Author Topic: Can low income earner be on FIRE?  (Read 3170 times)

Paul der Krake

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #50 on: July 10, 2020, 02:10:33 PM »
The UK is one of the most defeatist places I've ever lived (for a summer internship, later was married to a Brit for a decade). The class system, the anti-immigrant rhetoric, the snobbishness. It's hard on the psyche and can make it difficult to remain positive or see a way out of one's situation.
You know it never truly hit me how much cynicism there is in the UK until I left, especially among the overeducated but underemployed. They give the French a run for their money, who are the reigning world champions of confusing sarcasm for wit.

When I first landed in the US south it took me a while to adjust to everyone being so overtly friendly. I mean, Americans smile as you walk past them in the street, who does that?!

Imma

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2020, 02:34:46 PM »
The UK is one of the most defeatist places I've ever lived (for a summer internship, later was married to a Brit for a decade). The class system, the anti-immigrant rhetoric, the snobbishness. It's hard on the psyche and can make it difficult to remain positive or see a way out of one's situation.
You know it never truly hit me how much cynicism there is in the UK until I left, especially among the overeducated but underemployed. They give the French a run for their money, who are the reigning world champions of confusing sarcasm for wit.

When I first landed in the US south it took me a while to adjust to everyone being so overtly friendly. I mean, Americans smile as you walk past them in the street, who does that?!

Isn't that just how we Europeans are? I've spent quite a lot of time in the UK and people there don't seem more cynical than in the Netherlands, Belgium or France or other European countries. It's funny that the #1 complaint we have about Americans is that they are so friendly, we complain about how fake that all is. I have always liked working with Americans exactly because of that - why be unfriendly for no reason? I actually like the politeness of the Brits too. In my country people will try to run you over with their bike if you don't cross the street fast enough and then shout at you after it happens. I love that Brits say excuse me and are politely cynical. Only in the northern countries I've encountered Europeans who trust their government and society and have a positive world view.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2020, 02:57:51 PM »
The UK is one of the most defeatist places I've ever lived (for a summer internship, later was married to a Brit for a decade). The class system, the anti-immigrant rhetoric, the snobbishness. It's hard on the psyche and can make it difficult to remain positive or see a way out of one's situation.
You know it never truly hit me how much cynicism there is in the UK until I left, especially among the overeducated but underemployed. They give the French a run for their money, who are the reigning world champions of confusing sarcasm for wit.

When I first landed in the US south it took me a while to adjust to everyone being so overtly friendly. I mean, Americans smile as you walk past them in the street, who does that?!

Isn't that just how we Europeans are? I've spent quite a lot of time in the UK and people there don't seem more cynical than in the Netherlands, Belgium or France or other European countries. It's funny that the #1 complaint we have about Americans is that they are so friendly, we complain about how fake that all is. I have always liked working with Americans exactly because of that - why be unfriendly for no reason? I actually like the politeness of the Brits too. In my country people will try to run you over with their bike if you don't cross the street fast enough and then shout at you after it happens. I love that Brits say excuse me and are politely cynical. Only in the northern countries I've encountered Europeans who trust their government and society and have a positive world view.
I think there's a general social pressure to not be seen as naive, and it breeds skepticism and a negative outlook. In Russia it's even more extreme, where smiling for no good reason is associated with being a simpleton, so it seems like they never smile in public.

Sarcasm is easy, I'm guilty of it myself.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 02:59:25 PM by Paul der Krake »

helloyou

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2020, 07:59:10 PM »
@Zikoris I just told my friend in chemistry about your suggestion to do some math tutoring and she said it wouldn't work because she's not qualified and she hasn't done that for a while. She wants ultimately to ascend to a higher paying job and want to start working in data analyse to move into business consultant later on.

However, for now, she needs a job to pay for her rent and would take anything. She applies everywhere and send CV every day. Even asking me for recommendations. I don't think motivation is lacking here, it's really the lack of opportunity. However it's true we're in the middle of a pandemy and a lot of my friends are jobless at the moment.


Also, for many of you who give me encouragement to try saving, I'd just clarify that I'm not a low-income earner. I'm actually close to being FIRE but for most of my friends it's like talking alien language.


Of course it needs motivation and dedication to really want to make money. However most want to do a job they like. They do not want to work just for money. Many are happy working as waiter. And for most when I tell them to go into better paying and easy to find roles such as IT, recruiter, sales, etc. it's usually not what they imagine themself doing. They don't see themself able to do it, and they don't see themself happy if they were to do it, especially they have to put extra effort to get to it.


I think most of my friends just want to enjoy life after work. After a 10h shift in the restaurant, the last thing they want is to do another job or study something else. They want to meet friends and relax. On the weekend they'll go to parties or visit the country. They have plans and don't see the value to work hard most of your life in order to benefit from it when you're old.

I think that's why most people looking for FIRE are high-income earners. Because we already earn more naturally and it's easy for us to save. We don't have to work 2 jobs + weekend in order to save more. We don't have to worry about our next paycheck to pay our rent, we wouldn't have to take a job at any cost if we're jobless, we don't have to make extra sacrifices in order to save money. And we still have time for leisure, time for us, including our evening and weekends off while saving at high rate. But not them.


So I get why I'm talking alien language to them, and why they just see me as a greedy person just thinking about money. They just want to have a happy life and can't imagine themself working day and night to get this extra cash to invest in a very distant future.

Zikoris

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2020, 09:07:28 PM »
@Zikoris I just told my friend in chemistry about your suggestion to do some math tutoring and she said it wouldn't work because she's not qualified and she hasn't done that for a while. She wants ultimately to ascend to a higher paying job and want to start working in data analyse to move into business consultant later on.

However, for now, she needs a job to pay for her rent and would take anything. She applies everywhere and send CV every day. Even asking me for recommendations. I don't think motivation is lacking here, it's really the lack of opportunity. However it's true we're in the middle of a pandemy and a lot of my friends are jobless at the moment.

Unless your education system there is absolute shit, I'm pretty sure someone with a chemistry degree is more than qualified to tutor 13 year olds who are having trouble balancing chemical equations or doing high school level math. I know a lot of math/science majors who do tutoring in some capacity as either a full time or part time job, and they have literally the same qualifications as this person. But this is a really good example of why people like your friend don't get ahead - they come up with every excuse in the book to not try something different, even when what they're doing clearly is an abject failure. The results of her current strategy seem pretty darn abysmal, so why not just burn it all to the ground and do something totally different?

Steeze

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2020, 10:39:23 PM »
Thatís the whole point though- you canít have it both ways. You choose to get off that 10 hour shift and go relax instead of pursuing FIRE. RE takes extra effort and sacrifice. You canít expect RE and not be willing to sacrifice for it.

I was working 2x-3x restaurant and landscaping jobs before I went to college - 80-100 hrs/wk. Then I worked full time after class while in school. I tripled up jobs in the summer. When I got my first engineering job I worked late into the night to prove myself. I studied for my professional license after work and on weekends for months.

I once dreamed of going to college so I could afford to only have one job. I lived in my car and was on food stamps for a while. I got by because of good people who took me on and kept me going. Today I live better than I ever dreamed and will retire by 40 and can easily save 60-70% of my income.

It is possible. But not if you get off your 10hr shift and go relax and enjoy life. You have to be willing to do the things your peers donít want to do. Itís not easy to skip party after party, skip game after game, skip dinner & chores to study. Disappear into multiple jobs and lose sleep for months on end until you just canít take it anymore. Itís a strain on every relationship and the very health of your body and mind. For me though, thatís what it took to get out, but I got out. My friends back home are still getting off work and going to relax and enjoy life.

I donít even think of it as RE - for me, I just think of it as squeezing 40 years of working into 20 years.

Zikoris

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2020, 11:10:38 PM »
Thatís the whole point though- you canít have it both ways. You choose to get off that 10 hour shift and go relax instead of pursuing FIRE. RE takes extra effort and sacrifice. You canít expect RE and not be willing to sacrifice for it.

I was working 2x-3x restaurant and landscaping jobs before I went to college - 80-100 hrs/wk. Then I worked full time after class while in school. I tripled up jobs in the summer. When I got my first engineering job I worked late into the night to prove myself. I studied for my professional license after work and on weekends for months.

I once dreamed of going to college so I could afford to only have one job. I lived in my car and was on food stamps for a while. I got by because of good people who took me on and kept me going. Today I live better than I ever dreamed and will retire by 40 and can easily save 60-70% of my income.

It is possible. But not if you get off your 10hr shift and go relax and enjoy life. You have to be willing to do the things your peers donít want to do. Itís not easy to skip party after party, skip game after game, skip dinner & chores to study. Disappear into multiple jobs and lose sleep for months on end until you just canít take it anymore. Itís a strain on every relationship and the very health of your body and mind. For me though, thatís what it took to get out, but I got out. My friends back home are still getting off work and going to relax and enjoy life.

I donít even think of it as RE - for me, I just think of it as squeezing 40 years of working into 20 years.

Well, technically you can do FIRE without most of that stuff. We're on track for FIRE somewhere around 35 and have never done any of that (work crazy hours, bust our butts, sacrifice, etc). I work a 40 hour week and my boyfriend works about 20-ish. We also easily save 60-70% of our income, but are able to relax and travel a lot as well. So there's definitely such thing as SlackerFIRE, for people who like to take it easy instead of doing the whole work hard thing.

helloyou

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #57 on: July 10, 2020, 11:32:42 PM »
Yes i'm part of the slackerfire as well. I never worked on evening or weekends. I do about 40h/week max and never looked for 2nd job.

I live in coolness but being simple with needs I can save 70% of income which naturally allows for FIRE

BookLoverL

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #58 on: July 11, 2020, 06:24:44 AM »
I myself do some maths tuition as one of the things I do. In the UK you do not need any sort of qualification to be a private tutor (though obviously if you have some that you can write on your advert, you will be more attractive to clients). It did take me a little bit to talk myself into it though, despite having a maths degree, so with your friend it might be that they feel they are either: too rusty on what was on the syllabus; or they know the content but they don't know how to explain it to someone that doesn't immediately get it (and this is important when working with low ability students); or that they don't feel they have the marketing skills to attract clients. All these things are learnable, though. So maybe now that you've suggested the idea they might come around to it in the future.

Much Fishing to Do

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #59 on: July 11, 2020, 06:39:49 AM »

So I got it all wrong. It can be done in 25 years. But it's still terribly long.

So is FIRE not possible for low earning people? The only way she could reach FIRE before very old age would be to increase revenue?

I can't agree with the conclusion here from the stated assumption and results.  Assuming everything said and the results of hitting FI in 25 years, how do we end up talking about FIRE not being possible and "very old age".  Though not at the extreme end, I think retiring at say 48 is a FIRE success story that would astonish the vast majority of people.  Though the fact I'm 48 may be causing me to not accept that as "very old"....

Steeze

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #60 on: July 11, 2020, 07:27:59 AM »
Thatís the whole point though- you canít have it both ways. You choose to get off that 10 hour shift and go relax instead of pursuing FIRE. RE takes extra effort and sacrifice. You canít expect RE and not be willing to sacrifice for it.

I was working 2x-3x restaurant and landscaping jobs before I went to college - 80-100 hrs/wk. Then I worked full time after class while in school. I tripled up jobs in the summer. When I got my first engineering job I worked late into the night to prove myself. I studied for my professional license after work and on weekends for months.

I once dreamed of going to college so I could afford to only have one job. I lived in my car and was on food stamps for a while. I got by because of good people who took me on and kept me going. Today I live better than I ever dreamed and will retire by 40 and can easily save 60-70% of my income.

It is possible. But not if you get off your 10hr shift and go relax and enjoy life. You have to be willing to do the things your peers donít want to do. Itís not easy to skip party after party, skip game after game, skip dinner & chores to study. Disappear into multiple jobs and lose sleep for months on end until you just canít take it anymore. Itís a strain on every relationship and the very health of your body and mind. For me though, thatís what it took to get out, but I got out. My friends back home are still getting off work and going to relax and enjoy life.

I donít even think of it as RE - for me, I just think of it as squeezing 40 years of working into 20 years.

Well, technically you can do FIRE without most of that stuff. We're on track for FIRE somewhere around 35 and have never done any of that (work crazy hours, bust our butts, sacrifice, etc). I work a 40 hour week and my boyfriend works about 20-ish. We also easily save 60-70% of our income, but are able to relax and travel a lot as well. So there's definitely such thing as SlackerFIRE, for people who like to take it easy instead of doing the whole work hard thing.

Yeah not saying you have to obviously, plenty of people donít have to. But for some slice of the population they will have to. That slice is usually the people that think it is impossible.

I come from a low income house in a rural area, most of my friends dropped out of high school and are either alcoholics, drug addicts, or both. Almost no one I grew up with went to college and anyone who did went 100k-150k in debt to do it. Most of those kids are now failing financially too. My parents didnít care about my academics and didnít encourage me to go to colleges due to the costs. They taught me to get a second job and a third one when you have the energy to do so. Skipping school to work extra shifts doesnít help you get scholarships either.

Just trying to illustrate that it isnít always easy for everyone, itís not all slackerFIRE. You read these forums and itís easy to say everyone has a high paying job, everyone is smart, everyone comes from money, everyone had help, etc. then look at your own life and think you have none of that.

If you had bad grades in high school, barely graduated, work minimum wage, and come from a poor family in a depressed area - it can still be done. Donít be a victim of your circumstances, that is the message.

SwordGuy

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #61 on: July 11, 2020, 07:54:46 AM »
What I'm about to relate is based upon 2016 data, but the general truth of it is still intact.   

So, let's suppose the OP's friend, who is saving $6000 a year, has a $0 net worth at this moment.   

In one year, ignoring investment returns, they'll have a net worth of $6000.

Doesn't sound like much, does it?

Where would you guess that would put them on a percentile of household net worth in the USA?

Come on, guess!

Ok, ready to find out?

Spoiler: show
It's the 21.61th percentile.   That's right, a net worth of just $6000 would mean their net worth is better than 1 out of every 5 people they meet in the USA.


Let's look at two years of savings, again ignoring investment returns.  That's just $12,000.   Where would they be on the household net worth percentile range?

Spoiler: show
The 26.46th percentile!   They would have a higher net worth than 1 out of every 4 people they meet in the USA!


They would also have enough money to replace a car or pay for a medical expense or move across country for better job opportunities.




Zikoris

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #62 on: July 11, 2020, 10:32:18 AM »
Just trying to illustrate that it isn’t always easy for everyone, it’s not all slackerFIRE. You read these forums and it’s easy to say everyone has a high paying job, everyone is smart, everyone comes from money, everyone had help, etc. then look at your own life and think you have none of that.

If you had bad grades in high school, barely graduated, work minimum wage, and come from a poor family in a depressed area - it can still be done. Don’t be a victim of your circumstances, that is the message.

For what it's worth, my own situation wasn't too far off of that - no high paying job, no college/training, no help, no rich family. I did have good grades in high school, but I don't remember anybody asking or caring about that after I graduated. I made barely over minimum wage when I started working towards FIRE, and grew up in some really economically depressed areas (which is why when I turned 18 I bought a one way bus ticket somewhere better).

I think the key thing that makes slackerFIRE possible is high intelligence, because you have to be able to take a system that normally involves hard work and basically re-engineer it to be automated and effortless. But I suppose it's a specific type of intelligence - you have to specifically be strong in efficiency, optimization, and systems design.

Though come to think of it, I suppose there would be a way around that - get someone who is good at those things to design a system for you, and then just follow it. That's what my boyfriend did, lol. Level 2 SlackerFIRE.

Rosy

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #63 on: July 11, 2020, 02:37:17 PM »
I see your point guys toward working your ass off to increase income and that skill are transferable and that people can earn more but it's not always the case.
Most of my friends are expats. SO WHAT?
SNIP
 I'll only share example of friends who've been doing similar low page wage for at least 5 years AND have been talking to earn more and change career for years: THERE IS YOUR KEY PROBLEM - TALKING BUT NO ACTION IN OVER 5 YEARS???

1. My veterinarian friend who could only find at best assistance pharmacist job at £8-9/h. He looked around for a while and couldn't find anything. After 7 years trying in the UK he left and planning to take a training to become nurse which would at least give average wage. But really... this is not optimal.
FORGET OPTIMAL - YOU WANT IMPROVEMENT THEN YOU MOVE ON TO THE NEXT STEP - NURSES WITH CERTAIN CERTIFICATIONS EARN CONSIDERABLY MORE. WTH DID HE WAIT 7 YEARS IN THE FIRST PLACE?
SNIP

Maybe its that hard because I live in london and rent is for many of them around 50% of their income. And that's just by having a room which cost about £600/month. That's a lot for someone working in a shop earning £1200/month. Then transport is about £120/month. So if you just add up living cost + travel there isn't much left to be saved.
- ONE LADY IN NY MADE PASTA AT HOME WHEN IT BECAME UNAVAILABLE IN THE STORES AND PEOPLE PICKED IT UP AT HER DOORSTEP IN THE CITY. SHE IS NOW RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESS VIA FACEBOOK OF ALL THINGS.

I actually have a story of one of my friend who studied administration and couldn't find anything (good) in london. So she ended up working in a bakery shop in central london. But because she didn't want to live too far from work she took a SHARED ROOM to be able to get to work under 30min. Can you imagine? Sharing your room with someone just in order to be close to work and making minimum wage?
YES, I CAN - I WOULD CALL IT A SMART MOVE - OPTIMIZING HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION COSTS. BUT I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY SHE WAS UNABLE TO TURN THIS INTO A TRUE ADVANTAGE FOR HER - HOME IN 30 MIN GIVES YOU TIME TO STUDY OR DO A LITTLE SIDE GIG!

It was so hard for her that after years of living like that when she finally found a job as a receptionist (which isn't really paid more) it was a blessing for her and since then she grab on this job and make sure she stays in there. I DO UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS DIFFICULT BUT THIS ALSO TELLS ME THAT SHE GAVE UP. I'VE ACTUALLY PARLAYED A RECEPTIONIST JOB INTO AN ACCOUNTING JOB THROUGH NETWORKING - IT IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO MEET AND TALK WITH PEOPLE:). YOUR PERSONAL LINKED-IN:).

So its not that they don't want or that they're lazy, but life circumstance prevent them to 'ascend' toward a better career.
CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENT "TEMPORARY" OBSTACLES - NOTHING MORE - YOU FIGURE OUT A WAY AROUND.
NOBODY 'ASCENDS' :) - YOU TAKE BABY STEPS AND MAY HAVE TO SACRIFICE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. REMEMBER THIS IS NOT FOREVER.


Of course, there are always some of these odd job like deliveroo cycle where they could earn a bit more (maybe £10-12/h?) but none of them want to do that as this is neither a long term career and its also quite physical/dangerous....
I WAS A MYSTERY SHOPPER FOR A FEW YEARS - I GOT FREE HAIRCUTS, FREE FOOD, TICKETS, GASOLINE, CLOTHING, AND EXTRA INCOME. ODD JOBS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM JUST LIKE LOW WAGE JOBS. I LIKED MYSTERY SHOPS BECAUSE I WAS INDEPENDENT I COULD ACCEPT OR REFUSE ANY JOB AND PLAN MY OWN ROUTE ON THE WAY HOME FROM WORK OR WHILE RUNNING ERRANDS.

So open for ideas if its so easy to increase earnings I could tell my friends if its so easy! - NOTHING WORTH HAVING IS EASY TO COME BY!
EVERY TEN - FIFTY DOLLARS YOU PUT AWAY COUNTS!


Part one of two:).

Rosy

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #64 on: July 11, 2020, 02:46:21 PM »
OK then - let me be perfectly clear. Your "can't do" attitude is sheer and utter BS. None of your stories matter because they are all failures.
Start looking for success stories instead and become inspired and encouraged by them.
Your perspective is skewed:).

I know a lady who makes magnets for Walmart - seasonally, at her kitchen table. $750 x 4 = $3,000. That represents two and a half months worth of income as per your 1200 pound a month income example.
It isn't hard and it isn't rocket science - but in your world it isn't worth it, amirite? That is where you are wrong.
Then you take the next step:
That $3K this year still earns 3.5% interest in a CD - an extra $100 with no work involved at all. It can easily function as an Emergency Fund and during Covid there is no penalty for early withdrawal.

All you need to do is find a way to get to six months' worth of your current income and you increased your income by 50% perhaps more depending on the extra benefits you might find along the way.
I've done inventory and I've done store displays, I've been a mystery shopper and a freelancer, I've visited every car dealership in town because they gave out $50 Visa cards for test drives - took me less than 20 minutes, but it was quick and easy and I was happy to add $300 to my stash.
I've worked online for three months for a measly $1500 dollars - I will not repeat that particular experiment:).
I've sold pictures I took on vacation and saved - sold - traded so much that my trip was free and I came home with an extra thousand bucks.
These days I mostly do a few things online for anywhere to $50 to $600 a month - for fun, I no longer "need" to earn extra. 

It is my opinion that for low(er) income people it truly becomes a lifestyle, optimizing everything becomes second nature.
High-income earners do have it much easier, no argument there.
 
WTH did it take your veterinary friend seven!!! years to realize he needed a different strategy?!
It really doesn't matter what country you live in, well paying professional jobs are not that easy to come by. I know from personal experience that nobody in a foreign country cares a whit about your credentials in another country - you may have to start from zero again, but hey, your smarts and your good education will get you through it all again with flying colors.

I am beginning to think that you and your friends wouldn't recognize an opportunity if it hit them over the head.
The answer is always - go for it anyway.

Life can hit you hard - sometimes you lose everything and have to start over.
It is even less fun when you are older and still in shock or depressed over what horrible things just happened to you.

Try starting from scratch at 48 in another country with nothing but two suitcases, no job, no prospects.
That is an age when it becomes difficult in the western world to find a new job, much less a new career.

I took it as a hint from the universe to pursue a different path. 
Two years later I had a new degree and ran my own consulting business in an entirely different career - one I enjoyed even more.

Expats - age - language whatever has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Believe me, there were plenty of times when I thought I'd never make it.
Perseverance is the key to FI - financial freedom was all I ever wanted.

I had FI once before and lost it all and well, I did again:). Twenty years later I got it all - FI and a comfortable retirement.
I did a ton of little things that other people couldn't be bothered with because I encountered health issues that limited my earning potential. 

I'm sure I am not the only one who found this forum and decided well, this might just help me to improve my finances.
I never imagined it would actually take me all the way to FI once more - I had no expectation of ever building assets again. 

So don't give me this long litany about why it is impossible to FIRE at age 35 - I say hogwash.
We all have our troubles but we also have opportunities if only we were clever enough to recognize them and act upon them.

... really excellent points made by everyone - it shows the diversity of who we are as a group and proves it can be done.
 Just look at Imma in the UK I have nothing but admiration for that girl:).
Zikoris I could never live like you do but you made a success out of it.
Sword Guy is killer - wish I had his math skills.

helloyou

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #65 on: July 11, 2020, 08:21:06 PM »
@Rosy thanks its a very motivational message. I was talking to one of my friend today about looking at companies accounts to understand which ones will succeed and buy their stock for the long term.

She had some interest to buy stock and saw some of her friend making good money and want to do the same.

But I told her its gambling to just buy on rumor and its a perfectly good way to make money but she has to put work into it.

She's been working in a small shop for years and have been talking to do something paying more for a long time.


But when I told her she gotta do analysis to pick stock she said she has a life and that she can't spend her days looking at numbers! She was about to give up!!


So when I looked at your feedback I realised her mindset was wrong and told her that she has to work her ass off to succeed and things can't come to a plate for her!

It was maybe too direct but she's got to realise this is not easy and needs to be dedicated, do some sacrifice to be successful

helloyou

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #66 on: July 11, 2020, 08:36:37 PM »
@SwordGuy yes very good example. I'll use these next time I talk to fire to a friend!! Thanks

@Much Fishing to Do yes retiring before 50 is stil an achievement. But I think for most of them it doesn't worth the sacrifice to achieve that. My friends want to live their life and enjoy their youth. I think it'd be the case for the majority of them actually. Their excuse is to say they can't see themself not working and would be bored lol, so no point to put extra effort to achieve it

Freedomin5

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #67 on: July 11, 2020, 11:58:55 PM »
Buying individual stock is still gambling. Tell her to buy a Vanguard index fund (or the U.K. equivalent).

SKL-HOU

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #68 on: July 12, 2020, 07:10:44 AM »
You say your friends arenít lazy but they absolutely sound lazy. I understand the challenges of immigrant lifestyle but there are plenty of very successful immigrants. If your friends donít want to put in the work to be successful, they will not ďascendĒ anywhere. You think 25 years is too long but the alternative may be never retiring or retiring much later. Having an excuse to every suggestion of why they canít is not the attitude for successful people or people who want to FIRE. Maybe there are legitimate reasons like language barrier for tutoring for example but they can then find a different option instead of giving up. If they are happy with their current situation and donít want to do more, then they just need to come to terms with doing this for a lot longer. Like your friend who waited for 7 years for nursing degree, they may wake up 7 years later and decide they are now ready but they have lost precious time. But at the end of the day, you can only give them guidance, canít decide for them.

 I would avoid being too tangled in their financials like stocks or jobs because people who are in this mindset will blame you later. If that stock ends up doing really well and you stopped your friend from buying it, then it will be your fault that she didnt make more (even though it could also very easily go the other way). If you steer them towards a good job but they end up getting laid off, it will be your fault (in their mind).

Imma

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #69 on: Today at 08:36:58 AM »
@Rosy aww you are too kind! I think your story really shows how important mindset / personal choices are. You did it twice and that's no coincidence. I think having health issues could "help" too, in a way. Of course they limit your earning potential and life choices in general, but I've always known that now is the time to save money because I may not be able to work tomorrow - unlike some of my peers who say they're not going to get serious about retirement until  they are 50 (which is a pretty stupid time to get serious about retirement because A your investment horizon is short and B they and their college age kids will have gotten used to a lavish lifestyle by then and cutting back is really going to hurt) . I've also learned to budget my energy and that's quite similar to budgeting money. Energy is limited and you can't take out loans.

I'm naturally frugal and even as a kid I always wondered why my dad was so stupid with money, buying unnecessary things one week and not having money for bills the next. My mother always found a way to pay the bills in the end, but she worked very hard to support a middle aged toddler with tantrums. I always knew I never wanted to become dependant on a man.

I really admire someone like @Zikoris who figured everything out at such a young age. She's lightyears ahead of me financially even though we're about the same age. My story is more like @Steeze 's story. I knew what I wanted and I tried hard but the first years of adulthood were a challenge. It took me some years to figure out how to spot & grab opportunities. But seriously, tell your friends, the first 10.000 is the hardest part. Every £/Ä/$ after that is a little bit easier than the one before. I know it's a clichť but it's the truth.

@Paul der Krake now I finally know why my Russian friend always looks a bit bored in pictures! I never knew that. She didn't even smile in her graduation picture, it looked more like a passport picture.

Rosy

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Re: Can low income earner be on FIRE?
« Reply #70 on: Today at 01:08:43 PM »
@Imma - agreed, mindset is important.
However, in my case, the health issues almost derailed everything - I was furious and mad at the world!:) Just when I was doing so well FI slid out of my grasp. When I wasn't in pain or depressed I acted out with destructive behaviors which resulted in resignation and debt accumulation to the tune of $16K.
I told myself if I was condemned to days of mysterious pain and no way to ever hold onto my business much less hold a regular job I might as well give up and indulge myself with a gemstone and jewelry collection.
Bad move:) but eventually, I accepted my illness and the consequences and paid off off the debt - no more poor me financial destruction:).

I found MMM looking for help with Mr. R's retirement plans but I was the one who found my tribe and fresh motivation.
It was Sword Guy and a Former Player who helped me realize I needed to set aside emotions and concentrate on the math, it never lies!
They were the catalyst that inspired me to build assets.

Financially, my saving grace in retirement is the pensions I receive. They gave me the freedom to do what I wanted and still build assets if I was careful and optimized the hell out of everything. So the day I "officially" retired I started saving - why not?:).
Who would have thought one could go from barely hoping for $5K in savings to $100K to $200K?+..... It worked!

I am also immensely grateful to my past-self that I held onto a guaranteed, affordable health insurance plan that was part of an annuity benefit. Who would have ever thought this benefit would turn out to become so critical in today's world? I'm on their best plan now, but in the past I struggled to pay for their cheapest plans.

But - due to my age, I didn't want to "just" build assets, when I still had a long list of goals to accomplish. YOLO - Balance.
At that time I had just turned 65 and Mr. R. aged 52.
It was important to me to enjoy life and do a whole series of things while I could, a 3-mo bucket list trip to Europe was just one of them. I made it my mission to check off a long list, one by one, incl things like helping family and friends, car(s), shoring up EFs and elective surgeries... boom - done.
Suddenly, I had even more money to plow into my assets - imagine that, it felt a little weird tbh.

It was satisfying and gave me peace. It took away that feeling of failure I carried with me for having had it all and losing it all.
I will probably never be my definition of rich, but I am finally FI again and secure in retirement.

Life is good, I have a lot to be grateful for, most of all for finding Mr. R. around the time I went back to university at age 50.
He supports all my crazy endeavors and is as steady and pragmatic as they come.
I got lucky:).

I'm definitely not who MMM had in mind when he devised his plan for reaching FI on steroids via a high salary-double income in privileged circumstances.
But hey, here we all are anyway making it all happen despite our differences in circumstances.

Fire isn't a new idea at all. A man or woman of independent means has always been something to aspire to - in every century.