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Old 07-06-2016, 09:58 PM   #101
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I dunno. Perhaps a lot of people in the 3rd world countries say that this guy has got all the food he can eat, all the space he can use in that apartment, and so working 3 days a week seems like a heck of a good deal.

I dunno. I loved what I did, and still miss my work sometimes. I was never ambitious to climb the corporate ladder, and in fact refused to advance further because it would take me away from technical work. It's the fun of building something and seeing it work. Many people do not have this passion in their work. I feel sorry for them, because I was fortunate.

This guy enjoys working in a grocery store. It's an honest-to-goodness job, and who's to say that this job is not more useful to society than his old job, whatever it was, although the old job paid more.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:58 PM   #102
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I don't see the need to judge him or call him names. I personally don't care for some of the ER the bloggers who are deceitful about how much they really spend or make, but the guy in the video seems to have pretty low overhead and could easily be living as Running_Man suggested. Maybe it is smart to not pay $7 for a beer that costs $1 at Costco.

Is he really a loser compared to people who have long commutes and work 60+ hours a week at high stress jobs for 40 years, with little time for friends, family or hobbies, then have a heart attack at their desks? If we'd known how pleasant and low stress not having to work to pay the bills would be, I think in hindsight we would have downshifted our own lives much earlier than we did. I think a lot about the old saying these days that freedom is low overhead. I wish I'd thought more about it when we were younger.

My first job was with a utility, paid great and had a pension but I realized day one I did not want to feel trapped like the long term employees who seemed so unmarketable and bitter so I left as soon as I had the chance.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:00 PM   #103
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Is he really a loser compared to people who have long commutes and work 60+ hours a week at high stress jobs for 40 years, with little time for friends, family or hobbies, then have a heart attack at their desks? If we'd known how pleasant not having to work to pay the bills would be, I think in hindsight we would have downshifted our own lives much earlier than we did.
good point
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:01 PM   #104
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I don't see the need to judge him or call him names. I personally don't care for some of the ER the bloggers who are deceitful about how much they really spend or make, but the guy in the video seems to have pretty low overhead and could easily be living as Running_Man suggested.
probably the way I was raised. my parents had high expectations and it would have shattered them. but again, they were born in Oklahoma in he 20s. they lived real pain.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:03 PM   #105
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People pay $7 for a beer? I can't afford that beer either. I'd order a water, too. Then spend $7 on a six pack of some nice hipster brew and call a few friends over. Enjoy our house, nice backyard and the breezes by the lake until the sun set and the real fun begins.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:12 PM   #106
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Very nice song NW-Bound. Thanks for posting that.

So the video of the grocery store guy. IMHO he is ESR living off past investments and minimum wage from his easy low-stress part-time job which he likes.

Even a low pay part-time minimum wage job can go a long way. Say he makes $8 an hour and works 1,000 hours a year. That's $8k which is equivalent to roughly $266,650 investments at 3%. Let's say he banked $350k in savings from old job. Then combine the two and that is enough to bring in $18.5k indefinitely (assume 3% withdrawal a year). I think that would be plenty to support a minimal lifestyle "forever".

I'm going to guess he is into artistic stuff and new-age hippy stuff like "silent retreats". You do not need money to do that kind of thing, you just need free-time. He probably hangs out with people that like the same stuff. So I would imagine he has no issues having friends and getting laid occasionally.

IMHO he is a modern/millennial version of ESR. I think Baby Boomers have entirely different expectations which require a lot more money to achieve... If instead your perception is that making lots of money for a "champagne ER/ESR lifestyle" was just a fluke of good luck/timing, due to post-www2 and also importantly pre-globalism time period, then it makes sense to downsize your expectations and be happy with what is more realistically achievable now.

IMHO the realistic expectation is to make less than your parents did. The realistic expectation is a declining standard of living at least vis-a-vi the differential that exists between developed and developing world. Globalism takes developed world worker drones down while lifting developing world worker drones way up. Then you add in computers/robotics/ai (just imagine the impact of self-driving cars on employment coming soon) which is deflationary for worker drones. Finally add in global population decline which has been persistent for well over two decades and IMHO is an unstoppable trend (also deflationary).

The future, economically, is Japan. The developing world is now Japan... Reality for developed world wage drones is stagnation "forever" and lower standard of living "forever", at least as far as the differential goes when compared to developing world worker drones.

Grocery store man is the modern day ESR.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:21 PM   #107
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yes. I've met a lot of people from other countries that think we have it made here. to them pulling a stunt like this must be mind boggling
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I would think just the thought of ER in general might be mind boggling to them.
It's not a hypothetical in our situation since DW and her family are all straight out of the third world. DW still hasn't told her mom that she retired 5 months ago because it would worry MIL ("what if your kids starve?"). The concept of not only being financially comfortable while working but also saving enough of the surplus to fund a comfortable lifestyle free of work starting in one's 30's is incomprehensible. Their conception of wealth is a hefty stack of sacks of rice and a purse full of gold jewelry.

MIL also knew how easy DW had it at her job. Work a few days per week from home, get paid for full time. Summers off to travel, etc. A far cry from the $5.25 per hour minimum wage low skill manufacturing job MIL held much of her adult life here in the US.

When DW's siblings found out she's retired it's always the same response - "What? How could you quit a job like that?" because most of them work fairly hard for less pay with little flexibility and rarely any paid time off.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:26 PM   #108
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Wanted to add... I know in the case of grocery store guy that he gave up $80k cushy gov job with pension. He could have done things differently. My comments about millennial ESR are more so directed at the original post. For example:

"I get being young and naive (I had similar views of money when I was in my early 20's), but the fact that so many are giving him positive feedback I think actually shows the real value of this more niche site over a mass-consumer forum like reddit."

I think the new mindset is 20-30 year olds looking at their options and deciding they would prefer to drop out and live minimalistically, a.k.a. grocery store man is "living the dream".
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:30 PM   #109
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Here's another rendition of this wonderful song by Isabelle Boulay in a duo with the original Charles Aznavour. Note that this is not Edith Piaf singing as labeled by the video poster.



I'm curious if this song sounds any less beautiful for one listening in their basement studio apartment instead of a multimillion dollar penthouse suite or McMansion? Do the notes sound as sweet when sipping on a $5 bottle of "champagne" from California instead of a fine $200 bottle of the real deal?

Reminds me of the story about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett eating Oreos for breakfast one day. Do they taste better if you're a billionaire or am I living just like the mega-wealthy when I drop my $2 for a pack of Oreos?
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:41 PM   #110
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"You can live well if you're rich and you can live well if you're poor, but if you're poor, it's much cheaper." -- Andrew Tobias

That said, people get used to their current condition, and may find it difficult to see how they can live with less. But when forced to, they will adapt and when they are used to the new condition they will be fine, if their basic needs are met that is.

Every year, we take a long RV trip that lasts as long as more than 2 months. If I somehow lose my home and have to live in that 25'x8' class C full-time, it's not the end of the world. I don't have to, so I come back to my 2 homes to continue to putz around, but the truth is I can putz around in that small motorhome too.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:42 PM   #111
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Have all the oreos you want baby.

For music I like vacuum tubes;



And single drivers;

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Old 07-06-2016, 11:54 PM   #112
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Dunno. I like to have the bass coming out of 15" woofers myself. Also got a pair with 12" woofers. And also a few smaller speakers.

The big ones are old-style high-efficiency speakers that have sensitivity of 96 dB/W @ 1 m, and I only need a few watts out of the amplifier before my wife starts to complain. Size still matters, I think.

My toys are not very expensive, but I have too many of them. I would have a real problem living in a tiny house. I do not need a lot of space for myself, but it's for the toys. And if the toys that are collected over the years are paid for, why should I not keep them? And to keep them, I need space.

Just trying to say I can live in an RV, but I do not have to, so I don't. But if I have to, it's OK too. I will listen with headphones. No biggies.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:19 AM   #113
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Yeah, I remember my drinking days where everyone at the table bought a round...there was always one guy who'd show up a few minutes late, buy his ONE beer separately, stay for a few more and then suddenly disappear as the rotation made it his turn to buy.

Looking back, he was very frugal (we used another word) but we just thought he was a loser.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:12 AM   #114
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Maybe it is smart to not pay $7 for a beer that costs $1 at Costco.
In my neck of the woods (Ontario, Canada), Costco doesn't sell beer. And alcohol is taxed so much here that a 6-pack of craft beer at the liquor store is $14, not $7.

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Is he really a loser compared to people who have long commutes and work 60+ hours a week at high stress jobs for 40 years, with little time for friends, family or hobbies, then have a heart attack at their desks?
That's a false dichotomy. There's a middle ground. I work 40 hours a week with a moderate (25 minute) commute, at a low-stress job with high job security and a great pension (government). My wife and I are DINKs, so we have plenty of time for hobbies and each other, and no money worries. Why would I "simplify" to live on peanuts and worry about how I'm going to afford to eat 40 years from now?
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:24 AM   #115
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OTOH, let's try this angle:

Back in the late 60's I remember so many of us young'uns were going to drop out, not work for the man, not do the 9 to 5, never be the company man, live off the land growing vegetables and chickens, spend more time grooving less time working etc etc.

We turned into the most materialistic, workaholic, self-centered, indebted, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses generation in history.

So, like my aforementioned cousin, maybe this is all a transitional, naive and romantic experiment of sorts by this new generation who, like us, will discover that it all sounds good until the wolf comes to the door.

Not to say that LBYM isn't the way to go; not saying that the world couldn't use a better work/life balance. Just thinking that maybe going too extreme could be more of something that one grows out of.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:31 AM   #116
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In my neck of the woods (Ontario, Canada), Costco doesn't sell beer. And alcohol is taxed so much here that a 6-pack of craft beer at the liquor store is $14, not $7.


that's almost enough for me to quit drinking - how much are 1/2 barrel kegs? I can get a keg of PBR or Rainer for about $70. Good stuff is $130.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:33 AM   #117
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That's a false dichotomy. There's a middle ground. I work 40 hours a week with a moderate (25 minute) commute, at a low-stress job with high job security and a great pension (government). My wife and I are DINKs, so we have plenty of time for hobbies and each other, and no money worries. Why would I "simplify" to live on peanuts and worry about how I'm going to afford to eat 40 years from now?
It's still a good point. Yes, I have a 10 minute commute, live on a golf course 30 minutes from a great ski hill and work in one of the best professions in the world. Yes, it can be stressful (consulting) but it's worth it.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:37 AM   #118
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OK...I think a lot of people latched onto my $7 beer comment. I meant it as a joke. There could be 1,000 reasons that it *appeared* he wasn't drinking a beer. No harm, no foul. I wasn't trying to judge him on what he was drinking in a single picture. And yes, there are some key facts that aren't in the video. We don't know what his portfolio looks like. He could very well being living just fine on the $$$ he has.

I have a former co-w*rker who was a senior leader in the Air Force. He initially went to work with Amazon as one of the distro center executive managers. He lasted about a month and decided to go be a simulator instructor. He did that for about 6 months. Now? He's working at a Home Depot 3 days a week cutting lumber. When I last talked to him, he said he was just sick and tired of politics and while he doesn't *have* to work, doing the HD thing gives him time to socialize and he seems to really enjoy it. I think he's crazy, but to each their own!

As an aside...my SIL is an aspiring minimalist. I sent her the video and her only comment was, "Just how many micro-fiber couches did he have?" It's funny what people will pick out of these videos.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:47 AM   #119
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OK...I think a lot of people latched onto my $7 beer comment. I meant it as a joke. There could be 1,000 reasons that it *appeared* he wasn't drinking a beer. No harm, no foul. I wasn't trying to judge him on what he was drinking in a single picture. And yes, there are some key facts that aren't in the video. We don't know what his portfolio looks like. He could very well being living just fine on the $$$ he has.

I have a former co-w*rker who was a senior leader in the Air Force. He initially went to work with Amazon as one of the distro center executive managers. He lasted about a month and decided to go be a simulator instructor. He did that for about 6 months. Now? He's working at a Home Depot 3 days a week cutting lumber. When I last talked to him, he said he was just sick and tired of politics and while he doesn't *have* to work, doing the HD thing gives him time to socialize and he seems to really enjoy it. I think he's crazy, but to each their own!

As an aside...my SIL is an aspiring minimalist. I sent her the video and her only comment was, "Just how many micro-fiber couches did he have?" It's funny what people will pick out of these videos.
1) the guy is Canadian - very possible those pints were more than $7
2) nothing wrong with a person that has done their 20+ years of military service and downshifted to ESR - that's admirable (no pun intended). It's not like he's living in a squalid garret biking to work in 20F below with no beer.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:40 AM   #120
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Why would I "simplify" to live on peanuts and worry about how I'm going to afford to eat 40 years from now?
It would be simple. Each day when you woke up you have only one issue to confront. No should I go to Italy or France, no should I buy a vacation home, just how can I can i try to feed myself, buy needed medical care and stay warm.

Ha
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