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Old 05-30-2016, 08:29 AM   #61
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I would have no problem if it was promoted as we've become professional bloggers and travel the world. But they sell a story called "retirement" not "save your money for 15 years and semi-retire while you supplement your income through a blog and live frugally."

Those really are two different things.
That's how I see it.

We have another active thread at the moment on what constitutes "retirement." We have varying ideas about this. But as much as they vary, there is an assumption that retirement is after a career of some length. I question the idea of "retiring" when there's hardly anything being retired from.

What these folks are doing is something different. It's pursuing a career alternative, with extreme saving and extreme frugality, for the long haul. It deserves its own term, something other than "early retirement."
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:50 AM   #62
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To share another perspective I'll jump in with my story. I'm working towards the FIRE in less than 10 years story. I'm also not new to the building of wealth stage as I have 93% of the wealth I think I'll need and unless Mr Market throws a curve ball I'll be done in 6 months. So I know what it takes to build wealth quickly.

Some disclosure first: I was late to the FIRE party so I'll be 44 when I give it a go so have a few years on FreedowWithBruno.

For the life I want to lead I believe I need more than FWB's $1M but not a lot more, circa $1.5M.

I'm planning on moving to a Mediterranean country (Cyprus, Spain, Malta/Gozo...) and will spend about $390,000 (EUR350,000) on a home, which I will consider a palace compared to my current South East of England home and which is a lot more than FWB's $270,000.

I then expect to spend about $27,000 per annum, including healthcare which I admit costs nothing like that of the US, to live the life I desire. My current costs, net of w*rk and rent costs, run to about $11,000 per annum in comparison. I do acknowledge I will have home maintenance costs but that still includes plenty of 'fun' money.

That is a withdrawal rate of <2.5% which my research suggests is reasonably conservative. Would really like to know why the FIRE in 10 years it's not going to work, provided of course the future is no worse than the past, without a side hustle or high paying blog as I have neither.

Edit: Also why can't I call myself retired if I never have to work to eat again.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:54 AM   #63
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I understand the annoyance with clickbait articles, but the negativity towards these folks on a board dedicated to early retirement is disheartening to me. So, retiring at 50 is OK, but 30 is too young. What is the "acceptable" number? How is criticizing the 35yo ER OK, but the 50yo is not?

I spend a lot of time over on the MMM boards, and there's a lot of people that align with this young couple. Some of them are obviously too naive about their expenses and their goals are pie-in-the-sky, but most of them have a very good grasp on what their living expenses are, what they will willingly give up, and what they value. The drive and attention to detail that propels someone to retire in their 30s doesn't just stop when they quit their jobs - they keep tracking expenses and portfolio, and willingly adjust as needed to mitigate the sequence-of-returns risk. They're not stupid, for god's sake.

Articles like this may present a false impression of it being "easy" to retire in your 30s, but I'd rather have them inspire a 20-something to start saving and investing than have yet another fluff piece on the latest trend in cars/clothes/stuff.

And the foolish will always be foolish, regardless of what windmill they choose to tilt at.
But does it really "inspire" a young adult? I showed this to my two 20 some things and they basically laughed.

They are the same type of articles that tout how you lose 50lbs in 4 weeks on a detox cleanse or extreme diet, lol until you find out what you are really doing.

IMO these folks are not retired, they are no different than the guy who quits his job and hitchhikes across Europe picking up odd jobs to support themselves.

Listen, I am not knocking them, that's the lifestyle they choose, implying that it is easy or anyone could do it is some thing entirely different.

So I'd rather not have this article. Just me, but like I said a few post up, I rather work than sleep in my car I guess that makes me the materialistic weasle of the group. but I feel that way about extreme couponers, I'm not spending 20 hours a week to get 77 tubes of toothpaste

I went to his blog, he and I have a very different definition of "freedom" that's all
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:19 AM   #64
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There's a special treaty with Canada to allow Canadian work history count for US SS (and vice versa I think).



from https://www.ssa.gov/international/Ag...ts/canada.html
Ah, that explains it--they both probably worked just enough to get their SS and Medicare credits and then became bloggers. Silly question: I wonder how bloggers who define themselves as retired will retire and what they will call it then.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:20 AM   #65
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Silly question: I wonder how bloggers who define themselves as retired will retire and what they will call it then.
Silly answer: Blogtirement
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:27 AM   #66
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Silly answer: Blogtirement
Nice! And they can then write blogs explaining to the other bloggers how to have a successful blogtirement, which the "financial" sites of Yahoo and MSN etc. can then run stories about.
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:30 AM   #67
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I don't think there's any wilful misrepresentation going on here. At the top of their blog is a headline that declares,

"Retired in our 30's, having adventures with Bruno, enjoying our newfound freedom!"

- and I think they really do believe that they are retired. Perhaps they really are, and will remain so, and perhaps not. There is a lot of youthful exuberance and earnest industriousness evident in their blog, and I like that. The blog feels authentic, unlike a couple of others in particular, in which there seems to be a concerted effort being made to manufacture and sell an attitude and "brand". Freedom With Bruno comes across to me as a couple of young adults who have worked to create a lifestyle they really enjoy and find satisfying. More power to them.

I know that some folk here find the number of articles about young people who ER in their 30's somewhat annoying, especially if the subjects of the article aren't really retired, or look unlikely to remain so. However, they may make sense when viewed against the backdrop of the many changes that are occurring in our society. More and more people expect to change employers many times during their working lives, to the point where many, it seems, consider themselves almost as independent contractors. I don't think it's much of a jump to see how some younger people are using this looser career framework to custom-create their own lifestyles. For some, that might include ER, for others, their work-play calendar might be more of a patchwork, with periods of work followed by lengthy vacations. Then there are the folk who blog and vlog about their adventures, and for them, that becomes their income-producing activity.

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Old 05-30-2016, 11:46 AM   #68
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I'm sure it was Mr. Money Mustache that inspired all these "blogatires" and yes it is good to know that alternative lifestyles are possible and what you need to do to get there.

I retired well before I signed up here. Other than spending less than I made I never really planned or budgeted for retirement. I never tracked spending and I still don't. My method would not work for a "very early" retirement, for that you have to get really serious and "re-cycle dryer sheets" and other such stuff that I have no interest in doing.

So I see this kind of stuff just as I see everything else, it will work for some and not others. Some will read and laugh and go buy a new car on credit and others may stop and think about driving the old beater into the ground.

Whatever works -
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:52 AM   #69
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It would be more interesting to me to see articles on people that retired in their 30s several decades ago, with the same kind of inflation adjusted nest eggs, through up and down markets, and a smattering of life's ups and downs - kids, college, divorce, braces, illness, elderly relatives needing financial help, kids or grandkids with disabilities, long term care, housing market busts, etc. - and see how they are doing now and what if anything they learned in hindsight.

I know from being a project manager most managers could make plans and their projects didn't fail during the initial stages. But most were unable to plan long term projects accurately and their projects often failed because their estimates were too optimistic and they didn't allow for inevitable contingencies.
This one's the oldest case that I know about--
https://sites.google.com/site/paulvicgroup/
I first saw them in a follow-up article in Money magazine in 1991 I think it was; I never saw the original article about them from the mid 1980s. Reading their story made me realize how close I was to FI, that a few years of aggressive savings could get me there.

I haven't followed them closely over the years, but I believe they never had children, and they stayed married with both in good health. Part of what made their scheme work was living overseas for long stretches (IIRC their original plan hinged on settling in a LCOL). There may have been a few years that one of them took on some college teaching work.

As for how realistic this plan can be, I'd agree the math probably precludes those at the median income from getting out after just a decade of service. But among the sizable subset of the population who could swing it, only a small minority do this. I think the value of this article and others like it is to inspire awareness of the long term consequences-- and opportunities of today's financial decisions.
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Old 05-30-2016, 12:20 PM   #70
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The group that comes to mind for me are not actually retirees, but defacto retirees - women who left the work force to become stay at home moms or did low pay / part-time work and then got divorced in their 50s. Some of these early retirees seem to me they could be on the same eventual trajectory - they may outlive their savings, especially if the savings are cut in half through divorce, and won't have high end SS benefits or pensions as a backstop because they were only doing odds and ends kinds of work during their potentially peak earning years.

We've been surprised at how many gray divorces we've seen in the last few years among the people we know. Usually the women are not in a great place financially approaching retirement because they will only get 1/2 their husbands SS. Like this article:

New research shows gray divorced women most likely to be poor
https://www.bgsu.edu/news/2015/12/ne...to-be-poo.html

"More and more adults are entering their golden years alone, either through gray divorce, or by choosing to stay unmarried, and for older women, Social Security benefits often aren’t enough to stave off poverty."
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:13 PM   #71
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I don't know why people make the assumption that they are about to get jobs again or that they're being disingenuous.
+1

I don't read their blog, but from what's written in the article I don't see their finances as completely unrealistic for a low budget retirement (even without blog income)

For example, if they had a little more than 1M when they quit their jobs, say 1.2M, their financial picture might look something like this

investible assets: $900k
income from portfolio @ 3% = $27k/year
income from airbnb = $12k/year
healthcare costs will be close to $0 with ACA subsidy

Their total income will be ~39k/year. Low budget but not extreme in my view. Wife and I spent $42k last year (actual expenses) and didn't feel like we were depriving ourselves in any way. There's still plenty of slack before eating cat food to weather bad outcomes and/or make future capital purchases.

They also have the following backups:

SS income at 70 = I'm guessing maybe $24k/year (combined)
An option for free healthcare in Canada
A house worth $270k (downsizing is still possible)

Overall, I'd say they are at much greater risk than my wife and I (and probably many on this board), but I wouldn't say they're batshit crazy.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:56 PM   #72
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Perhaps our cynicism comes naturally. This guy impressed us too. At first.: "A 27-year-old millionaire reveals how he built his wealth" And we had fun with Millionaire Mommy. Both blogged, both vanished.

I admit the Bruno couple seems more down to earth. Asheville will have lots of jobs if they need part-time work to cover any shortages. I hope someone keeps us updated about them.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:26 PM   #73
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I liked the comment - 'He liked unemployed. He wanted to stay unemployed.'

Yeah you rite!

heh heh heh - 22 years and counting.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:40 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Maenad View Post
I understand the annoyance with clickbait articles, but the negativity towards these folks on a board dedicated to early retirement is disheartening to me. So, retiring at 50 is OK, but 30 is too young. What is the "acceptable" number? How is criticizing the 35yo ER OK, but the 50yo is not?

I spend a lot of time over on the MMM boards, and there's a lot of people that align with this young couple. Some of them are obviously too naive about their expenses and their goals are pie-in-the-sky, but most of them have a very good grasp on what their living expenses are, what they will willingly give up, and what they value. The drive and attention to detail that propels someone to retire in their 30s doesn't just stop when they quit their jobs - they keep tracking expenses and portfolio, and willingly adjust as needed to mitigate the sequence-of-returns risk. They're not stupid, for god's sake.

Articles like this may present a false impression of it being "easy" to retire in your 30s, but I'd rather have them inspire a 20-something to start saving and investing than have yet another fluff piece on the latest trend in cars/clothes/stuff.

And the foolish will always be foolish, regardless of what windmill they choose to tilt at.
I think they are foolish for giving up high paying careers too early in the game in this weak economy for millennials.

The real carrot of early retirement for them was at about age 40 if they continued their hardcore savings rate. A 20 to 25 year career making real income.

Not this trendy sense of entitlement and instant gratification millennial fantasy of working 10 years and BOOM! "look mommy I am retired."

Seriously! You went to college and earned a degree in chemical engineering and computer science to do what. Work just 10 years and quit a great paying career to blog like millions of other millennials who live in their parents basement . Suck it up millennial generation because working can suck sometimes.

My millennial son and his friends can see right through this whole lottery ticket,house flipper,buy gold,high flying 90s .com, get rich quick retire early mentality for a 30 year old.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:47 PM   #75
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Unless you have health issue or stressful job, I'm not sure what's the big deal of retiring in your 30s. My millennial kids enjoy working. This is when you have the most energy. I'm sure my husband would not have wanted to retire when he was in his early 50s even. His dad retired in his early 60s and had 30 years of playing cricket, dancing, bird watching, etc..he died in his early 90s. That's almost half of his life basically doing nothing.
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:55 PM   #76
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I think they are foolish for giving up high paying careers too early in the game in this weak economy for millennials.

The real carrot of early retirement for them was at about age 40 if they continued their hardcore savings rate. A 20 to 25 year career making real income.

Not this trendy sense of entitlement and instant gratification millennial fantasy of working 10 years and BOOM! "look mommy I am retired."

Seriously! You went to college and earned a degree in chemical engineering and computer science to do what. Work just 10 years and quit a great paying career to blog like millions of other millennials who live in their parents basement . Suck it up millennial generation because working can suck sometimes.

My millennial son and his friends can see right through this whole lottery ticket,house flipper,buy gold,high flying 90s .com, get rich quick retire early mentality for a 30 year old.
Why don't you tell us what you really think? No holding back this time
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:25 PM   #77
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I think they are foolish for giving up high paying careers too early in the game in this weak economy for millennials.

The real carrot of early retirement for them was at about age 40 if they continued their hardcore savings rate. A 20 to 25 year career making real income.

Not this trendy sense of entitlement and instant gratification millennial fantasy of working 10 years and BOOM! "look mommy I am retired."

Seriously! You went to college and earned a degree in chemical engineering and computer science to do what. Work just 10 years and quit a great paying career to blog like millions of other millennials who live in their parents basement . Suck it up millennial generation because working can suck sometimes.

My millennial son and his friends can see right through this whole lottery ticket,house flipper,buy gold,high flying 90s .com, get rich quick retire early mentality for a 30 year old.

Soooooo, work an extra 15 years so they can have 4 million more than they think they need? So they can live on a 0.8% SWR? And they are the crazy ones...

I don't think this has anything to do with them being millennials or the fact that they are 30. They have enough to live a rewarding (for them) life and get by just fine for the next 20+ years (and probably much longer).
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:37 PM   #78
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I can't respond for purplesky, but I have a problem with it because I believe it's deceitful.



Retirement in most people's mind has a meaning -- that meaning normally doesn't include having to curate your life online and sell advertising and affiliate links to support your "retirement."



Essentially it's about honesty. I would have no problem if it was promoted as we've become professional bloggers and travel the world. But they sell a story called "retirement" not "save your money for 15 years and semi-retire while you supplement your income through a blog and live frugally."



Those really are two different things.


+1. Well said, aim high
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:39 PM   #79
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I'm waiting for the next blog from a high schooler to tell me he is retired. But seriously, it's important to find what you love to do then it's not work. Why do something you don't like that you want to retire in your 30s?
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:50 PM   #80
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Soooooo, work an extra 15 years so they can have 4 million more than they think they need? So they can live on a 0.8% SWR? And they are the crazy ones...



I don't think this has anything to do with them being millennials or the fact that they are 30. They have enough to live a rewarding (for them) life and get by just fine for the next 20+ years (and probably much longer).

That's the catch. They need to get by for 50 years. Not just 20 years ... At 20 years on, it will put them at age 50. Which everyone knows is too young for societies safety nets and too old for megacorp to go hire them.
It's a real quandary and disingenuous to publish this in a mainstream financial rag without the full picture.
Talk about fiduciary responsibility laws - These money rags are a big part of the problem.
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