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Some People Are Doing FIRE Really Well

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  • LivingAlmostLarge
    replied
    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.
    Um I think that's the problem with FIRE. People often judge others for wanting more than the "bare" minimum for frugality. They feel that they have to live as "modestly" as possible in order to "FIRE" and be of the fire mindset. To somehow make/save $10M makes it less NOBLE or less accomplishment. That deciding that life isn't for you is part of the judgement. I say that reading the Early Retirement board. I see that people post and ask easily about budgets less than $100k. They are pretty happy and modest. BUT rarely do you read posts about people who actually let their $300k or $500k budget out on even on a message board and explain why they need that lifestyle. Because I think there is rampant "judgetment." Why do you need $250k to FIRE? If I had that much I would have retired 10 years ago. Never realizing that the person's journey to fire was their choice. That their decision. Perhaps they could live more modestly but they really don't want to.

    It's interesting that the biggest trumpeters are those who live on the least and make everyone else feel like they should live on so much less. Before I used to think that we could live simply. I"ve found that to be untrue. I mean I want more money to retire and live on now. I don't want to live modestly. I will admit I have gotten used to a much to affluent lifestyle and I'd rather have my DH work a few more years than make do with what we have. But I'm pretty sure that on a FIRE group or board I'd be torn apart for saying that. It would be very fast I think I would judged as not frugal enough. but is it fair? Or right? And that righteousness is where the FIRE movement has a problem. It says it's for everyone but in someways it feels like it's only for people who are willing to live modestly.

    That being said inherent advantages are present. And it takes generations to get rid of it. My cousin's husband comes from "money". His family had enough money to pay for private boarding high school, private college, wedding, down payment. His grandparents helped his parents the same way. So inherently he had a lot more and will always have more. But can he help his kids? Can his parents really help his children the way his grandparents did and could? I don't think so and that's where the problem will start to crop up.

    Leave a comment:


  • srblanco7
    replied
    Originally posted by kork13 View Post
    The problem with my question is that a person's response is going to be driven by their preconceptions. (1) If you see injustice everywhere, you'll always point out how successful people had this or that advantage or fundamental 'privilege'. (2) If you believe that people drive their own success, you'll point out how any advantages didn't matter, or are broadly available, or not under the control of an individual/their parents/etc. While yes there is a grey area in the middle, I don't find many people who truly reside there.
    Kork thanks for adding to the dialogue with a thoughtful response; recognizing that we all come to these forums, and every other interpersonal interaction, with our own perspective, shaped by any number of environmental factors. I think most on this board realize they've had, at a minimum, a level of good fortune in their journey - coupled with intentionality, hard work, and focus to achieve "success".

    Leave a comment:


  • ua_guy
    replied
    Kork, I did see your first response and chose to think about it and respond later, but then it wasn't there. I paused when I made my first post in this thread, asking, should I say that, or not, and I probably made the wrong choice...I've no problem admitting that. It's a complex topic and not something we're all going to see eye-to-eye on.

    I come from privilege and see where I've been handed things for free. I also have some really big struggles and have worked with the under-privileged for most of my career, so I have a fairly good grip on the reality of many Americans.

    My last thought on this is... I have no doubt this guy found his drive and worked hard for what he has. He was also the recipient of something our military does which appeals to young people with no way out of their hometown.
    Last edited by ua_guy; 07-22-2021, 12:31 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • corn18
    replied
    Originally posted by kork13 View Post

    I don't want to try to recreate my previous post.... I posted shortly after ua_guy, then later deleted it. If it's recoverable somehow on the admin side, you're welcome to resurrect it.

    The problem with my question is that a person's response is going to be driven by their preconceptions. (1) If you see injustice everywhere, you'll always point out how successful people had this or that advantage or fundamental 'privilege'. (2) If you believe that people drive their own success, you'll point out how any advantages didn't matter, or are broadly available, or not under the control of an individual/their parents/etc. While yes there is a grey area in the middle, I don't find many people who truly reside there.

    Frankly, I think more like the second group... While I recognize that many do have various advantages/disadvantages in their lives, there's also alot of neutral space where those factors don't really matter. I do believe that everyone has the capability to change their personal situation as a fundamental element to success. Maybe not dramatically, and not overnight, or maybe it even takes a couple generations of hard work. So I'm generally one to credit a person's success to the individual. Success requires many factors: opportunity, ambition & intellect to take advantage of that opportunity, effort & focus to stick it out, and so on. I don't think it's fair to discredit a person's success simply because they had different opportunities. They still have to seize it & follow through.
    I agree. Whenever I feel like I had a hard life, I think of my friend's dad who fled communist Hungary so he wouldn't be killed. Showed up in the US without a dime to his name and spoke no English. He did well. What was his advantage?

    Leave a comment:


  • kork13
    replied
    Originally posted by james.hendrickson View Post

    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.
    I don't want to try to recreate my previous post.... I posted shortly after ua_guy, then later deleted it. If it's recoverable somehow on the admin side, you're welcome to resurrect it.

    The problem with my question is that a person's response is going to be driven by their preconceptions. (1) If you see injustice everywhere, you'll always point out how successful people had this or that advantage or fundamental 'privilege'. (2) If you believe that people drive their own success, you'll point out how any advantages didn't matter, or are broadly available, or not under the control of an individual/their parents/etc. While yes there is a grey area in the middle, I don't find many people who truly reside there.

    Frankly, I think more like the second group... While I recognize that many do have various advantages/disadvantages in their lives, there's also alot of neutral space where those factors don't really matter. I do believe that everyone has the capability to change their personal situation as a fundamental element to success. Maybe not dramatically, and not overnight, or maybe it even takes a couple generations of hard work. So I'm generally one to credit a person's success to the individual. Success requires many factors: opportunity, ambition & intellect to take advantage of that opportunity, effort & focus to stick it out, and so on. I don't think it's fair to discredit a person's success simply because they had different opportunities. They still have to seize it & follow through.

    Leave a comment:


  • Petunia 100
    replied
    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'?
    I don't think it is possible to divorce the two. Certainly, one's own efforts play a large, vital role. But if you were born into abject poverty in a 3rd world country, your own efforts will only get you so far. Simply by being born in the 1st world, you already have a huge advantage.

    Leave a comment:


  • james.hendrickson
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • kork13
    replied
    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'?

    Leave a comment:


  • bjl584
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • corn18
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jenn_jenn
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • kork13
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ua_guy
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • james.hendrickson
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ua_guy
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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