classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

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Augustus
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Augustus » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:13 pm

You could always take a few months off and see how you feel after that. Or try PRN for a little bit. You don't have to solidly commit to being semi re forever. Taking a few months off was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had, now I look forward to contracts ending. You could die next year for all you know. I would be so pissed off if I didn't get to at least sample freedom before I died.

Edit: you may also find the reverse to be true wrt gf. My wife thoroughly enjoyed my time off after the sky didn't fall and I demonstrated our finances were going according to my projections. Turns out my libido goes through the roof, I'm kinder and more understanding, I cook all the time, and I eat right and exercise every day. It ended up with her being well fed, well tended to, and responding to my advances with "again?!?!"

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:19 am

Happy Thanksgiving!

I really appreciate all the feedback.

@Jin+Guice
Don't worry, there is no way I'm stuck for five more years, I promise! Even in a really bad case for the market I'd hit the goal in months rather than years. The moving goal posts/OMY is a much bigger issue and the most concerning for me as well. I'm not really sure how to address it though.

I really think my biggest internal resistance to cutting down to part-time is that I need a break from nursing. I don't want to put up with the BS for less money than I make now. So, it's all or nothing for the time being. Even though I may go back to it after some time off, part-time is not in the cards initially.

If I had some kind of great idea to make 1-2k monthly, doing something I'd enjoy, at least for awhile, I'd put in my notice tomorrow. I don't, hence the need to hold of on transition. Frankly, I'm not sure why I have such a problem with this. Part of my history I've yet to detail in this journal is a period in my life about 10 years ago when I walked out on my last career and normal suburban life. With virtually no savings I managed to make ends meet with odd jobs I enjoyed, make some major positive personal changes, and was much happier for it. As a matter of fact, one of the main images of semi-ERE that I hold in my head is a return to a similar life-style, except this time with enough self knowledge and maturity to know that this is the life I want permanently. Last time, I thought of it as a transition period. Evidently, I still had it in the back of my head I just needed to find the "right" career to rejoin all the normies.

@all
I may have overstated my concerns regarding the GF?

I'm not too concerned about our relationship outside of the potential for me being gone with travel for weeks on end without her. That's the only thing I know will cause issues. I absolutely think our day-to-day relationship would be better if I worked less or not at all for awhile.

@2B1S
Yeah, I'm pretty fickle. I reread entries from time to time and get a bit embarrassed at the thoughts going through my head. But it's helpful, so hopefully you'll have many more years of gibberish to read trough 8-)

@7WB5
I get what you'r say'en. Not sure what prompted it though. I would argue that the prisoner has a social resource base to develop. Probably the most important resource to develop in prison!

Personally, I certainly don't feel trapped in any way though, if that was part of the implication.

@Augustus
Augustus wrote:
Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:13 pm
You could always take a few months off and see how you feel after that. Or try PRN for a little bit. You don't have to solidly commit to being semi re forever.
This is a big realization I need to internalize. Most decisions lack permanence. This has actually been a huge issue of mine I've known about for awhile.

I believe the libido thing! I've noticed the same, even with my shorter periods off between contracts.

suomalainen
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by suomalainen » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:05 am

This all sounds fairly normal - you have a handful of goals / considerations that are in tension with one another:
  1. you want/need to work so you want to maximize the $/BS ratio, which is maximized with FT work
  2. you want/need to work less so you want to minimize work
  3. you want/need to be free to travel
  4. you want/need to be with gf (who isn't free to travel as much)
Considerations 2 and 3 support each other and are the "permanent" plan, but are in conflict with considerations 1 and 4. Solving for all 4 at once is basically impossible, so you need to consider them in sequence. By doing 1 for OMY you also help 4 become resolved so that when gf is free to travel, you can then do 2 and 3. Is that the gist?

This also piqued my interest:
classical_Liberal wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:19 am
Part of my history I've yet to detail in this journal is a period in my life about 10 years ago when I walked out on my last career and normal suburban life. With virtually no savings I managed to make ends meet with odd jobs I enjoyed, make some major positive personal changes, and was much happier for it. As a matter of fact, one of the main images of semi-ERE that I hold in my head is a return to a similar life-style, except this time with enough self knowledge and maturity to know that this is the life I want permanently.
Story time!

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:50 pm

@suomalainen
Good analysis.
suomalainen wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:05 am
Story time!
I've thought about summarizing that part of my life before, but it seems so hard without context. I could add enough context for it to make more sense, but then it seems like a daunting task to write. :lol:

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:26 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:19 am
Part of my history I've yet to detail in this journal is a period in my life about 10 years ago when I walked out on my last career and normal suburban life. With virtually no savings I managed to make ends meet with odd jobs I enjoyed, make some major positive personal changes, and was much happier for it. As a matter of fact, one of the main images of semi-ERE that I hold in my head is a return to a similar life-style, except this time with enough self knowledge and maturity to know that this is the life I want permanently. Last time, I thought of it as a transition period. Evidently, I still had it in the back of my head I just needed to find the "right" career to rejoin all the normies.
Haha, in this way ERE is a curse. When your reference group is people who are drowning in debt and working six figure jobs just to pay the interest on their next credit card payment, you think you're a fucking financial genius when you have a few grand in the bank and quit your job with no prospects. When your reference group is a dude who literally wrote (part of) a book on peak oil and retired in his 30s from a post-grad job, all of the sudden anyone with less than a few hundred grand is irresponsible and probably going to die.

Before ERE the most I ever had was $10k which I saved to quit my job, travel for 3 months straight and then move to a city where I knew 2 people (one of them is now dead from a heroin overdose). Now I'm working a job I hate because it pays really well and has a ton of side benefits. Half of me is like, man, I used to be so irresponsible, even for me. The other half is like, when did I become a total fucking dullard pussy.



My libido goes into overdrive when I'm overworked. But not if I'm slightly (40-50/week) over worked, I have to be extremely overworked.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by theanimal » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:58 pm

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:26 pm
....
God that's so true. Great post.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:24 am

@Jin+Guice

You have a very good point.

I was also thinking about this:
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:43 pm
$x doesn't make you free. You make you free. Money is just one of the tools you can use.
The bottom line is that I constantly oscillate between: a) c_L you have a tolerable job that pays six figures, man the fuck up and do it for three more years and get to real FI. and b) c_L you have saved more money is the last 3 years than you even thought possible in a lifetime, why the fuck are you doing something that isn't bringing you joy, man the fuck up, quit and find a series of lifestyle gig's that do.

Semi-ERE/my current OMY attitude is supposed to be a compromise between these two contradictory voices.

No matter how low my WR gets, I'll always still have concerns if financial capital is my only source of income/means of supporting self. So what's the point of full FI? (this is also why I'm ERE and not MMM) OTOH, I'm primed as a money saving machine at the moment. Trying to get back to this point at another time, in a different situation, would take quite a bit of effort. So why not stay on the bus when it's ever-so-tediously heading to the place I want to be?

edit: I'm bitching about having to decide between two of the best possible options anyone, at any time in human history, could possibly have. Crazy huh?


@theanimal
I'm honored that on of the few OG journal writers who's still active clicked on mine. :)

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:49 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:24 am
I constantly oscillate between: a) c_L you have a tolerable job that pays six figures, man the fuck up and do it for three more years and get to real FI. and b) c_L you have saved more money is the last 3 years than you even thought possible in a lifetime, why the fuck are you doing something that isn't bringing you joy, man the fuck up, quit and find a series of lifestyle gig's that do.
I do this too, but for me it's J+G you could have a six figure job and get to full FI in 3-5 years vs. J+G why are you doing this job that you hate? You don't even really want to be FI.

I'll tell you from the non-fulltime side, I am rarely tempted to go fulltime. Then again I'm below parttime, and I'm a bit more tempted by parttime, but not enough to actually ever truly consider doing it.

No matter how bad my day is, I'm almost always way calmer/ happier than the fulltime staff who always seem miserable. I actually kind of look forward to working as a break from my regular life of not working. It's easy to brush off hospital bullshit (admittedly already probably less for me since I am technically a contractor due to my job) when you only deal with it once or twice a week.

wolf
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by wolf » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:35 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:24 am
The bottom line is that I constantly oscillate between: a) c_L you have a tolerable job that pays six figures, man the fuck up and do it for three more years and get to real FI. and b) c_L you have saved more money is the last 3 years than you even thought possible in a lifetime, why the fuck are you doing something that isn't bringing you joy, man the fuck up, quit and find a series of lifestyle gig's that do.

Semi-ERE/my current OMY attitude is supposed to be a compromise between these two contradictory voices.

No matter how low my WR gets, I'll always still have concerns if financial capital is my only source of income/means of supporting self. So what's the point of full FI? (this is also why I'm ERE and not MMM) OTOH, I'm primed as a money saving machine at the moment. Trying to get back to this point at another time, in a different situation, would take quite a bit of effort. So why not stay on the bus when it's ever-so-tediously heading to the place I want to be?
This post of you resonates very well with me, especially the thing with the low WR and the point of full FI. I sometimes wonder if it's only in our heads, but then I remember also that it's really hard money. The topic (semi-ERE, lowest WR as possible, Full FI) has many layers. And it is influenced by habits, biases, emotional/personal issues, etc. which makes it (more) difficult to change the status quo, although there would be advantages.

Like Jin+Guice wrote, I tend to develop in that kind of thinking. Maybe that's another insight along the journey of ERE and through life generally.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:43 pm
3) Numbers and math. I like them too, but don't let them fool you. $x doesn't make you free. You make you free. Money is just one of the tools you can use.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:43 pm

Also consider that making money is a generic mean of being connected with other people and the world at large at least for most environments. Such connections also provide meaning. You give something to others and the fact that they give something back demonstrates that both value the transaction as peers (this does presume the existence of peers). Another way would be to have abundant resources and giving them away.

This is not so much a comment on "concerns" but more a comment on what comprises the post-FI role.

The point of full FI is to remove any financial risk. However, it has been argued (particularly by Ego) that removing all risk might not be the smartest play. I think it depends.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:01 am

@Jin+Guice
I don't doubt it rarely tempts you. I just had a similar discussion last night with a very part-time nurse on my current unit. She claims 1 shift a week is really the sweet spot. Gets her out of the house, she can keep her skills honed, while not letting the BS get to her because it's always one and done.

I honestly have no idea how I'd react to such a schedule, but I'd imagine it'd be good. Still, my main issue with this is finding a semi-perm place to live. I actually did that whole math thing on maintaining a very small residence in a couple of the towns with decent hospitals. I could use it as a home base and work PRN. The problem being I'd end up having to work a couple hundred hours a year just to pay for the housing. I suppose I could try to get more creative and forgo having housing... something to think about anyway.

@wolf
It's always good to read that others in my situation have similar thought processes. So few reference groups similar to us to bounce ideas of off. That why I spent too much time on this forum :D

@jacob
Your points of work as a social experience and Ego-style hormeisis (I miss his participation) are ones I wholeheartedly subscribe to. As a matter of fact, I wrote about both of them in my very first post in this journal. The amount of externally created motivation for social connectedness and hormesis probably varies by individual. I would imagine some people can create all the motivation they need for both internally. I'm probably not that person, although I may never know if I am if I never make it (FI). So I guess that self knowledge is at least one good reason to achieve it. One thing I know for sure, I have zero internal motivation to wake up to an alarm clock :D

I do, however, disagree with the idea that FI completely removes financial risk. At least in theory. You're obviously in a better position to understand this in reality than I, but even nearing a 1% WR your posts still seem to indicate moves your making to solidify your financial situation. I remember a recent comment about wanting to insure FI in two countries, due to the current political environment in the US. Maybe I misunderstand the context.

It seems to me (8%WR) that I don't worry about money (maybe cash-flow it a better term?) on a regular basis. If someone like you (1%WR) is still making financial moves, you must still feel some risk financially. The risks you have vs the risks I have are different in scale and even in kind, but still present for both. So I can see an argument being made that financial risk substantially decreases or even changes once FI is achieved. However, I can never imagine a situation in which I never worry about finances, particularly if they are my primary means of supporting self.

Again though, this is why what you've created is so special. I've never really believed ERE is about FI. FI is simply one step in the process of creating an ERE-lifestyle. One that doesn't necessarily have to be the first.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:07 am

Now this whole conversation has lead my fickle brain back to some older thoughts. Why am I so focused on what I have and save vs what I spend (as a proxy to holes in my system)? I really havent been focusing on other legs of this ERE stool lately.

If I solve for this
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:43 pm
I also know you have somewhat high expenses (only in ERE world).
All other variables fall into place.

suomalainen
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by suomalainen » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:18 pm

jacob wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:43 pm
t has been argued (particularly by Ego) that removing all risk might not be the smartest play. I think it depends.
Any citations for this? Or thoughts on key words to use searching ego's posts? I'd be curious to read those and I don't think s/he's around any more.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Fish » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:12 pm

@suo - Unless I’m mistaken Jacob is referring to Ego’s persistent advocating for interdependence (as opposed to mere independence which most of us seek here). Here’s one example of such a post: viewtopic.php?p=134852#p134852

I can’t find an example of a single post which espouses Ego’s views comprehensively but interdependence is a consistent theme in his posts. This angle is generally lacking in the FI/RE space but Vicki Robin has also discussed interdependence somewhat.

@CL - From this fatFIRE perspective, the problem is not your “high” expenses but over-allocation of your time toward a job that you don’t really enjoy. This is a problem ERE was designed to solve but maybe the solution is to move toward the 1 shift/week sweetspot if the PT option exists, while diversifying into other relatively pleasant income-generating activities that you pursue without risk of burnout. Much more easily said than done.

Apologies if it seems as if I have a hard time relating to your situation. It could be that one of my strengths is the ability to tolerate the monotony of a full-time career.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:08 pm

I think nursing and teaching, especially teaching in a challenging setting, are similarly demanding professions. I agree that 1 or 2 days max/week is the sweet spot, but the upside to just cranking through a few very short-term full-time assignments, which is what I have been doing this year, is the complete freedom of off-time. Also, my experience was that it was very difficult to avoid constant requests to work more. I had to invent other commitments.

That said, I don't quite understand your point about having to cover your housing expenses if you work 1 day/week. I mean, you still have to cover your housing expenses even if you are completely retired.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:20 am

Fish wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:12 pm
It could be that one of my strengths is the ability to tolerate the monotony of a full-time career.
I think the problem is two fold.

First, I have a personality that requires me to really give 100% to something if I'm going to do it. Add to that my job has very real, immediate, life-altering implications for innocent third parties if, at least some parts of it, are not done very well. It's different from other jobs I've had in which partial effort mainly impacts my employer profitability. Second order effects of partial effort in those previous jobs may impact a third party, but generally that is another company as well. I'm not a company man, never have been. So, maybe, I could deal better with giving less than 100 percent to an employer, at least one who regularly sets me up for failure, in a different career

Second problem being I've never been good at doing the same thing for long. Once I've got it down, I tend to bore and move on. This hasn't been an issue in the past because I didn't want to spend huge chunks of my life being bored or frustrated. This time, though, I have the J+G ERE curse. I actually have a potential end game... soon! Whereas before I thought I'd have to work until 70, so I may as well enjoy it. Easier to move on that way.

Bottom line is, until I can find a situation in nursing in which I can happily give 100% for the time I'm there, it's going to be avoided once semi-ERE is initiated. It may very well be there is a sweet spot in amount of time spent working, or it could just be I need to find a different version of the job. Not knowing is squarely on me because I haven't experimented, goal has only been maximum income for that past three years. As it is now, doing it well eats up about 80-90% of my physical and mental energy, and that's just 40ish hours a week.

Regarding WSP/fat FIRE. I think they have some good stuff. However they espouse an attitude that was similar to my own during my banking career in my 20's. I certainly didn't have it figured out back then, like they seem to. Eventual FI just wasn't on my radar. The lust for wealth, power, and prestige was, and it made me a miserable person over time. Maybe it was because I didn't have the talent or motivation to "make it", or maybe they really are missing something which is core to the human condition. IDK? Either way, I know it's not for me. ERE seems to be my niche, and I haven't followed through on some of the principles very well, hence my above comment.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:08 pm
I think ...
I agree completely, although I've never been a teacher I can see the similarities. Another similar profession would probably be law enforcement. I see the benefits in part time or full time temp, although what is good with one of those situations is often bad in the other. As stated above to @fish, not knowing falls squarely on my inflexibility over the past three years.

The reason you didn't understand the housing comment is because I explained it very poorly. My thought was to maintain housing in a small city with a known positive work environment hospital. BUT I don't want to live in that city all the time, its very isolated. So I would travel around with the GF on her contracts as well. Then would go back to work in chunks, only when I felt the need or when our life was a bit dull. Basically, I would maintain two residences, very unERE. The extra cost of splitting an apartment with someone in "work town" would take 150-200 hours of $30/hr PRN work before profitability in this arrangement. The upside being it would solve for the work issue (I know I like it there), and a couple of other problems, one being a home residence for ACA coverage and nursing licensure. In this arrangement, I could probably fund my entire lifestyle, including "work town" home, with about 700-800 hrs of nursing per year.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:38 am

Gotcha. I am always running similar triangulations. I think a good solution might be to purchase housing in work city and rent out all but one room, or even just leave yourself the garage and someplace to park an RV, like Jean did. The upside being that it would diversify your investment portfolio. The downside being that you would be buying yourself second part-time job of landlord. Actually, it would be more like 4th part-time job, because you would still have to, at the very least, be your own Investment Manager and your own Frugal Home Economist. Passive is a myth, because there is no escape from entropy.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:16 pm

@c_L (In response to your response to my, you should lower your expenses quote, apparently I don't know how to imbed multiple quotes and am too lazy to figure it out): Have you considered how much less you'd spend if you didn't have to work that much. I've found this very conducive to spending less over time. I still estimate that I spend 1/5 of my budget on work expenses but I've been able to reduce these over time as I've become less stressed about my job and work less. Now I usually bike to work and only buy food there ~1/ month, which is where all the expenses were coming from. It took me about a year to start biking to work regularly though (have to get up at 5 a.m. instead of 5:30 and it's often 80 degrees in the morning here in the summer).

Reading blogs started by those who were already FIRed or about to FIRE (*cough* Jacob and MMM *cough*), it's easy to forget that some of the things they were doing took several years. I think Jacob said it took him 2-3 years to get in shape, and he was never fat only weak. Similarly, I've found that once you get down in the 2 Jacob range you've cut out most easy expenses and cutting the budget further takes real effort. The closer you get to 1 Jacob the harder it is. Not buying shit you then put directly in a closet is time and energy saving, installing gardens and learning to use them is time and energy intensive. The point is, at a certain spending level you either need to 1) make real life changes (smaller house/ no car) or 2) develop a skill/ habit that will take time and effort. Having more time and effort available to you is very helpful in these scenarios.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by jacob » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:34 pm

I think this can be described on an s-curve where x is effort and y is spending.

Most of the effort in the weak exponential effort is "mental". There's a lot of thinking and arguing before anything gets done. If other people are involved, this part of the journey becomes so much longer. This part might be worth a 10% reduction in spending as a few easy changes are made. (For example, eating out less often.)

Then there's a linear part that follows once everybody becomes convinced of the new vision. Expenses get reduced according to how much effort one puts into building skills to find replacements. This will get most people up to a 50% savings rate on a median income. (For example, cooking almost all your own food.)

Finally, there's a logarithmic (logistic) part in which the goal begins to resemble an autarky or maybe just a strange hobby rather than just saving ever more money. If one remains a consumer, it makes little sense to develop further skills here as it's much easier to just make more money. I think most people never enter this domain. In fact a lot who do tend to do so with less money that FI. (For example, growing and preserving almost all your own food.)

Using the food examples, at ~$1800/year, food is our biggest non-financial expense. (Financial expenses like re taxes, utility fees, insurance, ..., which are de facto mandatory, comprise over 60% of our total expenses!) However, while possible, it would take a huge effort to become self-sufficient in terms of food on suburban backyard lot. While this is worthwhile for other reasons, it makes little sense from a monetary perspective.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:51 pm

jacob wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:34 pm
I think this can be described on an s-curve where x is effort and y is spending.
Damn you and your s-curves Fisker!!!! This is exactly what I was saying though.
jacob wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:34 pm
Finally, there's a logarithmic (logistic) part in which the goal begins to resemble an autarky or maybe just a strange hobby rather than just saving ever more money. If one remains a consumer, it makes little sense to develop further skills here as it's much easier to just make more money. I think most people never enter this domain. In fact a lot who do tend to do so with less money than FI. (For example, growing and preserving almost all your own food.)
I think a lot of the people here are at about this point. I guess this is where ERE breaks away from traditional FI, which is also why a lot of us are here. My theory again is that many here start to enter this domain around 2 Jacobs, which makes this point interesting. I also think it's worth noting that, even from a purely FI standpoint, it's still worth working to reduce expenses here because reducing expenses by $1,000 annually forever reduces needed savings by at least $25,000, potentially more for this crowd, which could easily be equal to a year of saving. The start of (this particular) logistic curve is much more linear than the end of it so it's much easier to go from 2 Jacobs to 1.5 Jacobs than from 1.5 Jacobs to 1 Jacob. There is also generally a minimalist alternative to Jacob's web of goals alternative. If you haven't tried DIYing a bunch of shit yet because you're in the linear part of the s-curve this might not seem important, but I find it helpful to remember I could always just not have the thing instead of learning to make/ fix it, mostly because my DIY chops are shit.

Anyway, now this is a 3 part response where my only point is that it's easier to reduce expenses once you don't have a job, especially if you've cut out all of the easy stuff.

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