80% of Financial Independence Retire Early Talk Tastes like Chicken, So What’s my 20% Secret Sause?

“The combination of saving a sufficiently large portfolio AND acquiring a large skill set is key.

The skills acquired bring a second layer of security and expand adaptability….

If society continues to prosper, the portfolio will carry the day. If it doesn’t, it is likely that an ERE-minded individual will be a community asset when most people are used to paying others solve problems.”

Early Retirement Extreme (the real “FIRE” guide)


Wealth is time, not typing about it

25-year-old tech engineers in Silicon Valley slurping farm-to-table tofu kale smoothies aren’t the only “experts” preaching about Financial Independence Retire Early (“FIRE”). Now, physicians, engineers, and anyone with a keyboard, and catchy domain name is blogging to become the new authority in “FIRE” and finance.

Banner ads.

Self-published tell-alls.

Service provider marketing.

Courses.

Conventions.

FIRE stardom is all just one more published post away.

Is this new group really any freer typing away their existence?


My FIRE – 80% tastes like chicken: kill false conveniences; hedge the largest fixed monthly expenses

This is the last time you’ll see my “taste like chicken” thinking on this.

It’s not my recreational pastime.


Housing.

We live in one-side of a duplex and rent the other out.

Many live-in homes with 50%+ room occupancy rates, why?

Before you ask, we maintain a highly equitable relationship with our tenants: rent is paid on the first, and we take care of all maintenance requests. Fast.

Principal and interest is $1,365, rent on our other two bedroom is $1,430.

Hedged.


Food.

We started a ¼ acre urban farm last year.

We can’t grow ALL our own food just yet, but my daughter is learning entrepreneurship in the process, and we don’t participate in the mindlessly waste watering of 35 million acres of lawns in the United States just to fit in.

Hedged.


Transportation.

One car please.

Don’t ever forget this famous last word: Depreciation.

Two tons of metal that rusts and enslaves most middle-class Americans is the worst false beacon of wealth. Every mile. Every year. This phantom negative compound interest silently kills the Jones’s net worth. Add maintenance, insurance, gas, registration, taxes, and door-dinging your “net worth.” I’ll let Uber and Lyft drivers depreciate their cars, and spend their energy on my behalf.

Besides, pushing pedals on my bike as short-term transportation keeps my love handles at bay, and makes me feel young.

Hedged.


My FIRE – 20% secret sauce: human capital compound interest

Do you have a system to track, invest, and grow each capital source to savor each spice life has to offer?


Emotional capital.

Is poor mental health our nation’s new public health crisis?

We each have more to give, so which positive emotions bubble out of you in abundance and oversupply? Do you have a process to clean negative emotional states regularly? As the actor in your own life, how do you invest the right emotions in each scene when your mind feels the dramatic crescendo to fight, or take flight?

What is your system to track, invest, and grow your emotional capital?


Physical capital.

Does technology equal better health? I don’t think so.

Sleep, why do we live in a culture demonizing rest when it accounts for such a huge amount of our health?

Diet, there’s never been so many choices to nourish our bodies, but American’s still eat diets with 60% of processed food, why?

Rigorous exercise, we all talk about getting into the best shape of our life, but usually a health scare or loss of an intimate relationship forces us, why?

What is your system to track, invest, and grow your physical capital?


Intellectual capital.

Why does it feel we have the most available information of any generation, yet know the least practical ways to live?

Many diversify portfolios, but many more overconcentrate, and overleverage into learning only “specialized” skills with one large consumer of them. Why not build negatively correlated skills, providing positive returns no matter the economic weather?

If you woke up tomorrow, and could never go back to currently using the skills and experience you have to earn a

living, how would you provide for your family?

What is your system to track, invest, and grow your intellectual capital?


Social capital.

Mirror mirror on the wall, why do we want everyone to look like us all?

Why is our culture so obsessed with mirroring and herding into who we currently are instead of who we can become?

Do your friends, family, peers, and other social circles bring the best version of you out? Or the worst?

Do you weed and prune relationships to make room for seeding new ones? Where and how do you find the right seeds to plant in all life’s different seasons? Do you seek to amend others soil first, or is every interaction with others treated like balancing your checkbook?

What is your system to track, invest, and grow your social capital?


Financial capital.

It’s easier than ever to invest, but most people in our industry are (still) enslaved.

This energy provides life’s greatest options to sip and savor each new day, or the worst prison sentence brought on by our own actions.

Many don’t want to ask for help, and delay handling the simple they preach until it becomes their own worst nightmare.

At times we leap into investments, businesses, and real estate with herculean like confidence to realize we didn’t

really need to fight hydra to begin with.

It’s the only capital source that can be lost so quickly, yet, over time with the right actions so simply built.

Maybe this capital is still the most wasted. I doubt it.

What is your system to track, invest, and grow your financial capital?