Vice's Take on ERE!

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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stand@desk
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Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by stand@desk » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:41 pm

Vice looks at FIRE! Comment away folks!

"Movement is all about hoarding cash and living off the dividends"

"Because what if you have a heart attack in 6 months?"

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prognastat
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:17 pm

So person who has little actual interest in FIRE tries it for a month and because he never had a change of mind about preferring to retire/be fi rather than live it up so he ended up not liking it.

Meanwhile he did prove that it was possible to do this on an income that isn't as high as many of the bloggers prove considering he got to a 50% savings rate and it sounds like he still could have increased that if he really wanted to. I mean he didn't even change his transport/housing situation which is a fairly big target for most.

As for him not feeling like he had anything he could do it doesn't really sound like he tried to cultivate any hobbies that didn't have large ongoing costs and it sounds kind of sad that if not for going drinking that he has nothing to do with his friends, someone more reflective might have gained some insight from the latter about their friends/friendships.

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unemployable
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by unemployable » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:19 pm

Dude is coy on his housing situation. Apparently he lives in Zone 2, where flats are still well over 1000 quid/month (in all of Zone 1 nowadays they're north of 2000/month) so with less than 3000/month income I presume he has a bunch of roommates.

I do believe you have to buy into the philosophy, and if you're trying this weird FIRE thing for a whole month or two but are just trying to be consumerist in the cheapest way possible you've simply moved from Wheaton level 1 to 2 at best, and still don't grok the people at level 5 or 6.

The "what if I have a heart attack in six months" point was actually why I quit my job in the first place.

Finally, this guy...
Although he has an anti-consumerist mindset, Whiter says his frugality was born from childhood experience. His parents bought the biggest house they could afford using the biggest mortgage they could afford, but when a recession hit in the early-1980s they had to drastically cut their spending to make ends meet. How quickly their comfortable life became precarious stayed with Whiter, and he has lived frugally throughout his adult life. Now, at 48, he has been financially independent—meaning he never has to work again—for five years.
...had basically the same experience that guided me through my career, such as it was. Looking back, I was ERE all along.

Seppia
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by Seppia » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:53 am

“We spend one Saturday getting drunk by downloading some pub and bar apps that give you a free pint just for signing up, while the Dusk app also gives you a free drink a day, but we found the bars it was available in were a bit shitty.”

What a fun life must this guy have to begin with.

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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by tonyedgecombe » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:48 am

unemployable wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:19 pm
Dude is coy on his housing situation. Apparently he lives in Zone 2, where flats are still well over 1000 quid/month (in all of Zone 1 nowadays they're north of 2000/month) so with less than 3000/month income I presume he has a bunch of roommates.
On a £34,000 salary he will have a take home wage of £2208 per month, assuming no student loans to pay. If he saves half of that then that leaves £1104. Given he has £377 disposable income that means his fixed costs must be £727 per month. I'm guessing he rents a room.

Edit: It seems he does have a student loan and takes home £2,000 per month, he must be living in a hovel.

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C40
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by C40 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:00 am

I find that Vice is only useful for learning about topics that you don't care about at all and where having a very basic or even wrong understanding of the subject covered is not a problem. It's for a 5 minute curiosity that might result, at most, in you saying "bro, did you know that there are people who....." to your stoned hipster friends that weekend.

That said... given that FIRE seems to be getting more and more popular and people are becoming aware of it without searching it out, there are now more people 'trying it out' -trying to dive in headfirst without having optimization skills - who then end up making stupid decisions (like instead of eating at their yuppie taco place, they go to Taco Bell, deciding only on the price scale of paying someone else to cook for you) and thinking FIRE is bad because of it. This is also happening with "Vanlife", which is ridiculously over-hyped on Youtube, Instagram, and even many of the TV car commercials now. People who wouldn't actually want to do it see it, think it's the cool/fun thing to do, and then try it out - even though they would never have thought to do this and won't particularly enjoy it. So.... the feelings of this guy trying it out will actually be accurate for some of those people.

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:42 pm

"It turns out if you're a total loser, half-assing something for 1 month won't solve it. Amazing!"

- Vice

P.S. Vice lost all cred ~10 years ago when they ran an article on how, whoops, drugs are actually bad.

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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by slsdly » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:44 am

With global warming triggering the collapse of entire ecosystems, and the constant barrage of other anxiety-inducing news, now does not seem a particularly prescient time to hinge your future on the continuing ability of the global economy to offer returns on your savings at its historic average—and even if it does, some people take issue with the maths behind FIRE.
I facepalmed here. Surely if you feel climate change will collapse entire ecosystems, now is the time to consume less? Not to save money, but, uhh, the world?

oldbeyond
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by oldbeyond » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:07 pm

I think you have to consider the "economics" of this type of journalism. Writing a put-down of a fringe movement is great for piquing your core readers interest ("who are these crazies?"), then you keep them reading with some anxiety ("do I have to completely change my life now!?"), followed by the reassurance that the crazies are in fact, crazy, and that the only sane and moral thing to do is keep calm and carry on ("yeah those bastards haven't thought about living long and do not understand the stock market! also global warming !!!1!1!!"). It turns out that the best you can do is keep up your tasteful, urban semi-alcoholism. All is well that ends well. The enraged crazies who read and share the article are just a bonus.

I think it's a great illustration of Wheaton-levels, though. Without skills, what else can you do but forgo the few pleasures you have in life (going out for drinks and food?). I think that line of thinking can influence more serious FIRE-acolytes, where the lifestyle to some extent becomes a study in sacrifice, because skills and systems that make life rich aren't put in place of the consumerist spending that gets discontinued.

I think the author isn't alone in having life consist of work and a few simple dopamine hits sprinkled throughout the week. In that sense, the article stumbles on something deeper.

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Tyler9000
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by Tyler9000 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:52 pm

I can't help but notice that in a relatively brief personal finance article of less than 2000 words, the author still managed to reference alcohol ("drunk", "drink", "bar", "pub", "beer", and "pint") a full ten times. I guess that works in Vice, but IMO it reads like an alcoholic discussing his struggle with a failed experiment at sustained impulse control. It strikes me as more of a statement about the addict's mindset than a believable critique of a sober alternative.

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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by Seppia » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:19 pm

Tyler9000 wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:52 pm
I can't help but notice that in a relatively brief personal finance article of less than 2000 words, the author still managed to reference alcohol ("drunk", "drink", "bar", "pub", "beer", and "pint") a full ten times. I guess that works in Vice, but IMO it reads like an alcoholic discussing his struggle with a failed experiment at sustained impulse control. It strikes me as more of a statement about the addict's mindset than a believable critique of a sober alternative.
Yup, I noticed it as well (my not very articulated comment above hinted at the same problem).
C40 wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:00 am
I find that Vice is only useful for learning about topics that you don't care about at all and where having a very basic or even wrong understanding of the subject covered is not a problem. It's for a 5 minute curiosity that might result, at most, in you saying "bro, did you know that there are people who....." to your stoned hipster friends that weekend.
Vice had a great run when they went on HBO, I don't remember exactly, but IIRC seasons 1/2/3 were excellent, then they had a major slump, and now they're doing better. Still worse than they used to, but some 30/40% of episodes are ok this season

Redo
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by Redo » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:04 pm

I'm having a hard time believing he's this stupid. I feel like he's only pretending to be this stupid so people don't try this and consume as much as possible, call me a conspiracy nutcase.

Salathor
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by Salathor » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:55 pm

This guy maybe should have tried Dave Ramsey first and worked up to it.

Edit: also, "...eating a Tesco meal deal for lunch (£3) [$4]. I know I should be preparing my own lunches to save an extra bit of cash, but the effort required to save an extra dollar a day doesn't quite cut it for me". $4 is enough for a person to survive on for an entire day, including a (cheap) beer/gin. If cutting your food budget by more than 2/3 doesn't quite cut it for him, perhaps he really would be better off doing something else.

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prognastat
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by prognastat » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:16 pm

Yeah when chances are he could make his own lunch for £1-£2 if he were to actually get ingredients and prep himself so he would be saving 2 to 3 dollar rather than 1. But that would also require thinking through what would be involved with making your own lunch rather than buying a pre-made one. I mean it's only a potential savings of up to $1095 a year. That's not even considering whether he has the same mindset surrounding breakfast and dinner.

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BlueNote
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Re: Vice's Take on ERE!

Post by BlueNote » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:30 pm

Vice seems to offer click bait journalism. The Journalism is paid for by using low quality journalists to write low quality click bait articles to sell advertising directly or indirectly. Not surprised that this article was written like someones high school writing project or some such thing. You get what you pay for.

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