3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Just a thought, but have you thought about supplementing your passive 3.25% portfolio income with something online/PT like teaching English to Chinese kids? Even $10-20/hr in many countries will go VERY far. @10 hours a week, that's $100-200/week, or $5,200-10,400/year.....instantly doubling your budget. I would LOVE to do this, but don't have the required bachelors degree. Even on the low end, $5,200/yr in income is the same as having an additional $160,000 invested earning 3.25% but provides you with MUCH more resilience in terms of diversification than more paper assets.

slowtraveler
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by slowtraveler »

2Birds1Stone has a good idea. $10/hr 100 hours a month is $1000. 500+1000=1500 total.

Live between Vietnam and Thailand for a while. 2-3 month visas or quite easy to get so you book a monthly stay somewhere for <200 total per month, get a one way plane and visa for <100/month average (use bestonwardticket for an onward ticket so you have flexibility on when to leave, you can eat out for <150/month (eating tasty Thai dishes and fruits, no juices, imported/Western foods, drinks, few deserts), rent a motorbike for <100/month including gas unless you travel far so you have somethijg fun to do (explore nature and nearby cities), 75/month for healthcare, and 75/month for dating so life is better.

This is 700/month in total expenses but life will be comfortable and you'll be saving over half your income. As you get more experienced at teaching and earn more per hour, you can increase expenses, savings, or decrease hours worked.

I recommend South Thailand and Central Vietnam-ie Krabbi and Da Nang.

Try to get a credit card bonus of 500usd from Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capitsl One Venture, Bank of America Premier, etc and use it to pay taxes to be eligible for the bonus so you don't have to pay for the expensive cross ocean flight.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

Unsure how this will work for me as someone who's not an American citizen, but I'll consider it. I've heard some of these teaching English places require one to be a native speaker--but then again, it might be ok if you're "white enough," you never know. The Krabbi/DaNang plan sounds good. For DaNang, need additional $200 per month for Trung Nguyen :lol:. Replace one meal with caphe sua da :lol: fond memories

slowtraveler
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by slowtraveler »

Weasel coffee is cheap at Big C, 3-5usd for a bag the size of a decent pineapple.

A warning though. Coffee f***ed me up in Vietnam. It is potent and delicious. I couldn't handle it. I'd be laying in bed with a headache near paralyzed from drinking 2 or 3 cups at home.

As you can see from the links below, South American passports like Brazil are actually best for Thailand as you get 90 days visa free* but you will need proof of yellow fever vaccines, I believe. Otherwise, you ideally get a multi entry visa from your home country, or a 30 day visa from most anywhere then do a 30 day extension for 1900baht (~60usd) within a week of the visa expiring if you don't have a visa exempt or e visa possibility with your passport.

Vietnam allows e-visas for most countries, don't do 30 day, do 90 day as it's the same price. There's a few companies doing them. You apply, they send an email, you print the email and wait for an hour or so upon arrival in Vietnam to get your official visa.

Flight between the countries were 60usd one way on my last trip.

Also, always check flights a few days before your next journey if travelling within the country, they are often the same price or nearly the same as bus tickets. Bus tickets from Chiang Mai to Rayong? 800 baht. Plane tickets? 800 baht if bought 2 days before, 1500 day of. 12+ hours in a bus gets painful.

* https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Thailand

** https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Vietnam

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

Well, as of yesterday I have officially been fired. I chose to get fired instead of resigning because it came with slightly better severance - can pay for 6 months living expenses in country of origin and in the end I decided that's nothing to scoff at. I have now been fired from my last two jobs. Regardless of my goals (to stop working) and attitude towards work (dislike), it feels bad. There is definitely a connection for me there, between not being a competent professional and not being a worthwhile human being. Also, between not being a competent professional and being inferior to those who are. I need to get over this, first because I would never judge someone else like that. If someone else told me they work something "lower" than an office job, I would not think less of them. I put "lower" in inverted commas precisely because I wouldn't think of it as lower. But I think of myself as lower if I tried my hand at professional work and it didn't agree with me. I definitely think if I didn't succeed, it's because I didn't punish and hate myself into it hard enough, and I deserve more "punishment" until I fall in line. Yet I would never treat another person like that, not even in my head.

My horrible experience working these past couple of years is making me quite reluctant to look for another job. At the same time, intuitively, it doesn't feel like I'm at the place where I can stop. Here I don't mean, "oh, he has enough money he should just get over himself" which I am aware many of you perceive me as. More like, it's an intuition - a knowledge about my life. I also don't have the sense that renting and furnishing an apartment is the right path - again, there's an intuition telling me I'd be missing the way if I were to go there. At the same time, it's hard for me to keep staying at my parents' place. It's a miserable house - for 45 years now, they've been making their lives miserable exactly how they're making my life miserable: "hey, could you please not do that small thing, thank you" // "you're too neurotic you need to relax why can't you be more like sibling X who wouldn't have asked for this." (the thing in question is irrelevant, but to whom it may concern, it's to stop monitoring my every action when I move around the flat and commenting on it. I would like to be able to simply exist in the same space as my parents without them making comments about how I've dressed, whether the amount of coffee I drink isn't too much, what I smell like (pointing out if I've put on handcream - dry hands from covid hand washing - that's made me smell like something), etcetera. It combines to form an ever-pervasive sense of being under constant scrutiny. I am not so sure what is so unacceptable about, "hey, remember how I asked you to stop making comments about my appearance and you agreed? can we go back to that please" but apparently the right answer isn't, "yeah, sorry, I slipped up," it's "you're a neurotic who should be more like my other child"). [tl;dr: ertyu needs therapy :lol:. I assume most everyone would develop thick skin and learn to disregard them and tune them out, and not let things like that get to him. But it does get to me. It makes me hurt and angry.]

I don't know what my next steps are. My ideal outcome would be to stay at my parents for the next ?? time and change how we relate to each other. I have already tried putting physical distance - just moving out, working at the other end of the world, even not talking to them for long stretches of time as I know that any communication we have is unlikely to be pleasant. However, that hasn't fixed things. By which I mean, hasn't fixed things in me, to make me a person who does not get hooked into their shit. Also, I am not sure what it is about ERE and financial independence that is wrapped up with my family of origin interpersonal issues. However it does keep coming up - the two things are somehow related in my head in that it feels like finding my path with respect to one of these issues is bound up with finding my path with respect to the other. Not necessarily asking for advice, just writing things out in the hope that this will clarify things for me. Though perspectives and theories that might help illuminate this are welcome.

bigato
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by bigato »

Would renting a furnished place be a better option than staying at your parent's?

Also, do you think that the standards you set for what kind of house you want to live in (beautiful, location, etc), could be in any way influenced by a latent desire to be accepted/validated by your parents?

slowtraveler
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by slowtraveler »

That sounds tough. Stressful but familiar.

You were successful at working a professional job. You got certified, experienced, and followed through the application process. You got laid off in a difficult recession with a decent package. I wouldn't call that a failure but a difficulty in life. There have been historic lay offs recently. Literally.

For me personally, moving out was the best thing I could do. Even if some months, I was staying in all day so I could spend less in the first year, I was able to quit some habits that consumed way too much time only after moving out and it happened naturally.

I tried moving out quite a few times and ended up moving back home in under a month till I left with the intention to travel the world but ultimately stayed in between mostly Thailand and Vietnam the first 2.5 years.

It's obvious you're not happy when working or living in your home city. If the city is lcol, moving out to your own place and getting work could help. Maybe only that will answer your question of whether professional work can be a match for you. Otherwise, the possibility for quality of life to skyrocket with an extended trip abroad is too high to spend life miserable. I do regret not leaving earlier.

I mean, what's the worst that can realistically happen? You move back home, where you are now.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

bigato wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:10 am
Would renting a furnished place be a better option than staying at your parent's?
Logically, yes. It would allow me to focus my attention away from the type of interpersonal entanglements that wouldn't be an issue with anyone else, but because it's them and it's family, can drive me mad. But for some reason intuition tells me it's not the right course of action - I don't know why, but I am willing to trust it for the time being to see what shakes out.
bigato wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:10 am
Also, do you think that the standards you set for what kind of house you want to live in (beautiful, location, etc), could be in any way influenced by a latent desire to be accepted/validated by your parents?
No, not really. My surroundings do impact me a lot in an aesthetic sense, though. Visual clutter gets to me. Being in a minimalist, clean and simple space, on the other hand, brings a sense of peace. I am very much the type to have a loved armchair and a favorite coffee mug and to take pleasure if sitting on said chair reading and having coffee. When I am psychologically stressed, I often react by trying to declutter. In the past, when I've lived in places I have found pleasant, I've also noticed that I have embedded some ideal about how I'd like my life to be into how I have arranged my surroundings and it's felt good when my surroundings have reflected that back at me. I also browse r/male living space and r/amateur room porn :lol:/

But I would like to be validated by my parents as a separate person whose interiority is sovereign and worthy of equal regard. I am also aware this is very unlikely to happen. Still haven't found a way to let go.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

slowtraveler wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:45 am
I wouldn't call that a failure but a difficulty in life.
Thanks, man. Means a lot.
slowtraveler wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:45 am
For me personally, moving out was the best thing I could do. Even if some months, I was staying in all day so I could spend less in the first year, I was able to quit some habits that consumed way too much time only after moving out and it happened naturally.
This makes intuitive sense to me. I have also noticed that some of my bad habits are ways for me to redirect and self-medicate stressors. Conversely, I have noticed that I am held back from developing good habits by bullshit psychological leftover crap from my teen years. For example, it doesn't feel safe for me to start running while I am at my parents' place (even though there is a suitable park nearby). I'm aware it sounds wacked out, but there's a part in me that literally thinks it can't be seen trying to develop a running habit. And when I look into why that is, it's absolutely related to how i know for a fact that i will be Watched and parents will Comment. I don't know why this is such a big deal to me and why subconscious is so dead set and determined to prevent Being Commented On. Here is the sort of thing that is likely to happen:

me: somehow attracts attention to myself and my running.
father: "If you are trying to lose weight, you should do X thing. Why, when I was younger and me and my friend Y went and did whatever, I lost 5 kilos!"
me: I am not trying to lose weight. Right now, I'm focusing on building general fitness and endurance.
father: yes, but IF YOU WERE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT *hint hint nudge nudge* ...

It's like, every single thing turns into an opportunity to (1) not validate and recognize what I have achieved or am trying to achieve and (2) a thinly or not so thinly veiled pointing-out of my failings, and (3) an opportunity for him to start telling me how *he* wants me to run my life. It's not as obvious a dysfunction as when there is a drunk or a violent person in the household, but it is insidious and constant. Especially with regard to fitness, I remember my father seeing me try to do push-ups as a teen and come to comment on what a wimp I am. It was only years later that I had the thought, "wait a second, an actual father worth his salt would've said something like, "oh, you've decided to work on X thing? Cool! How many can you do? Great work, keep going." Or, another favorite: to rub it in that I must be exercising because I'm not too successful with girls. To this day, starting to exercise is linked in my head with admitting that I am a loser and a failure.

Tl;dr: it absolutely makes sense to me that by moving out one eliminates a significant source of what's holding one back. And yes, the city I am in right now is comparatively lcol. So I really wonder why it is that intuition insists that moving out is not the way.
slowtraveler wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:45 am
I mean, what's the worst that can realistically happen?
The worst thing that could possibly happen is the money starts diminishing and diminishing, and I need to repeat the entire professional full time job for 10 yrs thing again. That is literally my worst fear right now - that my savings will be gone or depleted and that I will have to go back to work - including maybe go back to work forever, if I am stuck working in home country.

I was thinking about this the other day: I think I have the stash down, I have the low expenses down, but what stops me is how, as opposed to Jacob, I don't have a part time job, which is not too taxing and which I don't mind doing, that can cover a significant part of my expenses. Having access to a job like that would go a long way towards ensuring my peace of mind.
Last edited by ertyu on Sat May 23, 2020 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

McTrex
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by McTrex »

Ertyu,

You say you have been fired from your last two jobs. How similar were those jobs in terms of company size, work culture, industry, etc?

I have been a consultant for many years now, so I have seen the inside of many companies, from very small to very big. In some companies, I became almost instant “friends” with my customers. In others, I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to leave as soon as possible. This match (or lack of it) between your character and the work environment can have a huge impact on your performance and well-being.

Is it possible working at a different kind of company might suit you better?

Jason
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by Jason »

I didn't think it was possible, but I believe if ERE was to hand out an annual Kierkegaard award for The Most Entertainingly Tormented Poster, you would interrupt Suo's multi-year run.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

McTrex wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 11:58 am
This match (or lack of it) between your character and the work environment can have a huge impact on your performance and well-being.

Is it possible working at a different kind of company might suit you better?
Good advice. Once the depressive navel-gazing lets off, I will think about the features the companies shared. I doubt I will ever be joyful happy and excited to return to work, but if the suck goes from 103 to 98, that would still be a win.

Jason wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 12:10 pm
I didn't think it was possible, but I believe if ERE was to hand out an annual Kierkegaard award for The Most Entertainingly Tormented Poster, you would interrupt Suo's multi-year run.
pox on your BA stock :P people like you are the reason why young men on reddit complain that only girls get their depression taken seriously

joke aside tho - shaming people for where they are and what particular bends their road needs to go through is Not Cool. Further: here is the only thing that has never ever solved problems or made them any better: pushing problems away, pretending they don't exist, or keeping a stiff upper lip so I don't look like I have a small pee-pee.

Jason
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by Jason »

ertyu wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 12:46 pm
joke aside tho - shaming people for where they are and what particular bends their road needs to go through is Not Cool.
You would think I would have learned that after being kicked out of every 12 step group I ever attended.

Quick story: Many years ago, I was at an extended family gathering, I was in my 20's, still living at home. A relation by marriage only, someone I knew rather informally, after observing my nuclear family dynamics, came up to me, put his arm around my shoulder and said "You need to get out of there." So I did, as hard as it was. Flash forward twenty-five years later, my father now deceased a number of years. I receive an email from my mother "Just to let you know, Blah Blah Blah died," Blah blah blah being the arm around my shoulder guy. I guarantee you one thing. You will not work this out. You will not get to the bottom of this thing you got going on with your parents. Bottom is how low you are willing to go and you already seem to be about seven leagues beneath the barrel at this point heading straight downwards. I may not be cool. But either was the arm around my shoulder guy. Twenty five years goes mighty quickly and one thing I noticed, my navel looks exactly the same as it did back then.

Frita
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by Frita »

ertyu wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 12:46 pm
joke aside tho - shaming people for where they are and what particular bends their road needs to go through is Not Cool. Further: here is the only thing that has never ever solved problems or made them any better: pushing problems away, pretending they don't exist, or keeping a stiff upper lip so I don't look like I have a small pee-pee.
Agreed, shaming will keep you stuck. At some point others train you to do it to yourself and look for others who function the same way.

Pushing away problems, pretending they don’t exist, and/or keeping a stiff upper lip all seem like avoidance. That will bite one in the ass eventually too.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

Jason wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 1:16 pm
Bottom is how low you are willing to go and you already seem to be about seven leagues beneath the barrel at this point heading straight downwards.
Hm this might actually be it. As in, hitting bottom with them might get me to finally be able to give up hope. Thanks for the straight talk man and for taking shit as good as you give. And yes, I do know that I need to get out. So far, getting out physically has not resulted in being able to get out emotionally. Let's hope this time it sticks.
Last edited by ertyu on Sat May 23, 2020 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

@Frita: insightful as always. And, as your comments often do, it prompted a realization: it's strange, the contrast between the things I am ashamed of and the things I am not. E.g. I am not ashamed of talking in a very personal manner here - also, in general, talking about shit like this; I guess I am more ok than many with being psychologically vulnerable in conversation. But I am ashamed about things like my parents seeing me exercise. The contrast somehow brought it home that there *is* nothing inherently shameful there - it's just that in one case, I have had crap teen experiences associated with the thing, and in the other case, I had not (it never occurred to teenage me to bare his soul to his parents. smart kid. intuitively knew it wouldn't be any good). Somehow it de-linked the shame from the thing. In a, "well, you got hurt, so there's a scab there, normal" sort of way. Might not help with parents but might help with how those experiences have generalized - e.g. a sense I have that to exercise where people close to me can see me makes me unacceptably vulnerable. E.g. I'd be ashamed to exercise in front of someone I'm in a relationship with, when that's really a very normal thing for people to do. Thanks.

Jason
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by Jason »

Did you know that there is a picture of Elie Weisel in Buchenwald? Like in one those pictures of emaciated guys lying together in a bunk bed? You look carefully and there's ol' Elie poking his head out, before he was emancipated, before he went to the Sorbonne, before he won the Nobel Prize, before he became the Michael Jordan of 20th century Jews, before Bernie Madoff Holocausted his bank account. I asked my therapist, how does that happen? How does a guy go through that and have the capacity to accomplish so much later when I can't stop pissing down my own leg because of some childhood bullshit. He said he wasn't sure, but it might be due to something Elie didn't possess as much as something he did possess. I think about that a lot.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

Jason wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 1:56 pm
Did you know that there is a picture of Elie Weisel in Buchenwald? Like in one those pictures of emaciated guys lying together in a bunk bed? You look carefully and there's ol' Elie poking his head out, before he was emancipated, before he went to the Sorbonne, before he won the Nobel Prize, before he became the Michael Jordan of 20th century Jews, before Bernie Madoff Holocausted his bank account. I asked my therapist, how does that happen? How does a guy go through that and have the capacity to accomplish so much later when I can't stop pissing down my own leg because of some childhood bullshit. He said he wasn't sure, but it might be due to something Elie didn't possess as much as something he did possess. I think about that a lot.
Viktor Frankl was good for me on that one. (holocaust survivors imo are more badass than i can ever hope to be, in their shoes, i'd be pissing down my own leg, too. wouldn't kill myself 'cause you need a certain degree of energy and agency even for that shit). Anyway, Victor Frankl was discribing people picturing having conversations with relatives, people latching onto an idea of something meaningful they can do when they get out (tell about the experience, make others understand, etc.). You need a certain amount of core psychological health and wholeness to pull that off. E.g. to believe that telling your story and making people understand would prevent future atrocities, you need to have certain fundamental beliefs about how humans are -- and fundamental beliefs about how humans are don't grow on trees, they're absorbed in the nuclear family.

EW and VF also represent survivor bias - literally. We rarely hear from the concentration camp survivors who had PTSD for life.

CS
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by CS »

Keep in mind self-care might not 'feel right.' It might actually feel terrifying, shitty and exactly the opposite of what you have been conditioned to look for.

Making the leap is just as much about managing that fear as any other action.

On other words, it is not always best to rely on your feelings when retraining your brain and behavior. What feels normal now is what is familiar, which is also what is making you miserable.

ertyu
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Re: 3 yrs to FI: ertyu's journal

Post by ertyu »

CS wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 2:26 pm
Keep in mind self-care might not 'feel right.' It might actually feel terrifying, shitty and exactly the opposite of what you have been conditioned to look for.

Making the leap is just as much about managing that fear as any other action.
More straight talk. Thank you, this is wise.

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