Why are so many ERErs academics?

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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Post by secretwealth »

I've been wanting to post this for a while.
Jacob got out of the academia game. I was an academic. DutchGirl, EREinAcademe, and I think some others are in academia. A lot of others seem to be in academia or very close to it in terms of sensibility and world view.
Is this selection bias on my part or is there a common thread between the two?

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Post by JohnnyH »

Perhaps a poll is in order?
my highest degree: BS

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Post by JasonR »

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Post by jacob »

I thought "everybody" was a $100k+ software-uh-something? 8-)
I think it's part selection (the way I write can be quite academeese) and part the field itself.
It would be interesting to do some surveys of ERE vs MMM since we have fairly different writing styles.
How should such a survey be structured? I can't make one with 1000+ vocations.

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Post by JohnnyH »

@Jacob: you could grab the categories from an insurance quote website.
... Now that I think about it a lot of lawyers here too.
I work with/write software, sure wish I made 100k tho... But then most of the gains would likely go to housing myself in SF.

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Post by secretwealth »

Just a few groups:


Engineering/IT (I can hear howls of complaints already--to me they're close enough)


I know you could parse groups in a lot of ways, but I really think research of all types (physics, medicine, literature, pottery) attracts a very specific, detail-oriented, curious, non-practical, idealistic personality. Just the sort of personality who quickly gets turned off by the nastiness of academia and looks for an escape.

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Post by jennypenny »

Don't forget medicine (also well represented here).
You'll also need a category (communications?) that includes PR, writing, and editing. I'd separate out arts and entertainment from media/pr/writing, but I think there are only 3 of us here so I guess it doesn't really matter :)

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Post by Dragline »

Academics like theories and ERE is written more to explain in terms of theory than to provide a step-by-step program. See YMOYL for that sort of thing.
And frankly, ERE is written at a college level in terms of vocabulary and grammar, which is not easy to digest for the average person, who probably does not want to read a book at all.

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Post by JohnnyH »

Perhaps a survey that includes occupation, education, salary and location?... Then we can googlemap it, make charts and other fun stuff.

ASL for ERE nerds.

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Post by dragoncar »

I don't know how I missed the entire sex worker part of that thread.
Here is the list of careers for INTJs (http://www.personalitypage.com/INTJ_car.html):


Professors and Teachers

Medical Doctors / Dentists

Corporate Strategists and Organization Builders

Business Administrators / Managers

Military Leaders

Lawyers / Attorneys


Computer Programmers or Systems Analysts

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Post by C40 »

At the Chicago meetup when we went around saying what we had studied. I remember it as being something like this:
- Mechanical engineer

- Mechanical engineer

- Mechanical engineer

- Physicist

- Mechanical engineer

- Mechanical engineer's girlfriend

- Something else

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Post by Spartan_Warrior »

Don't forget us lowly government drones. I know there are a couple other public servants around here. Although my job would fit in the writing/editing/PR category too. Formerly it was IT.
Also, I agree that Jacob's writing appeals to a more academic mindset. It's written more or less like a philosophy text--which it is, especially compared to the self-help style of most personal finance material.

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Post by lilacorchid »

I'm an IT drone, but I was formally trained as an electrical technologist.

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Post by secretwealth »

I think Jacob's writing definitely does appeal to both academics and engineers (although there's far more overlap than not between those two groups), so I guess it isn't too surprising that the ERE crowd would be overrepresented by these two groups.

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Post by BeyondtheWrap »

I believe Jacob has also mentioned in the past how in grad school one learns how to teach oneself anything, and being an autodidact fits quite nicely into the self-reliance/DIY/Renaissance Man ideal.

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Post by Chad »

The more interesting question is; are there any non-college educated or non-white collar on here? I don't think there is a huge difference between a lawyer, engineer, scientist, teacher, IT, management, etc. All are used to finding solutions to problems through research to a greater or lessor degree, and research is needed to find ERE.
Thinking a little outside of the norm and understanding there could be other options, even if you don't know what they are yet, is probably the biggest requirement for being here.
This is not a trait I find in my relatives and friends who go with more physical professions. They tend to be able to problem solve in physical space, but are not very good at problem solving a philisophical/thought problem, such as money.

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Post by Freedom_2018 »

Also includes reformed MBA types.

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Post by jzt83 »

I think 'left-brain' people are attracted to ERE. It seems people who take things more literally and less emotionally are better equipped to make the so-called sacrifices needed to save a larger portion of their income. People who are more 'emotional', for a lack of a better term, are more likely to see the sacrifices as torturous.
Also, I suspect the academic bent stems from people who are able to project themselves well into the future and prepare for a better future by doing certain things now to secure it. Success in academia requires perseverance in the face of great stress.
Furthermore, XXTJ's (of whom are the majority here) tend to enjoy setting specific goals and keeping track of progress in an almost OCD fashion. Once a goal is set, XXTJ's tend to stick with it really well to the point that the process of achieving the goal in itself is enjoyable no matter how difficult or painful it is to work towards it.

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Post by Meliora »

"Once a goal is set, XXTJ's tend to stick with it really well to the point that the process of achieving the goal in itself is enjoyable no matter how difficult or painful it is to work towards it." (jzt83)
I'd even go as far as to say: achieving the goal is especially enjoyable when it is difficult and/ or painful. More rewarding in a way. But perhaps I'm too much of a masochist anyway :P

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Post by northman »

I did 1.5 years in one university, before dropping out.
Then worked one year before I started a four year stint at antother one, before dropping out. Social Economis
Now I have started at another school..this time Business.
First one was a drag.. the second one, I got burned out working a full time job offshore at the same time. Never got time to releax and consentrate on the matter. Atleast I hope that was the reason, because the grades where really poor, compared to what I felt I knew.
This time, Im working 50%, and studying 100%, just so I can get that degree, finding a stimulating job in the future. In the past year my job has be so soul draning I figured its better to find something else that will atleast challange me mentally while building up my savings. ( Though the opportunity cost of gooing to school now is very high.. and realisticly only recoverable if I get a High-mid level posistion, everything else would be a step down!)
I`m somewhat frightend since both my former "tries", have ended in poorer grades than I felt I should have recived, and kind of dented my mental confidence.. The thought is, "maybe its just me who really is stupid.. or maybe just really terrible at exams."

But clearly.. I must be in the 99.9 percentile.. after all, Im reading ERE ;)
So, not all here have academic careers... I`m just a lowly menial worker.. feeling trapped in stupidity.

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