Author Topic: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...  (Read 49240 times)

grantmeaname

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Hey everybody! The MMM forums are full of smart, well-spoken people - but of course you already knew that because you're smart and well-spoken yourself! Every once in a while, I run across a brilliant post and gain some serious insight about life. I bet you do too!

If you see something really brilliant, quote it here in appreciation to the post's author and soon this thread will be like a TrueReddit of the MMM forums - a collection of some of the best of the best.

(The forum software is really quite smart. If you quote the post in the thread it's in, and then bring that whole set of text over here, it'll maintain a reference to the original thread and conversation. Just hit the quote button, copy the whole post, and drop it in your response to this thread.)

Thanks for being the best and brightest forum community I've ever seen!

(If you want to see my other project for making the forums an even better place, check out the blogroll here!)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 12:58:16 PM by grantmeaname »

grantmeaname

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 05:29:03 PM »
I'll start. In a thread in which a parent worries about her daughter's susceptibility to advertising, MrsPete drops this gem:

What I'm hearing is "teachable moments". 

First, while it's tempting to shield your child from advertising, I think it's a mistake to do so completely.  Instead, start looking at ads together and discuss with her what they're trying to make you believe.  We're ALL influenced by ads, so it's right to help her, to "walk her through it" and help her see what they're promising vs. what the item can deliver.  This is a skill that she needs to develop, and she probably needs your help to get started viewing ads with a critical eye. 

She can probably "see" the truth in ads for products that don't appeal to her /aren't targeted at her.  Cigarette ads would be a good starting place.  Show her a picture of the Marlboro man in his cowboy duds.  Ask her what the ad is promising:  If you use this product, you'll be good looking, tough, independent, strong, sexy.  She's old enough to see that this picture appeals to men -- even if they don't want to be cowboys personally.  Then ask her what the product actually delivers.  She should see a big difference.  Then show her a product for some sort of convenience food:  It'll probably show a woman surrounded by a family sitting down at the table with appreciative looks on their faces.  Ask her what they're selling:  Buy our chicken nuggets, and your clean, well-mannered children (and their father) will rush to the table and look at you as if you're a goddess for popping some chicken nuggets in the oven.  They're selling the promise of a happy family.  Again, she should see that the reality doesn't really match the promise.  Once she can see those differences ... then it's time for her to look at ads directed at her.  Once she's started to see the truth, she'll approach ads with a more critical eye. 

Don't think that she won't continue to be tempted:  We all are.  You'll have to continue to repeat this lesson over and over; after all, the advertisers are providing plenty of follow-up with their lessons! 

Second, she's at a normal age to start comparing herself with other kids.  You have to walk a fine line here.  You don't want to dismiss her comments with a quick, "Oh, we can't afford that."  For one thing, it's probably not true.  For another, it can make her worry that you may not have enough money to survive.  Yet you also don't want to squash her dreams and make her feel that she can't express her thoughts and desires to you. 

When my kids were going through this stage (and it is a stage), I often looked at the item they said they wanted and agreed with them, "Yeah, it would be nice to have _____, wouldn't it?  I bet it'd be fun.  But that's not how Daddy and I choose to spend our money."  This acknowledges that, yes, nice things are -- well, nice.  You're not wrong or bad to want things (that's what I was told growing up, and it's not a good thing to tell a kid).  But we have limited resources, and Daddy and I have made choices.  OFTEN that launched into good discussions about quality vs. quantity, saving vs. spending, and having enough.  Teachable moments. 

Your daughter isn't "there yet", but I see kids at school and through the youth groups with which I work who -- maybe in late middle school through early high school -- pick up the idea that WOW, there's GOOD STUFF OUT THERE!  And if my parents don't have it, they made sucky choices.  Often they start to get the idea that their parents are idiots for not grasping that they could've CHOSEN BETTER!  This is kind of the start of the parents-are-stupid-because-I'm-a-teen-thing.  They start in on the big-unattainable-dreams-unconnected-to-reality:  They're going to become rock stars, models, NFL players, and then they'll have several mansions across the globe as well as a fleet of sports cars, etc., etc., etc.  Basically, they start to imagine themselves as Kardashians.  Did I spell that right?  They get this idea that ANYONE can do these things -- you just have to be smart enough to choose right!  And the kids who get big-time into these ideas tend NOT to see their own efforts and abilities as being tied into those choices.  A kid who's more grounded in reality may flirt with these ideas, but it'll be fleeting moments rather than a genuine belief.

MrMoogle

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 07:56:27 AM »
I ran across this one yesterday, that really opened up my eyes.  The background is Alicia Munnell is an intelligent person who works on setting financial policy, who doesn't really have her finances together.  And this seems like a contradiction, but wenchsenior explains how it really isn't.

There seems to be a real disconnect on this board (also exhibited in this thread) in terms of understanding the difference between raw intelligence, job mastery, and 'behavioral intelligence' (temperamental-type qualities).

Alicia Munnell is obviously pretty intelligent in terms of IQ...she has two advanced degrees in addition to her Bachelor's, and she's been able to master statistical concepts and do research based on those concepts, and publish said research. She also exhibits job mastery, in that she serves in a position of responsibility, and seems to meet her obligations pretty well or it's unlikely she would have been promoted so high.

BUT, what an amazing number of people on this board seem to misunderstand, in thread after thread after thread, is that those traits, in MANY (possibly most) people don't necessarily correlate with optimal financial behavior, which has a lot more to do with temperamental inclination and behavioral intelligence.

Let's just take the top half of the intelligence bell curve: that is a shit ton of relatively to very smart people in this world, many of them who excel at challenging, high-skill jobs, that STILL MAKE DUMBASS DECISIONS on a regular basis. And it ISN'T because they are too stupid to know better. People cheat on spouses and fuck up marriages; they drink too much, smoke too much, or sit on their asses too much for optimal health; they sell at the bottom of the market crash; they constantly respond emotionally to situations that require rational, mathematical thinking; they feel overwhelmed and busy and put off crucial decisions too long; they have external and internal pressures from family, upbringing, social context, etc. that skew their decisions (e.g., I'll save for kids college fund, even though I have no retirement fund), and on and on and on.

I don't know whether it is a preponderance of personality types that have congregated at this board or what, but sooooo many MMM forum participants seem to believe that people 'should' behave optimally assuming they are smart and have good information. And yet, society shows us OVER AND OVER that this is a fallacy. They do not, and they never will, because most people aren't wired that way.

Alicia Munnell is perfectly intelligent, as are most federal workers (most work in high-skill disciplines that require advanced degrees and complex skill-set mastery). Does that mean most of them are making optimal decisions in other areas of their lives? Not necessarily. Should we be shocked by this? NO.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 08:43:56 AM »
This is the best post I've seen so far today:

If you quote the post in the thread it's in, and then bring that whole set of text over here, it'll maintain a reference to the original thread and conversation.

Pretty cool trick, I never knew this link existed. Thanks grant.
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brooklynguy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2015, 08:57:47 AM »
Pretty cool trick, I never knew this link existed. Thanks grant.

Ditto.  For anyone else who may not realize, the "Quote from: [Poster] on [Date], [Time]" reference is itself a link that will take you to the original thread from whence the quoted text came.  (Even after grant pointed out this feature, it still took me a while to realize that that reference is itself an active link (and I almost posted a response to grant that he is overstating the intelligence of the forum software).)

Basenji

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 10:09:32 AM »
Love this thread, now I wish I had marked every great post. Will keep an eye out.

grantmeaname

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 03:16:28 PM »
In a topic about primal eating, Ambergris left a great analysis of the logic underlying the Paleo diet. Not everybody agrees, of course, but his analysis of the anthropology/biology underlying the logic is spot on!
I always find it hard to resist weighing in on these debates, but it's just too irresistable this time.

As Bob W. said, the point of eating Paleo is supposed to be that you are eating "what out bodies adapted too over hundreds of thousands of years". The idea, presumably, and correct me if I am wrong, is that by eating what we adapted to, we end up healthier, living longer, etc.

The problem for us as Mustachians is that Paleo is very expensive (all that grass fed beef, etc). It seems to me that this suggests that it needs to seriously earn its keep if it is to be considered a mustachian approach (obviously, anyone may eat however they like, but this site is about optimizing finances).

So does Paleo optimize health? No one knows directly. There are very few studies and no scientific consensus on whether these diets work. In lieu of that, primal/paleo supporters offer a biological argument: 1) we have adapted to eat a particular diet; 2) natural selection can be expected to optimize our bodies to a particular diet and therefore we can expect to have better health outcomes if we eat it than with anything else.

I have several responses to this argument.

1) The first problem is establishing what ancient diets looked like. There is considerable debate in the paleoanthropology literature on this, as well as issues about which sources of evidence are most reliable. The best bet seems to be that current foragers (the best approximation for our ancestors: BTW, the Masai are NOT foragers but herders) eat a diet that varies enormously in its plant vs. meat based content and approximately by latitude (Kelly, 2007). This varies between 25% and 95% hunted food (a rough approximation for meat/fish content). Inuit, as mentioned are on the extreme high end of this. Foragers in Africa, in the location we initially evolved, tend to be on the low end. The real answer to "what did ancient people eat?" therefore seems to be whatever they could get their hands on. The main concern for ancient people was not starving to death in a very hostile "red in tooth and claw" nature, and this meant eating what was available.

Upshot: there is no such thing as a paleo diet

2) a) The natural selection part of the argument assumes that natural selection, given a chance, perfectly optimizes our bodies to respond to a particular set of local conditions. As any decent evolutionary biologist will tell you, this is a very dangerous assumption. Natural selection is a tinkerer and a "gerry-manderer" at best, and has to work with what is available in the way of genetic variation, and against difficult physiological and environment tradeoffs. When people talk about the optimality of paleo diets, I think "Giant Panda". This is creature with a bear's gut eating bamboo (constantly, in order to survive), using an awkward extended wrist bone as a thumb.

Adaptation happens constantly in nature but it is never ideal because nature, far from being sweet and nice and beautiful is ugly and harsh and constantly trying to kill you. Eating involves taking other organisms that want to survive and destroying them. Natural selection acts on them, too, to stop you from doing so. So even if there were a paleo diet, there should be no expectation whatever that it would be optimal.

Indeed, humans in almost all societies have found ways around these tradeoffs using cultural techniques (i.e. food processing).

2b) Let's suppose for a minute that humans were ideally adapted to a particular diet. What would that actually mean? Would it mean that we were adapted to eat, say, mammoths and giant sloths, or would it mean we were adapted to eat meat, or would it mean we were adapted to eat protein and fat rich food? Would it mean we were adapted to eat nuts and fiber rich tubers, or carbohydrate and fiber rich plants, or just carbohydrates with lots of fiber? It's truly not clear that from the standpoint of the body there's much difference between "fiber rich tubers" and "fiber rich grains".

2c) Again, let's pretend for the sake of argument that natural selection does optimize diet and there is an optimal diet. What is "optimal"? By "what out bodies adapted to eat over hundreds of thousands of years" the optimal seems to be, what natural selection would fix in the population. This means what it would maximize is reproductive fitness - i.e. the diet that would make you have the most healthy babies. In the "paleo times" we are considering, this would have meant, most likely, maximizing calorie intake during the child bearing years. Once child bearing/raising has ended, NS becomes "indifferent" to how well you're doing (but let's be generous given the value of older humans to child raising).

So ideal "paleo diets" can be expected to make you fat while you are young and be quite indifferent to how you do after, say, 60 or so. It would definitely NOT help you lose weight or live a longer than currently average life.

[Random aside: one bugbear of paleo folks is fructose, which is one of the foods to which humans are notably adapted because of their descent from fruit eating primates. You have a beautifully adapted fructose digestion system designed specifically to make the most of this powerful calorie-rich sugar. To paleo folks astonishment, fructose makes you fat!!!1! gasp!!1![[LOL]]].

May I suggest as an alternative to "paleo" paying attention to scientific research on the health effects of particular diets? Despite what dodgy books by a few random MDs and outside-of-the-consensus scientific authors argue (or folks with no appropriate training like MDA), the current scientific consensus is that a diet high in fruits and vegetables, complex, high fiber carbs, fish and small amounts of lean meat is probably the best one for maintaining a lower body weight and maximizing longevity.

So no, paleo is not mustachian.

brooklynguy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 03:31:47 PM »
In a thread about social security, MoonShadow posted the following in response to a claim that a private insurer would need to be fail-proof in order to be compared on an apples-to-apples basis with the US government (in its capacity as the sponsor of the social security system).  I'm not sure whether I necessarily agree with all of it, but it definitely made me step back and reevaluate the validity of the common kneejerk assumption that no entity in existence carries less risk of failure than the US government.

Quote
Also it would have to be from a company that could never fail and would invest in assets that were guaranteed like Treasuries.

Well, that is a fallacy for several reasons, but even if it were completely correct; which do you think has a longer average survival rate; life insurance companies, government programs or actual governments?  Take your mind away from the US for a minute, and consider the number of governments on Earth today.  We can limit ourselves to those we consider modern or "Western" governments, if you like; but you must keep in mind that just because a particular nation still has the same name and borders as in the past, doesn't conclude that the government that manages the nation's affairs.  For example, the governments of Germany & Austria aren't really older than 1945, and Spain's has only been around since 1962.  Granted, there are much older examples of continuous governments around Europe, but we are also talking about Europe; other regions of the world have much worse records, such as central and south America, and Africa; despite there being wonderful examples of modern & 'Western" democracies on both continents.  And size of country doesn't seem to really be a factor either, since Russia's government has only been around since 1991.  For me, it's hard to say which is more likely to exist past my own lifetime, any particular government or any particular life insurance company.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 04:10:48 PM »
In a topic about primal eating, Ambergris left a great analysis of the logic underlying the Paleo diet. Not everybody agrees, of course, but his analysis of the anthropology/biology underlying the logic is spot on!
I always find it hard to resist weighing in on these debates, but it's just too irresistable this time.

As Bob W. said, the point of eating Paleo is supposed to be that you are eating "what out bodies adapted too over hundreds of thousands of years". The idea, presumably, and correct me if I am wrong, is that by eating what we adapted to, we end up healthier, living longer, etc.

The problem for us as Mustachians is that Paleo is very expensive (all that grass fed beef, etc). It seems to me that this suggests that it needs to seriously earn its keep if it is to be considered a mustachian approach (obviously, anyone may eat however they like, but this site is about optimizing finances).

So does Paleo optimize health? No one knows directly. There are very few studies and no scientific consensus on whether these diets work. In lieu of that, primal/paleo supporters offer a biological argument: 1) we have adapted to eat a particular diet; 2) natural selection can be expected to optimize our bodies to a particular diet and therefore we can expect to have better health outcomes if we eat it than with anything else.

I have several responses to this argument.

1) The first problem is establishing what ancient diets looked like. There is considerable debate in the paleoanthropology literature on this, as well as issues about which sources of evidence are most reliable. The best bet seems to be that current foragers (the best approximation for our ancestors: BTW, the Masai are NOT foragers but herders) eat a diet that varies enormously in its plant vs. meat based content and approximately by latitude (Kelly, 2007). This varies between 25% and 95% hunted food (a rough approximation for meat/fish content). Inuit, as mentioned are on the extreme high end of this. Foragers in Africa, in the location we initially evolved, tend to be on the low end. The real answer to "what did ancient people eat?" therefore seems to be whatever they could get their hands on. The main concern for ancient people was not starving to death in a very hostile "red in tooth and claw" nature, and this meant eating what was available.

Upshot: there is no such thing as a paleo diet

2) a) The natural selection part of the argument assumes that natural selection, given a chance, perfectly optimizes our bodies to respond to a particular set of local conditions. As any decent evolutionary biologist will tell you, this is a very dangerous assumption. Natural selection is a tinkerer and a "gerry-manderer" at best, and has to work with what is available in the way of genetic variation, and against difficult physiological and environment tradeoffs. When people talk about the optimality of paleo diets, I think "Giant Panda". This is creature with a bear's gut eating bamboo (constantly, in order to survive), using an awkward extended wrist bone as a thumb.

Adaptation happens constantly in nature but it is never ideal because nature, far from being sweet and nice and beautiful is ugly and harsh and constantly trying to kill you. Eating involves taking other organisms that want to survive and destroying them. Natural selection acts on them, too, to stop you from doing so. So even if there were a paleo diet, there should be no expectation whatever that it would be optimal.

Indeed, humans in almost all societies have found ways around these tradeoffs using cultural techniques (i.e. food processing).

2b) Let's suppose for a minute that humans were ideally adapted to a particular diet. What would that actually mean? Would it mean that we were adapted to eat, say, mammoths and giant sloths, or would it mean we were adapted to eat meat, or would it mean we were adapted to eat protein and fat rich food? Would it mean we were adapted to eat nuts and fiber rich tubers, or carbohydrate and fiber rich plants, or just carbohydrates with lots of fiber? It's truly not clear that from the standpoint of the body there's much difference between "fiber rich tubers" and "fiber rich grains".

2c) Again, let's pretend for the sake of argument that natural selection does optimize diet and there is an optimal diet. What is "optimal"? By "what out bodies adapted to eat over hundreds of thousands of years" the optimal seems to be, what natural selection would fix in the population. This means what it would maximize is reproductive fitness - i.e. the diet that would make you have the most healthy babies. In the "paleo times" we are considering, this would have meant, most likely, maximizing calorie intake during the child bearing years. Once child bearing/raising has ended, NS becomes "indifferent" to how well you're doing (but let's be generous given the value of older humans to child raising).

So ideal "paleo diets" can be expected to make you fat while you are young and be quite indifferent to how you do after, say, 60 or so. It would definitely NOT help you lose weight or live a longer than currently average life.

[Random aside: one bugbear of paleo folks is fructose, which is one of the foods to which humans are notably adapted because of their descent from fruit eating primates. You have a beautifully adapted fructose digestion system designed specifically to make the most of this powerful calorie-rich sugar. To paleo folks astonishment, fructose makes you fat!!!1! gasp!!1![[LOL]]].

May I suggest as an alternative to "paleo" paying attention to scientific research on the health effects of particular diets? Despite what dodgy books by a few random MDs and outside-of-the-consensus scientific authors argue (or folks with no appropriate training like MDA), the current scientific consensus is that a diet high in fruits and vegetables, complex, high fiber carbs, fish and small amounts of lean meat is probably the best one for maintaining a lower body weight and maximizing longevity.

So no, paleo is not mustachian.


This is an awesome post!

okits

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 09:47:03 PM »


Not a new post but I only saw it today.  So true.  And timely, because today I decided to move up my downshift date. Basically, "even though you'll pay me, I'm not going to do that crappy stuff you want me to do because I already have money.  And that makes me allergic to crap."

Allergic to crap...  The next-best superpower...
Camp Mustache Canada... it's a thing now! Queen MonkeyJenga will be honoured with a meatball party there!

smilla

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2015, 07:08:09 PM »
From a thread about how to help loved ones who are causing their own problems by mad spending, but great advice for dealing with all kinds of complaining and negativity.  I am too quick to focus on finding (and prescribing) solutions and I forget to sympathize and commiserate.  So foolish!  If I switched those around, if I was quick to sympathize and forgot about solving anything, I would lower my stress and improve my relationships.  Thanks for this scrubbyfish!  Bolding is mine.

I have friends and family members that constantly throw money away, then complain about lack of funds. I used to try to help, and eventually realized they didn't want that. Now I say, "Oh man, yeah, that sucks!" Or, "Ah, cripey." Or, "I understand: You really, really wish the province would give you a bus pass without having to do paperwork first." And that's all. It ends the conversation in a peaceful way. They know I can do stuff, they know I'm willing to help when they ask directly for that (same as I teach my kid to do). I don't offer help upon a whine, rant, etc. I reflect back, or murmur compassion. They feel better in the moment, which is all they wanted. If they ever ask me for help, I will give that. But even then, my first question is, "What are you willing to do?" They screen themselves out of most options; it's best for me, though, to know that before I invest a lot of time and effort.

Never do more for a client [friend, family member] than the client [friend, family member] is doing for himself.

The next link was from a day or two ago.  The OP was about a couple that had taken advantage of their friends for years, crying poor, when in fact they had amassed a tidy fortune.  This post begins a thought-provoking conversation about how to be an honourable mustachian without necessarily being an open book about one's finances or plans.  I will certainly be more mindful of what I say and how I balance the scales of give and take in my relationships.

It's hilarious to me that a number of people on this forum, including myself, could someday be perceived the same way as the "mooching" friends.

Think about it. 

1. A number of us have decided to not talk about our FI journey to family/friends/acquaintances (for obvious reasons) and instead pursue stealth wealth.  We'll drive old cars into the ground.  We won't upgrade our wardrobe every year.  We'll talk about how much things cost and sometimes suggest cheaper alternatives.  All things that sound normal to us, but that others could perceive as acting poor.  Is behaving like you are poor really so different than "pretending" like you're poor?   

2. There's a fine line between taking a fair amount of food/drink in social situations and too much food/drink, and it's often in the eye of the beholder, who has imperfect information.

Once you reach FI and some people realize how wealthy you are, are you really so sure others won't recall every favor they ever did for you,  any small thing they did that saved you money, and say, What the Hell!?  Are you 100% sure that, after being surprised to learn about how rich you are, they'll look at the ledger book of favors you did for them and favors they did for you and conclude that it's balanced?

I'm sure as hell not :)

ender

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2015, 07:52:12 PM »
This is a neat thread!

lifejoy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2015, 08:17:27 AM »
My fave is from a post about the wife wanting a new Jeep and that being a face-punch-worthy move:

Quote
I'm a husband. Here's how I would approach it:

Step 1. Say, "You know, I've been thinking about it, and you were right. It really is time to replace your vehicle. It's too unreliable, you've put up with repairs for a long time, and you deserve something better." [It's important to say "You were right" -- don't leave that out]

Step 2. Say, "You've said you want a 2012 Jeep Wrangler -- any reasons you want that car in particular?"

Step 3. LISTEN. Don't say a word to refute anything about the 2012 JW. Listen to everything she says, pay close attention to the reasons she gives. Instead, nod your head, and say things like, "I see" or "That makes sense." If she seems to run out of reasons, ask her "Anything else?" Then listen some more.

Step 4. After she's done giving reasons, say "Okay." Then take some time on your own to think about it. This tells her you listened and will seriously give it consideration. If she presses you to give an answer about it, tell her you'd like a little time to digest what she's said and to look for some ways to get her what she wants.

Step 5. Look around for vehicles that meet the criteria she gave you AND that are cost-effective. Come up with several options for her to consider in addition to the JW. Example: She says "reliability" is her number one concern, you find the Consumer Reports pick for the most reliable car in your price range.

Step 6. Present her with the options, and include the JW as an option. Show her the pros/cons of each vehicle and how they might meet her criteria, and of course include cost in the equation. Now, she should be seeing you as presenting an objective set of choices, not a sales pitch in favor of the car you want her to pick. LET HER MAKE THE CHOICE.

Step. 7. If she chooses the JW despite it being inferior (and more expensive) to the other choices, tell her you want to find a way for the two of you to pay for it without going into debt, decreasing your retirement savings, hampering college for your kids, etc. Ask her what she thinks you both should do -- earn extra income at a second job? Cut expenses somewhere else? Give up some other future purchase or expense like the spring break trip? Make it clear that you want to get her the vehicle she wants, but that there's no free lunch. She'll have to consider tradeoffs if she's going to pick an expensive car "just because."

gatortator

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2015, 08:26:53 PM »
Bicycle wrote this powerful response on the topic of reducing time/energy/money on "lady-trappings".


On feeling attractive  We put ourselves through these beauty regimens so that we can feel just a little bit more attractive.  We think that if our skin tone was only a little more even, or if our hair was just a little different, or if our asses were just a little less/more round, that we'll have achieved some attractiveness threshold.  Then what?  For that, I refer you to MMM's brilliant (and for me, life-changing) post on the concept of Hedonic Adaptation

Stop for a second and step back, or even step out of your own skin.  What are you using as a metric for attractiveness?  Is it something that was seen on a TV show?  Read in a magazine?  Implanted from when you were a young impressionable person by some combination of different factors?

Beauty comes from the inside.  Instead of buying that new beauty implement, practice radiating (and I mean REALLY radiating, to the point where you think you may be radioactive) genuine (very important) smiles, friendliness, intelligence, warmth and compassion.  I've found that when I practice this, I am perceived as more attractive AND I perceive myself as more attractive.



oneday

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2015, 09:44:15 PM »
LennStar talks about an epiphany.  Any day in which you have an epiphany is a great day!


And it wasn't until I saw a colleague (and I worked with her when I was 26/27) wearing a sweatshirt from Penneys that was the same as one I had had about ten years before that the penny dropped. I loved that sweatshirt, it was really comfy and I even loved it so much that when I ripped a hole in it, I repaired it (badly - oh how my stepmother hated how it looked after that). But I still stopped wearing it after a couple of years because that's just what you were supposed to do, I thought. Seems so silly now but it was a huge epiphany for me at the time.
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1967mama

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2015, 02:46:36 AM »
Great thread! Will post when I come across a gem!

forummm

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2015, 02:48:15 PM »
Thread about saving on holiday gifts:

We've had great luck with the "one less gift certificate"... used it for most everyone last Christmas and I think everyone appreciates being loved but also being off the hook.


NoraLenderbee

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2015, 04:08:15 PM »

 You look more professional if people can't see the color of your undies through your scrubs.


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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2015, 12:57:43 PM »
This thread got sleepy :(. I've seen two really good ones, though. Serpentstooth had this brilliant post explaining social capital:
Social capital is being able to call someone in your neighborhood and say, "So help me, the baby has been screaming at me for six hours straight and can you please come over and sit with me before I lose my mind."

It's having people who know you have a child dropping off bags of secondhand baby clothes when you have a preemie who is too small for normal newborn clothes.

It's having a friend of a friend mentioning they are moving house and are giving away a set of dining chairs, and that friend connecting you so you get them for free.

It's having a neighbor run out and buy you a fridge thermometer in the middle of the night when you ask to borrow his because your fridge didn't seem to be keeping temperature.

It's having my parents come down every single day for two weeks because I had a sick newborn and was in no condition to do anything but help keep the baby alive.

It's getting a meal train for weeks when you're sick or have had a baby and can't cook for yourself.

It's having a friend pull strings in a socialized medicine system to get you a badly needed doctor appointment even though you're a foreign tourist.

It's getting lucrative part time work because someone you did a favor for years ago knows someone who needs someone with your skills.

It's getting a line on an apartment going for below market because someone knew your parents and knew you were looking.

Social capital is one of those things you don't need until you really need it urgently, at which point, if you've failed to cultivate it, you're SOL.

And the goblinchief had this analysis of bananas:
I've given versions of this rant in person to family/friends. Finally felt the need to write it out. Hopefully it doesn't alienate anyone.

Buying Bananas is Bananas! (blog crosspost)

We used to buy pounds and pounds of bananas each week. As most of my family knows, as they've been subject to my little rants about it, we no longer do this. Why?

On the surface, bananas seem the ideal fresh fruit:

1.Rarely changes significantly in price - always cheap!
2. Ripens effortlessly.
3. All my kids liked it.
4. Decent nutritional value, particularly extra potassium for muscle cramping and workout recovery.

Here's the catch. Bananas aren't in our bio-region. Not even remotely. The incredibly low price of bananas hides the fact that these are a tropical delicacy shipped in from very far away. It's incredible - in the original disbelief sense of the word - that energy is so cheap and pollution considered so inconsequential that a tropical fruit shipped (to northern states) a minimum of 1,500 miles has become a staple of the American diet.

Okay, it's one thing for the standard American consumer to buy bananas. After all, reasons #1-4 are pretty damn compelling if you don't look deeper. But it especially irks me when smart frugal people proclaim bananas as the ultimate frugal food. Are you not capable of seeing the immense hidden/externalized costs?

What got me going originally on my anti-banana crusade was this article in Ars Technica from a couple years ago. Until then I'd never really been aware of the environmental cost of banana production in their home countries. Pesticide loads for any monoculture will be high, but the tropics is a particularly bad place for them. Not only is disease and pest pressure higher, but rains wash and leach pesticides away faster, widening the impacted zone around plantations to an incredible degree. Tropical soils, despite the abundance of life, are naturally poor. Clearing the native cover to plant monocultures depletes soil at an alarming rate.

Many will argue that developing countries need export crops to support their economy. Yes and no. The trouble has become that the same multinationals who product the export crops import heavily subsidized US grain products that have destroyed many small, local farms. In a heavily globalized world, a tropical climate cannot sustainably compete at farming to scale. Widespread clearing of rainforests leads to poor, heavily leached soils. Unless you live in the region, tropical foods should remain (at best) an occasional treat.

Organic bananas are a thing. Anyone who's investigated the organic label for themselves knows that it tells you nothing about the total pesticide load, either in residue form on the crop (of marginal concern since you should wash produce anyways), or in overuse on the farms themselves (the real reason you should be concerned about pesticide use). Worse, many organic-approved pesticides have broader environmental impact. In the specific case of bananas where fungal disease pressure is high, organic bananas are probably even worse for their home countries since organic fungicides must be applied regularly as a preventative measure, not after disease emergence.

"Fair trade" bananas are also a thing. In this case, bananas become less bad but they're still bad. In no way could you make the case these should be a staple fruit in temperate climates. A high-volume import crop still carries the immense environmental cost of a multi-thousand mile transportation chain, even if it's more sustainably-produced in its home country. Small imports like coffee or spices still have the same issue, but in my case I justify it because 1) price per pound is much higher, promising better returns for the farmers; 2) I'm consuming far, far less of these and so the import cost is closer to marginal.

Do you buy bananas? Would you consider re-evaluating that habit? Or have you found the evidence not as compelling as I have?

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2015, 07:01:31 PM »
Okay its not MMM. But this is seriously the most MMM rap video I have ever seen. You will love it
https://youtu.be/yvHYWD29ZNY?t=49s

ROFLMAO kind of stuff. Best of the day.
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Lski'stash

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2015, 07:11:21 PM »
Thread about saving on holiday gifts:

We've had great luck with the "one less gift certificate"... used it for most everyone last Christmas and I think everyone appreciates being loved but also being off the hook.

I really just need to make sure I save this for the holidays this year.

Astatine

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2015, 08:28:11 PM »
I love these two paragraphs of Mother Fussbudget's post in a response to someone who'd just been fired from his/her job and was seeking advice on job seeking. I think this advice is good for many other difficult situations, and I particularly love the bolded section. It's taken me more than 40 years to start to get that.

My advice:  take the weekend, find a warm sandy beach, or other recreation that sends you to your Happy Place, and think about the sky, sand, friends & family, pets, read that book you've been wanting to dive into... "whatever gets you through your life" (as John Lennon wisely said).

It sounds like things are moving forward - things that aren't going to speed up or slow down because you (or anyone else) worried about them.  Your irons are in-the-fire - let them heat up.  If you look at your email at 10am Monday morning, and doors haven't already opened for you, then pursue some of these other ideas.

okits

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2015, 10:54:41 PM »
This one captured my imagination and made me feel comforted regarding mortality.

inevitability of becoming worm food.

Not me.  I'm going to be star fuel.  And a double sided dildo.  And a redwood tree, and a puppy's nose, and an ocean wave, and a black hole.  My matter, indestructible, will be returned to the great universe from whence it came.  Which, yes, probably means worm food somewhere along the line, too.

Science is awesome, like literally awe inspiring.  Every atom in your body bigger than helium was formed inside of a long dead star that exploded across the vastness of space in a violent light show of cosmic proportions.  Every breath you take contains molecules that were once part of Hitler, and a T-rex, and a comet.  Long after you are dead and gone, the last human to ever live and die will contain literal physical parts of your body. 

We never really die, we just reorganize.  Don't fear the worm food.

edit: sort of back on topic, Joel Osteen's message about a crucified carpenter and his friends is pretty drab, compared to the truth.  The universe is mind-bendingly amazing, even without pretty stained glass windows and incense, but for most of human history we had to search for existential context in fairy tales because we didn't know any better.  I feel pretty lucky to live in a time when we're finally starting to understand the truth about where we came from and what it all means.

I was also amused that the dildo mentioned specified "double-sided".  Little Johnny/Jenny, if you're bad, when you die you'll only become a basic dildo.  *cue tears*
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grantmeaname

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2015, 01:01:34 PM »
Miss Madge has this brilliant bit of introspection in her journal about work-related stress:
Thanks for the well wishes, too ... I'm having a decent job day so far today so I'm off the ledge for now -- everyone is leaving me alone and letting me work! Woo! But yeah, I'm still getting some other applications out this week, too. No reason not to.

I wanted to say that I appreciate the perspective you gave me Saturday. I do have a huge fear of leaving this job and ending up with a Cthulu-type boss because I have seen first hand how that can ruin a person's life ... but it's also entirely possible that won't happen, and even if it does, there are always more jobs out there.

It's funny, I think if you asked most people who know me how they see me, words like "free spirit" might be spoken. And to a certain extent it's true -- I'm not that scared about re-inventing myself or my life ... the risk of not doing something I want to do always seems to outstrip the risk of screwing it up.

But the one place I have been extremely risk-averse is my career ... I have only worked two "real" jobs over the last twenty years. I think part of me likes having a boring work life so that I can have a fun outside-of-work life. But there's really no reason to be quite so risk averse as I have been. Fundamentally I do believe in my capacity to do just about any job you could put in front of me (nothing medical but basically anything else!) and do it well. So there's no reason to clutch onto this particular job and company like it's the only possibility in the world.

There's also no reason to take the whole thing so deadly serious. Fundamentally, in the situation I'm in, work is just a game. It's a game where I trade fucks for money so that I can do the other things I want to do. It's not life and death, and I don't honestly care a whole lot about the outcome, so why let it upset me?

Feels like I've been giving a lot of unnecessary fucks to work, honestly. Maybe there's a way to do less of that, even as I look around for something else.

This bit is golden. I'd put it up at my desk if I could:
Quote
work is just a game. It's a game where I trade fucks for money so that I can do the other things I want to do

God damn that's some inspirational, curse-filled wisdom in the greatest tradition of MMM.

brooklynguy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2015, 01:41:54 PM »
This bit is golden. I'd put it up at my desk if I could:
Quote
work is just a game. It's a game where I trade fucks for money so that I can do the other things I want to do

God damn that's some inspirational, curse-filled wisdom in the greatest tradition of MMM.

I'll second that, though a literal-minded reader could be forgiven for concluding that that bit was simply a job description of the world's oldest profession.

madgeylou

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2015, 01:48:25 PM »
This bit is golden. I'd put it up at my desk if I could:
Quote
work is just a game. It's a game where I trade fucks for money so that I can do the other things I want to do

God damn that's some inspirational, curse-filled wisdom in the greatest tradition of MMM.

I'll second that, though a literal-minded reader could be forgiven for concluding that that bit was simply a job description of the world's oldest profession.

hahaha! i think most jobs have some element of the world's oldest profession in them, though, right? :)

thanks for the shout out grant!

grantmeaname

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2015, 01:56:15 PM »
Sho. Thanks for the inspiration.

albijaji

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2015, 08:12:15 PM »
Okay its not MMM. But this is seriously the most MMM rap video I have ever seen. You will love it
https://youtu.be/yvHYWD29ZNY?t=49s

ROFLMAO kind of stuff. Best of the day.

I think this is the best rap video I have ever seen...!!!

Lizzy B.

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2015, 03:04:01 PM »
I love this idea for a thread topic, so I present this wonderful comment from a discussion of the SNAP challenge and if it's really representative if SNAP recipients.


Maybe a sample grocery list would help? I genuinely wish I could help people like this, take them shopping, show them how to prepare food, how to budget. But part of me believes they don't want the help. It can be hard to help yourself.

I don't know if it's exactly that "they don't want the help."   It's just more complicated than I think it can seem from the outside.   Besides the issues of knowledge and time to cook, there's also a scarcity mindset changing how things are viewed. 

It's much easier to stomach (see what I did there) eating beans and rice when one is doing so to watch their investments grow, knowing that they'll be taking nice vacations, living in a nice home, that they *could* go out for a nice dinner if they chose etc, than eating beans and rice knowing that you really will probably never be able to afford anything else, that you don't have anything else fun or entertaining ahead really other than maybe tv, that you'r super tired from work, and that eating beans and rice doesn't seem like it would even help improve things.   Frozen pizza and soda tastes good, and it takes a large amount of will power to overcome eating this until it becomes a habit.   And it's much easier to muster this will power coming from a position of strength than from a position where your general life is harder in so many ways and you don't even have enough positive experiences that resulted from sacrifice to have emotionally reinforced that it'd be worth it.   Basically, if it feels like your life is hard and you have no evidence that it will ever be anything other than hard no matter what you do, why would you do anything in the moment other than what's the easiest/most pleasurable?   

Anyway, that's even an over-simplification, but I recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Scarcity-Science-Having-Defines-Lives/dp/125005611X

It's easy for those of us with more to judge how those with less are doing it wrong, but science shows that most of us would probably do no better if actually in their shoes.

Astatine

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2015, 08:14:44 PM »
^^^ Thanks for sharing, Lizzy B. I do sometimes think "check your privilege" when people complain about how easy it is to stay under budget on SNAP. John Cheese has written a few articles on Cracked about growing up poor and it really changed my POV about living in poverty with minimal/no safety nets.

I found this in someone's journal recently on working with your personality traits rather than continually fighting them. Such a good reminder.

Some years ago I had a Myers Briggs expert come speak to one of my classes.  I had asked her to focus on workplace issues.  She talked about the issue of procrastination.  As a successful professional but serious procrastinator, I found her suggestions immensely helpful.  She said if you can reasonably assess the amount if time needed to successfully complete a project, and you are permitted to do it independently, don't fight your procrastination personality, just plan for it.  So if you have a report due Nov 1 and you know it will take two full days of work, block out two days right before it's due to write it. But you have to truly block out those days, not allow incursions.   Forcing yourself to spend multiple days before that trying to write it when you can't get yourself to focus makes no more sense than a person who likes to work steadily a bit at a time in advance being forced to wait until the last minute to begin.  She said if the end product is just as good, we should not have this collective bias against procrastinators any more than we should have a bias against introverts.  A bell went off in my head as I listened.  I don't miss deadlines, but I do procrastinate.  I now follow her suggestion and have pretty much eliminated the "hanging over your head" period of self criticism.  I am not suggesting teaching this to a teen (though I am not sure why, perhaps because I believe many jobs won't tolerate it....indeed our guest speaker talked about how a junior employee has to work according to the personality if her boss) but I throw the idea out because it has made my my own life much happier.

Schaefer Light

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2015, 07:38:29 AM »
"Forcing yourself to spend multiple days before that trying to write it when you can't get yourself to focus makes no more sense than a person who likes to work steadily a bit at a time in advance being forced to wait until the last minute to begin."

Interesting post.  I would go absolutely nuts if someone gave me a project and was forced to wait until the day before it was due to begin.  I can't relax when I've got shit like that hanging over my head.

Miss Prim

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2015, 04:24:52 PM »
I just happened to run across this post which answered a question my husband and I had been searching all over the internet to find the answer to.  This seems to happen to me quite a bit on this site.  Someone posts an explanation of  a question I have that thoroughly answers the question so I can understand it perfectly!

Don't worry about the disclaimer from SSA saying "based on the assumption that you will earn $117,000 a year from now until retirement." Even if you quit working now and earn/contribute $0 from here on, your benefits will be very close to those estimates. You have already contributed, by far, the lion's share to Social Security for accruing benefits. In fact, you are now only accruing very small increases to your projected payments based on Social Security's progressive nature (it's complicated, but you are now getting back only pennies for all the dollars you contribute).

For comparison, your numbers and mine are fairly close. I'm a bit younger than you (48) , so your impact to stopping working now will be even less. I went through the detailed calculation of my actual benefit to figure out just how much impact that disclaimer would have, and here's the difference:

Estimated payment at full retirement age (67) and continuing to earn: $2235
Actual payment at full retirement age (67) with zero earnings from now on (i.e., ignoring the disclaimer): $2173

As you can see, the difference is negligible ($62/month out of $2235, so about 3% or less??). Definitely not worth continuing to work another 19 years for that! I could go through the other figures for early retirement and full retirement ages, but the result is the same: The difference between continuing to earn and stopping all earnings is negligible to the future SS payout.

AllieVaulter

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2015, 05:11:31 PM »
I just happened to run across this post which answered a question my husband and I had been searching all over the internet to find the answer to.  This seems to happen to me quite a bit on this site.  Someone posts an explanation of  a question I have that thoroughly answers the question so I can understand it perfectly!

Don't worry about the disclaimer from SSA saying "based on the assumption that you will earn $117,000 a year from now until retirement." Even if you quit working now and earn/contribute $0 from here on, your benefits will be very close to those estimates. You have already contributed, by far, the lion's share to Social Security for accruing benefits. In fact, you are now only accruing very small increases to your projected payments based on Social Security's progressive nature (it's complicated, but you are now getting back only pennies for all the dollars you contribute).

For comparison, your numbers and mine are fairly close. I'm a bit younger than you (48) , so your impact to stopping working now will be even less. I went through the detailed calculation of my actual benefit to figure out just how much impact that disclaimer would have, and here's the difference:

Estimated payment at full retirement age (67) and continuing to earn: $2235
Actual payment at full retirement age (67) with zero earnings from now on (i.e., ignoring the disclaimer): $2173

As you can see, the difference is negligible ($62/month out of $2235, so about 3% or less??). Definitely not worth continuing to work another 19 years for that! I could go through the other figures for early retirement and full retirement ages, but the result is the same: The difference between continuing to earn and stopping all earnings is negligible to the future SS payout.

Whoa!  That is good information to know! 

This is a great thread.  I'm glad I found it!

smilla

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2015, 06:25:42 PM »
The following method for calculating your stash requirements, posted by goldielocks, didn't seem to get the attention that (I thought) it deserved. It suggests that by being more specific about how much income you need/want and for how long, during the different stages of your retirement, your FIRE number may be reduced.

Doing the calculation, my FIRE number is down almost 20%! and I was being extra conservative. Thank you goldielocks for the step-by-step and the excel function :)

I definitely consider decreased spending as I age, risks strategy, and government income when I think of the 4% rule.  I also consider 4% as the rule if you want your money to only last 30 years, 40 years with income fluctuation..

I break down my FIRE like this; 

Phase 1 -- kids living at home  (maybe until the youngest is 20) -- 4% rule does not apply,  need to save up cash to fully fund this phase, on-going temporary contract / work part time is likely needed to ensure ramping up employment on 6 month notice is possible..  Expect cost surprises x 4 persons risk factors.

Phase 2 -- Age 50ish to 60 ish...  No gov't pension.   -- Again, savings strategy does not comply to 4% rule, rather a combo of anticipating DH's modest income and living off savings.    Ability to sell nearly paid for home and downsize in a tremendous down market if choose not to re-income ourselves.  OR - rent out rooms, etc.

Phase 3 -- Age 60 ish to 75is-- gov't income, home paid off, less costs.  SWR of 4% rule applies.  More travel in good years, less spend in bad years.    Need to asset allocate to have at least 3 years in fixed income or cash like accounts to smooth out downfall, especially at start.

Phase 4 - Age 75ish up -- 4% SWR applies.  less spending overall.  Gov't pension sufficient to carry us through if market totally tanks....extra money, if any, spent lavishly on family vacations with grandkids.

Each phase has a different spend / savings number...  I have accomplished my savings needed for phase 2. 3. 4. and working on 1 right now.

The one more year challenge, for me, is DH who sees us finally entering our "Golden Years of Spending"...  (don't get me started.....)

I am not near FI yet and my DH does not really want to FIRE; he wants to work until at least 55 (and maybe more). I like your phased approach Goldielocks. I think I need a plan like this because our situation is similarly complex (and we had kids late so by the time our youngest is 20, we will be 57 and 60, and hopefully long retired). Can you provide some examples of how you do the math for this? Even if it's with fake numbers, it would be super helpful for me.

This is how I approach it:

I work from Phase 4 backward, because I will have few options in Phase 4, other than living on less.  So, I want to secure the farthest out retirement portions first.  The magic of compound interest also means that Phase 4 and then Phase 3, are pretty easy to fund, if you get started when you are in your early 20's.

Phase 4 --

If my government benefits of CPP and OAS will provide my husband and I up to $22k per year, we will want to spend another $30k per year fun money / other expenses.   This is pretty generous for 75 yr to 95 yr, but could afford some nice private nursing supplement or respite caregiving.

At a 4% SWR, need to have $30k/0.04 =$750,000 at the start of Phase 4, or Age 75.  That is 32 years from now. 
What amount of money do I need saved today in 2015 to have $750k at the age of 75?

Using my favorite, Excel.    Present Value Function.  I use 5% interest rate, which is IN ADDITION to inflation / year assumption of 3%.  e.g., I assume 8% total return rate, but I want to use current dollars to estimate income needed...

= PV(rate, nper, pmt, fv, beg/end)
= PV(0.05, 32, 0, -$750000,0)
PHASE 4 $ Required Today= $157,400.

Phase 3 -- Age 60 to 75  Travelling years not on a budget?
For various reasons, I have not broken this at 65, which is CPP benefits standard age, or 67, which is age for OAS. 
I want to have income of $60,000 per year, in addition to Government benefits adding up to $15,000 per year.   Very little taxes at these income rates, BTW.

Money needed to fund 15 years at $60,000, with the total invested at 4% moderate conservative asset mix, net of inflation.
How much money do I need at age 60 to fund $60,000/yr withdrawls at 4% net interest invested rate, leaving $0 at age 75 (when phase 4 kicks in?)

= PV(rate, nper, pmt, FV, beg/end)
=PV(0.04,15,-60000,0,0)
= $667,100 at age 60.

But wait -- how much do I need TODAY, to get $667,100 at age 60?   
Repeat the phase 4 calculation, with only 17 years to age 60, but the rate should be 5% average, again.

= PV(rate, nper, pmt, fv, beg/end)
= PV(0.05, 17, 0, -$667100,0)
PHASE 3 $ Required Today= $291,055

Phase 2 -- Age 50 to 60, DH working.

Desired income after tax is $75,000 per year, DH earning between $60,000 and $75,000 --> Average $55,000 after tax.  High income needed is because of mortgage.  grr.
He will probably make more, as he is just recently back in the workforce after 12 years out.  AND he therefore wants to work for a long time, as he likes his new career very much. (Robotics / Mechatronix)

Money needed to pull from savings:  $20,000 per year.
I will drop this back down to 2% interest, net, during the years of withdrawl I will asset allocate more conservatively.  You could split this into $60k as CASH buffer  and the remainder invested

Money needed at age 50, to last 10 years at 2% interest net of inflation...
=PV(0.02, 10, -$20000,0)
= $154,000

Money in today's dollars : (has 7 years to compound until age 50)... note, I am ok with more risk at 5% until I pull the trigger to use the money.
=PV(0.05, 7,-$154000,0)
PHASE 2 -- Money needed in today's dollars: =$109,754

Phase 1 -- for simplicity, a straight calculation, given short term.
We spend on expenses and cashflow (including accelerated mortgage which is principal), say $75000 per year. 

7 years x $75000 = 525000.
How much will come from employment (which is taxed?) -- Assume $50,000/yr of after tax dollars.
Required is therefore $175,000

-- Where does the  money come from :  Tax deferred or tax paid accounts?
-- Let's assume it is tax paid accounts, like a ROTH or investment account.  (I could pull from my RRSP, because I don't need to wait until 59.5...  but others can't, and I am saving the RRSP for later anyway...)
Phase 1 $ Required today-- Need $175,000 in Cash.  Prefer lower taxed investments, such as dividends, but look at asset allocation best for you.  May be GIC's or other.

Totals -- needed today, in investments,   Phase 2, and 1 need to be in taxable accounts or I need more to pay for taxes.  Phase 3/4 the income is split and lower, so taxes are minor.

Phase 4 $157,400
Phase 3 $291,055
Phase 2 $109,754
Phase 1 $175,000

Total $733, 209

Now of course, this will vary widely depending on what spend rate my DH and I agree to, and how much part time work is captured in Phase 1 and Phase 2. How much tax rates vary from now to then, etc..

Also, using a 4% SWR starting at age 75 is a bit nuts (conservative) as I don't think we will live past 105 years. DOH!   But I would rather hedge to the conservative on far out numbers that I will have very little income alternatives for.  Changing it to 6% only drops TODAY's dollars by $88k.

To that end, I did not include estate legacy of my $, nor any inheritance that we will likely get, and have left the HCOL paid off house by age 60 as a separate  pool of money to be conservative.  With the workshop we have, likely DH will not want to move until he is done with it -- age 75 perhaps?

iwasjustwondering

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2015, 06:43:37 PM »
I'll start. In a thread in which a parent worries about her daughter's susceptibility to advertising, MrsPete drops this gem:

What I'm hearing is "teachable moments". 

First, while it's tempting to shield your child from advertising, I think it's a mistake to do so completely.  Instead, start looking at ads together and discuss with her what they're trying to make you believe.  We're ALL influenced by ads, so it's right to help her, to "walk her through it" and help her see what they're promising vs. what the item can deliver.  This is a skill that she needs to develop, and she probably needs your help to get started viewing ads with a critical eye. 

She can probably "see" the truth in ads for products that don't appeal to her /aren't targeted at her.  Cigarette ads would be a good starting place.  Show her a picture of the Marlboro man in his cowboy duds.  Ask her what the ad is promising:  If you use this product, you'll be good looking, tough, independent, strong, sexy.  She's old enough to see that this picture appeals to men -- even if they don't want to be cowboys personally.  Then ask her what the product actually delivers.  She should see a big difference.  Then show her a product for some sort of convenience food:  It'll probably show a woman surrounded by a family sitting down at the table with appreciative looks on their faces.  Ask her what they're selling:  Buy our chicken nuggets, and your clean, well-mannered children (and their father) will rush to the table and look at you as if you're a goddess for popping some chicken nuggets in the oven.  They're selling the promise of a happy family.  Again, she should see that the reality doesn't really match the promise.  Once she can see those differences ... then it's time for her to look at ads directed at her.  Once she's started to see the truth, she'll approach ads with a more critical eye. 

Don't think that she won't continue to be tempted:  We all are.  You'll have to continue to repeat this lesson over and over; after all, the advertisers are providing plenty of follow-up with their lessons! 

Second, she's at a normal age to start comparing herself with other kids.  You have to walk a fine line here.  You don't want to dismiss her comments with a quick, "Oh, we can't afford that."  For one thing, it's probably not true.  For another, it can make her worry that you may not have enough money to survive.  Yet you also don't want to squash her dreams and make her feel that she can't express her thoughts and desires to you. 

When my kids were going through this stage (and it is a stage), I often looked at the item they said they wanted and agreed with them, "Yeah, it would be nice to have _____, wouldn't it?  I bet it'd be fun.  But that's not how Daddy and I choose to spend our money."  This acknowledges that, yes, nice things are -- well, nice.  You're not wrong or bad to want things (that's what I was told growing up, and it's not a good thing to tell a kid).  But we have limited resources, and Daddy and I have made choices.  OFTEN that launched into good discussions about quality vs. quantity, saving vs. spending, and having enough.  Teachable moments. 

Your daughter isn't "there yet", but I see kids at school and through the youth groups with which I work who -- maybe in late middle school through early high school -- pick up the idea that WOW, there's GOOD STUFF OUT THERE!  And if my parents don't have it, they made sucky choices.  Often they start to get the idea that their parents are idiots for not grasping that they could've CHOSEN BETTER!  This is kind of the start of the parents-are-stupid-because-I'm-a-teen-thing.  They start in on the big-unattainable-dreams-unconnected-to-reality:  They're going to become rock stars, models, NFL players, and then they'll have several mansions across the globe as well as a fleet of sports cars, etc., etc., etc.  Basically, they start to imagine themselves as Kardashians.  Did I spell that right?  They get this idea that ANYONE can do these things -- you just have to be smart enough to choose right!  And the kids who get big-time into these ideas tend NOT to see their own efforts and abilities as being tied into those choices.  A kid who's more grounded in reality may flirt with these ideas, but it'll be fleeting moments rather than a genuine belief.

Beautiful post, but I overdid it on the advertising-as-teachable-moment thing.  When my older son was around three, we saw a commercial with the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  So I explained that the Dough Boy was designed to make us like him, so we spend money on the treats he's selling.  So a while later, we were in the grocery store.  My son pointed at a package that had the Dough Boy on it, and yelled out, "There he is!  The man who wants to take our money!"

Bracken_Joy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2015, 08:03:26 PM »
Following. Don't have one to contribute right now, but I'll be keeping my eye out.
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Lizzy B.

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2015, 07:49:30 AM »
I liked these two comments from a discussion of an NYT article about how harried families are these days:


...

I think the bottom line is that parenting in the modern age is stressful. Parenting has probably always been stressful. Maybe in the modern age, because of all the conveniences of which we are able to avail ourselves, we developed this mistaken expectation that life should and could be easy. Think back just 100 years ago when people didn't have vacuums, washing machines-- hell, even indoor plumbing in most cases. I'm sure that child rearing wasn't magically easier back then just because a parent might have been home all day. Life was just understood to be a long list of doing things that you didn't really want to do. They probably had leisure time, but I doubt it was that much.

...


I think a lot of this stems from "what causes stress?" in our modern society.  My wife and I like doing things manually, and purposefully make our lives more "busy.". We grow food when we can, cook everything from scratch, have a clothes washer but dry our clothes on a line, chop fire wood by hand, etc.  We do this because we make the conscious distinction of, " how do I want to spend my time?"  If you view those tasks as getting in the way of what you really want to do (watch TV, go on Facebook) they will be stressful.  If you convince yourself that, in the long run, living a life of leisure is more stressful on your body because you're sedentary, the choice is clear.

That viewpoint is nuanced and I doubt most people would agree with it, but it's frankly the difference between riding a bike to a location vs a car.  If you can enjoy the breeze and the leasurely pace of a bike, most people would agree that that beats the stress of a car ride during rush hour.  However, if your mindset is cemented that physical exertion sucks and car rides are better, a forced bike ride will be stressful to you.

The point is, modern conveniences can make some of the more grueling aspects of life easier.  But there is still some labor to be had.  If you goal is to completely eliminate that labor, you'll never be happy until you've reached that goal.  So I say, embrace the suck and be happy!  It could always be worse.

I liked the view that both these posts made about how you can choose to view our daily activities as "chores", things to be finished so we can get to the fun parts of life, or as parts of the flow of life that can and should be enjoyed. Until recently, everything took so long that there wasn't an expectation of ever being "done" with those tasks.


Bracken_Joy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2015, 08:35:22 AM »
I need to put this on my mirror or something:

Specific Question(s): So once I pick up the proceeds from the sale of the house today we will have $20k plus a crap-ton of extra money every paycheck. What order would you tackle these goals?
See below for one defensible prioritization order.  The current 10-year Treasury note yield is ~2.2%.  Differences of a few tenths of a percent will be insignificant over a few years, so using a coin toss (or gut feel) when options are that close is fine.

WHAT
0. Establish an emergency fund to your satisfaction
1. Contribute to 401k up to any company match
2. Pay off any debts with interest rates ~5% or more above the 10-year Treasury note yield.
3. Max HSA
4. Max Roth or Traditional IRA based on income level
5. Max 401k (if 401k fees are lower than available in an IRA, swap #4 and #5)
6. Fund mega backdoor Roth if applicable
7. Pay off any debts with interest rates ~3% or more above the 10-year Treasury note yield.
8. Invest in a taxable account with any extra.

WHY
0. Give yourself at least enough buffer to avoid worries about bouncing checks
1. Company match rates are likely the highest percent return you can get on your money
2. When the guaranteed return is this high, take it.
3. HSA funds are totally tax free when used for medical expenses, making the HSA better than either traditional or Roth IRAs.
4. Rule of thumb: trad if current marginal rate is 25% or higher; Roth if 10% or lower; flip a coin in between
5. See #4 for choice of traditional or Roth for 401k
6. Applicability depends on the rules for the specific 401k
7. Again, take the risk-free return if high enough
8. Because earnings, even if taxed, are beneficial
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johnny847

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2015, 02:33:55 PM »
Posting to follow

shelivesthedream

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2015, 01:19:26 AM »
I liked these two comments from a discussion of an NYT article about how harried families are these days:


...

I think the bottom line is that parenting in the modern age is stressful. Parenting has probably always been stressful. Maybe in the modern age, because of all the conveniences of which we are able to avail ourselves, we developed this mistaken expectation that life should and could be easy. Think back just 100 years ago when people didn't have vacuums, washing machines-- hell, even indoor plumbing in most cases. I'm sure that child rearing wasn't magically easier back then just because a parent might have been home all day. Life was just understood to be a long list of doing things that you didn't really want to do. They probably had leisure time, but I doubt it was that much.

...


I think a lot of this stems from "what causes stress?" in our modern society.  My wife and I like doing things manually, and purposefully make our lives more "busy.". We grow food when we can, cook everything from scratch, have a clothes washer but dry our clothes on a line, chop fire wood by hand, etc.  We do this because we make the conscious distinction of, " how do I want to spend my time?"  If you view those tasks as getting in the way of what you really want to do (watch TV, go on Facebook) they will be stressful.  If you convince yourself that, in the long run, living a life of leisure is more stressful on your body because you're sedentary, the choice is clear.

That viewpoint is nuanced and I doubt most people would agree with it, but it's frankly the difference between riding a bike to a location vs a car.  If you can enjoy the breeze and the leasurely pace of a bike, most people would agree that that beats the stress of a car ride during rush hour.  However, if your mindset is cemented that physical exertion sucks and car rides are better, a forced bike ride will be stressful to you.

The point is, modern conveniences can make some of the more grueling aspects of life easier.  But there is still some labor to be had.  If you goal is to completely eliminate that labor, you'll never be happy until you've reached that goal.  So I say, embrace the suck and be happy!  It could always be worse.

I liked the view that both these posts made about how you can choose to view our daily activities as "chores", things to be finished so we can get to the fun parts of life, or as parts of the flow of life that can and should be enjoyed. Until recently, everything took so long that there wasn't an expectation of ever being "done" with those tasks.

I love both of these. I'm really trying with the mentality in the second but it's hard, especially when it has to do with outside  things. It's good to have it to strive towards, though.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 01:21:23 AM by shelivesthedream »

beltim

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2015, 04:06:39 PM »
On the US hosting Syrian refugees:

And if the concern is that it will allow some fundamentalists in, I'll also note that it wouldn't be the first time a group of folks in very conservative dress with very specific religious beliefs who were not welcome in their home country made their way here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Landlord2015

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2015, 05:34:07 PM »
On the US hosting Syrian refugees:

And if the concern is that it will allow some fundamentalists in, I'll also note that it wouldn't be the first time a group of folks in very conservative dress with very specific religious beliefs who were not welcome in their home country made their way here.

I did my country's mandatory(must do!) military service since we are neighbours to Russia but ironically Russia is our allies in this and Russia is today a very important trade partner and all Russian tourists are welcome in my country. I also like Russia in sports.... sports unite nations.

Happy Thanksgiving
You sir don't share same political views as I. I am from Europe and most of Europe is upset about what happened in France and it has affected even my country. I will not comment this further because it woul lead to a political debate. However there will come some law changes in my country in 2016 and I do support those law changes it will give the military and police more freedom to what needs to be done!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 05:40:34 PM by Landlord2015 »

BackyarBQ

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2015, 05:39:34 PM »
On the US hosting Syrian refugees:

And if the concern is that it will allow some fundamentalists in, I'll also note that it wouldn't be the first time a group of folks in very conservative dress with very specific religious beliefs who were not welcome in their home country made their way here.

Happy Thanksgiving
You sir don't share same political views as I. I am from Europe and most of Europe is upset about what happened in France and it has affected even my country. I will not comment this further because it woul lead to a political debate. However there will come some law changes in my country in 2016 and I do support those law changes it will give the military and police more freedom to what needs to be done!

I think you're missing the irony that America is full of refugees and immigrants who needed a better place to live, came here, destroyed the local population, and generations later want to ignore that reality. :)

Landlord2015

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2015, 05:43:06 PM »
On the US hosting Syrian refugees:

And if the concern is that it will allow some fundamentalists in, I'll also note that it wouldn't be the first time a group of folks in very conservative dress with very specific religious beliefs who were not welcome in their home country made their way here.

Happy Thanksgiving
You sir don't share same political views as I. I am from Europe and most of Europe is upset about what happened in France and it has affected even my country. I will not comment this further because it woul lead to a political debate. However there will come some law changes in my country in 2016 and I do support those law changes it will give the military and police more freedom to what needs to be done!

I think you're missing the irony that America is full of refugees and immigrants who needed a better place to live, came here, destroyed the local population, and generations later want to ignore that reality. :)
Yeah sure we Europeans came:)

Spork

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2015, 05:44:24 PM »
On the US hosting Syrian refugees:

And if the concern is that it will allow some fundamentalists in, I'll also note that it wouldn't be the first time a group of folks in very conservative dress with very specific religious beliefs who were not welcome in their home country made their way here.

Happy Thanksgiving
You sir don't share same political views as I. I am from Europe and most of Europe is upset about what happened in France and it has affected even my country. I will not comment this further because it woul lead to a political debate. However there will come some law changes in my country in 2016 and I do support those law changes it will give the military and police more freedom to what needs to be done!

I think you're missing the irony that America is full of refugees and immigrants who needed a better place to live, came here, destroyed the local population, and generations later want to ignore that reality. :)

...and Thanksgiving was supposedly where the newcomers and the local population sat down and essentially "celebrated their wealth with each other."
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

elaine amj

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #45 on: November 20, 2015, 08:42:00 PM »
I loved Goldielocks's bucket method and used it to get my own FIRE number. It made a lot of sense and put it out in layman's terms. The 4%SWR is a little hard to visualize in practice and made me want to add more precautions and safety margins. Glad it was added to this list!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #46 on: November 20, 2015, 09:09:38 PM »
I loved Goldielocks's bucket method and used it to get my own FIRE number. It made a lot of sense and put it out in layman's terms. The 4%SWR is a little hard to visualize in practice and made me want to add more precautions and safety margins. Glad it was added to this list!

Goldielocks buckets? Link please?
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Cheddar Stacker

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2015, 09:25:38 PM »
I loved Goldielocks's bucket method and used it to get my own FIRE number. It made a lot of sense and put it out in layman's terms. The 4%SWR is a little hard to visualize in practice and made me want to add more precautions and safety margins. Glad it was added to this list!

Goldielocks buckets? Link please?

Just look up. Reply #33. Sort of a specific identification plan. Seems fun.
Indecision may or may not be my problem.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2015, 09:36:35 PM »
I loved Goldielocks's bucket method and used it to get my own FIRE number. It made a lot of sense and put it out in layman's terms. The 4%SWR is a little hard to visualize in practice and made me want to add more precautions and safety margins. Glad it was added to this list!

Goldielocks buckets? Link please?

Just look up. Reply #33. Sort of a specific identification plan. Seems fun.

Oooh, thank you! Not sure how I missed that the first read through. I probably skimmed =P
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Landlord2015

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2015, 09:00:26 AM »
I must give credit to Goldielocks. She is the only one that has managed to give some feedback on my new topic:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/advice-to-pay-of-which-investment-apartment-mortgage-or-using-money%28europe-ecb%29/

My initial reaction was perhaps to point out eagerily that I am not so poor as she might think or well the apartments are more worth etc. Anyway she did manage to give a great many questions and feedback. My credits and respect to Goldielocks and I hope I did not scare her away permanently that was not my intention:)