No. of Recommendations: 19
I don't know about hate but some in the RE crowd don't always tell the whole story and/or were extremely lucky in the manner that they were able to FIRE RE. Mr. Money Mustache for example claims to have "retired" at age 30 when in reality, he continued to work various adhoc jobs. He didn't solely live off of his investment earnings. He also has rentals and those certainly require work.

Painting a false picture for others is misleading and I am not a fan of suggesting that your average American, who lacks the discipline to even save 10% of their income, could follow such advice and be successful at it. Leaving the workforce is a serious decision and I wouldn't want anyone to do that under the assumption that it is easy to get back in when you have both been out for a while and are older and less desirable by an employer.


Lot to unpack there. One common issue the retirement police have is that if you "retire" and then earn money at some point in the future, then you are not really retired. I think that is way too granular. The "FI" in "FIRE" stands for "financially independent." I don't think it is crazy or unreasonable to suppose that after you become FI, you will then pursue hobbies or interests of your choosing that are personally rewarding, and that also happen to financially rewarding at times.

In MMM's case in particular, he claims (and I have no reason to doubt his claims) that he retired at age 30 with a paid off house and $800,000 in investments. He and his wife had careers in tech, so those numbers seem plausible. He claims he spends about $27,000 a year. That level of spending is easily covered by the 4% SWR rule. In other words, he is living off his investments. He just happens to have other income, like from the blog for example. If you enjoy writing a monthly blog post--and don't to unless you want to--and happen to make money doing it, is it really work?

I want to drill down on this statement:

Painting a false picture for others is misleading and I am not a fan of suggesting that your average American, who lacks the discipline to even save 10% of their income, could follow such advice and be successful at it.

I'm a fan of the fitness coach, Dan John. One of his mantras is "I said it was simple, not easy." If you can't save 10% of your income, then you can't FIRE. But if you save 25%, you knock a couple decades off your retirement date. It isn't misleading advice. It is just too hard for most people. And for some reason there is quite of a bit push back that type of advice. It is simple, not easy.
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