classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Where are you and where are you going?
classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:11 am

@bigato
Ha! I wish I had your confidence about the situation. Still I think you're correct, I will learn more utility. I know that in order for me to reach maximum ERE potential I have to light a fire (pun only partially intended) under my butt. Right now it's just too easy to ignore small bleeds when I feel I have virtually unlimited monetary resources.

@Tyler9000
Thanks man! The words of encouragement mean a lot coming from you. Believe or not, outside of MMM, JLF, and YMOYL, your work has probably had the biggest impact on my semi-ERE plans. It all goes back to an old MMM forum thread, circa 2015?, where you calmly argued your noncorrelation strategy against the VTI index hoards. :lol: I wanted to help you, because your points were so strong, but I didn't know enough yet. After that thread I went out and learned.

FBeyer
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by FBeyer » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:30 am

Seppia wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:00 am
...But I have to admit I’m in the camp of “grunge was never good”...
Are you going on record to say you dislike Soundgarden?

Seppia
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Seppia » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:52 am

yes :lol:

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:10 am

Wow, this is the update I've(we've?) been waiting to see my man!

Nothing to be afraid of here. Being able to PRN for one shift every other week is incredible! And if we happen to have terrible returns for a few years in a row, AND you fail at other income sources, it's as simple as going back to 2 x per week work and you're easily back in accumulation mode. I will summon J+G and reiterate his sentiment about fear of never trying being worse than fear of failure. You got this! $300k + those optionals is also very close. Don't let them hold you back though!

Looks like we are jumping off around the same time :)

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:22 am

Do it! Do it! Do it!

Congratulations!

I'm glad to hear you are planning on executing this, I semi-expected you to keep making excuses forever. You are beyond fucking golden with that much $$ and a high paying part-time career. One 12 hour shift every 2 weeks! To me that's retired. That's actually less than I'd want to work for any protracted period of time. You also have almost 100% location independence, so you can really optimize where you live to your needs. A 78% chance of success for full retirement is really high. I don't know the actual numbers but I'd wager you're in a better position than most people who are actually about to retire due to old age.

I hear you with the mental difficulties. Again, I think this is why semi-ERE is superior for many people. If you spend 10 or even 5 years in the accumulation phase, you are going to have a hard time entering the withdrawal phase. MadFIentist had a post about this when he retired. IMO, it's mentally easier to start drawing down when you know you can turn the cash flow back on whenever you want. The goal of course is to be able to do so in a way that's amenable to you. One way to look at it is that being a "part-time financial manager" or whatever Jacob calls it, is just one of your part-time jobs/ cash flow sources.

Because this is first and foremost a forum about saving a lot of money to retire early, I think there is too much emphasis on the financial aspects and not enough emphasis on mental and emotional aspects. Instead of framing it from a "what if I run out of money?" perspective, frame it from the perspective of how much freedom, enjoyment and meaning you'll miss out on if you keep working full-time. A lot of forum members who are burnt out and have been working full-time for awhile crave unrestricted freedom. They don't want the added pressure of needing to come up with a side hustle, consult in their field or go back to work part-time. I understand this desire for absolute freedom. I think the way we've come to view work is very harmful. Most people aren't honest with themselves about how bad they have it and how much it's hurting them because everyone is doing the same thing. Give yourself some time off after you retire. I'd be surprised if your perspective on work hasn't changed after taking 6 months off and then working 1/2 to 2 days per week afterwards.

theanimal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by theanimal » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:27 pm

Congrats!! Looking forward to reading about this next chapter.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by SustainableHappiness » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:44 pm

Awesome. Good work C_L. You're going to kick ass in your adventure. I have this sneaking suspicion you are going to make more money than you expect too because it sounds like you capitalize on serendipity well. Also, from my experience, be aware of the anticlimactic feeling that accompanies large (in-mind) changes, because you still live life moment to moment. Keep on rockin'.

Tyler9000
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Tyler9000 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:02 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:11 am
It all goes back to an old MMM forum thread, circa 2015?, where you calmly argued your noncorrelation strategy against the VTI index hoards. :lol: I wanted to help you, because your points were so strong, but I didn't know enough yet. After that thread I went out and learned.
Ha! The realization that I was wasting so much energy and frustration on message board debates is one of the things that drove me to make PC. While I enjoy open financial discussions and read them daily, it's nice to have an outlet to share tools and ideas in a format that allows interested people to learn and explore at their own pace without needing to get so caught up in all the noise. I'm really happy that it's part of your learning process, and hearing how people like you use the site helps me continue to learn new things as well.

But enough about me. You're doing great!
Last edited by Tyler9000 on Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:44 pm

Congratulations! Looking forward to reading about what your next new adventures.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:41 pm

Hey everyone! I really appreciate all the support!

@7WB5 and @theanimal
Both of your lifestyles are so outside the scope of "normal" in today's world. You both have, and continue to, inspire me to think outside the box and help give me the courage to take baby steps towards my ideal life. Which of course is not so normal, but not nearly as cool as either of you 8-). You're both amazing in ways I will probably never be able to fully grasp.

@2B1S
We've seem to have been on similar mental paths for at least the last couple of years. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise we are taking the first steps of using our FU money power at similar times. It's been very valuable to bounce ideas off of you through this first part of the process. Hopefully we can keep it up going forward. I really hope to meet up with you IRL at some point to!

@Sustainablehaapiness
Your journey beginning a couple of years ago has been a big selling point to semi-ERE for me. Thank you for documenting it! Your life now seems to be in a much better balance than it was before. Your work now seems very suited to you. Ultimately, I think this is the recipe of a happy life. Meaningful relationships with friends and family, and meaningful work helping others.

@J+G
There is no doubt that your addition to this forum has impacted my thought processes towards the semi-ERE path. A year or so ago, when I was at the height of my burnout, I really had thoughts of just giving up on the ERE idea because I knew I couldn't make it another four years. It was your persistent championing of Semi-ERE being a great alternative that kept me going.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:22 am
A 78% chance of success for full retirement is really high. I don't know the actual numbers but I'd wager you're in a better position than most people who are actually about to retire due to old age.
I do want to clarify this, because I don't want it to be taken out of context for anyone else who may think this a good risk to take. I'm at a 78% chance of success at 5% WR because I count half of my eventual Social Security income at age 67. Also, this assumes my current 5% WR, which is only $14,500ish based on current NW. I've NEVER actually spent that little during accumulation. My current actual WR is 6.1%. Given the low yielding market situation for many assets, I believe that is effectively a ZERO percent chance of success if I were to retire tomorrow withdrawing my actual 12 month rolling of $17,800 (6.1%), inflation adjusted annually for life.

The whole point of semi-ERE is to open up the possibility space of reduced spending/more utility for each dollar spent, with the back-up of proven, scalable, recession resistant, PT income stream. I'd also like to diversify that income stream in the future. My hope is that, with more time and energy, this cash flow situation will balance itself out in the most pleasing, positive life-flow oriented way. So "Semi" will not come off the title unless I'm truly FI at some point in the future. Today I am not.

What I DO hope to encourage is folks who have the means, willingness, and preference to earn some income, to look at how little inflow it takes to make a HUGE dent in savings requirements when spending starts to drop. If I had a dime for every FIRE blogospere post I read with someone who hates their job, has a big FU stash, and is still very young (ie under 50), who continues to stick it out for potentially 5 or more years... I would be FI :P . To that crowd, please look at your entire life situation, not just your "number". Work it out and try something new.
Tyler9000 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:02 pm
Ha! The realization that I was wasting so much energy and frustration on message board debates is one of the things that drove me to make PC.
That's actually hilarious! So I guess I owe those stubborn MMM index investors after all?

I'm gonna quickly jump on a soapbox about investing, to see if I can provide some value, if possible, for those looking for valid options. I used to be a banker, so I defaulted my investing initially to the 60/40 bogleheads ideal, I never really considered anything else. Once I had more skin in the game, I began to feel a bit uncomfortable with that approach and actually began looking to Dividend Growth Investing as an option.

Back in 2015 I actually spent a great deal of time on DGI research/learning and decided to start with a small allocation to a REIT's in my Roth. I did this because I had a reasonable knowledge base in real estate lending and investing from my previous banking career, so I felt more confident beginning with these types of stocks. After much, very boring, research I settled on two stocks and bought about 3K each. I still own them and they've actually beat the index pretty handily. But man, was it a lot of work and stress!! I couldn't imagine doing this all the time AND having to learn the business models of other types of businesses at he same time (remember I already understood REIT).

What I found I really did enjoy was Macroeconmoic trends. I'm an ENTJ, so big picture thinking has always been my thing. I constantly checked on currency conversions, gold prices, long and short term rates vs real rates, inflationary trends, CAPE/PE/PB of US and other country's indices. This stuff I enjoyed. It was this point where Tyler9000 exposed me the the idea of noncorrelation. The fact I could maintain some control over my portfolio by keeping a watchful eye on macro trends (which I enjoyed), while simultaneously finding a general allocation that holds up well in many economic environments was a game changer for me. I've stuck to this ever since.

I really think anyone who has a similar mentality to mine; hates micro but loves macro economics, loss aversion trumps fear of missing out, wants some control over investments, but also the option to stay mostly passive, should seriously consider this approach... c_L steps off soap box.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:41 am

What is this approach, in greater detail?

Golden Butterfly? Permanent Portfolio? I need some reading material for work today.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:18 am

@2B1S
You're up too early if on this forum at the same time as a night nurse!

I use none of those. I created my own portfolio, although I use assets from both. I think the key is simply learning why different asset classes and subclasses tend to behave the way they do. Then designing a portfolio based on that, and your goals. I tend to think in terms like, under what types of macro economic circumstances do some things flourish, while others flounder, or remain neutral. What are my mid and intermediate term goals, do I want to maximized WR, or returns, or minimize volatility. I wish I had some single source for you, but this knowledge is an amalgamation of so many different things from all over the place. The starting point really relies on base level of knowledge.

frihet
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by frihet » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:44 am

@2B1S
Meb Faber has some white papers on asset allocations. Perfect "work" reading not too academic either. Gives a good overview.

Example

https://mebfaber.com/wp-content/uploads ... 962461.pdf

https://mebfaber.com/white-papers/

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Lemur
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Lemur » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:14 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:41 pm

What I DO hope to encourage is folks who have the means, willingness, and preference to earn some income, to look at how little inflow it takes to make a HUGE dent in savings requirements when spending starts to drop. If I had a dime for every FIRE blogospere post I read with someone who hates their job, has a big FU stash, and is still very young (ie under 50), who continues to stick it out for potentially 5 or more years... I would be FI :P . To that crowd, please look at your entire life situation, not just your "number". Work it out and try something new.
Luckily I don't hate my job (at least not yet); however, this is something that has been on my mind for a good part of this year. My "number" was always a cool $1m and this was always conservative (I certainly could live on less) so I decied to I could conceivably FI at $500,000 but only if I add in an income for sanity sake.... Its real simple in this regard...Having 2 buckets of funds:

1.) $500,000 @ 4% = $20,000 a year. This could conceivably cover my family's basic needs. +

2.) Earning $10,000 income per year = The equivalent of having an extra $250,000. This could create flexibility to invest when the market is down, simply to be used for extracurricular spending outside of my basic needs fund, help my son out when needed, etc.

With this little inflow, as you've mentioned, it would be the equivalent of me retiring on $750,000. ($500,000 from bucket 1, $250,000 from bucket 2). Bucket 2 would also keep me intellectually peaked...perhaps this money is coming from a growing business? Something I have always wanted to start for myself.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:40 pm

@frihet
I glanced through and I think I've read those before. Good examples.

Anyone interested should also consider looking at how universities handle endowments. I had a business undergrad degree with a fair amount of economic knowledge to begin with. So if someone is starting from scratch it probably makes sense to start with the basics. Check out Tyler9000's commentary on Portfolio Charts, use the calculators and play with some assets (like set something to 100% and look at how that class reacted to marcoeconomic events over the past 50 years). Then learn what was happening politically and economically during those times. Then, go back and read what the "experts" were recommending for investing during those times, how would have that panned out? The next step is asking yourself the questions I stated in my previous comment, learn the answers.

@lemur
Yes, exactly. I'm sitting at the situation where I know my basic needs are probably covered forever, even without moving up a Wheaton level or two. I DO want to move up the scale, more utility for each $ unit, but I also have the income as a backup if this fails. The idea of working for a purpose comes into play. Now, not only can I be more selective in the amounts and type of work I do, making sure I feel some sense purpose with the work I take part in. But I can also get the feeling that my income has another purpose. Like, I want to slow travel next year so I need to earn and extra 10K to do that.

Dave
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Dave » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:57 pm

C_L,

I read through your journal over the past couple of days and have to say it was really cool watching your journey from the beginning to this point. Congrats on your recent decision and all of your success! To reiterate what others have said, it seems like you are in an incredibly strong position as a result of the combination of your financial assets, nursing skills, and ability to pick-up new income sources if necessary, relative to your cost structure.

Onward!

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:56 pm

Dave wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:57 pm
I read through your journal
Thanks, its appreciated. Also big a thanks for the detailed reply in you journal! It was reassuring to see the dynamics worked well for you and your wife. One of my fears in semi-ERE is that my GF will think I'm going to be a stay at home house husband, which is not going to be the case. I just want freedom to work/play at my own pace on my own stuff. I'd hate to lose that relationship simply because I want that freedom. Those two things (semi-ERE/relationship) are probably the most important in my life, I really don't want to have to chose.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:38 am

4/26/2019
About a month ago an old school arcade opened up only a mile walk from home. It’s literally like a 1980’s chuck-e-cheese, except instead of animatronic performing mice it has beer. Every, single 80’s arcade machine imaginable, all for a quarter a play (take THAT inflation!). Currently, I hold high score for both Ms Pacman and Dig Dug. Eat your hearts out!

Anyway, I mention my new favorite hang out because I just got back from an evening of 80’s style childhood bliss and decided to type out a quick update.

I’m going to talk about the FI Wheaton scale. I feel like I moved into the 4/5 level(s) awhile go and then rested on my laurels of relatively high income to feed the net worth. My focus has very much been trying to reach a certain “number” to make withdrawal rates work out with my investing behavior. While I have spent a great deal of time investigating and deciding upon an investing style, and perhaps even more to determine the needed “number”. I’ve spent very little time examining the flows in my life. I’m not talking only in the financial realm either. For instance, how does one activity feed into the next? How does the way I structure my day/week/month compliment or inhibit things I want to accomplish? In terms like energy level, mood, sleep, motivation, etc.

Although I knew where I stood on the Wheaton scale, I had it in my mind moving further along would require more effort than the previous jumps. Basically that old argument of; if it’s easier to earn $100, than it is to cut $100 of spending, once a certain point is reached, then why not just focus on figuring out ways to earn the $100. Path of least resistance, right?... Well, maybe not right. I think I’ve been way to focused on dollar signs. This has caused endless delays and changing of plans trying to reach the next digit, almost for the sake of that digit itself.

Anyway, recent conversations here have shifted my perspective a bit. I went back and reread some of my favorite historical conversations on this forum and focused on the comments of folks who are at an obviously higher Wheaton level than I. Suddenly their comments seemed to have hints of a different meaning(s) than I previously understood.

I’m hoping all of this is going to spur me into action to begin taking the steps towards a Wheaton 6. From a financial standpoint this only makes sense, because with soon to be execution of semi-ERE, “the number” is only important insofar as I’m not going too far into cashflow negative territory for too long.

More importantly though, I’m concerned about the rest of my life. I have a blatantly obvious, and enormous, time and energy sink! I waste immense amounts of time and energy “recovering” from the previous activity, and/or “preparing” for the next. At present, I'll guesstimate I waste 25% or more of my waking time and energy stuck in this rut. I have this feeling that if set up correctly, life can be designed with complimentary activities, which be used together in such a way as to avoid this problem.

From a financial standpoint, post semi-ERE, I threw together this chart. I’m hoping to change focus from the absolute “number” and more on what matters (cash flow). Anyway it makes me happy tonight, so I’ll share it.
Image

I also slapped together this one from my YMOYL chart (the OG c_L financial chart), as it shows allowable cash burn rates with a minimally acceptable risk tolerance if I can’t balance the flows.
Image

Thanks for reading and all the great feedback!

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:53 am

More importantly though, I’m concerned about the rest of my life. I have a blatantly obvious, and enormous, time and energy sink! I waste immense amounts of time and energy “recovering” from the previous activity, and/or “preparing” for the next. At present, I'll guesstimate I waste 25% or more of my waking time and energy stuck in this rut. I have this feeling that if set up correctly, life can be designed with complimentary activities, which be used together in such a way as to avoid this problem.
Well, IME, what works best is not so much complimentary activities, but rather having a "kit" that consists of solid core with modular flexibility. A good model is a well-appointed kindergarten classroom. Small children are very energetic and they have short attention spans, so in the course of a 7 hour school day, they might switch activity focus 14 times! Since children this age are also very frequently engaged in imaginative play that mimics adult activities in most simple form, the same basic modules would also serve for most adult activities. For simple instance, you must have something like a sturdy table at comfortable height for standing or sitting, and you must develop the habit of clearing it between activities. A spacious sink is also important, and the fact that the sink disappears from the standard classroom by late primary age, except for the art and science rooms, is one of the first steps towards the specialization inherent in our educational and career system. This is why some people are able to earn money by organizing events where adults drink wine and paint.

I think costuming is also very important in terms of motivational energy. Quite a few 5 year old girls will arrive at school in the morning dressed like a princess (fancy dress, fancy shoes, fancy bow in the hair), but they will also wear athletic shorts under the dress and pack a pair of gym shoes in their backpacks, so they are ready for action. I think it is not a good idea long run to always wear the same minimalist uniform, because this practice may subconsciously limit your sphere of activity, but strong core of some kind will likely improve flexibility. For instance, if your bottom layer is something you could wear to yoga class, then it is easy to throw anything from overalls to a flirty little dress on top. Just having to change clothing in between activities can consume a good deal of motivational energy. So, doing something like keeping your overalls hanging on a peg and your clogs on the floor in the room by the door to your garden will increase the ease with which you will transition from work to weeding.

One of the downsides of my recent foray into ultra-minimalism was that I found I was "wasting" a lot of time having to roughly create my "well appointed kindergarten room" from scratch in different locales.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:41 am

@7WB5
Per usual there are a ton of interesting and useful concepts in your response, but I have to sift through the specific examples to find generalities my ENTJ brain can comprehend.

I definitely do not shift through that many activities on a daily basis. That in itself is probably the crux of the problem. I'll find myself exhausted from spending 24 of 36 hours being in a forced social environment with very needy people (like kindergartners :D). So for the next 24 hours I need to recover before I can have other social interaction. However, instead of planning for useful introvert activities, like writing my journal, or reading, or baking (now that i'm outed). I end up having to spend 1:1 time with GF, or meeting up with a friend I've neglected. This means that those interactions are even more draining, hence not serving their well purpose at all, wasted time and energy. Then I will spend a day by myself, because I'll go crazy without it, but am so drained I don't want to do anything productive. I get into the same types of ruts with physical activities as well. Too much, to none at all, because my back or feet hurt like hell.

This doesn't mean your suggestions aren't useful, rather that I need advice for a someone who is several steps below that. I need to learn how to reach a point of balance in my daily activities, so that the time it takes to switch between them becomes a concern. How do I learn to set up my days so that I can reach flow? You have mentioned many time how you've learned the most productive activities for yourself based on time of day, or seasons of the year, ect. I just can't seem to think in those terms very well.

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