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FIRE is a lonely passion
Old 02-11-2019, 07:19 PM   #1
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FIRE is a lonely passion

I love the concept of FIRE. I think itís brilliant and worthwhile and thereís so much hope in the possibility. Itís not for everyone, and some make strong arguments that itís all but impossible for many low-income earners. I get that.

But why is it so difficult to find people who are interested in or willing to talk about personal finance, let alone interested in FIRE?

Itís just weird to have this passion, and have virtually no one to share it with besides DW.
Itís especially weird because I want the people I care about to know FIRE is a thing and that itís doable. I want them to feel this excitement and hope. But when the subject has been broached, just a teeny tiny bit, itís clear they arenít interested in further discussion.

Do you all just live ďin secretĒ, as it were?

(Did I miss somewhere that the first rule of FIRE Club is donít talk about FIRE Club?)
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:27 PM   #2
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I think the first rule of personal finance is... it's personal. It's right behind politics and religion as being a bad idea to discuss with all but your most intimate friends/family, and even then, with caution.

It's very hard to do without someone sounding judgy, or feeling judged, or humble bragging, or getting defensive. Many of the principles of fire are counter-culture, particularly in the western world (debt, consumption, measures of stuff as personal worth, mine's bigger, etc.)

Money and finances are also kind of boring to anyone who doesn't already feel the same way. Boring and/or a sore spot.

If you were an avid ultra-marathoner, would you expect to have conversations about that hobby with your sedentary, non-athletic friends? Not for long you wouldn't. Runners LOVE to talk about running. Non-runners tune out in about 30 seconds.

So, keep it a topic for date night, if you must!
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:28 PM   #3
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Here you go: Friends and Family Can't Relate

Friends and family canít relate

There have been other threads on the subject; this is just one of the recent ones.

No one I know can relate. They live for the moment (their choice) and mock me for my frugality. Doesn't bother me. I have a plan and I'm sticking to it.

ETA: I do have two cousins and one friend who "get it" and who cheer me on. When I said "no one" above I meant no one I work with or ever did work with gets it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:29 PM   #4
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Ok thanks. I couldnít figure out what to put into the search bar.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:30 PM   #5
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I think the first rule of personal finance is... it's personal. It's right behind politics and religion as being a bad idea to discuss with all but your most intimate friends/family, and even then, with caution.

It's very hard to do without someone sounding judgy, or feeling judged, or humble bragging, or getting defensive. Many of the principles of fire are counter-culture, particularly in the western world (debt, consumption, measures of stuff as personal worth, mine's bigger, etc.)

Money and finances are also kind of boring to anyone who doesn't already feel the same way. Boring and/or a sore spot.

If you were an avid ultra-marathoner, would you expect to have conversations about that hobby with your sedentary, non-athletic friends? Not for long you wouldn't. Runners LOVE to talk about running. Non-runners tune out in about 30 seconds.

So, keep it a topic for date night, if you must!


Youíre right, of course. Date night, otherwise just some good old fashioned restraint.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:41 PM   #6
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Isnít that the purpose of this forum and its membership? Many, many people who love to hold forth on FIRE-related (or not) topics?
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:18 PM   #7
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Sadly I am in this adventure on my own.

DW tells me live in the moment while she maxes another credit card.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:19 PM   #8
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Too many people have to have that new car every other year, that frappuccino every morning, and those new clothes every season. They can't get past the appearance of looking wealthy to actually BE wealthy.

Some of the laziest friends I have, drink expensive energy drinks while sitting at their desk, buy an expensive lunch out, and then lament of not having any jingle in their pockets. I drink water with my packed lunch !

Luckily, my DW is on board, and will soon start contributing after her big raise last year.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:27 PM   #9
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I would love to evangelize about FIRE to my friends and family (especially my young adult family)...but I donít. I try to keep my mouth shut until they ask (only 2 have asked). I have to remind myself that it is none of my business how they handle their money.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:30 PM   #10
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Sadly I am in this adventure on my own.

DW tells me live in the moment while she maxes another credit card.
Sorry to hear this, Ken. I have been blessed for 35 years with a young wife whose values are aligned with mine. Our imminent retirement would not have been possible without that.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:45 PM   #11
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Yes, it's lonely. I am virtually estranged from my disastrously-spendy brother and have few friends who understand.

Honestly, it's worth it in the end and you can find community here.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:58 PM   #12
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It's very hard to do without someone sounding judgy, or feeling judged, or humble bragging, or getting defensive. Many of the principles of fire are counter-culture, particularly in the western world (debt, consumption, measures of stuff as personal worth, mine's bigger, etc.)

+1

More than a few people do not like the thought of someone doing better than they are; it is "proof" that things are not "fair".

However, one aspect I differ with the OP is that I do not find it lonely. I get enough personal satisfaction in what I have achieved that I am very happy not talking about it, or others not knowing about it. It is nice to just be in the background with this.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:37 PM   #13
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Just to reiterate some concepts listed above...

Some of my friends are struggling with credit card debt or are having a tougher go due to a divorce, etc. Personally, I'd rather not have personal finance discussions with those friends unless they bring it up and it's on their terms because I don't want to come off as preachy or bragging.
It's a lot easier chatting about general FIRE concepts, investments, etc with friends that are already heading down that path.

My siblings want to be good with their money and I can chat to them about simple concepts for them to follow but they only have limited interest in the nuts and bolts. They're busy being great parents, keeping their household going, etc.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:46 PM   #14
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Isnít that the purpose of this forum and its membership? Many, many people who love to hold forth on FIRE-related (or not) topics?


Yes! And Iím grateful for this forum.

It would be awfully nice to have these convos with people IRL, too. Especially with friends and family. But alas, too many compelling reasons not to try.

So itís time to shift away from the ďlonelyĒ mindset.

If this forum is the only safe space for FIRE talks, so be it. I enjoy it here.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:03 PM   #15
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To the OP,

I agree with your sentiment as for many in the civilian world not necessarily being interested in personal finance, but I am a little surprised to hear you say this knowing your occupation. Personal finance comes up all the time at my base, especially with the Blended Retirement System decision last year, changing BAH, GS civilian job conversions, and Tricare status changes (OK, that's more for reservists, but you get the idea). They may not all embrace FIRE, but they do care about their paychecks.

I would think you should be able to get your "fix" at work either talking to other officers or mentoring other airmen about financial awareness. To a degree, Our "personal" finance IS Uncle Sam's business...at least that's what they tell you at GTC briefings...
So go ahead, talk finance at work...you might just save a career or two.

Thanks for you and your wife's service,
LB
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:49 AM   #16
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Do you all just live ďin secretĒ, as it were?

It is more fun living in secret and then like the Nike ad, just do it and retire early.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:50 AM   #17
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In our experience it is similar to other worthwhile endeavours.

Everyone seems to want some form of it but far fewer are prepared to expend the effort and follow the personal discipline to make it a reality in their lives.

Too many other shiney objects or keeping up with the Jones seem to take preference.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:04 AM   #18
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A couple thoughts on this. I was the first in one group of my friends to retire. It wasn't until 1-2 years later that they joined me and we have some pretty decent conversations. My best friend is still at least three years away and we have talked very openly and specifically about our plans and portfolios. Otherwise it's been general talk with others about SS and Medicare when it comes available.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:21 AM   #19
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Sorry to hear this, Ken. I have been blessed for 35 years with a young wife whose values are aligned with mine. Our imminent retirement would not have been possible without that.
Same here. My dear, penny pinching, wife is snug in bed. Example: We make chicken thighs in the oven she pours off the broth for a soup in the future. She skims the fat and feeds it to the chickens. I could write a book about it.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:41 AM   #20
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