Do you really understand ERE?

Questions and comments
jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9955
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by jacob » Sat May 17, 2014 11:57 am

When I want or need to use goods and those aren't automatically provided to me, I define that as "work" (for the purpose of this discussion). If I have goods that go unused, I define that as "pollution".

At its most fundamental level, ERE is about designing one's world so as to eliminate work (the kind that is required to satisfy needs and wants, not the fun kind that done voluntarily) and pollution (wasted effort, wasted goods, ...). When things are optimally designed goods will flow through me with little effort and waste.

In this way ERE is very similar to permaculture. It's a way of setting up a system that requires little maintenance. Compare to a conventional garden where deficiencies must be supplied by the gardener (work) and pollution must be carried away by the gardener with more work.

Human living is more complicated than nature because while the latter seeks to evolve towards a steady state, human living is a dynamical process. Therefore ERE also contains a substantial focus on the future. Specifically contingencies and backups. So the difference between ERE and permaculture is that ERE pays more attention to the time component and the probability space.

This, I would say, is how I understand ERE. It has two parts: Eliminating work and pollution and considering human living as a dynamic time and probability dependent process.

Now, there are standard solutions or designs. The live close to the job, in a small space with less stuff, exercise to work (walk/bike), and earn money to invest for passive income all have the goal of reducing "work" and "pollution". Having interesting/useful hobbies and making connections and staying active all have the goal of considering the time/probability components.

There are other solutions as well.

Devil's Advocate
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:25 am

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by Devil's Advocate » Sat May 17, 2014 1:15 pm

Genius. That does cover everything your dojo offers. And no straitjackets, either.

Life/lifestyle/process designed/streamlined to eliminate unnecessary work and waste. Yes, says it all. And would apply to a money-less society as well. And yes, applies to any process, not just lifestyles.

. . . . . . .

A thought, though (triggered by your last blog post, on your post-"retirement" activities) : One level of waste you've stemmed, the level that assumes happiness/filfilment comes from goods and purchased experiences. What about the next level of waste : the one that assumes that happiness comes from constant stimulus, and therefore constant activity, constant engagement with the external? Might that suggest further streamlining from current ERE limits? The potential there is just as phenomenal.

The same definition would still apply.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3539
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun May 18, 2014 9:08 am

Jacob said: so as to eliminate work (the kind that is required to satisfy needs and wants, not the fun kind that done voluntarily)
Yes, but...in practice, some of us (me) may not find it so easy to differentiate between required work and work that is fun, interesting and/or fulfilling. Few examples from my real life:

1) Received $25 of income last year from gig playing the part of the villain in a children's musical film independently produced by a friend. Had a good deal of fun but probably only worked out to about $1/hr in wages.

2) Received impossible to quantify amount of barter/relationship credit with my DH this week by helping him pave the driveway on the house he owns (which I also live in) with bricks. Also, made visible improvement on my triceps.

3) Made the majority of my cash income over the last 12 years going to used book sales with one of my sisters, which is not very different from what I used to do for fun with her when we were kids (inclusive of the stop at the penny candy store on the way to the library-lol.)

4) Will go out to my vegetable patch this evening and harvest some salad greens for dinner.

5) Taking a 5 mile run this morning while listening to the Pixies.

Etc. etc. etc.

Note: Entirely possible we are exactly on the same page. I am trying to better understand, not quibble.

Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 470
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Mon May 19, 2014 2:17 am

Hi "7wannabe5", nothing stops you to continue with work that you like, even if you are Financial free, but as Jacob mentioned before, most of the people would stop working with what they do now if there were Financial free, and then search for more meaningful things to do (related to personal goals), but if you are one of the lucky persons that creates income from fun work, well done!

saving-10-years
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:37 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by saving-10-years » Mon May 19, 2014 2:33 am

When I want or need to use goods and those aren't automatically provided to me, I define that as "work" (for the purpose of this discussion). If I have goods that go unused, I define that as "pollution".
I like this approach, especially the part about pollution, but I am wondering about the 'automatically provided to me' part because of the recent discussion about benefits/state subsidy in a different thread and previous discussions here about lifestyles that are based around claiming benefits as chosen and substantial part of a strategy for living more cheaply. If you have arranged your life so that you qualify optimally for subsidy then would you meet this ERE criteria? There seems to be a very active sense in which those in ERE get to and maintain the 'no-need-to-work' part of RE.

One of my earlier reads in the Journal forum was from someone who was also on disability benefits but working and managing her affairs very actively to make impressive progress to being more FI within those bounds. I felt that she could have 'just' claimed benefits, but she was actively managing what she did around this. So your description (and I realise that its for the purpose of this discussion) feels a little too passive for my taste.

jennypenny
Posts: 5757
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by jennypenny » Mon May 19, 2014 6:40 am

saving-10-years wrote:
When I want or need to use goods and those aren't automatically provided to me, I define that as "work" (for the purpose of this discussion). If I have goods that go unused, I define that as "pollution".
I like this approach, especially the part about pollution, but I am wondering about the 'automatically provided to me' part because of the recent discussion about benefits/state subsidy in a different thread and previous discussions here about lifestyles that are based around claiming benefits as chosen and substantial part of a strategy for living more cheaply. If you have arranged your life so that you qualify optimally for subsidy then would you meet this ERE criteria? There seems to be a very active sense in which those in ERE get to and maintain the 'no-need-to-work' part of RE.
@S10Y--I took the 'automatic' part of that to mean the needs that are met by the ERE system we've designed for ourselves. We're all building systems that in one way or another provide us food and shelter, and help us meet our individual social needs. Beyond that the system might provide for travel, adventure, or a creative outlet depending on how we design it. Anything we want that isn't designed into the system would require 'work' to obtain.

I'm not sure what jacob meant, but that's how I read it.


* edited to include social needs as a basic need (friends, partners, or family)
Last edited by jennypenny on Mon May 19, 2014 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9955
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by jacob » Mon May 19, 2014 7:41 am

That's how I meant it.

saving-10-years
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:37 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by saving-10-years » Mon May 19, 2014 7:43 am

@JennyPenny - thanks. That works well for me and appreciate the response from Jacob to confirm.

Its a neat definition but I probably would still quibble with the word 'automatic' as I think that we adjust (creatively) as we go along and even within retirement and that word suggests that it does not take effort, reflect change or require a certain vigilence to stay on track. Definitely like the 'designed for ourselves' part of your explanation. :-)

User avatar
Dragline
Posts: 4450
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by Dragline » Mon May 19, 2014 7:55 am

Very succinct. Looks like wiki material to me.

jennypenny
Posts: 5757
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by jennypenny » Mon May 19, 2014 7:59 am

@S10Y--I suppose there is a lot of 'work' built into our days, but once it's habitual we stop viewing it as such. I never give a second thought to making coffee in the morning or brushing my teeth or showering. I complete those tasks without even realizing it sometimes (like the way you can arrive somewhere and not remember driving there).

Your ERE system will require more effort than brushing your teeth at first, but I still think most of it will become more like habit and less like work after a time. If you personalize the design enough to suit your skills and interests, most of the 'work' will become pleasurable.

Exercise is definitely 'work' when you first start out, but those that stick with it don't see it as such anymore. It becomes either a habit or a pleasure if they've chosen the type of exercise wisely. I see that and the ERE system the same way.

saving-10-years
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:37 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by saving-10-years » Mon May 19, 2014 8:07 am

@JennyPenny I suppose that because I am new to the ERE side of things I am still at the questioning every decision. It seems a long distant goal that this will be automatic and I am not sure that that is a desirable aim from where I am now. When I was in work _that_ was automatic. But not in a good way. I am enjoying the thinking about every little thing (having the time to think about it and question whether this or that is the right thing to do) so the word 'automatic' brings me out in a rash.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9955
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by jacob » Mon May 19, 2014 8:36 am

@s10y - If you want [parts of] your environment to be non-automatic because you want to provide some input, just set it up like that instead.

Examples,

1) You're FI but you still have to drive 10 miles to get groceries and you don't like the drive. That drive is work.
2) Same situation, but you enjoy the drive---perhaps on a bicycle. Not work. You might deliberately set it up (by not buying everything you need for a while) so you have to go regularly.
3) You don't like the shopping nor the driving. No-effort (permaculture) garden in backyard.
4) Ego-example. You want occasional radical change because you don't want to get complacent. Design for opportunities with non-permanent solutions.

Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 470
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Mon May 19, 2014 10:25 am

Interesting, this brings the work/life balance discussion in a new perspective :-)

saving-10-years
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:37 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by saving-10-years » Mon May 19, 2014 10:26 am

@Jacob. Thanks. Like those examples. I recognise that this lack of an automatic feel may well be because I was very late to become aware of ERE so we are still designing our ERE life. A process that I am currently loving. Not 'mature' ERE yet.

jennypenny
Posts: 5757
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by jennypenny » Mon May 19, 2014 11:21 am

@S10Y--Don't rush through the process, enjoy it. Designing and building your ERE 'house' is almost as much fun as living in it.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3539
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue May 20, 2014 5:49 am

Hank said: Hi "7wannabe5", nothing stops you to continue with work that you like, even if you are Financial free, but as Jacob mentioned before, most of the people would stop working with what they do now if there were Financial free, and then search for more meaningful things to do (related to personal goals), but if you are one of the lucky persons that creates income from fun work, well done!
I guess my belief is that although I don't agree that most people can do a "$100 Start-up" and generate a $40,000/year self-employed income doing something they enjoy, I don't think it is all that difficult to generate $8000/year of self-employed income doing something(s) you enjoy. This might be due in part to the fact that being a bone-deep generalist, I believe that anything can be fun if you do it just for a little while and nothing is fun if you have to do it all the time.

Of course, it is also true that "I" do not want to acquire and work at a specialized 9-5 job even for 5 years in order to save enough money to live on interest. So....huge grain of salt. Carry on with sensible plans. etc. etc.

User avatar
anomie
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: midwest, usa

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by anomie » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:15 pm

ERE is a shift from consumer dependency on the world and its products to becoming the ultimate in self-sufficiency.

steveo73
Posts: 1125
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by steveo73 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:38 am

I can't state that I understand ERE or that I am really participating in ERE because ERE is a concept that Jacob has come up with plus I'm 41 and I doubt I will be ready to retire until I am 50. My viewpoint might be different to Jacobs and lots of people here.

In stating that I view ERE and this general field as being in the same sphere as creating a philosophy of life with a goal of being happy ala the stoics or Epicurus.

I view this lifestyle as basically one part of Epicurus components that lead to happiness. To me these are:-

1. Being financially free (ERE etc).
2. Having good friends.
3. Having an analyzed life.

Scrubby
Posts: 153
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:46 pm

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by Scrubby » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:39 am

I think ERE is different things to different people, and one answer isn't necessarily more correct than the other. To me it's an important part in the pursuit of ultimate freedom.

User avatar
tylerrr
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:32 am
Location: Boston
Contact:

Re: Do you really understand ERE?

Post by tylerrr » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:16 pm

jacob wrote:
Now, there are standard solutions or designs. The live close to the job, in a small space with less stuff, exercise to work (walk/bike), and earn money to invest for passive income all have the goal of reducing "work" and "pollution". Having interesting/useful hobbies and making connections and staying active all have the goal of considering the time/probability components.

There are other solutions as well.
But in reality, when we invest for passive income, aren't we increasing pollution by investing in companies that pollute?

Post Reply