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Community College Super Advocate (#191) Podcast AMA

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15 hours ago, ScottO said:

Hey Scott,

Thanks for the update and congratulations on being a super advocate! We need more teachers who know the FI and FIRE community. Not all of this may apply to you personally, but hear me out. When I think about you, I think about those young people who frequent here such as you with the FI and FIRE communities. You are part of a very tight net group of young people that know how to support each other and communicate for the greater good. I really admire the courage you have to learn investing, frugal living, traveling from each other through these events all over the country, and to stand up against consumerism. You have shown that one doesn't have to work at a job that they don't like forever, have chronic car and mortgage payments with crap you never need and that's its possible to find financial independence at a much early age than ever thought possible. 

My generation changed retirement life from playing golf, reading the paper and drinking coffee and or martinis to doing something different and rewarding. But we thought we had to work till 65.  My generation had an anti materialism movement but was abandoned for bigger homes and expensive cars, and going into debt like never before. Your generation lived through just too many stock market crashes and said enough is enough when you experienced your parents losing half their  their 401ks in 2008. 

Keep up this great work. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and spread the message of financial independence. 

Dan and Scott need more stories from teachers to get our movement off the ground.

Thank again ScottO


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@sschullo Thanks for being a part of my group of young people 😉 

FIRE has had the utility of being a talking point for saving money. As I get older, I question how large of a movement it really is and if it is healthy for people to enact. If I retired early, I wouldn't be able to go back in time to gain additional pension years of service or social security credit. Rolling the dice with healthcare isn't something I want to do to myself or my wife, so calling a career quits would be a hard decision no matter the age. FI is an interesting marriage of frugality and investing.


If we could have afforded a home or felt more comfortable carrying a million dollars in mortgage debt, I'm not sure we would have investigated 403/457 accounts. It really took us going from SINKs to DINKs that made me start looking into optimizing where to invest our money to build toward something. The CNBC link above is an important reflection - I'm certainly fortunate to have a loving, frugal, and supportive spouse who I owe much of my growth and success to. We wouldn't be in the financial position we're in without each other. (That's certainly more of a hindsight reflection than financial advice you can push on people.)

My dad is in his early 70's and taught me many of my thrifty ways. He's certainly a product of his time. He grew up in a single parent household, with two younger siblings, where making ends meet was a concern. They bought few things and self-maintained those things to get the most out of them. (To this day he still has a Rainbow D2 vacuum cleaner.) I'm not sure he would have attended college if not for the Vietnam War - enrolling was a means of delaying the military draft. The 4yr degree he obtained changed the trajectory of what he was able to earn, but the company he worked for went into bankruptcy, so his company stock became worthless. It's not the brightest Silicon Valley story, but it's also not the worst.


"Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin really echoed what I already been taught, with an extra focus on finding "enough" to be content in life. I used the income/expenses wall chart in Excel to help try to grow the difference between the two. It helped to visually focus on creating net income to invest. The author is 76yo, so a few people from your generation laid the foundation for good things.

I've helped arrange 403bwise presentations and done a few of my own to motivate colleagues get their accounts started. Someday I want to pick your brain about how LAUSD arranged its 403/457 oversight/review committees, or I need to re-read your books over the holiday break. 

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