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Old 05-01-2013, 06:03 AM   #1
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Meeting MM, for those of us who have been following his story ... Interesting reading.

"He and his wife retired from middle-income jobs before they had their son. Exasperated, as he puts it, by “a barrage of skeptical questions from high-income peers who were still in debt years after we were free from work,” he created a no-nonsense personal finance blog and started spilling his secrets. I was eager to know more. He is Pete (just Pete, for the sake of his family’s privacy). He lives in Longmont, Colo. He is ridiculously happy. And he’s sure his life could be yours."

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2...re-golden-coin
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:58 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting this. I have been reading his blog for the last couple years and really enjoy his writing. His message of living happily while spending less AND not sacrificing anything is a great one.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:59 AM   #3
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Good article. Much of what he said would probably ring true with many of us, albeit a bit more extreme - but he seems pretty sensible.

I recall when I was in my early 30s and had accumulated some money I though about buying some acreage, building a house, living off the land (big garden, hunting and fishing, heating with wood I cut, etc.) and thought I could live pretty frugally.

However, the more I thought about it it seemed that lifestyle would be a lot more work than working a job.

It is an interesting lifestyle and I'm glad he is happy.
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:10 AM   #4
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Agreeable, if a tad extreme (for me). Sensible foundation, with his disdain for waste. I recall one of my "Aha" moments had to do with coffee (not lattes, just plain old DD), when I extrapolated just how much my daily 3-4 cups of shop-bought coffee was costing me per month in cash (and probably my health too). But I do still treat myself to the occasional coffee shop experience, and I do still have my cable sub. I'm no martyr!
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:43 AM   #5
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But I do still treat myself to the occasional coffee shop experience, and I do still have my cable sub. I'm no martyr!
I'm glad I never picked up coffee, alcohol, or cigarettes, and neither did my boyfriend! We'd never give up cable and internet, but even then, it's hard for us to spend over 15k. Even when we're both old enough to start paying for our own health care, I can't think of $10k worth of extra things we could fit in to get up to this guy's standard of living. That includes lots of travel, comic book conventions, sushi, etc.

I've heard that when you get older, though, somehow you lose the ability to 'spend like a teenager.' I'm 19 and Boyfriend is 23. So far we haven't had to cut anything out to save, I hope I never have to, because that's when my discipline will actually get tested
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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You can have my coffee when you pry it from my cold, dead hands...

Not a coffee snob, so for daily use I buy the Costco 3lb. can, about three per year. I do keep a bag o' beans for weekend grinding. Maybe $50/year.

As for MMM, I enjoy his blog, and certainly empathize with his ideas, though there is a limit below which even I won't go on the cheap bastardness scale...
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:45 AM   #7
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From Mr. MoneyMustache:
kept old cars while our friends drove fancy ones

This one is a big key over the course of a working/saving career.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #8
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From Mr. MoneyMustache:
kept old cars while our friends drove fancy ones

This one is a big key over the course of a working/saving career.
+1, boy is that a big one. People just don't realize how much better off you can be financially with just that one choice.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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I myself prefer reading the message board as opposed to the blog at MMM.

The Bogleheads are not so kind to MMM. But those folks have their....(ahem)..."standards" in terms of content. It certainly is clear to me that MMM is selling.....lifestyle blogging for web site hits. But that doesn't bother me and if some of his claims are a bit embellished, I am not bothered by that either.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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+1, boy is that a big one. People just don't realize how much better off you can be financially with just that one choice.
+2

Don't spend a lot on a car and take care of it seems like such a simple thing. One other idea that always was a no brainer for me was having coffee and breakfast at home and and packing my own lunch. Not so hard, so much less expensive than buying breakfast and lunch out every day.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:26 AM   #11
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+2

Don't spend a lot on a car and take care of it seems like such a simple thing. One other idea that always was a no brainer for me was having coffee and breakfast at home and and packing my own lunch. Not so hard, so much less expensive than buying breakfast and lunch out every day.
I w*rk in a large government building that has an extensive cafeteria area with various "restaurants" and areas for coffee etc. It also has an actual Starbucks in there somewhere. It seriously blows my mind to see people go down and get 2-3 starbucks per day, and eat breakfast AND lunch from the cafeteria every day. The coffee thing especially gets me because I'm the caretaker of my little offices "coffee club". $5/mo and you can drink all the Maxwell House you want!

To stay on the topic of the thread, I love MMM. It's pretty weird to me how critical of MMM the Bogleheads community is. They're picking apart his net worth path from start to FI, even though MMM admits he's pulling these rough estimates from memory. It's very much akin to hearing about folks who are just plain defensive about ER in general because they don't think it's possible.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:01 AM   #12
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I myself prefer reading the message board to the blog at MMM.

The Bogleheads are not so kind to MMM. But those folks have their....(ahem)..."standards" in terms of content. It certainly is clear to me that MMM is selling.....lifestyle blogging for web site hits. But that doesn't bother me and if some of his claims are a bit embellished, I am not bothered by that either.
There was another extreme minimalist who became fashionable for some time and was mentioned on this forum. I deleted his blog link because he went back to work. I seem to recall he was a physicist who went back to work for a hedge fund.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:05 AM   #13
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Lsb, that was Jacob of ERE. His book was interesting, but a very difficult read.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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I really liked Jacob's ERE blog at first, especially for those initial LBYM tips that he blogged about early on. Later I was disappointed that he chose to go back to work. He is young, though, so maybe he sees work differently than I do at almost 65. He still has so much life left to live, and each to his own.

As for MMM, for some reason I just don't find his blog lights my fire for some reason.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #15
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As for MMM, for some reason I just don't find his blog lights my fire for some reason.
Perhaps because he is as phony as a $3 bill?

Ha
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:05 AM   #16
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Perhaps because he is as phony as a $3 bill?

Ha
I was trying so hard to be polite! Ha, you do have a way with words.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:12 AM   #17
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Perhaps because he is as phony as a $3 bill?

Ha
You hear complains here all the time about how people react negatively to our being financially independent or ER'd. Yet, we throw the same crap at others.

Why not take him at his word? He admits to being a way more geeky version of his blog persona. In any case, he's living his life & doing a lot of good by inspiring others. I felt the same about Jacob at ERE in that he was a bit extreme for me, but he was inspiring a lot of people.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:16 AM   #18
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Even when we're both old enough to start paying for our own health care, I can't think of $10k worth of extra things we could fit in ...
Health care alone will eat up more than 10k at some point in your life. (at least if you ever pay for it yourself)
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:21 AM   #19
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walkin, some of this may be generational. For lots of our long-time members, working hard toward early retirement meant really WORKING HARD for the rewards of all your time being your own, not having to know what time it is, sleeping in, etc. All well and good, and especially for those who are retiring at 55+, very reasonable.

But, for the more rare subset of those who retire at 35, or 40, or 45, they may not have the same feelings of complete hatred for anything resembling work, be it carpentry on the side, a little part time job, some volunteering that turns into consulting, etc. They have a lot more bandwidth and probably a lot more energy, simply by being younger.

For this, I think the younger ones catch some heck from the older ones. FWIW, I expect my DH's retirement this summer to be more of a sabbatical, wherein he takes some time, a year+ is my guess, and decides what else he'd like to do with his days besides what he's done for 30 years. But at 50, he should probably expect to be doing something interesting, regardless of whether it is for money or not.

It doesn't surprise me that the term "retirement" doesn't work so well for these younger folks, because it isn't the same kind of experience they have, compared to the older ones.

And that's okay. It is a big pasture, and there's room for a lot of bulls out here in FIRE land.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:21 AM   #20
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You hear complains here all the time about how people react negatively to our being financially independent or ER'd. Yet, we throw the same crap at others.

Why not take him at his word? He admits to being a way more geeky version of his blog persona. In any case, he's living his life & doing a lot of good by inspiring others. I felt the same about Jacob at ERE in that he was a bit extreme for me, but he was inspiring a lot of people.

I do not read MMM.... I read a few posts, but did not like his writing...

I do not know how he got to where he was.... but if someone is blogging and getting paid for it... that is work... sure, he is getting a paycheck on his terms, but it is still work... Now, he could have enough wealth to live without a blog (and maybe he doesn't get much money or donates all proceeds from his blog to charity like Nords....) I just do not know..

But, it reminded me of that millionaire mom who was here for a month or two... looked at her site and it was a way for her to sell her stuff...


So, anybody who is promoting themselves for whatever reason looks to me like they are trying to make money... which is work... which means you are not retired...

Again, I could be completely wrong... I just do not want to do the research as I am not a fan of his.... I did not like his writing style....
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