Author Topic: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?  (Read 3361 times)

tungsten

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Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« on: June 10, 2018, 02:12:43 PM »
What's your preferred way to introduce someone to FIRE?  I've found that some people can be a little intimidated or turned off by certain aspects of MMM's blog due to how much he was able to accomplish so early on, especially when they find out that he made a tech salary.  I think that makes it hard for a lot of people to identify with. Many of my friends are educators, park rangers or work in the service industry and tend to think "Well good for MMM, but I don't have a 'firehose of cash' coming at me, so this whole system won't work for me." 

I know MMM has posts specifically related to folks not making tech salaries, but have you found a better way of introducing friends to this lifestyle? Alternately, what's your 'elevator pitch' when someone asks you "What is FI and why do you do it?"  For some reason I still struggle to articulate it in a concise way that really brings out the relationship between money, frugality and the opportunity for freedom in a way that doesn't sound (I think) alienating or pretentious.   
Thanks!
Tungsten



Moustachienne

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 10:21:03 PM »
Honestly, I think the best way is by example.  Live a happy life where money isn't a cause of stress or anxiety because you have things dialled down and optimized - or are at least working towards that.  If someone notices your smooth life and asked the secret, that's the time to mention the pleasure of living below your means, spending on things that have value for you (including saving for FIRE if that's a priority), and hunting/killing the spending that doesn't reflect your values.  The goal isn't to be MMM but to apply the principles to our own situations.  The Simple Math is the same at any income level.

Khaetra

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 04:48:35 AM »
Honestly, I don't.  Unless someone is truly interested in how I managed to FIRE early and they want in, I don't talk about it.  I've found that while people say things like "Man, I wish I could do that!", that's as far as they are willing to go and don't want to hear anything else about saving or living frugally.

Hirondelle

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 05:06:08 AM »
I'd only tell it when it comes up naturally. So far this has only happened 2-3x to me in the last 6 months or so.

I don't make a secret of my frugality so most of my friends know I save a lot and therefore occasionally ask me for advice. Actually, I think I just made a convert in the last week when a friend asked me about what I do with my money.

We chatted about tax-deferred investments (e.g. pensions), taxable investments and sustainable investments and then I decided to drop the big FIRE bomb when she asked me how I'd learned about all this. I framed it in a way where it's about freedom more than retiring. She has dreams about climbing mountains and hiking the PCT, but also has the mindset of "I have a good job now, only 40 years to go until retirement age!". I told her that if she'd save up a load of money now and invest it, this could give her a certain amount "forever" (the 4% rule) and the whole concept of FU money - that if things turn around at work you have the financial means to quit and take your time to pursue a job search. It seemed to work. She seemed to accept the joy of flexibility, freedom and FU money and that it's about spending according to your values and reducing waste.

Case

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 07:00:29 AM »
What's your preferred way to introduce someone to FIRE?  I've found that some people can be a little intimidated or turned off by certain aspects of MMM's blog due to how much he was able to accomplish so early on, especially when they find out that he made a tech salary.  I think that makes it hard for a lot of people to identify with. Many of my friends are educators, park rangers or work in the service industry and tend to think "Well good for MMM, but I don't have a 'firehose of cash' coming at me, so this whole system won't work for me." 

I know MMM has posts specifically related to folks not making tech salaries, but have you found a better way of introducing friends to this lifestyle? Alternately, what's your 'elevator pitch' when someone asks you "What is FI and why do you do it?"  For some reason I still struggle to articulate it in a concise way that really brings out the relationship between money, frugality and the opportunity for freedom in a way that doesn't sound (I think) alienating or pretentious.   
Thanks!
Tungsten

Do you like it when evangelicals preach to you?  I don't.



FLBiker

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 08:05:44 AM »
Honestly, I don't.  Unless someone is truly interested in how I managed to FIRE early and they want in, I don't talk about it.  I've found that while people say things like "Man, I wish I could do that!", that's as far as they are willing to go and don't want to hear anything else about saving or living frugally.

Me too.  And the same goes for being sober, being vegetarian, meditating, exercising, etc.  If folks are curious, I'm happy to talk to them about it.  Otherwise, there's no point.

HipGnosis

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 08:14:42 AM »
I casually tell friends (that I deduce have the potential for FIRE) that I am comfortably retired early.

The 'marketing rule of 7' states that people need to ďhearĒ an advertiserís message at least 7 times before theyíll take action to buy that product or service.   I deduce that it also applies to concepts that are novel to people. 
You can't just tell someone about FIRE and expect them to drink it up and take it to heart.

Luck12

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 08:31:57 AM »
Do you like it when evangelicals preach to you?  I don't.

The difference is that FIRE is logic based.  I usually frame it in terms of flexibility and being able to tell people to fuck off, then get into the numbers after that. 

Acastus

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 08:51:57 AM »
Make sure they are on track to be financially independent, at all, by standard retirement. If they are age 60 and have yet to save a dime, like one of my coworkers, a FIRE discussion is not productive. If the student is not ready, the teacher needs to move on.

Second, do they really want to stop what they are doing early? I think most people think they want to quit, but I hope there are maybe 20% of folks out there that love, or at least like, what they do, and have no desire to stop soon.

katsiki

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2018, 09:13:38 AM »
I have told a few friends and co-workers that you don't have to work until 65 or "forever".  I keep hearing people say they will never be able to retire, etc! 

This approach has piqued some interest but minimal honestly.

boarder42

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2018, 12:15:36 PM »
i just mention i'm Retiring in 3-5 years and gauge the reaction and interest.  some scoff.  some inquire.  some just laugh at me like i'm crazy.  about 50% of millenials my age and younger are very interested.

when youre 30 people typically take notice one way or another.

then i send the interested people

1. the shockingly simple math behind early retirement
2. JLcollinsNH stock series
3. the madfientist stuff on tax deferrment.
4. a brief history of how MMM did it.

and tell them to ask any questions they care to.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 12:20:36 PM by boarder42 »

itchyfeet

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2018, 12:55:08 PM »
I donít mention it. People just canít relate. Itís so alien.

DW said to her parents that I was getting our finances in order to retire and they laughed. FIL, who is 60 respond ďmaybe I should also start putting some money away tooĒ. Better late than never I suppose.

The way people act about money It is almost like having a pile of money and not spending what you earn is dishonest. You must have been a drug dealer or done something shady.

 You definitely donít want to be bragging that you are not struggling financially but are saving half what you earn. Unfathomable!!! Everyone is meant to struggle with copious debt.

I have a couple of times tiptoed around my plans of stopping working, and been scoffed at. Now I just say that I am thinking of taking a sabbatical to do some travel. People can accept this.

Noodle

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2018, 02:42:19 PM »
You might try starting with the concept of FU money--FIRE on smaller salaries often requires bigger changes than people are willing to make, but FU money is achievable by just about anyone, and can be especially important to people in fields like outdoor education or the service industry where a job can be pulled out from under you pretty quickly.

boarder42

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2018, 07:10:29 PM »
What age are these people who get this crazy rejection when the topic is brought up. Also maybe it's a social group\class thing. I mean my peer group is engineers and people take it pretty well also i think millennial are more open to sharing money things than the older generations

Grogounet

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2018, 01:26:34 AM »
I wouldn't bother if it's not for someone important like your partner or your kids. Most will never understand, might even get annoyed or jealous.
For your partner and kids... It's all about empathy and what's in it for them.

Unless you really put yourself into their shoes and try to really understand what they value most in life (which might be very different from your values), you will not get them on board.
But, if you take the time to listen and really emphases... look at the magic that comes out of it!

Zikoris

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2018, 09:37:28 AM »
Well, judging by our Mini Camp Mustache last weekend near Bellingham, where tons of people brought friends, partners, and relatives who were very/completely new to the whole thing, the answer is clearly to just throw them into the thick of a major cult gathering and see what happens. They seemed to like it, anyways!

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2018, 03:31:34 PM »
I decided to start with the younger generation.  My children and nephew (preteens) were blown away by the idea that if they saved their money they could stop working when they were young.  They ask me lots of questions and have been telling other adults that this is their goal.

Most of my coworkers know my goal is to retire in less than 10 years.  Some tease me.  Some act like I'm crazy. One asked me how I was going to do it, so I sent her to the blog. 

marty998

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2018, 03:54:05 AM »
I decided to start with the younger generation.  My children and nephew (preteens) were blown away by the idea that if they saved their money they could stop working when they were young.  They ask me lots of questions and have been telling other adults that this is their goal.

Most of my coworkers know my goal is to retire in less than 10 years.  Some tease me.  Some act like I'm crazy. One asked me how I was going to do it, so I sent her to the blog.

I had a chat with a dude at work yesterday. He's my age and seriously did not believe that anyone from our generation could retire any earlier than 65. He was stunned when I said "done by 40" - it just didn't occur to him that you have the option.

The teasing won't stop. Not until you leave the building and don't come back.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2018, 04:42:59 AM »
I think the best thing to do is direct them to the site, particularly MMMís most popular articles. But otherwise, Iím with the others, few will believe you. Virtually no one Iíve told believes me, they think itís all talk. So, I realize that I wonít be persuasive until Iíve achieved FIRE. Quite frankly though, IDGAF if anyone else does this or not. Itís working for me.

Scandium

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2018, 08:55:58 AM »
What's your preferred way to introduce someone to FIRE?  I've found that some people can be a little intimidated or turned off by certain aspects of MMM's blog due to how much he was able to accomplish so early on, especially when they find out that he made a tech salary.  I think that makes it hard for a lot of people to identify with. Many of my friends are educators, park rangers or work in the service industry and tend to think "Well good for MMM, but I don't have a 'firehose of cash' coming at me, so this whole system won't work for me." 

I know MMM has posts specifically related to folks not making tech salaries, but have you found a better way of introducing friends to this lifestyle? Alternately, what's your 'elevator pitch' when someone asks you "What is FI and why do you do it?"  For some reason I still struggle to articulate it in a concise way that really brings out the relationship between money, frugality and the opportunity for freedom in a way that doesn't sound (I think) alienating or pretentious.   
Thanks!
Tungsten

but why? why do you need to convince anyone of anything? What do you get out of it? Just let people be. I don't understand this mindset.

boarder42

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2018, 09:41:40 AM »
What's your preferred way to introduce someone to FIRE?  I've found that some people can be a little intimidated or turned off by certain aspects of MMM's blog due to how much he was able to accomplish so early on, especially when they find out that he made a tech salary.  I think that makes it hard for a lot of people to identify with. Many of my friends are educators, park rangers or work in the service industry and tend to think "Well good for MMM, but I don't have a 'firehose of cash' coming at me, so this whole system won't work for me." 

I know MMM has posts specifically related to folks not making tech salaries, but have you found a better way of introducing friends to this lifestyle? Alternately, what's your 'elevator pitch' when someone asks you "What is FI and why do you do it?"  For some reason I still struggle to articulate it in a concise way that really brings out the relationship between money, frugality and the opportunity for freedom in a way that doesn't sound (I think) alienating or pretentious.   
Thanks!
Tungsten

but why? why do you need to convince anyone of anything? What do you get out of it? Just let people be. I don't understand this mindset.

you dont have to convince them but dropping hints and seeing if people's ears perk is helpful to them most people in this country just dont understand finances.  and the more people that learn can teach their children and it will spread.  financial litteracy needs to be taught and whether people agree or not with FIRE it may make them start thinking differently

Zikoris

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2018, 10:11:29 AM »
I don't try to convince people that they should do it, but it's a bit a public service to get the word out that it's at least possible. And people seem to find it interesting because we're weirdos who do weirdo things. We also have a bit more cred now that my partner is semi-retiring next week at age 29.

TartanTallulah

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2018, 10:21:09 AM »
It's not a subject that features as one of my general conversational topics. I'm British, I don't talk about money, especially my money. When introducing the subject to the only one of my children who has shown an interest in FI (ironically, the one with the lowest earning potential), I advised him to read about compound interest and about the long term performance of equities vs. cash and to start putting a small amount into a tracker each month and not look at it.

Hirondelle

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Re: Introducing newbies to FIRE.. How do YOU do it?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2018, 02:47:12 PM »
What's your preferred way to introduce someone to FIRE?  I've found that some people can be a little intimidated or turned off by certain aspects of MMM's blog due to how much he was able to accomplish so early on, especially when they find out that he made a tech salary.  I think that makes it hard for a lot of people to identify with. Many of my friends are educators, park rangers or work in the service industry and tend to think "Well good for MMM, but I don't have a 'firehose of cash' coming at me, so this whole system won't work for me." 

I know MMM has posts specifically related to folks not making tech salaries, but have you found a better way of introducing friends to this lifestyle? Alternately, what's your 'elevator pitch' when someone asks you "What is FI and why do you do it?"  For some reason I still struggle to articulate it in a concise way that really brings out the relationship between money, frugality and the opportunity for freedom in a way that doesn't sound (I think) alienating or pretentious.   
Thanks!
Tungsten

but why? why do you need to convince anyone of anything? What do you get out of it? Just let people be. I don't understand this mindset.

Because it's sad to see people you love get into financial struggles because of an unexpected expense while having 0 savings.

Because Mustachianism has an environmental component that's linked to frugality.

Because many people seem very unhappy in their job and would love to downshift or get out.

Because many people still think spending = happiness while it's not.

Because I hear tons of people talk about what they'd like to do when they have more time.

Because not needing to stress over money leaves more headspace for other things.


I could probably think of 10+ more reasons to convert someone to frugal living and a mustachian lifestyle. It's not about pushing them or repeatedly telling them they're currently doing something terribly wrong, it's about giving them some clues about how they could improve their lives and what kind of magic might be possible on the far horizon (FIRE).