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Old 03-30-2016, 02:29 PM   #21
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Nice article. ( I have looked at both Justin and Jeremy's blogs and they lead me here!)

I sometimes just shake my head at some of the young people I work with that live paycheck to paycheck and never think about saving for the future.... On the other hand, there are a few that do save and invest and will have a much better life for it.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:30 PM   #22
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Excellent job! It's good to see these stories get out there. But the comments...ugh, they are just sickening. Nothing like the good old internet police making sure things stay stirred up good.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:45 PM   #23
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I applaud Fuego and do read his website however, the savings on the three items for families is not quite the whole story.

Since Mrs F retired they are on heavily subsidized ACA plans and the mention of law school reminds me of the fierce debate a few years ago about his plans to simply default on his school loans by never having enough income to make payments. Now these programs are out there for anyone to use, but saving a few bucks on groceries pales in comparison and gives people just part of the story. But I guess that's the way everything gets reported today.But, there could be a lot of people out there with ER goals, poor and expensive medical coverage and student loans. Just saving a few bucks on food isn't going to do it. Everyone doesn't go out and overbuy on homes either...

I would like to see the student loan issued talked about on the blog, just for the sake of full disclosure. I think a creditable blogger needs to lay everything out on the table. He has done some posts about ACA. I find his posts entertaining and very readable.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:52 PM   #24
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To be fair, I have at least three friends who are on the income based repayment plan, and who expect to go out the long route of getting them forgiven at the end of the 25 year term. And one who is doing the same, but under the public service forgiveness at 10 years.

I have no problem with that. It is a program that the government offers, and like anything else, there are still hoops to be jumped through in order to qualify.

For example, to qualify for the ACA subsidy (learned a lot about it through his good blog post on the subject), our income cannot be over $31k and change. That is pretty dang low, and would be a serious trade-off in spending to save the health insurance subsidy. I'll have to decide when we get there if it is worth it.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:06 PM   #25
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I don't have a problem with anyone taking advantage of government offered programs.

I just believe that mentioning groceries and cars without giving the whole story is not giving people the entire picture. Now as a private citizen I don't have to tell anybody anything, but if I blogged, I would give people the entire picture.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:11 PM   #26
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...and the mention of law school reminds me of the fierce debate a few years ago about his plans to simply default on his school loans by never having enough income to make payments. Now these programs are out there for anyone to use, but saving a few bucks on groceries pales in comparison and gives people just part of the story.
I thought about bringing that up, but didn't want to rain on Fuego's parade. It is an impressive accomplishment, regardless of my qualms about that manipulation.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:21 PM   #27
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Nice article and a nice family. Good to see our community painted in a positive light in the national press.

I also (insert evil laugh) sent a link to it to my hyper-consumer co-worker who is currently cornering the market on baby supplies for her new addition. She came to my door and say that the article made her sad. LOL! That's my job, after all, reminding them that these are choices. Glad I could use Fuego as an example.
I think I met her for a hot minute when I was at your office back in January. "Too bad babies cost half a million dollars" (I read that on Yahoo Finance comments somewhere...)
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:23 PM   #28
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For example, to qualify for the ACA subsidy (learned a lot about it through his good blog post on the subject), our income cannot be over $31k and change. That is pretty dang low, and would be a serious trade-off in spending to save the health insurance subsidy. I'll have to decide when we get there if it is worth it.
Double check that - I think it's closer to $60-65k limit for household of 2 (you guys are married right?) to get a subsidy, though your premiums might not be high enough to still get a subsidy at 400% of FPL.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:30 PM   #29
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I applaud Fuego and do read his website however, the savings on the three items for families is not quite the whole story.

Since Mrs F retired they are on heavily subsidized ACA plans and the mention of law school reminds me of the fierce debate a few years ago about his plans to simply default on his school loans by never having enough income to make payments. Now these programs are out there for anyone to use, but saving a few bucks on groceries pales in comparison and gives people just part of the story. But I guess that's the way everything gets reported today.But, there could be a lot of people out there with ER goals, poor and expensive medical coverage and student loans. Just saving a few bucks on food isn't going to do it. Everyone doesn't go out and overbuy on homes either...

I would like to see the student loan issued talked about on the blog, just for the sake of full disclosure. I think a creditable blogger needs to lay everything out on the table. He has done some posts about ACA. I find his posts entertaining and very readable.
I'm lazy and treat the blog as a hobby, but I have an editorial calendar I loosely follow and sometime in 2016 I hope to have a few good posts on my loan situation (we still owe $100k; the reporter from CNBC discussed it with me and I fully disclosed everything - not hiding anything; short articles on CNBC/MSN/Yahoo/etc can't cover my entire financial history). I also plan a devious post on how to live off student loans for a decade or more, make hundreds of thousands and then have the loans wiped clean with PSLF.

I can imagine there will be a sh1tstorm of criticism but that's okay. I don't tend to steer away from it too often and have a nice thick skin. IBR/PSLF is also a very important financial tool along side general frugality, low cost index funds, and tax savvy. I fully understand the "ethical" complaints about it and would be 100% okay with the program ending or being severely modified even though it would cost me a hundred thousand bucks.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:01 PM   #30
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Double check that - I think it's closer to $60-65k limit for household of 2 (you guys are married right?) to get a subsidy, though your premiums might not be high enough to still get a subsidy at 400% of FPL.

Interesting...ok I will look again. Monday's are usually the despairing days that I spend contemplating either running into traffic or projecting retirement costs so I might have misread the charts.

And lord yes, married since God was a boy!
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:07 PM   #31
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Mainstream media just wants to hit the talking points I guess, no surprise there. As for student loans, the price of higher education is horrifying and I think the easy loans are a big part of the problem. I don't care if you ever pay them back, and I'll be watching for your post on the loan loopholes...it just ticks me off every time I see a rewrite of the "don't buy Starbucks and get rich" money stories.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:25 PM   #32
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Income based repayment question... It is my understanding that the loan balance at the end of the repayment term would be considered a taxable event. The amount forgiven would then be considered income and taxes are due on that amount. The amount could be quite huge because of interest accrued. So this should be a consideration.


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Old 03-30-2016, 06:49 PM   #33
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Income based repayment question... It is my understanding that the loan balance at the end of the repayment term would be considered a taxable event. The amount forgiven would then be considered income and taxes are due on that amount. The amount could be quite huge because of interest accrued. So this should be a consideration.
Correct. I carry my ~$100k loan balance at $20k net present value as a liability because the future cost of the smallish payments I expect to make once the kids are out of the house plus a mid five figure (in future 2035 dollars) tax bill. My rate is fixed at 0.75% so I'd carry it to the grave to the extent possible if forgiveness wasn't an option.

I also fully expect the forgiveness of student loan debt to be tax free by the time my debt is up for forgiveness (in another 20 years). No way will PSLF after 10 years be tax free while regular PAYE/REPAYE/IBR forgiveness after 20-25 is not. We're just a couple decades away from anyone actually receiving forgiveness of their debt.

Or I could be wrong and I'll just pay my taxes like I currently budget for.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:51 PM   #34
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Mainstream media just wants to hit the talking points I guess, no surprise there. As for student loans, the price of higher education is horrifying and I think the easy loans are a big part of the problem. I don't care if you ever pay them back, and I'll be watching for your post on the loan loopholes...it just ticks me off every time I see a rewrite of the "don't buy Starbucks and get rich" money stories.
This bugs me too. I usually hammer the big 3 when asked about how to save money so you can invest more and fund an early retirement. Housing, transportation, and food. Lots of low hanging fruit there, including the starbucks habit (some folks spend enough each year to take two months off and go to Mexico for example). Skipping daily starbucks won't make or break an early retirement though.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:59 PM   #35
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Ut Oh... are we going to have to debate if he really is retired since he is blogging like MMM


It did not say if Fuego makes money, but it did say the other guy makes $40K which is his expenses... so he is not using his 'stash'...
You guys feel free to debate it amongst yourselves whether we're retired if we make a buck or ten thousand off our blogs. I've got better things to worry about like whether I should carry a mortgage into retirement or pay it off (and do you count a house as an asset?).

For the curious, I made about $30,000 off my blog last year (including an hour or so of consulting/freelancing per week). I posted about once per week. I used to spend a lot more time posting at ER forums than I do on my blog (if that tells you anything!). I don't think I'll make quite that much this year but the year is still young. Our spending was $24,000, so we are in the same position as Jeremy at GoCurryCracker - our spending is approximately covered by blog income.

Now to get to the $400,000 per year that MMM makes... Nah, sounds like work!
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:29 PM   #36
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Motivating and interesting but also brought up a few questions. The biggest one being there was no mention of what was the networth at the time of retirement and what year was that?
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:09 PM   #37
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I don't have a problem with anyone taking advantage of government offered programs.

I just believe that mentioning groceries and cars without giving the whole story is not giving people the entire picture. Now as a private citizen I don't have to tell anybody anything, but if I blogged, I would give people the entire picture.
But if you did that, who would read your blog? It would be like a diet book that admitted that on this diet you will be very hungry forever, or you will stay fat.

Remember the old saw-sell the sizzle, not the steak. It amazes me that the most heavily marketed to people in the world mostly do not seem to get the picture.

Ha
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:07 PM   #38
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You guys feel free to debate it amongst yourselves whether we're retired if we make a buck or ten thousand off our blogs. I've got better things to worry about like whether I should carry a mortgage into retirement or pay it off (and do you count a house as an asset?).



For the curious, I made about $30,000 off my blog last year (including an hour or so of consulting/freelancing per week). I posted about once per week. I used to spend a lot more time posting at ER forums than I do on my blog (if that tells you anything!). I don't think I'll make quite that much this year but the year is still young. Our spending was $24,000, so we are in the same position as Jeremy at GoCurryCracker - our spending is approximately covered by blog income.



Now to get to the $400,000 per year that MMM makes... Nah, sounds like work!
My only observation would be that reaping 30k a year in blog income , whether it's considered "work" or not does seem like something to gloss over. That amount certainly could be considered a non trivial factor in being "confidently secure in one's early retirement" which in the end is what it's all about.



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Old 03-30-2016, 11:39 PM   #39
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I think it is much easier to retire early and live a frugal and spartan lifestyle than to essentially change careers and begin earning enough money to support the family as a writer with a blog. I don't understand why these articles don't just focus on that, since that is really what Fuego, MMM, etc., etc., have done, and it is much more impressive (and forestalls the valid questions of just how they got "rich" when the numbers don't seem to add up for some of them, not necessarily Fuego)--but hey, good publicity for the blogs at any rate, I guess.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:36 AM   #40
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I think it is much easier to retire early and live a frugal and spartan lifestyle than to essentially change careers and begin earning enough money to support the family as a writer with a blog. I don't understand why these articles don't just focus on that, since that is really what Fuego, MMM, etc., etc., have done, and it is much more impressive (and forestalls the valid questions of just how they got "rich" when the numbers don't seem to add up for some of them, not necessarily Fuego)--but hey, good publicity for the blogs at any rate, I guess.

The problem people have I think is: have they in fact really "done it" when all the risk their yearly expenses put on their portfolio has been mitigated due to their blog income ? Yes they made the ER leap prior to their newfound blog "riches" but would they be ER-d some years down the road without the extra money ( and peace of mind ) that extra income provides? Suddenly you have <Ricky-Ricardo> got a lotta 'splaining to do ! </Ricky-Ricardo>

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