Author Topic: The Problem with Fire (the problem with FIRE will not be discussed)  (Read 1903 times)

JZinCO

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I don't want to give this author attention but .. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-problem-with-the-fire-movement-2019-02-07
I'm no expert on online publishing but it feels like websites like dev, medium, marketwatch pay by the click. So they pump out articles at a quick pace that I would give a C for in my classes: spelling issues, grammatical errors, and awkward paragraph construction leaving the reader with a jumbled, incoherent thesis. Thankfully this mentioned article only hits this last criticism.

You can read the article, but if I understand the gist right, it's this:-The concept of retiring early is appealing.  -Most people don't have enough saved to retire early. -So they can't retire early -And the FIRE movement is to blame because it encourages people to retire early. -As an added bonus, FIRE is only for the elite and quasi-genetic ('Can you make an NBA team?!')

The conceptualization of this 'problem' is either very naive and/or ignorant thinking. Alternatively, willfully deceptive if the author knows anything the FIRE movement (mention of the 4% rule suggests they do). There is a a huge failure to follow through on this line of thinking (One for example, FIRE says you have to save alot and amass enough money to pull the trigger. If someone can't get close to FI and they are following FIRE principles, why would the article expect them to RE?). It also has a fatalistic tone- What is the solution to fixing retirement if FIRE is a poor concept? This reminds me of Suze Orman's position which states that retiring early is risky so one should reduce expenses (check!), save greater amounts of income (check!), make more (check!), minimize downside by not engaging in risky financial behaviors (check!). Really all these 'gurus' have more or less the same strategy (adjust spending/saving) but different tactics (usually, in response to perceived risk. For the most part Suze is actually on board with FI but thinks RE is too risky).

I got clickbaited.. I was hoping for a meaningful discussion about the pitfalls with FIRE. Ironically, I have only heard criticism from within the movement (is risk properly accounted for, how to ensure happiness in retirement, ideal SWD in a changing economy, etc), which I really appreciate because the discussion moves from problem identification towards solutions and mitigation.

Travis

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Re: The Problem with Fire (the problem with FIRE will not be discussed)
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 12:52:06 PM »
I'm no expert on online publishing but it feels like websites like dev, medium, marketwatch pay by the click...


...I got clickbaited.. I was hoping for a meaningful discussion about the pitfalls with FIRE.

That about sums it up.  Now that your reading expectations are properly calibrated, happy hunting!

Linea_Norway

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Re: The Problem with Fire (the problem with FIRE will not be discussed)
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 12:51:49 AM »
It sounds like you are better off reading stuff on this website/forum and similar forums. The forum members are critical enough to the FIRE concept to tread carefully and not advice FIRE on a too small budget.

jinga nation

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Re: The Problem with Fire (the problem with FIRE will not be discussed)
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 06:06:28 AM »
Marketwatch is the el cheapo version... many links state "An expanded version of this report is at WSJ.com". It's designed to give you bare-bones and fluff pieces while redirecting you to get in-depth analysis at the parent site, which requires a subscription.

I use Marketwatch's headlines page to get the overall market news, only for situational awareness, not the detailed analysis one must read before taking actions.

There's also sponsored content so be aware of that.

Regarding Savings and FIRE: these are positive learned behaviors. Sadly, especially in the USA, these are too difficult to learn, are portrayed negatively, or have a social/cultural stigma. Before learning to save, one must learn to budget. Many folks can't do this. Because it requires math. Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic ("The Three Rs") are too hard.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 06:34:03 AM by jinga nation »

Dicey

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Re: The Problem with Fire (the problem with FIRE will not be discussed)
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 07:47:51 AM »
In the US, we do not teach financial literacy. The FIRE movement demands it. Even if one should attempt FIRE and "fail" they are still miles ahead of where they would have been otherwise.

LPG

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Re: The Problem with Fire (the problem with FIRE will not be discussed)
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 10:57:36 AM »
One of my friends, who isn't a Mustachian level saver but is definitely a save/invest-minded person, sent this article to me yesterday asking my thoughts. I literally got angry once he started evaluating the validity of FIRE based on the average 401k balance of 35-44 year old people. As if the average person has 100% of their investments in a single 401k. And as if the savings of a typical person, who is not trying to FIRE, is in any way shape or form relevant to a discussion about whether or not FIRE is possible. See? Here I go getting angry again.

I'm pretty sure my friend is trolling me because he enjoys my rants.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: The Problem with Fire (the problem with FIRE will not be discussed)
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2019, 09:20:30 PM »
All these clickbait writers are going to need to retrain pretty soon due to adblock plus destroying advertising revenue. Maybe they could learn to code like coal miners do.