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Some People Are Doing FIRE Really Well

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    Some People Are Doing FIRE Really Well

    So, I ran into this dude Justin's blog in a Facebook group I'm part of.

    I just wanted to share it here because he's doing a bang-up job becoming financially Independent. The guy regularly saves 90% of his income. He literally spends next to nothing on groceries (60 per month) and lives in a shoebox apartment (375 square feet), that he shares with his girlfriend.

    He's got a net worth in the $840,367 range, which is pretty outstanding for a man in his early 30s.

    https://saving-sherpa.com/
    Last edited by james.hendrickson; 07-20-2021, 07:05 AM.
    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

    #2
    Interesting blog, and a good story of how he and his mom had to start from scratch.

    He acknowledges his privilege therein, which brings up an interesting point. The government paid for his life for 4 years through ROTC and provided him a free 4-year college education, which he then parlayed into a career. There are some on this board who are vehemently against handouts, and that's exactly what it is, in a different form. Yes, I said it.

    That's an amazing net worth for his age, although, I can't really imagine living in a 375sf apartment or finding ways to get free food. It would appear he is definitely deferring enjoyment or possibly other goals.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ua_guy View Post
      ...The government paid for his life for 4 years through ROTC and provided him a free 4-year college education, which he then parlayed into a career. There are some on this board who are vehemently against handouts, and that's exactly what it is, in a different form. Yes, I said it.
      Not the same in my opinion. He received the training upfront, but he was encumbered by military service. The government wanted his skill set and labor for a period of time and was willing to pay to train him. If the government had no need for this, they would not have paid him- so lucky for him. Training/education is really important to mission accomplishment in the military.

      Active duty folks could also receive a paid education. I do not consider that a hand out--more like deferred compensation.
      https://www.militaryonesource.mil/mi...-job-training/

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Like2Plan View Post

        Not the same in my opinion. He received the training upfront, but he was encumbered by military service. The government wanted his skill set and labor for a period of time and was willing to pay to train him. If the government had no need for this, they would not have paid him- so lucky for him. Training/education is really important to mission accomplishment in the military.

        Active duty folks could also receive a paid education. I do not consider that a hand out--more like deferred compensation.
        https://www.militaryonesource.mil/mi...-job-training/
        yes, and I'm sure the members on this board can attest - military service is in no way a "handout". You have very limited freedom and are subject to a high degree of regimentation, rules and discipline.
        james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
        202.468.6043

        Comment


          #5
          ...And that's why I stated, "in a different form". Fact is, he was given something which overwhelmingly contributed to his continued success. I do have very high respect for our military, and I have no doubt some forum members will come out swinging in defense, how dare I say what I did, when they aren't really absorbing what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, in bootstrapping one's way to FIRE, privilege and handouts must be acknowledged. The author of the blog sort of does this, but he attributes it to his physical capabilities and lack of impairment. Many people use the military as a way to escape poverty and get ahead, and that is a fact. He even admitted to thinking he'd take their free money for a year, and then leave.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ua_guy View Post
            ...And that's why I stated, "in a different form". Fact is, he was given something which overwhelmingly contributed to his continued success. I do have very high respect for our military, and I have no doubt some forum members will come out swinging in defense, how dare I say what I did, when they aren't really absorbing what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, in bootstrapping one's way to FIRE, privilege and handouts must be acknowledged. The author of the blog sort of does this, but he attributes it to his physical capabilities and lack of impairment. Many people use the military as a way to escape poverty and get ahead, and that is a fact. He even admitted to thinking he'd take their free money for a year, and then leave.
            Well...soo...what exactly are you saying then? He had an advantage because he joined the military?
            james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
            202.468.6043

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by james.hendrickson View Post

              Well...soo...what exactly are you saying then? He had an advantage because he joined the military?
              He was handed an opportunity which supported his future success.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by ua_guy View Post

                He was handed an opportunity which supported his future success.
                Thats true...and there is nothing really wrong with that.

                I also posted his blog on reddit, and people there had a strange reaction to it. Its like...they were uncomfortable with that high level of frugality.
                james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                202.468.6043

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by james.hendrickson View Post

                  Thats true...and there is nothing really wrong with that.

                  I also posted his blog on reddit, and people there had a strange reaction to it. Its like...they were uncomfortable with that high level of frugality.
                  A 375sqft apartment for two people would make me uncomfortable, as is his mission of finding free food. But that's a position I've always taken on here - I think there is value in making life comfortable and enjoyable in the present because a long life isn't guaranteed.

                  I didn't read into his future plans or what he wants to do with his wealth someday. Hopefully something personally enjoyable?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ua_guy View Post
                    A 375sqft apartment for two people would make me uncomfortable, as is his mission of finding free food. But that's a position I've always taken on here - I think there is value in making life comfortable and enjoyable in the present because a long life isn't guaranteed.

                    I didn't read into his future plans or what he wants to do with his wealth someday. Hopefully something personally enjoyable?
                    I will say that this was my immediate thought even without looking around on his site -- sure, he may be "financially independent", but is he happy & fulfilled & truly free? I certainly wouldn't enjoy living in a shoebox or wildly restricting my grocery budget simply for the sake of being able to survive on a given sum of money. I think that's a big mistake that many FIRE folks get wrapped up in -- if you're going to retire early, make it something to dream about. Sure it feels great to 'fire your boss' ..... but are you running toward something you crave, or running away from something you dislike? Often it seems that too many of the FIRE crowd are doing the latter, rather than focus on the former.
                    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                      I will say that this was my immediate thought even without looking around on his site -- sure, he may be "financially independent", but is he happy & fulfilled & truly free? I certainly wouldn't enjoy living in a shoebox or wildly restricting my grocery budget simply for the sake of being able to survive on a given sum of money. I think that's a big mistake that many FIRE folks get wrapped up in -- if you're going to retire early, make it something to dream about. Sure it feels great to 'fire your boss' ..... but are you running toward something you crave, or running away from something you dislike? Often it seems that too many of the FIRE crowd are doing the latter, rather than focus on the former.
                      Well said.

                      My first thought was if this is doing FIRE well, I don’t want that kind of FIRE. I think the FIRE movement is great but this level of frugality is not something I would aspire to or admire. To each their own.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ua_guy View Post

                        He was handed an opportunity which supported his future success.
                        you have to earn that ROTC scholarship. Bums and potheads need not apply.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                          I will say that this was my immediate thought even without looking around on his site -- sure, he may be "financially independent", but is he happy & fulfilled & truly free? I certainly wouldn't enjoy living in a shoebox or wildly restricting my grocery budget simply for the sake of being able to survive on a given sum of money. I think that's a big mistake that many FIRE folks get wrapped up in -- if you're going to retire early, make it something to dream about. Sure it feels great to 'fire your boss' ..... but are you running toward something you crave, or running away from something you dislike? Often it seems that too many of the FIRE crowd are doing the latter, rather than focus on the former.
                          I agree that it seems like some people are prescribing to FIRE for the sake of doing FIRE.
                          I don't think that they will get to their goal and then simply be able to shut that mindset off and suddenly start spending money and enjoying life.
                          They might not know any way other to live
                          Brian

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by corn18 View Post

                            you have to earn that ROTC scholarship. Bums and potheads need not apply.
                            I previously wrote a much more in-depth response to ua_guy's comment, but decided not to incite an argument & distract from the main topic.... Suffice it to say, it's definitely earned & most assuredly not simply a handout.

                            My biggest question: At what point does someone's success become earned, a result of their hard work, sacrifice, ambition, intellect, and so on, rather than an unfair advantage/handout/'privilege'?
                            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by kork13 View Post

                              I previously wrote a much more in-depth response to ua_guy's comment, but decided not to incite an argument & distract from the main topic.... Suffice it to say, it's definitely earned & most assuredly not simply a handout.

                              My biggest question: At what point does someone's success become earned, a result of their hard work, sacrifice, ambition, intellect, and so on, rather than an unfair advantage/handout/'privilege'?
                              Frankly, I'd like to know your thoughts on that question Kork. In saving-sherpa's case, the dude works at being frugal. Yeah he was lucky to be born in the USA, but other than that, it looks like his wealth is mostly his doing.
                              james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                              202.468.6043

                              Comment

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