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The kind of accumulator of wealth is a combination of your income and your spending habits. You can bring in tons of income, spend it like there's no tomorrow, and be just as much a UAW as someone whose income is beneath the poverty line. In the same way anyone who makes a surplus beyond their basic needs can become a PAW through LBYM, although obviously increasing your M makes it easier. After all, aren't we talking about the percentage of your income that you save being important for FIRE instead of the actual dollar amount you need to save?

Furthermore, being a UAW, AAW or a PAW does not even affect whether you can retire or not, it just affects whether or not you will have a lifestyle change forced upon you when you do retire ot whether you will retain options at that time. UAWs, especially those that have been big spenders as opposed to those who have been unfortunate, face a huge adjustment to their new income level when they find no one will hire them anymore. PAWs on the other hand have the options of increasing, decreasing of continuing their lifestyle at retirement and can furthermore choose when to retire.

UAW, AAW, and PAW then are a continuum of how the choices made among present options affects the number of options that will be available in the future. You reap what you sow: make bad choices now, you'll have few options later; make good choices now, you'll have lots of options later, FIRE among them.

- Joe
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