Author Topic: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?  (Read 39832 times)

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #450 on: September 28, 2020, 09:41:28 AM »
Indeed a divorce destroys value. It is not to be entered into lightly.

But we have to grant space to the human being--Pete--to be someone different than the Mr. Money Mustache character. Pete created the character to build this movement. There are plenty of indications that Mrs. Money Mustache helped in creating that character and in articulating the values underneath that movement. The human being has a right to live, and a right to change his life. We are not always able to choose when things like a divorce happen.

I think the purpose of this thread is to critique the movement. There are plenty of reasons to respect the privacy of Pete the person while trying to refine our arguments about what the movement should be (and shouldn't be).

You articulated my thoughts better than I could.
FWIW I thought MMM’s (the persona) handling of Pete’s (the human) divorce was done fairly well.  There was the public acknowledgement of their split without the airing of dirty laundry that so often goes with it.  They remain invested in being parents and have stayed geographically close even though each has the financial means to live almost anywhere they want.

Many also falsely assume that Pete’s early salary and his blog income allowed them to FIRE - by his own accounts his wife was the higher earner for much of their accumulation phase, and She has had two lucrative occupations ‘post-FIRE.’ The blog income didn’t come until several years after they had both quit their original occupations (not to mention a great deal of the blog income has been gifted to charitable causes), and she continued to earn a sizable income. This doesn’t support the notion that she will take half of ‘his’ money.

Not to be pedantic, but he publicly gifted $100k (which is laudable, but also a tax advantaged way to 'spend', given that he hired a tax accountant and published his 'gift', which also increased his social value), so it is unlikely that his years of $400k income were being given to the point of MMM being impacted.  To be clear, he has not indicated that he is giving away his wealth and living in a monastery like some seem to assume.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #451 on: September 28, 2020, 10:19:37 AM »
Anyone who assumes he is living like a monk in a monetary has utterly failed to comprehend even a fraction of what he’s written on the subject (e.g. “exploding volcano of excess” and “if you think this is about extreme frugality, you are missing the point”.  Yes, he wrote about gifting $100k at one time, and has talked about his other charitable giving.  Not sure where you are getting the “only $100k” bit...


Dee18

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #452 on: September 28, 2020, 10:36:48 AM »
“Indeed a divorce destroys value.”
How so?
My best friend recently got divorced after 15 years of marriage.  There was no value destroyed.  One did buy out the other’s share of the house they were living in.  They were both working and had 403(b)/401(k) accounts.  No value was lost on those.  Another close friend divorced a dozen years ago, and it was handled similarly.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #453 on: September 28, 2020, 10:42:19 AM »
“Indeed a divorce destroys value.”
How so?
My best friend recently got divorced after 15 years of marriage.  There was no value destroyed.  One did buy out the other’s share of the house they were living in.  They were both working and had 403(b)/401(k) accounts.  No value was lost on those.  Another close friend divorced a dozen years ago, and it was handled similarly.

I would say that a contested divorce often destroys value (largely through legal representation).  But most divorces are uncontested, and some are settled somewhat amicably.
Beyond a few hundred$ in legal fees an uncontested divorce does not need to destroy value

Goldielocks

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #454 on: September 28, 2020, 05:41:52 PM »
Quote
earn as much as you can, but never sacrifice your soul to do it.

MMM also seems to have a much higher ceiling in terms of advocating for various modes of frugality than he does for increasing income. That is to say, he advocates we do everything we can (subject to cost/benefit analysis) to cut down spending, but is more lukewarm about doing everything we can (subject to cost/benefit analysis) to increase earnings. I think this is because MMM has an anti-consumerist bent. That's fine for him to have, but it's one point on which I don't agree with his approach. I am neither pro- nor anti-consumption.


What would you say are the two extreme ends of the scale, then? I see total self-sufficiency as one end (in which case MMMs move to abandon health insurance and become "self-insured" carries a moral value, and I see total outsourcing at the other end.
Here is the thing, though.

In order to ride a bike everywhere, cook and shop for your food from (low cost, healthy) whole ingredients, be smart about re-use of items and reducing environmental impacts....  you need TIME.  You need FREEDOM from being overbooked with massive commitments.

So, I would guess that MMM doesn't push on the side hustle / maximize your income, because then your brain is taken over with the complexities of making that happen, and there is very little left for optimizing your health, your personal environment, and your "chill" factor.  The classic "you can't have it all, all of the time" schtick.

Life doesn't start when we are FI, so having a horrific existence prior to FI is not the recommended plan.  Just stick to a frugal life, and a life with a purpose (including freedom FIRE).

marty998

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #455 on: September 28, 2020, 05:44:55 PM »
If I recall correctly it was Mrs MMM who designed and maintained the blog when it first started. MMM acknowledged this in a few posts and Mrs MMM also wrote content.

Mrs MMM also got this forum going too if I’m not mistaken.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #456 on: September 28, 2020, 07:50:59 PM »
“Indeed a divorce destroys value.”
How so?
My best friend recently got divorced after 15 years of marriage.  There was no value destroyed.  One did buy out the other’s share of the house they were living in.  They were both working and had 403(b)/401(k) accounts.  No value was lost on those.  Another close friend divorced a dozen years ago, and it was handled similarly.

A divorce destroys the goodwill built up from a relationship and it also destroys the financial and non-financial benefits of being part of a couple as opposed to being a single. There are various benefits to a loving relationship over a single existence. This is a controversial thing for me to say but I note that, just to use one example, married people (particularly men) live longer than single people.

What I'm trying to say is, although it's got little to do with straight finances, a happy marriage is probably the greatest thing you can have happen to you, and so for any holistic notion of wellbeing, the idea of a happy relationship should be central to that, and the sustenance of a marriage/prevention of rifts in a marriage is something that I think all lifestyle / financial bloggers should look at more closely. This starts with choosing the right person, too, and in fact probably starts even before that at working on yourself to become the best version of yourself.

LWYRUP

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #457 on: September 28, 2020, 08:31:38 PM »
“Indeed a divorce destroys value.”
How so?
My best friend recently got divorced after 15 years of marriage.  There was no value destroyed.  One did buy out the other’s share of the house they were living in.  They were both working and had 403(b)/401(k) accounts.  No value was lost on those.  Another close friend divorced a dozen years ago, and it was handled similarly.

A divorce destroys the goodwill built up from a relationship and it also destroys the financial and non-financial benefits of being part of a couple as opposed to being a single. There are various benefits to a loving relationship over a single existence. This is a controversial thing for me to say but I note that, just to use one example, married people (particularly men) live longer than single people.

What I'm trying to say is, although it's got little to do with straight finances, a happy marriage is probably the greatest thing you can have happen to you, and so for any holistic notion of wellbeing, the idea of a happy relationship should be central to that, and the sustenance of a marriage/prevention of rifts in a marriage is something that I think all lifestyle / financial bloggers should look at more closely. This starts with choosing the right person, too, and in fact probably starts even before that at working on yourself to become the best version of yourself.

Well put and not controversial to me, thanks for sharing.

SourdoughEnthusiast

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #458 on: September 28, 2020, 08:36:29 PM »
I very much agree with the principles of FIRE and learning to love a simpler existence, but I think where I ever so slightly depart from MMM is in this: the more extreme you become the more "successful" you will be on all your spreadsheets - BUT - being extreme (in any way) generally has unexpected repercussions.

In adopting an MMM lifestyle, you are pitting yourself (righteously!) against the whole world. This can isolate you from other's experiences and while an adult can make an informed decision to be eccentric, a child might struggle in a family that is sort of pitted against the rest of society.

When you hold yourself and your family to very high standards - of any kind - this needs to be done with a LOT of communication and an ability to compromise, be empathetic and reasonable.

Unfortunately the people who come pre-loaded with the capacity to be extreme, eccentric and disciplined might not always come pre-loaded with the ability to be reasonable and empathetic - which are needed for other forms of success - which do end up impacting on financial success in the end anyway.

So I do feel like the push to be "extreme" might need to be complemented with advice on how to be gentle and able to accept different viewpoints and values.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #459 on: September 28, 2020, 08:50:09 PM »
I very much agree with the principles of FIRE and learning to love a simpler existence, but I think where I ever so slightly depart from MMM is in this: the more extreme you become the more "successful" you will be on all your spreadsheets - BUT - being extreme (in any way) generally has unexpected repercussions.

In adopting an MMM lifestyle, you are pitting yourself (righteously!) against the whole world. This can isolate you from other's experiences and while an adult can make an informed decision to be eccentric, a child might struggle in a family that is sort of pitted against the rest of society.

When you hold yourself and your family to very high standards - of any kind - this needs to be done with a LOT of communication and an ability to compromise, be empathetic and reasonable.

Unfortunately the people who come pre-loaded with the capacity to be extreme, eccentric and disciplined might not always come pre-loaded with the ability to be reasonable and empathetic - which are needed for other forms of success - which do end up impacting on financial success in the end anyway.

So I do feel like the push to be "extreme" might need to be complemented with advice on how to be gentle and able to accept different viewpoints and values.

I thought this was a great post. Being non-judgmental, to a point, and being able to accept divergence is something I wish I was better at, and something I'm working on.

AO1FireTo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #460 on: September 28, 2020, 08:56:20 PM »
I still agree with most of what MMM stands for.  I understand the comments about how his real spending is somewhat covered up his business interests.  However, he's still basically the same guy.  He rides his bike everywhere, lives in a modest home, takes care of his kid, and advocates for the environment, bike lanes etc. which I find admirable.

I must say his love affair with Telsa leaves me somewhat baffled.  I get it for the love of technologies, but in reality there is no such thing as a green car.  We need to get rid of these things as fast as possible.

slappy

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #461 on: September 29, 2020, 07:01:25 AM »
I still agree with most of what MMM stands for.  I understand the comments about how his real spending is somewhat covered up his business interests.  However, he's still basically the same guy.  He rides his bike everywhere, lives in a modest home, takes care of his kid, and advocates for the environment, bike lanes etc. which I find admirable.

I must say his love affair with Telsa leaves me somewhat baffled.  I get it for the love of technologies, but in reality there is no such thing as a green car.  We need to get rid of these things as fast as possible.

It's really irritating to hear people on MMM (and Pete himself) say that we should "get rid of" cars. I don't know if that's hyperbole but I see it a lot: just bike everywhere!

It's dumb because it might work where you live, but there are places others live where that would not work. I think this is obvious enough to not need further explanation.

I think you might be missing the point though. Yes, we are a car centric society. The idea is to try to change that. Also, for me at least, the idea is to challenge the norm. If you think you can't ride a bike somewhere, challenge yourself. If you still decide you can't or don't want to, then fine. At least you thought about it. Too many people do things like that without even thinking. Imagine a situation where you need one item from a store within walking distance. Most people jump in the car and go grab that one item. It's not a even a question. It's not because they can't walk, or don't want to, it just doesn't even enter their mind as an option. Here's another example. I live .5 mile from my SIL. Yet sometimes I drive there. Most of the time I walk, but occasionally I don't feel like it, or the weather's not great or I need to carry a large heavy item. (Although I did walk home from there carrying a large cat crate once, no cat in it.)

chaskavitch

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #462 on: September 29, 2020, 07:20:24 AM »
I still agree with most of what MMM stands for.  I understand the comments about how his real spending is somewhat covered up his business interests.  However, he's still basically the same guy.  He rides his bike everywhere, lives in a modest home, takes care of his kid, and advocates for the environment, bike lanes etc. which I find admirable.

I must say his love affair with Telsa leaves me somewhat baffled.  I get it for the love of technologies, but in reality there is no such thing as a green car.  We need to get rid of these things as fast as possible.

It's really irritating to hear people on MMM (and Pete himself) say that we should "get rid of" cars. I don't know if that's hyperbole but I see it a lot: just bike everywhere!

It's dumb because it might work where you live, but there are places others live where that would not work. I think this is obvious enough to not need further explanation.

I think you might be missing the point though. Yes, we are a car centric society. The idea is to try to change that. Also, for me at least, the idea is to challenge the norm. If you think you can't ride a bike somewhere, challenge yourself. If you still decide you can't or don't want to, then fine. At least you thought about it. Too many people do things like that without even thinking. Imagine a situation where you need one item from a store within walking distance. Most people jump in the car and go grab that one item. It's not a even a question. It's not because they can't walk, or don't want to, it just doesn't even enter their mind as an option. Here's another example. I live .5 mile from my SIL. Yet sometimes I drive there. Most of the time I walk, but occasionally I don't feel like it, or the weather's not great or I need to carry a large heavy item. (Although I did walk home from there carrying a large cat crate once, no cat in it.)

We could also advocate for better public transport systems in areas that are lacking, and better cross-country train systems, etc.  And work to get rid of the idea that only "poor people" and students ride the bus - I know this isn't a problem in many urban areas, but it's definitely a prevalent mindset here.  That way not having a car WOULD be a viable option for more people. 

I personally live 10 miles from where I work, 7 miles from the grocery store, and I don't bike, because I don't think I'd be able to do it between needing to get to work at 6 am for a 11 hour day and then picking up kids from daycare and biking home with them.  So I don't have any moral high ground at all, but I absolutely agree that electric cars aren't the best answer.   Being able to walk or bike most places is what I miss most about living in town.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #463 on: September 29, 2020, 07:21:47 AM »
I still agree with most of what MMM stands for.  I understand the comments about how his real spending is somewhat covered up his business interests.  However, he's still basically the same guy.  He rides his bike everywhere, lives in a modest home, takes care of his kid, and advocates for the environment, bike lanes etc. which I find admirable.

I must say his love affair with Telsa leaves me somewhat baffled.  I get it for the love of technologies, but in reality there is no such thing as a green car.  We need to get rid of these things as fast as possible.

It's really irritating to hear people on MMM (and Pete himself) say that we should "get rid of" cars. I don't know if that's hyperbole but I see it a lot: just bike everywhere!

It's dumb because it might work where you live, but there are places others live where that would not work. I think this is obvious enough to not need further explanation.

I'm not sure how you ever concluded that Pete is advocating for complete elimination of cars.  As the previous poster pointed out, he's multiple glowing posts about Tesla, as well as several posts about his EV Nissan Leaf.  Several of his most read posts have been on cars, including "Turning a Little Car Into a Big One", "Top 10 Cars for Smart People" and "All Wheel Drive Does Not Make You Safer".    He's talked extensively about his road-trip vacations and smarter ways to own vehicles, and he has always owned at least one car at any given time.

What he advocates is less driving overall, and designing both our individual lives and our neighrbohoods to facilitate pedestrians and cyclists for shorter trips.

If you think he's pushing for zero cars I suggest you go back and start reading his blog from the beginning.  Hint: he mentions cars and car ownership several times in the first few pots.

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #464 on: September 29, 2020, 12:44:39 PM »
I can't quote all of you, but here's the deal...

If you live in an urban area, yes, walk, ride a bike, whatever you want.

But *97%**** of the country is rural!! Source: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/08/rural-america.html#:~:text=Urban%20areas%20make%20up%20only,Census%20Bureau%20%2D%20Opens%20as%20PDF.

I don't even live in a rural area, more like a suburb, but for work I drive about 20 minutes each way. I don't have time to ride a bike there, and no government is going to build a hyper speed rail from my smallish (but relatively high income) town to the major manufacturing area where I work as an engineer.

It just doesn't make sense.

You need to think about situations other than your own. I'm doing that: I think riding your bike is GREAT - if you live in the right area and it won't take you over an hour to get to work. This is so simple to understand.

MMM would tell you to move in that situation. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/28/get-rich-with-moving-to-a-better-place/

Also, 97% of the land mass may be rural, but in America 80% of the population lives in urban settings. And of people who live in truly rural places, a good chunk of them are farmers, so commuting would also be less of a thing for them.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #465 on: September 29, 2020, 01:14:29 PM »
I can't quote all of you, but here's the deal...

If you live in an urban area, yes, walk, ride a bike, whatever you want.

But *97%**** of the country is rural!! Source: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/08/rural-america.html#:~:text=Urban%20areas%20make%20up%20only,Census%20Bureau%20%2D%20Opens%20as%20PDF.

I don't even live in a rural area, more like a suburb, but for work I drive about 20 minutes each way. I don't have time to ride a bike there, and no government is going to build a hyper speed rail from my smallish (but relatively high income) town to the major manufacturing area where I work as an engineer.

It just doesn't make sense.

You need to think about situations other than your own. I'm doing that: I think riding your bike is GREAT - if you live in the right area and it won't take you over an hour to get to work. This is so simple to understand.

That's all fine and good, but you claimed that Pete wants to "get rid" of cars.  Which is completely bogus.  And, as Zikoris said - the overwhelming majority of the population lives in non-rural areas.

FWIW I do live in a rural area, and one that gets a ton of snow.  With our current infrastructure a car is a near-necessity, but not a monster late-model $50k pickup financed from the dealer, which is the norm around here.

You are disagreeing with things no one (including Pete) ever said.

GuitarStv

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #466 on: September 29, 2020, 01:20:53 PM »
I can't quote all of you, but here's the deal...

If you live in an urban area, yes, walk, ride a bike, whatever you want.

But *97%**** of the country is rural!! Source: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/08/rural-america.html#:~:text=Urban%20areas%20make%20up%20only,Census%20Bureau%20%2D%20Opens%20as%20PDF.

I don't even live in a rural area, more like a suburb, but for work I drive about 20 minutes each way. I don't have time to ride a bike there, and no government is going to build a hyper speed rail from my smallish (but relatively high income) town to the major manufacturing area where I work as an engineer.

It just doesn't make sense.

You need to think about situations other than your own. I'm doing that: I think riding your bike is GREAT - if you live in the right area and it won't take you over an hour to get to work. This is so simple to understand.

MMM would tell you to move in that situation. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/28/get-rich-with-moving-to-a-better-place/

Also, 97% of the land mass may be rural, but in America 80% of the population lives in urban settings. And of people who live in truly rural places, a good chunk of them are farmers, so commuting would also be less of a thing for them.

Yep.  From the very article that tyler posted:

Quote
97 percent of the country’s land mass is rural but only 19.3 percent of the population lives there.

Less than one in five people in the US live in a rural area.  The problem of living in a suburb extremely far away from where you work is an issue that MMM has covered many times on his blog.

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #467 on: September 29, 2020, 03:06:47 PM »
Sigh. Y'all aren't listening to what I'm saying.

You don't need to live in a rural area to need to drive. I live in a medium-small town with a per capita income over $100,000. It's like a "suburb" or "satellite city."

But there are huge expanses of space between towns and cities.

I live in Texas. Texas is BIG.

If you don't understand that, then you will not comprehend anything else that I have to say. Maybe y'all aren't open to thinking beyond your own personal situation. If I lived where you live, then yes, I would probably drive a lot less - but my point is that it is a necessity.

To tell people they should just "move" is asinine and flippant as well. Maybe you work somewhere without houses and apartments - again, you wouldn't understand this, but you can't just move next door to the refinery, plant, or factory if there are no neighborhoods.

Spend some time in Texas and you'll see how ridiculous this discussion is.


And yet people move all the time and change jobs all the time for tons of reasons, very often related to commuting. We're not just making this up, actual people are doing this stuff every day to improve their lives and finances.

I'm not telling anyone they "should" do this or that, just that driving is not some unavoidable thing, and if it's important to you to not drive, there are ways to set up your life to do that. For sure, you may have so far designed your life to center around driving, but the good news is your feet are not nailed down to the front porch at a particular address, and you're not in bondage to any particular company.

I think it's valuable to be brutally honest with yourself and not pretend things are set in stone unless they truly are. If you like your current setup and want to continue, by all means do so, but there's just no point lying to yourself that you don't have other options.

sherr

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #468 on: September 29, 2020, 03:08:33 PM »
I hope you don’t leave this thread feeling attacked as we are all want to do…
"Wont to do". Now you can feel attacked too. ;)

And I really don't get what Tyler is going on about. I don't see anyone hating car drivers or "being tyrannical" to the rural 20% or denying that Texas is large. They're simply enjoying and advocating for riding bikes, when it is practical.

Okay, so if it's not practical in your situation then don't do it. If it sometimes is, then enjoy. No minorities are being attacked here, and car drivers are certainly not a minority anyway.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #469 on: September 29, 2020, 04:56:07 PM »
Sigh. Y'all aren't listening to what I'm saying.

Funny - I was thinking the same of you

You are “disagreeing” with something that no one here is actually arguing for (“get rid of cars”) - especially not Pete 

This a textbook example of gaslighting.


TomTX

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #470 on: September 29, 2020, 05:30:31 PM »
I live in Texas. Texas is BIG.

If you don't understand that, then you will not comprehend anything else that I have to say. Maybe y'all aren't open to thinking beyond your own personal situation. If I lived where you live, then yes, I would probably drive a lot less - but my point is that it is a necessity.

You seem super sensitive for a Texan.

Sure, I'd need a car or other motor vehicle to get to Dallas - but if the infrastructure were more focused on active transportation (bike, ped, scooter, etc) - I could get almost everywhere I need to go in town pretty conveniently on a bike. As it is, things are very car-centric, so it's more of a hassle than it should be.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #471 on: September 29, 2020, 09:26:08 PM »
“Indeed a divorce destroys value.”
How so?
My best friend recently got divorced after 15 years of marriage.  There was no value destroyed.  One did buy out the other’s share of the house they were living in.  They were both working and had 403(b)/401(k) accounts.  No value was lost on those.  Another close friend divorced a dozen years ago, and it was handled similarly.

A divorce destroys the goodwill built up from a relationship and it also destroys the financial and non-financial benefits of being part of a couple as opposed to being a single. There are various benefits to a loving relationship over a single existence. This is a controversial thing for me to say but I note that, just to use one example, married people (particularly men) live longer than single people.

What I'm trying to say is, although it's got little to do with straight finances, a happy marriage is probably the greatest thing you can have happen to you, and so for any holistic notion of wellbeing, the idea of a happy relationship should be central to that, and the sustenance of a marriage/prevention of rifts in a marriage is something that I think all lifestyle / financial bloggers should look at more closely. This starts with choosing the right person, too, and in fact probably starts even before that at working on yourself to become the best version of yourself.
Choosing to get divorced doesn't mean you are choosing to live your life single. That's usually a temporary state, and one which often helps you realigned your values (financial as well as emotional) to find a more compatible partner who is a better fit for your future lifestyle.

 Also divorce doesn't always have to mean loss of goodwill towards your ex-spouse. Or financial ruin. It can happen in loving, caring, honorable and equilable relationships where the couple has simply grow in different directions. The people you were when you married in your 20s may not have the same goals or shared lifestyle once in your 40s. Even with much compromise it may not work. Parting on friendly, even loving, terms does happen. Often with relatively few financial impact to either person. Ask me how I know ;-).

But yes, I agree that people need to look beyond the I wuvvvv him/her thing and be honest about what they want not only from a partner financially, but from a long term lifestyle too. However there's no guarantee that years down the road one or other wants a different life then they did when you first married. 

As far as MMM blogging about finding a co.payable partner I think he probably assumes most people do that. At least most people who are somewhat mature minded. Even then there are no guarantees things will work out forever.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 09:37:14 PM by spartana »

AO1FireTo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #472 on: September 30, 2020, 07:24:36 AM »
I live in Texas. Texas is BIG.

If you don't understand that, then you will not comprehend anything else that I have to say. Maybe y'all aren't open to thinking beyond your own personal situation. If I lived where you live, then yes, I would probably drive a lot less - but my point is that it is a necessity.
You seem super sensitive for a Texan.

And you seem awfully petty and rude for a Texan.

I don't think anyone here believes it's possible to eliminate the need for cars especially in the short term.  However, just because things are a certain way, doesn't mean that always has to be the case.  Lots of ways we can reduce our dependencies on cars.  Covid itself has shown that many of us don't need to travel each day for work.  The new cars today are ridiculously big and inefficient.  Better access to bike lanes, trails, dedicated roads, more efficient mass transit, etc. are all things we can change in the short term.  The whole design of cities needs to change, to make it less reliant on cars.  I get the rural argument and it makes it harder, but most people live in cities, let's start with the 80/20 principle.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #473 on: September 30, 2020, 07:35:06 AM »
Forum member 'tylerguitar75' has switched his account name to 'deleteThisAccountPlease' mid-argument.

any reason why @deleteThisAccountPlease ?

sherr

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #474 on: September 30, 2020, 07:38:14 AM »
Forum member 'tylerguitar75' has switched his account name to 'deleteThisAccountPlease' mid-argument.

any reason why @deleteThisAccountPlease ?

What exactly do you hope to accomplish by tagging him and asking him this question? He's clearly rage-quitting the forum because people have the audacity to be happy about bicycling, and because he's not getting much sympathy about how discriminated against and trodden-upon the poor car drivers are. That is his right, let him go.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #475 on: September 30, 2020, 09:34:27 AM »
I live in Texas. Texas is BIG.

If you don't understand that, then you will not comprehend anything else that I have to say. Maybe y'all aren't open to thinking beyond your own personal situation. If I lived where you live, then yes, I would probably drive a lot less - but my point is that it is a necessity.
You seem super sensitive for a Texan.

And you seem awfully petty and rude for a Texan.

I don't think anyone here believes it's possible to eliminate the need for cars especially in the short term.  However, just because things are a certain way, doesn't mean that always has to be the case.  Lots of ways we can reduce our dependencies on cars.  Covid itself has shown that many of us don't need to travel each day for work.  The new cars today are ridiculously big and inefficient.  Better access to bike lanes, trails, dedicated roads, more efficient mass transit, etc. are all things we can change in the short term.  The whole design of cities needs to change, to make it less reliant on cars.  I get the rural argument and it makes it harder, but most people live in cities, let's start with the 80/20 principle.
Although even city dwellers, or at least suburbanites, still often need or want cars to get away on days off, vacations, road trips, etc. Or to go out late at night when they may not feel safe biking, taking public transit or Uber. Many big cities and their satellite suburbs/towns are so sprawled out that even with decent public transit it can be hard to get to many of the places you want to get to.

I'm currently car-less (and FIRE) in the LA/OC metro area that has no public transit nearby but which has millions of people with lots of commuters. There aren't many options other then driving due to sprawl. Can it be fixed? I don't know. It IS better then in the past with some commuter trains and buses but most are fairly limited unless you are working in a downtown area. Even then its a long tough commute which often still required a car to get to a carpool location or train/bus station which may be mikes away.

In my case being car free is doable but even I struggle with wanting to go to places at night and not willing to bike home late, or wanting to go out of town for a day or two for recreation. I rent for longer trips and found that a good option but getting around in my own town and county (3 million plus people) is a major PITA.

solon

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #476 on: September 30, 2020, 10:47:24 AM »
Forum member 'tylerguitar75' has switched his account name to 'deleteThisAccountPlease' mid-argument.

any reason why @deleteThisAccountPlease ?

What exactly do you hope to accomplish by tagging him and asking him this question? He's clearly rage-quitting the forum because people have the audacity to be happy about bicycling, and because he's not getting much sympathy about how discriminated against and trodden-upon the poor car drivers are. That is his right, let him go.

I think it has more to do with us not believing how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big Texas is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the rodeo, but that's just peanuts to Texas.

deborah

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #477 on: September 30, 2020, 10:58:16 AM »
Forum member 'tylerguitar75' has switched his account name to 'deleteThisAccountPlease' mid-argument.

any reason why @deleteThisAccountPlease ?

What exactly do you hope to accomplish by tagging him and asking him this question? He's clearly rage-quitting the forum because people have the audacity to be happy about bicycling, and because he's not getting much sympathy about how discriminated against and trodden-upon the poor car drivers are. That is his right, let him go.

I think it has more to do with us not believing how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big Texas is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the rodeo, but that's just peanuts to Texas.
Most states in Australia are bigger than Texas.

sherr

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #478 on: September 30, 2020, 11:01:13 AM »
Forum member 'tylerguitar75' has switched his account name to 'deleteThisAccountPlease' mid-argument.

any reason why @deleteThisAccountPlease ?

What exactly do you hope to accomplish by tagging him and asking him this question? He's clearly rage-quitting the forum because people have the audacity to be happy about bicycling, and because he's not getting much sympathy about how discriminated against and trodden-upon the poor car drivers are. That is his right, let him go.

I think it has more to do with us not believing how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big Texas is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the rodeo, but that's just peanuts to Texas.

If we had a "like" button I would always use it on HGTTG quotes.

talltexan

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #479 on: October 01, 2020, 08:26:15 AM »
Forum member 'tylerguitar75' has switched his account name to 'deleteThisAccountPlease' mid-argument.

any reason why @deleteThisAccountPlease ?

What exactly do you hope to accomplish by tagging him and asking him this question? He's clearly rage-quitting the forum because people have the audacity to be happy about bicycling, and because he's not getting much sympathy about how discriminated against and trodden-upon the poor car drivers are. That is his right, let him go.

I think it has more to do with us not believing how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big Texas is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the rodeo, but that's just peanuts to Texas.

Nice Douglas Adams allusion there.

I, also, have some experience growing up in Texas. When I joined the MMM community, I did become aware of certain friends of my family who:

1. had one car
2. biked to work
3. lived within walking distance of work

These things all reduced driving, even though there were 4-5 kids in these households. In at least one of the families, the husband also systematically invested in rental real estate all over town.


nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #481 on: October 01, 2020, 12:34:25 PM »


I think it has more to do with us not believing how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big Texas is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the rodeo, but that's just peanuts to Texas.
Most states in Australia are bigger than Texas.
https://mapfight.appspot.com/queensland-vs-texas/queensland-australia-texas-size-comparison
https://mapfight.appspot.com/tasmania-vs-texas/tasmania-australia-texas-size-comparison
https://mapfight.appspot.com/victoria-vs-texas/victoria-australia-texas-size-comparison
https://mapfight.appspot.com/nsw.australia-vs-texas/new-south-wales-australia-texas-size-comparison
https://mapfight.appspot.com/south.australia-vs-texas/south-australia-australia-texas-size-comparison
https://mapfight.appspot.com/western.australia-vs-texas/western-australia-australia-texas-size-comparison

Yup.  Australia has almost the same number of people as Texas (29MM people), but is about as big as the lower-48 combined (~3MM square miles).

The lower total population (~9% of the US) and fewer states (6 vs 50) makes for much different dynamics. 

Just Joe

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #482 on: October 01, 2020, 01:02:07 PM »
MMM would tell you to move in that situation. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/28/get-rich-with-moving-to-a-better-place/

Also, 97% of the land mass may be rural, but in America 80% of the population lives in urban settings. And of people who live in truly rural places, a good chunk of them are farmers, so commuting would also be less of a thing for them.

You can have your cake and eat it too - plenty of rural space 5-10 minutes outside of smallish towns across the continent. We're perfectly able to ebike to town despite the steep hills when we like in ~45 minutes.

Absolutely beautiful sitting on the front porch drinking coffee this morn while the dog did her morning "patrol". Watched the fog on the fields, saw several deer including a young one we've watched grow all summer, not much noise and yet when it was time to do the school run and then to work - it was ~5 mins to school and another ~5 mins to work in the "aged" family car. Not Silicon Valley nor NYC but that's the point.

I wonder if suburbia will ever transform into series of villages which enable people to walk or bike more, drive less.  I for one left the city b/c DW and I don't like driving 40 miles to the mall and 40 miles a different direction to work on clogged arterial highways through varying weather and construction projects. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 01:15:41 PM by Just Joe »

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #483 on: October 01, 2020, 01:55:38 PM »
MMM would tell you to move in that situation. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/28/get-rich-with-moving-to-a-better-place/

Also, 97% of the land mass may be rural, but in America 80% of the population lives in urban settings. And of people who live in truly rural places, a good chunk of them are farmers, so commuting would also be less of a thing for them.

You can have your cake and eat it too - plenty of rural space 5-10 minutes outside of smallish towns across the continent. We're perfectly able to ebike to town despite the steep hills when we like in ~45 minutes.

Absolutely beautiful sitting on the front porch drinking coffee this morn while the dog did her morning "patrol". Watched the fog on the fields, saw several deer including a young one we've watched grow all summer, not much noise and yet when it was time to do the school run and then to work - it was ~5 mins to school and another ~5 mins to work in the "aged" family car. Not Silicon Valley nor NYC but that's the point.

I wonder if suburbia will ever transform into series of villages which enable people to walk or bike more, drive less.  I for one left the city b/c DW and I don't like driving 40 miles to the mall and 40 miles a different direction to work on clogged arterial highways through varying weather and construction projects.

Totally. I plan to move to a mostly car-less island after retirement. Getting into town is by boat, but not very far, and the docks are right in the downtown area. I can't wait to do my first grocery shop by kayak. Or get a water tricycle if I'm feeling fancy.

mizzourah2006

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #484 on: October 05, 2020, 08:29:54 AM »
Plenty of reasons why having a car is more convenient. I bike all the time, love biking, but I also have young children. So biking them to daycare and home with 2 working parents would add a significant amount of time to daily commutes given the good daycares aren't located near my wife's office. Plus I mountain bike as well as riding the greenway/gravel biking. So a car is a convenient way to get to the trails. Other options are to ride 8-10 miles each way on the greenway on a mountain bike, then actually mountain bike 10-15 miles or I guess you could be even more of a BA and somehow strap my mountain bike to my road bike via trailer drag it there, lock all that up, mountain bike and then drag it back. But even doing that would limit the trails I could ride to the one's within a 10-15 mile radius, which is just not fun :) I guess the way I see it is if your life simply revolves around work, and a small local community then it would be relatively easy to go car less in many places, but there are plenty of reasons people would prefer to have cars other than "laziness". I met up with friends at a brewery Saturday that was about 9 miles away and I biked to that, I probably average about 100-150 miles a month across greenway riding and mountain biking, so I wouldn't call myself lazy, lol. So two decent reasons IMO are hobbies that would require you to go more than 10-15 miles away from your home/office and kids. Even as they get older they have friends that live in other parts of town, sports, activities, etc. If you've managed to find a home that's within 10 miles of everything your kids will ever want to do you've hit the jackpot.

Imma

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #485 on: October 06, 2020, 06:36:55 AM »
@mizzourah2006 in many places there's also this thing called public transit that can get you to places that are too far to bike. You don't get that everywhere but you can choose to live in a place that has decent public transit. When we were looking for a house to buy, our main requirements were walking distance to a bus stop and railway station.

We live in a car unfriendly city so even most of my friends with kids bike a lot. They usually have cargo bikes to get young kids to their activities. Older kids ride their own bikes.

We don't have a car and I can't cycle long distances due to health issues. So I use the bus to get around in my area when I'm too tired to ride a bike, and I use the train to visit family and friends who are 50-100 km away.

ETA: not saying sometimes driving isn't more convenient or even the only feasible option, but it's not like it's a choice between driving and not leaving your town ever.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 06:39:27 AM by Imma »

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #486 on: October 06, 2020, 07:45:10 AM »
@mizzourah2006 in many places there's also this thing called public transit that can get you to places that are too far to bike. You don't get that everywhere but you can choose to live in a place that has decent public transit. When we were looking for a house to buy, our main requirements were walking distance to a bus stop and railway station.

We live in a car unfriendly city so even most of my friends with kids bike a lot. They usually have cargo bikes to get young kids to their activities. Older kids ride their own bikes.

We don't have a car and I can't cycle long distances due to health issues. So I use the bus to get around in my area when I'm too tired to ride a bike, and I use the train to visit family and friends who are 50-100 km away.

ETA: not saying sometimes driving isn't more convenient or even the only feasible option, but it's not like it's a choice between driving and not leaving your town ever.

It still shocks me how different cites can be with respect to public transit.  Some you can get almost anywhere quickly, safely and cheaply - while in other cities the transit system is woefully inadequate.

Another point to consider is car rental or car-share services.  If your daily needs do not require a car and you only need a vehicle a few times per month to go on trips or for large shopping runs, it's typically much cheaper to rent a car than own one yourself. In the last city I lived in the transit system was ok, but you could rent a car for $5/hr or $30/day (plus gasoline) with a pickup/dropoff location a block from my home.  We used it semi-frequently and took numerous daytrips, but our total cost was under $1k/year.  It was always clean, fueled up and ready, and we didn't have to worry about snow, registration or parking.

Point is... there's more of a spectrum than "own a car/always drive one" and "don't own a car/can't ever drive anywhere".

This also works just about everywhere for large trucks.  Very few people 'need' a truck every day, and for most renting a pickup (or van or moving truck) on the few occasions when you do need to cart large objects will save you a ton of money in the long term.

talltexan

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #487 on: October 07, 2020, 08:59:15 AM »
I lived car-free in the Chicago area for a few years. My imagination held me back, I could have had a much higher quality of life if I'd rented a car monthly.

Cool Friend

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #488 on: October 07, 2020, 10:07:09 AM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #489 on: October 07, 2020, 10:16:40 AM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

I'm pretty sure Pete would agree that this was not a good way of going about it:
Quote
Because the whole reason for doing any of this is to lead the happiest, most satisfying life you can possibly lead.
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/11/23/not-extreme-frugality/

Cool Friend

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #490 on: October 07, 2020, 10:24:32 AM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

I'm pretty sure Pete would agree that this was not a good way of going about it:
Quote
Because the whole reason for doing any of this is to lead the happiest, most satisfying life you can possibly lead.
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/11/23/not-extreme-frugality/

Exactly, "lead to the happiest, most satisfying life."

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #491 on: October 07, 2020, 10:34:52 AM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

I'm pretty sure Pete would agree that this was not a good way of going about it:
Quote
Because the whole reason for doing any of this is to lead the happiest, most satisfying life you can possibly lead.
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/11/23/not-extreme-frugality/

Exactly, "lead to the happiest, most satisfying life."

Yes.  So if your choices have resulted in decreased happiness even before FIRE, you should look closely at why.
A core goal is increasing happiness. 

Cool Friend

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #492 on: October 07, 2020, 10:41:25 AM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

I'm pretty sure Pete would agree that this was not a good way of going about it:
Quote
Because the whole reason for doing any of this is to lead the happiest, most satisfying life you can possibly lead.
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2014/11/23/not-extreme-frugality/

Exactly, "lead to the happiest, most satisfying life."

Yes.  So if your choices have resulted in decreased happiness even before FIRE, you should look closely at why.
A core goal is increasing happiness.

I think it's because my savings rate is built on living like a college student (multiple roommates, no vacations, frugal eating) while being well into my 30s. The minute I get my own Big Boy Apartment, my savings rate is going down to like 10%. But I think I would rather have peace and privacy now.

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #493 on: October 07, 2020, 11:22:12 AM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

This is another great example in this thread of "I disagree with MMM because (insert something MMM never said, does, suggests, or believes)"

I find it pretty strange how many weird things people end up attributing to/blaming MMM that he has literally never told anyone to do.

Cool Friend

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #494 on: October 07, 2020, 11:32:19 AM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

This is another great example in this thread of "I disagree with MMM because (insert something MMM never said, does, suggests, or believes)"

I find it pretty strange how many weird things people end up attributing to/blaming MMM that he has literally never told anyone to do.

Please don't put words in my mouth. I'm talking about my personal regrets; choices I made based on situations unique to me.

But I'm confused, I thought prioritizing saving for the future to lead to the happiest, most satisfying life was the main point?

sherr

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #495 on: October 07, 2020, 11:50:32 AM »
But I'm confused, I thought prioritizing saving for the future to lead to the happiest, most satisfying life was the main point?

I would summarize MMM's advice as "seriously examine how much of your spending actually makes you happy, and stop doing the rest. And save the difference so you can retire early and pursue your passions for the rest of your life."

He talks about Stoicism and Minimalism, but the point is never to be miserable now so that you can be happy later. Rather the point is to get rid of the unnecessary junk so that you can be happy both now and later.

Laura33

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #496 on: October 07, 2020, 11:51:03 AM »
But I'm confused, I thought prioritizing saving for the future to lead to the happiest, most satisfying life was the main point?

Not at the expense of making life miserable.  The idea is to maximize a sustainable savings rate that balances current lifestyle against future needs.  And to do so by challenging the actual value you get from things that society assumes we all "need," like cars and big houses and commutes.

It doesn't mean that you always make the cheapest choices possible and live the most frugal lifestyle that you can imagine.  It means recognizing that upgrading your lifestyle will require you spend more weeks/months/years working for a living, so you should do the math on all of those choices, figure out how much of your life that particular upgrade will cost you, and spend money on only those things that are actually worth the extra time out of your life. 

Cool Friend

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #497 on: October 07, 2020, 12:15:11 PM »
I think I understand better what you guys mean.

For me, in order to aggressively pay my student loans off the MMM way, I had to accept a lifestyle that I wasn't happy with. I ran the numbers, and living on my own wasn't possible unless I stopped paying them off. Please don't get me wrong, I'm glad I paid them off, it's a huge burden lifted. But I also sat on the sidelines of life for 4 years of my prime, and I regret that I had to do that to make it happen.

Zikoris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #498 on: October 07, 2020, 12:34:30 PM »
Honestly, I regret prioritizing an imagined future happiness over living a life I actually want to live.

This is another great example in this thread of "I disagree with MMM because (insert something MMM never said, does, suggests, or believes)"

I find it pretty strange how many weird things people end up attributing to/blaming MMM that he has literally never told anyone to do.

Please don't put words in my mouth. I'm talking about my personal regrets; choices I made based on situations unique to me.

But I'm confused, I thought prioritizing saving for the future to lead to the happiest, most satisfying life was the main point?

Pretty close, but take the second "to" out of that last sentence. There's no leading "to" anything. You're supposed to live your best life NOW, then retire and ramp up the awesome even more.

I would also be super interested to see the numbers attached to this:

Quote
For me, in order to aggressively pay my student loans off the MMM way, I had to accept a lifestyle that I wasn't happy with. I ran the numbers, and living on my own wasn't possible unless I stopped paying them off. Please don't get me wrong, I'm glad I paid them off, it's a huge burden lifted. But I also sat on the sidelines of life for 4 years of my prime, and I regret that I had to do that to make it happen.

Because I would bet that if you'd done some creative thinking, it would have been possible to both pay off the loans and also have a kick-ass life at the same time. Just because SO MANY people here do that every day.

nereo

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #499 on: October 07, 2020, 01:23:40 PM »
I think I understand better what you guys mean.

For me, in order to aggressively pay my student loans off the MMM way, I had to accept a lifestyle that I wasn't happy with. I ran the numbers, and living on my own wasn't possible unless I stopped paying them off. Please don't get me wrong, I'm glad I paid them off, it's a huge burden lifted. But I also sat on the sidelines of life for 4 years of my prime, and I regret that I had to do that to make it happen.

Two things here
1) as Pete would say, paying off debt is your previous self giving your current self the shaft.  It wasn't current you choosing to forgo life for future you... it was past you dumping this load on current you.  And I say this as half of a couple that had six-figures in combined SLs which we recently paid off in full, so I get where you are coming from.

2) your last sentence concerns me.  The fact that you feel like you had to sit "on the sidelines of life for 4 years of your prime" makes me think that your approach was deeply flawed.  We were broke grad students for a decade (masters than PhD) but neither of us ever felt like we sitting on the sidelines of life.  If anything, we had amazing experiences during out PhDs, living on meager stipends and making lots of headway on our loans. We were actually discussing how we felt our lives were more free adn adventerous when we earned half as much and logged 50% more hours in hte lab. We traveled more, too. Of course having a kid really changed that dynamic ;-P

what is it that makes you feel like you missed out on life?  I'll go out on a limb here and guess that the underlying problem wasn't money per se, but perhaps the stress it entailed and how you approached your social life.

I say all of these things not to pick on you - i'm just reading what you write and suspect there's some deeper underlying factors at play.