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Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
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ArloDash Offline
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Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
I've been doing some research lately...

The FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) crowd is very fond of investing big sums of money into index funds, such as those offered by Vanguard (VSTAX and VTI) to generate passive income. The idea is that if you save most of your income, you can retire early. Like, super early.

The idea is that if you invest $1,500 a month for 10 years or so, you could very well be earning about between $15,000 - $28,000 a year in passive income based on a 4-8% dividend yield each year. Obviously, this is very doable even on a meager internet income when living abroad. These are approximations, but you get the point.

Here's a link where you can see the numbers in action.

https://networthify.com/calculator/early...awalRate=4

That money sounds like shit in the USA, until you start to think that's a huge chunk of your living expenses in a developing country, prompting early retirement as a legit option at this point. Of course, you could keep it going for even longer, and subsequently yield more money. At the very least, it seems like a really great insurance policy to ensure future remote income.

If this is possible, I'm wondering why I have not heard of more people doing it, especially on this corner of the internet?
03-17-2019 12:51 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
Because markets crash, and if your capital halves you're suddenly trying to live off 7-12k USD - if the company continues to pay a dividend at the same rate.

Edit: it's not such a problem if you have millions invested, e.g. going from 8% dividend on 10 million to 4% on 5 million for a year or two might involve curtailing the excesses of your lifestyle, but it won't actually change too many fundamentals, necessarily, in that with cash reserves, some caution and 200k coming in, one can continue to live in a reasonable amount of comfort.
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2019 01:26 AM by H1N1.)
03-17-2019 01:19 AM
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croquet Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
I don't want to be the negative Norman but here's a reality check:

1)Index funds don't pay high yields. VSTAX and VTI pay 1.7% to 2% in dividends. Where is the 4-8% coming from? You need another vehicle.

2)Lifestyle creep. 25KUSD /yearly sounds great when you are 25, but you aren't retiring at 25. More like 45 maybe. I guarantee you will have more expensive tastes and obligations(read wife and kid) to drain that passive income.

3)That calculator is good but lacks the key point. Variance and discipline. A person's income and expenses simply will not hold steady over the years.
03-17-2019 04:36 AM
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ArloDash Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 01:19 AM)H1N1 Wrote:  Because markets crash, and if your capital halves you're suddenly trying to live off 7-12k USD - if the company continues to pay a dividend at the same rate.

Edit: it's not such a problem if you have millions invested, e.g. going from 8% dividend on 10 million to 4% on 5 million for a year or two might involve curtailing the excesses of your lifestyle, but it won't actually change too many fundamentals, necessarily, in that with cash reserves, some caution and 200k coming in, one can continue to live in a reasonable amount of comfort.

History has shown that the market always recovers, though. So yeah, while you may have a crappy year or two, isn't that what extra money is for?

I get the idea of growing up and having kids, but I'm saying theoretically why is this not possible?

You can ball out pretty hard on 20G's in Eastern Europe. Even if you're just getting $15,000 a year of index dividends, $5,000 is nothing to make over 12 months.
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2019 12:15 PM by ArloDash.)
03-17-2019 12:11 PM
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ArloDash Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 04:36 AM)croquet Wrote:  I don't want to be the negative Norman but here's a reality check:

1)Index funds don't pay high yields. VSTAX and VTI pay 1.7% to 2% in dividends. Where is the 4-8% coming from? You need another vehicle.

2)Lifestyle creep. 25KUSD /yearly sounds great when you are 25, but you aren't retiring at 25. More like 45 maybe. I guarantee you will have more expensive tastes and obligations(read wife and kid) to drain that passive income.

3)That calculator is good but lacks the key point. Variance and discipline. A person's income and expenses simply will not hold steady over the years.

Understood about the dividend rate. I'm mostly referencing the rule of 4% that is discussed all over the place and is referenced in the calculator.

So basically, you're saying that lifestyle circumstances change enough that always planning to save X amount and spend X amount for a decade isn't always feasible?

Would it not be a good idea to contribute as much as you can, while you can to such things, to basically ensure you're getting some level of dividend income in the future and beating inflation?
03-17-2019 12:16 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
Why is everyone obsessed with retiring to be poor.
03-17-2019 12:29 PM
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croquet Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 12:16 PM)ArloDash Wrote:  So basically, you're saying that lifestyle circumstances change enough that always planning to save X amount and spend X amount for a decade isn't always feasible?

Would it not be a good idea to contribute as much as you can, while you can to such things, to basically ensure you're getting some level of dividend income in the future and beating inflation?

It's never a bad idea to invest capital, however the bolded part above is the key point why this doesn't work out the way the calculator says it does.

You really think you will spend the same in 20 years as you do today? Misguided would be a polite way to put it and inflation is just one of the many factors at play.
03-17-2019 03:47 PM
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ArloDash Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 03:47 PM)croquet Wrote:  
(03-17-2019 12:16 PM)ArloDash Wrote:  So basically, you're saying that lifestyle circumstances change enough that always planning to save X amount and spend X amount for a decade isn't always feasible?

Would it not be a good idea to contribute as much as you can, while you can to such things, to basically ensure you're getting some level of dividend income in the future and beating inflation?

It's never a bad idea to invest capital, however the bolded part above is the key point why this doesn't work out the way the calculator says it does.

You really think you will spend the same in 20 years as you do today? Misguided would be a polite way to put it and inflation is just one of the many factors at play.

What are some of the other factors, if you have not mentioned them all?

Yes, I'm aware it's not ideal to retire on $20,000 a year, but it seems like a damn good insurance policy.
03-17-2019 06:16 PM
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Duke Main Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 01:19 AM)H1N1 Wrote:  Because markets crash, and if your capital halves you're suddenly trying to live off 7-12k USD - if the company continues to pay a dividend at the same rate.

Edit: it's not such a problem if you have millions invested, e.g. going from 8% dividend on 10 million to 4% on 5 million for a year or two might involve curtailing the excesses of your lifestyle, but it won't actually change too many fundamentals, necessarily, in that with cash reserves, some caution and 200k coming in, one can continue to live in a reasonable amount of comfort.

I like this idea for a thread. I've read a bit about the topic but I don't consider myself a savvy investor and the above quote is a big reason for a lack of confidence in early retirement.

The FIRE community seems to latch on to the philosophy that markets always rise over time, and I suppose it might be true if you have a long enough horizon. I'll try to find and link an article I read recently where it was argued that going back to the early 1900s is too small a sample size to show historic market trends and the writer showed several 30 year periods (a fairly long time to be retired) where the markets fell, aka retirees without a big cushion were fucked.
03-17-2019 06:42 PM
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tugofpeace Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
I don't think the idea is to actually retire. It's just to be financially free to quit your 9-5, and pursue other interests.

You will get VERY bored without a job, hobby, or something to do in your free time. Take it from a guy who makes six figures working 20-30 hours a week with nothing else going on.

I would reach enough passive income to sustain my spending for the present, then use my free time to start even more ventures and passive incomes to sustain myself in the future. It's absolutely stupid and unnecessary to actually retire in your youth, unless you've reached a very high net worth that is immune to market crashes.
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2019 06:46 PM by tugofpeace.)
03-17-2019 06:45 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 06:45 PM)tugofpeace Wrote:  I don't think the idea is to actually retire. It's just to be financially free to quit your 9-5, and pursue other interests.

You will get VERY bored without a job, hobby, or something to do in your free time. Take it from a guy who makes six figures working 20-30 hours a week with nothing else going on.

I would reach enough passive income to sustain my spending for the present, then use my free time to start even more ventures and passive incomes to sustain myself in the future. It's absolutely stupid and unnecessary to actually retire in your youth, unless you've reached a very high net worth that is immune to market crashes.

Yes. I have lots of other shit I like to do that isn't necessarily income generating activity and a lot of my time is now spent making money, meaning I can't do what I actually like.

Any passive dollars coming in is the idea, index funds seem to be a good way to actively start doing that.
03-17-2019 06:54 PM
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Seadog Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 12:51 AM)ArloDash Wrote:  I've been doing some research lately...

The FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) crowd is very fond of investing big sums of money into index funds, such as those offered by Vanguard (VSTAX and VTI) to generate passive income. The idea is that if you save most of your income, you can retire early. Like, super early.

The idea is that if you invest $1,500 a month for 10 years or so, you could very well be earning about between $15,000 - $28,000 a year in passive income based on a 4-8% dividend yield each year. Obviously, this is very doable even on a meager internet income when living abroad. These are approximations, but you get the point.

Here's a link where you can see the numbers in action.

https://networthify.com/calculator/early...awalRate=4

That money sounds like shit in the USA, until you start to think that's a huge chunk of your living expenses in a developing country, prompting early retirement as a legit option at this point. Of course, you could keep it going for even longer, and subsequently yield more money. At the very least, it seems like a really great insurance policy to ensure future remote income.

If this is possible, I'm wondering why I have not heard of more people doing it, especially on this corner of the internet?

This has actually been discussed several times, and I've probably posted in most of those threads.

Here are a few:

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-65744.html

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-71881.html

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-71812.html

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-66887.html

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-66575.html

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-66806.html

https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-62930.html

Your plan is more or less sound, but more along the lines of the extreme early retirement. 4% is pretty sound, basically a 95% likelihood of success over 30 years, ~80% of it lasting forever, assuming nothing worse than the last ~130 years.

The problem is you are running things very, very tight. With $1m/40k income living an average life, most people have at least some room to scale back. I know many of the big ballers here think 200k is the minimum for a basic life, but 40k (after tax since its all divs/cap gains which are taxed close to zero up to about 40k) is equivalent to like 55k pretax working, more or less average for US/Canada. I'm fine with an average income which comes to me regardless of what I do for the rest of my life, complemented by the fact that I live a reasonably simple life.

It's psychologically hard to keep pulling 4% when your portfolio has crashed 50%, and that now represents 8%+, and you're selling stocks which you *know* are going to be worth a hell of a lot more in 5 years, for less than you feel they're truly worth. There's also the option of Coast-FIRE, where you take a simple job which covers expenses, so you aren't contributing any more, but such a job would be much lower stress, so you have a better life, and the nest egg continues to grow until it hits your number. You'd expect 500k to be $1m in about 10ish years based on historical returns, but again, past doesn't predict future blah blah blah, and you aren't forced to sell stocks at a loss.

To rehash a bit of what I wrote in other threads, and in line with others' points, I got laid off from oil and gas in 2015, had enough to cover living expenses passively thanks to a few years abroad with a juicy expat package, and travelled a ton and partied too hard for a couple years. Got a job out of boredom, realized after a year this job was no different than others, and that shitty employers will take every liberty they can - to the point of the dirty side of legal because they operate on the assumption that they're the only thing between you and the food line, so quit.

I volunteer a fair bit now, read a ton, lots of walks, but after 10 months boredom is creeping back and am casually looking for something again. The number of jobs out there though that meet the criteria of "So enjoyable I would be willing to do it for zero financial gain" are few and far between.

Finally, what many people find is that if you have the tenacity to save up 0.5-1.0m, then you're wired a certain way to make and save money. Even after you "retire", you almost can't help but continue to do things that result in making money.

But fuck, hands down the greatest thing is the freedom. You can literally do whatever the fuck you want, which is a double edged sword. I have friends with money concerns. I see real stress and worry in them. Stress can be as bad as smoking they say, and over a long term takes a toll. Is it worth it to have a new SUV vs a 10 yo sedan?
03-17-2019 07:31 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-17-2019 06:45 PM)tugofpeace Wrote:  I don't think the idea is to actually retire. It's just to be financially free to quit your 9-5, and pursue other interests.

You will get VERY bored without a job, hobby, or something to do in your free time. Take it from a guy who makes six figures working 20-30 hours a week with nothing else going on.

I would reach enough passive income to sustain my spending for the present, then use my free time to start even more ventures and passive incomes to sustain myself in the future. It's absolutely stupid and unnecessary to actually retire in your youth, unless you've reached a very high net worth that is immune to market crashes.

Here's a great little Calculator that lets you see the likelihood of success with nest egg, spending, and timespan, assuming you retired in every year since 1871.

https://www.firecalc.com/

with a 1m nest egg, 35,940 spending (~3.6%) , and 30 year horizon, there are literally *zero* instances where it failed. That means you put $1m in the market the day before the 1929 crash, you would have been fine.

For a rate that lasts forever, ie just off purely returns, investing everything the day before the crash, the withdraw rate is 33,040.

Finally another neat calculator which helps you visually is the rich, broke, or dead calculator. There are a lot of variables you can play with, but even with a more generous 4-5% withdrawal rate, it shows that running out of money as you age is hardly your greatest risk.

https://engaging-data.com/will-money-last-retire-early/

   

As you can see as you age by far the greatest risk is death. Further, at 4% here, absolute worst case scenario is 25 years before you go bust, so obviously at year 5, 10, 15 or whenever, you can obviously make changes such as lowering spending, or getting a job. This example uses zero flexibility in spending, and assumes zero old age security or anything. Again, if you play with it, assuming either $10k/year SS from ages 50-70, or a flexibility in spending of 20%, and you completely eliminate the historical chance of going bust.

I love this because it really illustrates the risks visually. On some of the finance forums I frequent, you have people that are so petrified of running out of money that they're willing to work an extra decade - complete with the stress it involves to reduce their withdraw rate to something like an absurd 2%. This is like someone who frequently drives drunk, smokes 2 packs a day and is obese, always remembering to buckle up because they're concerned about their life.
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2019 08:10 PM by Seadog.)
03-17-2019 07:58 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
Great [email protected]

I'm very interested in this area and have started a thread on it previously.

Like others have said, I don't want early retirement. I want the freedom to not HAVE TO work.

I want to create an income stream of around $40-50k from investments and a couple rental properties.

I expect I will always work in some form. Shit, even a weekend bar tending job has appeal.
03-18-2019 12:18 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
About the FACT the market always recovers:
That is very true, historically. However, past doesn't predict future and our country/world has shaky times ahead. For index funds to work you need to have a lot of money to last a few years in case market goes down. I made a lot of money with index funds but actually got out a few years ago when things looked shaky. Last few years my assets have grown very slowly but safely in gov't backed CD'S because I couldn't take the stress anymore. My father said" son, you leave the battlefield once you have already won the war". Mind you I am 46 and 2 mil in assets so my advice for myself is different than someone young trying to grow a nest egg.

I want to add most media sources giving retirement advice is wrong. In reality in your last years of retirement people tend to spend less except at the very end because of health. Most can get by with less during most prime retirement years. If your mobile , location changes also play a big part in what you will need.
(This post was last modified: 03-18-2019 04:02 PM by jimukr75.)
03-18-2019 03:59 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
Great thread. I am a big fan of index fund investing. I enjoy reading Andrew Hallam's books and his index fund strategy for global expats. He is a firm believer in low cost global index funds, a healthy allocated portfolio with a balance of equites and bonds based on your age, rebalancing your portfolio once a year, continual passive investing and controlling the biggest enemy to your portfolio YOU and your nerves during up's and down's.

Below are some interesting articles he has written regarding index funds. He also practices what he preaches after selling off a large chunk of his stock portfolio to go all in on Index funds....over time I am sure he will come out ahead.....for what it's worth Warren Buffett also praises low cost passive index fund investing...and has made it known that he wants 90% of his estate to be invested in low cost index funds left to his heirs.

TLDR: Come up with a strategic well balanced low cost indexed global portfolio allocation based on your age and retirement goals and stay the course, don't mess with it to much, rebalance once a year and stay disciplined buying through up's and down's.....easier said than done!

https://assetbuilder.com/knowledge-cente...ement-rule

https://assetbuilder.com/knowledge-cente...the-mirror

https://www.fool.com/retirement/2018/11/...kes-t.aspx
03-18-2019 05:11 PM
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Excalibur Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
Your plan sounds fine. If you are working in a job that you don't love, but making decent money for you to sock a way $20,000-$30,000 a year you should reach a $500k portfolio in 10 years. With 4% withdraw you got $20,000 a year. Keep in mind someone with $500K now is very different from you with $500K in 10 years. As other mentioned inflation.

I am not so worried about the reliability of market return. I would be concerned that inflation in cheap 3rd world countries such as Eastern Europe, SEA will be far greater than in the west. Look at emerging now mature economy like China. It was cheap traveling to Shag hai 10 years ago. Not very affordable now. Maybe tougher to benefit from Geo-arbitrage 10 years from now. Globalization is happening FAST.

Also as other have mentioned, if you are in your 20s now, in 10 years you'll be in mid 30s perhaps looking to start a family. Cruising the world, staying at hostels in your 20s on $20,000 is very different from supporting a family.

Any how, your plan is fine. In all likelihood you'll have a little nest egg in your 30s which allow you to take a year off to explore other interests, start a side venture, pick another skill set.
(This post was last modified: 03-18-2019 06:09 PM by Excalibur.)
03-18-2019 06:06 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-18-2019 06:06 PM)Excalibur Wrote:  I am not so worried about the reliability of market return. I would be concerned that inflation in cheap 3rd world countries such as Eastern Europe, SEA will be far greater than in the west. Look at emerging now mature economy like China. It was cheap traveling to Shag hai 10 years ago. Not very affordable now. Maybe tougher to benefit from Geo-arbitrage 10 years from now. Globalization is happening FAST.

This is a good, good point. Thanks for sharing this info.

Few questions, how would you even calculate which locations are unlikely to be good for geoarbitrage in the future? Obviously being able to hedge your bets gives you a bit more security, curious what criteria you'd be looking for with thinking "will my living destination rise in price in the future." Sadly, every time the war picks up a bit in Ukraine, things become nominally cheaper for us all.

Second, do you really think that in 30 years the world will be so interconnected that there will be no remaining locations that fit the bill? It's possible, but just knowing how many poor, fucked up parts of Eastern Europe, SEA and the Caucasus region, I feel like there's just so much choice here.
03-18-2019 09:51 PM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
As I have stated in other threads I think a 3% withdrawal rate is a good rule of thumb for calculating necessary retirement capital. Why 3% when the generally accepted rule is 4%? Because 3% in practical terms is a level where you can create an investment portfolio without specifically having to search for yield and where you can just focus on the quality and total return of the investments and likely still end up generating that level of yield of 3%. (ideally you don’t want to have to be selling down your assets each year because that could be suboptimal for tax purposes and when there are market crashes).
(This post was last modified: 03-19-2019 10:15 AM by Australia Sucks.)
03-19-2019 10:10 AM
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flanders Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
People do that all the time. Save a lot of money, invest it, and go to a second world country to reap the benefits. Do some fly-by-night shit on the internet to make mad money once in awhile. You have all the time in the world to figure it out now.

The RVF is kind of resistant to this though since it seems everybody wants to work until the day they die and they think they're immune to all forms of debilitating injury or illness. They spend every paycheck to the last drop and go into debt over stupid shit that doesn't matter to achieve baller status, then get all bunched in the panties every time they hear somebody who can actually handle their money proceeds to do so.

I don't plan on living a day past 60 due to health conditions that are affecting me now so retiring by 40 or 45 would be ideal.
(This post was last modified: 03-19-2019 10:38 AM by flanders.)
03-19-2019 10:35 AM
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croquet Offline
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-19-2019 10:35 AM)flanders Wrote:  The RVF is kind of resistant to this though since it seems everybody wants to work until the day they die and they think they're immune to all forms of debilitating injury or illness. They spend every paycheck to the last drop and go into debt over stupid shit that doesn't matter to achieve baller status, then get all bunched in the panties every time they hear somebody who can actually handle their money proceeds to do so.

The threads I hangout in mostly in travel and life anyways, seem to be the opposite of your sentiment above.

Not trying to start anything here, just from my experience I just don't see it.
03-19-2019 11:53 AM
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RE: Retiring early abroad on passive income from index funds
(03-19-2019 11:53 AM)croquet Wrote:  
(03-19-2019 10:35 AM)flanders Wrote:  The RVF is kind of resistant to this though since it seems everybody wants to work until the day they die and they think they're immune to all forms of debilitating injury or illness. They spend every paycheck to the last drop and go into debt over stupid shit that doesn't matter to achieve baller status, then get all bunched in the panties every time they hear somebody who can actually handle their money proceeds to do so.

The threads I hangout in mostly in travel and life anyways, seem to be the opposite of your sentiment above.

Not trying to start anything here, just from my experience I just don't see it.

Have a look at all the guys posting in the MMM thread and you'll see the ones who use their money vs. the ones who get used by money.
Yesterday 11:56 AM
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