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Messages - farmbochur

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Just Shmooze / Re: Actual reasons people go OTD
« on: Yesterday at 10:28:05 PM »
I think every. single. person. who ever went of the derech can write the exact same article and choose any one aspect of their life to blame it on.

He chose some random reason that is a hot topic, so more people are reading it. But there's nothing novel or new about a bitter person writing why he chose to live differently than his parents.

He's a decent story teller, builds a nice plotline, antagonist, climax, resolution etc.

He should look into writing historical fiction more often.

Should've merged with the original thread.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Amex Platinum Master Thread
« on: June 08, 2021, 09:07:36 PM »
Try calling the Platinum Travel number, not regular Amex Travel.

All my google searches return the regular Amex Travel phone number. What's the phone number for Platinum Travel?

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Masks
« on: June 07, 2021, 01:45:43 PM »
I also find it odd to see 99% of shoppers at the grocery store still wearing a mask.

Wouldn't CDC guidelines recommend masking for unvaccinated 9 year olds?

Does PayPal checkout at Home Depot trigger the offer?

How many are gonna sign up for their 3rd shot?


Is this serious?

...The average frum couple...

When did I imply FIRE is for average people?

General Discussion / Re: LIFE INSURANCE
« on: April 30, 2021, 01:35:33 PM »
To put it in the words of Ben Feldman (paraphrasing): There are two types of problems, big ones, and small ones. The difference between the big problems and the small problems is, that you can swallow a small problem, but a big problem could swallow you.
Yup, that's why it's important to think of expected utility when purchasing insurance rather than expected value. Brings to mind this section of Derivatives Markets from the syllabus of actuarial exam MFE.

General Discussion / Re: LIFE INSURANCE
« on: April 30, 2021, 11:59:47 AM »
Difference is, auto claims are much more common. Most young people think they won't die until they are very old
More common, indeed, but the losses covered by collision/comprehensive insurance are much easier to sustain.

It is more probable for a family to become permanently destitute as a result of untimely death than a totaled vehicle.

My philosophy with insurance in general is to obtain coverage for losses that I cannot sustain, but that it's not worth subsidizing the insurers margin for losses that I think I can reasonably "self-insure" against.

Unless of course you feel that underwriters are mis-pricing your risk, which can be the case due to information asymmetry as well as regulatory guidelines.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: FIRE movement & Financial Minimalism
« on: April 27, 2021, 03:33:38 PM »
You keep talking about financial flexibility, which is great, but that's not FIRE. The FIRE lifestyle has a clearly defined goal: retire early. When one sets that as the goal and doesn't reach it, that is considered failure. That doesn't mean nothing good can come out of the pursuit.
I keep talking about it, because that's what FIRE means to most in the community.

My issue isn't with the pursuit of financial flexibility. That can be attained through varying degrees of sacrifice and discipline.
Great, sounds like we agree on the underlying issue and are arguing only the interpretation of RE in FIRE.

My issue is in the pursuit of extreme, unattainable goals, which require extreme sacrifices. Those extreme sacrifices have a cost. As I said before, if an individual feels that they can justify the cost and achieve the goal, kol hakavod. I just don't think the vast majority of people can do it without compromising on the values of a frum lifestyle.
Pursuit of a goal with incremental payoffs is worthwhile even if the ultimate goal is never actually achieved. FIRE is a prime example of this, and it's unfit to consider such people a failure. As for the "extreme sacrifices" required, it's up to the individual to measure the actual cost of those and calibrate their savings rate accordingly.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: FIRE movement & Financial Minimalism
« on: April 27, 2021, 02:18:34 PM »
How many frum couples have a $100k-$250k net income in their first 5-8 years of marriage? Definitely not common in the Lakewood yeshiva community.

My response is "LOL."

The suggested income, as well as the proposed saving rates, are unlikely.

The point is that most newly married couples are also relatively new to the workforce. And as you start to earn more money, your tuition breaks get reduced as well - so with, say, 4 kids in school, you're tuition is easily $40-80k, depending which community you live in. As a starting point, that makes it difficult to save 30% of your income, even if making $150-200k.

That said, I think trying to save money and retire early is definitely worthwhile. I know there are lots of things I'd love to have more time for that my job doesn't allow for. More time with family, friends, learning, davening...

None of this sounds like FIRE to me. It sounds like a decent financial plan for people making decent money. It also doesn't sound like it would apply to 90%+ of the frum world.

ETA: FIRE calls for people making normal money to do extreme things. Your scenario describes people making extreme money (frum couple in their 20s netting 100-250k) doing normal things (living off of 70-125k/yr).

I'm not arguing that FIRE is attainable to most people. The FIRE community seems to consist mostly of people in careers that require no more than a 4 year degree with high earning potential (things like finance, accounting, engineering, etc.). 

FIRE is not tailored to people who hate work and want to sit at the beach all day. Money in the bank gives one the flexibility to take on risks or explore new interests that would be otherwise unadvisable.

All this to say that the pursuit of FIRE itself is beneficial, even if the couple comes up short of their target. I still don't understand what it means to fail FIRE.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: FIRE movement & Financial Minimalism
« on: April 27, 2021, 08:12:17 AM »

Because while the goal may be great, many (if not most) who attempt it will ultimately not succeed. Can one justify the sacrifices that will have to be made in a failed attempt?

Can you explain what it means to "fail"  FIRE?

Consider a typical candidate for FIRE who happens to be frum. The couple has combined income of $100-250k / year and achieves a savings rate of 30-50%.

Fast forward 5-8 years and the couple now has several children in school. With tuition and other expenses adding up, they reduce their savings rate to 15%. They also happen to have $0.5M+ in the bank. Too little for FIRE, but far ahead of their peers on the journey to financial independence.

Knowing how far ahead they are so far ahead, the couple has options to consider. Maybe cut back hours to spend time with the kids? Maybe the take on riskier projects at work with high payoff potential?

Is this couple really a failure?

General Discussion / Re: LIFE INSURANCE
« on: April 26, 2021, 12:26:18 PM »
This is not a Jewish community thing, it's a universal problem
Perhaps, but there's less need for coverage for families with 1.5 children that go to public school.

General Discussion / Re: LIFE INSURANCE
« on: April 25, 2021, 08:47:39 PM »
I actually was thinking about this a while back.
Avg. Price for term is 40-60 / month. That's about 500-700 a year.
Tzedaka campaigns avg. btw 100k-1M each. sadly, at least a hundred (Yesomim) online campaigns a year.. besides the thousands collected daily by meshulochim...
Being generous, in think it's fair enough to say that we're looking at 50+ million a year in Tzedaka campaigns for Yesomim...
Do the math: 50M / $600 = enough to pay over 83,000 people's life insurance...
I think some askanim need to get involved.. and make the switch to sponsoring or at least subsidizing LI for every married yungerman
The campaigns you've seen may very well consist of a disproportionate share of people with underlying health conditions that make them uninsurable. Certainly not at a rate of $40-60 / month.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Inflation In The Frum Community
« on: April 25, 2021, 03:40:38 PM »
Shortage of pre school teachers bc wages < unemployment

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Retirement Funds
« on: April 20, 2021, 10:14:15 PM »

you're suggesting that there's a single 'cookie viewer' product (or family of products) that is advisable for most 'small money', to take the place of the proverbial savings account, somplace to park a few k 'until they figure it out'.

Go ahead and name it

Are you likely to be a steady buyer over the next 5+ years?

If yes, VTSAX.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Maldives Master Thread
« on: April 09, 2021, 12:37:59 PM »
That will fit meals for a 5 night stay? Doubt it.
But worth asking if they'll give an extra fridge though.
Gotta cook up a good excuse other than to store the food they explicitly prohibit ;)

Selling one spot in a YouTube premium group and another spot in a YouTube music group.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Retirement Funds
« on: April 01, 2021, 10:59:06 PM »
I fully get that. But at the current going mortgage rates I can think of other places with equal or higher safe return and greater liquidity (remember - prepaying a mortgage is converting the most liquid asset you have into an asset that isn't immediately liquid, and can even decline in value).
I don't see it that way. The house is on my balance sheet either way. Prepayment is essentially sacrificing relatively few dollars today for many dollars tomorrow.

Regarding liquidity, true there is no payoff until the house is sold or the mortgage is paid off, but there is flexibility in that there are no mandatory contributions. Unlike a cash value insurance arrangement which would require me to make premium payments.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Retirement Funds
« on: April 01, 2021, 10:24:08 PM »
Which is why I said MIGHT be. Regardless, it is a fixed return at the mortgage rate (which is usually low).
Which is why I wrote MY priorities. I'd take the fixed return of mortgage prepayments and shift other investment allocation toward risky assets to reflect my overall risk appetite.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Retirement Funds
« on: April 01, 2021, 06:49:13 PM »
How does #5 fit in with any of the above? Might be non-tax efficient (and return is fixed at mortgage interest saving).
Tax efficient for those who take the standard deduction, no?

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