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They became millionaires and retired at 31. They think you can do the same


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I'm interested in this debate and by nature am a frugal person, instinctively recoil from food out flash cars clothes etc. However the the idea that this lifestyle is achievable by reasonable age for most people even in the rich world is pretty unlikely. 

What is true is that the lifestyle and thinking behind it says much about our nature to work.most people want to do something they enjoy and that they contribute to the world with their days rather than sitting around watching Netflix all the time, this doesn't have to mean writing a great symphony etc but plenty of people take satisfaction from their lower level contributions. The fact that so many jobs are other boring, stressful or in other ways unpleasant says a lot about our society and power within it, doing things for money really is an inherently low motivation.

I feel that basic income combined with a more progressive tax system particularly on land and inheritance would alleviate many of the issues that those in the article righly identify in a fairer more socially just way

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14 hours ago, wish I could afford one said:

Agreed.  It's actually quite amazing how little somebody actually needs in the way of stuff to live a good life.

Totally agree with this.  Unfortunately myself, wife & sons were complacent for 25 years and filled a 4 bed detached.  Still have 1.5 garages full of stuff even after 2 years of very aggressive de-cluttering.
It has been, and continues to be, an absolute bitch to de-clutter.  Actually regretting buying quality now - I keep looking on Ebay and finding that, yes this bloody thing is worth selling.  E.g. proper tongue & groove, hand finished free standing pine furniture. Its taking f**king ages.  Grrrr...
On the verge of starting to sling stuff that is worth good money just to get the job finished.  Also doesn't help that still have numerous big crates of sons' stuff - 1 in tiny Stockholm apt. and the other travelling so comes back for a few months every 6-12 months.
Suggestions welcome.

On the plus side - now virtually allergic to buying anything new, especially if its bulky.

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2 hours ago, houseface2000 said:

To become FIRE you must have to earn a huge salary. I am very frugal and earn a low salary because I enjoy my job. I imagine wanted to retire early is due to hating your job boring/stressful etc. If you have a creative job, relaxed later back working environment, friends with colleges etc it’s nice. It also makes free time more valuable as I feel I’ve earned it. There are losing rewarding jobs helping people, working with animals, being creative etc....

No, that's not right.  To become FIRE you need to have a high savings rate which you then use to convert Human Capital into Financial Capital.  A high salary enables you, for equivalent spending, to have a higher savings rate so you can potentially get there faster.  There are plenty of huge salary earners who are broke at the end of each month.  For example the person who earns £20k and saves £10k while having the life they want will get to FIRE far faster than the person who earns £100k and saves £10k.

I also used to absolutely love my work and then over the years it gradually became a job I didn't enjoy so much.  The sad thing is like the  boiled frog I didn't even notice the transition.  Can you fully control your work?  Even if you can why not save/invest in parallel as it will certainly give you options later.

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1 hour ago, the_dork said:

I'm interested in this debate and by nature am a frugal person, instinctively recoil from food out flash cars clothes etc. However the the idea that this lifestyle is achievable by reasonable age for most people even in the rich world is pretty unlikely. 

What is true is that the lifestyle and thinking behind it says much about our nature to work.most people want to do something they enjoy and that they contribute to the world with their days rather than sitting around watching Netflix all the time, this doesn't have to mean writing a great symphony etc but plenty of people take satisfaction from their lower level contributions. The fact that so many jobs are other boring, stressful or in other ways unpleasant says a lot about our society and power within it, doing things for money really is an inherently low motivation.

I feel that basic income combined with a more progressive tax system particularly on land and inheritance would alleviate many of the issues that those in the article righly identify in a fairer more socially just way

It's a fairly basic maths problem at a high level.  Have you sat down and done the maths before making that comment?  You might be surprised...

Agree with you about looking for purpose or in Maslow's words Self Actualisation.  Now that I'm FIRE it's something I'm actively searching for.  I  initially tried to force it and that hasn't worked out so well.  So now I'm going to take it easy while keeping my eye out for opportunity.

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18 minutes ago, hotblack42 said:

Totally agree with this.  Unfortunately myself, wife & sons were complacent for 25 years and filled a 4 bed detached.  Still have 1.5 garages full of stuff even after 2 years of very aggressive de-cluttering.
It has been, and continues to be, an absolute bitch to de-clutter.  Actually regretting buying quality now - I keep looking on Ebay and finding that, yes this bloody thing is worth selling.  E.g. proper tongue & groove, hand finished free standing pine furniture. Its taking f**king ages.  Grrrr...
On the verge of starting to sling stuff that is worth good money just to get the job finished.  Also doesn't help that still have numerous big crates of sons' stuff - 1 in tiny Stockholm apt. and the other travelling so comes back for a few months every 6-12 months.
Suggestions welcome.

On the plus side - now virtually allergic to buying anything new, especially if its bulky.

If it's worth anything then a good auction house may take it on. They do take a good gouge (on both sides buying and selling) but then it's done and you're free. Ebay is a hell site and I resent giving them a penny, but needs must. 

If you're feeling like chucking it then do consider a charity. They'll do pickups for decent stuff. 

If the kids don't use something for 2 years then it's no longer needed. Every time they come back they should be chucking out old gear. 

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12 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

 For example the person who earns £20k and saves £10k while having the life they want will get to FIRE far faster 

 

Let's call that 20k after tax so not miles off the average salary. Whether renting or buying and as all on this forum will know 25 to 30% of that on accommodation is not unrealistic. Let's say 1 k per annum unavoidable bills, in reality this is also conservative. 2 k per annum on food for a single person again highly conservative. Again let's be conservative and say 1k on travel, not many people are going to bike everywhere.  I've also not factored any spending on kids considering fertility rates this is not actually so unrealistic but many people do do hope to have a familyo saving all the rest i.e. no entertainment, household goods, insuranceor other spending on clothing food etc they may save 10K. After 20 years of this ie in their 40s most likely  that's a 200k pot to play with, let's be generous and call it 300k compounded far from retirement level for most and you can see why people just blow their are extra income on things that make life marginally easier and more pleasant eg socialising holidays. There is a reason that average salary in this country is around 25k and the average adult is only worth 100k remember this includes your property etc!!

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24 minutes ago, hotblack42 said:

Totally agree with this.  Unfortunately myself, wife & sons were complacent for 25 years and filled a 4 bed detached.  Still have 1.5 garages full of stuff even after 2 years of very aggressive de-cluttering.
It has been, and continues to be, an absolute bitch to de-clutter.  Actually regretting buying quality now - I keep looking on Ebay and finding that, yes this bloody thing is worth selling.  E.g. proper tongue & groove, hand finished free standing pine furniture. Its taking f**king ages.  Grrrr...
On the verge of starting to sling stuff that is worth good money just to get the job finished.  Also doesn't help that still have numerous big crates of sons' stuff - 1 in tiny Stockholm apt. and the other travelling so comes back for a few months every 6-12 months.
Suggestions welcome.

On the plus side - now virtually allergic to buying anything new, especially if its bulky.

Look at it positively.  I bet you're now glad you don't have a 5 bed detached.  ?

On a serious note it is so easy to expand to fill the available space.  Then one day you wake up and realise your stuff owns you rather than you owning your stuff.

Globally, not so much in the UK because of draconian planning from what I can see, there is a bit of a movement around treading more lightly on the planet while giving more personal freedom in the form of tiny houses, container homes etc.  It's quite inspirational  with some people doing a really good job although of course there is no free lunch so the concept carries some baggage.  I've thought about maybe trying to rent one for 6 to 12 months somewhere in the world.  We might learn something more about ourselves.

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29 minutes ago, hotblack42 said:

Totally agree with this.  Unfortunately myself, wife & sons were complacent for 25 years and filled a 4 bed detached.  Still have 1.5 garages full of stuff even after 2 years of very aggressive de-cluttering.
It has been, and continues to be, an absolute bitch to de-clutter.  Actually regretting buying quality now - I keep looking on Ebay and finding that, yes this bloody thing is worth selling.  E.g. proper tongue & groove, hand finished free standing pine furniture. Its taking f**king ages.  Grrrr...
On the verge of starting to sling stuff that is worth good money just to get the job finished.  Also doesn't help that still have numerous big crates of sons' stuff - 1 in tiny Stockholm apt. and the other travelling so comes back for a few months every 6-12 months.
Suggestions welcome.

On the plus side - now virtually allergic to buying anything new, especially if its bulky.

Donate it to charity, or put it on freecycle.......the more people give away the less work or work getting less pay, others will have to do.....so then can use their time more productively helping others.;)

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3 minutes ago, the_dork said:

Let's call that 20k after tax so not miles off the average salary. Whether renting or buying and as all on this forum will know 25 to 30% of that on accommodation is not unrealistic. Let's say 1 k per annum unavoidable bills, in reality this is also conservative. 2 k per annum on food for a single person again highly conservative. Again let's be conservative and say 1k on travel, not many people are going to bike everywhere.  I've also not factored any spending on kids considering fertility rates this is not actually so unrealistic but many people do do hope to have a familyo saving all the rest i.e. no entertainment, household goods, insuranceor other spending on clothing food etc they may save 10K. After 20 years of this that's a 200k pot to play with, far from retirement level for most and you can see why people just blow their are extra income on things that make life marginally easier and more pleasant eg socialising holidays. There is a reason that average salary in this country is around 25k and the average adult is only worth 100k remember this includes your property etc!!

But what if you own your property?  Plenty do and aren't FIRE.  Or what if you focus on first paying down your property as part of an overall FIRE plan?  Or what if you use geographic arbitrage?  It's about choices.  Also FIRE doesn't have to mean retirement at 31.  In my case I'm 47 as I was a late starter to the idea.  How about 50 or 55 instead of when the government tells us we can via access to State Pension.

Just to be clear of course high earnings give you an advantage.  It's why I always talk about savings rate which is earnings minus spending.  It's also why my strategy specifically involved increasing earnings.  I'm just saying you don't have to be rich in earnings to FIRE and also if you're rich in earnings you won't necessarily FIRE.

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8 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

Look at it positively.  I bet you're now glad you don't have a 5 bed detached.  ?

On a serious note it is so easy to expand to fill the available space.  Then one day you wake up and realise your stuff owns you rather than you owning your stuff.

Globally, not so much in the UK because of draconian planning from what I can see, there is a bit of a movement around treading more lightly on the planet while giving more personal freedom in the form of tiny houses, container homes etc.  It's quite inspirational  with some people doing a really good job although of course there is no free lunch so the concept carries some baggage.  I've thought about maybe trying to rent one for 6 to 12 months somewhere in the world.  We might learn something more about ourselves.

I've posted it before but this book is very good. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Things-New-Japanese-Minimalism/dp/0393609030

 

41eVwAYYrbL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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9 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

But what if you own your property?  Plenty do and aren't FIRE.  Or what if you focus on first paying down your property as part of an overall FIRE plan?  Or what if you use geographic arbitrage?  It's about choices.  Also FIRE doesn't have to mean retirement at 31.  In my case I'm 47 as I was a late starter to the idea.  How about 50 or 55 instead of when the government tells us we can via access to State Pension.

Just to be clear of course high earnings give you an advantage.  It's why I always talk about savings rate which is earnings minus spending.  It's also why my strategy specifically involved increasing earnings.  I'm just saying you don't have to be rich in earnings to FIRE and also if you're rich in earnings you won't necessarily FIRE.

Not many millenials own property...but I have a similar mindset to you and respect your strategy a lot.

It's baffling to me how many people get status from their mid-upper mid corporate jobs, having had hippie parents this wasn't something I ever picked up, it has probably cost me employment wise as I just don't have that motivation.

Also clear that some people derive more utility than you or I from spending on stuff they may not need. I went out with a retail worker who regularly spent equivalent of at least one weeks salary on a dinner/drinks out with cab home (!) or handbag and bought her lunch/coffee out every day. At some level she must have valued those things more than saving for an unknown uncertain future, clearly from the average savings rate, many are in the same boat

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1 hour ago, hotblack42 said:

Totally agree with this.  Unfortunately myself, wife & sons were complacent for 25 years and filled a 4 bed detached.  Still have 1.5 garages full of stuff even after 2 years of very aggressive de-cluttering.
It has been, and continues to be, an absolute bitch to de-clutter.  Actually regretting buying quality now - I keep looking on Ebay and finding that, yes this bloody thing is worth selling.  E.g. proper tongue & groove, hand finished free standing pine furniture. Its taking f**king ages.  Grrrr...
On the verge of starting to sling stuff that is worth good money just to get the job finished.  Also doesn't help that still have numerous big crates of sons' stuff - 1 in tiny Stockholm apt. and the other travelling so comes back for a few months every 6-12 months.
Suggestions welcome.

On the plus side - now virtually allergic to buying anything new, especially if its bulky.

Hire a student on summer holiday to do some of this for you?

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1 hour ago, the_dork said:

Not many millenials own property...but I have a similar mindset to you and respect your strategy a lot.

It's baffling to me how many people get status from their mid-upper mid corporate jobs, having had hippie parents this wasn't something I ever picked up, it has probably cost me employment wise as I just don't have that motivation.

Also clear that some people derive more utility than you or I from spending on stuff they may not need. I went out with a retail worker who regularly spent equivalent of at least one weeks salary on a dinner/drinks out with cab home (!) or handbag and bought her lunch/coffee out every day. At some level she must have valued those things more than saving for an unknown uncertain future, clearly from the average savings rate, many are in the same boat

Towards the top of Maslow's Hierachy there are esteem needs around prestige and feeling of accomplishment.  I now realise my career, when it was providing meaningful work, was filling that gap and I suspect others might be the same.  As that work became a job I ended up with a gap here that I still need to fill.

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8 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

Towards the top of Maslow's Hierachy there are esteem needs around prestige and feeling of accomplishment.  I now realise my career, when it was providing meaningful work, was filling that gap and I suspect others might be the same.  As that work became a job I ended up with a gap here that I still need to fill.

Yeah I get it, it just seems a waste of that instinct to me to channel into what are often objectively fairly meaningless positions, "******** jobs" to use the current term. Stuff like being in sales/marketing or middle management just doesn't seem interesting to me, especially when it's for firms that sell stuff we largely don't want and that you yourself avoid buying. Different if it's a cause you are into.

You interested in politics at all? Im not party political but if I had time there are a few causes (mainly around environment but also economic reform) I'd like to get more involved with. Anything like that you would find satisfying, or mentoring/volunteering kids in your area?

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@the_dork, As someone on the other side I agree with you that a lot of what people do for a job is indeed meaningless from an improving society view point.  There is so much stuff out there that isn't needed.  I particularly love the products where they're solving a problem that only exists because of the product that we don't need in the first place.

At the moment I'm trying a lesser role in a similar industry to previous.  Thought was could I get back to the meaningful work I had many years ago.  So far it's not looking like it so will probably reFIRE very soon.  At that point the primary aim is to figure out how to get closer to meaningful family/friends which is lower down Maslow's pyramid - a gap that was really identified once I had a lot more time on my hands in Cyprus.  Once I have that sorted hopefully something to provide meaningful purpose might have appeared on the horizon.

Edited by wish I could afford one
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55 minutes ago, wish I could afford one said:

Towards the top of Maslow's Hierachy there are esteem needs around prestige and feeling of accomplishment.  I now realise my career, when it was providing meaningful work, was filling that gap and I suspect others might be the same.  As that work became a job I ended up with a gap here that I still need to fill.

I can see why some might seek out those jobs for the prestige (or at least that's how it looks to them), but accomplishment? Can you get much of a sense of accomplishment out of such a position? I'm pretty sure I couldn't, and I'm someone capable of getting a bit of that feeling from just mowing the lawn!

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21 hours ago, wish I could afford one said:

That cost is of course a choice.  It's also important to consider if planning for FIRE that you don't have that cost forever.  Some day they will leave school and someday they will leave the nest.

Yes, definitely not for ever, but the eldest is 8, so at least another decade plus Uni. Or may be after Brexit the kids can work in the salt mines.

 

 

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On 24/07/2019 at 11:01, wish I could afford one said:

Good on them.  They thought about things a bit differently and have a life they enjoy (at least what they project outwards).

I did something similar.  Plan A was buy a home to live in.  Plan B was pursue Early Retirement.  It took me 9 years to become financially independent and 11 years to have my first go at retire early (FIRE).

Advice?

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2 minutes ago, Tapori said:

Sorry, for following your path. 

Firstly, I'm not qualified to give any sort of advice.  You have to pay somebody a lot of money for that.  What did I do:

  • Owned it so went DIY with everything.  Knew this would result in some mistakes but at the same time would benefit me in the long run if I educated myself well.
  • Figured out how to earn more.  I increased my earnings by x3 in real terms despite staying within essentially the same industry but I did switch employers based on some criteria.
  • Figured out what spending gave value and jettisoned what didn't.  In the years prior to FIRE I was spending about £800 per month excluding rent and work costs.  I lived in the South East so rent was expensive but after considering increased earnings after tax by living in the area vs increased rent it enabled me to accelerate savings so it was in a way an investment.
  • Minimised investment expenses.  All in product, wrapper and withholding taxes are today about 0.21%.
  • Minimised taxes by maximising the use of ISA's, SIPP's and NS&I.
  • Bought a globally and asset type diversified portfolio.
  • Figured out how much I needed for the level of risk I wanted to take.  Big risks being a poor sequence of returns extinguishing my wealth before I'm dead vs dying without maximising the benefits FIRE can bring.
  • Worked through psychological elements such as starting, determination, victim mode, dealing with mistakes as I made a few, the power of AND andlast but not least tracking for motivation

I was able to detail all the tools and techniques I used in a short 70 odd page book so an easy read but quite a bit more information than I can share on this forum.  I published it in both Kindle and paperback.  It's called From Zero to Financial Independence in less than 10 Years: Tools and techniques to escape the rat race quickly.

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2 hours ago, wish I could afford one said:

Firstly, I'm not qualified to give any sort of advice.  You have to pay somebody a lot of money for that.  What did I do:

  • Owned it so went DIY with everything.  Knew this would result in some mistakes but at the same time would benefit me in the long run if I educated myself well.
  • Figured out how to earn more.  I increased my earnings by x3 in real terms despite staying within essentially the same industry but I did switch employers based on some criteria.
  • Figured out what spending gave value and jettisoned what didn't.  In the years prior to FIRE I was spending about £800 per month excluding rent and work costs.  I lived in the South East so rent was expensive but after considering increased earnings after tax by living in the area vs increased rent it enabled me to accelerate savings so it was in a way an investment.
  • Minimised investment expenses.  All in product, wrapper and withholding taxes are today about 0.21%.
  • Minimised taxes by maximising the use of ISA's, SIPP's and NS&I.
  • Bought a globally and asset type diversified portfolio.
  • Figured out how much I needed for the level of risk I wanted to take.  Big risks being a poor sequence of returns extinguishing my wealth before I'm dead vs dying without maximising the benefits FIRE can bring.
  • Worked through psychological elements such as starting, determination, victim mode, dealing with mistakes as I made a few, the power of AND andlast but not least tracking for motivation

I was able to detail all the tools and techniques I used in a short 70 odd page book so an easy read but quite a bit more information than I can share on this forum.  I published it in both Kindle and paperback.  It's called From Zero to Financial Independence in less than 10 Years: Tools and techniques to escape the rat race quickly.

Ta. Will read.

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On 24/07/2019 at 12:22, winkie said:

Kids or not two people working have a better chance of FIRE than possibly one person without kids......if both when come to retirement or partial retirement have an income of £12k each that is a tax free income of min ~£24k household, quite a healthy sum if debt free....so it comes down to how young have your kids, how young start earning and saving, how lucky you are with picking a life partner and choice of financial life options, how money earned is spent....how fortunate you are with how your kids turn out, and with everyone's physical and mental health well being....life is a gamble/lottery ;)

Luck is very much a part of it.

It’s not that I have had ‘good luck’ because I was in the game, I saved, I worked hard EVERYDAY, I didn’t ‘zombie spend’ my money on what other people though was important....it was a concerted effort  

However, where luck comes into it is I managed to avoid ‘bad luck’. No divorce (despite the odds of a marriage at 18 years old), 2 great kids, top state ‘free’ schools locally and now 5 wonderful grandkids...an understanding wife, a supportive parenting structure and kept my health etc. 

Key for me was earning a very decent wage but not being suckered into the ‘spend’ culture. Cheap £200 car, Honda obviously (£50 spent on MoT a year and little else), modest clothes....but anything I wanted we had. Holidays definitely...but shopping around for a deal (Pisa flights £20) etc. 

A family member openly judges me for not spending my money. They still work and hate it, they have high BP and stress levels driving a new Lexus...showing me how it’s done. 

They don’t see the contradiction and don’t believe I REALLY DO like my car, they believe I am going without...but I really am not, I really don’t want a big car or even a ‘nice car’...I drive 3k a year max. Hate cars, love holidays. All I every really did was ensure I knew what I was spending and made sure it was something we wanted and not something ‘others thought we should have’. Not easy though. 

Don’t get me wrong...nothing wrong with nice cars and a new DFS sofa every 2 years...but only if that is what you want and makes you happy. ?

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Just a couple of  words for all who have contributed to this thread. Thank you!

I did voluntary contributions to my pension, as big as I could for 18 years. I paid off the mortgage with savings and some inherited money. Rather than get used to the increase in money available to spend I added what I had been paying on the mortgage to my pension VC.  At the age of 60 I was pushed out of my job  and found nobody wants a 60 year old IT manager.  I have 2 teenage sons, one at private school and one at Uni. I shall look closely at FIRE as a concept since while I haven't touched the pension my savings have been dwindling at a rate of about £20kpa. I get paid a few hours working for a charity but actually do far more because it is fun and some delivery driving which helps with the cash flow. The main issue is the damage to ego, especially as an NDA prevents me from publicly saying "I told you so"  to my ex boss as they get exposed by the tide going out. I might not be retiring very early but then again my father made it to 97, so perhaps potentially having a third of my life ahead is early enough.

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