor wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:44 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:17 am
tim1999 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:44 pm
A couple of my observations:
-Seems like the majority FIRE proponents/candidates I read about on the internet seem to be California tech types with monster salaries and stock grants. Take away these people and I think the amount of today's 20-30somethings who have a chance at FIRE before age 40-45 is near nil unless they were born on third base and/or are committed to a lifestyle of basically spending no money whatsoever.
Yep, its relatively easy to FIRE when you started working at a FANG company about a decade ago.
I think that's the reason why FIRE tends to be heavily focused by the Bay Area techies. Considering the churn and turmoil of the past, they know that tech careers are like a pro-athlete's: short and early. Might as well make the most of it, set yourself up for the future, and get while the gettin's good.
Maybe this is not as common as people project online. All of my cousins who are well in their 50s and 60s, as well as my neighbor(late 50s), who definitely have money to FI are still working in the Bay Area. They are super frugal people, they would laugh at your face if you think they are going to retire and pay for health insurance. Plus they get to build their stash, reduce pressure to depend on their job. Yes, they have been through lay offs. But they don’t quit or give up on jobs. These are reasonably healthy people. Certainly, not quitting so they can do more volunteer work, that’s crazy idea to some of them.
Voluntary FIRE isn't at all common even among techies in the Bay Area. They may be FI, but they don't retire until they have to. Retirement is typically a result of health issues, or a job loss without the ability to find anything at an acceptable level (career that dead-ended), and not a result of reaching FI. One could say that without FI, those folks would go wash dishes for a restaurant or change careers or something, so FI did enable them to retire, but that's stretching it a bit...

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 13130
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:24 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:53 am
I was in college during Houston Oil Bust. I graduated into Texas Saving & Loan Crisis. I was in Asia during the Asian Currency Crisis. I was in Telecom during Telecom Bust. Then, my employer laid off 50% of its employees at my location on 1/1/2009.
Yikes. Where are you located now so I can avoid that area? :)
The J stands for Jay

KlangFool
Posts: 13292
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:51 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:24 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:53 am
I was in college during Houston Oil Bust. I graduated into Texas Saving & Loan Crisis. I was in Asia during the Asian Currency Crisis. I was in Telecom during Telecom Bust. Then, my employer laid off 50% of its employees at my location on 1/1/2009.
Yikes. Where are you located now so I can avoid that area? :)
HomerJ,

1) I am in DC Metro/Northern VA now.

2) I was in Kansas City for a few months about 10+ years ago. Don't worry. The BBQ is very nice but the weather is too cold for me. I do not plan to go back.

KlangFool

User avatar
Ice-9
Posts: 1408
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:40 pm
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Ice-9 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:30 pm

jharkin wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:19 am
tim1999 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:44 pm
A couple of my observations:
-I've never heard FIRE mentioned outside of the internet. And rarely outside of Bogleheads or Reddit.
+1 Nor have I.
Until last summer/fall, neither had I. But then I saw a bunch of stories posted in non-financial forums, even on Facebook by friends who normally don't talk money at all. This PBS Newshour probably helped:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-t ... -their-30s

Also on social media, people I hadn't seen talk about money before were expressing interest in tools like YNAB and citing videos like this one by YouTuber Nick True, who appears to live out of a mobile home by choice with the goal of FI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPVEB759gkU

So, I do believe there was some buzz outside of Boglehead/Mustachian circles about FIRE shortly before the correction. However, I agree with others here that I don't believe it represented "Peak FI."

michaeljc70
Posts: 5347
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:33 pm

Rupert wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:16 pm
delamer wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:24 am

The actual size of the FIRE movement is proportionally much lower than the press it gets.
+1000. I think there actually is no "FIRE movement" in most parts of the country. Personally, the only people I have ever met who "retired," as I define that term (and I realize there is debate over how to define it), super early retired from the military after putting in their 20 years. In fact, the only people I personally know who have "retired" prior to age 60 are either disabled, retired military, or retired federal law enforcement, the latter of whom are typically forced to retire at age 57. I obviously don't live on west coast.
True. In reality, you cannot FIRE (before 50) on an average income with a family unless you are really painfully frugal. People that seem to be doing it or planning to do it generally seem to be making 6 figures (at least double the average) and I notice a big tilt toward the tech industry. There are some people that might make less but are well out of college and have all these roommates to save money or do other things that frankly I wouldn't even consider. My point is most people cannot FIRE due to their income and expenses. As has been pointed out many times on this (and other) forums "retired" means different things to different people (retired with $300k in blog income? Consulting work while "retired"?).

If you look at these stories that come out all the time about how 40% of people cannot handle a $400 emergency it is clear most people have little or no savings.

I do know people that retired early, but more like in their late 40s or 50s, not in their 30s.

Old_Dollar
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 8:27 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Old_Dollar » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:47 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:10 am
Old_Dollar wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:44 pm
As far as FIRE is concerned, yes the bull run made it possible. The lifestyle of frugality and high to extremely saving (20% to over 50% of gross income) is likely here to stay. I graduated University in 2008, the worst possible time for a new graduate and was underemployed for many years despite the mythical STEM degree. I adopted a high savings rate in order to catch up. I'm still not caught up, but once I am there is no chance I am letting the foot off that pedal.
This is me. Except the degree I got in 2008 (after taking seven years to graduate) was not STEM. So I got to work in a call center after graduation, making $9.50/hour. Now I'm 35 with $64k in retirement. According to Fidelity, "on track" would be to have 2x my income saved by age 35. I'm not even at 1x. Pedal to the metal to try to catch up. Maybe I can reach 3x by 40 and be "caught up" per that chart, but I seriously doubt it.
I almost want to make a support-thread for those like us who got slammed at extraordinarily inopportune times. It can be a little disheartening to see myself so far behind others even though by many metrics I am doing okay. Do you get the feeling sometimes?
I am here solely to learn about investing.

Wricha
Posts: 467
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:33 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Wricha » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:31 pm

cogito wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:58 am
I'd like to second Gibby's sentiments. I'm a millenial who has lurked here for about 5 years and learned very, very much, but I'm always a little amazed at the lack of empathy from the older crowd here. Most of the people in the FIRE "movement" are bogleheadish, frugile kids who want to handle their financial lives as responsibly as they can. Both my wife and I came from families that were utterly destroyed during the financial crisis (and still haven't recovered) and that has been what drove us to figure out a way to set ourselves up for as much success as possible. We have lived through a bear market, and it left it's scars. I work in the very volatile, stressful game industry, and can't wait to get out of the rat race and spend more time with my kids, wife, and hobbies, even though I enjoy my career. If we don't make it there by 35, then great, every step closer that we take is a step closer to my family having more financial independence than our own parents did.

I do not think we are close to Peak FIRE; On the contrary, I think that the FIRE community is the next generation of bogleheads, and will continue to grow and learn from the wisdom here, if not continually held at a distance and treated as some kind of a strange aberration, or a sign of the incoming great bubble crash of 2020.
Cogito,
In your eyes I am the quintessential old Boglehead. I struggle a little why you think my generation doesn’t view FI as a positive event. I personally thought of FI for at least 25 years. In 1997 “Fast Company” published an article “Free Agent Nation” which talked about striking out on your own without the support of a company. Make as much as you can and get out while you are young enough. Most everyone who is FI has a high degree of self discipline and awareness which appears to be in short supply. I think the FI movement is great. Do your best and go for it.

cogito
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:12 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by cogito » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:38 pm

Wricha wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:31 pm
Cogito,
In your eyes I am the quintessential old Boglehead. I struggle a little why you think my generation doesn’t view FI as a positive event. I personally thought of FI for at least 25 years. In 1997 “Fast Company” published an article “Free Agent Nation” which talked about striking out on your own without the support of a company. Make as much as you can and get out while you are young enough. Most everyone who is FI has a high degree of self discipline and awareness which appears to be in short supply. I think the FI movement is great. Do your best and go for it.
I think this community is extremely supportive and representative of Financial Independence as such - I was mostly expressing frustration at a lot of the snickering and condescension that comes out whenever the "FIRE" topic is talked about.

When it comes down to it, a lot of the older posters here have a concept of retirement that just does not resonate with many people in my generation. In retirement, I just want to tinker with 3d printing, read all of Plato, mountain bike, get more involved in church, and learn new languages. My wife just wants wants to homeschool our kids, become a fitness instructor, and tinker with fashion designs. etc etc. We do not care about cars, vacation homes, country club memberships, fancy travel, or expensive material possessions. Once we hit our number, we are going to bounce out of our soul-sucking corporate gigs faster than you can blink. On bogleheads, criticism of FIRE youngins like myself in usually come in the form of:

"That's not real retirement! You're just working at something different!"
"Good luck eating cat food when you have an unplanned illness!"
"I don't want to live a retired life of frugality where I can't have X or Y! That's no life at all!"
"These kids have never seen a real bear market, wait until all their gains disappear!"
"You'll get bored! You'll want to go back to work! Unexpected events will force you back into the workforce in a career you ignored!"
"I'll betcha didn't think of X,Y, or Z! Ha!"

To which, I suppose the only rejoinder I can muster would be - if sound planning and careful execution of ones financial future isn't the best chance at helping to achieve what one wants to get out of their only shot in life, then... what is anybody even doing here on this site?

That said, I stand on the shoulders of giants. If not for all the wisdom and experience here of those who have "won the game" as they would have it, I don't know if I would have thought as long and hard about why we invest, what our goals are, and what we want to accomplish with the opportunities we've been given in this world.

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14090
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:51 pm

BeanCity wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:30 pm
It seems like not a week goes by without me hearing of someone talking about being "financially Independent"/FI/FIRE. Most of the people saying the did achieve this or want to achieve this are by and large through a) investing in real estate b) investing in the stock market....

It is hard to deny that we have been in a fantastic bull run for a while now. Anyone who simply continuously put money into the S&P or bought real estate around 2008-2013 is sitting well right now.

My observation is that so many people have been elated due to the good economy and by making some good money over the last decade that it seems like people have also become complacent and have allowed "lifestyle creep" to happen, and have also taken on debt.

Do other Bogleheads feel this is the case too? Have you leveraged yourself quite a bit over the last few years (be true to yourself on how you answer this)? Do you get the feeling others (maybe outside of Bogleheads) have leveraged themselves [(removed) -admin LadyGeek]?

Has the recent downtick in the stockmarket got you in trouble to the point you have to short sell assets?

Feel free to share your experiences, opinions, war stories on this.

If this is the case, and people have become too optimistic, complacent, and overleveraged, can we expect a lot more blood in the water if things don't rebound?

Are there better questions to ask on this topic that I have simply not thought of?
I became FI this year. Very little of it had anything to do with stock market or real estate investment performance. Although probably not to the same degree as me, I suspect most of those who hit financial independence within 20-25 years of leaving high school relied far more on cutting their spending, boosting their income, and boosting their savings than on their investments. Investment performance is far more important for someone who becomes FI at 60 or 65 than for someone who becomes FI at 30. There simply isn't time for compound interest to do much.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

Raabe34
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:58 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Raabe34 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:54 pm

2) I was in college during Houston Oil Bust. I graduated into Texas Saving & Loan Crisis. I was in Asia during the Asian Currency Crisis. I was in Telecom during Telecom Bust. Then, my employer laid off 50% of its employees at my location on 1/1/2009. In summary, I have no job security for my 20+ years whole working lives.


I'm planning on standing far away from this guy in a thunderstorm.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5347
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:07 am

cogito wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:38 pm
Wricha wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:31 pm
Cogito,
In your eyes I am the quintessential old Boglehead. I struggle a little why you think my generation doesn’t view FI as a positive event. I personally thought of FI for at least 25 years. In 1997 “Fast Company” published an article “Free Agent Nation” which talked about striking out on your own without the support of a company. Make as much as you can and get out while you are young enough. Most everyone who is FI has a high degree of self discipline and awareness which appears to be in short supply. I think the FI movement is great. Do your best and go for it.
I think this community is extremely supportive and representative of Financial Independence as such - I was mostly expressing frustration at a lot of the snickering and condescension that comes out whenever the "FIRE" topic is talked about.

When it comes down to it, a lot of the older posters here have a concept of retirement that just does not resonate with many people in my generation. In retirement, I just want to tinker with 3d printing, read all of Plato, mountain bike, get more involved in church, and learn new languages. My wife just wants wants to homeschool our kids, become a fitness instructor, and tinker with fashion designs. etc etc. We do not care about cars, vacation homes, country club memberships, fancy travel, or expensive material possessions. Once we hit our number, we are going to bounce out of our soul-sucking corporate gigs faster than you can blink. On bogleheads, criticism of FIRE youngins like myself in usually come in the form of:

"That's not real retirement! You're just working at something different!"
"Good luck eating cat food when you have an unplanned illness!"
"I don't want to live a retired life of frugality where I can't have X or Y! That's no life at all!"
"These kids have never seen a real bear market, wait until all their gains disappear!"
"You'll get bored! You'll want to go back to work! Unexpected events will force you back into the workforce in a career you ignored!"
"I'll betcha didn't think of X,Y, or Z! Ha!"

To which, I suppose the only rejoinder I can muster would be - if sound planning and careful execution of ones financial future isn't the best chance at helping to achieve what one wants to get out of their only shot in life, then... what is anybody even doing here on this site?

That said, I stand on the shoulders of giants. If not for all the wisdom and experience here of those who have "won the game" as they would have it, I don't know if I would have thought as long and hard about why we invest, what our goals are, and what we want to accomplish with the opportunities we've been given in this world.
Good summary. I think on both sides there are distorted views among some people. I think some people do resent people being able to retire at such a young age. Many FIREs using the ACA subsidies adds fuel to the fire (pun intended). On the other hand, many of these FIRE people plans are frankly very unrealistic. People saying they can retire on 300k or some ridiculously low amount. Or claiming they are "retired" when they really aren't (consulting, blogging, working part-time, spouse supports them, etc). Or doing things that are well outside of the norm (having 4 roommates when you are 40 years old).

CarpeDiem22
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 11:20 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by CarpeDiem22 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:00 am

Surprised to see this isn't locked yet.

I don't think we are at peak of FI movement with US savings rate not even touching 10%. China, on the other hand, might be FI soon with their much better savings rate.

https://blogs.imf.org/2018/02/26/chart- ... -about-it/

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 3604
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:04 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:53 am
cogito wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:58 am
I'd like to second Gibby's sentiments. I'm a millenial who has lurked here for about 5 years and learned very, very much, but I'm always a little amazed at the lack of empathy from the older crowd here. Most of the people in the FIRE "movement" are bogleheadish, frugile kids who want to handle their financial lives as responsibly as they can. Both my wife and I came from families that were utterly destroyed during the financial crisis (and still haven't recovered) and that has been what drove us to figure out a way to set ourselves up for as much success as possible. We have lived through a bear market, and it left it's scars. I work in the very volatile, stressful game industry, and can't wait to get out of the rat race and spend more time with my kids, wife, and hobbies, even though I enjoy my career. If we don't make it there by 35, then great, every step closer that we take is a step closer to my family having more financial independence than our own parents did.

I do not think we are close to Peak FIRE; On the contrary, I think that the FIRE community is the next generation of bogleheads, and will continue to grow and learn from the wisdom here, if not continually held at a distance and treated as some kind of a strange aberration, or a sign of the incoming great bubble crash of 2020.
cogito,

You are not the only one. I have been pushing folks to consider FI instead of retirement.

1) I am 50+.

2) I was in college during Houston Oil Bust. I graduated into Texas Saving & Loan Crisis. I was in Asia during the Asian Currency Crisis. I was in Telecom during Telecom Bust. Then, my employer laid off 50% of its employees at my location on 1/1/2009. In summary, I have no job security for my 20+ years whole working lives.

3) I save 1 year of expense every year whenever I am employed.

4) I am pushing folks to reconsider that they will be continuously fully-employed until retirement age. Many of my peers are permanently unemployed or under-employed in their 40s and 50s.

KlangFool
Where are you going next - I need to avoid it. :mrgreen:

Jokes aside, very valid points!

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 3604
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:08 pm

Cycle wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:02 pm
randomguy wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:25 pm
FIRE has always been here. The only thing remotely new is the acronym. What is new is that the internet allows small subsets of the population to connect easier and build a community. You get a 1000 people with a shared interest and you can get a lively message board going.

A 10-15 year period of low (think <2% real returns) would probably push people from stocks/bonds into things like real estate and the like. Not sure if it would change much else.
Yep, I have a great uncle who retired from firefighting at 35 with full pension. He had a few odd jobs after that, like volunteer firefighter, but was certainly FIRE. That pension paid out till his death at age 101.
Well he did get a job as a FIREman! :mrgreen:

bloom2708
Posts: 6565
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:12 pm

I do not think we are at peak FI.

I (or you) could start a blog in 10 minutes. Buy a domain name. Pick a host. Fire up a WordPress template. Start writing.

The bloggers I follow mostly trade their day jobs for blogging/consulting/youtube/attending the FI circuit of meetups. Once established, the income is pretty amazing. Not all get there, but the ones that do have an established base of followers.

These folks aren't going anywhere. Their January posts about December results will be impacted by the first sizeable declines since most of them started. They are aware the markets go down. Some maybe haven't experienced a $200k decline. They will ride it out just like we will.

Now they can dig into the "stay the course". "Buy on sale". "Revisit your asset allocation" topics that maybe aren't as popular when the markets primarily go up, up, up.

They may come up with a fancier/new name from "FI" or "FIRE" but they won't go away. It is still a very good goal even if you never envision stopping regular work and love your job and will work until 80+.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 3604
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:44 pm

Old_Dollar wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:47 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:10 am
Old_Dollar wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:44 pm
As far as FIRE is concerned, yes the bull run made it possible. The lifestyle of frugality and high to extremely saving (20% to over 50% of gross income) is likely here to stay. I graduated University in 2008, the worst possible time for a new graduate and was underemployed for many years despite the mythical STEM degree. I adopted a high savings rate in order to catch up. I'm still not caught up, but once I am there is no chance I am letting the foot off that pedal.
This is me. Except the degree I got in 2008 (after taking seven years to graduate) was not STEM. So I got to work in a call center after graduation, making $9.50/hour. Now I'm 35 with $64k in retirement. According to Fidelity, "on track" would be to have 2x my income saved by age 35. I'm not even at 1x. Pedal to the metal to try to catch up. Maybe I can reach 3x by 40 and be "caught up" per that chart, but I seriously doubt it.
I almost want to make a support-thread for those like us who got slammed at extraordinarily inopportune times. It can be a little disheartening to see myself so far behind others even though by many metrics I am doing okay. Do you get the feeling sometimes?
In life, few things have a smooth linear progression. Education, career, marriage and savings all take twists and turns. It usually a case of 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Sometimes it's more like a game of snakes and ladders (or chutes and ladders, depending on where you grew up).

If you're 35 and can start saving & investing 15% of your income today, you'll be able to support yourself in retirement for another 30 years. Even if you are starting from scratch. Ignore what the studies tell you.

This board is skewed towards incredibly smart, disciplined savers who are probably 2 standard deviations above the mean in terms of savings (and probably other things). Don't let that get you down.

Stick around and you'll get there eventually.

After you've saved a couple of times your income, things will snowball. Don't sweat it. Just keep saving.

KlangFool
Posts: 13292
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:53 pm

Old_Dollar wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:47 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:10 am
Old_Dollar wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:44 pm
As far as FIRE is concerned, yes the bull run made it possible. The lifestyle of frugality and high to extremely saving (20% to over 50% of gross income) is likely here to stay. I graduated University in 2008, the worst possible time for a new graduate and was underemployed for many years despite the mythical STEM degree. I adopted a high savings rate in order to catch up. I'm still not caught up, but once I am there is no chance I am letting the foot off that pedal.
This is me. Except the degree I got in 2008 (after taking seven years to graduate) was not STEM. So I got to work in a call center after graduation, making $9.50/hour. Now I'm 35 with $64k in retirement. According to Fidelity, "on track" would be to have 2x my income saved by age 35. I'm not even at 1x. Pedal to the metal to try to catch up. Maybe I can reach 3x by 40 and be "caught up" per that chart, but I seriously doubt it.
I almost want to make a support-thread for those like us who got slammed at extraordinarily inopportune times. It can be a little disheartening to see myself so far behind others even though by many metrics I am doing okay. Do you get the feeling sometimes?
Old_Dollar,

Please do not think that you are the only one.

1) I lost 50% of my portfolio due to Telecom bust. Then, I faced quarterly and annual laid off over the last 10+ years.

2) My good friend lost all his 401K after working in Enron over 22 years.

There is a fair amount of survival bias in this forum. Those that got slammed and did not survive financially will not post in this forum.

KlangFool

tchoupitoulas
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:20 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by tchoupitoulas » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:28 pm

I do not think we are at peak FI yet because I think there are structural changes in our economy that are helping drive the FIRE movement (to the extent that there is one). Keynes thought that with efficiency gains we would only have to work 15 hours a week. Somehow that never happened. Instead it seems like some are opting to work 15 years instead of 40. To be more specific, I think the following are helping make FIRE more appealing and achievable for a certain high earning segment of society:

1) Declining birth rates

2) Cheaper everything (for example, the difference between an affordable used car and a new luxury car is much less pronounced than it was a generation ago. This applies pretty much across the board.)

3) Widening inequality (the winners take more and can afford to retire at 35 thanks to low labor costs)

I don't see any of these things changing anytime soon.

delamer
Posts: 8450
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by delamer » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:53 pm

cogito wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:38 pm
Wricha wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:31 pm
Cogito,
In your eyes I am the quintessential old Boglehead. I struggle a little why you think my generation doesn’t view FI as a positive event. I personally thought of FI for at least 25 years. In 1997 “Fast Company” published an article “Free Agent Nation” which talked about striking out on your own without the support of a company. Make as much as you can and get out while you are young enough. Most everyone who is FI has a high degree of self discipline and awareness which appears to be in short supply. I think the FI movement is great. Do your best and go for it.
I think this community is extremely supportive and representative of Financial Independence as such - I was mostly expressing frustration at a lot of the snickering and condescension that comes out whenever the "FIRE" topic is talked about.

When it comes down to it, a lot of the older posters here have a concept of retirement that just does not resonate with many people in my generation. In retirement, I just want to tinker with 3d printing, read all of Plato, mountain bike, get more involved in church, and learn new languages. My wife just wants wants to homeschool our kids, become a fitness instructor, and tinker with fashion designs. etc etc. We do not care about cars, vacation homes, country club memberships, fancy travel, or expensive material possessions. Once we hit our number, we are going to bounce out of our soul-sucking corporate gigs faster than you can blink. On bogleheads, criticism of FIRE youngins like myself in usually come in the form of:

"That's not real retirement! You're just working at something different!"
"Good luck eating cat food when you have an unplanned illness!"
"I don't want to live a retired life of frugality where I can't have X or Y! That's no life at all!"
"These kids have never seen a real bear market, wait until all their gains disappear!"
"You'll get bored! You'll want to go back to work! Unexpected events will force you back into the workforce in a career you ignored!"
"I'll betcha didn't think of X,Y, or Z! Ha!"

To which, I suppose the only rejoinder I can muster would be - if sound planning and careful execution of ones financial future isn't the best chance at helping to achieve what one wants to get out of their only shot in life, then... what is anybody even doing here on this site?

That said, I stand on the shoulders of giants. If not for all the wisdom and experience here of those who have "won the game" as they would have it, I don't know if I would have thought as long and hard about why we invest, what our goals are, and what we want to accomplish with the opportunities we've been given in this world.
Have you considered finding employment at something other than at “soul-sucking corporate gigs?” There are plenty of non-profit and government jobs that provide a more direct benefit to society than most corporate employment.

Also, critiquing an idea does not equate to a lack of empathy. In this case, it is providing the benefit of experience. If you don’t think others’ experiences are relevant, then by all means ignore the comments.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 55823
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:41 pm

To keep the discussion actionable, please state how the OP's question applies to your own situation.

General comments are starting to derail the thread.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
aj76er
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:34 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by aj76er » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:42 pm

I don't think we are at "Peak FI".

In order for a normal person to achieve FI (without inheritance or winning the lottery), one will have to have a good job (paying more than $100k), work at least 10yrs or more, and maintain a very high savings rate (>50%).

That takes extreme dedication, persistence, and a bit of luck. One has to rail against conventional thought for years (from co-workers, friends, family, etc), ignore the marketing complex (which is encroaching on every aspect of our lives thanks to technology), and perhaps even forgo having kids. It is a massive lifestyle shift and not easy for most to do.

Thanks to the internet, the formula is now known, and for those that can follow it, I think it's a good thing for society.

The process of achieving FI is analogous to what goes into living a healthy lifestyle - eat right, sleep enough, avoid stress, exercise, and have a bit of luck. How many in society actually do that consistently over their lifetimes? We are seeing it more and more, but it is only the minority that can accomplish it.
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

Wricha
Posts: 467
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:33 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Wricha » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:41 pm

cogito wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:38 pm
Wricha wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:31 pm
Cogito,
In your eyes I am the quintessential old Boglehead. I struggle a little why you think my generation doesn’t view FI as a positive event. I personally thought of FI for at least 25 years. In 1997 “Fast Company” published an article “Free Agent Nation” which talked about striking out on your own without the support of a company. Make as much as you can and get out while you are young enough. Most everyone who is FI has a high degree of self discipline and awareness which appears to be in short supply. I think the FI movement is great. Do your best and go for it.
I think this community is extremely supportive and representative of Financial Independence as such - I was mostly expressing frustration at a lot of the snickering and condescension that comes out whenever the "FIRE" topic is talked about.

When it comes down to it, a lot of the older posters here have a concept of retirement that just does not resonate with many people in my generation. In retirement, I just want to tinker with 3d printing, read all of Plato, mountain bike, get more involved in church, and learn new languages. My wife just wants wants to homeschool our kids, become a fitness instructor, and tinker with fashion designs. etc etc. We do not care about cars, vacation homes, country club memberships, fancy travel, or expensive material possessions. Once we hit our number, we are going to bounce out of our soul-sucking corporate gigs faster than you can blink. On bogleheads, criticism of FIRE youngins like myself in usually come in the form of:

"That's not real retirement! You're just working at something different!"
"Good luck eating cat food when you have an unplanned illness!"
"I don't want to live a retired life of frugality where I can't have X or Y! That's no life at all!"
"These kids have never seen a real bear market, wait until all their gains disappear!"
"You'll get bored! You'll want to go back to work! Unexpected events will force you back into the workforce in a career you ignored!"
"I'll betcha didn't think of X,Y, or Z! Ha!"

To which, I suppose the only rejoinder I can muster would be - if sound planning and careful execution of ones financial future isn't the best chance at helping to achieve what one wants to get out of their only shot in life, then... what is anybody even doing here on this site?

That said, I stand on the shoulders of giants. If not for all the wisdom and experience here of those who have "won the game" as they would have it, I don't know if I would have thought as long and hard about why we invest, what our goals are, and what we want to accomplish with the opportunities we've been given in this world.
Cogito

This guy is closer to your age and he has an excellent website on FIRE and has done it himself. Plus he really understands finance. His safe withdrawal rate series is geared for younger folks and is as good as it gets.

https://earlyretirementnow.com/2016/12/ ... t-1-intro/

GeoffD
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by GeoffD » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:03 am

randomguy wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:25 pm
FIRE has always been here. The only thing remotely new is the acronym.
Yep. In 1981, I worked with a hardware engineer who did all the extreme frugality and save/invest stuff. Tiny studio apartment with one light bulb. I remember we all went out to lunch at a deli quite a bit. We'd order sandwiches. He'd buy a roll and separate cold cuts and make his own sandwich. Very high savings rate that all went into the market. He manually charted a bunch of stocks. All he ever talked about was early retirement.

sabtastic
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:00 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by sabtastic » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:48 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:51 pm
I became FI this year. Very little of it had anything to do with stock market or real estate investment performance. Although probably not to the same degree as me, I suspect most of those who hit financial independence within 20-25 years of leaving high school relied far more on cutting their spending, boosting their income, and boosting their savings than on their investments. Investment performance is far more important for someone who becomes FI at 60 or 65 than for someone who becomes FI at 30. There simply isn't time for compound interest to do much.
Mr. White Coat,

Your situation is not exactly the same as lot of FIRE stories I have read about since 2014, but when you define "FI" do you mean you no longer need a day job or do you mean you can actually live off your investments alone? A lot of people on this board (not me, at least not yet) are "FI" but the "RE" part of FIRE to me (and I believe to many others) means you are "no longer working" which is a much bigger life change than FI in my opinion.

Lots and lots of these FIRE stories go along the lines of "I worked a very intense job and made lots of money but saved enough that I can now work a less intense job for less money or work for myself" which is a great thing, a positive thing, but it is somehow being sold as "retired early" which I feel is disingenuous. Some are even doing the Anthony Robbins circuit and making a career by writing and talking about it, so the logic becomes "I was able to retire early by blogging about retiring early, and you can too!" (PS just in case this is misinterpreted I am not in any way insinuating anything here - your fine work is much different, sorely needed and very inspiring to those of us in healthcare)

KlangFool
Posts: 13292
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:53 am

OP,

1) No, we are not at "Peak FI".

2) But, coming from a culture/country with above 30+% gross saving rate

A) Many of my family members are millionaires. They are all over the world

B) My older brother and older sister FIRE at 49 years old.

C) Many of my family members are semi-retired.

D) Most of them do not inherit their wealth.

E) Their education level range from no high school to with a graduate degree

F) Their annual income range from low 5 figures to 7 figures.

KlangFool

Topic Author
BeanCity
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by BeanCity » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:10 am

KlangFool wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:53 am
OP,

1) No, we are not at "Peak FI".

2) But, coming from a culture/country with above 30+% gross saving rate

A) Many of my family members are millionaires. They are all over the world

B) My older brother and older sister FIRE at 49 years old.

C) Many of my family members are semi-retired.

D) Most of them do not inherit their wealth.

E) Their education level range from no high school to with a graduate degree

F) Their annual income range from low 5 figures to 7 figures.

KlangFool
What culture/country is this?

KlangFool
Posts: 13292
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:16 am

BeanCity wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:10 am
KlangFool wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:53 am
OP,

1) No, we are not at "Peak FI".

2) But, coming from a culture/country with above 30+% gross saving rate

A) Many of my family members are millionaires. They are all over the world

B) My older brother and older sister FIRE at 49 years old.

C) Many of my family members are semi-retired.

D) Most of them do not inherit their wealth.

E) Their education level range from no high school to with a graduate degree

F) Their annual income range from low 5 figures to 7 figures.

KlangFool
What culture/country is this?
BeanCity,

The neighboring country/culture of "Crazy Rich Asians".

KlangFool

Topic Author
BeanCity
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by BeanCity » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:35 am

Klangfool I thought this may be the case!

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14090
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:50 pm

sabtastic wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:48 am
White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:51 pm
I became FI this year. Very little of it had anything to do with stock market or real estate investment performance. Although probably not to the same degree as me, I suspect most of those who hit financial independence within 20-25 years of leaving high school relied far more on cutting their spending, boosting their income, and boosting their savings than on their investments. Investment performance is far more important for someone who becomes FI at 60 or 65 than for someone who becomes FI at 30. There simply isn't time for compound interest to do much.
Mr. White Coat,

Your situation is not exactly the same as lot of FIRE stories I have read about since 2014, but when you define "FI" do you mean you no longer need a day job or do you mean you can actually live off your investments alone? A lot of people on this board (not me, at least not yet) are "FI" but the "RE" part of FIRE to me (and I believe to many others) means you are "no longer working" which is a much bigger life change than FI in my opinion.

Lots and lots of these FIRE stories go along the lines of "I worked a very intense job and made lots of money but saved enough that I can now work a less intense job for less money or work for myself" which is a great thing, a positive thing, but it is somehow being sold as "retired early" which I feel is disingenuous. Some are even doing the Anthony Robbins circuit and making a career by writing and talking about it, so the logic becomes "I was able to retire early by blogging about retiring early, and you can too!" (PS just in case this is misinterpreted I am not in any way insinuating anything here - your fine work is much different, sorely needed and very inspiring to those of us in healthcare)
That's Dr. White Coat to you! :)

Both. I can live off my physician income. I can live off my blog income. I can live off what I could get by selling WCI, LLC. I can live off the investments I have now completely separate from the website. I'm definitely FI and definitely not RE. I agree RE is the bigger life change. I also agree that lots of "FIRE bloggers" just changed jobs from the corporate job they hate to blogging.

Of course, they call folks like you the internet retirement police for calling them out on it!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/ ... nt-police/
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

randomguy
Posts: 7978
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by randomguy » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:35 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:50 pm


That's Dr. White Coat to you! :)

Both. I can live off my physician income. I can live off my blog income. I can live off what I could get by selling WCI, LLC. I can live off the investments I have now completely separate from the website. I'm definitely FI and definitely not RE. I agree RE is the bigger life change. I also agree that lots of "FIRE bloggers" just changed jobs from the corporate job they hate to blogging.

Of course, they call folks like you the internet retirement police for calling them out on it!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/ ... nt-police/
But the day the blog income drops, doesn't WCI,LLC become worthless? And if you retire as a physician, how quickly will you lose touch with the marke that drives WCI?:)

For people saving towards retirement (i.e. not running a business that has some big exit event or huge ramp up in income), returns do make up a decent chunk even over short periods. The person that started 15 years ago with 50k/year (not inflation adjusted) would have saved 750k and have a portfolio worth 1.8 million (100% us stocks). Over 10 years it would be 500k/980k. Now a 30 year period is like 1.5/7 million ratio so yes gains matter even more when talking about long periods of time.

The other thing is that it is a lot more motivating to save when you see your accounts going up. Have a 3 year period where you pump money in and the accounts go down in value every statement is depressing:)

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14090
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:52 am

randomguy wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:35 pm
White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:50 pm


That's Dr. White Coat to you! :)

Both. I can live off my physician income. I can live off my blog income. I can live off what I could get by selling WCI, LLC. I can live off the investments I have now completely separate from the website. I'm definitely FI and definitely not RE. I agree RE is the bigger life change. I also agree that lots of "FIRE bloggers" just changed jobs from the corporate job they hate to blogging.

Of course, they call folks like you the internet retirement police for calling them out on it!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/ ... nt-police/
But the day the blog income drops, doesn't WCI,LLC become worthless? And if you retire as a physician, how quickly will you lose touch with the marke that drives WCI?:)

For people saving towards retirement (i.e. not running a business that has some big exit event or huge ramp up in income), returns do make up a decent chunk even over short periods. The person that started 15 years ago with 50k/year (not inflation adjusted) would have saved 750k and have a portfolio worth 1.8 million (100% us stocks). Over 10 years it would be 500k/980k. Now a 30 year period is like 1.5/7 million ratio so yes gains matter even more when talking about long periods of time.

The other thing is that it is a lot more motivating to save when you see your accounts going up. Have a 3 year period where you pump money in and the accounts go down in value every statement is depressing:)
Sure. The day Apple can no longer sell an iphone, ipad, Mac, or Apple watch, your Apple shares will also become worthless. That's the case for any business.

And yes if I retire as a physician, some people might not feel my message is as relevant as it previously was. Although if I was still doing mission trips etc, perhaps not so much.

But as I mentioned, I've got enough in boring old index funds too. It's enough. So yes, if some economic event where the stock, bond, and real estate markets melted down, WCI imploded, and people stopped needing the skills of an emergency physician then I might be in trouble. But guess what? So are you.

Compound interest matters much less if your income is rising and you rapidly become FI. Think 7 years with an income that goes up 10% a year. It's going to be almost all brute force savings. Speaking only of my retirement portfolio, only 18% of it is gains. 82% of it is money I earned and did not spend. If it takes 30 years, those numbers might be reversed.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

User avatar
Hyperborea
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:31 am
Location: Japan

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by Hyperborea » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:06 am

randomguy wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:25 pm
FIRE has always been here. The only thing remotely new is the acronym.
The acronym isn't even that new either it's just new and louder adherents. IIRC, the acronym was coined by intercst (John Greaney) in the late 90's as the name used for a discussion board on the Motley Fool. When "he who shall not be named" caused the implosion of that board and folks scattered they took the name to other discussion boards beyond there. Probably the longest running and busiest of the lot is that started by Dory and is the board attached to the FireCalc retirement calculator.
"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

sabtastic
Posts: 128
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:00 am

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by sabtastic » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:50 pm

That's Dr. White Coat to you! :)

Both. I can live off my physician income. I can live off my blog income. I can live off what I could get by selling WCI, LLC. I can live off the investments I have now completely separate from the website. I'm definitely FI and definitely not RE. I agree RE is the bigger life change. I also agree that lots of "FIRE bloggers" just changed jobs from the corporate job they hate to blogging.

Of course, they call folks like you the internet retirement police for calling them out on it!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/ ... nt-police/
Thought you would bite on that!

I am a doubting Thomas if anything so I'll wear the internet police uniform proudly! I figured you were a good example (as is MMM) of FI and/or RE. I hate to say it, but this movement is getting popular enough it is starting to attract the scammers. I think it is less "peak FI" and more like peak opportunists.

PS you should interview yourself on your podcast some time, maybe have one of your kids ask the questions or something. It would be interesting to know why you made the choices you did as you progressed in your career. A lot of the guys around here shut down when you talk about money, but I know they would love to listen to something like that privately.

Topic Author
BeanCity
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by BeanCity » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:35 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:52 am
randomguy wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:35 pm
White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:50 pm


That's Dr. White Coat to you! :)

Both. I can live off my physician income. I can live off my blog income. I can live off what I could get by selling WCI, LLC. I can live off the investments I have now completely separate from the website. I'm definitely FI and definitely not RE. I agree RE is the bigger life change. I also agree that lots of "FIRE bloggers" just changed jobs from the corporate job they hate to blogging.

Of course, they call folks like you the internet retirement police for calling them out on it!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/ ... nt-police/
But the day the blog income drops, doesn't WCI,LLC become worthless? And if you retire as a physician, how quickly will you lose touch with the marke that drives WCI?:)

For people saving towards retirement (i.e. not running a business that has some big exit event or huge ramp up in income), returns do make up a decent chunk even over short periods. The person that started 15 years ago with 50k/year (not inflation adjusted) would have saved 750k and have a portfolio worth 1.8 million (100% us stocks). Over 10 years it would be 500k/980k. Now a 30 year period is like 1.5/7 million ratio so yes gains matter even more when talking about long periods of time.

The other thing is that it is a lot more motivating to save when you see your accounts going up. Have a 3 year period where you pump money in and the accounts go down in value every statement is depressing:)
Sure. The day Apple can no longer sell an iphone, ipad, Mac, or Apple watch, your Apple shares will also become worthless. That's the case for any business.
Or Tesla ; )

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14090
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Are we at "Peak FI"?

Post by White Coat Investor » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:24 pm

sabtastic wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 am

PS you should interview yourself on your podcast some time, maybe have one of your kids ask the questions or something. It would be interesting to know why you made the choices you did as you progressed in your career. A lot of the guys around here shut down when you talk about money, but I know they would love to listen to something like that privately.
With so many people to interview out there that are actually interesting, that seems like it would be a waste.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

Post Reply