classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

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7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:51 am

I am sure I have mentioned it repeatedly elsewhere on this forum, but I highly recommend "Personal Village: How to Have People in Your Life by Choice , Not Chance", by Marvin Thomas. The author is an engineer turned therapist, so he offers very practical advice on the topic.

Given your overall preference for mobile, minimalist lifestyle, I think what you might have to do in order to maintain long-term friendships is establish a 3rd place, and take responsibility for establishing tradition of inviting people to join you there. For example, rent the same cabin in the woods for the first week in July every year, and keep inviting everybody who does show up, and then invite extras to fill in for absences and attrition.

trailblazer
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by trailblazer » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:29 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:40 am
I wonder what this says about my life? The importance of work in social relationships in general?
Most friendships probably aren't created just because you happened to pitch your tent next to someone while hiking the Appalachian Trail, or bumped into them in a youth hostel in Thailand, and magically hit it off.

When I think of my friends that don't derive from work (a very small percentage), even these typically come from some sort of purposeful situation such as an extended volunteer project or being in a school-related group/team of some sort.

I guess the basic lesson is never stop "working" . . . you can stop paid employment but need to be engaged in purposeful activity of some sort.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:21 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:51 am
Given your overall preference for mobile, minimalist lifestyle, I think what you might have to do in order to maintain long-term friendships is establish a 3rd place, and take responsibility for establishing tradition of inviting people to join you there.
This is actually a fabulous idea! When I'm honest with myself, one of the major reasons a mobile lifestyle was so appealing in the beginning was the idea I could go and hang out with family and friends who have dispersed across the country for extended periods of time. Of course it didn't really materialize how I had thought, mainly because I followed the money trail instead.

The only obstacle to such a thing is the cost (for myself to putting it together and for others to travel there), but I'm sure I can piece together an efficient way of doing something like this. Since many of my family is still Midwest based, simply choosing to live in a warmer winter climate for Jan or February would really have the potential getting folks to come and visit.

I also plan on reading the book recommendation, thanks.
trailblazer wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:29 pm
Most friendships probably aren't created just because you happened to pitch your tent next to someone while hiking the Appalachian Trail, or bumped into them in a youth hostel in Thailand, and magically hit it off.
Yeah, I'm not quite that idealistic. But I think more friendships should be based on things a bit deeper than, "he sits next to me at work". I think it's a cultural metric. In the US (particularly urban/suburban), we value work and income generation, not necessarily value generation (although one could argue they are closely related in capitalism). In cultures who value family more, extended family form the basis of close social networks, etc.

I guess I'm not judging, just a bit surprised because I thought my values weren't quite so work-centric. In evaluating my friendships, I think I was being dishonest with myself. It's important to know such things if I am planning on scaling back that part of my life. ie what holes will I need to fill and how deep have they been dug?

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:06 am

I was lucky enough to get introduced to triathlon (by a corworker, LOL), and am now in a team/training group of 200+ local athletes. Just in that group I've made 4-5 closer friends over the past 3 years.

Then there is MTBing, I've been some super cool people through group rides. You get invited to a ride, or invite someone new, and when you spend 1-2 hours at a time in the woods together, you get to know people pretty well. You are also supporting each other through some physically and technically challenging activities so there is that bond of a common goal.

I think I notice a pattern that friendships form as the result of repeated interaction, which can be difficult when you are always on the move. I think after periods of perpetual travel, having a home base to return to where you have a strong social network can bring meaningful life satisfaction. After all, what good is such a diverse life if you have no one to share it with?

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Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:25 pm

I just finished reading through your whole journal over the past week and a half. After your comments in my journal and in other threads I realized that we were likely on similar paths and we are. I currently work in the medical field as well although I am a contractor/ technician in the OR. I am PRN, down from being part-time in training and I'm extremely happy I made this decision. I am also pursuing semi-ERE and not ERE. I consider myself already semi-retired, though I do not draw down on my investments and am still technically in the accumulation phase.

My initial comments on your journal are this:

1) You are really hard on yourself. You are doing a great job man! You have so much money saved and a job that you seem to really like and a girlfriend you seem to really like. You seem to be mad at yourself for trying out so many careers but I think this is a good thing. You can never be 100% happy with anything but it seems like you've found something you really like. At the same time, you shouldn't assume you're tied to it forever.

2) In the past you have repeatedly asked for folks to be critical of your semi-ERE plans because they aren't conservative enough. I'm not a good person to ask for this kind of critique, but I feel you are being way to conservative. You are really close to that $250,000 goal, which is a huge milestone, and if that is mentally important to you (not a criticism, I like round numbers too so I'd try to hit it as long as you'd hit it in the next year), I'd wait until you cross it. OTOH, you have a ton of money for semi-ERE. The real freedom is the ability to work 20h a week for $15/h (I'm guessing if you keep RNing your payrate will be much higher), and cover your expenses. I think you are in much greater danger of burn out than running out of financial resources. Inertia is also powerful. Jacob has talked about the difficulty for many in actually drawing down on their portfolio. I'd say the same for a reduction in SR and moving from full-time to part-time. This is something I struggle with too.

3) How is your current goal of $1,500/ month going? I did think your previous spending seemed a bit high before but this is a very personal thing and also relies on my frame of reference. From your 2017 budget your food and entertainment expenditures and gf expenses are the areas I would focus on most, it seems like you had the same idea. Is it possible/ desirable for you to go car free? It's much easier to spend less when you work less.


I'm bummed to see that you were in NOLA for Mardi Gras, I would've loved to engage in some frugal debauchery together. Astute observation about the libertarianism, I often refer to New Orleans as the libertarian's paradise, which confuses everyone because we are one of the bluest cities in America. If you ever come back hit me up.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:46 pm

@Jin+Guice
Thanks for reading! I have felt the same way regarding similar paths. The biggest distinction being you realized early on it was just fine to live an unconventional lifestyle and not give a flying f**k about expectations of others/society. I've taken a much more meandering route to the same realization.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:25 pm
1) You are really hard on yourself...
This may be true. You are very correct, I have a pretty damned good life. I think the biggest criticism of myself at this moment is not being able to appreciate it as much as I should. I believe I was relying on this nebulous future of having much more freedom/free-time as a solution for my relative discontentment. Now that it's quickly approaching, I'm realizing it's not going to be a cure-all, so I'm focusing more on the psychological issues (like the recent focus on social-life). There will be more to come on this in future entries.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:25 pm
2) In the past ...
I agree with almost everything here, except for the too conservative part :D. You are particularly spot on with the assessment in that I'm at a much higher risk of burning out on nursing than I am of running out of money. Also that its so easy to fund a great lifestyle.

I think the greatest issue I run into is the fear I'll enjoy doing nothing too much, burn through too much capital, and end up cash poor in older age when it's much harder to keep earning. The reality is that if I spend years doing nothing, a requirement to burn through all that capital, I'll likely end up isolated and depressed. Humans need purpose and need to be productive. So maybe if I address some of the issues causing my current discontentment as discussed above, I'll have less fear of falling into the "do nothing trap". At least that's my current theory. 8-)

In any event, you make a great point. It will be a huge (or Yuge) mentality shift moving from high SR to low or negative. I should probably find a way to prep myself for that as well. Any suggestions?
Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:25 pm
3) How is your current goal of $1,500/ month going?...
The spending is going well, I'm below that number now on 12-mo rolling. Since moving in with the GF, my core living expenses have dropped to about 1K/mo. I still thoroughly waste another 3-400/mo on food upgrades, convenience, and travel though. All my calculations for semi-ERE run a 20k annual spend rate, which is now almost 20% above rolling 12-mo average. I'm not going to mess with any projections until i have a full year of semi-ERE under my belt. Spending reduction seems to be on autopilot for the moment. In August I spent $300 on a pricey weekend getaway for the GF's Bday and still came in at around $1100. Not sure how it keeps going down, but the likelihood I'm overestimating my future expenses continues to rise.

Regarding the car (I know you hate them)... I only drive about 25-50 miles/mo when excluding the miles I have to drive traveling to a new city for work assignment or when I go on leisure related road trips. I really enjoy road trips and car camping, so the car is mainly an entertainment expense. I bought the vehicle 10 years used 3 years ago. I put some sweat equity into it, subsequently got rear-ended by a D-bag driving a huge Tahoe. The insurance payout was more than I had into the car and it's still perfectly drivable, so it's worth way more to me than I could get selling it.

Given my current mobile lifestyle I plan to drive this one into the ground (probably have 40-50K of relatively trouble free miles left), then reevaluate based on life style. If I'm stationary in a big city, I'll likely go car-free, but there is also the possibility that my next vehicle purchase will double as part-time housing as well.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:25 pm
I'm bummed to see that you were in NOLA for Mardi Gras, I would've loved to engage in some frugal debauchery together.
I can virtually guarantee i'll be in NOLO again. I really liked it! Although I bet I wouldn't love the summer heat. When i'm in town I'll definitely hit you up, i'd love a tour by a local.

Curious given your description... are you a Surg Tech? That's what my GF does for a living.

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Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:25 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:46 pm
The biggest distinction being you realized early on it was just fine to live an unconventional lifestyle and not give a flying f**k about expectations of others/society. I've taken a much more meandering route to the same realization.

I got lucky in this vein. Honestly, it came from a place of pretty deep unhappiness and not finding many people with whom I could identify until after college.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:46 pm
I was relying on this nebulous future of having much more freedom/free-time as a solution for my relative discontentment. Now that it's quickly approaching, I'm realizing it's not going to be a cure-all, so I'm focusing more on the psychological issues (like the recent focus on social-life). There will be more to come on this in future entries.
This is what I'm currently dealing with, having traded a high savings rate for more freedom now. Now that I'm in charge of the majority of my time, how should I best use it? I have a second scarcely paid job as a musician/ producer and lots of other interests (especially since getting into ERE) so time allocation is still a major problem for me, but doing nothing isn't a risk. Changing from paid work to 100% free-time is a major change and I feel like this problem isn't addressed super well in the FIREsphere! Maybe these bastard INTJs have it all figured out from the start, but I certainly don't.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:46 pm
In any event, you make a great point. It will be a huge (or Yuge) mentality shift moving from high SR to low or negative. I should probably find a way to prep myself for that as well. Any suggestions?
I don't have much experience here, my savings rate continues to go up every year despite my efforts to work less, but I've only been saving for 3 years. IMO, Mad FIentist does the best job of addressing the shift from a positive to negative savings rate as well as the abundance of free-time acquired post FI. If you're only semi-retiring you should still have a positive savings rate, right? I think semi-retiring/ going PT/ PRN will be a helpful way to ease the transition.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:46 pm
I can virtually guarantee i'll be in NOLO again. I really liked it! Although I bet I wouldn't love the summer heat. When i'm in town I'll definitely hit you up, i'd love a tour by a local.

Curious given your description... are you a Surg Tech? That's what my GF does for a living.
It's hot af right now and it's awful. It's hot for ~6 months, but it's rarely cold in the winter. The start of the summer can be kind of nice, all of the tourists start leaving and the FQ is empty for a bit and it still dips below 80 at night.

I'm not a local, you don't count as a local unless your grandfather's grandfather helped found the city. They are serious about that shit here! I'll give you a tour as a longterm/ permanent tourist :lol: .

I'm a neuromonitoring tech. It's a weird job. I don't really like it, but the $$ is there and the flexibility are untouchable. I also work for a small local company and not for the hospital.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:17 am

@Jin+Guice
For neuro-surg procedures? I've heard of those devices, I forget the acronym. A good, general, point to be made for young aspiring ERE'ers is that there are a literal shit-ton of medical tech related jobs which only require some form of certification (like a year or so of training) and pay pretty darn well. If I had to so it again, I'd probably have gone that route over nursing.

Anyway, per your suggestion I went a read some of MadFIentist articles. I knew that blog existed because I had listened to some of the podcasts before, but never dug any deeper. It's seems he went through a very similar phase I'm in currently in while he was accumulating. Also interesting he came to some of the same conclusions I have been coming to. I guess it's a case of a couple hours reading could have saved me a lot of research... Still, I probably wouldn't have believed him. :lol:

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Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:20 pm

@classical_Liberal: Ya it's called IONM and it's pretty much only used for neurosurgery (as well as thyroidectomies). It's crazy how easy it was to get into this, I basically just knew a guy and he got me in with no medical training at all. We took some weird classes in a hotel and then passed a test and now we're "certified" which is the highest level you can be on paper. However, I have struggled harder than I thought I would doing a job which I have no real interest in or "passion" for. I work with nurses everyday and many of them are frustrated but I think, overall, it's a more satisfying profession than what I do.

MadFIentist is great. Jacob and MMM both reached financial independence almost by accident before they started blogging. It's interesting to read the blog of someone who didn't. I also really like the new escapologist magazine that Jacob wrote for a number of years ago. It's a different take on ERE, aside from Jacob's articles they don't really promote retiring early, but otherwise their methods are the same.

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