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They are on to us. FIRE is going mainstream
Old 04-24-2019, 12:18 PM   #1
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They are on to us. FIRE is going mainstream

Check out the USA Today article talking about FIRE.
They are on to us! We had a nice happy forum and now things in the FIRE world are going to get overcrowded. Just kidding, still very few people have the willpower to achieve this goal.

Retire early: Can ordinary Americans find financial independence and stop work by 50?
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...ce/3478332002/
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:14 PM   #2
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I like in the article where they were like we had a roommate who paid $800/month so that was $25,000 TAX FREE .... hmmm last I checked rental income is NOT tax free.

I have no concern that FIRE will catch on, but I do have concern that the way many write in their blogs, it looks like a lot of tax cheats and people taking subsidies that don't deserve them so it looks like more gaming the system rather than working hard to save enough to live on your own without a regular paycheck.

I think to have people really want to FIRE, there would have to be way more people living a normal lifestyle.. ie not having Monday rice and bean day. This Forum inspired me as there are plenty on here living a very decent retirement. I was ok skimping while working to get to a goal, I didn't want it to be my forever lifestyle which is basically all I get from reading these articles, save a lot, live a very modest lifestyle forever just so you don't have to go to work.. thats ok for some but not likely to motivate the masses.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:19 PM   #3
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I couldn't have quit working at 50.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:27 PM   #4
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I like in the article where they were like we had a roommate who paid $800/month so that was $25,000 TAX FREE .... hmmm last I checked rental income is NOT tax free.

Cost sharing ("room mate") isn't income?
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:32 PM   #5
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I like in the article where they were like we had a roommate who paid $800/month so that was $25,000 TAX FREE .... hmmm last I checked rental income is NOT tax free.
I didn't say anything about them owning the place. If they were splitting rent it is not income - except to the landlord. End the term "roommate' suggests that is the case.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:35 PM   #6
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I started my career late so didn't want to stop at 50.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:47 PM   #7
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50-58 were golden for me. High earnings, stock option grants that appreciated, and a golden handshake at the end.

I could not have gone at 50 but I would not have had anywhere near the same DB and retirement security that I have today.

I think that it is folly to look in the rear view mirror. The economy has changed.

Well paying union manufacturing and resource sector jobs w/ good benefits are disappearing and being replaced by lower pay service industry jobs.

Health care increases and post secondary education cost increases are both well above the rate of inflation. Employment, wages, and cost of living are all very different than they were 20 years ago and this will impact capital accumulation for retirement. We were the fortunate generation.
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:08 PM   #8
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They might on to us but IMO, they are not us.

Seems to be a lot of "Yeah, I'm FIRE!!!" out there until you peel away the fluff and find that there's a lot of parsed BS behind it. RE and FI are two different things.
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:12 PM   #9
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I am 44 days away from retiring and I will be 52. Most people say "how lucky" I am or "wow, wish I could". But, most wouldn't be willing to do what I did to get to this. People don't look at the sacrifices, just the payoffs. Retiring early has been a major goal of mine since i was 16 and most of the decisions in my life were consciously and unconsciously motivated by this. Ex) I never had kids. Wife signed a prenup. Took risks to start 2 businesses. Worked 50+ hours a week with very little vacation. Etc.
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:24 PM   #10
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I am 44 days away from retiring and I will be 52. Most people say "how lucky" I am or "wow, wish I could". But, most wouldn't be willing to do what I did to get to this. People don't look at the sacrifices, just the payoffs. Retiring early has been a major goal of mine since i was 16 and most of the decisions in my life were consciously and unconsciously motivated by this. Ex) I never had kids. Wife signed a prenup. Took risks to start 2 businesses. Worked 50+ hours a week with very little vacation. Etc.
Yes, I get the jealously (outright or subdued) all the time when I talk about FIRE. One friend received a modest inheritance, and bought a large boat with dual outboard 150 hp engines. He used it extensively every weekend, but it also means he won't be able to retire and maintain his standard of living, at least not on time. +1
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:26 PM   #11
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I couldn't have quit working at 50.
I would not have either.
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:52 PM   #12
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I saw the USA article too. If many people like me that are frugal, live below ones means, save and invest regardless of market conditions for many years then the USA economy would collapse. FIRE'd at 51 and never earned a 6 figure salary. The percentages of the population that cannot afford a $400 bill or not have enough emergency savings is true indeed. I know some middle to upper class families living paycheck to paycheck in Florida because they do not want to give up their lifestyle. Keep spend spend and spend and fuel our economy.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:12 PM   #13
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If many people like me that are frugal, live below ones means, save and invest regardless of market conditions for many years then the USA economy would collapse.
Never thought of it that way, but great point. The millennial generation will never FIRE, they aren't focused on work at all and love to spend.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:55 PM   #14
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Never thought of it that way, but great point. The millennial generation will never FIRE, they aren't focused on work at all and love to spend.
Pretty broad brush you paint with there.
I know a few millennial on track to retire earlier than I did.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:59 PM   #15
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If many people like me that are frugal, live below ones means, save and invest regardless of market conditions for many years then the USA economy would collapse.
Intersting concept. For sure, it would have a recessionary impact. But fast forward to when all those folks retire and start spending. A lack of debt would allow for greater travel, consumption, and eating out. Deferred spending doesn't mean you'll never spend!
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:52 PM   #16
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I keep this prominently displayed on my financial spreadsheet:

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Old 04-24-2019, 08:54 PM   #17
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I like the fact that FIRE is being discussed in the mainstream. Considering that, before finding this forum, I used to think I was slightly weird for even thinking about it.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:47 PM   #18
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Keynes called it the "paradox of thrift"--originally critiquing the UK's decision to cut unemployment benefits in the depths of the Great Depression (to reduce deficits). The issue, he notes, is that under collapsing employment and banks reining in lending, there is no demand in the economy, which lack of demand recycles itself as further collapse in demand. The notorious Fed decision to raise rates in '37 after the economy "appeared" to be recovering resulted in a similar collapse of demand, leading to a rapid collapse in consumption and the market. (It's a loose analogy but it's largely why the Fed has struggled to raise rates since 2010).

Keynes' Essays in Persuasion (written from the end of WWI through the Great Depression) is worth reading, and far more accessible by order of magnitudes than The General Theory. I was always fascinated by my grandparents' (and parents') tales of the Depression but didn't really understand it until I read Keynes and Galbraith.

US demographics are leading further and inexorably to continued collapse (or more like decrease) in demand, which in part is why inflation has been so restrained despite debt. (See Japan, although that's a more extreme case.)


We should all be reading Robbie's Blow That Dough threads!




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Intersting concept. For sure, it would have a recessionary impact. But fast forward to when all those folks retire and start spending. A lack of debt would allow for greater travel, consumption, and eating out. Deferred spending doesn't mean you'll never spend!
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:59 AM   #19
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Never thought of it that way, but great point. The millennial generation will never FIRE, they aren't focused on work at all and love to spend.
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Pretty broad brush you paint with there.
I know a few millennial on track to retire earlier than I did.
Agree on both points. Have two sets of millennial nieces/nephews who are hitting their early 30's. Night and day.

One set will easily RE; they're aggressive, have high paying jobs but don't deprive themselves of a good time and don't see their careers as a lifelong track. (of course, aunt and uncle marko's demise would hasten the latter point)

The other set have menial jobs and prefer to just sit around watching Netflix and playing video games all day. (and aunt and uncle marko's demise would provide much larger TVs and extra toppings on that pizza delivery)
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:17 AM   #20
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Agree on both points. Have two sets of millennial nieces/nephews who are hitting their early 30's. Night and day.

One set will easily RE; they're aggressive, have high paying jobs but don't deprive themselves of a good time and don't see their careers as a lifelong track. (of course, aunt and uncle marko's demise would hasten the latter point)

The other set have menial jobs and prefer to just sit around watching Netflix and playing video games all day. (and aunt and uncle marko's demise would provide much larger TVs and extra toppings on that pizza delivery)
Just curious. Do you plan to treat them equally re their inheritances?
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