Author Topic: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?  (Read 40941 times)

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #250 on: July 05, 2020, 01:16:34 AM »
@kite Thank you for that post.  You completely nailed why these topics should be discussed.  I'm sorry about your nephew as it sounds like he has a tough road ahead. 

@Spud As someone who is both left-handed and disabled at age 49 (unexpectedly), I can assure you that the two are not the same when it comes to FI and consequences on savings rate, etc.

Tell me, since you became disabled unexpectedly at age 49, have you been struggling because of the lack of posts that MMM has written specifically for people who became disabled unexpectedly at age 49? My bet is that you don't need specific advice on finances just because you're disabled now. You're sharp enough to continue applying what you learned during the time before you became disabled and adapt it as and when you need it.

That's all I was trying to say with my left handed comment.

Imma's comment in her post just made me wonder why people facing challenges such as chronic conditions need specific advice from MMM. Why would someone with chronic conditions expect that kind of content from MMM when he probably has no experience in that area of life?

It just struck me as odd.

It isn't that MMM needs to provide niche advice around disabilities, but that he is providing terrible advice for people who become (or could become) disabled by suggesting that salads and bike rides are a substitute for health insurance.

I speculate without evidence that perhaps forgoing health insurance makes more sense for MMM because he is hugely wealthy and (I think) has the option to return to Canada if he developed a serious, expensive medical condition. This doesn't make it a poor decision for him, but it also doesn't make this approach useful for other people who don't have these options.

It'd be like me making a website on how to put your hand into a fire soaked in gasoline without mentioning that the risk is wildly lower for me because I have a prosthesis. The risk is reasonable for me, but that doesn't mean I should be online talking how fun it is to play with fire and that I consider it low risk it is without a warning that others not try this at home.

ender

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #251 on: July 05, 2020, 06:43:37 AM »
It isn't that MMM needs to provide niche advice around disabilities, but that he is providing terrible advice for people who become (or could become) disabled by suggesting that salads and bike rides are a substitute for health insurance.

I speculate without evidence that perhaps forgoing health insurance makes more sense for MMM because he is hugely wealthy and (I think) has the option to return to Canada if he developed a serious, expensive medical condition. This doesn't make it a poor decision for him, but it also doesn't make this approach useful for other people who don't have these options.

It'd be like me making a website on how to put your hand into a fire soaked in gasoline without mentioning that the risk is wildly lower for me because I have a prosthesis. The risk is reasonable for me, but that doesn't mean I should be online talking how fun it is to play with fire and that I consider it low risk it is without a warning that others not try this at home.

+1

I'm a relatively healthy youngish guy and I completely agree with this.

Context makes a huge difference around decisions like insurance.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #252 on: July 05, 2020, 08:41:25 AM »
It isn't that MMM needs to provide niche advice around disabilities, but that he is providing terrible advice for people who become (or could become) disabled by suggesting that salads and bike rides are a substitute for health insurance.

I speculate without evidence that perhaps forgoing health insurance makes more sense for MMM because he is hugely wealthy and (I think) has the option to return to Canada if he developed a serious, expensive medical condition. This doesn't make it a poor decision for him, but it also doesn't make this approach useful for other people who don't have these options.

It'd be like me making a website on how to put your hand into a fire soaked in gasoline without mentioning that the risk is wildly lower for me because I have a prosthesis. The risk is reasonable for me, but that doesn't mean I should be online talking how fun it is to play with fire and that I consider it low risk it is without a warning that others not try this at home.

+1

I'm a relatively healthy youngish guy and I completely agree with this.

Context makes a huge difference around decisions like insurance.
I wonder how long MMM went without health I insurance for himself and family BEFORE he became hugely wealthy? Any one know? It seems like he didn't start his blog for 5 or more years after he quit working but was living off a slowish stash then. Was he covered under his wife's plan (if she worked) or was going back to Canada the plan? I think at some point he went on the ACA until his blog income meant he couldn't receive any subsidies.

I could be wrong about all that but if not then it shows he didn't completely go without health insurance. I also don't recall him saying people in the US shouldn't buy health insurance just that he didn't. Same with house insurance. I think going without either is massively crazy and totally disagree with him if that is what he tell others to do.

ender

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #253 on: July 05, 2020, 08:51:45 AM »
I wonder how long MMM went without health I insurance for himself and family BEFORE he became hugely wealthy? Any one know? It seems like he didn't start his blog for 5 or more years after he quit working but was living off a slowish stash then. Was he covered under his wife's plan (if she worked) or was going back to Canada the plan? I think at some point he went on the ACA until his blog income meant he couldn't receive any subsidies.

I could be wrong about all that but if not then it shows he didn't completely go without health insurance. I also don't recall him saying people in the US shouldn't buy health insurance just that he didn't. Same with house insurance. I think going without either is massively crazy and totally disagree with him if that is what he tell others to do.

I believe he used to get very high deductible plans (which don't really exist anymore) which meant he effectively had insurance for catastrophic events only.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #254 on: July 05, 2020, 09:03:05 AM »
I wonder how long MMM went without health I insurance for himself and family BEFORE he became hugely wealthy? Any one know? It seems like he didn't start his blog for 5 or more years after he quit working but was living off a slowish stash then. Was he covered under his wife's plan (if she worked) or was going back to Canada the plan? I think at some point he went on the ACA until his blog income meant he couldn't receive any subsidies.

I could be wrong about all that but if not then it shows he didn't completely go without health insurance. I also don't recall him saying people in the US shouldn't buy health insurance just that he didn't. Same with house insurance. I think going without either is massively crazy and totally disagree with him if that is what he tell others to do.

I believe he used to get very high deductible plans (which don't really exist anymore) which meant he effectively had insurance for catastrophic events only.
Thanks. Yeah I had a catostropic plan also (after COBRA) when I quit work pre-ACA. Good way to protect the stash if you don't need much healthcare or could fund the basic stuff yourself. It went away once the ACA was enacted but I got other insurance (not being a crazy person!). One big bill would wipe me out. I imagine it would most Americans.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #255 on: July 05, 2020, 09:31:18 AM »
I wonder how long MMM went without health I insurance for himself and family BEFORE he became hugely wealthy? Any one know? It seems like he didn't start his blog for 5 or more years after he quit working but was living off a slowish stash then. Was he covered under his wife's plan (if she worked) or was going back to Canada the plan? I think at some point he went on the ACA until his blog income meant he couldn't receive any subsidies.

I could be wrong about all that but if not then it shows he didn't completely go without health insurance. I also don't recall him saying people in the US shouldn't buy health insurance just that he didn't. Same with house insurance. I think going without either is massively crazy and totally disagree with him if that is what he tell others to do.
I believe he used to get very high deductible plans (which don't really exist anymore) which meant he effectively had insurance for catastrophic events only.
I seem to recall an older blog post where he said it was unwise to go without health insurance due to the potential for one big event to wipe you out.  Of course I can't find it now.


« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 12:19:10 PM by Monkey Uncle »

ender

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #256 on: July 05, 2020, 11:19:58 AM »
Thanks. Yeah I had a catostropic plan also (after COBRA) when I quit work pre-ACA. Good way to protect the stash if you don't need much healthcare or could fund the basic stuff yourself. It went away once the ACA was enacted but I got other insurance (not being a crazy person!). One big bill would wipe me out. I imagine it would most Americans.

This was 2012 but he had a plan with a 10k individual/20k family deductible -  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/11/01/our-new-237-per-month-health-insurance-plan/

Not finding anything more recently nor is it clear what his stash was when he bailed on insurance entirely. At a certain asset level I can see self insuring making sense.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #257 on: July 05, 2020, 12:22:48 PM »
Thanks. Yeah I had a catostropic plan also (after COBRA) when I quit work pre-ACA. Good way to protect the stash if you don't need much healthcare or could fund the basic stuff yourself. It went away once the ACA was enacted but I got other insurance (not being a crazy person!). One big bill would wipe me out. I imagine it would most Americans.

This was 2012 but he had a plan with a 10k individual/20k family deductible -  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/11/01/our-new-237-per-month-health-insurance-plan/

Not finding anything more recently nor is it clear what his stash was when he bailed on insurance entirely. At a certain asset level I can see self insuring making sense.

He had ACA insurance as recently as 2017: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2017/11/05/when-your-shitty-health-insurance-doubles-in-price/
He was complaining about how expensive it was and considering doing without, but it looks like he ultimately decided to continue for at least one more year.

Cassie

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #258 on: July 05, 2020, 02:34:24 PM »
When he lists his yearly expenses I just double it because of the many expenses he puts under business. To me thatís a more realistic assessment of his expenses. The real badass is Spartana who actually lives on a small income.

Missy B

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #259 on: July 05, 2020, 10:09:21 PM »
Hey I made it through 3 pages without seeing anyone mention my complaint.

I joined the forum circa 2012 or so when I was bored out of my mind at my internship just before graduating college. I was reading about how to retire early and voila, I ran into an article about MMM. I was instantly hooked. Not because of his silly writing style but because of the back of the napkin math. I also really enjoyed his posts on upgrading his house with better insulation, hot water pipes underneath the kitchen floor, etc. It was the perfect blend of a early retirement, home DIY, and personality.

I knew the blog was him putting on a bit of character, but I followed the blog for a long time. Probably for about 3-4 years. The last 4 years have really only been me using the forum. BUT! Spring 2017, MMM was making the rounds to different cities. So I was thinking "Of course I have to go out and meet this dude. He totally flipped my life upside down and gave me a goal and a path out of cubicle land". So I go to the MMM meetup in downtown Portland that was being held at the LearningTree HQ. I get there and meet a bunch of awesome people. I'm also waiting my turn to go up and maybe chat with Pete for like 5 minutes tell him that his ideas and blog basically allowed me and my SO to quit our jobs and take a sabbatical for a year to go overseas.

He seems like a pretty cool, chill dude. My SO really wants to take a picture with him. So before we say goodbye and a final thanks, SO asks for a picture. And he says "Yeah I don't really like taking pictures, it just feels fake to me." Then he kind of motions that we should instead take a candid picture with just him in the background somewhere. Honestly, for a dude that puts on such a ridiculous persona for a blog, suddenly in person didn't want to "feel fake".

It rubbed us the wrong way. We just came away from that interaction thinking "wow, MMM is a lot weirder than I imagined he would be". I still appreciate the forum and some of the old blog posts, but the thing I liked least about MMM was his poor fan interaction. I can't help but think of that moment whenever I'm reading his blog now: "I'm just reading the blog of some weird dude in Colorado."
Is that weird though? A lot of people don't like their pictures taken by and with people, especially random strangers, for a variety of personal reasons.  While MMM is a crafted persona, Pete is a "real boy" and may not be comfortable with the lack of control he has over photos people take with him. I'm a weirdo too. But then I'm not a famous internet blogger. Or am I ;)? No I'm not but am very private especially around Mustashians I've met who post here.
I agree, and I think there are lots of good reasons not to get your picture taken with someone you have known a grand total of 5 minutes.
There's a wierd entitlement thing generally around the expectation that if someone has a wide audience and you're part of that audience, that you deserve a picture with them. And what's that about? So you can brag to your friends that you met so-and-so in person? Why else does someone need a photo of someone famous that they don't actually know? Honestly, to me that does seem fake.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #260 on: July 05, 2020, 11:06:19 PM »
I don't take his advice as a literal exact prescription. I just take it as: carefully consider how you earn your money, and how you spend it, oh and by the way here are some examples.

I'm not really interested in retiring early. Many people seem to have the idea that they should work hard for 40hr a week for 40 years so they can then work 0hr a week for 20 years. Some of the FIRE crowd adapt that by saying, "well if you're frugal, then the 40yr work becomes 20." But it's the same thing, really.

But there are other options. For example, if you're frugal then you're essentially living on (for example) 20 of your 40 hours a week - so why not just work 20hr pw forever? Or, let's say you want to live on $40k, rather than doing a job you hate for $80k and then bailing on it after 20 years, do a job you love for $40k. Or maybe you don't give a damn what you do for a paid job, but you really care about your children, or volunteering for the Red Cross - so you do a job which you may love or hate, but you aren't that bothered by it, because it funds this other thing you do love to do.

And so on. There are many possibilities. The point is not that this or that lifestyle is ideal for everyone, but that the life you choose should be one you choose after careful thought, not one you just drift into. Many people just drift into things and then are unhappy.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #261 on: July 05, 2020, 11:35:14 PM »
When he lists his yearly expenses I just double it because of the many expenses he puts under business. To me that’s a more realistic assessment of his expenses. The real badass is Spartana who actually lives on a small income.
Thanks. But maybe I'm just cheap ;-). Do have some advantages that many others don't like low cost healthcare and nothing unusual that costs me extra but otherwise I dont really spend much. I think MMMs life would be similar to mine if he didn't have the blog income. He'd probably still be spending a lower amount and probably still be happy with that.  At least that's what Id like to believe.

FWIW I don't think there is anything wrong with MMM increasing his spending as his income grew. He FIREd successfully with less, so I look at that not what he spends now.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 11:40:35 PM by spartana »

slappy

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #262 on: July 06, 2020, 06:26:34 AM »
I don't take his advice as a literal exact prescription. I just take it as: carefully consider how you earn your money, and how you spend it, oh and by the way here are some examples.

I'm not really interested in retiring early. Many people seem to have the idea that they should work hard for 40hr a week for 40 years so they can then work 0hr a week for 20 years. Some of the FIRE crowd adapt that by saying, "well if you're frugal, then the 40yr work becomes 20." But it's the same thing, really.

But there are other options. For example, if you're frugal then you're essentially living on (for example) 20 of your 40 hours a week - so why not just work 20hr pw forever? Or, let's say you want to live on $40k, rather than doing a job you hate for $80k and then bailing on it after 20 years, do a job you love for $40k. Or maybe you don't give a damn what you do for a paid job, but you really care about your children, or volunteering for the Red Cross - so you do a job which you may love or hate, but you aren't that bothered by it, because it funds this other thing you do love to do.

And so on. There are many possibilities. The point is not that this or that lifestyle is ideal for everyone, but that the life you choose should be one you choose after careful thought, not one you just drift into. Many people just drift into things and then are unhappy.

For me, it's about choice. It's easy to say you're not interested in retiring early now. Who knows how you will feel in 5 or 10 years. Besides that, many people have mentioned disability. You may not have a choice at some point, whether that's "early" or not. So for me, I just want to put myself in the best position so that I can have choices. Essentially FU money I guess. My example is that DH and I saved as much as we could before we had kids. Our plan was to have two working parents, and I figured that once daycare costs came along we may not be able to save as much, so I wanted to front load the savings. In a completely unexpected and somewhat tragic turn of events, my DH is now a SAHD, and our savings rate has fallen. I'm very grateful that he was able to walk about from a very bad situation because we had saved in the past even though we "didn't want to retire early". My plan is to hit my 25x expenses and then do something else, part time or whatever. Hopefully enough to cover all expenses, but maybe only enough to cover half. That still brings my withdrawal rate way down and reduces pressure on my portfolio.

ender

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #263 on: July 06, 2020, 07:26:36 AM »
For me, it's about choice. It's easy to say you're not interested in retiring early now. Who knows how you will feel in 5 or 10 years.

+100

I do not know when/if I will end up retiring early. But being FI will almost assuredly have positive benefits on my career and lifestyle and so we aggressively save.

Maybe that means we retire early, maybe not. But... it's certainly a lot better to hate your job with a million in savings and significant FU money than it is to have $0.

kite

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #264 on: July 06, 2020, 08:38:49 AM »
@kite Thank you for that post.  You completely nailed why these topics should be discussed.  I'm sorry about your nephew as it sounds like he has a tough road ahead. 

@Spud As someone who is both left-handed and disabled at age 49 (unexpectedly), I can assure you that the two are not the same when it comes to FI and consequences on savings rate, etc.

Tell me, since you became disabled unexpectedly at age 49, have you been struggling because of the lack of posts that MMM has written specifically for people who became disabled unexpectedly at age 49? My bet is that you don't need specific advice on finances just because you're disabled now. You're sharp enough to continue applying what you learned during the time before you became disabled and adapt it as and when you need it.

That's all I was trying to say with my left handed comment.

Imma's comment in her post just made me wonder why people facing challenges such as chronic conditions need specific advice from MMM. Why would someone with chronic conditions expect that kind of content from MMM when he probably has no experience in that area of life?

It just struck me as odd.

MMM, like every other blogger, writes what he knows.  If disability hasnít [yet] come onto his radar, itís no surprise that he would glide right by it as though it doesnít exist.  And this is his sandbox, so he gets to do that.   But disability or chronic conditions are not a niche.  It is the present or future condition of most of us. Pointing out the omission isnít a complaint that MMM failed to address our specific challenges.  Itís more akin to Abraham Wald noting survivorship bias.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #265 on: July 06, 2020, 09:35:47 AM »
@kite Thank you for that post.  You completely nailed why these topics should be discussed.  I'm sorry about your nephew as it sounds like he has a tough road ahead. 

@Spud As someone who is both left-handed and disabled at age 49 (unexpectedly), I can assure you that the two are not the same when it comes to FI and consequences on savings rate, etc.

Tell me, since you became disabled unexpectedly at age 49, have you been struggling because of the lack of posts that MMM has written specifically for people who became disabled unexpectedly at age 49? My bet is that you don't need specific advice on finances just because you're disabled now. You're sharp enough to continue applying what you learned during the time before you became disabled and adapt it as and when you need it.

That's all I was trying to say with my left handed comment.

Imma's comment in her post just made me wonder why people facing challenges such as chronic conditions need specific advice from MMM. Why would someone with chronic conditions expect that kind of content from MMM when he probably has no experience in that area of life?

It just struck me as odd.

MMM, like every other blogger, writes what he knows.  If disability hasn’t [yet] come onto his radar, it’s no surprise that he would glide right by it as though it doesn’t exist.  And this is his sandbox, so he gets to do that.   But disability or chronic conditions are not a niche.  It is the present or future condition of most of us. Pointing out the omission isn’t a complaint that MMM failed to address our specific challenges.  It’s more akin to Abraham Wald noting survivorship bias.
He didn't touch on the financial aspects of divorce much either and that did happen to him. So maybe he wouldn't write much about the financial effects of a disability either.

Maybe he assumes that most people would have to look at their own situation and evaluate it seperate from any advice he could give. Giving tips about how to reduce expenses or increase income thru badassidy probably wouldn't be very helpful if someone couldn't do the things he suggested.

 Of course he could always do a "what if" blog about a topic like divorce or disability about what he or others could do to off set those. Especially lower income people hoping to FIRE or already FIRE. It sounded like his divorce with his blog income didn't impact them much but that might have been a different story if they were still living on $25k/year. What would be his advice to pre-blog MMM?

But in any case, his advice to lower expenses and save more would put most people in hard situations on better footing.

spartana

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #266 on: July 06, 2020, 09:44:38 AM »
For me, it's about choice. It's easy to say you're not interested in retiring early now. Who knows how you will feel in 5 or 10 years.

+100

I do not know when/if I will end up retiring early. But being FI will almost assuredly have positive benefits on my career and lifestyle and so we aggressively save.

Maybe that means we retire early, maybe not. But... it's certainly a lot better to hate your job with a million in savings and significant FU money than it is to have $0.
Yes this. Becoming FI, even lean FI, means you are an independent person who can eliminate your neediness on others for an outside income. If you don't want to retire, then of course you don't have to. Being dependent on others the vast majority of your life because you need a job - even a part time or low paging job - means you will forever be held in thrall. Even into old age maybe. I think many non-Mustashians dealing with all the covid shutdowns are sadly coming to that realization. Getting to barebones FI, or even Coast FI, will allow you many choices. Including to work as much or little as you want.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 09:49:29 AM by spartana »

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #267 on: July 06, 2020, 01:21:00 PM »
MMM, like every other blogger, writes what he knows.  If disability hasnít [yet] come onto his radar, itís no surprise that he would glide right by it as though it doesnít exist.  And this is his sandbox, so he gets to do that.   But disability or chronic conditions are not a niche.  It is the present or future condition of most of us. Pointing out the omission isnít a complaint that MMM failed to address our specific challenges.  Itís more akin to Abraham Wald noting survivorship bias.

Very well said @kite - both that MMM has missed out something important and that we can acknowledge a gap without demanding anything different.

exit2019

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #268 on: July 06, 2020, 02:12:10 PM »
So if you take care of your house, a tornado won't hit it. But if it does, and you care, then it's because you bought a house you couldn't afford to lose

...

But his underlying message is that if they get sick, it's because they didn't take good enough care of themselves.

I was going to post exactly this.  He doesn't seem to understand things like survivorship bias at all, and talks a lot about "the statistics" while very, very clearly having no understanding at all about how statistics works.

lemonlyman

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #269 on: July 07, 2020, 09:56:25 AM »
Adding Covid tweets to my list.

Nick_Miller

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #270 on: July 07, 2020, 10:27:10 AM »
Adding Covid tweets to my list.

Yeah, add me to that. I avoid twitter battles, but I really had to fight the urge to respond.


Garrett B.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #271 on: July 07, 2020, 12:50:30 PM »
Did you guys see MMM's tweet today?  He said statistically, all you need to fight COVID are salads, bikes and barbells. 

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #272 on: July 07, 2020, 01:22:51 PM »
Did you guys see MMM's tweet today?  He said statistically, all you need to fight COVID are salads, bikes and barbells.

Clearly, that's not what he said. He just said that focusing on those three things has a bigger impact than focusing on COVID.
Quote
Statistically speaking, these three Circles of Life have a MUCH bigger positive impact on your health and longevity, than whether you happen to catch or dodge COVID.

So why are we wasting our time arguing about who is wearing masks?

Bikes, Barbells and Salads.

Laura33

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #273 on: July 07, 2020, 01:33:14 PM »
I had to go read the tweets after the earlier posts.  All I can say is:  holy shit.  Why do "waste our time" worrying about masks?  Really?  Uhhhhh, how about because wearing masks and taking care of ourselves in other ways (salads/bikes/barbells) ARE NOT FUCKING MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. 

It's like saying "why worry about seatbelts when you drive?  You'll reduce your risks of car crashes much more by driving less and biking more."  Entirely true!  And yet you still put on your fucking seatbelt when you DO drive, because now matter how much you reduce your overall risks by driving less, that means jack squat when you ARE driving.

For a smart guy, he can be really, really stupid about things that don't fit his master-of-the-universe worldview.

lemonlyman

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #274 on: July 07, 2020, 01:36:23 PM »
Because masks help protect the most vulnerable among us. You might skate through with barely any symptoms but give it to someone who later dies while riding around on your bike clearing your throat. Statistically speaking, what he said makes no sense.

He also assumes NY infection rate improvements are the result of herd immunity vs mass lockdown and mask policy. I hope he also illuminates us on Florida's prospects for herd immunity soon.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 01:41:04 PM by lemonlyman »

Garrett B.

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #275 on: July 07, 2020, 01:39:46 PM »
Because masks help protect the most vulnerable among us. You might skate through with barely any symptoms but give it to someone who later dies while riding around on your bike clearing your throat. Statistically speaking, what he said makes no sense.

He also assumes NY infection rate improvements are the result of herd immunity vs mass lockdown and mask policy. I hope he also illuminates us on Florida's prospects for herd immunity soon.
Sounds like MMM is on his way to becoming a medical doctor, with an expertise in infectious diseases! 

PoutineLover

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #276 on: July 07, 2020, 01:43:19 PM »
I can't speak to his actual view obviously, but I interpreted the tweet somewhat differently.
"So why are we wasting our time arguing about who is wearing masks?"
We can and should wear masks ourselves, but arguing about other people wearing them is unlikely to make any difference and is a waste of time. If you want to advocate for policies on masks, speak to your own family or friends, and wear one yourself, more power to you. But having discussions on the internet about other people's behaviour is totally useless and counterproductive.

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #277 on: July 07, 2020, 01:44:00 PM »
Lol I don't follow MMM on Twitter but my eyes just about rolled out of my head on that tweet. I agree that focusing on things you have control over is usually a good thing. But I guess when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Heart disease and diabetes are huge public health issues in the US. I'm all for encouraging healthy eating and exercise. But if you don't have anything to say regarding the emerging risk of a novel virus, maybe keep your mouth shut about salads. Neil DeGrasse Tyson levels of unhelpfulness. :)


solon

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #278 on: July 07, 2020, 01:49:42 PM »
There's also this comment:
Quote
Masks are great way to care for others in the current era.

But choosing not to drive a car - especially in cities - is also a really big one in all times as well.

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #279 on: July 07, 2020, 01:53:53 PM »
"It is such bullshit that the news focuses on scary but insignificant things, while ignoring much bigger things that we can control."

Insignificant! With over half a million deaths worldwide. What the shit.

I find that the people who complain about "the news this" and "the news that" are really talking about their own impression of the news. They probably consume very little news media themselves. After all, why would you need to read anything, or listen to anyone else when you already know everything?

I've been a subscriber to the Washington Post for years. Their pandemic coverage has been excellent (and free, by the way). Today, they included an article about things you can do with your kids outdoors this Summer while the virus stuff is closing things down and altering plans. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/07/07/10-ways-help-your-child-fall-love-with-nature-this-summer/

Go outside. Get dirty. Play with bugs. It sounds a lot like a MMM blog post actually. Very "circle of influence".

Contrary to what these folks seem to believe, "news media" is not some monolith that you should expect to spoonfeed you relevant and helpful data with little or no effort on your part. You gotta do a little more work. You have to curate your news feed, read and remember good journalists, read past the headlines, etc. If you just scroll twitter and see screen grabs of cable news and say, "OMG Look what garbage they're peddling on CNN/Fox News", then you're part of the problem IMO.

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #280 on: July 07, 2020, 02:13:17 PM »
I can't speak to his actual view obviously, but I interpreted the tweet somewhat differently.
"So why are we wasting our time arguing about who is wearing masks?"
We can and should wear masks ourselves, but arguing about other people wearing them is unlikely to make any difference and is a waste of time. If you want to advocate for policies on masks, speak to your own family or friends, and wear one yourself, more power to you. But having discussions on the internet about other people's behaviour is totally useless and counterproductive.
Of course arguing about other peopleís behavior is useless and counterproductive as itís completely outside our scope of control. But isnít that the point of most political discourse? Wanting to think weíre in control of that which we arenít while ignoring that which we are?

As for masks, I donít think it makes a huge difference. But Iíll wear them properly and encourage others to do the same. And thatís pretty much my scope of control.


mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #281 on: July 07, 2020, 02:14:32 PM »
Of course arguing about other peopleís behavior is useless and counterproductive as itís completely outside our scope of control. But isnít that the point of most political discourse? Wanting to think weíre in control of that which we arenít while ignoring that which we are?

As for masks, I donít think it makes a huge difference. But Iíll wear them properly and encourage others to do the same. And thatís pretty much my scope of control.

This kind of flies in the face of hundreds of years of advocacy and activism. Things don't just magically improve on their own.

Laura33

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #282 on: July 07, 2020, 02:35:45 PM »
As for masks, I donít think it makes a huge difference. But Iíll wear them properly and encourage others to do the same. And thatís pretty much my scope of control.

FWIW: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext

One of the things I read (which must be true, since I read it on the internet) is the multiplier value of the various protective methods.  If 6' distancing and reduces risks by 80%, that's great.  But if wearing a mask reduces your risk by another 80%, now you're up to around a 95% risk reduction -- and then if both of you wear a mask, now you're at 99%.  Obviously these are made-up numbers (although the article I read purported to have "real" numbers for each action).  But it illustrates why the argument shouldn't be about whether one specific thing is going to solve all of our problems, and why collective action is so critical to getting this under control.

mm1970

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #283 on: July 07, 2020, 03:06:43 PM »
As for masks, I donít think it makes a huge difference. But Iíll wear them properly and encourage others to do the same. And thatís pretty much my scope of control.

FWIW: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext

One of the things I read (which must be true, since I read it on the internet) is the multiplier value of the various protective methods.  If 6' distancing and reduces risks by 80%, that's great.  But if wearing a mask reduces your risk by another 80%, now you're up to around a 95% risk reduction -- and then if both of you wear a mask, now you're at 99%.  Obviously these are made-up numbers (although the article I read purported to have "real" numbers for each action).  But it illustrates why the argument shouldn't be about whether one specific thing is going to solve all of our problems, and why collective action is so critical to getting this under control.
Yep.  Plus I like this page.  Explains some of the data and reasoning.

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

TempusFugit

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #284 on: July 07, 2020, 05:10:49 PM »
For me, it's about choice. It's easy to say you're not interested in retiring early now. Who knows how you will feel in 5 or 10 years.

+100

I do not know when/if I will end up retiring early. But being FI will almost assuredly have positive benefits on my career and lifestyle and so we aggressively save.

Maybe that means we retire early, maybe not. But... it's certainly a lot better to hate your job with a million in savings and significant FU money than it is to have $0.


Absolutely.  I may work 5 or 10 more years (or more) but i will sure enjoy having the knowledge that no one has financial power over me.  I mean, the world financial system could collapse i suppose, but then weíre all screwed anyway. 

Jobs are less stressful when you know you can just walk away.  Its about options options options.  If i get fired (the bad kind) tomorrow, i don't really have to worry about  how Iím going to pay my bills and that kind of security is priceless.   

big_owl

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #285 on: July 07, 2020, 05:20:16 PM »
Ugh, IDK, the more I read and understand about MMM the less I respect him.  He's spent years "facepunching" me for any multitude of reasons yet he has a failed marriage, smokes dope, takes an assinine risk in not having health insurance, and he COMPLETELY bared his ass on covid and wound up totally wrong. 

The older I get the more humble I get.  I still make stupid posts that I later regret.  Of course I'm not an internet personality so the stakes aren't as high.  And yes I'd suck it up and get pics taken with my fans if I had any.

But basically I'm sort of coming to terms with the idea that MMM is more a product of an ever-increasing market vs. skill.  And he's had such extreme privilege it's hard to take him seriously anymore. 

I will give him credit for opening my eyes to the possibility of retiring way early.  But that's about it anymore.

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #286 on: July 07, 2020, 05:34:51 PM »
Of course arguing about other peopleís behavior is useless and counterproductive as itís completely outside our scope of control. But isnít that the point of most political discourse? Wanting to think weíre in control of that which we arenít while ignoring that which we are?

As for masks, I donít think it makes a huge difference. But Iíll wear them properly and encourage others to do the same. And thatís pretty much my scope of control.

This kind of flies in the face of hundreds of years of advocacy and activism. Things don't just magically improve on their own.

Of course things donít change on their own. The Powers That Be often decide that a course of action is no longer tenable or profitable. And every now and then, some smart people do something creative outside the realm of politics that changes behavior.

So what have those hundreds of years of advocacy and activism actually produced as compared to the resources expended? It may have missed my notice, but it looks to me like class inequality is greater than ever, not many people (current company excepted) have any real economic security, and if you get unlucky and get sick youíre still pretty much screwed. Results matter, and the results of political advocacy and activism in the US have been grim indeed.

But letís reel it back and talk about masks. So advocacy and activism and politics is going to persuade people to socially distance and properly wear a mask? Are we saying that if we vote for the ďcorrectĒ political leaders theyíre going to somehow persuade people to wear a mask because every epidemiologist and doctor and media talking head hasnít been able to persuade them of that to date?

Or maybe we could try to be smart and go outside the realm of politics and try something different. Maybe we could exercise some personal leadership and just talk to people and thank them for caring enough about other people to wear a mask. A simple thank you works. Or if we want to really push the limits, we could just hand out $10 bills as an instant reward. No politics or advocacy or activism needed. Just a willingness to think out of the box and do something different.


American GenX

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #287 on: July 07, 2020, 05:46:25 PM »

I don't know much about MMM's approach.  I didn't find the few blog articles I read or skimmed through very interesting or to my liking.  I've been in the business of saving, investing, and being frugal many years before I ever heard of MMM, so I guess that I didn't have much to learn.  I just come here for the forum - more for interesting discussion and picking up some tips.

mm1970

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #288 on: July 07, 2020, 08:22:12 PM »
I had to go read the tweets after the earlier posts.  All I can say is:  holy shit.  Why do "waste our time" worrying about masks?  Really?  Uhhhhh, how about because wearing masks and taking care of ourselves in other ways (salads/bikes/barbells) ARE NOT FUCKING MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. 

It's like saying "why worry about seatbelts when you drive?  You'll reduce your risks of car crashes much more by driving less and biking more."  Entirely true!  And yet you still put on your fucking seatbelt when you DO drive, because now matter how much you reduce your overall risks by driving less, that means jack squat when you ARE driving.

For a smart guy, he can be really, really stupid about things that don't fit his master-of-the-universe worldview.
JFC I am right now very glad that I don't twitter.  I just cannot with this.

Eat well, exercise, wear a FUCKING MASK so my 76 year old mother in law doesn't die, asshole.

mm1970

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #289 on: July 07, 2020, 08:25:15 PM »
There's also this comment:
Quote
Masks are great way to care for others in the current era.

But choosing not to drive a car - especially in cities - is also a really big one in all times as well.
Maybe he's behind the curve on current events.  Bicycles are sold out everywhere...including children's bikes.

mm1970

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #290 on: July 07, 2020, 08:28:17 PM »
Of course arguing about other peopleís behavior is useless and counterproductive as itís completely outside our scope of control. But isnít that the point of most political discourse? Wanting to think weíre in control of that which we arenít while ignoring that which we are?

As for masks, I donít think it makes a huge difference. But Iíll wear them properly and encourage others to do the same. And thatís pretty much my scope of control.

This kind of flies in the face of hundreds of years of advocacy and activism. Things don't just magically improve on their own.
Right?  I mean, the basic local complaints about people not wearing masks resulted in county wide requirements to wear masks everywhere, except when exercising outdoors.

Thus, over the last 2 weeks, I've seen mask wearing compliance go way way up.

Trudie

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #291 on: July 07, 2020, 09:35:45 PM »
MMM wrote in an entertaining way that got me to read.  It made me consider what might be possible, motivated me to save, and that changed my life.  But Iím not really interested in what he has to say anymore, and thatís okay.  I learn from the forums.  I donít overthink it.  I use what I want, then discard the rest.   Heís an interesting guy, but ó despite jokes to the contraryó this isnít a cult.  Heís not our leader.  I have no interest in ferreting out the ďtrue believersĒ and try not to get wrapped up in the cult of personality. 

Itís good to be skeptical of everything we read, so a bit of critique is okay.  I already offered mine earlier.

Dicey

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #292 on: July 07, 2020, 10:45:33 PM »
MMM wrote in an entertaining way that got me to read.  It made me consider what might be possible, motivated me to save, and that changed my life.  But Iím not really interested in what he has to say anymore, and thatís okay.  I learn from the forums.  I donít overthink it.  I use what I want, then discard the rest.   Heís an interesting guy, but ó despite jokes to the contraryó this isnít a cult.  Heís not our leader.  I have no interest in ferreting out the ďtrue believersĒ and try not to get wrapped up in the cult of personality. 

Itís good to be skeptical of everything we read, so a bit of critique is okay.  I already offered mine earlier.
Love this comment!

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #293 on: July 07, 2020, 11:19:11 PM »
I wonder what has happened to MMM since the pandemic really hit?  I think the FIRE world could use a bit of his optimism gun these days.  His early days of romanticizing the FIRE life were pretty good (I especially liked everything up to around here, then he sorta floundered.  Posts toward late 2014 and onward were more generally about how you can now ignore money and focus on happiness (like this and this).  Scattered in were some infamous ones like https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2018/05/15/a-day-in-the-life-of-my-supposedly-frugal-stomach/ and https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/09/07/great-news-dog-ownership-is-optional/ where I disagreed, but still enjoyed, but it has steadily been downhill ever since. 

I just selfishly wish, with as much as the world seems to have changed, that he would pop back up and drop some wisdom or optimism about how great life is or will be soon.  The FIRE world needs it's MMM superhero more than ever... 

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #294 on: July 08, 2020, 09:24:57 AM »
Of course things donít change on their own. The Powers That Be often decide that a course of action is no longer tenable or profitable. And every now and then, some smart people do something creative outside the realm of politics that changes behavior.

The Powers that Be decide what is profitable by taking the temperature of their consumers. Google Pew Research's tracking poll for public support of gay marriage, and then plot on top of it the things that politicians and companies do. In the 90s, gay marriage was unpopular and companies brisked at doing things that supported it. Many even lobbied against it. Gay marriage grew in popularity to the point where a president could run on support for it in 2012. It was legalized in 2015. In 2016, gay marriage wasn't even a topic of conversation in the election. Public support for it is now 2-1 in favor. People accept it as a fact of life. Companies fall all over themselves to support (and of course, profit from) pride. This is how it works.

So what have those hundreds of years of advocacy and activism actually produced as compared to the resources expended? It may have missed my notice, but it looks to me like class inequality is greater than ever, not many people (current company excepted) have any real economic security, and if you get unlucky and get sick youíre still pretty much screwed. Results matter, and the results of political advocacy and activism in the US have been grim indeed.

A lot. We used to own human beings as property in the US, so economic inequality is at least a little bit better now than it was when we stole the work product of slaves. Income and wealth inequality is growing because we live under a system where capital begets more capital. But we can (and should IMO) advocate for changes in that.

Regarding getting sick, the situation is bad in the US. But 20 years ago, healthcare was a discussion over "personal responsibility". The ACA was imperfect, but it extended coverage to over ten million people. We now have an open enrollment period and you can't be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions. It is now political suicide to get rid of that. And we tried unsuccessfully, to get rid of a lot of ACA in 2018. But we couldn't do it because public support for it was too high.

The state of US healthcare, as well as the discussion around healthcare, is unequivocally better in the US than it was 15 years ago. It's not even close. We have a lot of work to do. And advocacy is going to be a big part of it.

But letís reel it back and talk about masks. So advocacy and activism and politics is going to persuade people to socially distance and properly wear a mask?

Yes.

Are we saying that if we vote for the ďcorrectĒ political leaders theyíre going to somehow persuade people to wear a mask because every epidemiologist and doctor and media talking head hasnít been able to persuade them of that to date?

Advocacy and activism isn't all about voting.

Or maybe we could try to be smart and go outside the realm of politics and try something different. Maybe we could exercise some personal leadership and just talk to people and thank them for caring enough about other people to wear a mask. A simple thank you works. Or if we want to really push the limits, we could just hand out $10 bills as an instant reward. No politics or advocacy or activism needed. Just a willingness to think out of the box and do something different.

The bold is textbook advocacy and activism.

mathlete

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #295 on: July 08, 2020, 09:34:01 AM »
MMM wrote in an entertaining way that got me to read.  It made me consider what might be possible, motivated me to save, and that changed my life.  But I’m not really interested in what he has to say anymore, and that’s okay.  I learn from the forums.  I don’t overthink it.  I use what I want, then discard the rest.   He’s an interesting guy, but — despite jokes to the contrary— this isn’t a cult.  He’s not our leader.  I have no interest in ferreting out the “true believers” and try not to get wrapped up in the cult of personality. 

It’s good to be skeptical of everything we read, so a bit of critique is okay.  I already offered mine earlier.
Love this comment!

+1

Trudie is spot on. MMM is probably a little too rich/famous/disconnected now for much of what he talks about to have relevance to my life. But the guy did a whole hell of a lot to advance the art and science of personal finance. And I love that he advocates for environmentalism. There's so much going on in 2020, that it's easy to forget that climate change is still very much a thing.


Goldielocks

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #296 on: July 08, 2020, 11:11:54 AM »
MMM wrote in an entertaining way that got me to read.  It made me consider what might be possible, motivated me to save, and that changed my life.  But Iím not really interested in what he has to say anymore, and thatís okay.  I learn from the forums.  I donít overthink it.  I use what I want, then discard the rest.   Heís an interesting guy, but ó despite jokes to the contraryó this isnít a cult.  Heís not our leader.  I have no interest in ferreting out the ďtrue believersĒ and try not to get wrapped up in the cult of personality. 

Itís good to be skeptical of everything we read, so a bit of critique is okay.  I already offered mine earlier.

This is a great comment.

Before MMM, I was about to give up on adding to retirement funds (above my employer match)because I would make MORE money retired than I did as a family of 4 with young kids.  I was facing a prospect of working jobs I did not like for decades, life was a grind, and wanted to spend money to have good experiences today.

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.https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

MMM's writing showed me that the handcuffs to my work and my debt were of my own making, and imaginary.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #297 on: July 08, 2020, 11:55:51 AM »
....
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...

Dicey

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #298 on: July 08, 2020, 12:49:47 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...
I think they mean pulling money out without penalty.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: In what ways do you disagree with MMM's approach?
« Reply #299 on: July 08, 2020, 01:20:02 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...
I think they mean pulling money out without penalty.
It's hard to tell with Mustachians though - we are more likely to actually believe that the money is 100% 'off limits' until 65.