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sschullo

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Everything posted by sschullo

  1. sschullo

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    Relax, not equating you with Suzi, but your negativity makes you sound like her. I don't listen to negativity about frugal living, learning the investing process, having dreams of financial independence with a stress free live and quality time with doing what you love whether with family or friends or another passion. These financial literacy ideas are for ANYBODY who wants them. I rarely watched Suzi's TV show. But I quit after she viciously attacked one of her callers on her TV show by calling her STUPID. I never watched again, so when she opened her big negative mouth about FIRE, it was not a surprise.
  2. sschullo

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    But Suze says that the math doesn't support FIRE either. It's a cultural problem of our schools not teaching financial literacy. Math is the symptom, an important symptom but a symptom that these young people are well aware of. Great movements were are often initially viewed as dangerous and delusional. Calling what they are trying to do "dangerous" and "delusional" is not warranted. These young people and the FIRE movement messages are great! We preach frugal living here all of the time, and learn to manage our own money without an adviser. Nothing wrong with those ideals. Whether your math supports it or not is beside the point. It is in the effort and trying that counts, living up to one's ideals are wonderful gifts to give to people, and that is worth a lot of our respect especially against the powerful and damaging consumer culture that we live it. Borrowing and spending are dangerous to our health and well being of individuals and our country. The FIRE movement is trying to break free of that real danger.
  3. sschullo

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    You agree with Suzi? Math doesn't consider the qualitative aspects of these young people life philosophies of whom you never met. These young folks reject the materialism of the masses and opt for quality time. You think that is not enough, but it is HUGE. If their portfolio can't sustain, then they go back to work or work longer. Okay, so some might make a mistake. Again, we have all made mistakes. Its a journey that you say shouldn't even be tried because your math doesn't support it. I can list mistakes that just about all workers make despite their incomes: not knowing the power of compound interest spending too much and saving too little during their entire working lives, that is, not having the discipline to live below their means not knowing what a stock is and how it grows not knowing the difference between an annuity and a mutual fund trusting somebody in a suit who just happens to walk into a classroom to handle your 403(b) TSA for an entire career, and never looking or questioning the product. Not learning the investing process Not knowing how fees eat into an investment over many years The above mistakes are made by the vast majority of the public, but NOT THE FIRE COMMUNITY. Remember its a community, not just individuals with false hope. It is way too soon to cast cynical judgment about what counts and what doesn't count. These young people are just trying to do something different, and there is nothing wrong with the message and the positiveness of the philosophy that less is more, and that they are on their way to handle the finances without an adviser just fine.
  4. sschullo

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    I guess you want them to give up because they are stooges to the narrative. Yes, it is that simple ED. Anybody can be FIRE but it does require discipline and knowledge. They get that from their communities, their meetings all over the country. That's powerful stuff that we in the education community could learn from. I have read their books and been to a conference, and chatting with them and listened to their presentations. Super wealthy people do not mingle in the middle of the desert in August to support each other. Super wealthy people don't buy a duplex and rent out the half and live in the other to build wealth, start saving the minute to get their first paycheck (no matter how high it is), or live frugally. With all due respect, you bringing in topics that have nothing to do with these amazing young people. These young people hate debt, are anti-consumer and therefore, anti-capitalist, as you can get. They are the 1960s version of the counterculture, they are challenging the establishment. I wish them the best, and I think they will be just fine, and good for the country too.
  5. sschullo

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    Your math is inescapable but does it really matter how they become FI? What they do after FI is a mystery and it will be an interesting journey to observe how it works out for them.
  6. sschullo

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    Dustin and Ed, For heaven's sake give these young people a chance. Of course, there are questions. Mine is health care. As I have said before, I attended one of their conferences last summer. About 50 young people came from all walks of life, mainly from California. One young couple in their early 20s stood out for me. The met in school in Mexico where both were born and raised. I was very impressed when her father trusted her, over an older son, to take care of the family finances should something happen to her parents (she is only in her 20s!). Also, the most shocking piece of advice her father told her is to immigrate to the United States because "they treat women better than in Mexico!" Already stereotypes of children of the wealthy can only do this! I beg to differ because I met and talked with them. My late hubby and I started with nothing and started saving for retirement in our middle 30s and 20 years later we were millionaires, in our middle 50s. And we were teachers living in expensive Los Angeles. It is easy to build a nest egg to a million these days because of the quality investments available at extremely low costs and building a real estate portfolio. Most people lack the discipline to live below one's means and have absolutely no interest in managing their money or who convince themselves that it cannot be done. These young people have gobs of discipline and knowledge because they found a community of support to learn more. These young people are taking advantage of this opportunity because they feel that social security and pensions will not be available to them. But most important, they want to have choices to do what they want, and to live financially independent. Again the stereotype: Only a few are quitting their jobs and becoming famous bloggers!? Of course not. It is so amazing that these courageous young people are challenging the stress-filled status quo head-on of working till you drop, with debts because of big houses and expensive cars and dying soon after retirement. They reject that kind of life and they are committed to frugal living to be financially independent. For that, some of us claim they are all filthy rich? Are some of these people going to make mistakes? Of course. We all make mistakes. Absolutely, so some were born with a silver spoon and making huge amounts of money at a young age. But to claim with no evidence that most have inherited their money is way out of line. I respect even those highly talented privileged young adults are rejecting the corporate lifestyle and opting for a better life because they value time over corporate stress and the borrow and spend culture. I have read both books by the gurus they worship for good reason, both are great personal finance books. I gave them a five-star review on Amazon: Your Money or Your Life by Vicky Robbins and The Simple Plan to Wealth by CL Collins, and the most famous blogger of all time on frugal living, Mr. Money Mustache. I personally share and love the philosophy of rejecting the consumer culture and becoming FI. I think we all can agree here. I love these young people because they get what the few of us have been trying to do here on this website for almost 20 years for our teacher colleagues. It has been frustrating sometimes trying to enlighten our teacher colleagues, so to fine any group of people who get this very simple plan right out of the gate of life is personally refreshing to me. Steve
  7. sschullo

    Fanning The Flames Of The FIRE movement

    Ditto! Thanks Tony, I love these young people! I wrote this comment: The FI and FIRE communities are a threat to not only financial advisers of which FI and FIRE community will not employ but the entire powerful consumer market. These young people get it. I was fortunate to attend one of their conferences in my neighborhood last summer, CampFI Southwest. They understand 100% about investing, stocks, bonds, real estate, and the most important skill in the 21st century, frugal living. Everybody must live below their means to achieve FI or FIRE. I truly respect their categorical rejection of climbing the super stressful corporate ladder with the fake "rich" images complete with huge debts: $5000 suits, beautiful 5,000 sq. ft. home, and expensive cars, super expensive private schools for the children, maids, and opt for a less (A LOT LESS) stressful life, with quality TIME with family and friends, and doing what they love. My hat is off to these young people! BTW, the FI and FIRE are the modern day counterculture movement of the 1960s. In those days, my Boomer generation rejected the consumer culture too. But by the 1980s, much of the counterculture movement went out the window and we opted for the borrow and spend.
  8. Yeah, but I didn't read it either but I sure heard about it. I remember seeing s about world population growth in school. It was scarey in those days. It gave me a chill and supported my decision as a teen, to never have kids of my own.
  9. Ed, Yes I am suggesting that. You are making this complicated. What I am only suggesting is that population growth may have contributed to why wages are stagnant. Of course, multinational corporations have exhibited a lot more greed and all of that, but also they are taking advantage of huge numbers of unskilled labor worldwide. Here is an example of supply and demand for workers after the Great Plague: The Black Death was a great tragedy. However, the decrease in population caused by the plague increased the wages of peasants. ... 6 David Routt, “The Economic Impact of the Black Death,” http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/Routt.Black. The Economic Impact of the Black Death of 1347–1352 Excerpt: The plague had an important effect on the relationship between the lords who owned much of the land in Europe and the peasants who worked for the lords. As people died, it became harder and harder to find people to plow fields , harvest crops, and produce other goods and services. Peasants began to demand higher wages.
  10. So the increased population had ZERO effect? And that private sector couldn't produce enough employment? I am thinking out of the box and I am talking about world population, not just in the USA. What you say is the standard narrative, which is also true and I agree, but the cheap labor does not exist out of a vacuum. There are more people today, and good paying jobs for those with less education have not kept up.
  11. What happened to gainful employment? Low wages are an unindented consequences of overpopulation. In the 50s and 60s demographers and scientists were convinced that massive famines would engulf the world in the future. Instead, the massive famines never materialized as we raised enough food for most. Instead, the private sector did not increase gainful employment to keep up with the increased world population.
  12. We know teachers in 403(b) plans have no protection from the annuity sharks but according to the administration friendliness to Wall Street, just about everybody who has a broker will not be protected either. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4219063-fiduciary-rule-worry-wall-street-can-push-annuities-reckless-abandon Excerpt: President Trump’s Securities and Exchange Commission, ever faithful and friendly to Wall Street, killed the fiduciary duty rule which required brokers to put customers’ interests first. In its place, rather than having any requirement that firms and brokers make meaningful disclosure to investors, all that is required under the new rule is a “summary prospectus,” a cliff notes version of the actual prospectus be sent to investors. Hmm, "cliff notes!!!??" instead of a prospectus, absolutely unbelievable.
  13. Hey Ed, go ahead get sidetracked! : - ) There are a couple of items you left out in your analysis that makes purchasing a home an investment. 1. My hubby and I rented out half of our primary house for 14 years bringing in income. Young people in FI community are doing this with their "house hacking" strategy. Nothing new. And 2. Upon selling our Los Angeles home and the Palm Springs condo, we saved $60000 in real estate agent commissions by selling these homes ourselves without real estate agents. We owned both properties for almost 3 decades. I think you would agree about adhering to the buy and hold for investments but it is for real estate too. Interesting how adamant you are that most people make a mistake buying homes because of misunderstanding the financial aspect. I agree that it's not the best investment, but I cannot think of another way to house yourself. Even you own a primary home, so why discourage others? Where do you get your data the most people do not live in their house long enough? Of all that I read, people generally don't move much. Here is one medium that says that the average is about 13 years: https://www.valuepenguin.com/how-long-homeowners-stay-in-their-homes (half owned their homes longer and half owned their homes less than 13 years). If people are disciplined enough to take advantage of renting, perhaps renting might be a better option according to this article: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/renting-is-better-than-owning-to-build-wealth-if-youre-disciplined-to-invest-as-well-2017-11-17. I wonder if there are any articles on wealth building by renting over one's entire working years instead of owning a primary house. I have read many money-related books and I do not recall a study on renting vs. home ownership. You are talking about a primary house? (not commercial buildings or rental apartments where one can get very wealthy over the years). But I think about the much worst-case scenario than owning a home, and that's purchasing new cars every 4-5 years, now that's a discussion where the vast majority of people fail to understand the financial aspect of new car ownership, or leasing (good grief!).
  14. Tony, Most people think that investing in the arts makes no financial sense either. Just ask why people visit NYC, the museums, theater, and music. Don't forget that food and fashion are a huge part of the arts and are from the greatest artists (and master chefs also considered artists too) of the 20th century. The arts bring in billions of tourist dollars all over the world every year for NYC! The qualitative discussion on investments is vital to helping people understand how saving and frugal living reduces stress and makes people a lot more happy than THINGS. There is a ton of research that says material things does not make people happy, but experiences do. The FI community gets this and they also get the spending quality time improving your relationships with family and friends is time well spent. Time is VALUABLE.
  15. Ed, Taking a vacation does make financial sense. You cannot separate data and emotions that easy. Vacations domestically or aboard change people, mostly for the better. That to me is worth a lot. Similar to taking vacations, paying off a house relieves stress. Stress can be very expensive and shortens life for most people. Everybody here knows the pitfalls of timing the market. Where are you going on your next vacation? I am going to Morocco in March for 16 days. I have heard Morocco is a popular vacation goal for 2019. Talk about timing the market! :- ) Steve
  16. Yeah, couldn't agree more. Emotions are a killer to wealth building but they are also beneficial IF one is aware of their impact. Some people consider renting instead of home ownership. At 71, I think about the benefits of renting especially in earthquake country, but for other reasons too. But I would not recommend either/or to anybody.
  17. One of the mistakes we made is not paying off the mortgage when we could during the hight of the tech bubble when our investments grew to 1.5 million in early 2000. Our mortgages were $72000. Yeah, we also rationalized "why pay off the mortgage when our investments were making a lot more than the low-interest rate of our mortgages?" To decide now that you will never pay off your mortgage no matter is a mistake based on my experience. We do not know the future. Prepare for a huge growth in your investments at any time, and if you get a chance to pay all debts off earlier than you planned, pay them off. You will not regret it. It opens up other opportunities. Of course, the tech bubble was a rare event, but it did happen, and we kicked ourselves that we did not pay the mortgage off. Eventually, we paid off both mortgages in 2004 when I was 56. But our investments were about half of 2000 high. Still, it was a relief! We had a primary house in L.A. and a Palm Springs vacation condo (which we always rented out during the winter to "snowbirds").
  18. sschullo

    Interesting financial planning software

    Bogleheads always talk about the gazillion online calculators, including maxifiplanner.com: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=242283 or scroll down to "bobcat's" post: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=242283#p3796783 Some like it despite the cost. I don't know it as I am like you. My finances are very simple, just me.
  19. Because of my lifestyle as a couple, my hubby and I had to live in expensive Los Angeles, and California. But I also LOVE California. I never maxed out my 403(b) because I couldn't afford to. I don't remember if spouse maxes his out either. Frugal, absolutely! For example, I never bought a new car (hubby bought one new) during our working years. Since retiring I bought two new 100% electric cars. To buy new cars would mean that I could not afford to invest in my 403(b). Car payments are hideous and so unnecessary. Here in California cars last many years because of the obvious, great climate. Increase my salary ASAP by taking worthwhile workshops and earning extra credentials such as an administrative credential. Made my money mostly from California real estate as landlords by renting out part of our primary house and a Palm Springs condo for many years. Both of us worked until Dan, my late hubby retired at 59, and I was six years younger, I worked for 8 more years before retiring when I just turned 61. GOOD LORD! NO KIDS! I love teaching other people's kids. Parenting is very expensive too, not just dollars but your time. When friends had a baby, they were gone forever, not everyone who had kids but some disappeared forever. No side job, just a side passion of reforming the 403(b). I loved my free time during my working years, its valuable. The financial independence (FI and FIRE) community knows this 100%! As teachers, we have a little more time than most other professionals. And that was valuable for doing things that I like, going to school, getting more degrees, increasing my salary, and trying to reform the 403(b). If I tried to turn an activity I loved into a side job making money, the dynamic changed and the enjoyment plummeted. That's my experience, but I know that most other people love what they do and they get paid. That was not my experience, but that's me. For example, I would not like being a financial adviser, good grief, the very idea of managing somebody else's money! Heaven forbid. I just love sharing what I do and if others learn something, that's just wonderful.
  20. sschullo

    The Pension Gamble

    The FI and FIRE movements assume that pensions and SS will not be there in 20-40 years, and a these young people's future of excessive spending with bills, expensive and useless things, and new car payments with a stressful job to pay for it all is totally rejected! If they are wrong, they will be in good financial shape. If they are right, they will be in good financial shape. Funny how it works that way. Having a good relationship with money during the working years with saving, investing, living a simple life within your means, answers so many problems while you are working, not just for retirement. I believe Bob Brinker on his radio show (or one of his guests) said that doing all of the above makes you a better more compassionate person. I AGREE 100%!
  21. sschullo

    The Pension Gamble

    Its the same producer, director, and writers who brought us the Retirement Gamble five years ago.
  22. sschullo

    Early retirement considerations

    What worked for me was what so many financial gurus said in the past, and I first read it in Riches Man in Babylon is Pay Yourself First and spend the rest. My late hubby and I never used a budget, too much work. I hate tracking spending. Even today, I tracked my grocery bill for a month just out of curiosity because I hear this constantly on many forums. I am a good estimator while I am shopping and I spend money on healthy groceries, fruits and veggies are cheaper than dairy products, and eat at home frequently. Ok, I spent about $450.00, OK that's nice, kind of what I already knew, so now what? The information is useless to me. Now, this is my experience. I am naturally frugal, and I have fun too as we traveled extensively over the years. But my late hubby and I were both naturally frugal and that is the reason why we grew a very healthy nest egg. For those folks who struggle to control spending, YES, USE A BUDGET! Or better yet, read Vicky Robins book "Your Money or Your Life." She is the guru of living a good life while controlling spending. She is a rock star with the FI and FIRE community for good reason. She lived it for all of her life, and absolutely brilliant. She could talk for hours about her work, and every word she utters or writes is interesting, compelling and infectious. Read her book and it will change how you look at work, life, money, useless things, and the bottom line, your relationship with money. Steve
  23. Hi Most regulars already know this sad story about the horrific practices that are everywhere in the country with public school teachers, salespeople and the 403(b). An article like this needs to come out every month. But this is what we got. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-public-school-teacher-savings-plans-20181027-story.html This article explains the differences between the 401k plans which has some protection from the sharks under federal law ERISA, while the 403b plans have absolutely NO PROTECTIONS! An annuity shark might go to jail or lose his or her license for trading for one annuity to another (or just sell a product for the commission) in the 401k world. That barbarous trading practice is not only allowed but protected by our states insurance code, 770.3. Here in California, we cannot even keep these sharks off our campuses. I would think that book publishers, desk manufactures or even Apple would love to send their salespeople to campuses. But those companies cannot because they are required to go through a competitive bidding process. 403b vendors have the absolute right to walk on campuses and right into classrooms as they see fit 24/7. Please tweet, email, FaceBook and use LinkedIn to all of your followers this article. We have to somehow, someway get this story in front of as many of our colleagues as possible. Have a great week, Steve PS: another more detailed article on September 29, 2018, about what teachers actually experience when confronting 403(b) salespeople. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/28/why-these-teachers-retirement-plans-arent-making-the-grade.html
  24. On Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2MZ49TS8C7T42/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0972611711
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