Author Topic: Living in the FIRE Closet  (Read 7217 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Living in the FIRE Closet
« on: June 15, 2015, 04:43:23 PM »
I just adopted the FIRE/MMM philosophy this year. Expenses are down, life is good (except I'm looking to switch jobs to increase income here soon), and I'm very happy to have a singular overall goal that I'm focusing my financial energy towards.

That said, the one thing that is constantly discouraging is what I like to call living in the FIRE closet. Basically, I feel like it's really, really hard to talk to anybody about achieving early retirement.

I tell my mom--"That's not how life works." I tell my girlfriend's parents--"Well you can plan for that but life usually doesn't go according to plan." I tell friends from high school--"Wouldn't you rather enjoy life?" On and on, no matter who I tell, they generally think it's impossible to retire early.

Thus, I've pretty much given up discussing personal finance/early retirement with anybody except my girlfriend. She is slowly but surely realizing that this is a sustainable lifestyle that we can enjoy that will allow us a lot of freedom and independence in the future.

Sorry for the rambling vent. But does anybody else feel like they are in the FIRE closet?

Kris

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2015, 05:42:55 PM »
Yeah, it is a definite issue.  Most people resist anything that goes against the status quo.  That's why this forum is so helpful. Thankfully, I have a partner to talk about this stuff with.

I don't talk to people about FIRE, because it only invites hostility.  But, you could look at the 'meetup' section here to try to find real-life friends in your area who are like-minded. 

forummm

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2015, 06:27:54 PM »
I would say that of the 10 or so people I've talked to IRL about it, maybe 2 bought in. And they were both already sympathetic or somewhat frugal. And one is DW so she heard about it a lot. :)

It's just SO different than anything people have been told. It's hard to believe at first.

Tester

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 06:42:35 PM »
I tried this with two or three.
One of them wants to be FIRE, but I don't know if he does what it takes.
The others did not believe me.
Or asked me how could this be done, as they were earning fine money but had almost nothing saved.
As at that time I was in their situation too, I could not give an example. At that time I was just finally deciding to go for FIRE - meaning to start working towards it.

Right now my DW does not believe it yet - she is cautious about me breaking down if this does not happen.

The good thing is that my DW is working on getting the expenses down as she realizes that getting the expenses down gives you a lot more freedom.
Even if sometimes that freedom is freedom to do something which costs money.
She wants the freedom to grow our child "the right way" and to be able to make it possible to go to a good schoold if that the "the best way to help him".
I am not against that freedom, I am just looking a little further I think right now.

I think after one year if we have some good data she will realize it is possible.

gReed Smith

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 07:05:11 PM »
People incredulously ask me, "what will you do?" as if it's inconceivable to live life without sitting in a box in front of a computer.  My answer goes something like this: hike, fish, hunt, camp, swim, garden, ski, watch baseball, nap, canoe, frolf, work out, barbeque, brew beer, build birdhouses.  I hope I have time for it all...

mozar

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 08:56:54 PM »
I plan on telling my family eventually, but I don't expect them to believe me. It's hard when you are bursting with excitement and there is no one to talk to. But that's why I come here.

patrickza

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 04:15:56 AM »
I find I get a far better response if I talk about it in terms of job security. The economy here isn't great, and in my office we're all employed on 1 year contracts which may or may not be renewed. If I say I'm saving and investing in case my contract doesn't get renewed I get a lot of support and agreement. If I say I cycle to work so I can save money and retire early I get looked at like I'm mad!

Nannooskeeska

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2015, 07:03:34 AM »
I'm relatively new here, so I don't have as much experience with the Mustachian lifestyle as a lot of you, but the few people I've talked to have all thought that the whole idea of saving 75% of your income and retiring in 10 years is awesome. I've talked about it with two of my roommates, who are already frugal in that they almost never buy stuff that they don't need, and my dad, who is extremely business savvy and thought that it was a really interesting way to live.

Like I said though, I'm not exactly a shining example of Mustachianism... yet. I'm a college student working for the summer and in the time since I found this blog I haven't even gotten a paycheck yet :P

DeltaBond

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 09:19:05 AM »
I have run into this many times.  People tend to make excuses like the ones mentioned by the OP when you bring it up, on how its pointless to plan, its not possible, yada yada.  Even just talking about being frugal, some people are actually offended if you suggest to them a cheaper option of what they are doing.

kd2008

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2015, 09:34:57 AM »
The only closet I have been was gay - that too for a short time!

The only people I have bothered telling about FIRE is my mom. She said "Good for you! You can do whatever you want. Sky is the limit!" That is all that matters to me. End of discussion. I really don't care what the world thinks of my choices or orientation :-)

StockBeard

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 10:37:14 AM »
the "FIRE Closet" seems to be a recurring discussion here, and is a real issue. It sucks that even friends and family don't get it. I tried to talk about it to my parents, they did not even "compute" what I was telling them, they thought I meant quitting my job to start my own business...

I've decided to avoid talking about it in general. When I FIRE eventually, I'll say I have my own internet business or something.

Winston

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2015, 02:57:26 PM »
Just say that you're running a private capital investment firm. It's true!

Heckler

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2015, 03:25:02 PM »
I just introduced two coworkers to canadian couch potato.  Without knowing it, they're on step one.

I don't bother mentioning, btw, our net worth increased $100k in the last year...

Exflyboy

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2015, 03:30:39 PM »
If your like me you live in a world where everybody has gone stark staring mad!

Example.. Average car loan is now 28 thousand dollars!

31% of car loans are leases.. because you can get more car with a lower monthly payment don't ya know?... "Whisky Tango Foxtrot"!!!!

A buddy told me her Brother just got laid off from Boeing and doesn't know how he will make it... He's 60 years old.. EXCUSE ME?????

My family has complained at how cheap I am for the last 30 odd years.. Then I told them I had decided to retire..

"What?. You can't retire.. you don't have a pension, how can you afford that?"

Cus I'm a multi freaking millionaire (just)... that's how...:)

And here I am, laying on my bed at 2:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon typing this..:)

Boom!... Done...:)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 03:34:41 PM by Exflyboy »

StockBeard

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2015, 03:32:51 PM »
And here I am, laying on my bed at 2:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon typing this..:)
I just hate you right now :)

Exflyboy

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2015, 03:37:56 PM »
And here I am, laying on my bed at 2:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon typing this..:)
I just hate you right now :)

Does it help if I mention I am 20 years older than you and will therefore be dead that much sooner?....:)

StockBeard

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2015, 03:44:01 PM »
Weird, it actually does not make me feel so good... I guess I'm happy that I still have some time, but not happy to picture the end of a fellow mustachian. Enjoy ER :)

Trifele

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2015, 03:49:17 PM »
Yeah -- the FIRE closet is real.  My younger brother just FIREd two weeks ago and could not tell one . single . person at work what he was really doing.  He had learned over the years that any comments he made to coworkers about frugality, saving, etc. were met with confusion or hostility.  So as he left he said vague things like "I'm going to take some time off for a while and figure out what I want to do."  Which is true.   :)  I think he also sometimes said something like "I might look for something really close to home."  Without mentioning that the "something" might be: getting lots of sleep, cooking gourmet food, exercising every day, going to the library, etc.  :)

My DH has tried to talk about it a little at his workplace, and that was a no go for the most part.  I haven't even tried with friends or coworkers.  I just feel very lucky to have a hubby, a brother, and a dad that are full-on mustachians.  Actually it was dad who planted the seeds all those years ago, before there even was a MMM.  Thanks, Dad! 




StockBeard

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2015, 03:51:03 PM »
I Would be interested to know what steps your dad took to convert you to frugality. Wish I could help my kids in a similar way. Care to share? (maybe in a different thread?)

Exflyboy

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2015, 03:51:12 PM »
Weird, it actually does not make me feel so good... I guess I'm happy that I still have some time, but not happy to picture the end of a fellow mustachian. Enjoy ER :)

Ok.. then this WILL help.. I actually have a part time job.. cus its fun.. what? you ask.. its true, one of my old employers gives me projects to do that involve international travel.. I get paid hourly and very well.

Its the perfect engineering job where I get to maximize my airmiles, hotel points and cash.. especially if I hit overtime.

whatching the clowns perform who HAVE to be there, while I just look at them squabble while eating popcorn is an absolute blast.

I might be taking a quick trip to Australia in a couple of weeks..:)

goatmom

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2015, 04:22:04 PM »
Um, Yeah, My family just thinks you are lazy if you mention retiring early.  Life is about work.  They would have been great Puritans.   If you mention getting any ACA subsidies the heads start about exploding.  You are then a low down lazy bum who is stealing money from hard working people.  We are not super early FIRE and people still wonder how we can cut back on our work schedule.  So, yes, we just don't talk about it much.  And we do get Tricare for our health insurance or our families would really be having seizures.

Trifele

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2015, 05:00:49 PM »
I Would be interested to know what steps your dad took to convert you to frugality. Wish I could help my kids in a similar way. Care to share? (maybe in a different thread?)

Hmm.  Our dad really hates wastefulness.  If he saw someone buying more house or car than they could afford, he told us how that person was "digging themselves into a hole."  He mostly got the point across by setting the example.  Something broke?  Fix it yourself.  Can't be fixed?  See if you can make something that will serve.  Can't make anything?  Live without it for a while to see if you really need it.  I can't ever remember him buying anything 'extra' or frivolous.  Everything was thought through thoroughly.  We kids never got allowance, or anything given to us other than food and clothes and a bike. (Maybe a few small presents at Christmas). Once we were old enough it was understood that we had to work if we wanted some money.  All three of us kids started working young, with paper routes at around age 12, and graduated to part time jobs as we got older.  All three of us ended up mustachian, so I guess this formula works.  I do wish I had gotten more explicit instruction in how to manage money (how to invest), but other than that it was a great way to grow up.  One nice thing (in retrospect) is that we grew up in a working class neighborhood in a down-and-out town, where everyone was pretty much in the same boat.  There weren't extremely rich kids at our school or in our neighborhood that we ever had to compare ourselves to. 

DH and I are in a much better position financially than my folks were, which makes it harder to raise mustachian kids I think.  We try not to give our kids things they don't need.  Neither one of our kids (9 and 12) has a single electronic device.  We don't watch tv, which I think helps kids avoid feeling deprived or malcontented about not having 'things.'  We stay busy doing fun things and talking to each other. We do give them allowance and talk to them about saving and investing, to try to give them a leg up on that.  I'll let you know in 10 or 15 years if it worked!  :)




StockBeard

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2015, 05:02:32 PM »
Thanks!

Heckler

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Re: Living in the FIRE Closet
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2015, 05:33:11 PM »
I Would be interested to know what steps your dad took to convert you to frugality. Wish I could help my kids in a similar way. Care to share? (maybe in a different thread?)

My parents were post wartime East Germans, who chose to pay cash for everything they owned, re-built their first home ($18K) by hand, and then built a retirement home on the lake one paycheck at a time.  They were gutted when we got a $260K mortgage, but are pretty stoked that we've paid it off in 13 years, especially when all I hear around me are friends barely being able to afford their $600K to $900+K homes.  Seeing my dad build the cottage from scratch inspires us to do all our home renos using cash and our bare hands.   

I had to work to buy my first mountain bike ($250 or so), and was offered University tuition from my parents as long as I paid for all books and living expenses, or lived at home.  Hmmm....  I lived at home for Uni.  That's paid off 10 fold, as neither me or my wife ever had these student loans you hear so much about.

We walked to school.  I'm disgusted by the number of parents that drive their kids to school now.

So, bottom line - don't pamper your kids.  Make them work for it.  And don't use credit.