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FXF

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« on: December 23, 2014, 01:20:33 AM »
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« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 11:53:31 AM by FXF »

deborah

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 01:50:15 AM »
If you're both frugal, what does it matter about whether she is a believer or not? Work out where you want to be. Work out how you will get there (net worth each year, savings rate), and see if it happens. Numbers can be very convincing if you have a plan and always exceed it! They are unbelievable when you first work them out.

Together work out what you want to achieve, and in what order, so that each step along the way you are working towards something - the first might be a house for example, or enough savings for one of you to be able to take a year off without a worry (for instance when a child comes along). You don't have to work towards FIRE, but if you are saving you will probably automatically get there.

Zarya

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 01:59:13 AM »
I see that you're located in Munich. Investment opportunities and taxation are probably significantly different there than for most north Americans on this board. As far as I know, Germans love to put their money in savings accounts in banks and/or buy expensive whole life insurance policies and tend not to get involved in the market. How do you intend to invest your savings? If you're an expat you'll have to consider restrictions on what you can do with cross-border finance as well as potential double taxation. (I'm an American expat in Europe facing these issues.)

I also see from your age that you are likely to want that first child fairly soon if you two do decide to become parents. This will figure into your calculations as well.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 04:52:57 AM »
I've prepared a reader for her with a few of the basic MMM blog posts. (1, 2, 3)
What else would you recommend as a quick and easy entry point to the concept?

I'd be careful with articles 1 (zero to hero) and 3 (stoicism).  The zero to hero article is packed with major lifestyle changes, which could be overwhelming to someone who isn't naturally frugal.  I myself scoffed at a few of the items in that article the first time I read it (and I'm still struggling with some of them six months later).  And the stoicism article might come across as an attempted "Jedi mind trick" to someone who doesn't have the natural inclination (just be happy with less - yeah, right!).  Both of these topics need to be approached at some point, but depending on your SO's temperament, it might be better to do it gradually and gently.  That's the approach I'm taking with my DW.  She has many natural frugal tendencies, but it's still been very tough to convince her that we need to change some of our deeply ingrained habits.  I'd suggest focusing at first on the math articles to show that FI is indeed possible (your #2, plus the "millionaire ten bucks at a time" article.


[/quote]For reference we are 28/29, engineer/preschool teacher, we have been an item for almost 10 years now.
My personal goal currently would be to reach semi FI in under 10 years in order to be able to reduce our work to part time without any drawbacks. By my current calculations this is totally plausible.
[/quote]

It's good to have a goal and a plan to get there, but keep in mind that it likely will change along the way.  You two are young and still have a lot in your life that isn't settled yet (house, kids, probably a career change or two).  I'd suggest considering the plan a loose outline at this point.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 04:54:06 AM »
Sorry for screwing up the quote thing.^^^

happy

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 05:33:57 AM »
I think you should tailor your approach to what works for your SO. If she is the engineer, then the shockingly simple math, and posts regarding numbers/spreadsheets etc are likely to be convincing. If she is the teacher, unless she is a maths/science type teacher you might need a different approach. Its hard to say without knowing her, but for some people stories and case histories will have much more impact than the math. There's quite a few cases on the blog. Some people will grasp theoretical ideas and concepts, but others are more concrete: you might need to start doing it ( either you alone "modelling", but preferably both of you), then show her every few months how much your situation is improving ( i.e. learning by doing).

On re-reading your post I feel more concerned that this is all your idea and your SO is not actually on board: 
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However she doesn't really believe FI at an early age is possible. She is caught in this world view that it is just normal to work till you are ~65 and then retire, that's just the way it is and there is nothing one can do agains that. ('if it were possible, everyone would do it') *rolleyes*

Now, I cannot see her starting to intensely read websites and books about the subject. But I was able to convince her to at least look into the basics in order to gain an understanding that it is indeed possible. Once she has overcome this inherent scepticism I think she will be far more willing and able to work towards our goals.

In which case read the 2000 posts already on this forum to get more ideas.

happy

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 06:21:05 AM »
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As she is a trained maths teacher she should be able to follow the basic maths behind my thinking.
I think I will just have to sit her down and go through the financial ideas with her from the very beginning: Where we stand now, what we can save without any influence on our day to day life, where we would stand then. And what we could potential cut out without causing too much upshake in our routines and where we could stand then.

In this case this sounds like a good start. But if she doesn't get it, don't forget to try some more people focussed tactics such as cases. Don't forget you are only seeing this through your engineer eyes and your world of logic and numbers: there are heaps of the populace who don't make decisions based on fact and logic, they are much more influenced by personal stories, cases, and feelings.

Jack

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 06:27:33 AM »
I wouldn't exactly call my so frugal, she earns significantly less money than me that she can spend. I'm trying to nudge her towards being more frugal by showing here where that could lead.

Does this imply you don't combine finances? If you want more influence on how much money she saves, you might consider re-evaluating that arrangement. Maybe you could combine finances and then give each of you an equal "allowance" that's lower than your wife's current voluntary spending.

We are currently starting to build up capital, maybe for a down payment, maybe not. I constantly flip flop between renting is better and buying is better.

There's no need to flip-flop; just do the math and you'll have your answer.

But yea, maybe rather than concentrating on FI for now we can concentrate more on building capital regardless of it's ultimate use, but using a down payment as tangible target.

The trouble with that strategy is that you'd want to invest it differently for a down payment vs. retirement (more conservatively for the former; more aggressively for the latter).

neo von retorch

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 08:24:24 AM »
My SO tends to say "but I like working" and "there are some things I want to do now - I love my pedicures."

But we sat down and put together a "future budget" once we buy a house, which includes just about anything we can think of, including allowances/clothing (and that includes summer pedicures.) And from there we could see how much we could save, and what ages we would likely be when we'd reach Financial Independence, at which point, she can still work if she wants, but she'll really have that choice. And she said "that sounds amazing!" Seeing a real budget and real numbers works for her. (She's not a math teacher, so she prefers just seeing what the money is used for, and our FIRE ages, rather than thinking about investment returns, savings percentages, inflation or allocations.)

Apples

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2014, 08:25:07 AM »
At this point, decide whether you two want a house and how much you're saving for that vs. retirement.  You two seem to be well on your way towards mustacianism naturally.  Your spouse may just need time to acclimate to the idea of your goal (which you have to admit is a very big mind shift).  In the meantime you can continue building a 'stache the way you always have (or possibly a bit better).  Slowly broach the topic, and as long a she isn't totally against it or harboring major security concerns, just keep trucking and have faith that she'll come around.

DoubleDown

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2014, 09:36:35 AM »
I stumbled upon the possibility of FIRE before there was an MMM, by going through a simple spreadsheet I had put together with net worth projections into the future. I noticed that in not too many years, even with the conservative saving/investing I was doing at the time, the figures grew so big that I could live a lavish lifestyle decades before traditional retirement age.

Maybe you could put together a simple spreadsheet with your current assets, and reasonable expectations for growth year-by-year (maybe using 5% real returns), then she could see with her own eyes just how big the pile of money will be in the not-too-distant future?

NumberCruncher

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2014, 09:59:53 AM »
Everyone's given great advice so far! From what I've seen, having a solid goal and vision for the future seems to work the best for understanding each other's positions and values.

I'd encourage both you and your wife to check out the Mad FIentist. His wife was initially not on board with early retirement mainly because she loved her job. http://www.madfientist.com/my-wife-is-not-a-fientist/

She eventually did come around to the idea http://www.madfientist.com/an-unexpected-guest-post/

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All it took for me to be 100% onboard with my husbandís plan was to be able to visualize all the exciting opportunities out there in the world that we can take advantage of if we are not tied down to living and working in one place. I have already lost a lot of the desire to spend money just by having a definite goal for the future. I think that once I get used to this new mentality of not feeling like I need to spend money on material things, I will ultimately be a happier person.

My husband was initially a bit iffy about FIRE, as he's more conservative about these sorts of things. For us, we'll be "retiring" when we have a fairly big cushion (say a 3% SWR as opposed to a 4%), but likely dropping down in hours or switching careers once FI (A little over 3 years, according to Mint!).

BBub

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2014, 11:21:33 AM »
I dealt with a similar circumstance.  It worked best to initially "sell the dream" and let the numbers come in a little later.  My SO is also very mathematically compentent - she has a master's in economics.  But even with adequate education and comprehension skills, the FIRE message can be mind blowing at first.

So, initially, I sat down with her and envisioned a future life together with the ability to do as we please, not be encumbered with financial issues, have enough income to sustain our desired lifestyle - which could include sleeping in, travel, volunteering, child raising, or we could even keep working as normal if we choose.  Then we talked about what's really important in life once a basic level of comfort is achieved: the relationships, people & experiences that make the difference.  We reached the conclusion that shedding waste and building the stash would only improve life now and in the future.  If we die tomorrow?  Ok, we lived a better life.  Get sick?  Ok, we'll deal but money won't be part of the equation.  Then after these types of conversations I showed her the numbers & it all came together for her.

It wasn't quite as simple and fairy tale like, but that was the basic sequence of my conversations with her: Sell the dream, determine what's important in life, debate pros/cons, teach her the tactical steps required, then gain commitment.  My conversion to a mustachian was almost the opposite sequence - once I learned the numbers part I was hooked then started searching for the other answers.  But leading with the numbers when trying to get others on board doesn't seem to work as well.  Hope this helps.

MooseOutFront

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2014, 09:41:44 PM »
First and foremost I would recommend that you start by leading by example, silently. Then a few months from now several things are apparent. First, you'll get a good handle on how far you can get by yourself and on how much you need to ask her to change to accomplish your goals. A kind of baseline. Then you talk to her about lifestyle, plans, dreams, and freedom. Then you talk numbers and the surprising reality that it can all happen. At that point you've already made changes and seen the fruits of those so it's much less pie in the sky to talk to her about crazy high 50%+ savings rates.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2014, 09:55:29 PM »
.... And from there we could see how much we could save, and what ages we would likely be when we'd reach Financial Independence, at which point, she can still work if she wants...

What worked for our family was, when we were close to FI, that I told my non-Mustachian DW that, even if I continue to work until old age, I would ultimately retire someday.  People are living longer, etc...  So why not entertain this possibility of ER, to soften the transition of retirement and enjoy our FI more fully? 

Exhale

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Re: My Significant Other is not Convinced FI(RE) is Possible. What to do?
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2014, 03:08:31 PM »
It worked best to initially "sell the dream" and let the numbers come in a little later. 
So, initially, I sat down with her and envisioned a future life together with the ability to do as we please, not be encumbered with financial issues, have enough income to sustain our desired lifestyle

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