Author Topic: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem  (Read 18955 times)

maizeman

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #150 on: September 24, 2018, 08:42:08 AM »
What were the big FIRE focused forums pre-MMM/ERE? (I'm a relative newbie, only becoming aware of the concept and the community back in 2011/2012).

maizeman

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #151 on: September 24, 2018, 09:20:53 AM »
Thanks, spartana!

sol

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #152 on: September 24, 2018, 09:48:08 AM »
What were the big FIRE focused forums pre-MMM/ERE?

The one where I met most of my early-retirement role models was called IRL. 

On beaches and in hostels around the world, as a young travelling vagabond, I encountered countless couples in their 30s-50s who were travelling the world after having checked out of the US work force at approximately half the normal retirement age.  They all did it the exact same way we're doing it, by keeping their expenses far below their income, and investing the difference, for long enough to cover their future anticipated expenses.  It's not exactly a secret recipe.

lhamo

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #153 on: September 24, 2018, 09:50:48 AM »
I started doing forum stuff around 1998-99 -- I think I started with the frugal living forum at parent's place, which had a bunch of Amy D fans there.  That was mostly mom's and very household-economy focused, so good for things like developing a price list and a recipe rotation, but not so much focused on the investment side of things.  Then a site called The Armchair Millionaire opened up, and I got very involved there -- was a moderator fairly early on.  They even gave me a t-shirt!  That one pretty much died during the dot-com bust in 2000-2001.  Then my main hang-out site became the Simple Living Network forums, which is where I met spartana and a few others here (waving to y'all -- you know who you are).  That one was majorly focused on the Your Money or Your Life approach.  It had some upheaval when the hoster decided to close down the business it was attached to -- we migrated over to an independent site (I was a moderator at that point), but lost a lot of the members in the process and I think the lack of a business motive to drive SEO searches to it there wasn't a lot of new traffic.  Also by that time YMOYL had become quite dated (can't FIRE on US gvt. bonds once the interest rates are as low as they dropped), so the main "hook" bringing people to the site was no longer so barby. 

When MMM started this forum section I pretty much jumped over here immediately and it became my new internet "home base" for the most part.  I do browse and occasionally post on the er.org forums as well.  But those folks tend to skew a bit older/wealthier/spendier than this crowd, so I feel more comfortable here. I still lurk on the simple living forums, as well, as there are some old friends who still post there who I like to keep up with.  Never got into bogleheads -- those guys are even more wealthy/spendy than the er.org crowd.  ERE was a bit too extreme for my tastes -- sure, I could live that way if necessary, but it isn't my preferred lifestyle.

mm1970

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #154 on: September 24, 2018, 01:08:32 PM »
I started doing forum stuff around 1998-99 -- I think I started with the frugal living forum at parent's place, which had a bunch of Amy D fans there.  That was mostly mom's and very household-economy focused, so good for things like developing a price list and a recipe rotation, but not so much focused on the investment side of things.  Then a site called The Armchair Millionaire opened up, and I got very involved there -- was a moderator fairly early on.  They even gave me a t-shirt!  That one pretty much died during the dot-com bust in 2000-2001.  Then my main hang-out site became the Simple Living Network forums, which is where I met spartana and a few others here (waving to y'all -- you know who you are).  That one was majorly focused on the Your Money or Your Life approach.  It had some upheaval when the hoster decided to close down the business it was attached to -- we migrated over to an independent site (I was a moderator at that point), but lost a lot of the members in the process and I think the lack of a business motive to drive SEO searches to it there wasn't a lot of new traffic.  Also by that time YMOYL had become quite dated (can't FIRE on US gvt. bonds once the interest rates are as low as they dropped), so the main "hook" bringing people to the site was no longer so barby. 

When MMM started this forum section I pretty much jumped over here immediately and it became my new internet "home base" for the most part.  I do browse and occasionally post on the er.org forums as well.  But those folks tend to skew a bit older/wealthier/spendier than this crowd, so I feel more comfortable here. I still lurk on the simple living forums, as well, as there are some old friends who still post there who I like to keep up with.  Never got into bogleheads -- those guys are even more wealthy/spendy than the er.org crowd.  ERE was a bit too extreme for my tastes -- sure, I could live that way if necessary, but it isn't my preferred lifestyle.
Yes, hi!  I was also on Simple Living Network forums back in the early 2000's - the switch over to the new site lost a lot of folks - so when I found MMM it became my new home base also.

FireLane

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #155 on: September 24, 2018, 07:19:09 PM »
This thread is a great history lesson! I knew the idea itself wasn't new, but I had no idea that FIRE-type forums have been around for so long.

Goldielocks

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #156 on: September 25, 2018, 01:30:23 AM »
What were the big FIRE focused forums pre-MMM/ERE? (I'm a relative newbie, only becoming aware of the concept and the community back in 2011/2012).

Hmm.  Jacob at ERE- was already a bit "famous" when MMM started.  Mad Fientist was early, too, but I am not sure who was first.

I own a copy of the "Tightwad Gazette" -- a newsletter / periodical, that then was a BBS style e-mailed out periodical, in 1990-1996, then compiled into a book.... of course I bought it after reading "Your money or your life", but Amy D had a small business producing the "Tightwad Gazette" as a periodical newsletter for many years.

The other one that was popular in the late 90's was "Rich Dad / Poor Dad".  Not really early retirement, but there were inside "clubs" where people went and logged in  / signed in to have discussions.   This system is a "coaching" type system (I guess like Dave Ramsey?).  I went to an intro seminar in the 90's, which is how I knew about the model.

Cranky

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #157 on: September 25, 2018, 12:00:21 PM »
Historically, not so much an emphasis on investment because that kind of financial product didnít really exist (and neither did things like 401ks.)

But the 60s and 70s had lots of people who wrote about simple living, self sufficiency, leaving the consumer society, alternative institutions, right livelihood. Tune in, turn on, drop out!

Johnez

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #158 on: September 25, 2018, 12:46:34 PM »
I started doing forum stuff around 1998-99 -- I think I started with the frugal living forum at parent's place, which had a bunch of Amy D fans there.  That was mostly mom's and very household-economy focused, so good for things like developing a price list and a recipe rotation, but not so much focused on the investment side of things.  Then a site called The Armchair Millionaire opened up, and I got very involved there -- was a moderator fairly early on.  They even gave me a t-shirt!  That one pretty much died during the dot-com bust in 2000-2001.  Then my main hang-out site became the Simple Living Network forums, which is where I met spartana and a few others here (waving to y'all -- you know who you are).  That one was majorly focused on the Your Money or Your Life approach.  It had some upheaval when the hoster decided to close down the business it was attached to -- we migrated over to an independent site (I was a moderator at that point), but lost a lot of the members in the process and I think the lack of a business motive to drive SEO searches to it there wasn't a lot of new traffic.  Also by that time YMOYL had become quite dated (can't FIRE on US gvt. bonds once the interest rates are as low as they dropped), so the main "hook" bringing people to the site was no longer so barby. 

When MMM started this forum section I pretty much jumped over here immediately and it became my new internet "home base" for the most part.  I do browse and occasionally post on the er.org forums as well.  But those folks tend to skew a bit older/wealthier/spendier than this crowd, so I feel more comfortable here. I still lurk on the simple living forums, as well, as there are some old friends who still post there who I like to keep up with.  Never got into bogleheads -- those guys are even more wealthy/spendy than the er.org crowd.  ERE was a bit too extreme for my tastes -- sure, I could live that way if necessary, but it isn't my preferred lifestyle.

Interesting history into the early retirement movement online. I find it sad that when some forum or blog on the net is done, it can be completely wiped out. They call it the information super highway, but so much of that info gets lost so easily.

And for the record, this "real" frugality as practiced by the Tightwad Gazette and MMM's old stuff (biking, etc.) is so much more useful to the masses than the new style of finding the cheapest way to buy stupid crap that so many people practice today. I don't care how good a deal a Tesla is, it ain't badass or frugal...
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 12:50:26 PM by Johnez »

PizzaSteve

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #159 on: September 29, 2018, 05:54:20 PM »
Historically, not so much an emphasis on investment because that kind of financial product didnít really exist (and neither did things like 401ks.)

But the 60s and 70s had lots of people who wrote about simple living, self sufficiency, leaving the consumer society, alternative institutions, right livelihood. Tune in, turn on, drop out!
Its under appretiated how much Charles Schwab contributed to the low cost investing side of FIRE.  I was fortunate enough to have a wise investor as my parent, who was also frugal.  Broker commissions were a killer and Schwab fought hard to give investors a better deal, and wrote often about how a solid portfolio was how the common person could build wealth for retirement.

Our family has been a discount broker customer for almost 5 decades and I thank his company for fighting the legal battle to help unlock the old school financial services company drag on our assets, along with Bogle, T Rowe Price and other firms that lowered fund costs (and churn related inter fund costs, by researching topics like efficient market hypothesis, primarily at Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, Cal, Nothwestern, INSEAD, and a few European business schools, among others). Some academic scholars are real heros, that inspired Bogle.

Anyway, the investment side of MMMs FIRE is a combination of ideas from Wharton and other leading schools on how to invest wisely so the economy can thrive.  I thank them for insiring  me to start in the mid 80s.  We didnt have much in the way of internet back then, but academic scholarship was one of the active communities (very old school BB postings of papers).
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 05:58:59 PM by PizzaSteve »

jim555

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #160 on: September 29, 2018, 06:38:16 PM »
Investors have it so good today.  In the 1970s the NYSE had fixed commissions, every broker had to charge the same high prices.  Also shares traded in eighths, teenies, and quarters.  Imagine a .125 cent minimum spread.  No way to get quotes cheaply or undelayed.  All orders had to be hand written and physically given to the trading desk who would call it in to go to the floor.  I remember the Quotrek, it was a FM radio based device to get quotes and wasn't cheap.  The alternative was a Bunker Ramo terminal for $500 a month, not including exchange fees.  Charting was done with a physical chart book printed weekly, forget about running real time math analysis, get the ruler and pen. 

ETFs didn't even exist.  You had open ended funds at the fund companies, and closed end funds that always had the problems of pricing to NAV disparity.  The cheapest expense ratios used to be super expensive.

Today is a dream compared to how it was.  Free or almost free trading, decimalization down to pennies, real time quotes and charts via the Internet. 

« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 06:46:29 PM by jim555 »

PhilB

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #161 on: September 30, 2018, 12:38:12 AM »
I had an uncle sell his business in his 40s and retired to travel in the Australian outback in an RV.  That was 40-50 years ago.
Have they found him yet?

jim555

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #162 on: September 30, 2018, 03:09:08 AM »
I had an uncle sell his business in his 40s and retired to travel in the Australian outback in an RV.  That was 40-50 years ago.
Have they found him yet?
Last I heard he was in his 80s and still alive. 

BTDretire

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #163 on: September 30, 2018, 07:59:28 AM »
 I knew in 1982 after we saved $5,380 on an $18,500 gross income that we could end up with some real money.
That was our first year of marriage. My wife was frugal by birth, I became frugal when I saw after 3 months, we had $1,500, more than I ever had before. The $1,500 included $600 of wedding gifts, but I 'frugaled up' after that!
 Our inflation adjusted income over the last 37 years averaged $72,000, a year a little higher than the Median US income.  Never a high income, but we did well with it. We have managed to save about 80 times our yearly spend. This will drop a little as we still have two kids in college.
  I called my self retired 2-1/2 years ago, but the retirement police would give me a hard time, (I give my self a hard time) I still work more than I want to, to help my wife in our small business. But real, couple retirement is coming.
 The problem I see is there is no credit given for just plain saving, even if you don't retire at 30 or 40 or 50,
aren't you better off retiring with a Million at 55 and SS on the horizon than 66 and only SS?
 Or what if it was only $500,000, That's so much better than nothing. Arrgh!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 03:27:04 PM by BTDretire »

afox

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #164 on: October 01, 2018, 02:35:50 PM »
N = 1

Now I know you're just trolling.  MMM makes n=2, rebs makes n=3, spartana makes n=4, and the links in this thread make n=5, 6, and 7.  How many more do you need to see before you stop claiming it can't be done?

I would just remind everyone that around 2001 MMM was earning $125k per year and mrs mmm  was earning $70k per year. That's $195,000 per year household income in 2001 which equals $285,000 in todays dollars.  That put them in the 97.5 percentile of household incomes at the time.  In other words only 2% of U.S. households made more money than they did.  And this does not account for investment income. 

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/15/a-brief-history-of-the-stash-how-we-saved-from-zero-to-retirement-in-ten-years/
https://dqydj.com/united-states-household-income-brackets-percentiles/
https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=195000&year1=200101&year2=201802

I want it to be true too but I just dont agree with the basic idea that those with lower incomes can save at the same rate as those with higher incomes.  There are too many "minimum basic expenses" that one needs to live in the US.  Im talking about grocery store food, un-extravegant housing, basic transporation, etc.  One thing to watch out for if you want to compare apples to apples are bloggers/etc who may have done a lot of their purchasing pre-blogging/reporting their spending.  Did MMM acquire all those fancy woodworking tools on his meager spending?  Cars, down payments, rental RE, tools, education expenses, major home improvements, etc are all big expenses that reduce spending years into the future.  Also, those with higher incomes most likely have specialized skills and education and know that if they really need to they can get a decent job at some point in the future if they really needed to due to some unforseen personal financial crisis.  Someone with less earning potential would be taking a much bigger risk. 

On the bright side I think that any hard working individual lucky enough to live in the U.S. is capable of earning a decent income.


BTDretire

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #165 on: October 01, 2018, 03:42:39 PM »
N = 1

Now I know you're just trolling.  MMM makes n=2, rebs makes n=3, spartana makes n=4, and the links in this thread make n=5, 6, and 7.  How many more do you need to see before you stop claiming it can't be done?

I would just remind everyone that around 2001 MMM was earning $125k per year and mrs mmm  was earning $70k per year. That's $195,000 per year household income in 2001 which equals $285,000 in todays dollars.  That put them in the 97.5 percentile of household incomes at the time.  In other words only 2% of U.S. households made more money than they did.  And this does not account for investment income. 

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/15/a-brief-history-of-the-stash-how-we-saved-from-zero-to-retirement-in-ten-years/
https://dqydj.com/united-states-household-income-brackets-percentiles/
https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=195000&year1=200101&year2=201802

I want it to be true too but I just dont agree with the basic idea that those with lower incomes can save at the same rate as those with higher incomes.

  Re: your last sentence, I don't know that there is much that you could be argued against what you said.
 Our average inflation adjusted income since 1982 is $72,000. That is a bit above the US median, but not a high income. I would say we lived a frugal life, older cars, cheaper homes, cheaper clothes, cheap vacations, if at all.I'm sure we could have saved more, but not a lot.
  It took us 30 years to get to $1M.
It's true if you earn more you can save more and get to $1M faster.
Here's a program I made to inflation adjust your SS statement earnings to todays dollars.
  Change the 1981 and 1982 dollars to $0 and start where your SS statement starts.
 The program will multiply your incomes to make it equal to todays dollars.
Also give you your lifetime income and the average income.

millennialmoney

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #166 on: October 02, 2018, 08:25:08 PM »
No one who "retires" at 30 is not going to, at some point, make money. In order to get there you will have made a lot of money, and probably enjoy making money, so you will likely again at some point in your life. The mainstream media needs to stop defining retirement the old school way and use a new definition. It's not about stopping working, it's about doing whatever you want and money will likely be a byproduct at some point. Retirement can mean whatever you want it to mean. People get too fixated on all or noting/black and white definitions. To each their own.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #167 on: October 02, 2018, 08:44:10 PM »
I would just remind everyone that around 2001 MMM was earning $125k per year and mrs mmm  was earning $70k per year. That's $195,000 per year household income in 2001 which equals $285,000 in todays dollars.  That put them in the 97.5 percentile of household incomes at the time.
All true. But I think many miss the underlying message of MMM and similar writers, which is not that your ambition should be comfortable idleness (as opposed to uncomfortable idleness, which any of us could have today, just go sleep under a bridge and wrestle with government bureaucracy), but that you should set your life up to have choices. If your income is $X and your spending some fraction of that, then you do your current job out of choice; whereas if your income is $X and your spending is $X+1, then you have no choice, you're stuck in that job, even two weeks without a job while looking for a new one might ruin you. This stress then carries on to your family life and things get nasty.

As I've pointed out before, the are options other than planned comfortable idleness. For example, let's say a person is saving half their income while working 40 hours a week. This person could in fact work 20 hours a week while not saving anything. You'd be tied to your job financially - but if it's only 20 hours a week, you mightn't mind that. Things about the job which are intolerable at 60hr pw you might find are tolerable at 40hr pw and no problem at all at 20hr pw.

As well, doing 20hr pw of paid job allows you spare time to indulge in other things which make you happy, thus making the 20hr pw less of a big deal. That is, if you're doing 60hr pw then you've little time for anything else in your life, so that job had better be awesome, if it's 40hr pw it still has to be a good job, but 20hr pw leaves you so much free time that even cleaning public toilets in Dehli might be alright. And of course, with just 20hr pw paid job you've plenty of time to look for a job which might suit you better, including improving your skills to enhance employability.

If you spend less than your income, then you have choices about your paid job - whether to do any job at all, how many hours to do, which job to do, and so on. If you spend everything or more, then you have no choice, you're stuck.

Thus, some degree of frugality gives you freedom, freedom of choice. And comfortable idleness is not the only option.

Because most people's jobs are so alienating and so dominate their lives, they only think of comfortable idleness as a possibility. This is rather like a man who is unhappy in his marriage dreaming of having sex with dozens of strippers, rather than dreaming of a happy marriage. But this speaks to the failure of the way our society and these people have structured paid work, rather than any failure of frugality.


I would add that whatever your income, some can be set aside. I was a child of a single mother, at one point in the 1980s we lived on a government pension of some $120pw. One or two dollars a week were set aside for the holidays, leaving $50-$100, so that on special days we could have a roast, cake, and presents. While there was no way any amount of frugality would have allowed an early retirement on that income, some frugality meant the festive season could be a bit brighter for us. Some degree of frugality improves people's lives.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 08:48:43 PM by Kyle Schuant »

dude

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #168 on: October 03, 2018, 09:13:04 AM »
The absolute worst possible outcome for someone who is "fired" is a part time job to supplement. Seems like the machine is a little pissed that we aren't all drinking the consumer cool-aid.

If you think that's the absolute worst possible outcome, I'm afraid you haven't accurately considered all possible outcomes.

Also, my case exactly: Mustachians analyze the shit out of every possible goddamn scenario within which their lives could fall apart due to circumstances beyond their control.

Meanwhile, those same things could happen to anyone, and the early retiree will probably be in a much better position to handle it than the in-debt worker or the later in life retiree.

Normal age retirees donít generally do that. They just retire.

People also tend to forget that early retirees tend to retire with MORE money than traditional age retirees. So itís not like the late retirees have some kind of advantage, they just spent more on useless shit along the way. Let's compare apples to apples here.

HAHAHA!!  THIS!  My god, THIS! The idea that people with the foresight to save like demons and cut expenses to bare minimums because they understand the difference between wants and needs are somehow going to be worse off than the average American working until they die or are forced into retirement by health issues is laughable. I get that nothing is guaranteed, and there's a risk in retiring early, but shit, at least those who pursue this path are aware of the risk and take steps to mitigate it. That's more than can be said for the vast majority of people from what I've seen.

PizzaSteve

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #169 on: October 03, 2018, 10:44:57 AM »
N = 1

Now I know you're just trolling.  MMM makes n=2, rebs makes n=3, spartana makes n=4, and the links in this thread make n=5, 6, and 7.  How many more do you need to see before you stop claiming it can't be done?

I would just remind everyone that around 2001 MMM was earning $125k per year and mrs mmm  was earning $70k per year. That's $195,000 per year household income in 2001 which equals $285,000 in todays dollars.  That put them in the 97.5 percentile of household incomes at the time.  In other words only 2% of U.S. households made more money than they did.  And this does not account for investment income. 

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/15/a-brief-history-of-the-stash-how-we-saved-from-zero-to-retirement-in-ten-years/
https://dqydj.com/united-states-household-income-brackets-percentiles/
https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=195000&year1=200101&year2=201802

I want it to be true too but I just dont agree with the basic idea that those with lower incomes can save at the same rate as those with higher incomes.  There are too many "minimum basic expenses" that one needs to live in the US.  Im talking about grocery store food, un-extravegant housing, basic transporation, etc.  One thing to watch out for if you want to compare apples to apples are bloggers/etc who may have done a lot of their purchasing pre-blogging/reporting their spending.  Did MMM acquire all those fancy woodworking tools on his meager spending? Cars, down payments, rental RE, tools, education expenses, major home improvements, etc are all big expenses that reduce spending years into the future.  Also, those with higher incomes most likely have specialized skills and education and know that if they really need to they can get a decent job at some point in the future if they really needed to due to some unforseen personal financial crisis.  Someone with less earning potential would be taking a much bigger risk. 

On the bright side I think that any hard working individual lucky enough to live in the U.S. is capable of earning a decent income.
Check out craigslist, freecycle, etc.  I have a friend who bought commercial stainless steel storage tanks from a dairy for a few hundred bucks (he was building a commercial quality home winery at his house).  With the general deindustrialization of the US, I see commercial quality tools and equipment all over the place, not to mention the general trend for the sharing economy allowing unused equipment to get working, freeing up huge capacity of available tools.

If anything, home based businesses need almost no capital vs prior eras.  One can get everything they need to compete, even globally.  Need accounting software, freeware is available vs paying a fortune to IBM in the 60s. Need manufacturing of a prototype or custom piece, a Chinese company will mock it up for dollars and ship to you...

Whats in short supply is ingenuity and the gumption to pull the trigger to make shit happen, as MMM did.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 10:04:36 AM by PizzaSteve »

dude

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #170 on: October 03, 2018, 01:00:13 PM »
So good!

afox

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #171 on: October 03, 2018, 03:04:37 PM »
I would just remind everyone that around 2001 MMM was earning $125k per year and mrs mmm  was earning $70k per year. That's $195,000 per year household income in 2001 which equals $285,000 in todays dollars.  That put them in the 97.5 percentile of household incomes at the time.
All true. But I think many miss the underlying message of MMM and similar writers, which is not that your ambition should be comfortable idleness

I never said anything about "comfortable idleness".  I was just pointing out that its easier for higher earners to save at higher rates of their income.  that much should be obvious. 

I have heard this "comfortable idleness" argument against FIRE before though...it shows up in the form of: "if you retire early what are you going to do with your time, sit on your ass and watch tv?".  I think that those that have the gumption to FIRE are not the types that retire at 30 and spend the next 50 years sitting on their ass watching tv all day.  If you are the type that spends your time off sitting on your ass in comfortable idleness guaranteed FIRE is not going to happen for you.

letsdoit

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #172 on: October 03, 2018, 03:44:39 PM »
can we get an amen for malykann?

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #173 on: October 04, 2018, 09:30:22 AM »
can we get an amen for malykann?

Ha, yes seriously!  Awesome.

On a side note, I also had the same experience dropping from overweight BMI to healthy-low BMI (20.7) and had people "concerned for my health" because of my weight... drove me bonkers.  Healthier than any other time in my life and at a great BMI and I have a problem, right...

letsdoit

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #174 on: October 04, 2018, 09:38:20 AM »
i started meditating in the 90s and some would say ' i guess that means you never have any thoughts and you are the Enlightened One' 

Nicholas Carter

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #175 on: October 05, 2018, 12:44:23 PM »
I have heard this "comfortable idleness" argument against FIRE before though...it shows up in the form of: "if you retire early what are you going to do with your time, sit on your ass and watch tv?".  I think that those that have the gumption to FIRE are not the types that retire at 30 and spend the next 50 years sitting on their ass watching tv all day.  If you are the type that spends your time off sitting on your ass in comfortable idleness guaranteed FIRE is not going to happen for you.
I'd have to disagree here: there's nothing that costs less money than doing nothing. You just... don't buy things. You invest the difference. When your entertainment and dining out budget is $0, how can you not FIRE?

letsdoit

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #176 on: October 06, 2018, 07:20:23 AM »
I have heard this "comfortable idleness" argument against FIRE before though...it shows up in the form of: "if you retire early what are you going to do with your time, sit on your ass and watch tv?".  I think that those that have the gumption to FIRE are not the types that retire at 30 and spend the next 50 years sitting on their ass watching tv all day.  If you are the type that spends your time off sitting on your ass in comfortable idleness guaranteed FIRE is not going to happen for you.
I'd have to disagree here: there's nothing that costs less money than doing nothing. You just... don't buy things. You invest the difference. When your entertainment and dining out budget is $0, how can you not FIRE?

in reality since people are complex, i think sitting on ass would make a person try to fill empty void with buying things or absent minded eating corn poofs

remizidae

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #177 on: October 06, 2018, 07:36:17 AM »
I have heard this "comfortable idleness" argument against FIRE before though...it shows up in the form of: "if you retire early what are you going to do with your time, sit on your ass and watch tv?".  I think that those that have the gumption to FIRE are not the types that retire at 30 and spend the next 50 years sitting on their ass watching tv all day.  If you are the type that spends your time off sitting on your ass in comfortable idleness guaranteed FIRE is not going to happen for you.
I'd have to disagree here: there's nothing that costs less money than doing nothing. You just... don't buy things. You invest the difference. When your entertainment and dining out budget is $0, how can you not FIRE?

I agree. MMM seems to think a lot of spending is about laziness, which is partly true, but being an active, energetic person can drive you to spend too. That's most of my discretionary spending: gym membership, travel, parties, bars, museums, trying new restaurants, new athletic activities, joining friends for whatever they want to do. Right now I'm trying to channel some of that energy into income-producing activities (I have two part-time jobs plus a full-time). We'll see how long I can last.

sol

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #178 on: October 06, 2018, 01:01:17 PM »
being an active, energetic person can drive you to spend too. That's most of my discretionary spending: gym membership, travel, parties, bars, museums, trying new restaurants, new athletic activities, joining friends for whatever they want to do.

There are certainly other ways to be an active energetic person without wasting money on stupid shit.

You are of course free to spend your money in any way that you like, but we're probably going to continue pointing out that choosing to spend instead of save guarantees that you will have to work forever.  Which is fine, if you like working and spending, but that's not really the lifestyle this blog is promoting.

On the other hand, I am also an active and energetic person and I don't have a gym membership, my parties never cost more than a food or drink contribution, museums are free on every third Thursday of the month, I travel with credit card points, and I typically find bars tiresome and noisy so rarely go more than once or twice a year, now that I have a family.  Paying for all of this awesomeness is easy because the economy is full of people like you, who insist on paying ridiculous prices for all of these things, so that I can pay for them without working.  Thanks!  Keep up the good work!

remizidae

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #179 on: October 06, 2018, 06:23:36 PM »
being an active, energetic person can drive you to spend too. That's most of my discretionary spending: gym membership, travel, parties, bars, museums, trying new restaurants, new athletic activities, joining friends for whatever they want to do.

There are certainly other ways to be an active energetic person without wasting money on stupid shit.

You are of course free to spend your money in any way that you like, but we're probably going to continue pointing out that choosing to spend instead of save guarantees that you will have to work forever.  Which is fine, if you like working and spending, but that's not really the lifestyle this blog is promoting.

On the other hand, I am also an active and energetic person and I don't have a gym membership, my parties never cost more than a food or drink contribution, museums are free on every third Thursday of the month, I travel with credit card points, and I typically find bars tiresome and noisy so rarely go more than once or twice a year, now that I have a family.  Paying for all of this awesomeness is easy because the economy is full of people like you, who insist on paying ridiculous prices for all of these things, so that I can pay for them without working.  Thanks!  Keep up the good work!

Jesus, dude. Not looking for a lecture. I save 60% of my income. And did you not see the part where I said "Right now I'm trying to channel some of that energy into income-producing activities (I have two part-time jobs plus a full-time)"? I'm just trying to point out that you don't have to be lazy to want to spend money. 

sol

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #180 on: October 06, 2018, 11:41:05 PM »
I'm just trying to point out that you don't have to be lazy to want to spend money.

I didn't mean to say that you have to be lazy to waste money, I was trying to point out that you can always waste money, not matter what you do, but it's never really quite as necessary as everyone tends to think.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #181 on: October 07, 2018, 11:18:26 AM »
I'm just trying to point out that you don't have to be lazy to want to spend money.

I didn't mean to say that you have to be lazy to waste money, I was trying to point out that you can always waste money, not matter what you do, but it's never really quite as necessary as everyone tends to think.

I have found when I work ridiculous hours with little free time, I have no time to spend and cash accumulates.  But, eventually the extra cash that accumulates busts a hole in my pocket and I end up splurging on something a bit more overpriced than what I would do if I wasn't working so hard. 

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #182 on: October 08, 2018, 03:20:15 AM »
For perspective, in food expenditure in Australia, the leading expense for every group is... meals out and fast foods. Condiments and confectionary are fourth and substantial.

Even for those on pensions it's a thousand dollars a year between the two, and for the employed it's $2,300. Now, obviously food is something that gives people a lot of pleasure, and we should not all be expected to live on porridge, rice and beans every day. Nonetheless it shows that the typical person has a lot of room to cut spending and pay off debts or save money. After all, if they're spending carelessly on food, they'll be spending carelessly on other stuff.

The health effects of this typical food expenditure can be see in close on two-thirds of Australians being overweight or obese.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #183 on: October 08, 2018, 10:01:56 AM »
Most Americans eat fast food, drink expensive coffee, get a new cell phone every 1-2 years, and lease a new car every 3 years. Cutting those down to 50% of mustachian levels would be enough for everyone to retire earlier than 67 years old.

mm1970

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #184 on: October 08, 2018, 10:41:06 AM »
Most Americans eat fast food, drink expensive coffee, get a new cell phone every 1-2 years, and lease a new car every 3 years. Cutting those down to 50% of mustachian levels would be enough for everyone to retire earlier than 67 years old.
This is a gross generalization, and you are only about half right.

Most Americans eat fast food: Sort of.  20% of Americans eat out at fast food places once/ week.  (But 58% of Americans eat out once/ week - this # includes full service and casual dining).

Most Americans drink expensive coffee: False.  64% of Americans drink coffee, and only about 36% of them buy it out vs making at home (some do a combo).  That means approx 23% of Americans buy coffee out.

Most Americans replace cell phones every 1-2 years: True.  Average is 22.7 months.

Most Americans lease cars every 3 years: False.  The average American keeps their car for longer than ever.  New car buyers: 6.5 years.  Used car buyers: 5+ years.  The average age of cars on the road is 11.5 years.
Percentage of cars that are leased is pretty close to an all time high though: but at 33%.  Not "most".

Nicholas Carter

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #185 on: October 08, 2018, 01:57:45 PM »
in reality since people are complex, i think sitting on ass would make a person try to fill empty void with buying things or absent minded eating corn poofs
Nah, that's what the cat's for. Out of all the virtues of mustachianism, A-Low-Need-For-Novelty is possibly first among them.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #186 on: October 10, 2018, 10:34:21 AM »
Most Americans eat fast food, drink expensive coffee, get a new cell phone every 1-2 years, and lease a new car every 3 years. Cutting those down to 50% of mustachian levels would be enough for everyone to retire earlier than 67 years old.
This is a gross generalization, and you are only about half right.

Most Americans eat fast food: Sort of.  20% of Americans eat out at fast food places once/ week.  (But 58% of Americans eat out once/ week - this # includes full service and casual dining).

Most Americans drink expensive coffee: False.  64% of Americans drink coffee, and only about 36% of them buy it out vs making at home (some do a combo).  That means approx 23% of Americans buy coffee out.

Most Americans replace cell phones every 1-2 years: True.  Average is 22.7 months.

Most Americans lease cars every 3 years: False.  The average American keeps their car for longer than ever.  New car buyers: 6.5 years.  Used car buyers: 5+ years.  The average age of cars on the road is 11.5 years.
Percentage of cars that are leased is pretty close to an all time high though: but at 33%.  Not "most".

Thanks for the very precise correction. I should change my comment to say many Americans instead of most Americans and my statement would be accurate. Either way, if people understood value better they too would have a better financial footing when contemplating or going into retirement.

talltexan

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #187 on: October 11, 2018, 09:23:50 AM »
A big dimension ommitted from this conversation--and I do appreciate the data driven response--is what percentage of people bring their lunches from home vs. eat lunch out as part of their work routine.

bacchi

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #188 on: October 11, 2018, 11:06:35 AM »
What were the big FIRE focused forums pre-MMM/ERE? (I'm a relative newbie, only becoming aware of the concept and the community back in 2011/2012).

More history...

E-r.org has been around since the early 2000s. Their domain name was registered in 2002 and it was definitely active in 2004.

The retireearlyhomepage.com blog was registered in 2000 and has a copyright from 1996 though there were no forums on it until fairly recently. Greaney, the owner, keeps tabs on the hypothetical "year 2000" retiree (analyzing sequence of returns risk from the dot bomb crash).

There was an ER forum on...MSN groups? Whatever the microsoft forums were. When microsoft shut them down, it migrated to...some other ER forum that I can't recall right now. Oh, probably http://www.raddr-pages.com/forums/. That site is from 2004.


MrsPete

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #189 on: October 14, 2018, 09:52:14 AM »
The absolute worst possible outcome for someone who is "fired" is a part time job to supplement. Seems like the machine is a little pissed that we aren't all drinking the consumer cool-aid.
Disagree.  The worst possible outcome is retiring for a decade or so ... then realizing that you're running through your savings /your money isn't enough to last ... AND then being unable to return to your previous employment because in that decade the industry has "moved on".

I mean, I guess it does expose the dirty little secret that to retire extremely early, you have to have the salary to match. There's only so much cost cutting you can do.

But instead of focusing on insane goals like retiring by 30, why not examine retiring 5 years earlier? Would most average income earners be disappointed with 5 years of additional freedom?

It's not all or nothing. There are 30+ years between a retirement in your 30's and one at "traditional" retirement age.
Yes, nicely said. 

Sure, a few people can retire at 30 (more can retire in their 30s), but that does require the planets to align: Intelligence, good health, abilities that fall towards a profitable major /career, college without debt, spouse with similar traits, and an early awareness that early savings can equate to early retirement.  Possible, but not something that'll happen for the majority.  For the majority of us -- those of us for whom the planets don't align -- we can still retire earlier than society says "is appropriate", and retiring 5, 10, 15 years early is still "winning" ... even if we're already well past 30.

We were actually really, really poor when we were grad students. It's hard to work out the equivalence in today's dollars, because it's been a while, but we lived in really horrible apartments and it felt like we reeled from one car disaster to the next, and we couldn't afford to go to the dentist, and I didn't buy a single item of clothing besides shoes for about 5 years. It was for sure the experience that made me the cheap person that I am today, but I absolutely do not remember it fondly.
Yeah, I could say the same thing.  I loved college, but I was always "on the financial edge", and it was stressful.  I went to uninteresting events because they were serving food -- and sometimes I was hungry anyway.  I lived in unsafe places, and thank God nothing bad ever happened to me because of it -- some people aren't so lucky.  I didn't go to the dentist the whole time I was in college.  One semester I worked 3rd shift, then went straight to class, then went to my afternoon job.  I rarely bought anything that wasn't food -- and not being able to buy is different from choosing not to buy.  Looking back, I really don't know how I did it -- I suppose a combination of youth, stupidity, and determination -- but I don't want to live that way again.  I do not want to retire with only a minimal amount.  I want enough that I'll be comfortable in spite of inflation, in spite of emergencies.  And I never want to cut cardboard to tuck into my shoes again.

I don't think there were many blogs or forums back in the early 2000s that focused mainly on FIRE, but there were several that focused on simplifying your life, reducing consumer spending, and saving rather than being a debt ridden consumer sucka. The ability to FIRE was part of that but not always the main focus. The one I met @lhamo at was based on the concepts of the book "YMOYL" and started around 2000 or so.  Most of us who got the FIRE bug years ago found much of the info and inspiration from books or media info about early retirees.
No, no one much was reading blogs or posting on message boards in the 90s, but I read books on frugal living while I was in college in the 80s.  In the 90s I subscribed to a frual-living newsletter that came to my mailbox.  Actually, I've always loved Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie fame; she was born during the Civil War, and as an adult she wrote about frugal living as a way for the average person to "get ahead"!  (Before you seek it out, know that it's not 'specially applicable to our lives today.)  The information has always been available -- just the format has changed. 

My goal back in college, when I became interested in the topic, wasn't early retirement -- and that still isn't my prime goal -- rather, my goal was to manage my money so I'd have a comfortable financial life, not a chaotic do-without home like the one in which I was raised.  The idea of a comfortable retirement was already important to me in college, but I was already past 30 when it occurred to me I could retire early and comfortable. 

Most Americans eat fast food: Sort of.  20% of Americans eat out at fast food places once/ week.  (But 58% of Americans eat out once/ week - this # includes full service and casual dining).
This doesn't ring true to me.  As I walk into work every morning, I'd estimate 20% of the high school students and 10% of the teachers are toting a cup from a fast food place.  And that's just breakfast.  I hear LOTS of people talking about having gone out to dinner the night before /eating leftovers from styrofoam containers.  On the rare occasion I pick up fast food for dinner, I'm always amazed at the lines. 

I wonder if these numbers are from a self-reported survey.  I suspect most people would choose to downplay how often they eat fast food.  Regardless, I suspect the average American eats fast food more than once a week.

mm1970

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #190 on: October 15, 2018, 11:00:03 AM »
Quote
Quote from: mm1970 on October 08, 2018, 10:41:06 AM
Most Americans eat fast food: Sort of.  20% of Americans eat out at fast food places once/ week.  (But 58% of Americans eat out once/ week - this # includes full service and casual dining).
This doesn't ring true to me.  As I walk into work every morning, I'd estimate 20% of the high school students and 10% of the teachers are toting a cup from a fast food place.  And that's just breakfast.  I hear LOTS of people talking about having gone out to dinner the night before /eating leftovers from styrofoam containers.  On the rare occasion I pick up fast food for dinner, I'm always amazed at the lines. 

I wonder if these numbers are from a self-reported survey.  I suspect most people would choose to downplay how often they eat fast food.  Regardless, I suspect the average American eats fast food more than once a week.

I just googled.  Mostly it's from nation-wide polls, though I can't find the particular combination of statistical sites that I'd found last week.

One thing to note is that the the frequency of eating out / fast food is much higher for the younger population - so particularly teenagers to late-20's, they eat out a lot.

marty998

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Re: Bloomberg: Millennials Dreaming of Retiring at 30 Have a Math Problem
« Reply #191 on: October 15, 2018, 02:35:49 PM »
Most Americans eat fast food, drink expensive coffee, get a new cell phone every 1-2 years, and lease a new car every 3 years. Cutting those down to 50% of mustachian levels would be enough for everyone to retire earlier than 67 years old.
This is a gross generalization, and you are only about half right.

Most Americans eat fast food: Sort of.  20% of Americans eat out at fast food places once/ week.  (But 58% of Americans eat out once/ week - this # includes full service and casual dining).

Most Americans drink expensive coffee: False.  64% of Americans drink coffee, and only about 36% of them buy it out vs making at home (some do a combo).  That means approx 23% of Americans buy coffee out.

Most Americans replace cell phones every 1-2 years: True.  Average is 22.7 months.

Most Americans lease cars every 3 years: False.  The average American keeps their car for longer than ever.  New car buyers: 6.5 years.  Used car buyers: 5+ years.  The average age of cars on the road is 11.5 years.
Percentage of cars that are leased is pretty close to an all time high though: but at 33%.  Not "most".

Curious to know if the stats change if you reduce the sample space to working age population only. For example take out the 90 year old coffee drinkers, or the 12 year old McDonalds eaters.... or do these stats already adjust for that?