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I don't know. The arithmetic is the same whether you're male or female, white or black.

For These Women, a FIRE That Burns Too Male and Too White
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/07/business/fire-women-retir...

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intercst
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I forgot to add. As usual, the comments to the article are the best part.

intercst
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Well, I’m a woman. I agree that the FIRE-sphere is bro-heavy, but I agree—who cares? Numbers-wise, it’s the same deal.

Otherwise, women do have some special considerations—generally we make less, generally we live longer, and kids may or may not be more of an issue. And we’re often tasked with taking care of elderly parents.

But the basic philosophy is “spend a lot less than you make and invest carefully,” IMHO.

I don’t really see the point of Lady-FIRE, or Black FIRE, or Gay FIRE or whatever. Everyone has special circumstances of one sort or another that we need to address.
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I find it interesting the general underlying philosophy of the article is non-white males find the existing FIRE resources less useful because the approach taken by the majority white-male members doesn't take into account the experience or needs of non-white males.

Why is this surprising? I suspect each group has its own issues and concerns which aren't well understood by other groups. I suspect Christian German females will not intuitively understand the issues of homosexual Chinese males.
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I don’t really see the point of Lady-FIRE, or Black FIRE, or Gay FIRE or whatever. Everyone has special circumstances of one sort or another that we need to address.

As stated the issue is people need help addressing their specific issues, some of which may follow demographic lines. However, that's not the purpose of FIRE. FIRE is mostly about math, addressing each individual's specific needs is well beyond the FIRE community.
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FIRE is mostly about math, addressing each individual's specific needs is well beyond the FIRE community.

Well, yeah, that was my point.

I mean, the lady that has to take care of her ‘fro—that’s not a FIRE issue, that’s a “hey, I need ideas for doing my ‘fro cheaper.”

I’m not convinced that I need a whole blog devoted to Lady-FIRE. I’m just a lady, who wants to FIRE. A share of an index fund costs the same for a dude or for me. The 4% rule works the same for a dude or for me. The dude may have longer life spans in his family, so we may have the same concerns about outliving our money. The dude doesn’t have to worry about the cost of tampons, but I can find info on saving $$ there lots of places.

I read the forums at Early Retirement Extreme. It’s bro-ish and has gotten a little weird re discussions of polyamory, but it’s still useful and/or motivating. (Not the polyamory part....). Then again, I like the energy and perspective men bring to things and don’t get turned off by raunchy comments and stuff. I know some women are, so in that sense I guess that’s why a Lady-FIRE blog might work. But for me—meh.
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You know.... I was just thinking that the FIRE movement was actually largely started by women—often homemaker types—and then sort of appropriated by men along the way.

I’m think about Vickie Robin and Joe Dominguez, writing YMOYL in 1992. Their message: think hard about what you want, be frugal, invest carefully and you can quit your job if you want.

“Voluntary Simplicity” came out in 1981. “Downshifting” came out in the late 90’s, both of which suggested living on less,with less (none?) emphasis on the investment side. “The Tightwad Gazette” came out in the 90’s—“you, too, can stay home with the kids and have a house and a barn if you live very frugally.” No real emphasis on what they did with the money they saved, but still, the basics were there. Elaine Somebody wrote a simplicity book that was hot for a whole...

The point is,the antecedents for FIRE have been around for a long time, and the tech bros adopted the parts that worked
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MissEdithKeeler writes,

I’m think about Vickie Robin and Joe Dominguez, writing YMOYL in 1992. Their message: think hard about what you want, be frugal, invest carefully and you can quit your job if you want.

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The investing advice in YMOYL was terrible (i.e., buy 30-year Treasuries and live off the then 7% coupon with no adjustment or accommodation for inflation.

No amount of washing and reusing of wax paper and tin foil can make up for that.

http://www.retireearlyhomepage.com/rebooks.html

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intercst
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The investing advice in YMOYL was terrible (i.e., buy 30-year Treasuries and live off the then 7% coupon with no adjustment or accommodation for inflation.

Anyone that bought a 30 year Treasury for 7% is probably laughing all the way to the bank. Especially if they sold it in the beginning of 2017.

Andy
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buynholdisdead writes,

Anyone that bought a 30 year Treasury for 7% is probably laughing all the way to the bank. Especially if they sold it in the beginning of 2017.

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Great idea, except Joe Dominguez bought his 30-year Treasuries in 1969 and got pounded by the high rates of inflation in the late 70's and early 1980's. By the time he died in 1997, inflation had degraded the spending power of the 7% coupon by more than 75%, turning the $7,000/yr from a $100,000 bond into an inflation-adjusted $1,580/yr.

Arithmetic is funny that way.

intercst
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The investing advice in YMOYL was terrible (i.e., buy 30-year Treasuries and live off the then 7% coupon with no adjustment or accommodation for inflation.


Sure. But my point is that they were at least talking about early retirement/ dropping out of the rat race back then. And then it was later refined by others.

(My grandfather’s whole investing strategy was based on treasuries back when they were getting 6-7%. It worked okay for him. He was never a high earner, but never a spender, either).
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FIRE is mostly about math, addressing each individual's specific needs is well beyond the FIRE community.

Well, yeah, that was my point.

We're in violent agreement. :-)
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Here's the part of the article that got me:

Tanja Hester, 39, is the author of “Work Optional,” and could be considered the matriarch of the women’s FIRE movement.

I'm delighted that they are focusing on issues in a way that they find more appealing. However, I am sure that there are many women who would be better suited to the matriarch thing. Laura Ingalls Wilder comes to mind. In one the essays she wrote before publishing the Little House books, she described how to make a living on a 5-acre (I think, maybe 10) farm. It involved making butter and selling eggs, and how the man of the family might be off doing a bunch more work or unable to work at all, but a woman could do this and feed a family. I suppose that's not exactly FIRE. But then again in those days, it probably was a whole lot less work than some of the back-breaking stuff the women retired from.

More recently, there have been many books and blogs by women about Financial Independence. So ... yeah, glad they're working on it. The story is a little silly, though.

ThyPeace, and then there are all the women here, who have been working toward it since many of those women were in high school.


p.s. Polyamory is often a way to whitewash plain old ordinary infidelity. And even when there is an ethical attempt to make it work, I have never yet seen a situation where it lasted for more than a few years. It appears to me to be inherently unstable. Sadly, I know that from both observation and direct experience. And paid for the knowledge.
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Polyamory. AFAIK, I've never heard the term, but I've read a lot, and have come across the concept. Robert Heinlein wrote about polyamorous relationships for all his protagonists.

Anyway, I understood the term from context of this thread, but decided to Google it.

TMF has amused me, ... again.

🙂
ralph
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It seems to me that a lot of the distinctions the article tries to make are more about LBYM (one component of FIRE strategies) than about FIRE. And LBYM is different for everyone because it is about finding personal value.
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The article closes with “I think the real heart of the FIRE movement is about strategically maximizing your limited time on the planet so that you can do the things you find meaningful,” she says. “You don’t have to be a filthy rich Silicon Valley guy to take a hard look at how you spend your money and make sure that it aligns with the kind of life you want to live.” I don't see any gender/color/religion/different-ableness/whatever in that summary.
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