Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Where are you and where are you going?
Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:38 am

I can dig it.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:52 am
In my experience, totally losing the drive for money in art is not advisable. See Jacob's reasons for not giving his book away for free for reasons why.
Just clarifying, not needing the money does not mean I would be passing up on more of it. It just means dealing from a position of greater power.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:52 am
I hope that my responses don't come off as high minded or dismissive.
Hehe, you’re talking to one of the forum’s most pretentious jerks.

Jean
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jean » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:05 am

An artist needing the money is probably better for the listeners, but I'm very happy about my two albums, even if they are barely listenables (probably cause i wasn't in need for money).

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:33 pm

"Yesterday I drew my last 2 pounds; in about a week I shall be penniless... To be a good artist one must have an income. Believe me that is true. The starving artist in the garret is a thing of the past. To paint good pictures one must have a comfortable studio and good food - a garret and crust of bread isn't good enough. Let no person come and tell me that poverty is good for an artist!"
- Gertler, in Among The Bohemians

Jason
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:21 pm

There was recently an article in the NYT that the idea of the profligate, degenerate artist stereotype is also a thing of the past. Drug induced, throwing TVs into the swimming pool stupors between classic rock albums has given way to the idea than an austere, simplistic life is most suitable for creative output.

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:00 pm

I think that speaks to some of the money coming out of the music industry as well as a certain wild west aspect to the 60-70s that isn't there as much as it used to be. Having worked both in the music industry and in a gigging indie rock band, there are still as many drugs as you want to put into your face available. However, drug induced (artist) meltdowns are not generally well received, but maybe I'm just getting old.

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:45 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:37 am
I would also add that semi-ERE makes a version of ERE open to a great many more people. Anyone dissatisfied enough with their work can save for a year or two, then use the savings to move on to something more fulfilling. I don't think there is anything wrong with ERE. Particularly in the situation most of the OG's come from. They were happy in careers, then bored of them and wanted to pursue something else... they just happened to be FI. Many of the folks coming here for inspiration are those who are already bored, or worst, burnt out of there jobs already. Are they willing to radically change their life? maybe if it's bad enough. But to tell them to radically change your lifestyle AND tolerate another 5-10 years of the shit-storm that drove them here... you've lost 'em. A shorter timeframe is much more appealing to the masses, period.

Additionally, I tend to think semi-ERE is more robust. Not just because someone can get a job due to more varied and recent experience, but also because income is the best inflation and sequence of return hedge available. We all know those are really the only two plan killers for FIRE. I just don't buy the argument that jobs will be automated away, or that jobs won't be available because, "recession", or whatever.
I couldn't have said it better myself. I didn't even think of semi-ERE making ERE easier/ more appealing to more people.
Seppia wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:55 am
First, I’m obscenely risk adverse in certain areas of my life, so my plan is to accumulate enough assets that would theoretically give me a good chance of never needing to work again AND keep working either part time or in a generally lower stress environment, in order to cover expenses.

Secondly, while I consider myself someone with many interests, I’m scared of how I would react when confronted with 10+ additional hours of free time per day, so semi ERE would be a good first step
I also plan to accumulate more than I need to retire and then keep working (but I'm going to do it slower). Self directing your own days in a fulfilling manner is very difficult! Now that I have more free time I've come to believe this is Jacob's real skill.
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:14 am
I would suggest anyone who is a truly high earner to at least get to 12.5x barebone expenses (a la c_L) before considering dropping down to minimum wage work (which I imagine can be demeaning or depressing to someone who had a higher paid and maybe more sr. position?).
I think by adding the McDonald's example I may have given the mistaken impression that I don't endorse working a high paying job or that high paying jobs aren't available part-time. I think working at McDonald's part-time would be horrible (someone, somewhere probably likes it though), my no responsibility dream job is working at the library. I still think that would be boring, but I really love libraries and I know it'd be really really easy.

I think the most viable part-time path is some sort of consulting/ freelance work that is highly paid. Some industries (such as healthcare) do have actual part-time jobs in them and some don't seem to (engineering is an example I've been given a few times). However, the options expand if you think in terms of freelancing/ consulting.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:45 pm

Hell yea!

When I competed in drug free bodybuilding and powerlifting, I started helping friends/family for free. Soon enough I get tired of my advice falling on deaf ears and started charging so that folks had skin in the game. Before I knew it I was earning $400-500/month for over a year! That shit can be a game changer when it's at the proper $/hr.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:01 am

Some more ammunition for the Jin+Guice semi-ERE campaign. I was listening to Mad FIentist's interview with Michael Kitces tonight.
Michael Kitces: Yup! It’s so true. And again, I know even just from the flipside, having been through this with lots of clients over the years, the number of people who insisted on getting to their pure, standalone financial independence number because they never ever, ever, ever wanted to have to work again, within three years were working again.

Mad Fientist: Yeah, definitely. That’s something I’ve realized just within a year of leaving my job. It’s like I get the most happiness and pleasure from making progress on projects. It’s great doing these projects with no worry for whether it’s going to have a monetary reward, but most of these things do.

Michael Kitces: Yeah! Except they end up actually still having a monetary reward, right? I mean, even in the financial independence community, you look at folks like Mr. Money Mustache. He tapped out for his financial independence because he saved up to hit his number, except then he was bored in retirement and made a blog. The blog turned out to be so successful that now he’s making I think more money than he was when he was working off of the hobby that he was going to do when he didn’t have to work and earn any more money.

And I think, really, just the challenge for so many people is we get so stuck in this way of thinking that “I’m in a job now, and I don’t really enjoy my job. So the only path forward I can see is getting to a number where I can say goodbye to my boss and never have to work again” because working is, for some folks, unfortunately so unpleasant. It feels like the only relief is not working and getting to financial independence, when in reality, we need things to wake up to in the morning, and we need to be able to have a sense of progress. We want to crave to have something that gives us a feeling like we’re having an impact.

And most of those things end up being activities that earn some money—even if you didn’t mean to or even if it’s like, “Hey, I’m bored. And I really want to get some social fulfillment.”

We had a client like that. Two years later, he’s a really successful bartender. He was a programmer. He was a really social programmer who wanted to be on the computer world I think in part because he wanted more social interaction. He didn’t feel like he got it as a programmer. And he ended up being a bartender. He gets to chit-chat with people and have fun. He pretty much enjoys it because he only takes the shifts that he wants. And he only works a couple of days a week. And he’s making money—and it’s not trivial money.

You never would have thought like, “Hey, have you ever thought about quitting your good computer engineering job and being a bartender?” I mean, if we’ve had that conversation at the time, he probably would have laughed it off. That’s exactly where he ended out because he just—
Having 50 years in front of you is so much time. You’re going to want to find things to do. And a lot of the things you’re going to end up wanting to do are going to end up producing some dollars.

And again, the irony for him and so many is if he just admitted that even doing a little bartending work might have been on the table in the first place, he probably could’ve been out two years earlier.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:43 am

So true. Even if you just pick up 20 returnable cans on your daily walk in the park, it will add up to the interest on $20,000 = year working at $40,000 and saving 50%.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:56 am

Trader Joe's starts associates at $15/hr. Shifts are 7.25 hours.

Working 2 days a week produces $174/week in income AFTER taxes/SS/medicare. That's $9,000/yr right there. You're also injected into a community of ~100 hippies/college aged whippersnappers, which could lead to other money making opportunities.

Cheepnis
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Cheepnis » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:13 am

@7w5

Returning cans used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid. Grandpa lived a state over where can return wasn't a thing. He'd pick up cans every morning on his wake around the lake and when he's home visit he'd pack this old shitty-ass 40' Winnebago to the gills with 55 gallon trashbags full of cans. Then we'd spend a weekend going out and returning cans. 7 year old me loved it!

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:51 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:43 am
So true. Even if you just pick up 20 returnable cans on your daily walk in the park, it will add up to the interest on $20,000 = year working at $40,000 and saving 50%.
@7w5: You are really tempting me wit this whole "decomposer" thing. Are you doing/ have you done any of this yourself for fun/ profit (aside from your more or less defunct book business). EXPLAIN YRSLF!

@c_L: Exactly what I'm talking about. I guess I've been lucky in not working totally shit jobs and accidentally taking breaks when shit didn't pan out, but I know that working is fundamental to my happiness and that the easiest way to work with other people is in the usual job based scenario.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:00 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:43 am
So true. Even if you just pick up 20 returnable cans on your daily walk in the park, it will add up to the interest on $20,000 = year working at $40,000 and saving 50%.
Ahhhh, you're making me miss Detroit :cry:

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:01 pm

I read riparian’s journal and I realized I am living my life like a fucking pussy.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:28 pm

Link?

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prognastat
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by prognastat » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:37 pm


2Birds1Stone
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:29 pm

I have the sudden urge to cuddle

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:07 am

Apologies for slacking on my semi-ERE blog duties. I've been engaged in IRL activities and haven't had as much time for my friends on the internet.

I need to change a lot of stuff, so this year is going to be a big year for me. I've become frustrated and unhappy in the past few months and I've been trying to figure out why.



I need to quit my job. In theory, it's the perfect semi-retirement job, with high pay and "flexible" hours, except that the cake is a lie. My goal for RE isn't complete freedom from paid employment, it's agency over most of my time. Sometimes I feel like my boss's primary goal is to remove all of this agency. I really like him, which will make leaving hard. A huge problem is that he has an especially pernicious way of breaking agreements, he slowly pushes the boundaries until, 3 months later, there are no boundaries at all. I am particularly bad at dealing with this method. I don't like conflict and don't like to complain. The job is also extremely boring now that I'm good at it.

So, I'm officially looking for a new job. This job is still sweeter than most, so I'm anticipating a long search period. I'd really like to pursue multiple realms of employment being freelance in each, but I'd be willing to take another part-time job, especially if it was interesting or built useful skills. Ideally I'd be able to do this in a web-of-goals context, learning some new skill that I could use outside of work. However, I'd like to use my econ masters degree and do something involving analytics/ math. My brain is wired for that type of thinking and I really like doing it for part of the week. Perhaps I'm kidding myself that this kind of work will be enjoyable, but I'm envisioning the pay in these fields will be high enough that I won't mind burning 2-3 years finding out.



My girlfriend and I have been having issues. We've been together for more than 6 years, which wasn't something I envisioned getting into at 25, or ever really. The source of most of our problems is the house we live in. When we started dating I lived on my friends couch and she lived by herself in an artist loft (aka subsidized housing for young middle class people). We moved in together and lived in her apartment for about a year, which I really loved. When I met her she was in the process of buying a house, which we moved into after we'd been together for 2 years. The problem is neither of us want to take care of a house. Additionally, we have an air bnb (private room rental, so guests are in our house), 2 cats, she works from home, and I have a home studio where I have frequent recording sessions/ band rehearsals. We also fight about rent. She is the owner of the house and I pay less than half the mortgage, despite getting half the air bnb money. My justification for this has been 1) This was the initial agreement, which she suggested 2) I do vastly more housework than she does (recently this has changed somewhat) 3) Paying half of the mortgage is arbitrary and the monthly mortgage payment has changed every year 4) The location we live in, while very desirable, is not where I would choose to live and 5) I am very good at finding cheap rent/ alternative living spaces.

I'm also having an existential crisis about being a guy who lives in a house with a girlfriend (we are basically married, except that I refuse to get married). Becoming a normal suburban person is my greatest fear and here I am with a fucking yard to mow, a house to maintain and a long-term partner. I realize this is the American Dream, but it's not my dream. This has been a source of tension in our relationship as my girlfriend had a very traditional upbringing and tends towards wanting traditional things, even though I believe it's against her nature/ true interests.

Additional sources of tension are spending too much time together and having too little personal space. When we first started dating, she had a full-time job and I lived in my grad student office in another city for half of the week, so we didn't see each other a lot. Now we both have jobs where we only leave the house 1-2 days a week for part of the day. She is also heavily introverted and needs a lot of alone time (she had lived by herself for years before I moved in) and I am about 50/50 introvert/ extrovert. Writing all of this down, it's amazing we've been able to keep dating for 5 minutes, much less 6 years.




Enough bitching, positive and exciting changes are coming too. We are using the house for too many things and also need more time away from each other. To accommodate this, I'm going to get my own studio. This is very exciting to me. I've never had my own musical work space. Of course, it will also cost some $$. Their are 2 options. The first is to convert our current house into a studio (keeping the air bnb as well) and move into an apartment in the FQ. My girlfriend is on board for this, but it would be expensive since we'd be paying for another apartment. The upside is I could run a commercial studio out of the house. The second option is to move my studio into a friend's practice space. This is the cheaper option. The practice space is close to the hospital I work at (which is far from my house, another reason I don't like working there) and would not be a viable commercial space. This is a plus and a minus, running a commercial studio is risky, but the potential for making money is there. If the commercial studio did work out, I'd have the potential to work 10-15 days/ month, make good money and do something that I sort of enjoy. I'm leaning towards the rehearsal space option. It's cheaper, less disruptive and I'm not that keen on just recording people for money, without any production/ musical input.

I'm also starting a record label. To start the label I need to get have a lawyer draw up a contract that will allow me to act as a publishing agent as well as clarify that I own the masters for the tracks I record. My goal is to have the first record I release under the contract out by the end of the year. Once the kinks are worked out, I should be able to release something at least once a month. A few people have offered some meaningful services for back end $$. Sadly everyone I work with is an insane narcissist, so we'll see how much cat herding it takes to get them to actually deliver. I'm assuming this will be a labor of love, but it is potentially a money maker, as I know a lot of talented musicians all of whom are vehemently opposed to lifting a finger towards their own success. At very least, maybe I'll get laid a few times for being a dude who "owns a record label."






Discovering ERE along with finding some job and relationship stability has caused a turning point in my life. As I mentioned in my personal history, after losing my initial purpose of being fanatically devoted to my job as a recording studio person, I became aimless. ERE has given me a new purpose, which is harder to describe in a single statement. I've reached a place where I'm really comfortable with who I am and what I believe and ERE has really helped me get there by providing me with a framework to work inside of and like minded people to talk to. It's inspired me to expand my horizon and try to learn how to do new things. It's given me a way to tie together things as disparate as home maintenance, gardening, friendship, environmentalism, work ethic and music. I've gained an unparalleled amount of freedom, and I'm just beginning to grapple with how to use it effectively.



I read 21 Lessons for the 21st century recently. Something Harari mentions in this book, which is a theme in Sapiens as well, is that humans think in stories. To me this is obviously correct, but it's re-framed how I think about human interaction. Being a highly analytical but socially inadequate nerd, I've always hated/ been jealous of the salesmen/ talkers of the world. "If only the world would listen to the nerds," I thought. However, if we understand the world through stories, the talkers are the ones who most shape these stories and thus our world. It's been an epiphany for me to realize that these people are extremely important to the world we live in (WSP claims that salesman are both the most important people and will be the last to be automated away). I still think of salesman (PUAs) as the dark side of this coin, with journalists and writers on the light side. To make this work I'm assuming journalists/ writers are on their best behavior, writing unbiased accounts of the most important stories in the world around us that shape the way we think, and that salesman are on their worst behavior, purposefully manipulating us through advertising and charisma, to buy things we don't need, through stories that make the world a worse place. Because I hated the personality type, I've never thought about what makes a good salesman. In addition to being able to tell compelling stories, a good salesman also needs to be talented at human interaction and connection (WSP mentions that they believe nursing will also be among the last things automated for this reason). This is the area of life I am weakest in, so I've been trying to improve by reading books about it from various angles (sales, PUA, body language, etc...) and talking to strangers, with the specific goal of talking about myself as little as possible. I've really been enjoying this experiment and I'm hoping it will help me improve in my weakest area.



Something I've been thinking about lately is how ludicrous our obsession with money is, given that we live in the most materially affluent society ever. Riggerjack said something along with lines of "economic poverty does not exist in the Western World," which made me think he was an old racist dude until I realize that he is correct. He mentioned in the same post that other poverty, such as cultural and social poverty does exist.We are highly impoverished in these areas, yet still tend to seek only financial/ economic solutions. I see this mistake repeated again and again on the micro and macro level. I've been spending more effort focusing on these areas, instead of worrying so much about financial issues.




I recently crossed a major semi-ERE milestone. Since my stated goal is not to retire early, but to semi-retire now, I only need to think about regular normal person retirement (aka old age retirement). I arbitrarily chose 65 as my retirement age. Thus my full retirement goal is $400,000 in 2015 dollars for $12,000/ year at a 3% SWR. It's kind of absurd to plan this far ahead, but it gives me something concrete to work with. If I have a 3% SWR, I should have at least a 3% (real) compounding interest rate. The threshold crossed is having enough stashed to reach $400,000 (2015 dollars), by the time I'm 65, if I add $2,000 a year, every year. Why incorporate the $2,000 a year addition? It's the amount needed to add to an IRA to get the saver's credit, which allows me to pay $0 in income tax. So if you've followed me through this confusing explanation, I've hit my I-can-retire-at-65-if-I-can-get-3%-compound-interest-and-add-$2,000-a-year benchmark! This is seriously a big deal to me though.

The problem is that I'm not a confident enough investor to get 3%. I've been researching investment for about 6 months and, at the pace I'm going, I think it'll take me 3-5 years before I feel confident that I have any idea what I'm doing. Because I now have more money than I'm willing to lose and because I no longer believe in index investing, I sold all of my investments and am leaving my money in the vanguard money market fund until further notice. I may also start CD laddering to get a higher return. My hope is to have my $$ keep up with inflation until I'm ready to start investing again. Also, to be clear to those in the index religion, I'm not saying I am sure that you are wrong, I'm saying I don't know enough to have an informed opinion.

Seppia
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Seppia » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:58 am

Great post!
random thoughts:

Your current job: once you find an alternative, I would talk to the current employer and explain why you're quitting, it's the time you will have the leverage to negotiate the boundaries you need.

Your setup with GF: in my opinion, if you're two and she owns the place, "fair" payments would be either 1) half the costs 2) equivalent of what you would pay renting something similar ("market price")

I'm extremely surprised you consider yourself a "nerd" and not so good in social settings. Judging by your style of writing and how you interact here I would have guessed the exact opposite. You seem like a naturally cool person who people tend to like immediately.

Congrats on the financial achievement!

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Fish
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Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Fish » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:52 am

May have already said this somewhere, but wanted to drop in and say that I am a fan of your posts. I enjoy your writing style, you manage to come across as an awesome blend of street-smart and book-smart. It reminds me a bit of @ebast (one of my favorite forum members to read, exceptionally witty and intelligent, but only posts once in a blue moon. Seeing his name in “active topics” makes my eyes light up even more than when I see jacob’s. Anyway, you being here is like getting to read @ebast every day, which is a treat). Did you ever consider writing? You have a talent for it.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:07 am
If I have a 3% SWR, I should have at least a 3% (real) compounding interest rate.
Let’s ensure we are using the same terminology. I think you are describing a perpetual withdrawal rate (PWR). I also made the same mistake once which earned me this admonishment:
jacob wrote:
Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:30 pm
I get the impression that a rather large number of humans now use SWR in the sense that "as long as you don't exceed this percentage, it's going to last forever".
https://wiki.earlyretirementextreme.com ... rawal_rate

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