Author Topic: Anyone thinking about FI too much?  (Read 4865 times)

Zola.

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Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« on: September 29, 2018, 02:10:04 PM »
My wife and I are many years away from FI, but I cant stop thinking about investing and trying to cut expenses and save as much money as possible, whilst working hard in our careers and striving to keep earning more.

We earn a decent income for our location in the world, but I find myself looking at all my financial google sheets for at least 20 minutes everyday, looking at the investment charts and tracking every expense and analysing the savings rate each month.

I listen to podcasts daily, everywhere I go and even watch short FI videos from Youtube, sometimes in the shower!!


I generally enjoy life and I do have sporting hobbies and keep myself busy with that a few times a week and also family life, but.....I think.....I am obsessed and maybe have a problem...   Anyone else like me ?!  :O

:D

FinancialHacker

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2018, 02:15:06 PM »
Same here, just starting out cutting expenses but as European mmm we can not compaire our situation with the USA....

Looking daily at my spreadsheet as wel

Malkynn

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2018, 03:31:49 PM »
Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.


pecunia

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2018, 03:44:17 PM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I don't think it hurts to pay attention to it.  If you watch it, you will probably get there sooner.  You will be less likely to make monetary decisions that keep you from your goal.  You have your eyes on the prize.  Once you get into a rhythm of regular contributions, you will get back to a "normal" life and just check on it once in a while.

Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.



Right now you are using the law of attraction to bring you to your goal. :)
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction_(New_Thought)   

Not total BS, but there's some in the mix.

aGracefulStomp

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 07:04:02 AM »
I was nearly as obsessed as you for the first couple of years. Focused on making my life as efficient and low cost as possible, made a lot of calculations, talked about FIRE a lot to particular friends etc.

Now that everything is set up and running, there's not much to do except invest the money every month.

At a rate that surprised me, I have become bored of staring at the numbers.

The FIRE goal is now something that I think about when making budgeting decisions in regards to my savings rate....but that's about it!

I think the only trouble now is me not thinking about it enough and veering off course...

onlykelsey

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 07:07:08 AM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I don't think it hurts to pay attention to it.  If you watch it, you will probably get there sooner.  You will be less likely to make monetary decisions that keep you from your goal.  You have your eyes on the prize.  Once you get into a rhythm of regular contributions, you will get back to a "normal" life and just check on it once in a while.

Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.



Right now you are using the law of attraction to bring you to your goal. :)
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction_(New_Thought)   

Not total BS, but there's some in the mix.

Sorry to derail the thread, but can you point me to some of the "NOT BS" parts?  I was asked to read The Secret, and have, but it makes me violently angry...

As for the OP, it comes in waves for me, frankly.  Not everything is model-able on a spreadsheet or particularly related to money.  When I'm involved in some other all-encompassing endeavor in life (training for a marathon, raising a newborn) I turn away from it for a while.  It can be exhausting being tuned in all the time.

Greenback Reproduction Specialist

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 08:14:54 AM »
Sorry to derail the thread, but can you point me to some of the "NOT BS" parts?  I was asked to read The Secret, and have, but it makes me violently angry...

This made me laugh lol, I get images of Homer Simpson in my head where he turns into the hulk "Homer Mad!!"

The secret makes me laugh too, it is the punch line in a few inside jokes between my wife and I. But I think there is something to be said about staying focused on the positive things in life.

Since you enjoyed the book so much, you should watch the video ; )

Arbitrage

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2018, 08:21:34 AM »
I'm probably too focused upon it right now as well, but am only about ~11 months in to seriously considering FI.  It has done some great things for our family, with our costs dropping significantly, and saving/investing far above previous years. 

The biggest downsides are lowered drive to excel long-term at work (though that's not strictly about FI; also an unfair bureaucratic slap in the face I got last year during the raise cycle), and a greater annoyance level with investments not appreciating how I'd like.  Sticking to the plan, nonetheless. 

Malkynn

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 08:28:54 AM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I don't think it hurts to pay attention to it.  If you watch it, you will probably get there sooner.  You will be less likely to make monetary decisions that keep you from your goal.  You have your eyes on the prize.  Once you get into a rhythm of regular contributions, you will get back to a "normal" life and just check on it once in a while.

Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.



Right now you are using the law of attraction to bring you to your goal. :)
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_attraction_(New_Thought)   

Not total BS, but there's some in the mix.

Sorry to derail the thread, but can you point me to some of the "NOT BS" parts?  I was asked to read The Secret, and have, but it makes me violently angry...

As for the OP, it comes in waves for me, frankly.  Not everything is model-able on a spreadsheet or particularly related to money.  When I'm involved in some other all-encompassing endeavor in life (training for a marathon, raising a newborn) I turn away from it for a while.  It can be exhausting being tuned in all the time.

Yeah... I also donít quite understand why my post was quoted in relation to that...

My post about existential questioning was about how Mustachianism makes you question every cent you are spending for the sake of determining your own style of frugality.
In questionning what you should be spending on, you are questionning what makes you happy, which eventually leads to questionning why those things make you happy, what happiness means to you, and ultimately the meaning of life and happiness itself.

The natural conclusion of mustachian questionning is to face an existential challenge: what do I want my life to be? Itís starts getting pretty fucking meta the deeper you get down the rabbit hole...in a good way, but it can still get kind of heavy. My life plans have changed drastically in the past few years thanks to this whole process. It turns out that happiness is not a particularly intuitive path.

FWIW, i personally had to pretty much stop really caring about FIRE in the end.


zeli2033

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2018, 08:35:12 AM »

The biggest downsides are lowered drive to excel long-term at work
(though that's not strictly about FI; also an unfair bureaucratic slap in the face I got last year during the raise cycle)...

This has been hitting me so hard lately.

I hit a point in my career where I actually donít feel like gaining any additional responsibility. I donít want to put in all the effort of jumping through the hoops for a career I want to end ASAP with no increased stress.

As someone who used to be highly ambitious, itís weird to have hit a point where I would rather start practicing living the FI life now and putting more effort and energy behind the things I actually want to be spending my time on. None of those things is work.

Iím slowly morphing into someone who actually leaves work at work. Itís pretty cool.

DS

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2018, 08:41:18 AM »

The biggest downsides are lowered drive to excel long-term at work
(though that's not strictly about FI; also an unfair bureaucratic slap in the face I got last year during the raise cycle)...

This has been hitting me so hard lately.

I hit a point in my career where I actually donít feel like gaining any additional responsibility. I donít want to put in all the effort of jumping through the hoops for a career I want to end ASAP with no increased stress.

As someone who used to be highly ambitious, itís weird to have hit a point where I would rather start practicing living the FI life now and putting more effort and energy behind the things I actually want to be spending my time on. None of those things is work.

Iím slowly morphing into someone who actually leaves work at work. Itís pretty cool.

Can relate with this. I remember in business school being so ambitious and wanting to take over the world. A few years later after an AT Thru Hike and some years in the workplace I have such a different outlook on what matters.

effigy98

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2018, 09:56:51 AM »
I look at it when I get anxiety about work, which is probably daily and sometimes even multiple times a day. I hate my job, the commute, politics, etc but the trade for pay is worth it to me, but it makes me think of FI constantly. I was to the point where I was coasting, doing the minimum to get good bonuses, and then going home and not thinking about it much. Then the management somehow knows this and starts dangling a promo carrot and re-energizes me to put in 100% again (up from 25%), and I just cannot ignore it no matter how close the FI date is because it will remove 20% of working years if I get it (did I mention I hate my job, so the sooner I can get it over with, the better). I hate that about myself, I wish I could just be happy with what I have.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 10:03:24 AM by effigy98 »

Malkynn

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2018, 10:11:52 AM »

The biggest downsides are lowered drive to excel long-term at work
(though that's not strictly about FI; also an unfair bureaucratic slap in the face I got last year during the raise cycle)...

This has been hitting me so hard lately.

I hit a point in my career where I actually donít feel like gaining any additional responsibility. I donít want to put in all the effort of jumping through the hoops for a career I want to end ASAP with no increased stress.

As someone who used to be highly ambitious, itís weird to have hit a point where I would rather start practicing living the FI life now and putting more effort and energy behind the things I actually want to be spending my time on. None of those things is work.

Iím slowly morphing into someone who actually leaves work at work. Itís pretty cool.

This is why I had to stop caring about FIRE.
It hit me that what I admired was Peteís post-FIRE life, not the fact that he had a bunch of money in the bank. When I realized that he could have skipped the decade of day job work and gone straight to his post-FIRE lifestyle, I said ďfuck thisĒ and quit my highly lucrative job.

I didnít want to spend years working towards the goal of happiness when I could choose to be happy now.

Iíve put a lot of energy into reprioritizing and figuring out what actually matters to me. It turns out that my career really isnít at the top of the list compared to my health and my marriage, both of which benefit from me working A LOT less.

merlin7676

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2018, 10:17:03 AM »
I do. But being 42 1/2, and wanting to retire by 55, I kinda have to. Even when it hurts sometimes. But then I came late to the game at 39 so there is that.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2018, 03:00:12 AM »
Since I discovered MMM, I have been very focussed on it. To the point that I hardly want to spend any money on something fun. That was the wrong way to think, too. Now I am getting a little freer and spend a little extra money sometimes. I still track in detail.
I still love to work on my FIRE spreadsheet. It has been corrected many times, even today. But I love to play with the numbers to see the different scenarios work out. I also use it as an escape from work whenever I'm having a bad time there.

mies

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2018, 04:55:22 AM »
I do. But being 42 1/2, and wanting to retire by 55, I kinda have to. Even when it hurts sometimes. But then I came late to the game at 39 so there is that.

I can relate. I got started when I was 33. I wasted a lot of opportunities to save and invest in my 20ís. You have to be far more diligent and attentive if you get a late start. Iím a decade behind, so Iím trying to optimize and invest as much as I possibly can now. If 23 year old mies knew what 37 year old mies knows, I would be much wealthier and probably retired for a couple of years by now.

For the most part, I donít mind tracking and thinking about this goal. The optimization part of personal finance is more of a game for me. Can I invest more than I did last year? Can I earn more than last year? Can I keep my credit score above 800? Can I figure out a way to reduce my expenses for something but still get the same quality or service? Thereís a little rush when you see the progress you have made month to month or year to year.

I will admit that reading personal finance blogs and articles has lost some of its allure. Once you understand the saving and investing strategies you can use to reach financial independence, most blog posts seem pretty repetitive. I find posts that focus on the psychology of personal finance and investing to be more interesting than the ďhow toĒ type articles.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 05:01:49 AM by mies »

elliha

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2018, 06:44:04 AM »
My mom's advice was "dream about the future but don't live in the future" and I think this works for everyone. You have to live here and now, god knows what will happen later. That doesn't mean that you should not save and make the future possible but you also need to enjoy the life that is here now.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2018, 07:28:56 AM »
I thought about FIRE too much at the start because it was all new and so exciting. I thought less about it in the middle since plans were on track and I was far away from the finish line. Now that I am getting close to FIRE I am thinking about it a lot again.

I try to make sure I use work time to stare at FIRE spreadsheets and read/post on the forum. Helps pass the time and that way I am getting paid to obsess about FIRE instead of using my personal free time to do it. ;-)

Linda_Norway

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2018, 07:43:28 AM »
I thought about FIRE too much at the start because it was all new and so exciting. I thought less about it in the middle since plans were on track and I was far away from the finish line. Now that I am getting close to FIRE I am thinking about it a lot again.

I try to make sure I use work time to stare at FIRE spreadsheets and read/post on the forum. Helps pass the time and that way I am getting paid to obsess about FIRE instead of using my personal free time to do it. ;-)

Exactly. I am now also starting to get some anxiety about the next step, downsizing and moving into an unknown area. So I think a lot about it. Mostly at work.

JanetJackson

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2018, 07:44:40 AM »
I'm in this boat right now big time, and honestly, it's to my detriment.

I am fairly low income, and have always been a saver, but since I discovered FI (less RE for me, more into the FI part... but whatever, you get the idea) I am willing to say that my quality of life may have decreased.

I constantly check my debt, I pinch every penny, I live just sliiiiiiiightly above the line of deprivation, etc. etc. and I can't seem to stop myself from doing so.
Or I can't seem to talk myself out of doing so... now that I know.

Knowing that I am a bit behind (I was always a saver, but not like this) being 34, I feel like I have at least a decade of time to make up for.  Being low income I feel like I have even more to make up for if I ever want to live a life where I am financially independent enough to AT LEAST work a job that I like.  That's the minimum that I'd like.

Once you go down the rabbit hole, it can be VERY VERY hard to come back out.

I saw a quote in someone's signature recently about being a slave to saving and being a slave to a job, and how you're really not free if you just trade one for the other... and intellectually I know it's true... but you know...
I'd LOVE to have enough FU money to find a full time job that actually fulfills me and that I enjoy, as I have yet to do so. 
Or have the FU money to expand my small side business (I walk dogs, and I really love it)... but I am keenly aware of the sacrifices that I need to make to do so....

...and knowing about MMM and the FI/RE movement has really pushed me to save more... but it has also stripped some of the joy from my life, to a certain extent.

Hope that makes sense without sounding TOO doom and gloom.  <3

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2018, 07:56:39 AM »
I'd LOVE to have enough FU money to find a full time job that actually fulfills me and that I enjoy, as I have yet to do so. 
Or have the FU money to expand my small side business (I walk dogs, and I really love it)... but I am keenly aware of the sacrifices that I need to make to do so....

What's stopping you from looking for a job you love or at least like more than the current one while continuing to work at the current place?

The hill to climb [for most people] to get to FI is big. There really is no hill to climb to switch jobs. You don't need to say FU and rely on your savings if you don't quit Job A until you land Job B.

pbkmaine

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Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2018, 09:07:35 AM »
Amy Dacyczyn, who wrote The Complete Tightwad Gazette, said: “Frugality without creativity is deprivation.”

For me, what saved it from drudgery was treating it Iike a game, even when it was deadly serious. Years ago I separated from a lawyer husband, who did not want me to have a dime, and was well placed to cost me the most money and misery possible in a divorce. I had just switched careers and was not earning much.

I realized that this gave me an opportunity to figure out what I really valued. I didn’t need to eat meat. I did not need a fancy car. I could get sturdy furniture off curbs on trash pickup day and from the basements, attics and garages of family and friends. As long as my apartment was clean, it did not need to be in a fancy neighborhood. I did need work clothes, but there were expensive neighborhoods around me with great thrift shops.

I started a new life with very little in the bank and a hodgepodge of stuff. What turned my apartment from a hovel into a nice place to live was creativity. A bunch of dresses and pieces of fabric in pretty colors and patterns from the $1 a bag sale at a thrift shop was deconstructed into curtain toppers and cushion covers. Calendar pages and photos, inserted into thrift store frames, became artwork. I made broth from onion skins, carrot and potato peelings and celery roots and leaves.

Some of my friends saw my life and felt bad for me. Pity can be hard to take. But I was building my frugality muscles. I did NOT think about my spreadsheets and FI very much, and perhaps that was key. I thought about optimization, and asked myself the question that Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez pose in their wonderful book Your Money or Your Life: “What gives me the most happiness for the least expense?”

If you read Pete (Mr. Money Mustache)’s blog from the beginning, you can see that he and his wife did very much the same thing. Yes, there are spreadsheets. But they simmer in the background. The real task, and where the fun and creativity come in, is hacking your life.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 10:20:37 AM by pbkmaine »

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2018, 10:29:24 AM »
Amy Dacyczyn, who wrote The Complete Tightwad Gazette, said: ďFrugality without creativity is deprivation.Ē

I love that quote. And your advice that follows is spot-on.

Unique User

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2018, 10:44:38 AM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I'm having the OMY problem as well and find myself running numbers and thinking about it far too much.  But, my house costs about $2k per month and I just don't want to sell until my daughter finishes her freshman year of college. 

Retire-Canada

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2018, 10:51:58 AM »
I'm having the OMY problem as well and find myself running numbers and thinking about it far too much.  But, my house costs about $2k per month and I just don't want to sell until my daughter finishes her freshman year of college.

Are you at 4%WR or lower with your current housing costs?

Lanthiriel

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2018, 11:02:44 AM »
I don't feel like I'm quite in coast mode yet. Right now I look at our numbers every day. But in the last two years we've sold a house and two cars, moved 2500 miles, changed jobs three times between the two of us, bought a house and two cars, vacationed in Europe, and had a couple of large medical expenses. (If you look at 5 years out, you can also add 1 bachelors degree, paying off $80,000 of student loan debt, 3 more job changes, another 2500 mile move, buying a house, a layoff, and 6 months of unemployment). Hopefully things even out for us here pretty soon and we can put our savings/investments on autopilot and just enjoy what will hopefully be the last 10-15 years of our careers. I can't imagine obsessing over money forever the way that I do now.

Typing all this out, it's weird to think that my dad works the same job he started in 1983 and lives in the house he built in 1991. My mom worked for the same employer for 18 years before she moved recently. I wonder how much of the instability (and, for me at least, the resulting obsession about my financial stability) in our lives is caused by our specific choices or is a generational thing.

zeli2033

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2018, 11:21:19 AM »
If you read Pete (Mr. Money Mustache)ís blog from the beginning, you can see that he and his wife did very much the same thing. Yes, there are spreadsheets. But they simmer in the background. The real task, and where the fun and creativity come in, is hacking your life.

This whole thing was a great post. The bolded part especially resonated with me.

wheezle

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2018, 12:27:57 PM »
I've thought about FI a lot for years, and I put way too much emphasis on the investing part. Which is why I'm here now, journaling to keep myself accountable and only looking at portfolios once a month (difficult for me).

I think that once you figure out a plan that's good enough for you, you really need to deliberately stop thinking about it. I know that I could spend years fussing over the details (and not accumulating much cash) otherwise.

But this may come down to a personality thing.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2018, 12:52:09 PM »
I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to enjoy life while doing something I don't like for most of my waking hours 5 days per week.  I haven't figured it out yet.

Unique User

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2018, 01:04:40 PM »
I'm having the OMY problem as well and find myself running numbers and thinking about it far too much.  But, my house costs about $2k per month and I just don't want to sell until my daughter finishes her freshman year of college.

Are you at 4%WR or lower with your current housing costs?
 
I think we're slightly off if I just look at liquid assets.  We have some money tied up in a rental house that I need to get sold also.  The current plan is to put it on the market next spring.  I'm also working on what we need to get done in the next 18 months.  I was truly hating my job until I had a revelation this weekend that it is just a job and I'm on my way out, I have a MUCH better attitude this week.     

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2018, 01:24:42 PM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I don't think it hurts to pay attention to it.  If you watch it, you will probably get there sooner.  You will be less likely to make monetary decisions that keep you from your goal.  You have your eyes on the prize.  Once you get into a rhythm of regular contributions, you will get back to a "normal" life and just check on it once in a while.

Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.

Or worse, you just sit there thinking how your wasting your life typing into a computer, all while dreaming about FI in 8+ years. I am still prone to this almost 2 years in, so I remind myself of what a wise old man once said.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live" -  Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 01:26:57 PM by Lan Mandragoran »

Malkynn

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2018, 06:12:56 AM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I don't think it hurts to pay attention to it.  If you watch it, you will probably get there sooner.  You will be less likely to make monetary decisions that keep you from your goal.  You have your eyes on the prize.  Once you get into a rhythm of regular contributions, you will get back to a "normal" life and just check on it once in a while.

Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.

Or worse, you just sit there thinking how your wasting your life typing into a computer, all while dreaming about FI in 8+ years. I am still prone to this almost 2 years in, so I remind myself of what a wise old man once said.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live" -  Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

That sounds like hell.

I just *can't* do that anymore. I cannot waste any more time living for the future. I've had far too much very good therapy to be able to do that to myself for another minute. My life used to be hell, I fought very very hard to pull myself out of hell and I used to be a goddamn live-for-the-future champion who "could handle anything" for the sake of an outcome until a real life very wise man said to me "you know that mentally healthy people don't do that, right?"

If your life is stable and safe, then are too many amazing ways to live well right.fucking.now. and FI isn't a prerequisite for any of them, it's just a security blanket that makes it easier to choose a better life.
If you are doing something by *choice*, it should feel great. If it doesn't feel great, then that's not a minor problem and should be looked at very seriously.

You don't need to be FI to be happy. Not now, and not in the future. That's a very very mentally dangerous assumption.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2018, 07:21:26 AM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I don't think it hurts to pay attention to it.  If you watch it, you will probably get there sooner.  You will be less likely to make monetary decisions that keep you from your goal.  You have your eyes on the prize.  Once you get into a rhythm of regular contributions, you will get back to a "normal" life and just check on it once in a while.

Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.

Or worse, you just sit there thinking how your wasting your life typing into a computer, all while dreaming about FI in 8+ years. I am still prone to this almost 2 years in, so I remind myself of what a wise old man once said.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live" -  Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

That sounds like hell.

I just *can't* do that anymore. I cannot waste any more time living for the future. I've had far too much very good therapy to be able to do that to myself for another minute. My life used to be hell, I fought very very hard to pull myself out of hell and I used to be a goddamn live-for-the-future champion who "could handle anything" for the sake of an outcome until a real life very wise man said to me "you know that mentally healthy people don't do that, right?"

If your life is stable and safe, then are too many amazing ways to live well right.fucking.now. and FI isn't a prerequisite for any of them, it's just a security blanket that makes it easier to choose a better life.
If you are doing something by *choice*, it should feel great. If it doesn't feel great, then that's not a minor problem and should be looked at very seriously.

You don't need to be FI to be happy. Not now, and not in the future. That's a very very mentally dangerous assumption.

That is why I went working 80%, as most of my pleasures in life come from small trips on long weekends. And it is why I paid for some plane tickets for an event in another part of the country, because I would enjoy it. And it is why we last week went on a spontaneous city trip with good weather when we were supposed to spend the week vacation in Norway where it would only rain big time.
Sometimes it is worth not only thinking about saving, but do something fun in between. The 15% less nett income will mean we'll have to work an extra 10 weeks per year before FIRE. I think it's worth it. Hopefully it is only 1 year from now...

use2betrix

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2018, 10:57:26 AM »
I think about it a lot, but I donít agree with many peopleís thought process of spending so little now they are clearly miserable by it, living for the future.

I took about 8-9 months off in the last 18 months and traveled/relaxed. We spent two months camping across the US and Canada, two months in Asia, and 3.5 weeks on a motorcycle through Baja. It was one of my lifeís biggest eye openers in countless aspects. I had never taken more than a week or two a year off in the last decade and consistently work 60-70 hr weeks. I truly didnít know if I could ďrelaxĒ or what my non-working spending habits would be.

I learned that I can relax! Lol. I also learned I am very comfortable spending far less when not working. One of my lowest spending months in the last two years was a month in which we traveled and camped every single night that month (so still lots of gas and campground costs) aside from the essentials, there was so much enjoyment just not working, I didnít feel the need to buy stuff for enjoyment.

A big part of me wants to continue with my spending at that level, but since I often work in cities/states/parts of the country I donít care for, I spend to often get enjoyment. My wife and I go to concerts, weekly ďdate nightsĒ to dinner and movies. Might buy some electronics, or nicer clothes we want. I am ok with this because it brings me enjoyment in my current situation. I do contract work, projects usually between 6-18 months, so we travel all over the country for those jobs. We usually select a job based on income over location. I.e. if I can make  $300k on a project in Texas, Iíll choose that over say $150k in Colorado.

Based off many peopleís spending on the forum, I could partial FIRE now with just enough to pay cash for a house and then work 2 months a year for 30+ years (Iím 30 now). Instead, weíll spend more and enjoy more. I plan on working maybe 6-10 years pretty regularly with a good long sabbatical between jobs. At that point, Iíll cut back to just a few months a year til the stache grows.

We sacrifice a lot for my income/lifestyle. I could easily buy a home or sweet apartment, but we move so much itís not practical. I donít mind spending an extra 10%-20% each month to enjoy our current lives a bit more. Fortunately now Iíve experienced ďnot workingĒ and know when I get there, I wonít need the income to support what I spend now.

Rosy

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2018, 12:32:57 PM »
I'm in this boat right now big time, and honestly, it's to my detriment.

I am fairly low income, and have always been a saver, but since I discovered FI (less RE for me, more into the FI part... but whatever, you get the idea) I am willing to say that my quality of life may have decreased.

I constantly check my debt, I pinch every penny, I live just sliiiiiiiightly above the line of deprivation, etc. etc. and I can't seem to stop myself from doing so.
Or I can't seem to talk myself out of doing so... now that I know.

Knowing that I am a bit behind (I was always a saver, but not like this) being 34, I feel like I have at least a decade of time to make up for.  Being low income I feel like I have even more to make up for if I ever want to live a life where I am financially independent enough to AT LEAST work a job that I like.  That's the minimum that I'd like.

Once you go down the rabbit hole, it can be VERY VERY hard to come back out.

I saw a quote in someone's signature recently about being a slave to saving and being a slave to a job, and how you're really not free if you just trade one for the other... and intellectually I know it's true... but you know...
I'd LOVE to have enough FU money to find a full time job that actually fulfills me and that I enjoy, as I have yet to do so. 
Or have the FU money to expand my small side business (I walk dogs, and I really love it)... but I am keenly aware of the sacrifices that I need to make to do so....

...and knowing about MMM and the FI/RE movement has really pushed me to save more... but it has also stripped some of the joy from my life, to a certain extent.

Hope that makes sense without sounding TOO doom and gloom.  <3


I just read an article about the difference between rich and successful people. A poor person mindset vs a rich person attitude. Paraphrasing now, it said "Why would you go out and open a donut shop at which you have no experience, instead of building on something you are already good at?."

So, could you bring in a second person to walk dogs and then another and build a website and turn it into your own small business - over time?

Rosy

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2018, 01:14:31 PM »
Yeah, well I might be a tad obsessive from time to time, but I have a tendency in that direction anyway and I must say I enjoy every little triumph along the way.
Of course, I have moments when I'm temporarily down about slow or practically non-existent progress - but that is like Janet Jackson stated the dilemma any low-income person experiences from time to time.
Success lies in the relentless pursuit of your plan. Revise often and keep going.

It takes time to drink the Koolaid, understand the concepts, learn more about investing, handling money and taxes and truly embrace this new perspective.

No doubt, if I were younger and healthier I'd take immediate extreme measures, anything, to make up ten years worths of time in three years. But, I can't, so I do what I can and try to be creative in other ways and I celebrate when I find new ways to bring in extra money and increase the stash.

The second I realized that I was depriving myself in any way - I backed off and re-examined my approach. I knew that would only lead to self-sabotage of my savings goals.
Luckily:) (sarcasm) I had a few bad habits to conquer which resulted in enough money savings that I didn't need to "deprive" myself at all.

... and isn't it exciting to find another way to bring in extra money - savings alone at least in my mind are not enough. 'cause, really how much can you save anyway when you are low income?
For me, it would be way too excruciating to keep saying NO can't have that and NO can't do this, unless it was critical for survival or I decided on a temporary radical approach to reach a goal.
 
If you have a good income and save 50% you're fine - you can lean back and relax or keep optimizing and revising your plan, it's all good, either way.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2018, 02:17:12 PM »
I pay a lot of attention to it as well.  I never used to.  However, I'm on the other end.  I suffer from that OMY (One More Year) problem. 

I don't think it hurts to pay attention to it.  If you watch it, you will probably get there sooner.  You will be less likely to make monetary decisions that keep you from your goal.  You have your eyes on the prize.  Once you get into a rhythm of regular contributions, you will get back to a "normal" life and just check on it once in a while.

Itís part of the process.
It will pass and eventually you progress to the existential questionning phase, lol.

Or worse, you just sit there thinking how your wasting your life typing into a computer, all while dreaming about FI in 8+ years. I am still prone to this almost 2 years in, so I remind myself of what a wise old man once said.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live" -  Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

That sounds like hell.

I just *can't* do that anymore. I cannot waste any more time living for the future. I've had far too much very good therapy to be able to do that to myself for another minute. My life used to be hell, I fought very very hard to pull myself out of hell and I used to be a goddamn live-for-the-future champion who "could handle anything" for the sake of an outcome until a real life very wise man said to me "you know that mentally healthy people don't do that, right?"

If your life is stable and safe, then are too many amazing ways to live well right.fucking.now. and FI isn't a prerequisite for any of them, it's just a security blanket that makes it easier to choose a better life.
If you are doing something by *choice*, it should feel great. If it doesn't feel great, then that's not a minor problem and should be looked at very seriously.

You don't need to be FI to be happy. Not now, and not in the future. That's a very very mentally dangerous assumption.

Yeah it is hell.

I agree with you in principal, its insane to spend a decade willfully insane ;). Tiz the execution thats the problem.  Someone else in this thread said it already. Not sure how you do something high pressure/energy/stressful for all of your useful hours in a week that you don't enjoy and still enjoy your life. I don't a large percentage of the time, and that time is rough enough that I spend a portion of pleasant time just recovering and dreading, idk, sucks but there it is.

To much complaining above, I suppose. It is at least honest. I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it was worth it though, not many people get to do whatever they want for the last 30-60 years of their life (assuming I live a while, but fair assumption given stats of being a white male in America thats healthy/strong).

the_fixer

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2018, 05:18:41 PM »
You know how I know I focus on it (just a little) tooo much....

Couple of days ago my boss was telling me about a big project have coming up and not to worry about OT that it was already pre approved and I calculated off the top of my head how much each hour of OT would shorten the time to my retirement date.

Then without even thinking about it I told him that is great each hour of OT reduces my time until retirement but it kind of sucks for him as it will shorten the amount of time he gets to keep me around.

He then asked me if I was planning to quit (we have had a rash of people quitting latley) and I told him not for the next 571 days as I have to wait for my retirement to vest.

We both had a good laugh :)

Fortunately he is an awesome boss and we get along well and he is somewhat aware of my plans.


Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 05:54:47 PM by the_fixer »

JanetJackson

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2018, 07:07:30 PM »
I'm in this boat right now big time, and honestly, it's to my detriment.

I am fairly low income, and have always been a saver, but since I discovered FI (less RE for me, more into the FI part... but whatever, you get the idea) I am willing to say that my quality of life may have decreased.

I constantly check my debt, I pinch every penny, I live just sliiiiiiiightly above the line of deprivation, etc. etc. and I can't seem to stop myself from doing so.
Or I can't seem to talk myself out of doing so... now that I know.

Knowing that I am a bit behind (I was always a saver, but not like this) being 34, I feel like I have at least a decade of time to make up for.  Being low income I feel like I have even more to make up for if I ever want to live a life where I am financially independent enough to AT LEAST work a job that I like.  That's the minimum that I'd like.

Once you go down the rabbit hole, it can be VERY VERY hard to come back out.

I saw a quote in someone's signature recently about being a slave to saving and being a slave to a job, and how you're really not free if you just trade one for the other... and intellectually I know it's true... but you know...
I'd LOVE to have enough FU money to find a full time job that actually fulfills me and that I enjoy, as I have yet to do so. 
Or have the FU money to expand my small side business (I walk dogs, and I really love it)... but I am keenly aware of the sacrifices that I need to make to do so....

...and knowing about MMM and the FI/RE movement has really pushed me to save more... but it has also stripped some of the joy from my life, to a certain extent.

Hope that makes sense without sounding TOO doom and gloom.  <3


I just read an article about the difference between rich and successful people. A poor person mindset vs a rich person attitude. Paraphrasing now, it said "Why would you go out and open a donut shop at which you have no experience, instead of building on something you are already good at?."

So, could you bring in a second person to walk dogs and then another and build a website and turn it into your own small business - over time?
Yes, longer term thatís the plan :)
 I plan on moving across the country next year so I canít build right now but I can when I get to my new city! :)
Itís helpful to have a light at the end of the tunnel (and not FI/RE which is 10-15 years out for me.. maybe 20...? 🤢😭).

FamilyGuy

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2018, 07:41:53 PM »
I think about it a lot. But I realize the most important thing is being consistent in doing the work (cutting costs/increase savings/tracking etc) and not getting sidetracked. As a new person to this community, I would be pumped up for weeks and then get into my old way, then come back when it hurts...the cycle repeated for me a few times. But I'm back now and hopefully, I will stay here forever. Thanks!

whywork

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2018, 12:03:17 AM »
1. DONT READ MMM FORUMS
2. Dont talk about FIRE with anyone, dont even think the word FIRE
3. Say aloud to yourself and others that FIRE is nonsense and you will get bored without a job
4. Remove ALL references to FIRE from your excel and instead change it to networth tracker

The OP, started the exact thread I wanted to start. I was doing the exact same thing and was finding it hard at work. Monday mornings especially were horrible. I am atleast 3-5 years away from FIRE. If I continued to day dream (check excel repeatedly, read FIRE forums, blogs, talk to friends and spouse about FIRE etc..) my life would have become so hard and I would quit before I reached my FIRE number.

I decided and did all of the above four things and my work became lot better. I instead focus my mind on the below

1. How to learn new technologies and improve at work
2. How to fight back and deal with tough people at work
3. How to show enthusiasm, interest and be more passionate about my work

TomSelleckJR

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2018, 03:34:03 PM »

I used to think about FI too much...  now I think about it just enough...   LOL

When I first started my journey, I'd refer back to my spreadsheets daily..  several times a day in fact...
I'd learn new information, or want to look at another scenario, etc, so I'd revamp / revise my spreadsheets on a regular basis.

I would jot down notes / thoughts on my phone while I was mowing the lawn, or if I woke up in the night, or while flying on a business trip.  SO many questions....

Now, I've gotten to a point where I feel more comfortable and have more information and a more clear view of my plan.
Because of this, I revisit my spreadsheets about 2x a month.


Dicey

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2018, 01:57:37 PM »
I live a happy, well-rounded life. Before FIRE, I thought about FIRE obsessively, so I know it's possible to do both.

Six years post-FIRE, I think about it. Mostly because I want to help other people get there and discover how awesome it is. I am thrilled to see how large the 2018 FIRE Cohort has become. And I am grateful every single, solitary, waking moment of my life that I made it. That's not obsession, is it?

FrugaNL

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2018, 02:01:05 PM »
Same here, just starting out cutting expenses but as European mmm we can not compaire our situation with the USA....

Looking daily at my spreadsheet as wel
This. It has become a daily routine. Kind of satisfying as well.

legalstache

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2018, 03:51:00 PM »
I go through phases where I think about it too much (usually when I'm bored/dissatisfied at work). Then other times I'll go weeks without thinking about it. My sense is that it's a bit oversimplified to think of FI as a magic solution for everything, so I think it's a disservice to completely deprive yourself now in exchange for potential happiness years down the road (especially when health, etc. are not guaranteed in the future).

I've always been frugal by nature, even before I'd heard of FI, so I need to talk myself into spending money on things I enjoy in the present from time to time. For my family, it's more about being conscious of what we're spending money on and working to reduce monthly recurring expenses as opposed to just flat out trying to spend as little as possible. That said, if you're earlier on in the FI path, I think it makes sense to save significantly so you can get a decent amount of money working for you and benefit from compounding. 

legalstache

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #45 on: October 05, 2018, 03:56:55 PM »
Since I discovered MMM, I have been very focussed on it. To the point that I hardly want to spend any money on something fun. That was the wrong way to think, too. Now I am getting a little freer and spend a little extra money sometimes. I still track in detail.
I still love to work on my FIRE spreadsheet. It has been corrected many times, even today. But I love to play with the numbers to see the different scenarios work out. I also use it as an escape from work whenever I'm having a bad time there.

This is almost identical to my experience.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #46 on: October 05, 2018, 07:02:36 PM »
I live a happy, well-rounded life. Before FIRE, I thought about FIRE obsessively, so I know it's possible to do both.

Six years post-FIRE, I think about it. Mostly because I want to help other people get there and discover how awesome it is. I am thrilled to see how large the 2018 FIRE Cohort has become. And I am grateful every single, solitary, waking moment of my life that I made it. That's not obsession, is it?
That's amazing and very kind. Thank you very much!!

Clamdigger

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2018, 08:14:49 PM »
I am 57.  Last year a 30 year old at work announced he was retiring.  He held a lunch time meeting to explain how he could do this.  He mentioned 80% savings, backdoor Roths, and MMM.  I had never heard of MMM so I started reading the MMM blog, MMM forums, BogleHeads, other FI blogs, and watching YouTube FI and investing videos.  It is almost 10 months later and now I am presenting what I learned in a personal finance session at work.  50 slides. Last Thursday was my third session, and I had over 100 people in attendance.  No one at work or in school is teaching them about personal finance so here I am doing it.  There is definitely a desire from people to learn more.  I brought in people who own rental properties during one session.  In the last session we had someone who recently retired talk about his retirement planning and how it turned out.  I am learning a lot from other people.

I now think it is my responsibility to teach young people, unlike my parents who had no money or investments other than a savings account.  No one talked to me about investing when I was growing up.  So I want to make sure at least my family knows about it.  I am thinking about a Roth IRA or minor brokerage account for my granddaughter.  Compounding over 50-60 years.

All of this has changed my mind about certain things.  We should have some sort of universal health insurance.  This is one of the biggest factors keeping people from retiring early.

I think our kids will inherit a lot more money from their parents, due to the movement from pensions to 401Ks and IRAs.  Imagine how that will change many of our kids lives.

I am a lot more conscious about my spending.  I now know my minimum spending rate, something I had no clue about.  I am selling my collection of stuff to build two years of living expenses.  I am looking at my investments more closely than ever.  In the past, I rarely looked at my balances.  Making better finance decisions.  No debt.  Only buying things I use.

All of this because a 30 year old FIREd at work and held a lunch time session.  What are you doing to teach others?

« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 08:21:55 PM by Clamdigger »

pecunia

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2018, 05:44:26 AM »
Clamdigger:

"All of this because a 30 year old FIREd at work and held a lunch time session.  What are you doing to teach others?"

I've talked to people and they've sort of listened until I get to the part where you've got to save 25X your annual pay.  This is where people seem to figure it is not doable for them.

Would it be good for us or as a country if this thing really picked up steam?  There would be less people working.  It takes people to work to have production, to raise the food, to mine the ore, to smelt the iron, etc.  Wouldn't less production eventually cause the stock market to tank?  A tanked stock market is not good for the 4 percent rule.  The 4 percent rule makes FIRE possible for many people.

Many of those hated jobs that many of us have are necessary for our society.

On the other hand, when labor is short, the managers who run this country are forced to treat people better.  If a lot of people just didn't work, the capitalist owners would have to respond.   Better treatment would be a feedback mechanism causing less people to "bolt" to FIRE.  If jobs actually become less stressful and more fulfilling, it can be a good thing.  The lack of labor could also spur the rate of automation.  This automation would create an economy that runs more efficiently and produces more for all.

Maybe, I am thinking of FI too much -  in tangential directions.

SaucyAussie

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Re: Anyone thinking about FI too much?
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2018, 06:19:02 AM »

I've talked to people and they've sort of listened until I get to the part where you've got to save 25X your annual pay.  This is where people seem to figure it is not doable for them.


You mean annual expenses right?