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Does being FI help us or hurt us?
Old 07-08-2014, 02:06 PM   #1
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Does being FI help us or hurt us?

Lately I have been thinking of what being FI means. Different things to different people obviously however I wonder how it has changed my behavior.

Well right off the bat I find my willingness to put up with noise and crap has decreased immensely. I also find that my willingness to conform to a certain mold is diminishing. And at times I just buy my way out of situations as its much easier. Even going into situations my what is the worst that could happen seems to default to just pay a little extra if required.

I wonder if my moral compass has changed or if the ability to do whatever I want is liberating or confining. Basic values are still in play. Marginal decisions appear to be flattening out a little as well. No longer things are such a big deal. Today CINC house and I were discussing an impromptu trip with the kids to pull us all out of a pattern. FI is valuable when you don’t have it. However once you get it the value calculation seems to change. Anyone else notice changes?
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JDARNELL View Post
Lately I have been thinking of what being FI means. Different things to different people obviously however I wonder how it has changed my behavior.

Well right off the bat I find my willingness to put up with noise and crap has decreased immensely. I also find that my willingness to confirm to a certain mold is diminishing. And at times I just buy my way out of situations as its much easier. Even going into situations my what is the worst that could happen seems to default to just pay a little extra if required.

I wonder if my moral compass has changed or if the ability to do whatever I want is liberating or confining. Basic values are still in play. Marginal decisions appear to be flattening out a little as well. No longer things are such a big deal. Today CINC house and I were discussing an impromptu trip with the kids to pull us all out of a pattern. FI is valuable when you donít have it. However once you get it the value calculation seems to change. Anyone else notice changes?
Only positive. I can't see anything bad from having our personal power increased, which is what being FI does.

Ha
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:19 PM   #3
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I believe that we are basically FI, but still working. With that comes freedom and the fantasy to turn down a petty work request one day with a two minute notice of retirement. Probably never happen, but with FI fun to fantasize!
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:21 PM   #4
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It gives you the power to live life by your own rules. That's no small feat.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:21 PM   #5
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The important thing to me about FI it that it gives me more choices.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:25 PM   #6
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I believe that FI gives me more power and freedom. So of course it has changed many things in my life, including the balance of power in many personal and professional relationships. From my perspective, the changes have been for the better.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:30 PM   #7
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Changes your outlook, but it does not have to change your behavior. I think it gives you a power position, and whether you exercise that or not is the beauty of FI.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:31 PM   #8
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Only positive. I can't see anything bad from having our personal power increased, which is what being FI does.

Ha
+1. I don't see a downside.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:48 PM   #9
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The inner you can come out. No need to act "normal" for continued employment. Could be good or bad for those around us I suppose. Only bad for you if the consequences were not what you expected.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:40 PM   #10
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Well right off the bat I find my willingness to put up with noise and crap has decreased immensely. I also find that my willingness to conform to a certain mold is diminishing. And at times I just buy my way out of situations as its much easier. Even going into situations my what is the worst that could happen seems to default to just pay a little extra if required.

I wonder if my moral compass has changed or if the ability to do whatever I want is liberating or confining. Basic values are still in play. Marginal decisions appear to be flattening out a little as well. No longer things are such a big deal.
Seems to me you're describing the attitude/behavior of many wealthy eccentrics.

There's a ton of such (old money) folk here north of Boston; cranky, opinionated and a little crazy but generally good people who don't sweat the little things.

"Money changes everything" Cindy Lauper
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:19 PM   #11
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I find that happening to me too. I think it is a good thing. It means we have choices.

Especially my tolerance for noise and BS has fallen to near zero.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:33 PM   #12
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I agree that it gives one choices and that is a good thing. I also think it 'can' make one lose perspective a bit. It is difficult to relate to someone who doesn't have the financial means to just buy their way out, or walk away. Most people do not have that luxury and it is good to keep perspective about that aspect.

Other than that, I don't see a downside though.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:21 PM   #13
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The inner you can come out. No need to act "normal" for continued employment. Could be good or bad for those around us I suppose. Only bad for you if the consequences were not what you expected.
I've always been myself at work and the consequences are usually that I am applauded for my honesty and I never seem to get laid off (even if it would be the perfect ending IMO). It's also the reason I probably get overlooked in promotions...I'm not going to be that company guy and I am ok with what I am as long as they let me do what I do...

first boss that tries to change that though and

and to me that's what being FI (and confident that I could get another job if I needed to) means
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:43 PM   #14
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I am not there yet, but looking forward to the freedom and peace of mind FI provides.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:53 PM   #15
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I am at not at FI but I have found that if I generally stay true to myself, both professionally and personally I tend to make out better. When I go against my gut, I trip and fall. I would hope that FI only expands that motto!


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Old 07-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JDARNELL View Post
Lately I have been thinking of what being FI means. Different things to different people obviously however I wonder how it has changed my behavior.

Well right off the bat I find my willingness to put up with noise and crap has decreased immensely. I also find that my willingness to conform to a certain mold is diminishing. And at times I just buy my way out of situations as its much easier. Even going into situations my what is the worst that could happen seems to default to just pay a little extra if required.

I wonder if my moral compass has changed or if the ability to do whatever I want is liberating or confining. Basic values are still in play. Marginal decisions appear to be flattening out a little as well. No longer things are such a big deal. Today CINC house and I were discussing an impromptu trip with the kids to pull us all out of a pattern. FI is valuable when you donít have it. However once you get it the value calculation seems to change. Anyone else notice changes?
I don't know that my tolerance for BS and noise has changed much since I ERed 5 1/2 years ago. It was never much to begin with. I was already used to buying my way out of jams before I ERed so nothing has changed there. I consider ER the biggest buyout from a jam (i.e. working and its misery and especially the commute).

What I have found far, far less interesting to listen to is pretty much anything work-related from my friends, especially office politics. When I was working, I at least had a small interest in other people's work woes. Now I quickly find my mind wandering when my ladyfriend or my best (male) friend tell me about their jobs.

I had been working part-time for the last 7 years of my career, so going from that to not working at all was not a huge change to my day-to-day lifestyle. It was a good one, for sure.

I rarely have to be anywhere by a certain time so traffic matters little. I used the trains to get to work so late trains made me annoyed (along with a lot of other things I disliked about the trains). Now I derive pleausre from seeing traffic and transit reports on TV and saying to myself, "I am SOOOOOOO glad I don't have to deal with any of that CRAP any more!"
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:12 PM   #17
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Hi,

Warning: First world problem/whine

Not sure if this is akin to what the OP is experiencing:

Overall FI is definitely a huge plus and I am extremely grateful with freedom and choice. However, I think it did decrease my job satisfaction, so much so that I left a perfectly fine job that, without FI, I could have continued enjoying for 10+ years - "To explore possibilities"
(Previously I have always really enjoyed working, so it is hard to tell if it was the specific job which I started after FI; or FI, that made me more picky and less tolerant of less than the ideal of "loving every minute of the job" or my poor memory where I idealized previous work)

For me, FI decreased the marginal utility of $ earnt and I think, provided too much choice.

There are studies that demonstrate that limited choice is good, but too many options are overwhelming... I feel a bit of that applies in my case.

Also, I have no sense of urgency to work at my Things To Do (TTD) list... so I feel like I am less efficient than I could be, this could just be that I am operating/working alone without deadlines.

So far it has been 3 months of the 12 months that I originally intended and am generally OK with progress (bar is pretty low)... but I would definitely like to be more efficient with my TTD list.

I originally planned to go back to full-time work or business after 12 months... we will see.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:22 PM   #18
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I also find that I am less tolerant of the whining of my tenants. I always make them the offer to purchase if they would like. No takers thus far. Maybe this entire thing is a perspective thing in that things are more relative now. Noise stuff is a waste of my time and I have no desire to deal with it as it takes away positive energy from something else. I find that I am also more of "just give me the facts" I don't need a dissertation.

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Old 07-08-2014, 08:48 PM   #19
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:31 PM   #20
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Curiously, I am not quite FI, but the closer I get the more I tolerate work annoyances that used to bother me. My theory is that I do not HAVE TO put up with these anymore. If I really wanted I could leave and I'd still get to FI doing some other job, even if it took me a long long time to find one. With a slight belt tightening, I wouldn't even need to look for that other job. So annoyances that used to bother me, probably because I was trapped, are now mostly intellectual curiosities. I am not compelled to accept any crazy work assignment, nor do I have to tolerate bad behavior in bosses or colleagues without making too many waves. I can demand civil discourse and know that I can walk if it isn't forthcoming. I find FI (or almost FI) very empowering. As a result, the annoyances seem much less bothersome and my personal response to them is less annoyance, not more.

I think this also applies to petty problems for which there are financial solutions. I may still work at solving a problem without expending too much money, but sometimes it's nice to know that I can easily buy a solution if I want an easy out. It's great to have options, whether I exercise them or not.
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