Author Topic: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....  (Read 8200 times)

dougules

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2019, 11:31:49 AM »

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.

Maybe you could repost your big post to a new "Potential Challenges in FIRE" thread to have a discussion without this clickbait trash clouding the conversation.

BFive55

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2019, 09:43:50 AM »
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.

One problem with many in the FIRE movement is that mentality. When I retire I don't want to move to a low cost state, away from all my friends and family (and maybe children), and the home I'd have spent years making my own. Just so I don't have to work a few more years.

There's very much a standard of living associated with city living that isn't super easy for those accustomed to it to just "move somewhere else." If you live in NYC your whole life, with the walkability, culture, museums, activities, and then move to small town America just to save some money... are you going to like it?

A better criticism for the author is to say "Maybe he should get a job again"...

FINate

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2019, 11:04:04 AM »
There's very much a standard of living associated with city living that isn't super easy for those accustomed to it to just "move somewhere else." If you live in NYC your whole life, with the walkability, culture, museums, activities, and then move to small town America just to save some money... are you going to like it?

Not everything outside Extreme HCOL areas is "small town America" food and cultural deserts. There are many great small and medium sized MCOL cities in the US that are walkable and have plenty of activities and culture. If the author even expanded his thinking to include merely HCOL areas he would find a ton of great options. Even within the Bay Area there are options to "stay local" which don't require a $1.6M house in the heart of the most expensive city.

Cpa Cat

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2019, 11:38:37 AM »
There's very much a standard of living associated with city living that isn't super easy for those accustomed to it to just "move somewhere else." If you live in NYC your whole life, with the walkability, culture, museums, activities, and then move to small town America just to save some money... are you going to like it?

Your two choices aren't NYC and Marquette, Kansas (where, incidentally, they'll still give you free homestead land).

The author of the article says his own financial woes could be solved by moving to Hawaii, which is technically a higher cost of living state than the one he currently lives in, but I suppose the things he wants to use are cheaper there.

But ultimately, yeah, if your dream is to live in NYC and partake in all forms of culture, while living in a very nice home and sending your kids to the best private schools, then FIRE is probably not for you.

norajean

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2019, 12:21:02 PM »
I don't understand why people who choose to move away from family to a LCOL city seem to limit their choices to those familiar to them.  Why not move to southeast Asia or Central America?  One can live in a palace full of servants for much less than what it costs to live like a sucker in a North American HCOL area.  A housekeeper and cook is $10/week in Bali.  Five bedrooms on and acre with a pool is $1.5MM in better parts of Portugal or San Miguel.

marble_faun

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2019, 10:06:20 AM »
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.

One problem with many in the FIRE movement is that mentality. When I retire I don't want to move to a low cost state, away from all my friends and family (and maybe children), and the home I'd have spent years making my own. Just so I don't have to work a few more years.

There's very much a standard of living associated with city living that isn't super easy for those accustomed to it to just "move somewhere else." If you live in NYC your whole life, with the walkability, culture, museums, activities, and then move to small town America just to save some money... are you going to like it?

A better criticism for the author is to say "Maybe he should get a job again"...

It's a big country with a lot of options in between Manhattan/San Francisco and "small town America."  I've lived in MCOL cities my whole life, places with great walkability and culture, but they are just so more livable.  To me the quality of life that is possible in an MCOL towers well above that of luxury-brand cities.

It is hard to leave friend networks -- perhaps an argument for avoiding expensive cities as a young adult, before one gets entangled.

Someone with the Financial Samurai's needs and desires will need to work much longer and harder to remain in their expensive location of choice. But it IS a choice, not a problem with the FIRE concept as he seems to suggest.

Davnasty

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2019, 08:26:14 AM »
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.

One problem with many in the FIRE movement is that mentality. When I retire I don't want to move to a low cost state, away from all my friends and family (and maybe children), and the home I'd have spent years making my own. Just so I don't have to work a few more years.

There's very much a standard of living associated with city living that isn't super easy for those accustomed to it to just "move somewhere else." If you live in NYC your whole life, with the walkability, culture, museums, activities, and then move to small town America just to save some money... are you going to like it?

A better criticism for the author is to say "Maybe he should get a job again"...

Others have already covered the point that LCOLA doesn't equate to a complete lack of amenities. I'll add that the author's spending is not purely a function of where he lives. He's making lots of expensive life choices which are not location dependent.

Suggesting he should get a job again would not be a criticism of the author, it would actually be an agreement with his premise that you cannot RE with kids.

Malkynn

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2019, 09:28:00 AM »
Suggesting he should get a job again would not be a criticism of the author, it would actually be an agreement with his premise that you cannot RE with kids.

Not exactly, it would be in agreement that *he* should not RE on the amount that *he* chose to given the lifestyle that *he* would prefer to maintain now that he has kids.

His priorities have changed, and to meet them, yeah, he maybe should consider going back to work if the trade off is worth it to him.

redbird

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2019, 12:46:41 PM »
Damn.  He might have to move to Hawaii. Poor guy.

And then he can make an article complaining about how expensive it is to ship your household goods via boat. And an article complaining about how expensive food is in Hawaii thanks to the Jones Act.

To him that sounds like more clicks, which equals more $$.

lhamo

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2019, 03:22:23 PM »
Remember, this is the guy whose first claim to fame was a ridiculously expensive guide to deliberately getting yourself fired from a high-paying job as a path to FIRE.  He's ALWAYS been clickbaity and kind of distasteful in my book.

Much prefer to give my clicks to MMM and Nords and the other people who contribute real value to the FIRE discussion.  Don't even bother to follow links to his stuff anymore.

brandino29

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #60 on: October 08, 2019, 01:37:28 PM »
I've known of the website but can't ever remember reading anything of his but if clicks are what he wanted...I may have read this article of his but will be steering far clear of his website from now on.

Just Joe

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2019, 01:13:42 PM »
Others have already covered the point that LCOLA doesn't equate to a complete lack of amenities.

So do all HCOL residents constantly go shopping, out to eat or seek entertainment?

Here in LCOL-land many of us try to stay home to maximize savings despite a surplus of opportunities to spend.

Samurai is in it for the clicks.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 01:18:49 PM by Just Joe »

Malkynn

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2019, 01:56:44 PM »
Others have already covered the point that LCOLA doesn't equate to a complete lack of amenities.

So do all HCOL residents constantly go shopping, out to eat or seek entertainment?

Kind of...yeah

That's why I like where I live, there's endless free/cheap entertainment literally every weekend.

Just Joe

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2019, 07:33:15 AM »
We have that too. Free concerts in the park. Lunchtime concerts at the train depot museum. Movie nights in the park. The local drama club (?) puts on plays in the park, plays at their playhouse. We also have a half dozen major events over a year's time that are free. Prob another half dozen events (wine tastings for example) with music that require a ticket. Tons of stuff at the university. And more. We may attend a couple of ticket events, several of the free events.

Malkynn

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2019, 09:41:15 AM »
We have that too. Free concerts in the park. Lunchtime concerts at the train depot museum. Movie nights in the park. The local drama club (?) puts on plays in the park, plays at their playhouse. We also have a half dozen major events over a year's time that are free. Prob another half dozen events (wine tastings for example) with music that require a ticket. Tons of stuff at the university. And more. We may attend a couple of ticket events, several of the free events.

Yeah, my hometown of 1000 people has multiple world class music venues, the highest concentration of nationally respected artists in the country, some of the best restaurants I've ever been to, a legendary spa, two ski hills, multiple eco parks, and tons of community events. Granted, it's not LCOL, but for sure, there's great stuff to do all over.

That saod, I wouldn't be happy living in my hometown, nor would I be happy living in a smaller city with fewer options than I have now. I've lived in many different places, I've only been really happy in big cities.

For me, the range of experiences/options is worth it, but I'm also not paying for a big detached home with a yard, so the H in HCOL isn't all that relevant.

It all depends on personal priorities.

That said, I firmly believe that just because someone genuinely prefers an HCOL city doesn't justify them bitching about the cost. The cost is either worth it for them or it isn't, I have no pity for people feeling like victims of their own personal preferences.

FINate

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2019, 10:04:20 AM »
I have no pity for people feeling like victims of their own personal preferences.

Great quote!

dougules

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2019, 10:35:45 AM »
I would think living in a HCOL city would magnify frugality.  Downsizing to smaller house wouldn't really make a lot of difference in our finances here, but somebody in SF could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by giving up a few square feet of living space.  You have the opportunity to give up a car and save on all the hidden costs there.  If restaurants cost more then it means cooking at home is worth more. 

Then that's not to mention the fact that HCOL places are HCOL exactly because earning potential is higher.  There are plenty of people in those cities whose income is enough that fat FIRE without leaving the city is not difficult.  You just have to be willing to plan and work longer if you are not suited to Nebraska, Mississippi, or the Philippines. 

MonkeyJenga

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2019, 11:53:27 AM »
I would think living in a HCOL city would magnify frugality.  Downsizing to smaller house wouldn't really make a lot of difference in our finances here, but somebody in SF could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by giving up a few square feet of living space.  You have the opportunity to give up a car and save on all the hidden costs there.  If restaurants cost more then it means cooking at home is worth more. 

Then that's not to mention the fact that HCOL places are HCOL exactly because earning potential is higher.  There are plenty of people in those cities whose income is enough that fat FIRE without leaving the city is not difficult.  You just have to be willing to plan and work longer if you are not suited to Nebraska, Mississippi, or the Philippines. 

Yeah. I was able to live pretty cheaply in NYC, and my salary increased faster than it would have in less expensive cities. Since everyone's in the same boat, it's common for people to have roommates, live in small spaces, and use public transit.

Malkynn

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2019, 04:10:48 PM »
I would think living in a HCOL city would magnify frugality.  Downsizing to smaller house wouldn't really make a lot of difference in our finances here, but somebody in SF could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by giving up a few square feet of living space.  You have the opportunity to give up a car and save on all the hidden costs there.  If restaurants cost more then it means cooking at home is worth more. 

Then that's not to mention the fact that HCOL places are HCOL exactly because earning potential is higher.  There are plenty of people in those cities whose income is enough that fat FIRE without leaving the city is not difficult.  You just have to be willing to plan and work longer if you are not suited to Nebraska, Mississippi, or the Philippines. 

Yeah. I was able to live pretty cheaply in NYC, and my salary increased faster than it would have in less expensive cities. Since everyone's in the same boat, it's common for people to have roommates, live in small spaces, and use public transit.

This is my experience as well.

Where shit really hits the fan is when people try to reproduce a "normal" middle class life with a nice house with a back yard, a garage and two cars in the middle of an ultra dense metropolis where space is at a huge premium and people are willing to pay for it.

I just sold my old townhouse, which is just a few blocks from the high-rise that I moved to, and I sold it without a realtor so I was talking to buyers directly and I can't tell you how many of them whined and whined about not being able to find anything in their price range other than attached condos, and then they would complain that my unit didn't have a back yard.

They all spoke of owning an apartment condo as some kind of foul indignity that no one should have to suffer, and expressed a distinct entitlement to the kind of home they felt they *should* have.

... except, they're trying to buy smack in the center of a major city in the middle of a red hot market.

I was just stone cold:
*shrug* "we're holding offers until Monday and expecting multiple offers at least 30K over asking, and multiple people have already done inspections, so several offers will be without conditions, that's the market right now"

One of the couples who were the whiniest about having to settle for not getting a detached house actually put a condition in the offer that the neighbours not be too loud.


PrairieBeardstache

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2019, 06:16:03 PM »
One of the couples who were the whiniest about having to settle for not getting a detached house actually put a condition in the offer that the neighbours not be too loud.

Thank you for the best laugh of the day. That's gold!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #70 on: October 10, 2019, 06:25:52 PM »
Where shit really hits the fan is when people try to reproduce a "normal" middle class life with a nice house with a back yard, a garage and two cars in the middle of an ultra dense metropolis where space is at a huge premium and people are willing to pay for it.

I've had people argue that I was doomed to fail because you can't live in Portland for less than 40k! Even after telling them I managed just fine on 15-20k in NYC. But a house costs X! And a car! And eating out! And and and.

I don't care about those things. That's why it's called leanfire!

Malkynn

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2019, 07:08:52 PM »
One of the couples who were the whiniest about having to settle for not getting a detached house actually put a condition in the offer that the neighbours not be too loud.

Thank you for the best laugh of the day. That's gold!

It really was god damn priceless.

Honestly, through the two open houses, my eyes just about permanently rolled back into my skull at the endless complaining that "the only affordable units in the neighbourhood are in those awful towers at [insert major intersection]. That just can't be where we end up."

Yeah...the exact address I just moved to.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2019, 04:57:56 AM »
One of the couples who were the whiniest about having to settle for not getting a detached house actually put a condition in the offer that the neighbours not be too loud.

Thank you for the best laugh of the day. That's gold!

It really was god damn priceless.

Honestly, through the two open houses, my eyes just about permanently rolled back into my skull at the endless complaining that "the only affordable units in the neighbourhood are in those awful towers at [insert major intersection]. That just can't be where we end up."

Yeah...the exact address I just moved to.

Yup, I go back and look at my old co-op in Queens, NY every once in a while on zillow.  You can still get a unit for less than $300,000 for a 650 sq ft 2 bedroom and the big 800 sq ft unit ones for less than $350,000.  Yes it was an "apartment" but it was garden style and there is a 4,500 acre park 3 blocks away.  There were tons of kids in the complex and they seemed to be a-okay with the shared courtyards and the like.  Also the local elementary and middle schools score excellent on the good schools thing.

Just Joe

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2019, 08:29:09 AM »
One of the couples who were the whiniest about having to settle for not getting a detached house actually put a condition in the offer that the neighbours not be too loud.

Thank you for the best laugh of the day. That's gold!

It really was god damn priceless.

Honestly, through the two open houses, my eyes just about permanently rolled back into my skull at the endless complaining that "the only affordable units in the neighbourhood are in those awful towers at [insert major intersection]. That just can't be where we end up."

Yeah...the exact address I just moved to.

Yup, I go back and look at my old co-op in Queens, NY every once in a while on zillow.  You can still get a unit for less than $300,000 for a 650 sq ft 2 bedroom and the big 800 sq ft unit ones for less than $350,000.  Yes it was an "apartment" but it was garden style and there is a 4,500 acre park 3 blocks away.  There were tons of kids in the complex and they seemed to be a-okay with the shared courtyards and the like.  Also the local elementary and middle schools score excellent on the good schools thing.

I can't do NYC because my ebike is illegal there. ;)  That's the only reason of course.

dougules

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2019, 10:46:41 AM »
One of the couples who were the whiniest about having to settle for not getting a detached house actually put a condition in the offer that the neighbours not be too loud.

Thank you for the best laugh of the day. That's gold!

It really was god damn priceless.

Honestly, through the two open houses, my eyes just about permanently rolled back into my skull at the endless complaining that "the only affordable units in the neighbourhood are in those awful towers at [insert major intersection]. That just can't be where we end up."

Yeah...the exact address I just moved to.

Somebody should let them know that U-Haul also serves Saskatchewan. 

Saskatchewstachian

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Re: And now we know how much Financial Samurai spends.....
« Reply #75 on: October 11, 2019, 12:31:19 PM »
One of the couples who were the whiniest about having to settle for not getting a detached house actually put a condition in the offer that the neighbours not be too loud.

Thank you for the best laugh of the day. That's gold!

It really was god damn priceless.

Honestly, through the two open houses, my eyes just about permanently rolled back into my skull at the endless complaining that "the only affordable units in the neighbourhood are in those awful towers at [insert major intersection]. That just can't be where we end up."

Yeah...the exact address I just moved to.

Somebody should let them know that U-Haul also serves Saskatchewan.

Plenty of space out here on the prairies for anyone that wants to join!