Author Topic: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed  (Read 23224 times)

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2017, 01:02:33 PM »
We wrote a post anyways explaining g house sitting.  We wrote a post anyways explaining cheap travel.

People have asked for details on these things here on the forums multiple times, and I know our blog readers will ask. So we're going to write that anyways. Going then to the housesitting site and clicking the "refer a friend" and copy pasting the link, going to Uber and clicking "get free rides" and copy pasting the link, etc. took all of 30 seconds.

When we write a post about Google FI and how great it is for overseas travel, going to get my affiliate link will take almost no time.

It gets them $20 off, and me. The thing is though, I'd do it anyways even if if got $0, just if it saved them money.  So me making money on it is nice, but irrelevant.

It's more like walking down the street, seeing a $20, and taking one step sideways to pick it up.

Maybe you'll quibble now that it's more like I had to cross the street for that. Whatever.

Those thirty seconds to find affiliate links for services I already use and am writing about is literally free money that is wasted if I don't use the links, and hurts my readers by not getting them discounts.  How rude would it be of me to not use them, to prove a point?

Believe whatever you want, but like I said, I feel like not picking that money up would be immoral and harmful to both the reader not getting the discount, and the people I'd be helping when I donate my proceeds to charity.
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.

Snow White

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 171
  • Location: Texas
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2017, 01:43:14 PM »
I second the recommendation for the Harry Browne book, "How I found Freedom in an Unfree World.  I read it when it was first published in the 70s and it isn't an overstatement to say it changed my life.  It was required reading for any man who wanted to date me. 🤣 Hubby made the cut because he loved the book too.  The Elaine St. James books on simplicity and Your Money or Your Life were books that helped us to stay on track toward ER/FI although we didn't really think in those terms then.  We thought of debt and consumerism as chains and simple living as freedom.

gerardc

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Age: 35
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2017, 03:22:20 PM »
You have to see if from our perspective. A busy street full of $20 bills laying around with people "accidentally" bumping into them. Coincidence? Meanwhile on the side street with no bills no one goes there. How funny.

How course that doesn't prove one is there for the money. But elementary Bayesian thinking would set that probability quite high.

No hate either, I really don't care. Just explaining the thinking of many people.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2017, 03:28:53 PM »
You just don't see that every street is covered with $20s.

I didn't used to, either.

I never believed the idea that you'd make money while retired, doing what you want to do anyways, and people would pay you for it.

That idea sounded ridiculous, to me.  Yet people kept saying it, over and over.  Early retired folks, speaking from experience.  I didn't believe them.

I saved up enough so I'd never have to work again.

I was wrong. I worked much longer than I had to.

Money isn't difficult to make, it's an inevitable byproduct.  There are no streets empty of $20s.
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.

StacheyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2017, 04:04:46 PM »
I get it.  It's going to be a long road for me too.  I just got out of school two years ago and I'm not exactly making it rain compared to a large part of this board.  I had to take a break from blog reading too, knowing that I'm at least 10 years from FIRE if I'm being generous (15 is more likely if I decide to pop out kids, unless some really big raises are coming my way.  I don't have a high tolerance for risk).  Makes it hard to hear about other people's freedom when my job, a job I actually like most of the time, keeps finding new ways to suck up all my time and mental/emotional energy.  The last couple of Saturdays have been spent in bed doing nothing because I'm so exhausted, which also has the side effect of making me depressed.  Hearing about weekdays spent at the beach and other people's enormous staches was making me jealous and anxious instead of fired up to succeed myself.

What's helped me is instead of reading other people's FIRE blogs I started writing myself.  Maybe if you run out of FIRE journeys to read about, you could start writing about your own? 

Classical_Liberal

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Age: 43
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2017, 04:36:00 PM »
You just don't see that every street is covered with $20s.

I'm quoting this because I'm going to steal it at a later date.

I think the early retirement blogs have a couple of things to offer.  Most attempt to use a mix of both, but the good ones excel at one or the other.  MMM, ERE, GCC, etc excel at both and are some of the most popular as a result.
  • Provide useful frameworks, specific ideas, hacks, etc to achieve FI
  • Provide real world examples about why one should have the goal of FI  (aka talk about their awesome lives)

My biggest peeve is not affiliate links or advertisements.  Rather, too many of the already FI bloggers fail to mention that they probably oversaved, or if they do it's only mentioned in passing or indirectly in articles like:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10/26/notes-on-giving-away-100000/

or comments like:
You just don't see that every street is covered with $20s.

Ok I lied, I stole it today, but I plan on stealing it later as well.



gerardc

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Age: 35
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2017, 04:50:46 PM »
Rather, too many of the already FI bloggers fail to mention that they probably oversaved, or if they do it's only mentioned in passing or indirectly in articles like:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10/26/notes-on-giving-away-100000/

Well, with a safe withdrawal rate, 95% (or some number) of people will realize they have too much money, so we naturally hear more about them (especially since they're correlated -- all retired in the same favorable economic period)

but it doesn't mean that they oversaved knowing what they did at the time of FIRE, which is very different. When you plan for risk, you can't retroactively go back in time and say "oh I should have done this instead" once you know the final outcome.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2017, 05:01:04 PM »
  Rather, too many of the already FI bloggers fail to mention that they probably oversaved, or if they do it's only mentioned in passing or indirectly in articles like:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10/26/notes-on-giving-away-100000/


This just goes to show that even those that do achieve FI sometimes fall into the same over-saving traps as others. It would be nice if there was a bigger push to get people to pull the plug even earlier - but I have personally seen how hard it is to convince normal people that an 8-10 year career to retire at 30 is more than enough, much less convince people that a 6 year career to RE at 24 is not only doable but maybe even conservative.

Josiecat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2017, 05:14:06 PM »
I like www.moneyboss.com.  His writing style really speaks to me. 

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2017, 05:35:52 PM »
  Rather, too many of the already FI bloggers fail to mention that they probably oversaved, or if they do it's only mentioned in passing or indirectly in articles like:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10/26/notes-on-giving-away-100000/


This just goes to show that even those that do achieve FI sometimes fall into the same over-saving traps as others. It would be nice if there was a bigger push to get people to pull the plug even earlier - but I have personally seen how hard it is to convince normal people that an 8-10 year career to retire at 30 is more than enough, much less convince people that a 6 year career to RE at 24 is not only doable but maybe even conservative.

Hah, totally true.
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.

Classical_Liberal

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Age: 43
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #60 on: January 28, 2017, 06:10:21 PM »
  Rather, too many of the already FI bloggers fail to mention that they probably oversaved, or if they do it's only mentioned in passing or indirectly in articles like:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10/26/notes-on-giving-away-100000/


This just goes to show that even those that do achieve FI sometimes fall into the same over-saving traps as others. It would be nice if there was a bigger push to get people to pull the plug even earlier - but I have personally seen how hard it is to convince normal people that an 8-10 year career to retire at 30 is more than enough, much less convince people that a 6 year career to RE at 24 is not only doable but maybe even conservative.

Hah, totally true.

I see your point(s), baby steps. 

At the same time, referring back to the OP who was depressed because he felt FI was so far away.  It's very sad to me if a person is working at a job they really dislike simply to hit that magical 25x expenses.  I realize it's different for each person, but hell, set smaller goals.  Get debt free and change jobs, or go to PT.  Save enough for a UBI type of income for life and only work for nonessentials.  Whatever it takes to feel fairly secure and increase your happiness.  Personally, if I ever get to 25x, I'll likely lose a little flare in my life.  It's too secure, I like the idea of Hormesis.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis


Well, with a safe withdrawal rate, 95% (or some number) of people will realize they have too much money, so we naturally hear more about them (especially since they're correlated -- all retired in the same favorable economic period)

but it doesn't mean that they oversaved knowing what they did at the time of FIRE, which is very different. When you plan for risk, you can't retroactively go back in time and say "oh I should have done this instead" once you know the final outcome.

Agreed, where we have different idea is whether or not 95% is too safe when every street is lined with $20-bills.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #61 on: January 28, 2017, 06:17:38 PM »
Well, with a safe withdrawal rate, 95% (or some number) of people will realize they have too much money, so we naturally hear more about them (especially since they're correlated -- all retired in the same favorable economic period)

but it doesn't mean that they oversaved knowing what they did at the time of FIRE, which is very different. When you plan for risk, you can't retroactively go back in time and say "oh I should have done this instead" once you know the final outcome.

This is true.

We FIRE'd earlier than we planned, and too early from the numbers perspective at the time.  In retrospect, we could have FIRE'd much earlier (and that's without earning another dime--now in retrospect, we could have FIRE'd MUCH earlier).

But at the time, we were still FIREing too early.
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.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #62 on: January 28, 2017, 06:28:33 PM »
but it doesn't mean that they oversaved knowing what they did at the time of FIRE, which is very different. When you plan for risk, you can't retroactively go back in time and say "oh I should have done this instead" once you know the final outcome.

Agreed, where we have different idea is whether or not 95% is too safe when every street is lined with $20-bills.
[/quote]

Absolutely. People have different risk tolerances. But some people just don't even know how easy it is to make more money in retirement, or how ridiculously safe they are being. That is where it would be nice for FI bloggers to bust out the facts of how easy this stuff is; even people who are actively planning on, or achieved early retirement sometimes don't have this information, and it's seriously delaying their retirement.  To make a choice with all the numbers planned out is one thing - but to miss a large chunk of information will lead to the 'wrong' conclusions far more often.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6752
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #63 on: January 28, 2017, 08:00:45 PM »
This just goes to show that even those that do achieve FI sometimes fall into the same over-saving traps as others. It would be nice if there was a bigger push to get people to pull the plug even earlier - but I have personally seen how hard it is to convince normal people that an 8-10 year career to retire at 30 is more than enough, much less convince people that a 6 year career to RE at 24 is not only doable but maybe even conservative.

I think over saving therefore overworking are the far more significant risk for the people on this site than undersaving. However, we can't be surprised that with all the programming typical workers get in our culture that the default reaction to stopping work is fear and more working.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2017, 07:54:13 AM »
I think the whole oversaving/undersaving debate is probabilistic.

For example, I would like to write books after FIRE. Would they make any money? How much? If I quit my job a year before I had 25x, would I cover my expenses with writing? Maybe, but maybe not.

Also, ER/frugality blogs are a dime a dozen these days. Maybe a single-digit percent make any significant money. MMM had no idea how big MMM would get when he started. Probably, if he anonymously started a brand new blog today, it would languish for years trying to get page rankings and never approach the success of the original MMM. The internet is not necessarily a meritocracy.

The problem with linking your prosperity to great uncertainties is that your baseline expenses are certain. If the part-time side gig doesn't get traction, all you've done is take a sabbatical and pushed back your retirement date. That's not the worst outcome in the world, and you've at least taken a shot at doing what you want, but some percentage of people will lose the gamble. Losing the gamble means replacing the job and health insurance subsidy you walked away from with a new gig where you have less traction and maybe lower pay. It means stress too.

Some, like velociraptor.cc, seem to be gambling well with a smaller stache. But those who lose the game (and their savings) don't blog about it.

The alternative to gambling is to dig in on your career, earn the market average on your investments, cut expenses, build a fat stache, and know that you'll be free within a few years. That certainty and personal-locus-of-control thing is appealing.

It's like being in prison with two years remaining on your sentence, and your cellmate breaks a hole in the wall and says "come with me!". Do you make a run for it, and risk 5-10 additional years in the cage? Some folks would. I'd probably stay put (but at some point if my sentence was long enough, I'd run for it).

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6752
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2017, 08:02:03 AM »
It's like being in prison with two years remaining on your sentence, and your cellmate breaks a hole in the wall and says "come with me!". Do you make a run for it, and risk 5-10 additional years in the cage? Some folks would. I'd probably stay put (but at some point if my sentence was long enough, I'd run for it).

I don't disagree with your points. However, I do think people do not value the time they are burning through at the prime of their life working appropriately. It's easy to fall into the trap thinking 5yrs now is the same as 5yrs later on and it's not for a lot of reasons. I also think we are poor at appreciating the health impacts of many/most high paying desk jobs. Combine the these two factors and the case for getting out now vs. later can be quite compelling.

I met a super early RE guy in the Baja one trip. He worked 6yrs out of university. I asked im [at the time in his 50's] if he had any regrets or any things he would do over. His reply was he didn't value the time in his 30's and 40's enough. He had put off some major bucket list items thinking there would be time later and found that as he aged his ability/desire to realize those dreams changed enough to make them not feasible.

I keep that in mind a lot as I think about my own plans.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2017, 08:27:25 AM »
It's like being in prison with two years remaining on your sentence, and your cellmate breaks a hole in the wall and says "come with me!". Do you make a run for it, and risk 5-10 additional years in the cage? Some folks would. I'd probably stay put (but at some point if my sentence was long enough, I'd run for it).

I don't disagree with your points. However, I do think people do not value the time they are burning through at the prime of their life working appropriately. It's easy to fall into the trap thinking 5yrs now is the same as 5yrs later on and it's not for a lot of reasons. I also think we are poor at appreciating the health impacts of many/most high paying desk jobs. Combine the these two factors and the case for getting out now vs. later can be quite compelling.

I met a super early RE guy in the Baja one trip. He worked 6yrs out of university. I asked im [at the time in his 50's] if he had any regrets or any things he would do over. His reply was he didn't value the time in his 30's and 40's enough. He had put off some major bucket list items thinking there would be time later and found that as he aged his ability/desire to realize those dreams changed enough to make them not feasible.

I keep that in mind a lot as I think about my own plans.

The flip side of that guy in Baja would be the person who was 4 years away from FIRE, decided to make it 2 by putting it all in call options, and lost almost everything. He never talks about his experience, but he went from 4 years away to 10 years away in a single gamble. He probably regrets not taking a safer path. The guy in Baja wishes the opposite. They're both talking hindsight.

I think it's friggin' great news that we don't have to gamble to achieve FIRE. You can plot a course with virtual certainty and actually get there.

Or you can gamble and earn a more time / less time outcome. Selection bias ensures we'll only hear about the winners of such gambles, which can make it seem rational.

StreetCat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #67 on: January 29, 2017, 09:05:04 AM »
But some people just don't even know how easy it is to make more money in retirement
I am one of the above mentioned people.  What are you referring to regarding the above?  Real estate?  Or part time jobs/gigs?

Classical_Liberal

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Age: 43
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #68 on: January 29, 2017, 10:13:16 AM »
It's like being in prison with two years remaining on your sentence, and your cellmate breaks a hole in the wall and says "come with me!". Do you make a run for it, and risk 5-10 additional years in the cage? Some folks would. I'd probably stay put (but at some point if my sentence was long enough, I'd run for it).

It's not like that at all.  A better analogy would be that the parole board is willing to hear your case two years early, but you refuse to go because you are afraid they will not let you out.  Huge opportunity cost, virtually nothing to lose.

The 4% rule is 95% in 30 years assuming lazy index investing. 
It does not include SS, which will be around. 
https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v66n4/v66n4p1.html

It does not take into account that you are basing it on your current spending and almost every study been done shows you spend less as you age. 
https://www.ebri.org/pdf/notespdf/Notes.Sept14.EldExp-Only.pdf

It assumes that over the remainder of your life you have zero serendipitous opportunities to earn cash doing something you would do anyway.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/162758/three-four-workers-plan-work-past-retirement-age.aspx (40 percent of standard age retirees say they work some because they want to), also see anecdotal evidence in this forum for younger retirees.

It's easy to fall into the trap thinking 5yrs now is the same as 5yrs later on and it's not for a lot of reasons. I also think we are poor at appreciating the health impacts of many/most high paying desk jobs. Combine the these two factors and the case for getting out now vs. later can be quite compelling.

I met a super early RE guy in the Baja one trip. He worked 6yrs out of university. I asked im [at the time in his 50's] if he had any regrets or any things he would do over. His reply was he didn't value the time in his 30's and 40's enough. He had put off some major bucket list items thinking there would be time later and found that as he aged his ability/desire to realize those dreams changed enough to make them not feasible.

I keep that in mind a lot as I think about my own plans.

This is such an important point. Look at the trends of how folks view their own physical health as they age.
https://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/NHIS/SHS/2014_SHS_Table_P-1.pdf

I would also add, that if you have kids, they are only kids for so long. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OqwKfgLaeA  :)

VladTheImpaler

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2017, 10:44:31 AM »
Early retirement blogs blow my mind.
Sometimes I will learn a life hack or read someone else's perspective and I will need to take a break from MMM for a couple days just to let the concepts soak into my brain. That's how radical some of the smarty pants peeps in here are.
I've grown A LOT in my FIRE knowledge over the last year, but I still get my mind blown consistently by fellow Mustachians.
Pete is great and all, but the real gems are the super smart people on the forum that drop diamonds of wisdom occasionally.
And it's all FREE.
It makes the idea of paying a Financial Adviser seem crazy.
I've never seen a forum where smart people gave good advice/tips/tricks so willingly. (I hope that doesn't change!)
My only hope is that as more people discover FIRE and visit MMM forums, that we retain a sense of community and positive reinforcement and encouragement towards our FIRE goals.
Even with some of the random muck that occasionally squeaks past the moderators on here, I still believe the MMM forums are a  bright spot on the interwebs.

The Happy Philosopher

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 343
    • thehappyphilosopher
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2017, 11:42:25 AM »
You need to read "How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World" by Harry Browne, b4u2.  Literally a life changer.

One of three books I think everyone should read.

But especially you, given your post and the final sentence.

It will show you that you ARE free to make any of those changes, right now, despite the trap you think you're in.

:)
First of all this book is what I consider minimum mandatory reading for all humans. On my blog I think I have 6 books I recommend, and this is one of them.

This is an interesting discussion, and I have to say I have more empathy for bloggers now that I actually blog myself. Although some blogs are spammy and clearly designed for maximum revenue, most are just people wanting to share their story. Some are more effective than others. Realize that your enjoyment of these blogs is related to the stage you are in when you read them.

MMM and other blogs were a life raft to me when I was burning out from my life and trying to find direction. Now they have a completely different meaning and feel to me. I read them for different reasons now. When I'm not getting value I stop reading, and this is exactly what you should do as well. Blogs should be read to inspire and bring you joy, or learn tactical information that will make a difference in your life. Anytime something really irritates me, it is usually something about me, not the offending agent. The best use of this is to self-reflect and keep asking 'why' until you get a satisfactory answer.

Someone correctly pointed out that as these blogs proliferate they start sounding repetitive. I struggle with this when trying to figure out what to write. At the same time though, the internet is a big place. Even if I write something that 90 other bloggers wrote, maybe it's still the first time one of MY readers read about it. Maybe they hear something through my voice that then never noticed before.

PS: If you hate affiliate links and advertising you may enjoy my blog as I  have none of it :)
(Well, a few random amazon links, but that is it!)

fa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #71 on: January 29, 2017, 01:57:29 PM »
@ARS
It is so cool that you offer the coaching and then donate all the money to charity.  I took a look at your site and saw the comments about the many reading assignments.  I am already FI so I don't need the coaching, which I am sure would be really great for anyone.  But I am curious about your reading list.  You have recommended a variety of books over many various threads, but it would be challenging to piece your list together from those any postings.  Care to put your list up in one spot?  I am reading Vagabonding right now and it soooo clicks with me!  There are just so many ways to set up your life.  We are all so lucky to be alive now.

Thanks and keep posting!

bugbaby

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #72 on: January 29, 2017, 02:39:02 PM »
I attained bare bones FIRE at 38 and left to pursue a passion, but it flopped so I'm back in employment 2 years later. It was a remarkable experience and I learned a lot. I'm so much happier that I took that plunge now rather than in 10 or 20 years. And I have a bit of a stache and no debt. It feels like a win-win to me.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk


Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6752
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #73 on: January 29, 2017, 02:47:04 PM »
The flip side of that guy in Baja would be the person who was 4 years away from FIRE, decided to make it 2 by putting it all in call options, and lost almost everything. He never talks about his experience, but he went from 4 years away to 10 years away in a single gamble. He probably regrets not taking a safer path. The guy in Baja wishes the opposite. They're both talking hindsight.

The guy in Baja didn't do any gambling at all. He wasn't complaining that working for 6yrs ever was too much. He was making the point that it's easy to assume you've got lots of time and that time later is the same as time now. Looking backwards he realized that was a mistake and might have taken advantage of his younger years differently.

I'm not suggesting doing something wacky to gamble with your stock portfolio in order to accelerate to FIRE. It's pretty clear that people are adding belts and suspenders to already very conservative plans due to fear and not factoring in the non $$ & % factors. We focus too much on the tiny sliver of ways FIRE can financially fail and ignore the many other soft issues around physical and mental health. There are lots of ways to fail at FIRE with tons of money in your investment accounts. Problem is they don't fit into a spreadsheet or cFIREsim so we ignore them.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #74 on: January 29, 2017, 02:51:54 PM »
@ARS
It is so cool that you offer the coaching and then donate all the money to charity.  I took a look at your site and saw the comments about the many reading assignments.  I am already FI so I don't need the coaching, which I am sure would be really great for anyone.  But I am curious about your reading list.  You have recommended a variety of books over many various threads, but it would be challenging to piece your list together from those any postings.  Care to put your list up in one spot?  I am reading Vagabonding right now and it soooo clicks with me!  There are just so many ways to set up your life.  We are all so lucky to be alive now.

Thanks!

I don't have just a "generic" list I cut and paste--it's tailored to the individual.  :)

I attained bare bones FIRE at 38 and left to pursue a passion, but it flopped so I'm back in employment 2 years later. It was a remarkable experience and I learned a lot. I'm so much happier that I took that plunge now rather than in 10 or 20 years. And I have a bit of a stache and no debt. It feels like a win-win to me.

Okay, that's pretty awesome.  That takes courage!  Thanks for sharing.  :)

The flip side of that guy in Baja would be the person who was 4 years away from FIRE, decided to make it 2 by putting it all in call options, and lost almost everything. He never talks about his experience, but he went from 4 years away to 10 years away in a single gamble. He probably regrets not taking a safer path. The guy in Baja wishes the opposite. They're both talking hindsight.

The guy in Baja didn't do any gambling at all. He wasn't complaining that working for 6yrs ever was too much. He was making the point that it's easy to assume you've got lots of time and that time later is the same as time now. Looking backwards he realized that was a mistake and might have taken advantage of his younger years differently.

I'm not suggesting doing something wacky to gamble with your stock portfolio in order to accelerate to FIRE. It's pretty clear that people are adding belts and suspenders to already very conservative plans due to fear and not factoring in the non $$ & % factors. We focus too much on the tiny sliver of ways FIRE can financially fail and ignore the many other soft issues around physical and mental health. There are lots of ways to fail at FIRE with tons of money in your investment accounts. Problem is they don't fit into a spreadsheet or cFIREsim so we ignore them.

Well said.  What we're arguing is not that you should take a big gamble to ER quicker, it's that the "standard, slow path" is SO SAFE already that doing something like going to a 3% WR and trading years of your life to do so is something one should reexamine.  Live out of possibility, not fear.
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.

gerardc

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Age: 35
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #75 on: January 29, 2017, 04:52:24 PM »
I attained bare bones FIRE at 38 and left to pursue a passion, but it flopped so I'm back in employment 2 years later. It was a remarkable experience and I learned a lot. I'm so much happier that I took that plunge now rather than in 10 or 20 years. And I have a bit of a stache and no debt. It feels like a win-win to me.

If you were at bare bones FIRE already, you shouldn't be much lower now after a mini-retirement. Unless you spent/invested a lot?


Agree with the other posters re: time and health. If you feel your mental or physical health declining, time to take action fast (take a break), then post-pone FIRE in the worst case.

bugbaby

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #76 on: January 29, 2017, 05:47:37 PM »
I attained bare bones FIRE at 38 and left to pursue a passion, but it flopped so I'm back in employment 2 years later. It was a remarkable experience and I learned a lot. I'm so much happier that I took that plunge now rather than in 10 or 20 years. And I have a bit of a stache and no debt. It feels like a win-win to me.

If you were at bare bones FIRE already, you shouldn't be much lower now after a mini-retirement. Unless you spent/invested a lot?


Agree with the other posters re: time and health. If you feel your mental or physical health declining, time to take action fast (take a break), then post-pone FIRE in the worst case.
It was very bare bones, and only if i lived in the very LCOL rural place I moved to and cut out most luxuries. To move back to the city and have extras, travel & fun budget etc (& save for kids college) leaves me quite a ways behind.

I think my example is just one of many many configurations in how FI can work differently and to various degrees for anyone.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk


Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #77 on: January 29, 2017, 08:27:51 PM »
But some people just don't even know how easy it is to make more money in retirement
I am one of the above mentioned people.  What are you referring to regarding the above?  Real estate?  Or part time jobs/gigs?
Donating plasma. Consulting. Blogging. Craigslisting. Flipping cars. Life/investment Coaching. Credit card tradelines like XS has been doing for years. Or any of a thousand other things. The possibilities are so endless it's amazing how few people seem to recognize this.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #78 on: January 29, 2017, 09:02:53 PM »
Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if there is disagreement.

1) The goal is to maximize the amount of lifetime available post-FIRE. FIRE is defined as having some "X" multiple of one's expenses invested so that the value of one's expenses is earned by the investments on a mostly consistent basis.
2) Markets are at least mostly efficient. There's no free lunch, such as a low-risk, high-return asset you can find by stock-picking, market timing, etc.
3) Risk/Volatility is correlated with higher returns over very long periods of time. E.g. cash earns less than bonds, bonds earn less than large caps, large caps earn less than small caps, etc. Investors are paid to take on risk/volatility.
4) High risk/volatility means the ROI of assets may follow a wider distribution of probabilities, and losses are not always recovered within relevant timeframes. Low risk/volatility means the ROI of assets follows a narrower distribution of probabilities.
5) The probability of accumulating a set amount of wealth (25x expenses, for example) and achieving FIRE within a set timeframe is partially a factor of ROI. E.g. you'll reach $1M faster earning 8% than 5%.
6) Thus, (combining #4 and #5) there is a probabilistic distribution of outcomes for a portfolio at any selected level of risk/volatility. A low-risk portfolio has a narrower range of probable outcomes than a high-risk portfolio.
7) If you agree with #6, you should also agree that:
     7a) Time required for a person to achieve FIRE is partially (not entirely, of course) based on the ROI actually experienced in the future, which is probabilistic at any given level of risk/volatility.
     7b) A person who chooses a higher-risk portfolio will likely FIRE earlier than a person who chooses a lower-risk portfolio, because #3. However, the tradeoff (remember #2) is an increased range of probabilities, some of which may involve underperforming the lower-risk portfolio during a relevant period of time. E.g. there are periods of time when lower-risk portfolios outperform higher-risk portfolios.

An investor hoping to FIRE within 5-8 years (the relevant timeframe in this example) might frame their options this way:

     1) I could invest in small cap emerging market stocks and possibly retire in 5 years. However, a historically typical market downswing could extend my FIRE date to 10 years.
     2) I could invest in VTI, with a beta of 1, and possibly retire in 6 years. However, a historically typical market downswing could extend my FIRE date to 9 years.
     3) I could invest in a target-date fund, with a beta of 0.75, and possibly retire in 7 years. A historically typical market downswing could extend my FIRE date to 8 years.

Which option fails to factor in the value of time? None, IMO. They're all reasonable choices. We could argue about the exact probabilities involved, but that would be the same as market timing.

However, if the investor draws a line in the sand and says "I'm not going to take on any level of risk that might extend my fire date beyond 8 years, period" then I'd say they ARE valuing their time by ENSURING they are FIRE'd in at most 8 years.

I find it incredibly optimistic that we get to make such choices, rather than being entirely at the market's whims (a common and misguided criticism). Our example investor also has insights into how much to invest in career skills or certifications - the payoff can be calculated. Everything falls into place when you have a plan, and drawing a bottom line on one's risk tolerance helps.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #79 on: January 29, 2017, 09:18:06 PM »
It's like being in prison with two years remaining on your sentence, and your cellmate breaks a hole in the wall and says "come with me!". Do you make a run for it, and risk 5-10 additional years in the cage? Some folks would. I'd probably stay put (but at some point if my sentence was long enough, I'd run for it).

It's not like that at all.  A better analogy would be that the parole board is willing to hear your case two years early, but you refuse to go because you are afraid they will not let you out.  Huge opportunity cost, virtually nothing to lose.
I would say that a better analogy would be the cellmate blows a hole in the wall to escape. The penalty for getting caught escaping is that you get sent back to prison to finish the original sentence. Or maybe they tack on 6 months for your silly misbehaving. Worst case is hardly 10 more years; it's much closer to just getting put back in the cell to finish the time you were originally sentenced; only now you have a wicked tan and some great stories from Boliva where you spent the time hiding out.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #80 on: January 29, 2017, 09:18:43 PM »
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.

gerardc

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Age: 35
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #81 on: January 29, 2017, 09:36:40 PM »
Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if there is disagreement.

1) The goal is to maximize the amount of lifetime available post-FIRE. FIRE is defined as having some "X" multiple of one's expenses invested so that the value of one's expenses is earned by the investments on a mostly consistent basis.

That's a little too simplistic. With that assumption, no one would use semi-retirement, PT work, sabbaticals. You'd need to frame the objective as total life enjoyment, with possibly more enjoyment per time unit as a young age.

Further, I think for many people most of the uncertainty/variance/risk comes from their own goals and interests, and not from the market itself (which is negligible in comparison). That's especially true for young people, who tend to not know what they want in life.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6752
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #82 on: January 29, 2017, 09:42:22 PM »
That's a little too simplistic. With that assumption, no one would use semi-retirement, PT work, sabbaticals. You'd need to frame the objective as total life enjoyment, with possibly more enjoyment per time unit as a young age.

Agreed. I'd to add to your list variable withdrawal rates, which allow for similar average/median spending to a fixed WR with a smaller 'stach that requires less time to save.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #83 on: January 29, 2017, 09:49:14 PM »
Let's make sure we're all talking about the same thing. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if there is disagreement.

1) The goal is to maximize the amount of lifetime available post-FIRE. FIRE is defined as having some "X" multiple of one's expenses invested so that the value of one's expenses is earned by the investments on a mostly consistent basis.

That's a little too simplistic. With that assumption, no one would use semi-retirement, PT work, sabbaticals. You'd need to frame the objective as total life enjoyment, with possibly more enjoyment per time unit as a young age.

Exactly. It could be alternatively framed as to maximize time not at work. Someone could retire early but still spend far more hours working than someone who took extended breaks or worked seasonally for more years.

Johnez

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1088
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2017, 03:30:39 AM »
Early retirement blogs blow my mind.
Sometimes I will learn a life hack or read someone else's perspective and I will need to take a break from MMM for a couple days just to let the concepts soak into my brain. That's how radical some of the smarty pants peeps in here are.
I've grown A LOT in my FIRE knowledge over the last year, but I still get my mind blown consistently by fellow Mustachians.
Pete is great and all, but the real gems are the super smart people on the forum that drop diamonds of wisdom occasionally.
And it's all FREE.
It makes the idea of paying a Financial Adviser seem crazy.
I've never seen a forum where smart people gave good advice/tips/tricks so willingly. (I hope that doesn't change!)
My only hope is that as more people discover FIRE and visit MMM forums, that we retain a sense of community and positive reinforcement and encouragement towards our FIRE goals.
Even with some of the random muck that occasionally squeaks past the moderators on here, I still believe the MMM forums are a  bright spot on the interwebs.

This.

Minus the affiliate link derailment, this thread is a gold mine of related info possibly skipped over by many. Rockstar Finance, ARS's book recs, and the stories are enough to set most wafflers back on track.

ChpBstrd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2017, 08:27:17 AM »
ChpBstrd: This may interest you.

https://portfoliocharts.com/portfolio/financial-independence/

Yes, that's a brilliant tool! Clicking the "annual returns" link shows a histogram of probable outcomes for different portfolios, which is what I'm talking about.

Of course, this is based on market history, which may not predict future returns any better than a stock's history. By some analyses, future return probabilities are affected by the valuations you buy into (e.g. PE ratio, value investing). However, history is ine of the most justifiable predictors we have.

I plugged in my numbers and found that with either a 100% total stock or a 80/20 total stock/REIT portfolio, the earliest I could retire was in 5 years. However, the worst-case scenario was 17y for the total stock portfolio and only 15y for the 80/20. That's a surprising outcome. I like tools like this that can take emotion (either fear or optimism) out of portfolio planning.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6752
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #86 on: January 30, 2017, 09:02:31 AM »
I plugged in my numbers and found that with either a 100% total stock or a 80/20 total stock/REIT portfolio, the earliest I could retire was in 5 years. However, the worst-case scenario was 17y for the total stock portfolio and only 15y for the 80/20. That's a surprising outcome. I like tools like this that can take emotion (either fear or optimism) out of portfolio planning.

If you want to accelerate your FIRE date try cFIREsim's variable withdrawal rate function. Set floor and ceiling values you can live with [I like 3% - 6%] and see what portfolio value gets you the same success % as the fixed withdrawal rate scenario you were considering.

Using all the default settings in cFIREsim I get:

- $1M invested
- 4% WR
- 75/25 stocks/bonds
- success = 96%
- average WR = $40K/yr
- average total WR = $1.2M

Using a 3% - 6% VWR and shooting for the same success rate I get:

- $820K
- 3% - 6% WR
- 75/25 stocks/bonds
- success = 96%
- average WR = $43.1K/yr
- median total WR = $1.3M

That gives you a $180K smaller target to shoot for meaning you can hit FIRE earlier and in most cases you get to spend more if you want to.

gerardc

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 768
  • Age: 35
  • Location: SF bay area
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #87 on: January 30, 2017, 08:41:32 PM »
That gives you a $180K smaller target to shoot for meaning you can hit FIRE earlier and in most cases you get to spend more if you want to.

Wow, that's quite a difference! I didn't imagine having a flexible spending rate would affect the average SWR that much, I always assumed "flexible spending" meant just "less spending" in bad years, which (duh!) increases success rate. But from those results an equal average spending simply allocated smartly in good and bad years is also a big plus. Sweet

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6752
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2017, 07:06:36 AM »
Wow, that's quite a difference! I didn't imagine having a flexible spending rate would affect the average SWR that much, I always assumed "flexible spending" meant just "less spending" in bad years, which (duh!) increases success rate. But from those results an equal average spending simply allocated smartly in good and bad years is also a big plus. Sweet

Just so it's not over sold that's average spending across all the simulations so there are some simulations where you get less than the $40K/yr average of the fixed WR due to poor returns. Since there is a lower limit you know that within the range you select you'll get a minimum income and you also get a signal from market returns that your FIRE "generation" is one of challenged ones.

The median yearly WR average is $41.3K so in more than half of the simulations you end up with more per year on average than a 4% fixed WR.

If you are saving $30K/yr and getting 6% after inflation returns the difference between $820K and $1M is ~2.5yrs. You have to decide if that difference in working time is worth the flexibility in withdrawals.

BallerOnABudget

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #89 on: February 01, 2017, 07:45:04 AM »
I'm a little late to this thread, but I'd like to say that I can sympathize with the OP. I'd also add that it's not only blogs that can occasionally make me feel bad, but also these very forums. Don't get me wrong, there is a LOT of good content and the forums are mostly beneficial. I mean, I wouldn't be here posting otherwise. That being said, it sure feels sometimes like there is an established "culture," which sometimes borders on circlejerk territory. There was a thread about recent money mistakes and someone replied with a story about spending $8 on breakfast. REALLY?!? I know that's a petty thing to point out and eyeroll at, but it's just the first example that came to my mind. People who might have a slightly differing opinion/experience/habit/whatever tend to be more hesitant to share. So the profile of the typical poster is that of the high-earning, frugal-living, rental property-owning, side hustle having, bike-commuting, socially conscious person who seemingly makes nothing but sound financial decisions. Yes, I realize that's the entire purpose of the MMM site and this forum, but I'd be willing to bet there is an audience here that is far more diverse than the caricature I just described.

As for me - I make a decent but not great income (but no side hustles) and I'm moderately frugal with an ok savings rate in the 25-30% range, but I do have a nice TV, I play Xbox, I occasionally go out to eat, I spoil my kids at christmas and birthdays, I struggle with getting full spousal buy-in on FIRE, and I definitely could make do with less house than I own (in a suburb 19 miles from work). So to be fair - people like me are also part of the problem - we kinda slink in the corner and hide during certain discussions and let the hardcore MMMers jump in and shine. So I guess the point to all my rambling is to tell other people who may be reading that for every "I'm 26, making $350k with a $1500 monthly budget - how am I doing?" guy, there are many "I'm doing alright but certainly could do better" people. We aren't all software developers with no kids eating rice/beans and preparing for FIRE at 30-something. Don't feel like a failure if you aren't just like MMM and all the other financial badasses here. Just try to pick things that you relate to or techniques that you can steal and try your best to live your life in a way that aligns with your values and goals. And for the love of zeus, we (yes I'm definitely including myself here, still a struggle for me) must learn to quit comparing ourselves to the highlight reels we see on the internet. Either that or just sell your car, buy a bike, move to a studio apt close to work, rent out a closet, triple your income, become a landlord, and vanguardly vanguard the shit out of your vanguards...then head to the internet and share your badassitude ;)

farmecologist

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #90 on: February 01, 2017, 09:02:32 AM »
I knew ever since I started working that my goal would be to have enough money to do whatever I wanted.

This. It was always very obvious to me, but in a kind of intuitive, repressed, personal way. Seeing it being discussed openly on MMM and friends was an invitation to binging, because it proved I wasn't crazy (or at least not the only crazy) after all. Like having an underdeveloped math theory in your head for a few years then stumbling upon a book that digs deep into it, explores corrolaries, etc. but that also misses some details.

I think even many people who desire FI and RE could use some perspective on 'enough.' I like the focus on 'having enough' rather than meeting some arbitrary nw goal or some income number. They can be separated, and oftentimes the number of green soldiers needed to supply one's lifestyle of doing whatever they want is generally quite a bit lower than they think.

We struggle daily with what 'enough' means. 

In theory, we could retire today...with some changes in lifestyle.  However, we have major concerns with healthcare costs (pre-existing condition), potential college costs (2 kids), etc... Plus, the 401K match we both are fortunate enough to have is very nice indeed.  Also, one of us has a pension that is continuing to build.  On the other hand, a poor corporate culture is starting to feel extremely oppressive to me.  It's getting hard to resist 'bailing out'.

So many things to think about!  It often isn't as simple as it seems.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #91 on: February 01, 2017, 09:10:10 AM »
I'm a little late to this thread, but I'd like to say that I can sympathize with the OP. I'd also add that it's not only blogs that can occasionally make me feel bad, but also these very forums. Don't get me wrong, there is a LOT of good content and the forums are mostly beneficial. I mean, I wouldn't be here posting otherwise. That being said, it sure feels sometimes like there is an established "culture," which sometimes borders on circlejerk territory. There was a thread about recent money mistakes and someone replied with a story about spending $8 on breakfast. REALLY?!? I know that's a petty thing to point out and eyeroll at, but it's just the first example that came to my mind. People who might have a slightly differing opinion/experience/habit/whatever tend to be more hesitant to share. So the profile of the typical poster is that of the high-earning, frugal-living, rental property-owning, side hustle having, bike-commuting, socially conscious person who seemingly makes nothing but sound financial decisions. Yes, I realize that's the entire purpose of the MMM site and this forum, but I'd be willing to bet there is an audience here that is far more diverse than the caricature I just described.

As for me - I make a decent but not great income (but no side hustles) and I'm moderately frugal with an ok savings rate in the 25-30% range, but I do have a nice TV, I play Xbox, I occasionally go out to eat, I spoil my kids at christmas and birthdays, I struggle with getting full spousal buy-in on FIRE, and I definitely could make do with less house than I own (in a suburb 19 miles from work). So to be fair - people like me are also part of the problem - we kinda slink in the corner and hide during certain discussions and let the hardcore MMMers jump in and shine. So I guess the point to all my rambling is to tell other people who may be reading that for every "I'm 26, making $350k with a $1500 monthly budget - how am I doing?" guy, there are many "I'm doing alright but certainly could do better" people. We aren't all software developers with no kids eating rice/beans and preparing for FIRE at 30-something. Don't feel like a failure if you aren't just like MMM and all the other financial badasses here. Just try to pick things that you relate to or techniques that you can steal and try your best to live your life in a way that aligns with your values and goals. And for the love of zeus, we (yes I'm definitely including myself here, still a struggle for me) must learn to quit comparing ourselves to the highlight reels we see on the internet. Either that or just sell your car, buy a bike, move to a studio apt close to work, rent out a closet, triple your income, become a landlord, and vanguardly vanguard the shit out of your vanguards...then head to the internet and share your badassitude ;)

You seem to realize the (mental) solution, so at that point, why feel bad anymore?

:)
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.

Hvillian

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #92 on: February 01, 2017, 09:15:04 AM »
I'm a little late to this thread, but I'd like to say that I can sympathize with the OP. I'd also add that it's not only blogs that can occasionally make me feel bad, but also these very forums. Don't get me wrong, there is a LOT of good content and the forums are mostly beneficial. I mean, I wouldn't be here posting otherwise. That being said, it sure feels sometimes like there is an established "culture," which sometimes borders on circlejerk territory. There was a thread about recent money mistakes and someone replied with a story about spending $8 on breakfast. REALLY?!? I know that's a petty thing to point out and eyeroll at, but it's just the first example that came to my mind. People who might have a slightly differing opinion/experience/habit/whatever tend to be more hesitant to share. So the profile of the typical poster is that of the high-earning, frugal-living, rental property-owning, side hustle having, bike-commuting, socially conscious person who seemingly makes nothing but sound financial decisions. Yes, I realize that's the entire purpose of the MMM site and this forum, but I'd be willing to bet there is an audience here that is far more diverse than the caricature I just described.

As for me - I make a decent but not great income (but no side hustles) and I'm moderately frugal with an ok savings rate in the 25-30% range, but I do have a nice TV, I play Xbox, I occasionally go out to eat, I spoil my kids at christmas and birthdays, I struggle with getting full spousal buy-in on FIRE, and I definitely could make do with less house than I own (in a suburb 19 miles from work). So to be fair - people like me are also part of the problem - we kinda slink in the corner and hide during certain discussions and let the hardcore MMMers jump in and shine. So I guess the point to all my rambling is to tell other people who may be reading that for every "I'm 26, making $350k with a $1500 monthly budget - how am I doing?" guy, there are many "I'm doing alright but certainly could do better" people. We aren't all software developers with no kids eating rice/beans and preparing for FIRE at 30-something. Don't feel like a failure if you aren't just like MMM and all the other financial badasses here. Just try to pick things that you relate to or techniques that you can steal and try your best to live your life in a way that aligns with your values and goals. And for the love of zeus, we (yes I'm definitely including myself here, still a struggle for me) must learn to quit comparing ourselves to the highlight reels we see on the internet. Either that or just sell your car, buy a bike, move to a studio apt close to work, rent out a closet, triple your income, become a landlord, and vanguardly vanguard the shit out of your vanguards...then head to the internet and share your badassitude ;)

Yeah, there are a lot of us that are never going to live up to the highest standards.  I thought the Sacred Cows thread was one of the best to address this in a humorous way (in case you missed it):
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/our-mustachian-sacred-cows/

BallerOnABudget

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #93 on: February 01, 2017, 09:20:29 AM »

You seem to realize the (mental) solution, so at that point, why feel bad anymore?

:)

I realize this is said in jest, but I do ask myself that a lot. I guess part of being human is not having complete control over feelings at all times.

And to clarify, reading things on the internet doesn't greatly affect me or leave me sullen and depressed. It just creates small seeds of doubt. Like "Should I be more accomplished by now?", "I should be farther along than I am", "People my age seem to be doing better than me", and "Did I really NEED to add bacon to my burger for an additional $1? That could have instead gotten me 1/50th of a share of the almighty VTSAX!!"

Malum Prohibitum

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 699
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #94 on: February 01, 2017, 09:27:54 AM »
MMM says TV is stupid, but I love the Sopranos and The Wire and Madmen and Breaking Bad and House of Cards and all of it. Guess what? I'm going to watch TV when I retire!
  I have not seen (or heard of) The Wire, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of the others you listed, even though I generally hate television shows.  It appears we have the same taste in shows.   I see Netflix has it on DVD, so I will add it to my queue.  Thanks!

BallerOnABudget

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #95 on: February 01, 2017, 09:29:48 AM »
Yeah, there are a lot of us that are never going to live up to the highest standards.  I thought the Sacred Cows thread was one of the best to address this in a humorous way (in case you missed it):
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/our-mustachian-sacred-cows/

Thanks for the link. Never saw that one, but it's great! So I see that there IS some sense of perspective and plenty of self-deprecating humor...

farmecologist

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #96 on: February 01, 2017, 09:31:07 AM »

You seem to realize the (mental) solution, so at that point, why feel bad anymore?

:)

I realize this is said in jest, but I do ask myself that a lot. I guess part of being human is not having complete control over feelings at all times.

And to clarify, reading things on the internet doesn't greatly affect me or leave me sullen and depressed. It just creates small seeds of doubt. Like "Should I be more accomplished by now?", "I should be farther along than I am", "People my age seem to be doing better than me", and "Did I really NEED to add bacon to my burger for an additional $1? That could have instead gotten me 1/50th of a share of the almighty VTSAX!!"

I ask myself the same thing.  However, it seems like the majority of people are living an illusion...again.  This was extremely apparent during and after the 'crash of 08'.  I saw many folks lose just about everything ( jobs, toys, homes, etc.. ) because they were living the 'keeping up with the Joneses' life (i.e. - over the top consumerism).  That whole ordeal was a wake up call to keep doing what I was doing and not fall for the consumerism trap.  Unfortunately, I am starting to see the same behaviour in people again.  I guess history repeats!

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28015
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #97 on: February 01, 2017, 09:36:00 AM »

You seem to realize the (mental) solution, so at that point, why feel bad anymore?

:)

I realize this is said in jest, but I do ask myself that a lot. I guess part of being human is not having complete control over feelings at all times.

Not joking, it's something to work on.  Letting go of things once you realize they're unhelpful is a really useful skill to have, happiness-wise.  :)
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.

BallerOnABudget

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #98 on: February 01, 2017, 09:40:47 AM »
Not joking, it's something to work on.  Letting go of things once you realize they're unhelpful is a really useful skill to have, happiness-wise.  :)

Well of course it's something to work on, I acknowledged as much. I'm just pointing out that it's not as simple as "OK, brain - stop having those thoughts and feelings." It's a process that takes effort over time and can't be turned off like a light switch. But I'm getting there!

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Reading Early Retirement Blogs Make Me Depressed
« Reply #99 on: February 01, 2017, 09:56:42 AM »
Yeah, there are a lot of us that are never going to live up to the highest standards.  I thought the Sacred Cows thread was one of the best to address this in a humorous way (in case you missed it):
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/our-mustachian-sacred-cows/

Thanks for the link. Never saw that one, but it's great! So I see that there IS some sense of perspective and plenty of self-deprecating humor...
Yes, that is a classic thread. Quite enjoyable.