FI or bust; FBeyer.

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just
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by just » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:40 am

OK, I've only seen the article about you in Berlingske a couple of years ago, and then the recent one in Penge & Privatøkonomi. Apart from that I've only stumbled upon a couple of blogs (frinans.dk, moneymow.com, firedk.com).

Your arguments for why it's difficult to target FIRE people specifically makes sense - that's reassuring. In fact, as I've looked into it in more detail, the tax perspectives for FIRE in Denmark are better than I initially thought, given that you still have personfradrag (personal deduction) when you're not working, and there's "only" 27% tax on the first 50,000DKK of stocks (and they're even talking about a "stock savings account" with only 17% tax - though it's initially limited to 50,000DKK and it's "lagerbeskattet").

I didn't know you there was a work requirement for folkepension, but a cursory Google search tells me that it's only required if you've been out of Denmark for a long time(?).

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by prognastat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:52 am

It would require some highly specific laws, like something where they check W-2(or local equivalent) income and investment income.

They would specifically have to implement a regressive tax on capital gains(where you pay a higher % for lower capital gains) when you have limited to no W-2 income. I don't see anything like that getting implemented. I don't think there are enough of us to warrant the time and effort to implement such a specific way of taxation and to also track it.
Last edited by prognastat on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:29 pm

jacob wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:00 am
What I do not think/like is the idea that "we should all keep this [FIRE] our little secret" so that the mean politicians don't come after our precious monies. Gollum, Gollum! There's still a lot of people who have never heard of these ideas but would very much like to do so.
Is this really how I come across to you? Consider me surprised! I must be miscommunicating again 'cause personally I thought that -among other things- I was actively working on a book I felt would help people move closer to the ideas and ideals of ERE rather than 'just' FI.
Comparing me to Gollum because I don't trust our politicians not to actively try to fuck us over is stooping rather low and frankly rather insulting. Of course, you don't see the work I do to promote ERE anywhere else than on facebook… :roll:

You're right that on paper we're not a threat/covered by more powerful interest groups, but that still won't mean someone with a stick up their ass won't try to do something stupid some day. We can see how SKAT is trying to cover several billions in losses by focusing more on small companies and private people rather than the big corporations. Reactions are not as rational as we'd like.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:53 pm

@FBeyer - My apologies. I've probably been preloaded/triggered seeing some express those Gollum sentiments rather strongly in the Danish facebook groups after the recent media exposure: That we should stop talking to journalists about FIRE because some politicians might create some laws to put an end to it if they catch wind of our "scheme".

I'm aware of the political risk (the same problem with political stupidity exists wrt immigration laws and everything else) but I think the risk is worth it given that there are surely individuals out there who can really benefit from learning about it but who otherwise never would have heard about it (because they didn't know where to go and look). Politically speaking it could also lead to good things. Not every politician is evil and/or incompetent.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by thedollar » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:33 pm

@Jacob Your points are very valid indeed, but I still disagree with some of your conclusions at least for Denmark.

Relevance: Current macro economic situation has led to near bottleneck unemployment levels. Politicians are looking for ways to increase the workforce - and they aren't picky. Just last week media reported that around 300,000 people were 'not in the system', meaning not in the workforce or on social benefits (this is us, EREers), and that the government was looking into this confusing situation (lol) in connection with ways to increase the workforce. So I think FBeyer's point is extremely relevant.

ERE won't be affected by political initiatives: To some extend correct - EREers would take less of an impact - but imagine if they made a rule that only people on benefits or in the workforce would be covered by current public health insurance. This would be a huuuge hurdle for ERE in a country where there is no real industry for true private health insurance.

ERE can't be targeted exclusively: Correct but... politicians (and democracy) consistently impose laws that are bad for all kind of minorities. I think it's pretty plausible that such laws could be passed.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:58 pm

So the government has discovered the existence of 300000 housewives/husbands... and also the ERErs.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by prognastat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:10 pm

or working under the table which is probably a larger percentage than the FIRE/ERE people are of that count...

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:07 am

thedollar wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:33 pm
... Just last week media reported that around 300,000 people were 'not in the system', meaning not in the workforce or on social benefits ...

...but imagine if they made a rule that only people on benefits or in the workforce would be covered by current public health insurance...
They 'found' only 160,000 people. But apparently that small number of people was enough to warrant attention; that is how fascist things have gotten. Just how bad it's going to be is one thing, but like you: I don't trust 'them' not to do something stupid about it.

There are good and there are bad politicians, but like public discussions, classrooms, and cooperation in general, it takes an order of magnitude more work to undo shit than it does to produce it. And as Jacob alluded to above, the rokoko post (satirical news site) hit the problem right on the head, with barely any satire to it. Both political wings can find reasons to dislike 'us'.

I'm saved in many regards by my need to work and produce something, I will surely start a business of some kind in a few years and supplement a not-quite-4-percent portfolio with that. I can't help it, I need to work, but for those who are really truly in need of getting out competely I fear that there could not only be political pressure to make life difficult, but also stronger social pressure.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Dunkelheit » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:58 am

OT: I've just installed Offworld Trading Company. Any advice? (mode total newbie ON).

Hope that you beat me up someday, dude! ;)

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:30 pm

Take this link to the Offworld Trading Company discord server, you will need it. :D
https://discord.gg/0pQ0rgV4DDFxO2rD

There are plenty of people there who will be able to help you much better than I currently can. The top players are not only crazy good, they're also crazy helpful.

Dunkelheit
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Dunkelheit » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 pm

FBeyer wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:30 pm
Take this link to the Offworld Trading Company discord server, you will need it. :D
https://discord.gg/0pQ0rgV4DDFxO2rD

There are plenty of people there who will be able to help you much better than I currently can. The top players are not only crazy good, they're also crazy helpful.
Thanks! I will join the community and hopefully begin learning how to play soon :oops:

Any news about the job search? Are you looking for a data scientist position?

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:07 pm

If you think of ERE as a way to escape your job rather than running towards something on your ERE journey, you will suffer once you do retire. You see, there is one little tiny, but rather important thing, your job has in common with The Good Life as FI.

Viktor K commented on this:
Viktor K wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:18 am
...
However! Work-life balance is nice to have, but you have to do something with the “life” half of it...
Incidentally liberty started a topic on Oct. 14 2018 about a similar kind of problem.

:::The Dream:::
What will I do with my day?
Inconspicuous, right? It even looks a bit like Benjamin Franklin's famous quote. An innocent question on the surface, a devil in the deep if you ask me.

For those who are still working like their hair was on fire, this question probably signals pure bliss. The mere thought of waking up in the morning and asking that hallowed question sweeps aside all other considerations. Man... the freedom that entails! And after all, freedom was the entire reason you joined ranks with the FI movement right? If you're already wondering how the fuck a pretentious douche on an internet forum for extreme cheap skates could potentially problematize the thing so many of us yearn for, then I don't blame you.

I've had ample time to experience this myself. I was on sick leave from Dec. 2016 until July 2018. That's a year and a half of thinking time, experiencing what it's like to putter about at home with no outside stucture to your days other than what you demand of yourself and with plenty of money coming in. In some regards it felt very much like being FI.

And with that intro we begin today's admonition, starting with introducing willpower management.

:::Willpower:::

Willpower works like a muscle. You exercise it and it gets stronger. If you use it too much you'll fatigue and won't be able to function normally while you recover. If you let it atrophy, those first times you do need to use it will damn well near kill you (and in the long run, atrophied willpower will sap your life of quality). On the surface that seems simple enough, but my experience tell me that when you're at home with all the time in the world, willpower can easily become the primary resource you have to manage on a daily basis. Not time, not money; willpower. If you don't set boundaries around your daily doing you will end up expending willpower on a large amount of completely trivial stuff throughout the day.

Your daily allotment of willpower drains whenever you have to make a decision. Any decision! As time goes on, your ability to think long-term gets ground down and you become more and more myopic in your decisions. Incidentally, anything that confuses the senses make the toll on your willpower even worse, that is why Abercrombie & Fitch stores are badly lit, heavily perfumed, and plays f******* loud music.

The downward spiral goes like this:
What will I do with my day? What should I wear? What's for breakfast? What shall I read? Where do I want to take a stroll today? What's for supper? Oh right, I have to go shopping. I'd better make a shopping list. When should I schedule exercise today? What do I feel like doing for exercise today, how many sets/reps? How long should I meditate for? Does someone have time to go fishing? I wonder what's on Netflix. I'll get another cup of cofffe. Man lounging on the sofa is amazing. I wonder if TopHatFox has started 7 more topics in the Lifestyle section; I'll check it out...
A clatter of keys and rustling of clothes at the front door.
"Honey, I'm home."
Suddenly the whole day has gone by, and I've still got stubble on my chin.

As an isolated occurence losing a single day to loafing about isn't bad but, if there is nothing that lights a fire under your ass every morning, this will probably happen more and more often. And slowly, but inexorably, you slide towards a life of idling about.
Here lies FBeyer; he idled a lot.
Now, the point I'm slowly getting at isn't one of productivity, but of purpose and of proper use of willpower. I'm not going to delve into the findings of Positive Psychology to highlight what really makes people happy in the long run (it turns out hardship is actually one of the bigger keys to that picture) but to help you overcome feelings of inadequacy or wasted life once you realize that you're not doing with your life what you intended to do.

:::It's not a long holiday, it's your life now:::
I'll iterate in case the headline wasn't sufficient: You're not on a holiday, this is actually what you life looks like now. You're managing other kinds of resources, you've got other options, and you should expect other results from your days when evening rolls around and you get to look back and what you've done this particular day.

Another thing happens: you find yourself with responsibilities you never really had before and so you not only have to balance out your expenditure of willpower, you also have to prioritize like you'd normally have to do in the workplace, or your life will once again be swallowed up by pseudo important shit that doesn't actually contribute to what you truly wanted out of life.

When you become FI, you have to enact a strict regime of action that ensures that whatever purpose you've chosen for yourself will have set times, set results, and set ways of getting done, or someone else will yet again find the time to take that time from you.

You will need a plan, habits, schedules, and appointments *with yourself* to make certain your life doesn't slip you by. You do not expend willpower when you know when to do what. You do not expend willpower getting closer to your current ideals when there is structure in place to make certain it happens, and that will leave you with the willpower necessary to prioritize properly once outside forces impede on your time.

Those dreaded cubicle jobs provide structure to an almost suffocating level, and like it or not, you will have to enact something less crass, but equally efficient, if you want to make certain you neither wear yourself out with inane decisions, or end up misliving like you would have done in the cubicle.

Don't wake up and ask yourself what good you should do today, write that shit down before you even go to bed! And write down when and where you're going to do it! Do it even if you intend to write: Netflix, 9 AM to 9 PM. You'll know at the end of the day that lounging was exactly what you intended to do.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by theanimal » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:01 pm

FBeyer wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:07 pm
I wonder if TopHatFox has started 7 more topics in the Lifestyle section; I'll check it out...
:lol:

Great post. This is a real concern that is rarely talked about. I used to be one of the people who judged others for not being able to find things to do without formal work. No more. I didn't do much for formal work from October 2016 to May of 2018. I did some things I was proud of during that time but I struggled with the day to day, establishing a structure and feeling like I found success. There were days that and weeks that were much better than others, where I was able to feel productive through activities like reading, writing, exercising and socializing. Other times the same actions wouldn't produce any feelings of accomplishment. Some type of engagement in a long term project or hobby is essential in my opinion. Some people may be able to feel content being idle. But I found at least for myself (and I imagine many here) that I feel better accomplishing something, whatever that may be.

+1 to the scheduling. That is HUGE. It is far too easy to lose the day on the interwebs hopping from link to link, ending the day not feeling content or accomplished.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:43 pm

1) Would add that time (a schedule) is not the only way to [self-]impose the needed structure.

2) Another way is space. For example, some bloggers(*) have built sheds or rented office spaces which they go to in order to avoid distractions and do things.

(*) I don't like how bloggers is too often synonymous with the ones setting an example...

3) A third way is systems-based. I try to allocate mental energy as efficiently as possible, that is, send it where it's spent most effectively based on my current interests rather than what time of the day it is or which room I'm in. WRT this approach this can often feel like I'm not getting anything done because I'm very much load-balancing my mental energies as I'm engaged in several different things ... but looking back this approach actually gets a lot of things done. It's just not done on schedule and neither is it done in a particular room.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by theanimal » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:56 pm

Jacob- can you elaborate on 3? I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying you focus on what you're interested in at the moment and aren't concerned with the source? Like say you're interested in becoming better at chess and you don't care whether you're watching a video, engaging in a match,reading an article..etc as long as its tangentially related? Not sure I'm on the right track with this thought process.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by jacob » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:04 pm

Assume there's a web of goals that requires some actions to be taken. I allocate resources based on what part of that goal is currently most interesting or maybe I should say engaging to me to me rather than what my schedule says or whether I'm in front of my computer or my workbench. IOW, if one of my goals is to respond to an email, I think it's more efficiently done when I'm inspired to do so than when the time is between 8:00 and 9:00 on even days or when I'm wearing my "email response team" hat.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:25 pm

+1 on the time allocation struggle. I agree this is a difficult and under discussed issue. I'm not FI but I approximate the lifestyle by working very little. Part of my struggle is that I still do have to work and I have several side gigs and "jobs" I do for free for friends. Most of my struggle is properly allocating the abundant amount of free time I have. What Jacob said is very wise, it's really best to do things when you feel like them. The problem is I have things I try to do every or most days (practice music) and I don't always feel like doing them, but I get mad at myself when I don't do them. I also have more interests than I have time. However, I've learned it's really better to wait for nice days to garden and to clean on days when I don't feel like thinking very hard. I achieved my currently low work load in July 2017 and the longer I've been free the more I've learned to keep a flexible schedule and try to avoid time pitfalls, which for me are reading, posting on this forum and pacing around my house thinking about some obscure topic.

I have another problem which is perhaps only pertains to me, and if that's the case, forgive me FBeyer for kidnapping your journal. I could just not care about improving as a musician and stop doing free studio work for my friends. This would basically free up all of my time and allow me to either swap my current job for a much easier or pursue FI more quickly. I could even retain my current gig (1 night/ week). Thus my life would be easier and I would have a true abundance of time. But if I did this, I would lose most of the meaning in my life and end up with too little to do in a day. So I keep practicing and keep working a job I dislike both with the hopes to open a small recording studio and gain financial independence 10-15 years from now.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by boltzmannsbrain » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:05 am

Happy to hear that everything is going well, in the grand scheme of things.

That FB group is getting chaotic, but it's great that more people are getting exposed to FIRE.

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by LiquidSapphire » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:27 pm

FBeyer wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:07 pm
Wow I relate to this so much and agree 100%.

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