Author Topic: A request from a journalist  (Read 5093 times)

andreacoombes

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A request from a journalist
« on: July 09, 2014, 02:46:41 PM »
Hello Mustachians -- I'm a freelance personal-finance writer who has profiled Mr. Money Mustache for MarketWatch.com (below, I posted links to that story and a related one on early retirees). I'm a big fan of the MMM philosophy, and I'm lucky to have actually met the man himself, and his lovely family, when they came and stayed at my house earlier this year (my husband and I live in San Francisco).

In fact, in the spirit of his "carpentourism" philosophy, Pete fixed our water heater for us. (The plumber had quoted us something like $1,500 or $2,000 and Pete fixed it for a total cost of about $45. I guess technically his work was in exchange for the use of our in-law apartment, but we loved having him and his family here, plus I learned a lot about water heaters, so we definitely got a GREAT deal!)

So, unrelatedly, I asked Pete today if I could post a "media request" to the forum and he said it would be OK. Here's my request: I'm working on a story, and I'm trying to find someone who, for whatever reason, has either no credit (e.g. never carried a credit card, student loan or mortgage) or bad credit --- but who also has a pristine or near-pristine driving record. I'm hoping to find someone who fits this description and who is also paying for car insurance.

This would entail going on the record with regard to your credit history, as well as what you're paying for car insurance, so there is that. But if you fit the bill and are willing to talk, I'd love to chat. Or, if you fit the bill but you want to talk off the record before agreeing to be quoted, that works for me, too. Just shoot me an email and we can set up a time to talk.

Thanks very much for your time and consideration! My email is andreacoombes at outlook dot com

Here are links to my MMM-related stories:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-retire-early-35-years-early-2014-01-17

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/8-secrets-for-success-from-early-retirees-2014-02-05

Thanks.
Andrea Coombes

matchewed

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 02:53:36 PM »
Well this is novel. Sorry I don't fit your bill. Just wanted to thank you for writing about MMM. Spreading the gospel (so to speak) is always appreciated.

gimp

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 04:18:38 PM »
This is pretty cool. I don't fit your bill (high 700s credit score), but good luck in finding someone.

socaso

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 04:34:55 PM »
I want to watch this. I'm wondering if such a person exists on the forum. So many here seem very aware of their credit. I would think only a rather young reader would have no credit.

brewer12345

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 04:37:52 PM »
Yet another lazy reporter that already has figured out an angle and is just looking for someone to round out the article as an example.  Where have journalistic standards gone?

Mod Note: Rude and unnecessary.  You are adding nothing but negativity.  Cut it out.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 08:47:19 AM by arebelspy »

Irishtache

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 05:00:09 PM »
I was wondering who Pete is! Ha!

arebelspy

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 08:50:14 AM »
Well this is novel. Sorry I don't fit your bill. Just wanted to thank you for writing about MMM. Spreading the gospel (so to speak) is always appreciated.

Agreed!

So many media articles are about how retiring early is impossible, etc. and just so much negativity, it's nice to see the idea out there that it is doable (even if it does get a lot of negative feedback/disbelief in the comments of said articles).

I do think it'll be hard to find a Mustachian that visits the forum that fits your criteria, but possibly one that is foreign (so little/no credit) or very young or very new to Mustachianism.

We do have some that come on here after having realized they were not doing well financially, and may still have bad credit from previous financial mistakes.

Good luck!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Daley

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 09:07:21 AM »
I do think it'll be hard to find a Mustachian that visits the forum that fits your criteria, but possibly one that is foreign (so little/no credit) or very young or very new to Mustachianism.

We do have some that come on here after having realized they were not doing well financially, and may still have bad credit from previous financial mistakes.

Personally, I don't see any value to a good FICO score within FI: if you're FI, that means you don't need credit. There are some of us out there that have deliberately opted out of that particular part of the rat race. I certainly know I never bothered trying to rebuild my credit history after the dark days. Life's better not giving a toss about what other financially irresponsible idiots are willing to lend you, and I'd rather do business with insurance companies that measure liability risk on driving records, not a credit score. Those who do tend to take better care of their clients in general instead of caring only about the almighty dollar.

sirdoug007

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 09:27:41 AM »
I can't help with your specific request but wanted to thank you for bringing the light of Mr. Money Mustache to MarketWatch.

I use MarketWatch as a free way to keep up with what the financial world is doing and very, very occasionally see some good personal finance advice. 

I read your profile of MMM back in January and it had a HUGE affect on me.  I had never heard of this early retirement stuff before and it really changed my perspective.  It really opened my eyes to how effective the one thing we can control in retirement planning really is: the savings rate!  I have been in the save 10% for retirement camp since I started working after college and thought I was doing pretty well.  I had no idea how much better I could do, how spending LESS money could bring MORE happiness, and how close the fast track to financial freedom was.

After reading more on this site and looking at my own situation I cut some unneeded bills (home security and associated land line - axed $80/month; negotiating and changing house and car insurance alone saved me $100/mo!) and started bringing my lunches to work which saved me probably $150/month and helped me lose 10 pounds this year.  And most importantly, I finally maxed out my 401(k) contribution!

So thank you!  And keep spreading the good word!

arebelspy

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 09:38:53 AM »
I do think it'll be hard to find a Mustachian that visits the forum that fits your criteria, but possibly one that is foreign (so little/no credit) or very young or very new to Mustachianism.

We do have some that come on here after having realized they were not doing well financially, and may still have bad credit from previous financial mistakes.

Personally, I don't see any value to a good FICO score within FI: if you're FI, that means you don't need credit. There are some of us out there that have deliberately opted out of that particular part of the rat race. I certainly know I never bothered trying to rebuild my credit history after the dark days. Life's better not giving a toss about what other financially irresponsible idiots are willing to lend you, and I'd rather do business with insurance companies that measure liability risk on driving records, not a credit score. Those who do tend to take better care of their clients in general instead of caring only about the almighty dollar.

I don't disagree that move is right for you, but I also think different strokes for different folks.

Good credit has let me achieve FI quite quickly and given me options I wouldn't otherwise have had.

As far as why you might need credit after FI: Travel hacking may save us 5-10k/yr in retirement just due to a good credit score (i.e. we'll have to spend $500 on travel instead of the 5k we had planned, with a few hours of work). 

Again, situational (not too useful for someone who has a $0 line item for travel in their FIRE budget), but there are cases, so.. different strokes.  :)

I've never once tried to do anything to "improve" my score (and am on record here as arguing against even the hassles of tracking it and such).  But I just pay my bills (which I would anyways), and that gives me a good score, and that has been useful.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

neo von retorch

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 09:47:56 AM »
I'm kind of the opposite of what you're looking for. I have Excellent credit and a somewhat terrible driving record. (3+ speeding tickets in the past 3 years.) I also only pay $500/year for full coverage on my 2008 Honda.

Over the course of my adult life, I've gotten tons of speeding tickets (and a few other tickets) but I have never been in an accident.

Daley

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 10:05:55 AM »
I don't disagree that move is right for you, but I also think different strokes for different folks.

Good credit has let me achieve FI quite quickly and given me options I wouldn't otherwise have had.

Oh absolutely, both points... but you already know I'm close to becoming one of those granola-crunching-sustainable-hippie-radicals who views all debt as a form of slavery and has seriously considered falling off the grid entirely if it was a viable option, so this sort of thing from my fingers isn't much of a surprise. ;)

lackofstache

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 11:38:27 AM »
Not that it helps greatly, but I work for an insurance company & deal with said company's many shortfalls. Rather than increasing premiums, though, they outright deny coverage to many without any tickets or accidents based solely on their proprietary customer rating system. It urks me & is one of many reasons that when I have found the right opportunity I will make my money elsewhere.

andreacoombes

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2014, 01:49:24 PM »
Thanks everyone for some great comments here. It's actually really interesting that some people on here (and people who've sent me email) have the opposite situation: excellent credit yet not a pristine driving record. I guess that also points to a potential problem with insurers using credit scores as a piece of the car-insurance rate calculation (given that insurers would connect driving points with riskier driving).

And for the reader who was inspired to save more by my MMM article on MarketWatch: That is music to my ears! Wonderful to hear.

Thanks again, everyone.

All the best,
Andrea

jbow808

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2014, 09:16:01 PM »
I might fit the bill.. lousy credit - unemployed for 2 years after coming home from Iraq, laid off twice last year, but have a awesome driving record.

ltt

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 04:15:21 AM »
I do think it'll be hard to find a Mustachian that visits the forum that fits your criteria, but possibly one that is foreign (so little/no credit) or very young or very new to Mustachianism.


I was thinking the exact opposite.  I think the persons she is looking for will be from the older generation who have never used credit cards, basically paid for everything with cash, and have excellent driving records.  Someone like my father.

stripey

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2014, 06:07:55 AM »
I do fit the bill... except that I am Australian and live in Australia which is probably not much help to you. Good luck on your hunt.

Paul der Krake

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Re: A request from a journalist
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 06:15:54 AM »
Andrea, look for expats and folks who recently moved to the US. It's not uncommon for them to not bother with credit at all for the first couple years, yet they drive around. That's the situation I was in just a couple years ago.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 06:18:42 AM by Paul der Krake »