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From the New York Times:

For These Women, a FIRE That Burns Too Male and Too White

Fed up with the bro-heavy archetype of the FIRE trend (“financial independence, retire early”), women are carving out their own niche in the frugal-living movement.

“There’s this mind-set in FIRE discussions that you have to cut out everything that’s not essential, but what’s essential to a white male is very different from what’s essential to me,” the blogger Kiersten Saunders says.

Kiersten Saunders should not be confused with Norwegian Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagstad:

By Charlotte Cowles
June 7, 2019

Kiersten Saunders stumbled upon the FIRE movement — an acronym for “financial independence, retire early” — the way most people do: by reading about it online. But also like most people, she couldn’t relate to its membership, which seemed largely white, male and based in Silicon Valley.

“When I first started looking at the FIRE blogs, it was a bit of a culture shock,” says Mrs. Saunders, 34, a marketing director in Atlanta. “As a black American and as a woman, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to replicate exactly what they did.”

FIRE disciples have a reputation as overworked millennials, usually with the word “software” in their job titles, who stockpile 50 percent or more of their six-figure paychecks so that they can quit cubicle life in their 30s. While hyper-frugality is hardly new, the concept recently acquired its catchy name and a cult following on Reddit forums and popular personal finance blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and Early Retirement Dude, both of which are written by white men. Many adherents get competitive, posting monthly spending reports online as they race to hit their FIRE number — a chunk of assets that will theoretically generate enough income through dividends and interest to support them for the rest of their lives.

A central tenet of the movement is that with enough grit, financial savvy, and willingness to eat rice and beans, “anyone” can do it. But that’s simply not true. …

“There’s this mind-set in FIRE discussions that you have to cut out everything that’s not essential, but what’s essential to a white male is very different from what’s essential to me,” says Mrs. Saunders, who plans to hit her FIRE number (which she calculated using the 4 percent rule, a popular tactic in which retirees withdraw no more than 4 percent of their total savings each year) in 2021.

“There’s a cost to maintaining this Afro,” she adds.

 
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  1. The only thing black about the name “Kiersten” is its misspelling. It sounds as white as can be.

    High-maintenance hair isn’t sustainable under FIRE. She’ll just have to settle for the 4-Hour Workweek.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Norwegian Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagstad:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Flagstad

  2. Anonymous[189] • Disclaimer says:

    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    There's no book out with an abbreviation and 12-step program that's gonna help her maintain those through her retirement years. Save And Grow Stronger ?
    , @The Alarmist
    Yep, that tank and her jugs online is her version of FIRE.
    , @Abe

    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.
     
    She’s prettier than lizard eyes/New Orleans street walker-looking Beyonce, that’s for sure.
    , @Hypnotoad666

    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.
     
    Saving money on bras so she can afford to maintain her Afro. Seems like a solid financial strategy.
    , @Tony
    What? No booty shot? What up with that?
  3. …is it a clown fro?

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Confusion at the hair salon most likely. The behind-the-current-era cosmologist heard "give me the Bozo", when in fact, Bozo stands for Beyonce, Oprah, or Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, your Option.

    3rd option:

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/Zizzer_Zazzer_Zuzz.jpg
  4. but what’s essential to a white male is very different from what’s essential to me

    Then adapt with respect to that. Jeez. No one’s forcing you darling.

  5. • Replies: @Dr Van Nostrand
    Blonde, blue eyed but even I ( a non white) can spot her as a west Asian a mile away. Israeli blondes are more likely to pass for Euros for obvious reasons I guess.
    Tamimi is East Jordanian/ Iraqi clan. Not a name often associated with Palestinians . Lots of blondes in Jordan from what I saw in my visit.
  6. This chick needs to do what black kids in Brooklyn are doing– celebrate Polish culture:

    Polish Themes in Little Free Libraries in North Brooklyn

    • Replies: @Dube
    Are you following the shutdown of historian Ewa Kurek (Polish-Jewish Relations 1939-1945: Beyond the Limits of Solidarity) from scheduled appearances in Brooklyn? She is a "Holocaust distorter," says The Tablet.
    , @Dube
    Are you following the shutdown of historian Ewa Kurek (Polish-Jewish Relations 1939-1945: Beyond the Limits of Solidarity) from scheduled appearances in Brooklyn? She is a "Holocaust distorter," says The Tablet.
  7. This theme is everywhere now.

    A cursory “review” of David McCullough’s latest book, The Pioneers, includes the following:

    The problem of McCullough’s story owes to how closely it reflects, even if unintentionally, the white nationalist myth that undergirds Trumpism…

    Uncovering the unknown, including unrecognized historical actors, remains a primary task for all historians. But bringing un-famous white men into the spotlight, doesn’t provide a new understanding of history. Instead, it perpetuates and — particularly in this moment — reinvigorates persistent national myths that make white people the center of the American experience and the chosen beneficiaries of democracy’s offerings.

    https://theweek.com/articles/845704/dont-buy-dad-new-david-mccullough-book-fathers-day

    When Brian Lamb hosted his last episode of “Q & A” on C-SPAN last month, he chose David McCullough as his final guest. The topic was The Pioneers. The experience of watching that interview felt like an end to something significant in more ways than one.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?460554-1/qa-david-mccullough

    • Replies: @Dennis Dale
    Sad to think Lamb will be replaced by the inevitable POC mediocrity.
    I'm thinking interviewing is another white-male thing, like long-form journalism.
    , @Redneck farmer
    I liked the inference that white people are an overhyped minority group in the linked article. Wonder if Young was the family name when they got off the boat?
    , @Abe
    I really need Steve’s hot take on Jonathan Franzen. Only a single (two-term, successful) Presidency ago, Franzen was the great American writer and the toast of the Anglophone literary world. Now his being white, male, and, I guess, straight is problematic in ways you tribalist, identitarian alt-righters cannot understand because reasons.

    Pre-Wokeness his dissing of Oprah for picking THE CORRECTIONS for her book club delighted literary snobs, because turning down millions of dollars to thumb your nose at middlebrow cultural pretense was just something you were expected to do as a serious (i.e. world class a-hole) writer. Now, of course, Oprah is a semi-divine queen to be worshipped without question, and every formerly haute fount of cultural opinion is uniform in telling you you must buy every piece of middlebrow and below piece of crap being hoc’d by blacks as the ultimate badge in cultural sophistication .

    Steve had a really great slow-burn conclusion in one of his posts (which even beloved gadfly TRUTH had to tip his hat to) about how wokeness/SJW-ism seems awfully good at helping the most unscrupulous and richest among us get only richer.
    , @obwandiyag
    McCullough always was a complete hack. To call it propaganda is more than its worth. He just writes utter crap.

    The Northwest Territory belonged to the Indians. In fact, early in Tecumseh's life, that tiny band of motivated Indians managed to actually stop, stop, all those barges coming down the Ohio for several years.

    Internecine rivalry was Tecumseh's downfall. This is what you imbeciles don't understand. You spit on those you ought to make alliance with just because they belong to a different tribe.

    In the book, it's like the Indians barely exist.

    You guys read crap. No wonder you're so stupid.
  8. Men aren’t looking at her Afro.

  9. @Grumpy
    This theme is everywhere now.

    A cursory "review" of David McCullough's latest book, The Pioneers, includes the following:

    The problem of McCullough's story owes to how closely it reflects, even if unintentionally, the white nationalist myth that undergirds Trumpism...

    Uncovering the unknown, including unrecognized historical actors, remains a primary task for all historians. But bringing un-famous white men into the spotlight, doesn't provide a new understanding of history. Instead, it perpetuates and — particularly in this moment — reinvigorates persistent national myths that make white people the center of the American experience and the chosen beneficiaries of democracy's offerings.
     
    https://theweek.com/articles/845704/dont-buy-dad-new-david-mccullough-book-fathers-day

    When Brian Lamb hosted his last episode of "Q & A" on C-SPAN last month, he chose David McCullough as his final guest. The topic was The Pioneers. The experience of watching that interview felt like an end to something significant in more ways than one.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?460554-1/qa-david-mccullough

    Sad to think Lamb will be replaced by the inevitable POC mediocrity.
    I’m thinking interviewing is another white-male thing, like long-form journalism.

  10. “There’s a cost to maintaining this Afro,” she adds.

    Someone please post Dave Chappelle’s black reparation video.

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.

    • Replies: @Abe

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.
     

    Can you explain? Sorry, don’t mean to pry, but at what age did you feel you were semi-retired and didn’t really need to work? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s? And are you implying your wife’s wealth is the biggest contributor to that?

    My brother-in-laws are a text book case of nature/nurture. Both served over a decade in different branches of the military. Nurture (adopted) brother-in-law took the military pension that would be due to him in the future for a much smaller immediate gratification cash-out and blew it to buy a Harley which was subsequently trashed from not receiving proper maintenance. Nature brother-in-law with my wife’s good genes deferred gratification and will be getting a decent monthly stipend for the rest of his life from same mil benefit. The list goes on and on about the poor life decisions nurture bro made over the course of his life as opposed to the wise ones nature bro made (yes, the story includes nurture bro buying a stripper fake tits), but the short of it is nature bro is semi-retired in his mid-5o’s despite not having a college degree, doing work in a relaxed 40 hour + overtime unionized defense contractor job role requiring security clearances, and able to last year buy a car for nearly $100K after already owning a classic car he had bought a couple years before that. Of course, he has no kids to take care of, but still impressive for not going through the credential/diploma mill.

    , @Almost Missouri
    Agree. This is the single most important overlooked advice in all personal finance discussions, especially for young men. And it becomes more relevant every year as

    1) the divorce industrial complex become ever more pernicious and pervasive, and

    2) the pool of eligible marriage partners is systematically winnowed by demographic attrition and cultural corruption.

    My sympathies to young people who want to marry, start a family and live with some financial dignity and traditional family life. Every important institutional and cultural power is against you.

    , @Barnard
    From what I have read about the FIRE movement, a significant number of the bloggers have wives who work full time. I don't think living off your wife's income and using her employment for health insurance counts as financial independence.
    , @Alfa158
    Marry well worked for us. Meaning:
    Marry someone who is smart, stable, hard-working. I got lucky and somehow married someone with those characteristics who was also a stunner.
    Then; don’t either of you do anything stupid.
    And, don’t have bad luck.
    We didn’t retire in our ‘30’s, but early. The only thing we should have done if we had known, was to take John Derbyshire’s advice and gotten government jobs so we would have had real pensions. As it is, retiring early on mostly investments, and living as well as we did when we were working, required us to build a seven digit portfolio.
  11. A lot of stuff in that movement is alien to people of any race or gender. Mr. Money Mustache suggests saving money on air conditioning by… just not having any.

    The tax optimization hacks they advocate, admittedly, are biased toward those smart and diligent enough to understand and apply them, so I was half expecting the article to claim that white men are figuring out how to cheat the tax system at everybody else’s expense. Being able to sock away like $40,000+ per year to a Roth IRA makes a huge difference to your real total lifetime wealth no matter how opulent or miserly your lifestyle is.

    • Replies: @Person
    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.
    , @Sam Patch
    Mr. Money Mustache is insufferable IMO. He has admitted to being essentially an environmentalist blogger more than a financial one, hence advice like no air conditioning. I truly don’t understand the cult around that guy, but then again I don’t understand the ones around Te Nehisi Coates or Shaun King so what do I know.
  12. “We need our weaves!”

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    Well recalled.
  13. I’m trying to figure out how “frugal” includes “paying someone to do your hair.”

    “There’s this mind-set in FIRE discussions that you have to cut out everything that’s not essential, but what’s essential to a white male is very different from what’s essential to me,”

    And of course anything essential to a white male must be bad, wrong, and racist.

    Still, I have to wonder how a black chick who flashes two feet of cleavage in an article ostensibly on retirement strategies got positioned in the first place to retire early in “marketing.” Does she have, say, a highly successful, long-running, O-window-shifting blog with millions of page hits/comments per month or something?

    Anyway, this story isn’t about how white men aren’t pleasing black women with their lifestyle choices–a la Nick Christakis in his living room at Yale/Silliman.

    This story is about women b!tching that THEIR idea of retirement, like their idea of marriage, must involve them being allowed to buy whatever they feel like buying whenever they feel like buying it. And if anyone suggests other options, they’re a racist sexist etc.ist. And if they run out of money, it’s up to white men to be taxed to supply it.

    Like, you know, health care. Which, in retirement planning, isn’t worth a mention, whereas afros are.

    • Agree: Liza, Kylie
  14. Journalist had two choices:

    1. Write about a black woman saving money to retire early

    Or

    2. Write about a black woman saving money to retire early as an act of resistance to white male culture

    Over in the woke liberal arts faculties this is known as Othering, a mortal sin. It may be known as something else now but I can’t be bothered to find out.

    The serious point to FIRE is that if you’re not living in a rural area surrounded by people who accept you, and you’re not growing you’re own food, then by the mid-2030s all that money isn’t going to be worth a tin of beans.

    On a related note: all those Silicon Valley billionaires buying up rural land outside the US might want to take another look at the people they’re going to find themselves among when they have to skedaddle.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The serious point to FIRE is that if you’re not living in a rural area surrounded by people who accept you, and you’re not growing you’re own food, then by the mid-2030s all that money isn’t going to be worth a tin of beans.
     
    Why isn't the money going to be worth much?
  15. @WowJustWow
    A lot of stuff in that movement is alien to people of any race or gender. Mr. Money Mustache suggests saving money on air conditioning by... just not having any.

    The tax optimization hacks they advocate, admittedly, are biased toward those smart and diligent enough to understand and apply them, so I was half expecting the article to claim that white men are figuring out how to cheat the tax system at everybody else's expense. Being able to sock away like $40,000+ per year to a Roth IRA makes a huge difference to your real total lifetime wealth no matter how opulent or miserly your lifestyle is.

    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.
     
    Moreover those making over a certain threshold are ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. In 2019, I think the thresholds are $137k and $203k, respectively for singles and married, filing jointly.

    Roth 401K is still allowed, but there are contribution limits, I think $19,000 a year for under 60 in age for 2019

    , @Carol
    What's the max for s backdoor Roth?
    , @TomSchmidt
    Theoretically, you could contribute 57,000 in Roth contributions. 19k plus 6K if over 50 to a Roth 401k or 403B. If you work for a state government, you could contribute another 25K in Roth to a 457 plan in addition to a 403B.. Then 6k plus 1k to a Roth IRA.
    , @WowJustWow
    That’s a limit on contributions, not a limit on money that can enter the account with a correctly characterized sequence of steps if you have the prerequisites. Look for “Mega backdoor Roth” on some of those early retirement blogs.
    , @Jimmy
    There is a tax maneuver called the "backdoor Roth" that effectively makes Roth contributions unlimited.
  16. @Reg Cæsar
    The only thing black about the name "Kiersten" is its misspelling. It sounds as white as can be.

    High-maintenance hair isn't sustainable under FIRE. She'll just have to settle for the 4-Hour Workweek.


    https://tropicalmba-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Four-Hour-Work-Week-Book-Cover-141x200.jpg

    Norwegian Wagnerian soprano Kirsten Flagstad:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirsten_Flagstad

  17. The MSM hates the idea of early retirement/ extreme frugality because it proves that even individuals of moderate means can control their financial well-being. It gives regular people a level of agency and power that big government/ big corporations are uncomfortable with. And it implicitly places at least some of the blame for poverty on the choices of those who are in poverty.

  18. @Anonymous
    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    There’s no book out with an abbreviation and 12-step program that’s gonna help her maintain those through her retirement years. Save And Grow Stronger ?

  19. BTW, I know people can’t write good original music anymore (just heard some woman remaking a bunch of Elton John songs – NOT THE SAME!) I don’t think they can even make their own new acronyms anymore*. FIRE already stands for Finance Insurance and Real Estate, or, the last one could be Education, the unproductive large portions of America’s GD”P”.

    This new use of “FIRE’ is confusing things.

    .

    * Is it an acronym? I was corrected one time here on unz, but forgot the distinction.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Yes. The fire rises!
  20. In Uganda it’s the law to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. For the driver and passenger. Unless you are a lady who just got her hair done. Jeremy Clarkson said so. I’ll take his word for it.

  21. @Sean
    Stop talking about Ahed Tamimi’s hair

    https://s19453.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/DSC_0837.jpg

    Blonde, blue eyed but even I ( a non white) can spot her as a west Asian a mile away. Israeli blondes are more likely to pass for Euros for obvious reasons I guess.
    Tamimi is East Jordanian/ Iraqi clan. Not a name often associated with Palestinians . Lots of blondes in Jordan from what I saw in my visit.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    There are a fair (heh) number of blondes (disproportionately female?) with blue or green eyes throughout the Levantine Arab world (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine), not so much in the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia and Mahgreb though.

    One Western expat's theory was that this was a legacy of Crusader blood. That theory conforms to the circumstantial evidence: the phenotype is more common in former Crusader areas.

    Other theories:

    The Other Slave Trade. Millions of white Europeans were taken into slavery in the Muslim world from the seventh to the eighteenth centuries (and even a few into the twentieth century). Since the purpose of female slavery was often sexual/reproductive, it would be strange if there weren't a genetic legacy of those millions. This may explain the phenotype being commoner among females. In this theory, the Levantine concentration of fair hair is explained by the fact that fairer slaves commanded higher prices and that the eastern Mediterranean was the wealthiest part of the Islamic world. Somewhat famously, the Ottoman harems consisted almost entirely of European and Caucasian (i.e., from the Caucasus) women, so after a few generations, the Ottoman royalty were basically Euro, other than the Y chromosome.

    Outer reaches of the Blonde Revolution/Evolution. Whatever process gave rise to blondism in Northwest Eurasia in the first place (widely assumed to be sexual selection) has its southern frontier down around the eastern Mediterranean. In other words, a per capita map of blondness would show the distribution naturally petering out around the Sinai.

    Presumably, genomic science could provide a more definitive answer, but I've never seen it addressed. Perhaps eventually it will be.

    , @Sean

    Balfour Declaration stipulated that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine", Weizmann said, “with regard to the Arab question - the British told us that there are several hundred thousand Negroes there but this is a matter of no consequence.”
     
  22. @Cucksworth
    ...is it a clown fro?

    Confusion at the hair salon most likely. The behind-the-current-era cosmologist heard “give me the Bozo”, when in fact, Bozo stands for Beyonce, Oprah, or Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, your Option.

    3rd option:

  23. @Grumpy
    This theme is everywhere now.

    A cursory "review" of David McCullough's latest book, The Pioneers, includes the following:

    The problem of McCullough's story owes to how closely it reflects, even if unintentionally, the white nationalist myth that undergirds Trumpism...

    Uncovering the unknown, including unrecognized historical actors, remains a primary task for all historians. But bringing un-famous white men into the spotlight, doesn't provide a new understanding of history. Instead, it perpetuates and — particularly in this moment — reinvigorates persistent national myths that make white people the center of the American experience and the chosen beneficiaries of democracy's offerings.
     
    https://theweek.com/articles/845704/dont-buy-dad-new-david-mccullough-book-fathers-day

    When Brian Lamb hosted his last episode of "Q & A" on C-SPAN last month, he chose David McCullough as his final guest. The topic was The Pioneers. The experience of watching that interview felt like an end to something significant in more ways than one.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?460554-1/qa-david-mccullough

    I liked the inference that white people are an overhyped minority group in the linked article. Wonder if Young was the family name when they got off the boat?

    • Replies: @bomag

    I liked the inference that white people are an overhyped minority group in the linked article.
     
    Yeah, he calls for finding "the truths of the past", but he doesn't like who shows up as the actual builders and discoverers.
  24. Silky hair on the head and the crotch
    Take a woman’s appeal up a notch;
    The sex-appeal, though,
    Of a brillo-pad ’fro
    Is not all it’s cracked up to be, ’yotch.

    • LOL: Jim Don Bob
  25. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @Change that Matters
    Journalist had two choices:

    1. Write about a black woman saving money to retire early

    Or

    2. Write about a black woman saving money to retire early as an act of resistance to white male culture

    Over in the woke liberal arts faculties this is known as Othering, a mortal sin. It may be known as something else now but I can't be bothered to find out.

    The serious point to FIRE is that if you're not living in a rural area surrounded by people who accept you, and you're not growing you're own food, then by the mid-2030s all that money isn't going to be worth a tin of beans.

    On a related note: all those Silicon Valley billionaires buying up rural land outside the US might want to take another look at the people they're going to find themselves among when they have to skedaddle.

    The serious point to FIRE is that if you’re not living in a rural area surrounded by people who accept you, and you’re not growing you’re own food, then by the mid-2030s all that money isn’t going to be worth a tin of beans.

    Why isn’t the money going to be worth much?

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    With a 21Trln notional national debt, at the current "low" 3% interest rates you're paying $630 billion a year in interest. The Feds borrowed about $1Trln last year, so they yielded maybe $400bln in new money to "invest" in military adventures and other boondoggles. Unless the interest rate keeps dropping (and it might well do so), at some point the Feds will be borrowing simply to make interest payments.

    Meanwhile, the state of Illinois has a $140bln dollar hole in its budget to pay pensions that money has not been set aside for. There's 1.5 trillion in student debt, of which a large portion is unpayable.

    Now take a look at the 2017 "tax cut." Rates were cut, even for people like me in midnight blue states. However, thy changed the method of inflation calculation to "chained CPI", which understates the already understated tweaked CPI. By saying inflation is lower than it actually is, you collect more in taxes on inflated salaries, pay less in COLA adjustments to social security, and also don't adjust the values of people's TIPS bonds for something closer to actual inflation: you collect more, pay less, and inflate away value of the debt. If state pensions are likewise using the Feds' calculations, then IL and NJ and KY can cut their bloated pensions without having to do a thing.

    All the lying about inflation won't change the fact that the currency is losing value. I think it hits in the 2020s, not 2030s, but it is coming.
    , @Neuday

    Why isn’t the money going to be worth much?
     
    Many people expect, and rightly so, that the dollar will lose reserve status. Also, social spending required by Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, coupled with increasing interest payments on the 22 Trillion we owe, will result in the Fed simply inflating away the debt. Massive inflation is almost a metaphysical certainty.
  26. @Person
    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.

    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.

    Moreover those making over a certain threshold are ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. In 2019, I think the thresholds are $137k and $203k, respectively for singles and married, filing jointly.

    Roth 401K is still allowed, but there are contribution limits, I think $19,000 a year for under 60 in age for 2019

    • Replies: @Pseudodositheus
    Both of you need to look up mega backdoor Roth IRA which allows you to sock away up to 40k a year in your Roth.
    , @everybodyhatesscott
    If you run your own business it's fairly easy to get to 55k a year with an individual 401k if you're business is bringing in 200k per year.
  27. FIRE = LUPO … Loser Unemployed & Posing Online

  28. @Anonymous
    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    Yep, that tank and her jugs online is her version of FIRE.

  29. FIRE disciples have a reputation as overworked millennials, usually with the word “software” in their job titles, who stockpile 50 percent or more of their six-figure paychecks so that they can quit cubicle life in their 30s.

    While I don’t care about back life-styles, this “concept” has an aura of psychopathy around it. What about Euler, Bach, Tolstoy, Michelangelo, Goethe, Jung, Plato, Gauss,…who made their most important achievements in their 50s-80s?

    Sorry, but to “retire”, even only psychologically, in one’s 30s is definitely pathological & morbid.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Uh, the individuals you cite were doing a lot more interesting things compared to driving a cube managing component obsolescence for 30 or 40 years.
    , @Anonymousse

    Euler, Bach, Tolstoy, Michelangelo, Goethe, Jung, Plato, Gauss,…
     
    Common career paths to be sure and obviously applicable to the life aspirations of the average junior associate vice president manager of brand social media marketing. Got to keep at it, don’t want to develop the means to ever miss even a single diversity training corporate offsite.
  30. @Redneck farmer
    I liked the inference that white people are an overhyped minority group in the linked article. Wonder if Young was the family name when they got off the boat?

    I liked the inference that white people are an overhyped minority group in the linked article.

    Yeah, he calls for finding “the truths of the past”, but he doesn’t like who shows up as the actual builders and discoverers.

  31. @Twinkie

    “There’s a cost to maintaining this Afro,” she adds.
     
    Someone please post Dave Chappelle's black reparation video.

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.

    Can you explain? Sorry, don’t mean to pry, but at what age did you feel you were semi-retired and didn’t really need to work? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s? And are you implying your wife’s wealth is the biggest contributor to that?

    My brother-in-laws are a text book case of nature/nurture. Both served over a decade in different branches of the military. Nurture (adopted) brother-in-law took the military pension that would be due to him in the future for a much smaller immediate gratification cash-out and blew it to buy a Harley which was subsequently trashed from not receiving proper maintenance. Nature brother-in-law with my wife’s good genes deferred gratification and will be getting a decent monthly stipend for the rest of his life from same mil benefit. The list goes on and on about the poor life decisions nurture bro made over the course of his life as opposed to the wise ones nature bro made (yes, the story includes nurture bro buying a stripper fake tits), but the short of it is nature bro is semi-retired in his mid-5o’s despite not having a college degree, doing work in a relaxed 40 hour + overtime unionized defense contractor job role requiring security clearances, and able to last year buy a car for nearly $100K after already owning a classic car he had bought a couple years before that. Of course, he has no kids to take care of, but still impressive for not going through the credential/diploma mill.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Both served over a decade in different branches of the military.

    Wouldn't they have had to have served 20+ years to be eligible for a military pension (i.e. 20 years active duty = 50% of final salary annual pension benefit). At least this was the retirement benefit until the last couple of years when the military began to offer a 401K.

    Yes, the military can be a decent path to financial security. My best friend from childhood served 22 years active duty in the Navy (the last 12 on land at Pensacola), retired at 40 y/o w/ a $40K+ annual COLA-indexed pension (though his ex-wife gets half) & lifetime TRICARE medical coverage; and got hired into a $100K civilian job with the Coast Guard. He'll be collecting a second pension at 62 of about another $40K to go on top of his $500K Federal TSP.
    , @Twinkie

    Can you explain?
     
    As several other commenters mentioned, a smart, disciplined, frugal, and devoted wife is the greatest (appreciating) asset a man could ever have. And the conjugal intimacies don't hurt either. Or the amazing puppy-like creatures called children.

    wife’s wealth
     
    That doesn't hurt either. ;)

    at what age did you feel you were semi-retired and didn’t really need to work? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s?
     
    I'm in my late 40's. Some years ago, my wife and I started a small business, grew it, and sold it to a large organization, on whose board I now sit.
  32. Ha! I recently told a black woman on a FIRE forum that she shouldn’t buy 30k in furniture for her “decade refresh.” I, of course, was lectured about how some people have different priorities.”

  33. @Twinkie

    “There’s a cost to maintaining this Afro,” she adds.
     
    Someone please post Dave Chappelle's black reparation video.

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.

    Agree. This is the single most important overlooked advice in all personal finance discussions, especially for young men. And it becomes more relevant every year as

    1) the divorce industrial complex become ever more pernicious and pervasive, and

    2) the pool of eligible marriage partners is systematically winnowed by demographic attrition and cultural corruption.

    My sympathies to young people who want to marry, start a family and live with some financial dignity and traditional family life. Every important institutional and cultural power is against you.

  34. Can’t see spending that much money on any hair.

  35. @Anonymous
    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    She’s prettier than lizard eyes/New Orleans street walker-looking Beyonce, that’s for sure.

    • Replies: @Abe
    Yikes! I cleaned my glasses and took a closer look at her photo so maybe not! Still, looks like she might still have a better personality...
  36. @Abe

    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.
     
    She’s prettier than lizard eyes/New Orleans street walker-looking Beyonce, that’s for sure.

    Yikes! I cleaned my glasses and took a closer look at her photo so maybe not! Still, looks like she might still have a better personality…

  37. Poor Ms. Saunders.

    And it’s like, ‘O.K., but what about the other things that life sometimes requires? Where’s the budget for taking care of your mother-in-law?’”

    The extended black family always seems to be a hindrance, rather than a help.

    Frustrated by the lack of diversity in the FIRE world, Mrs. Saunders and her husband, Julien, started their own personal finance blog in 2015, Rich & Regular.

    At least she’s married to another black.

    Like Mrs. Saunders, they tend to be the breadwinners in their families.

    What does hubby do? Is he a typical useless black husband? Maybe it’s somewhere on their blog, but I can’t be bothered.

    First thing I came across on their blog is a typical, whiny screed about how tuff it is to be black.

    Do you remember the talk? No, not the one about keeping your hands on the steering wheel when you get pulled over and not the one about the birds and the bees. The other one. The work talk. The one where you’re told you’ll have to work twice as hard to get half the credit. Well, by now you know it’s true.

    Yeah, because we all know how blacks have to be extra-double-good to get an equal share. The lack of self-awareness is amazing. Still, one can’t fault them much. As a black couple with a paid off mortgage, they are doing things right.

    Also, it seems Ms. Saunders saves a lot of money by never wearing anything other than thin, revealing tank tops.

    https://i0.wp.com/richandregular.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/RichnRegular-About-Us-Resized-e1535827964505.jpg?resize=1024%2C819&ssl=1

  38. @Dr Van Nostrand
    Blonde, blue eyed but even I ( a non white) can spot her as a west Asian a mile away. Israeli blondes are more likely to pass for Euros for obvious reasons I guess.
    Tamimi is East Jordanian/ Iraqi clan. Not a name often associated with Palestinians . Lots of blondes in Jordan from what I saw in my visit.

    There are a fair (heh) number of blondes (disproportionately female?) with blue or green eyes throughout the Levantine Arab world (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine), not so much in the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia and Mahgreb though.

    One Western expat’s theory was that this was a legacy of Crusader blood. That theory conforms to the circumstantial evidence: the phenotype is more common in former Crusader areas.

    Other theories:

    The Other Slave Trade. Millions of white Europeans were taken into slavery in the Muslim world from the seventh to the eighteenth centuries (and even a few into the twentieth century). Since the purpose of female slavery was often sexual/reproductive, it would be strange if there weren’t a genetic legacy of those millions. This may explain the phenotype being commoner among females. In this theory, the Levantine concentration of fair hair is explained by the fact that fairer slaves commanded higher prices and that the eastern Mediterranean was the wealthiest part of the Islamic world. Somewhat famously, the Ottoman harems consisted almost entirely of European and Caucasian (i.e., from the Caucasus) women, so after a few generations, the Ottoman royalty were basically Euro, other than the Y chromosome.

    Outer reaches of the Blonde Revolution/Evolution. Whatever process gave rise to blondism in Northwest Eurasia in the first place (widely assumed to be sexual selection) has its southern frontier down around the eastern Mediterranean. In other words, a per capita map of blondness would show the distribution naturally petering out around the Sinai.

    Presumably, genomic science could provide a more definitive answer, but I’ve never seen it addressed. Perhaps eventually it will be.

    • Replies: @al anon
    You are forgetting the counter-DNA influence of bleach.
    , @Kat Grey
    You are correct in stating that Ottoman royalty had littleTurkish blood flowing through their veins even as early as the 16th century due to their preference for sultanas and harem girls from the Balkans.
  39. Abe says:

    Isn’t the big, open secret here that these FIRE guys are hella autistic? How do you live this frugally and still date, keep a wife, and- especially- have kids and raise them in a normal middle class lifestyle so that they fit in with peers and don’t become known as those weird hippy kids, leading to the sort of adolescent alienation that turns into full blown hate-white-dad SJW-ism later?

    This reminds me of a classic article Steve posted about 10 years ago during the bottom of the last financial crisis. Poor little NYT writer (people would now literally kill for his type of low 6 figure sinecure with health benefits, retirement plan, etc. that you have as much chance of finding in the journalism industry today as breaking into Hollywood) was a total beta and ended up marrying his old high school crush and then paying for her kids from another man plus his own from an earlier marriage. Ended up following the Park Avenue path to pauperdom as living out his high school fantasy with ‘the one’ blew through all his finances, lead to spiraling credit card debt, an unsustainable ARM mortgage, till he was up at night with panic attacks. And wifey, according to the article, was not a particularly flamboyant spender, just the cost of the NYC ‘middle class’ life she was used to (organic groceries ‘for the health of the kids’, etc.) added up.

    • Replies: @Person
    Actually, most FIRE types are just regular people who have decided not to take out car leases, buy overpriced McMansions with 30 year mortgages, and drop $50 on restaurants 4 times a week.
    , @Sam Patch
    To use Mr Money Mustache as an example, his wife recently divorced him. Some of the other big names in that world, like the Frugalwoods, are just liars. They claim to have bought their homestead in Vermont by painting their own cabinets and giving themselves haircuts.
  40. @Twinkie

    “There’s a cost to maintaining this Afro,” she adds.
     
    Someone please post Dave Chappelle's black reparation video.

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.

    From what I have read about the FIRE movement, a significant number of the bloggers have wives who work full time. I don’t think living off your wife’s income and using her employment for health insurance counts as financial independence.

  41. Kiersten is seeking an early retirement to spend more time with her hair.

    • LOL: Dtbb
    • Replies: @Known Fact
    Hence the expression "hair on FIRE"
  42. @Abe
    Isn’t the big, open secret here that these FIRE guys are hella autistic? How do you live this frugally and still date, keep a wife, and- especially- have kids and raise them in a normal middle class lifestyle so that they fit in with peers and don’t become known as those weird hippy kids, leading to the sort of adolescent alienation that turns into full blown hate-white-dad SJW-ism later?

    This reminds me of a classic article Steve posted about 10 years ago during the bottom of the last financial crisis. Poor little NYT writer (people would now literally kill for his type of low 6 figure sinecure with health benefits, retirement plan, etc. that you have as much chance of finding in the journalism industry today as breaking into Hollywood) was a total beta and ended up marrying his old high school crush and then paying for her kids from another man plus his own from an earlier marriage. Ended up following the Park Avenue path to pauperdom as living out his high school fantasy with ‘the one’ blew through all his finances, lead to spiraling credit card debt, an unsustainable ARM mortgage, till he was up at night with panic attacks. And wifey, according to the article, was not a particularly flamboyant spender, just the cost of the NYC ‘middle class’ life she was used to (organic groceries ‘for the health of the kids’, etc.) added up.

    Actually, most FIRE types are just regular people who have decided not to take out car leases, buy overpriced McMansions with 30 year mortgages, and drop $50 on restaurants 4 times a week.

    • Replies: @Abe

    Actually, most FIRE types are just regular people who have decided not to take out car leases, buy overpriced McMansions with 30 year mortgages, and drop $50 on restaurants 4 times a week.
     
    And I embrace their goals too! I was I guess a proto-FIRE type myself once (had dreams of early financial independence so I could become a great writer) but life worked out differently. The biggest benefit of financial independence as I see it now is being a free man-being able to exercise my free speech rights without fear of losing my livelihood and plunging my loved ones into economic misery. As the humiliations white people must endure to remain in the rat race will seemingly only mount, this privilege will only become more precious (I hope to amass enough wealth where, even divided, I can pass this gift on to all my kids)
  43. @Twinkie

    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.
     
    Moreover those making over a certain threshold are ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. In 2019, I think the thresholds are $137k and $203k, respectively for singles and married, filing jointly.

    Roth 401K is still allowed, but there are contribution limits, I think $19,000 a year for under 60 in age for 2019

    Both of you need to look up mega backdoor Roth IRA which allows you to sock away up to 40k a year in your Roth.

  44. white men less into conspicuous consumption than black women, now that’s news!

  45. @Person
    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.

    What’s the max for s backdoor Roth?

  46. @Anonymous

    The serious point to FIRE is that if you’re not living in a rural area surrounded by people who accept you, and you’re not growing you’re own food, then by the mid-2030s all that money isn’t going to be worth a tin of beans.
     
    Why isn't the money going to be worth much?

    With a 21Trln notional national debt, at the current “low” 3% interest rates you’re paying $630 billion a year in interest. The Feds borrowed about $1Trln last year, so they yielded maybe $400bln in new money to “invest” in military adventures and other boondoggles. Unless the interest rate keeps dropping (and it might well do so), at some point the Feds will be borrowing simply to make interest payments.

    Meanwhile, the state of Illinois has a $140bln dollar hole in its budget to pay pensions that money has not been set aside for. There’s 1.5 trillion in student debt, of which a large portion is unpayable.

    Now take a look at the 2017 “tax cut.” Rates were cut, even for people like me in midnight blue states. However, thy changed the method of inflation calculation to “chained CPI”, which understates the already understated tweaked CPI. By saying inflation is lower than it actually is, you collect more in taxes on inflated salaries, pay less in COLA adjustments to social security, and also don’t adjust the values of people’s TIPS bonds for something closer to actual inflation: you collect more, pay less, and inflate away value of the debt. If state pensions are likewise using the Feds’ calculations, then IL and NJ and KY can cut their bloated pensions without having to do a thing.

    All the lying about inflation won’t change the fact that the currency is losing value. I think it hits in the 2020s, not 2030s, but it is coming.

  47. @Person
    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.

    Theoretically, you could contribute 57,000 in Roth contributions. 19k plus 6K if over 50 to a Roth 401k or 403B. If you work for a state government, you could contribute another 25K in Roth to a 457 plan in addition to a 403B.. Then 6k plus 1k to a Roth IRA.

    • Replies: @Anon
    If you have an LLC and a solo 401k, you can contribute 19k (under 50) plus 20% of net income. It's 25k plus 20% for those over 50.
  48. @Anonymous

    The serious point to FIRE is that if you’re not living in a rural area surrounded by people who accept you, and you’re not growing you’re own food, then by the mid-2030s all that money isn’t going to be worth a tin of beans.
     
    Why isn't the money going to be worth much?

    Why isn’t the money going to be worth much?

    Many people expect, and rightly so, that the dollar will lose reserve status. Also, social spending required by Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, coupled with increasing interest payments on the 22 Trillion we owe, will result in the Fed simply inflating away the debt. Massive inflation is almost a metaphysical certainty.

  49. Isn’t the big, open secret here that these FIRE guys are hella autistic? How do you live this frugally and still date, keep a wife, and- especially- have kids and raise them in a normal middle class lifestyle so that they fit in with peers and don’t become known as those weird hippy kids …

    As with the homeschooling movement, I think there is a lot of variation in the FIRE movement.

    Some folks are, in fact, fairly hippi-ish. In fact, one of the earliest FIRE books, “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez has a definite Whole Earth Catalog vibe to it (NOTE: I happen to like that vibe!).

    And some folks aren’t necessarily autistic, they just managed to make a lot of money early (Silicon Valley tech or New York finance are common) and decide to downshift. Some of them probably don’t have enough money saved to STAY retired, but that won’t be clear for a number of years. We may see articles in a decade about folks un-FIRE-ing.

    And some folks have FIRE-d with a working spouse. My wife hasn’t worked outside the house for money since our child arrived, but she describes herself as a “kept woman” rather than someone who is retired.

    And some folks who have FIRE-d still work at jobs! Just maybe not the one they had before they “retired.” I have an aunt who worked probably 500+ hours/year after she “retired” at a traditional age. I would not use the word “retired” this way, but I don’t get to set the rules for language use.

    And some folks are as you described.

    But the “movement” is broad and unregulated.

  50. @Person
    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.

    That’s a limit on contributions, not a limit on money that can enter the account with a correctly characterized sequence of steps if you have the prerequisites. Look for “Mega backdoor Roth” on some of those early retirement blogs.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    If you have also done the smart thing and married well, then you can each put $19,000/year into your work IRAs if your joint income doesn’t go over the limit. When changing employers you can pay the tax on those contributions and roll them into Roth. With max contributions, employer contributions and growth, it should theoretically be possible to get around 40k a year into Roths but it is dependent on a lot of factors so it would be difficult to do it every year you work.
    , @TomSchmidt
    Ok, that was one of the more valuable links I've read here. Thanks for the mention, and I'll see if I can use this strategy.
  51. @Twinkie

    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.
     
    Moreover those making over a certain threshold are ineligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. In 2019, I think the thresholds are $137k and $203k, respectively for singles and married, filing jointly.

    Roth 401K is still allowed, but there are contribution limits, I think $19,000 a year for under 60 in age for 2019

    If you run your own business it’s fairly easy to get to 55k a year with an individual 401k if you’re business is bringing in 200k per year.

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    If you run your own business it’s fairly easy to get to 55k a year with an individual 401k if you’re business is bringing in 200k per year.
     
    I’m assuming you are talking about having the business match your individual $19000 up to the $55000 total limit. But that is limited if you are a highly compensated employee or a part owner.

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/highly-compensated-employee.asp
  52. Hyper-frugality is not something I am seeing spreading. The median savings account balance in the US is a bit under $5000. And certain groups have average balances of literally almost nothing at all. Nothing. We could use a bit of hyper-frugality.

  53. @WowJustWow
    A lot of stuff in that movement is alien to people of any race or gender. Mr. Money Mustache suggests saving money on air conditioning by... just not having any.

    The tax optimization hacks they advocate, admittedly, are biased toward those smart and diligent enough to understand and apply them, so I was half expecting the article to claim that white men are figuring out how to cheat the tax system at everybody else's expense. Being able to sock away like $40,000+ per year to a Roth IRA makes a huge difference to your real total lifetime wealth no matter how opulent or miserly your lifestyle is.

    Mr. Money Mustache is insufferable IMO. He has admitted to being essentially an environmentalist blogger more than a financial one, hence advice like no air conditioning. I truly don’t understand the cult around that guy, but then again I don’t understand the ones around Te Nehisi Coates or Shaun King so what do I know.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    Here in the maritime PNW none of us had a/c till Californicators started coursing in over the past 20 years or so. The heat waves we'd have, we just waited out till the onshore flow re-established. And anyway it cools down a lot at night. Just pull that air through all night, button up the house in the morning, and voila, a cool house for the price, at most, of running a box fan a few hours.

    In the early Aughts we had a mondo heat wave--triple digits daytime for over a week. We and our friends sat around in the evening cool discussing whether we should consider buying a fan or instead, a set of muslin sheets (we sleep on flannel year round). Most of us decided on the fan to assist cooling down the house from midnight to 0700.

    In the past 10 years, though, everybody now is plugging air conditioners into walls, windows, etc....with the expectation that the air should always feel like that at the shopping mall/office/car.

    According to builder, electrician, and contractor friends, today every last house in these parts has to be built or retrofitted with central air. You drive or walk past these inflatable suburban hives on 300 acres of former mature/old growth forestland, on a 75-degree breezy day, and every last house has its windows closed and its heat pump cranking. With a TV or other screen glowing in every room.

    Same with cars.

    I don't know where this blogger lives--I've only read his stuff a few times--but a lot of people really don't need a/c. The idea that you have to have it costs a lot of people a lot of money that they don't even realize they're spending. How many people do home energy audits? Precious few IME. How many have ever thought through their needs, or been willing to map out the amount of money they can save per year with maybe--maybe--a bit of discomfort?

    This is what MMM and other similar bloggers get at--being more aware of how money is being spent. Between eating/drinking out, internet, phones, video consoles, energy, impulse shopping, debt with interest, multiple giant dogs, de rigueur tourismo, spas, nails, cosmetics, hyper-luxury kitchen appliances, etc., many households waste thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per year. The love of my life observed as we were picking up vegies at Costco last month the four- to five-figure price tags on the simple old practice of sitting outside in the yard with your family. Pergolas, furniture, $3,000 grills....

    Your reaction that living without a/c is ridiculous is a good example of the button-pushing that consumerism has installed in so many Americans. And I'm saying this as someone happiest at 20 below zero.

    , @Sam Patch
    I wasn’t the one who said living without air-conditioning is ridiculous. I was responding to someone who did. My point was that Mr. Money Mustache tends to talk a lot about things like not driving to work, not using AC, etc. because he is at heart an environmentalist. I agree that for many people their use of air-conditioning is overkill. At my house here in Tidewater VA we have an efficient mini split heat pump system that we pretty much just use to cool off certain rooms at night. My electric bill for the last few months, including many 90° days, has been around $100. That is for a 2000 square-foot house built in 1922, so not exactly the cutting edge in energy efficiency.
  54. @Abe
    Isn’t the big, open secret here that these FIRE guys are hella autistic? How do you live this frugally and still date, keep a wife, and- especially- have kids and raise them in a normal middle class lifestyle so that they fit in with peers and don’t become known as those weird hippy kids, leading to the sort of adolescent alienation that turns into full blown hate-white-dad SJW-ism later?

    This reminds me of a classic article Steve posted about 10 years ago during the bottom of the last financial crisis. Poor little NYT writer (people would now literally kill for his type of low 6 figure sinecure with health benefits, retirement plan, etc. that you have as much chance of finding in the journalism industry today as breaking into Hollywood) was a total beta and ended up marrying his old high school crush and then paying for her kids from another man plus his own from an earlier marriage. Ended up following the Park Avenue path to pauperdom as living out his high school fantasy with ‘the one’ blew through all his finances, lead to spiraling credit card debt, an unsustainable ARM mortgage, till he was up at night with panic attacks. And wifey, according to the article, was not a particularly flamboyant spender, just the cost of the NYC ‘middle class’ life she was used to (organic groceries ‘for the health of the kids’, etc.) added up.

    To use Mr Money Mustache as an example, his wife recently divorced him. Some of the other big names in that world, like the Frugalwoods, are just liars. They claim to have bought their homestead in Vermont by painting their own cabinets and giving themselves haircuts.

    • Replies: @Abe
    We give each other haircuts! Or my wife sometimes gives us ones and can usually do herself fairly well (about as good any GREAT CLIPS, in any case). She’s really great that way, but expected certain perks in return (house cleaning, gardener) which I however was able to wean her off of as the kids grew up and became more capable with helping around the house.

    Anyway, marriage is incompatible with this FIRE lifestyle as it just involves too much give-and-take. I HATE HATE that we pay for the expanded cable package just so she can get her fix of HATE TRUMP 24/7 CNN, but that’s life.
  55. Anon[319] • Disclaimer says:
    @Abe

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.
     

    Can you explain? Sorry, don’t mean to pry, but at what age did you feel you were semi-retired and didn’t really need to work? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s? And are you implying your wife’s wealth is the biggest contributor to that?

    My brother-in-laws are a text book case of nature/nurture. Both served over a decade in different branches of the military. Nurture (adopted) brother-in-law took the military pension that would be due to him in the future for a much smaller immediate gratification cash-out and blew it to buy a Harley which was subsequently trashed from not receiving proper maintenance. Nature brother-in-law with my wife’s good genes deferred gratification and will be getting a decent monthly stipend for the rest of his life from same mil benefit. The list goes on and on about the poor life decisions nurture bro made over the course of his life as opposed to the wise ones nature bro made (yes, the story includes nurture bro buying a stripper fake tits), but the short of it is nature bro is semi-retired in his mid-5o’s despite not having a college degree, doing work in a relaxed 40 hour + overtime unionized defense contractor job role requiring security clearances, and able to last year buy a car for nearly $100K after already owning a classic car he had bought a couple years before that. Of course, he has no kids to take care of, but still impressive for not going through the credential/diploma mill.

    Both served over a decade in different branches of the military.

    Wouldn’t they have had to have served 20+ years to be eligible for a military pension (i.e. 20 years active duty = 50% of final salary annual pension benefit). At least this was the retirement benefit until the last couple of years when the military began to offer a 401K.

    Yes, the military can be a decent path to financial security. My best friend from childhood served 22 years active duty in the Navy (the last 12 on land at Pensacola), retired at 40 y/o w/ a $40K+ annual COLA-indexed pension (though his ex-wife gets half) & lifetime TRICARE medical coverage; and got hired into a $100K civilian job with the Coast Guard. He’ll be collecting a second pension at 62 of about another $40K to go on top of his $500K Federal TSP.

    • Replies: @Abe

    Wouldn’t they have had to have served 20+ years to be eligible for a military pension (i.e. 20 years active duty = 50% of final salary annual pension benefit).
     
    You are more learned about it than I am, it seems. Both bros-in-law joined the mil right out of high school (no student debt, but more importantly no wasted 4+ years in overgrown daycare) and nurture bro did serve 20 years at least- nature bro served only 10-15 , but if a pension is impossible with that little time it must have been 20 then as I’m sure he’s receiving something.

    and got hired into a $100K civilian job with the Coast Guard. He’ll be collecting a second pension at 62
     
    Right. My wife’s genetic bro is working one of those jobs- unionized, regular hours and I assume pretty decent benefits. And he gets to live in Hawaii. Adopted bro blew through all the same opportunities to take out a second mortgage to, among other things, buy a stripper fake tits.
  56. Abe says:
    @Grumpy
    This theme is everywhere now.

    A cursory "review" of David McCullough's latest book, The Pioneers, includes the following:

    The problem of McCullough's story owes to how closely it reflects, even if unintentionally, the white nationalist myth that undergirds Trumpism...

    Uncovering the unknown, including unrecognized historical actors, remains a primary task for all historians. But bringing un-famous white men into the spotlight, doesn't provide a new understanding of history. Instead, it perpetuates and — particularly in this moment — reinvigorates persistent national myths that make white people the center of the American experience and the chosen beneficiaries of democracy's offerings.
     
    https://theweek.com/articles/845704/dont-buy-dad-new-david-mccullough-book-fathers-day

    When Brian Lamb hosted his last episode of "Q & A" on C-SPAN last month, he chose David McCullough as his final guest. The topic was The Pioneers. The experience of watching that interview felt like an end to something significant in more ways than one.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?460554-1/qa-david-mccullough

    I really need Steve’s hot take on Jonathan Franzen. Only a single (two-term, successful) Presidency ago, Franzen was the great American writer and the toast of the Anglophone literary world. Now his being white, male, and, I guess, straight is problematic in ways you tribalist, identitarian alt-righters cannot understand because reasons.

    Pre-Wokeness his dissing of Oprah for picking THE CORRECTIONS for her book club delighted literary snobs, because turning down millions of dollars to thumb your nose at middlebrow cultural pretense was just something you were expected to do as a serious (i.e. world class a-hole) writer. Now, of course, Oprah is a semi-divine queen to be worshipped without question, and every formerly haute fount of cultural opinion is uniform in telling you you must buy every piece of middlebrow and below piece of crap being hoc’d by blacks as the ultimate badge in cultural sophistication .

    Steve had a really great slow-burn conclusion in one of his posts (which even beloved gadfly TRUTH had to tip his hat to) about how wokeness/SJW-ism seems awfully good at helping the most unscrupulous and richest among us get only richer.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Steve had a really great slow-burn conclusion in one of his posts (which even beloved gadfly TRUTH had to tip his hat to) about how wokeness/SJW-ism seems awfully good at helping the most unscrupulous and richest among us get only richer.
     
    Mencken needs to be updated. Nobody ever went broke overestimating the [fill-in-the-blank] of the American people.
  57. I made the mistake of looking at Ms. Saunders’ FIRE blog – it’s all blackety, blackety, black.

  58. Both served over a decade in different branches of the military.

    After serving ten years active duty, a family friend turned down USMC’s offer of $80K tax-free to re-enlist in order to go to a toilet law school.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    in order to go to a toilet law school.
     
    "The Southern Toilet Law Center" has a nice ring to it. Their HQ building couldn't possibly be worse than SPLC's.


    https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/university-building-looks-like-toilet-north-china-water-conservancy-electric-power-3.jpg


    http://www.wbdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/southern-poverty-law-center-buildingjpg--300x225.jpg

  59. @WowJustWow
    That’s a limit on contributions, not a limit on money that can enter the account with a correctly characterized sequence of steps if you have the prerequisites. Look for “Mega backdoor Roth” on some of those early retirement blogs.

    If you have also done the smart thing and married well, then you can each put $19,000/year into your work IRAs if your joint income doesn’t go over the limit. When changing employers you can pay the tax on those contributions and roll them into Roth. With max contributions, employer contributions and growth, it should theoretically be possible to get around 40k a year into Roths but it is dependent on a lot of factors so it would be difficult to do it every year you work.

  60. @Twinkie

    “There’s a cost to maintaining this Afro,” she adds.
     
    Someone please post Dave Chappelle's black reparation video.

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.

    Marry well worked for us. Meaning:
    Marry someone who is smart, stable, hard-working. I got lucky and somehow married someone with those characteristics who was also a stunner.
    Then; don’t either of you do anything stupid.
    And, don’t have bad luck.
    We didn’t retire in our ‘30’s, but early. The only thing we should have done if we had known, was to take John Derbyshire’s advice and gotten government jobs so we would have had real pensions. As it is, retiring early on mostly investments, and living as well as we did when we were working, required us to build a seven digit portfolio.

  61. Abe says:

    What I can say on this topic- one of my first bosses, a Chinese immigrant with whom I am life long-friends with long after we ended any professional ties, convinced me to start contributing to my company 401K account right from the beginning back when I was a dumb kid only interested in blowing money to put a turbocharger into his GM muscle car to get it to 500 horses so he could pick up more hot chicks that way.

    Company matching contributions to your retirement account are nice, but it was the habit of saving and especially building a base from which to compound earnings that really set me on a course of financial success. Even with the costs of supporting kids and a homemaker wife I was able to reach more or less the same goals as these FIRE guys and on about the same timeline.

    The other life-changing lesson for me was happening to read a book by fund manager Peter Lynch which pointed out 75% of managed equity funds underperform market indexes. Because of that I never buy individual stocks anymore, and stick to only market index-based mutual funds.

    The only personally-discerned piece of advice I can offer is that you make your easiest and usually biggest gains buying low, and everyone knows when the market is low and a recession is on, so always keep a stockpile of cash on hand.

  62. @Person
    Max allowable contributions to ROTH cap at $6000 in 2019.

    There is a tax maneuver called the “backdoor Roth” that effectively makes Roth contributions unlimited.

  63. @Achmed E. Newman
    BTW, I know people can't write good original music anymore (just heard some woman remaking a bunch of Elton John songs - NOT THE SAME!) I don't think they can even make their own new acronyms anymore*. FIRE already stands for Finance Insurance and Real Estate, or, the last one could be Education, the unproductive large portions of America's GD"P".

    This new use of "FIRE' is confusing things.


    .


    * Is it an acronym? I was corrected one time here on unz, but forgot the distinction.

    Yes. The fire rises!

  64. Abe says:
    @Anon
    Both served over a decade in different branches of the military.

    Wouldn't they have had to have served 20+ years to be eligible for a military pension (i.e. 20 years active duty = 50% of final salary annual pension benefit). At least this was the retirement benefit until the last couple of years when the military began to offer a 401K.

    Yes, the military can be a decent path to financial security. My best friend from childhood served 22 years active duty in the Navy (the last 12 on land at Pensacola), retired at 40 y/o w/ a $40K+ annual COLA-indexed pension (though his ex-wife gets half) & lifetime TRICARE medical coverage; and got hired into a $100K civilian job with the Coast Guard. He'll be collecting a second pension at 62 of about another $40K to go on top of his $500K Federal TSP.

    Wouldn’t they have had to have served 20+ years to be eligible for a military pension (i.e. 20 years active duty = 50% of final salary annual pension benefit).

    You are more learned about it than I am, it seems. Both bros-in-law joined the mil right out of high school (no student debt, but more importantly no wasted 4+ years in overgrown daycare) and nurture bro did serve 20 years at least- nature bro served only 10-15 , but if a pension is impossible with that little time it must have been 20 then as I’m sure he’s receiving something.

    and got hired into a $100K civilian job with the Coast Guard. He’ll be collecting a second pension at 62

    Right. My wife’s genetic bro is working one of those jobs- unionized, regular hours and I assume pretty decent benefits. And he gets to live in Hawaii. Adopted bro blew through all the same opportunities to take out a second mortgage to, among other things, buy a stripper fake tits.

  65. Abe says:
    @Sam Patch
    To use Mr Money Mustache as an example, his wife recently divorced him. Some of the other big names in that world, like the Frugalwoods, are just liars. They claim to have bought their homestead in Vermont by painting their own cabinets and giving themselves haircuts.

    We give each other haircuts! Or my wife sometimes gives us ones and can usually do herself fairly well (about as good any GREAT CLIPS, in any case). She’s really great that way, but expected certain perks in return (house cleaning, gardener) which I however was able to wean her off of as the kids grew up and became more capable with helping around the house.

    Anyway, marriage is incompatible with this FIRE lifestyle as it just involves too much give-and-take. I HATE HATE that we pay for the expanded cable package just so she can get her fix of HATE TRUMP 24/7 CNN, but that’s life.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    I could don a blindfold and give my wife a better cut than she gets in town. Her regular cutter has magnificent hair, so I guess it's like that thing where Ted Williams as a manager supposedly could not relate to mere mortal ballplayers.
  66. @Bardon Kaldian

    FIRE disciples have a reputation as overworked millennials, usually with the word “software” in their job titles, who stockpile 50 percent or more of their six-figure paychecks so that they can quit cubicle life in their 30s.
     
    While I don't care about back life-styles, this "concept" has an aura of psychopathy around it. What about Euler, Bach, Tolstoy, Michelangelo, Goethe, Jung, Plato, Gauss,...who made their most important achievements in their 50s-80s?

    Sorry, but to "retire", even only psychologically, in one's 30s is definitely pathological & morbid.

    Uh, the individuals you cite were doing a lot more interesting things compared to driving a cube managing component obsolescence for 30 or 40 years.

  67. @Anon
    Both served over a decade in different branches of the military.

    After serving ten years active duty, a family friend turned down USMC's offer of $80K tax-free to re-enlist in order to go to a toilet law school.

    in order to go to a toilet law school.

    “The Southern Toilet Law Center” has a nice ring to it. Their HQ building couldn’t possibly be worse than SPLC’s.


    • Replies: @Pat Kittle
    Regarding the SPLC eyesore, I don't recall seeing a more hideous excuse for architecture.

    What kind of a mind ordered that?

  68. @Abe
    I really need Steve’s hot take on Jonathan Franzen. Only a single (two-term, successful) Presidency ago, Franzen was the great American writer and the toast of the Anglophone literary world. Now his being white, male, and, I guess, straight is problematic in ways you tribalist, identitarian alt-righters cannot understand because reasons.

    Pre-Wokeness his dissing of Oprah for picking THE CORRECTIONS for her book club delighted literary snobs, because turning down millions of dollars to thumb your nose at middlebrow cultural pretense was just something you were expected to do as a serious (i.e. world class a-hole) writer. Now, of course, Oprah is a semi-divine queen to be worshipped without question, and every formerly haute fount of cultural opinion is uniform in telling you you must buy every piece of middlebrow and below piece of crap being hoc’d by blacks as the ultimate badge in cultural sophistication .

    Steve had a really great slow-burn conclusion in one of his posts (which even beloved gadfly TRUTH had to tip his hat to) about how wokeness/SJW-ism seems awfully good at helping the most unscrupulous and richest among us get only richer.

    Steve had a really great slow-burn conclusion in one of his posts (which even beloved gadfly TRUTH had to tip his hat to) about how wokeness/SJW-ism seems awfully good at helping the most unscrupulous and richest among us get only richer.

    Mencken needs to be updated. Nobody ever went broke overestimating the [fill-in-the-blank] of the American people.

  69. Abe says:
    @Person
    Actually, most FIRE types are just regular people who have decided not to take out car leases, buy overpriced McMansions with 30 year mortgages, and drop $50 on restaurants 4 times a week.

    Actually, most FIRE types are just regular people who have decided not to take out car leases, buy overpriced McMansions with 30 year mortgages, and drop $50 on restaurants 4 times a week.

    And I embrace their goals too! I was I guess a proto-FIRE type myself once (had dreams of early financial independence so I could become a great writer) but life worked out differently. The biggest benefit of financial independence as I see it now is being a free man-being able to exercise my free speech rights without fear of losing my livelihood and plunging my loved ones into economic misery. As the humiliations white people must endure to remain in the rat race will seemingly only mount, this privilege will only become more precious (I hope to amass enough wealth where, even divided, I can pass this gift on to all my kids)

  70. • Replies: @ArthurinCali
    Or, how about she utilize some creativity and make them herself? Shoot, start a business catering to that market need if it is that important and make some money.
  71. @Anonymous
    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    Saving money on bras so she can afford to maintain her Afro. Seems like a solid financial strategy.

  72. Nice pic ‘Kiersten,’ what is this, National Geographic?

    • LOL: Kylie
  73. @Dr Van Nostrand
    Blonde, blue eyed but even I ( a non white) can spot her as a west Asian a mile away. Israeli blondes are more likely to pass for Euros for obvious reasons I guess.
    Tamimi is East Jordanian/ Iraqi clan. Not a name often associated with Palestinians . Lots of blondes in Jordan from what I saw in my visit.

    Balfour Declaration stipulated that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”, Weizmann said, “with regard to the Arab question – the British told us that there are several hundred thousand Negroes there but this is a matter of no consequence.”

  74. @Abe
    We give each other haircuts! Or my wife sometimes gives us ones and can usually do herself fairly well (about as good any GREAT CLIPS, in any case). She’s really great that way, but expected certain perks in return (house cleaning, gardener) which I however was able to wean her off of as the kids grew up and became more capable with helping around the house.

    Anyway, marriage is incompatible with this FIRE lifestyle as it just involves too much give-and-take. I HATE HATE that we pay for the expanded cable package just so she can get her fix of HATE TRUMP 24/7 CNN, but that’s life.

    I could don a blindfold and give my wife a better cut than she gets in town. Her regular cutter has magnificent hair, so I guess it’s like that thing where Ted Williams as a manager supposedly could not relate to mere mortal ballplayers.

  75. She shouldn’t have had to pay for that hair-do when she could have sued the hairdresser.

  76. @Jonathan Silber
    Kiersten is seeking an early retirement to spend more time with her hair.

    Hence the expression “hair on FIRE”

  77. @Reg Cæsar

    in order to go to a toilet law school.
     
    "The Southern Toilet Law Center" has a nice ring to it. Their HQ building couldn't possibly be worse than SPLC's.


    https://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/university-building-looks-like-toilet-north-china-water-conservancy-electric-power-3.jpg


    http://www.wbdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/southern-poverty-law-center-buildingjpg--300x225.jpg

    Regarding the SPLC eyesore, I don’t recall seeing a more hideous excuse for architecture.

    What kind of a mind ordered that?

  78. @TomSchmidt
    Theoretically, you could contribute 57,000 in Roth contributions. 19k plus 6K if over 50 to a Roth 401k or 403B. If you work for a state government, you could contribute another 25K in Roth to a 457 plan in addition to a 403B.. Then 6k plus 1k to a Roth IRA.

    If you have an LLC and a solo 401k, you can contribute 19k (under 50) plus 20% of net income. It’s 25k plus 20% for those over 50.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    Ah, yes, the Solo. "With a Solo 401(k), depending on your salary and age, you could contribute $55,000 per year or $61,000 for those 50 or older in 2018. For 2019, the contribution limit increased to $56,000 or $62,000 if age 50 or over."

    However, you can only do 25k in Roth contributions. The rest is pre-tax.
  79. @Almost Missouri
    There are a fair (heh) number of blondes (disproportionately female?) with blue or green eyes throughout the Levantine Arab world (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine), not so much in the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia and Mahgreb though.

    One Western expat's theory was that this was a legacy of Crusader blood. That theory conforms to the circumstantial evidence: the phenotype is more common in former Crusader areas.

    Other theories:

    The Other Slave Trade. Millions of white Europeans were taken into slavery in the Muslim world from the seventh to the eighteenth centuries (and even a few into the twentieth century). Since the purpose of female slavery was often sexual/reproductive, it would be strange if there weren't a genetic legacy of those millions. This may explain the phenotype being commoner among females. In this theory, the Levantine concentration of fair hair is explained by the fact that fairer slaves commanded higher prices and that the eastern Mediterranean was the wealthiest part of the Islamic world. Somewhat famously, the Ottoman harems consisted almost entirely of European and Caucasian (i.e., from the Caucasus) women, so after a few generations, the Ottoman royalty were basically Euro, other than the Y chromosome.

    Outer reaches of the Blonde Revolution/Evolution. Whatever process gave rise to blondism in Northwest Eurasia in the first place (widely assumed to be sexual selection) has its southern frontier down around the eastern Mediterranean. In other words, a per capita map of blondness would show the distribution naturally petering out around the Sinai.

    Presumably, genomic science could provide a more definitive answer, but I've never seen it addressed. Perhaps eventually it will be.

    You are forgetting the counter-DNA influence of bleach.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    You can't bleach eye color.

    But if you include all the bleach jobs, Lebanon is majority blond. Like everywhere on earth outside of SJWistan, they prefer lighter skin, hair and eyes.

  80. @Anon
    If you have an LLC and a solo 401k, you can contribute 19k (under 50) plus 20% of net income. It's 25k plus 20% for those over 50.

    Ah, yes, the Solo. “With a Solo 401(k), depending on your salary and age, you could contribute $55,000 per year or $61,000 for those 50 or older in 2018. For 2019, the contribution limit increased to $56,000 or $62,000 if age 50 or over.”

    However, you can only do 25k in Roth contributions. The rest is pre-tax.

  81. @Bardon Kaldian

    FIRE disciples have a reputation as overworked millennials, usually with the word “software” in their job titles, who stockpile 50 percent or more of their six-figure paychecks so that they can quit cubicle life in their 30s.
     
    While I don't care about back life-styles, this "concept" has an aura of psychopathy around it. What about Euler, Bach, Tolstoy, Michelangelo, Goethe, Jung, Plato, Gauss,...who made their most important achievements in their 50s-80s?

    Sorry, but to "retire", even only psychologically, in one's 30s is definitely pathological & morbid.

    Euler, Bach, Tolstoy, Michelangelo, Goethe, Jung, Plato, Gauss,…

    Common career paths to be sure and obviously applicable to the life aspirations of the average junior associate vice president manager of brand social media marketing. Got to keep at it, don’t want to develop the means to ever miss even a single diversity training corporate offsite.

  82. @Reg Cæsar
    This chick needs to do what black kids in Brooklyn are doing-- celebrate Polish culture:


    Polish Themes in Little Free Libraries in North Brooklyn


    https://voicesofny.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Screen-Shot-2019-05-27-at-10.58.21-PM-670x449.png

    Are you following the shutdown of historian Ewa Kurek (Polish-Jewish Relations 1939-1945: Beyond the Limits of Solidarity) from scheduled appearances in Brooklyn? She is a “Holocaust distorter,” says The Tablet.

  83. @Reg Cæsar
    This chick needs to do what black kids in Brooklyn are doing-- celebrate Polish culture:


    Polish Themes in Little Free Libraries in North Brooklyn


    https://voicesofny.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Screen-Shot-2019-05-27-at-10.58.21-PM-670x449.png

    Are you following the shutdown of historian Ewa Kurek (Polish-Jewish Relations 1939-1945: Beyond the Limits of Solidarity) from scheduled appearances in Brooklyn? She is a “Holocaust distorter,” says The Tablet.

  84. @WowJustWow
    That’s a limit on contributions, not a limit on money that can enter the account with a correctly characterized sequence of steps if you have the prerequisites. Look for “Mega backdoor Roth” on some of those early retirement blogs.

    Ok, that was one of the more valuable links I’ve read here. Thanks for the mention, and I’ll see if I can use this strategy.

  85. @al anon
    You are forgetting the counter-DNA influence of bleach.

    You can’t bleach eye color.

    But if you include all the bleach jobs, Lebanon is majority blond. Like everywhere on earth outside of SJWistan, they prefer lighter skin, hair and eyes.

  86. FIRE is for DINKs or single men who enjoy living the single/bachelor life.

    If you’re making 200k+yr and saying ‘FIRE’ that’s silly because you were never playing the same game as most people; that’s really the only person who can do the strategy with a family.

    That aside there are plenty of big asian male FIRE bloggers she ignored.. I guess saying white/asian male is too wordy.

  87. @Sam Patch
    Mr. Money Mustache is insufferable IMO. He has admitted to being essentially an environmentalist blogger more than a financial one, hence advice like no air conditioning. I truly don’t understand the cult around that guy, but then again I don’t understand the ones around Te Nehisi Coates or Shaun King so what do I know.

    Here in the maritime PNW none of us had a/c till Californicators started coursing in over the past 20 years or so. The heat waves we’d have, we just waited out till the onshore flow re-established. And anyway it cools down a lot at night. Just pull that air through all night, button up the house in the morning, and voila, a cool house for the price, at most, of running a box fan a few hours.

    In the early Aughts we had a mondo heat wave–triple digits daytime for over a week. We and our friends sat around in the evening cool discussing whether we should consider buying a fan or instead, a set of muslin sheets (we sleep on flannel year round). Most of us decided on the fan to assist cooling down the house from midnight to 0700.

    In the past 10 years, though, everybody now is plugging air conditioners into walls, windows, etc….with the expectation that the air should always feel like that at the shopping mall/office/car.

    According to builder, electrician, and contractor friends, today every last house in these parts has to be built or retrofitted with central air. You drive or walk past these inflatable suburban hives on 300 acres of former mature/old growth forestland, on a 75-degree breezy day, and every last house has its windows closed and its heat pump cranking. With a TV or other screen glowing in every room.

    Same with cars.

    I don’t know where this blogger lives–I’ve only read his stuff a few times–but a lot of people really don’t need a/c. The idea that you have to have it costs a lot of people a lot of money that they don’t even realize they’re spending. How many people do home energy audits? Precious few IME. How many have ever thought through their needs, or been willing to map out the amount of money they can save per year with maybe–maybe–a bit of discomfort?

    This is what MMM and other similar bloggers get at–being more aware of how money is being spent. Between eating/drinking out, internet, phones, video consoles, energy, impulse shopping, debt with interest, multiple giant dogs, de rigueur tourismo, spas, nails, cosmetics, hyper-luxury kitchen appliances, etc., many households waste thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per year. The love of my life observed as we were picking up vegies at Costco last month the four- to five-figure price tags on the simple old practice of sitting outside in the yard with your family. Pergolas, furniture, $3,000 grills….

    Your reaction that living without a/c is ridiculous is a good example of the button-pushing that consumerism has installed in so many Americans. And I’m saying this as someone happiest at 20 below zero.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    You are right. He is a retard.
  88. I like the assholes who think its social security and safety net spending that is breaking the bank and not military spending. Could there be bigger assholes?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    There are 5 parts to federal spending:
    1) Social Security
    2) Medicare
    3) Defense
    4) Interest on the debt
    5) Everything else

    The Feds only collect enough in taxes to pay for 3 of these, which is why we run trillion dollar deficits each year. But politicians know that cutting 1 or 2 is suicide and 4 is on autopilot.
  89. “There’s a cost to maintaining this Afro,” she adds.

    And yet dirt poor Africans get their Afros for free.

  90. @BB753
    "We need our weaves!"

    Well recalled.

    • Replies: @BB753
    It's even worse than I recalled!
    https://youtu.be/-MnHPHzT5t0
  91. @eah
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7iK_dmX4AIictr.jpg

    Or, how about she utilize some creativity and make them herself? Shoot, start a business catering to that market need if it is that important and make some money.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    That's not her job. Her job is the same as the rest of her co-ethnics: to complain
  92. @everybodyhatesscott
    If you run your own business it's fairly easy to get to 55k a year with an individual 401k if you're business is bringing in 200k per year.

    If you run your own business it’s fairly easy to get to 55k a year with an individual 401k if you’re business is bringing in 200k per year.

    I’m assuming you are talking about having the business match your individual $19000 up to the $55000 total limit. But that is limited if you are a highly compensated employee or a part owner.

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/highly-compensated-employee.asp

  93. @Abe

    By the way, I am retired (well, semi-retired, as I still draw compensation for being on the board of a large organization). I have a much better and easier strategy than FIRE for retiring early:

    Marry well.
     

    Can you explain? Sorry, don’t mean to pry, but at what age did you feel you were semi-retired and didn’t really need to work? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s? And are you implying your wife’s wealth is the biggest contributor to that?

    My brother-in-laws are a text book case of nature/nurture. Both served over a decade in different branches of the military. Nurture (adopted) brother-in-law took the military pension that would be due to him in the future for a much smaller immediate gratification cash-out and blew it to buy a Harley which was subsequently trashed from not receiving proper maintenance. Nature brother-in-law with my wife’s good genes deferred gratification and will be getting a decent monthly stipend for the rest of his life from same mil benefit. The list goes on and on about the poor life decisions nurture bro made over the course of his life as opposed to the wise ones nature bro made (yes, the story includes nurture bro buying a stripper fake tits), but the short of it is nature bro is semi-retired in his mid-5o’s despite not having a college degree, doing work in a relaxed 40 hour + overtime unionized defense contractor job role requiring security clearances, and able to last year buy a car for nearly $100K after already owning a classic car he had bought a couple years before that. Of course, he has no kids to take care of, but still impressive for not going through the credential/diploma mill.

    Can you explain?

    As several other commenters mentioned, a smart, disciplined, frugal, and devoted wife is the greatest (appreciating) asset a man could ever have. And the conjugal intimacies don’t hurt either. Or the amazing puppy-like creatures called children.

    wife’s wealth

    That doesn’t hurt either. 😉

    at what age did you feel you were semi-retired and didn’t really need to work? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s?

    I’m in my late 40’s. Some years ago, my wife and I started a small business, grew it, and sold it to a large organization, on whose board I now sit.

  94. @Almost Missouri
    There are a fair (heh) number of blondes (disproportionately female?) with blue or green eyes throughout the Levantine Arab world (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine), not so much in the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia and Mahgreb though.

    One Western expat's theory was that this was a legacy of Crusader blood. That theory conforms to the circumstantial evidence: the phenotype is more common in former Crusader areas.

    Other theories:

    The Other Slave Trade. Millions of white Europeans were taken into slavery in the Muslim world from the seventh to the eighteenth centuries (and even a few into the twentieth century). Since the purpose of female slavery was often sexual/reproductive, it would be strange if there weren't a genetic legacy of those millions. This may explain the phenotype being commoner among females. In this theory, the Levantine concentration of fair hair is explained by the fact that fairer slaves commanded higher prices and that the eastern Mediterranean was the wealthiest part of the Islamic world. Somewhat famously, the Ottoman harems consisted almost entirely of European and Caucasian (i.e., from the Caucasus) women, so after a few generations, the Ottoman royalty were basically Euro, other than the Y chromosome.

    Outer reaches of the Blonde Revolution/Evolution. Whatever process gave rise to blondism in Northwest Eurasia in the first place (widely assumed to be sexual selection) has its southern frontier down around the eastern Mediterranean. In other words, a per capita map of blondness would show the distribution naturally petering out around the Sinai.

    Presumably, genomic science could provide a more definitive answer, but I've never seen it addressed. Perhaps eventually it will be.

    You are correct in stating that Ottoman royalty had littleTurkish blood flowing through their veins even as early as the 16th century due to their preference for sultanas and harem girls from the Balkans.

  95. @obwandiyag
    I like the assholes who think its social security and safety net spending that is breaking the bank and not military spending. Could there be bigger assholes?

    There are 5 parts to federal spending:
    1) Social Security
    2) Medicare
    3) Defense
    4) Interest on the debt
    5) Everything else

    The Feds only collect enough in taxes to pay for 3 of these, which is why we run trillion dollar deficits each year. But politicians know that cutting 1 or 2 is suicide and 4 is on autopilot.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    Defense is 2/3 of the budget. If you don't know that you don't know nothin.
  96. @ArthurinCali
    Or, how about she utilize some creativity and make them herself? Shoot, start a business catering to that market need if it is that important and make some money.

    That’s not her job. Her job is the same as the rest of her co-ethnics: to complain

  97. This is literally an Onion post. It’s a completely online community that interacts through messages boards competing to cut expenses. How is the fact that her expenses and spending priorities different from other people in any way news? How it is in any way oppression?

    Do the straight-haired males denigrate her for her hairdressing expenses? I just don’t understand anymore. Do all these female journalists not understand they’ve created an anti-ideology that isn’t even interested in solutions?

  98. You’d think maintaining an Afro would be easier than other types of black hair. But anyway, even if she is burdened with extra feminine costs due to vanity and competitiveness, how does that detract from the overall message? Presumably males have to keep up some level of professional appearance, unless they work entirely from home. She has to spend more to do so? Okay.

    Retire a bit later, you gadfly.

  99. I might find an article more convincing if written by a man complaining she was gifted unfair potential earning advantage by way of possessing giant boobies.

  100. @Jim Don Bob
    There are 5 parts to federal spending:
    1) Social Security
    2) Medicare
    3) Defense
    4) Interest on the debt
    5) Everything else

    The Feds only collect enough in taxes to pay for 3 of these, which is why we run trillion dollar deficits each year. But politicians know that cutting 1 or 2 is suicide and 4 is on autopilot.

    Defense is 2/3 of the budget. If you don’t know that you don’t know nothin.

  101. @Grumpy
    This theme is everywhere now.

    A cursory "review" of David McCullough's latest book, The Pioneers, includes the following:

    The problem of McCullough's story owes to how closely it reflects, even if unintentionally, the white nationalist myth that undergirds Trumpism...

    Uncovering the unknown, including unrecognized historical actors, remains a primary task for all historians. But bringing un-famous white men into the spotlight, doesn't provide a new understanding of history. Instead, it perpetuates and — particularly in this moment — reinvigorates persistent national myths that make white people the center of the American experience and the chosen beneficiaries of democracy's offerings.
     
    https://theweek.com/articles/845704/dont-buy-dad-new-david-mccullough-book-fathers-day

    When Brian Lamb hosted his last episode of "Q & A" on C-SPAN last month, he chose David McCullough as his final guest. The topic was The Pioneers. The experience of watching that interview felt like an end to something significant in more ways than one.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?460554-1/qa-david-mccullough

    McCullough always was a complete hack. To call it propaganda is more than its worth. He just writes utter crap.

    The Northwest Territory belonged to the Indians. In fact, early in Tecumseh’s life, that tiny band of motivated Indians managed to actually stop, stop, all those barges coming down the Ohio for several years.

    Internecine rivalry was Tecumseh’s downfall. This is what you imbeciles don’t understand. You spit on those you ought to make alliance with just because they belong to a different tribe.

    In the book, it’s like the Indians barely exist.

    You guys read crap. No wonder you’re so stupid.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    You spit on those you ought to make alliance with just because they belong to a different tribe.
     
    Who are you referring to?
  102. @Olorin
    Here in the maritime PNW none of us had a/c till Californicators started coursing in over the past 20 years or so. The heat waves we'd have, we just waited out till the onshore flow re-established. And anyway it cools down a lot at night. Just pull that air through all night, button up the house in the morning, and voila, a cool house for the price, at most, of running a box fan a few hours.

    In the early Aughts we had a mondo heat wave--triple digits daytime for over a week. We and our friends sat around in the evening cool discussing whether we should consider buying a fan or instead, a set of muslin sheets (we sleep on flannel year round). Most of us decided on the fan to assist cooling down the house from midnight to 0700.

    In the past 10 years, though, everybody now is plugging air conditioners into walls, windows, etc....with the expectation that the air should always feel like that at the shopping mall/office/car.

    According to builder, electrician, and contractor friends, today every last house in these parts has to be built or retrofitted with central air. You drive or walk past these inflatable suburban hives on 300 acres of former mature/old growth forestland, on a 75-degree breezy day, and every last house has its windows closed and its heat pump cranking. With a TV or other screen glowing in every room.

    Same with cars.

    I don't know where this blogger lives--I've only read his stuff a few times--but a lot of people really don't need a/c. The idea that you have to have it costs a lot of people a lot of money that they don't even realize they're spending. How many people do home energy audits? Precious few IME. How many have ever thought through their needs, or been willing to map out the amount of money they can save per year with maybe--maybe--a bit of discomfort?

    This is what MMM and other similar bloggers get at--being more aware of how money is being spent. Between eating/drinking out, internet, phones, video consoles, energy, impulse shopping, debt with interest, multiple giant dogs, de rigueur tourismo, spas, nails, cosmetics, hyper-luxury kitchen appliances, etc., many households waste thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per year. The love of my life observed as we were picking up vegies at Costco last month the four- to five-figure price tags on the simple old practice of sitting outside in the yard with your family. Pergolas, furniture, $3,000 grills....

    Your reaction that living without a/c is ridiculous is a good example of the button-pushing that consumerism has installed in so many Americans. And I'm saying this as someone happiest at 20 below zero.

    You are right. He is a retard.

  103. @Anonymous
    She chose a very revealing shirt for the photo op.

    What? No booty shot? What up with that?

  104. @MBlanc46
    Well recalled.

    It’s even worse than I recalled!

  105. @Sam Patch
    Mr. Money Mustache is insufferable IMO. He has admitted to being essentially an environmentalist blogger more than a financial one, hence advice like no air conditioning. I truly don’t understand the cult around that guy, but then again I don’t understand the ones around Te Nehisi Coates or Shaun King so what do I know.

    I wasn’t the one who said living without air-conditioning is ridiculous. I was responding to someone who did. My point was that Mr. Money Mustache tends to talk a lot about things like not driving to work, not using AC, etc. because he is at heart an environmentalist. I agree that for many people their use of air-conditioning is overkill. At my house here in Tidewater VA we have an efficient mini split heat pump system that we pretty much just use to cool off certain rooms at night. My electric bill for the last few months, including many 90° days, has been around $100. That is for a 2000 square-foot house built in 1922, so not exactly the cutting edge in energy efficiency.

  106. Anonymous[217] • Disclaimer says:
    @obwandiyag
    McCullough always was a complete hack. To call it propaganda is more than its worth. He just writes utter crap.

    The Northwest Territory belonged to the Indians. In fact, early in Tecumseh's life, that tiny band of motivated Indians managed to actually stop, stop, all those barges coming down the Ohio for several years.

    Internecine rivalry was Tecumseh's downfall. This is what you imbeciles don't understand. You spit on those you ought to make alliance with just because they belong to a different tribe.

    In the book, it's like the Indians barely exist.

    You guys read crap. No wonder you're so stupid.

    You spit on those you ought to make alliance with just because they belong to a different tribe.

    Who are you referring to?

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