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Old 01-18-2016, 06:28 PM   #41
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Managing my family portfolio sounds almost like work. Good thing I follow a lazy portfolio approach from my comfy chair.
Lol, I don't even plan on managing the portfolio. By the time I retire, everything should be in Target Retirement Income and I just receive direct deposits to my checking account.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:31 PM   #42
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I do like to knit but was taken aback by someone who suggested I knit sweaters for her two little boys. She would buy the yarn and I would put in a bazillion hours of work to create them. Um, no.
Yes, it's interesting to watch the "social consequences" when we choose to no longer work for $. Now I can decide what to care about (family, friends, hobbies, the future of the world/humanity). No longer am I required to care about anything involving "payment."

Though I don't knit, like bestwife, it's been startling to see the number of well-intentioned folk who assume I must have time on my hands to account for. Lots of invitations to help with various volunteer efforts.

I sometimes explain that I felt like a "volunteer" throughout 34 years of teaching: chaperoning, attending meetings, running meetings, coaching, grading mountains of papers on nights and weekends, constantly writing letters of recommendation..........all for essentially no pay.....maybe an occasional token stipend.

Folks say, "Well, that's a teacher's job." So, yes, one time I figured out what the hourly rate would have been if I divided my salary by the number of hours on the job both during and outside of the school day: less than minimum wage.

Was happy to do it. Loved the kids and many of the activities; but rarely did I have time for hobbies and personal interests during those years.

So, now, no longer does someone else get to decide how I will spend my time. Since there's no longer a need to earn $, it's a thrill to know that soon (after a huge down-sizing project) I'll get to return to all those beloved activities that have no financial value: tap-dancing, auditioning for the Sweet Adelines, playing piano (for nobody else's benefit), reading any old book (without having to figure out how to teach it), watching anything I want on TV (whenever I want). Sleeping in.

Who cares if "retirement" is not a PC term? My favorite people don't care!




(Sorry for rattling on and on. But it's fun to daydream, "free-associate," or just sit and revel in what I will get to do next.) And "next" happens on my schedule, not somebody else's!
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:35 PM   #43
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When the idea of "opening a winery" comes up, I repeat an old cliche about the business, probably borrowed from other enterprises,

"you know how you make a small fortune in the wine business?"
"You start with a large fortune."
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:45 PM   #44
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I read that article and wondered about the construction company, boutique carpentry and other ventures that have come and gone. The only one that still survives at the time of the article is the "boutique carpenter operation"(can anyone tell me what that is). Those of you that are familiar with this man, were these bankruptcies? I'm trying to understand putting up the money to start a construction company and then realize it was too much for him. Does he have that much money from his 10 years of working (is that how long he worked at a full time job?) to keep starting ventures that come and go. It sounds like a lot of wasted money on business ventures. It says he retired in 2005 so it doesn't sound like these ventures/businesses were long term.


Quote from article "So in my own case I started just with the goal of being a parent, but then ended up starting a house-building company to pursue my lifelong love of building things. Then I learned that the daily stress and schedule of big, multi-person projects was still too much for me at the time, so it evolved into a boutique carpentry operation that still does local projects to this day. Other ventures have come and gone, but none of them were done because we needed the money. That is my definition of a modern retirement: the activities you pursue once you are done searching for money."
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:49 PM   #45
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"boutique carpentry operation" ??

Maybe he built things like small bird houses?
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:58 PM   #46
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"boutique carpentry operation" ??

Maybe he built things like small bird houses?
Or maybe handyman type carpentry, of one-of-a-kind projects?
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:03 PM   #47
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"boutique carpentry operation" ??

Maybe he built things like small bird houses?
I'm assuming things like custom cabinetry, staircases, decks, etc. Carpentry for items you can't get in Home Depot. It's a fun hobby, but IMO would suck as a job. Of course nothing MMM does is a job, it's just earning money while retired.

I really have no problem with his lifestyle, I admire it in many ways. But it's not retirement, it's multi-entrepreneurism. If the stated purpose of the blog was "how to get out of the rat race" I'd be a straight out supporter. Couching it as retirement seems to be disingenuous to me.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:29 PM   #48
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Wow, thank you MMM, I just realized that I have been retired for some 35 years now. I retired early at 32, not 66 like I had previously and erroneously thought. Because 1980 was the last year I received a W-2, and it was for only 20% of the year. The rest of the time I spent doing things that I liked doing, and had been doing anyway for free before then. But people did start giving me money for doing that stuff. I thought I had started a microprocessor consulting business, but now I realized that really I was retired!!!
I got paid for things (I was about to say worked) I did from my home office, so I could still be around my kids when they were young, and take off when I wanted. Gee.
I should have started a blog about it too, but they hadn't been invented yet.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:10 PM   #49
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In the lives of most "normal" people, especially those with a better than average income, there's bound to be a fair amount of excess spending in the budget. It's that excess that can be cut back without sacrificing much in the way of quality of life.

But when you keep cutting beyond the excess you run into the reality that certain expenditures really do make our lives easier, more comfortable, or simply more enjoyable. When you start cutting into those layers of spending the trade off switches from the virtuous "less spending equals more financial freedom" to the deleterious "less spending equals more hardship."

My guess is that few of the extreme MM acolytes will end up happy over the long term with the trade offs they're promoting. Soon enough they'll discover the truth that just like everything else in life cutting spending is not immune to the law of diminishing returns.
I agree with you, but only because while I've lived beneath my means, I have denied myself nothing. My personal philosophy mirrors yours. However, I have hard time extrapolating my own identified needs onto someone else. One person's wants can easily be another's needs. I've read enough books on simplicity (that cite examples) to know a whole bunch of people exist that just don't need much beyond food, shelter, clothing. That's not me, but I can't say that way of living isn't for everyone, because it obviously is for some people.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:10 PM   #50
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I'm assuming things like custom cabinetry, staircases, decks, etc. Carpentry for items you can't get in Home Depot. It's a fun hobby, but IMO would suck as a job. Of course nothing MMM does is a job, it's just earning money while retired.

I really have no problem with his lifestyle, I admire it in many ways. But it's not retirement, it's multi-entrepreneurism. If the stated purpose of the blog was "how to get out of the rat race" I'd be a straight out supporter. Couching it as retirement seems to be disingenuous to me.

+1 on this... I have not really followed him much, but of the little that I have read he is still working... for me work is doing something for money (or something in trade for some).... he writes a blog and gets money... he does carpentry and gets money... he does (I do not know any more) etc...


Having the ability to set your own schedule is not the definition of being retired... my dad had a number of businesses where he could set his schedule of when he wanted to work and when he did not... he never retired before passing...

Now, if he came and said (he has been on this board before IIRC) that ALL the money he makes doing his projects and blog is given away that might be another matter... his way of giving to charity.... but I doubt that is happening... IOW, he lives only on his investments....
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:17 PM   #51
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I've read MMM. I get it but not into selling my car and riding my bike everywhere. Lol. I agree it wasn't retirement it was more about starting a blog on living below your means.
And monetizing it so that your means increase. ;-)
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:29 PM   #52
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Anyone know what kind of income MMM blog / forum business brings in? It must be a small fortune. I know I have a little forum I created for a large group of investors (about 250 or so). They are a fairly active bunch. Anyway, I didn't charge for it but told them I'd put up adsense to cover the cost of hosting, etc. No maintenance now on my part, but it brings in $100 to $200 a month with very little advertising and no other affiliate marketing.

With his reader base he should be bringing in $10K to 20K a month easy. Don't know how much work it is though. I know if I were to blog it would be worse than software consulting. I could crank out code far faster than I could crank out new blog content.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:47 PM   #53
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He dissed sitting on the couch and watching tv. I like sitting in my comfy chair and watching tv. I also haven't found anything I'm passionate about enough to make monetizing it worth it. I'll stick with my version of retirement which involves exercise, cooking, reading, watching tv, being a better mom.... No desire to blog, build houses, etc. for money.
+1 This is my goal, well, except the Mom part!
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:47 PM   #54
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No, you have to love working for pay in early retirement too, because that is the only way a retired person can ever find sufficient "intellectual stimulation". Or so some people think, although I just don't get it myself.
Well, I do "work" a few hours per week for some very lucrative pay. The work is essentially the same thing as posting on the ER forum (which I've done for free for 10+ years) or discussing finances with a friend (also done for free for 10+ years).

It is intellectually stimulating, entertaining, and feels good to do it (like volunteering, with a fat paycheck, and not annoying like a regular 40 hr/wk job).

But I've set things up so I'm not doing more than a few hours work per week. Everything else gets turned down. Maybe that changes when the kids are all in school or they leave for college. Maybe not - there are a lot of games I want to play.

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Sorry FUEGO - the retirement police object to SAHD/SAHMs calling themselves retired. So you and I don't qualify. LOL.
My wife is working on quitting. Strike that, your Honor. My wife is trying to quit. And not just to legitimize my early retired status.
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Old 01-18-2016, 09:48 PM   #55
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It could be worse - - you could enjoy sitting on the couch playing video games. .
+1 My End Goal!!
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:48 PM   #56
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I don't want to do any fund raising, work, blogging nothing. I am supposed to sell eggs but I don't. We had 20 hens laying and were overrun with eggs so I said I would sell some, I gave away 9 dozen to a niece and eat as many as I can I just don't want to sell eggs. At $3 a dozen it isn't worth my time when I could be playing farmville or something.
I think it is nice to be able to live on low income when you are young. I didn't need much after I was 40, roommate paid me almost as much as my mortgage so I could have lived on a minimum wage job, that is freeing even when working at megacorp. My last 20 years or so I knew if I lost my job it took little to no income from work to live as well as I was. Now retired living off investments will never look for a job again.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:30 AM   #57
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Yeah. Not one postive comment about the article. Proud of you guys.
What an extremely odd thing to say.

Why on earth would we care if you are "proud" of us? Do you spend a lot of time worrying about whether we are "proud" of you?
Elbata - you could go first then. Well, actually second (see post #2)
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Nice story on motivation,
Anyone find any irony in the negativity of complaining of no positive comments?

-ERD50
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:21 AM   #58
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It's amazing if you go to the forums associated with his blog, the number of under 30-somethings that are planning to RE in the US with investments <$750k. To me, that is a very long time frame and not very much money. People who would not consider at least +$1m to RE are often derided.


Not sure if there is a reality check coming their way or I am just out of touch.
It depends on what that $750k is covering. I "HAD" over a million (don't look today ..think i'm holding on but just ignoring that) but as a single person, its very different. $30k is plenty for a single person, (ACA insurance subsidy), low COLA area and with house paid off $25k is also doable (especially with taking out of after tax since capital gains isn't taxed at this level and even state taxes are minimal). A paid off house here, you could get by with $450/month for housing expenses (utilities,insurance,HOA,property tax) and the HOA covers exterior maintenance,roof,siding,driveway.. Even on $25k, I could easily get to $1000/month disposable income which is plenty to go buy stuff, eat out ( a nice dinner runs $25-30 including wine) and still go on vacation.
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another opinion
Old 01-19-2016, 11:07 AM   #59
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another opinion

While I'm demographically much more similar to this forum, White Coat Investor or BH, I've read every post on MMM and read his forums as well.

After reading every post and considering the forum content presented several times a week, I've concluded for myself that he has formed a consistent, well-defined and described ethos he is trying to follow.

You can take it or leave obviously. A lot of people seem to like it. It offers real guidance to people in a lot of areas that overlap with this, BH and other advice repositories on FIRE topics. Most people reject it as "impossible". Clearly, his forum readership and level of support would argue that is not entirely true.

I take elements of it and leave others. It is not all things to all people. I'm rich and got that way playing great "offence" and adequate "defence". He espouses a way that eliminates the requirement to play great offence only and you can easier on our planet at the same time. I wish I had read it or similar 25 years ago as the journey might have been different.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:23 AM   #60
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Elbata - you could go first then. Well, actually second (see post #2)

Anyone find any irony in the negativity of complaining of no positive comments?

-ERD50
"crickets"

it seems to me that if everyone followed the MM philosophy the US economy would eventually collapse


it's also possible I'm missing something. of course I was raised by my parents to be more financially successful than they, not less
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