Author Topic: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE  (Read 14839 times)

Bakari

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For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« on: August 23, 2012, 09:58:34 PM »
Jacob of Early Retirement Extreme is one of (if not the) things which first started this MMM snowball that now has 1370 forum members and tens thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) of blog viewers.

Jacob was/is a lot like MMM.  He always lived frugally, invested the excess, had a high paying tech job for a few years, and was able to live off passive income in his early 30s.

He was more extreme though.  He lived in an RV - which is how I came to know him; someone saw my living-in-an-RV youtube video, found me on facebook, and mentioned Jacob.  I looked him up, it turns out he lived in my area, and we met in real life.  He had a small but growing cult following, and started getting a little bit of mainstream attention.  He didn't like it.  After MMM had started blogging, Jacob decided to stop, and officially sent all of his readers to the MMM blog which is how I and many others first found it.

Jacob got bored of retirement, and, even though he doesn't need the money, he took a job and moved across the country. 

When I first posted my "how did you find MMM" thread, Jacob of ERE was the most popular answer, but it has since been eclipsed by a number of other sites, so for all the new people, I thought I'd share this link - he just recently posted an update to his old blog:
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/update-3-interesting-spreadsheet-calculation.html

« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 10:53:10 PM by Bakari »

Nords

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 12:18:27 AM »
Jacob got bored of retirement, and, even though he doesn't need the money, he took a job and moved across the country. 
Gotta be responsible for your own entertainment.

But I don't recall him using the word "bored"...

jbhernandez

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 06:25:40 AM »
Jacob got bored of retirement, and, even though he doesn't need the money, he took a job and moved across the country. 
Gotta be responsible for your own entertainment.

But I don't recall him using the word "bored"...

If you love your work, then is it really work?

He loves statistics and the like, and he's getting paid to do it!

James

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 09:37:55 AM »
Wow, excellent post, really wish I had known about him five years ago!  I'd be FI right now and into the exploding wealth phase...

Oh well, at least I'm not a Dennis...  :D

darkelenchus

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 10:45:24 AM »
But I don't recall him using the word "bored"...

Well, he said it in so many words:

Quote
What I like to do is solving impossible problems. Or just “hard problems”—problems that people don’t want to wrestle with. I did this in physics and learned a lot. I realized that I wouldn’t learn very much from solving a similar problem in physics and that’s why I quit physics. The challenge would not have been the same. Fortunately, I realized this quickly and I had the money to quit or “retire from my career“.

ERE is another one such “hard” problem solved... I have the same problem with ERE. The challenge is gone for me. Many others are currently on the road towards financial independence and this is exciting for them but for me it’s just vicarious living. Becoming financially independent, the subject of this blog, is a period of transition and obviously one can only transition once. This is why fresh blood is needed.

From his "un-retirement" post.

Jamesqf

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 01:16:27 PM »
If you love your work, then is it really work?

Do you get a paycheck for doing it?


TheDude

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 02:18:02 PM »
Thanks Bakari

Like a lot I came here from ERE. I never check  his site anymore so I wouldn't have seen  his update if you wouldn't have pointed it out.

Nords

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 01:20:30 PM »
Well, he said it in so many words:
Quote
What I like to do is solving impossible problems. Or just “hard problems”—problems that people don’t want to wrestle with. I did this in physics and learned a lot. I realized that I wouldn’t learn very much from solving a similar problem in physics and that’s why I quit physics. The challenge would not have been the same. Fortunately, I realized this quickly and I had the money to quit or “retire from my career“.
ERE is another one such “hard” problem solved... I have the same problem with ERE. The challenge is gone for me. Many others are currently on the road towards financial independence and this is exciting for them but for me it’s just vicarious living. Becoming financially independent, the subject of this blog, is a period of transition and obviously one can only transition once. This is why fresh blood is needed.
He and I have gone back & forth on this.  It'll be interesting to see whether all the things he's given up are worth the challenge he's taking on.  It'll be interesting to hear from him whether all the workplace dissatisfiers are worth the things that he finds fulfilling.  For someone who values his control over his time, I was surprised that he'd put up with the new constraints.  Admittedly he hasn't talked much about his workplace environment, but I wonder how long he'll last. 

I think he also has a significant credibility issue among readers who've always been skeptical.  Whether they claim it's "running out of money" or "frugal fatigue", his personal choice (for all the right reasons) has cast a cloud over his earlier accomplishments.

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2012, 03:42:31 PM »
Hey, I'm not dead/done yet.

Like so many other pf bloggers, I got tired of blogging about the same things over and over. So I definitely got bored or maybe rather burned out with blogging. This is not unusual. Look at how many other bloggers have hung up their gloves and now have a bunch of staff writers doing their writing for them. Rather than sell the blog and become a manager, I decided to do something else.

The job, which I'm not talking about very much because my boss and a few coworkers know about the blog (how do you think I got the job?), is a quant trading job doing what wikipedia calls statistical arbitrage. This means wearing khakis, hiking boots, and t-shirt, showing up and leaving at no particular time, no meetings, and being in charge of my own project. The project is to analyze data and turn it into trading strategies. The goal is to make lots of money. Failing that (and 90% fail), I will get fired in 1-2 years and I'll be off doing something else at the end of 2013. Succeeding I can likely get to live wherever I want and monitor everything remotely. It may look like a job, but it's better to think of it as a venture capital investment as in: "Here's two years worth of salary and here's a big computer. Do what you want. If you succeed, we'll own the majority of your strategy. If you don't, we'll try someone else."

Well, to me that's pretty darn fun and a good way to spend a couple of years. I would have attempted a similar project from my kitchen table anyway. I wonder why some people judge it so harshly. Sometimes I think it's just an inability to relate to what different people think is fun.

To put it in perspective, trimming mainsails on the racing boat felt more like work than this does.

So I think the internets need to put my actions in the proper perspective before judging/second-guessing. In two years I could be building cottages in Yellowstone. Whereas the internets seem to think I need to sit in a cubicle and wear a tie (what tie?) for the rest of my life.

I realize that there will always be a fraction of "skeptics" who can't figure out the math behind savings rates, safe withdrawal rates and don't know how to budget enough to live on less money and so need some kind of personal example to "prove it". There's probably also a bunch who'd rather believe that it's impossible to save ginormous amounts of money if they applied more systems thinking to their lifestyle. That way they don't have to question their own choices.
Me taking a j-o-b must have been a tremendous relief to those who think it's impossible to be financially independent without $1M or to be frugal in the long run. Well, frankly, I decided I don't want to live my life being a personal example for a bunch of complainypants on the internets. It's not like I've ever met them. If they don't get it, their loss. There are plenty who do get it. 

Bakari

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 05:06:36 PM »
Hey, welcome to the MMM forum Jacob, glad you finally made it!


There are plenty who do get it. 

Like pretty much everyone here!
I for one am glad for the more extreme example you provided us, to show what is possible.
Whether you decided to do it forever or not is irrelevant.

Norman Johnson

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 05:22:42 PM »
Hi and welcome Jacob! Thanks for the updates. They are always interesting!

James

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 05:31:37 PM »
Glad to see you post here Jacob, I feel bad because I missed your blog while you were active.  I actually learned about your blog from when you sent people here rather than the other way around.  Glad you are ignoring the complainypants and doing what you want.

Nords

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 05:58:20 PM »
Hey, I'm not dead/done yet.
Like so many other pf bloggers, I got tired of blogging about the same things over and over. So I definitely got bored or maybe rather burned out with blogging. This is not unusual. Look at how many other bloggers have hung up their gloves and now have a bunch of staff writers doing their writing for them. Rather than sell the blog and become a manager, I decided to do something else.
Good to have you back in the conversation! 

I don't know much about blogger burnout.  To me there may be a finite number of topics, but that's multiplied by a number of different learning styles and a constant stream of changes to the technology and the markets and the legislation and the lifestyle.  The challenge is finding new ways to present the material to make different people's eyes light up.  It's like the audience for Barney the Purple Dinosaur:  every two years he gets a new crowd.

When you were blogging at ERE you were able to project the image and guide the conversation.  Now that you're only offering sporadic updates, you're allowing others to guide the conversation and perhaps even take over the image.  Not a problem on a forum like this one, where MMM and others are showing how it works.  To everyone else, as you say, what you're doing now looks like a job.

I can understand not discussing employer IP or proprietary techniques.  But for an employer to object about your blogging about the workplace in an objective manner seems... unprofessional and thin-skinned.  If they're gonna trust you enough to hire you then they should trust you enough to respect your judgment in writing about it.  In fact not only should they be able to respect your perspective, but they're missing a marketing opportunity.  Here's a huge change from "the same things over and over"-- and you're not comfortable talking about it.

I haven't figured it out.  There's a difference between what you're doing and the way you're describing it versus what Sydney Lagier has been doing and the way she describes it.  I think a significant factor is that she kept blogging through most of her latest employment period, and she seems to have stayed in control of her brand & message.  You're just entering the pipeline that she's exited, and I wonder if her approach would pay off for you.

http://retiredsyd.typepad.com/

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 06:05:37 PM »
I for one am glad for the more extreme example you provided us, to show what is possible.
Whether you decided to do it forever or not is irrelevant.

I'm still spending $7k/year but I'm hoping to increase efficiencies/synergies to spend even less.
For example, right now, I'm making a computer desk out of framing wood using hand tools for a computer that I got for free (technically a 1-1 swap with a bike that I got for free and fixed up---but I'm getting the bike back eventually while I get to keep the computer).

One "plan"/desire is to learn how to make/refashion "light technology" like foundry work, machining (see Sherline), tool making, engines, building my own PV cells. I'm still envious of your truck hack. Some of the guys on the ERE forum spend $5k/year. I think the lower limit of what's achievable in terms of replacing consumerism with "brains" is RE taxes + health insurance and nothing else. (Some have found a way to eliminate housing costs too.).

Since a big part of ERE is to increase productive/valuable skills in many different areas, it would be somewhat limiting not to take advantage of work/job/income/project opportunities when they present themselves. Maybe someday someone will pay me to make steam engines just like I'm currently getting paid to fiddle with my financial engineering hobby-turned-professional. That would be nice.

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2012, 06:38:50 PM »
When you were blogging at ERE you were able to project the image and guide the conversation.  Now that you're only offering sporadic updates, you're allowing others to guide the conversation and perhaps even take over the image.  Not a problem on a forum like this one, where MMM and others are showing how it works.  To everyone else, as you say, what you're doing now looks like a job.
Having to guide conversations was a big part of the turn-off. For example, someone would post one of my posts of reddit or another big site. Immediately, someone with little respect for facts would start making up stuff and then the conversation would take off based on that dragging me through the mud. It was not a fun to manage the public relations aspect. Essentially, ERE had moved from the idea (R&D) phase to public relations and management. Another way of seeing it is that I fell for the Peter Principle of being promoted to my highest level of incompetence. I hate management and "sales".

I get the impression that MMM (the blogger) thrives on controversy(?), whereas I definitely don't. Therefore MMM is much better at taking these ideas to the (antagonizing) mainstream than I ever will be.

I can understand not discussing employer IP or proprietary techniques.  But for an employer to object about your blogging about the workplace in an objective manner seems... unprofessional and thin-skinned.  If they're gonna trust you enough to hire you then they should trust you enough to respect your judgment in writing about it.  In fact not only should they be able to respect your perspective, but they're missing a marketing opportunity.  Here's a huge change from "the same things over and over"-- and you're not comfortable talking about it.

I never blogged about my old [physics] job either other than in very general terms, that is, about the entire profession (academia). Some of this has to do with me not being anonymous. My name is out there. I'm not sure that my colleagues want their names out there by association, so I choose the default answer which is no, I'm not going to give details. In my opinion, since I haven't asked those I work with whether they'd like their daily doings exposed to an odd hundred thousand pageviews/month, it wouldn't be ethical of me to write about it.

On a general note, finance is kinda confidential similar to the lowest clearances in the military/government, e.g. "you can talk to each other, but keep a low profile outside of work". Would you have written a blog under your real name discussing your work/environment when you where in the military?

I haven't figured it out.  There's a difference between what you're doing and the way you're describing it versus what Sydney Lagier has been doing and the way she describes it.  I think a significant factor is that she kept blogging through most of her latest employment period, and she seems to have stayed in control of her brand & message.  You're just entering the pipeline that she's exited, and I wonder if her approach would pay off for you.

I haven't been following Sydney's writings---I've always been a terrible blog reader. However, I can say that only blogging an update from time to time has pretty much completely eliminated the off-site personal attacks, etc. I essentially underground to the ERE forums where I'm still active. I think that given the extremeness, it's better to have some barriers of entry. This way people discover ERE when they're ready for the message. Again, I think we need to consider the long-term perspective. ERE is not dead. It's just regrouping and consolidating (currently working on a wiki). People who want to find it will find it. People who aren't ready won't find it. That's a good position to be in in my opinion.

Nords

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2012, 09:59:57 PM »
On a general note, finance is kinda confidential similar to the lowest clearances in the military/government, e.g. "you can talk to each other, but keep a low profile outside of work". Would you have written a blog under your real name discussing your work/environment when you where in the military?
That's an interesting point.  When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I was frequently intimidated (by seniors) into not speaking my mind.  If I'd been blogging in the 1980s-90s, I would have picked some pseudonym like "CDR Salamander" and hoped to not be outed. 

But a funny thing happened in 1993 at age 33.  A snarky commentary that I'd written for one senior officer (who would've allowed me the indulgence) got misrouted into the hands of another senior officer who didn't appreciate reading my truthful (unvarnished) feedback.  I got my ass chewed out pretty good by both of them, and I was surprised to discover that they had no effect.  I'd been outed but I didn't care and it actually felt pretty good to clear the air.  It made me feel even better when "truth" came to pass and I turned out to be right.  I wasn't prescient but I could certainly forecast the inevitable.

If I'd been blogging in the later 1990s, I would've done it under my real name.  I also would've discussed my work/environment (politely, respectfully) as part of the conversation.  The Navy even has slogans for it like "Nobody asked me but...", "Dare to think, read, and write", and "forceful backup".  By then of course I knew that I wasn't going to be promoted further, so hypothetically I had little to lose.  Perhaps if I'd started speaking up earlier in my career then I would have been more likely to promote.  I'll never know.  But maybe someone will read this and be inspired to start speaking up earlier in their career.

By the late 1990s I was getting my ass chewed several times per year for speaking my mind.  Some COs didn't appreciate it while others took advantage of my frankness to guide the discussion for their own purposes.  The unexpected side effect of my outspoken habits was that my co-workers and subordinates felt that I was sticking up for them and taking care of them.  "Truth" became a lot more common in my office, and bad news was usually dealt with right away instead of spinning it or letting it fester.  Getting my ass chewed was a minor price to pay for the outsize benefits.

I'll torture the finance/military analogy a little further.  In most of American society, it's not polite to discuss finances.  In the workplace it's not considered polite to discuss salary, and sometimes it's downright forbidden.  This baffles me because my compensation was always on a website for the entire world to view, and my resume/payscale was attached to my uniform with insignia & ribbons.  When you glanced at me in the passageway you could tell my seniority, where I'd been for duty, what I'd done there, and what my salary was before you even saw my nametag.  If you wanted what I had, you knew what you had to do to earn it. 

So maybe workplaces and supervisors need to hear more "truth", and maybe finances should be talked about more openly.  Maybe if ERE was more openly discussed then there wouldn't be a need for barriers.

Even today I write about things that I "shouldn't".  A few months ago I wrote a long thread on Early-Retirement.org about a problematic non-profit, and eventually the "truth" got back to the chairman of the board of directors.  He was most unappreciative and we'll never be friends again... but his behavior changed a little for the better.  Even more beneficial was the support that I got (both on the thread and in the PMs) from other members of E-R.org.  A lot of that non-profit's problems got solved by my speaking up, even if I (in retrospect) went further than I probably should have.  Now I'm not so sure-- maybe I actually went as far as I needed to.

You say you're turned off by guiding conversations and "managing the public relations aspect".  I'd say that feeling is worth some introspection.  When I get that mud-dragging response from the general public then I feel it's another opportunity to explain, and in an hour or two another blog post pops out of my keyboard.  Maybe it's from all those years of hypercritical nuclear inspections and the thick skin they helped me develop.  Maybe it's perceiving criticism as another opportunity to clarify & teach, not only as mud-dragging.

Colleagues have a choice.  They can be praised through association, or not mentioned, or even mocked.  Their behavior dictates their choice at least as much as their  request.  Again, your company has hired a guy who's already getting 100K pageviews per month.  PR professionals would commit misdemeanors for that built-in social-media exposure.  It's totally ethical to write truthfully about your co-worker's public behavior, although society may deem it "impolite".  If they had to read about their behavior on the front page of the newspaper then maybe they'd behave more ethically, too.  Or you could choose to praise those who've behaved in a praiseworthy manner and never mention the ones who behave negatively.  Let 'em wonder.  Let 'em start their own blogs.

Maybe you see blogging as management & sales.  I see it as education and even training.  It's living by example.  So to torture another analogy, if you feel that you've run out of things to teach people then are you still living a happy life?

I'll give you another example:  Bob Clyatt of "Work Less, Live More".  He's much more interested in sculpting than in writing a new edition or another book.  In some ways he's even more of a public figure as a sculptor than as a writer, and perhaps much more vulnerable to criticism.  But some people start their voyage of ER discovery by seeing him livin' the dream, even before they realize that he spends his day with naked women models.

Again, I can understand your decision to drop out and regain a measure of privacy.  But when you do that, you abdicate the management of your ERE image and your ERE work to those same people who you felt were dragging your name through the mud. 

It seems to me that you had to endure a significant life change for the opportunity to pursue your financial engineering hobby.  It seems to me that you gave up significant control & flexibility over your time.  It seems you had to leave SF and friends behind for the opportunity represented by Chicago and new friends.  I've moved over a dozen times with the military and I understand the impact.  Today I try to imagine what in the world would excite me to leave my home, my surfing beach, my friends, my routine, and everything else that I've enjoyed for the last decade.  I cannot-- let alone be willing to give up some degree of control over my time and my liberty. 

Lots of other people can't imagine it either, and I'm sure the critics think it's because ERE wasn't working out for you... or even worse, that it doesn't work for anyone.

It looks like there's a lot of ERE still to be written about.  I hope to read it someday.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 10:03:19 PM by Nords »

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2012, 11:23:02 PM »
The main part of the problem is actually an attitude of "TL;DR, have opinion anyway". Further education doesn't make a difference. The only solution I've found to work is essentially damage control, wherein one spends time correcting the lies and sensationalism of the "rotten few" to keep the conversation from spinning out of control. Towards the end of 2011 I was beginning to lose 1-2 days per week dealing with this problem.

In retrospect it was probably a mistake to stop blogging at the same time as I announced the job offer. I should have put the blog on the backburner after the book was published. But hindsight is 20/20.

Now, this was not a problem at all during the first 3 years of blogging. I think the reason was that at the time the blog was still a niche blog. With niche blogs one is typically dealing with reasonable and intelligent readers who will at least bring an informed opinion to the argument. However, once one hits mainstream, the maturity level and reading comprehension falls to that of a 12 year old. Considering that ERE is a fairly complex (essentially systems theoretical) endeavor, it's hard to convey the ideas in simple terms to some reader who still thinks that "saving money=sacrifice".

It's not for lack of information on the website. The problem is that people who are only peripherally attached simply don't read that information (even when the most common objections are all covered in the FAQ). Instead they just make up their own theories and speculations. I must admit I'm not inspired to repeat myself all over again knowing that the types who make the comments can't even be bothered to read half a post. In short, explaining something only works on rational persons---and given the amount of material I've already written, they already know.

I think the better solution simply is to get rid of peripheral attention and concentrate on the core. I think it's something that everyone who does something controversial eventually faces once they get popular enough. Either the message needs to be changed completely to be digestible by the mainstream or the message will be by invitation only---or at least some barriers to the message will be set up.

This is seen in all fields: (fitness vs hardcore gyms; index investing vs hedge funds and VCs; popularized science vs grad school; diabetic insulin injections vs fasting and diet changes, ...)

I think I ultimately simply decided that I prefer the "invitation only" rather than trying to retailor the message to be understandable by the average yahoo reader.

Another aspect of it is that I prefer the research & development aspect over the education & training. One could argue, that since ERE is a solved problem (and fairly well consolidated/cannonicalized in the ERE book), why do I need to  keep talking about it? It would be like starting a house buying blog to write about the process of buying my house. Once I bought a house and begun to live in it ... does it really make sense to keep writing about buying a house? Sure, I could start a diary about living in the house. There's really not much choice there. I think you'll find that the occasional diary entry works as long as there's something else to talk about (how to invest, ...). However, once it's diary only, it's a slow drag.

One thing to realize is the ERE has 993 posts and 18000+ comments. There's practically nothing on the blog that hasn't been covered at least once before. Adding yet another post is not going to do anything to convince the doubters who haven't bothered to read more than a few posts anyway. The people who can keep writing new things about the same thing for more than 5 years are few and far in between. I'm not one of them.




Nords

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2012, 11:27:16 PM »
The people who can keep writing new things about the same thing for more than 5 years are few and far in between. I'm not one of them.
Well, I'm sorry to hear that.

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 11:53:25 PM »
The upside is that it leaves room for others (like MMM, Lacking Ambition, Brave New Life, and SkillsFIRE) to take their place. I think this is a good thing. I'm not the first to write about these concepts either. For example, one generation ago (boomers), it was YMOYL. Before/concurrent with that there was Callenbach in the 1970s. There was Borsodi and Nearing in the 1930s. In the 1840s there was Thoreau.

Not to worry, I'll eventually write about something else, but it won't be lifestyle design.

I think maybe a point of confusion is that I see ERE as a "concept", that is, a collection of principles. Those who think [abstractedly] in terms of principles grasp ERE fairly well. And then there are those who see ERE as "me personally (my life)" and think that everything depends on my exact doing and choices. (If I had a dollar for everybody who thought ERE only works if one lives in an RV... *sigh*) That's a totally wrong way to look at it. As far as I'm concerned, the principles are rather well hammered out already. There's little more I can add to it.

If you want different accounts from other people following ERE, there are several dozens of journal threads in the ERE forums some of which are 200+ posts long. Married, singles, young, old, some with kids, some without, different nationalities.  As for my personal journal/diary ... it's just one out of many. The point is that the ERE principles are heavily generalizable. They apply to many different situations. About every month, there's someone new reaching FIRE on the ERE forums. The number has increased significantly this year. This is about 5 years in from starting the blog. It works.

PaulM12345

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2012, 01:05:50 AM »
Jacob, I came upon your book through MMM and it was a real eye-opener for me. When I tell people about it, I say, "But it's not really about retirement, it's about freedom and how you can make your life align with your values." Retirement isn't inherently important to me (although it is practically important to me at the moment, because I don't like my job and worry about money; but I know there are jobs out there for me that I would feel fulfilled by). What is important to me is having options open to me - not being stuck in the mindset that I absorbed in school, that I would be a worker, do a job, have a career, then retire.

All this is to say that your taking the job, and moving on from ERE blog, make total sense to me. I love the idea that someone could do something for three years, produce something like the ERE book, and then move on to the next project. A lifetime of that will produce some 10-15 really cool, unrelated stand-alone projects.

I loved that near the beginning of your book you made clear that it was not a how-to-be-like-me book - but it is much more open-ended, as each person creates their own life in their own way. So it seems that anyone who objects to your life decisions ("how could you move, go to work, follow a schedule", etc.) doesn't "get it" in a fundamental way. I'm reminded of the book Finite and Infinite Games, that says:

Quote
A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing play. (1)

Although it may be evident enough in theory that whoever plays a finite game plays freely, it is often the case that finite players will be unaware of the absolute freedom and will come to think that whatever they do the must do... Fields of play simply do not impose themselves on us. Therefore, all the limitations of finite play are self-limitations. (14-15)

Since finite games can be played within an infinite game, infinite players do not eschew the performed roles of finite play. On the contrary, they enter into finite games with alll the appropriate energy and self-veiling, but they do so without the seriousness of finite players. (18)

In brief, for me the more radical message is not about the money or the job, it's about the freedom, including the freedom to play along, lightly, in the finite games of the world (acknowledging that this is a lot easier when you have financial independence)

darkelenchus

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2012, 10:57:08 AM »
The main part of the problem is actually an attitude of "TL;DR, have opinion anyway". Further education doesn't make a difference. The only solution I've found to work is essentially damage control, wherein one spends time correcting the lies and sensationalism of the "rotten few" to keep the conversation from spinning out of control.

It's not for lack of information on the website. The problem is that people who are only peripherally attached simply don't read that information...

I think the better solution simply is to get rid of peripheral attention and concentrate on the core. I think it's something that everyone who does something controversial eventually faces once they get popular enough. Either the message needs to be changed completely to be digestible by the mainstream or the message will be by invitation only---or at least some barriers to the message will be set up.

I think maybe a point of confusion is that I see ERE as a "concept", that is, a collection of principles. Those who think [abstractedly] in terms of principles grasp ERE fairly well. And then there are those who see ERE as "me personally (my life)" and think that everything depends on my exact doing and choices. (If I had a dollar for everybody who thought ERE only works if one lives in an RV... *sigh*) That's a totally wrong way to look at it. As far as I'm concerned, the principles are rather well hammered out already. There's little more I can add to it.

Thanks for the elaboration, Jacob. From what I can gather, it's not so much that you were bored of retirement, but that you were bored of blogging/writing/talking about FI/ERE because you provided a complete exposition of the general mechanisms involved in FI/RERE, couldn't really add anything more,didn't want to start repeating yourself, and had no interest in managing PR for the FI/ERE "message." You're also the type of person whose potential is fulfilled when working on a challenging project (I can relate). Once you illustrated the proof of the FI/ERE concept, there wasn't much challenge left. You were offered an opportunity to work on a new challenging project that just so happened to come with a paycheck. You didn't take the paycheck because you needed it, nor did you stop living in accord with FI/ERE principles. You didn't "retire" from early retirement; you just retired from being a spokesperson for FI/ERE.

The point of confusion seems to rest on the assumption (or suspicion) that when one ceases to be a spokesperson for something, one also ceases to endorse and/or live by what they previously publicly supported. Perhaps continuing to blog regularly for a little while after taking on the new challenge would have helped combat (or eliminate?) that confusion. You could have shown that collecting a paycheck didn't lead to inflating your lifestyle; that a reliable stream of revenue didn't tempt you into consumerism because you already kicked that addiction and now see the world from a non-addict's perspective.This wouldn't have been PR, meant to address the reality distortion field created by haters whose imaginations are too dull to imagine living a non-consumer lifestyle or what the world would be like if everyone lived in accord with FI/ERE principles. I agree that there's not much you can do about those who are bound and determined to misunderstand what you had said and written. Those final pieces would be more a matter of courtesy to people who follow/ed your blog and read your book but didn't necessarily participate in the more nuanced discussion of the ERE forums and for those who will come across your blog in the future. It could have driven home the message that "ERE !== Sacrifice ."  In so many words, then, I think there was/is still something you can say for a general audience that would complete the practical illustration of living FI/ERE.

At any rate, even if you did actively give up on FI/ERE (meaning, you began living in such a way that you required collecting a paycheck from a job), this wouldn't falsify the theoretical framework laid out in the book. It shouldn't even be grounds for doubt that FI/ERE is a practical possibility over the course of a lifetime, since an otherwise FI/ERE person might exercise the leverage that FI/ERE provides, and voluntarily increase her expenses to the point where she has to collect a paycheck to cover those expenses, but not to the point where she no longer had the option of FI/EREing. 

Anyway, my two cents.  I'm grateful you took the time to keep up the blog and write the book in the first place. Top notch stuff, all around.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 10:59:48 AM by darkelenchus »

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2012, 03:23:04 AM »
Oooo nice to hear from you Jacob!  I was directed to MMM from your site, and had stopped checking in on it.

I always thought you were one of those folks who gets bored of a challenge once you have mastered it.  It was no surprise when you accepted a juicy new challenge - and I do believe that the paycheck was irrelevant in the decision.

Regarding quant work - what do you think of the theory that not long after you can successfully predict stock market movements, those patterns will change again in response to the actions you take?

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2012, 10:42:01 AM »
The point of confusion seems to rest on the assumption (or suspicion) that when one ceases to be a spokesperson for something, one also ceases to endorse and/or live by what they previously publicly supported. Perhaps continuing to blog regularly for a little while after taking on the new challenge would have helped combat (or eliminate?) that confusion. You could have shown that collecting a paycheck didn't lead to inflating your lifestyle; that a reliable stream of revenue didn't tempt you into consumerism because you already kicked that addiction and now see the world from a non-addict's perspective.This wouldn't have been PR, meant to address the reality distortion field created by haters whose imaginations are too dull to imagine living a non-consumer lifestyle or what the world would be like if everyone lived in accord with FI/ERE principles. I agree that there's not much you can do about those who are bound and determined to misunderstand what you had said and written. Those final pieces would be more a matter of courtesy to people who follow/ed your blog and read your book but didn't necessarily participate in the more nuanced discussion of the ERE forums and for those who will come across your blog in the future. It could have driven home the message that "ERE !== Sacrifice ."  In so many words, then, I think there was/is still something you can say for a general audience that would complete the practical illustration of living FI/ERE.

I don't think such self-imposed "spokesperson"-confusion can be eliminated. It's a symptom of postmodernistic culture where critical thinking ("why think when all thinking is ostensibly equally good?") has been replaced by imitation. I actually think the lack of critical thinking is a huge problem. One can imagine a successful athlete or a successful businessman being imitated by people wanting the same success without realizing that 99% of them will fail. That aside, I don't think it's worth the (mine in particular) personal sacrifice to live according to a fixed set of rules in order to conform to such a role-model. Especially since everybody who thinks this way has their own idea of what such a life should consist of.

Besides, no matter how much I blog/explain, there will always be some who just can't understand. I even have enough observations for a little theory:

Those who focus on retirement can't understand why someone would take a job.
Those who focus on consumerism can't understand why someone would deliberately spend less if they don't have to.
Those who focus on increasing income can't understand why someone would focus on reducing expenses.
Those who can't budget can't understand why someone can live happily on a quarter of what they spend.
Those who think anticonsumerism is deeply related to progressive politics can't understand why someone would go work on evil Wall Street.
Those who can't understand safe withdrawal rates can't understand why FI is possible for less than $1M.
Those who focus on wage income over investment income can't understand why someone would spend time increasing their investment returns instead of increasing their wages.

It's all very predictable. I've been through all of these discussions. And far too many times! In fact it reminds me of some of the climate change discussions I've seen. In that field people have even taken to generating long lists of answers to "Frequently Voiced Objections" (it's the sun, it's a new ice age, it's a conspiracy, it's cold in my backyard,...) to avoid having to answer each objection for the nth time. As in "Please see objection #32 on the list on this link." My FAQ actually answers most of those objections, but another aspect of humanity is that people who object like this don't like to get shut down by facts. They thrive on the discussion. They don't want the truth. They just want to be right.

But point well taken. This is also why I have been writing these updates (and I plan to continue doing do). Perhaps they're not regular enough (3 of them in 9 months), but then again, I'm not the diary-kind-of-writer. They will be seen by people who regularly check out of blog (probably by going through the forum) and by future readers. So it was done with the long-term in mind. I think that those who are interested in ERE but didn't follow the blog will/would eventually come back because the word would get out to the right audiences (such as this one).

The very long term plan is to turn earlyretirementextreme into a portal with an overview of the concepts linking to the wiki and supported by the forums. The blog will then be a minor part of this and mainly used for historical purposes. However, I currently lack to webmaster skills to make this as well as the motivation to write the text. But perhaps in a year or two. 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 11:11:57 AM by erejacob »

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2012, 11:13:40 AM »
Wow!  It is an honor to have you here, Jacob.  It's great to hear your perspective and to hear more about what you're doing.  Sounds like a lot of fun.

I get the impression that MMM (the blogger) thrives on controversy(?), whereas I definitely don't. Therefore MMM is much better at taking these ideas to the (antagonizing) mainstream than I ever will be.

MMM's secret is that he never reads comments on any other site that references him.  Sometimes I read them and tell him about it and then he just tells me that he doesn't even want to know about it.  When the complainypants comments occur on his own site, then he gets immense pleasure at making fun of them.  :)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 08:56:13 PM by MMM »

Jamesqf

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2012, 11:39:35 AM »
...but another aspect of humanity is that people who object like this don't like to get shut down by facts. They thrive on the discussion. They don't want the truth. They just want to be right.

Having observed a number of such people over the years, I have to say that they don't really want to be right, otherwise they would spend time checking the facts to be sure they were right.  What they want is for people to agree with their opinions, regardless of whether those opinions are objectively right or wrong.

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2012, 12:17:35 PM »
MMMs secret is that he never reads comments any other site that references him.  Sometimes I read them and tell him about it and then he just tells me that he doesn't even want to know about it.  When the complainypants comments occur on his own site, then he gets immense pleasure at making fun of them.  :)

Home turf is a big advantage :) Actually I used to marvel at how civilized the discussion was on the ERE blog for the first two years when it was relatively unknown. I deleted less than 5 flame comments during that time (from two people). I think this adds support to the strategy of keeping controversial/complex topics on a by-invitation only instead of having it on the frontpage of yahoo or reddit.

The thing that bothers me is not when someone thinks that I'm an idiot and publicly says so. That's their prerogative and we can agree to disagree. However, the TL;DR;HOA often led to libelous statements where people would simply make up stuff in order to sensationalize their point. This can very quickly escalate. For example,

"He's not retired. His wife works and pays for his health insurance and rent. The only reason this could work in California is because he bought his house in 1970."
"Wow, really, I didn't know that. What a jerk."
"I'm never going to read that blog again."

etc. until the discussion explodes into a lynch mob. In the beginning I just let them slide, but then I realized that it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the bunch, so compare to

"He's not retired. His wife works and pays for his health insurance. The only reason this could work in California is because he bought his house in 1970 before the boom."
"You're making stuff up. I wasn't even born in 1970. Our rent (of which I pay half out of my investments) is low because we live in an RV. I have written several blog posts on how I buy my health insurance on the private market. In fact all of this is addressed in the FAQ on the blog."
"Oh, that's interesting, tell me more about ... "

Such damage control can completely change the conversation from a lynch mob to one of interest. However, ultimately, this began to take a rather large amount of my time. It probably requires some kind of culture shift on the internet. Some still believe that the internet is a license to say anything they want as long as they're anonymous.

So the strategy is either
1) Ignore it under the assumption that bad press is better than no press.
2) Spend time and deal with it turning bad press into good press.
3) Eliminate press by keeping a low profile under the assumption that no press is better than bad press because time is valuable and those who are truly interested will find it anyway.

I picked 3.

...but another aspect of humanity is that people who object like this don't like to get shut down by facts. They thrive on the discussion. They don't want the truth. They just want to be right.

Having observed a number of such people over the years, I have to say that they don't really want to be right, otherwise they would spend time checking the facts to be sure they were right.  What they want is for people to agree with their opinions, regardless of whether those opinions are objectively right or wrong.

Ahh, that's what I meant.

JohnGalt

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2012, 12:57:52 PM »
The thing that bothers me is not when someone thinks that I'm an idiot and publicly says so. That's their prerogative and we can agree to disagree. However, the TL;DR;HOA often led to libelous statements where people would simply make up stuff in order to sensationalize their point. This can very quickly escalate. For example,

"He's not retired. His wife works and pays for his health insurance and rent. The only reason this could work in California is because he bought his house in 1970."


How much of the problem is due to the semantics of having branded it "Early Retirement Extreme" instead of something like "Early Financial Independence Extreme"?  I've always thought the problem was that the focus was on the retirement aspect from the masses - but your actual focus was more on the independence aspect.  Going back to work because you want to fits in perfectly with that, but not with the masses view of "retirement".

I've found that if I talk about wanting to have the freedom to pick and choose where/when I work is my goal rather than labeling it retirement, they are much more likely to "get it".

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2012, 01:16:01 PM »
How much of the problem is due to the semantics of having branded it "Early Retirement Extreme" instead of something like "Early Financial Independence Extreme"?  I've always thought the problem was that the focus was on the retirement aspect from the masses - but your actual focus was more on the independence aspect.  Going back to work because you want to fits in perfectly with that, but not with the masses view of "retirement".

I suspect a lot. While "early retirement extreme" (extreme early retirement was taken) made sense at the time (I was young and terribly naive when I started the blog in 2007), in hindsight it was a big mistake to pick that name. There are advantages and disadvantages to labels. For something that's controversial and complex, labels are probably more of a disadvantage. For example, the only way MMM can get into brand-name trouble is if he decides to get a PhD or go to medical school; or become moneyless like Suelo or Mark Boyle; or shave the moustache off.

While ERE is more about independence than retirement, there's even more to it. It's interesting to note that the retirement-community is one of the least likely group to understand ERE (what do you mean it's not about retirement?!), the personal finance community is so-so in understanding (interesting, but I think it's "too extreme"), while those who grasp it the best are the permaculturists (aha, ERE is just permaculture as applied to lifestyle design) with the survivalists (we already do all of this but ERE ties it together nicely in a high concept kind of way) being a close second.

There are ongoing discussions on the forums on what would be a better name. So far the best one is to change ERE from "Early Retirement Extreme" to "Extreme Renaissance Ecologists". This would be a far better descriptive term. 

PS: However, I also think the label can be an advantage in the beginning. For example, which is more likely to catch attention: "Early Retirement Extreme" or "Extreme Renaissance Ecologists"? Probably the former. In that sense, labels are a double-edged sword.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 01:36:10 PM by erejacob »

mechanic baird

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2012, 02:03:17 PM »

So the strategy is either
1) Ignore it under the assumption that bad press is better than no press.
2) Spend time and deal with it turning bad press into good press.
3) Eliminate press by keeping a low profile under the assumption that no press is better than bad press because time is valuable and those who are truly interested will find it anyway.

I picked 3.

For every one rational person out there, there are hundreds more who are clueless and too lazy to read about the truth and make stuff up to justify whatever they wanna justify. I'd pick #3 as well.

You've only got 24 hours a day and it's not going to get you anywhere trying to weed out all the lies people put out there.  The more press spotlight you receive, the more of those lies you have to confront. It's only matter of time before you realize you are outnumbered. It's great that you just retreat from the spotlight and do what you want to do.

You have accomplished much and you don't have to waste your time to keep living for others...For those who can think for themselves, you have given them the greatest gift, the concept, your own journey and the blog itself.. For that, thank you Jacob!!

Norman Johnson

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2012, 03:03:33 PM »
For those who can think for themselves, you have given them the greatest gift, the concept, your own journey and the blog itself.. For that, thank you Jacob!!

I agree!

And, yes, the word retirement throws people off. My husband was against ERE until I told him we weren't going to be wearing sweater vests and discussing the merits of different brands of arthritis cream if we retired early. Well, unless we wanted to, that is...

Jamesqf

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2012, 06:27:59 PM »
How much of the problem is due to the semantics of having branded it "Early Retirement Extreme" instead of something like "Early Financial Independence Extreme"?  I've always thought the problem was that the focus was on the retirement aspect from the masses - but your actual focus was more on the independence aspect.  Going back to work because you want to fits in perfectly with that, but not with the masses view of "retirement".

Exactly!  I'm big on the FI part, and in tune with reasonable frugality (but not going over the line from frugality to miserlyness), both as making FI easier and because it's just my nature.  But I hate the thought of retirement, and (if my health holds out) hope to be doing something useful/productive - and getting paid for it - 'till the day I drop.

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2012, 09:11:27 PM »
Nice to see all of this discussion about ERE the Next Generation, and thanks to Bakari for sending that initial shout-out that drew Jacob in! :-)

Quote
1) Ignore it under the assumption that bad press is better than no press.

I think this is closest to the approach I like to follow, except with the rephrasing "bad press may end up being good or bad, but it won't kill the blog, because it's a big world out there".

As Mrs. MM said, I don't read the comments on other sites. They'd be interesting and it would be fun to do battle every day, but then I'd never have time to write on my own site. So I don't even click through the Wordpress stats page to see what all the hubbub is about. "Oh.. 47000 views from Hacker news? That's great. Glad they didn't crash the server this time."

The real role I see for a blogger like me is just in popularizing the strange ideas that we frugal people practice, and making them sound like fun to the average person.  For me, it's not about finding original ideas about personal finance, but just original ways to describe them, as they might fit into a typical person's lifestyle.

Sure, I'm not pleased that there are hundreds of complainypants people typing incorrect stuff about me at all hours of the day or night. But they're easy to ignore. Meanwhile, there are all these people drifting in and being influenced, and doing things like selling off their trucks and moving closer to work, and even quitting their jobs to raise their kids.  Then spreading those ideas to their friends. That's a pretty sweet paycheck for a part-time job, which is why it's still so much fun and I'll keep doing it as long as my fingers keep automatically wiggling atop the keyboard.

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2012, 09:38:34 PM »
Good to see you have the "right" attitude MrMM.

erejacob

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2012, 09:17:23 AM »
The real role I see for a blogger like me is just in popularizing the strange ideas that we frugal people practice, and making them sound like fun to the average person.  For me, it's not about finding original ideas about personal finance, but just original ways to describe them, as they might fit into a typical person's lifestyle.

This sounds kinda like the "education&training" Nords was talking about. I always thought/knew that I was not going to be the one to popularize the concepts and that FIRE needed someone eminently relateable (like a JD Roth of FIRE) to do that. And I think you're The One (can I call you Neo?) which is why I recommend you when I wrote the ("legendary") fish-post.

It comes back to the E-myth (E is for entrepreneurial, not electronic) business model, which I'd like to expand a bit to include: vision, technical, management, and sales. The idea is that a successful startup (that is, the extreme early "retirement" movement) needs all four and if it lacks one or two, it's never going to get big. I'm strong on vision and tech but so-so on management and terrible on sales---essentially the temperamental constitution of a typical scientist. While it's possible to learn such skills, one is always going to feel drained after practising them, e.g. the introverted car salesman or the jocks after doing their math homework. So I'm just going to stick with writing "textbooks" (next project is an investing book) and articles by invitation (btw, if you want one, let me know).

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2012, 12:36:21 PM »
MMM & Jacob,

Many thanks for your input on this...as a blogger who struggles on these issues I find this sort of discussion very interesting.

I've ended up more like MMM myself.  I've stopped reading the comments on the stories I write for the Toronto Star (Moneyville)...it's just too negative.  On my blog it is much easier to control things and frankly I've only blacklisted about two people in the five years I've been writing.  Unlike you two I've never got too big, its large enough to have a decent discussion.

As to avoiding burnout I've fell into a group blog sort of like JD Roth.  Three other writers beside myself fill out the week which gives me the freedom to write as much or as little as I want.  I get to worry about the management side to a degree, but I don't control my writers at all (ok, I think I've asked for a rewrite like twice).

I tend to agree more with MMM and Nords regarding the multiple angles and education route.  While I hate repeating myself, there are several ways to explain a concept and finding what works for people is part of the fun of writing for me.  The quest is to get as many people as possible to question...do you really need to work until your 65 or is there more to life?

A caution for MMM and hitting more mainstream TV media (I did CBC The National http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaiGd6RwWCo earlier this year), on the plus side your number of interesting conversation you have with people will increase expontenially in real life (eg: my last filling done by dentist ending up discussing pensions before I left last week).  The down side is knowing when to stop trying to explain things to people that will NEVER get it.  I've had to walk away from a few discussions that went no where fast.

Thanks again for the discussion.

Tim

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2012, 07:06:38 AM »
Thanks for your work Jacob.  I check your site regularly and am so thankful that you did not take the site down.  I like to go back and read articles for reference and the forums are useful as well.  I will say that your work completely shifted my paradigm about money and while I so far have been too cowardly to go to the extreme measures you and others have I can say it has made a significant impact on my life and my family.

Arguing with folks is mostly futile so I can see why you did what you did - as I would have done the same.  It is like having an argument/discussion with one's dining room table.  I have found most people don't give much thought to things other than working at a j-o-b for money so they can then go buy ciggs, beer, gucci bags, lotto tickets ("dollar for a dream") or whatever.  Free time is filled with shopping (vacuous activity) or watching sports or other rehashed television or "reality" shows (vacuous activities).  They are just following the formula for the "American Dream" right?

The little "news" people do watch from Fox & Friends or CNN, etc is essentially an outlet for the misrepresentation of opinions as facts to the general public.  Therefore, most people I have encountered have a difficult time sorting out what is their opinion versus what is an actual fact.  So, consequently they get themselves convinced that their opinion (which has been fed to them through the media) is a fact and anyone who is outlier of mainstream thinking is wrong because that is not how they think. 

It would be so simple for people who do not agree with an idea to simply choose not to participate in that idea, but our culture is hell bent on scapegoating and threatening anything that is outside the "norm" to "protect" our little piece of heaven.  Because clearly the mainstream financial road map that is promoted from every major media avenue is working so "well" for all the folks in America.   


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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2012, 04:30:59 PM »
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2722

This is what I see as my goal in life after retiring (with enough money so as not to be constrained by the need to work for a living): Doing about 10 really interesting things really well.

I have been unable to explain it to those who have a more traditional view what retirement should look like but maybe the cartoon does it better.

darkelenchus

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2012, 04:51:52 PM »
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2722

This is what I see as my goal in life after retiring (with enough money so as not to be constrained by the need to work for a living): Doing about 10 really interesting things really well.

I have been unable to explain it to those who have a more traditional view what retirement should look like but maybe the cartoon does it better.

That comic is great. I think most will confuse this with the "follow your passion" fad, though.

Also, much appreciation for the latest post on the ERE blog. The analogy between Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development and the levels of understanding "early retirement" was quite helpful in understanding where you're coming from w/ re: to the frustrations you had with dealing with those operating at the lower stages when you're better suited to communicate about higher stage matters.

adam

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Re: For all the new people: Update from Jacob of ERE
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2012, 03:49:37 PM »
I understand Jacob's side of things.  As far as I would be concerned the experiment is a success, he outlined all the steps for getting there, and other people are duplicating his work, thereby verifying it.  That being said, I'd still find it interesting to read a few 'diary' entries as things are always changing, and I like reading his perspectives.