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Old 04-19-2020, 08:50 AM   #41
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To me MMM is hugely entertaining so I continue to read him, but I find FS to be very condescending and grating. The FIRE blogger I actually relate to the most and find the most transparent is RootofGood.
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Old 04-19-2020, 08:53 AM   #42
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The FIRE blogger I actually relate to the most and find the most transparent is RootofGood.
No surprise that he is a member here (since well before he started his blog).
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:35 AM   #43
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To me MMM is hugely entertaining so I continue to read him, but I find FS to be very condescending and grating. The FIRE blogger I actually relate to the most and find the most transparent is RootofGood.


+1 on RootofGood. I only read bloggers who, like him, have actually achieved FIRE, not the multitudes of copy cat wannabes. I never read Financial Samurai so I canít say.

JLCollinsNH. There is no simpler path to wealth than his: Two Vanguard index funds. Jim is in his 60s and has seen a lot over decades of investing. He also organizes Chautauquas around the world for like-minded FIRE aspirants. I attended #2 in Ecuador and am still in touch with him and other friends I made there.

I think the Millennial Revolution couple have an inspiring personal story about overcoming the severest poverty in China and have innovated financially with their methods for attempting to manage sequence of returns risk.

Both authors on Can I Retire Yet? are very sound and are very willing to discuss their mistakes and the downsides of FIREing early.

I think MMMís early posts are a kind of cannon of intelligent financial and lifestyle engineering, exploration and decision making. I also think his flirtation with no health insurance of late is one of the most blindly stupid things Iíve ever read and proves that smart people can make dumb decisions. He needs to ditch that idea before he forfeits his considerable credibility.
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:01 AM   #44
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I also think his flirtation with no health insurance of late is one of the most blindly stupid things Iíve ever read and proves that smart people can make dumb decisions.
+1

Now that he's divorced, I guess it's just for him. Still, it's not a gamble I'd make since the stakes are too high.
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:03 AM   #45
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+1 on RootofGood. I only read bloggers who, like him, have actually achieved FIRE, not the multitudes of copy cat wannabes. I never read Financial Samurai so I canít say.

JLCollinsNH. There is no simpler path to wealth than his: Two Vanguard index funds. Jim is in his 60s and has seen a lot over decades of investing. He also organizes Chautauquas around the world for like-minded FIRE aspirants. I attended #2 in Ecuador and am still in touch with him and other friends I made there.

I think the Millennial Revolution couple have an inspiring personal story about overcoming the severest poverty in China and have innovated financially with their methods for attempting to manage sequence of returns risk.

Both authors on Can I Retire Yet? are very sound and are very willing to discuss their mistakes and the downsides of FIREing early.

I think MMMís early posts are a kind of cannon of intelligent financial and lifestyle engineering, exploration and decision making. I also think his flirtation with no health insurance of late is one of the most blindly stupid things Iíve ever read and proves that smart people can make dumb decisions. He needs to ditch that idea before he forfeits his considerable credibility.
Thanks. I had not heard of these other people you mention, so I guess I'll stop by their blogs to see what they have to say.
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:13 AM   #46
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We've just about halved (not exactly but close) our spending during this time. And we're doing well, happy, enjoying more Netflix and at home cooking, less restaurants, movie theaters etc. I miss thinking about travel, family gatherings, meeting friends but could I live this way, in a pretty good state of mind, sure!

This experience has made me happy we are not in debt. It's made me realize we could lose X00,000K and be OK. Adjusting lifestyle, not a problem. So, FIRE we are and FIRE we will stay and our longevity (always hoping for the best health) can be a few decades.
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:57 AM   #47
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We've just about halved (not exactly but close) our spending during this time. And we're doing well, happy, enjoying more Netflix and at home cooking, less restaurants, movie theaters etc. I miss thinking about travel, family gatherings, meeting friends but could I live this way, in a pretty good state of mind, sure!

This experience has made me happy we are not in debt. It's made me realize we could lose X00,000K and be OK. Adjusting lifestyle, not a problem. So, FIRE we are and FIRE we will stay and our longevity (always hoping for the best health) can be a few decades.


Wow, thatís a lot. Congrats! What were the biggest dominoes in cutting half your spending?
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:12 PM   #48
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No surprise that he is a member here (since well before he started his blog).


His handle was FUEGO right?? I used to love reading his posts on this site.

I hope heís doing well in this pandemic . I think he used to travel a lot overseas. I wonder how that adjustment is going?
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:28 PM   #49
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Common sense is not that abundant in the general population. While the basic LBYM and save & invest message is the admirable and long term beneficial thing accomplished, and I donít begrudge anyone making a living by getting indirectly paid by advertisers for dispensing that advice, as has been mentioned many times here, MMM & FS both present themselves as ďanyMan, that can do thisĒ and both are patently misrepresenting themselves for that profit.

I am certainly not a FIRE snob, nor am I gloating at my relative success. But many years ago, when I first heard of FIRE, I did read both of them for a few days. Even back then, long before the latest reveals, it was SO obvious that much of what they said was unrealistic for the majority of common people, and the objective was obviously to increase clicks and yet they had hordes of followers fawning over their teachings as gospel. That is what bothered me most. How many people were duped in to unrealistic expectations and are now paying the price with no job, no income and no HI? Not that I can prove it, but I feel that they prey on people looking for an easy way to not work, and exploit that vulnerability by reinforcing that ďanyone can do thisĒ attitude when that is simply absolutely not true.

It takes a certain mindset, confidence, ability and other characteristics to FIRE young successfully. I did not have them, until I was already FI, which was always my plan, but through a long career that carried a pension and decently high salary based on a specialty that I chose specifically for its long term STEM desirability.

Itís not exclusivity to be realistic. Literally everything that can make one FI can be found free in this forum alone. How many posters here would contribute all or most of their FIRE success from primarily reading this forum? Not me, and I am relatively intelligent and level headed.
I used to read and post over at MMM but grew tired of the all too often negative views on religion, politics, and Dave Ramsey. I was actually called out for supporting my local church with money that could be better used to support other charities. So I closed my profile down.
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:56 PM   #50
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I found the MMM crowd a little too focused on frugality for me. I'm a frugal guy, and I have embraced a relatively simple, low-cost lifestyle, but they seemed a little too focused on it for my tastes. I mean, to me, the idea is to FREE yourself from concern with money. You don't do that by counting every penny. You're just trading an obsession with spending money for an obsession with saving money. It's still all about money. But then, what do I expect from "Mr. Money Moustache," right? Of course he's focused on money. I just found the focus a little too narrow and boring.

I agree that he's kind of a fake, too. You can't bill yourself as retired if you're spending all that time and energy on the website and making money from it. That ain't retired.

Otoh, I don't begrudge him anything. He's performing a helpful service to people who want to save money, change lifestyle, and move towards ER. Nothing wrong with that. Had I been earlier in my journey, without awareness of simplicity/minimalism principles already, then I might've really benefitted from his stuff.
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:57 AM   #51
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+1 on RootofGood. I only read bloggers who, like him, have actually achieved FIRE, not the multitudes of copy cat wannabes. I never read Financial Samurai so I canít say.

JLCollinsNH......

I think the Millennial Revolution couple have an inspiring personal story.....

Both authors on Can I Retire Yet? are very sound and are very willing to discuss....

I think MMMís early posts are a kind of cannon of intelligent financial and lifestyle engineering, exploration and decision making. I also think his flirtation with no health insurance of late is one of the most blindly stupid things Iíve ever read and proves that smart people can make dumb decisions. He needs to ditch that idea before he forfeits his considerable credibility.
+1. Excellent synopsis. Iíve read all but Collins. I donít much now as already FIRE. . FS is the worst. Donít bother.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:51 AM   #52
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I really like reading FIRE blogs. I like seeing how other people have accomplished the same goal I'm working towards. I love seeing what they are doing in retirement. When people tell me I'm crazy for wanting to retire early, reading about other people doing it makes me feel less crazy- I'm not the only one. But Financial Samurai drives me nuts.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:37 AM   #53
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+1 on RootofGood. I only read bloggers who, like him, have actually achieved FIRE, not the multitudes of copy cat wannabes. I never read Financial Samurai so I canít say.

JLCollinsNH. There is no simpler path to wealth than his: Two Vanguard index funds. Jim is in his 60s and has seen a lot over decades of investing. He also organizes Chautauquas around the world for like-minded FIRE aspirants. I attended #2 in Ecuador and am still in touch with him and other friends I made there.

I think the Millennial Revolution couple have an inspiring personal story about overcoming the severest poverty in China and have innovated financially with their methods for attempting to manage sequence of returns risk.

Both authors on Can I Retire Yet? are very sound and are very willing to discuss their mistakes and the downsides of FIREing early.

I think MMMís early posts are a kind of cannon of intelligent financial and lifestyle engineering, exploration and decision making. I also think his flirtation with no health insurance of late is one of the most blindly stupid things Iíve ever read and proves that smart people can make dumb decisions. He needs to ditch that idea before he forfeits his considerable credibility.
All of these blogs have some good and some bad, and all of them at some point don't give great advice. Most also eventually fall into the tradeoffs / conflicts of interest they make once they start to optimize their income from blogging.

All in all, take the good and ditch the bad. No one is looking out for your interests more than you.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:43 AM   #54
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Wow, thatís a lot. Congrats! What were the biggest dominoes in cutting half your spending?
My tracking, so far. In Feb. we spend $6427.09. We were still living fairly normally for 1/2 of March, so spending in March $3665.14. And so far this month we're under $2500 (after all bills paid). I suspect we'll spend a few hundred more on groceries and we're now talking about increasing charitable giving.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:28 AM   #55
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I fear we have kicked the can down the road a bit at great expense without actually equipping ourselves sufficiently to handle what could come.

This is exactly how I see it.... curve flattened but a huge economic cost and the isolation cannot go on forever. As restrictions are lifted (or people get tired of voluntarily complying) exposure will increase again. How long until herd immunity, a vaccine is developed and produced in sufficient quantities, or a reliable treatment regimen is developed with enough capacity to handle the cases until herd immunity is achieved? Are we going to yo-yo for years?



I'm a planner and am frustrated as no real way to plan for the near future.... I'm mostly "w*rking" from home and have a steady paycheck while I am (stuck here anyway so delaying FIRE is a no brainer... I'd rather get paid to be stuck at home). I'll pad my cash and invest into the market until this mess sorts itself out and then decide my new FIRE date.
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:12 AM   #56
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I really like reading FIRE blogs. I like seeing how other people have accomplished the same goal I'm working towards. I love seeing what they are doing in retirement. When people tell me I'm crazy for wanting to retire early, reading about other people doing it makes me feel less crazy- I'm not the only one. But Financial Samurai drives me nuts.


Exactly why I like them too! I know almost no one in real life to talk with about FIRE but I can follow the blogs of real people doing it.
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:15 AM   #57
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All of these blogs have some good and some bad, and all of them at some point don't give great advice. Most also eventually fall into the tradeoffs / conflicts of interest they make once they start to optimize their income from blogging.



All in all, take the good and ditch the bad. No one is looking out for your interests more than you.


I agree. Iíve also noticed these bloggers go strong for about 3 years +-, then it seems like their posts peter out after theyíve either made the major points they have to make or they achieve FIRE and are in a different place, so their audience canít quite relate to them anymore.
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Old 04-23-2020, 03:25 PM   #58
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His handle was FUEGO right?? I used to love reading his posts on this site.

I hope he’s doing well in this pandemic . I think he used to travel a lot overseas. I wonder how that adjustment is going?
Hi guys, I'm still here Don't check in as often as I used to since I'm not bored at work logging and posting a ton to kill time!

A brief update: we're all doing very well here all things considered.

From September through May we mostly stay at home and bum around on our various activities. Other than the kids being home and doing distance ed, not a ton has changed. Bike trails and nature preserves still open, grocery stores open, we don't go out to eat much anyway (cook at home a ton). I really wish the library would have express no-contact pickup (else I'll have to read books on my Kindle app on my phone once I finish the several books remaining unread and checked out during pre-closure days).

Travel plans getting wrecked have been the hardest adjustment for us. Norwegian cancelled our sweet 11 night cruise from Tampa to NYC (via Caribbean and Bermuda). That cruise would have arrived in NYC on April 9.

Our 8 week summer trip through 6 South American countries June-Aug is most likely going to be cancelled completely. I'm still holding out hope that we can make the late July through August part happen but I'd put the odds at <20%. August cruise from Miami (on the way back from S America) is also likely a no go due to cruises being shut down beyond the current ~June shutdown (and/or islands in Caribbean being closed to cruises).

October 2 wks in Spain - mildly optimistic but they just announced reopening plans and suggested they may remain closed to visitors through August.

We haven't cancelled any of this travel but that will happen in the next month while we can do so with minimal penalties.

I have come to peace about a month ago with no travel happening during 2020. It was depressing for a few days when that reality hit home since we do like to hit the road. I'd say that was probably one of the most unhappy periods of my early retirement so far (which is more a reflection of how swimmingly well life has been these past 7 years and how easy I have it!).

Edit to add: I forgot to mention our finances! We retired with ~$1.2 million, it almost doubled by the Feb 2020 peak and is now down to a bit under $2MM (about $450,000 off the peak). Money is mostly an afterthought at this point. We spend <2% of our portfolio each year as live pretty simple lifestyles (other than the 2-3 months of overseas travel every year but hey it's often free or cheap!).
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Old 04-24-2020, 12:02 AM   #59
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Hi guys, I'm still here Don't check in as often as I used to since I'm not bored at work logging and posting a ton to kill time!

A brief update: we're all doing very well here all things considered.

From September through May we mostly stay at home and bum around on our various activities. Other than the kids being home and doing distance ed, not a ton has changed. Bike trails and nature preserves still open, grocery stores open, we don't go out to eat much anyway (cook at home a ton). I really wish the library would have express no-contact pickup (else I'll have to read books on my Kindle app on my phone once I finish the several books remaining unread and checked out during pre-closure days).

Travel plans getting wrecked have been the hardest adjustment for us. Norwegian cancelled our sweet 11 night cruise from Tampa to NYC (via Caribbean and Bermuda). That cruise would have arrived in NYC on April 9.

Our 8 week summer trip through 6 South American countries June-Aug is most likely going to be cancelled completely. I'm still holding out hope that we can make the late July through August part happen but I'd put the odds at <20%. August cruise from Miami (on the way back from S America) is also likely a no go due to cruises being shut down beyond the current ~June shutdown (and/or islands in Caribbean being closed to cruises).

October 2 wks in Spain - mildly optimistic but they just announced reopening plans and suggested they may remain closed to visitors through August.

We haven't cancelled any of this travel but that will happen in the next month while we can do so with minimal penalties.

I have come to peace about a month ago with no travel happening during 2020. It was depressing for a few days when that reality hit home since we do like to hit the road. I'd say that was probably one of the most unhappy periods of my early retirement so far (which is more a reflection of how swimmingly well life has been these past 7 years and how easy I have it!).

Edit to add: I forgot to mention our finances! We retired with ~$1.2 million, it almost doubled by the Feb 2020 peak and is now down to a bit under $2MM (about $450,000 off the peak). Money is mostly an afterthought at this point. We spend <2% of our portfolio each year as live pretty simple lifestyles (other than the 2-3 months of overseas travel every year but hey it's often free or cheap!).

Nice one @Fuego. When money is an afterthought then youíve really won the game. It just shows what frugal living, knowing what makes you happy, and smart decisions can add up to! Just curious whether the blogging is just a hobby or whether it makes an important financial difference (though certainly ad revenues will be way way down this year)
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Old 04-27-2020, 09:47 AM   #60
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Nice one @Fuego. When money is an afterthought then youíve really won the game. It just shows what frugal living, knowing what makes you happy, and smart decisions can add up to! Just curious whether the blogging is just a hobby or whether it makes an important financial difference (though certainly ad revenues will be way way down this year)
Hobby so far. I haven't been very active the past several yrs. Money keeps rolling in but my "year over year revenue growth" metrics are no longer impressive

I haven't incorporated the blog revenue stream into my long term FIRE financial plans although I give myself permission to spend current earnings each year. As it is, we just don't spend the money. Annual expenses still stuck right around $40k yr. We're too good at being frugal. Perhaps my daughters entering college in the next 3-4 yrs will fix my spending issues!

And you are right about advertising revenues being down. Fortunately it doesn't change anything for me since I always treated the blog income as "icing on the cake" or "found money". I'll just sell a bit more ETFs to fund 2021 and future years living expenses.

Or maybe I get bored and spend more time on my blog and make more $$$$. I did actually complete several maintenance tasks on the back end/server level that I've been postponing for a couple of years. I'm usually too busy traveling or planning future travel to devote a big chunk of time to that stuff. Knocked it out during our stay at home period.
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