FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Ask your investment, budget, and other money related questions here
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by BRUTE » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:25 am

basically agreed. brute would add that not only does MMM style require relatively high income, it is likely still below what most humans would like to spend.

but even if it happened, brute doesn't think it would ruin FIRE for others. or crash the system.

Posts: 347
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:33 am

I also don't think the system would collapse if ERE became mainstream. Wages would increase enough that people would go back to work. I'm of the opinion that a lot of jobs are unnecessary and serve as one person digging a hole while the other person filling it in. Perhaps we'd eliminate some of these, making society richer in total.

I don't know how anyone thinks this is going mainstream though. The mainstream is very resilient to change and bastardizes everything. It'll take a buzz phenomenon like "retire early" and turn it into a mainstream phenomenon. How has going mainstream gone for the environmental movement? We just pay more for shit that says "sustainable" or "green" now. I think this explains the Prudential billboard. The FIRE movement takes a lot of deep thinking to really get. It took me awhile to get it and I was already a frugal weirdo before I found out about it.

I don't think marriage is good. When someone tells me they are getting married I don't want to congratulate them. I don't think having kids is generally a good idea. I don't think you need much money to be happy. When someone gets a new car I think they are dumb. When someone gets a new job that pays well but that sounds like it sucks, I think it's bad. When one of my friends goes back to school to finish their degree in something that has no employment aspects and goes into debt, I think it's a waste of time and money. All of these ideas are theoretically becoming more popular. I NEVER express them. It's a waste of time. All of these ideas have become more popular, but they are not mainstream. Maybe in several generations they will be, but not in our lifetimes.

I remember when I was intentionally homeless living on people's couches, in parks and at work and I was worried that everyone would start doing it because it was so fucking easy. No one ever did it. I work with a 24 year old (single, no kids) who works 2 (xray tech) jobs to pay for her SUV and apartment. No one has ever asked her why. FIRE will never be mainstream. I went to a wedding last year where they had bamboo disposable plates "for the environment." At least they had decent Molly.

Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:43 pm

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by oldbeyond » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:29 pm

I think FIRE getting accepted by the masses basically means another Nice Thing that you Should Do. Like exercising, reading books, volunteering or reducing your footprint. Making the analogy with exercise, what people should be doing is running/swimming/lifting weights. What people are doing is getting another fitness app and a new pair of running shoes, buying a gym membership January 2nd and using it three times before it expires etc.

Basically, people know they should save for conventional retirement but can't manage it. I don't see them leapfrogging it to FIRE.

Posts: 839
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by wolf » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:05 am

Just 1 percent of U.S. investors who are in the workforce — defined as nonretired adults with at least $10,000 already saved in stocks, bonds or mutual funds — say they are saving 50 percent of their take-home pay in order to retire early. That translates to about one-half of one percent of all nonretirees.
Lydia Saad, senior editor at Gallup, wrote of the findings of Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism survey

According to the survey, which is based on responses of 1022 US investors aged 18+, FIRE is in reality not really that mainstream as the media tells.

Site Admin
Posts: 11014
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by jacob » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:55 am

@wolf - 1% actually saving more than 50%+ is a lot of people. It is, for example, more than the total number of engineers as a fraction of the workforce.

While that is not mainstream in the sense of that we have to start worrying about "what if everybody did it", it's enough (see Dunbar number) that any random person would likely know 1-2 people who are saving more than 50%+ of their money. Given that people's networks aren't random, people in higher income groups would likely know more (even if their colleagues aren't telling). People in software-engineering/internet businesses would likely know a lot more being as FIRE is mainly discussed online.

it's enough for the mainstream media to discuss it/be aware of the concept.

User avatar
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:28 am

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by Bankai » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:06 am

If 1% of "investors" (non retired adults with $10k invested) saves 50%+, and about 47% of people are non retired (working) adults, then we're already at 0.5%. How many of working adults are "investors"? Considering 50% don't have $500 for emergency, I'd guess maybe 10%? Which takes the number down to 0.05% or 1 in 2000?

Posts: 4785
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:15 am

It is actually less than one-half of one percent of all people if you include fairly large proportion of adults who are already retired or not in workforce. Maybe 1 in 400.

OTOH, proportion of millionaire-next-door semi-early retirement style frugality is likely quite a bit higher. Practically every middle-aged man I have dated in the last 12 years was roughly in this category. Most people have higher proportion of business or rental real estate ownership and inherited wealth in the mix relative to stock market investments and high income employment. IOW, pretty much every man with enough free time on his hands to keep me entertained had at least 2 of the above in his portfolio :lol:

Posts: 1920
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: FL; 24

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:00 am

I think the 4% rule (or 2-3% rule around here) is just an easy thing to follow. Working a salaried job is hard enough with believing that your wealth will get larger over time. If you're not even sure that the wealth will get larger, then you might as well be just wasting your time, and if that's the case, why not just stop working & collect welfare or go be a work-as-you-go van-lifer or backpacker? Learning the nuts and bolts of active investing on top of full-time work, and keeping on top of investments day to day, is also just too much to ask anyone. Maybe after they've accumulated a fair amount and are now working part-time or open to new opportunities.

The Old Man
Posts: 374
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:55 pm

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by The Old Man » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:07 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:00 am
Learning the nuts and bolts of active investing on top of full-time work, and keeping on top of investments day to day, is also just too much to ask anyone.
These days, investments are easy. Just buy Vanguard and be done with it. The investment industry wants to make it sound hard, so as to justify high priced financial advisory services.

Posts: 2052
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by Jason » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:14 am

FIRE has reached a level of discussion in the mainstream financial press that it must be confronted as a personal finance option for anyone with a modicum of interest in the topic. Suze Orman came out against it because it is in her best interest to come out against it which legitimized it's traction. It is now a permanent category in Marketwatch which it wasn't not to long ago. How it actually impacts the economy, well, that's above my pay grade. But however you call it, it has affixed it's seating tag to the personal finance table.

Posts: 487
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: FIRE reaching Critical Mass

Post by Fish » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:16 am

wolf wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:05 am
Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism survey
Going beyond the press release to the survey results, one will find that:
  • The sample size for the super-saver questions was n=665 (65% of those surveyed; retired investors were excluded)
  • Of those, 20% had heard either “a lot” or “a moderate amount” about FIRE. (See PI74) This is a little better than TD Ameritrade’s FIRE movement survey conducted 1 month earlier where only 11% were aware of FIRE by name (that survey was more heavily biased toward older, wealthier Americans though).
  • Combining the previous with the statistic where 1% already have a 50%+ savings rate, it means that 1 in 20 (investors) who have moderate+ exposure to FIRE are actively pursuing it, which is high enough to be worthy of mainstream attention even if not mainstream.

Post Reply