Community Rules

Thanks for joining! Most of us are here because we enjoy interacting with and reading the interactions of the friends we have made on this forum and making new friends on the forum, even though few have met or ever will meet face to face. It's an unusual community brought together by our interest in early retirement, a topic often misunderstood or awkward to discuss with others, even family. Although brought together by that common interest, we talk about a good many things, as does any such group.

Friends don't always agree on everything or even on most things. They can agree to disagree. When that happens, they try to keep their discussions logical and free from name calling and so forth, or more often they just spend their time on other topics. They don't take every opportunity to express their disagreement, incite argument, insult each other, and fan flames. When they are incapable of avoiding this sort of thing, they become much more disruptive than welcome.

Most of us, while we welcome perspectives on all sides of any issue, would not invite a frequently and apparently intentionally disruptive or rude person to a gathering of friends at our homes, nor to any other gathering of friends that they are hosting. With this in mind please take some time to review our site guidelines:

Although we don't have a laundry list of inappropriate topics, discussion of subjects such as politics (unless directly related to early retirement), gun rights, religion and abortion rarely end well. For this reason the moderation team may close or remove discussions of these topics as well as any other topic deemed to be inappropriate, particularly if the tone has become disruptive. Certainly any discussions related to early retirement are welcome - we don't have any "party line" and while individual members may have (and express) strong opinions on anything from paying off your mortgage early to the wisdom of annuities, they speak for themselves.

We just ask everyone to follow the "reasonable person" principle.

Be Courteous and Appropriate! We aim to ensure that the forum is an enjoyable place that you want to visit time and time again. Our underlying philosophy is that the strength of the member relationships we build here is what sets us apart from the other boards. Treating each other with respect and kindness, and thinking before you speak will go a long way towards making this an enjoyable place.
  • Do not engage in personal attacks. Challenge others' points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully. Excessive sarcasm, extreme belligerence, insults, profanity, extreme anger, offensive comments about race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and national origin, are not acceptable.
  • Do not post libelous remarks or directly misleading information.
  • Do not post the same discussion more than once or in many forums.
  • The language of this forum is English. If you are not a native English speaker, do your best. We are glad to have you as a member and will be supportive and polite.
  • Posts containing explicit, obscene or vulgar language, images or links to websites with adult content/images or punctuation marks designed to "trick" our obscenity filter may be removed.
  • Partisan political commentary is not allowed in any section of the forum. Discussions about current or pending legislation or regulations that directly pertain to Early Retirement are acceptable but may be closed or removed if they wander off topic or become disruptive.
  • Limit discussion of politics to the “FIRE Related Political Topics” forum unless the issue is specifically pertinent to the topic at hand. For example, discussions on health insurance in the "Health and Early Retirement" forum may include political elements provided the political discussion is, in the judgment of the moderators, both directly related and subordinate to the health insurance topic.
  • Trolling or cyberstalking are NOT allowed and are grounds for account restriction or banishment. Trolling on this board includes posting controversial and often irrelevant or off-topic messages with the intention of (or anticipated result of) baiting other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal, harmonious on-topic discussion, especially when a pattern of such posting is apparent.
Be Welcoming! Welcome newcomers to our growing community. Many of our community's members have a wealth of knowledge and much to share. Please help new members learn about how to find information and resources and how to get involved in the Community.

Do your own due diligence! People who are professionals in a variety of fields post on this forum and share their general knowledge. Many of them are brilliant. Some are doofi. Information obtained from professionals (or from anyone for that matter) who are participants in this forum should be not be relied on when making important life decisions. Their posts are not intended to be professional advice. Their posts may not be accurate, applicable or complete for your own unique situation.

Be Ethical and Don't SPAM! Many participants have commercial interests associated with the forum topic and bring valuable information and expertise to share. With a few specific exceptions, participants may not use the Forum for commercial gain.
  • No SPAM! Participants may not post affiliate links or links to direct others to any pages at their own commercial website or website in which they have a commercial interest, including informational pages.
  • However, participants may mention affiliation with a commercial entity (occasionally) in the body of a post but may not discuss products or services unless answering a direct question. Participants may also in response to an direct inquiry provide a link to a website in which the participant has a commercial interest.
  • Participants may only have one account unless moderator permission for multiple accounts is granted. Moderators may consolidate or delete multiple accounts if permission is not obtained.
  • Participants may not send out SPAM via our Private Message system.
  • Our user base is not an unlimited resource to be "mined" by individuals, groups, or businesses, for profit or not for profit. If you want to solicit the board for information when writing a book or article, please ask a moderator first.
  • Participants may not bump threads unnecessarily. Bumping is posting useless information, posting one-liners or any other action to deliberately keep a thread hot or to bait others.
  • "Blog Spamming" is prohibited. A determination of whether any particular instance constitutes blog spamming shall be at the sole discretion of the moderators
Posting standards: Forum members may use standard fonts available on the forum. The standard font size is 2. The use of bold, large or colored fonts should be used sparingly. Posts containing inappropriate formatting will be removed or modified at our discretion; e.g. all caps or excessive color. E-mail addresses, url's and business names are not appropriate forum user names. Please do not post “naked” links, defined as links posted without explanation, interpretation or context.

Customer Disputes: This forum is not intended to be a mechanism for people to solely vent frustrations about services, products, vendors or sales. Please settle your differences with the seller, provider, manufacturer or dealer through other means but not through our community.

About the First Amendment, censorship and your "right to free speech": You do indeed have a right to free speech. However this forum is privately owned and requires members to abide by our guidelines and by the decisions of our moderators. If you cannot accept these guidelines we encourage you to contact one of the many good web hosting companies out there and exercise that right to your heart's content.

Do not post protected / copyrighted content: Information copyrighted or owned by any individual or entity other than the member should not be posted without the consent of the owner. Copyrighted material includes images and text produced and owned by others. If such an event occurs, the individual posting the information shall be held solely responsible. You cannot legally post entire articles or news in the forum without permission from the copyright holder. Even if you attribute the article correctly it’s still copyright infringement. Under Fair Use provisions you can legally post a small abstract of an article - or perhaps the opening paragraph. The exception to this rule is press releases; they are meant for distribution and can be copied and distributed. If you are not sure if you can copy something then always err on the side of caution and simply post a link to the material.

Signature Standards: Signatures are setup in your profile. They will appear at the bottom of every post you make.
  • Signatures must be kept to a maximum of six lines (including blank lines) and contain no promotional content or links.
  • Signature may not include email addresses or prompts to contact or a sales pitch, nor any mention of blog or book titles.
  • Signatures may not perpetuate any enterprise, private or public, for profit or not for profit.
  • Signatures must follow our forums posting standards and only one line may be bolded.
Moderation: If we feel the guidelines are violated we may remove, edit or delete posts and if necessary ban or remove members. Any abuse toward our administrators or moderators may result in immediate suspension of your account. Complaints about a moderator's decision regarding a particular post are not to be made in posts; instead send a private message to a moderator. If a moderator deletes or edits one of your posts and you disagree with the action, please contact any moderator or administrator via PM with your concerns. Do not repost deleted material. This forum is largely self-policing, which means that moderators will respond and react to problems reported through the REPORT POST option, via the CONTACT FORM at the bottom of each page, or via PM. Do not hesitate to use these tools to report any problems regarding the forum.

Disabling accounts:
We may delete accounts that have no posts. If the account has many posts, completely deleting the account can significantly disrupt thread continuity. In that event, we may (if requested and at our discretion) disable your account. When we disable your account we may do the following: • Change the user name. • Remove signature content • Remove any info from the profile that might be identifying or replace it with fictitious info • Remove all subscriptions • Remove avatar • Remove e-mail address or alter as well as personal web site info • Change account options to refuse PM's and E-mails from users and admins • After doing all this - ban account Where you make use of the communication features to share information with other individuals, however, (e.g., sending a personal message to another Forum user) we generally cannot remove such communications. Also, if someone quoted your post, the original user name will be shown as having been quoted (which we cannot purge). If you would like to disable your account, please use the contact us form at the bottom of the page to make this request.

Someone has to interpret the above guidelines and how they apply to this forum. Ultimately it's up to our site moderators and administrator to make this decision. If you have any questions about these guidelines, please feel free to contact a moderator or administrator.
Thanks to everyone for keeping the tone appropriate for a group of friends, at least the vast majority of the time. Please keep it up!

Registering and participating at constitutes agreement to abide by these rules and to abide by the Social Knowledge Network Terms of Service (Social Knowledge is the company that owns this forum) We reserve the right to modify these rules at any time without giving prior notice to you.
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