Poll

I share my Mustachianism with...

No One
7 (8.9%)
Only Significant Other
26 (32.9%)
Friends and Family
37 (46.8%)
Everyone I Can
9 (11.4%)

Total Members Voted: 74

Voting closed: May 03, 2012, 08:50:37 PM

Author Topic: Who knows about your mustachianism?  (Read 11640 times)

retirementbound

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Kansas City
Who knows about your mustachianism?
« on: March 04, 2012, 06:11:36 PM »
Just wondering who you share your goals with, and what your reasoning is for sharing or not?

I haven't shared my goal to retire in 10-15 years with people at work, just in case that has any bearing on my advancement there. I've discussed and had "the talk" (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/25/having-the-talk-with-a-current-or-potential-mate/) with my live-in boyfriend. I'm on track to pay off my house this year, and am very excited about doing so, but I wonder if it would be unwise for me to share this excitement and other goals with my friends - does it come off pretentious?

Do any of you keep your mustachianistic plans under wraps?

MountainMan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 165
  • Location: Minneapolis
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 06:32:38 PM »
I used to be more open about my goals, with friends, family, and certain acquaintances at work.  I don't do that anymore.

It invites envy and jealousy and sabotage.

I absolutely don't talk about it with co-workers at all.  There's a strict line between work and the rest of my life.

I mention it from time to time to my parents or my sibling, but while it doesn't prompt outrage, it just makes them feel bad about how they didn't achieve or are not on the way to achieving, similar goals themselves.  So I don't really mention it to them anymore. 

There's a couple friends I talk about it with, since they are open to discussing it.

Other friends don't want to talk about it, so I don't.

That's just the way it is.  Forums like this are primarily where I am able to talk about it at length.

Early FI

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • Early Financial Independence
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 06:41:37 PM »
I used to be more open about my goals, with friends, family, and certain acquaintances at work.  I don't do that anymore.

It invites envy and jealousy and sabotage.

I absolutely don't talk about it with co-workers at all.  There's a strict line between work and the rest of my life.

I mention it from time to time to my parents or my sibling, but while it doesn't prompt outrage, it just makes them feel bad about how they didn't achieve or are not on the way to achieving, similar goals themselves.  So I don't really mention it to them anymore. 

There's a couple friends I talk about it with, since they are open to discussing it.

Other friends don't want to talk about it, so I don't.

That's just the way it is.  Forums like this are primarily where I am able to talk about it at length.

I second all of this.  I don't tell anyone except for my wife.  Everyone else is very negative about early retirement.  In my experience, if you even mention that you might want to retire from your day job before you're 50, people will assume you're lazy and unproductive.  It's just not worth discussing with most people.

TheDude

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 467
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 07:02:49 PM »
I am pretty open about my goals. I work in a small company but money comes up at lunch so some people know about what track I am on. I dont really accept that people are jealous. If people are jealous in a mean way I dont really want to be around them.  My wife and I are not huge earners so if we can do it so can they. If anything I like to be open so that I can set an example.

MountainMan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 165
  • Location: Minneapolis
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 07:07:10 PM »
I like that attitude that you have about being open.  However, it caused some problems in my last place of work.  A couple of people on my team were envious and began sabotaging my work.  It's not right, but it is a risk that it could happen.

If you're in a place where you feel secure in being open about your goals, that is great.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 07:27:07 PM »
I share my early retirement plans with family or friends if and only if they ask.  It does come up once in a while, in talks about money or savings or the stock markets or even the economy at large.

At work, I am open about my frugality and insanely high (to them) savings rate, but pretty vague about long term goals.  If anyone asks me directly, I usually say I am working towards the day I can decide to go to work because I want to go to work, not because I need to go to work to pay my bills.  Financial independence doesn't have to mean you quit your job, after all, it just means that you could quit your job.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27792
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 07:51:50 PM »
Interesting question.

I'm curious what other Mustachians think.

Added poll, hope you don't mind!  :D

I'm in the "Friends and Family" category myself, haven't gotten to preaching to strangers yet!  ;)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, 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.

retirementbound

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 08:42:02 PM »
Interesting question.

I'm curious what other Mustachians think.

Added poll, hope you don't mind!  :D

I'm in the "Friends and Family" category myself, haven't gotten to preaching to strangers yet!  ;)

I don't mind at all! Thanks for adding it :)

I've found the responses very interesting and appreciate the input. I'll probably end up keeping the mortgage payoff to myself. I've found that "I'm trying to save money" has been a more acceptable answer with them than "I don't want to spend money on that" with things many of my friends do that I don't (social meals, clubs/bars, trips to Hawaii, etc.).

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3955
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 09:05:16 PM »
The wife and I don't really tell anyone nor do we view the process with a particular end goal in sight... it is simply a way of life and a philosophy that one can grow with and improve through practice. Much like our faith, it is something we view that should be evangelized via leading by example and sharing only to the curious. It works out well, though, because many of the tenants of mustachianism (wise usage of resources, honest and hard work, respect and stewardship of the planet) actually dovetails quite beautifully into the Torah and the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus to you Catholics/Protestants). Talk is cheap and can easily offend the close-minded, but actions define people and act as a living testimony.

When we do send people here, we usually start them with this post.

Ben

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
  • Location: SC
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 05:13:39 AM »
I'm pretty open about discussing financial responsibility, saving, and wise economic decision-making with friends and peers in a similar age group or younger (20s-early 30s). I guess this is because I feel that I can do more good changing the mindset of people with a lot of time left to save. I don't talk specific numbers/percentages/dates because that could easily turn into a pissing contest and/or invoke envy or pride.

I rarely talk about early retirement since that is not an important goal of mine (at least, at this season of life). I would rather make wise financial choices, be a good steward, and live below my means- if that leads me on the path to financial independence and opens up the option of early retirement, it's something I will consider. But it's not an explicit goal, and I don't have the awesome internal countdown clock that many of the other members of this community have ticking away.

kolorado

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 368
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 06:12:20 AM »
Even though I chose family and friends, I only really share with immediate family. I've only shared actual numbers with my parents and that only in the last couple of months. With my husband relocating my parents were worried that it would create financial problems for us. I told them our savings to assure them that we'd be fine.
As far as the tenets of frugality, extreme saving, living well under means, preparing for the future, and being financially independent for early personal freedom, those are frequently shared with my family. I don't force money topics down their throats but when the subject comes up I do share. It entirely possible that they would not hear these ideas from anywhere else. My siblings have never been terribly interested in long term financial ideas that require lifestyle discipline. As we get older though that may change. I don't want to come across as bragging or a know-it-all so no-one knows exactly how much we have between all our accounts or our net worth.
Here's my little confession: I'm a moderator at another financial message board, one with over 1.5 million posts. That's where I've gone for 7 years to talk to others about money and frugality. Talking about money in person still seems like such a no-no. The tone there is so nice and supportive but since so many are in hardship situations, anything that may come across as bragging is looked down upon. It is SO nice to have this place, where I know that members won't be "hurt" by the fact that we are doing well with our goals. Plus this place is wonderfully devoid of the complainypants that permeate other places. ;)

Melissa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Columbus, OH
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2012, 07:32:54 AM »
It is a shared goal between my husband and I and our children know.  Other than that we are like many others and don't talk about early retirement with other.  My husband works for a large corporation and they are currently talking about making dastic changes and cuts.  Not exactly the time to let everyone know about your plans to retire early. The companyjust might decide that this is early enough. :-)  I don't tell people because I am currently finishing up my PTA degree and I know that people don't understand why I am going through the rigors of school only to plan on retiring in 9 years.  I love what I am doing and it gives me many options when it is time to retire.

Like everyone else here, I don't plan on retiring to watch television, or paint dry.  My husbandand I want to freedom do be able to plan our own lives.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27792
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 07:49:56 AM »
My husband works for a large corporation and they are currently talking about making dastic changes and cuts.  Not exactly the time to let everyone know about your plans to retire early. The companyjust might decide that this is early enough. :-)

Actually, if you're very close, that's the best time.  Then they'll often cut your husband, which is great!

It has 3 benefits:
1) It saves someone else's job (what a guy to do that for them)
2) He can get a nice severance package
3) He can collect unemployment (if you have no moral qualms about that, some do, some don't, I leave that up to you to decide).

If you're close, the severance package can often push you over and launch your early retirement, well, early. 

If you have a few years to go, yeah, don't mention it, but when getting close to ER, mentioning it at work during times of potential cuts is a good way to go.  Makes the company happy, cause they can "fire" your husband and count that as a headcount reduction, but not actually lose anyone more than they would have.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, 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.

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 08:10:18 AM »
I keep a pretty tight lid on it. I've told a few friends. Otherwise, if I feel the need to explain my frugality, I just talk about paying back monstrous student loans or saving for the kids' college educations. My wife is more free with the information, despite my protests, which has led to some irritation on my part.

Guitarist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2012, 09:17:32 AM »
I have tried to share this with my SO but she stonewalls me at every conversation. Then tells me about how silly the ideas are and how retiring before your 50's just isn't right.
I also shared this sight with some financially frugal people from work but have decided to be quiet about it ever since. They didn't seem too receptive but maybe they know it's better to stay quiet about it too.

So with those two experiences in hand, I've kept my mouth shut on the matter. It's just me and my spreadsheets. :-)

If it ever comes up at my parents I may give them some information. I am actually curious to know my parents reitrement savings.

Danielle

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Junior 'stachian
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2012, 10:02:58 AM »
I'm most open about mustachianism with my boyfriend and my parents.  I think my parents appreciate that I'm being smart about my money, but they don't really have an opinion on the early retirement front.  However, my mother quit her job once she had me (and never went back), so they probably would feel weird saying anything negative :)

My boyfriend is weird about it sometimes...he agrees that MMM has great ideas, but sees them more as an example application rather than a guide.  He'll say things like, "that's fine for MMM because he enjoys it, but I wouldn't enjoy biking everywhere...let's just bike to the park sometimes." His viewpoint is a good thing in some instances, because it helps me enjoy life more without depriving myself, but I still feel nervous about the bigger picture.  For example, trying to justify why we shouldn't get a TV when we've already agreed to limit our "recreational screen viewing," and other issues that he has control of (such as buying his own car) that also indirectly affect me financially.

Sparafusile

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Indiana, USA
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2012, 10:43:54 AM »
I have tried to share this with my SO but she stonewalls me at every conversation. Then tells me about how silly the ideas are and how retiring before your 50's just isn't right.

I feel for you, I'm in the same boat. I currently make all the income and when I work hard and get a raise she goes out and buys more clothes. I make small changes, but it's a constant battle. She plans to work until she dies, I plan to retire long before then. I hope when she starts to make an income I'll be able to save and invest a little bit.

Guitarist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2012, 12:45:04 PM »
I have tried to share this with my SO but she stonewalls me at every conversation. Then tells me about how silly the ideas are and how retiring before your 50's just isn't right.

I feel for you, I'm in the same boat. I currently make all the income and when I work hard and get a raise she goes out and buys more clothes. I make small changes, but it's a constant battle. She plans to work until she dies, I plan to retire long before then. I hope when she starts to make an income I'll be able to save and invest a little bit.

This sounds familiar...

Melissa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Columbus, OH
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2012, 12:57:38 PM »
My husband works for a large corporation and they are currently talking about making dastic changes and cuts.  Not exactly the time to let everyone know about your plans to retire early. The companyjust might decide that this is early enough. :-)

Actually, if you're very close, that's the best time.  Then they'll often cut your husband, which is great!

It has 3 benefits:
1) It saves someone else's job (what a guy to do that for them)
2) He can get a nice severance package
3) He can collect unemployment (if you have no moral qualms about that, some do, some don't, I leave that up to you to decide).

If you're close, the severance package can often push you over and launch your early retirement, well, early. 

They have offered good severance packages in the past, but we aren't close enough, yet.  I still think we could handle it and he could do contracting work but with three kids (12, 11, and 9) he doesn't feel comfortable about it so for now it's between our family (and the rest of the MMM board, who is starting to feel like family as well)

Aloysius_Poutine

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 127
  • Age: 2014
  • Location: canada
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2012, 01:23:41 PM »
I've been sharing my newfound interest in frugality & investing with most everyone, but I'm a student and most people I know are from the university.
Reception ranges from people laughing at my wishful thinking, to genuine curiosity.
Like others here noted, there is confusion over "early retirement." I've quit using the phrase because I intend to work doing something until I die, and most people can't understand that once they've heard the word "retirement." Small brains...

I have been pushing this blog and several related books on my high-earning/spending siblings as well. Fingers crossed that it will take root.

AJ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2012, 01:24:54 PM »
I should have read the responses before answering the poll. I tell "everyone I can" about our "mustachianism" - as in frugality, not being complainy-pants, living with a small footprint and in accordance with our values, etc. But we don't tell ANYONE about FI plans. We say we want to pay down our bills enough to have me stay at home with kids when we have them, but that is as much info as anyone gets. As others have noted, it only invites jealousy and bitterness (in addition to hand-out requests).

I *really* wish we could be more honest with those close to us. I feel like we have to hide all the major parts of our lives (our liberal religious beliefs, our FI plans, and our a-typical sexual orientation) from our friends and family to be able to maintain amicable relationships. But we have made the mistake of being too honest before and paid the price. When we do FI, we will tell everyone that we are freelancing and living on a tight budget. That will probably be true anyway, but I would outright lie before I would tell my cohorts that I was financially independent.

MMM

  • Administrator
  • Stubble
  • *****
  • Posts: 180
    • Mr. Money Mustache
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2012, 02:31:08 PM »
I enjoyed the survey at the top of this thread. I was originally going to click "Friends and Family", but then I realized that by writing this blog, I'm technically telling "everyone I can", so I selected that answer instead.

I'm still somewhat vague to people in real life. For example, when I drop my son off at school, I don't make a point of telling the other parents, "HEY! I'm not going in to work today, and you could be here too with just these five simple steps!!!"

On the other hand, when we have new people over at the house in a party situation, I'll tend to start talking about frugality, the Earth, simple living, and the fact that all of this allows you to work a lot less than most of us currently do. This usually leads to some pretty detailed Money Mustache talk.

I find that if you talk about the values behind the switch first, rather than just "I plan to quit working", people are much more receptive. In fact, most people get pretty damned excited and start making plans to get themselves some of the simple living goodness.

Remember - we are not the crazy ones in this situation, it is the consumer culture that is wrong, if you look at it from an even remotely scientific perspective. When you have science on your side, it's a lot easier to feel confident about your choices.

Guitarist: if someone thinks it is silly to retire before 50, perhaps it is better to just talk about making work OPTIONAL before that age? You probably already do this, but I'm still struggling to understand why someone would think that.

Personally, I find the idea of a person still doing mandatory work at that age to be the more silly concept. What is more interesting to buy, than your own freedom? Why not get the freedom first, and THEN you'll still have plenty of time to buy anything else you might need.. and enjoy it as a free man!

« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 07:04:53 PM by MMM »

C40

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 345
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2012, 07:46:13 PM »
My friends and family sort of know that I am frugal, but not really how complete it is. My friends know that I rarely buy drinks when I go out, and they know that I'm not often willing to buy plane tickets to go see them. My mom know's that I'd rather drive 15 hours than fly when it's substantially cheaper. My brother knows quite a bit because I sent him financial journals for about a year straight as I reduced my spending from ~2,500+ per month to ~1,200 per month.

When it comes to saving up and ER, I generally say that I want to save up to buy a house, and that I want to save up a bunch of money so that when I'm 40 or so I'll have enough investment income to spend nearly all of my time doing whatever I want.

I told my Mom about the ERE blog and book. I also told her that if she had any interest, she should read Your Money or Your Life instead. But she read the ERE book and didn't like it (said something like "He's not retired, he spends all his time doing stuff just so he doesn't have to spend money... stuff I wouldn't want to do"). I think she kind of missed the point, but I thought she might and that's why I recommended YMOYL.

chrissyo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Location: London, UK
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2012, 09:13:00 AM »
For me, it varies from friend to friend, and is usually done at a point that I know the other person won't highly object and/or will be supportive. I take a similar approach to MMM, in that I talk about the values I see in frugality, simplicity and other Mustachian-type principles. Depending on where the conversations go from there, I am happy to disclose more about financial independence, boredom with office work, and early retirement. A handful of our friends know that we are mortgage free and have a sizeable amount saved compared to them and our other peers, and they are usually shocked at first (in a good, admirable way). After that, I find they seem to give me a little more respect and are more interested in life or finance decisions I'll make or talk about, because they're trying to figure out their own path toward greater independence and sustainability.

With some friends, relatives or colleagues, their disapproval of frugality and desire to live big and not understand why anyone wouldn't want to work a job they hate to drive a gas guzzling SUV and live in an oversized house make it clear that talking to them about my own financial situation would just create awkwardness and tension. I also have other relatives who are struggling a lot financially even without living a particularly wasteful life, so I know it wouldn't be particularly sensible to discuss my own progress toward early retirement with them. It's all about using your judgement, IMHO.

JanMN

  • Guest
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2012, 12:23:08 PM »
My family and friends know about our cheap-ass lifestyle and how happy we are with it :-), and they don't seem to have any issues.  We live in a non-flashy area, so this makes it much easier to live the way we choose and not have to explain it - just goes with the territory.  As for plans for early FI, that's another matter - have told almost no one...

Guitarist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2012, 12:54:44 PM »

Guitarist: if someone thinks it is silly to retire before 50, perhaps it is better to just talk about making work OPTIONAL before that age? You probably already do this, but I'm still struggling to understand why someone would think that.

Personally, I find the idea of a person still doing mandatory work at that age to be the more silly concept. What is more interesting to buy, than your own freedom? Why not get the freedom first, and THEN you'll still have plenty of time to buy anything else you might need.. and enjoy it as a free man!

That's what I try to make it about. When I say that the goal is to reach a point where I could be doing anything I want to, the reply is: Well, but you'll still go to work, right? I tell her not necessarily, there are plenty of things I believe I would rather do with my time if I can live off passive income. That's when she gets uppity and I just check out of the conversation. I can try to be diplomatic, and I used to, but some people believe certain things are so right or so wrong that they just refuse to let facts help them decide. It's simple algebra and accounting for the most part, perhaps an understanding of compounding interest would help. I don't understand why people have such a hard time understanding the math behind ER. And when logic doesn't work, I play into emotions. Travel for the most part. She asks what about the years before ER, I ask her if it wouldn't be better to be able to travel everyday for the rest of your life starting in your 40's (I could probably retire in my 30's if I went hardcore). Uppity comes around again.
I just don't get it.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2012, 04:15:06 PM »
That's when she gets uppity and I just check out of the conversation.

That's the classic American Protestant work ethic.  Such people usually believe that your value as a person is determined by how hard you work, not what you accomplish, and thus think that everyone should slave away til the moment they take their last breath.

If it makes it any easier to understand, consider how you would feel if a friend told you he planned to retire next year and live off of welfare.  Most people would condemn such behavior as lazy, or as somehow cheating the rest of us hardworking citizens.  Some people don't see the difference between welfare and a huge stash.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2012, 04:38:45 PM »
I said friends and family, but what I tell them varies a lot.  I do think it's important to be open about the idea since it's something we want to share.  Kind of like religion (used to know a lot about that), it's one thing to show others your faith in small ways, but it's another to show it on your sleeve. 

When I talk to co-workers I include my plans to downsize the house, cut back at work, bike more, use less, etc.  When I talk to family I discuss how we would prefer less junk as gifts (politely of course), how we don't plan on driving 3 hours just to have dinner for an hour, and how we are enjoying our smaller car and finding it still works fine.  But certainly not all of that in one conversation, just as it comes up.

Much like Stoicism, I don't talk about the underlying reasons for my actions.  I share what I do, not why I do it, unless of course they ask.  And even then I make them draw it out of me a little at a time.  Life is too short, (and people are too political) to talk too much about philosophies and such.

what

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Canada
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2012, 05:42:23 PM »
Thankfully, my SO and I are on the same page on most things, including finances; we both discovered MMM around the same time, but had already been living well below our means for over a decade.

My family knows that we're frugal -- even when I was a teenager, my mom would tell me that it was "ok to spend more money" -- but a year ago, the mention of early retirement led to accusations of laziness, so we haven't brought it up since.

My SO is against talking about it with our friends, so I respect that. From time to time, I feel bad about it; I think they're harming themselves financially, buying things they don't need. They'll work until they reach the traditional retirement age, and some will probably live precariously in retirement. On the other hand, I doubt they'd be receptive to the mustachian message.

Regarding coworkers, when I first started working, I'd mention saving half of my pay check, if it came up in conversation. It made things slightly weird with some of them, though a few of them later "came out" of the financial closet to me privately, saying that they owned rental properties.

I'm a freelancer now; I don't have coworkers to talk to anymore.

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2012, 06:37:59 AM »

Guitarist: if someone thinks it is silly to retire before 50, perhaps it is better to just talk about making work OPTIONAL before that age? You probably already do this, but I'm still struggling to understand why someone would think that.

Personally, I find the idea of a person still doing mandatory work at that age to be the more silly concept. What is more interesting to buy, than your own freedom? Why not get the freedom first, and THEN you'll still have plenty of time to buy anything else you might need.. and enjoy it as a free man!

That's what I try to make it about. When I say that the goal is to reach a point where I could be doing anything I want to, the reply is: Well, but you'll still go to work, right? I tell her not necessarily, there are plenty of things I believe I would rather do with my time if I can live off passive income. That's when she gets uppity and I just check out of the conversation. I can try to be diplomatic, and I used to, but some people believe certain things are so right or so wrong that they just refuse to let facts help them decide. It's simple algebra and accounting for the most part, perhaps an understanding of compounding interest would help. I don't understand why people have such a hard time understanding the math behind ER. And when logic doesn't work, I play into emotions. Travel for the most part. She asks what about the years before ER, I ask her if it wouldn't be better to be able to travel everyday for the rest of your life starting in your 40's (I could probably retire in my 30's if I went hardcore). Uppity comes around again.
I just don't get it.

You know, I actually have thought about this attitude before because I encounter it a lot as well. What I have decided is the best strategy is to ask them about their retirement plans.

The thing is EVERYBODY plans to retire at some point, and live off the money they earned while working. They just plan on doing it at 60 years old or so. So when she says she will retire when shes 60, say "but you'll still go to work, right?"

Then maybe she will see that there really isn't any difference. Any argument against retiring at 35 can be used against retiring at 65.

I actually wrote a post about this a while back where I flesh out the concept a little more, if you are interested:

http://www.themoney-monk.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-you-shouldnt-try-to-retire-early.html

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27792
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2012, 09:23:57 AM »
Any argument against retiring at 35 can be used against retiring at 65.


Health is one counter example I can think of.

And the people who think retirement is sitting around all day, and think that's okay at 65 but not 35.

And of course you still hit the never retire people.

But I see your point, and I like it; I'll probably use that on some people who argue against ER.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, 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.

Guitarist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Kansas City
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2012, 10:05:51 AM »
Quote
Or it could be that they really really would love to be able to retire early too, but aren't willing to accept that it is their personal choices and lifestyle that makes the difference, so they would rather pretend it is out of their control. Similar to how a lot of out of shape people insist they simply 'can't' lose weight, even when their behavior and lifestyle is the polar opposite of the in-shape people.

Haha, she does that too!
Good post. I also read some ERE posts about MBTI and it may just be a lost cause. She's a guardian. Unless I can come up with some emotional argument in favor of it, I'm hosed.

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2012, 11:06:52 AM »
Any argument against retiring at 35 can be used against retiring at 65.


Health is one counter example I can think of.

And the people who think retirement is sitting around all day, and think that's okay at 65 but not 35.

And of course you still hit the never retire people.

But I see your point, and I like it; I'll probably use that on some people who argue against ER.

I see what you're saying, my point is just that it's arbitrary. Sure some people will think that its OK to sit around at 65 but not at 35, but that is just their opinion. and its no more valid than my opinion that its OK to do at 35 anything you could do at 65. Of course good luck getting people to see that their opinion isn't universal law :)

Of course if you are finding yourself arguing with somebody over it, there is really no point to waste any time with it. I usually just end with "well, I guess I will just have to settle for doing what makes me happy and not worry about what other people think." 

« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 12:09:00 PM by The Money Monk »

shedinator

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: Eudora, KS
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2012, 11:38:31 AM »
Quote
Or it could be that they really really would love to be able to retire early too, but aren't willing to accept that it is their personal choices and lifestyle that makes the difference, so they would rather pretend it is out of their control. Similar to how a lot of out of shape people insist they simply 'can't' lose weight, even when their behavior and lifestyle is the polar opposite of the in-shape people.

Haha, she does that too!
Good post. I also read some ERE posts about MBTI and it may just be a lost cause. She's a guardian. Unless I can come up with some emotional argument in favor of it, I'm hosed.

I thought guardians were supposed to be rational/logical types? Regardless, my spouse tends to be more convinced by emotional appeal than rational argument. Here are a few emotional appeals to Early Fiscal Independence, which were generally true for me, although I've tried to make them a bit more generic. As it stands, my wife is hesitantly on board:
-If something happens to one of us, it would be better if the other were financially secure. Grieving you/me will be hard enough without trying to earn an income and support the family while doing it
-My dad/mom/grandparent/friend worked his/her entire life to provide for his/her family, but ended up missing out on a lot and sacrificing a lot to do it. I want to be able to dedicate as much time to you (and children/grandchildren?) as I can, instead of missing moments with you.
-FI will allow us to do what makes us happy, whether that's continuing to work, doing independent projects, traveling, or just spending time with each other and friends.

The overall idea I've tried to communicate is that we're delaying more gratification than most people right now, but in the near future (15-20 years) we'll be more than able to make up for it. For instance, we could hit up dinner and a movie with our friends every week for the next 10 years for $50/ week, or we could save that money, and in 15 years, we could send our son to college in his own moderately priced car with the knowledge that he won't be paying off thousands in student loans when he gets out. Chili's and Applebees just aren't worth our child's future :).

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2012, 12:14:29 PM »
Quote
Or it could be that they really really would love to be able to retire early too, but aren't willing to accept that it is their personal choices and lifestyle that makes the difference, so they would rather pretend it is out of their control. Similar to how a lot of out of shape people insist they simply 'can't' lose weight, even when their behavior and lifestyle is the polar opposite of the in-shape people.

Haha, she does that too!
Good post. I also read some ERE posts about MBTI and it may just be a lost cause. She's a guardian. Unless I can come up with some emotional argument in favor of it, I'm hosed.

One approach I can suggest is based on the simple fact that the vast majority of people are NOT in a job that they would have chosen if they could really do whatever they want.

So instead of focusing on FI / ER as a way to stop working, you can present it as a way to do what you really want for a living. If you are bringing in $1000 a month from investments you can take the leap to being an artist/painter/photographer/writer/ musician/ sports player/ movie critic/ actor / small business owner/ etc without having to worry about being able to pay the bills. 

Which, honestly, is what most Early Retirees seem to do anyway.

menorman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
  • Location: SoCal
    • Marven's Money Musings
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2012, 11:36:37 AM »
I've always had a goal to retire by time I'm 40, earlier if possible. I was aware that saving and investing figure prominently in that, but I lacked the motivation and guidance until last October, when lifehacker pointed me toward MMM's post on commuting. After reading it, I proceeded to read the rest of the posts and now follow to keep up w/ them as they're posted. I also discovered Jacob's site, Len Penzo's site, Paula's site, Dividend Mantra, and the rest of the ER/FI blogosphere and follow several of them as well to get a more rounded perspective on the whole issue. Additionally, I picked up some of the books recommended by the aforementioned bloggers, as well as others not mentioned, and have read them in rapid succession.
I don't exactly tell everyone, but I do tell quite a few people. My family knows, with my brother most actively interested alongside myself. After finishing ERE, I passed it on to him and he's now reading it. Long ago, I told my gf that I plan to retire by 40, but she I guess thought I was kidding and isn't exactly excited for me to "retire" because she claims she won't have me sitting around being lazy. I've also told some of my friends at work, most of whom are in my age group: recent college grads in their early-mid 20s at (their) first job. They've all mentioned the urge to travel and generally enjoi youthful living and I've mentioned the possibilities and merits of being FI and how the two could coexist rather nicely. I plan to let others read the book when my brother finishes it and will probably buy a couple more to give out as graduation presents.

skandrae

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
  • Location: Yukon Territory, Canada
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2012, 12:08:33 PM »
My family knows I have struggled with anti-mustachian tendencies in the past (my father has always said I had trouble keeping a penny in my pocket), and while they know I am on the road to a more adult financial sensibility, I haven't really broached  my new mustachian leanings with them. Of course, it helps that they're on the other side of the country and are happy with my updates that everything is peachy.

My coworkers know that I embarked on a no-spending March, but I'm not really comfortable sharing much more than that with them. Ditto for my friends - my closest friend just spent $20K on an operation (which was necessary for her health, but not covered by a health plan - she had to go out of country for the surgery), and I feel bad talking about money when I know they've just taken such a big financial hit.

So, it's really just me and my menagerie of pets that know - the cats and dog are very supportive (as long as they continue to get food in their dishes ^_^).

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6609
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2012, 04:11:19 PM »
I like to say "everyone I can" because I do lecture my younger coworkers about bringing their lunches, not buying new cars, stepping off the consumer wagon whenever possible.

But I don't actually have plans to be "FI" and "Retire early".  I mean, if I did the math, we're probably close to that now.  Our mortgage is a bear, but we have enough savings to pay that guy off in probably 5-10 years, which would put us in our late 40's / early 50's.

I guess the issue is that I really like to work and love my job.  As crazy as working at a startup is - I dig it. My boss said "would you ever work for another startup?"  Um, hell yeah!  It's exciting and I'm the "jill of all trades".

What I like to use my mustachianism for is just building up money for flexibility.  When baby #2 comes along this year, I'm taking maternity leave, then I'm coming back to work part time.  I have the luxury of doing that for 2 reasons:  1. I'm damn good at my job and they are happy to let me remain being a manager of a very important group, even at part time hours.  2.  I can afford a 25% (or more) pay cut.

Flexibility is key for me.  My sister and her husband have been somewhat Mustachian for most of their lives (they still like their "toys", but not to the degree of most Americans).  That means when my BIL got to be so injured from his manual labor job (at 50), he was able to quit, take a much lower paying and easier job, and still do fine - because they paid off their mortgage in 12 years and don't have a car payment. 

My brother buys a new car every 2 years and his wife is a shopaholic (if only I were having a girl, I'd never have to buy an item of clothing - ever!!)

Brett

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 95
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2012, 07:50:05 AM »

Guitarist: if someone thinks it is silly to retire before 50, perhaps it is better to just talk about making work OPTIONAL before that age? You probably already do this, but I'm still struggling to understand why someone would think that.

Personally, I find the idea of a person still doing mandatory work at that age to be the more silly concept. What is more interesting to buy, than your own freedom? Why not get the freedom first, and THEN you'll still have plenty of time to buy anything else you might need.. and enjoy it as a free man!

That's what I try to make it about. When I say that the goal is to reach a point where I could be doing anything I want to, the reply is: Well, but you'll still go to work, right? I tell her not necessarily, there are plenty of things I believe I would rather do with my time if I can live off passive income. That's when she gets uppity and I just check out of the conversation. I can try to be diplomatic, and I used to, but some people believe certain things are so right or so wrong that they just refuse to let facts help them decide. It's simple algebra and accounting for the most part, perhaps an understanding of compounding interest would help. I don't understand why people have such a hard time understanding the math behind ER. And when logic doesn't work, I play into emotions. Travel for the most part. She asks what about the years before ER, I ask her if it wouldn't be better to be able to travel everyday for the rest of your life starting in your 40's (I could probably retire in my 30's if I went hardcore). Uppity comes around again.
I just don't get it.

I have a similar problem with my SO. He's in medical school, and I plan to be within a couple of years, and obviously that's not really something you get into to do for just a few years so his idea is that we'll always have enough money to do whatever we want so why would we try to attain FI? I try putting it in terms of never knowing what could happen in the future and the security it would bring, I say that for me FI would mean I could go abroad to places where they need doctors without having to worry about the cost of it, I try putting it in terms of a future for whatever family we end up with. I don't know if it's just because all these things are so far away, but so far I'm not making much progress with it. I'm kinda banking on his mindset changing as we get older, but for now I'll just work on my own FI and introduce the little changes I can that will prevent him wasting money too.

menorman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
  • Location: SoCal
    • Marven's Money Musings
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2012, 09:15:31 PM »
I have a similar problem with my SO. He's in medical school, and I plan to be within a couple of years, and obviously that's not really something you get into to do for just a few years so his idea is that we'll always have enough money to do whatever we want so why would we try to attain FI? I try putting it in terms of never knowing what could happen in the future and the security it would bring, I say that for me FI would mean I could go abroad to places where they need doctors without having to worry about the cost of it, I try putting it in terms of a future for whatever family we end up with. I don't know if it's just because all these things are so far away, but so far I'm not making much progress with it. I'm kinda banking on his mindset changing as we get older, but for now I'll just work on my own FI and introduce the little changes I can that will prevent him wasting money too.
I work in a hospital and a couple weeks ago, I heard two of the older doctors talking about winding down I can distinctly remember one of them mentioning how he'd love to retire, but he needs the money he's making to cover his house note, car note, and various other miscellaneous consumer decisions of the past that he is now paying for. That had quite an impact on me and helped steady my resolve in FI. It was further bolstered by the conversation I've had with several of my med school friends about how their studies are going and inevitably going over how they'll be paying off their student loans for decades. And finally, I read the book The Millionaire Next Door in which the authors chronicled their conversations and meetings with several millionaires and professionals. The book was also packed with stats. By and large, all professionals (except for teachers/professors) tend to earn less than their parents who were in similar fields. If their parents were actually millionaires as well (even if not one of the "professional" fields), a good number their professionally employed children never ended up as millionaires again. They found this because of what we all know as lifestyle inflation and the attitude that your SO has: "I make _____ a year so I can afford to lavish myself and I'll always have enough money to spend on x, y, and z". At that rate, life passes by faster than initially assumed and our med student friends are that old doctor from the beginning.
Fortunately for you, the FI light has been introduced to you. If you can set up even part of your expenses to be covered by alternative sources before the end of med school, you'll be well on your way towards a much happier time than most of the people in your cohort. While your colleagues are weighing their residencies based on the pay package offered, you can look at some on areas that actually interest you without much regard to the money. Then provided your SO doesn't hinder your progress, you should easily be able to replicate MMM's timeline and achieve a FI lifestyle that easily passes an average family living on $40k (2012 dollars), at which point you can easily inflate your lifestyle via cash or continue to have more money than you know what to do with. At that point, opening your own practice depends less on how well it will do because you won't depend on it for your life.
But I think you've already seen that vision and are excited by it and just want him on board with it too. I recommend you start in the present. For a special events or whatever, model to him that lifestyle that you want. I'm sure he'll consider you one of his prime targets for spending, so if you keep telling him that you want a less flashy lifestyle but not sending hints if/when he tries to provide one, he may not get the message correctly. Instead of buying him something when society says you should be, make it for him instead. After awhile, he should start to get the message. Then of course, MMM has just started another series on getting the SO on board and he has some other ones on the subject as well. BNL and a couple other bloggers also talk about the same issue, so look around to show him that you're not just going crazy and trying to spoil all the fun.

Brett

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 95
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2012, 07:19:34 AM »

I work in a hospital and a couple weeks ago, I heard two of the older doctors talking about winding down I can distinctly remember one of them mentioning how he'd love to retire, but he needs the money he's making to cover his house note, car note, and various other miscellaneous consumer decisions of the past that he is now paying for. That had quite an impact on me and helped steady my resolve in FI. It was further bolstered by the conversation I've had with several of my med school friends about how their studies are going and inevitably going over how they'll be paying off their student loans for decades. And finally, I read the book The Millionaire Next Door in which the authors chronicled their conversations and meetings with several millionaires and professionals. The book was also packed with stats. By and large, all professionals (except for teachers/professors) tend to earn less than their parents who were in similar fields. If their parents were actually millionaires as well (even if not one of the "professional" fields), a good number their professionally employed children never ended up as millionaires again. They found this because of what we all know as lifestyle inflation and the attitude that your SO has: "I make _____ a year so I can afford to lavish myself and I'll always have enough money to spend on x, y, and z". At that rate, life passes by faster than initially assumed and our med student friends are that old doctor from the beginning.
Fortunately for you, the FI light has been introduced to you. If you can set up even part of your expenses to be covered by alternative sources before the end of med school, you'll be well on your way towards a much happier time than most of the people in your cohort. While your colleagues are weighing their residencies based on the pay package offered, you can look at some on areas that actually interest you without much regard to the money. Then provided your SO doesn't hinder your progress, you should easily be able to replicate MMM's timeline and achieve a FI lifestyle that easily passes an average family living on $40k (2012 dollars), at which point you can easily inflate your lifestyle via cash or continue to have more money than you know what to do with. At that point, opening your own practice depends less on how well it will do because you won't depend on it for your life.
But I think you've already seen that vision and are excited by it and just want him on board with it too. I recommend you start in the present. For a special events or whatever, model to him that lifestyle that you want. I'm sure he'll consider you one of his prime targets for spending, so if you keep telling him that you want a less flashy lifestyle but not sending hints if/when he tries to provide one, he may not get the message correctly. Instead of buying him something when society says you should be, make it for him instead. After awhile, he should start to get the message. Then of course, MMM has just started another series on getting the SO on board and he has some other ones on the subject as well. BNL and a couple other bloggers also talk about the same issue, so look around to show him that you're not just going crazy and trying to spoil all the fun.

Thanks. I think my respnse would be too off topic, so I started a new thread by way of reply here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/getting-through-med-school-with-minimal-debt/

cdttmm

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2012, 07:51:16 AM »
I answered with friends and family.  I don't share my Mustachian ways with all of my friends or all of my family members, but most of them know I'm a bit different when it comes to my values surrounding money.  Most really respect what I've chosen to do, but at the same time acknowledge that they are not willing to do the same.  Some are envious and point to factors that they consider to be "luck" as to how I got to where I am as opposed to listening to the Mustachian steps that were taken.  Either way, I'm pretty willing to talk about it with people who ask and seem genuinely interested.

Adventine

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1252
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Manila, Philippines
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2012, 08:32:57 AM »
I've been pretty open about my Mustachian ways on my blog, but I find that it's not as easy being so open when I'm in an actual conversation. It's been awkward talking about it with family members and friends who are in financial trouble, even though I mean to present Mustachianism as an alternative to their consumer-oriented lifestyle and the way to get out of debt.

It never goes down well when you try to tell other people how to spend their money (even if you can see they're digging their own graves), so I just quietly continue saving and investing, mention it in conversations from time, and share the particularly useful articles on Facebook and Twitter (like http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/).

I just hope this quiet kind of evangelism and leading by example works on my parents. I hope that they see the light soon, and start taking action on their own consumer debt, instead of assuming that they can depend on me as their retirement plan.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2012, 01:28:42 PM »
I spent time this weekend with friends in another state who have been living the frugal lifestyle for years.  It was really great to just be among those with a similar mindset, who I can be open with and learn from instead of awkward conversations and unfinished sentences.

I think having some access to a community that supports mustachian principles certainly is helpful, and this forum is part of that.

Brett

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 95
Re: Who knows about your mustachianism?
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2012, 01:54:16 PM »
I spent time this weekend with friends in another state who have been living the frugal lifestyle for years.  It was really great to just be among those with a similar mindset, who I can be open with and learn from instead of awkward conversations and unfinished sentences.

I think having some access to a community that supports mustachian principles certainly is helpful, and this forum is part of that.

Totally agree. Since joining the forum I've felt as though my ideals are reinforced as well as it being great to not have to awkwardly escape conversations where people shrug off the mustachian way as unachievable, or tell me I'm being unrealistic.