Author Topic: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?  (Read 39829 times)

lv2glrfy

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #300 on: July 08, 2020, 03:15:43 PM »
As others have mentioned, there are many paths to FIRE, and we're all perfectly within our rights to take the path we think is the best for us. MMM writes about what he knows, and that's fine. But I think one area where I disagree with MMM is his weighing expense reduction as far more important than income increase.

His blog has the specific angle of expense reduction because, as he's admitted, he started from a position of privilege: a $66k starting salary in today's dollars at age 22 for a brand-new bachelor's degree holder is unthinkable to me and virtually everyone I've ever known. Nobody told me at age 16 when I was starting college that the degree and field I choose--if not course-corrected at some point--would quite literally dictate the direction and quality of my working life for the next many decades. Also, he got a 39% raise in his first year of work and continued earning steadily more nearly every year after? I've never heard of more than a 2% routine raise...again, that kind of good fortune in one's day job is unthinkable to me.

For the reasons above and many others, I think many middle- and lower-income folks would benefit from a more balanced approach that dispenses tips for both reducing their expenses and increasing their income (while not succumbing to lifestyle inflation). I've benefitted so much from tips on other FIRE blogs for using the gig economy, continued education, real estate, and other amazing resources to try and set myself up for better earning in the present and future. I'm privileged enough to still have many ways to reduce my expenses, but plenty of people aren't in the same boat...especially if they have a large family, chronic health issues, or are socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Goldielocks

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #301 on: July 08, 2020, 04:04:24 PM »
....
Then I read MMM and realized that EARLY RETIREMENT was a thing.  I could pull money out of my retirement accounts BEFORE official retirement age.  Mind Blown.   If I was FI, I could have the freedom to switch jobs to something that paid less.   "Shockingly Simple Math" was the final motivator to own my life choices.
...

I've known many unemployed or underemployed folks that pull money out of 401k's (all the way down to zero in many cases) before their 60's!  It's really not that hard.  I'm guessing you are referring to the Roth ladder or SEPP...

Actually, I am in Canada, so I am talking about the RRSP and any savings I mentally marked "Retirement".  There is no penalty / restriction here, (unless the money came from a pension fund).
I always knew we could pull out money, penalty free at any time, or use it to buy a first home, pay for school, but I had always put a mental lock on it, as it was for "65+" years ONLY.  "The money to NEVER be touched".

Reading MMM I realized that extra savings could be used for early retirement, or other goals, that the mental lock down on my accounts / long term savings could be used for something other than classical retirement. 

Dicey

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #302 on: July 08, 2020, 08:53:21 PM »
....
Then I read MMM and realized that EARLY RETIREMENT was a thing.  I could pull money out of my retirement accounts BEFORE official retirement age.  Mind Blown.   If I was FI, I could have the freedom to switch jobs to something that paid less.   "Shockingly Simple Math" was the final motivator to own my life choices.
...

I've known many unemployed or underemployed folks that pull money out of 401k's (all the way down to zero in many cases) before their 60's!  It's really not that hard.  I'm guessing you are referring to the Roth ladder or SEPP...

Actually, I am in Canada, so I am talking about the RRSP and any savings I mentally marked "Retirement".  There is no penalty / restriction here, (unless the money came from a pension fund).
I always knew we could pull out money, penalty free at any time, or use it to buy a first home, pay for school, but I had always put a mental lock on it, as it was for "65+" years ONLY.  "The money to NEVER be touched".

Reading MMM I realized that extra savings could be used for early retirement, or other goals, that the mental lock down on my accounts / long term savings could be used for something other than classical retirement.
...and thus she bought her life back and is living happily ever after.

@Goldielocks, I totally forgot that you are Canadian ;-)

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #303 on: July 08, 2020, 09:51:57 PM »
....
Then I read MMM and realized that EARLY RETIREMENT was a thing.  I could pull money out of my retirement accounts BEFORE official retirement age.  Mind Blown.   If I was FI, I could have the freedom to switch jobs to something that paid less.   "Shockingly Simple Math" was the final motivator to own my life choices.
...

I've known many unemployed or underemployed folks that pull money out of 401k's (all the way down to zero in many cases) before their 60's!  It's really not that hard.  I'm guessing you are referring to the Roth ladder or SEPP...

Actually, I am in Canada, so I am talking about the RRSP and any savings I mentally marked "Retirement".  There is no penalty / restriction here, (unless the money came from a pension fund).
I always knew we could pull out money, penalty free at any time, or use it to buy a first home, pay for school, but I had always put a mental lock on it, as it was for "65+" years ONLY.  "The money to NEVER be touched".

Reading MMM I realized that extra savings could be used for early retirement, or other goals, that the mental lock down on my accounts / long term savings could be used for something other than classical retirement.
...and thus she bought her life back and is living happily ever after.

@Goldielocks, I totally forgot that you are Canadian ;-)

Oh, you were talking about Loonies... that says it all eh (;

Goldielocks

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #304 on: July 08, 2020, 09:59:51 PM »
....
Then I read MMM and realized that EARLY RETIREMENT was a thing.  I could pull money out of my retirement accounts BEFORE official retirement age.  Mind Blown.   If I was FI, I could have the freedom to switch jobs to something that paid less.   "Shockingly Simple Math" was the final motivator to own my life choices.
...

I've known many unemployed or underemployed folks that pull money out of 401k's (all the way down to zero in many cases) before their 60's!  It's really not that hard.  I'm guessing you are referring to the Roth ladder or SEPP...

Actually, I am in Canada, so I am talking about the RRSP and any savings I mentally marked "Retirement".  There is no penalty / restriction here, (unless the money came from a pension fund).
I always knew we could pull out money, penalty free at any time, or use it to buy a first home, pay for school, but I had always put a mental lock on it, as it was for "65+" years ONLY.  "The money to NEVER be touched".

Reading MMM I realized that extra savings could be used for early retirement, or other goals, that the mental lock down on my accounts / long term savings could be used for something other than classical retirement.
...and thus she bought her life back and is living happily ever after.

@Goldielocks, I totally forgot that you are Canadian ;-)
Well I lived in California for 3 years about 10 years ago (SFO area).  And lived in Norway for a short bit, too.

MaybeBecca

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #305 on: July 09, 2020, 06:17:19 AM »

I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.

I  am in firm disagreement  with anyone who holds this view of a parent's or parents' legacy for their children.

My unvarnished opinion is that a parent or parents who enjoyed an easy life ought to ensure that  their legacy provides the same for their beloved children.

I reject the proposition that a meager legacy, that requires one's children to work instead of an abundant  legacy that does not,  is ipso facto,  superior and more beneficial for the children.
...If you want your children to have advantages it's a lot better to gift them good genes (insofar as you have some control over that) ...

At least in the US, this has become kind of a dog whistle for racist ideologies [see Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and the "intellectual Dark Web" (or honestly, preferably, don't)].  Basically people claim that the reason that BIPOC are not as successful as white people is because of genetic differences and "culture", rather than the hundreds of years of BIPOC oppression and white favoritism in the states.  It's somewhat beside your point, as I'm not assuming that's what you meant, but thought you might want to be aware of that.  I do agree to some degree, more so because of health problems with a genetic component, for which I am choosing not to have children (also, will our planet remain livable to humans in their lifetime?  I'm not so sure).  I think a lot of other factors - intelligence, charisma, strength - have more of a basis in nurture than people sometimes assume.  As you said, if you have a stable environment as a child, that really gives you an upper hand.

ericrugiero

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #306 on: July 09, 2020, 02:31:38 PM »
At least in the US, this has become kind of a dog whistle for racist ideologies [see Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and the "intellectual Dark Web" (or honestly, preferably, don't)].  Basically people claim that the reason that BIPOC are not as successful as white people is because of genetic differences and "culture", rather than the hundreds of years of BIPOC oppression and white favoritism in the states.  It's somewhat beside your point, as I'm not assuming that's what you meant, but thought you might want to be aware of that.  I do agree to some degree, more so because of health problems with a genetic component, for which I am choosing not to have children (also, will our planet remain livable to humans in their lifetime?  I'm not so sure).  I think a lot of other factors - intelligence, charisma, strength - have more of a basis in nurture than people sometimes assume.  As you said, if you have a stable environment as a child, that really gives you an upper hand.

Yes, a stable environment as a child absolutely gives you an upper hand.  In fact, we as a society tend to underrate that component.  I personally have had a lot of privilege in my life.  I'm a white male which definitely has it's advantages.  I was also raised in a home with a mother and father who loved each other.  My parents gave me a good education, taught me to work, taught me to learn, taught me to interact well with others, taught me the value of a useful college degree, kept me out of trouble, made me believe I could succeed, and tons of other valuable life lessons.  Both my genetic advantages (white male) and cultural advantages (parental teaching and modeling) have helped me.  I would argue that the second one was more important but that's obviously tough to prove. 

I would never say that one race of people are genetically more intelligent than another.  I've known some black people who were extremely intelligent and some on the other end of the spectrum.  I know one black family in particular that really struggles in this area.  They also happen to eat the least nutritious food of any family I know.  Nutrition has an underrated impact on brain function.  Kids especially need the right vitamins and minerals for their brains to develop.  There is probably a difference in test scores between black and white kids.  If so, it's almost certainly due to differences in school quality, support from parents (and others), nutrition and probably some other factors. 

mm1970

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #307 on: July 09, 2020, 02:42:58 PM »
Quote
I would never say that one race of people are genetically more intelligent than another.  I've known some black people who were extremely intelligent and some on the other end of the spectrum.  I know one black family in particular that really struggles in this area.  They also happen to eat the least nutritious food of any family I know.  Nutrition has an underrated impact on brain function.  Kids especially need the right vitamins and minerals for their brains to develop.  There is probably a difference in test scores between black and white kids.  If so, it's almost certainly due to differences in school quality, support from parents (and others), nutrition and probably some other factors.

It's poverty.

MudPuppy

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #308 on: July 09, 2020, 03:23:24 PM »
@mm1970 this this this. There is extensive research on poverty and access to good nutrition and the psychology of poverty. (Ie people experiencing poverty or other chronic stress make choices that are easier short term and not strictly more efficient)

Psychstache

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #309 on: July 09, 2020, 04:11:56 PM »
Quote
I would never say that one race of people are genetically more intelligent than another.  I've known some black people who were extremely intelligent and some on the other end of the spectrum.  I know one black family in particular that really struggles in this area.  They also happen to eat the least nutritious food of any family I know.  Nutrition has an underrated impact on brain function.  Kids especially need the right vitamins and minerals for their brains to develop.  There is probably a difference in test scores between black and white kids.  If so, it's almost certainly due to differences in school quality, support from parents (and others), nutrition and probably some other factors.

It's poverty.

Right. Plus, poverty is the common denominator to all of the other factors outlined.

jeninco

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #310 on: July 09, 2020, 05:17:56 PM »
Quote
I would never say that one race of people are genetically more intelligent than another.  I've known some black people who were extremely intelligent and some on the other end of the spectrum.  I know one black family in particular that really struggles in this area.  They also happen to eat the least nutritious food of any family I know.  Nutrition has an underrated impact on brain function.  Kids especially need the right vitamins and minerals for their brains to develop.  There is probably a difference in test scores between black and white kids.  If so, it's almost certainly due to differences in school quality, support from parents (and others), nutrition and probably some other factors.

It's poverty.

Right. Plus, poverty is the common denominator to all of the other factors outlined.

Including, alas, easily measurable things like exposure to air pollution and lead poisoning.

ericrugiero

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #311 on: July 10, 2020, 07:23:58 AM »
Quote
I would never say that one race of people are genetically more intelligent than another.  I've known some black people who were extremely intelligent and some on the other end of the spectrum.  I know one black family in particular that really struggles in this area.  They also happen to eat the least nutritious food of any family I know.  Nutrition has an underrated impact on brain function.  Kids especially need the right vitamins and minerals for their brains to develop.  There is probably a difference in test scores between black and white kids.  If so, it's almost certainly due to differences in school quality, support from parents (and others), nutrition and probably some other factors.

It's poverty.

The family that I'm talking about probably spends more on their food (primarily coca cola and ground beef-no vegetables) than many of the families on this forum who eat much healthier.  The problem is, neither of them was taught how to shop, cook, or eat healthy.  It's less of an actual money issue (in their case) than a knowledge and desire issue.  But, you are right that all of these issues are much more common with poverty. 

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #312 on: July 10, 2020, 07:31:43 AM »
@mm1970 this this this. There is extensive research on poverty and access to good nutrition and the psychology of poverty. (Ie people experiencing poverty or other chronic stress make choices that are easier short term and not strictly more efficient)

https://www.npr.org/2017/03/23/521195903/how-the-scarcity-mindset-can-make-problems-worse

Good NPR story about this.

joe189man

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #313 on: July 10, 2020, 08:56:55 AM »
Seems like we got off topic for a bunch of the above posts,

I love the idea of FIRE that MMM and many others discuss, but it often has a suffering through it component (extreme frugality) to get to your magical number of ~25x annual expenses.

I dont want to live an extremely frugal life just so i can retire and continue to live extremely frugally albeit just not working.

i would like to see or read more about folks who have designed their lives in such a way as to enjoy most aspects of it, not suffering through 10 years of being a computer programmer then becoming a part time carpenter/writer because that's where their passions lie. i think about what my perfect day would look like or my designed life all the time, even at 80 years old i want ~4 hours a day of some sort of work, to contribute, to help others, to pass on what i have learned

i guess if i were going to "start a cult" (MMM words) it would focus on how to design your life so you wanted to live it, not save every penny you could to escape it


nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #314 on: July 10, 2020, 09:27:19 AM »
Seems like we got off topic for a bunch of the above posts,

I love the idea of FIRE that MMM and many others discuss, but it often has a suffering through it component (extreme frugality) to get to your magical number of ~25x annual expenses.

I dont want to live an extremely frugal life just so i can retire and continue to live extremely frugally albeit just not working.

i would like to see or read more about folks who have designed their lives in such a way as to enjoy most aspects of it, not suffering through 10 years of being a computer programmer then becoming a part time carpenter/writer because that's where their passions lie. i think about what my perfect day would look like or my designed life all the time, even at 80 years old i want ~4 hours a day of some sort of work, to contribute, to help others, to pass on what i have learned

i guess if i were going to "start a cult" (MMM words) it would focus on how to design your life so you wanted to live it, not save every penny you could to escape it

This idea that MMM is about 'extreme frugality' is one myth that apparently will not die.  Pete even wrote several blog posts about it, including this one:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/11/23/not-extreme-frugality/

Along those lines, if you are so focused on saving every penny that you aren't happy you've missed the underlying principle.  Even Pete describes his family's lives as an exploding volcano of excess. By avoiding the frivilous spending which characterizes most consumer spending and isntead focusing on spending money where it adds value, a person can quickly have a firehose of excess cash each month, which - when plowed into savings - gives you incredible freedom.  As for working after hitting your 'FI number' - that's also acceptable, and Pete coined the term SWAMI (Satisfied Working Advanced Mustachian Individual ) for it.  This isn't about slaving away at a job you hate just to exit as soon as possible (heck, even Pete enjoyed most of his working career).


LWYRUP

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #315 on: July 10, 2020, 10:45:36 AM »
@mm1970 this this this. There is extensive research on poverty and access to good nutrition and the psychology of poverty. (Ie people experiencing poverty or other chronic stress make choices that are easier short term and not strictly more efficient)

This is an interesting discussion.  I remember watching "Super Size Me" and there was a point in the film where a lower income (white) lady was talking about her struggles with diet and said basically that her family was obese because they did not have the money to eat at Subway every day like Jared.

It struck me that for a large number of people in our country, a lot of their home economics training is... advertising.  Which explains a lot about why our per capita income (very high even relative to other rich countries) and our quality of life (lots of extensive social problems not typical of rich countries) seem so misaligned. 

I am a firm believer that we need a national, updated non-gendered "life skills" type class.  Not just picking between making a wooden spice rack or baking a pie, but something where teachers lay down the cold hard truths to high schoolers on issues like debt, nutrition, substance abuse, etc. 

In fact, one of my very favorite things about this forum is that at its best it is like basically navy-seal level "life skills" training.  But a lot of people don't even have the basics. 

LWYRUP

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #316 on: July 10, 2020, 11:02:57 AM »
i would like to see or read more about folks who have designed their lives in such a way as to enjoy most aspects of it, not suffering through 10 years of being a computer programmer then becoming a part time carpenter/writer because that's where their passions lie. i think about what my perfect day would look like or my designed life all the time, even at 80 years old i want ~4 hours a day of some sort of work, to contribute, to help others, to pass on what i have learned

i guess if i were going to "start a cult" (MMM words) it would focus on how to design your life so you wanted to live it, not save every penny you could to escape it

I think what you are talking about is basically "self-actualization."

For me, this forum is only tangentially about finances, and the part that is about finances is only tangentially about FIRE.  It's about self-actualization. 

However, I personally find having an extremely health financial base is something that helps me with that process.  It reduces the importance of a huge zone of concern and has given me flexibility to allow myself to take a job that pays less but that I mostly enjoy rather than jobs that paid a lot but that I mostly did not enjoy.  At some point, I hope will will give me the complete flexibility to just allocate my time without regard to money entirely, solely based on self-actualization (which for me does include feeling useful and helping others and probably earning somethings anyways, but just more as the icing on the cake). 

However, there are always trade-offs in life, such as spending now vs. reaching FIRE earlier. 

DadJokes

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #317 on: July 10, 2020, 11:12:39 AM »
I am a firm believer that we need a national, updated non-gendered "life skills" type class.  Not just picking between making a wooden spice rack or baking a pie, but something where teachers lay down the cold hard truths to high schoolers on issues like debt, nutrition, substance abuse, etc. 

In fact, one of my very favorite things about this forum is that at its best it is like basically navy-seal level "life skills" training.  But a lot of people don't even have the basics.

One of my FIREd life ideas is to try teaching high school personal finance, though that could be expanded to a life skills class as well.

It'd be a fun way to give back.

OtherJen

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #318 on: July 10, 2020, 11:19:49 AM »
I am a firm believer that we need a national, updated non-gendered "life skills" type class.  Not just picking between making a wooden spice rack or baking a pie, but something where teachers lay down the cold hard truths to high schoolers on issues like debt, nutrition, substance abuse, etc. 

In fact, one of my very favorite things about this forum is that at its best it is like basically navy-seal level "life skills" training.  But a lot of people don't even have the basics.

Yes, absolutely! How to make a budget. How to save money. How to set up accounts and pay bills. How to make a doctor/dentist appointment and what does ďco-payĒ mean. How to eat a balanced diet and why itís cheaper and often faster to shop for groceries once a week and prep the food at home.

dougules

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #319 on: July 10, 2020, 11:23:25 AM »
Seems like we got off topic for a bunch of the above posts,

I love the idea of FIRE that MMM and many others discuss, but it often has a suffering through it component (extreme frugality) to get to your magical number of ~25x annual expenses.

I dont want to live an extremely frugal life just so i can retire and continue to live extremely frugally albeit just not working.

i would like to see or read more about folks who have designed their lives in such a way as to enjoy most aspects of it, not suffering through 10 years of being a computer programmer then becoming a part time carpenter/writer because that's where their passions lie. i think about what my perfect day would look like or my designed life all the time, even at 80 years old i want ~4 hours a day of some sort of work, to contribute, to help others, to pass on what i have learned

i guess if i were going to "start a cult" (MMM words) it would focus on how to design your life so you wanted to live it, not save every penny you could to escape it

This seems like total misconception.  He doesn't really focus on saving every penny, but is specifically saying that cutting out pointless spending has the effect of designing your life for more happiness. He even is constantly giving a never-ending stream of pointing out all the frivolous things he spends on like a fancy house in a developed country, a nice bicycle, health care, fancy food and drinks, etc.  A lot of people seem to have forgotten how much those are luxuries.  And if you have a paying career that you're fine working for the rest of your life, lucky you!  Just know that not everyone is so fortunate.  I just see a lot of people disagreeing with what they think he is saying when they don't realize they're agreeing with what he is actually saying.

That being said, I don't think many people are blind followers.  If anything I think the type of people that are inclined to listen to him are independent-minded or just straight-up contrarians.  His ideas are direct rejections of a lot of ideas ingrained into Western culture.  It takes somebody who is willing to, or just straight-up likes to not go with the flow.  That same mentality gets turned on what he puts out.  Look around.  Most people on here are ready and very willing to reject anything he says that they even slightly disagree with.  This thread is a perfect example in and of itself. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 11:39:01 AM by dougules »

American GenX

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #320 on: July 10, 2020, 11:50:03 AM »
I love the idea of FIRE that MMM and many others discuss, but it often has a suffering through it component (extreme frugality) to get to your magical number of ~25x annual expenses.

I dont want to live an extremely frugal life just so i can retire and continue to live extremely frugally albeit just not working.

i would like to see or read more about folks who have designed their lives in such a way as to enjoy most aspects of it, not suffering through 10 years of being a computer programmer then becoming a part time carpenter/writer because that's where their passions lie. i think about what my perfect day would look like or my designed life all the time, even at 80 years old i want ~4 hours a day of some sort of work, to contribute, to help others, to pass on what i have learned

i guess if i were going to "start a cult" (MMM words) it would focus on how to design your life so you wanted to live it, not save every penny you could to escape it
I haven't read much what MMM has posted but have read the feedback of many forum posters here and on other forums.  I don't think that many are going for extreme frugality.  I'm probably more frugal than most and still wouldn't say that I'm extreme by any stretch.  I probably wasted $1000 on discretionary spending last year, but it had no effect on my FIRE date plans as I'm saving far more than that.

Another thing is that you can enjoy life without having to spend a lot of money.  I wouldn't call that "suffering".

Also, I've never worked a job as a computer programmer, and I have no interest in working as a part time carpenter, and have no desire to work after I FIRE.  Maybe I will feel differently down the road, but I should be set so that it will never be necessary and so that I will have more than enough discretionary spending funds for my generally low cost needs for happiness.

No need to be too extreme.  Enjoy!
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 11:54:35 AM by American GenX »

iris lily

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #321 on: July 10, 2020, 11:55:32 AM »
i would like to see or read more about folks who have designed their lives in such a way as to enjoy most aspects of it, not suffering through 10 years of being a computer programmer then becoming a part time carpenter/writer because that's where their passions lie. i think about what my perfect day would look like or my designed life all the time, even at 80 years old i want ~4 hours a day of some sort of work, to contribute, to help others, to pass on what i have learned

i guess if i were going to "start a cult" (MMM words) it would focus on how to design your life so you wanted to live it, not save every penny you could to escape it

I think what you are talking about is basically "self-actualization."

For me, this forum is only tangentially about finances, and the part that is about finances is only tangentially about FIRE.  It's about self-actualization. 

However, I personally find having an extremely health financial base is something that helps me with that process.  It reduces the importance of a huge zone of concern and has given me flexibility to allow myself to take a job that pays less but that I mostly enjoy rather than jobs that paid a lot but that I mostly did not enjoy.  At some point, I hope will will give me the complete flexibility to just allocate my time without regard to money entirely, solely based on self-actualization (which for me does include feeling useful and helping others and probably earning somethings anyways, but just more as the icing on the cake). 

However, there are always trade-offs in life, such as spending now vs. reaching FIRE earlier.

Yes!

Iím so glad to hear someone talk about self actualization. That is the ultimate life goal.

mrs sideways

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #322 on: July 10, 2020, 06:28:28 PM »
I don't check his Twitter feed often, but good lord, man:

July 1st: Why are cases in NYC plummeting and rising elsewhere? Maybe herd immunity, right?
Comments: Nope. Everyone wears a mask.
July 1st: Poll time! Is it herd immunity or masks?
Comments: Masks, everyone is wearing them and being careful.
July 7th: Why are we arguing about who wears a mask?
Me: (facepalm)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 07:56:54 PM by mrs sideways »

Kyle Schuant

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #323 on: July 10, 2020, 08:45:37 PM »
i would like to see or read more about folks who have designed their lives in such a way as to enjoy most aspects of it, not suffering through 10 years of being a computer programmer then becoming a part time carpenter/writer because that's where their passions lie
Well, instead of 10 years of 40hr pw of IT followed by 10yr of 0hr, he could just have done 20hr pw of IT forever for 20 years. Most jobs aren't too bad if you limit the hours.

I'm a trainer part-time (20hr pw) out of my garage (or was until the lockdown, followed by the opening, followed by another lockdown... we'll see what happens after this) which means I can also be a stay-at-home father. At 20hr pw, I love being a trainer. At 40hr pw I would not, and at 60hr pw I would hate it. Likewise being a stay-at-home father.

Of course, the person you're alluding to you ended up with a divorce, which suggests to me the approach isn't perfect - obviously there may be other factors, but we're just speaking generally anyway. There's another finance guy (doesn't focus on FIRE) Scott Pape, who talks about a "financial date night" once a month with your spouse - you sit down together over dinner and wine and discuss where you are financially and what you'd like to do. Regularly discussing things with your spouse is, to my mind, key to a successful relationship.

So whether your goal is FIRE or something else like what I've done, it's well to discuss it with friends and family. Before setting a course for the ship of your life, talk to the passengers and crew.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #324 on: July 10, 2020, 09:14:39 PM »
Of course, the person you're alluding to you ended up with a divorce, which suggests to me the approach isn't perfect - obviously there may be other factors, but we're just speaking generally anyway. There's another finance guy (doesn't focus on FIRE) Scott Pape, who talks about a "financial date night" once a month with your spouse - you sit down together over dinner and wine and discuss where you are financially and what you'd like to do. Regularly discussing things with your spouse is, to my mind, key to a successful relationship.

On a side note, what do people actually talk about at these meetings, like specifically? I've heard of this before and it's always really puzzled me. I think if me and my partner tried to do this it would last about 30 seconds.

"So, those automated finances sure are automating, and Mint says our spending remains within our historical norms. Still wanna retire in a couple of years?"
"Yuppers."
"Coolio."

I'm guessing most people must have more complicated financial lives than us?

Kyle Schuant

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #325 on: July 10, 2020, 10:28:00 PM »
On a side note, what do people actually talk about at these meetings, like specifically? I've heard of this before and it's always really puzzled me. I think if me and my partner tried to do this it would last about 30 seconds.
Sure, because you've got it fairly sorted. But lots of people don't. Thus all the credit card debt, people doing jobs they hate, and marriages breaking up. Remember the saying about people working jobs they hate to get money to buy things they need to impress people they don't like - that saying exists for a reason.

What I see a lot of is inertia - that a body moving at one speed in one direction continues moving that way unless acted on by an outside force. Many people slide straight from school to uni to credit card to marriage to mortgage to children without really sitting down and asking themselves or their spouse, "Is this what I really want? And after we do this thing, what then?" That's why women do the bulk of the child-rearing and household stuff, it's not outright sexism, it's momentum. Immediately after having a baby she's not really up for straight back to work most of the time, plus many of the women are breastfeeding, so they naturally do more of the child stuff, and then the child stuff also involves washing their clothes and dishes, while she's at it she does the other laundry and cleaning, and... before you know it the first child is seven years old, there's a second child of two, and she's running them around in the car to different activities and doing all the housework and resents her husband because he doesn't do anything around the house. Five years later there's a divorce.

Had they had regular conversations, "how many children do you want? when we have them, who will care for them?" and "once they're at school I'd like to open my own small business, but this will cost $X at least, we could take it from the offset account or...?" then things might have worked out for that couple. But it's easy to be so caught up in the day-to-day bullshit that you never have these conversations and just drift one way out of sheer inertia.

Usually you find that the first few times the conversations are pretty lengthy, as you establish your situation and goals. Then they settle down into a brief checkin, and the rest is a normal date night. Then maybe something changes a few years later and you have a few longer conversations again.

In my family, we don't have formal financial date nights, but we pretty regularly talk about these things. It's just a way to get people talking.

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #326 on: July 10, 2020, 11:05:16 PM »
On a side note, what do people actually talk about at these meetings, like specifically? I've heard of this before and it's always really puzzled me. I think if me and my partner tried to do this it would last about 30 seconds.
Sure, because you've got it fairly sorted. But lots of people don't. Thus all the credit card debt, people doing jobs they hate, and marriages breaking up. Remember the saying about people working jobs they hate to get money to buy things they need to impress people they don't like - that saying exists for a reason.

What I see a lot of is inertia - that a body moving at one speed in one direction continues moving that way unless acted on by an outside force. Many people slide straight from school to uni to credit card to marriage to mortgage to children without really sitting down and asking themselves or their spouse, "Is this what I really want? And after we do this thing, what then?" That's why women do the bulk of the child-rearing and household stuff, it's not outright sexism, it's momentum. Immediately after having a baby she's not really up for straight back to work most of the time, plus many of the women are breastfeeding, so they naturally do more of the child stuff, and then the child stuff also involves washing their clothes and dishes, while she's at it she does the other laundry and cleaning, and... before you know it the first child is seven years old, there's a second child of two, and she's running them around in the car to different activities and doing all the housework and resents her husband because he doesn't do anything around the house. Five years later there's a divorce.

Had they had regular conversations, "how many children do you want? when we have them, who will care for them?" and "once they're at school I'd like to open my own small business, but this will cost $X at least, we could take it from the offset account or...?" then things might have worked out for that couple. But it's easy to be so caught up in the day-to-day bullshit that you never have these conversations and just drift one way out of sheer inertia.

Usually you find that the first few times the conversations are pretty lengthy, as you establish your situation and goals. Then they settle down into a brief checkin, and the rest is a normal date night. Then maybe something changes a few years later and you have a few longer conversations again.

In my family, we don't have formal financial date nights, but we pretty regularly talk about these things. It's just a way to get people talking.

That's really interesting. In my case inertia has never been a thing because everything about my lifestyle is so far outside the norm that there ISN'T a track to follow, so I basically have to make conscious decisions or everything would just crash and burn. I think my boyfriend had a bit of the inertia thing going when we first met (he was 21 and assumed his life would follow the normal LifeScript), but I pulled him out of that really fast.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #327 on: July 10, 2020, 11:33:29 PM »
Well, that's it. At some point you have to think about and discuss things. If you do it early on then after that there's not much to say. It's like firing a rifle - a small deviation early on makes a big difference where the bullet will land, later on in its path it takes a lot to make it hit something else.

The guy who advises a financial date night also has some basic advice for bringing up your kids as financially aware for that very reason.

mspym

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #328 on: July 10, 2020, 11:48:33 PM »
Scott Pape is very good at the relationship side and the actionable baby steps that will get most people to a healthy financial state if not the extreme FI level. And honestly, getting the joint vision of the future is the foundation. One of my favourite conversations with Ofpym was driving from NYC to Chicago working through what country we thought we would live in and how we would make each of them work.

SotI

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #329 on: July 11, 2020, 02:25:56 AM »
"So, those automated finances sure are automating, and Mint says our spending remains within our historical norms. Still wanna retire in a couple of years?"
"Yuppers."
"Coolio."

Sums it up for me, as well.
DH doesn't want to hear or even think of it.

I have found some people literally cannot mentally deal with "administrative" stuff (finances, tax, council stuff). It's a form of illiteracy akin to dyslexia. The brain of some ppl don't simply grasp the concept (and I have seen this in otherwise educated, intelligent people).

Education may help some, but I have an older sibling who had all those practical household management training at school. It left her with an understanding but also an utter dislike for any such topics that she "outsourced" them to professionals at the earliest opportunity.

Anything with either a banking, finance or IT label is a mental block item and it cost them too much energy just going near it. Education will not fix that.

I, myself, however, have always actively focused on such topics b/c I am fiercely independent by nature. Even so, I learned about FI(RE) quite late (and the bits I have been doing "right" have come from simple logic).

Anyhow, back on topic: MMM blog and forum pushed me to think my personal finance approach to higher ambition level and provided great pointers in terms of frugality/DIY that suits my family.
No disagreement there. Also Stoicism is a good basis.
On other topics (social, political matters)? I might disagree based on the fact that I often find them not so relevant for my part of the world (i.e. cycling or hiking is standard here, nothing particularly special to promote).



iris lily

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #330 on: July 11, 2020, 10:53:19 AM »
Of course, the person you're alluding to you ended up with a divorce, which suggests to me the approach isn't perfect - obviously there may be other factors, but we're just speaking generally anyway. There's another finance guy (doesn't focus on FIRE) Scott Pape, who talks about a "financial date night" once a month with your spouse - you sit down together over dinner and wine and discuss where you are financially and what you'd like to do. Regularly discussing things with your spouse is, to my mind, key to a successful relationship.

On a side note, what do people actually talk about at these meetings, like specifically? I've heard of this before and it's always really puzzled me. I think if me and my partner tried to do this it would last about 30 seconds.

"So, those automated finances sure are automating, and Mint says our spending remains within our historical norms. Still wanna retire in a couple of years?"
"Yuppers."
"Coolio."

I'm guessing most people must have more complicated financial lives than us?

This post just reminds me, randomly, of my own financial situation with DH.

He and I are a very good economic team in that we can accumulate money like fiends. We are old now and FIRED but back in the day when we were both working we spent little money and banked lots of it.

I only give that background because we are pretty much dysfunctional when it comes to talking about money. Whenever we have conversations about finances, we end up fighting. I know thatís really weird! We share a very strong core value:  save every cent you can, But all the other financial pieces are some thing we have to negotiate and we do not see eye to eye.

So we are good at saving, but we are stupid about investing.  We have three brokerage firms. I know that is wrong, but I canít get him to move off that dime. He belongs to an investment club which I think of as his little menís club and they pick stocks. I just roll my eyes, and while  itís play money he has invested there, just a few thousand dollars, I just think they are silly.

See? Iím not very respectful of his financial activities.

 And we are beyond stupid about having a financial plan for the rest of our lives.  We have a will, we have a trust, Iíve laid it all out, but I had to start all that he would not.

Iím gearing up to plan the last part of our financial life as we slide into elderly status. Iím thinking maybe the Bogelheads site has people who will give me some advice. Iím unhappy about the level of control DH exerts on our resources, but I have to accept that things like his 401(k)s are his alone, as his family farm  just sitting there doing absolutely nothing, a large asset.

Iíve already broken down our assets into a pie chart about what I control exclusively, what he controls exclusively, And our joint assets that I would like to have more control over.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 11:01:21 AM by iris lily »

mspym

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #331 on: July 11, 2020, 02:56:23 PM »
Hmmmm @iris lily this might be time to bring in a paid expert to be a neutral third party/ mediator. Given your situation, maybe an estate planner or a financial planner who specialises in the later part of life. Because as much as DIY is best and obviously we will all retain mental capacity to manage finances and never fall prey to a scammer and no one will die unexpectedly without sharing passwords and locations of buried treasures... There are certain known issues with aging and money and paying someone for advice to navigate can remove control issues.

And, look, I think I managed to tie this back to the topic of the thread. Phew.

Jezibelle

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #332 on: July 11, 2020, 03:28:27 PM »
I'm also bothered by the promotion of not having home insurance or visiting the dentist.
  This is mine, too. I've had a high deductible ($5k) private-pay medical plan for a decade. I wanted it in case of a catastrophe. I've never been even close to reaching that deductible, since I never get sick and have no reason to go to the doctor besides an annual wellness exam. I liken it to paying out of pocket for an oil change-- that's fine; you want the insurance for the big stuff.  ......And then two years ago i suddenly had a brain aneurysm rupture to the tune of over 3/4 of a million dollars. Sure was glad I had that bad boy then. As far as salads and barbells, I'm fairly sure that my anti-inflammatory/low carb/grain-free diet protected my brain, and is a big reason why I have no deficits despite having every complication possible while in ICU for 3 weeks--- but it didn't stop me from having the incredibly expensive event. And had I had lasting deficits, and needed ongoing care the rest of my life, that could eat into an otherwise comfortable uninsured income incredibly quickly. Especially as a single person with one income who lives alone.

I LOVE the term FU Money. [...] I guess my point is, itís great if youíve never been in a really confrontational work environment or other environment where a FU fund can be your life line. But thatís not the reality for many people and these kinds of confrontations are not the same as not being paid as much as you want or mere personality conflicts that you can ďpreventĒ from getting to the FU stage. So many people stay in really horrible situations because they donít feel they a viable choice in walking away. And so many people also assume that they will never be in this situation until they have a very rude awakening.
  I'm with you. I make it clear in my dating site profile that financial stability is important to me-- it's why i'll never be stuck in a job I hate or in an unhealthy relationship. It's why I don't have to put up with anyone's shit.      In my mid 20s I got fed up with a job and told my manager "Fuck this. I'm done." I wasn't anywhere close to FI but I had enough in the bank to survive and take 5 months off, get up every day and go to yoga for a couple hours, and decompress from the shitty job, and do whatever I wanted to do, before starting to freelance.  Having that freedom to know your worth and expect more from people is absolutely empowering.

He acts like kids are the bestest most fulfilling thing ever, but pets are a no-go.  I have the opposite view.  Getting snipped childless at 26 was one of my best decisions.
Hard agree. Fixed at 24.

I recall a blog post somewhere where he talked about canola oil being a great snack and that he just takes a swig when he's hungry and it's a snack that costs like $0.01. Nope nope nope.
WOW.  Cost aside, if he prides himself on being healthy, canola oil is not it. Yikes.
I think that was olive oil.
Oh god, i hope you're right.

As mentioned above, he is single now, so maybe he isn't too concerned about the showers. haha
I feel like if you're single you're more likely to be trying to, um, mingle. That's even more reason to up dem hygiene habits.

Or to put it in a less confusing way, there came a point in my adult life (around 24 or so) where I realized that I was gonna be okay. At that point and since, I don't think anyone should be giving me money or helping me out in any expensive way. My parents (or any secret unknown benefactors out there) should spend money on themselves or preferably, the less fortunately.
I wholeheartedly agree. I think able-bodied adults need to work hard (in whatever way that may be), and contribute to the world around them. I think that's ideal. We're meant to work at things, and a sense of accomplishment is great for mental health. Granted, I could just be biased, though, because I am kind of grossed out by the rich-kid/influencer types. But that's also probably because I do weight a good work ethic pretty heavily in my opinions of people.

NaN

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #333 on: July 11, 2020, 03:58:46 PM »
I disagree with his current thinking on the Coronavirus. What's up with his tweets on herd immunity? He put out a poll on whether NY is not seeing a resurgence because a) masks or b) herd immunity. Then the poll is overwhelmingly is because of mask adoption. And he still says he thinks the herd immunity is answer.

Everyone should have skepticism from MMM.

iris lily

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #334 on: July 11, 2020, 04:36:19 PM »
Hmmmm @iris lily this might be time to bring in a paid expert to be a neutral third party/ mediator. Given your situation, maybe an estate planner or a financial planner who specialises in the later part of life. Because as much as DIY is best and obviously we will all retain mental capacity to manage finances and never fall prey to a scammer and no one will die unexpectedly without sharing passwords and locations of buried treasures... There are certain known issues with aging and money and paying someone for advice to navigate can remove control issues.

And, look, I think I managed to tie this back to the topic of the thread. Phew.

I think a financial planner with a degree in therapy specializing in marriage counseling will probably be best, ha ha!

I will probably start with one of our brokers. Itís just tha then I have to share all of our financial,info with him, And I donít really like anyone having the entire picture. I like the brokers to know their own little worldís but not our entire universe.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 04:38:37 PM by iris lily »

marty998

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #335 on: July 11, 2020, 07:31:34 PM »
Hmmmm @iris lily this might be time to bring in a paid expert to be a neutral third party/ mediator. Given your situation, maybe an estate planner or a financial planner who specialises in the later part of life. Because as much as DIY is best and obviously we will all retain mental capacity to manage finances and never fall prey to a scammer and no one will die unexpectedly without sharing passwords and locations of buried treasures... There are certain known issues with aging and money and paying someone for advice to navigate can remove control issues.

And, look, I think I managed to tie this back to the topic of the thread. Phew.

I think a financial planner with a degree in therapy specializing in marriage counseling will probably be best, ha ha!

I will probably start with one of our brokers. Itís just tha then I have to share all of our financial,info with him, And I donít really like anyone having the entire picture. I like the brokers to know their own little worldís but not our entire universe.

Laws are a little different here - when you go to a financial planner for example they are required to ask about all your assets and liabilities so that the advice can take into account all of your personal circumstances.

The tax rules here are so complex and numerous that omitting some information could make some advice scenarios drastically different, especially when it comes to maximising government payments, aged care entitlements and use of tax structures.

But if you're only moving stock brokers around, then yeah - no need for them to have their tentacles in everything.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #336 on: July 11, 2020, 08:28:35 PM »
-I don't totally agree with his stance on not giving his kids wealth so they can earn their own way.  I'd like to give mine a head start while not giving them an entitled/lazy mindset.  It's a delicate balance that I still have time to think through.
It is an important question. I struggle with it myself. However, I would note that "divorced man without custody of children refuses to give them or their mother much if any money" is not an unusual scenario, with or without FIRE considerations.

What I've done with my young children is much like the Scott Pape method. To get their pocket money they must do 3 jobs each week - every 3 months we sit down and discuss what they'll do, currently my 9yo son sweeps the driveway (we have trees with leaves), empties the dishwasher and cleans the hallway toilet; my younger daughter (4yo) just puts the kids' plastic dishes away.

The summer before they start school, they get $3 a week, which goes up $1 on each birthday. They have three "jars" of Give, Save and Spend. At least $1 of their pocket money each week goes into each "jar"; I got my son three pirate treasure chests to do it, and later a wallet for the Spend.

So the idea is to teach them to think of working for what they get, to think of others, think of the future, and not neglect today. As well, once it goes from $3 to $4, they have to decide whether to emphasise giving, saving for the future, or spending today. And each time they spend they have to decide: "Do I want this $8 thing, or these two $3 things? I can't have both." A lot of poor spending habits in adults come from an infantile aversion to the idea of having to make choices. "Can't I have both?" But whatever your income level you have to make choices, even Jeff Bezos couldn't buy Microsoft and Verizon.


I don't veto any purchase choices, but I do make strong suggestions about quality, etc - but ultimately it's their spending decision. One got into some toy line, bought a cheap Chinese knockoff, and was disappointed to find it didn't fit with the genuine one and broke quickly. A lesson was learned. Spend it all on lollies, cheap crap that breaks, or something good - it's your money, you can spend it well or badly, but once spent it's gone.


As for outright handouts, what I've said is that if that if they have something big they want, whatever they save up by their birthday I'll match it. For my son's eighth birthday he wanted a new bike. The idea was: okay if you save like 50 bucks, you'll get a pretty boring cheap bike, if you save 200, a pretty damned good kid's bike. He saved $150, we found a $400 bike on sale for $288 and got it - and as he walked out of the shop with his bike, he said, "I wish it had been cheaper, then I could have paid for it by myself." It's amazing the lessons they learn that you didn't actually try to teach them.


I likewise match their Give money to the charity of their choice - my son usually chooses a homeless guy when we go visit the CBD.


Aside from that, each child since their birth I've put away $25 a week. This is for education and health. We have public healthcare here which is pretty good, but sometimes there'll be a wait for elective surgery - my children won't wait, we'll just pay. We also have state education, but of course there are other things like music and sports, maybe they need a tutor in something they're struggling with, or a speech therapist. And of course dental isn't free, and that cost can be ridiculous.


Pocket money stops when they're old enough to do paid work, which is 15yo. If the money isn't spent by then, my thought had been that at this point, I would say, "Each year on your birthday, however much your bank account is higher than last time, I'll match that increase." If a 100% savings interest rate doesn't encourage savings in a kid, nothing will.


Get them used to the idea of having to earn their money, think of how they want to dispose of their money, reflect on whether it was well spent, and amplify the rewards of savings and charity.


I don't know whether we'll fund university. I'd probably encourage a gap year and match the savings from that. Once they've finished high school they start paying their way at home, though. 

Kyle Schuant

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #337 on: July 11, 2020, 08:35:31 PM »
It struck me that for a large number of people in our country, a lot of their home economics training is... advertising.  Which explains a lot about why our per capita income (very high even relative to other rich countries) and our quality of life (lots of extensive social problems not typical of rich countries) seem so misaligned. 

It's similar in Australia. Part of it, too, is lots of dual income full-time working households. So the kids don't get to see ordinary stuff like cleaning the toilet or making bread or boiling up some dried beans. This is one reason I think it's good to have 1-1.5 full-time equivalent jobs in the household, so that one of you has time to do domestic stuff - because that domestic stuff is part of your children's education. Even if they grow up and pay someone else to do that, they should at least understand how the job is done and appreciate the effort involved, so they respect the people they're paying to do it.

sixwings

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #338 on: July 12, 2020, 08:37:57 AM »
I am a firm believer that we need a national, updated non-gendered "life skills" type class.  Not just picking between making a wooden spice rack or baking a pie, but something where teachers lay down the cold hard truths to high schoolers on issues like debt, nutrition, substance abuse, etc. 

In fact, one of my very favorite things about this forum is that at its best it is like basically navy-seal level "life skills" training.  But a lot of people don't even have the basics.

Yes, absolutely! How to make a budget. How to save money. How to set up accounts and pay bills. How to make a doctor/dentist appointment and what does ďco-payĒ mean. How to eat a balanced diet and why itís cheaper and often faster to shop for groceries once a week and prep the food at home.

Add in basic financial calcs like FVs and calculating how much interest actually costs. People really don't understand how bad the credit card debt is because they dont know how to do the math on it.

TomTX

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #339 on: July 12, 2020, 02:51:10 PM »
I'm not sure if it's MMM's - since I 'outgrew' the blog years ago., but...
I disagree with the zealot environmentalism some have/portray.

Am I the scourge of the environment and  bane of humanity if sometimes I burn brush  instead of  dragging it away to a pile where it rots?

no.  The issue with burning brush is the temporary release of particulates into the air, which is bad from a human health standpoint more than anything, and negligible if you follow good burn procedures and you aren't in a densely populated area.  but from a carbon-release standpoint, decaying brush and burned brush are essentially equivalent over a very short time period (a couple of years).  Sequestering that carbon would be best, but it's extremely hard to do on an individual scale - carbon cycling (the decaying of organic material and re-introduction into the ecoystem) is just so efficient.

Biochar (charcoal) is a method which adapts very well to a variety of scales - the simplest method I found was the "flame capped kiln" or "flame capped trough" - which I scaled down (at first) to a chiminea. The basics of the technique is to control air access to the fuel to maximize biochar production/. I then scaled back up to a galvanized steel washtub, which works quite well. 5 gallon steel bucket doesn't work well - too tall for the width and it doesn't get wider as it goes up.

Biochar is soil stable, sequestering carbon for thousands of years, and with proper treatment (ie, mix with compost/manure/urine) - is a great soil amendment improving soil fertility.

Laura33

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #340 on: July 13, 2020, 07:36:13 AM »
@iris lily -- Don't go to your broker.  Brokers are heavily incentivized to direct you to their products.  Find a fee-only financial planner who does not manage assets and who will just charge you a flat fee to work up the plan you need.  Particularly one who is familiar with elder issues -- wills, survivor benefits, etc.  That's really the only way I can think of to make sure you have an unbiased opinion about your entire situation, not just the one little investment part of it. 

mspym

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #341 on: July 13, 2020, 02:51:07 PM »
@iris lily -- Don't go to your broker.  Brokers are heavily incentivized to direct you to their products.  Find a fee-only financial planner who does not manage assets and who will just charge you a flat fee to work up the plan you need.  Particularly one who is familiar with elder issues -- wills, survivor benefits, etc.  That's really the only way I can think of to make sure you have an unbiased opinion about your entire situation, not just the one little investment part of it.

Yup that was what I was trying to get at -this is one of the things worth paying for.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #342 on: July 13, 2020, 08:17:55 PM »
One thing I was thinking about today is that I think MMM actually under-emphasises the importance of choosing your partner and friends carefully. You can't choose family, but you can choose partner and friends, and doing your best to surround yourself with people with positive traits (intelligent, thoughtful, prudent, self-directed) will lead to passive gains as much as any material investment will.

We spend so much time trying to perfect our own discipline and self-control and yet we forget that we can get multiplier-effect benefits from just having a partner and friends who share similar values.

On the other hand, it doesn't matter how well you set yourself up, if you have an incompatible partner, or one who is unkind to you, or you have friends who are unsupportive and won't lift you up.

iris lily

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #343 on: July 13, 2020, 09:35:00 PM »
@iris lily -- Don't go to your broker.  Brokers are heavily incentivized to direct you to their products.  Find a fee-only financial planner who does not manage assets and who will just charge you a flat fee to work up the plan you need.  Particularly one who is familiar with elder issues -- wills, survivor benefits, etc.  That's really the only way I can think of to make sure you have an unbiased opinion about your entire situation, not just the one little investment part of it.

Yeah, I know that. I donít need investment advice I need financial counseling.Financial partnership counseling.

alex753

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #344 on: July 14, 2020, 06:30:27 AM »
I don't want to bike or walk everywhere especially for things such as groceries. I enjoy having a reliable paid off car like my Corolla and it's really cheap to travel with.

ebella

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #345 on: July 14, 2020, 10:52:38 AM »
I know that this is not the subject of his blog but he never touches upon the race, class and gender aspects of money.  Although he says that his approach also works for low incomes it would be much harder for, for example, a single parent with multiple children and a low income to execute FIRE than a privileged person like MMM himself. 

I also find his dismissive attitude to illness and disability rather insulting.  You can do everything 'right' and still get sick.  I was probably equally oblivious until I actually got sick in my 30s.  Luckily, I live in Italy but if I still lived in the US healthcare would be a big and permanent expense for me.  And of course anyone could end up with health issues no matter how much bike riding and salads they indulge in.

Yeah I really agree with this.  He does very little to acknowledge that he started out with privilege (free education, free healthcare, loving family, healthy good at STEM).  Sure he made good choices, but it is a unique aspect of privilege to be oblivious to the ways in which it helped you and attribute your success solely to good choices and shame others for not making those same choices or being as successful.  I'm really privileged too as a white person in America.  But I can't just get a STEM job and FIRE like he did because I'm not great at STEM and I have disabilities that make it hard to crush it for a few years in a very high earning non-STEM job without serious health consequences. I feel like he leaves out lots of discussions of the very real ways things like disability, race, gender and the other economic class one is born into are determinative of ability to FIRE.  Not everyone is white, able-bodied, quantitative-minded, Canadian and most actually aren't.

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #346 on: July 14, 2020, 11:11:35 AM »
I know that this is not the subject of his blog but he never touches upon the race, class and gender aspects of money.  Although he says that his approach also works for low incomes it would be much harder for, for example, a single parent with multiple children and a low income to execute FIRE than a privileged person like MMM himself. 

I also find his dismissive attitude to illness and disability rather insulting.  You can do everything 'right' and still get sick.  I was probably equally oblivious until I actually got sick in my 30s.  Luckily, I live in Italy but if I still lived in the US healthcare would be a big and permanent expense for me.  And of course anyone could end up with health issues no matter how much bike riding and salads they indulge in.

Yeah I really agree with this.  He does very little to acknowledge that he started out with privilege (free education, free healthcare, loving family, healthy good at STEM).  Sure he made good choices, but it is a unique aspect of privilege to be oblivious to the ways in which it helped you and attribute your success solely to good choices and shame others for not making those same choices or being as successful.  I'm really privileged too as a white person in America.  But I can't just get a STEM job and FIRE like he did because I'm not great at STEM and I have disabilities that make it hard to crush it for a few years in a very high earning non-STEM job without serious health consequences. I feel like he leaves out lots of discussions of the very real ways things like disability, race, gender and the other economic class one is born into are determinative of ability to FIRE.  Not everyone is white, able-bodied, quantitative-minded, Canadian and most actually aren't.

I think he did touch on why he doesn't go into this stuff at one point - it was in a really old post (or maybe comments on a post?). I wouldn't even know what to search for to find it though, sorry. The gist of it was that FIRE is very much a solo activity, and the general steps a person would take to reach FIRE are universal, regardless of the above factors. For example, I'm a Canadian-born white woman and my boyfriend is a a 1st generation immigrant Singaporean guy, from opposite socio-economic backgrounds (his very wealthy and urban, mine very not-wealthy and rural/remote), and our FIRE process is literally 100% identical, and it also would not change if we were a gay couple, black, etc. The steps just don't change. Find ways to increase income. Find ways to decrease spending. Invest the difference. Retire.

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #347 on: July 14, 2020, 03:18:06 PM »
I know that this is not the subject of his blog but he never touches upon the race, class and gender aspects of money.  Although he says that his approach also works for low incomes it would be much harder for, for example, a single parent with multiple children and a low income to execute FIRE than a privileged person like MMM himself. 

I also find his dismissive attitude to illness and disability rather insulting.  You can do everything 'right' and still get sick.  I was probably equally oblivious until I actually got sick in my 30s.  Luckily, I live in Italy but if I still lived in the US healthcare would be a big and permanent expense for me.  And of course anyone could end up with health issues no matter how much bike riding and salads they indulge in.

Yeah I really agree with this.  He does very little to acknowledge that he started out with privilege (free education, free healthcare, loving family, healthy good at STEM).  Sure he made good choices, but it is a unique aspect of privilege to be oblivious to the ways in which it helped you and attribute your success solely to good choices and shame others for not making those same choices or being as successful.  I'm really privileged too as a white person in America.  But I can't just get a STEM job and FIRE like he did because I'm not great at STEM and I have disabilities that make it hard to crush it for a few years in a very high earning non-STEM job without serious health consequences. I feel like he leaves out lots of discussions of the very real ways things like disability, race, gender and the other economic class one is born into are determinative of ability to FIRE.  Not everyone is white, able-bodied, quantitative-minded, Canadian and most actually aren't.

I think he did touch on why he doesn't go into this stuff at one point - it was in a really old post (or maybe comments on a post?). I wouldn't even know what to search for to find it though, sorry. The gist of it was that FIRE is very much a solo activity, and the general steps a person would take to reach FIRE are universal, regardless of the above factors. For example, I'm a Canadian-born white woman and my boyfriend is a a 1st generation immigrant Singaporean guy, from opposite socio-economic backgrounds (his very wealthy and urban, mine very not-wealthy and rural/remote), and our FIRE process is literally 100% identical, and it also would not change if we were a gay couple, black, etc. The steps just don't change. Find ways to increase income. Find ways to decrease spending. Invest the difference. Retire.
Itís almost like itís amazingly simple math.

Wait....

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #348 on: July 14, 2020, 07:19:36 PM »
I know that this is not the subject of his blog but he never touches upon the race, class and gender aspects of money.  Although he says that his approach also works for low incomes it would be much harder for, for example, a single parent with multiple children and a low income to execute FIRE than a privileged person like MMM himself. 

I also find his dismissive attitude to illness and disability rather insulting.  You can do everything 'right' and still get sick.  I was probably equally oblivious until I actually got sick in my 30s.  Luckily, I live in Italy but if I still lived in the US healthcare would be a big and permanent expense for me.  And of course anyone could end up with health issues no matter how much bike riding and salads they indulge in.

Yeah I really agree with this.  He does very little to acknowledge that he started out with privilege (free education, free healthcare, loving family, healthy good at STEM).  Sure he made good choices, but it is a unique aspect of privilege to be oblivious to the ways in which it helped you and attribute your success solely to good choices and shame others for not making those same choices or being as successful.  I'm really privileged too as a white person in America.  But I can't just get a STEM job and FIRE like he did because I'm not great at STEM and I have disabilities that make it hard to crush it for a few years in a very high earning non-STEM job without serious health consequences. I feel like he leaves out lots of discussions of the very real ways things like disability, race, gender and the other economic class one is born into are determinative of ability to FIRE.  Not everyone is white, able-bodied, quantitative-minded, Canadian and most actually aren't.

I think he did touch on why he doesn't go into this stuff at one point - it was in a really old post (or maybe comments on a post?). I wouldn't even know what to search for to find it though, sorry. The gist of it was that FIRE is very much a solo activity, and the general steps a person would take to reach FIRE are universal, regardless of the above factors. For example, I'm a Canadian-born white woman and my boyfriend is a a 1st generation immigrant Singaporean guy, from opposite socio-economic backgrounds (his very wealthy and urban, mine very not-wealthy and rural/remote), and our FIRE process is literally 100% identical, and it also would not change if we were a gay couple, black, etc. The steps just don't change. Find ways to increase income. Find ways to decrease spending. Invest the difference. Retire.
I think the issue of racism and sexism is that while the opportunities are out there for people, often times an employer will not hire someone based on race or sex or any number of other "isms". Even those who are on totally equal footing in terms of training, education, skills, etc can find a much harder time both getting a job, higher pay, and advancing then others - often younger white males. That doesn't mean they can't get a good job, or can't FIRE by following MMM principles, it just means it might not come as easily to non-whites or women or older people or disabled. I worked in a physically demanding blue collar/military career and even with my skills, education and training I believe I'd likely be passed over for similar jobs than a guy. Even one with less ability.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 07:23:08 PM by spartana »

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #349 on: July 14, 2020, 09:00:59 PM »
I think the issue of racism and sexism is that while the opportunities are out there for people, often times an employer will not hire someone based on race or sex or any number of other "isms". Even those who are on totally equal footing in terms of training, education, skills, etc can find a much harder time both getting a job, higher pay, and advancing then others - often younger white males. That doesn't mean they can't get a good job, or can't FIRE by following MMM principles, it just means it might not come as easily to non-whites or women or older people or disabled. I worked in a physically demanding blue collar/military career and even with my skills, education and training I believe I'd likely be passed over for similar jobs than a guy. Even one with less ability.

There may well be racist and sexist employers, but my point is that their existence doesn't change the steps an individual person would take to reach FIRE. Unless I suppose you decided to sue your employer and use the settlement to retire. But otherwise, if you work for a company that underpays you because they're racist versus just shitty cheap assholes, the end result is the same for a person that wants to FIRE - they still need to either find a way to increase their income (through finding a better job, starting a business, etc) or find a way to lower their expenses, and invest the difference.

Not to say we shouldn't try to make changes to improve society and deal with "-ist" employers, but I just think in the context of FIRE specifically, those things are just generally not super relevant since it's an individual activity versus something dependent on society at large.