Author Topic: Early Retirement Without A Fortune  (Read 9582 times)

ultrarunner

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Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« on: March 18, 2012, 11:05:04 PM »
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/early-retirement-without-a-fortune.html

The comments are what are precious.  I've never seen so much Complainypants concentrated in one place... it was a like a train wreck... I couldn't stop reading them (and laughing).    :-)

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Grigory

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 11:40:49 PM »
Just goes to show you how insecure most people are when it comes to money... It was great to see Jacob mentioned!

velocistar237

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 05:53:56 AM »
Why did they include that last guy? His numbers don't make sense, and he's not retired! And before he went back to work, he just sat around in an RV while his wife supported him! Besides, they don't count because they don't have kids or health problems. You're not really retired unless you're retired with kids or health problems!


Parizade

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 05:55:39 AM »
I like the photos (is it just me, or are frugal men more attractive than average?)

;-D

kolorado

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 07:02:38 AM »
Wow, those comments are unreal. The food budget complainypants comments always stick out to me. $100 a month to spend on food sounds great to me, even generous. I average $300 a month for my family of five and we eat way better than ramen. I wouldn't have that in my house if they paid me to eat it.  Drives me crazy that so many people would rather accuse people of lying than open their minds a little bit to other ways they could be doing things.

The Money Monk

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 07:09:18 AM »
I had to stop reading those comments, they were so infuriatingly stupid.

I had to lol at the guy who insisted it was impossible to spend less than $100 a week on groceries.

ultrarunner

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 10:07:36 AM »
A fellow Mustachian and I were discussing this article (the comments) this morning, and he (he's a psychologist) was talking about how they all exhibit "victim thinking".  For example:

"There is NO WAY I could possible save any money because I was taken advantage of by the MAN, banks are evil and don't let me get ahead,  I had kids, my car is too expensive, I didn't get an education, my energy costs are JUST TOO HIGH, etc, etc.  It's not possible and it's all somebody else's fault."

Mustachians, by and large, approach it with a sense of control and purpose:  "I wonder how much energy I spend on XYZ?  I will objectively measure it and develop a set of data points, then I will analyze the data and make incremental cuts or changes in the way I do things and affect positive change.  I will repeat this process until I've shaped my life and spending into what I want it to be and then I will achieve my goals." 

Mustachians are the Captains, with apologies to William Ernest Henley.  :-)

judgemebymyusername

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 10:41:20 AM »
A fellow Mustachian and I were discussing this article (the comments) this morning, and he (he's a psychologist) was talking about how they all exhibit "victim thinking".  For example:

+1

I've been saying this for years. Look at everyone who complains or is always unsuccessful. They are always a "victim" and they never take personal responsibility. Whether it be money, politics, or any other goal in life.

Adventine

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 03:17:01 PM »
My first reaction: I didn't realize Jacob was so young. My second reaction: Well of course he's young, he's famous for Early Retirement Extreme!

Gerard

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 02:12:20 PM »
A fellow Mustachian and I were discussing this article (the comments) this morning, and he (he's a psychologist) was talking about how they all exhibit "victim thinking". 

There's a fair whack of research on this in educational psychology. People who fail at something tend to have three interpretations:
"I suck."
"It's somebody else's fault."
"I did some stuff wrong and I'll change it next time."

Guess which group goes on to later success?

shedinator

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 02:39:41 PM »
A fellow Mustachian and I were discussing this article (the comments) this morning, and he (he's a psychologist) was talking about how they all exhibit "victim thinking". 

There's a fair whack of research on this in educational psychology. People who fail at something tend to have three interpretations:
"I suck."
"It's somebody else's fault."
"I did some stuff wrong and I'll change it next time."

Guess which group goes on to later success?

I really hope it's that first group!
Actually, more like a combination of the first and third, as in "I really sucked... guess I should change my approach/do better next time."

It's kind of interesting for me- when I personally fail, I chalk it up to some combination of mistakes on my part and poor luck/uncontrollable circumstance. But I also recognize that depending on your socioeconomic location, there are certainly road blocks which can hinder the process. There are demonstrable income and employment disparities between men/women, whites/nonwhites, and other majority/minority groups, which certainly lend the upper hand to those who are more likely to get a job and get paid well, and I don't think we should overlook those realities. I have a current savings rate of over 20%, and my family income is technically below the poverty line, so there's certainly a lot that has to do with managing your money correctly, but I have to imagine that the single, female, high-school dropout mother is going to have a few more obstacles to overcome than I-- the married, male, Masters Degree-holding father-- do.

velocistar237

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 02:44:18 PM »
There's a fair whack of research on this in educational psychology. People who fail at something tend to have three interpretations:
"I suck."
"It's somebody else's fault."
"I did some stuff wrong and I'll change it next time."

Guess which group goes on to later success?

The research is pretty powerful, so it deserves a mention. Take a look at Mindset by Carol Dweck.

Article about it here: http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

judgemebymyusername

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012, 02:49:16 PM »
...high-school dropout mother is going to have a few more obstacles to overcome than I-- the married, male, Masters Degree-holding father-- do.

Yes, this is true. But bad luck and consequences for your actions are two different things.

shedinator

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012, 09:41:36 PM »
Yes, this is true. But bad luck and consequences for your actions are two different things.

I agree. It just struck me that the three mindsets listed kind of leave bad luck up in the air- when someone, or something, or some system, is actively blocking you from success, there is a point at which it's simply stating a fact to acknowledge that it's somebody else's fault. IMO, it's what you do once you've made that acknowledgment that matters. Perhaps I'm splitting hairs a bit here, but I'm thinking of something like:
"It's somebody else's fault, and I may as well give up."
"It's somebody else's fault, so I should just keep doing what I've been doing."
"It's somebody else's fault, they will continue to be an obstacle, so I'm going to have to find a way to get past this."

While I don't know if similar research has been done, I'm guessing that the third sub-mindset here is the most likely to be successful, if success is indeed a possibility(ie, oppression is not total in its scope). Hope that makes sense...

twinge

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2012, 07:21:01 AM »
Quote
"It's somebody else's fault, they will continue to be an obstacle, so I'm going to have to find a way to get past this."

Yes, this is actually a key nuance of the research.  One of the downsides of the "internal locus of control" assumption is that there can be a tendency to internalize problems, take on too much responsibility etc. for things that are really not under your control. This can be a distortion--such as when kids believe "It's my fault my parent's divorced. If I had only been better etc."
 The goal is to become more realistic and oriented towards mastery not to believe you are all-powerful. 

The Money Monk

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2012, 08:03:06 AM »
Quote
"It's somebody else's fault, they will continue to be an obstacle, so I'm going to have to find a way to get past this."

Yes, this is actually a key nuance of the research.  One of the downsides of the "internal locus of control" assumption is that there can be a tendency to internalize problems, take on too much responsibility etc. for things that are really not under your control. This can be a distortion--such as when kids believe "It's my fault my parent's divorced. If I had only been better etc."
 The goal is to become more realistic and oriented towards mastery not to believe you are all-powerful.

I think the important distinction is acting to change a situation, vs simply taking responsibility for things that are your fault.

Even if the situation isn't your fault, you still have to do something about it.

If somebody burns your house down, you can sit there and say it wasn't your fault. And you'd be right. But you can still improve your situation by personally working to better it, and build a new house.

twinge

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2012, 08:18:54 AM »
Quote
If somebody burns your house down, you can sit there and say it wasn't your fault. And you'd be right. But you can still improve your situation by personally working to better it, and build a new house.

I agree.  My point was that a downside of the "internal locus of control" is that there can be a tendency to unrealistically assume full responsibility and say, "It's my fault someone burned my house down." (e.g., "I should have bought it in a better neighborhood, had a security system...) And even if that sense of control makes it more likely that you build a new house it's ultimately not psychologically healthy to believe you are at fault for everything bad that happens to you and has a tendency to make someone more vulnerable to depression and other forms of burn out. Granted this tendency may not be as widespread in contemporary American culture as a victim stance, but it may be more widespread on this site...

When you have a realistic mastery approach, you realistically assess to what degree something is your own fault vs. not  (so you can learn in the future from what you could control) AND identify and enact strategies to solve the problem at hand regardless of whose fault.

James

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2012, 08:37:34 AM »
"I suck."
"It's somebody else's fault."
"I did some stuff wrong and I'll change it next time."

Guess which group goes on to later success?

I would argue the first response is also important for success.  :)

I purchased a house bigger than needed in 2008 in part as an "investment".  I realized now that "I sucked" in making that decision.  I don't need to change how I purchase big houses, I don't need to change how I purchase new vehicles, I don't need to change how I spend money on useless crap.  I need to say "I suck" when I do those things, and I'm not going to do them anymore.

velocistar237

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012, 09:04:58 AM »
Carol Dweck argues that the key is a belief that you can improve through your own efforts. She calls this a growth mindset, and she contrasts it with a fixed mindset. People with fixed mindsets are afraid of failure because it proves that their existing, fixed abilities don't cut it, while people with growth mindsets are more likely to accept their failures, learn from them, and improve.

The experimental results prove this out. Dweck showed that you can temporarily induce a fixed or growth mindset in someone just by highlighting intelligence or effort in the praise you give them, which would in turn affect their performance. She developed a curriculum to teach kids about brain plasticity, the idea that working hard can make you smarter, and it significantly improved grades.

The typical Yahoo Finance reaction shows a strong fixed mindset.

The Money Monk

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2012, 12:21:39 PM »
Quote
If somebody burns your house down, you can sit there and say it wasn't your fault. And you'd be right. But you can still improve your situation by personally working to better it, and build a new house.

I agree.  My point was that a downside of the "internal locus of control" is that there can be a tendency to unrealistically assume full responsibility and say, "It's my fault someone burned my house down." (e.g., "I should have bought it in a better neighborhood, had a security system...) And even if that sense of control makes it more likely that you build a new house it's ultimately not psychologically healthy to believe you are at fault for everything bad that happens to you and has a tendency to make someone more vulnerable to depression and other forms of burn out. Granted this tendency may not be as widespread in contemporary American culture as a victim stance, but it may be more widespread on this site...

When you have a realistic mastery approach, you realistically assess to what degree something is your own fault vs. not  (so you can learn in the future from what you could control) AND identify and enact strategies to solve the problem at hand regardless of whose fault.

I agree, and I think the best way is to make sure you separate the two psychologically. (what cause the problem vs what you should do about it).  Just because you may have to be the one to act to change the situation, doesn't necessarily mean you are to blame for creating it. That would be the 'realistic assessment' that you talked about.

That way you can still get things done without being crippled by self-blame.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 12:23:10 PM by The Money Monk »

menorman

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2012, 04:29:58 PM »
It's kind of interesting for me- when I personally fail, I chalk it up to some combination of mistakes on my part and poor luck/uncontrollable circumstance. But I also recognize that depending on your socioeconomic location, there are certainly road blocks which can hinder the process. There are demonstrable income and employment disparities between men/women, whites/nonwhites, and other majority/minority groups, which certainly lend the upper hand to those who are more likely to get a job and get paid well, and I don't think we should overlook those realities. I have a current savings rate of over 20%, and my family income is technically below the poverty line, so there's certainly a lot that has to do with managing your money correctly, but I have to imagine that the single, female, high-school dropout mother is going to have a few more obstacles to overcome than I-- the married, male, Masters Degree-holding father-- do.

Actually, the latest issue of Time magazine has a cover article on this very topic and I've also seen other discussions of it in recent times. The gap is definitely not as large as it used to be. Thanks to the recession, far more men got pink slips than women. Additionally, more women than men now graduate college, and as a bachelor's degree becomes the new high school diploma, men will fall farther behind. (This effect is especially pronounced black and hispanic communities, not so much with Asian.) According to Time, women in the 20-29 segment actually earn more than men, and many more families depend on the woman's salary just as much as the man's even if it is a little lower.

arebelspy

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2012, 08:49:16 PM »

Actually, the latest issue of Time magazine has a cover article on this very topic and I've also seen other discussions of it in recent times. The gap is definitely not as large as it used to be. Thanks to the recession, far more men got pink slips than women. Additionally, more women than men now graduate college, and as a bachelor's degree becomes the new high school diploma, men will fall farther behind. (This effect is especially pronounced black and hispanic communities, not so much with Asian.) According to Time, women in the 20-29 segment actually earn more than men, and many more families depend on the woman's salary just as much as the man's even if it is a little lower.

And isn't it sad that they earn solely more due to more education, rather than being able to earn the same?  Latest studies do in fact show women earn more in some cases, because of the reasons you stated.  However, current (as in, within the last 3 years) studies also show they still earn less when compared with the same job.  That is, women may earn more as an average, but if you actually compare women to men in the same job, the women still earn less.

As much as people would like to hand-wave it away by hearing superficial statistics like "women earn more" which don't get to the root of the problem, it does actually still exist.
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shedinator

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Re: Early Retirement Without A Fortune
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2012, 09:20:47 PM »

Actually, the latest issue of Time magazine has a cover article on this very topic and I've also seen other discussions of it in recent times. The gap is definitely not as large as it used to be. Thanks to the recession, far more men got pink slips than women. Additionally, more women than men now graduate college, and as a bachelor's degree becomes the new high school diploma, men will fall farther behind. (This effect is especially pronounced black and hispanic communities, not so much with Asian.) According to Time, women in the 20-29 segment actually earn more than men, and many more families depend on the woman's salary just as much as the man's even if it is a little lower.

And isn't it sad that they earn solely more due to more education, rather than being able to earn the same?  Latest studies do in fact show women earn more in some cases, because of the reasons you stated.  However, current (as in, within the last 3 years) studies also show they still earn less when compared with the same job.  That is, women may earn more as an average, but if you actually compare women to men in the same job, the women still earn less.

As much as people would like to hand-wave it away by hearing superficial statistics like "women earn more" which don't get to the root of the problem, it does actually still exist.

True story. Also, if we had reached the point where women earned more than men in the same job, that would be a problem as well, since that form of inequality would still not be equality. And since that same article further emphasized the disparity between whites and nonwhites, I think my overall point still stands.