Author Topic: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?  (Read 13596 times)

plainjane

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2018, 08:25:38 AM »
I think Okits may be on the right track here. It's very frustrating being the ant.

i'm also reminded of my rich uncle & aunt. They ended up very well off (penthouse with rooftop deck in NYC upper east side, custom built summer home in the Hamptons) thanks to a timely sale of a business. But when they were building that business? My aunt had to pawn baby furniture to make loan payments when she was on maternity leave and her husband's business didn't have the cash flow. They over extended several times and were very lucky on timing with some fancy footwork.

My parents, otoh, also started their own business around the same time. They didn't use leverage. They created a services company instead of a product supply chain company. They never sold. Was my mom jealous of her sister? Maybe. Hard to know, not something I can ask.

But my aunt, like your brother, made a risky play. It paid off. The thing about risky plays is that when they pay off, they can do so disproportionately to the effort.

Things to say and know. I don't know how much they help with feelings.

tooqk4u22

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2018, 09:42:13 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I've got a great family life.  Wife and kids that "money can't buy". But with that family life comes less perceptual freedom. 

"Like a sucker" is more of a verb to describe the difference of being committed unconditionally vs. having the ability to flutter about.  There was nothing negative intended about it except for commitment. Just bellyaching as you described.  For example, I'd rather my time be spent planning a vacation than dealing with public school teachers and the various, unforeseen conversations that can arise simply from being an involved parent. I thought I was done with algebra when I WAS DONE school.  But nope, it's back in all its glory! Algebra or vacation thinking...   Only so much time to go around.

Whether you meant it or not that is certainly a negative statement, but with three kids in various activities and whatnot I feel ya but it was a lifestyle decision that was and is important.   I know many be here say kids don't have to be expensive or big time sucks, but for me that just hasn't been the case....but a lot of it is choice and I am ok with that.

Just the other day I had a single friend talking to me about a ski vacation.  I said our family really aren't into skiing and to commit so much money to one vacation that isn't that important to any of us didn't make sense.  He said, its not a lot of  money....I replied how so, please describe your trip and costs.   "Well I had to get a plane ticket, me and my brother split a car rental, and then we stayed at the condo my parents rented,  and then lift tickets. 

Oh yeah, well I have five plane tickets ($2-3k), a larger car rental ($500-800), five life tickets for five days ($2-3k), a condo rental that can hold all of us (no idea really but figure $2-5k).....dumbfounded response was wow that would be a lot of money....yeah no shit.  A week long ski trip could easily hit $10k and don't forget about gear.   

The other example I can give you is me and my dear sister are complete opposites - me a more traditionalist career/life and her more hippie/vagabond (at least early on as she basically spent a decade traveling or bumming in vacay areas).  When she finally grew up in a more traditional sense she managed to live where and how she wants, has various toys, and doesn't work all that hard.   She is envious of the money that we make/have and feels we have been lucky in our jobs (there may be some truth in that, but high performance, long hours, commitment, good fields, etc probably played a little part too I think).   But there is a bit of envy on my side that she has lived the way she wanted to, but with some struggles, so there are tradeoffs.

I always joke with her that "I am trying hard to not be broke, and she is trying hard to stay broke."

I would just be happy for your brother and offer some guidance to set money aside for a rainy day given the cyclical nature of that industry...he probably won't listen but it would be good nonetheless.

And also just remember that saving really isn't fun....until a ways down the road when you have enough.  What I like to say to others who are more spendy or have different values is that "You and I and others aren't all that different, we just choose to spend differently and I have chosen to forego the new cars and trendy clothes and so on so I can make a much bigger purchase, it will be the biggest and most expensive thing I will ever buy and will be far greater cost than all the new cars you will buy in your lifetime."

dude

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #52 on: July 06, 2018, 10:18:47 AM »
If someone else's life is bugging you, it's time to take a deep hard look at your own and figure out why. It's not about coping with *their* success, it's about figuring out why your own successes aren't making you feel satisfied.

There is a tremendous amount of wisdom in all the answers so far and I find them all to be very helpful.  Thank-you. I'll be rereading a few times.

I do want to hone in on this one post comment though because if it was this easy, then I could likely find truth there. I feel like the truth is that my own successes aren't as good as others and it's somehow limiting me. I sounds silly but I'll go back nearly 20 years.

I was an average teenage kid. Average grades, average looks, all average across the board. It wasn't until post-grad that I seemed to "come into my own" if for only a few years. I was somehow thrust into being the "best student." I was in great shape (best shape of my life), I was charismatic (had spent a few years learning how to communicate in technology sales), I was on the Dean's council, got top grades, etc. When I graduated I was arguably the top student and was nominated by my professors for multiple national awards in my industry.

But there's an ugly underbelly. I was seeing the school therapist at least 3 times of the week and had been recently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. It's not severe, but it does impact my decision making. I has also put on 25 BAD lbs that year. I remember explaining that my biggest fear was not graduating #1 or failing my midterms (I never did well on tests despite doing exceptionally well on assignments). 50 or so grads from my class, and I needed to be #1.  This was a new perspective for me.  It was entirely driven by fear of failure.

The logic went like this.  If other students are better than me, then I won't be the top pick for work after I graduate. If I'm not a top pick, I won't find a job. No job = no income and no income means that I'll lose the roof over my head. From there, all hell starts to break loose. It's silly, yes. But it was a real emotion at the time.

And that all mainly went away for the last 15 years. I was always a decent earner for my age. It's not until the last 2-3 years where all of a sudden peers seem to be skyrocketing past me (at least, that's how it appears in my mind).

And my life if pretty decent. Would I trade it with anyone else? Nope. I'd like to cherry pick bits and pieces from other peoples lives to add to mine, but overall, I can't say I'd want to be "someone else" with all they have and don't have.

My younger brother is building a $15 million dollar penthouse condo right now for a client. Colleagues of mine are business owners and entrepreneurs. Some are winning national awards and gaining national recognition and here I am feeling like an imposter (Thanks for that info PaulMaxime - very helpful on this front). But I see the Facebook highlight reel.

Intelligently, I know these things...  But then there's the silly emotional response of "I want the money and connections involved with building a $15 million dollar condo" or "I want the income and recognition associated with being the CTO of a large company."

And yeah, I know that these people don't get there overnight. Doesn't stop me looking over the fence though.

But we live frugally. We're not in a McMansion, we drive average cars, have some nice things, but not a collector of nice things. I used to not care when I saw people driving around in expensive cars. But nowadays, if I'm being honest, if my brother were to pull up in a Mercedes I wouldn't be thinking "I'm happy you found success"

I hate feeling that way. I feel like a bad person.

I'm content with a smaller house and non fancy car when nobody else has one. I'm frugal by nature but I'm starting to want the bigger house and the fancy car only for the reason of peacocking. And not peacocking for any reason other than to give the illusion of success. But I don't want to give up the financial stability. Keeping up with the Jonses right? Simple concept. Not quite so simple to live through.

It's hard to try to capture the emotion in words so I'm doing my best.

Being happy is never simple in practice, itís just the concepts behind it that are simple.

I read through your post carefully, and I still maintain that the way you are processing your history is because of how you choose to process it now, not actually because of your past.

That might sound counter intuitive, but speaking as someone who has had a rather insane life and had a lot of great quality therapy along the way. My past experiences donít dictate how I react to anything. They certainly influence how I experience the world, but how I react to it is 100% my choice. I used to react differently and thought it was *because* of my past. Nope, I still have the same past, I just react differently now.

If you want to feel and react a certain way but find yourself continuing to feel and react in ways that you arenít happy with, then maybe itís time to go back to therapy and continue learning just how much power you can actually have over your own state of mind.

Iíve been there with ďneedingĒ to be #1, terrified of failing, competitive with everyone and feeling personally threatened by otherís success. Frig, I gained 65lbs during the worst of it. Iím not judging you or glibly implying that itís easy, but I am saying that it is possible and highly rewarding to let that shit go.

Once you sort your shit out and feel confident in your ability to make the right choices for yourself, the choices that other people make for themselves will feel utterly irrelevant to you and have no impact on your sense of value.

I come back to my original point now.
Itís time to take a long hard look at why you arenít finding satisfaction in your own success as defined by your own metrics, determined by your own priorities. If you are the only person setting the definition of your own success, then why is accomplishing it not satisfying you?

I think you need to spend some quality time with yourself figuring out what you really need.
Take it from me, now that I donít react that way, I canít fathom going back to it. Itís miserable, and it doesnít have to be that way.

Malkynn laying down more dope advice, as usual. I've found that reading daily reminders from the Stoics helps me to keep my mind in the right place. Marcus Aurelius' teachings are invaluable, and stopping to contemplate them once or twice a day does wonders for one's sense of gratitude. Also, to Malkynn's words regarding choosing how to react -- Viktor Frankl is the best example of this I've ever come across. Imagine being in a camp during the Holocaust, with everything and everyone dear to you taken away, and coming to the fact that the one thing they can't take from you is your power to choose how you react to your circumstances. Profoundly powerful stuff. I am close to some very, very rich people for whom money isn't really an object, and I love being in their midst and enjoying for a small time the fruits of their success, but I harbor no envy or jealousy at all, because I'm perfectly happy with my life choices. I had the intellect and connections to "go farther" in life if I'd chosen that route, but I didn't, because I knew I'd be miserable doing it. So I settled for "mediocrity" if you will, not in the bad sense of the word, but rather in the sense that beyond some of the very great names you see enshrined on various monuments and read about in history classes, the vast, vast majority of humanity (and their accomplishments) will be long forgotten in just two generations' time, and in time even the great names still with us will likely be forgotten as well, so in reality most of us are mediocre. Impermanence is the only permanent thing in this world. So chasing fame or accolades or validation from others is a fool's errand. It's beyond useless. Most of us have secured the basic needs of Maslow's hierarchy, leaving mostly just self-actualization as our final endeavor in this life. Don't waste the time worrying about others, do what brings you satisfaction, fulfillment, joy and purpose -- whether that be gardening or starting a non-profit, sitting idly on a beach or competing in Ironman triathlons, etc, etc. There is no "right way." Seek only to be honest and ethical in whatever you do, and the rest will take care of itself.

Dicey

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #53 on: July 06, 2018, 12:50:30 PM »
Also, to the wise words already dispensed, I'll add this: I spent the day with a visiting relative (we went on a hike, because Redwoods + free). I sensed the same feelings in him. It raised alarms at the time. Ten years later, he is an alcoholic, his wife has divorced him, and his now-adult children resent him for his resentment of them. Kids don't miss a thing.

Not saying this would happen to you, but maybe a large dose of gratitude for what you've got would serve you well.

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #54 on: July 06, 2018, 12:55:40 PM »
I'll point out is has less to do with jealousy and more to do with vulnerability. I feel more vulnerable if someone has more financial flexibility/power than I do.

I don't know why. Vulnerability, not necessarily jealousy. It feels more like a safety thing.


shuffler

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2018, 02:26:46 PM »
The logic went like this.  If other students are better than me, then I won't be the top pick for work after I graduate. If I'm not a top pick, I won't find a job. No job = no income and no income means that I'll lose the roof over my head. From there, all hell starts to break loose. It's silly, yes. But it was a real emotion at the time.

Vulnerability, not necessarily jealousy. It feels more like a safety thing.

Hey Kork - I know the first quote is from the earlier iteration of your post, but I suspect it's significant to your ongoing concerns.

I had similar feelings once, not in grad school but early in my career, when I had changed roles to lead a team for the first time, and after I got married and my wife was having medical issues (responsibilities!).

The logic went like this:  If I let any task slip then they'd know that I'm no good at being a team lead (imposter!), and then I'll get a bad review, which is the first step towards getting fired, and once fired I'd no longer have health-insurance, so I won't be able to afford the care my wife needs, and the money spent there will force us to sell the house ... and on and on.

It was a real avalanche of catastrophic thinking.

When you lay out the logic of your earlier grad-school thinking, and when you now say that "it's more to do with vulnerability than jealousy", it makes me think that you're experiencing small echos of your earlier catastrophic thinking.

If you feel like you're not keeping pace with your peers, then you probably feel like you're falling behind, not doing something right.  And if you're falling behind then you're vulnerable to ... something.  Maybe getting fired.  Maybe pay cuts.  Maybe being trapped in your job without other options.  Maybe some kind of professional/social ostracization or embarrassment.

If this rings true at all, then I can think of two things that may help.

First would be to spend time thinking about whether or not you're actually "falling behind".  Sure, the few people you've mentioned are outpacing you at the moment, but you're probably not weighing in all the other people you know, or all the other people in your city/state/country you don't know.  Are you actually losing the marathon?  Or are you kicking ass in 3rd place and getting too worked up about runner #1 and runner #2?  Nothing wrong with a bronze medal.  You still made the podium.

Second would be to take stock of your situation without comparing yourself to other people.  As a mustachian somewhere around 20 years into your career, you're probably doing rather well.  Take some time to acknowledge and appreciate the stability you do have in your life.  If the worst happened, how bad would it actually be?  What would you do?  What resources do you have to fall back on?  (Your stash?  Your employability?  Your spouse?)

Good luck!

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #56 on: July 06, 2018, 02:59:58 PM »
Yeah, this could be a case of my diagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) kicking in.

Over time, it's gotten progressively better as we've saved $ and found our footing. My anxiety tends to remain very manageable while the "core" of my life (house, health, money) is in a good state.

And these days we're well on the way to FI and if I were to lose my job, my wife could continue working and I could literally play video games all day and let our stache grow.

But somehow, the success of others and the closer they are to me, the more it affects my vulnerability/uneasiness.

It's weird.


Sun Hat

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #57 on: July 06, 2018, 05:01:44 PM »
Take some solace in knowing that imposter syndrome, jealousy and feelings of vulnerability (whether itís from fear of financial ruin or fearing a loss of relative status) are common enough that many of us can relate to your current discomfort.

itchyfeet

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #58 on: July 06, 2018, 10:58:22 PM »
I just stumbled across this thread. I enjoyed reading about all of your various fears and anxieties.

I am struggling with FIRE a little too.

I am insanely competitive. Stupidly so. I canít stand losing. It must be the way I was raised because my sister is exactly the same.

I have done very well in life. Better than I should have based on intelligence, physical gifts, inherited benefits, schooling, neighborhood where I grew up etc. 

I have married well and am very happy, I have amazing friends, have travelled the world, Competed internationally in sport and built a good career.

I have also steadily built a good stash to the point where I am just about to FIRE. I am 46. I really want to FIRE to pursue a few dreams that are impossible to chase when working 60 hours a week. I have no doubt that our stash will allow us to live comfortably (with some moderation) for the rest of our lives.

But......

I have some very successful friends. They arenít planning on stopping. They are pushing on.

I do fear I am taking my reward too soon.

If I worked 5 more years I would be wealthyish, maybe even top 1-2% wealthy if things go well. If I stop now I will be average. Average income but with 40 hours less work to do than the average person (ok, I will have a little more than the median but Iíll be average amongst my circle).

Some of my friends have fought their way to wealth. Maybe I should keep fighting for a few more years and I could have a Porsche too, or whatever. Thus far in life,  I have been spoiled with such good fortune, and now I am opting for something less conventional. Is it the right choice?? It is no doubt a risky decision to tip my world upside down.

Of course I know life is not about how much stuff you have. I wouldnít be here otherwise. Keeping a scorecard against friends is silly.

Ultimately I think it comes down to being brave enough to chase your own dream and to stay really true to yourself. My Uber competitiveness is just one aspect of my psyche. It needs to be kept in check so that I can really get all I want from this short life. This really, really short life.

Malkynn

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #59 on: July 08, 2018, 05:23:29 AM »
I just stumbled across this thread. I enjoyed reading about all of your various fears and anxieties.

I am struggling with FIRE a little too.

I am insanely competitive. Stupidly so. I canít stand losing. It must be the way I was raised because my sister is exactly the same.

I have done very well in life. Better than I should have based on intelligence, physical gifts, inherited benefits, schooling, neighborhood where I grew up etc. 

I have married well and am very happy, I have amazing friends, have travelled the world, Competed internationally in sport and built a good career.

I have also steadily built a good stash to the point where I am just about to FIRE. I am 46. I really want to FIRE to pursue a few dreams that are impossible to chase when working 60 hours a week. I have no doubt that our stash will allow us to live comfortably (with some moderation) for the rest of our lives.

But......

I have some very successful friends. They arenít planning on stopping. They are pushing on.

I do fear I am taking my reward too soon.

If I worked 5 more years I would be wealthyish, maybe even top 1-2% wealthy if things go well. If I stop now I will be average. Average income but with 40 hours less work to do than the average person (ok, I will have a little more than the median but Iíll be average amongst my circle).

Some of my friends have fought their way to wealth. Maybe I should keep fighting for a few more years and I could have a Porsche too, or whatever. Thus far in life,  I have been spoiled with such good fortune, and now I am opting for something less conventional. Is it the right choice?? It is no doubt a risky decision to tip my world upside down.

Of course I know life is not about how much stuff you have. I wouldnít be here otherwise. Keeping a scorecard against friends is silly.

Ultimately I think it comes down to being brave enough to chase your own dream and to stay really true to yourself. My Uber competitiveness is just one aspect of my psyche. It needs to be kept in check so that I can really get all I want from this short life. This really, really short life.

Lol.

Iím surrounded by rich people, the kind who host charity galas and where one of the main silent auction prizes is a drive in one of their many exotic cars. My colleague just bought a helicopter FFS.
Iím in the same line of work, but I chose to only work part time and will be able to retire in my 40s (after starting in my 30s).

I drive a used Corolla with rolly windows, I buy used clothes/shoes, and my little modest townhouse is super dated and in the sketchiest part of town. 

*Yet* most of my colleagues openly envy me for my part time schedule, my flexibility, my perpetual good mood, my activities and projects outside of work, and Iíve now made a business of advising them on their finances, so theyíre definitively not judging me for my financial behaviour.

If you have friends who would judge you, then you have shit friends.
If you are concerned about the judgements of others beyond those you care about, donít be, they donít really give a shit about your life, so donít worry what they think.
If someone wants to judge you, they will find a reason to judge you. You canít prevent it. Itís not based on the life you have or donít have, itís based on them being judgemental and wanting to judge you.

A warning about being competitive in general:
Being competitive is toxic shit that masks as admirable drive because the outcomes tend to be impressive. Meanwhile, being competitive just means suppressing your own values and drives in order to meet and surpass the values and drives of others. It impresses people and looks good on paper, so it tends to self perpetuate.
However, the more you use the drives of others to determine the course of your own life, the more you train yourself to become deaf to your own inner voice and the less able you are to identify your own needs, which can erode your sense of self and confidence.

Truly confident people arenít competitive because they donít need to use anyone else as a yard stick for their own success. They know themselves, they know what they need to be happy, and they pursue it with near total disregard for how that would be perceived by others.

Being competitive is not *who you are* btw, itís a well established habit and pattern of behaviour that you have *chosen* to accept and reinforce. It is well within your power to change that habit.

Dicey

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #60 on: July 08, 2018, 08:31:53 AM »
What @Malkynn said. What a badass!

Malkynn

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #61 on: July 08, 2018, 08:52:18 AM »
What @Malkynn said. What a badass!

Thatís some high praise coming from you.
Thanks Dicey.

I just know what itís like to live in a mental prison of ones own making and have the world validate it as a good and admirable thing to do. Iíve lived through some crazy shit and nothing has ever scared me as much as finally getting my life to a safe and comfortable place and realizing that I had no clue how to be happy and had cultivated zero habits and skills for living a good life.

And the worst part? It was my own doing, my own fault, and my own responsibility to fix it.

itchyfeet

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2018, 12:18:40 PM »
What @Malkynn said. What a badass!

Thatís some high praise coming from you.
Thanks Dicey.

I just know what itís like to live in a mental prison of ones own making and have the world validate it as a good and admirable thing to do. Iíve lived through some crazy shit and nothing has ever scared me as much as finally getting my life to a safe and comfortable place and realizing that I had no clue how to be happy and had cultivated zero habits and skills for living a good life.

And the worst part? It was my own doing, my own fault, and my own responsibility to fix it.

Yep, I agree with what you are saying too.

Being ďcompetitiveĒ by definition means focusing on others rather than on oneself. Unless you honour truly what is important to yourself you are quite likely to be putting your energies in the wrong place.

That said, my actions and behaviours up to this point mean that I am in a great place to press pause, take a look around and then do some thing differently.

My friends are not judgemental. As you said, they donít care what car I drive, or the size of my home. The problem, if there is one, is with me not them.

Anyways, as I said I enjoyed reading everyone elseís anxieties. I have put mine on paper, and I will spend the first few years Post-Fire retraining my outlook.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2018, 12:33:25 PM »
Yeah, this could be a case of my diagnosed Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) kicking in.

Over time, it's gotten progressively better as we've saved $ and found our footing. My anxiety tends to remain very manageable while the "core" of my life (house, health, money) is in a good state.

And these days we're well on the way to FI and if I were to lose my job, my wife could continue working and I could literally play video games all day and let our stache grow.

But somehow, the success of others and the closer they are to me, the more it affects my vulnerability/uneasiness.

It's weird.

You mention that you have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.  Have you sought counseling for it? 

I have a relative with anxiety issues, and it took me a long time to realize that merely pointing out to him the irrationality of his thoughts and self-talk was not doing any good.  He already knew that stuff was irrational; my pointing it out just made him feel that much worse about it.  It struck me that a lot of the reaction you're getting in this thread is similar; all of it is very well-meaning, of course, but it's basically just people explaining to you why your feelings and thoughts are not rational and why you shouldn't think that way. 

Not that it isn't good to talk about these things with concerned acquaintances, but I think a good counselor who knows how to work with anxiety sufferers would help you much more than we can.  That's what it took to get my relative over the hump to where he could function better.  And amazingly, as common as anxiety issues are, it took a long time for him to find a counselor that really understood anxiety and knew how to work with him.  His version of anxiety came with substance abuse as a symptom, and most of the counselors just wanted to focus on the substance abuse issue without addressing the anxiety disorder.  Which really did more harm than good.  So I guess my advice there would be if you don't like the first (or second, or third) counselor, keep trying until you find one that helps.

Bartleby_the_Scrivener

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #64 on: July 08, 2018, 07:31:58 PM »
It comes down to what you want in life.  I'm working towards being less reliant on an income, simply because I'm one hell of a pessimist about western civilization, but also because humans are designed to be outside, in the sun, doing physical labor.  We're happiest doing that, and even happier doing it with other people.

+1

@kork, you might consider deleting your social media accounts. I did that six or seven years ago and don't regret it for an instant.

chasesfish

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #65 on: July 08, 2018, 08:24:17 PM »
Peerís Success?  It hurts and I canít help it, especially when I see peers not objectively as good as I am being promoted.  On the good side, I can push for the promotion and have FU money if they retaliate, but I really shouldnít care.  Often the title/promotion is about respect for the work youíve done. 

Iíll quote something Dell Curry said to his son when Steph entered the NBA:  ďnever count another manís moneyĒ. It should be that way with professional accomplishments too

snapperdude

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #66 on: July 09, 2018, 08:48:59 PM »

"Like a sucker" is more of a verb to describe the difference of being committed unconditionally vs. having the ability to flutter about.  There was nothing negative intended about it except for commitment. Just bellyaching as you described.  For example, I'd rather my time be spent planning a vacation than dealing with public school teachers and the various, unforeseen conversations that can arise simply from being an involved parent. I thought I was done with algebra when I WAS DONE school.  But nope, it's back in all its glory! Algebra or vacation thinking...   Only so much time to go around.

Well, now you just sound like a whiney little shit. By the way, it sound like your brother doesn't have anything to show for his efforts but some memories. No money saved after all that? What a loser.

MOD EDIT: Please read the forum rules.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 07:04:03 AM by arebelspy »

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #67 on: July 10, 2018, 09:36:08 AM »
Well, now you just sound like a whiney little shit. By the way, it sound like your brother doesn't have anything to show for his efforts but some memories. No money saved after all that? What a loser.

All great advice and insight - Thanks everyone (except ^ this guy)

My brother is creating memories, nothing wrong with that. I don't criticize him for his choices or actions.  It's just putting me under MY OWN looking glass. This has nothing to do with him. His choices are his own.

Getting back to the grown-up conversation, I've been reflecting on why there may be bother around this and why I may have the feeling.  Perhaps it's because by brother is doing the things that I'd like to be doing? I'm not living his life, only seeing the "highlight reel" of is daily dealings.

As I get closer to FI, I find myself thinking "what will I be doing with my time?" and I've thought long and hard about "fun jobs" or "menial labour."  But at a personality level, could I do something that is valued low in exchange for income? Could I "dig dirt" or work as a barista knowing that my my exchange for time for something less stressful was actually worth it?

If I find my passion that I'd be willing to exchange my time for with no income, then perhaps, but as it sits right now, my passion is striving towards FI and then deciding what to do with the time.

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #68 on: July 10, 2018, 10:47:31 AM »
Once you sort your shit out and feel confident in your ability to make the right choices for yourself, the choices that other people make for themselves will feel utterly irrelevant to you and have no impact on your sense of value.

I come back to my original point now.
Itís time to take a long hard look at why you arenít finding satisfaction in your own success as defined by your own metrics, determined by your own priorities. If you are the only person setting the definition of your own success, then why is accomplishing it not satisfying you?

I think you need to spend some quality time with yourself figuring out what you really need.
Take it from me, now that I donít react that way, I canít fathom going back to it. Itís miserable, and it doesnít have to be that way.

Just re-read the entire thread and I'm at this point. Not finding satisfaction. I feel almost like my value is based on my success and financial status and not my actual thoughts. "The messenger in the message" sortof thing.

I really don't want to do therapy again because it's $ out of pocket and my previous experiences have been questionable in terms of success. I'd rather see if I can figure it out on my own.  I feel like I'm close to a breakthrough.  Just need that "nudge" to have an epiphany.

By understanding the fulfillment curve and value and appreciation for the material stuff, I'm okay with that.  But inside I feel that even though I believe something to be true, I feel a nagging "yeah, that's what poor people say, you really should buy that $15k ATV without a care in the world for money and take it for a spin to see how much fun it really is!"

simonsez

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #69 on: July 10, 2018, 12:55:45 PM »
It comes down to what you want in life.  I'm working towards being less reliant on an income, simply because I'm one hell of a pessimist about western civilization, but also because humans are designed to be outside, in the sun, doing physical labor.  We're happiest doing that, and even happier doing it with other people.

+1

@kork, you might consider deleting your social media accounts. I did that six or seven years ago and don't regret it for an instant.
You don't consider this forum a medium in which you are socializing with others?

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #70 on: July 10, 2018, 01:01:12 PM »
It comes down to what you want in life.  I'm working towards being less reliant on an income, simply because I'm one hell of a pessimist about western civilization, but also because humans are designed to be outside, in the sun, doing physical labor.  We're happiest doing that, and even happier doing it with other people.

+1

@kork, you might consider deleting your social media accounts. I did that six or seven years ago and don't regret it for an instant.
You don't consider this forum a medium in which you are socializing with others?

I can understand the idea.  Everyone posting their own highlight reel on Facebook for you to passively absorb. If 5% of your 200 friends are on vacation at any one time, it'll look like people are on vacation all the time!  Family pics!  Smiling kids! "Happy birthday to the most loving husband in the world..." messages.

Intelligently, it's a BS highlight reel that is in no way the same as reality...  But "what if" just "maybe" that person is as happy as they're letting on they are!  Newsflash!  Chances are, the ones who are happiest aren't posting!  But... What if?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 01:03:06 PM by kork »

simonsez

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #71 on: July 10, 2018, 03:18:34 PM »
It comes down to what you want in life.  I'm working towards being less reliant on an income, simply because I'm one hell of a pessimist about western civilization, but also because humans are designed to be outside, in the sun, doing physical labor.  We're happiest doing that, and even happier doing it with other people.

+1

@kork, you might consider deleting your social media accounts. I did that six or seven years ago and don't regret it for an instant.
You don't consider this forum a medium in which you are socializing with others?

I can understand the idea.  Everyone posting their own highlight reel on Facebook for you to passively absorb. If 5% of your 200 friends are on vacation at any one time, it'll look like people are on vacation all the time!  Family pics!  Smiling kids! "Happy birthday to the most loving husband in the world..." messages.

Intelligently, it's a BS highlight reel that is in no way the same as reality...  But "what if" just "maybe" that person is as happy as they're letting on they are!  Newsflash!  Chances are, the ones who are happiest aren't posting!  But... What if?
To each their own, of course.  I just think a forum like this one IS social media as are any other websites in which you engage with people be it pictures, video, or with words.  To delete a facebook account and thinking of that as your only social media presence while still engaging with others online elsewhere seems silly to me.  I'm not saying going off social media is inherently good or bad, I just think it's weird when people say that they're deleting "social media" on a different social media site. 

Sure, if reducing your online presence would do you good, do it.  Maybe you could benefit from my dad's dinner "advice", "Worry about what's on your plate."

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #72 on: July 10, 2018, 03:48:19 PM »
It comes down to what you want in life.  I'm working towards being less reliant on an income, simply because I'm one hell of a pessimist about western civilization, but also because humans are designed to be outside, in the sun, doing physical labor.  We're happiest doing that, and even happier doing it with other people.

+1

@kork, you might consider deleting your social media accounts. I did that six or seven years ago and don't regret it for an instant.
You don't consider this forum a medium in which you are socializing with others?

I can understand the idea.  Everyone posting their own highlight reel on Facebook for you to passively absorb. If 5% of your 200 friends are on vacation at any one time, it'll look like people are on vacation all the time!  Family pics!  Smiling kids! "Happy birthday to the most loving husband in the world..." messages.

Intelligently, it's a BS highlight reel that is in no way the same as reality...  But "what if" just "maybe" that person is as happy as they're letting on they are!  Newsflash!  Chances are, the ones who are happiest aren't posting!  But... What if?
To each their own, of course.  I just think a forum like this one IS social media as are any other websites in which you engage with people be it pictures, video, or with words.  To delete a facebook account and thinking of that as your only social media presence while still engaging with others online elsewhere seems silly to me.  I'm not saying going off social media is inherently good or bad, I just think it's weird when people say that they're deleting "social media" on a different social media site. 

Sure, if reducing your online presence would do you good, do it.  Maybe you could benefit from my dad's dinner "advice", "Worry about what's on your plate."

I'm personally not ready to delete my accounts, but I understand how it makes it easy to peer into other people's lives. That said, I did make a plan that whenever I was about to "go to Facebook" that I'd redirect myself elsewhere.  It's just such a habit now!  MUST RESIST!

I see this forum as a place where people have common interests and goals.  Facebook is the eternal "Look at me" and "listen to my political views" platform.

Bartleby_the_Scrivener

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #73 on: July 10, 2018, 08:26:50 PM »
To each their own, of course.  I just think a forum like this one IS social media as are any other websites in which you engage with people be it pictures, video, or with words.  To delete a facebook account and thinking of that as your only social media presence while still engaging with others online elsewhere seems silly to me.  I'm not saying going off social media is inherently good or bad, I just think it's weird when people say that they're deleting "social media" on a different social media site. 

Sure, if reducing your online presence would do you good, do it.  Maybe you could benefit from my dad's dinner "advice", "Worry about what's on your plate."

I'm not sure an anonymous profile on a forum is the same thing as a Facebook account, especially in the context of the thread.

Dicey

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #74 on: July 10, 2018, 09:01:32 PM »
To each their own, of course.  I just think a forum like this one IS social media as are any other websites in which you engage with people be it pictures, video, or with words.  To delete a facebook account and thinking of that as your only social media presence while still engaging with others online elsewhere seems silly to me.  I'm not saying going off social media is inherently good or bad, I just think it's weird when people say that they're deleting "social media" on a different social media site. 

Sure, if reducing your online presence would do you good, do it.  Maybe you could benefit from my dad's dinner "advice", "Worry about what's on your plate."

I'm not sure an anonymous profile on a forum is the same thing as a Facebook account, especially in the context of the thread.
A-fucking-men! Some of us are actually here trying to help others. Don't see much of that happening on FB. Oh wait, I don't do FB. I'm only saying that because of all the complaints I read about on those other forum threads like this one:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/overheard-on-facebook/

Five years old, 153 pages long and still going strong. Gotta love it! (But not enough to join, lol.)

Villanelle

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #75 on: July 11, 2018, 01:35:22 AM »
To each their own, of course.  I just think a forum like this one IS social media as are any other websites in which you engage with people be it pictures, video, or with words.  To delete a facebook account and thinking of that as your only social media presence while still engaging with others online elsewhere seems silly to me.  I'm not saying going off social media is inherently good or bad, I just think it's weird when people say that they're deleting "social media" on a different social media site. 

Sure, if reducing your online presence would do you good, do it.  Maybe you could benefit from my dad's dinner "advice", "Worry about what's on your plate."

I'm not sure an anonymous profile on a forum is the same thing as a Facebook account, especially in the context of the thread.
A-fucking-men! Some of us are actually here trying to help others. Don't see much of that happening on FB. Oh wait, I don't do FB. I'm only saying that because of all the complaints I read about on those other forum threads like this one:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/overheard-on-facebook/

Five years old, 153 pages long and still going strong. Gotta love it! (But not enough to join, lol.)
Meh.  I think "Facebook is evil" is about the same as "credit cards are evil".  It depends entirely on how you use them.  I intentionally kept my FB friends list very small.  While many people seem to pride themselves on how many friends they have, my goal has always been to try to keep people away, to the extent that I had a completely fake name for a while.  (I felt a need to change this due to a role I was taking on, but once that is over, I will likely start an entirely new account with another fake name and only friend request the people about whom I really and truly care, and the other account--with my real name--will serve as the place I send people who ask to friend me but who I don't really want in the true inner circle.)  Anyway, I absolutely see people on my account helping each other with information, resources (someone recently posted that her very low-income friend was looking for a room to stay in or rent for very cheap, and within a few days, the extended network had found a free room, for example), positivity, and support. 

The complaints one reads about Facebook are about the same as the complaints one hears about credit cards.  Certainly, if used certain ways, they can both be negative things, and some people aren't wired to be able to use them differently and therefore should absolutely avoid them (either FB or CCs).  But there is a way of carefully selecting friends (and or hiding people one might feel obligated to friend for some reason but whose posts one doesn't want to see) and watching what one posts oneself that absolutely allows Facebook to be productive and positive. 

Malkynn

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #76 on: July 11, 2018, 06:43:13 AM »
To each their own, of course.  I just think a forum like this one IS social media as are any other websites in which you engage with people be it pictures, video, or with words.  To delete a facebook account and thinking of that as your only social media presence while still engaging with others online elsewhere seems silly to me.  I'm not saying going off social media is inherently good or bad, I just think it's weird when people say that they're deleting "social media" on a different social media site. 

Sure, if reducing your online presence would do you good, do it.  Maybe you could benefit from my dad's dinner "advice", "Worry about what's on your plate."

I'm not sure an anonymous profile on a forum is the same thing as a Facebook account, especially in the context of the thread.
A-fucking-men! Some of us are actually here trying to help others. Don't see much of that happening on FB. Oh wait, I don't do FB. I'm only saying that because of all the complaints I read about on those other forum threads like this one:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/overheard-on-facebook/

Five years old, 153 pages long and still going strong. Gotta love it! (But not enough to join, lol.)
Meh.  I think "Facebook is evil" is about the same as "credit cards are evil".  It depends entirely on how you use them.  I intentionally kept my FB friends list very small.  While many people seem to pride themselves on how many friends they have, my goal has always been to try to keep people away, to the extent that I had a completely fake name for a while.  (I felt a need to change this due to a role I was taking on, but once that is over, I will likely start an entirely new account with another fake name and only friend request the people about whom I really and truly care, and the other account--with my real name--will serve as the place I send people who ask to friend me but who I don't really want in the true inner circle.)  Anyway, I absolutely see people on my account helping each other with information, resources (someone recently posted that her very low-income friend was looking for a room to stay in or rent for very cheap, and within a few days, the extended network had found a free room, for example), positivity, and support. 

The complaints one reads about Facebook are about the same as the complaints one hears about credit cards.  Certainly, if used certain ways, they can both be negative things, and some people aren't wired to be able to use them differently and therefore should absolutely avoid them (either FB or CCs).  But there is a way of carefully selecting friends (and or hiding people one might feel obligated to friend for some reason but whose posts one doesn't want to see) and watching what one posts oneself that absolutely allows Facebook to be productive and positive.

Agreed.

My Facebook is pretty awesome.
If someone doesnít provide awesome content, I delete or unfollow them.
Most of my FB contacts post interesting, insightful, funny, entertaining, thought provoking stuff.

Awesome people make for an awesome FB experience.
I learn so much from my FB contacts on a daily basis.

simonsez

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #77 on: July 11, 2018, 10:10:54 AM »
To each their own, of course.  I just think a forum like this one IS social media as are any other websites in which you engage with people be it pictures, video, or with words.  To delete a facebook account and thinking of that as your only social media presence while still engaging with others online elsewhere seems silly to me.  I'm not saying going off social media is inherently good or bad, I just think it's weird when people say that they're deleting "social media" on a different social media site. 

Sure, if reducing your online presence would do you good, do it.  Maybe you could benefit from my dad's dinner "advice", "Worry about what's on your plate."

I'm not sure an anonymous profile on a forum is the same thing as a Facebook account, especially in the context of the thread.
A-fucking-men! Some of us are actually here trying to help others. Don't see much of that happening on FB. Oh wait, I don't do FB. I'm only saying that because of all the complaints I read about on those other forum threads like this one:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/overheard-on-facebook/

Five years old, 153 pages long and still going strong. Gotta love it! (But not enough to join, lol.)
FB is what you make it, as are many things.  FB is generally a positive experience for me.  If it isn't for you, that's fine but the website has a TEN figure usage.  Obviously a good chunk of humans on the planet are getting some type of utility from it.  I actually learned about MMM via FB from an old co-worker and have been PM'd about personal finance on several occasions in addition to many other positive interactions that were catalyzed/facilitated by FB that are outside the normal scope of posts that only your circle of family and friends care about.

Posts about FB also suffer from selection bias - of course there is outrageous, hurtful, wasteful, unnecessary stuff that gets shared.  I mean, there are over 2 billion people that logged on in the past month, there will be something.  If schadenfreude is your thing, FB will keep you entertained even as an outsider no doubt. 

Side note: can you imagine how boring it would be if there was a MMM forum topic dedicated to "Can you believe this person on FB shared a picture of their dog with their friends?" or "How dare this person talk about what their favorite movie is!".  It's mainly innocent, low-key, and not too private.  Thus, selection bias.

There is plenty of comparing that goes on this site that might make some envious of other's ability to reach FIRE and will just lurk or post minimally.  And keep in mind there isn't a way to un-follow or defriend certain posters, you can just try to click on articles that might only interest you.  Now, for the most part it is anonymous so it's a degree or three removed from a co-worker but I'm sure some feel intimidated in some manner by "peer poster success".  Or someone might not be bothered at all and will spill thousands of posts about their lives into journal pages and/or pick and choose what they read and not even think of other's lives.

FB and the MMM forum are obviously different, I never claimed they were the same but there is human engagement with one another.  So, if the OP has a hard time handling peer success and would also benefit from reducing/eliminating FB usage, maybe they'd benefit from a MMM diet as well.  Or, FB/MMM might not even be on OP's radar for thinking about other people and not relevant to the topic at all.  Everyone's "bubble" has a different level of sensitivity.  It isn't on my radar currently to be jealous of peer success in the workplace (but I work with lovable simpletons (-; ), FB friends, or those on here but I could see how comparing the "highlight reel" of FB could have a similar feel to hearing about the accolades of a co-worker or seeing how someone on the Internet in the same field as you makes twice as much.

Facebook behavior is definitely interesting.  I would never tell my wife happy birthday* or happy anniversary* or spew some corny mushy stuff online when she is sitting next to me in real life or engage in political posts (90% of this is due to being a fed) or post about life's problems.  I will have the occasional picture of getting together with family and friends or a picture from a trip or engage in a topic that interests me.  And I enjoy seeing what others are up to.  If some acquaintance thinks that this presence online is somehow a Potemkin village and decide to defriend/un-follow, I can live with that.

*-Now if there was a celebration of people getting together for an event, be it the two of us or a group then a picture online for others that might like to see it could be nice.  Otherwise it's intimate shit I'm not going to post.

Btag84

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #78 on: July 28, 2018, 06:52:29 AM »
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StarBright

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #79 on: July 28, 2018, 07:13:10 AM »
First, I started a great mediation program which teaches you to wish others loving kindness. Essentially, you begin by wishing yourself peace, happiness, and an end to your stress and suffering. Then you wish this upon someone you love. Then you wish this upon someone outside of family, and then ultimately, someone you have ill feelings toward (including jealousy). When you wish that person peace, happiness and an end to his/her suffering there is something magical that happens in your own heart. The jealously begins to fade and you can focus on your own path more clearly.

Secondly, remember that everything in the world is impermanent. What seems like a great accomplishment at this moment will change and eventually fade.

Third, ask yourself, "What are the three most important things I would like to accomplish with my life?" If winning an award is one of them, then OK. If not, then follow your answers because those will make your life feel far more fulfilling.

I was going to post something similar!

I've just recently happened on the concept of Mudita - sympathetic joy.  It has been very helpful for me. Most of the time I've realized that what I am feeling is jealousy for the other's person's happiness, not jealousy for what they actually have. So I am retraining myself to just go with a great big mental "Good for them! How wonderful that they seem so happy!" and then keep working towards what makes me happy. I'm happier when I'm directing happy thoughts to others (funny how that works :))

Just noticed that this is a ZOMBIE threat! Brains . . . !
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 04:09:18 PM by StarBright »

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #80 on: July 30, 2018, 09:14:02 AM »
So more has developed.

The realization, as others have mentioned is that the issue has nothing to do with others.  It has everything to do with myself. I get that.

My Adult Life

[year 1 - 10] - Went to college. Worked hard. Went back for post-grad. Started career, started family. Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary.
[year 11] - Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary.
[year 12] - Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary.
[year 13] - Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary.
[year 14] - Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary.
[year 15] - Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary. Hit Millionaire Net Worth. Woohoo!
[year 16] - Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary.
[year 17] - ?????  Guessing it'll be "Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary."
[year 18] - ?????  Guessing it'll be "Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary."
[year 19] - ?????  Guessing it'll be "Responsible, Worked hard, raised family. Good Salary."
[year 20] - Early/Semi-retirement living off $50-$60k a year of passive income from investments and a paid off house.  Worked tens of thousands of hours to get there.

I've spent my entire life being responsible. I've taken moderate risks which have been good but I haven't bet the farm. I haven't been reckless and I don't know if my excuse is that I have a family, or if it's simply being responsible?

So my life has seemingly been a continual upwards trending boring line graph. Stable home, stable family.

His life has largely represented a scatter graph.

Brothers Adult Life

[year 1- 10] - Went to college, dropped out. Pot head, mooching, partying, etc, broke.
[year 11] - I lend him money. He's broke and living in parents house. Irresponsible.
[year 12] - I lend him money. The next year he gets fired and starts his own company. When he doesn't have work, he lays his employees off and they live on Employment Insurance.
[year 13] - I lend him money. He earns $200k doing construction with a crew. Blows it all. Nothing left. He's just managing the projects and essentially working part-time. Partying, etc. Takes winter off.
[year 14] - Builds a $15 million condo unit for a client and another $10 million condo unit for another. Turns down full-time job offer because he doesn't like the commitment.
[year 15] - Gets one of his billionaire clients to invest millions in a waterfront property to "flip it". Sells his own home and he lives in the boat house on multi-million dollar property while renovating. Agreement is to split the profits with billionaire.
[year 16] - ?????

This upcoming year could be the worst year of his life or it could project him into multi-millionaire status. He's now working with Billionaire's.

He's lazy. He's lucky. He's smart.

Do I fault him? No. Does it make me look at myself under the looking glass?  Yes.

The issue isn't with him, it's with me. But I don't know how to be reckless? I've always thought "Be careful who's advise you buy. For everyone who's successful enough to write a book, there's 1000 others who have done something very similar and lost it all."

The feeling is like Grimey and Homer Simpson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA1RgpYS2IQ


« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 11:06:58 AM by kork »

okits

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #81 on: July 30, 2018, 12:24:36 PM »
kork - you've basically just written that you think you lived your life wrong even though you have stability, a family, and are a millionaire.  Your comparison point is a guy who spent most of his life partying, mooching off others, and is currently living the high life because he hit a big patch of luck.

It sounds like you value the partying and flashy lifestyle more than what you have, and you value risk-taking and instability more than the steady, gradual approach you took.

This thread is eight months old.  Clearly you're persistently struggling with these issues.  Please find an experienced therapist to help you work through them.  For your sake and for your family's sake.  Unless they are utterly self-absorbed, your wife and kids can sense that you are unhappy and dissatisfied with your life, a life that includes them.  They don't deserve to be living with your unhappiness when you can do something about it.  Your wife is a grown up but your kids might think your unhappiness is their fault and be unable to communicate that idea (so they're carrying that around, inside).

My final thought is that the billionaire friends who could make your brother rich could also squash him like a bug.  What will he do if they simply refuse to pay?

marble_faun

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #82 on: July 30, 2018, 01:29:37 PM »
It sounds like you have a great life. You're a millionaire. You have a family. Within a few years you will be able to quit work and dedicate your time to whatever you want. Billions of people the world over would want to be in your shoes.

It's not healthy to compare yourself to your brother.  For one thing, we don't know how his story turns out. But even if it turns out well, that's not a bad thing for you.  It just means your family has even more millionaires in it.  And sure, he partied through his 20s... but you'll be kicking back (in whatever way you see fit) in a few years, likely in a longer and more sustainable way.

bisimpson

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #83 on: July 30, 2018, 01:58:43 PM »
I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread. Powerful wordsóthanks for raising the issue. I'm finding that this journey challenges me to consider my relationship to my own things than I would have guessed when I started.

You might not be wrong about your brother, but you also don't want to be Grimey either. He was sort of a jerk and ended up dead.

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #84 on: July 30, 2018, 02:08:28 PM »
kork - you've basically just written that you think you lived your life wrong even though you have stability, a family, and are a millionaire.  Your comparison point is a guy who spent most of his life partying, mooching off others, and is currently living the high life because he hit a big patch of luck.

It sounds like you value the partying and flashy lifestyle more than what you have, and you value risk-taking and instability more than the steady, gradual approach you took.

This thread is eight months old.  Clearly you're persistently struggling with these issues.  Please find an experienced therapist to help you work through them.  For your sake and for your family's sake.  Unless they are utterly self-absorbed, your wife and kids can sense that you are unhappy and dissatisfied with your life, a life that includes them.  They don't deserve to be living with your unhappiness when you can do something about it.  Your wife is a grown up but your kids might think your unhappiness is their fault and be unable to communicate that idea (so they're carrying that around, inside).

My final thought is that the billionaire friends who could make your brother rich could also squash him like a bug.  What will he do if they simply refuse to pay?

I've spent a fair amount of time with therapists over the years, mostly for the anxiety.  I've never found them to be any more helpful than by coming to conclusions myself by using common logic and reasoning skills.

My family life is fine and my kids are good. We spend a lot of time together and everything is very happy. This is not something that occupies my entire day, but seem to occur in spurts.  You'll notice for an 8 month thread there was about 6 months there where things were inactive.  It just recently popped back up.

I'm also not dissatisfied with my life.  I just feel that there could be more. Perhaps it's the "turning 40 soon" itch. Not sure. For the last couple years I thought I found it by the appeal of "MMM" and downsizing, but now I'm wondering...  Is the allure of FIRE brought on by not enjoying what I do?  If that's the case, then I'm sure anyone in these forums seeking to FIRE could be a candidate for therapy.

I've been exposed to the fulfillment curve, to studies showing that $75k income is the sweet spot for happiness, etc.  But OTOH, is that just what poor people say to make themselves feel better? If I'm seeking FIRE, then I'll likely never know because even though I have 25+ more working years if I choose (and health permits)...  But what if???


plainjane

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #85 on: July 31, 2018, 06:32:54 AM »
I've been exposed to the fulfillment curve, to studies showing that $75k income is the sweet spot for happiness, etc.  But OTOH, is that just what poor people say to make themselves feel better? If I'm seeking FIRE, then I'll likely never know because even though I have 25+ more working years if I choose (and health permits)...  But what if???

I think the 75k number is not the sweet spot for happiness. It's the number at which more money doesn't really help because lack of money isn't really the thing bringing you down. It's the point where it's mostly the relationships, personal fulfillment/mission, health, etc. that is driving the overall satisfaction with life.

StarBright

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #86 on: July 31, 2018, 07:26:09 AM »
kork - you've basically just written that you think you lived your life wrong even though you have stability, a family, and are a millionaire.  Your comparison point is a guy who spent most of his life partying, mooching off others, and is currently living the high life because he hit a big patch of luck.

It sounds like you value the partying and flashy lifestyle more than what you have, and you value risk-taking and instability more than the steady, gradual approach you took.

This thread is eight months old.  Clearly you're persistently struggling with these issues.  Please find an experienced therapist to help you work through them.  For your sake and for your family's sake.  Unless they are utterly self-absorbed, your wife and kids can sense that you are unhappy and dissatisfied with your life, a life that includes them.  They don't deserve to be living with your unhappiness when you can do something about it.  Your wife is a grown up but your kids might think your unhappiness is their fault and be unable to communicate that idea (so they're carrying that around, inside).

My final thought is that the billionaire friends who could make your brother rich could also squash him like a bug.  What will he do if they simply refuse to pay?

I've spent a fair amount of time with therapists over the years, mostly for the anxiety.  I've never found them to be any more helpful than by coming to conclusions myself by using common logic and reasoning skills.

My family life is fine and my kids are good. We spend a lot of time together and everything is very happy. This is not something that occupies my entire day, but seem to occur in spurts.  You'll notice for an 8 month thread there was about 6 months there where things were inactive.  It just recently popped back up.

I'm also not dissatisfied with my life.  I just feel that there could be more. Perhaps it's the "turning 40 soon" itch. Not sure. For the last couple years I thought I found it by the appeal of "MMM" and downsizing, but now I'm wondering...  Is the allure of FIRE brought on by not enjoying what I do?  If that's the case, then I'm sure anyone in these forums seeking to FIRE could be a candidate for therapy.

I've been exposed to the fulfillment curve, to studies showing that $75k income is the sweet spot for happiness, etc.  But OTOH, is that just what poor people say to make themselves feel better? If I'm seeking FIRE, then I'll likely never know because even though I have 25+ more working years if I choose (and health permits)...  But what if???

Based on the bolded above - it may be time to just acknowledge that this is your anxiety talking. You know at this point that anxiety is all about the "What if" so can you just accept that this is what it is? You obviously can only choose to go down one path at a time. Those of us "blessed" with whatever evolutionary advantages anxiety was apparently useful for have a big problem with the path unchosen.  On the other hand - if this is becoming intrusive thought territory it might be time to reach out for help again and don't rule out meds (I can't tell you how many friends I have that feel like different people after taking something for general anxiety).

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #87 on: August 01, 2018, 11:48:45 AM »
Thank-you everyone for thoughts and comments.  I think it may be the anxiety getting the better of me. Like one poster said, the evolutionary advantage makes the path not taken much more difficult to accept.  I think there's much truth to that.  The caveat however, is that logic tends to prevail with me. If I can work something out logically and believe it to be true, then I can usually move past something.

PseudoStache

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #88 on: August 01, 2018, 01:42:57 PM »
This is an interesting thread and I feel that I've sort of struggled with a bit of what you have as well.

I started off strongly in my career, probably top 5% of 22/23 year olds at the time... I splurged a bit, but immediately started saving (a little), and then gradually ramped that up, got married, kids, etc.

I'm probably in the top 10% of net worth for my age group today.... but when I look at my salary, I see that I have seriously lost momentum.  Granted, it is still an enviable income to many, but it doesn't hold the same cache or status of yesteryear.

And frankly, I don't think it will improve beyond cost of living adjustments.

My little sister has recently hit her stride, and will likely begin making twice what I do in the coming years, and I'm seeing college grads with 0 years of experience starting off not too far from my current salary.

So what am I doing about it?  Not much.  Don't get me wrong, I'm performing well in my role, but earning significantly more money would mean changing jobs.  I want the next 10-11 years before I FIRE to be "simple."  I'm happy with the status quo and don't plan to change it unless I'm forced to.

When I feel "mediocre" from a salary perspective, what grounds me is the fact that I do have a significant net worth.  With my salary+investment gains I will likely grow my net worth at a faster rate than higher earners - including some well paid physicians and silicon valley peeps.  And even when my sister doubles what I make, there's almost no way that she will be able to catch up.

So while peers/family are now killing it and are becoming more "successful" than me, I am at peace with where I'm at.  I also know that if I lost my job today, I would not HAVE to work ever again.  I don't believe many of my higher earning peers could say the same thing.

I've also acknowledged that there are going to be people out there who are going to get rich off of playing pranks on youTube or hanging out with Billionaires - but I don't consider them my "peers"

I liked this thought exercise that I saw on Facebook the other day.  It basically asked: "If you could live in World "A" where everyone made $25K per year and you made $50K per year, or in World "B" where you made $100K, but everyone else made $200K - and the cost for all items/housing/etc. was the same in either world - which would you choose?"


 
 



kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #89 on: August 02, 2018, 04:58:23 AM »
This is an interesting thread and I feel that I've sort of struggled with a bit of what you have as well.

I started off strongly in my career, probably top 5% of 22/23 year olds at the time... I splurged a bit, but immediately started saving (a little), and then gradually ramped that up, got married, kids, etc.

I'm probably in the top 10% of net worth for my age group today.... but when I look at my salary, I see that I have seriously lost momentum.  Granted, it is still an enviable income to many, but it doesn't hold the same cache or status of yesteryear.

And frankly, I don't think it will improve beyond cost of living adjustments.

My little sister has recently hit her stride, and will likely begin making twice what I do in the coming years, and I'm seeing college grads with 0 years of experience starting off not too far from my current salary.

So what am I doing about it?  Not much.  Don't get me wrong, I'm performing well in my role, but earning significantly more money would mean changing jobs.  I want the next 10-11 years before I FIRE to be "simple."  I'm happy with the status quo and don't plan to change it unless I'm forced to.

I did the exact same thing.  15 years ago I started saving as soon as loans were paid off. I'm in the top 5% for income and net worth is in the top 80%. It's worth mentioning that that 80% is not for my age, but across Canada. Additionally, my net worth is not just in property, but investments whereas most people with a high net worth have done so because of the housing boom over the past 15 years. Buy a house for $300k, now worth $1.5 million.

When I was already in leadership roles, my peers were lower.  I remember one of my colleagues mentioning "wow, director level at 25?" and I had never really thought of it. It's not until I wasn't at (or close to) the top did it start weighing on me a bit.

Then I started a family and less energy went to career.  Instead, it focused on time with them. Rather than speaking at conferences, I was speaking at the dinner table, lol.

And that's okay.

For whatever reason, over the past couple days I feel much better and I think it comes from the confirmation that money and success is fleeting. Too much is a bad think. We think we want it,  society tells us we want it, but in the end, it's a game of never quite having enough for many. The more you have, the more you want. In my brothers case, he places his value on his outward appearance of success, not the content of his character. He thinks more money will make him a better "catch" for a good mate and that these successes will make him more desirable.  And hey, it might do that but at what cost?  I'm content knowing that my relationship with my wife started when I had nothing and it would remain strong if we went back to having nothing.

I know I'm rich in nearly every sense of the word.  Income, net worth, health, family... But there's just something about the allure of "what's the grass like over there"? There's definitely a FOMO influence here. Brother brushing shoulders with uber rich. What opportunities present themselves by saying "my buddy, Mr. Tesla" for example... etc...

And by hearing stories from others here who have BTDT with the stupid high incomes and brushing shoulders with the financial elites but have chosen a different path are most helpful.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 05:08:26 AM by kork »

jlcnuke

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #90 on: August 02, 2018, 07:11:29 AM »
I have friends that have massive mortgages on their McMansions, lake-boats that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, upper 5-low 6-figure cars etc, paying for their kids to do every expensive thing they decide to try out, with all the associated trappings you could think of for such a lifestyle (clothes, food, etc).

I have friends that live in apartments or trailers and drive cars that cost less than $1k.

I don't compare myself to them. Their priorities in life are different than mine. What makes them happy is different than what makes me happy.  While FIRE is MY goal, there's nothing inherently noble about it that makes me a better person for pursuing FIRE over the person paying their bills and not saving enough to ever consider FIRE. For the same income, they'll have a more lavish lifestyle in some way or another, but that doesn't mean they're more or less happy than I am.

I have friends that have climbed the corporate ladder and I have no doubt I could be a VP or director of a company by now had I chosen to pursue that path, but it would have required sacrifices I wasn't willing to make. Sure, I'm missing out on some monetary compensation as a result, and maybe even missing out on higher professional satisfaction, but so what? That's the choices I made and I'm happy with my life as it is. If I wasn't happy with my life then I'd make a change. The only change I can imagine which would bring a real increase in happiness would be having adequate finances to stop working and keep up the rest of my life, so I'm working towards making that change a possibility.

Unless someone else's actions, awards, recognition, etc, result in a negative impact on my goals I have no reason to feel anything but happy for them.

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Arbitrage

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #92 on: August 02, 2018, 08:57:09 AM »
Most of my peers are similarly or less successful.  Sure, some are doing better financially, working for tech companies or VC firms, making big bucks in the Bay Area, but we're not worlds different, as I've been reasonably successful myself.  I had an interview for an upper-management level job that I had to turn down recently due to family being a higher priority, so I know that I could go down that path if I really wanted to.

One exception is a good friend of mine whom we see on a regular basis.  We (group of friends/families) were all in similar places financially, but he got a job working for a hedge fund, and now is in a managerial position there.  Avalanche of cash.  They mostly don't flaunt their wealth in front of us (we're aware of the frequent international first-class travel, constant home renovations, nannies/housekeepers/gardeners, nicer cars, occasional fancy events without us), but I did have a hard time for a few weeks...ok, maybe months...when I first discovered the magnitude of money they were now dealing with. 

I've mostly recovered from that jealousy.  I admit that I occasionally think it'd be nice if they were a bit more generous with their wealth, as they've never offered anything more than a straight split on all shared costs (vacations/restaurants/etc), but recognize that they have no obligation to do so. 

kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #93 on: August 03, 2018, 06:23:30 AM »
How did you get over the occasional fancy events?  Was there a FOMO effect for you or did you not care?

Arbitrage

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #94 on: August 03, 2018, 08:05:41 AM »
How did you get over the occasional fancy events?  Was there a FOMO effect for you or did you not care?

Some of the fancy events were things we weren't invited to anyway, but just heard about afterward (wow, this party was amazing, at some $20 million house by the beach, etc.).  Revealed some of their hedonic adaptation..."we thought we had made it, but then we saw XXX and realized we still have a way to go."  This is from people who increased their income by 20x in the past few years (over an upper middle class income), already have financial security for life for themselves and their kids, and want for nothing.  Personally, I didn't really care too much, since I have never had an interest in buying an estate like that.

Some of the fancy events we were invited to and decided to turn down.  Out of our price range.  Maybe a wee bit of angst - not at missing the fancy event, but at missing the experience with our friends.  These are some of the examples where I think it would be nice of our rich friends to offer/share their wealth a bit - if they want to have fun with friends doing things that are unreasonably expensive for a non-spendy family, they could certainly offer; the amount would be trivial for them to pick up.  Of course, we do have some spendier friends who are around our income level who will spend that money, so we end up being the cheap ones out.

Malkynn

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #95 on: August 03, 2018, 09:10:23 AM »
How did you get over the occasional fancy events?  Was there a FOMO effect for you or did you not care?

LOL, noooooo, not in my case.

"Fancy" is seriously overrated.
That's not coming from a place of jealousy, envy, wanting to be okay with my own situation, or anything like that. That comes from having experienced A LOT of extreme luxury and realizing that it's kind of "m'eh."
Luxury is only really exciting when you can't afford it and someone else is paying for it. Then it feels rich, sumptuous, luxurious, and satisfying. When you are the one paying for it, it feels disproportionately expensive for the actual return, kind of lame, and honestly tedious.

I remember the first time I was invited to a professional dinner at a private club. I was a newly graduated, broke student with a brand new big job, and it felt like I had "made it" and the place felt so lush. Well, now I host professional dinners at the same private club and it all feels stuffy and kind of silly.

Eventually, displays of wealth become self evident as just that: displays. The experiences aren't actually that much better, they just signal to others that you have the means to spend on them. You pay this ENORMOUS premium to be perceived as wealthy. It's no different than any of the spendy bullshit at any socioeconomic class level. It's the same stupid game with a bigger price tag, and it's just as boring.

I make much less than my colleagues and I'm about to voluntarily make even less. Unlike PPs, I have no net worth to speak of, so I can't/don't console myself with anything in terms of comparing myself to other. I also genuinely don't care. It really doesn't matter in any way, shape, or form what others do with their finances. It has absolutely no impact on my financial reality. I make the decisions that are uniquely right for me and DGAF what decisions others make.

I am absolutely SURROUNDED by people who choose to make A LOT more than I do, and I wouldn't trade positions with them in a million years. The two different owners I work for are worth infinitely more than I am and earn much more because they work 2-3 times as much. On a nearly daily basis they say things like "you really have it figured out" and "man, I wish I had your job/life."
They say this because I'm a lot happier and healthier than they are. I shrug and say "different priorities" and then they make excuses as to why they can't make the lifestyle choices I've made, and I proceed to tune them out and be grateful that they haven't because I like taking their money to do the work I enjoy while they shoulder all of the risk and responsibility, and I get to capitalize on their success and reputations.

I voluntarily give up more income than most people could ever dream to make and I feel much richer for it.

I don't have FOMO because I could have all of the things I'm "missing out on" if I chose to prioritize them. Instead, I prioritize the MOST expensive luxuries of all: time and energy. Because time and energy are more valuable to me than boring-ass consumer luxuries, I live what I consider to be an INCREDIBLY rich and luxurious life.

My colleague can have his Maseratis and Ferraris, I'll take my Friday morning lounging on my balcony contemplating what writing/podcast projects I'm going to take on when I drop down to only 2 days a week of my day-job in January. Today I'm going to have a lazy do-nothing day because I can and I'll be grateful that the massive staffing issue that's going on at work right now isn't my problem and never will be. I have more fear of missing out on life balance and happiness than I do of missing out on spending opportunities. I dread weeks where I'm covering for the owner, because I know I'll be over worked, over tired, sore, and my home life will suffer. The added income isn't worth it. The spending opportunities certainly aren't.

Never compare yourself to others who have different priorities, and EVERYONE has different priorities, so it's useless to compare yourself to anyone. If you want to spend more money, then prioritize making and spending more money. If you want more freedom, then don't. It's really that simple. Who gives a fuck what others choose to put more value on. You're not "missing out" on anything when you make choices that are right for *you*.

StarBright

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #96 on: August 03, 2018, 09:45:39 AM »
To add to missing out on fancy events and to build on Malkynn's post.

In my misspent youth I was married to a NYC tech finance bro who was riding high in the early aughts. I myself was raised in a blue collar mid-west family. I lived the high life for about two years. It was fun for about 3 months.  It really isn't what it is cracked up to be.

I admit that I still enjoy "fancy" things. A good spa day, a seven course meal w/ wine paring, a weekend on the Vineyard or in Sag Harbor will always be more appealing to me than DIYing anything or (shudder) camping. But in day to day life, the people who live like that 24/7 are exhausting and living like that is exhausting.

I still let myself have the things I treasure a few times a year and I enjoy them immensely and they feel VERY luxurious. As we get older and closer to FI I also plan on getting myself on things like our museum and opera boards. I like the arts and I really enjoy charities and galas and I'm pretty unapologetic about it. In the meantime - I've volunteered for galas and gotten myself free tickets to other similar events.

So if there is a specific event that you are FOMOing - make it happen for yourself. Want to go to the Hamptons? Plan your next vacation there! Want to spend a thousand on a meal or get table service at the Gilded Lilly? Pick one- do it! Treat your friends. 

But if you do all those things, all the time . . . it just isn't that rewarding.




kork

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #97 on: August 07, 2018, 08:19:19 AM »
How did you get over the occasional fancy events?  Was there a FOMO effect for you or did you not care?

Luxury is only really exciting when you can't afford it and someone else is paying for it. Then it feels rich, sumptuous, luxurious, and satisfying. When you are the one paying for it, it feels disproportionately expensive for the actual return, kind of lame, and honestly tedious.

Fascinating. Sort of ties into the fulfillment curve. Having luxury every so often allows you to enjoy it.  All the time and the excitement is lost.

The thing is that I can afford mostly anything for a period of time at a luxury level. I choose not to because it takes me further away from freedom of FIRE.

I'm just curious if the drive to FIRE is becoming too involving, perhaps unhealthy? I mean, I'm kind of caught in between. Striving towards FIRE and limiting spending while others are coming into their own and enjoying their new found wealth.

For example, I've recently gotten back into riding my bike. I put about 100km on my bike a week riding on trails, roads, etc.  It's a 20 year old banger with signs of rust. No shocks, but it's got a comfy seat. I've got well over 30,000km on it at least.

I was telling my brother all about the joys of riding a month or so ago and he ended up going out and buying a bike. Dropped $1500. He's got a couple "silver spoon" fed friends who went out the same weekend and dropped $3k each on bikes. Now they're all riding trails, breaking chains, etc. They're loving it.

Then my brother goes out this weekend and buys a second road bike. Spendy, spendy, spendy.

As it sits right now, I'm still enjoying my 20 year old silver $300 rusting 21 speed road bike. And I have little desire to upgrade it.  I like my bike. It's kept me safe.  It's never broken down, never broke a chain, never been stranded. I know it well. He wants me to try his bike so I know what the difference is like. I likely will. I hope I don't really like his bike, I want to keep enjoying mine and by not trying a new one, I won't be tempted to upgrade.

If I had endless money, I'd likely buy another bike. But then the fulfillment curve kicks in.  Would I enjoy the new bike less because I barely had to work for it? Do I enjoy my current bike because I have some kind of relationship and memories with it in different places and times of my life? And after 3 months, do I look at my new bike and think "You're not new anymore, but I'm out $1500..."

I dunno?

itchyfeet

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #98 on: August 20, 2018, 10:35:23 PM »
Ha, I can relate.

In 2011, before I had decided to pursue FIRE I purchased a really fancy bike. For the next 3 or 4 years I rode a lot, maybe 8,000-10,000 kms per year. And then I started riding less and less, mainly due to moving overseas, but also because I like sleeping in.

My bike is now 7 years old and sometimes I still get motivated to go for a ride, or even to start training again regularly. Every time I wash the dust off and lube the chain I admire my bike. She is an awesome bike.

I donít regret for one minute making that purchase. My bike has given me hundreds of hours of fun. I met a lot of cool people through cycling, and for a while there I got reasonably fit.

Last year DW and I rode across Europe on rented bikes. It was an awesome trip which would never have happened if I had never started cycling.

Maybe I have ridden 50,000 kms or more on my bike, which cost me about $3,500, so itís now down to 7 cents a kilometre. If I go out and ride an enjoyable 50kms, itís still costing me $3.50 for the privilege so still not the cheapest exercise, but not too bad for a couple of hours of fun.

Iíd say it was a pretty good buy all considered.

chasesfish

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Re: How do you handle peer success when you're looking to FIRE?
« Reply #99 on: August 21, 2018, 08:36:41 AM »
How did you get over the occasional fancy events?  Was there a FOMO effect for you or did you not care?

I'll chime in on this one too..

These events were...intriguing at the beginning.  "Wow, this is interesting".   Most ended up being more exhaustion from being social then enjoyment.

That being said, I enjoyed a select few.  My favorite is still an occasional high cost sporting events with a client that could also be interchangeable as a friend.   I'm not a basketball fan, but seeing Lebron James in a playoff was neat.  So was seeing a Final Four championship game, MLB playoff game, and a couple rounds of NHL playoffs from box seats, all on the company's dime.  An occasional fancy dinner is still nice, although now that I can afford it myself it doesn't have the same appeal. 

Life has thrown me some wrenches, so I don't get to do a lot of this as much as I used to as I speed towards retirement.