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e_fastlane

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I think the question is where is the financially free line to each person? Remember it's all relative to the mindset of the person. I think I am financially free, however I can't afford a yacht or a private jet. Someone who is making $100k a year, they would look at me and say that I'm financially free. But someone with $25M probably would not.

We talk about someone sacrificing by not going to restaurants. A billionaire would talk about me sacrificing by not flying private. I think I'm ok at my current net worth level. Someone wealthier may not, they may think I'm taking my foot off the pedal too early.

I think it's all relative, but I also agree that there is a poverty point where I roll my eyes when someone tells me they are financially free. It could be someone living in a tiny home in the middle of nowhere for me, for someone else it could be someone living in a free and clear house, but has only $2k coming in a month to live.

Like MJ, I don't look at restaurant prices. I can buy many things without thinking about it. But I can't get a new Mclaren without really thinking about it.
Sounds like we are seeing eye to eye on this, but in stark opposition to most on here.
 

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What happens to these retired people if she gets pregnant? Lol, that will poke a few holes in their budget
I feel like I’m the only one that was surprised how cheap babies are… :rofl:

After a lifetime of hearing how horribly expensive they are, and watching people sell their boats and cars because they have a kid on the way… I expected it to cost more than this…
 

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Sounds like we are seeing eye to eye on this, but in stark opposition to most on here.
Oooh drive-by passive aggression… :eek:

No one is mad at you for your views, but why are you so triggered by ours snowflake?
 
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GPM

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I feel like I’m the only one that was surprised how cheap babies are… :rofl:

After a lifetime of hearing how horribly expensive they are, and watching people sell their boats and cars because they have a kid on the way… I expected it to cost more than this…
Cheap is relative and you know it.

Selling toys I think has more to do with the lack of time to use them. However, 99% of people who have kids also work a 9-5 job and then come home to screaming children.

Just wait Kyle, soon little shark is gonna be eating as much at mealtime as you, and going through a Costco box of diapers a week.
 

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Cheap is relative and you know it.

Selling toys I think has more to do with the lack of time to use them. However, 99% of people who have kids also work a 9-5 job and then come home to screaming children.
Just wait Kyle, soon little shark is gonna be eating as much at mealtime as you, and going through a Costco box of diapers a week.
Babies. Are. Cheap. :rofl:
 

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Ya good points on where do you draw a line with being financially free.
To me its if you want to do something "normal" but can't.

Going to a restaurant is normal. Going to the cinema is normal. Paying for gym membership is normal.
If you can do all of these without sweating it then you are financially free at a solid basic level.

So if someone can live like a normal person "forever" off their assets I would call that financially free.

I would also adjust this to a country too. To be financially free in Mexico is going to be easier than NYC.

To buy a McLaren though I wouldn't consider normal. So if you can do that you have a high financial free level.
(of course I mean buying these things and not damaging your long term wealth).

If someone can live forever off their assets but they have to live in a very limited way then to me thats more financially crafty than financially free. Its doable but it comes with higher risk - what if there are hidden expenses or they just want to do more at some point. It is possible but its walking the line.

Again I don't want to judge these guys - they have already done what 99% of people won't. But I just think if they are going to take that much risk (that they could run out of cash in later years) it should be matched with some big life reward (they get to live in Bali and surf/yoga everyday for example).

Personally I think these guys will be fine since they have lots of ways to turn back on the income but as MJ says it gives off a strange message to others as to what to aim for/whats financially free.

----

@biophase I love seeing your thoughts on these topics as you have clearly done super well in life and its cool to see how you often think differently about subjects on here.
 

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I really interpret these news articles as the media lap dogs saying, "Look, these people did it, you can too!"

The article goes to great lengths to tout the pros of this lifestyle, sure there are mention of the things they initially gave up. You can really dig into the article to find them.

In a way you can even appreciate the narrative that the bar for "financial freedom" (as defined by them) is considerably lower than you would expect.

This couple made a choice and maybe (even hopefully) it will work out for them. Let's face it. Living a spartan lifestyle instead of the boss-in-your-face, soul-sucking, meaningless 9-to-5 rat-race might be a considerable improvement.

I really appreciate the comments from @MJ DeMarco and @Andy Black, I want my life to have purpose, to have meaning. I want to help people, to solve their problems.

A feeling we all share on this forum.

It just so happens that this mindset can also equate to financial validation as long as we stick to it, grind through the trials and find ways to reach as many people as we can.
 

thechosen1

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Has anyone here ever heard of the subreddit called r/fatFIRE ?

It's like F.I.R.E. except the goal is to have millions more when you "quit" working.

A lot of entrepreneurs seem to frequent that spot too.

There is still a lot of poor mindset even on that subreddit from people with millions (wow) but it's a lot better than the more standard FIRE crap. Yes, even decamillionaires can be total fools with their heads in the sand.

Reminds me more of the Unscripted Money System though.
 

thechosen1

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For a really insane look at mega-rich FIRE possibilities, look at Ross Perot.

He once purchased nearly a billion dollars just in US treasury bills, with a measly 1 or 2% return.

Here's an old article from 1992 about the bonds and things he was invested in:

Those are the government bonds that super rich politicians like John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi invest in, too.

They're tax free because they are bonds used by cities and governments.
 

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Sounds like we are seeing eye to eye on this, but in stark opposition to most on here.

You conveniently left out that he gave up everything he enjoyed -- eating out, fast cars, etc.

When you're giving up things you genuinely enjoy and money limits your daily activities, you're not free.

They own their time, but money owns their daily choices.

I think the question is where is the financially free line to each person?

I would think "financial freedom" would be at the point where you stop thinking about money in your daily life whereas the word "budget" doesn't exist -- AND you can do exactly what you want on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Being "free" of something means not having to worry about it.

It appears that these extreme FIRE folks are not only thinking about money every second of the day, they've become euthanized by it.

Everyone has a “budget” in some way.

Absolutely. I have a budget when it comes to rare, discretionary single-purchase items usually related to luxury goods--- stuff like RVs, yachts, vacation homes, etc. These things are not related to my life unless I make them. Abstinence from buying a yacht, and abstinence from eating out at Olive Garden a few times a month are two entirely different things.

Has anyone here ever heard of the subreddit called r/fatFIRE ?

It's like F.I.R.E. except the goal is to have millions more when you "quit" working.

I'm not entirely familiar with it, but from my cursory understanding, it somewhat reflects my philosophy because it requires millions and is immune from economic recessions, it allows lifestyle freedom, and allows passions to be followed without market confirmation.

I really interpret these news articles as the media lap dogs saying, "Look, these people did it, you can too!"

Yes, they are simply pushing narratives to serve an agenda; work hard, save your money and give it to Wall Street, and own nothing to be happy. This is the media's version of "new rich" which is why you can expect more of it.
 

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PapaGang

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These people accomplished a lot more than I have on the wealth front. That takes tremendous effort. I applaud them. They have a higher net worth than I do. But I don't have to think about whether or not I should go out to eat, and I certainly buy my family gifts, so I have what they are missing. Cash flow. Also I love my job, and I'm happy working on my business on the side, which should grow into something great for me, so I also have purpose, which they seem to lack. The purpose gives me meaning.

I think the FIRE people need to listen to those old Joe Dominguez tapes again.
Clearly they missed the part where he states that you need to DEFINE what "enough" is for you, and what sort of higher purpose you want to live for.
People skim too much. More in-depth study.
 
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hexelbyte

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For a really insane look at mega-rich FIRE possibilities, look at Ross Perot.

He once purchased nearly a billion dollars just in US treasury bills, with a measly 1 or 2% return.

Here's an old article from 1992 about the bonds and things he was invested in:

Those are the government bonds that super rich politicians like John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi invest in, too.

They're tax free because they are bonds used by cities and governments.
I would like to say that a 1-2% return is basically just enough to counteract inflation.
In other words, a 0% return to a minor loss in buying power.

For anyone that can do basic math, even a CD makes 3-5% return.
Sometimes, I wonder if people understand that paying tax with a big return is much better than tax-free - zero return.
 

thechosen1

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I would like to say that a 1-2% return is basically just enough to counteract inflation.
In other words, a 0% return to a minor loss in buying power.

For anyone that can do basic math, even a CD makes 3-5% return.
Sometimes, I wonder if people understand that paying tax with a big return is much better than tax-free - zero return.
True, but this was also at a different time with a different economy with different interest rates and a different rate of inflation.

Point is, Perot had so much money yet he put it into one of the (supposedly) “safest” assets even with a non existent return. 1% on a billion is 10 million per year
 

redshift

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Has anyone here ever heard of the subreddit called r/fatFIRE ?

It's like F.I.R.E. except the goal is to have millions more when you "quit" working.

In the T.I.R.E community, this would be known as flatTIRE - Where you are just so tired of living that you lay down on the spot and take a nap :)
 

WJK

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That looks awesome! A similar thing to what you are talking about happened to John Somnez from Bulldog Mindset. He retired at 33 due to his real estate investments and moved to hawaii and he hated it.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-cGLisPbXA
I retired 18 years ago, but I'm truly not good at it. It's boring and you're right -- depressing. I learned that you must decide what is important to you, and then get up and go on...
 

e_fastlane

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Oooh drive-by passive aggression… :eek:

No one is mad at you for your views, but why are you so triggered by ours snowflake?
I didn't think anyone was mad at me and I wasn't mad at anyone, just had a difference of opinion. Projecting?

The funny part is that my actual opinion on lifestyle and financial freedom is aligned with your guys opinion. Many keep misunderstanding that I am not criticizing the opinion, but the action of judging others harshly for having a different opinion.

The same exact point BioPhase is making. Hence why I quotes him and said I agree.
You conveniently left out that he gave up everything he enjoyed -- eating out, fast cars, etc.

When you're giving up things you genuinely enjoy and money limits your daily activities, you're not free.

They own their time, but money owns their daily choices.
I'm not here to defend him. But if that is what he chooses, sounds great.

I think we are talking past each other. I think you agree with my basic premise that it's not for us to decide what will make them happy and if they are happy with their choices and life, let them live how they want. I think what your actual critique may be is that the media is only emphasizing one side of their story and it is very misleading. Media is selling their version of F.I.R.E as a way to become "rich" and knowingly only showing the good sides (time freedom) without showing that doing it their way actually leaves them poor in many other ways that most people would find objectionable. I agree with you on this.
For anyone that can do basic math, even a CD makes 3-5% return.
I thought math was always my strong suite, but I guess basic math eludes me. Please show me a CD that will make me 3%-5% yearly returns.
 

WJK

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Where are you getting this information? Seems like you setup a weak strawman just to knock it down. They have a 1.2 mil portfolio and they spend 40k a year.

There are tools (like here) that will run simulations on every single possible outcome depending on when you put your money in last 100+ years. Taking out 40k a year ADJUSTED for inflation for 40 years would result in ZERO historical failures. That means that if today they have 1.2million in their portfolio, tomorrow a recession hits that is as bad and long as the great depression... They can keep taking out and inflation adjusted 40k EVERY YEAR and even then they won't run out of money. Thats even considering the ABSOLUTE worst historic case scenario. So where are you getting that they are at the whims of the stock market? They are as solidly financially independent as you realistically can be, as long as they never want to spend more lavishly than now. Nothing is guaranteeing that the next 40 years won't be worse than any other 40 year period we have ever had, and maybe they run out of money. But it's not like anyone is chopping off their hands. So they can always go back to work. But if we are talking about such extreme case scenarios, none of us are financially secure for the rest of our lives either. Try starting your own business while living in the USSR. Nothing is guaranteeing we won't have that here in 30 years either.

I don't disagree that this isn't the lifestyle I would want to live either, but that is just a value judgement. As long as they are happy with the lifestyle, why should they care about our opinion on it. Makes no more sense than insisting chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla. Biophase seems to be the only poster on here that is able to separate fact from moral judgements. I know people that are not ambitious and just don't care for material things or extravagant experiences. What are they supposed to do, consume just to impress the rest of us?

Again, I agree with your opinion on their lifestyle and I agree that it is sappy for media to be glorifying them. I just don't agree with your claim that they can't be financially independent in their situation and how harshly you're morally judging them for choosing a different lifestyle.
I totally understand your argument. I know street people who are there by choice. They would rather be homeless than part of the rat race to make a more traditional living. Everyone has his own standards for how they want to live. Some people need a lot to feel that they have made it in life. Others need very little.
You're right about the long-term prospects. Nothing is guaranteed. I have known many people who lost everything and had to start over -- IF that was their choice.
 

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I think where FIRE gets it right is not spending beyond one's means and looking beyond the sidewalk and slowlane.

It opened me to saving money as cushion/capital to eventually delve into business full-time. And some FIRE people do that.

But I draw the line when they recommend I buy a used 1980 Ford Pinto with 500k miles on it because a new car is a "bad investment."

For non-minimalists, FIRE is good as a trampoline, nothing more in my opinion.

Of note: Financial Samurai, a FIRE blogger, left early retirement as his passive income was not enough. He also felt a need to be productive. 42-year-old millionaire: I tried to retire early at 34—but failed. Here's what went wrong
 

thechosen1

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I totally understand your argument. I know street people who are there by choice. They would rather be homeless than part of the rat race to make a more traditional living. Everyone has his own standards for how they want to live. Some people need a lot to feel that they have made it in life. Others need very little.
You're right about the long-term prospects. Nothing is guaranteed. I have known many people who lost everything and had to start over -- IF that was their choice.
This, 100%.

The biggest issue is when somebody chooses that rough path but expects the rest of us to foot the bill...lol

“Please sir... I choose exactly this life because it meant I didn’t have to do anything productive or partake in the rat race... but can a kind soul who DOES partake in the rat race support me? Even though I said I chose this on purpose?...”

yeah I know too many people like this. Dudes from high school who live wherever they find a place to stay, surfing, drinking, smoking, whatever.

Chose the life for selfish reasons but still expect others to pay for them to get all that freedom
 

WJK

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This, 100%.

The biggest issue is when somebody chooses that rough path but expects the rest of us to foot the bill...lol

“Please sir... I choose exactly this life because it meant I didn’t have to do anything productive or partake in the rat race... but can a kind soul who DOES partake in the rat race support me? Even though I said I chose this on purpose?...”

yeah I know too many people like this. Dudes from high school who live wherever they find a place to stay, surfing, drinking, smoking, whatever.

Chose the life for selfish reasons but still expect others to pay for them to get all that freedom
In the 1980s, I helped start a shelter for homeless women and their children in Compton, California. I was chairman of the board for 5 years. We also started a feeding program in the church next door for the homeless population that included everyone on the streets. I have seen a lot of stuff during my lifetime. Every time I felt bad during those years about my life, I'd go sit in the community room either at the shelter or at the church. I would listen to two of the women argue over a soda. Or something equally silly. I then went home feeling much better about my life. They reminded me why I was doing what I was doing in my businesses.

I can say that most of them don't know that they had a choice and that they had made that choice to be where they are. They didn't understand the law of cause and effect. They didn't know that their actions had put them in that position. Most (and I've talked to thousands of people) thought that their lot in life just fell on them through no fault of their own. It was just a natural occurrence. But, they were always asking me why I worked so hard -- when in their minds, I didn't have to. At times, I had one of them tell me that I need to get a life because I just never had any fun. I would gently remind them that I owned my own shower, kitchen, home, etc. And I wasn't in the shelter with them, sleeping in the next bed. Most of the time, that information didn't make much of an impression on them...
 

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Antifragile

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@WJK

there is a book called “Mindset” and it is exactly about that. Fixed mindset is “I’m just not good at _____”, these are the people you describe. Growth mindset is “I presently struggle with ____ and I will get good at it eventually”.
 

thechosen1

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In the 1980s, I helped start a shelter for homeless women and their children in Compton, California. I was chairman of the board for 5 years. We also started a feeding program in the church next door for the homeless population that included everyone on the streets. I have seen a lot of stuff during my lifetime. Every time I felt bad during those years about my life, I'd go sit in the community room either at the shelter or at the church. I would listen to two of the women argue over a soda. Or something equally silly. I then went home feeling much better about my life. They reminded me why I was doing what I was doing in my businesses.

I can say that most of them don't know that they had a choice and that they had made that choice to be where they are. They didn't understand the law of cause and effect. They didn't know that their actions had put them in that position. Most (and I've talked to thousands of people) thought that their lot in life just fell on them through no fault of their own. It was just a natural occurrence. But, they were always asking me why I worked so hard -- when in their minds, I didn't have to. At times, I had one of them tell me that I need to get a life because I just never had any fun. I would gently remind them that I owned my own shower, kitchen, home, etc. And I wasn't in the shelter with them, sleeping in the next bed. Most of the time, that information didn't make much of an impression on them...
This is an amazing comment.

There is so much wisdom right there alone.

It can’t really be understated...

“Why are you trying so hard? You are successful already!”

“Well, you see, I am successful because I try so hard...”
 

WJK

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@WJK

there is a book called “Mindset” and it is exactly about that. Fixed mindset is “I’m just not good at _____”, these are the people you describe. Growth mindset is “I presently struggle with ____ and I will get good at it eventually”.
When I was young, I thought everyone could do what I could do. I'd try to explain... well, you do this, and then that, and you get this result... During my explanation, their eyes would glaze over for even the most basic things. I was totally baffled by their lack of vision. So, I have learned over the years that most people can't just look at a problem and figure how to fix it step by step. What is so obvious to me, is mysterious to them. So I go on without trying to drag them along. Once I figure out "the-way-how" to solve that type of problem, I then do the same type of fix each time, making small improvements along the way. Most problems have elegantly simple solutions. It's the approach of the people who own that problem that makes it all so complicated.
 

WJK

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This is an amazing comment.

There is so much wisdom right there alone.

It can’t really be understated...

“Why are you trying so hard? You are successful already!”

“Well, you see, I am successful because I try so hard...”
I have a standard reply... "I never want to go hungry again!"

That usually stops them in their tracks. They usually don't know I went to Los Angeles when I was a 19-year-old, scrawny, country girl. I went there to go to school in 1972. And yes, it was often that I ran out of food money in those days. From that start, I've had an amazing life stuffed with successes that I never could have dreamed of achieving.

I like your answer too. Your success is because you try so hard! Ditto! Me too.
 

hexelbyte

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I thought math was always my strong suite, but I guess basic math eludes me. Please show me a CD that will make me 3%-5% yearly returns.
Welp, last time I checked back in 2018, CD's did have a return of 3% / year.

Now that I looked it up in 2021, a 3-month would yield around 0.4% (0.4 * 4 = 1.6%).

Pretty bad due to the low interest rate environment.
However, bonds are still doing "ok".

Reason why I don't pay attention to CD's is because they are still terrible and just focused on better investments.
Why waste time around terrible people right?
 

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