Author Topic: Article: What its like to Fail  (Read 2583 times)

Capsu78

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Article: What its like to Fail
« on: December 16, 2013, 02:16:58 PM »
Pretty thought prevoking article of  one sucessful guy (and family) fall from the upper middle class to homelessness.  It is pretty easy to "monday morning quarterback" this one but the guys path was not outlandish for the circles he ran in:

http://priceonomics.com/what-its-like-to-fail/

nawhite

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Re: Article: What its like to Fail
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 02:39:30 PM »
There is a longer discussion of this article here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/mustachianism-around-the-web/from-mid-six-figures-to-living-in-a-van-behind-kinkos

But I definitely agree that the story should be in the "Anti-mustachian" category instead. Both parents decided to stop working and stop looking for work with only about a year and a half of living expenses saved up and the fixed costs of 7 kids.

Sure the guy got screwed by there being fewer jobs available in his profession when he started looking for work again, but he still made some bad decisions.

Capsu78

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Re: Article: What its like to Fail
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 03:29:29 PM »
Thanks for the heads up Nawhite... I ran a search and nothing came up.  Mods- feel free to zap.

MrsPete

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Re: Article: What its like to Fail
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 10:21:12 AM »
I do like reading case studies like this, and I find myself of two minds:

On the one hand, the guy acknowledges that -- looking back -- he made thousands of small decisions that seemed right at the time, but hurt him in the long run.  In that, he seems to acknowledge that he himself is the source of his troubles.  It sounds like he knows on an academic level what went wrong, but he sounds a bit like he's telling someone else's story.   

On the other hand, I can't help wondering, "What could he have been thinking?"  He was earning a good salary, yet he was living in a very expensive house, in a very expensive town, supporting a large number of children and a non-working wife, choosing to quit working without a real plan, and more.  Did he never consider selling the house while it was still possible?  Did moving to a less expensive area never occur to him?  At some point, didn't he have the good sense to question these choices?  He didn't have to do everything right -- if he'd just done 1-2 items differently, the story could've been so different.  For example, if he'd moved to a less expensive area when they quit working, things would've been different.  If his wife had been working, they likely wouldn't have lost two salaries at once.  Just a few more realistic choices would've likely kept the family together and him from sleeping in his van. 

I don't know whether to feel sorry for him or not, but he is a good cautionary tale. 

« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 07:30:37 AM by MrsPete »

MgoSam

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Re: Article: What its like to Fail
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 12:16:22 PM »
Thank you for posting this. This is what drives me. Right now I have a good salary and a comfortable way of life, but anything can change and there will be roadblocks along the way.

I am 26 and my goal is to have enough to live off 4% by the time I turn 35, and thus far I am well on my way. That does mean saying no to many fun things I do, but thankfully I am very frugal friends and don't lack for much.