Giving shit to those who retire in their 30s

46 thoughts on “Giving shit to those who retire in their 30s”

  1. I feel like this is pretty much the mainstream view of the financial independence movement. Even the people that are more polite will say something to the effect of, “That sounds really cool, but there’s no way I could ever save that much.” And I get that. People are used to their life and cutting back feels like sacrifice.

    I think most people miss either (a) taking the time to compare their current life to their ideal life or (b) the research shows that most of your consumer purchases are not making you happy. I spend a lot of time exploring the latter, just because I have always found happiness research very interesting, but the simplistic take seems to be “I am happy when I get a new car, ergo the new car improves my life.” It’s rational, but only if you don’t take the time to dig any deeper.

    1. Unfortunately, I think you’re right. It is the prevailing wisdom – simple distillations often are the result of lazy research. The bottom line is life is made up of a series of choices. Make those choices that support early retirement and you’ll get there. Don’t and you probably won’t.

  2. My personal opinion is this perception is caused because millennials are leading the charge. Sure, there are people of all ages out there trying to reach FIRE.. However, it’s the millennial mindset that’s really taken this full throttle. And like Matt above, most people write it off saying there’s no way they could retire early because of XYZ reasons. What they don’t understand is that good choices lead to good outcomes. The more correct choices you make, the better you’ll be in the long-run. It has nothing to do with being cheap, it has everything to do with choosing certain expenses and investments.

    1. I like this: “good choices lead to good outcomes. The more correct choices you make, the better you’ll be in the long-run.”

  3. Once you wise up, you realize you don’t need as much of this money draining sh*t as you thought you did to live a good life and be happy. Its not about being cheap. Its about having some self-control and not throwing your money out the window on junk every day. Love biking and want to get that high end carbon fiber bike? The Harley you’ve always wanted? John Deere riding mower? 😉 Go for it (in moderation of course). Spend on what’s important to you and cut out wasteful spending on the things that don’t matter.

    1. “Spend on what’s important to you and cut out wasteful spending on the things that don’t matter.” – That is exactly it, Arrgo! 🙂

  4. I’m with Matt on this one. This is just the mainstream perception of those who talk about FIRE. They believe we live like those people on extreme frugality tv shows where we eat other people’s leftovers at a restaurant and raid dumpsters. While there certainly are some in the community this may describe, by and large that is not the norm. Alternately they believe it takes too much time. So great example last week I was talking to a coworker about credit card churning for signup bonuses. The first words out of his mouth where I couldn’t do the amount of time you spend on it…. I spend 30 mins a quarter signing up and registering a new credit card and canceling the old one.

    That is the majorities perception for better or worse.

    1. Yup – I’m sure there are people who eat table scraps from other people’s plates, but I wouldn’t necessarily use the word “cheap” to describe those people. Perhaps another five-letter word that begins with “c” and ends in “razy”. 🙂

  5. One of the biggest drains on monthly finances for people is servicing debt. The other is insuring against catastrophe because you don’t have investments to self insure. Once those are eliminated you can lead a pretty inexpensive life and have wonderful experiences and eat like a king.
    Maybe we should do a better job of showing that in the personal finance community. It’s never going to be as sexy as the extreme cheapskate show where someone cooks their lasagna in a dishwasher to save electricity though. And that is what the general public see more often.

    Tom @ HIP

    1. We probably could do a better job of showing that…but then again, there will always be people who reject the entire premise of early retirement because THEY chose to go a different route, and regardless of what we say, nothing is going to convince them.

      But then again, it isn’t our job to convince them of anything. Your money. Your choices. Have fun! 🙂

  6. Wow! I definitely wouldn’t consider myself (or you guys) cheap. We are all about spending money on things we value and not spending money on things we don’t. Gosh, I didn’t know saving and investing my own hard earned money would affect other people this way. If my ever increasing net worth means I’m cheap as fuck – so be it. I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank 😛

    Thanks for sharing. This was a fun Monday morning read!

  7. Cheap, liberated, something in between. I just read a article about birth order and wonder if FIRE types are all second born or babies. The need to break the mold and not be a corporate leader.

    As for pups, we have one and man it is expensive. At least yours travel with you and there is no boarding costs associated with them. That is what kills us. Every time we go out of town, we have to pay someone to watch her.

    Interested how you stumbled on this article. I am glad you ended it on a positive note.

  8. Hahaha. I would be interested to see what this blogger’s approach was to personal finance. It’s really easy to give people shit if you don’t first make the effort to understand them.

  9. “We early retirees ARE living the dream – our dream.” 100%

    I personally would not like living in an Airstream, but it’s AWESOME that you and your wife do. It’s definitely more about value for money than being cheap, where value includes your own personal definition of happiness. 😀

  10. That blogger probably lost his/her computer in the bankruptcy sale. Seriously, my biggest pet peeve is people who refuse to actually learn about the subject they comment on. Disparagement is easy. You only have to watch the news these days to see the truth of that. What I enjoy most about the FIRE community is the effort that folks go to to explain the whats, whys and hows of early retirement.

    1. Totally…disparagement is easy. Disagreeing with people is equally as easy. I’ve found that when people actually WANT to understand something, they generally will. Those who don’t will instead make rash generalizations that have little basis in reality, giving easy fodder to those who believe in whatever they’re bashing. 😉

  11. “We early retirees ARE living the dream – our dream.”

    I agree! I FIREd at 52 and I wouldn’t go back to being a Wage Slave unless I had no choice. But I understand that some people enjoy being Wage Slaves or just can’t see any alternative.

    I’ve never heard of anyone on his deathbed say “I wish I’d worked harder and longer. Then I would have been much happier!”

    1. Boo yeah! I’ve noticed the same thing, too. People rarely regret not working MORE, or not possessing more stuff. Weird how that happens, eh?

  12. I have friends that think like this. They’re constantly chasing every opportunity to kiss the boss’s ass, or to be “more visible” at work. They want raises, and to live the high life. These friends just went to Puerto Vallarta and stayed at the Four Seasons ($900/night). They chase higher paying jobs instead of learning efficiency and lifestyle optimization. They don’t want to save. They derive happiness from spending.

    They’re complete and utter fools. Some day when they finally reach a ripe old age, that money train will end. Incomes actually begin to decline after about age 50. Those cool tech companies don’t hire old people (age discrimination is real!). Companies want fast moving young thinkers, and the old guys don’t stand a chance.

    I almost feel sorry for them.

    1. Wow, $900/night hotel in Puerto Vallarta!?! We visit PV every other year with family, but we definitely aren’t spending $900 / night. That’s just incredible.

      It probably feels good to sleep in a bed contains within a room that costs $900 a night…at least, I HOPE it does. But man, what is that doing to their ability retire before your most productive years are behind you?

  13. Just let these suckers work their ass off to pay for shit material things and live their expensive lives if that’s what they want…just to be clear…IT IS NOT WHAT I WANT..I want to QUIT TODAY if possible and start LIVING

    1. I wanted to start living too – living on my terms. We made the choices necessary to make that happen, and we couldn’t be happier. 🙂

  14. I think rotating your bike tires sounds like a fabulous idea. And buying oats in bulk sounds more frugal than cheap… To each their own, I guess. Seems like someone needs to be spending more time focusing on their own early retirement than being hostile towards those that have. I love what you guys are doing and the fact you make no apologies for it. 😁

    If you happen to find yourself going south on I5 be sure to check out my old stomping grounds, Ashland OR. 👍🏼

    1. I think rotating your bike tires sounds perfectly legit – it means they wear more evenly, resulting in a safer biking experience. Tire rotations on cars work much the same way.

      We’ve already passed Ashland, OR unfortunately. Now, we are in the Columbia River Gorge area taking in some more waterfalls. 🙂

      1. I agree about the bike. I think I read it like that guy thought such a task was silly but it totally makes sense.

        Bummed you passed up Ashland. Its been over 15 years and I keep saying I’ll make it back one day. Well, there’s plenty more to see on your drive up North. You’re in wine country!! Not sure if Vancouver is on your agenda but if so I hope to see pics!! I have never been and it’s on the short list for me. 🙂 Drive safe!!

  15. “I don’t mean “no more lattes at Starbucks cheap”. To work for 10 years and retire, you need to be “I rotate my bike tires so they last longer” cheap. You need to be “I buy a year’s supply of rolled oats when they go on sale” cheap. That’s basically what every one of these blogs boils down to.”

    Nope. You don’t need to do any of those things. You could instead earn a high income, and take the easier road to FIRE. There is more than one way to skin that cat.

    The larger point though, is that FIRE is a purchase like any other. You’re saving up to make one big purchase that is going to cost you a million or two. And like all other purchases you put it on your priority list. For example, my shopping list might look like this:

    Pay for my child’s college education
    Regular vacations abroad all through my working years
    A bigger house
    New cars

    For things that are more important to me than FIRE, I will spend on those. For things that are less important to me than FIRE, well I’d be a fool to blow my money on anything that wouldn’t make me as happy as FIRE would.

    1. Great analogy, Mrs. BITA. Early retirement IS a purchase, and we saved up a bunch of money to make that purchase. The difference between this purchase and so many others is…this one actually brings us genuine happiness. The others primarily don’t.

  16. Living in the lap of luxury is an art… is not so easy. Here are my 6 important characters to makeup for a relaxed-luxury living.

    Read More books, Walk More in open, Listen More Good Music (not on TV), Drink More Soup (add more Vegetables), Do Yoga More With Friends
    Enjoy Nature, Enjoy Others Point of View, Enjoy Others Actions, Enjoy Your Silence As An Answer For All. Listen To The Inaudible More..
    Increase Your Income In Every Way Possible, Invest and Compound The Max Portion Of Your Income Where You Can Leverage Your Investment.
    If You Cannot Leverage Your Asset, If Your Asset Doesn’t Increase In Value With Respect To Time, It Is Not An Asset….Come Out Of It Soon.
    Buy Term Insurance, Basic Health Insurance With Critical Illness Riders. Protect Your Investment With Appropriate Insurance & Statutory Means.
    Enjoy Boredom, Enjoy Silence, Enjoy Nature, Enjoy Listening To The Inaudible, Enjoy Others Reactions, Learn To Never Regret But To Learn.

    If We Induce The above 6 traits, we can enjoy a relaxed living and certainly it will be more happier and healthier luxury we all can afford

  17. Kind of amusing. It’s incredible how much the world has changed, and how much folks are attached to spending. We live quite well yet manage to spend a fraction of what most do, and save a good percentage of our income. The key was avoiding debt: once you do that, it’s much easier.

  18. So I couldn’t resist clicking on the link and reading a few of his other posts…I can see why the guy is no longer writing.

    His photography though! As you said, he has some beautiful stuff. But I’ll stick with getting my reading and gorgeous pics from you.

    Cheers to living your Dream!

    1. We’ll probably be out here traveling the U.S. in our Airstream in five years. Ten? We might move to international travel, but that depends on whether or not we still have our dogs with us. There’s no telling where the possibilities will lead in that time, but we’re excited to take the journey.

      Absolutely no kids. Neither my wife or I want kids, and the absence of kids is definitely helping to enable our ideal lifestyle.

  19. I haven’t had a budget of less than $75k/year since I was about 24. I don’t live super-frugal (IMO) yet was able to retire in my 40s. This guy is only looking at the spend side, not the earn side. It’s really a combination of the two that needs to be managed.

    1. Earnings definitely has a big impact. The more you make, the earlier you can retire…assuming that you save the majority of it, of course. 🙂

  20. You can lead the horse to the water…
    Some people just aren’t ready to wake up. Give him 10 years in a job he hates and he might change his tune.
    I agree with Brad. Earning more helps a lot.

  21. Not cheap, mindful spending. My paid of 2008 Camry gives me just as much value as a brand new 2017 Lexus would – okay, way more, because it’s paid off. But get gets me to A to B exactly the same way a Lexus would 😉 And no new clothes in 6 months just means I’m more appreciative of what I DO own.

    1. It definitely all comes down to what you value in life, and whether you realize/admit it or not. Most people just follow the social norms or parents expectations of what your education / entertainment / work / food / family should look like, and never really look deep enough to see if that’s actually making them happy. If you value hard work and titles and big salaries and bonuses, that’s great and I respect that! We need smarter CEOs to keep running the big businesses to keep our 501Ks growing! But if you value family time, hobbies, quiet time, volunteering, or anything else not related to working… then you should prioritize things that get you away from having to work! I think this guy needs to take some time to seriously examine his life and priorities.

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