Author Topic: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...  (Read 149407 times)

letsdoit

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #400 on: October 05, 2018, 10:37:27 AM »
Kyle Schuant on privilege. He nailed it.

Glass half empty or half full, we all can agree that not everyone's glasses are the same size.
Correct. Many of us here are privileged and don't realise it. This is usually responded to with indignant howls of "but I work so hard!" But "privilege" or lack of it doesn't mean you don't work hard or do, it simply affects how much you'll get out of your hard work.


Anyone involved with sports knows that there exist "natural athletes" - the person with a big vertical jump and who can simply watch a movement and reproduce it well. This is why in my gym we'll get women who after 3 months of training squat 60kg, and others who squat 100kg. All of them show up every time and lift, but some simply get more out of their 39 sessions in 13 weeks than do others. They have talent.


Likewise people with a degree of privilege. The other day in the paper there was a young guy, son of a very wealthy family, talking about the apps he'd made and sold, and he proudly said "my parents never gave me a cent." He'd gone to Geelong Grammar, a school which costs about $37k a year - so his parents had spent the equivalent of a full-time minimum wage before tax on his education every year. What a cleaner or waitress working full-time (few do) earns in 13 years had gone on his education (there was no mention of if he'd gone to university). Not on;y this excellent education, but of course places like that have a lot of other privileged kids who can introduce you to people to invest in your work; this is why so many of the leading CEOs, high court judges and so on come from just a few schools.


"My parents never gave me a cent." They didn't have to. The kid worked hard - but because he had that start with an excellent education and knowing the right people to help him make things happen, he got a lot more out of his work than would a son of a single-mum part-time casual cleaner, the son who'd gone to a state school in Woop Woop.


Yes, if you're earning $40k you can save half of it. But then you're missing out on a lot of things, and not the things you miss out on when you're getting $100k and save half of it, more vital things. And you're relying on nothing going wrong for 20 years or so - no hospital visits, no sudden evictions, no deadbeat brothers-in-law who need a loan but will never pay it back, no periods of unemployment, and so on.


A lower income does allow saving, but a lower income is more fragile. And lower-income jobs tend to be less secure. People with lower incomes have more frequent and longer periods of unemployment than do those with higher incomes. This was a point missed by Geelong Grammar App Boy - sure, his parents didn't invest in his apps. But if it all failed miserably he wouldn't end up on the street. He had the freedom to take the risk of a big fuckup, a freedom that his Woop Woop State School son of a part-time casual cleaner peer wouldn't have.


I am acutely aware of these issues because I grew up poor, but am now doing well. I was able to do a career change and start a small business because of my wife doing a full-time professional job; she gave me the security, the fallback in case the risk turned out bad. I could have done it without her, but it would have been much harder, and the risks of failure would have been much greater. As someone who has literally slept on the street at one point, I am acutely aware of what "risk of failure" means for some people. The change and the business worked and now we're doing well.


This is why MMM speaks of giving to charity. Those of us who have more have a responsibility to give so that others may have opportunities like ours. Part of this is accomplished by taxation, which pays for public schools and so on, but whatever your politics, most can agree this is less efficient and effective than it might be, and so we should give to charities.


Originally the definition of "middle class" was "well-off to hire servants." In the Third World it's considered a social obligation (as well as a sign of status), so this is why you'll get a single professional in Beijing, Manila or Nairobi with a tiny apartment - but they have a maid. You have a lot, now you should pass it on. In the West few people have full-time servants, but some of us have businesses and we can hire people for them, and all of us have all sorts of jobs we can hire people for occasionally. In Judaism as in many faiths, charity is a duty, and the best charity is giving someone a job.


Quote from: SwordGuy
it's just plain evil to teach people they can't possibly succeed when it's been proven that people can.
Saying that some people will find success more difficult and requiring more luck than others is not saying that success is impossible for some people.


Americans are terrible at nuance and degree.
"I'm against the death penalty."
"What?! So we should just let them all go?!"
"I'm in favour of the death penalty."
"What?! So we should execute people for jaywalking?!"


Nuance. Subtlety. Degrees of this and that. Set aside this lazy black & white thinking and contend with what people have actually said: nothing is impossible, but some things are harder than others. "Well, just work harder." Yes, that works. But some people still need to be lucky.

it is an example of black and white thinking that you are saying Americans exhibit lazy black/white thinking.

granted, it may be true that many of us (because of intentionally bad education system, maybe) would fail to find the nuances in some things. 
 we were never taught that the majority of of casualties in WWII were on the Eastern Front, bc it was easier to teach, 'yeah we saved the world from Hitler, so good job to us.'

but many cultures have their blind spots (Japan comes to mind)

tralfamadorian

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #401 on: October 05, 2018, 11:04:36 AM »
An older but amazingly well researched and thought out post by @gerardc that I read for the first time today about how to make informed decisions regarding the success and failure rate of the 4% rule in different points in the market cycle and how your savings rate changes how likely it would be for the market cycle to impact your SWR decisions.

Below is a clearer graph of success rate in function of savings rate instead of contribution rate. At typical 4% SWR and 50% savings rate, cFIREsim predicts 94.6% success, which goes down to 91.6% when considering the effect of market fluctuations on FIRE start year.



My hunch is this: the shorter your investing timeline, the more likely you are to be prone to sequence of returns risk, and vice-versa. But even then, you aren't necessarily more likely to be at the top of the market, as there's no way to predict that. I agree that you're less likely to retire in a bear market, but that doesn't mean the opposite is true.

Below is a plot of the FIRE year distribution for accumulation phases starting at random years for different savings rates. At 90% savings rate, FIRE density is roughly uniform; at 10% savings rate, FIRE density is almost all concentrated around market peaks right before crashes; in between (50%), FIRE density is surprisingly also at the mercy of market fluctuations, which explains the correction above.




Thanks, I'd be fascinated to take a look at it.

Here you go. I wrote this quickly so there might be bugs.

Code: [Select]
import json
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np

START_YEAR = 1871
END_YEAR = 2015
PERIOD = 50
STOCK_FRACTION = 0.9
BONDS_FRACTION = 0.1

# From https://github.com/boknows/cFIREsim-open/blob/master/js/marketData.js
market_data = json.load(file('market.json'))
market_data = {int(year): properties for year, properties in market_data.iteritems()}

def Simulate(start_value, start_year, end_year, accumulation, target):
  value = start_value
  die = None
  reached = None
  for year in xrange(start_year, end_year):
    properties = market_data[year]
    next_properties = market_data[year + 1]

    value += accumulation
    if value > 0:
      stock_gains = (1. + properties['dividends']) * (1. + properties['growth'])
      bonds_gains = 1. + properties['fixed_income']
      value *= STOCK_FRACTION * stock_gains + BONDS_FRACTION * bonds_gains
    value *= float(properties['cpi']) / next_properties['cpi']

    if value <= 0 and die is None:
      die = year
    if target is not None and value >= target and reached is None:
      reached = year + 1
    #print year, value
  return {'end_value': value, 'die': die, 'reached': reached}

def SuccessRate(period, accumulation, withdrawal):
  successes = []
  durations = []
  fire_years = []
  for start_year in xrange(START_YEAR, END_YEAR - period):
    accumulation_results = Simulate(0.0, start_year, END_YEAR, accumulation, 1.0)
    if accumulation_results['reached'] is None:
      continue
    reached_year = accumulation_results['reached']
    fire_years.append(reached_year)
    if reached_year + period > END_YEAR:
      continue

    drawdown_results = Simulate(1.0, reached_year, reached_year + period, -withdrawal, target=None)
    die_year = drawdown_results['die']
    success = die_year is None
    duration = period if die_year is None else die_year - reached_year
    successes.append(success)
    durations.append(duration)
  return {'success_rate': np.mean(successes), 'mean_duration': np.mean(durations), 'fire_years': fire_years}

def Accumulation(savings_rate, withdrawal):
  # Assuming expenses (as fraction of target) = withdrawal rate
  # savings_rate = accumulation / (accumulation + withdrawal)
  return withdrawal / (1. / savings_rate - 1.)

def PlotSuccessRate():
  savings_rates = np.arange(0.1, 1., .05)
  withdrawals = [0.03, 0.04, 0.05, 0.06, 0.07]

  legend = []
  for withdrawal in withdrawals:
    success_rates = [100. * SuccessRate(PERIOD,
                                        Accumulation(savings_rate, withdrawal),
                                        withdrawal)['success_rate']
                     for savings_rate in savings_rates]
    plt.plot(100. * savings_rates, success_rates)
    legend.append('%i%% WR' % (100. * withdrawal))
    print '%i%% WR:' % (100. * withdrawal),
    print ' '.join('(%i,%.1f)' % t for t in zip(100. * savings_rates, success_rates))

  plt.xlabel('accumulation phase savings rate (%)')
  plt.ylabel('success rate (%)')
  plt.legend(legend)
  plt.title('Historical success rates over %i years after accumulation phase\n(%i%% stock / %i%% bonds portfolio)' %
            (PERIOD, STOCK_FRACTION * 100, BONDS_FRACTION * 100))
  plt.grid(True)
  plt.show()

def PlotFireYearDensity():
  savings_rates = [0.1, 0.5, 0.9]
  withdrawal = 0.04

  years = np.arange(START_YEAR, END_YEAR, 0.1)
  smoothing_years = 2.
  def kernel(fire_year):
    return np.exp(-0.5 * ((years - fire_year) / smoothing_years) ** 2)

  legend = []
  for savings_rate in savings_rates:
    fire_years = SuccessRate(0, Accumulation(savings_rate, withdrawal), withdrawal)['fire_years']
    distribution = np.sum([kernel(fire_year) for fire_year in fire_years], axis=0)
    plt.plot(years, distribution, linewidth=1.0)
    legend.append('%i%% SR' % (100. * savings_rate))

  plt.xlabel('year')
  plt.ylabel('FIRE density')
  plt.legend(legend)
  plt.title('FIRE year distribution under targeted accumulation phase\n(%i%% stock / %i%% bonds portfolio)' %
       (STOCK_FRACTION * 100, BONDS_FRACTION * 100))
  plt.grid(True)
  plt.show()

PizzaSteve

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #402 on: October 06, 2018, 10:56:21 AM »
What are you hoping to gain from this thread? Nobody here uses or would consider this method.
Responses like the one from @Systems101 are excellent. He had a very good, well-formed criticism. I hope for more of that.

Yet your response is to:
  • Put words in my mouth (I neither called you stupid, nor did I accuse you of thinking the world is flat)
  • Set up a 100% strawman to then tear it down?

Unfortunately, I need to do one more post to support this concern:

My motivation for posting here is to offer new impressionable investors, who might be silently reading along, a counter argument to a market-timing methodology that could be hazardous to their portfolio's health and performance.

My example about the world being flat is that all the logic in the world can't help you if the starting assumptions are wrong.  I believe good research involves challenging your own assumptions, which means looking for contrary information.  Most of what the OP is doing is looking for information that validates that the methodology reduces volatility.  This is a very narrow perspective.  The graph the OP posted (which I also produced but didn't post - if you convert the return values to absolute values and then fit a line you will get the R-squared I talked about), as well as various articles will show the implied volatility of the VIX, to a limited degree, predicts realized volatility.  The OP is therefore declaring success. 

Unfortunately, I will maintain my point that the OP has not done enough research... It is this leap of "Since the VIX predicts volatility, my investment process works!" that I think is deeply flawed.

ďIf you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.Ē Ė W. Edwards Deming

Simply put, the OP is asking the wrong questions.

Let's start here:

But this is exactly what I'm hoping to achieve. Less start-date sensitively, less liquidation/draw timing sensitivity, less worry.

There are a ton of questions here that are important to ask.
  • What is the best methodology of lowering volatility and maintaining as much return as possible?

The problem is you are running a test that says "Is my methodology better than 100% pure investment?"  You have set it up as a False Dilemma.  If we assume MPT is valid, the proper question is: "For the lowering of volatility, did I take an appropriate lowering of return to stay on the efficient frontier?"  If we do an alternative test, we can formulate the question to show what I believe @ILikeDividends was getting at: "Does having a variable rate of investment in the market to reduce volatility outperform having a fixed rate of investment (at some value that provides the desired volatility)?".  Since you have provided NO data on other methodologies to reduce volatility, you didn't answer this critical question.

  • Why are you sensitive to draw timing? or perhaps... Why are you concerned about a future risk in the present?  or perhaps... Why are you assuming you have one investment methodology before, approaching, and after retirement?

Let's be clear: You are raising a real risk (volatility risk) - this is good.  But volatility is a meaningful risk only when you are forced to liquidate.  This becomes important below.

Secondly, you are attempting to use a measure of that risk factor (VIX, which measures implied volatility) to alter your investments.  I will address this below, but need to make one other point first.

You never asked "Am I sensitive to volatility risk?".  It's like the Hurricane in Idaho example earlier: Can you imagine State Farm representative's response if you asked to get a hurricane addendum on insurance in Idaho?  The risk is real while you are in the draw-down phase.  It is also real right now, but you basically aren't exposed to it.  It's why in corporate risk management, there are two columns: Impact and Probability. In both cases, the probability of a volatility event could be high, but in the accumulation phase, the impact (the probability of it being a problem) is almost precisely zero.  Because we shouldn't assume we have to have one methodology, this then compounds onto the first question.  You are paying for insurance (lower return) on a risk factor (volatility) that you may experience - but basically won't impact you - while you are in the accumulation phase.  Why are you setting an investment methodology now when the probability of it being a problem is high mainly in the first 10 years after retirement?  There is no reason to take on that opportunity cost of lower returns now.*

*This assumes your investment horizon is, in fact, retirement.  Different rules may apply if you are saving for a house down payment, for example.

  • Is this the best method for dealing with draw-down risk?

Also, there are already documented methods for dealing with the initial sensitivity to a market crash right after retirement: Rising Equity Glide Path.  You don't need to prove the variable model better than the S&P500, you need to prove it better than the known alternatives.  Again, you have brought NO data to the table.

Risk-parity funds do use VIX as a measure of variance.

Yikes. 

Even if I take this as correct (I lack knowledge of how exactly they measure risk, so make no opinion on it), it is extremely scary to jump from "Risk parity funds use VIX" to "I should take my *entire portfolio* and treat it like a risk parity fund".  Even if you someone believes in using Risk Parity, I suspect they believe it should be *one part* of an overall portfolio, not *the entire* portfolio.

Here's the implied question in your behavior:

  • Why should your entire portfolio be treated as a Risk Parity fund, rather than risk parity being one factor in a multi-factor portfolio?

Again, no data.

OK. So one of the bigger issues that has been brought up is that VIX is not actually predictive of future variance in the S&P 500. So I charted it out.

This is another one of those things that should raise red flags for those following along at home.  Folks have pointed out that the VIX doesn't predict market *performance*, but did anyone actually make that claim that it wasn't predictive of future variance?  I even stated the R-squared was around 0.2, so I actually supported the same claim you are making.  The problem is: So what?  What is the logic chain that makes that information valuable? (and remember, it has to be *relatively valuable* to other strategies, not just *absolutely valuable* vs the S&P 500). I just happen to think the claim (about implied volatility predicting future volatility) is useless in the face of known alternatives and the questions listed above.

That's why I picked the 50% loss limit. The system optimizes for that level of risk tolerance.

Ah, the wonders of marketing.  There is little to no basis for their 50% claim, especially if it is backtested only into the 1990s.  Keep in mind the losses in '29-'32 were WAY bigger than 2008.  What they have done is provided you a slider to choose a loss limit.  There are some statistics around this to give it an air of legitimacy, but in reality, it's part of an oft-used marketing scheme called (among other things) "Fake Precision".  This gives you a precise value to give you an air of comfort that they know what they are doing.  This is designed to lower your stress level and validate that the service you are buying is performing a useful function for you... while actually providing no guarantee of accuracy in return.  I can query 10 people and average their answers as to the height of the Statue of Liberty to the nearest millimeter, but Wikipedia is likely to give me a much more accurate answer (albeit with less precision).  You should want an accurate answer, not a precise one.

Said another way: You are giving up returns in exchange for a false sense of security.  If this helps you sleep at night, then perhaps that false sense does have real economic value for you.  Some people are willing to pay prices for things like that (you can find threads here about robo-advisors and the comfort of those services).  I actually don't have any problem with people doing that as long as they understand they are not reducing their risk, they are merely paying for their emotional comfort with lower returns.  If you both go in with eyes open, and make sure to educate others you are encouraging to follow you with the truth, then it's all good.

Since folks here are maximizing return and accepting the volatility, I don't know why anyone here would be interested in using the VIX as you describe.
If everyone here literally has 100% of their liquid assets in stock indexes all the time, then sure, you're right.

As noted earlier, this is setting up and tearing down a strawman.  To be more clear: Each individual should pick a portfolio that is appropriate for their risk tolerance.  Within that, we accept the volatility as appropriate for the risk we have chosen.  Again, I am not using volatility as risk here, as that simplification for economics papers has some nasty logic holes.

Also, let's be clear on one more concern: Why are they selling the methodology $8 at a time?  If it's really "that good", then they should keep it a secret.  Once a secret is out, the market prices in that information, and the edge goes away.

Overall, you are spending a lot of effort to prove you are correct, but you have not yet taken on the effort to really tear down your own assumptions or identify where you are making leaps of logic that don't hold water. It really feels like you are "shifting the burden" (Getting lots of practice with my logical fallacies today!) to have us prove your methodology wrong.  As I've pointed out, there is a LOT of evidence that passive investing is the way to go... so the obligation is on *you* to prove that the VIX is not, as you put it, "useless garbage".  The data shows implied volatility predicts real volatility... assume we accept that... but you haven't connected that point to any action that is more useful than other already known options.

Not sure there is much more for me to add here.  Hopefully that post is sufficient warning to others to at least do a lot more of their own research before buying into an active methodology.

Sailor Sam

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #403 on: October 06, 2018, 05:42:59 PM »
@letsdoit, @DreamFIRE, please don't derail this excellent thread with side debates. I think the whole community enjoys it, and wants to see it remain on point.

If you feel the topic really needs to be hashed out, start a new thread with the post you want to parse quoted in the OP.  And thank you for your community consideration.

marty998

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #404 on: October 06, 2018, 06:51:59 PM »
@Malkynn on the world being worried that young FIREies have got their sums wrong:


I know!
I feel like Iím taking crazy pills every time this ďconcernĒ comes up.

Like, WTF people???

The FI community is filled with people trying to be financially responsible and informed. We are a teeny, tiny, minuscule percentage of the population thatís ACTUALLY GOOD WITH MONEY.......and people are worried about us??? Are you fucking kidding me???

People here throw around retiring on 1M as if itís nothing and then debate at length if itís enough to protect against SORR, inflation, and healthcare. Do you have ANY IDEA how many 65 year olds would KILL to have 1M???

Itís not like all of these people working until 65-70 are better off, they just wasted more money along the way and never gave themselves any choice but to keep working.

Mustachians arenít eating cat food and hoping for markets that never crash. Weíre saving absolute boat loads of cash, understanding investing better than most Financial Advisors, and not wasting money on pointless shit.

Weíre better off than over 99% of the population and people are concerned that we have a math problem???
Jesus fucking Christ thatís fucking hilarious.

Itís like when I lost a bunch of weight and went from Obese to low-healthy BMI and suddenly everyone and their cousin was ďworriedĒ about me and my ďhealthĒ despite me being healthier than Iíve ever been in my life.

I remember when I was first introduced to MMM, I immediately thought ďwell, I donít want to retire super young, I love my workĒ, but the rest of it, the frugality, the focus on health, the control you gain over your life when you lower your consumption, etc. It all immediately struck me as brilliant. Instead of retiring super early, Iíve cut down to super part time, which is just as amazing for me.

Itís only people who are immediately repelled by choosing to spend less that recoil against the idea and throw the baby out with the bathwater when they donít love the idea of super early retirement. I once said frugality was the financial equivalent of being a vegan, it irrationally pisses everyone else off who doesnít choose that lifestyle and makes them feel compelled to mock you and judge your life choice as crazy and/or offensive.

People so truly hate the concept of consistent hard work that they need to vilify any example of it as somehow misguided or unrealistic.
Itís truly laughably absurd to look at the FIRE community as anything other than common fucking sense.

Life in Balance

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #405 on: October 08, 2018, 07:07:52 PM »
+1 to Malkynn's post above.  I keep seeing those headlines and it's maddening.

And thanks to all for this thread. 

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #406 on: October 09, 2018, 08:26:00 AM »
+1 to Malkynn's post above.  I keep seeing those headlines and it's maddening.

And thanks to all for this thread.

lol, yeah, clearly they drive me bonkers, but I try to find humour in the total absurdity.


It's almost as if you were speaking directly to Suze Orman, using some of her style, to argue against her attitude.

wenchsenior

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #407 on: October 13, 2018, 09:27:37 AM »
From the IPCC report thread: Kyle Schuant dropping the microphone


Quote from: Cache_Stash on October 09, 2018, 07:07:31 AM

    Population is the problem, not mankind's contribution to carbon dioxide in the air.


I have a friend who makes this argument. He is childless and his hobby is flying aircraft. It is perhaps possible that this is a self-serving argument.

It doesn't matter if what we do has an impact or not. "It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support." - your countryman Henry David Thoreau.

Now, what sort of lifestyle might we choose if we wished to wash our hands of personal contribution to climate change, and not to give it practically our support? I would suggest that many of the things we could do are things which would also help our finances and our personal health: stop flying, home and work closer to each-other and walk and cycle rather than drive, eat less junk food and meat, use less natural gas and electricity, and so on. If you care only about finances, these are all good things to do; if you care only about health, these are all good things to do; and if you care only about the environment, these are all good things to do.

Further, once you consider the environment of other countries, and how places like China have worse environmental practices than most of the West, and then consider also the collapse of manufacturing in the West, "buy local" is both an environmentalist and a patriotic maxim.

I'm old-fashioned. I believe: duty first. Whether or not I pay my taxes, do jury duty or military or civilian service of some kind, whether I speak well of my wife behind her back or not, whether or not I call people by racial epithets when out of their hearing, the practical impact of these things is almost zero. Nonetheless an adult in a civilised society has duties. A duty is something which whether you like it or not and whether it makes a difference or not you simply must do. A society is nothing but an accumulation of kept promises and duties met.

Now, some may reply that we as humans have no duties to one another. And I would answer that this is indeed a popular point of view, and explains much of the world's problems now, but I wash my hands of such an idea, and do not give it practically my support.
ę Last Edit: Today at 12:25:46 AM by Kyle Schuant Ľ

BNgarden

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #408 on: October 22, 2018, 10:41:00 AM »
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/i-quit/msg2177865/#msg2177865

Strangely, I don't feel like I chose it :(   I think that's part of the angst, sadness, grief. (And I'm okay with angst, sadness, grief.)

It was one of those "rock and a hard place" matters, "damned if I do and damned if I don't" things. The ladyfriend who quit her late-in-life relationship is a lot like me in general and also has a very hard time quitting something she's started. She really knew that point of "just not knowing", of imagining that "if I just work harder...". And she's a really cool person so it helped me to know she quit such a high-stakes thing (much like the grad school examples, etc).

But today I did also notice how easy it is for me to prioritize everything else I do. I have no trouble choosing amongst everything else in my life moment by moment, day by day (rest/social; paperwork/respite; exercise/rest) and no trouble stopping most things that should be stopped. Noticing that was somehow helpful. If the only question is "should this be continued or stopped", stopping is no trouble. So my only challenge with quitting was actually just other people (teacher, grantors, admin people), and "other people" should not compel me to break myself.

I love that you have excelled at quitting things that should be quit, jane x! Thank you for those examples. So helpful.

Ahh, but you absolutely *did* choose it.
You chose not to continue doing something beyond your capacity that was hurting you and damaging the rest of your life. What's frustrating you is that you somehow feel that you *should* have had capacity for it, but it turns out that you didn't.

We all have limitations, and those limitations are all different. For everything you can't do easily, you have capacity for doing things that others struggle with.

For example, you and I both have certain limited capacities, which are quite different.
I am rather physically limited. I have a condition that leaves me very prone to serious and permanent injuries, so I have a lot of pain from injuries that normally happen to athletes, but happen to me during day to day function. Throw in affects on almost every organ in my body, and it's a constant battle to function day to day and not be overly exhausted from fatigue, joint pain, and digestive problems. I can only handle my day job 2 days a week as a result. I could easily feel like most of my career was taken away from me by my disability.

However, that's really not the case, that's just a parameter of ability within which I need to construct my best life.
Sure, others don't have my physical limitations, but the vast majority of people don't have the aptitude and capability to do my job in the first place as it's one of the most insanely competitive careers to get into and brilliant people are rejected every year. Am I disabled compared to my professional colleagues, or am I gifted compared to those who can't even get a chance to do this job?

So I will never be a full time clinical practitioner, so what?
I will also never be a professional basketball player, or a chef, or a Zumba instructor, or an underwater welder, or a crab fisherman, or a potato farmer,  or a runway model, or a competitive eater.
So???

If you look realistically at what you *can't* do in life, the list is extensive and kind of pointless to care about. Sure, every once in awhile
there will be an unfortunate intersection between what you want to do and what you can't do. Countless wannabe actors and singers hit that wall of reality every day.

So I have some physical limitations and you have some neurological limitations, and others have intellectual limitations, or emotional limitations, or situational limitations. Everyone has a set of parameters within which they need to function otherwise things start falling apart. I don't have the same limitations as my SIL who has a severely disabled daughter who needs 24 hr care. I don't have the same limitations as my ex who has a brilliant mind but a debilitating anxiety disorder. I don't have the same limitations as my childhood friend who got pregnant at 15. I don't have the same limitations as my other childhood friend who is shockingly really really not smart (like, falls for every email scam out there, unbelievably not smart), I don't have the same limitations as anyone born somewhere without the same access to medical care that I have, etc, etc.

Then there are the priorities within the realities and parameters. The decisions that we all make as to how to allocate our various skills and resources available to us.

I know of an executive business man who is able bodied and brilliant. He has absolutely no limitations on his workplace function.
He throws himself into his business 110%, full tilt at all times, and what he has accomplished is truly exceptional. Cool.
He's also drinking like a fish, eating out for business meals every day of the week, morbidly obese, has no family, and sees his body as nothing but a resource to use (and use up) for the business. He works 100hrs/week.

I know another executive who doesn't give as much to the job, doesn't have nearly the level of success, but values self care and has a family that they prioritize as much as the business. She quit a job that required her to work 100hrs/week. Same capabilities, different parameters and priorities.

So, no. You didn't have a choice as to what your capabilities, realities and parameters in life are; however, the decision to not put every ounce of resource towards a program that would have compromised other top priorities is still a choice.
I could actually choose to try and do my job full time again and you could choose to try and follow through on your program, there's just a reality that that would cause so much damage to our lives that making that decision would be an unwise trade off and not worth the cost and consequences.

Likewise, I could choose to do a PhD, or DH could choose to get into competitive MMA. Those are both life choices that would be astronomical in the trade offs and use of resources, they would require immense sacrifice of other life priorities. Thankfully, neither of us have any bloody interest in a PhD or MMA, lol.

Whether we realize it or not, we are always building our lives within the boundaries of our particular realities. It's just that sometimes we overestimate our capacities or fail to predict the costs of some choices and then we have to regroup, re-define our parameters, re-evaluate our priorities, and pivot towards a better balance.

This happens too when life circumstances change. People adapt to illness and injury, to having children, to illness and injury in their children, to divorce, to emotional trauma, to aging parents, to economic downturns, to entire industries being wiped out, to political and social changes, to ecological changes, etc, etc, etc. What you thought you could do is always being influenced and changed. It's just a matter of adapting and pivoting along with the new parameters.

In the end, it's not that you can't do something. It's that something you tried isn't worth pursuing given the parameters within which you function based on your needs, capacities, capabilities, and priorities.
And that is true of absolutely EVERYTHING in your life.

Go ahead and grieve the loss of the potential that you thought there was, but remember, it's not a tragedy that you can't fit this within your life any more than it is a tragedy that you can't fit being a runway model due to lack of height or nobel winning physicist due to lack of brilliance in physics or the Guinness record holder for longest fingernails due to other things in life requiring you to be able to use your hands on a daily basis. Don't get bogged down in what you can't do, because I guarantee many many people out there are insanely jealous of what you can do. For example, I envy that you can likely sit in a normal dining room chair without searing spine pain (don't feel bad for me, it's a good thing because it keeps me from eating out at restaurants often, yay frugality!)

You are not a failure for choosing not to pursue a path that isn't worth the sacrifice.
You haven't had anything taken away from you either.
You have learned the boundaries of your capacity, it just sucks to find out that that boundary was closer than you initially thought.

Be sad, regroup, move forward, and be grateful that you had the wisdom not to see excessive sacrifice as a good thing like most people do.

I really appreciated this post.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #409 on: October 22, 2018, 12:00:57 PM »
Holy shit what a great post

MoseyingAlong

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #410 on: October 24, 2018, 02:59:13 AM »
From "The top is in" thread.

Today's Marketwatch headline is "Stocks threaten to book first two-day decline in a week".  IN A WEEK

Yes, truly the end is nigh, today could be the first time we've had two bad days, for seven days.  Remember the halcyon days of yore, a half-fortnight ago?  Ahhh, our lives have been truly blessed since then, as we basked in the glorious tranquility of five whole days without two bad ones in a row.

Read it this morning and still chuckling about it. Plus a great reminder how overblown media reports can be.

pbkmaine

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #411 on: October 24, 2018, 06:33:51 AM »

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #412 on: October 24, 2018, 01:39:27 PM »

saguaro

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #413 on: October 24, 2018, 04:14:17 PM »
Holy shit what a great post

Yes!

Wow really puts things in perspective

It sure does.  I want to print and frame that post.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #414 on: October 24, 2018, 06:31:00 PM »
This is a response from @Frankies Girl in the, "Is it possible the market has peaked?" thread in the Investor Alley forum.  I love it - especially the part at the end about having an IPS and trusting your asset allocation:

I actually don't know or care what a Shiller or PE or whatawhozit is.

You know there is a study that showed the portfolios that performed best during the crashes were the ones where the people basically didn't even remember to check them? Literally didn't do a damned thing, and they outperformed the market timers/panic buy/sellers. Because just leaving things alone and letting it drop and then recover (as long as you're not invested in one volitile company/industry) was the best way to weather the crashes. So if you're invested in a broad market assortment - like an index fund AA - LEAVING IT ALONE (and just keep buying like normal, all the way down) - is the smartest thing to do.

I don't care if the market has peaked, the bears are coming, dogs and cats living together mass hysteria...

It is noise. All those news channels and financial gurus need to talk about the next big crash, the hot new investment, who is going bankrupt, who is going public... they gotta predict, fear-monger, and get SUPER EXCITED because otherwise they'd be out of a job and their books and sites might not be so popular.

Markets go up, then they might go down for a while. Might be a sudden drop, might take a while. Might go flat even. That is what they are supposed to do. It is expected, it is normal and shorting this or market timing that isn't going to matter a hill of beans and mostly is just a waste of precious brain space trying to figure out if I need to sell this or buy that RIGHT NOW.

I have my IPS, I trust my AA, and I am over here sittin' next to honey badger... I don't even care. And I'm down like 80K and counting so far. No worries.

Top is in.

lexde

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #415 on: October 26, 2018, 12:19:37 PM »
@FIREby35 did a very good thing today.

So, I'm an independent lawyer. Over the years, I've done many things. But, as my stache' has grown so has my freedom to choose my cases. I've begun to choose cases that trigger my "spider sense" for deep injustice.

I don't want to share too many details, so you'll have to take the ones I give and trust the overall idea. The prosecution was of a man who had no criminal history, supported a family, had purchased a home while working in construction and only came to the attention of law enforcement when federal authorities contacted his family as victims of crime. A minor in the family was a victim of online sexual abuse and "enticement."

But, while they were conducting this investigation, ICE agents thought the client being "illegal" and working in construction was sufficient basis to prosecute federally for crimes that won't cause a long prison sentence but will permanently disqualify an immigrant from ever legally immigrating or regularizing their status. He could then be branded a "felon" and "illegal criminal." Those labels are then used to justify many things. In this case, the result would be the destruction of a traditional nuclear family of five. The minor sex crime victim already thought everything happening was "his fault."

On top of all that, defending an "illegal" immigrant in a deeply conservative area of our country is no small task. But it has been my task for years. This happened in a midwestern state who would surely produce a high percentage of Trump voters and white people for the jury. I mean, we are a mostly white community and I am a white man. It was a federal prosecution and our United States Attorney is a Republican and was recently appointed by the Trump administration. These are just facts.

In my dealings with the federal government, I set the conditions for the resolution of the case. At least for me, that is a role reversal. Usually it is the feds that set the conditions. But, as it was, I set the conditions and then, when they refused, I proceeded to plan for a trial. A trial for an illegal immigrant in front of a theoretically hostile jury. In case you didn't know, over 97% of federal prosecutions result in plea agreements. It is not common to refuse even terrible offers.

For one, I knew from the beginning I would have to fight to the end on this case. I knew it would take time and effort. I knew the client didn't have the resources for the defense he would need. But, because of my growing stache' and financial security and the strength of my belief that this was a real-life tragedy, I figured I would just go tilt at windmills, Quixote style.

I did all kinds of things that were totally the product of Mustachianism. For one, I took the time to challenge everything at every turn with pre-trial litigation. I got the federal government to pay for a private investigator to get more facts, witnesses and clarity about my client, the government witnesses and the reality of the situation. I went on walks to daydream and theorize about my voir dire, opening statement, witness cross-examinations and, most importantly, the attitude I would have to cultivate in order to win in front of a jury of my peers (not a jury of the accused's peers, you might notice).

I just had the time and financial security to give all of this to my client.

Anyway, yesterday, on the eve of trial and after one year of effort, the federal government gave me what I asked for nearly a year ago - a resolution that will preserve the family. A resolution that will allow a minor child, sex crime victim to have a positive role model and avoid carrying the burden of destroying his own family.

When I called the client to tell him, he broke down crying. I don't think he is the type of man who cries often.

I feel a debt of gratitude to MMM and this community. I know that I couldn't have done it years ago when I was chasing every dollar and spending it on something other than personal freedom. I don't think that level of effort is something you can give if you are saddled with the burden of debt payments and luxurious office overhead costs or a legal job that doesn't let you follow your heart. I've been Mustachian since April 2013 when MMM was featured in the Washington Post. I've applied the ideas to my personal and professional life. It has been awesome and, for now, the new peak is challenging and beating the feds. Or, better stated, discovering the attitude and effort it takes to have a chance at beating them. I'm permanently more capable after all of this.

I hope there are more battles, victories and defeats. I hope the security and confidence I feel, because of my stache' and the badass attitude it has cultivated, will blossom and lead to more opportunities to fight for what I believe is justice.

diapasoun

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #416 on: October 26, 2018, 12:25:05 PM »
Bless you, Fireby35, and what you're describing right now is absolutely one of the things that draws me to Mustachianism.

letsdoit

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #417 on: October 26, 2018, 01:48:53 PM »
baudacious bad assity

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #418 on: October 26, 2018, 02:41:25 PM »
Great story!  I almost went into law, but didn't because I'm pretty sure I'd hate it as a career, but it's one of my possible post-FIRE dreams to become a pro-bono civil rights defender.  Your story is exactly what I've had it mind.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #419 on: October 26, 2018, 05:26:46 PM »
@FIREby35 - cried reading this. Thank you. Truly, you inspired me & made my day.

OtherJen

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #420 on: October 27, 2018, 04:56:15 AM »
@FIREby35 , that is beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for helping that family and for actually making America great.

dandypandys

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #421 on: October 28, 2018, 06:17:48 AM »
wow! that gave me spiders in the reallllly good way!!!

Blindsquirrel

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #422 on: October 29, 2018, 08:50:10 PM »
@FIREby35 Mass respect for that. Federal prosecutors win 97% of the time. They print the money, pay the judge and pay the law enforcement.  Respect!!

JanetJackson

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #423 on: October 30, 2018, 12:35:32 PM »
@FIREby35 - cried reading this. Thank you. Truly, you inspired me & made my day.
@FIREby35 I CRIED TOO!  Thank you for doing this.

JGS1980

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #424 on: October 30, 2018, 12:52:51 PM »
This is a response from @Frankies Girl in the, "Is it possible the market has peaked?" thread in the Investor Alley forum.  I love it - especially the part at the end about having an IPS and trusting your asset allocation:

I actually don't know or care what a Shiller or PE or whatawhozit is.

You know there is a study that showed the portfolios that performed best during the crashes were the ones where the people basically didn't even remember to check them? Literally didn't do a damned thing, and they outperformed the market timers/panic buy/sellers. Because just leaving things alone and letting it drop and then recover (as long as you're not invested in one volitile company/industry) was the best way to weather the crashes. So if you're invested in a broad market assortment - like an index fund AA - LEAVING IT ALONE (and just keep buying like normal, all the way down) - is the smartest thing to do.

I don't care if the market has peaked, the bears are coming, dogs and cats living together mass hysteria...

It is noise. All those news channels and financial gurus need to talk about the next big crash, the hot new investment, who is going bankrupt, who is going public... they gotta predict, fear-monger, and get SUPER EXCITED because otherwise they'd be out of a job and their books and sites might not be so popular.

Markets go up, then they might go down for a while. Might be a sudden drop, might take a while. Might go flat even. That is what they are supposed to do. It is expected, it is normal and shorting this or market timing that isn't going to matter a hill of beans and mostly is just a waste of precious brain space trying to figure out if I need to sell this or buy that RIGHT NOW.

I have my IPS, I trust my AA, and I am over here sittin' next to honey badger... I don't even care. And I'm down like 80K and counting so far. No worries.

Top is in.

Very Nice and Well Said

neo von retorch

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #425 on: November 02, 2018, 11:33:36 AM »
The physical fitness equivalent of "frugality muscles":

Sarcopenia.

Once men reach about the age of 35 to 40, they start to lose muscle. The rate of muscle loss varies between individuals, but itís very slow. Weíre talking about half a pound of muscle per year, maybe a little less. This is nothing to worry about on the surface. The rate is so slow that itís irrelevant.

Over time however, it adds up. At the other end of your life when youíre 70+ (maybe even 90+) years old, you will feel the effects. You will lack the strength to perform basic physical tasks like bending down to pick up a coin that you dropped. Getting out of a chair unaided. Carrying some moderately heavy grocery bags. Pushing the vacuum cleaner around.

Itís not just muscles though. Bone turnover slows down and eventually stops. What this ultimately means is that you very gradually lose bone mass and welcome in sarcopeniaís better known cousin, osteoporosis.

My maternal grandmother died when she fractured her hip in a fall. You know the scary thing. Her hip fractured Ė and then she fell. Not the other way around.

Society has been conditioned to believe that becoming weak and frail in old age is just how it is. You just have to live with it and suck it up.

The number one weapon against this is resistance training. It comes in many guises, like bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, Crossfit, bodyweight workouts or just plain old, training with weights at home or in a gym.

The earlier you start training, the better. If you do start training at the age of 50 or younger, you could wind up being a 70 year old with physical capabilities that are still superior to that of untrained sedentary people around half your age. That may not sound like superhero level stuff, but when you compare it to 70 year olds that are untrained, the difference is night and day.

Itís not about 6 pack abs, sex appeal and massive muscles. Itís not about setting some world record in the squat or deadlift. Itís about training for a couple of hours a week, consistently over the long term to make yourself far stronger and more physically resilient than you need to be. In short, a surplus of strength and muscle will make life physically easier as you age.

Itís estimated that most back pain stems from loss of strength and muscle in the lower back. Muscular weakness is the root cause, but once it leads to other problems, the medical profession just treats those symptoms and remains virtually unaware of sarcopenia.

Of course all this is exacerbated to a great extent by obesity, or when the two combine, sarcopenic obesity i.e. little muscle but loads of fat. Itís a double whammy. Huge bellies pulling on an already weak lower back is a recipe for disaster.

Resistance training works just like saving for retirement. You wouldnít wait until you were 70 years old and completely broke in order to start saving and investing.

Equally, you donít want to wait until youíre 70 and fairly withered before you start resistance get into this stuff (although it will still work wonders at that age).

You want to build up your stash (muscle/strength) so that compounding can take effect over the long term so by the time you get to old age, youíre ready to face it head on and kick it in the nuts, rather than sheeplishly and pitifully struggle with basic physical tasks and moaning and being stiff, tight and in pain, but having nothing to blame other than yourself or the damn government no providing you with healthcare etc.

Iím 36 and have trained in gyms for about 14 years on an off. I now train at home. Pushups, rows on gymnastics ring, pullups and parallel bar dips along with back extensions, a variety of squats, overhead presses and a bunch of other stuff. 3 days a week for about an hour.

Itís obvious that I already have more muscle mass, better posture, a smaller waistline and generally more spring in my step than my close friends who are between 34 and 40. This gap will continue to widen. My aim is to be just as lean, and a lot stronger and more flexible by the time Iím 50. By then my friends will look aged and overweight. Iíll be the fitness equivalent of an early retiree in a sea of high spending salary slaves.

Iíve coupled my resistance training with stretching (check out Kit Laughlin) and Iím learning to do handstands. I realise that this is my hobby and I have been interested in it for many years which is a massive advantage over someone who has never been interested and doesnít see the point.

I think the worst thing about resistance training is that to learn about it you have to navigate a veritable minefield of hucksters, scam artists and nonsense online before you get a handle on what is sensible practical information and what is marketing driven lies. With something simple like running, you can just start running. The problem is, running doesnít address sarcopenia or osteoporosis, and in excess, it can actually speed up both processes.

I should make it clear that losing weight is almost entirely a dietary issue. Neither ďcardioĒ nor resistance training will do much if anything. They are like coupon clipping. Reducing your caloric intake is like flat out cutting your expenses.

lexde

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #426 on: November 02, 2018, 11:37:12 AM »
Well said, @Spud.

RWD

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #427 on: November 14, 2018, 09:49:35 AM »
@sol had a nice post this morning:

I wish he would acknowledge that he deals in allegories .  i.e., that for many it's not so easy to afford a new house and/or move closer to work

Why do you think the MMM message is allegorical?  I don't think it is allegorical at all. 

If you're the kind of person who says "I can't do this" then the message clearly hasn't gotten through to you.  That's like an overweight person saying he can't lose weight because he "can't give up McDonalds".  Well, you COULD, you just don't want to.  You have made a list of reasons why McDonalds is super convenient for you, instead of looking at the viable alternatives and then making the hard choices required to implement them.

I'm not sure I can think of a single example of a person who truly can't move closer to work.  You may temporarily find yourself in a situation where it is difficult, but it is never impossible.  You could change your living situation, or you could change your working situation.  Incarcerated felons maybe?  They have no freedom to choose their work or their living situations.  Are you incarcerated?  In a non-temporary way?

The key message of this blog, and every other motivational speaker in the world, is that you have far more power to effect change in your life than you realize.  You are not bound to your current situation.  This part is certainly metaphorical in the sense that the advice about finding ways to improve your commute is equally applicable to finding solutions to other life problems.  You have to first identify the solutions, then figure out how to make the changes that support your desired outcome.  But the commuting advice is still literal.  You shouldn't waste your time driving in circles every day if you can help it.

As for the "afford a new house" portion of your post, I'm not at all sure that's part of the MMM message at all.  Has the blog ever advocated home ownership over renting?  Sometimes, renting is the frugal choice.

I think the key messages of the MMM blog, if I may engage in a moment of meta-analysis, is that the average American lifestyle is pretty sub-optimal in a variety of ways that have straightforward solutions for anyone willing to open their eyes.  We spend too much time driving, harming our health and the environment and reducing our ability to do more important things.  We waste too much money on frivolous and unfulfilling purchases that don't add to our happiness.  We collectively choose the lazy solutions to problems, instead of exerting the personal willpower required to make positive choices. 

All three of these are tied up together in examples like your commute to work, where you can save money and time and improve your local environment and improve your health and happiness by biking to work instead of driving.  It's a hard change to make, for some people.  Especially people who really think McDonald's is super convenient and not that bad for you.  We like easy familiar solutions, particularly when they are constantly reinforced by targeted marketing campaigns designed to get you to spend your money (get poor) in order to be lazy (get unhappy).  It's hard to buck that trend.  That marketing has been so successful that in just a few decades we've transitioned from a world in which everyone walked (or biked or rode) to work for centuries to a world in which everyone drives to work and is fat.  We have literally let cars ruin us, in exchange for lazy high speed transport that destroys the environment.

lexde

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #428 on: November 14, 2018, 09:58:17 AM »
As usual, @sol hit the nail on the head. I completely understand where the other poster was coming from because it’s very easy to feel “stuck” or trapped in your situation. I did for a long time, thinking that the grass wouldn’t be greener. I then moved one mile away from work, then eventually changed jobs to a much better work situation for me. Now I’m working on finding a place nearer to the new job to optimize even further. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it with each change. And you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be better.

Warlord1986

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #429 on: November 14, 2018, 03:55:34 PM »
That post by @FIREby35 just gave me one more reason to be proud to be an American.

FIREby35

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #430 on: November 15, 2018, 06:44:27 AM »
To all the people here who said nice things, thank you :)

whitewaterchica

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #431 on: November 15, 2018, 09:25:14 AM »
To all the people here who said nice things, thank you :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you @FIREby35 for being a truly decent and good human being.

Dances With Fire

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #432 on: November 16, 2018, 06:21:08 AM »
@Malkynn on the world being worried that young FIREies have got their sums wrong:


I know!
I feel like Iím taking crazy pills every time this ďconcernĒ comes up.

Like, WTF people???

The FI community is filled with people trying to be financially responsible and informed. We are a teeny, tiny, minuscule percentage of the population thatís ACTUALLY GOOD WITH MONEY.......and people are worried about us??? Are you fucking kidding me???

People here throw around retiring on 1M as if itís nothing and then debate at length if itís enough to protect against SORR, inflation, and healthcare. Do you have ANY IDEA how many 65 year olds would KILL to have 1M???

Itís not like all of these people working until 65-70 are better off, they just wasted more money along the way and never gave themselves any choice but to keep working.

Mustachians arenít eating cat food and hoping for markets that never crash. Weíre saving absolute boat loads of cash, understanding investing better than most Financial Advisors, and not wasting money on pointless shit.

Weíre better off than over 99% of the population and people are concerned that we have a math problem???
Jesus fucking Christ thatís fucking hilarious.

Itís like when I lost a bunch of weight and went from Obese to low-healthy BMI and suddenly everyone and their cousin was ďworriedĒ about me and my ďhealthĒ despite me being healthier than Iíve ever been in my life.

I remember when I was first introduced to MMM, I immediately thought ďwell, I donít want to retire super young, I love my workĒ, but the rest of it, the frugality, the focus on health, the control you gain over your life when you lower your consumption, etc. It all immediately struck me as brilliant. Instead of retiring super early, Iíve cut down to super part time, which is just as amazing for me.

Itís only people who are immediately repelled by choosing to spend less that recoil against the idea and throw the baby out with the bathwater when they donít love the idea of super early retirement. I once said frugality was the financial equivalent of being a vegan, it irrationally pisses everyone else off who doesnít choose that lifestyle and makes them feel compelled to mock you and judge your life choice as crazy and/or offensive.

People so truly hate the concept of consistent hard work that they need to vilify any example of it as somehow misguided or unrealistic.
Itís truly laughably absurd to look at the FIRE community as anything other than common fucking sense.

Bump^^^^ Great post. Thanks for sharing.

JGS1980

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #433 on: November 16, 2018, 04:57:54 PM »
Nippy Crisp's Journal is rather new, but he's way up there in the belly laughs per post ratio.

Big shout out to him.

JGS

Stories seem to be oozing out of me lately. Good, bad, funny, sad... the whole gamut. Still hoping that getting them out of the system and down will help me manage to close this thing out.

Last night, my fiancee said that it was pretty clear I was bored with my job. This is almost certainly correct, and there's plenty of evidence to support the assertion. In fact, it's probably time to introduce my modest readership to another of my semi-unprofessional workplace activities: the morally nebulous office prank.

When I was in grad school, my friends and I held a debate about whether or not a particular staff member would eat something that was clearly not meant for them. I don't recall the particulars of the discussion that led to this, but I was of the opinion that they would. To prove my point, we deliberately mis-delivered a cake to the person in question's office, leaving it anonymously on their desk. How could this individual be certain that this cake wasn't meant for them? Simple - I'd had a roommate of mine personalize the frosting with the message, "Congrats on Your Hysterectomy!!!", a biologically impossible accomplishment for the person in question.

I'll leave whether or not the person ate the cake to the imagination, but a nippycrisp classic was born: the impenetrable food mystery. I would leave (normal) food and drink on people's desks, with no additional message or attribution, and allow nature to take its course.

This activity had several variations over the year. For several years, I would put a can of coke and a can of pepsi on the left and right sides of our IT guy's desk. The next week I would do the same, but switch the cans' positions. Then I would put two coke cans on one side and only one pepsi. This is a variation on a novel object recognition test normally performed on mice, but details.

There was no end game - I just did it because I was bored. And I'm not proud or ashamed. It just happened. Because I was cripplingly bored. Or an asshole. 

The longest-running version of this activity occurred with an older guy I worked with. Actually, it's "John" from the F-U-C-K-J-O-H-N password story on the first page of this journal. Older dude, really lazy, but a great bullshitter, which can get you surprisingly far in research. I was as professional as I could be, but one day I was tempted into doing something.

John was turning to fat and entering heart attack country, so his wife was packing these terrible carrot-and-yogurt lunches. This made John a total cruiser for free food. If another company set up in our lobby with a buffet lunch, odds were John would be down there within five minutes, chatting up the person in charge of guarding the spread and sniffing around for some calories. John's real-life office nickname was "Old Bear," which he acquired when an Asian co-worker saw him making a play for some Mexican leftovers and tried (and failed) to call John "Yogi Bear" (picnic baskets are universal, I guess).

Point is, John would eat anything. And one December fate put me in a position to test the limits of his decorum. Over Christmas one year, I'd somehow fallen into possession of a whole shopping bag full of boxes of Whoppers - the malted milkball candy that's fallen out of favor.

No one really likes Whoppers, and I had no intention of eating the twenty or so boxes I had. John, however... well, let's just say I had a pretty good feeling he wouldn't be so picky.

Most of the candy was in movie-theater-sized packs. But I started slow. I took a single milk ball and placed it by John's keyboard while he was away.

John came back. "Well, what have we here?" he asked aloud. "Hmmm." He didn't bother to ask if I knew what the deal was with the candy - at this point we weren't speaking any more than was professionally required. Instead, I watched from the corner of my eye as John proceeded to eat a single, unwrapped piece of nasty chocolate candy.

If I didn't say it already, let's be clear that I really disliked John. Of course, if he would have shown any signs of disgust about a random comestible being placed directly on his desk I would have aborted. But it didn't happen. John gobbled that nasty little fucker right up and commented he wished he had a whole handful.

And that's how it began. Next day, two milk balls appeared on John's desk. They were eaten without question. The next day, three. Four. Five. Eventually, John was eating upwards of a dozen malted milkballs a day. The nuttiest thing was that the man never even questioned where they were coming from, why he was receiving them, whether it was a good idea*. Nothing. Just bare-handing them and shoveling them into his gob. It was like watching a toddler eat cheerios of his tray. 

Using the candy as a motivator, I tried several behavioral neuroscience assays on John - things like adding a reward milkball (John preferred the strawberry milkballs) on days where he was less annoying, and punishing him with eggnog milkballs (his least favorite) on days he annoyed me. In that period, I may have produced more data on John's food reward drive than John produced in his job as a scientist. But I digress - over a year or two, I indirectly fed this portly bastard several thousand milk balls. The gag went on so long I sometimes forgot for a while, then started up. When I would begin again, John would idly muse about the occasion for his sugary tributes resuming.

I never finished dumping the entire bag of candy into John, as he was abruptly fired (but that's a whole 'nother story), and although life improved somewhat, the story's potential expired along with the remaining boxes of candy. Although it's been years since this came to pass, I sometimes find myself musing over whether John still has flickers of nostalgia for the malted milkball period of his life. 

*Of course John eventually made some token investigatory efforts. I should mention I was careful to cover my tracks. I had a trusted co-worker deliver milkballs when I was on vacation (and I did the same for him). Then an unwitting scapegoat came along; at one point, John asked Jose (our nefarious janitor from a few stories back) if he was leaving him candy. Jose, whose english comprehension was non-existent at best, apparently (and inadvertently) admitted to it, apparently earning himself a crappy christmas present from John in the process.

Dicey

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #434 on: November 17, 2018, 06:30:25 AM »
This thing of beauty deserves a wider audience. The journal and author have both had recent name changes and this should not get lost in the revamp:

I have an old friend coming out of an abusive relationship that may leave her in a bad place. Today she posted a poem on FB that she said was "raw emotion." It read like angriness and hurt - which probably isn't far from the mark. I've been trying to reframe things for her in a more positive light so I replied with this:

Today I face a cliff face.
And I have no way to climb it.
Today I know that I cannot take the next step to rise up. So I sit.
And I look out on a rose garden.

In that garden I planted dreams.
Love strengthened through storms.
Cherubic fists holding our fingers.
Growing old together.

But this garden grew thorns without roses.
The storms never gave way to peace.
There was never a father's fingers for the cherub to hold.
We shall not grow old together.

And looking upward at an impossible precipice,
I see daisies waving over its edge.
Their white petals filtering the sun,
Their promise a question - He loves me not?

One hand rises up the chalky stone,
And then another,
and then with strength I do not know I have,
I rise toward a tomorrow I have never owned.

"There is danger in this climb" I think.
"What if I fall? What if I don't make it?
What if I am forever climbing and never rising?"
And yet, I climb - hand over hand, foot over foot.

Above there may be a great nothing.
Or a great reward,
Or a simple victory.
Or the daisy's promise - "I love me."

And that is good enough.

Basenji

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #435 on: November 30, 2018, 08:29:23 AM »
Putting this @iris lily comment here for sheer joy: made me snort my coffee. I needed a good laugh.

One thing I'm curious about in terms of marriages or relationships ending.. are there many here who have differing religious views with their partner? Can that be a threat to the relationship? I would like to think this is something that is discussed openly way ahead of time so I'm not sure this would have much of an impact on a marriage.
I am a non-believer, and he is a wishy washy Catholic. It is not a problem as we have been married 30 years.  But then, we do not have children. We dont have to worry about the religious education of our dogs. They are theists and think we are gods.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 03:44:32 PM by Basenji »

Louisville

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #436 on: November 30, 2018, 09:45:03 AM »
Succinct summation of a world trend.

Heckuva of a lot to unpack here, but there's one piece of this that I don't think is being addressed.

The conversation thus far has been highly US focused, probably because the population of this board is majority US.  But this is not a US only phenomenon, and I think the global spread of nationalist populism is worth consideration.

Numerous countries, particularly those in Europe but also in the Philippines, India, Brazil, Turkey, etc., have been electing and consolidating power in nationalist leaders who are either outright authoritarians or, at least, show some authoritarian tendencies.  FWIW, I think Trump falls into the latter category.  Modi belongs there too, I think, though I've not followed it that closely. Orban, Erdogan, Duterte, Xi, and Putin I would classify as outright authoritarians.  Too soon to tell on Bolsonaro, though he has authoritarian tendencies for sure. Obrador in Mexico stands out as one of the sole left-leaning populists to rise to power, but has taken on a similar "strongman" ethic. 

A few threads emerge from these leaders. 

-disrespect for traditional democratic institutions, particularly surrounding the media and the rule of law.  No accountability under traditional systems of checks and balances.
-blaming a shadowy "elite" for keeping prosperity from the larger population
-scapegoating an "other" who is set up as in opposition to a true citizen.  The scapegoated group is often migrants (see Europe and the US especially), but homosexuals and religious minorities and ďleftistsĒ  have also been targets.
-Most importantly, a cult of personality around the leader, drawing on tropes of traditional masculine power - strength, uncompromising policies, inflammatory rhetoric, willingness to use force--and holding up that leader as the only one who can deliver the country for the people

Each countryís history and culture gives their version of nationalism its own unique characteristics.  But I think the broader implication is that the age of multilateral cooperation between nations may be coming to an end.  If thereís anything that could be called a Trump Doctrine, it seems to be a focus on bilateral agreements and relationships where each side is trying to maximize benefits to their citizenry, regardless of how it effects the citizens of any other country.  Itís highly transactional, and I sort of get the appeal of ďIím going to do whatís best for my people, and Iím going to assume youíll do whatís best for yours, and weíll see who wins at the end of the day.Ē  But it doesnít make room for long term negotiations where trust becomes an important factor.  And it strikes me as a really bad way to solve complex global problems.  And at this point, all our problems are complex and global!

As to what itís highlighted? I think the clearest thing for me is that our education systems are failing a large number of people, and with the proliferation of information on the internet, many people (even highly educated ones) are struggling to differentiate useful facts from propaganda, half-truths, and manipulation.  It used to be authoritarians had to suppress a free press.  Now they just have to let actual facts drown in misinformation.  Most people shrug, and because they don't know who to trust, they trust only those who appeal to their preconceived ideas.

TL / DR:  Itís not just the US.  Itís everywhere.  And itís not good.

Linea_Norway

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #437 on: December 17, 2018, 02:45:26 AM »
I used to wonder why there were so few posts from people who had already FIREd.  Seven weeks after pulling the plug, I suspect I now know why as I seem to barely have time to scratch my arse.
My feelings in that time have varied between weird, wonderful and knackered.  On my first trip into the market after retirement I kept catching myself rushing and had to make myself relax and slow down as I didn't need to rush any more.  This kept happening for the first few weeks until one sunny day when I found myself gently pootling around town on my bike and a strange, unfamiliar feeling came over me that I eventually realised was happiness.  That feeling has been recurring with increasing frequency ever since.
The biggest difference to how I expected to pass my days and the reality is the sheer amount of physical work I'm doing almost every day.  It turns out that the fatigue which I had been attributing to my leukaemia drugs, and which I expected to mean several hours every day would be spent chilling, was actually largely caused by work stress and a sedentary lifestyle. I'm feeling ten years younger, powering through the various projects around the house and garden and getting more of a feeling of achievement from things like building a new log store or digging up a tree stump than my job gave me in years.  Spending is coming in under budget and I hardly ever think about my finances any more - after spending the last few years obsessing about them.
All in all I am having a wonderful time.  Having concentrated my plans so hard on wealth the bonus of health and happiness post FIRE is a delight that I hope you all get to share.

marty998

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #438 on: December 17, 2018, 03:21:17 AM »
This thing of beauty deserves a wider audience. The journal and author have both had recent name changes and this should not get lost in the revamp:

I have an old friend coming out of an abusive relationship that may leave her in a bad place. Today she posted a poem on FB that she said was "raw emotion." It read like angriness and hurt - which probably isn't far from the mark. I've been trying to reframe things for her in a more positive light so I replied with this:

Today I face a cliff face.
And I have no way to climb it.
Today I know that I cannot take the next step to rise up. So I sit.
And I look out on a rose garden.

In that garden I planted dreams.
Love strengthened through storms.
Cherubic fists holding our fingers.
Growing old together.

But this garden grew thorns without roses.
The storms never gave way to peace.
There was never a father's fingers for the cherub to hold.
We shall not grow old together.

And looking upward at an impossible precipice,
I see daisies waving over its edge.
Their white petals filtering the sun,
Their promise a question - He loves me not?

One hand rises up the chalky stone,
And then another,
and then with strength I do not know I have,
I rise toward a tomorrow I have never owned.

"There is danger in this climb" I think.
"What if I fall? What if I don't make it?
What if I am forever climbing and never rising?"
And yet, I climb - hand over hand, foot over foot.

Above there may be a great nothing.
Or a great reward,
Or a simple victory.
Or the daisy's promise - "I love me."

And that is good enough.

Thankyou @Dicey and @Le Poisson. I'm teary now. That's beautiful.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #439 on: December 19, 2018, 09:13:15 PM »
Incredibly inspiring poem

Eckhart

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #440 on: January 10, 2019, 07:03:54 PM »
Great post from Malkynn.  "Happiness is so much more than just the absence of suffering".  Amen to that.



Agreed.
I suspect it was edited to be framed in a confrontational way.

Change the lense though and there is a valuable commentary there on how FIRE isn't actually a source of happiness or a plan in and of itself.

If you aren't happy to begin with, FIRE won't make you happy, but it can facilitate an environment within which it's possible to build a happy life in the absence of financial and time barriers. The work to be happy still needs to be done.

Happiness is so much more than just the absence of suffering.

He left his job for a reason, he chose to make a drastic move for a reason... except, he never explained what those reasons are, which makes the writing completely incomprehensible since it has ZERO context.

However, if we make the assumption that he was not satisfied with his life and that's why he chose MAJOR changes, depite his attachment to his work, then the whole story starts making more sense.

We can reasonably assume that's the case because he says he "envisioned living a life of freedom, purpose and happiness", implying that his working life was lacking in some critical areas. 

If he was not living a life that was fulfilling him, then running away from it and expecting sudden "carefree bliss" was bound to backfire.

Instead of FIRE and the move being a huge adventure, he ended up losing the few things in his old life that made him feel secure and fulfilled to a degree, his emotional anchors.

What I read was the emotional outpouring of someone completely inexperienced and unprepared to live a happy and full life. His reactions to leaving work and to change are not those of an emotionally secure, confident and grounded person who knows what they want from life and isn't afraid to seek it out. He sounds vaguely petrified of life and is responding reactively instead of proactively.

It's not easy to be happy, it's not something that just happens in the absence of obligatory work. Living well is actually tremendously challenging if you don't have years of experience behind you learning how to do it.

Expecting to be happy because you FIREd is like expecting to be fit because you joined a gym. It doesn't work that way.

I felt I was reading the words of someone who needs to do a lot of work on themselves in order to better understand their own needs, their own drives, and to basically start from scratch on figuring out just what the hell their best life actually looks like.

What I read was "I thought FIRE was supposed to make me happy, but instead I'm even more stressed out than I was in my old life! Why isn't this working for me? This isn't what I was promised!"

There is a theme in the FI sphere that happiness is something that comes post-FIRE and that can leave a lot of people feeling like it's okay/normal to be unhappy during their working years.

Sure, that's an option, but it comes with serious consequences that FIRE will NOT fix, and that is worth discussing. This article just didn't really do that.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 07:06:09 PM by Eckhart »

marty998

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #441 on: January 12, 2019, 01:30:00 AM »
Another classic from @sol on why paying tax is not the defining point of one's contribution to society....

Even most Americans are net takers, but it's worse for illegals.

Your understanding of economics is considerably flawed.  You really think that everyone who does work is a taker, and rich people who live off investments or business ownership are actually contributing?  Taxes paid are NOT the right way to gauge economic productivity.

I assure you that if every "taker" in your definition were to suddenly evaporate, our economy would collapse.  Labor is the source of all wealth, remember?  Those people WORK, for you and for me, and their work is what keeps this country running.  We need people who work hard, and the fact that they make so little money that they pay no taxes does not make them takers.  Quite the contrary, I would argue that every CEO and celebrity athlete and trust fund kid is a taker, because they consume enormous resources without doing any meaningful work. 

The rich are the parasites of society, not the poor.  Poor people work, and produce, and create.  Rich people just consume, mostly while doing nothing.  They're vital parasites, don't get me wrong, but they're still parasites.  Living off the hard work of others.  Taking advantage of lenient tax laws that preserve their privileged position in society.  Lounging by the pool, complaining on the internet about all of the people who mow their lawns for them. 

And since you're so stuck on the supposed cost of illegal immigration, I'm sure you're aware that these people pay taxes without being eligible to receive social services, right?  They're the exact opposite of takers.  They give and get nothing back.

Fields of Gold

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #442 on: January 14, 2019, 08:41:37 AM »
Spent hours reading the entire thread and took lots of notes.  Inspirational!

letsdoit

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #443 on: January 15, 2019, 10:56:55 AM »
ppl without documentation in the US pay alot of taxes, via tax ID #s


matchewed

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #444 on: January 15, 2019, 01:26:19 PM »
ppl without documentation in the US pay alot of taxes, via tax ID #s

Not the place for continuing a forum discussion. This is for highlighting a particular post. The place to discuss it is the n that particular thread. :)

JAYSLOL

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #445 on: January 22, 2019, 04:24:24 AM »
So last week @patrickza posted a link to an investment game he made - https://theinvestorchallenge.com/games/com_timing.php - which lets you attempt to sell when stocks are high and buy back when they are low a bunch of times over a 20 year period of historical data and compares the results of staying the course vs market timing.  It's a great game, but all investment games i've seen let you start out with a large chunk of money and then play with it but not add to it, which i think is less realistic than the average persons investing history.  So I replied to his post that I would love to see an investing game that reflected someone's working career starting at $0 and then having an investable surplus each month and comparing automatic monthly dollar cost average investing VS allowing that surplus to save up and trying to time buying stocks at "the dips".  Oh, and I told him i'd like the career timeline to be adjustable, the investable surplus/month to be adjustable and that I'd like what you save to be able to be set to increase annually to a desired %, and oh yeah, no big deal but i'd like the game-speed to be customizable too.  This was his response...

So over the weekend I tried to see if I could code your wishlist. Take a look here: https://theinvestorchallenge.com/games/com_game_monthly.php
Let me know what you think. If you like it I'll add it to the site menu and give it a scoreboard too.

Do I like it?  You bet!  Dream wish-list achieved, and the game works great.  Much deserving of the best thing I've seen on the forum today. 

AmzResearcher

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #446 on: January 23, 2019, 03:29:56 AM »
Thank you. I feel good to join #mrmoneymustache

Linea_Norway

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #447 on: January 24, 2019, 06:56:20 AM »
If it were me, I would certainly not be getting up at noon and casually scrolling through job listings as my main attempt to build my career. Job listings really are just low hanging fruit when it comes to career building, and you simply aren't likely to get the best jobs that way.

If you are serious about your career, then you should be serious about networking.

In your shoes, I would research which companies I thought were best for my future, research which charities the executives of those companies work with, volunteer my services to those charities in an effort to network with the executives I want to connect with, get relevant and respectable experience, and to grow my professional reputation even while unemployed.

I would also study intensely to better my knowledge in more in demand areas of my profession to make me stand out more. If language skills were in demand, like they are where I live, I would dedicated 2-3 hrs/day to improving my second language skills.

I would schedule lunches with every single professional I know in my field and would come prepared with up to date and relevant information in our field to keep me in their minds as a smart and capable professional instead of them seeing me as their unemployed friend. That way they are likely to pitch me to anyone they know is looking, and they'll sell me instead of just casually connecting me.

I would be up before the sun, exercise, eat a good breakfast, and treat my day like any other day of my professional career, except I would be working my very hardest because NOW is the most important step of my entire career. Where I start working next and how much salary I can earn next will set the stage for my entire career, so this shit is serious, especially after a history of being let go.

I would hustle my ass off and prove beyond any doubt through hard work and effort that I am more valuable than my competition and I wouldn't just wait until I found a job to start doing that. I would NOT treat this time as a pseudo vacation where I can take it easy.

That is how "lucky" people never "get screwed", we just fucking WORK no matter what happens.

If you legitimately need a break after being let go and need some time to recover and reflect on your life and figure out what you actually want to do, then cool, take that time and make a real plan.

Don't casually half ass it though and expect amazing results to land in your lap. There are too many hustlers out there networking their asses off and taking all of the best jobs, many of which are never listed online.

If you want to be valued you have to prove your value BEFORE you ask someone to hire you for an amazing job. Otherwise, you're left having to take whatever you can get.

lifejoy

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #448 on: January 27, 2019, 01:06:09 PM »
Okay.... here goes

You seem to be missing the most important point of this whole thing...
This is about living your best life.

When you are high income, itís very easy to fall into a logical trap that your best life includes expensive luxuries because you ďcan afford themĒ. Except that what you ďcan affordĒ is completely predicated on how much you want to work, not what you can earn in a given year.

It all depends on what your yard-sticks of value are.
What matters most to you? And what does that cost?
Money isnít anything in and of itself, itís a representation of time and energy whose values change as you age.

To put it simply: everything is a trade off.
Mustachianism is about negotiating every trade off to get the best deal for your particular circumstances. For every single cent you spend, you need to evaluate the time/energy/money exchange and decide if the trade is worthwhile.

For high income earners, this is a very big question because the possibilities are tremendous.
If your household income is over 200K, you can afford almost any luxury you want short of mega-rich territory stuff like private planes.
You *could* afford a huge luxurious 1M+ house, an Astin Martin, luxury travel, high fashion, expensive restaurants, wine collections, private school for your kids, a country home, a huge retirement nest egg, or an extremely early retirement, or fund some amazing projects, or buy a seat on an important committee, etc, etc...you just canít afford them all. You have to choose.

Okay, so you like expensive activities and expensive travel. Thatís cool.
Do you like it more than every other single thing that that money could buy you? Is it more satisfying than any alternative including more free time? Earlier retirement? Literally everything else in the world?

The statement ďI can afford itĒ directly translates to ďIím happy to work more for itĒ not ďoh well, Iím working super hard and generating this income anyway, so I might as well spend some of it to make the whole thing worthwhileĒ
See how insane the second one is when you actually look at it???

This is where you need to know yourself.
You need to know your own needs and values to be able to use your big incomes to craft your best life because if you piss away your money, you are pissing away your time, your energy, and all of the incredible opportunities that go along with your situation.
The opportunity cost of your current lifestyle is astronomical, and you donít even feel like you live a rich or spendy life! Do you see how crazy that is?

Itís not about not spending.
Itís not about adjusting to depriving yourself of things.
Itís not about learning to live on less.
Itís about learning to live more, learning what truly makes you happy, and using the time/energy/money balance to generate the best life possible.
You have every resource at your disposal to live amazingly well and you are wasting it.

One of the most valuable messages that MMM has shared is that your best life probably doesnít cost nearly as much as your mediocre life.

Personally, I make more money than you do, but it takes something pretty fucking spectacular to get me to part with my cash. Iím not cheap, Iím just a snob about spending. My bar for spending is very high. Iím not at all the most frugal person, I spend on plenty of things that others wouldnít, but they are things that matter to me. They have value disproportionate to their cost in terms of time/energy/money/opportunity cost for me personally. I feel very good about everything I spend on. If it doesnít feel like Iím getting an amazing deal on the trade-off, I donít make the trade.

Hold your life to a higher standard and you wonít find it a struggle to spend less.

Omg I needed this. Thank you for reposting!!

Hirondelle

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Re: The best post I saw today on the Mr Money Mustache forums was...
« Reply #449 on: February 26, 2019, 01:04:02 PM »
Really really appreciated these words from Mr. Green:

I'm 35 and fired two years ago at 33. I was a software engineer and when I quit my career I was making just under $300,000 a year so I can relate to the golden handcuffs dilemma.

Others may have spoken to this effect already but I think our generation has a problem with thinking life requires meaning. Nothing on this planet requires meaning to live. Drawing breath does not involve meaning and I think most people will be a lot happier in the long run if they divorce meaning from happiness. I spent a lot of time thinking about this after I stopped working and suddenly had many hours of the day to ponder what it is I wanted to be doing with my life. I realized that meaning is a self-imposed construct that inevitably only limits what you're able to do with your life because of the negative feelings that arise from the idea of having a lack of meaning. Trying to find meaning in any particular activity of your life leaves you open to unhappiness if your circumstances suddenly change and you are no longer able to live meaningfully. Think about the worker whose meaning is pouring his soul into woodworking and is suddenly disabled to where he is no longer able to do that. We put such a great weight on meaning that the loss of it creates identity crises for many people. If instead we focused on the pursuit of happiness then when something is no longer able to provide it we can simply continue the pursuit elsewhere.

If you're financially independent and your job brings you no happiness, perhaps you should question why you're spending 40 or more hours a week doing something that brings you know happiness. It could be that the salary allows you to do other things in your life that bring enough happiness that it's worth those 40 hours a week. Perhaps the job itself is rewarding to you and give some form of happiness. If it isn't then what is the point of staying in the job?

If you're not truly financially independent then it would seem the answer is comparing the choice of staying in the job to become more so and what amount of happiness in life that may provide you while doing it and choosing to leave the job for something else and what level of happiness that could provide. Everything in life is a gamble though and there's no guarantee that something you may choose to pursue will provide the level of happiness you think it will, particularly if you're pursuing something that is new to you and you don't yet know whether you truly enjoy it.

I've noticed that some of the happiest people I've come across aren't the most intelligent. I think this allows them to more easily accept most things in life and be happy with what they have. Those of us constantly questioning things and looking for the best or quickest way to do something never seem to be satisfied and I wonder if the feeling of needing meaning is somehow tied to that. I've spent a lot of time trying to slow down and actually enjoy my life more and think about meaning less. I've been pleasantly surprised at how okay I am with not accomplishing much on a day-to-day basis. I would say that last spring is probably the first time in my life that I've experienced truly unbridled joy just to be alive. Taking in a glorious day, going for a walk, or something else of that nature. None of those things involve meaning and I've never been happier.