Page 18 of 32

Re: 90 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:22 am
by Cheepnis
I'm much further off from FI than you, but in a similar situation. My GF doesn't share exactly the same FIRE goals as I do, but this is only her first year of "the grind" after finishing grad school and I think a couple more will get her on board. She is also underpaid and her job provides her much stress. We've had the talk too, she knows my general trajectory and plans, and we're pretty much on a "you do you" agreement at this point. But I'm unsure how tenable that will be when I'm not working (or working very little) and she still is. Or when I want to go slow travel for months and she can't.

Bridges still to cross, so I feel you.

Re: 90 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:16 pm
by Stahlmann
yes, I also feel the same.

simply due to lack of internal state interventions (large, capital intensive projects for which fundamentals were stolen from other countries), external (taking away added value from other nations/groups of people) and resulting place in global supply chains... I'm also underpaid.

as other 40 000 000 people in my country.
recently somebody was wondering why there not so many Russians.

interesting, indeed.

Re: 90 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:45 pm
by prognastat
It can be very tough when you and your partner either aren't on the same page or don't have the same ability to save.

For me it would depend mostly on my partners mindset, if the partner is fully on board with the FIRE thing and is actively participating I wouldn't have any problem providing a little more on my end if I was more able to than them. If however my partner wasn't really on the same page and had more of a you do you attitude about it I don't think I would be as willing to sacrifice my own time.

Although not the biggest reason different opinions regarding finances definitely was a contributing factor in my divorce.

Re: 90 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:51 pm
by classical_Liberal
I'm beginning to feel that peace you speak of, although it fades in and out. In more than out recently as my plan for the first 1-2 yrs of Semi-ERE begins to solidify.

As you well know, my situation with GF is similar. I actually offered to pay off her student loans at one point. She assumed a loan, I said it would be a gift. She quickly declined due to the power dynamic others have spoke of.

I think its extremely important to note that we can not place our vision, dreams, and future expectations onto our SO. What I have come to realize about my GF is that, although she really wants to sabbatical, travel, take large chunks of time of off work; she does NOT want RE early. She likes having a job. She likes the type of work she is doing, even though there are several career paths with her education and experience that could easily result in 200K plus compensations packages.

She is OK with me wanting a semi-ERE, near retirement scenario. I need to be ok with her wanting to work, in her field, even if she is potentially leaving a shit-ton of money on the table. Her ultimate goal is to be able to work at a stable location for about halve of each year, and travel the other half. Our goals are compatible enough that everything should work out, as long as there is some give and take along the way. Obviously nothing is a guarantee.

So I guess my question is, are you sure your SO wants RE? or just the travel and experiences you have been working towards. Even if she does want RE, I recommend not trying to do it for her, until the day comes that she asks of her own volition.

Re: 90 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:50 pm
by suomalainen
I get the power dynamic thing - I work for money, my wife does not. At the same time, I think you have to be aware of another dynamic, which is the pressure that you put on your SO when you have a dream or you want to do X, and thing X is not their dream or their thing, but they're willing to do it with/for you because they want to be with you. That decision does come with costs either way - if they say "go do your thing, it's not interesting to me", maybe you feel hurt. If they feel pressured to do that thing with you, maybe their dreams take a hit.

Long way of saying that sometimes, you can look at dynamics more holistically and realize that your paying her part of a trip that YOU really want to go on or to live a lifestyle that YOU really want to live is not a power move...it's a considerate move. "Honey, I want to do this thing and I want you to do this thing with me, but I don't want you to have to sacrifice your [financial goals, career] just to do this with me, so how can we do this thing so that it fits into what you want also?" As @cL says, it's a constant give-and-take and requires a lot of communication to make sure each person's needs are self-known, communicated and communally addressed.

Re: 89 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:36 am
by 2Birds1Stone
@bigato, I'm trying to find a balance, because as my life partner, it's important to share some of these experiences together in the near term. I can definitely see myself going to some sort of higher paid work in the future to speed things up for the both of us, as required/desired. Just want to avoid her feeling like she owes me something, or even worse, feeling stuck in the relationship because of the financial dependency.

@suomalainen, you make a great counter argument. I'm not sure how different the dynamic is for us, because being married with kids, your wife does much more around the household and child rearing. We have no/plan for no kids, and house chores are split very evenly, especially since I work primarily from home. She's only limited in her earning ability by largely self imposed circumstances. Without getting to deep into it, she certainly has the brains and work ethic to earn 2-3x what she currently does, but hasn't taken action to really make that happen. Her education is in a niche field that pays very little, and currently works at a grocery store part time, making $2k/month. It's a sensitive situation, and I do have to be careful how much I nudge vs. being supportive of her.

@Cheepnis, she would very much like the results of being ERE'd, but not necessarily the discomfort (albeit temporary) to get there. This was not really a huge issue several years ago when I was further away from the goal myself, but now that I'm realizing some of the fruit of that labor, it's inhibiting my mobility a bit. I can already sense some jealousy as I plan the rest of my 10 weeks off this summer, and she will have to work beyond the 3 weeks we spend in Europe together.

@prognastat, she is mostly of the same mindset, frugal naturally, and very much involved in the planning and lifestyle design side of things. Her spending is quite low comparatively speaking, but the low income makes it hard to save a large amount in absolute terms. A 30% savings rate on $24k of net income is great, but it would be a 70% savings rate on $50k in income. The difference being 28 years to FI vs. 8.5 years to FI using the simple math behind early retirement. She certainly can get to a $50k income, but I'm at a loss for how to help/encourage her without putting stress on our relationship. Prior to getting laid off 13+ months ago, she was earning that later income.

@c_L, she says she wants to RE. She certainly wants to go globetrotting with me next year, as well as vanaboding, thru-hiking, and other activities/adventures which are not conducive to working. I'm always doing my best not to project my own plans/goals/desires in a way that will make her feel like she has to follow in my footsteps. We could certainly try to find a compromise where we do some trips/activities together, and I venture out on my own for parts of the year......but I can sense there would be resentment, and I would likely not enjoy those adventures as much knowing that she *has* to work because she's still a ways from FI, while I am living off my assets and could easily bridge the gap for her with a few more years of FT salaryman type work.

What it all boils down to is compromise. I will have to compromise on some of my goals and plans in order to make sure that her needs/wants are being met. She will have to compromise and accept that I can't sit still because she's chosen a career/work path that is not conducive to near term financial independence.

It's interesting to get these thoughts down on *paper*, and a lot to think about as things progress.

I'm at a jumping off point here in a few months, and the future is extremely unpredictable.

PS - Stahlmann, I have no idea what you're talking about.

Re: 89 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:45 am
by slowtraveler
I've had the same situation, I tend to help with travel because it's something I want to do and the disproportionate amount of wealth/income but the women I've dated this year have all tried paying for dates which has been awesome even if I don't take the offer often.

I love seeing the counter ticking down. Good luck man, you're almost there.

Re: 89 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:56 pm
by prognastat
It can definitely be a tough balancing act. A lot of it is going to depend on your personality, hers and how they interact.

First the question is whether you working longer is either going to cause resentment on your end for delaying your goal or if it's going to cause negative feelings on her part due to a perceived power imbalance. Unless you know here really well the only way to be sure of this would be to discuss it.

You mention already perceiving jealousy when you make use of the freedom granted by being closer to FI, chances are this is likely to get worse rather than better as you progress further along and do this more. Only thing to make sure if that this is actually how she feels and not just you projecting what you fear she might think onto her behaviour which also might require open discussion to determine.

If she is a very independent type she might prefer being responsible for her FI fund, but if not then living different lives can drive a wedge in a relationship.

Re: 89 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:25 pm
by classical_Liberal
You have obviously put a ton of thought into this. Also sounds like the lines of communication are open, just make sure they stay that way.

My GF often accuses me of creating problems where they don't exist. She is absolutely correct!! I've had many of the same worries you do. But what I am doing (and maybe you) is projecting out potential problems of possible future scenarios. Planning for ERE/FIRE may have shifted our mindsets a bit too future oriented.

In the short/medium term, both you and SO have agreed on the time for European trip, although she kind-of wants to stay longer. You are both planning on additional sabbatical time together over the next 1-2 years for thru hike and van traveling, correct? So why project past that point? Enjoy those adventures, towards the end reassess. I wouldn't be surprised if you want to settle down back into some stability for awhile after that anyway. Saving more money for coupled FI may fit better into web-of goals then. One or both of you may decide some long term part time work is good for the soul, negating the need for more money, who knows?

I guess my point is relationships and future personal preferences can't be modeled on Firecalc. My mind has been focusing on worst-case scenario avoidance, ERE, robust lifestyles, and the like. This has bleed over effects into areas of life that just can't healthily be handled in the same risk avoidance way. Doing so is counter productive and actually creates more problems than it protects against. Maybe you are like me and need to check some of those uncontrollable worst case worries at the door?

Re: 89 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:11 pm
by Scott 2
After being staunchly in the separate finances camp for 15+ years, over the last few, I found myself spending more on my spouse, than on myself.

Our situation was similar to what you describe. We both lead simple lives. But, I'm a lot better at getting money and putting it to work. Compounded over the nearly 20 years we've been working, there's a big difference in both net worth and income.

The net effect is I can dramatically change her life for the better, with little negative impact on my end. It would be harder not to, especially with some medical issues she's had. My financial growth rate has slowed as a result, but there's still plenty. You seem to be on a similar trajectory.

It was never something I set out to do. We mitigate the power issue by being predictable and consistent. It's definitely a source of stress, more so for her than me. Better than the alternative though. If she was not similarly frugal, it wouldn't work.

We still keep separate finances and accounts. I think this helps head off problems.

Re: 89 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:36 pm
by Jin+Guice
I'm not sure our situations are similar enough for me to offer you direct guidance, but I've had some success in changing my girlfriend's mind about different issues that were important to me. The winning method for me has been being steadfast in my position, respectful of her thoughts and feelings, and trying to frame things from her perspective. Leading by example also helps, but I've found it's very important to be constantly vigilant of your SOs thoughts and feelings. Forcing discussions if something seems to be wrong, even if it causes a blow out, has worked better than silently leading by example and letting resentment build on both sides. Frankly, this is a lot of fucking work and it's a drag, but it seems to be necessary for mutual long-term happiness in a relationship, at least for me.

Re: 89 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:42 am
by 7Wannabe5
Why not work on reducing expenses to $8000/yr each level so that your GF's saving rate can be 66%=$16,000 per year? For instance, $550/month for shared housing is way more than she should be spending at her income level. She either needs to move to a LCOL area* or you guys need to do something like sublet the bedroom in your apartment and couch-surf on a sofa bed in the living room, so that her share of housing expenses is reduced to under $300.

*Since she can make $24,000/year just about anywhere, if she is staying in HCOL area because that is where you have to work, you should pay the difference in costs.

Re: 88 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:29 am
by 2Birds1Stone
@slowtraveler, I remember reading a bit of this in your journal. If I wanted to go on a trip/vacation that's out of my SO's price range then I would have no problem paying for 100% of it. This is a bit different because it's a LTR (8+ years), and we are not just talking about a short trip, but taking long stretches off work, and impacting the next several decades of our life together. Countdown is key! Almost there ;)

@prognostat, we did have that conversation right at the beginning of 2019, when discussing how to approach our trip(s) this summer. Communication has been key here. I can't predict the future, and to your point @c_L, this isn't stuff you can just model into a FIRE calculator. You make some great points my friend. I guess my brain is looking for how to model things for as close to 100% success rate as possible, which is impossible if you're only looking at things from the capital accumulation/preservation side of things.

@Scott 2, I've had similar experience over the past 8 years. The first 2 years of our relationship, I shouldered much more of the discretionary joint spending simply because SO was finishing school and working low wage PT job. It doesn't bother me paying more, especially for the leisure related spending.

@J+G, I've accepted that relationships are going to be a lot of work. Anything worth having, usually takes significant effort.

@7Wannabe5, I'm surprised no one brought this up sooner. Firstly, we live where we do because it's close to her family/social network, not my job. I work remotely, and when I do have to go to the office/travel we are 1.5-2 hour commute (1 way for me to get into NYC) or at least 60-80 minute drive to the two major airports I use. I was actually fine renting a room in a house for $600/month and it was her insistence that we rent a 1 bedroom apartment where we do (bad experience w/ roommates early on in our relationship). $550/person per month for rent/utilities/Wifi is extremely cheap for where we live. Neither one of us wants to live a 1 JAFI lifestyle, now or in the future. Me subsidizing her rent by $250/month would allow her to save an extra $3,000/yr, getting a better job would allow an extra $10,000-20,000/yr. What about when I RE? Should she pay a higher portion of our rent now that I voluntarily don't work?

Re: 88 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:46 am
by 7Wannabe5
If it's her choice of lifestyle then definitely not on you. I am just projecting a bit due to fact that there are basically no men in my dating age range who are willing to live as frugally as me, and many of them do have other career, business or family obligations that keep them tied in place and spending level. Also, I recently read an article that was on the topic of something like the long-term downside of being a young tag-a-long girlfriend.
What about when I RE? Should she pay a higher portion of our rent now that I voluntarily don't work?
Nope. My take is that whoever's lifestyle choices are compelling higher spending should chip in more. Often lifestyle expense is correlated with income, but not always.
Me subsidizing her rent by $250/month would allow her to save an extra $3,000/yr, getting a better job would allow an extra $10,000-20,000/yr.
True, but if the $250/month reduction in her expenses is projected long-term (IOW, if it is independent of particular generous boyfriend :lol: -jk), that equals $250 X12 /.03 = $100,000 less she will have to accrue towards FI = 10 years at an additional $10,000/year, not even taking into consideration tax and/or career necessitated lifestyle inflation.

Re: 88 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:33 pm
by 2Birds1Stone
Understood, and I totally get where you're coming from. I'm trying to encourage her to not be that "young tag-a-long girlfriend" you speak of. She has in the past, and could in the future easily take her skills and apply them to a more career type job earning 2-3X what she currently does. After she was laid off a year and a half ago, she just picked up more hours at this PT grocery store job.
It's just something we have to work through together.

I appreciate everyone's feedback/criticism/and ideas. This is definitely a sensitive topic/situation for me, and it's a large part of why I'm not already living in SE Asia or dirtbagging it on a Appalachian Trail, this involves compromise and effort on both our parts.

Re: 88 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:59 pm
by Frugalchicos
Becoming a team takes a long time. All I can suggest is lead by example and explain why saving and living frugally is important to have a happy and successful life. I bet that sooner or later she will be rocking a 70% SR and making triple of what she is making right now.

It takes time to achieve a total geared up team. Patience and perseverance is the name of the game in your situation. However, I must say that if it doesn't get fixed on time,it only gets more complicated when married, kids, etc...

Good luck!

Re: 88 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:08 pm
by 7Wannabe5
IMHO, the potential problem with this leading-by-example theory is that your GF is not your kid brother. Also, although those of us hanging out on this forum, might see what you are modeling as natural consequences of long-term successful completion of dedicated program, what you will actually be modeling in the moment will be something more like "Taking a fun trip without you." I mean in the real world of social economics where your GF might be chatting on the phone with her concerned mother, her seriously interfere-nik friend Marsha, or that guy Todd who always had a thing for her, on Day 37 of your solo trip, results may vary.

However, take this with huge grain of salt, because offered from likely more than a bit jaded perspective of somebody just about ready to renew her membership in OWGTOW- Pumpkin Lady Division.

Re: 84 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:13 pm
by 2Birds1Stone
Much to see.

Busy week of work travel. I drove nearly 900 miles in the past 3 days. End of the quarter, so everyone is high strung and pissy, a lot of pressure from management........not really feeling it. Managed to catch up with an old childhood friend in DC, and explore a bit by foot. Yesterday I stopped in PA for the evening and also hung out with a friend. I'm ready to be introverted for a while.

No exercise the past 3 days, and lots of food and booze. Scared to step on the scale tomorrow.

Re: 81 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:22 pm
by 2Birds1Stone
***

Re: 81 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:25 pm
by classical_Liberal
Awesome!!! Did you get FMLA days from work? or are you planning on packing it up with this company and reassessing afterwards?