Author Topic: FI is great, but is RE for losers?  (Read 9958 times)

FIRE_HELP!

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FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:19:55 PM »
A "friend" responded to a Facebook post that espoused FIRE, with the comment that while FI is a worthy goal, RE basically means someone either chose the wrong path/profession in life and hates her job, and is willing to do ANYTHING (i.e. extreme frugality) to get out of the grind.  Also said something to the extent that the people who are the very best at what they do hardly ever talk about RE, even if they are frugal and FI at a young age.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 01:24:36 PM by FIRE_HELP! »

smalllife

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 01:22:46 PM »
Insecurity, feeling like a hamster in a wheel, rationalizing?

It is a counter cultural goal, but that doesn't mean that it's "wrong"

MooseOutFront

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2014, 01:32:26 PM »
A "friend" responded to a Facebook post that espoused FIRE, with the comment that while FI is a worthy goal, RE basically means someone either chose the wrong path/profession in life and hates her job, and is willing to do ANYTHING (i.e. extreme frugality) to get out of the grind.  Also said something to the extent that the people who are the very best at what they do hardly ever talk about RE, even if they are frugal and FI at a young age.

Thoughts?
Working is institutional in our culture.  That's the same response my dad would have.  It goes back to how one pictures an early retirement.  Most people don't even have the imagination to see what it would look like.

Tell your friend lets have a race to FI and then see who wants to keep showing up for work all day every day after.

apfroggy0408

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 01:33:06 PM »
Wrong.

Eventually I may value doing something else like raising children myself or finding another passion.

I say that and I'm 23 years old and I really like my job and the company I work for. But eventually I might want to do something else or use the ability of FI and RE to make myself a more valued worker.

rujancified

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 01:37:49 PM »
"Tell your friend lets have a race to FI and then see who wants to keep showing up for work all day every day after."

HA! Genius.

Cpa Cat

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 01:57:29 PM »
A "friend" responded to a Facebook post that espoused FIRE, with the comment that while FI is a worthy goal, RE basically means someone either chose the wrong path/profession in life and hates her job, and is willing to do ANYTHING (i.e. extreme frugality) to get out of the grind.  Also said something to the extent that the people who are the very best at what they do hardly ever talk about RE, even if they are frugal and FI at a young age.

Thoughts?

I guess your friend might be right if the only thing interesting about your life is your work. I certainly hope that I'm not that boring!

Eric

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 02:01:16 PM »
A "friend" responded to a Facebook post that espoused FIRE, with the comment that while FI is a worthy goal, RE basically means someone either chose the wrong path/profession in life and hates her job, and is willing to do ANYTHING (i.e. extreme frugality) to get out of the grind.  Also said something to the extent that the people who are the very best at what they do hardly ever talk about RE, even if they are frugal and FI at a young age.

Thoughts?

This could be true.  I don't really know, but it seems to me that people who are really really good at their jobs also get a lot of enjoyment out of working.  They probably go hand in hand, at least for some folks.  But really, who cares?  I'm certainly not insulted if someone told me I'm not the best in my field, or that I'm willing to do anything to get out of the grind.  I'd probably tell them that.


Cpa Cat

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 02:13:23 PM »
This could be true.  I don't really know, but it seems to me that people who are really really good at their jobs also get a lot of enjoyment out of working.  They probably go hand in hand, at least for some folks.  But really, who cares?  I'm certainly not insulted if someone told me I'm not the best in my field, or that I'm willing to do anything to get out of the grind.  I'd probably tell them that.

Eric is right. I doubt very much that I'm the best accountant in the world (in fact, I know some accountants who are better than me...). As it turns out, I'm also not the best gardener in the world - but it is absolutely my favorite thing to do. I suspect I'm not the best wife in existence - but I'd still rather spend more time with my husband.

But who really cares? ER lets me do whatever the F I want - whether or not I'm good at it, or it pays the bills, or whatever.

And what if I am the best accountant in the world, but what I really want to do is help people pro bono?

Or what if I really did choose the wrong career and my true calling is that of a beach bum (and I shall be the best beach bum that I can be)? How does that make RE an unworthy goal?

Wouldn't that make RE the worthiest of goals?

FIRE_HELP!

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 02:50:25 PM »
Well if someone enjoys her work and is good at what she does (and due to being FI  can set her own terms of employment), it would seem to me that the cost of of RE at a young age and doing whatever it is she would do (hobbies, raising kids, etc) is a very high one (i.e. the lost wages), especially if one is very good at the work?

lackofstache

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 03:07:59 PM »
Well if someone enjoys her work and is good at what she does (and due to being FI  can set her own terms of employment), it would seem to me that the cost of of RE at a young age and doing whatever it is she would do (hobbies, raising kids, etc) is a very high one (i.e. the lost wages), especially if one is very good at the work?

a high financial cost? Who cares, you just retired because you don't need any more money to live the life you want.

Eric

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2014, 03:16:15 PM »
Well if someone enjoys her work and is good at what she does (and due to being FI  can set her own terms of employment), it would seem to me that the cost of of RE at a young age and doing whatever it is she would do (hobbies, raising kids, etc) is a very high one (i.e. the lost wages), especially if one is very good at the work?

There are many SWAMIs* around these parts.  You might be inclined to do that.  Becoming FI as soon as possible will still be beneficial, as if you ever want to stop working, you're covered.  If you don't, then you can choose to continue.  Just remember, while you may be giving up a lot of money, you're trading it for a lot of time.  To me, once you have "enough", time is more valuable than money.


*Still Working Advanced Mustachian Individuals

FIRE_HELP!

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 03:16:30 PM »
Nothing to debate here: I will do (almost) anything to get out of the grind. I just wish I'd started earlier.

Well if someone enjoys her work and is good at what she does (and due to being FI  can set her own terms of employment), it would seem to me that the cost of of RE at a young age and doing whatever it is she would do (hobbies, raising kids, etc) is a very high one (i.e. the lost wages), especially if one is very good at the work?

ETA: Who says you can't "work" or make money if you RE? I think you need to read some more of MMM's posts on the main page. The RE part just means that you are no longer "bound."

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/13/mr-money-mustache-vs-the-internet-retirement-police/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/05/14/first-retire-then-get-rich/

How many hours can you work and still be retired?

FIRE_HELP!

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2014, 03:22:03 PM »
Well if someone enjoys her work and is good at what she does (and due to being FI  can set her own terms of employment), it would seem to me that the cost of of RE at a young age and doing whatever it is she would do (hobbies, raising kids, etc) is a very high one (i.e. the lost wages), especially if one is very good at the work?

There are many SWAMIs* around these parts.  You might be inclined to do that.  Becoming FI as soon as possible will still be beneficial, as if you ever want to stop working, you're covered.  If you don't, then you can choose to continue.  Just remember, while you may be giving up a lot of money, you're trading it for a lot of time.  To me, once you have "enough", time is more valuable than money.


*Still Working Advanced Mustachian Individuals

I don't disagree with this - and that's why I agree with the "FI is great" part - one has the option to walk away

But it is a bit difficult to debate intelligently with a skeptic as to why someone would go to such great lengths to put oneself in a position to indeed RE (i.e. 'walk away') if one had made the right choices early on or if one were great at and took joy in what he did

And yes, this assumes being frugal is a bit of a sacrifice and does not bring as much pleasure or joy as not having to count every cent

MooseOutFront

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2014, 03:23:43 PM »
How many hours can you work and still be retired?
Depends on which precinct of internet retirement police you find yourself in.

FIRE_HELP!

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2014, 03:25:06 PM »
How many hours can you work and still be retired?
Depends on which precinct of internet retirement police you find yourself in.

Right

Sounds to me you are referring to being FI then, and not RE

MooseOutFront

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2014, 03:28:03 PM »
I personally view RE as quitting your day job, but don't think you fall out of that category if you end up working doing something else.

FIRE_HELP!

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2014, 03:34:14 PM »
I personally view RE as quitting your day job, but don't think you fall out of that category if you end up working doing something else.

Makes sense

Maybe the real advice we should be giving college (or high school?) graduates is "Do the job you would want to do if you retired early - and live as frugally as you can to become financially independent as early as possible so you don't have to kill yourself to RE from a job you hate (and might not be good at) so you can 'do what you really want to do'"

kendallf

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2014, 05:49:35 PM »
Makes sense

Maybe the real advice we should be giving college (or high school?) graduates is "Do the job you would want to do if you retired early - and live as frugally as you can to become financially independent as early as possible so you don't have to kill yourself to RE from a job you hate (and might not be good at) so you can 'do what you really want to do'"


No-one sets out to pick a job they hate.What can you do to maximize your options now?   Maybe you're in your dream job.  Maybe you want to quit and find that dream job.  In either case, or the continuum between, learning frugality and simplifying your life to be happier is a worthy goal.  Only the retirement police care what you do after that.

I think financial independence makes many people's jobs more fulfilling; scared people working under a yoke of debt are not happy people. 

Rezdent

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2014, 06:41:20 PM »
...while FI is a worthy goal, RE basically means someone either chose the wrong path/profession in life and hates her job, and is willing to do ANYTHING (i.e. extreme frugality) to get out...

Thoughts?
FI is easy to define, but RE less so.  If a person believes someone is less without a job or couldn't imagine life without their "job", RE would not sound so good.  I think such a person has a bigger issue with tying their self worth to their "job".  I propose that people who have no aspirations, activities, or interests outside of a job lead a sad little life where working for money (to prove their self worth) is their only solace.  And that solace is dependent on the whimsy of fate.  Lose it, and they become a "loser" - they've nothing else.  I'm not FI and not RE.  I have a job but I am not my job.  I am a family member, volunteer, mentor, weaver, artist, friend,  neighbor, farmer, gardener, etc...Most of what I do is not formally compensated, but it is important work (unlimited with no end in sight).  After RE I would have more time to do this important work.

CarDude

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2014, 07:31:02 PM »
I personally view RE as quitting your day job, but don't think you fall out of that category if you end up working doing something else.

Makes sense

Maybe the real advice we should be giving college (or high school?) graduates is "Do the job you would want to do if you retired early - and live as frugally as you can to become financially independent as early as possible so you don't have to kill yourself to RE from a job you hate (and might not be good at) so you can 'do what you really want to do'"

But who would stimulate the economy???

Daisy

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2014, 09:31:32 PM »
A "friend" responded to a Facebook post that espoused FIRE, with the comment that while FI is a worthy goal, RE basically means someone either chose the wrong path/profession in life and hates her job, and is willing to do ANYTHING (i.e. extreme frugality) to get out of the grind.  Also said something to the extent that the people who are the very best at what they do hardly ever talk about RE, even if they are frugal and FI at a young age.

Thoughts?

My guess is this person is pretty young and doesn't have a lot of work experience.

Have them watch the movie Office Space and report back to you. Yes, it's a realistic movie.

I'm sure there are a lot of people that enjoy their jobs. Do they enjoy it after 20 years? Do they make enough at this "dream job" to be able to FI or even retire at a normal age?

And yes, people don't always make the correct career decisions at the age of 18 and then need to find a way to rectify it later. And your tastes and interests change. Do you really want to be tied down to this career decision made at 18?

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2014, 09:44:28 PM »
Quote
If everyone did that there would be no janitors because no one dreams of cleaning up shit all day.

catccc

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2014, 09:47:38 PM »
DH and I likely will not RE at the same time.  I don't know if he cares much to RE, he is on a quest to find his identity through a profession still.  And I am personally over this concept.  (And was barely ever "under it" to begin with, it's not that I gave up on looking).  But I can understand what he is seeking.  Likewise, he understands my desire to RE. 

Anything I do is not who I am, it's just what action I'm taking at the time.  I don't feel the need to have an "identity" outside of mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend.  I guess some people would say that is sad, but I think it's positively refreshing!  I just am, and that is enough.  This doesn't mean I'll sit around and loaf when I RE.  It just means I can do anything I want! 

Someone posted a similar thought about not tying self worth with work.  But I consciously take it a step further, because I mean anything I do- not just paid work, but any activity I choose as a hobby, I don't feel compelled to make it part of my identity.  I think this is because in college I really identified myself as an athlete... I had a scholarship tied to my sport, everything revolved around practice and competitions.  But I'm not active in that sport anymore.  For a long time it made me sad, but now I embrace that it was something I once did and enjoyed.  And letting that go means I can do more things, other things.  I don't have an obligation to any action.  Except my relationship roles.  I feel like they are the only things that are truly part of who I am.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2014, 10:01:23 PM »
Someone posted a similar thought about not tying self worth with work.  But I consciously take it a step further, because I mean anything I do- not just paid work, but any activity I choose as a hobby, I don't feel compelled to make it part of my identity.  I think this is because in college I really identified myself as an athlete... I had a scholarship tied to my sport, everything revolved around practice and competitions.  But I'm not active in that sport anymore.  For a long time it made me sad, but now I embrace that it was something I once did and enjoyed.  And letting that go means I can do more things, other things.  I don't have an obligation to any action.  Except my relationship roles.  I feel like they are the only things that are truly part of who I am.

Very well said cat. I concur. I'm curious what sport? I'm gonna guess track & field. I was a soccer guy.

I'm an accountant (by profession only I mean) as well, so maybe it's related to that, but I've never identified myself with my career.

I'm a son, brother, friend, husband, father, dreamer, and cheddar stacker. I'm temporarily stacking cheddar as a result of the fact that people happen to pay me money to do cpa stuff. That's it, not my real identity..

Nords

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2014, 10:12:22 PM »
A "friend" responded to a Facebook post that espoused FIRE, with the comment that while FI is a worthy goal, RE basically means someone either chose the wrong path/profession in life and hates her job, and is willing to do ANYTHING (i.e. extreme frugality) to get out of the grind.  Also said something to the extent that the people who are the very best at what they do hardly ever talk about RE, even if they are frugal and FI at a young age.
Thoughts?
What if RE is the profession that I love?  What if it's the thing I do the best?

I guess I've been a loser for 12 years now... I wonder how far I can run up the streak.

clifp

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2014, 02:24:46 AM »

My guess is this person is pretty young and doesn't have a lot of work experience.

Have them watch the movie Office Space and report back to you. Yes, it's a realistic movie.

I'm sure there are a lot of people that enjoy their jobs. Do they enjoy it after 20 years? Do they make enough at this "dream job" to be able to FI or even retire at a normal age?

And yes, people don't always make the correct career decisions at the age of 18 and then need to find a way to rectify it later. And your tastes and interests change. Do you really want to be tied down to this career decision made at 18?

+1
At 29, I honestly would have done my job for free.  Now admittedly it was by far the coolest job at I had, and I'd probably need 3 pages to describe it.  By 39 my job had changed significantly, in some ways better, but in many ways worse.  What had changed entirely was my attitude and the realization that had enough money to stop working, actually impacted my attitude about work. My willingness to tolerate the normal BS with job was a fraction of what it was when I was 25 and worried about making the mortgage.

I be willing to bet that the FB friend has NOT achieved FI..

One of my favorite statistic (it may actually true ) is this
percentage of multimillionaire lottery winners who say they will keep working 75%
percent of winners who are still working 1 year later 25%.



BFGirl

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Re: FI is great, but is RE for losers?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2014, 04:45:07 AM »
I personally view RE as quitting your day job, but don't think you fall out of that category if you end up working doing something else.

Makes sense

Maybe the real advice we should be giving college (or high school?) graduates is "Do the job you would want to do if you retired early - and live as frugally as you can to become financially independent as early as possible so you don't have to kill yourself to RE from a job you hate (and might not be good at) so you can 'do what you really want to do'"

But who would stimulate the economy???

The Feds ;)