Elegant's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Fri May 22, 2015 5:51 pm

May 2015 Update.

It's now more than 7 months since I ere'd. Time is not slowing down . Surprise surprise.

Although I don't miss my old job in the slightest, I cannot recall doing anything truly significant since retiring.

The biggest news is that I practically moved in to live with my mother. She is 65 and feels lonely having retired herself this year. She strongly encourages me to live here on her expense. We get along just fine -- not to mention the dramatic reduction in my own expenses. Additionally, her house is close to the law school I'm about to start in 5 months.

My own apartment now stands empty. I only visit to water the plants and vacuum the dust. I suppose the logical (and socially responsible) thing to do would be to rent it out as the demand is great. The rent payments alone would cover my expenses by a wide margin, regardless of my FI status.

However ... Something is holding me back I cannot stop feeling that this step would solidify the fact of me moving back in. I'm worried that this is a regression, a step backwards in terms of independence as preached by ERE.

Any advice?

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by wizards » Fri May 22, 2015 11:27 pm

Nice to hear from you!

Since you will be starting law school (exiting!) in 5 months I would recommend you to get some new perspectives – spend some time seeing the world.

This could be:

Europe – Interrail trip in the summer – if you happen to come by Denmark – feel free to spend some nights at my couch.
Australia – tour the west coast
United Status – road trip

Regarding your apartment – it doesn’t sound like you’re ready to give up the option of moving back. Is a short-term lease an option? (if you’re going traveling this might help fund the expenses).

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat May 23, 2015 5:02 am

I like wizards' ideas :-)

Anyway, I hope you find your way, Elegant... Money is not the key issue (anymore), so you have more freedom. You can make more different choices now.

What I'm wondering: perhaps you could sell your current apartment and find one that's a bit closer to your mother's, and closer to law school.

I hope your mother finds her way to. For my mother the adaption to retirement wasn't easy either. But that's now 3 years ago, and I can say that she made it, and found a new way to enjoy her days and to feel (very) useful. She was a teacher and now has students drop by for extra lessons a couple of hours per week (on two different days). That also leaves a few days of the week open to do more fun stuff. I hope your mother adapts too and finds a (very) enjoyable way of living.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:18 pm

So I rented out the apartment for a sum equivalent to 1,000$ per month. With my tiny business venture, my total monthly passive income now stands at 1,500$ per month.

That means that post ERE, I make almost 1/2 of what I made pre-ERE. Even a minimum wage burger flipping job would put me at my pre-ERE income level again.

How cool is that? :D

Anyway, I can live VERY WELL on that income stream alone, without touching my ERE capital. With all property bills out of the way (in Israel it is customary for the tenant to pay them), my expense level is almost ZERO.

Actually, this puts me in the very strange position of almost complete indifference towards my portfolio. I didn't and still don't feel any pain despite the recent market turmoil, even though my net worth shrank quite considerably since June.Does anyone else feel like that? Does this mean I should perhaps increase my exposure to risk (stocks)? I'm currently 50/50 stocks / bonds.

In other news, today I went to the law school pre-introductory class. It was interesting and I loved being back at the campus (I got my B.A in History there). However, the law school felt somewhat like a a lawyer factory.

At 31 I think was the oldest prospective student there. The frantic little ones asked mainly career-related questions. I kinda felt sorry for them but also smiled silently, knowing that my reasons for studying law right now are completely different. Specifically, I want to study law to

1. increase optionality
2. increase wisdom (knowledge+perspective)
3. add some structure to my retirement
4. collect experiences (studying law in singapore sounds interesting)
5. meet new people
6. challenge my degenerating-witcher-3-playing brain a little :P

making money or a career in law is really not why I'm doing this.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by henrik » Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:57 am

Studying for the reasons you listed is fun and rewarding. I'm on my second such round already:) Enjoy!

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by rube » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:31 am

I was wondering how you were doing. Nice to read your update. Good luck with the study.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:18 am

Nice to hear from you again, Elegant. You may become annoyed by some of your fellow students. You may also be annoyed by some of your professors. Some are only there for the paychecks (both students and professors). But I'm hoping you'll meet some students and some professors who are interested in discussing things with you and in teaching you stuff and in increasing everyone's knowledge. Enjoy!

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:20 pm

First semester is behind me. I feel I need to express my thoughts, I'm sorry if this somewhat harsh or inappropriate.

I hate to say it but law school is not as intellectually stimulating as I thought it would be. I now feel it is mostly a waste of time with massive workload. I hardly derive any inspiration and I am completely sure I don't want to be a lawyer.

Actually in terms of workload this is just like career only with zero pay. Thankfully I'm not paying anything (tuition is free), but I'm beginning to have second thoughts whether I should quit (academic ERE? lol).

I was naive wrt meeting new people. Most of my fellow students are 7-10 years younger than I am and I don't feel I have anything in common with their extrovert party seeking behavior and childish attitude. Let alone finding a girlfriend! lol...

It finally came clear to me that my personality is very confrontational in nature and my frustration tolerance is very low. This probably explains why after half a year I'm not on speaking terms with at least 10 different students for various reasons. Thiis sucks, reminds me of my old military days where I would go to my office, close the door, stay there for 8 hours and go home without speaking a single word to anyone.

I realize the problem is ME and the scenes I create in my head.

But that's probably who I am and no matter what social context there will always be some people who will annoy me to the point I wish they would not be around me.

I should probably find a cave somewhere in the Judean desert.

Other than that I still live with my mother, making around 1500$ per month from rent and internet marketing and living on about 500$. This offsets that massive decline in my portfolio value but I'm rather indifferent towards it right now to the point where I could lose it all and not really care.

I suppose I could go on living this forever but I'm starting to wonder whether I'm living post-ERE life "correctly".

FI is not the panacea for all problems.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by jacob » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:29 pm

Long time no see ...

Your experience of returning to college many years later and getting disappointed that it seems to have turned into a party-crowd of drama is not unusual. It was likely always like that ... except it wasn't obvious when one was in one's early 20s. That's not to say that there aren't anyone around who isn't more mature/boring. They're just hiding out though.

FI only ever solved one problem. The need for an earned income.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by fips » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:51 pm

Good to see you back!

I find that age differences matter less the older one becomes (which then should also be true for the younger students around you).
The behavior of your fellow students might be more the result of what many understand as "the freedom to live" once they have "left home" for the first time. I wouldn't worry too much and maybe pick up different student activities besides partying (sports? academic clubs?). That way you can gradually become more social with people you find more mature.

Being FI can help you erase one worry (=income to provide for your needs) and make more time to focus on your studies and other interests.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:12 pm

ugh, re-reading what I wrote I sound extremely bitter and make things worse than what they really are. ;)

@Jacob three years ago you wrote in reply to (similiar) concerns I raised in this very thread:

"Warning: Quitting or retiring won't automatically solve the "existentialist problem". It might actually make it worse."

This is spot on. Looking back, I was on the way to become FI, thinking I'd do "something else" besides work once I get there, but here I am, finding myself in a different, yet similar, institutionalized environment, being told what to do and wehre to be, hating the people, wanting out...

What's going on! How did I get here, back to square 1, despite "completing "my FI journey?

I should probably do something RADICALLY different... but could it be that due to my strong ISTJ personality I'm drawn to such a lifestyle? This is a chicken and egg problem...

@fibs yeah, I'm still struggling to find myself in this place. There are student exchange programs with other law schools, that could be an interesting experience to look forward to.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by thrifty++ » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:40 pm

Awesome that you have achieved FI! Thats something to be happy about.

Maybe you should ditch being at law school. Sounds like its not working for you at all. Its not like you need to be there now. Law school would be a groundswell of very career focussed people. Maybe you should think about hobbies and interests which might bring you towards likeminded people and direct energy towards that. Sounds like law school is a sap on your energy.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:51 pm

Hi Elegant,

I'm by no means qualified in anything psychological or occupational, but as an ISTJ, wouldn't it be time to think about a job that you would a. enjoy doing and b. be good at doing, so that you'll c. know you're contributing something valuable (to something that you think is worth contributing to, whether that's your country or humanity or elephants or the future of space travel or ...) ?

Maybe it's time to go talk to a good study coach / educational coach, or whatever it's called. Spend a few bucks on it; on somebody who'll first run tests on you, to see what kind of jobs you'll like and what kind of jobs you'll be good at (not unimportant!). And who will then give you advice on what direction to go in and how to take steps to get there.

You have a wonderful opportunity to do whatever the *** you want to do. You have a lot of freedom. Use (some of) it!

Personally, I needed the advice by a study coach to not only 'think about' what a job would probably feel like to me, but to also try to experience that job. Do a placement or accompany someone who is doing the job for a few days. I was really surprised by the difference. So for me paying that coach for that advice was very worthwhile.

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by wolf » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:40 am

Hi elegant. I just have read your whole journal from the very beginning and I took some notes while reading it.
Your story, experiences and your journal is very insightful. There are some major Lessons Learned there, IMO.
Congratulation to your FIRE-journey and your personal development! I guess, financially speaking, everything is fine.

I am for myself an introvert and have not many social situations. Have you made some more experiences concerning your ISTJ nature?

What have you done with your law school? I have considered myself to study when I will have FIRE'ed. Maybe that is not a good idea anymore.

Thank you for sharing your story! Would really like to read an update from you. Anyway, I hope everything is just fine with you and your mother. Take care!

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Jason » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:44 am

Great blog and congrats.

RE: Accusations of marginalizing life: There is a quote and I couldn't find it so I will paraphrase and wait for the person on the forum who can clean it up and provide proper attribution as there appears to be no category of common knowledge that is not covered here. Which just gave me an idea of ERE Jeopardy which would be intense but people would probably quit when they calculated that they had enough money instead of playing it out and trying to actually fucking win.

"If only men could reside in their own chambers, how much better place the world would be."

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by SnailMeister4000 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:51 pm

@Jason: You are probably referring to Blaise Pascal, who apparently once stated that “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” I don't want to pretend I knew that by heart. I couldn't resist trying to find the original quote as I had read it myself somewhere sometime.

@Elegant: Thanks for your journal. It was interesting to read. How is it going?

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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Jason » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:22 pm

Thank you. I didn't know it was him but I knew it was someone like him. I have a lecture on Blaise Pascal earmarked. Most people know him because of his wager, but if you ever feel good about what you accomplished in life, I would suggest reading Blaise Pascal's biography for comparative purposes. You will feel failure at a deep fucking level. Especially considering that he died at 39 and was one those guys who was always sick.

Actually, he might be an appropriate touchstone for Elegant as expressed in some of his concerns.

Not to mention, who had a cooler fucking name?

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