As I sit here sipping a Mike’s Hard strawberry lemonade (which actually tastes pretty good!) I can’t help but think of the shape of many Americans. It seems saving and retirement is the furthest thing from people’s minds. I just read some amazing statistics over at savinggeorge.com
by shape of many Americans, I thought you meant round
Lol sorry. Maybe rectangular?
Yeah we are not thinking…that is the problem. We are drones. Buy this buy that. Sit in your car and drive an hour to work. Sit at your desk for 8 hours. Sit at home and watch tv for 2 hours…drones…
Unfortunately you are right! We waste SO MUCH!
I’ve noticed it too. I’m actually living proof of someone who used to not give a damn about savings and finances in general. I was never a brainwashed consumer, but still, saving big has never even crossed my mind until recently!
From what I noticed from my friends (whom I still hang out with, regardless of their crazy spending habits), lack of financial education has a lot to do with this kind of mentality. If generation after generation used to live like drones (like @Dads_Dollars_Debts so nicely explained it), the result is their actions will be influenced by the environment we all live in. Which is one that urges us to spend like there’s no tomorrow.
Very well said Adriana. I wasn’t raised to save either. I wish I’d have started sooner than I did! Thank you
It’s tough (but possible) to break the mold your were born into. Most will do as their parents taught them. Following childhood we follow similarly minded friends while being inundated by advertising and such telling us how to life. We’re conditioned. Simple as that. It takes an out of the box thinker to “beat the system”.
I’ve been reading early retirment extreme and he makes some great points about being a Renaissance man or woman and the value of learning about a lot of different areas in life.
I wish that was encouraged more by our educators and leaders but then people might start thinking for themselves too much for their liking.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about saving rates and he was floored when he heard that I’m aiming for saving about 75% of my income this year. He thought I was crazy and couldn’t imagine “depriving” himself to reach that sort of savings goal.
While I wasn’t surprised by his reaction, since it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I even thought about saving significant amounts of my income. However, what surprised me was that when I look around at my life I have so much that I don’t need to spend my money on more stuff. What I do want more of in my life is time and the way I’ve decided to “earn” more of that is to save a lot now and not have to work in a few years.
Unfortunately, there are way more people living this consumption based life and if you aren’t in the FIRE/PF space you may not even be aware that there is an alternative. So I think it helps with others lead by example and are open to sharing what they are doing. Every needs to internalize their own reasons for saving more, but having peers or role models that they can relate to helps.
Have you ever thought that one of the main driving forces to keep people working and seek FIRE is risk aversion and simply have difference preferences? Now don’t get me wrong, I am with you guys and want to FIRE by 48 (about to turn 37), when I talk to my friends and coworkers about FIRE they don’t talk in terms of depriving themselves but rather the risk of a large market downturn, health insurance, enjoying hobbies (some of which cost money) and the fear of running out of money. Many people who FIRE still have an income, whether they call it a job/hobby/side gig its still a source of revenue and frankly some people don’t want to have a blog/drive uber in retirement.
We on this forum should be happy that there are others that live a consumption life, thats the blood that is pumping through the US economy. Do you think as we have enjoyed one of the longest bull markets is because consumption is decreasing or people/businesses are not leveraging with debt at a current cheap rate.
My family saves a good chunk of our income because we want to and thats what we value, I have friends who take breath taking trips with their families instead. The pictures, memories they have created to them are well worth the money and I am happy for them.
No one on this forum has met someone that enjoys their job, I know plenty. This may be a shock to some, but they don’t want to retire.
For every story that someone posts that they knew someone that died at 60+ right before or after retiring there are stories that someone younger then 40 died, and if they were saving 70% for the hope to retire at 45 then they are not better then the former who died at 60+ working their entire life.
I don’t pity people who spend more and save less then me, if they are enjoying life who am I to tell them what they are doing is mindless drone activity and they are products of their parents/society etc…
So to answer the original question, what are we thinking. I am hoping that instead of pitying the person who bought a big house, fancy car or the latest Iphone I hope they are enjoying that because my assets in turn increase.
Don’t mistake this for me sitting on my high horse I have opinions just like everyone else ( and probably everyone here is going to disagree with this one). The notion that if your not aggressively seeking FIRE then you are hopelessly lost and have no financial insight bothers me. It put it simply there is opportunity cost in everything we do, save now to enjoy later ( earlier then most) or play now and save later ( while having less). Either way the same risk applies to both, we will all die and no one knows when its going to happen. I think its a safe bet that if someone told you that you will die in 1 year, I don’t think anyone of us is going to be saving 50%+ of their income.
Okay getting off my soapbox
Great point! Thanks!