Author Topic: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....  (Read 12646 times)

cloudsail

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And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« on: September 17, 2019, 07:48:23 PM »
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/youre-fooling-yourself-if-you-think-you-can-retire-early-with-kids-2019-09-17

I just... I don't even know where to begin with this article.

Let me just say this. Our total child-related spending for TWO children last year was just under 30k, and I have a child with autism. He is getting some of the best, and most expensive, therapy that money can buy in our area. Our other child also receives speech therapy and is enrolled in a bunch of extracurricular activities. All of this did not cost as much as Sam Dogen spends on one preschool aged child with two retired parents.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2019, 08:28:42 PM »
So he's saying that if you have two kids and are spending $60,000 a year on private school tuition and $50,000 on housing, you probably can't retire on just $2 million. Shocking!

marble_faun

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2019, 08:43:11 PM »
This guy is making incredibly expensive life-choices and blaming FIRE for his frustrations.

Maybe he should move away from one of the most $$$ cities in the country?  Just a thought.

Malcat

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 09:02:51 PM »
This guy is making incredibly expensive life-choices and blaming FIRE for his frustrations.

Maybe he should move away from one of the most $$$ cities in the country?  Just a thought.

Yep.

It's not FIRE in cities with kids that's the problem, it's FIRE with lifestyle priorities that cost more than you budgeted for FIRE that's the problem.

Yes, it's very difficult to retire in your 30s while staying in the most expensive cities in the world, while also sending your kids to private schools.

It's ridiculous though to generalize that it's unrealistic to FIRE with kids in a city. There are a lot of damn cities out there, and if you are retired, you have a lot of flexibility as to which city you live in.

There's a lot of value in one person's story about retiring early only to discover that he ended up wanting more. It's an important perspective that a lot of people aren't willing to be open about. However, that doesn't even remotely translate to some generalizable rule about FIRE and parents and living in cities. That's just some self-indulgent nonsense.

The real value in this story is that it's very difficult to anticipate as a non-parent what your priorities will be as a parent, and that if you do choose to retire before having kids, it may be best to keep your professional doors open in case you find that your financial priorities change upon procreating.

However, this whiny, self-indulgent, click-bait essay doesn't do that. It instead bitches about the boogey-monster of the "unrealistic" FIRE bullshit that is so popular these days.

Enjoy the clicks Samurai.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 09:49:15 PM »
I am convinced parents who spend $60,000 a year on private school fees would find a way to spend that money even if their kids got a full-fee scholarship. The spending is a trophy for the parents - it has nothing to do with the children's needs.

six-car-habit

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 10:21:50 PM »
I used to read his blog pretty often, as much for the comments section, and other peoples perspectives as anything.  But i realized his lifestyle, and many of his ideas, were just not ideas i was going to follow.  I don't have the "hustle" and "side-gig" "networking" mentality that he does. And frankly my net worth is no where close to his.  Over time his blog comments section got more and more filled with white collar high earning professionals / tech driven / $$ driven personalities.  If anything it reinforced the idea that financial movers and shakers [ goldman sachs / jp morgan alumni ] in my opnion are overpaid.  I suppose the blog and comments ended up seeming too "elitist" for my tastes, so i was happy when i found MMM which has a large cross section of vocations and incomes.

  -Why not just sell his 'vacation rental' in Tahoe, and the other rental he owned in SanFran ? That would have cash flowed baby samurai's "needs" for years.
  -He was always doing some consulting work, tennis instructor, etc stuff anyhow, and last i read the wife was still employed.

 Also how he wrote in this marketwatch article - If your child is "rejected" from high ranked public school - linking it to needing to pay for private tuition. That wasn't what he wrote earlier in the article at all. It was a "lottery" system.  They weren't rejected - they just didn't get the luck of the draw....

 Yes, clickbait, pretended outrage at the high cost of the choices his location and priorities are doing to his carefully planned nest egg/ passive income.

bacchi

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2019, 10:28:03 PM »
Enjoy the clicks Samurai.

It's his shtick. Samurai is going for the high-earner who doesn't want to give up anything.

Too bad it seems desperate.

Tuskalusa

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 11:51:20 PM »
Bay Area resident here. Itís really hard for me to keep from gauging my eyes out after reading this article. Let me make sure I have this all straight:

1.  This dude and his spouse $200k in passive income, yet they need full time daycare?  And really, for a couple with full time jobs, thereís no other creative way to stave off this expense (nanny share, one spouse at home, flexible work Schedule). 

2.  A family must spend $1.6m on a home. Again, the lack of any creativity is costing money.

3. I donít even have words for the privilege exuding from the public school comments.

4.  Then thereís the utter waste in multiple line items (food, clothing, etc.)

I hope I never run into this guy...


mspym

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 12:36:57 AM »
It's a classic "I have no money leftover once I have spent it all" article. Of course you don't have anything leftover - you've spent it all on a bunch of shit.

BDWW

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019, 01:31:39 AM »
Google tells me median household income in San Francisco is $96,265. So by this logic we can assume the whole bottom half+ of the population doesn't have kids.

Linea_Norway

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2019, 02:06:54 AM »
Yes, maybe you can't retire with a 1,6 million $ home. Somewhere he mentions that other retirees move to LCOL areas. This person obviously doesn't want to adjust his spending to his lifestyle.

Somewhere the article links to this blog, also from the financial samurai.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-are-the-bad-things-about-early-retirement-that-no-one-talks-about-2018-09-26

It sounds like his personality needs the active city life with lots of contacts, while some of us others might enjoy doing our own hobbies at home and in the mountains/forest.

coynemoney

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2019, 01:40:24 PM »
I too am I bit bummed that I was baited into clicking this this morning. It's obvious that he's working toward some type of re-branding of his website. I guess the somewhat modest lifestyle he achieved just wasn't enough and the most obvious path to greater wealth is to reboot his already successful blog.

dougules

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2019, 04:14:24 PM »
It's a lot easier to afford the basic necessities like keeping your kids away from poor children when you fund that lifestyle with clickbait articles. 

RFAAOATB

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2019, 07:34:38 AM »
Google tells me median household income in San Francisco is $96,265. So by this logic we can assume the whole bottom half+ of the population doesn't have kids.

Oh no, they have kids.  Itís just those kids tend to go to the underperforming schools and you youíve got to keep spending to make sure your kids achieve escape velocity from their orbit.

Malum Prohibitum

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2019, 08:39:23 AM »
I feel for him on the insurance costs, though.  Mine are even higher.

"Our already onerous $1,620 a month health care premiums jumped to $1,765 a month after our son was born. I donít know about you, but spending over $21,000 a year for health care premiums alone when none of us regularly need medical help seems kind of absurd."

Racer X

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2019, 09:37:32 AM »
In the article he laments... "But how many people really have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower-cost area of the country?"

Well... retired people do.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2019, 06:49:15 PM »
Technically, seppuku IS part of the Samurai tradition.

FINate

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2019, 08:56:32 PM »
LOL! More proof that the internet isn't making us smarter.

His budget is morbidly obese and yet he's arguing there's no fat to trim. Some people can't be helped. The big question is, why does anyone listen to what he has to say about finances? It's like getting medical advice from a drug dealer.

Telecaster

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2019, 11:00:30 PM »
Financial Samaria is a whiny, innumerate bitch.  And those are his good points.

former player

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2019, 03:36:10 AM »
So, he's spending $2,200 a month on food and his justification is "Going out for a rubber chicken sandwich and a drink will easily cost $15 to $20".

If he is eating rubber chicken sandwiches, at any price, then his lifestyle is significantly worse than mine while costing 10 times more.

Not worth my time or attention.

aasdfadsf

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2019, 02:38:19 PM »
So, he's spending $2,200 a month on food and his justification is "Going out for a rubber chicken sandwich and a drink will easily cost $15 to $20".

He's budgeting $72 a day on food. Even a $20 sandwich every single day can't justify that.

Half his list consists of things that are budgeted at least twice as high as they should be, and the rest are derived from his insistence that living in a $1.6 M home is something that typical retired people simply must do. Why does anyone listen to this guy?

Cpa Cat

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2019, 03:56:33 PM »
Damn.  He might have to move to Hawaii. Poor guy.

Indexer

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2019, 03:47:51 PM »
Quote
But how many people really have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower-cost area of the country?

YOU, YOU have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower cost area of the country!!! 

FINate

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2019, 09:22:07 PM »

catccc

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2019, 10:03:47 PM »
I gotta believe he is just trying to be inflammatory to drive more traffic to his site.  Those numbers are totally ridiculous.

SwordGuy

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2019, 06:06:04 AM »
Quote
But how many people really have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower-cost area of the country?

YOU, YOU have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower cost area of the country!!!

Every single retired person (like Sam Dogen) has the job flexibility to move...

Anyone who can't make ends meet on $200,000 US Dollars a year is too foolish to take financial advice from.

MicroRN

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2019, 06:46:55 AM »
$12 THOUSAND per year for vacation,  because you need to fly somewhere "nice."

This summer we spent about $1000 on a beach vacation and about the same for a trip to the mountains (family of 4), and we were not trying to be frugal.  We ate well,  drank well,  and did all the fun, expensive, touristy things.  Both trips were a reasonable drive from home.

jinga nation

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2019, 06:56:54 AM »
"It's not how much you make, it's how much you save (and invest wisely)."

Malcat

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2019, 07:01:10 AM »
Quote
But how many people really have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower-cost area of the country?

YOU, YOU have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower cost area of the country!!!

Every single retired person (like Sam Dogen) has the job flexibility to move...

Anyone who can't make ends meet on $200,000 US Dollars a year is too foolish to take financial advice from.

I still think there's a really valid conversation to be had hiding in the whiny nonsense of Samurai's content.

Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

For one person, relocating may be the easiest thing in the world, for another it may be a nightmare, or not even worth considering.

I have several family members who can't move to an LCOL region because of specialized healthcare needs. Some people may bail on relocating because they are really needed to help with grandkids. Or, someone just may simply not be willing to give up on the cultural experience of where they live, especially certain marginalized people who need access to a supportive community of peers.

All decisions come with trade offs, and it really is worth examining that for some people, the trade offs of FIRE really might not be worth it if they can make great money doing work they like, and they really benefit from living in an HCOL area.

Samurai seemed to think that FIRE would be some kind of panacea of happiness, but it isn't.

Samurai retired with what he thought was more than enough to support his preferred lifestyle before he had kids, and he may have been right. He may have been fine had he stayed CF. However, he had kids, his priorities changed, and suddenly the trade offs no longer hold the same value as they used to.

Retiring early comes with HUGE financial trade offs, especially for high earners, and the cost of those trades is even steeper if you don't dislike your work.

His whiny angst is worth examining and not just outright maligning. People retiring early need to be prepared that their 'stache doesn't protect them from having to continue to make trade offs in the future. Life circumstances can and do change, priorities change, plans change.

Choosing FIRE means losing a big lever for pivoting when life throws you a curve ball, so anyone leaving the work force needs to be prepared for that, needs to be prepared to make other adjustments when necessary.

For many, retiring early will be well worth it, but for some like Samurai, who seemed to be under the misapprehension that FIREing meant never compromising...it might not be.

If having kids meant that his priorities truly are private schools, staying in an HCOL region, living in a certain type of housing, and going out to restaurants...then yes, giving up a large income may have been a bad trade. For him, making more money may genuinely be less uncomfortable than making any lifestyle sacrifices to lower his spend.

Also hidden in his whining is a valid observation about just how much a "normal" middle class lifestyle can cost, and how little a massive spend can buy you when you prioritize living in certain places.

The moral of the story is that inflexibility is incredibly expensive, so people considering early retirement really need to reflect on how flexible they may be willing to be in the future if plans/circumstances change.

That said, being flexible means more than just being willing to move to a LCOL area. Some retirees actually can't leave their HCOL area either due to family or specialized medical care, etc. Those people need to then be flexible in terms of lifestyle.

The more flexibility, the more easily someone can stay FIREd and be happy about it.

Having kids has made Samurai inflexible, age also tends to make people inflexible, this is something important to consider when making plans for your future self decades in advance.

As I said, I really do see value in him sharing what he's experiencing. Meaning, if someone reading sees themselves in his writing in any way, shape or form, they should think very very carefully about how much value retiring early will bring to their life, and how flexible they may have to be in order to sustain it down the road.

I say this as someone who for medical reasons and family reasons can't move to a LCOL region, and whose household has also decided not to prioritize retiring early. Because both DH and I really enjoy our work, the benefit of retiring early just isn't there for us compared to having huge financial levers available to us in the future if we become inflexible for whatever reasons.

All-in-all, the way it's written is definitely worthy of an eyebrow raise and some ridicule, but there are some serious issues that underpin his angst that are worthy of conversation. How extreme his example is just helps magnify the issues that so many people here face with OMY and anxiety about having enough.

socaso

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2019, 11:06:11 AM »
Those food costs are beyond the pale. I lived for 10 years in one of the expensive cities named in the article and our grocery budget for 3 people was $500 a month. We had a separate entertainment budget of $250 and we had plenty of fun. You have to be proactive to keep those costs down but it's completely doable and we are not vegetarians. I did price comparisons at all the grocery stores within a certain radius of my house and I actively shopped at 3 of them to keep my costs within reason. Once I knew where the good deals were it was easy.

Also how are they spending $350 EVERY MONTH on clothes for 3 people? That is a lot of money, even with a growing child. I probably spend $400 annually on my child and maybe $300 on each of the adults. My kid's clothes would be even less if they did not attend a uniform school.

dougules

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2019, 11:43:53 AM »
Quote
But how many people really have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower-cost area of the country?

YOU, YOU have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower cost area of the country!!!

Every single retired person (like Sam Dogen) has the job flexibility to move...

Anyone who can't make ends meet on $200,000 US Dollars a year is too foolish to take financial advice from.

I still think there's a really valid conversation to be had hiding in the whiny nonsense of Samurai's content.

Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

For one person, relocating may be the easiest thing in the world, for another it may be a nightmare, or not even worth considering.

I have several family members who can't move to an LCOL region because of specialized healthcare needs. Some people may bail on relocating because they are really needed to help with grandkids. Or, someone just may simply not be willing to give up on the cultural experience of where they live, especially certain marginalized people who need access to a supportive community of peers.

All decisions come with trade offs, and it really is worth examining that for some people, the trade offs of FIRE really might not be worth it if they can make great money doing work they like, and they really benefit from living in an HCOL area.

Samurai seemed to think that FIRE would be some kind of panacea of happiness, but it isn't.

Samurai retired with what he thought was more than enough to support his preferred lifestyle before he had kids, and he may have been right. He may have been fine had he stayed CF. However, he had kids, his priorities changed, and suddenly the trade offs no longer hold the same value as they used to.

Retiring early comes with HUGE financial trade offs, especially for high earners, and the cost of those trades is even steeper if you don't dislike your work.

His whiny angst is worth examining and not just outright maligning. People retiring early need to be prepared that their 'stache doesn't protect them from having to continue to make trade offs in the future. Life circumstances can and do change, priorities change, plans change.

Choosing FIRE means losing a big lever for pivoting when life throws you a curve ball, so anyone leaving the work force needs to be prepared for that, needs to be prepared to make other adjustments when necessary.

For many, retiring early will be well worth it, but for some like Samurai, who seemed to be under the misapprehension that FIREing meant never compromising...it might not be.

If having kids meant that his priorities truly are private schools, staying in an HCOL region, living in a certain type of housing, and going out to restaurants...then yes, giving up a large income may have been a bad trade. For him, making more money may genuinely be less uncomfortable than making any lifestyle sacrifices to lower his spend.

Also hidden in his whining is a valid observation about just how much a "normal" middle class lifestyle can cost, and how little a massive spend can buy you when you prioritize living in certain places.

The moral of the story is that inflexibility is incredibly expensive, so people considering early retirement really need to reflect on how flexible they may be willing to be in the future if plans/circumstances change.

That said, being flexible means more than just being willing to move to a LCOL area. Some retirees actually can't leave their HCOL area either due to family or specialized medical care, etc. Those people need to then be flexible in terms of lifestyle.

The more flexibility, the more easily someone can stay FIREd and be happy about it.

Having kids has made Samurai inflexible, age also tends to make people inflexible, this is something important to consider when making plans for your future self decades in advance.

As I said, I really do see value in him sharing what he's experiencing. Meaning, if someone reading sees themselves in his writing in any way, shape or form, they should think very very carefully about how much value retiring early will bring to their life, and how flexible they may have to be in order to sustain it down the road.

I say this as someone who for medical reasons and family reasons can't move to a LCOL region, and whose household has also decided not to prioritize retiring early. Because both DH and I really enjoy our work, the benefit of retiring early just isn't there for us compared to having huge financial levers available to us in the future if we become inflexible for whatever reasons.

All-in-all, the way it's written is definitely worthy of an eyebrow raise and some ridicule, but there are some serious issues that underpin his angst that are worthy of conversation. How extreme his example is just helps magnify the issues that so many people here face with OMY and anxiety about having enough.

You're right as usual, but he completely obscures all his very valid points when he paints expenses like $12k/year for vacations as basic necessities.  You could live full time in a Mexican beach town on that much alone.  It just comes off as purely trolling for page views (which apparently worked). 

The picture I got from the two articles was of somebody that realized they actually enjoyed their job after quitting, so now is trying to find holes to poke in the FIRE concept in general.  It is a good point to really ask yourself if you're sure really wouldn't be happier staying a SWAMI. 

FINate

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2019, 11:44:18 AM »
For sure, all of life involves trade-offs and these are always worthy of discussion.

My problem with Samurai, however, is how he's intentionally painted himself into a corner. He wants to live in an Extreme HCOL area, he wants to spend lavishly on food and vacations and private schools. But instead of laying out a cogent argument for his actions he's thrown up a bunch of nonnegotiables designed to short circuit discussion. In his narrative these are not choices he's making, e.g. they are not trade-offs, but rather things he presents as largely out of his control. It's his life and he's free to live it how he chooses, but I think this way of thinking leads to all sorts of wacky thinking. Such as justifying $12k/year on vacations. We did a 3 week road trip with 4 people this past summer for a total cost, including gas and lodging, of $1200...that's 1/10 his budget!

There are very few things we must do, and almost everything we do is by choice even if we don't think of it that way. Usually things we consider nonnegotiable are just another way of saying we don't like the alternative. So it's not that Samurai "has" to live in an Extreme HCOL area, he chooses to, because to him (for whatever reason) it's not desirable to live in a lower cost of living area. And that's fine. But own it and don't be whiny about it. I would have a ton more respect for him had he put on his grownup pants and simply stated that he desires a richer lifestyle than FIRE can afford, and that this is very much a first world problem and not some existential problem (the optics of this are particularly awful for those who truly struggle to make ends meet).

SwordGuy

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2019, 11:56:09 AM »
Quote
But how many people really have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower-cost area of the country?

YOU, YOU have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower cost area of the country!!!

Every single retired person (like Sam Dogen) has the job flexibility to move...

Anyone who can't make ends meet on $200,000 US Dollars a year is too foolish to take financial advice from.

I still think there's a really valid conversation to be had hiding in the whiny nonsense of Samurai's content.

Ö (a host of very good points, all ably presented

And yet my point remains, anyone who can't make ends meet on $200,000 a year is too foolish to take financial advice from.

The median family income in SFO in 2017 was $101,714.   So, literally, over half the families in his town can make ends meet on 1/2 what he's making.    It's probably closer to 75%.

That budget he showed is chock full of wasted money.

If you're making more than 99.96% of the world's families and it's not enough, well, I have no pity.


https://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/california/san-francisco/

Malcat

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2019, 11:59:50 AM »
You're right as usual, but he completely obscures all his very valid points when he paints expenses like $12k/year for vacations as basic necessities.  You could live full time in a Mexican beach town on that much alone.  It just comes off as purely trolling for page views (which apparently worked). 

The picture I got from the two articles was of somebody that realized they actually enjoyed their job after quitting, so now is trying to find holes to poke in the FIRE concept in general.  It is a good point to really ask yourself if you're sure really wouldn't be happier staying a SWAMI.

lol, I don't think for a second that *he* has engaged in a useful dialogue about any valid concerns. My whole point is that he's really missed an opportunity to engage in some real and valuable discourse around giving up income at an early age, which is really missing from the FI landscape since most of the major personalities are making a lot of ongoing income by being such vocal personalities.

Of course, responsible, measured, humble discourse doesn't get a lot of clicks, so his whiny bitch routine is a much smarter way to go if he's trying to leverage his relative fame into income.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2019, 12:53:53 PM »
I gotta believe he is just trying to be inflammatory to drive more traffic to his site.  Those numbers are totally ridiculous.
Yeah, it looks like he saw all the buzz generated by Suze Orman's "You need $5-10 million to retire" and decided to jump on the bandwagon.

oldtoyota

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #35 on: September 23, 2019, 02:03:13 PM »
I am convinced parents who spend $60,000 a year on private school fees would find a way to spend that money even if their kids got a full-fee scholarship. The spending is a trophy for the parents - it has nothing to do with the children's needs.

You might be right. Or they may spend it on "educational" trips.

mm1970

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2019, 03:30:11 PM »
Quote
His whiny angst is worth examining and not just outright maligning. People retiring early need to be prepared that their 'stache doesn't protect them from having to continue to make trade offs in the future. Life circumstances can and do change, priorities change, plans change.

Right, even if you don't FIRE.  I have a friend who was planning on a certain level of fun in (regularly-scheduled) retirement.  He saved plenty of money but now he's ill.  And he will likely never ever get to do any of the active things he'd planned.  Now he's just working until Medicare kicks in.

aasdfadsf

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2019, 06:48:15 PM »
Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

Be that as it may, it's very hard to think of any retiree anywhere who has to live in a $1,600,000 home. Even if you need to live in a HCOL area, this is extreme. Since you don't need to commute to work, you don't need to pay a huge premium to be close to the high-paying jobs. Suburbs do have their uses.

six-car-habit

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2019, 07:26:41 PM »
Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

Be that as it may, it's very hard to think of any retiree anywhere who has to live in a $1,600,000 home. Even if you need to live in a HCOL area, this is extreme. Since you don't need to commute to work, you don't need to pay a huge premium to be close to the high-paying jobs. Suburbs do have their uses.

  You can't seriously be saying he should give up his ocean view, can you ?    What a heartless, odious thought . [ joking]

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2019, 12:38:22 AM »
Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

Be that as it may, it's very hard to think of any retiree anywhere who has to live in a $1,600,000 home. Even if you need to live in a HCOL area, this is extreme. Since you don't need to commute to work, you don't need to pay a huge premium to be close to the high-paying jobs. Suburbs do have their uses.

  You can't seriously be saying he should give up his ocean view, can you ?    What a heartless, odious thought . [ joking]

StockBeard

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2019, 01:38:32 AM »
The guy is getting so many eyeballs as we keep debating his articles, he must be rubbing his hands. There's a high chance he's not even discussing his real situation here, just wants to get outrage and clicks. It's been working well for him recently, with his old articles being regularly recycled on mainstream sites, then posted on the MMM forums here for people to discuss.

More people discussing = more clicks = more money for him, doesn't matter if we agree with the content or not, we're playing right into his hands.

I called him out years ago for how obviously he was pushing his Uber affiliates link with highly laughable numbers (he did not like my accusations). The guy's been playing the clickbait game for years. Good for him I guess, what's honesty and integrity as a blogger when you can have clicks instead.

dougules

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2019, 10:35:07 AM »
The guy is getting so many eyeballs as we keep debating his articles, he must be rubbing his hands. There's a high chance he's not even discussing his real situation here, just wants to get outrage and clicks. It's been working well for him recently, with his old articles being regularly recycled on mainstream sites, then posted on the MMM forums here for people to discuss.

More people discussing = more clicks = more money for him, doesn't matter if we agree with the content or not, we're playing right into his hands.

I called him out years ago for how obviously he was pushing his Uber affiliates link with highly laughable numbers (he did not like my accusations). The guy's been playing the clickbait game for years. Good for him I guess, what's honesty and integrity as a blogger when you can have clicks instead.

He played it well, too.  I knew it was clickbait but still couldn't help myself but to read the article and rant about it.

partgypsy

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2019, 10:52:15 AM »
Quote
But how many people really have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower-cost area of the country?

YOU, YOU have the job flexibility to just get up and move to a lower cost area of the country!!!

Every single retired person (like Sam Dogen) has the job flexibility to move...

Anyone who can't make ends meet on $200,000 US Dollars a year is too foolish to take financial advice from.

Exactly I would not take this person's advice as a financial advisor considering how they manage their own money.

bacchi

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2019, 12:11:26 PM »
The guy is getting so many eyeballs as we keep debating his articles, he must be rubbing his hands. There's a high chance he's not even discussing his real situation here, just wants to get outrage and clicks. It's been working well for him recently, with his old articles being regularly recycled on mainstream sites, then posted on the MMM forums here for people to discuss.

More people discussing = more clicks = more money for him, doesn't matter if we agree with the content or not, we're playing right into his hands.

I called him out years ago for how obviously he was pushing his Uber affiliates link with highly laughable numbers (he did not like my accusations). The guy's been playing the clickbait game for years. Good for him I guess, what's honesty and integrity as a blogger when you can have clicks instead.

He played it well, too.  I knew it was clickbait but still couldn't help myself but to read the article and rant about it.

Use an adblocker. Clicks are tracked via a handful of sites and those sites are blocked. No advertiser or syndicate trusts the clicks self reported from a web server.

Firefox Focus works great as a standalone browser on android/iphone. Brave does the same for laptops.

mm1970

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2019, 02:27:43 PM »
$12 THOUSAND per year for vacation,  because you need to fly somewhere "nice."

This summer we spent about $1000 on a beach vacation and about the same for a trip to the mountains (family of 4), and we were not trying to be frugal.  We ate well,  drank well,  and did all the fun, expensive, touristy things.  Both trips were a reasonable drive from home.
I can see how this can easily happen for a certain "class" of people.  Because: I hang out with people like this.  I know people like this.  It seems like every single person I know went to Europe this summer, many for a few weeks or more.  And they ain't all travel hacking.

We took a 2-week trip to Europe.  It was about $6500 for 4.  Airfare a little under $4k, car $650, Air-BNB about $1000.  Entrance fees to a park: $250.  Food: Mostly cooked but had several meals out with friends.  I don't travel hack, I am picky about flight times and sitting together, and it was our first trip to Europe in 17 years.

But we also took a week off on Spring Break (driving), and it was probably about $1200 when you add up AirBNB, gas, and a few meals out.  And we are taking another short driving trip over Thanksgiving, and the AirBNB is about $1250.  So there you have it, $9000, and we haven't even discussed Christmas break.

Now, truthfully, this year is a bit out of the ordinary for us.  Generally, every year we go do something for Spring Break and either Thanksgiving or Christmas, and they tend to come out to being about $1000-1500 a piece, mostly in AirBNB costs.  Sometimes we camp, but camping is cold during those times.

Every other year, we visit family for 2 weeks, at the cost of airfare (~$2000-2200, though about every 6 years we have enough points for free tix), and a rental car.
The alternate years, we go on vacation.  That's a bigger trip, and can be anywhere from $2500 (a trip to Colorado including airfare) to, well, the Europe trip (next year: Hawaii).

My kids hate travel, so that helps.  But I like travel, and want to see new places, and though staycations are GREAT - too many of them and they are meaningless, as chores still have to happen and husband cannot fully "unplug" from work.

Cpa Cat

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2019, 04:13:23 PM »

I still think there's a really valid conversation to be had hiding in the whiny nonsense of Samurai's content.

Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

...

Samurai retired with what he thought was more than enough to support his preferred lifestyle before he had kids, and he may have been right. He may have been fine had he stayed CF. However, he had kids, his priorities changed, and suddenly the trade offs no longer hold the same value as they used to.

Retiring early comes with HUGE financial trade offs, especially for high earners, and the cost of those trades is even steeper if you don't dislike your work.

The problem with his post, is that it's not in earnest.

He basically says: No one can FIRE in a HCOL state, so don't bother. It's naive. Especially if you have kids. Forget it.

But it's not true. He even proposes a solution to his own ridiculous budgetary problem - he could move to Hawaii (not a LCOL state) and he would be fine.

He completely refuses to discuss the other possible solution: adjust his budget. He isn't just living in a HCOL state, he has an extremely high standard of living.

What he's really saying is "It's naive to FIRE if you're unwilling to make any compromise at all in your life, if you refuse to cut any expense, and you relentlessly pursue a high-end lifestyle." Well, duh.

What's annoying about an article like his is:

1) It's a completely transparent "click bait" effort to drive traffic to his website to increase his income so he can maintain his ridiculous budget.

2) It misleads people into believing FIRE isn't possible for "real" parents. So don't bother trying, young childless people, because once you have kids, everything will change. Yet he presents a variety of straw men arguments - there's one Scarecrow posing as Expensive Private School. Another as $12,000 a year vacations. There's budget busting meals and a monthly clothing budget to break the bank. Then he pretends these things are required. They aren't.

Truthfully, his premise is simply incorrect. This has nothing to do with having children. Some of the problems stem from living in his chosen city and are highly specific to that city. But most of these problems stem from his inability to be satisfied with a limited budget.

Cassie

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2019, 04:19:42 PM »
I find the article totally ridiculous!  We took car trips when raising our kids. We didn't fly anywhere with 3 kids. Now that we are retired we have spent about 10k/year on vacation because we are doing expensive things like going to Europe and cruises.  We are enjoying ourselves while we are able too.  You certainly don't need full time daycare when you don't work and the food cost is beyond belief.  Ugh!

Malcat

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2019, 04:34:51 PM »

I still think there's a really valid conversation to be had hiding in the whiny nonsense of Samurai's content.

Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

...

Samurai retired with what he thought was more than enough to support his preferred lifestyle before he had kids, and he may have been right. He may have been fine had he stayed CF. However, he had kids, his priorities changed, and suddenly the trade offs no longer hold the same value as they used to.

Retiring early comes with HUGE financial trade offs, especially for high earners, and the cost of those trades is even steeper if you don't dislike your work.

The problem with his post, is that it's not in earnest.

He basically says: No one can FIRE in a HCOL state, so don't bother. It's naive. Especially if you have kids. Forget it.

But it's not true. He even proposes a solution to his own ridiculous budgetary problem - he could move to Hawaii (not a LCOL state) and he would be fine.

He completely refuses to discuss the other possible solution: adjust his budget. He isn't just living in a HCOL state, he has an extremely high standard of living.

What he's really saying is "It's naive to FIRE if you're unwilling to make any compromise at all in your life, if you refuse to cut any expense, and you relentlessly pursue a high-end lifestyle." Well, duh.

What's annoying about an article like his is:

1) It's a completely transparent "click bait" effort to drive traffic to his website to increase his income so he can maintain his ridiculous budget.

2) It misleads people into believing FIRE isn't possible for "real" parents. So don't bother trying, young childless people, because once you have kids, everything will change. Yet he presents a variety of straw men arguments - there's one Scarecrow posing as Expensive Private School. Another as $12,000 a year vacations. There's budget busting meals and a monthly clothing budget to break the bank. Then he pretends these things are required. They aren't.

Truthfully, his premise is simply incorrect. This has nothing to do with having children. Some of the problems stem from living in his chosen city and are highly specific to that city. But most of these problems stem from his inability to be satisfied with a limited budget.

100% agree, that's what I find most aggravating, that there's an earnest conversation to be had, but instead it's just click-baity nonsense and blatant bullshit.

There's very little out there in terms of quality conversations about the potential challenges of FIRE. There's a lot of noise but not a lot of legitimate discourse. It took me a few years to figure out that FIRE was so not for me, and there was no good content for me to relate to.

That's why shit like this is so obnoxious.

aasdfadsf

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2019, 12:56:11 AM »
Relocating is a GREAT option for maintaining a nice, comfortable middle class lifestyle for much less than in HCOL regions. Everyone knows that, but it's still a decision that comes with A LOT of trade offs that need to be balanced against the alternatives, and no, it's not a reasonable option for every retiree.

Be that as it may, it's very hard to think of any retiree anywhere who has to live in a $1,600,000 home. Even if you need to live in a HCOL area, this is extreme. Since you don't need to commute to work, you don't need to pay a huge premium to be close to the high-paying jobs. Suburbs do have their uses.

  You can't seriously be saying he should give up his ocean view, can you ?    What a heartless, odious thought . [ joking]

The weird thing is, he probably doesn't have an ocean view. If he needs one, he can probably get it much cheaper by living on the outskirts of the Bay Area rather than insisting on living right in the city. And he could still travel into the city when he wants. It is a very strange choice he is making.

norajean

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2019, 03:25:37 AM »
He seems jealous that MMM is earning millions From his web site and that Nords surfs everyday. So he is either going to ramp up web site income or surf.

Retirement seems like a perfect time to raise kids as you are free to do so. Why doesnít he home school them, plant a garden,etc?