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Old 01-03-2015, 07:48 PM   #21
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The thing is, the largest portion of Americans live in big cities or their suburbs. Where you are is more expensive than Seattle, but even here if you want to be able to do without a car, you will pay >$2k/mo for a two bedroom apartment and a pretty crappy one at that. And whatever some blogger might say, check Runzheimer to find out what it costs to own and operate a car in the real world. If you own a car, bicycling to the supermarket is just a staged stunt. No effect on anything, except it becomes easier to become a traffic fatality.

Ha
A 3 bedroom 3 bath condo in the financial district in SF would cost a few million dollars. We would have had to ride our bikes a LOT to make up for that cost compared to living in the 'burbs and driving or taking BART to work.

And with the bikes we'd risk becoming another road fatality:

"But people keep getting maimed and killed by cars - and some city officials and residents think part of the reason is that the city has been slow to follow through with its proposals to improve street designs and crack down on drivers who break traffic laws."

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/articl...an-5205143.php
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:36 PM   #22
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I think MMM is mostly an environmentalist, packaged up as a financial blogger. That's where most of his aversion to car usage comes from, IMO.

I enjoy reading the blog, even if I don't agree with everything he espouses.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:57 PM   #23
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I think MMM is mostly an environmentalist, packaged up as a financial blogger. That's where most of his aversion to car usage comes from, IMO.

I enjoy reading the blog, even if I don't agree with everything he espouses.
I haven't read the blog in a awhile, but I thought there used to be mentions of extensive driving vacations. I never quite got the logic why driving to work or to get 5 bags of groceries is bad but driving cross country frequently is a good idea.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:00 PM   #24
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This fellow told me how this one particular religious cult would not let you out once they got you in. I asked him how did he know that. He said he read it in a book.

I told him I was in that cult and they told me to leave.

I guess what I'm saying is if one is to have an opinion about Mr Money Mustache, why not try to read a few of his posts. Won't take more than five minutes.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:39 PM   #25
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This fellow told me how this one particular religious cult would not let you out once they got you in. I asked him how did he know that. He said he read it in a book.

I told him I was in that cult and they told me to leave.

I guess what I'm saying is if one is to have an opinion about Mr Money Mustache, why not try to read a few of his posts. Won't take more than five minutes.
This is good advice and I have read many, many, many of his posts. As a matter of fact, I still get emails when he puts something new out there. Originally I was impressed with his ideas, etc. but after a few months it became more of a 'look how better I am than you' attitude. I could be 100% wrong, but that's how he comes off to me.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:22 PM   #26
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This fellow told me how this one particular religious cult would not let you out once they got you in. I asked him how did he know that. He said he read it in a book.

I told him I was in that cult and they told me to leave.

I guess what I'm saying is if one is to have an opinion about Mr Money Mustache, why not try to read a few of his posts. Won't take more than five minutes.
Not sure who you are addressing, but this does not fit me.

Ha
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:15 AM   #27
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MMM should be publishing the family annual expenses for 2014 in a week or two. I don't think they will be much higher this year. The big savings are housing, for which he pays low Longmont taxes and insurance plus utilities (no A/C use and a deliberately low heating bill), and the two older vehicles, which are rarely driven. For the vehicles he pays for fuel, liability insurance (self-insures for other losses), and parts for DIY repairs. They do not eat in restaurants but shop in a local organic/high end supermarket that opened recently and the local chain supermarkets. They have internet but no cable or land line. Don't recall if they have the Netflix/Hulu substitutes for cable. Cheap cell phone plans from Republic are substituted for the mainline carriers. They drive to see family in Ontario once a year and take a car camping vacation occasionally. A lot of the other travel is paid for by others, such as the trips to Ecuador.


If everyone looked at their actual spending and substituted that level of expense for their spending on housing, cars, and entertainment, the effect would be dramatic. Other things that many here consider necessary to be happy are not included in the MM lives. Examining one's own spending with an eye to what is really necessary to have a happy and fulfilling life is the main message I get from the blog and forums. Having grown up in the late 50's and early 60's, I recall this was more like the middle class lifestyle then. And people were just as satisfied and fulfilled then as they are now.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:16 AM   #28
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I think it's great that people put the time and work into putting information, as well as their own stories, opinions and perspectives on blogs and websites, so that we regular folk have all kinds of reading material to browse and peruse at our leisure. For this reason, I don't like to be too critical, but there is one aspect to MMM's blog that I found a bit off-putting when trying to "get into it", and that was his attitude. Some might call it irreverence, but I find him a bit cocky. To a lesser extent, I had a similar reaction to Jacob's blog.

Andy Baird's writing style on his Travels With Andy site is much closer to the kind of narrative I enjoy reading. I much prefer material presented in a humble and personable style. It makes it easier for me to digest, rather than having to spend time and effort trying get past the attitude, before reaching the content.
+1

I read both MMM and ERE... and agree... strong ego, a little hard to take on a regular basis. Ach! mea culpa...
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:59 AM   #29
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I have trouble choking down too much of this "I live on acorns and tree moss" lifestyles when they are clearly making good money on blogging and book sales. After a point, describing opportunities and other approaches becomes more useful and justifies reading their blog. I am much more impressed when someone says "I took a leap of faith and retired. Now, after years without a real job I am still in great financial shape." Here's a link to John Greaney's latest article.

20-Year Update: Retired at Age 38 in 1994 -- Lessons Learned
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:08 AM   #30
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Thanks for the link to that (very recent) article, 2B. It gives me much hope for my ER experiment.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:10 AM   #31
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I am much more impressed when someone says "I took a leap of faith and retired. Now, after years without a real job I am still in great financial shape." Here's a link to John Greaney's latest article.

20-Year Update: Retired at Age 38 in 1994 -- Lessons Learned
+1

A far better read than any of the "How to strain broken glass from peanut butter" blogs.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #32
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I have trouble choking down too much of this "I live on acorns and tree moss" lifestyles when they are clearly making good money on blogging and book sales. After a point, describing opportunities and other approaches becomes more useful and justifies reading their blog. I am much more impressed when someone says "I took a leap of faith and retired. Now, after years without a real job I am still in great financial shape." Here's a link to John Greaney's latest article.

20-Year Update: Retired at Age 38 in 1994 -- Lessons Learned

Anyone notice the graph in this article doesn't match the graph in the source article referenced?


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Old 01-04-2015, 10:29 AM   #33
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Anyone notice the graph in this article doesn't match the graph in the source article referenced?
I'm not sure what you mean. John G. shows the performance for his interpretation of various versions of retiree portfolios. The article is Pfau's own graph using a 1% management fee. It's apples and oranges unless I'm missing something.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:44 AM   #34
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I'm not sure what you mean. John G. shows the performance for his interpretation of various versions of retiree portfolios. The article is Pfau's own graph using a 1% management fee. It's apples and oranges unless I'm missing something.

My mistake, i was looking at the constant dollar version.


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Old 01-04-2015, 01:44 PM   #35
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I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who got tired of ego filled blog of MMM. Yes, at the beginning it was kind of interesting to read, but it was tiring to see the same 'as*holes, ****, f**k' etc. etc. in every single article it seems. It's overloaded with that kind of crap there. And I don't consider myself a prude, way way far from that.
I think I'm subscribed to his blog to receive a notification when something new is posted on MMM. If the title sounds interesting I'll go to skim it sometimes.
It's interesting how he analyzes budgets of other people. But he's lost interest in doing it because I haven't seen anything interesting lately.
I don't know how good the wine is that he drinks and how much of it, but I find hard to believe that organic, gourmet food, and wine can be included in the $25k overall budget. When he posts 2014 expenses, I'll have to take a closer look and try to figure out what we're doing wrong here in NC. It must be a very cheap and wonderful place he resides in CO.
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:42 PM   #36
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Home repairs and travel are a couple of our big budget items. If I omitted these from our budget and put them under business expenses, our budget would look a lot lower, too, on paper but it wouldn't change our actual expenses.

Also if I work part-time and make X and pay a mechanic to fix my cars, I am not really sure I would come out ahead monetarily by dropping the IT work and learning to change my own spark plugs, even though my on paper budget might be lower. In the Millionaire Next Door book one of the findings is that most millionaires are not DIYers, they focus on the one business they love and are good at. A lot of the stuff in the MMM blog is actually at odds with TMND, which is based on actual research of a large number of millionaires. Like in TMND, most millionaires actually buy new cars, not used cars that need more upkeep and they do not work on their cars themselves:

Millionaire Next Door Myth #4: Used Cars

I do agree with consuming less, saving energy and in general more sustainable living and of course saving money. I think those are great messages. But I don't think it makes sense to become a jack of all trades and master of none, and I don't think you can have the travel and lifestyle described in the blog for $25K without categorizing some big ticket items as business expenses.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:54 PM   #37
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Another note of thanks for the Greaney article. Good read and nice to know he's still doing well.

MMM is ok, I guess, but I'm thinking he's limited in his worldview. I love where I live, even though I have to drive to the store. Like a lot of young, enthusiastic converts, he doesn't always recognize that his ironclad rules don't work for everyone, nor does he give much credit to the folks, like Greaney, who have been doing this since he was in knee britches.

Now, get off my lawn...I've got peanut butter to separate from the shards of glass, and the Four Yorkshiremen to watch.


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Old 01-04-2015, 11:16 PM   #38
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I think MMM is mostly an environmentalist, packaged up as a financial blogger. That's where most of his aversion to car usage comes from, IMO.

I enjoy reading the blog, even if I don't agree with everything he espouses.
+1

This was the feeling I got too.

From what he describes, I think the $25k budget is doable. He is in a cheap cost of living area, home is paid for, does his own repairs, bikes for transportation, never goes out to eat. Easy peasy

I just know I couldn't wouldn't want to live that way.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:11 AM   #39
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Thanks too for the Greaney article. He was one of my favorite guys to read during the Motley Fool heydays.

In regards to MMM, I'm surprised by the consensus of him in negative terms. I'm a huge fan of his. For me, my life is forever changed for the better from reading his blog.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:24 AM   #40
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I have trouble choking down too much of this "I live on acorns and tree moss" lifestyles when they are clearly making good money on blogging and book sales. After a point, describing opportunities and other approaches becomes more useful and justifies reading their blog. I am much more impressed when someone says "I took a leap of faith and retired. Now, after years without a real job I am still in great financial shape." Here's a link to John Greaney's latest article.

20-Year Update: Retired at Age 38 in 1994 -- Lessons Learned
I visited this Web site a while back for something, but not recently. From his writing, Greaney is doing great and has had an interesting life.

Still, I could not help notice that he retired in 1994, and had 6 years of bull market until 2000. The market went straight up in those 6 years, and I do not know how much he had started with, but someone with $500K invested in the S&P 500 would have $1.69M in 2000. Inflation was reasonable at 15.5% cumulative, so that $1.69M was still worth $1.46M in 2000. If a retiree stays at 4% WR of original portfolio, he would have spent only 24%, and still watched his portfolio grow big time.

On the other hand, if he started out with $1M in 2000, by 2006 he ended up with $930K, which was $790K after cumulative inflation of 17.5%. And if he drew 4%/yr, the remaining amount would be roughly $550K in 2006.

It should be noted that in the 1st case, by sticking with 4% WR, by 2000 he would be spending only $20K x (1.155) = $26K in 2000 dollars while sitting on a portfolio of greater than $1M. The fellow starting out with $1M in 2000 would be spending $40K initially.

Sequence of investment returns matters greatly, as we all know. And the above example reminds me to not let my expenses grow too much if my stash grows. One needs to keep some reserves for bad years.
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