Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:35 pm

I started intermittent fasting a month ago. I stumbled into IF while I was on vacation in Argentina, where I ended up staying with someone who was intermittent fasting. This combined with difficulty ordering food lead to me intermittent fasting and eating less in general mostly by accident. I was also walking a lot as walking and reading are my favorite leisure activities. This lead to my first substantial weight loss in more than a year.

I tried the warrior diet once before but I failed due to it's extreme nature. It's difficult to transition into a 4 hour eating window from the standard 3 meals a day approach. However, the more gentle 8/16 approach with accidental transition has helped me achieve IF status more easily. I can also eat more than 2,000 calories in one sitting easily, although I feel a bit weird afterward, so the initial warrior diet attempt did not result in any weight loss.

I'm enjoying the freedom from eating more than i thought I would. I really love eating and cooking but it's really nice to only need to cook pm full meal a day (I'm still eating 2 meals a day but my first meal is more of a snack). It's also freeing to not be hungry in the morning.

The only drawback so far is that I get pretty tired when I eat. This makes the first meal kind of a drag but I don't want to stop eating 2 meals for social reasons.

I'm making this post today because I dropped under the overweight BMI metric for the first time in several years. This is also exciting because the weight loss has slowed but it seems to be still trending downward, which gives me some hope of continuing to see the gut shrink.

prognastat
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by prognastat » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:11 pm

Congrats on your progress, this is pretty close to what I ended up doing with eating 2 meals a day in a 6ish hour window with one being more like a large snack and one being a full meal.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:17 am

Congrats on the BMI!

I only eat one large meal a day and use the post meal drowsiness as a sedative. It works really well for someone like me who has to switch from days to nights and back again. I view that as one of the biggest pluses.

So, for me, the only negative impact of IF is social. The positive development of IF becoming en vogue is that people are much less annoyed when you decline to eat with them. I have no problem going to a restaurant in a group and not eating. Five years ago, everyone thought; WTF is wrong with c_L?! Now they tend to admire my "willpower". Which, of course, it takes no will power when you're not hungry, but hell, if they think I'm cool for it, i'll take it.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:20 pm

I just came back from a week in NYC visiting friends and family. I met up with @Beyondthewrap on Monday.

The trip was more emotional than I expected. The stated purpose of the trip was to placate my parents so they wouldn't come visit me. My parents are divorced and I don't really have a good relationship with either of them, although we are never not on speaking terms. I find them both very difficult to be around for different reasons.

I spent two days with my dad at his house in PA. My dad was villainized to my sister and I in the divorce and I've only recently started rebuilding my relationship with him. This has gone fairly well and we are able to hang out somewhat amicably although I still harbor deep resentment towards him. This usually results in a very heated argument over something inconsequential, which we thankfully avoided this time. We were also able to do a few activities instead of sitting around looking at each other and then getting drunk/ high like we usually do.

OTOH, my dad is often unpleasant to be around. He always needs to be right and always needs to be the one explaining things. If we're discussing a subject that I know more about he will either not hear me or say "whatever" after I explain a nuance of my perspective. He's personable enough that this isn't bad for an hour, but repeated over several days, it becomes pretty annoying. He also kicked a dog he was walking for a friend and one night he got too drunk to talk and almost fell walking home from the bar.

I went with my mom to visit my cousin's new baby in Long Island. My mom had hip surgery about 6 months ago and currently walks with a cane. The upside of my mom is that she is exceedingly nice and much easier to talk to than my dad. The downside is that she is very conservative and scared of everything as well as very bad at taking social cues. She is also annoyingly incompetent at several things, which is odd because she is very smart. The worst thing about her is that she has an uncomfortable obsession with the past as well as the people who she thinks my sister and I are, based on the 5-12 year old versions of ourselves. This trip was also a success as the new baby took some of the heat off of me and I was able to get some time in with my cousin and his new wife, both of whom I'd like to have a closer relationship with.

Mentally revisiting the double parental visit in my head at the train station back in to Brooklyn from Long Island I got more depressed than I have for awhile. A few years ago I realized that while many of my friends had developed adult relationships with their parents as they emerged from their early 20s and started to build their own lives I never would. The older I get this worse this makes me feel. The trip was also a failure at it's intended purpose. I had hoped that a short visit on my parents home turf would be more bearable for me and make them happier. It was slightly better for me than their visits; however, this was a direct result of me being in control and therefore spending less time with them. Both of them were obviously unhappy with the amount of time I spent with them. It's a shitty deal to have to spend time with 2 difficult individuals separately. I spent a lot of time traveling between PA, NYC and Long Island and in the end it felt like no one was happy. To cap it off both of my parents are in somewhat bad health by their own hand. My dad thanks to years of smoking, drinking and drug use and my mom thanks to years of neglecting herself and being overweight. 3/4 of my grandparents lived into their mid-90s, I'd be surprised if either of my parents make it another 10 years. It's not unlikely that both of them will need some sort of care soon due to declining health relatively soon and I know I'll resent this since they are difficult to spend time with, we don't have a great relationship and their parents didn't require care until they were in their 90s.

Sorry for a somewhat unpleasant post that has nothing to do with ERE. I didn't mean to spend this much time complaining about my parents but I wanted to get it off of my chest. There was also a really fun part of the trip where I saw old friends and ate a ton of great food and I'll post a more upbeat recap of the trip as well as more ERE relevant musings soon.

suomalainen
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by suomalainen » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:04 pm

I can empathize to a degree. This stuff is important, though, so it is good to get it out. Maybe someone here has a response that is helpful to you.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:20 pm
A few years ago I realized that while many of my friends had developed adult relationships with their parents as they emerged from their early 20s and started to build their own lives I never would. The older I get this worse this makes me feel.
For a long time, I was saddened by not having the father I needed, or would have wanted, when I was a child. Then I was saddened by not having an adult relationship with my father that both of us would want...if we could make the other be different than who they are. Given his personality, he would have liked a more submissive son. Given my personality, I would have liked a more understanding father. Eventually, I was able to accept that he is who he is and that the relationship is what it is. It's very difficult to let that go. It is a process of grieving, even if it is grieving a thing that could never be.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:15 pm

nondepressing vacation update:

I actually had a great vacation to NYC, the timeline went something like this: Wed: Mostly planes, then partied with my old neighbors who I was staying with. Thurs: Woke up, took the subway to the Chinatown bus. Took the Chinatown bus to Philly. Philly regional rail to the end of the line. My dad picked me up in his new car which looks simultaneously like a really lame boxy minivan, an unlabeled FTD flower delivery van and the perfect old man rape van. Hung out with my dad at his house. Visited my friend Lauren who made the best Indian food I've ever tasted from a non-Indian chef. I ate way too much, which was actually the right amount because intermittent fasting. I slept on her couch. Fri: Drove my dad's lame flower rape minivan back to his house and then we went to see the Amish dude my dad buys his wood from. Went out to lunch with my Aunt and dad. Picked up my gf from the train. Hung out with my dad and his old ass friends and then went to the bar next to his house. Sat: Traveled the reverse route of Wed., partied with my old neighbors and another old friend, Indian food for dinner. Sun: Took the LIRR to Long Island to see my mom and my cousnin's new baby. Got extremely depressed on the ride back. Was immediately cheered up by hanging out with my friends again and eating fancy pizza for dinner. Mon: Dicked around NYC with my girlfriend. We went to Manhattan so I could meet @Beyondthewrap for the meetup and my gf could work in the library. Afterwards we got Thai on the Upper West Side. Vegan Chinese food in Chinatown for dinner. I ate an insane amount. Tues: I met with an old studio friend who I am insanely jealous of. He is a successful mixer and producer and recently built a sweet studio in the basement of his Brooklyn apartment. He recently had a kid and is somewhat mad that he isn't making more money. I reminded him that doing music to make a bunch of money is dumb and told him how jealous of him I am. It was a great visit. After this I got pretty drunk in a bar with some friends in Williamsburg. We ate Meditrranean for dinner. On Wed. we got bagels and then flew back home.

After this trip some things became clear to me: 1. I don't care that much about seeing tourist shit and would much more motivated by talking to friends and eating. I pretty much already knew this. 2. Attempting to see both of my parents is probably a bad idea. 3. Air travel has degraded to greyhound rules. Greyhound rules mean you have no rights, are treated as though you have the intellect of a kindergartener and must at all times have all your shit 100% together to avoid whatever unpredictable bullshit is thrown your way. Airlines are more annoying because Greyhound spares you the indignity of pretending like they give a shit.

I also came to terms with some thoughts on travel after Jacob's rants against travel.

There are 3 types of travelers.

The first is the tourist. These people are (as far as I can tell) widely despised by everyone, possibly even themselves. They are the resort and luxury hotel stayers. Their goals are to either not move very much, eat a bunch of food and/ or get very drunk while by a pool or cram as many activities as possible into their 1 to 2 week stays. The activities are often guided tours and can be found on the first page of any guide book about a city. I don't know many of these people but I believe they are in the strong majority.

The second is the #TrvlrGrl. The #TrvlrGrl (who can be either gender, the reference is an article that was popular on facebook circa 2014) seeks to understand the culture and looks for adventure. They will stay in hostels, couchsurf or (particularly pre-2015) stay in air bnbs. They seek interaction with locals and want to truly understand the culture. That's what they'd tell you at least. The cynical view is they are simply looking for facebook photo ops, hook ups with other #TrvlrGrls and escape from responsibility. I know many of these people and I am one of them.

There is an intersection between the two where #TrvlrGrls get older and start demanding more luxury experiences and the tourism industry monetizes the #TrvlrGrl ethos as it becomes more mainstream.

The third type of traveler is someone seeking actual cultural understanding (which cannot be gained in a few weeks) and introspection. It is who the #TrvlrGrl very much wants to be. I'm not sure they actually exist. It's rare to find someone actually seeking introspection and uncomfortable experience but one must assume they're out there. This is the type of traveler that Jacob eventually decided he was ok with. This is the type of traveler I'd like to be. I'm not sure how to get there, but I think traveling with a specific goal in mind (such as learn another language) rather than solely traveling for "experience," which simplifies to go to tourist attraction/ museum, talk to couchsurfing host, eat delicious food, get drunk in a bar with people I've recently met who are of my class. I also think Jacob's point about the ability to seek more different experiences and learn from those different from you close to home is a fascinating idea. One which I hope to take more advantage of in the future.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:48 am

Intermittent Fasting 3 Months In:

3 months ago I accidentally started intermittent fasting on a trip to Argentina. I came back with a lower weight than I'd been in a few years after struggling to loose weight for about a year.

The weight loss has continued, I'm down from ~193 to ~175 and the weight continues to come off. I also finally feel like I have control over my weight.

Also exciting, I'm finally under the overweight BMI for my height (184 lbs) and don't look fat anymore. I thought I'd have less of a gut at this weight but a tiny one still remains (though it's not visible when I'm wearing clothes).

I also executed my first feast/ fast, where I ate only a smoothie one day then ate a giant feast in one sitting the next and then ate only a smoothie the next day. I really enjoy eating giant meals, giving that up has been the most difficult part. It was a nice reward, I did gain a few pounds for a few days but 3 days later I'm skinnier than ever. I'm thinking about doing this once every 3 months or so.

Aside from the weight loss there have been many secondary gains that I never foresaw. It's really great to have freedom from eating and more flexibility over when I eat. Being hungry is no longer a crisis, merely annoying and at times even enjoyable. I no longer have to make myself a comprehensive dinner every night with leftovers for lunch. I only ever eat a smoothie during the day and at night I can eat what I used to consider a snack if I'm not in the mood for real cooking.

My job offers a food challenge which has been solved by intermittent fasting. I used to wake up at 5 A.M., try to cram as much food as I could into my face (not much at that hour) and then be hungry by 10 A.M. I'm usually lucky if I get to eat lunch at 1 P.M. We are also discouraged from bringing food and have nowhere to store it, so I'd often end up buying shitty over priced pizza at the hospital cafeteria. Now I don't eat until I get home and am rarely hungry at work. I've succeeded doing this even though I started biking the 20 mile round trip to work most days I work.

I also feel like I'm more in touch with the eating/ energy cycle in my body. Before I would get hungry several times a day. I still get hungry once a day but how early in the day I get hungry depends upon how much I ate the day before and how much exercise I've gotten in between meals. I've also notice that eating makes me tired unless I exercise right after so I try to do my strength training exercise immediately after eating a smoothie.

In this vein I feel like I'm also enjoying food/ cooking more. I've always really loved eating and got into cooking 6/ 7 years ago. However, I've had a massive guilt factor around eating that I got from my constantly overweight/ dieting mom and then had amplified by being a fat kid and struggling with weight for my whole life. I recognized this several years ago and have been trying to correct food from a punishment/ reward framework to a healthier framework. It's easy to feel like I'm successful when I'm lean but fall back into the old mindset when I'm heavier. ERE has helped me with this by introducing me to thinking of being comfortable moving in your own body and functional fitness. This obvious and simple idea is a much better way to look at health than our culture teaches us.

I've also learned how addicting success is and how visceral impacts, even something as silly as seeing numbers on a scale go down, are much stronger than imaged impacts. It's much easier to spend a few hours hungry knowing the next time I weigh myself I'll have lost another pound (another thing I've learned is my body weight operates in a 5-8 lb range during the course of a day).


IF has shown once again that lessons learned and ingrained by my parents are often incorrect. I learned from my parents that breakfast was the most important meal of the day and that fasting (never referred to as fasting) meant you were anorexic and would place your body in "starvation mode" from which you may never recover. It's sort of obvious that the easiest way to lose weight is eating less (I already eat what I consider to be healthy, i.e. whole foods, vegetarian, etc...). I'd even accomplished this before on my first ever weight loss venture when I was 13. However, having more control over what and when I eat as an adult, a higher level of physical fitness, a positive label (fasting) and support group (y'all) and a more systematic approach give me hope that I'll be able to maintain this current weight loss as opposed to falling back into old habits. It's amazing to me how much I've tried to reject the customs my parents ingrained and how strong of a hold they still have.

slowtraveler
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:11 pm

It's inspiring to see such dramatic progress in a few months. IF is what worked for me but I lost the habit and I started again about a week ago. Congratulations on it. 6 pack, coming soon.

Something I don't understand in your post, are you eating a smoothie on day 1, feasting day 2 at night, and then repeating this 2 day cycle as your IF fasting?

Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:41 pm

@slowtraveler:

The feast was a one time thing (which I'm planning on repeating a few times a year). Previously my only routine was to drink a smoothie at 1:30 P.M. one day and a smoothie at 5:30 P.M. the next. This is purely for social reasons as I don't want to totally lose the ability to eat during the day because I like to go to lunch with friends occasionally. I also often miss eating until 8 or 9 when I'm working (only 1-2 days a week max). I usually try to eat a smaller meal when I'm going to have a smoothie at 1:30 the next day and a larger meal when I'm going to wait until 5:30 to eat. It took me about a month and a half to become comfortable on this schedule after I returned from Argentina and I "ramped up" to it by eating each meal an hour later everyday after I got back.

I'm currently trying to put myself in a calorie deficit by eating very small meals and a smoothie 2 days in a row and then a large meal and smoothie every 3rd day. I'm hoping to reduce bodyfat percentage further this way and then move back to a small meal every other day. Part of the reason for the small and then large meal is, as I said before, I like eating large meals. Realistically I'm not sure what my steady-state diet will look like, though I plan to keep doing IF because I enjoy for reasons beyond the weight loss benefits.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:22 am

In the Achaemenid Persian culture, they thought it was proper to eat once a day while they were conquering the world. In their empire's dying days, they would stretch out their one meal to encompass most of the day, like the decadent fuckups they had become.

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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by jacob » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:53 am

Ha! I can see this eventually happening to IF as people---or would that be folks---begin to pad the eating period until it's back to continual snacking all day long. It's a general rule that all new great ideas ultimately just serve as a different way to dress up old ideas like 6 meals a day---which really converges asymptotically on 1 meal a day as the spaces are taken out.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:03 pm

Welcome to the IF fold! I have mirrored virtually all of your experiences, even the 5 lb a day weight fluctuation. Agree that social eating circumstances are the only downfall. Since i eat late in the day, If I can plan ahead for an earlier social gathering , its possible to completely fast the day before, so eating earlier in the day becomes possible as I get super hungry by about 36 hours.

TheWanderingScholar
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by TheWanderingScholar » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:17 pm

@Jin+Guice:
I guess I could be considered traveler #3 although at this rate I am consider a student migrant. Currently, I am living in Estonia for what? 1 1/2 years at the this point and slowly making inroads with Estonian culture and people via learning their language and reading more in-depth pieces about their culture from fellow Amercian's who have lived here. The only real problem being is I live in the second largest city, which is metropolitan so I don't get the more rural Estonia or secondary/tertiary city view everyday, even though I can probably guesstimate how that is like, still does not give the personal experience to build upon.

That being said the city I live in is not nearly as isolated culturally speaking as say Tallinn, which has been described as an island within the island that is Estonia.

Personal opinion is that it is a glorified suburb of Helsinki, but then again I have always held in Riga in higher regard out of the two so there is that...

Where was I?

Oh yes.

Basically to gain a cultural understanding of a people, as someone who can be considered a #3, you to learn a part of the language as the basis of language holds some influence in how people interact. Example being Estonian is very laconic and terse in its structure in comparison to it say English, which alongside with the "feature" of same word meaning different completely different things depending on the situation*. This creates the basis where getting to the point fast and hard is natural, while having lovingly crafted paintings painted with words and sentences that seem to go on and on is not natural.

By building upon the baseline interactions, you begin to see the people...differently and interact with them differently. You begin to see them less as strangers from a cold, swampy land. You begin to see them as just people. Majority of them are social, awkward people, but people none the less. So as you walk the city streets, listen to them you begin to enjoy their company, and get to see them interact differently with them, even if it just simply asking how are they-"Kuidas Laheb?".

And to add upon that, don't just speak their language a little bit, then leave and never comeback.

One of my friends who is Estonian, told me when I came back this.

"Usually people do not come back, most just leave."

Which struck a cord with me, at how these people view outsiders. Majority of them just leave and do not come back.

To simply put it.

To become an in-depth traveller, to integrate into their culture and be accepted as a welcomed guest at least. Learn their language. Come back to the repeatedly, make them realize that you are not just traveler who will leave within a couple weeks and never comeback. And if possible? Stay with them a while.

Just be forewarned.

Traveling like this repeatedly wears down on you. A year of friendships made vanishes into dust if you do not maintain them. Love shared but never coming true will happen. It inevitable. Long enough?

And your own country might become foreign to you.

*Example of same word having different meaning depending on situation:
Palun-It can mean "Please" or "Your welcome" depending on the situation.
Saada- "get some" or "send"
Example of laconic sentence.
Lähme Tartusse ja saada õlu-Let's go to Tartu and get some beer.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:15 am

After the most recent round of MMM bashing and imputed rent wars I've realized that there is another way to look at my budget.

I don't actually track my expenses or budget anymore but my the last budget I made, which was a year or so ago (when my expenses were similar to now) was 15k. However, a lot of those expenses are related to making money. 3k are directly from my job (this is actually probably closer to 1k since I bike to work about 2/3s of the time now and buy about 1 meal per month now). I currently have $600 budgeted for housing expenses but most of this is due to living in a house my gf owns, which is way bigger than any house that I would ever live in. However, we also have an air bnb in the house that makes us ~20k a year (this number has tended to go down slightly every year).

I have several housing options that cost $400/ month including utilities. I asked my friend who's couch I used to live on if I could live on his couch again if I needed to. He said I could if I bought him a couch (my best shot at homeownership). I also attended the Louisiana Tiny House Festival and met a dude who converted an old Uhaul into a house he drives around. He said it only cost him $9k because he used mostly scrap materials for the house. I could totally see myself doing this. I don't have the skills to do it, but I have the money to buy the time to acquire the skills.

The point of this is I think I'm actually safe using a lower number to calculate my FIRE number. If I use $400 for my housing budget my monthly expenditures are $800 and my yearly expenditures are $9600. At a 3% SWR this means I would only need $320,000 instead of $400,000. It's also useful to remember that I can go lower if I'm not trying to simultaneously live with a partner in their dream house (a frugal partner so the dream house is 940 sq ft), run a recording studio and run an air bnb out of my house.

I've been giving FIRE some thought after debating in c_L's journal and I don't think I ever want to retire. For better or worse working for pay is what I was raised to do and what I spent my whole life preparing to do before I discovered FIRE. There are several jobs that I'd like to try out and work serves a (mainly social) purpose in my life. It's also notable that $1,000 of (lifelong) year earnings is worth a $33k reduction in savings. My purpose for saving is therefore 1) old age required retirement; 2) A strong belief in thriftiness and frugality; 3) the more FU money the more the FU. I would still like to reach financial independence one day, but getting there quickly is not a major goal. I will definitely be taking a few "mini-retirements" along the way and I think I'd also like to work a few more years full-time (though I doubt I have more than 5 total left in me, probably not consecutive either). Of course all of this is subject to change, still it's a turning point as a few years ago I was trying to semi-fast track myself to FI.

Seppia
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Seppia » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:09 am

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:15 am
The point of this is I think I'm actually safe using a lower number to calculate my FIRE number. If I use $400 for my housing budget my monthly expenditures are $800 and my yearly expenditures are $9600. At a 3% SWR this means I would only need $320,000 instead of $400,000. It's also useful to remember that I can go lower if I'm not trying to simultaneously live with a partner in their dream house (a frugal partner so the dream house is 940 sq ft), run a recording studio and run an air bnb out of my house.
I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I believe that after a certain point, lowering expenses reduces the margin of safety.
I'll give you my example.
I have lived for multiple (six) years of my life with expenses in the 1.6 jacobs in high cost of living areas (Paris and Montecarlo area), plus a couple of years in the 0.8 jacobs range in lower cost of living areas (around Lyon, france for example).
I know I can do it, I've proven myself I can do it.

BUT
I enjoy the ability to spend more, on one single budget line: travel.
I love visiting our beautiful planet. Not talking about weekends in Dubai or in LA clubs. I'm talking about Utah hiking, scuba diving in northern Bali island, etc.
So I'm planning for a FIRE/ERE situation where I can afford this kind of "luxuries".
My margin of safety is that, if SHTF, I can cut those luxuries and still be ok.

If you have no slack, you're reducing margin of safety.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:15 am
I've been giving FIRE some thought after debating in c_L's journal and I don't think I ever want to retire. For better or worse working for pay is what I was raised to do and what I spent my whole life preparing to do before I discovered FIRE. There are several jobs that I'd like to try out and work serves a (mainly social) purpose in my life. It's also notable that $1,000 of (lifelong) year earnings is worth a $33k reduction in savings. My purpose for saving is therefore 1) old age required retirement; 2) A strong belief in thriftiness and frugality; 3) the more FU money the more the FU. I would still like to reach financial independence one day, but getting there quickly is not a major goal. I will definitely be taking a few "mini-retirements" along the way and I think I'd also like to work a few more years full-time (though I doubt I have more than 5 total left in me, probably not consecutive either). Of course all of this is subject to change, still it's a turning point as a few years ago I was trying to semi-fast track myself to FI.
I'm so much with you on this.

wolf
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by wolf » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:21 am

Seppia wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:09 am
I enjoy the ability to spend more, on one single budget line: travel.
I love visiting our beautiful planet. Not talking about weekends in Dubai or in LA clubs. I'm talking about Utah hiking, scuba diving in northern Bali island, etc.
So I'm planning for a FIRE/ERE situation where I can afford this kind of "luxuries".
My margin of safety is that, if SHTF, I can cut those luxuries and still be ok.
If you have no slack, you're reducing margin of safety.
This is similiar to what I think of FIRE and semi-ERE. @Seppia: I'm on the same page with you.
I know, that I can live on ~1 JAFI and life is/would be still very good.
But currently I don't spend anything on "luxuries", such as travel, because I'd like to experiment, learn and experience with ERE.
I have ideas for such adventures, which would require an additional budget.
With semi-ERE I'd like to combine both. Best case would be that I could work part-time with a decent wage and still have the extra money to try travelling* in my free time. So therefore I'd like to build a margin of safety, in order to do that.
And if I had to cut expenses on travel, I still know that I could live easily with ~1 JAFI. I'd like to integrate the best of the two worlds (part-time and experience life to the fullest) It's gotta be a balance, or better an integration of important things in my life. I'd like to integrate adventures/travel into my Web-of-Goals, based on semi-ERE (part-time).

*with travel I mean for example long-distance hiking, backpacking in SEA, road trip in USA or Canada, living as an expat in a foreign city, living in other places within my country, etc.

JeanPaul
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by JeanPaul » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:09 am

wolf wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:21 am
This is similiar to what I think of FIRE and semi-ERE. @Seppia: I'm on the same page with you.
I know, that I can live on ~1 JAFI and life is/would be still very good.
But currently I don't spend anything on "luxuries", such as travel, because I'd like to experiment, learn and experience with ERE.
I have ideas for such adventures, which would require an additional budget.
With semi-ERE I'd like to combine both. Best case would be that I could work part-time with a decent wage and still have the extra money to try travelling* in my free time. So therefore I'd like to build a margin of safety, in order to do that.
And if I had to cut expenses on travel, I still know that I could live easily with ~1 JAFI. I'd like to integrate the best of the two worlds (part-time and experience life to the fullest) It's gotta be a balance, or better an integration of important things in my life. I'd like to integrate adventures/travel into my Web-of-Goals, based on semi-ERE (part-time).

*with travel I mean for example long-distance hiking, backpacking in SEA, road trip in USA or Canada, living as an expat in a foreign city, living in other places within my country, etc.
That kind of travel doesn't need to be an expense - it can even be savings, since those things sound, at least potentially, pretty cheap. I feel like there can be a misconception of travel as a luxury when, for people originating in first world countries, it's often, at most, equivalent in price to normal life.

Seppia
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Seppia » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:45 am

My idea of traveling has never been really expensive except for scuba dive trips (it’s simply put an expensive hobby by ERE standards), but for as cheap as it could be, it usually is an additional cost.
I do have fixed costs of staying put (rent, insurance for the car, etc, but mostly rent and house related costs), so traveling is additive

Seppia
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Seppia » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:53 am

@wolf
IIRC you’re fairly young.
I’m maybe going to go against the norm here, but I would suggest you travel now if it matters to you.
I’m not saying flying business class and staying in fancy hotels: do that on a budget but do it, if that is what you like.
The point is to live a happy life, and when you’re young and single you can do stuff you will not be able to do later.
I’m a very happily married man of 38yo, but all the money in the world could not pay for the equivalent of some of the trips I did when I was 25-28 and single.
I know it’s a very narrow age (4 years), but that’s exactly the point: I did not have the money to afford a trip in the western USA with my best friend when I was younger than 25, and at 29 I was married and my wife, for as great as she is, would not accept sleeping in the car in the middle of some Utah desert.

For some things/experiences, the window is fairly narrow.
If it matters to you, don’t let that window close for you to just to save a few bucks more

At that time I was saving 30% or so of my income.
If I hadn’t travelled I could have saved more and have more money now, but I would never have had those amazing experiences.

Just my two cents

Jin+Guice
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:13 pm

@Seppia:

I agree that FIREing with only enough to cover minimum expenses is risky. Having slack in the system or a "margin of error" as wolf calls it is less risky. My real number is $500,000 (2015 dollars, since that's when I started), for a 3% SWR of $15,000. This is my fatFIRE, it's my I can have any house I'd ever want + eat whatever I want + do whatever I want + go wherever I want + still have a grand or two to blow. Given that I plan to work at least until standard retirement age (at least that's the plan now) I definitely wouldn't want to pull the plug with less than $500,000. I also imagine that I'll have a much better idea how much I need to retire when I'm closer to actual retirement. At that point I'll have (hopefully) been improving ERE skills for 30+ years so maybe I actually won't need that much.

Counting on any 1 dimension is always risky. This is the genius of the web of goals approach. I think having low expenses is the most important dimension because it enhances virtually all other dimensions and gives the most flexibility. My strengths are that I am very happy with a very low spending level, I have multiple career skills and I have a very strong social network that I've exploited in very weird ways. My weaknesses are investment skills, DIY skills (building or repairing anything) and salesmanship. I'm hoping to improve the weaknesses over time and I'd feel a lot less confident in my plans if I didn't have the other strengths backing them up.

When I first started reading the forum, I read a lot of posts with Jacob talking about how FIREing with a 4% withdrawal rate was so risky. I was always thinking, man these guys have more money than anyone, how is this risky? I realized what he was really saying is, working in 1 specialized career for 20 years and developing no alternative skills, having moderate to moderate-high expenditures and then retiring with a 4% SWR is risky. I think he's saying about the same thing.

I agree that traveling young is different than traveling old. I traveled a lot when I was young (I mean younger) and it's easier to do it on the super cheap as you don't have fancy tastes yet, your body is more forgiving and people are generally more willing to help you out. It's certainly not impossible to do this while you're older though (or at least as old as I am now).

However, the lifestyle experimentation wolf is doing would also be more difficult to do when you're older/ with a partner.

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