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Old 12-05-2007, 03:10 PM   #41
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...Even so it might be nice if someone came along and started a thread with intellectual interest. I might not even participate, but I would enjoy it. Of course I guess that is what blogs are for. ...
Ha
Methinks this is why I read way more than I post, and explains my post count of 0.4 per day
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:35 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I brought up some of the elegant discourse from Ted's last post:

So if you don't like my negative comments about people who want to drop out of the workforce, maximize their social security benefits and reduce their taxes, and then claim that they are doing the rest of the country some sort of favor, screw you. Just don't read them.
One of the things that I really liked about Ted was his willingness to challenge the dogma of the board, and say what no one else around here will: that ER is selfish. A lot of poeple here like to pretend, in the face of all mores and common sense, that ER is morally positive. Every few days there is a new thread where someone expresses surprise that their friends and family are angry or offended that they are retiring early. Some of the reasons (like envy) are not so admirable, but the fact is that it is perfectly natural for people to feel that way, and they have something of a point. I think that Ted's comment above was elegant, and it hit home.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:10 PM   #43
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One of the things that I really liked about Ted was his willingness to challenge the dogma of the board, and say what no one else around here will: that ER is selfish. A lot of poeple here like to pretend, in the face of all mores and common sense, that ER is morally positive.
Jealousy & envy may be one set of issues, but claiming that ER is selfish (in the pejorative sense of the word) is quite another.

As for challenging the dogma, I find Ted's epithets especially well-articulated. I may not agree with a reverend's preaching, but I don't blow rasberries from the pews either. Ted could've tried to improve the system from within with persistence & respectful reasoning, but instead he chose to kick over the chessboard and stomp off in a huff. Not that he was selfish about it.

I'd also like to point out that ER has allowed us the time (and the comfort level) to master our financial acumen to the point where we donated more to charity this year than we have during our entire lives. Hardly seems selfish to me, and it ain't a sense of guilt either.

How do we explain the motivation of those who continue working far past the point of having sufficient assets to last the rest of their lives? Do they have their paychecks (after FICA deductions!) transferred straight to the charities of their choice?
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:57 PM   #44
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If it's selfish, immoral or fattening - post a link - I may be interested.

If it's work, noble and unselfish, moral or something silly like that - I MAY be willing to hold your coat - while YOU go do it - or not depending on my mood.

I have a Curmudgeon Certificate downloaded from this very forum.

There are loveable, foolish mis guided souls in this world who actually vote Republican, think the PacNW is a good place to live/work rather than be from, feel the Pats are a good football team and can't seem to grasp: Pssst Wellesley.

Take my sister for instance - - family is family. Ted is another story.

heh heh heh - ok ok so you get to pick one - Republican, PacNW, Pats, Wellesley - it's a trick question.
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:34 PM   #45
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Wow...ER is selfish?

I hadnt until now realized that working most of your waking life in exchange for a handful of cash every two weeks was the definition of selflessness.

As far as anyone who thinks i'm selfish or feels its appropriate to be angry or offended that I've worked through a lot of hardships to become successful and be able to get off the treadmill? Oh...what was that nice moderator friendly way of saying it again??

Oh yeah....AVOCADO!
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:07 PM   #46
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Wow...ER is selfish?

Oh yeah....AVOCADO!
I love the smell of AVOCADO in the morning! It smells like like victory!

heh heh heh -
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:35 AM   #47
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As someone who has been prematurely, involuntarily retired, I haven't yet developed enthusiasm for it. However, I have some academic background in economics, have followed the "efficient markets" approach to investing that is advocated by this web site, and appreciate the additional insights and tools (FIREcalc) that it provides.

While I respect everyone's right to make the decision to retire early if they can afford it, a sobering note is that society as a whole needs to be moving in the opposite direction -- towards later retirement.
I have a different take on Ted. The first sentence of his first post spoke volumes to me. He was canned, let go, downsized...however you want to say it...his former employer decided he was no longer valued enough to keep. That hurts! And it showed in Ted's post...I'm smart...and my former employer, as well as society in general, would have been better off to keep people in general employed...especially me. When Ted didn't get the kind of support he wanted...after so elegantly making his case, he went away.

If Ted had lurked a little before posting, he knew people here were striving toward ER. The fact that he chose to post what he did is telling to me...share your knowledge with the unenlightened and they will not only be awed by your brilliance but will see the light. That kind of resolve might explain why Ted was involuntarily retired.

I kind of feel sorry for Ted and hope he found another position where he could be properly appreciated.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:29 AM   #48
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IIRC, Ted worked in sewage processing. One of his last projects involved analyzing the prospects of removing items like condoms and chewing gum from waste water for recycling purposes.

I remember hoping that they didnt use one to make the other.

Not sure there was much of a problem with Teds opinion that people are most worthwhile when they continue to do some sort of work that contributes to society at large and keeps that up as long as they're productive.

The problem seemed to show up when he stated that he respected the rights of others to retire early, then before his lips stopped moving judged that ER's are leeches.
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Old 12-08-2007, 01:34 PM   #49
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I have a different take on Ted. The first sentence of his first post spoke volumes to me.
Wow! A loving and likely accurate appraisal.

I liked Ted because he was challenging and smart, and he sure saw the best way to play the coming bull market in crude. But he was definitely no politician.

I have since come to think that possibly his main argument was in error. It is true that the only goods and services that are avialable today must be produced and performed in the present (Leaving aside old movies on DVDs, art and crafts from former eras, etc.)

What I think he may have missed is that as ERs, we have during our working lives saved and invested a lot of money. In a well functioning modern economy that savings and investment should on average increase productivity going forward, thus creating a larger pie, even though it is being produced by fewer workers (We won't be working!) So the share than we claim with our passive income is due to us, so to speak. Though there may at times be political intereferance with this.

Ha
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:01 PM   #50
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I'm sure Ted would be honored to know we're still talking about him. I liked him because he had a pretty fresh econ masters, so he still talked like a student. FWIW, there are about 100 Ted-alikes over at diehards.org. I can tolerate that forum for short bursts.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:45 PM   #51
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Wow! A loving and likely accurate appraisal.

I liked Ted because he was challenging and smart, and he sure saw the best way to play the coming bull market in crude. But he was definitely no politician.

Ha
Depending on how hard he played - he may have beat me to that villa in the Bahamas with his Jimmy Buffett shirts and tropical drink - he might be too embrassed to admit he changed his mind.

since he is not here - let's make up something optimistic.

heh heh heh - 19 degrees and snowing lightly.
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:37 PM   #52
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I found myself in Ted's position in 2002. I spent 15 months out of w*rk and then got a contract position paying a little more than half of my prior compensation.

When I was layed off/fired, I was frantic and frustrated beyond words. I would probably have qualified as clinically depressed because it runs in my family and I'm familiar with the symptoms. I definitely had them.

In my totally boring contract job, I discovered this forum and lurked for several years before registering. I just had to ask a question about Guyton.

What's pathetic about the whole situation is that once I discovered this forum I quickly discovered that I was financially able to retire. DW may not have immediately accepted the lifestyle we could afford but I'm slowly converting her thinking. Fortunately or unfortunately, my FIL will keep us trapped in Houston for several more years. Since I'm now making more than my original 2002 position by a good margin, I'm definitely FI. I get 4 weeks PTO a year, work 4 day weeks and can get unpaid time off easily. It seems silly to not have this kind of job when we really can't leave Houston for more than a week at a time. There certainly isn't any reason to "retire" in Houston that I've discovered.

Hopefully, Ted will go through a similar transition. I frequently talk to my current coworkers about the time "I thought I was important." They laugh at some of the silly things I did.
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Old 12-08-2007, 05:10 PM   #53
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I'm sure Ted would be honored to know we're still talking about him. I liked him because he had a pretty fresh econ masters, so he still talked like a student.
True. Ted helped dispel boredom, and avoiding boredom has been a major occupation for me.

Ha
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Old 12-08-2007, 05:28 PM   #54
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True. Ted helped dispel boredom, and avoiding boredom has been a major occupation for me.
You'd like this forum:

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A bunch of no-nonsense irreverent quants. Even lurking is pure joy.
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:07 PM   #55
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One of the things that I really liked about Ted was his willingness to challenge the dogma of the board, and say what no one else around here will: that ER is selfish. A lot of poeple here like to pretend, in the face of all mores and common sense, that ER is morally positive.
bongo2,

Okay, I'm new on the ER boards and haven't been through this argument in depth yet, so I'm interested.

Post a thread titled "Proposal: ER Is Selfish" or something similar and I'll debate it with you. I'll take the not selfish side. Don't know what forum is most appropriate. (help, mods?)

I'll do my best to keep it civil.

We'll have to settle on definitions of what is selfish and morally positive as a starting place.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:35 PM   #56
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One of the things that I really liked about Ted was his willingness to challenge the dogma of the board, and say what no one else around here will: that ER is selfish. A lot of people here like to pretend, in the face of all mores and common sense, that ER is morally positive. Every few days there is a new thread where someone expresses surprise that their friends and family are angry or offended that they are retiring early. Some of the reasons (like envy) are not so admirable, but the fact is that it is perfectly natural for people to feel that way, and they have something of a point. I think that Ted's comment above was elegant, and it hit home.
I guess I don't see the mores and common sense that defies the notion that ER is morally positive. Most ER's here did it by LBYM, as in, didn't consume a bunch of disposable garbage because it was the hot thing that year, only to fill a landfill the next. They most likely continue to live that lifestyle after ER. Meanwhile, like Nords said, they have an opportunity to do more good than ever. Even with our limited FI, we are helping to fund/build a house in Mexico for a family. Meanwhile, an ER makes room for a younger professional to advance in their career, as the person I just replaced in management did. Being more available for your offspring in their young adult years, giving them the freedom to choose careers the love vs. what will quickly get them on their feet, spending more time with grand kids...I haven't even begun to list the benefits of ER to the community.

Very few people who FIRE are sipping umbrella drinks with Hugh Hefner on a mega yaught. Those people are still working!
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:08 AM   #57
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I may get flammed for my posting.... but I just could not resist. I think the point that most here are missing, is that there is nothing wrong with being selfish. Selfishness does not mean never helping others, it just means not helping others, at the expense of yourself. I would think that the goal of most peoples lives, including mine, is to gain as much happiness for ourselves as possible. If ER is your goal, then you should feel happy in your persuit of that goal. If anyone has the attitude of "Well if I cannot retire early.... then neither should you", is insane.
Being called selfish seems to be one of those "boogeymen" in our society. And I have seen people do all sorts of mental gymnastics to try to persuade others that ER somehow benefits "society as a whole", or "their fellow citizens", or even, "the common good", because of course they never want to be "selfish".
The fact is that for us to be happy and successful in life, there is a certain amount of "selfishness" that we need to employ. Taking care of yourself and your family the best way that you can, should hardly be considered a "bad" thing. And is it selfish to want to take care of yourself and your family the best way you can? Of course it is selfish! And this is not a bad thing.....
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:24 AM   #58
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I may get flammed for my posting.... but I just could not resist.
The fact is that for us to be happy and successful in life, there is a certain amount of "selfishness" that we need to employ. Taking care of yourself and your family the best way that you can, should hardly be considered a "bad" thing. And is it selfish to want to take care of yourself and your family the best way you can? Of course it is selfish! And this is not a bad thing.....
16 degrees and snow out my computer window - Saints blew their season last Sunday and my Sister will continue to call about those dang Pats!

Screw moral! Next week I plan to swing by Chattanooga, pick up Blondie, be in New Orleans the week before Christmas and then wing it (Branson, Nashville) for a week or so after that.

I plan as much immoral, fattening, or slacker behavior as this 64 yr old body can manage.

I do miss Ted's discussion of the moral implications re the negative convexity of bond yield curves and other uplifting themes.

heh heh heh -
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:18 AM   #59
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armor99,

bongo2's post indicated that there's something about ERing that's selfish that is different than working. I'm looking for what he sees as that difference.

Thus, needing to agree on the definition.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:07 AM   #60
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Post a thread titled "Proposal: ER Is Selfish" or something similar and I'll debate it with you. I'll take the not selfish side.
The most famous classic blunder is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never start an internet debate with a whole forum of retired people with nothing but time on their hands.
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