Suze on FIRE . .

Suze on FIRE . .


Agreed. Totally!

But do not write off the value of owning land. Land can offer benefits to FIRE participants. For example, sometimes you buy land and then years later valuable substances are discovered on, or beneath, your land. And you end up collecting royalties while needing to do no work at all.

Trust me, worse things can happen to a retiree. On this I speak from personal experience.:wink::wink:


I think for at least a fraction of them, this is the FI part of FIRE where you become free to do something you enjoy rather than a job you need to keep doing to keep getting your paycheck. But yeah it was odd to see most of the people interviewed basically now earning their paychecks from their FIRE blogs. Not really retired in the usual sense IMO.

Some of them make a lot of money with those blogs, others make token amounts. It becomes a LOT easier to switch careers and pursue something you’re passionate about once you are financially independent. Then any income from your new gig is just gravy.


It’s sort of true for me as well. I don’t have a real side hustle, but a little time invested in travel hacking and MS pays in travel I couldn’t afford otherwise. An extra 10 of 20k makes a big difference.


And of course, a WSJ article isn’t a random sample. Of course, they’re going to interview people with blogs first. They were the easiest ones to find :slight_smile:


Yep, retire early, then fill your time writing how awesome early retirement is.

Nobody talks about the potential boredom while your friends are at work, or the lack of sense of accomplishment…why else did they start blogging? It’s the same reason why many 65+ year old retirees go back to work within 2 years.

IMHO, what most people want is a shorter work week and a less stressful job.

Some of the advice given is completely unrealistic. If a recession hits and my portfolio takes a beating, I can always get a job at Starbucks. Yea right, that’s why so many college graduates were unemployed during the recession. Demand for coffee will be suppressed already, and they think they can stroll in as a middle aged person that hasn’t worked in years and get hired over a young college grad.

A better strategy would be to shift careers long before early retirement, and do something fulfilling even if it pays a lot less than the careers they can’t wait to escape from.


Good for you. How long ago was that? I thought nowadays most land is sold without mineral rights.


You could easily be correct. I dunno. Here where I live . . . NOW . . . you would surely be correct. But that’s now. Back long ago when I bought the land nobody had a clue there were valuable minerals way down. And the land was priced accordingly.

Smartest thing I ever did was purchase of land.

Dumbest thing I ever did was failure to buy still more land back when I was buying. Course it was all luck. Way back, right along with everyone else, I had no clue I was buying a “gold mine”. I did have the sense back then, solely based on instinct and nothing else whatsoever, to insist the mineral rights were still attached to my land.

For FIRE participants in particular, it would be unwise to purchase land upon which you intend to live (I live on my land), without being certain you own the mineral rights. You could wake up one morning (this has happened more than once) to find a drilling rig being erected adjacent to your retirement paradise.

For city folks who do not understand how retired rural landowners can collect large royalties while not experiencing disruption from drilling, I offer these two words:

horizontal drilling

The rigs responsible for my royalties were a mile away several years ago when drilling was ongoing. Now they are gone completely. We did have a pair of bald eagles nesting adjacent to one of the drilling pads. They produced young eagles. That was pretty cool.


I’d say you lucked out shinobi. Buying land that you have mineral rights isn’t heard of these days…

I inherited land in Oklahoma from my Choctaw father & his parents. All the land I know of still has the mineral rights attached to original owners. I haven’t gained much, but every 3-6 years I do get mineral royalties+ I get a nice yearly lease I don’t live on my land but I would never sell & hopefully my 2 sons feel the same.


I had the opportunity as recently as 2009 to buy a very nice piece of land WITH the mineral rights. In retrospect, the seller was giving the land away . . a small piece admittedly (ten acres) . . . but free is cheap and where can you buy land for free?

Anyway, I was too GD stupid to buy the land. It was one of the biggest jackass moves of my life. In the wake of the crash I thought I was playing safe, holding on to fifty grand of my cash. When you behave stupidly you oftentimes do not get a second chance to put things right. This was one of those times. :cry:


You can’t kick yourself too hard for being conservative. The crash was a wonderful opportunity in hindsight for anyone able to pick up property, especially for those with cash to do so. I did awesome on the timing for buying my first house and was thinking of moving two years later for a second property to rent out my first. I wish now that I had but at the time I would have been a bit overextended in debt and decided not to get too overleveraged. It would have turned out great…but that’s also what burned so many people in the crash in the first place.

@shinobi: regret not, it sounds like you have made a lot of good decisions, whether somewhat attributed to luck and you are doing very well.


Wind turbines,

Or you could go with solar power. It takes up space but just sits there.


Here where I live, wind turbines are anathema. They destroy our rural ambience and beauty. Wind turbines stand 400 feet tall, disrupt communications, kill both raptors (e.g., beloved eagles) and songbirds, and emit infrasonic which is destructive to human health. If you are living within five miles of those horrors you are in SERIOUS trouble. Also, unlike with drilling which benefits virtually everyone with royalties, wind turbines are destructive to land values anywhere nearby, benetitting only a handful of landowners while harming everyone else.

Solar is completely different, at least traditional solar is different. Traditional solar is low to the ground and harms nobody. Solar does not destroy rural ambience. Solar does not kill our wildlife or harm land values of other, nearby, property owners. Human beings can coexist with solar farms, but not with wind turbines if they are nearby.


Thanks for your kind remarks, Corndogg. Luck has certainly played a LARGE role in any success I have enjoyed. My “decisions”, in so many instances, were owing to instinct rather than to intelligence. Couple of examples:

*Always instinctively sought out living venues having low population density

*Always instinctively have avoided use of any sort or variety of drug; no exceptions

These instincts, and others, have helped me successfully navigate early retirement and bring to fruition my FIRE aspirations.


You may be interested in how poorly rodents fare in high population density, with antisocial behavior being the eventual limiting factor. Generalization to humans is left to the reader.


I’m not here to criticize choices made by other people. However, on a FIRE thread I think the following is fair:

For retirees of any age, cost of living (COL) matters big time. But for early retirees high COL has a lot more opportunity, over so much time, to whittle down your nestegg. So if you want to retire early to a high COL venue you had better have a much larger nestegg than your early retiree cousin who prefers to live in a place having a lower COL.

I have a close relative living in Pasadena, CA. I recall twenty years ago (or whatever) seeing numbers regarding COL in Pasadena vs. a city a bit more than an hour’s drive from my home. The COL in Pasadena was 1.5 times higher. And where I live the COL is lower than it is in that nearby city. The study I saw only included cities, not the countryside, so I had to choose the closest city I could find to compare with Pasadena.


It’s not “COL” that matters, it’s the actual cost. COL comparisons between areas assumes a similar standard of living. Are you and your relative maintaining the same standard of living? Or are you living in a big house on a farm while your relative lives in a small city condo? His actual costs could be lower than yours. I would think that utilities are cheaper in more populated areas (economies of scale), transportation costs could be lower as he may not even need a car, etc.


I think that is intuitively obvious even to a casual observer. However, the numbers I was referencing were “apples to apples”. Clearly if two families seek to maintain different standards of living, different styles, then the comparison is no longer apples to apples.

To use an absurd example, folks seeking to retire to a NYC apartment overlooking the park are gonna require a whole lot larger nestegg than “el cheapo” retirees like myself. COL matters because it has so much to do with the actual cost to maintain whatever lifestyle might be one’s preference in retirement.


What part of the country do you live, shinobi? You call yourself “el cheapo”, but you are so savy (money wise) that I would say you live on “millionaire row”.


You’re probably right to generalize that urban rates are often cheaper due to the economy of scale.

But it will depend on the circumstances.

I know here in the Northwest the rural electric customers have cheaper rates. I think the cheapest in the country. My dad pays something like 7c a kWh to his rural coop and I pay more like 12c/kWh in Portland metro. So his electricity bill is far cheaper yet their coop has an average of nearly 1/4 mile between customers. Thats becausse they get dirt cheap power from Bonneville.

His garbage bill a little lower than mine and I don’t know why. I assume this varies by local as much as anything.

One big difference is that my water/sewer is now $100 /month and his is zero. He has a well and septic tank and he pays probably under $5/month to run his well pump.

He has no access to cheap natural gas so his heat is generally more expensive. But his dirt cheap electricity helps there too.

Altogether his utilities are cheaper and most of the difference is the lack of a water & sewer bill.

Of course this is anecdotal and most rural areas don’t get ultra cheap BPA electric power.


Septic bill comes every thirty years instead of every month, but boy is it a doozy when it comes around.