FI or bust; FBeyer.

Where are you and where are you going?
SavingWithBabies
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:40 pm

That is exciting! Do you have a rough idea of how long whatever you're working on might take to make it out into the world? Oh and I'm like the earlier repliers -- I just like to read journals sometimes as they can be interesting. I like that they don't have the fixed topic of a thread and you get to hear more from one person over time.

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:27 am

I think the initial estimate is about 1 year to 1.5 years before we have a working prototype.
With what I consider to be perfectly sensible pessimism I therefore estimate that we have a working prototype in 1.5 to 2 years.

At that point we should definitely be able to attract investors and start receiving wages in some form or another. That should also hopefully be the point where the business expands beyond being a lab and becomes an actual international business.

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TheWanderingScholar
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by TheWanderingScholar » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:23 pm

FUCK YEAH! GO STARTUPS!

Sorry I am looking at going to a local hackathon in May so I am excited to people on this sort of events!

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:44 pm

It is already my experience that startups and entrepreneurs are the most easily excited and helpful people I've met.
If you have even basic networking skills you can get a lot of help, with a lot of stuff.

Have fun at the hackathon!

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Mon May 28, 2018 5:45 am

My 7 Day Work Week:
I'm working 7 days a week again(*). But this time it's voluntary, and actually makes a surprising amount of sense. It's invigorating, actually! But(t)(@) there are caveats.

The system is simple: work 5 pomodoros every single day. I start somewhere between 8 and 9 and continue until 12'ish. 3 pomos, then a large break, then 2/3 more and I'm off for the day. Once my post-stress reduced working hours are over, I'll be working 6 pomodoros per day.

Since I'm intermittently fasting 18:6 I've combined IF with my work so that I can reward a finished workday with food. This also sets an artificial deadline for getting shit done. So I have a good reason to get started early and finish within reasonable time. 'cause you know... hunger. Since my eating window is 12:00 to 20:00 that means that I can eat once I've done a day's work, and I can eat until I would normally turn off all screens and ready my brain for sleeping.

A 7-day work week establishes a routine that I sorely need. I've been thrashing about during the last stages of my PhD and during my year-long sick leave so it's probably healthy to get back into a groove of some kind. When there is no schedule I tend to all sorts of disjointed stuff, and unless I absolutely stuff my calendar with thing to do, I tend to feel bad at the end of the day. It doesn't matter that I've done something all day, i still feel like I didn't get the most out of the day, somehow. The lack of routine actually makes me do all SORTS of things, but I never appreciate it. Don't know why, but a routine is good apparently. Maybe it's just because setting a routine has forced me to prioritize so that I get the important stuff done first, rather than a lot of random stuff done all the time.

In spite of setting a routine that is in effect every. single. day, it also gives a lot of leeway to do something besides work. A productive 8 hour day absolutely drains me beyond the point where I can get anything done during the evening. That means that a regular Joe Shmoe's working hours completely ruins 5/7 of my week. And not only that, but those two days where I'm off from work, I get irritated because my leasure time the rest of the week hasn't been very fulfilling. It all adds up and I can't take it for prolonged periods of time(#). Prolonged meaning on the order of months, not years.

Hence my life looks like: Coffee -> Work -> Food -> Meditate/Exercie -> Recharge -> Family time -> Grown-up time -> Garden time -> Sleep. Every day.

Notice that mess-around-time is basically from 12 to 21 every day. That's a lot of guilt-free sparetime. A lot of time for getting chores done, hugging/fooling about in our little three-person family, a lot of sitting on the patio staring at my apple tree, a lot of time playing games. I haven't done leasure well for years, so now it feels really, really,(&) REALLY good to finally leasure on a regular basis!

Part of the beauty is that this form of 7 day work week guarantees constant and steady progress, which I like, but it also guarantees guilt-free relaxation; Which is really the reason why I'm doing this. To get better at relaxing while feeling good about it. Around noon, I know I've done what I needed to do, so I can relax with whatever I feel like for the rest of the day. That was something I haven't really been able to do for maybe the last 10 years or so.(**)

Now, I'm worn down after a day's work, like I would be after an 8 hour slog. Also, this way I make use of two more days per week so in effect I'm getting 40 hours work done in 28 hours. That leaves me with 12 more hours to relax in good conscience, with the same output "as usual".

Aaaaaaaaw Yiss!!!!!11one

Working only 5-6 pomodoros every day also guarantees that I don't fall into another trap. When you work at 70-80% capacity like I'm doing now, you also guarantee that you never really wear yourself down completely, and you also guarantee that when something unexpected comes up, you actually have spare resources to get that done. When you're constantly working at 100% you become speed blind to your own needs. The status quo is to use up all your resources at work and then... then what, for the rest of the day? Becoming hedonically adapted to expending all I've got has lead me down a year's worth of medication already, I'm about to become fundamentally religious about that not happening again. I also finally kicked SSRI treatment so all is progressing as planned(***)

I can only do this because I'm totally free from regular office bullshit and I am completely free to arrange my working hours. I realize that soon I will be back in my office chipping away in the copper mines, but for now I'm having the best work days I've ever had.

(*) S'like... toooooootally not Tim-Ferriss-mandated, dude!
(@) Snicker
(#) TWSS
(&) really, really, really, really, really, really, really,...
(**) Fucking university!
(***) According to MBTI progressing as planned is something ENTJs enjoy very much.





Zen and the Art of Walking, and Sitting.
Secular Buddhism has so many wonderful things to offer the modern world that I've found myself forced to revisit the list of topics I think should be mandatory in school: Computer programming, statistics, and Sitting.

Of course my infatuation could potentially be based in my tendency towards over-productivity but there seems to be a bit of a catch 22 here. If you're too busy to Sit, you probably should. If you have time to Sit, why don't you?
I'm getting better at Sitting and Walking. Not because I grow a third eye and smell of incense all the time, but because I'm getting better and better at noticing when my thoughts drift away from where I am currently, or when my thoughts drift towards untimely planning or irrelevant concerns.

In fact I've come to enjoy Walking so much that I'm gonna stop updating this journal now and Walk. Luckily, you don't have to suffer through the temporal experience of this entry coming online, so for you the wait will be negligible. Lucky you! However, if you really feel like it you can sit around for X hours (X) and read on once that time has passed(*).

Right. I'm back.

However, I'm having the damnest time trying to figure out how to relay the incredible utility of learning how to Sit and Walk to other people. The stupid fucking notion of meditation as some AAAAAAAAAAAUMMMMMMMMMMM flavored, incense infused, sitar-backed, tree hugging session, among smelly hippies is so prevalent that even people who've tried meditation still thinks that's how you do it.

You just sit your stressed-out ass down and focus on your breath. Once you realize just how hard it is to do only that, you could potentially realize that all of your life is run by that little caffeine-doped squirrel inside your mind at that you're missing out on so much, but no. Everyone assumes that they're personally too busy to learn how to sit still and concentrate. The revelation is not one that grows a third eye, but realizing -while you're sitting there on your stressed-out ass- just how much inconsequential bullshit you've taken ownership of, and how much of that inconsequential bullshit still gets to run your life. If you're too impatient to sit on your stressed-out ass: you probably should! Shit's difficult yo. 'specially since we're all strung up so fucking tight.

We're so awfully afraid of not getting enough done during our lifetimes that we don't even take the time to LEARN how to enjoy just being alive.

It's clearly becoming harder and harder for me to communicate in writing with people I don't know personally. I'm too zen, too frugal, too educated, too confrontational, too optimization minded, too direct, and too concerned with the world's (not just my own) well being to engage in written discussion without disclaimers, caveats, appendices, link safaris, and elaborations. I don't feel transcended. I don't feel superior. I'm simply seeing the world through an increasingly alienating lens. I guess it just is what it is. In the end I'll just have to disengage from popular discussions and concentrate on my own direct well-being and let the rest of the world find its own path.
But that's not my call in life. I really want all of us to live slightly better lives. I still can't disconnect completely. I still care too much.

It's not making me angry, it's making me sad.

Since my breakfast is now just a single cup of coffee, I've incorporated a daily gratitude review into my morning routine. I just jot down something that I was appreciative of the day before in a small pocket book. It's now a log which is a couple of months long with an entry for every day since January 28th. The book actually started out as my Little Book of Win! Every time I got something done, I'd write it in the book so my small, daily, accomplishments would be visible to me. Being so progress minded means that I need a reminder of sorts so that I can see just how much I really get done. I tend to live somewhere in the future, so I don't really "notice the water as it passes under the bridge". However, rather than only celebrate 'real' accomplishments, I decided to extend the Little Book of Win to encompass every single day. That little morning ritual means that I tend to have my radar out for most of the day, looking for things to be grateful for. It's crazy how much of a difference ot makes to actively look for something to appreciate, rather than actively look for something to bitch about. Vis a vis, facebook, water cooler discussions, political debates, media in general.

I'm also slowly learning to love the process and not the results. I'm learning to celebrate my daily work and appreciate taking small, constant, steps towards a higher goal. Goals don't really feel good for as long as we expect them to.(**) Learning to engage with the process of life thus gives one much more satisfaction over a lifetime compared to basking solely in the light of one's successes. The strategy is therefore to bump up for standard level of satisfaction, rather than pursue large spikes in satisfaction. Being present (ie Mindfulness) is simply a matter of life-time optimizing ones sense of contentment, and honestly, being content in today's society is worth quite a lot. Luckily mindful awareness takes no extra time out of one's day, and costs absolutely nothing! It's the best mental ROI you can get. Even more luckily (I just wanted to mangle that phrase) dopamine/endorphins/serotonin/oxytocin gets released in almost (Almost!) equal amounts regardless of the magnitude of the accomplishment. So many small -but significant- accomplishments will totally outshine a few spectacular accomplishments. So the trick is to turn those small accomplishments into something that paves the way for those spectacular accomplishments and you're set on Living The Good Life!


(X) X turned out to be 3.5 once I came home again.
(*) I won't hold it against you if you don't. Fret not!
(**) It turns out Wimbledon winners are only ecstatic for about 3 hours after winning the tournament, then they quickly converge back towards normal.



Financial Freedom over Financial Independence.
I'm not FI, but I'm still feel free to make whatever decisions I need to make. I might only have 6-7 years stashed away, but the dividend yield still covers more than 1/3 of my annual expenses so in actuality I'm rather free to pursue whatever strikes my fancy at the moment, as long as I keep pension savings in mind. Pension savings meaning money-for-when-I'm-too-decrepit-to-work.

Two years ago SoCalWill wrote something that has stuck in my head ever since: "They only grow up once". I'm not independent, but I am Pareto financially free, and right now I feel like I need to leverage that to live a better life while my daughter is still young. So thank you for that. You've made a difference!

If I can find a source of income within the next 8-10 years I'm good to go for another 8-10 years. I think I'd rather leapfrog my way through a happy life that suffer through cubicle hell to be financially retired. I can't sit on my ass anyway, I might as well leverage my ADD to make some monies and see some things.

I know that my grandfather on my mother's side lived his entire life away from a 'real' job. If he could do it through a world war, so can I!


The Garden:
This year we added Jerusalem artichokes, rhubarb, a red currant bush, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and raspberries to our repertoire. And last year's strawberry seedling have now multiplied to a small forest of plants with plenty of fruit. Green still, yes, but hopefully the blackbirds won't munch the entire thing before we get to eat some red delicious Senga Senganas

Our raised beds are only JUST raised above lawn level. The beds were dug into the soil and boards where added. That was a mistake it turns out. The grass grows rather tall next to the raised bed, so I fear that slugs can actually use the grass to prop themselves up and over a mechanical barrier, so I went for the level 0 permaculturist solution: Copper tape.

Copper tape... Ugh!

Copper tape is expensive, needs replacing, and it pollutes. A small roll of that shit produces a disgusting amount of plastic garbage. But srsly-srsly I can't bring my self to add another layer to our 'raised' beds so I can nail down a zink barrier right now. That's a project for another time.
Now, after I added the tape we actually managed to box IN, not keep OUT some slugs, that promptly went to town on our radishes and kale seedlings. Slimy disgusting, fuckers!

Well not only that, but since 'that fucking cat' managed to take several dumps in all our raised beds during winter I had to build these coverings for all the beds, so now we can't just reach in an pluck weeds from the bed, we have to unmount the net to get to the plants to nurture them. So to add insult to injury, not only did I cobble together a cat-crap-guard that keeps us from weeding easily and growing tall plants, the slugs decided to use the coverings and scalable scaffolding and just crawled up and over the copper tape. AND(!!!!) That Fucking Cat, decided he could just swipe aggressively enough at the coverings so he got into one of our beds and promptly took a dump yet again!

Fuggin' animals, 'messing wit' ma' plants!

IF YOU KNOW HOW TO KEEP CATS OUT OF RAISED BEDS WITHOUT INVOLVING FIREARMS, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!
Please. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, prettyprettyprettypretty, please...


Please!


H.O.W.E.V.E.R: Since I'm getting jiggy with the whole learn-to-relax lifestyle, I'm doing my best to turn of all screens about an hour before bed time. That, then, leaves plenty of time to stick my head into the garden and water everything and take a slow tour of everything before turning in. You know, actually enjoying having a garden rather than just maintaining it and harvesting from it when stuff's ready.

I'm getting many more hours of enjoyment out of my weedy, reedy, seedlings that I've spent building stuff and cursing at animals. It's probably all good.




Fishing!
For her birthday my GF wished for a fishing trip with her father, and he cashed in on the present last Monday. It was so wonderful to go fishing that I am definitely going to go again. Apparently we can catch cod, mackarel, garfish, and sea trout reasonably close to where I live, so... yeah. Going on a picnic while bringing a fishing rod is EXACTLY the kind of productive relaxation I need at the moment. My brother in law owns a canoo and loves to be outdoors. I might just team up with him, a tent, and a stack of beer and go lake fishing some time soon.

Wish me luck!




PS: My investments are in the red, but accounting for yield they're still in the black. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I feel rather good about the whole thing.


FBeyer, out!

Seppia
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Seppia » Mon May 28, 2018 8:43 am

Your stocks have a yield of minimum 4.7% after tax?
Did you specifically pick high dividend stocks or am I making a mistake somewhere?

If 7 years of expenses’ dividends cover 1/3 of your costs
21 years of expenses’ would cover 100%
1/21 = 4.76%

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Mon May 28, 2018 11:34 am

High Dividend stocks/Quality dividend stocks and Junk bonds. 7-ish years invested in total. 27% tax. Plus minus local tax fiddling.

5.5% estimated yield for stocks in 2018.
1/3 of the portfolio is in a large, lazy, stable index that yields 3.6% so the hand-picked stocks make up for the difference. Add some 5% - 13% junk bonds and I arrive in the vicinity of 1/3 of annual expenses. Be aware of rounding and back-of-napkin estimates.

Why do you ask?

Edit: Also be aware that my current dividend yield has been built up since late 2016 or so. That's hardly a timeframe for any sensible comparison.

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theanimal
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by theanimal » Mon May 28, 2018 11:47 am

What does a pomodoro session look like for you? Is one session composed of multiple segments or one long segment?

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Mon May 28, 2018 11:53 am

25 min work 5 minute break = 1 pomodoro.

3 pomodoros.
30 minute break
2 pomodoros.

It takes about 3.5 hours including some fudge time.

When I go back to full time it'll be 3 and 3.
Normally I'd do 4 and 4, but four a time is really fucking rough on the brain when you're learning mathematics.

Seppia
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Seppia » Mon May 28, 2018 12:43 pm

FBeyer wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 11:34 am
Why do you ask?
Because I was interested to know if you had built your portfolio purposely for that and how.
I got answers to both my questions so thanks :)

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cmonkey
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by cmonkey » Tue May 29, 2018 2:58 pm

For the cat issue, spread citrus peels around. Cats HATE citrus.

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:36 am

This is Water:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI
I paraphrase:
If all you care about is freedom, you will end up feeling trapped.
I've come across the idea expressed in this video several times over the last couple of years. To some extent it ties in with Stoicism, but to a greater extent it ties in with Buddhism. In order to live: kill yourself.

If you can't use your intellect to do so then use your education and develop some plasticity of thought.
Plasticity is paramount if you ever:
  • want to get out of whatever hole you find yourself in.
  • find yourself in the same situation over and over again, and you want that behavior to change.
  • discover that certain fears are starting to take over your life.
  • need a constructive outcome from an argument or negotiation.
  • want to change as a person.
  • want a fulfilling existence.
You have become your ego, and that needs to die in order to free up the rest of you.

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Hobbes
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Hobbes » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:22 pm

Beg pardon good sir!
So I dutifully perused your journal for references to your book, and, after trying the forum search function (didn't go well, despite several search queries) and searching each page in your journal individually for 'book,' I was only able to locate references to how long it is. And that it's being written. And that it has something to do with learning, and possibly something about coaching people. Or not. I also learned that you read _a lot_ of books all at once!

So: your book? I'd be interested to hear what it is about, and, when it's ready, how one would go about procuring a copy?

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:35 am

I think the FI community is myopically focused on 'saving money' rather than spending money right. There is a tendency to focus on money, rather than what people have done with their lives in order to live closer to their ideals. People think FI is about money, when it is really a matter of lifestyle engineering. So therefore, I wanted to write a book that deals with the good life, and how to find it, and in particular show how to live A Good Life without spending more money on it than you should.

The idea is to first explain the psychological biases that keep us from doing a lot of the things that we instinctively know we should, but we are afraid of for various reasons. And also expand on certain other ideas that are useful when you want to Get More for Less. Then I want to provide the reader with a long list of things to do/try/experiment with in order to gauge their own agency, competency and to experience those various psychological biases in a completely safe (but admittedly sometimes also weird) environment.

The overarching theme is the idea of spending right, not spending less, and what is right for everyone of us is completely unique. Therefore it is imperative that people learn what 'enough' means to them, so that they can be free to follow their dreams in the safest, most productive manner possible. That requires some experimentation and I'll try to propose a framework for doing so.

Financial independence is mentioned in a separate section, but it is not the main focus of the book. The book is rather akin to Your Money or Your Life, actually, except I suggest a playground of things to experiment with, in order to experientially dial in to one's personal needs. EREs will recognize a lot of ideas from Jacob's book, but overall it is meant to be much more accessible to the layman.
In terms of frugality it IS rather extreme, once you start applying it, but I never mention a specific spending level, or set artificial boundaries on expenses. I'll have to trust that the reader will know the right level for that, over time. My hope is that the extreme levels of frugality will start to sneak up on people so they 'discover' how little you can really live on, rather than set it as a goal at the onset (like some tend to do with ERE where the current 'goal' seems to be 7000$ per year.)

Furthermore, the book is built like a toolkit, so the topics are separate and can be applied independently of each other. That way the reader can mix and match. That also means the books gets rather long, even though you might only need a subset of the information in it.

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Hobbes
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Hobbes » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:11 pm

I like moving the implicit focus from gathering money to lifestyle engineering, paired with experimentally determining the level of spending that is just right to support those lifestyle goals for the individual. The former strategy always reminded me of Smaug from the Hobbit, in the sense of being a coiled serpent guarding your wealth-pile from any would-be spending (even if that spending could be justified).
But you mention 'living the good life': out of curiosity, what do you mean by that? Said differently, what does that look like to you?

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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:50 pm

FBeyer wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:35 am
So therefore, I wanted to write a book that deals with the good life, and how to find it, and in particular show how to live A Good Life without spending more money on it than you should.
How far along are you in writing this book? The idea reminds me of an article on Less Wrong. Assuming the science there is legit, you could apply a leveraged Pareto principle technique to optimizing happiness obtained for effort expended. This sort of book should be heavy with inspirational sounding quotes that can be used in promotional materials.

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:30 am

ThisDinosaur wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:50 pm
... This sort of book should be heavy with inspirational sounding quotes that can be used in promotional materials.
Which is pretty much what it is currently. So I'm glad you pointed that out!

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FBeyer
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by FBeyer » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:51 am

Hobbes wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:11 pm
... out of curiosity, what do you mean by that? Said differently, what does that look like to you?
Missed this the first time around: Are you asking me what my personal Optimal Life looks like?

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Hobbes
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by Hobbes » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:48 pm

That was my original intent. But also, as a follow on, is your personal optimal life what you argue for in the book? If not, what do you argue for?

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7Wannabe5
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Re: FI or bust; FBeyer.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:06 pm

Sounds interesting. Will you send your readers out into the woods to see if they can live on nothing?

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