@Frita: I agree that the answers change as one progresses in levels. I think these questions are specifically useful crossing from W5 to W6, which is wear a lot of people either get stuck or stop trying. I think the relevant questions also change as one progresses levels.
Re: ACA... I agree that having enough passive income to be beyond the financial cliff changes the equation. I don't have a comprehensive strategy for this because I haven't researched it and am not in this position, but here are some ideas:
If the tax sheltered strategy I describe in the post was used, the money earned could sheltered in non-taxable accounts. Taxes would need to be paid on the income when it was removed from the account, but this may be lower or no tax and would shelter one from going over the ACA cliff in the current period.
The current ACA cliff is ~40k/ year/ adult person (not sure how kids factor into this). In Louisiana high deductible plans are available for ~300/ month ($3600/ year) and better plans are available for $400-500/ month ($4800-$6000/ year). It's not exactly a brilliant tax strategy, but if already in the position of low expenses and high passive income (which is impossible or undesirable to shelter), it should be possible to pay for health insurance in full. I would also look into non-ACA plans as there is currently no penalty for having non-ACA compliant health insurance.
@c_L: Good point about COVID isolation and decision making. I'm monumentally bad at measuring my own reaction to low-level frog in boiling water type stress reactions. I need to be reminded often that this is effecting me even though others are suffering much more than I am and my day-to-day routines are running fine.
I like that story about dieting and weight watchers. I've struggled to maintain a healthy weight for my whole life, alternating between periods of winning that and losing that struggle, often for years at a time. I too would game the system. What's worked for me in my current diet is paying attention to energy levels and how eating effects them. Unfortunately I don't have the same control over eating that I do over spending so I still need to use lower level "tricks" like intermittent fasting and allowing myself to binge eat when I'm very tired/ stressed/ as a reward for eating really well for a long period.
classical_Liberal wrote: ↑
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:50 pm
Instead of further trying to gamify the money game (which is mostly optimized), we have to start ignoring it to large degrees.
I think this is important for everyone but doubly important for semi-ERE. One of the advantages of early retirement is benefitting from serendipity of having time to pursue things and being uncommonly available/ in uncommon spaces while everyone is at work. Semi-ERE allows you to take advantage of this early, with the added incentive of needing to earn some money. Sometimes you need to "buy the ticket" to do the thing to get access to the serendipity. I think it can be harder for semi-ERE people to stop thinking about the money game, because we are in the accrual phase for a longer period, with less focus.
I think that having the confidence that serendipity/ non-paid-labor will pay off, that one possesses the skills/ tenacity to meet all basic needs under most probable future economic circumstances and that one will not backslide into old consumer habits are all important in changing the focus from optimizing the money dimension to yields and flows.
classical_Liberal wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:11 pm
WL5 salaryman needs the same kind of faith in other realms. It's just very hard when you're not even used to thinking of things in terms other than dollars. I can't even really measure these flows, plus they may have the most important impact in areas of life far away from the source, or distant into the future.
I wasn't attracted to FIRE because I wanted to have a large bank account. I wanted to live life on my own terms. FIRE gave me a fiscally viable methodology to do this and ERE gave me a framework to explore what "life on my own terms" actually meant and how it integrated into the larger world. I have faith in other realms because I have a decade long history of earning and saving money as well as accruing assets. I've had less success figuring out what I actually want and then doing it, so this is the realm that needs work, even if it comes at the expense of the financial realm. Easier said than done, but I think attempting to move from W5 to W6 thinking is as good a start to this journey as any.
@jacob: Does earning more in the businessman/ workingman quadrants tend towards increasing Wheaton Level? It sounds like you described a shift in thinking, which is easier for businessmen and workingmen than salarymen, that's not dependent on earning more.