classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

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

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I wish I had something clever to add to this discussion. I am struggling with why someone would be at CL’s latitude in January without paid employment or kid’s school schedules to contend with. :shock:

I do think one of the parts of paid employment that has always been important to me is the identity piece. Not that work has ever been an enormous part of my identity but that work is more about the individual (me) not about my role in the larger family. When my children were small it was an opportunity to talk to adults and larger children. Now the structure of working keeps me from micromanaging my teenagers to complete insanity.

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:33 pm
I thought about this. I've also come to believe the two major things I love about ERE are the security of a resilience plan, and moving between interests/talents/knowledge. I think if I find some maintainable or serial employment beneficial it would offset my lack of true ERE-ness. So even though I can't make my own furniture from scratch using hand tools, I can earn money to procure furniture from someone else. Maybe less resilient in certain circumstances, but I can live with that.
A short pitch for extreme frugality: Extreme frugality is freedom. Knowing you can spend $6,000/ year and be happy is fucking amazing. No one in our culture believes this can be done. It's the same as what most people mean when they say they want to be multi-millionaires. You can do anything you want.

You also learn that stuff and money are basically worthless. A tragedy of our times. All you need is enough money to get food, have a roof over your head, have clothes and afford some mode of transportation (like a bike or bus pass, walking would also work). The DIY stuff is cool, but no one can DIY everything, so it makes sense (like even uber-ERE sense I would argue) to buy stuff you have little interest in making. Or just not have it. Thinking about this is one thing, but actually experiencing it is another.

Also, think of the challenge! Figuring out how to get cheaper apples is like kind of fun if you are into it, but figuring out how to get from North Dakota to Southern California for the cost of 5 lbs of apples, that's an adventure.


To me this gets us back to the idea of paying for "extravagances" with work as you get them. Is that x week trip to wherever worth y days of work? I guess you're about to find out.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

This is how I envision you anyway.
No. More like this is where I am heading.


Image
Maybe your system gets something out of the "grouchy" behavior you're not realizing?
Well, I do get free rent, dinners out, snow tires put on, pine tar syrup when I am sick etc. along with the "grouchy" behavior. I think it comes down to the reality that I am going to have to back-track away from minimalist/mooch-style frugality and spend more money for a while until I readjust, because I have to maintain my own "workshop" and also my own separate relationships with my FOO and my kids/future grandkids. IOW, at my age the family I already have and whatever work/play I want to engage in towards self-actualization are simply more important to me than any relationship(s) with any grouchy old men . That's why I don't offer my model as recommended for younger folk still engaged (or not/never yet engaged) in primary adult family formation stage of life.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Laura Ingalls wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:21 pm
I am struggling with why someone would be at CL’s latitude in January without paid employment or kid’s school schedules to contend with. :shock:
When I want to feel bad, I look at the weather forecast in Anchorage AK, it's usually quite a bit warmer. If I want to feel good, I look at Fairbanks, it's usually colder. But then I think about how @theanimal is probably near there, skiing 20 miles to an unheated hanger where he is building his own airplane from scratch so that he can get his pilot's license in a more self-reliant way... then I feel bad again.

East coast/great lakes winter cold is nothing compared to Fargo. When the temps here start regularly getting into the 20's and 30's F again in March (normal winter temps for most of the upper east coast), some people here literally start to wear shorts outside. The long term plans are to not continue to winter here, at least for the worst of it. I always have climate change to look forward to.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:07 pm
A short pitch for extreme frugality:
I think we have different starting points that skews my view of that a bit. I'd feel like a millionaire at a 12K annual spend, if i can sustain it in many different ways. I now know I can do it in at least a couple of different lifestyles. Although they may not be my preferred way to live at this exact moment. 6K a year makes no material difference to me because the difference between earning 6 and 12K is trivial (although semi-ERE has taught me difference between earning 0K and 6K is NOT trivial), and I already have enough capital to make 12K sustainable. I realize some here reach for the globally sustainable outflows for other reasons. I think that's admirable, but not a huge motivational factor for me when I'm already on the far left side of the bell curve for Western resource usage.

The argument that it makes life more interesting is far more compelling. Also, since there is no way imaginable to me, right now, that I could live off $500/mo, the challenge and growth sounds pretty cool too. However, at the moment, I think I'd rather focus on learning to live life in as many ways possible at the 12-18K price point. My biggest fear with ERE is locking myself into a specific lifestyle and that a single variable change will make it nonviable or that I will bore of it. So, learning to live a dozen different ways at 12K has much more value to my situation than learning one way to live at 6K. I've never actually thought about it in these terms before, this was very helpful.

Oh and BTW, I think you are correct in that experiencing it is different than doing it in theory. I can only live on 12K in theory at this point, so there plenty of work to do without having to go super-extreme frugal.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:54 am
Well, I do get free rent, dinners out, snow tires put on, pine tar syrup when I am sick etc. along with the "grouchy" behavior.

You side-stepped the comment. You are stating you tolerate the behavior because of the benefits, tit-for-tat trade. I'm suggesting that maybe the behavior actually has some hidden benefit, psychological or otherwise, that provides you with some positives which you have not considered. I don't know that to be true, I'm just wondering if you have considered it given your proclivity to date these guys.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I'm suggesting that maybe the behavior actually has some hidden benefit, psychological or otherwise, that provides you with some positives which you have not considered. I don't know that to be true, I'm just wondering if you have considered it given your proclivity to date these guys.
Yeah, I have considered it. Obviously, the reason why I date them in the first place is some analogy related to what sort of person is good at stealing a basketball away from another person. One possible theory for why I keep dating them is they take care of all sorts of problems before I even notice that there is a problem. because constantly alert on perimeter offense. Maybe I am outsourcing my own repressed aggressive tendencies?

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Update 1/27/2020
Just a quickie here to state that I start work next monday night. In some ways I'm actually a bit excited. Starting on new units has always been my favorite time at work, just as new starts in life have always been exciting. Full of possibilities.

Last weekend I went on a short road trip with the GF to Minneapolis. We hung out with my brother and SIL. We had an amazing time! It's funny, because after I was wondering why I didn't do more stuff like this over the past few months. Short trips to visit our families and friends in the region. It took knowing I wouldn't be able to for a while to motivate me to make the trip... Interesting.

I ran some final "first wave" semi-ERE spending numbers. January spending came in at $1,007, about $200 of that was for this last weekend. With five months of data not working, my total spending was $6,236. Round this to $1250 mo or about 15K annualized. It's not a lot of data, but is a pretty good cross section as nothing is really missing from that time. It, of course, did not include some known unknowns, like having to fork out 5K for a health insurance deductible if I get really sick, or buying a new car or any capital expenditure that occurs less than annually. It's valuable to me nonetheless as a comparison point to the next three months of working.

@Bigato had an amazing point pertaining to my situation in a conversation in Jin+Guices journal that I wanted to bring it over here to see If I can get anyone's thoughts on this:
bigato wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:43 am
c_L: maybe you remember when I told you that what you were calling semi-ere was just ere. And that you’d certainly decrease your expenses even further after you had more time in your hands. Well, I see the difference now: you are still tightly coupled to the need of having a job to sustain your lifestyle. Not only that, but so far you are tied to that one specific job. Why is that so? Do you think it’d be fair to say that had you somehow be able to sustain your desired lifestyle at 3 or 2%, maybe you’d have been more adventurous on the income making front by now?

To me, this is the crucial component that is lacking on a lower safety margin like 15x: loosely coupling. That is not enough freedom for me. It’s little more than FU money, and that’s fine when that’s all you desperately need. But the key point in my mind is adding optionality and resilience to the system. An investment fund is just but one way to bootstrap that, as examples like horsewoman’s have shown us. The process doesn’t end at a certain multiple of expenses. But that also does not mean that working more is the only way to increase optionality. That could also be developing novel skills, making new social connections, etc. That *will* at some point reflect back on your multiples, but at some point making it all about a number is not the best approach, but I don’t think I need to tell *you* that, do I? Or maybe that’s an useful reminder nonetheless.
My response was this:
classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:48 pm
I do remember. This is a great point! After some thought, I think I'm coupled to my current field for a few reasons.

a) Burnout decompression. It has taken me months to really feel like myself again. I worked too long in an unsatisfactory arrangement and haven't put any effort into looking for other value producing options.

b) Inertia. I got myself into this retirement thing without truly being prepared. I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do, I just knew it wasn't what I was doing. I really should have started thinking about this a year before I semi-RE'ed and got the ball roll'en. Since I didn't, I'm letting inertia win.

c) I make too much money. Part time work in my current job has a big golden handcuff factor. It pays too well, if it paid less I would have a lot more options at the lower pay level. So here, maybe, money comes into play. Really though it's just an efficiency thing, coupled with not wanting to do anything value producing for less than I know I could get nursing. An income-based cousin to the "too much money" @jacob wrote about above.

While "a" is fading with time, "b" is kind'a linked to the measurement issues that @JP talks about above(her comments are super important, IMO), I spent a lot of my off time dealing with the question of how to measure the impacts of various activities in relation to systems theory. Lastly, "c" is going to be an issue for as long as I'm qualified for this type of work. I have no progress here, and I will never feel safe living off investments completely (2% or 3 % won't cut it without cash flow from activities or at least some way to measure progress in non cash flow realms), so I need to make some.
After a bit more consideration, I'd like to add:
d) By remaining tied to this high income, PT opportunity, I keep open the optionality of living pretty much any type of lifestyle that I want.

Curious to read anyone else's thoughts on this. What I might be missing wrt to this tight coupling to nursing that I seem to hold onto, @bigato is very correct that it's limiting my ERE (and general human) progress.

jacob
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by jacob »

You're definitely missing why other high-income with 2+ JAFI spending people want to hold on to their sucky jobs beyond 15x savings ;-)

I think some of it was already covered in the hijack in J+G's journals, but to reiterate. There are two issues:

It's easier to cover 1 JAFI with a half-time minimum wage job. 2 JAFI either requires a full time min wage job or finding something that pays twice the min wage. It's reasonable that confidence would be less for finding something that pays $15/hr years down the road since those jobs are rarer for unskilled labor---it's certainly beyond the pay of screwing nuts on bolts, stocking shelves, or doing tax returns. People will weigh this against the fact that they earn $30, $45, or $60/hr now, so the question becomes whether they really hate their job 2-4x as much as they would hate a future job. Alternatively, in terms of "doing time", whats the discount factor in terms of doing time now vs doing 2-4x as much time in the future. (In reality the future time will be even longer because of interest.)

Since you have this on-demand income from nursing, you do not see the fear of [cutting one's career strings] not having it(*). Conversely, many (especially the software engineering side) see their high income as something they've lucked into and possibly unique to this era and which can not be repeated again. Slight bit of imposter syndrome going on when making $40+/hr for slinging code. There may also be other factors at play such as ageism.

Others have rapidly depleting human capital that depreciates quickly on a part-time basis. That's the case for me for example. For example, at this point, I might qualify as an adjunct professor at Community College. With a full course load, I'd be able to make $20k/year because the pay for such services is generally shite. That's fine at Wheaton-7 because I'd only have to teach two courses... it might even be fun. But a Wheaton4 would have to do the full load to pay their 2-3x higher expenses and I hear teaching a full load is no fun at all. This is where future-self might be grateful that present-self suffered through more years at $40/hr.

I can see how conservative Fi numbers are discouraging for non-extreme savings rates like 50% where it would take 17 years to hit 25x and how annoying it is to be told to add 64% to 25x because markets are overvalued this making it 28 years to hit 41x instead of 17 years... but OTOH, if one is at 80% savings rate and it takes 5 years, then adding 64% to that makes it 8.2 years or three more years. That is, at least with my discount factor, an easy sell.

(*) My on-demand copy-editing income was $35/hr which was more than I made as a physics postdoc, so having that income on the side also made me less afraid of losing my physics salary.

AxelHeyst
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

I know these numbers aren't novel to you, @c_L, but I've been following this discussion from JnG's journal, and I made this graph to help myself understand the discussion around multipliers better. I post it here in case it helps anyone else - let me know if it's not welcome (or incorrect in some way!).

Image

I used $8,500 = 1 jafi. My takeaway for myself was simply the benefit of driving expenses down to 1 JAFI in terms of required size of nut, no matter what your desired multiplier is. 44x 1 jafi is about 22x 2 jafi. To me, this graph suggests that putting in the time to develop non-financial sources of capital to supplement "standard of living"/life fulfillment above 1 jafi is well worth the investment. Thank you for this discussion @c_L, I have found it enormously thought-provoking.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

jacob wrote:It's easier to cover 1 JAFI with a half-time minimum wage job. 2 JAFI either requires a full time min wage job or finding something that pays twice the min wage. It's reasonable that confidence would be less for finding something that pays $15/hr years down the road since those jobs are rarer for unskilled labor---it's certainly beyond the pay of screwing nuts on bolts, stocking shelves, or doing tax returns. People will weigh this against the fact that they earn $30, $45, or $60/hr now, so the question becomes whether they really hate their job 2-4x as much as they would hate a future job. Alternatively, in terms of "doing time", whats the discount factor in terms of doing time now vs doing 2-4x as much time in the future. (In reality the future time will be even longer because of interest.)
Only if the expected failure rate is 50%.

Also, this assumes very simple tactic of If Money Gone then Get Job. If we assume Brownian Motion Model of Stock Market :lol: then I would suggest that a better (more likely to reduce expectation Total Hours Lifetime Worked Forward) would include something like a programmable thermostat and something like a sweater. The "sweater" could be Work for Money and the Programmable Thermostat could be set to reflect the individual's risk tolerance. For instance, one individual might set it to turn on Work for Money option if/when Expected 30 Year Horizon Failure Rate rises to 20% with annual calculation.

Because I am amused at the notion of being (seemingly)randomly ordered by a computer program to earn/hustle varying amounts of money on a daily basis, I might set up a continuous update calculation of 50/50 failure ultimate minimizing of expectation Total Hours Lifetime Worked Forward algorithm/model that would generate stern/encouraging or congratulatory messages to me every morning. For example "Today you must earn $20 and buy fractional share International Growth." Something like that...

Anyways, no matter what your sense of fun or level of risk aversion, it remains clear that lowering expenses is first best tactic.

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice »

jacob wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pm
You're definitely missing why other high-income with 2+ JAFI spending people want to hold on to their sucky jobs beyond 15x savings ;-)
Semi-ERE is much more difficult if you don't have low spending. I don't engage much with the fatFIRE community because I don't relate to them. I guess my feeling is, if you hate your job and you're already in the FIRE/ ERE community, you should be that much more compelled to bring spending down. I don't spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of low spending towards semi-ERE, because these benefits are extensively covered in the FIRE community. Off the cuff, I'd say:

0-1 JAFI: It's basically possible to make this money accidently with hobby income/ weird fun opportunities.
1-2 JAFI: Almost any job part-time will cover this.
2+ JAFI: You need a part-time job making at least $15/ hour.

Above 2+ JAFI is not impossible, but you're going to be locked into something highly specialized.

jacob wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pm
It's easier to cover 1 JAFI with a half-time minimum wage job. 2 JAFI either requires a full time min wage job or finding something that pays twice the min wage. It's reasonable that confidence would be less for finding something that pays $15/hr years down the road since those jobs are rarer for unskilled labor---it's certainly beyond the pay of screwing nuts on bolts, stocking shelves, or doing tax returns.
I can think of a bunch of part-time jobs that pay $15/h. I think the most desirable jobs pay between $12-$25/ hour. These jobs are semi-skilled. Unskilled jobs are usually pretty lame. This is sort of a weak spot akin to investing in FIRE (if you're not in the index investor cult). I can't come up with a formula for everyone. I think if you were skilled and smart enough to live on 25% of average expenditures and save 50-90% of your income for years on end, it's highly likely that you can land a part-time job making $12-$25/ hour. I think this is scariest for the salaryman who's only done one job that they went to college for throughout most of their life. There's a high amount of prestige/ identity attached to the job and not much experience switching. Inside the salaryman culture, losing the job is deeply feared and surviving without a salary is unthinkable.


Semi-ERE isn't right for everyone. Some people really nail working 40 hours a week and it makes sense for them to work 40 years in their career. Some people really nail FIRE and find a job that falls somewhere between "I love it, for now" and "it's o.k." It makes sense for them to work for 5-17 years to finance eventual escape. But, a lot of people find this movement because they either hate their jobs or want to do something else immediately. They dig around, realize escape is possible and feasible, but then they get locked into the mindset that saving 25-44x expenses is the only way out. If you've lowered expenses and are saving a high portion of your income, traditional FIRE is not the only option for freedom. I'm not convinced it's the "safest," easiest or most robust way either.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Thanks for all the responses.

Before I respond to individuals, I'd just like to take a few paragraphs here to differentiate between my personal situation and more general archetypes of people who seek ERE based lifestyles. Every single case is different. This is something, I think, we do not acknowledge enough when talking about investments, and savings, ect. I think we (ERE people) don't like that this can easily be used as an excuse to not reduce consumption or increase savings rate. That's fair, but when looking at safety levels of assets, type of investing, and FI, it really is highly individualized. It's based on math, but also based on beliefs about the future which are more speculative. For example, there's the math that US Social Security is funded at 72%, but there are beliefs ranging from it'll probably be fully funded again soon with changes, or that it won't exist at all in 20 years. Pick your poison based on your best logical belief set, it's really hard to argue beliefs.

All of that being said. Some things I say about my personal situation are based on both math and some on beliefs. I use 50% of my social security dollars in all of my financial calculations because I believe that to be a conservative mathematical approach. My belief is that it will be at least 72%, probably closer to 100%, but that there is a small, yet real possibility it won't exist at all. I, because of my beliefs, tend to lump the possibility of failed SS in with the always present possibility of failure of Western culture as a whole. I do not believe that I can "finance" my way out of Western culture collapse, unless I have 1%'er type financials. I'm simply not going to work long or hard enough at making money to ever get to that level, so it's an option off the table. As a result, I lump all such failures, like SS, into the single category of, "FI no longer matters". For me, in these worst case future scenarios, this is where the skills of living, and various other forms of capital come into play for survival, not just voluntary reduced consumption. IOW, I do not consider worst case predictions into my "FI" at all, because "FI" won't be there if they occur. A side note to this, it's just one more reason I think enjoying some level of "FU/FI" and self-pursuits while we know we can, for sure, is important.

In my case, I have 20X trailing 12 month spending in assets (it was 16X at semi-ERE based on higher spend and less assets). I'm turning 44 later this year and have enough Social Security built up at 72% payout, age 67, to cover my spending at just about exactly 100%. The pure math in this situation shows that if I can cover the next 23 years of expenses I'm FI (by the definition "never have to work for money again"). That means I need 3 more years assuming a 0% real return in TIP's, a pessimistic view of real returns. The only arguments against being "FI" at 23X is belief-based. Since I consider myself more of a pessimist, I have some beliefs that make me think about 28-30X is a true FI number for me. One of those key beliefs is that I'm not sure I'll be able to remain at my trailing 12 month spending (about 2.1 JAFI's) in an ongoing basis.

So here we have c_L's situation. People who have been living at <2 JAFI's for years or decades will obviously have different beliefs than I do have about my level of FI, given the same mathematical framework. They may see differing ways to "make the numbers work". Like, just drop spending to 1.5 JAFI's, or just produce some value in your ERE and earn 0.5JAFI's, or just invest a bit more aggressively than TIPs(I do, BTW). Others will think I'm a fool for considering SS at all. There will be belif based impasses, varying advice, some who think i'm FI now, some who think I need 44X. The point I'm making with my personal example is that "newbies" or the "less knowledgeable" about ERE may not have enough total information to make an informed decision about how much is enough for FI, at first. However, I believe anyone here is more than intelligent enough to understand the basic math of their personal circumstance and to develop their own beliefs. Dropping generalized bombs like "you need 44X spending to be FI" may alienate a large group of people for whom that is not even close to true. Something like, "you probably need between 20-44X, depending on your specific situation", seems like a much better rule of thumb. Even adding caveats like, most people dramatically decrease their spend rate after a short time working with ERE, making these numbers much lower than you think initially.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Seppia »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:41 am
I think if you were skilled and smart enough to live on 25% of average expenditures and save 50-90% of your income for years on end, it's highly likely that you can land a part-time job making $12-$25/ hour.
So much this.

reasonably smart
dependable
consistent
disciplined

Any middle manager would kill for employees with the above qualities.
Unless one is a complete sociopath or has a difficult relationship with soap, he/she who possesses the above qualities will never have any issues finding a job paying decent salary.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

jacob wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pm
It's easier to cover 1 JAFI with a half-time minimum wage job. 2 JAFI either requires a full time min wage job or finding something that pays twice the min wage. It's reasonable that confidence would be less for finding something that pays $15/hr years down the road since those jobs are rarer for unskilled labor
I agree it's easier to find work to "pay the bills" when the bills are less. However, I tend agree with J+G & Seppia that semi-skilled positions at the 2X minimum wage level are attainable, almost at will. At least that has been my experience, as I have done so in the past, even in deep recessions. This, though, goes into a belief set as explained above. I can not argue my experience with this into the minds of people who have never tried.
jacob wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pm
People will weigh this against the fact that they earn $30, $45, or $60/hr now, so the question becomes whether they really hate their job 2-4x as much as they would hate a future job. Alternatively, in terms of "doing time", whats the discount factor in terms of doing time now vs doing 2-4x as much time in the future. (In reality the future time will be even longer because of interest.)
Yeah, this is a typical argument, and it's a pretty good one in many circumstances. As a matter of fact, this is part of my "golden handcuffs" hang up with nursing, even part time. Even if it's not super desirable, I'm not sure any future job at 1/4 the pay will be any more desirable. I think this is where @bigatos argument for FI comes into play. If you really, truly believe you're FI, this type of thing won't play into the decision making process. He may be right, I've never been to that point. However, given my personality and the mass quantity of achedotes around here, it seems to me many people become mathematically FI, but then change their belief set in such a way that they don't really think they are FI anymore. So the thirst for more never truly goes away, then you're just richer, but in the same mental situation as before, tightly coupled to high income. This is why I say, I'll probably NEVER feel safe if I don't have, at least some, form of income. Or maybe some way to measure the value of other stocks of capital that could increase in lieu of money. Despite great effort, I haven't figured out a way to measure the later, I saw this as a realistic solution when I first came into systems thinking. However, it really hasn't matured into anything (the measurements of nonfinancial capital, not systems thinking), so... inertia. In addition, there are other consequences to becoming too rich, like your eternal conversation with @ego. If doing so doesn't work to make me feel safer without income, then I'm working hard only to create new problems for myself. All the while telling myself it's just the conservative option (see my tax argument on J+G's thread).
jacob wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pm
Since you have this on-demand income from nursing, you do not see the fear of [cutting one's career strings] not having it(*). Conversely, many (especially the software engineering side) see their high income as something they've lucked into and possibly unique to this era and which can not be repeated again. Slight bit of imposter syndrome going on when making $40+/hr for slinging code. There may also be other factors at play such as ageism.
I'm gonna say the same to this as above. I have successfully worked my way into 100K jobs in two completely different careers. Once in my 20's, once in my late 30's. I don't think I'm a particularly talented individual. So my belief set here is also one of, up to a certain age, most people could do this if they choose to. I, however, am terrified of agism and am not sure I could do it again. This is also just a belief though, I can't say it's true for sure.
jacob wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pm
Others have rapidly depleting human capital that depreciates quickly on a part-time basis.
This is a great point and is also probably one of the huge reasons I'm still so tightly coupled with nursing. Because nursing really isn't all that different here. After 1 year I would have a hard time finding a position as a travel nurse. Hospital experience within the last year is generally a height requirement. Although it may be possible with a reduced set of options geographically. After 2 years travel contracts are out of the question. I'd have to get a staff nurse job at 2/3 my current pay, probably in less than ideal geographic region. After 3 years I can't even maintain a nursing license in even the most liberal states. I'd have to pay several thousand dollars and several hundred hours for a "refresher course". Then I'd be treated as a new graduate nurse in any hiring process, so entire swaths of the country would be unavailable to me for work.
jacob wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:47 pm
it takes 5 years, then adding 64% to that makes it 8.2 years or three more years. That is, at least with my discount factor, an easy sell.
Three years is a really long time if you dislike your current circumstance. It's not so bad if it's "OK".
AxelHeyst wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:15 pm
My takeaway for myself was simply the benefit of driving expenses down to 1 JAFI in terms of required size of nut, no matter what your desired multiplier is.
This plus the true definition of an ERE retirement are probably the most important things that should be communicated to someone new to the ERE concept. The pure $ amounts of spending are pretty intimidating to someone coming from mainstream FIRE, or just the world in general in the West. Which is why I think focusing on lower multipliers, while working to move up Wheaton levels will probably evolve to similar results as lower spending and higher multipliers as time goes on. Asking for both right away is doubly hard for someone new to the concept to swallow.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:42 am
Also, this assumes very simple tactic of If Money Gone then Get Job. If we assume Brownian Motion Model of Stock Market :lol: then I would suggest that a better (more likely to reduce expectation Total Hours Lifetime Worked Forward) would include something like a programmable thermostat and something like a sweater. The "sweater" could be Work for Money and the Programmable Thermostat could be set to reflect the individual's risk tolerance. For instance, one individual might set it to turn on Work for Money option if/when Expected 30 Year Horizon Failure Rate rises to 20% with annual calculation.
See, this a perfect example of 7WB5 thinking and why different ideas are so important around here. Instead of looking to prevent all type I errors, at any cost (save 44X). She is looking to ensure there are no Type II errors. If goal is to minimize working hours, and one isn't sure about the future, or believes future investment returns are going to be really low, this makes much more sense than oversaving. I also think there is an argument that this type of life is a more balanced and better lived than working really hard for 8 years, then not working at all. It also helps handle the problem in the belief set that living off of savings is OK and safe, because you gain experience doing it in her model.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:41 am
But, a lot of people find this movement because they either hate their jobs or want to do something else immediately. They dig around, realize escape is possible and feasible, but then they get locked into the mindset that saving 25-44x expenses is the only way out. If you've lowered expenses and are saving a high portion of your income, traditional FIRE is not the only option for freedom. I'm not convinced it's the "safest," easiest or most robust way either.
Yes. In all fairness @jacob is right in that, in the book, FI doesn't really get any more play than these other options. BUT here, on the forum, it gets almost all the play. I'm sure @JP is right that it has a lot to do with measurements. Unfortunately our goals evolve into what we measure, so many other potentials of ERE is lost are the shuffle. I feel it's the job of people like you, 7WB5, and even me to a lesser extent, to highlight the areas that don't get as much play around here.

Seppia
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Seppia »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:41 pm
This is why I say, I'll probably NEVER feel safe if I don't have, at least some, form of income.
Same for me. I certainly lack imagination (I often come out as a logistician when I take the Myers-Briggs), but I’d probably need to get to the point where my dividends cover 200% of my expenses to completely forgo stable income

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Ego
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Ego »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:41 pm
After 1 year I would have a hard time finding a position as a travel nurse. Hospital experience within the last year is generally a height requirement. Although it may be possible with a reduced set of options geographically. After 2 years travel contracts are out of the question. I'd have to get a staff nurse job at 2/3 my current pay, probably in less than ideal geographic region. After 3 years I can't even maintain a nursing license in even the most liberal states. I'd have to pay several thousand dollars and several hundred hours for a "refresher course". Then I'd be treated as a new graduate nurse in any hiring process, so entire swaths of the country would be unavailable to me for work.
It strikes me that your issues have nothing to do with money, SWRs, 40x expenses or financial independence.

You struggled while sitting around doing nothing. Good! That's as positive thing. If you are content doing nothing for a long time, you might as well be dead.

You have very legitimate concerns about getting stale as an unemployed nurse or losing your credentials altogether. IMO, you'd have to be a fool to let that happen. Nursing has got to be one of the most versatile professions (callings?) in the world.

Maybe partial FI hasn't given you the freedom from being a nurse, but maybe it bought you the freedom to pursue your dream nursing job. Can you imagine a nursing position that would be better than not having to work at all? What would that look like?

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

See, this a perfect example of 7WB5 thinking and why different ideas are so important around here. Instead of looking to prevent all type I errors, at any cost (save 44X). She is looking to ensure there are no Type II errors.
More likely she is looking to rationalize her lifelong impulsive desire to free up her time to be spent as immediately as possible. It's just a lucky thing that it's hard to burn enough CO2 to melt the green scrim off the planet if your vices are as inexpensive as books, cookies, and the company of grouchy old men :lol:

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:13 am
More likely she is looking to rationalize her lifelong impulsive desire to free up her time to be spent as immediately as possible.
Creating theory laden models to back up our belief biases. :lol: That doesn't mean you're wrong though. By wrong I mean the best choice for you, given your circumstances.

The more I think about these problems, in general, the more I think what we are really trying to do is strike a balance. Life is so easy, in terms of survival, now-a-days and we have so many options. It seems to me what most humans want is some form of desirable, short term, day-to-day activities coupled with a longer term focus on purpose and meaning. We are willing to sacrifice one for the other. Like saving money under miserable day-to-day conditions at a job we dislike for the greater purpose of FI, or like spending a few weeks on a vacation at the beach doing nothing but laying in the sun and drinking fruity alcoholic beverages. Finding a situation in which you get both enjoyable day-to-day, and longer term larger purpose is where really great human situations emerge.
Ego wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:55 pm
Maybe partial FI hasn't given you the freedom from being a nurse, but maybe it bought you the freedom to pursue your dream nursing job. Can you imagine a nursing position that would be better than not having to work at all? What would that look like?
I think this is a really good way to look at it. Knowing I will never be satiated with financial safety from investments and savings alone, I should look at my situation as having purchased the ability to try and find work that provides the two critical components above. As long as it pays something, then I should be able to let go of money. I gave this some consideration prior to semi-ERE, but kind-of forgot about it when I was offered this half time travel position. It seemed like a great option coming from serendipity/ergodicity standpoint, so I jumped on it. Plus i REALLY felt like I needed the break. Probably not the best decision for today in hindsight, but at the time it was the deciding factor which allowed me to quit FT work.

You know, if I'm honest with myself, my favorite jobs are new jobs. I really like mixing things up. That seems to be where I draw excitement from. I've played trial and error with jobs before and about half of everything I tried, I like at first. The others didn't last. This wouldn't be the worst way to live going forward.
Seppia wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:21 pm
I’d probably need to get to the point where my dividends cover 200% of my expenses to completely forgo stable income

Don't make the mistake of making FI your purpose then, it'll never give you the security you want it to. Egos advice sounds good for you too. ;) congrats on the boy again!

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Update 2/15/2020
I've been back to work a couple weeks now and have come to a few conclusions.

The first is related to the idea of "coasting" through work and doing the bare minimum. I cannot be the type of person that does not give 100% to my job while I'm there. Nursing is exhausting, but if I'm going to do it, I need to accept that. Part of the problem I've had with this exhaustion-level work in the past is that I'm very well aware of how a bunch of fatcat executives and managers in hospitals, insurance, pharmaceuticals, etc are getting rich off the back of a broken system and extremely hard working doctors, nurses, and pretty much everyone in patient care. They know we are caring and compassionate, and they use that compassion to take advantage of us for their personal gain. It pisses me off. However, if I ignore the broader system and just focus on c_L and his interaction with "X" patients in a given period, then I really want to give all for these people. They deserve it, they appreciate it (mostly), and I feel really good at the end of the day having done it for them, even if I can barely move or keep my eyes open. So I'm ignoring the broader problems, and am choosing to live in the delusion that my hard work is only for the patients. If the system gets in my way to the point I can't do that well, I'll be done with the job immediately. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Nursing is like riding a bike. It only took me 1 or 2 shifts to reacclimate and get back up to speed. I'm pretty good at this.

The new unit I work at has an excellent team. Young, energetic, positive nurses. A manager that is present and helpful, but not micromanaging. Good teamwork to try to overcome the staffing issues.

Lack of good sleep sucks! This is recurring, but after almost five months of always being well rested, it is absolutely amazing how my physical and mental health suffers on too little sleep. I really have no idea how I did this for so long before.

I'm really missing time with my GF. We work different shifts, so I went from 3-4 hours of quality time each day to 0-1 most days. She truly makes my daily life better and I miss her. I'm also more difficult to deal/live with when I feel pressed for time. I can see her frustration and appreciate her patience with me. Add to that she has next week off and is going home to visit her family while I have to stay and work. Two thumbs down for work in the relationship realm.

When time becomes a limiting factor, I spend more money on conveniences. I'm driving again for errands, so gas expense is going up. I'm not making homemade bread, beans, or soups anymore, so purchasing premade. I'm even considering contracting cleaning services from my neighbor who dropped the hint she may be interested. This may be offset by lack of entertainment spending as I have very little motivation to get off the couch. Lot's of TV, reading, computer time at home on nights I'm off. I'll continue to report expenses each month.

I was already 20lbs overweight and gained about 5lbs in my time off, despite always intermittent fasting, and a whole month where I fasted completely every other day. I was kind-of perplexed, because I stayed pretty active and ate about the same otherwise. I borrowed a smart watch the other day and an app estimated my cal burn from activity in a single work shift at around 2000. I was shocked. Obviously, I significantly underestimated the cal burn rate of nursing activities. At three shifts a week that's almost 2 pounds worth calories I'm burning. During my time off I need to acknowledge and deal with this so I don't continue to gain weight. Hopefully by the end of this contract I'll lose the 5lbs I gained.

Generally, I'm back to the feeling of not looking forward to a run of shifts, but feeling really good after. It's OK for now, knowing that this is a limited time and I'm already almost 1/5th through my contract. Each week that I work covers a month of my living expenses, and that feels nice too, knowing I won't have to draw down my capital. Still not sure about having to do 6 months in a year though, per my current employment arrangement. I'll only have about a month to take off before I'd have to do another.

Acknowledgement to the GF
The GF is about to pay off her last student loan debt, thanks to a modest savings account and 401K balance she now has a positive net worth. This from negative 60k-70kish two years ago. She is saving 4K a month now-a-days. That, plus a healthy tax return and a large completion bonus from her last contact means she'll have over a year of living expenses saved, post tax, in 2.5 months when both of our current contracts are up. From there it's up to her if she wants to cut back to half time with me, or keep plugging away to save more. She likes her job, but wants to travel more without having to work, so I bet she'll do something like 3 months on, 1-2 months off going forward.

Cheepnis
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Cheepnis »

I also have a hard time not giving 100% while I'm there. The funny thing is I find that not giving 100% results in the same level of fatigue. Luckily there's not many days where there's little to do, but on those rare days I'm just as worn out from boredom and frustration as the days that there's too much to do in too little time. Maybe there's a word for this and similar phenomena because, at least for me, it applies to exercise as well. Running 4 miles at a 10min/m vs. an 8.5min/m results in the same level of tired. I'm not fit enough (yet *fingers crossed*) to run 4 miles at 7min/m but the difference between the 8.5 and 10 is surprisingly small. It seems easier to maintain a particular momentum in exercise or work once you're already holding it. It's self reinforcing.

Aside from helping the calorie burn work does provide a nice framework for eating schedules. I expect I burn a lot of calories at work as well and I have a sneaking suspicion that I'd be inclined to eat more if I wasn't portioning out all my lunches and dinners for the week when I make the big batches on Sunday. Just how similar was your "about the same" eating habits? When I get to the point of pulling the plug I know this is something I'll have to be particularly disciplined about.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

@Cheepnis
My eating habits were the same except I ate much less during the month I fasted every other day. I had much more than normal physical activity in leisure as well. It's just that an extra hour a day of biking or hiking doesn't even come close to the 14 hours X3 each week of nursing activities. I just didn't realize how active I am at work. I think it was a case of lots of light to moderate activity added up to much more than a little bit extra of more strenuous activity.

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