Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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TopHatFox
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Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by TopHatFox » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:25 pm

Do you all remember the game Cubicle Quest, the game one of our own made about ERE? That game was really engaging to play, and none of it really included any enjoyment after ERE. That got me thinking, the way to be happy while accumulating isn’t to think about how you’ll do the PCT when you’re done or build a boat at some point in 10 years, but to simply enjoy winning the game. The game being working the job, overcoming the pull of advertisements, learning skills, and seeing your savings and investments grow. That’s been helping me go to work every day, because I can see that after each month I’m not slaving away for some far off dream of a thru-hike or sailing trip, but presently exercising my frugality muscles and seeing my hard work pay off. We’re winning the real life version of Cubicle Quest, and that feels pretty good. Although yes, after Cubicle Quest is beat, we can go play PCT Quest and Sailing Quest. lol

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:51 am

This is great in theory, and worked for a while. You then get to a point where you have pretty much done all of the optimizing and it does become a waiting game. I find great pleasure in planning the post exit lifestyle. SO and I have enough to keep up busy on and off for the next 5 years after FI is reached.

fell-like-rain
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by fell-like-rain » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:11 am

I feel like that's how you end up as one of those people who stops working and hits existential angst inside of 6 months. Saving money is not the goal.

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C40
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by C40 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:28 pm

Yes, I agree.

Another, and more important level - especially once you get your spending down and have time until you would quit your job - is to figure out how to live a good and fulfilling life while still working and accumulating. There is a good chance that living a good/fulfilling life will get even more difficult after you stop working. So you better be practicing it in the meantime.

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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by TopHatFox » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:36 pm

How have you found it living a good/fulfilling life after you quit working full-time? Was it fun/freeing for a time, but hopelessly nihilistic after? ... :P

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Are there therapists specifically trained to help high NW individuals deal with wtf to do with their life after FI?
Last edited by TopHatFox on Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

wolf
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by wolf » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:46 pm

@C40 is this a lessons learned that you found out about after you quit/travelled? Or did you start living a good/fulfilling life even before you quit? I think about this, too. Depending on my FI/ERE goal I'm at SWR <3% or much higher (due to margin of safety). Lately I get a bit obsessed with the FI part of the journey, like controlling, charts, etc. I'd like to start focus more on other important topics as well, e.g. satisfaction/happiness with life, health, ergo "living a good/fulfilling life".
Edit: and why should it be more difficult to find out about a good/fulfilling life after you quit?

wolf
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by wolf » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:52 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:36 pm
Are there therapists specifically trained to help high NW individuals deal with wtf to do with their life after FI?
Be careful: a group of people called "sect" are looking for them.

Crazylemon
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by Crazylemon » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:04 pm

I would have thought enjoying the journey would be the point.
Last edited by Crazylemon on Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

wolf
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by wolf » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:30 pm

It is easier said than done, at least for me. (INTJ) Well, and what does "enjoy" mean?

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Lemur
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by Lemur » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:25 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:25 pm
Do you all remember the game Cubicle Quest, the game one of our own made about ERE? That game was really engaging to play, and none of it really included any enjoyment after ERE. That got me thinking, the way to be happy while accumulating isn’t to think about how you’ll do the PCT when you’re done or build a boat at some point in 10 years, but to simply enjoy winning the game. The game being working the job, overcoming the pull of advertisements, learning skills, and seeing your savings and investments grow. That’s been helping me go to work every day, because I can see that after each month I’m not slaving away for some far off dream of a thru-hike or sailing trip, but presently exercising my frugality muscles and seeing my hard work pay off. We’re winning the real life version of Cubicle Quest, and that feels pretty good. Although yes, after Cubicle Quest is beat, we can go play PCT Quest and Sailing Quest. lol
In short...living in the present moment. Planning for the future is important whether it is retirement, careers, and other pursuits, but caution if any of these become an obsession. I mean today I got some fulfillment after not buying a snack at the gas station - a habit I got into once I started making more money. I

@C40

Can attest to this as well. For me, I started lifting weights 3x a week and gardening last spring. For whatever reason, I thought I had to be retired to start a garden haha.

OTCW
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by OTCW » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:42 pm

I have found that I enjoy my job so I keep working, and I enjoyed solving the problem of becoming FI by saving, investing, and optimizing. I don't seem to have an end game so to speak. My next problem to solve is to build my side business up enough to make it my main thing. At that point I want to quit my job and grow it/me even more.

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BRUTE
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by BRUTE » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:22 pm

this is interesting.

the "classic" FIRE pattern is to suck up a sucky job for 10-20 years, then enjoy paradise and rainbows.
brute would prefer a more linear transition instead of the stark contrast.

but it seems pretty difficult. full time work seems pretty incompatible with almost all things brute is planning to do post FIRE. both being bound to time/geography, and the sapping of mental/physical energy.

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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:45 am

People need to feel some type of purpose in life. What THF is suggesting is making FI that purpose. I think this is effective for a period of time, maybe similar to what 2B1S suggests. I believe it to be a mistake in the long run as other important things in life will suffer, simply due to lack of focus on other areas. FI will psychologically morph into the end all solution to all problems, which clearly it is not.

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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by fuyu » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:48 pm

Quitting my job pretty much removed all the stress I felt and gave me back over 40 hours of free time each week, but I don't feel noticeably happier. I'm not FI yet, but I earn enough from my less than 10 hours a week hobby that I'm not worried about money. I didn't think FI will be a panacea. It's just removing one area of stress from your life.

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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:22 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:45 am
People need to feel some type of purpose in life. What THF is suggesting is making FI that purpose. I think this is effective for a period of time, maybe similar to what 2B1S suggests. I believe it to be a mistake in the long run as other important things in life will suffer, simply due to lack of focus on other areas. FI will psychologically morph into the end all solution to all problems, which clearly it is not.
Yeah, I guess that is what I'm suggesting. FI being the main purpose of life for the time you're accumulating, with some side quests like getting more education, loving ppl, hiking, etc. That way if you die mid-way accumulation, you can at least think: "well damn, I was really good at Cubicle Quest, solid progress," as opposed to "damn, I never got to play PCT Quest, I failed."

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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by prognastat » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:26 pm

Well this of course may differ for the religious among us, but I don't believe I'll be doing much thinking when I'm dead so no need to fear regret for me. Plus even if you are religious, at least the abrahamic religions, aren't you supposed to let go of all your human attachments when you ascend to heaven so even then you shouldn't have regrets right?

suomalainen
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by suomalainen » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:36 pm

Humans are natural goal-post movers, and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it. At some level I am the same person I was 20 years ago, but on a more fundamental level, I am fundamentally a different person than I was. Whatever game I was playing then is not the same game I am playing now. Once you've "won" a game, maybe it's time to play something else? If instead you are just "waiting" (ahem @2B1S as @gnj would say), you're probably doing it wrong since another way to describe "the waiting game" is "serving time", and another way to "serve time" is to "go to jail" and if you're choosing to go to jail...

In the meantime, embrace hedonic adaptation's positive side and realize that you can sprinkle good stuff into your workaday life and perhaps the good stuff will feel even better than it would have if you were able to do the good stuff 40 hours a week.

Agree with the stress point, tho I don't think it requires full retirement or even full FI or even full FU money to be able to shrug off stress. Learning to manage it better is indeed a skill that can be learned. And downshifting from gunner to mid-pack can do wonders for stress while not having much impact on your job safety. As an example, a guy at my megacorp survived 7 years even though he was widely known to be incompetent. I figure I get at least 7 more years once they figure out I've downshifted.

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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:54 am

TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:22 pm
FI being the main purpose of life for the time you're accumulating, with some side quests like getting more education, loving ppl, hiking, etc.
As long as you give the "side-quests" as much time as they deserve, I think that's fine. Because those side-quests are really what life is about.
suomalainen wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:36 pm
you're probably doing it wrong since another way to describe "the waiting game" is "serving time", and another way to "serve time" is to "go to jail" and if you're choosing to go to jail...
An important follow up to this point is that once a person feels they are in this stage, it's Ok to switch paths a bit to mix things up. THF's situation sounds pretty good right now, an OK job, which is providing him a free Masters and the ability to live at home and reach a symbiosis point with family. Sticking out this situation, at least until the degree is finished, is a good idea. However, if it becomes a waiting game after that, even the most manageable job starts to wear a person down. So switch it up to a new field, or new job. Maybe take some time in between for sabbaticals. Because a) its not a race to FI and b)
Crazylemon wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:04 pm
I would have though enjoying the journey would be the point.

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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:06 am

@suo

Ha, I guess my response did come off as me suggesting that I'm just planning and waiting for the post FI life in misery.

I didn't mean that, and it's certainly far from the case. I meant that once you optimize and put most of the financial parts on autopilot, and have optimized most of the low/mid hanging fruit, the financial crossover point becomes something that happens on its own. So I think it's unhealthy to make your life revolve around FIRE till you are actually FI.

I've taken some solid advice from the folks here and elsewhere and am really trying to place an emphasis on trying things I may enjoy now :) Focusing on health, fitness, and being a more rounded human being.

Crazylemon
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Re: Become FI to win the game instead of getting to XYZ reward

Post by Crazylemon » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:51 am

@wolf I also test as INTJ, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy things!

Enjoy will be generally any positive feeling from orgasmic ecstasy to satisfaction that today's to-do list is complete and everything in-between. It doesn't mean being permanently happy which I have a sneaking suspicion is impossible.

I tend to be most happy with purposeful but not excessive work and then fitting in everything I want to do in between. Obviously as NW tend towards needing less work the amount can then be tapered. But that is the only major change that is immediately obvious to me going forward (no doubt there will be more though). Enduring for 5 years rather than enjoying for 10 seems like a dud trade. Obviously there is a switch over point, I could probably manage an obscenely boring office job for a fortnight.

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